Full globe image of Neptune against the blackness of space.


Neptune is the eighth, and most distant planet from the Sun. It’s the fourth-largest, and the first planet discovered with math.

All About Neptune

Blue Neptune and its storms as seen from a spacecraft.

Neptune is about four times wider than Earth.

Illustration showing scale of all four giant planet. Jupiter is largest followed by Saturn. Uranus and Neptune are similar in size.

Neptune is 30 AU from the Sun. Earth = 1 AU.

This photograph of Neptune was reconstructed from two images taken by NASA Voyager 2. At the north top is the Great Dark Spot.

Neptune takes 165 Earth years to go around the Sun.

Hubble view of Neptune

The most dense of the giant planets.

This image, taken by NASA Voyager 2 early in the morning of Aug. 23, 1989, is a false color image of Triton, Neptune largest satellite; mottling in the bright southern hemisphere is present.

Named for sea gods and nymphs in Greek mythology.

This image of Neptune south polar region was obtained by NASA Voyager on Aug. 23, 1989. The image shows the discovery of shadows in Neptune atmosphere, shadows cast onto a deep cloud bank by small elevated clouds.

Neptune has five rings and four more ring arcs,

Voyager spacecraft icon

Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to visit Neptune.


Atmosphere: molecular hydrogen and atomic helium with a bit of methane.

Hubble image of Neptune

Neptune cannot support life as we know it.


Pluto sometimes comes closer to the Sun than Neptune.

Planet Neptune Overview

Dark, cold and whipped by supersonic winds, giant Neptune is the eighth and most distant major planet orbiting our Sun. More than 30 times as far from the Sun as Earth, Neptune is not visible to the naked eye. In 2011, Neptune completed its first 165-year orbit since its discovery.

The planet’s rich blue color comes from methane in its atmosphere, which absorbs red wavelengths of light, but allows blue ones to be reflected back into space.

Neptune was the first planet located through mathematical calculations. Using predictions sent to him by French astronomer Urbain Le Verrier, based on disturbances in the orbit of Uranus, German astronomer Johann Galle was the first to observe the planet in 1846. The planet is named after the Roman god of the sea, as suggested by Le Verrier.

Eyes on the Solar System lets you explore planets, moons, asteroids, comets, and the spacecraft exploring them from 1950 to 2050.

Pop Culture

Even though Neptune is the farthest planet from our Sun, it's a frequent stop in pop culture and fiction. The planet served as the backdrop for the 1997 science fiction horror film "Event Horizon," while in the cartoon series "Futurama," the character Robot Santa Claus has his home base on Neptune's north pole. "Dr. Who" fans will remember that an episode entitled "Sleep No More" is set on a space station orbiting Neptune. And in the "Star Trek: Enterprise" pilot episode, "Broken Bow," viewers learn that at warp 4.5 speed, it is possible to fly to Neptune and back to Earth in six minutes.

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