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The Neptune System

  • Richard W. SchmudeJr
Chapter
Part of the Astronomers' Observing Guides book series (OBSERVING)

Introduction

Before 1975, Uranus and Neptune were thought to be very similar to each other. After all, they are gaseous planets and have similar sizes, masses and colors. The problem with this thinking, though, was that we did not know much about either planet. We had little information on their meteorology, atmospheric composition and clouds. This began to change in 1976, when astronomers discovered that Neptune brightened by at least a factor of four in near-infrared (near-IR) light; furthermore, this brightness changed over several hours due to its rotation. This rise and fall in brightness was the first hint that things were different on Neptune. Over the next 30 years, our knowledge of Neptune has increased to the point where a more informed discussion of it can be presented.

This chapter is divided into eight sections. The first four summarize Neptune’s Atmosphere, Interior, Magnetic Environment and Rings and Arcs. The last four summarize Neptune’s satellites especially Triton,...

Keywords

Optical Depth Plasma Sheet Equivalent Width Trojan Asteroid Stellar Occultation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gordon CollegeBarnesvileUSA

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