This was the discovery of the giant planet Neptune

fall into the depths Solar System, There is an interesting world that is generating a lot of scientific interest these days. about him The giant planet Neptunewhose name honors the Roman god of the sea. And it is that, although very different, Neptune reminds us of the image we see of our planet from space, where the blue color of Neptune is more intense.

(You may be interested: What is the giant sunspot discovered by the NASA rover on Mars?).

date of Discovery of Neptune It is a wonderful account of astronomical observation’s Mathematical prediction. And in the mid-nineteenth century, astronomers noticed irregularities in the orbit of Uranus, the last known planet in the solar system at the time.

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deviations in the orbital path Uranus It cannot be fully explained by the gravitational effects of known planets, especially from Jupiter and Saturn which is the largest. Suspicions have been raised about an additional influence from an as-yet-undiscovered planet that might affect the motion of Uranus.

using The laws of celestial mechanicsFrench astronomer Urban Le Verrier She calculated the position in the sky where the new planet might be found, and finally in 1846 it could be seen for the first time using the Berlin Observatory Telescope. It was a major prophetic victory for science, opening the door to understanding the effect of gravity and interactions between the planets of the solar system.

Since then, the distant world has become an object of study Along with Uranus, they are the only two planets in the solar system that have not had a dedicated mission to explore them.. However, the Voyager 2 probe, which flew by in 1989, revealed some of its characteristics, such as its striking color, as a result of the presence of methane gas in its atmosphere, which absorbs red light and reflects blue.

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Turbulent atmosphere consisting mainly of hydrogen and heliumIt has winds of over 2,000 kilometers per hour, possibly the fiercest in the entire solar system. In addition, Neptune has a system of thin rings, most of which are composed of ice and dust particles, as well as 14 known moons.

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New research continues to surprise, finding more interesting details about Neptune’s conditions. One of them is to understand the relationship between solar phenomena and weather patterns on such a distant planet.

Although it is located in the depths of the solar system, where it receives only a small part of the sunlight that reaches Earth, it was discovered that Cloudy weather on Neptune is strongly influenced by the 11-year cycle of solar activity.

The intense ultraviolet radiation emitted during solar storms, which increases during times of solar storms solar maximum, affects the solar system. The latest study found that two years after the peak of solar activity, there was an increase in the rate of solar activity The amount of clouds on Neptunewhich also changes its brightness.

(Also: A probe orbiting the sun discovers jets from which the solar wind can originate.)

This discovery supports the theory that ultraviolet radiation from the sun can trigger chemical reactions in Neptune’s upper atmosphere and change its climate.

And last week also revealed the discovery of gGreat dark spot in Neptune’s atmosphereWhich appears to be caused by a change in the nature of the aerosols found in the depths of the planet.

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This isn’t the first time this type of spot has been discovered on Neptune, and more research is still needed to fully understand the atmospheric phenomena that occur, but it’s amazing that we can begin to unravel the secrets of the climate on a world 4.5 billion miles away from home. kilometer.

Santiago Vargas

PhD in Astrophysics

Astronomical Observatory of the National University

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Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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