Neptune’s birthday comes but only once in every 164.79 years

Monday, 18 July, 2011

This month, July, marks the passing of the first full Neptunian year since the gas giant was discovered by astronomers on Earth.

According to those tables of numbers you get in books about the Solar System, the planet Neptune takes 164.79 years to travel once around the Sun. And Neptune was discovered 164.77 years ago as I write this post (1st July 2011). This means our blue ice giant has still not made even one full journey around the Sun since being spotted and recognised for the first time by humans. At some point this month, that “first” orbit will be completed. The inhabitants of Neptune will be wryly noting the first anniversary of the inhabitants of Earth first realising we were looking at their planet.

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