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This is a drawing depicting the motions in earth's atmosphere.
Click on image for full size
Image from: Random House Atlas

Motions in Neptune's Interior

Motions in the interior of a planet help carry heat from the inside to the outside.

The drawing to the left illustrates a kind of global motion that is typical of motions in the atmosphere as well as interior of a planet. Material rises from where it is warmest, and moves in a roiling motion like the boiling of a pot. In the drawing, there are three different cells of activity in the atmosphere where the air turns over (depicted by red sheets).

In the interior of Neptune, the ice layers are warm enough to move in this fashion. However, some scientists think that the interior of Neptune may have a different sort of motion. The magnetosphere of Neptune seems to be produced by motions in the icy layers inside Neptune.


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Motions in Neptune's Interior, part 2

Motions in the interior of a gas-giant planet such as Neptune may be very different from the motions within the Earth. A second idea for the motions in the interior of a gas-giant planet is shown in this...more

The Generation of Neptune's Magnetosphere

Magnetospheres are generated with 1.) magnetic materials and 2.) with motions within the magnetic material. As long as a planet has these two ingredients scientists believe that it can generate a magnetic...more

The Source of Heat from Within Neptune

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Motions in Neptune's Interior

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Neptune's Present Great Dark Spot

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A Look at the History of Neptune's Atmosphere

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Neptune's Cirrus Clouds

This image shows some clouds known as "cirrus" clouds, extending for many kilometers across the face of Neptune. These clouds are very high up, for they can be seen to cast shadows on the lower clouds,...more

Neptune's Smog Hazes

This image of Neptune uses false colors to show where the smog is. The smog of Neptune can be seen in red along the edge of the image. These hazes of smog are found at very high altitudes, over the clouds...more

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