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A trip across the Solar System: Neptune

NeptuneNeptuneNeptune is the eighth planet from the Sun and the fourth largest planet in the Solar System. Like Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus, it is a gas giant. A rich blue colour, clouds and storms can sometimes be seen on its surface. Winds zoom round Neptune at more than 2000 km/h (1200 mph). They are the fastest winds in the Solar System. Neptune has four extremely faint rings, two broad, two narrow, all made up of dark, icy fragments. 



An artist's impression of Triton's surfaceAn artist's impression of Triton's surface
An image of Triton taken by Voyager 2 space probeAn image of Triton taken by Voyager 2 space probe
Triton is by far the largest of Neptune’s moons. It is the coldest known object in the Solar System. Its surface is made chiefly of frozen nitrogen, which is a gas on Earth. The ice sometimes melts to a slush, then refreezes. This results in an “icescape” of ridges and cracks. Nitrogen gas and black dust burst out from beneath Triton’s surface, like volcanic eruptions. The material shoots out high into space before drifting in the wind.

Neptune was discovered by the German astronomer Johann Galle in 1846.

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