Neptune is undoubtedly one of the many beautiful planets in the solar mechanism. It is the just planet in the solar device that was predicted mathematically prior to it was directly oboffered. Much of what we know around this bideal blue world comes from the information gathered by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft in the time of its Neptune flyby in 1989.

You are watching: Why do uranus and neptune appear blue?


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Neptune flyby of Voyager 2 in 1989 (Credit: NASA)

Both Uranus and also Neptune belong to the category of ice giants. Ice giants are various than gas giants (Jupiter and also Saturn). As opposed to gas giants (that contain more than 90% of hydrogen and helium), ice giants consist of just 20% of hydrogen and also helium in mass. Ice giants are largely created of heavier aspects choose oxygen, carbon, nitrogen and also sulhair.


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Neptune and its ring mechanism (Image: NASA/GSFC)

The upper environment of Neptune is mostly written of hydrogen and helium, with map concentrations of methane. As you go deeper right into the world, the concentration of compounds choose ammonia, methane, carbon (diamond) and also various other hydrocarbons rises. You deserve to recognize more around the internal of Neptune by watching the video below:


At high altitudes, the complace of Uranus and also Neptune is very similar. The blue color of both the ice giants have the right to be contributed to the existence of methane in their top atmospheres. Methane absorbs the majority of of the red light occurrence on the planets which provides them appear blue in color. But there is a distinction in the color of these planets: Uranus has actually a cyan blue color (blue-green) whereas Neptune has actually a vivid azure blue color (bappropriate blue).

Hence, tright here have to be another unrecognized compound in Neptune’s setting that is yet to be determined.The reason for the deep blue hue of Neptune is still a mystery: the very factor why we need to put an orbiter roughly Neptune soon.

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Several objectives are being planned to explore Neptune. A mission prefer Cassini (that spent 13 years orbiting Saturn) would certainly not just assist us explore the keys of Neptune however additionally help us to learn about the formation and properties of ice giants. According to a study, distant exoplanets roughly various other stars aremore likelyto be ice giants favor Neptune.

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Artist idea of Neptune Orbiter (NASA)

Neptune Orbiter is a proposed mission by NASA that would certainly discover Neptune and its moons just favor Cassini. Although tright here is no official date for its launch, it would take around 8 to 10 years to reach Neptune after it is launched.

Do you think it is necessary for us to launch an orbiter to Neptune soon? Let us recognize your thoughts in the comments.Cover Image Credit: ESA/NASA