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Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2004

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Neptune, John Watkins

Neptune

Neptune is the eigth planet from the sun in our solar system. It is 30.06 Au away from the sun and is the fourth largest planet with a diameter of 49,532 km. There are13 known moons that orbit around this bluish planet and there are also rings of unknown composition around its diameter. Neptune is a gas planet that is made up of "ices", rock, 15% hydrogen and also a small amount of helium. Similar to Uranus, Neptune is thought to have a composition that is rather uniform throughout the entire planet except for the small rocky core. Neptune's atmosphere is made up of hydrogen, helium, and a small amount methane.

It is this methane gas that gives Neptune its most obvious feature. As seen in the picture, Neptune has a very noticeable bluish color. Methane absorbs the red light received from the sun. Besides the fact that it is a lot brighter and larger, it is the wonderfully blue color that stands out the most in the picture above.

References:
http://www.nineplanets.org/neptune.html

Right Ascension (J2000) 21:02:36
Declination (J2000) -16:57:14
Filters used blue(B), green(V), and red(R)
Exposure time per filter 300 seconds in each
Date/Time

November 30, 2004

B: 7:02, R: 7:38, V: 7:39