Neptune, the blue planet, orbits the Sun additional out than Uranus in ~ an mean distance that 2.79 billion mile (4.49 exchange rate km), which is 30 times more out 보다 the Earth. At this rate, Neptune take away a lining 165 planet years to complete one orbit approximately the Sun.

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Planet Neptune (Source)

At this distance from the Sun, what walk a day and also a year ~ above Neptune look like? If we were to ever visit this distant planet, how long would it take to get there?

Let’s find out!

How far Away is Neptune indigenous the Sun?

Neptune is in ~ a distance of 2.77 billion mile (4.46 exchange rate km) once it is closest to the Sun and 2.82 billion mile (4.54 exchange rate km) away as soon as it is farthest from the Sun.

At times, Pluto ‘crosses’ Neptune’s orbit and also remains within it because that 20 years. At these times, dwarf earth Pluto is closer come the sun than Neptune, however the planets never ever collide v each other because they are constantly at different points in your orbits as soon as this happens.

How far Away is Neptune native the Earth?

Neptune is 2.7 billion mile (4.3 billion km) away once it is the next to earth and 2.8 billion mile (4.5 billion km) as soon as it is the furthest indigenous Earth.

As the Earth and Neptune orbit the Sun, the distance between them keeps changing. At time Neptune is behind the Sun, leading to the alignment that Neptune, the Sun, and Earth, through the sun in in between Earth and also Neptune. In ~ this point, recognized as a solar conjunction, Neptune is as far away as it have the right to be native Earth, at virtually 2.82 billion mile (4.54 billion km).

As the distance keeps changing, Neptune’s closest approach to planet occurs once both planets room on the same next of the Sun. In ~ this time, known as opposition, planet is inserted in in between the Sun and Neptune, reducing the distance in between the 2 planets to nearly 2.7 billion mile (4.3 billion km).

When it is closest to Earth, Neptune shines at magnitude 7.8, which method it is no visible come the naked eye. Also if you use a telescope to check out Neptune, its large distance renders it nearly impossible to identify it as an ext than a point-like star.

Distance the Neptune native Sun and Earth in 2021

The following table shows how much away the world Neptune is native Earth for each month in 2021. The distance is taken at the 15th of every month.

Neptune is closest to earth in September and also farthest in March, which room both bolded.


MonthAU*MilesKM
January30.49802,834,966,2024,562,439,804
February30.83112,865,929,7814,612,270,898
March30.91762,873,970,4594,625,211,125
April30.75792,859,125,4164,601,320,324
May30.39112,825,029,2264,546,447,778
June29.88962,778,411,8894,471,424,381
July29.40762,733,607,1904,399,318,145
August29.04312,699,724,7984,344,789,674
September28.91692,687,993,7754,325,910,406
October29.06162,701,444,4814,347,557,237
November29.44962,737,511,3344,405,601,261
December29.95192,784,203,0364,480,774,336
Data indigenous in-the-sky.org.

The complying with table reflects how much away the planet Neptune is from the Sun because that each month in 2021, also based on the 15th of each month.

MonthAU*MilesKM
January29.92672,781,860,5494,476,974,467
February29.92622,781,814,0714,476,899,688
March29.92572,781,767,5944,476,824,869
April29.92512,781,711,8204,476,735,110
May29.92542,781,656,0474,476,645,351
June29.92392,781,600,2734,476,555,592
July29.92342,781,553,7954,476,480,793
August29.92282,781,498,0224,476,391,034
September29.92232,781,451,5444,476,316,235
October29.92192,781,414,3614,476,256,396
November29.92132,781,358,5884,476,466,637
December29.92072,781,302,8154,476,076,879
Data indigenous in-the-sky.org.

You deserve to see the the sports in street from the sunlight is no as marked as the street from Earth. This is since Earth’s very own orbit roughly the Sun reasons a greater adjust in the distance between the two planets.

Over the course of 2021, Neptune moves fifty percent a million miles closer come our star.

*AU=Astronomical Units, i m sorry is the exact same as 92,955,807 miles, or 149,598,000 km. Learn much more about expensive Units.

How long Would It take to Reach Neptune?

Voyager 2 is the just spacecraft that checked out Neptune, and it took 12 years to acquire there. Light, on the other hand, travel to Neptune from earth in about 4 hours and also 4 minutes when the 2 planets room at their closest.

So far, in this article, we have learned the the street from earth to Neptune at two vital points in its orbit — one when the world is closest and also the other when it is the furthest. Let’s now look at the information of just how long the takes to obtain to Neptune.

There space two ways to go around this. First, we will look at the moment light takes to reach Neptune indigenous Earth.

Next, we’ll plank an imagine spaceship and see just how long it will take united state to take trip to Neptune

Let’s go!

How long Does Light take to Travel native Neptune come Earth?

Light travels the faster of all known objects because it has actually no mass. Its speed is 186,282 miles per second. At this rate, light takes 499 secs to reach Earth native the Sun, a distance well-known as an astronomical Unit (AU).

Let’s take a look at the shortest, longest, and also the mean time for light to travel between Earth and also Neptune.

Shortest distance = 2.7 billion mile (4.3 exchange rate km) = 29.04 AU

Calculation: 29.04*499 = 14,491 seconds = 4.03 hours.

Average = 2.76 billion miles (4.4 billion km) = 29.60 AU

Calculation: 29.6*499 = 14,770 seconds = 4.10 hours.

Furthest = 2.82 billion mile (4.54 exchange rate km) = 30.1 AU

Calculation: 30.1*499 = 15,020 seconds = 4.17 hours.

At its typical distance of 2.76 billion miles (4.4 billion km), light takes 4.1 hours to reach Neptune from Earth. Together the planets orbit the Sun, this time varies in between 4.03 hours and also 4.17 hrs (242 minutes and also 250 minutes).

This also way that once you look at Neptune indigenous a telescope, you room looking at it as it looked at least 4 hrs ago!

How long Does it take a Spaceship to travel to Neptune?

Only one spacecraft, Voyager 2, has actually visited Neptune so far. That traveled together close together 3,000 mile (4,950 km) over Neptune’s phibìc poles. Voyager 2 took 12 years to come at Neptune.

MissionLaunch DateReached NeptuneTravel Time
Voyager 2August 20, 1977August 25, 198912 years and 5 days

How lengthy is a day on Neptune?

Neptune rotates through a rate of 2.68 km/s. In ~ this speed, Neptune bring away just 16 hrs to finish a rotation top top its axis — that’s exactly how long a work on the planet is.

Calculating the size of a job is excellent by working out a planet’s rotational speed, typically by measure up the rotational speed of that core. This is harder for ice giants since they have avery small solid main point engulfed through icy layers, making it daunting to gain accurate measurements.

How lengthy is a Year top top Neptune?

Neptune bring away 165 earth years come orbit the Sun. If a work on Neptune is much shorter than that on Earth, its year is lot longer. This means that Neptune rotates quicker than Earth however orbits the Sun much more slowly.

Are There seasons on Neptune?

Neptune is tilted by 29 degrees. The axial tilt linked with its lengthy year leads to 40-year-long seasons on the planet.

During summer, Neptune receives much more sunlight ~ above the hemisphere dealing with the Sun, and also scientists have observed the its cloud bands gain brighter as summer progresses.

Most interesting is that Neptune experiences seasons at all due to the fact that it obtain 900 times less sunlight than Earth does. The planet additionally hosts some too much seasonal changes and also fierce winds of up to 1500 km/h, the beginnings of which space unclear.

Summary

Neptune is the eighth, and final, world from the Sun and orbits ours star in ~ an typical distance the 2.79 billion mile (4.49 billion km). At this huge distance, Neptune takes simply 16 hours to complete one rotation about its axis, but a an extensive 165 planet years to finish one orbit about the Sun.

Even at this distance, Neptune experiences all 4 seasons — summer, winter, fall, and spring, together on Earth, except each season stretches because that 40 lengthy years as result of Neptune’s orbit.

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Voyager 2 is the just spacecraft that has visited Neptune for this reason far, and it took 12 years to gain there.