Since its discovery in the mid-19th century, Neptune has always been a mysterious planet. As the planet further away from our Sun, it has been visited by a single robotic mission. And there are still many unanswered questions about the type of mechanical energy in your rules. However, what we have learned about the planet in recent decades is considerable.

For example, thanks to Voyager 2 and several studies using ground-based instruments, scientists were able to understand the structure and composition of Neptune very well. In addition to knowing what their atmosphere is, planetary models also predicted what is felt inside the planet. So what does Neptune do?

Structure and composition:
Neptune, like the rest of the giant gas planets in the solar system can be divided into different layers. The composition of Neptune changes depending on which of these layers as you look. The outermost layer of Neptune is the atmosphere, making up about 5 to 10% of the planet’s mass, and extending up to 20% to the heart.
Under the atmosphere is a great mantle of the planet. This is an overheated liquid region, where temperatures can reach 2,000 5,000 K (1727 to 4727 ° C 3,140 to 8,540 ° F). The layer is 10 to 15 terrestrial masses and is rich in water, ammonia and methane. This mixture is considered cold, even if it is a hot and dense fluid, sometimes called “ocean water-ammonia.”

Increasing concentrations of methane, ammonia and water are found in the lower regions of the atmosphere. Unlike Uranus, the composition of Neptune has a greater volume of ocean, while Uranus has a smaller layer. Like other gas / ice giant, it is believed that Neptune has a solid core, whose composition is still subject to speculation. However, the theory that it is rocky and rich in metal is consistent with current theories of planet formation.

According to these theories, Neptune’s core consists of iron, nickel and silicates, with an interior model giving it a mass about 1.2 times that of Earth. The center of pressure is estimated at 7 mbar (700 GPa), approximately twice as high as the center of the Earth and at temperatures as high as 5,400 K. At a depth of 7000 km, conditions can be such that methane decomposes In diamond crystals that rain down like hail.

Due to their smaller and higher volatile concentrations of size relative to Jupiter and Saturn, Neptune (as Uranus) is often referred to as an “ice giant” – a subclass of a giant planet. Also like Uranus, the internal structure of Neptune differentiates between a rocky nucleus composed of silicates and metals; A layer made of ice water, ammonia and methane; And an atmosphere composed of hydrogen, helium and methane.

Uranus and Neptune, the giant planets of the giant solar system. Credit: Wikipedia Commons
The atmosphere of Neptune:
Neptune’s atmosphere comprises about 5% to 10% of its mass and extends perhaps 10% to 20% of the way to the core, where it reaches pressures of approximately 10 GPa – approximately 100,000 times the Earth’s atmosphere. At high altitudes, Neptune’s atmosphere is 80% hydrogen and 19% helium with traces of methane.

As with Uranus, this absorption of red light by atmospheric methane is part of what gives Neptune its blue color, although Neptune is darker and more intense. Because the methane content in Neptune’s atmosphere is similar to that of Uranus, it is believed that some unknown atmospheric components contribute to the more intense staining of Neptune.

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