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The Daily Astronomer

[DA July 12, 2011] Neptune Part I

12 Jul 2011, 14:41 UTC
[DA July 12, 2011] Neptune Part I
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From the USM Southworth Planetarium “Diluted competence” THE DAILY ASTRONOMER July 12, 2011 Neptune Part I Today, Neptune completes its first orbit since discovery. Finally! Discovered by astronomers Johann Galle and Heinrch D’Arrest on September 23/24, 1843, Neptune has required all this time to finish one circuit around the Sun. For those who are tabulating, [...]

From the USM Southworth Planetarium
“Diluted competence”
THE DAILY ASTRONOMER
July 12, 2011
Neptune Part I
Today, Neptune completes its first orbit since discovery. Finally! Discovered by astronomers Johann Galle and Heinrch D’Arrest on September 23/24, 1843, Neptune has required all this time to finish one circuit around the Sun. For those who are tabulating, that time amounts to 164.79 Earth years. That Neptune should need so many years for just one go around is understandable if we consider a few facts. First, Neptune’s orbital path is quite long: more than seventeen billion miles! Secondly, being an outer planet, Neptune moves more slowly than the inner worlds. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) ascertained that a planet’s distance determines its orbital velocity. The closer a planet is to the Sun, the faster it moves. Whereas Earth’s orbital speed is a swift 67,000 miles ...

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