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Neptune was discovered by Jean Joseph Le Verrier and John Adams from England. The planet was not known to ancients because it is not visible to the naked eye; only seen in a telescope. The planet was initially called Le Verrier after its discoverer. This name, however, quickly was abandoned and the name Neptune was chosen instead.
Neptune is the Roman God of the Sea. In Greek, Neptune is called Poseidon.
Neptune has the second largest gravity of any planetin the solar system – second only to Jupiter.
The orbit path of Neptune is approximately 30 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun. This means it is around 30 times the distance from the Earth to the Sun.
The largest Neptunian moon, Triton, was discovered just 17 days after Neptune itself was discovered.
Neptune has a storm similar the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. It is commonly known as the Great Dark Spot and is roughly the size of Earth.
Neptune spins very rapidly, 8 hours to complete one rotation. Only one spacecraft, the Voyager 2, has flown past Neptune. It happened in 1989 and captured the first close-up images of the Neptunian system. It took 246 minutes – four hours and six minutes – for signals from Voyager 2 to reach back to Earth from Neptune.
The climate on Neptune is extremely active. In its upper atmosphere, large storms sweep across it and high-speed solar winds track around the planet at up to 1,340 km per hour. The white clouds are called Scooters.
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