As the furthest planet from the Sun, Neptune is one of the most unknown of the eight different planets. We do know that it’s a great distance away from us on the planet Earth, as it’s almost 30 times the distance from us as we are to the Sun. This means that the planet Neptune is a cold, icy planet that is covered in wild storms.
However, despite its long distance from the Sun, it’s still within its orbit and it follows the same oval shaped orbit as the other planets. But just how long does this orbit take, and how does that measure up in comparison to the other planets? That’s what we’re going to be checking out now.
How long does it take Neptune to revolve around the Sun?
The answer is that the amount of time it takes for Neptune to revolve around the Sun in one full orbit is equivalent to 165 years on Earth. That means that for every week on Neptune, more than three years pass on the planet Earth.
This is almost double the amount of time that its closest planet, Uranus, takes to orbit around the Sun. The truth is that as you go out past Jupiter, all of the Jovian planets are further distances away from one another, and there’s a great deal of distance between them. This is only one of my facts about Neptune as the farthest planet from the Sun and undoubtedly one of the most interesting.
To put this into perspective, it took NASA’s spacecraft Voyager 2 a little under 2 years for it to make it all the way to Jupiter, and its one of the largest solar system exploration ventures to date. It did keep on going though, and it was more than 12 years in total before it passed by Neptune, which shows just how much further out it is.
Sometime interesting to note though is that on average, the dwarf planet Pluto is even further out than Neptune, with a full orbit for Pluto takes 248 years on average. Despite this, there are times that Neptune and Pluto’s orbit to cross over one another, which goes to show that their patterns to vary quite a lot.
Despite this, there’s no chance that the two objects would ever meet and collide, as they follow a pretty strict 3:2 ratio against one another. So, they’d never be at the same stage of orbit at the same time as one another, which is great because giant planets colliding with smaller objects never ends well!
Neptune’s orbit and rotation
Aside from Mars, which has a very similar day length to us on Earth, only Uranus has a more similar day length to our planet than Neptune. It takes Neptune approximately 16 hours for it to make one full rotation of the planet, which is what is considered as a day. This is likely because it’s primarily made up of ice and water, which means that it rotates faster than both Jupiter and Saturn, which are primarily made up of gas.
And actually, even though Neptune does still have an oval shaped orbit, it is one of the most circular of any of the planets – only Venus has a more circular orbit. This means that for the most part, it doesn’t drift too far in and out of its average distance from the Sun, which is important as its such a distance away.
In conclusion, as you’d expect it take a very long time for Neptune to make it a full lap around the Sun, though many people will probably be surprised by just how long it takes. It’s also worth mentioning that Neptune travels at a relatively low speed when racing around the Sun of 12,000 miles per hour.
It sounds like a lot, but it’s less than a fifth of Earth’s 67,000 mph speed. This is down to the lower gravitational pull on Neptune due to its distance, and it’s another reason why it takes so very long to make it all the way around.