Happy Birthday, Neptune!
Can you believe it’s already been a whole year since the discovery of the planet Neptune? I know! The days just fly by so fast, and our little eighth planet from the sun is growing up so fast.
Hm? Sorry? Did you say that Neptune was discovered in 1846 by Johann Gottfried Galle? Right, I know that, that’s what I said. One year ago. Oh, wait, are you talking Earth years? Ah, I see the confusion, right. I’m talking Neptunian years.
That’s right, kids, one Neptunian year ago (164.79 Earth years), we first became aware as Neptune as a planet. Galileo observed it in 1612, but thought it was a star, so apparently that doesn’t count.
We all know Neptune is named for the god of the sea thanks to it’s bright blue color. However, the blue appearance doesn’t come from water, but from the methane that makes up approximately 1% of Neptune’s atmosphere. This methane absorbs the red and infrared waves of the color spectrum, which gives Neptune its blue coloring.
Feel free to argue in the comments if Neptune is the last planet in the solar system, Pluto haters and lovers.