Ed Bianchina's Astronomy

Astrophotography

Moon and Planets

Neptune and 2 of its moons

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Neptune and 2 of its moons
Neptune is the eighth planet from the Sun in our Solar System. Named for the Roman god of the sea, it is the fourth-largest planet by diameter and the third-largest by mass. Neptune is 17 times the mass of Earth. It is 2.8 billion miles from earth. Discovered on September 23, 1846, Neptune was the first planet found by mathematical prediction rather than by empirical observation. Unexpected changes in the orbit of Uranus led astronomers to deduce that its orbit was subject to gravitational perturbation by an unknown planet. Neptune was subsequently found within a degree of its predicted position, and its largest moon, Triton, was discovered shortly thereafter, though none of the planet's remaining 12 moons were located telescopically until the 20th century. Neptune has been visited by only one spacecraft, Voyager 2, which flew by the planet on August 25, 1989. (taken from Wikipedia) I took this while I was waiting for something more exciting...little did I know. While technically great it is interesting to see that it is clearly not a star because it has width to it. You can also clearly see two inner moons, Ariel and Unbriel. There are probably others in the photo but I am unsure which one they may be.
Posted on October 12, 2009 Full Size| Slideshow