Neptune is the farthest planet from the Sun, with a huge orbit compared to ours. It takes Neptune approximately 165 Earth years to complete a single trip around the Sun. Neptune is one of three blue planets (Earth and Uranus are the others), and the only one discovered by mathematical prediction instead of observation.
I love this collection of questions. "Why is Neptune blue? How did Neptune get its name? How many moons does Neptune have?" Simply click on any of the questions to view the answer on Cool Cosmos. Cool Cosmos is a "NASA education and outreach website for infrared astronomy and related topics." In addition to the Ask an Astronomer section, they have an interesting set of resources for teachers.
"How much would you weigh on Neptune? If you weigh 70 pounds (32 kg) on the Earth, you would weigh 78.5 pounds (36 kg) on Neptune." Kids Astronomy's Neptune page has Fast Facts and a short Neptune lesson. At the bottom of the page is a link to a page about Neptune's moons. "Due to its great distance from the Earth it is extremely difficult for us to see any of Neptune's moons. For that reason most of its moons were not discovered until 1989 when NASA sent a satellite to explore the world."
"Despite its great distance from the sun and lower energy input, Neptune's winds are three times stronger than Jupiter's and nine times stronger than Earth's." The highlight here is the interactive Planetary Stats feature. Click on the menu items (Intro, Neptune Stats, Size Comparison, Moons) to scroll through it. There is also a short article full of great stuff for school reports.
"Neptune has six known rings. Voyager 2's observations confirmed that these unusual rings are not uniform, but have four thick regions (clumps of dust) called arcs." Most of what we know about the distant planet we learned from Voyager 2's 1989 mission. "It discovered five moons, four rings, and a 'Great Dark Spot' that vanished by the time the Hubble Space Telescope imaged Neptune five years later." Use the tabbed menu to explore what NASA knows about Neptune. The tabs include Facts & Figures, Missions, Rings, Moons, News and a FAQ. If you only visit one Neptune site, this should be it!
"Neptune might be called the mathematicians' planet. German astronomer Johann Galle discovered it on September 23, 1846. The discovery was made possible, though, by the calculations of mathematicians Urbain Leverrier of France and John Couch Adams of England." After reading the main Neptune feature, explore the links and featured images in the right-hand column. Topics include Neptune at Opposition and Neptune's Triton (its largest moon.)
Neptune is the farthest planet from the Sun, with a huge orbit compared to ours. It takes Neptune approximately 165 Earth years to complete a single trip around the Sun. Neptune is one of three blue planets (Earth and Uranus are the others), and the only one discovered by mathematical prediction instead of observation.\n