Solar System Tour – Neptune

Neptune, now the farthest planet from the sun, which it was sometimes even when Pluto was still defined as a planet.

Back in the 70’s Ben Bova (then the editor of Analog magazine) along with Trudy Bell, produced a wonderfully illustrated book caled Close Up: New Worlds that billed itself as “astounding modern views of the solar system”.

Well, that was 1977.  To date it is to note that it includes Pluto among the planets.

I used that book as a resource while designing SF strategy board games.  It was a great compendium of both known fact and SF speculation.

NASA and other space agencies have taken a lot more pictures since then with Hubble, other space telescopes and a huge variety of probes either taking up orbits or doing fly-bys.

Lets just say it’s been a while since anyone has taken a grand tour the way that Ben and Trudy did back in ’77.  So we’re going to reprise that book using the latest and greatest.

Neptune lies at a distance from the sun of nearly 2.795 billion miles
It is approximately 192,000 miles in diameter
Neptune takes 165 years to orbit the Sun
Neptune has an axial tilt of 28.3 degrees
The surface temperature on Neptune is -392 degrees (Fahrenheit)
It’s escape velocity is 52,702 miles per hour
Its surface gravity is 36.6. feet/second squared

Neptune is considered to be an Ice Giant planet.

This year, like all other years, Neptune is not visible without magnification.

NASA has a wonderful planetary information resource.  You can learn far more about Neptune here

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