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13 Fascinating Neptune Facts for Kids (2024 Updated)

Neptune is one of the most interesting planets in the solar system, and it’s also one of the coolest planets (quite literally, it is classified as an ice planet!) thanks to its chilly temperatures and dark atmosphere. 

Neptune Facts for Kids

Even though this blue planet is the only one in our solar system that cannot be seen with the naked human eye, it was the first planet that was predicted by mathematical calculations! Just like all the other planets in the solar system, this one comes with its own set of interesting facts. 

Let’s dive right in! 

When Was Neptune First Discovered?

It’s a little difficult to pinpoint exactly when Neptun was discovered because it was predicted mathematically several years before scientists visually saw the planet! Urbain Le Verrier was the astronomer who first predicted it through his calculations, and Johann Gottfried Galle and Heinrich Louis d’Arrest first confirmed its existence through a telescope on September 23rd, 1846. 

When Was Neptune First Discovered

In later years, researchers discovered that scientists had observed the planet several times in the past but didn’t realize what they were looking at. A few astronomers also calculated Neptune’s location but didn’t successfully discover where it was. 

Where Did Neptune’s Name Come From?

After the planet was first discovered, many called it Le Verrier’s planet. It didn’t have an official name for a long time until Johann Gottfried Galle suggested calling it Janus. However, Urbain Le Verrier wanted to name the planet because he was the person who discovered it! 

Eventually, he suggested the name “Neptune,” and after much international debate, people everywhere began to use it.

What is Neptune’s Climate Like?

Neptune’s climate is characterized by high-speed winds and huge storms. Since it is the planet that is the farthest from the sun, it is the coldest planet in the solar system. It is so cold that its temperature sometimes drops below -218 degree Celsius! 

Neptune Close Image

Scientists believe that the high-speed winds on this planet occur because of how cold the temperature is. They also believe that Neptune’s internal temperature is high enough to help drive the wind speeds and cause the planet to have such extreme weather conditions. 

10 Fun Facts About Neptune

Now, let’s take a closer look at some interesting and fun facts about Neptune. 

1. Neptune is an ice giant. 

Ice giants are huge planets whose atmospheres are composed of helium and hydrogen, and Neptune is one of them! Its atmosphere also contains high amounts of chemical compounds like ammonia, methane, and water, while its internal structure consists of rock and ice. All of the elements that make up Neptune are the reason why this planet is called an ice giant. 

2. Neptune’s gravity is 110% of the Earth’s surface gravity. 

This means that you would weigh 110 pounds on Neptune if you weighed 100 pounds on Earth! Neptune’s gravity is only 1.14 times stronger than the Earth’s gravity, which means that you would only feel a little heavier if you walked on its surface. 

3. Neptune takes roughly 164 years to orbit the sun. 

If you lived on Neptune, you’d have to keep a close eye on when your birthday falls, because it takes 164 years to complete one orbit around the sun. Since Neptune is the farthest planet from the sun, it orbits the slowest. 

4. Only one spacecraft has visited Neptune. 

The only spacecraft has ever visited Neptune is the Voyager 2, in the 1989. In addition to Neptune, it is the only spacecraft that’s ever visited Uranus! It’s also one of five spacecraft that has left the Solar System. This means that it achieved Solar escape velocity. 

5. Neptune has five rings. 

Just like Saturn, Neptune has five rings! They were first discovered in Chile in 1984, and then photographed by the Voyager 2 in 1989. Each ring is named based on its distance from the planet; they are Galle, Leverrier, Lassell, Arago, and Adams. 

6. Neptune’s largest moon is called Triton. 

In addition to Triton, Neptune has 13 other known moons. William Lassell discover Triton only two weeks after the planet was discovered, and the Voyager 2 discovered six other moons during its journey into the solar system in 1989. Neptune’s smallest moon, Hippocampus, was discovered ten years ago, in 2013. 

7. It rains diamonds on Neptune!

Blue Planet Neptune

One of Neptune’s most interesting features is that it sometimes rains diamonds. Diamond rain occurs when carbon and hydrogen form solid clusters after being squeezed and pressurized, and sink into the interior layers of the planet. 

8. Humans have not visited Neptune. 

Even though man has visited several other parts of outer space, humans have no yet set foot on Neptune. This is because of Neptune’s distance from the earth. Since this planet is so far from Earth, there must be a spacecraft that is big enough to travel and remain at the planet to conduct research. 

9. Neptune’s moon Triton has a retrograde orbit. 

One of the most interesting features of Neptune’s moon Triton is that it has a retrograde orbit. This means that it rotates in the opposite direction of the planet. Triton is the only moon in the entire solar system that has a retrograde orbit! Many researchers believed for a long time that Triton was actually a dwarf planet and not a moon because of its composition and structure. 

10. Neptune has brightened over time. 

Scientists observed that Neptune brighted considerably between 1980 and 2000. Its brightness increased by 10%, and researchers believe that it occurred due to the changing of the seasons. Though it is also too far to be seen by the naked eye, a strong pair of binoculars or a telescope will show you a bright blue disk. The next time you observe the night sky, you’ll know which planet to look for! 


The solar system is full of unexplored mysteries and wonders, and Neptune is no different. Even though the knowledge we have today is much more than what we had 100 years ago, there are no further plans to visit this planet any time soon. Still, there is a vast wealth of information that we didn’t include in this article. We encourage you to continue reading about the solar system and all the planets and moons within it!