How Long Does it Take Neptune to Orbit the Sun

[/caption]
Neptune orbits much further away from the Sun than the Earth, so its orbit takes much longer. In fact, Neptune takes 164.79 years to orbit around the Sun. That’s almost 165 times longer than Earth takes to orbit the Sun.

Here’s an interesting fact. Neptune was only discovered on September 23, 1846. At the time this article was written (2009), that was only 163 years ago. In other words, since its discovery, Neptune has not even made a single orbit around the Sun.

On July 11, 2011, Neptune will have completed one full orbit around the Sun. Finally, Neptune will be 1 year old.

Just like Earth, Neptune’s axis is tilted away from the Sun’s axis. This means that it experiences seasons as it orbits the Sun. For half of its orbit, Neptune’s northern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, and then for the second half of its orbit, its southern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun. This differential heating creates very powerful winds on Neptune. In fact, Neptune has the strongest sustained winds on the Solar System, with winds measured at 2100 km/hour.

We have written many articles about Neptune for Universe Today. Here’s an article about the atmosphere of Neptune. And here’s an article about who discovered Neptune.

If you’d like more information on Neptune, take a look at Hubblesite’s News Releases about Neptune, and here’s a link to NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide to Neptune.

We have also recorded an entire episode of Astronomy Cast just about Neptune. Listen here, Episode 63: Neptune.

Fraser Cain

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

Recent Posts

Primordial Gravitational Waves Continue to Elude Astronomers

New observations put further constraints on primordial gravitational waves, but still haven't found them yet.

2 days ago

The Early Solar System Had a Gap Where the Asteroid Belt is Today

Wind the cosmic clock back a few billion years and our Solar System looked much…

3 days ago

A map of River Beds on Titan for Dragonfly to Explore

Explorers either have the benefit of having maps or the burden of creating them.  Similarly,…

3 days ago

I Could Look at James Webb Unboxing Pictures all Day

Crews at the Guyanese Space Center recently "unboxed" the James Webb Space Telescope and are…

4 days ago

Uh oh, one of Lucy’s Solar Arrays Hasn’t Latched Properly

As we’re fond of saying here at UT, space exploration is hard. Many things can…

4 days ago

Meteorites Found With Little Pieces of Other Stars

When Carl Sagan said, “We are all made of star stuff,” he didn’t just mean…

4 days ago