Dark, cold and whipped by supersonic winds, ice giant Neptune is the eighth and most distant planet in our solar system.
More than 30 times as far from the Sun as Earth, Neptune is the only planet in our solar system not visible to the naked eye. Neptune’s atmosphere is made from about 80 percent hydrogen and 19 percent helium.
It also contains a small amount water and methane, which give rise to the green-bluish color. The dark blue and bright white features of the atmosphere help distinguish Neptune from Uranus.
The thin cirrus-like white clouds contain methane ice. When hydrocarbon snowflakes form in Neptune’s atmosphere they melt before reaching the surface because of the high pressure. The fastest winds in the Solar System blow on Neptune.
With speeds of about 1,240 mph, they are five times faster than the strongest winds on Earth! To help your little ones understand the vast gases of Neptune, we created our very own!
Using baking soda and lotion as our play dough, we constructed spheres that resembled the planet. We then used eye droppers to add vinegar to the dough, laughing as we watched.