Hubble's Neptune Anniversary Pictures

Hubble's Neptune

Today, Neptune has arrived at the similar location in space where it was discovered nearly 165 years ago. To commemorate the event, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has in use these "anniversary pictures" of the blue-green giant planet.

Neptune is the most distant main planet in our solar system. German astronomer Johann Galle discovered the planet on September 23, 1846. At the time, the detection doubled the size of the known solar system. The planet is 2.8 billion miles (4.5 billion kilometers) beginning the Sun, 30 times farther than Earth. Under the Sun's weak pull at that distance, Neptune plods down in its huge orbit, slowly completing one uprising approximately every 165 years.

These four Hubble images of Neptune were in use with the Wide Field Camera 3 on June 25-26, during the planet's 16-hour rotation. The snapshots were in use at roughly four-hour intervals, offering a full view of the planet. The images disclose high-altitude clouds in the northern and southern hemispheres. The clouds are collected of methane ice crystals.

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