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Neptune
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Astronomical Object
    Eight planet from the star Sol (occasionally further out than Pluto
    Fourth largest planet in the Solar System
    First discovered by Galileo Galilei as a star (December 28, 1612)
    First correctly identified as a planet by Johann Gottfried Galle (September 23, 1846)
    Visited by the Voyager 2 (August 25, 1989)
    Named after the Roman god of the sea
    It orbits the Sun every 165 Earth years.
    Because of Pluto's highly eccentric orbit, it was the most distant planet from the Sun for 20 years (1979-1999) until Pluto replaced it again. In 2006 Pluto lost status as a planet.
    It has the strongest winds of any other planet in the Solar System, which can reach speeds of 1,200 miles an hour.
    It was only visited once, by the Voyager 2.
    Its distance from the Sun makes its atmosphere extremely frigid (around -373 F).
    Its discovery through calculations made by both Urbain Le Verrier (French) and John Couch Adams (British) caused a nationalistic rivalry between France and Britain over who should get credit for the discovery.
    It was settled that they both deserved credit for its discovery, even though it was later proven that Adams did not deserve equal credit.
    The actual person to first sight the planet using their calculations, though, was Johann Gottfried Galle (how confusing).
    In astrology, it is associated with religion, spirituality, the mass media, music, drugs and altered mental states.
    It is never visible with the naked eye.
    Past Neptune is the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt which contains many icy bodies.
    As of 2004, it has 13 known moons.
    Some believe its largest moon, Triton, may harbor aquatic life-forms.
    It is considered to be one of the more visually beautiful planets because of the blue hue caused by its absorption of red light by methane in its atmosphere.
    It radiates more than twice as much energy as it receives from the Sun, giving it an internal heating source.
    Its most prominent feature, the Great Dark Spot, was a hole in the methane clouds surrounding the planet. It completely disappeared in 1994.
    'The Scooter' is an Earth-sized cloud located on its surface that moves around every 16 hours.
    It was discovered by searching after a careful calculation (1846).

Credit: Captain Howdy


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