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Learn about planets outside our solar system through Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems by Tahir Yaqoob, Ph.D., a book in our online store book collection.
This is an image of Neptune.
Click on image for full size
NASA

The Environment of Neptune

The air of Neptune is extremely cold, with temperatures of -270 degrees to -380 degrees. The air is made of complex molecules, the same sort of molecules that we see coming out of cars on earth in the form of smog. Energy in the atmosphere comes from lightning, ultraviolet light, and charged particles.

This kind of atmosphere is very similar to the kind of environment in which scientists believe life began. But from prehistoric times until today, life on Earth changed, and now these conditions are no longer friendly for life as we know it.

The inside of Neptune is very hot and liquid-like, but the temperature is as high as 10,000 degrees.

Overall, the environment of Neptune sounds very unfriendly to life as we know it on earth.


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Traveling Nitrogen is a fun group game appropriate for the classroom. Players follow nitrogen atoms through living and nonliving parts of the nitrogen cycle. For grades 5-9.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA