Neptune: A different shade of blue

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The planet Neptune was named after the Roman god of the sea. It’s easy to see why- with the bright blue coloration. But that blue color doesn’t come from water- it actually comes from the high concentrations of methane in the atmosphere.

Neptune is known as an ice giant, containing a deep atmosphere that gradually merges into melted ices over a solid core. It is among the windiest of the planets, with top speeds nearly nine times those on Earth.

Some of the most famous images of Neptune came courtesy of the Voyager 2 spacecraft in the 1980’s. It detected an intense storm known as the great dark spot- which spun counterclockwise. Later observations determined this was one of a series of storms- all signs that Neptune is evolving, and will have many more mysteries to share in the coming years.

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