Right Drag with your mouse after you run the links above that display planetary orbits to get a good sense of their 3-dimensional aspects.
Are you unfamiliar with our 1.6.x and 1.4.1 links? For an explanation click here.
A gas giant, Neptune has no solid or liquid "surface". So its "visible surface" is really the top of its complex cloud system! As no spacecraft has yet sent back pictures from within or directly above the planet's awesome cloud layers, artists' depictions will have to suffice for now.
The following will help you enjoy this page's 1.6.x and 1.4.1 links that run events directly in CELESTIA. If you're new to the program, these tips will also help you learn to use it.
You'll find more information about many of CELESTIA's controls on our Learning Center page.
Current Views and Conditions from Earth
Current Location in the Constellations (w/ Geo-Coords)
Current Location in Orbit
Equatorial Radius: 24,764 km
Equatorial Radius (Earth = 1): 3.883
Rotational Flattening: 0.01708
Mass (Earth = 1): 17.147
Volume (Earth = 1): 57.74
Mean Density (Water = 1): 1.64
Mean Density (Earth = 1): 0.297
"Surface" Gravity (Earth = 1): 1.14
Inclination of Axis to Orbit: 28.32°
Rotation Period: **
Synodic ("Day" in Earth hours): 16.11
Sidereal (in Earth hours): 16.11
Albedo (geometric): 0.41
Magnetic Field (Earth = 1): 26
Magnetic Polarity: opposite that of Earth
View Neptune in 3-D: a terrific 3-D animation from Robert Vanderbei's great site. Drag Neptune to see its poles; but if you do, view always rotates left to right, not around Neptune's axis. (Requires browser supporting WebGL )
NASA / JPL's Photojournal pages for Neptune
NOTE: to see Neptune's internal structure, hover your cursor over the planet's image at upper-right.
Number of Moons: at least 14 (more suspected)
Major Moons: 3 (Triton , Proteus & Nereid)
Compare to Other Moons
Moon Discovered Most Recently
Wikipedia's Moons of Neptune page
Ring System: Yes
Outer Planet (along with Jupiter, Saturn & Uranus)
Gas Giant (mostly hydrogen and helium)
Superior Planet (has larger orbit than Earth)
Orbit: (1.6.x) (1.4.1)
Period: 164.79 Earth years
Distance from Sun:
Mean (Earth = 1 AU): 30.047 AU
Mean: 4,495,060,000 km
Perihelion: 4,444,450,000 km
Aphelion: 4,545,670,000 km
Mean: 19,458 km/hr
Min: 19,332 km/hr
Max: 19,800 km/hr
Inclination to Ecliptic: 1.769°
*Earth solar day = 24.0000 hr
Earth sidereal day = 23.9345 hr
**Different latitudes on the Gas Giants rotate at different speeds
Partial Information Source: NASA Fact Sheets
"pertaining to Neptune"
Poseidian (from Greek god, Poseidon) obscure
VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY
video credit: NASA JPL-CalTech
DIRECT LINKS TO MEDIA
OFFERED ON OTHER SITES
A nice NASA-JPL Multimedia of the Voyager Missions.
Interested in political cartoons and humor?
Check out The HIPPLOMATS™.
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SCALE OF THE COSMOS
SKY-FUN / SKY-GAMES
NEPTUNE FUN FACTS
Though it is farther from the Sun, Neptune is warmer than Uranus!
Neptune possesses the most violent winds of any planet!
There is still a dispute over who discovered Neptune!
QUICK ACCESS LIST
Note: some links are echoed elsewhere on this page and may include descriptive text.
From NOAA's Science on a Sphere site is a 3D Neptune that can be rotated around 2 axes. (When link runs click in the page's right column on "Interactive Sphere".)
Links to interactive features that show Neptune's orbit in 3-D can be found on our Solar System page
NASA-JPL's The Voyager Missions.
Neptune Viewer lets you find the tilt of Neptune & its rings for any time and date.
Neptune Moon Tracker allows you to generate and download diagrams of the locations of Neptune's moons and its Adams Ring over spans of time.
POSTERS FEATURING NEPTUNE
VIDEOS FEATURING NEPTUNE