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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 change from the atmosphere, as pictured in this drawing. Therefore the giant planets do not have strict layers, as the earth-like 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 is a surface.

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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

The picture shows places on Jupiter which are hot. Jupiter is a very warm body in space, as shown in the picture, and this warmth is associated with the energy of Jupiter. Neptune has also been found to...more

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

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...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

A Look at the History of Neptune's Atmosphere

The giant planets have definitely changed since their formation. But how much remains to be seen. Most of the original air of the giant planets remains in place. (The earth-like planets lost most of their...more

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