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25

No, Pluto is a so called resonant trans-neptunian object; the orbital period of Pluto is almost exactly 3:2 (1.5) times that of Neptune. This means that every time Pluto nears perihelion and is therefore closest to the Sun and also closest to the orbit of Neptune, Neptune is always at a specific angle (50° according to Wikipedia) in front or behind Pluto. (...


20

Rings are made up of tiny (and not so tiny) pieces of rock and ice that are in some way the bits "left over" from the formation of the planet. The theory involves the Roche limit - and is that particles that are already within this limit can't accrete into a larger body because of the tidal forces involved. Another theory is that they are formed when a moon ...


16

It seems possible that Neptune once had a system of moons similar to other outer planets. However Triton, a Kuiper belt object was captured by Neptune, and this disrupted the existing moons. It would have initially had an eccentric orbit, intersecting with the orbits of other moons, setting them into unstable orbits and ultimately either colliding with each ...


14

NASA's Neptune fact sheet states that Neptune's irradiance is $1.51 W/m^2$. This is roughly three orders of magnitude less than at Earth (at $1367.6 W/m^2$). This sounds like a lot, and it is quite an attenuation. So much that for example solar panels for interplanetary probes are not worthwile at these distances from the sun. However, if you compare this ...


13

Well, having seen Neptune and identifying Neptune are two totally different things. Let's tackle this one step at a time. Your link says: From these observations it would appear that, if seen upon a perfectly black background, a star of magnitude approximately $8.5$ would be at the limit of unusually good vision. The problem with this is that there are ...


12

No. From 1979 to 1999, Pluto was the eighth planet from the sun. In 1999, it slipped beyond Neptune to become the ninth. But Pluto's 248-year orbit around the sun takes it 17 degrees above and below the plane in which Neptune and the other planets travel. So their paths don't actually cross as they swap positions. Imagine you are the sun in the middle of ...


9

Disclaimer: Most of what is written here is based highly on theory and speculation. Voyager 2 is the one and only trip we have taken to Neptune and most of these theories are built upon the data it has sent back. Leave large room for error Is Neptune windy? Before we start answering why Neptune is windy we should first specify if Neptune is even windy in ...


8

No, their orbits do not cross. They are just tangled, but in no point they coincide.


8

There will be tides, but they will be not very large. It's pretty easy to get a good estimate of their size. There are two things that control tides on Earth and both will be present anywhere else: The tidal forces from celestial bodies, and the size of the body of liquid in which the tides are raised along with resonances int he body of liquid. Taking ...


7

Neptune's largest moon, Triton, is about a third the mass of Earth's moon, and roughly the same distance away from its primary, so it will indeed have noticeable tidal effect on Neptune's atmosphere and oceans. Neptune's other moons are all tiny (all of them together being about 0.5% of Triton's mass), so while they do exert tidal forces, those effects ...


6

Why does Uranus and Neptune have more methane than Jupiter and Saturn? It's a combination of equations of state (EOS), serpentinization, and mixing (rotational and convective) that favors a preference for some reactions (and resulting compounds) over others. See the references below. The giant planets are all mostly hydrogen and helium, but Uranus and ...


6

"At high altitudes, Neptune's atmosphere is 80% hydrogen and 19% helium" (Wikipedia). No significant abundancy of free oxygen to react with. A source of oxygen could easily made burn on Neptune, like a source of hydrogen on Earth. Or take a sample of Neptun's atmosphere. It would easily burn in Earth's atmosphere. Hydrogen oxygen combustion is sufficiently ...


5

It's hard to find a good 2 dimensional representation, but Pluto and Neptune's orbits don't actually cross. In fact, the orbits (not the planets but the orbits) never get within 100 million miles (I remember reading that, but can't find a link right now). This is because Pluto's orbit is on a different plane. It's easy to represent in 3D, hard to draw ...


5

According to this source from SOA/NASA Astrophysics Data System on Tidal evolution in the Neptune-Triton system (Chyba, C. F., Jankowski, D. G., & Nicholson, P. D.), Transcript: Many investigators have speculated on the reason for Triton's retrograde orbit. Lyttleton (1936) suggested that both Pluto and Triton originated as prograde satellites of ...


5

Tidal circularization is indeed a plausible mechanism for why Triton's orbital eccentricity is so low, and I believe it is in fact the prevailing theory, at the moment. In short, tidal forces from Neptune dissipate energy in Triton's interior, essentially "squeezing" the moon. This results in a loss of orbital kinetic energy. The exact calculations that lead ...


5

The inside of a giant planet is not like regular gas. First of all, it is hot. You are away of how it gets hot inside the Earth (causing volcanos). It is also hot inside Jupiter, but since Jupiter is bigger, it is hotter. It would be hot enough to vaporise rock under "normal conditions". The pressure is immense, and things stop behaving as you are used to ...


5

People have demonstrated high-pressure diamond formation using laser-driven shocks, much in line with the original idea. The diamond rain idea seems to be doing well (popular science article about it, with references). However, it is quite likely that the diamonds could have different properties because of formation mechanisms. There are a lot of unusual ...


4

It is an image taken with the new narrow field mode of the MUSE instrument using the GALACSI Adaptive optics module on a single (UT4) VLT telescope using laser guide stars. I am having a great deal of difficulty (e.g. from this press release) in working out at what wavelength(s) this image was taken. I do not believe that the AO system is working at blue ...


4

Neptune and Uranus have estimated core temperatures of 7273 K and 5255 K respectively. Uranus and Neptune however likely do not have liquid water oceans. The combination of pressure and temperature on both planet results in unsuitable conditions for liquid water oceans. In fact for liquid water oceans to form on Neptune, it's predicted it would have to cool ...


4

Triton's orbit is decaying due to tidal interactions, it is predicted to reach Neptune's Roche limit in about 3.6 billion years (Chyba et al., 1989) where it would likely be disrupted, possibly forming a ring system. This timescale is shorter than the timescale for the Sun to become a red giant. Even before that, Triton's orbital decay will bring it into the ...


3

The Nice model of solar system evolution proposes that both Uranus and Neptune migrated outward from their original orbits due to numerous encounters with planetesimals, stimulated by a temporary 2:1 resonance between Jupiter and Saturn. Simulations going back billions of years can put either Uranus or Neptune initially closer to the Sun. Desch 2007, ...


3

If you project the orbits onto a plane, for example the plane of the ecliptic, the projections will cross. But that's only because you're looking at a 3D problem in 2D. If you look at the orbits in 3D, you'll see that Pluto's orbit is highly inclined (17º) from the ecliptic, so it never actually passes through Neptune's orbit. Each time it seems to cross (in ...


3

In short, most of the trojans stay orbiting arround L4 or L5. These can be called tad-pole orbit asteroids. There are some trojan asteroids, however, that their orbit never get's too close to L4 nor L5 to get trapped and have a tad-pole orbit, or they do but they have too much energy to get trapped. These trojan asteroids have larger orbits, following a ...


2

Are their orbits circular as Neptune's (in this case) or highly eccentrical? L4 and L5 stability is rather narrow Source: http://ccar.colorado.edu/asen5050/projects/projects_2010/singh/ A more elliptical or eccentric orbit in resonance with a planet with a circular orbit would reach well outside of L4 and L5 and wouldn't be an L4 or L5 object. (though ...


2

As per the books referred to in comments: Both planets could be resolved as a disk, but no surface features could be observed on either. Spectrograms had been taken, so the general colour of the planets was known. The extreme axial tilt of Uranus was known about. But the relative warmth of Neptune was not.


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