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Arches National Park Geology Tour provides an extensive, visually rich description of the geology of Arches, by Deborah Ragland, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
This is an image of Neptune and its famous Great Dark Spot
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Discover Neptune

If you had a quiz question in school that asked what year Neptune was discovered, you'd probably choose 1846. But Neptune wasn't discovered the way all the other planets in our solar system were. Astronomers didn't scan the sky with their powerful telescopes to find Neptune. They used math instead!

After the discovery of Uranus, astronomers were having trouble figuring out the planet's orbit. They realized that there must be another planet farther out than Uranus. They were right! Independently, French astronomer Leverrier and English astronomer John Couch Adams made the mathematical calculations of where Neptune should be and German astronomer Johann Galle observed it.

Neptune is the eighth planet in our solar sytem (most of the time, anyway). It's gravitational pull slightly changes Uranus' orbit, and that's how scientists found it!

All the planets were named after ancient gods. So when it came time to name this one, astronomers chose Neptune. Neptune was the Roman god of the deep seas.

Neptune's largest moon, Triton, was discovered at the same time as the planet. Another satellite, Nereid, wasn't found until 1949. The other six were spotted by Voyager II during its flyby in 1989. A lot of research has been done on Triton, and there is evidence that life may have existed there at one time. Of course, the moon must be studied a lot more before we will know for sure.

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Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more

Neptune

Neptune was the name that ancient Romans gave to the Greek god of the sea and earthquakes, Poseidon. He was the brother of Jupiter (Zeus) and of Pluto (Hades). After the defeat of their father Saturn (Cronos),...more

Triton

Triton was discovered by W. Lassell in 1846. Of the 8 moons, it is the 2nd farthest from Neptune, with a standoff distance of 354,800 km. Triton may be one of the largest of the icy moons, is comparable...more

Neptune's Moons and Rings

Neptune has // Call the moon count function defined in the document head print_moon_count('neptune'); moons. As is the case with all of the gas giant planets in our Solar System, it also has a series of...more

An Overview of Neptune's Interior

The Giant planets do not have the same kind of structure inside that the terrestrial planets do. Their evolution was quite different than that of the terrestrial planets, and they have much more gas and...more

The Poles of Neptune and Its Moons

The South Pole of the planet Neptune is unusual in several ways. Triton, Neptune's largest moon, also has interesting features at its poles. Like Earth, Neptune's spin axis (which defines the locations...more

An Overview of Neptune's Atmospheric Composition

The atmosphere of Neptune is very similar to that of Uranus, and unlike that of Saturn and Jupiter. On Jupiter and Saturn, the atmosphere is mostly composed of the simple molecules hydrogen and helium....more

The Origin of an Atmosphere

There are four ideas for the origin of a planetary atmosphere. Those four ideas are: 1. that the planet-elements of which a planet was made decomposed and released the atmosphere, 2. that the atmosphere...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF