With a distance of 4,553,946,490 km from the Sun, Neptune is the eighth planet and farthest away in our solar system. It has an orbital period of 164.79 Earth years. With an atmosphere of mostly hydrogen and helium, it is a gaseous planet with no physical surface; however, trace amounts of solid water, ammonia, and methane can be found which leads to its designation of an “ice giant.” Because of its great distance from the Sun, it is extremely cold. The temperature at the top of its clouds is approximately −218 °C.

Neptune exhibits interesting and unique weather patters. With wind speeds peaking at nearly 600 meters per second (1340mph) many extreme storms have been observed, such as its Great Dark Spots, anticyclones which can be as large as 13000x6600 km.

 

(image sources: Voyager II http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00058, http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap010821.html)

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