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This is a drawing of the interior of Neptune.
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The Structure of Neptune's Interior

There is no surface to the giant planets, only a gradual transition from the atmosphere, as depicted in this drawing. Therefore the giant planets do not have strict layers, as the terrestrial planets do.

Ice begins forming in the atmosphere of Neptune and keeps increasing until there is slush, and then solid ice. There is not much difference between the atmosphere and the ocean, unlike the earth, where there seems to be a surface.

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The Generation of Neptune's Magnetosphere

Magnetospheres are generated with magnetic materials and motions within the magnetic material. Scientists believe that as long as a planet or star has these two ingredients it can generate a magnetic...more

The Source of Heat from Within Neptune

In astronomy, it is a usual procedure to calculate the luminosity of a star, and this calculation indicates the energy and the temperature of the star. When the luminosity of the outer planets was calculated,...more

Motions in Neptune's Interior, part 2

Motions, or currents in the interior of a gas-giant planet such as Neptune may be very different from the motions typical of the Earth's interior. A second idea for the motions in the interior of a gas-giant...more

Motions in Neptune's Interior

Motions in the interior of a planet helps to carry heat from the core to the planet's surface. The drawing to the left illustrates a kind of global motion that is typical of motions in the atmosphere as...more

Neptune's Present Great Dark Spot

This image shows the new Great Dark Spot of Neptune, which was discovered using the Hubble Space Telescope. The image shown here, shows a "hole" in the clouds of Neptune in pink, in the northern hemisphere,...more

An Overview of Neptune's Atmospheric Evolution

Atmospheres of the giant planets have definitely evolved from their formation out of the primitive solar nebula. How much they have evolved remains to be seen, however. Because of their enormous gravity,...more

Neptune's Cirrus Clouds

This image shows some cirrus clouds, extending for many kilometers across the disc of Neptune. These clouds are somewhat high up, for they can be seen to cast shadows on the lower clouddeck, which is 35...more

Neptune's Smog Hazes

This image of Neptune uses false colors to bring out the hazes of smog, which can be seen in red along the limb of Neptune, at the edge of the picture. These hazes of smog are found at very high altitudes,...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