The Planet Neptune
Name: Neptune is named after the Roman God of the oceans, lakes and rivers. Poseidon is the Greek equivalent. Neptune the God is often shown carrying a trident and riding sea horses. In 1612 , the famous astronomer and scientist Galileo spotted the planet Neptune, whilst looking at the night sky, but mistook it for a star. So Neptune had to wait until 1846, when it was officially discovered by both Urbain Le Verrier, (French) and Johann Galle, (German).
Diameter: 30,777 miles; 45930.78 kilometers
Temperature: -353°F; -212.22°C
Fun Neptune Facts: In keeping with tradition they decided to name the planet after a Roman God. The planet being blue, how do you think they chose its name? Of course, it had to be Neptune, the Roman God of the seas!
Do you know where’s the coldest place in the entire Solar System? If you’re guessing Neptune right now, you’re getting warmer (or should I say colder?). Actually the chilliest place in our Solar System is on Triton; one of Neptune’s fourteen moons and the biggest. On Triton, the temperature is a bone shivering, bitter cold of -393°F (-263.1°C) ! And you thought the North Pole was freezing!
Artist Rendering of Neptune, and its biggest satellite Triton
Neptune’s composition is similar to Uranus. It’s mainly made up of hydrogen and helium. Scientists think it also has an icy core of water, methane and ammonia. It’s rich blue color comes from methane in Neptune’s atmosphere.
You need to use a telescope to see Neptune. And even then it can be hard to spot. The best time to look for Neptune is in the month of August. In the summer of 1989, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft took the first close ups of the planet. You can see one of the images above.
Pluto is usually the furthest planet away in the Solar System. But Pluto has a strange orbit, so occasionally it’s closer to the sun than Neptune. Then Neptune becomes the furthest planet away and for up to twenty years at a time!
Neptune also plays a starring role in the ninth book of the Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures series. In book nine, Amelia, the Neeps and the Many Toothed Clat, Amelia and her alien friend Uglesnoo arrive on Neptune, ready to meet with Queen Neep. But the underwater kingdom has its own problems. King Neep has gone missing. Queen Neep fears that the scary and many toothed Clat has taken him prisoner. How will they get the repelling crystal that Uglesnoo’s sister so desperately needs at such a time? Curious about the series?
Next post: Fun facts about the dwarf planet Pluto.
Evonne Blanchard is the author of, Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace, ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage and Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon. These are the first three books in Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures. The author is currently working on the fourth book in the series, Amelia, the Snapperjacks and the Molten Maze.
Curious about the series? Find out more!
Ever wondered if aliens exist? What if one needed your help? Would you travel into outer space? For the adventures…of a lifetime!
Book Three: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon
Amelia and Uglesnoo land on Mercury. They meet the Merballs, the friendly aliens that live there. All goes well until an asteroid hits their planet. Amelia and Uglesnoo find themselves in deep trouble. How will they convince the Merballs of their innocence? And how will they manage to collect the flying shoes, escape Mercury and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?
“Adventure, inventiveness, and humor merge in this quirky, appealing tale.”
Kirkus Reviews. Read Full Review
“…This third book is even more original, fun and creative! With aliens, different planets, a good dose of humor and excellent storytelling that is age-appropriate, this is one of the best kids series out there. The illustrations are pretty fun too and fit the story well.”
I Heart Reading. Read Full Review
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Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage
Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help. His sister is very sick. The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune. With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest. More items are needed to buy the crystal. But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens. Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?
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“A lively sequel offers a sure-handed blend of fantasy, humor, adventure, and an ingenious heroine.” Kirkus Reviews
5/5 star rating! “Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage is a wonderful children’s book that will allow your kids to get started in the Sci-Fi genre… The story is intriguing and well thought out. All in all, the author did a great job of creating an engaging story that kept my kids interested. We are definitely looking forward to the next book!”- Examiner.com
Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace
When is a present not a present? When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto! Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon. Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help. Should Amelia venture into outer Space?
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“Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” —Kirkus Reviews
“The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.” —Beautiful Books for Children