An aura of mystery surrounds the most distant planet in the solar system: here’s a fascinating simulation of what it would be like to dive into Neptune’s atmosphere
The eighth and outermost planet For the solar system It is a dark, mysterious world due to its enormous distance from the Sun, and Neptune has only been traveled once, in 1989. From the Voyager 2 probe From NASA, which captured the first (and only) close-up images of this ice giant and its moons. The planet’s atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen and helium, but its blue color comes from methane and other components in the upper atmosphere, which absorbs red light and reflects it back into space. Now, let’s imagine that we are on a spacecraft capable of surviving the environmental conditions of this planet. Watch the video And then, as usual, we comment on it together.
Does it rain diamonds on this planet?
As you approach Neptune, you will have a glimpse of the massive storms raging beneath you. Among other things, you will land at a speed similar to the speed at which you would fall to Earth, as Neptune’s gravity is pleasant. 40% stronger Compared to what we are used to. Due to its great distance from the Sun, very little light reaches this region of the solar system. First you will cross Thin, white clouds made of ice crystals and methaneAt a pressure of about 0.5 atm. At this altitude it will be incredibly cold, around 200 degrees below zero.
Region after region
Then you will enter a rich area of the planet Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide: Here the clouds will move very quickly, moving By the strongest winds The entire solar system (2500 km/h). At this point you will find yourself in a dark environment, because no light can enter this depth. Huge lightning bolts will light up the darkness, revealing towering ice clouds that cause massive thunderstorms. Here the pressure will rise to above 50 atmospheres and the temperature will be around 26 degrees Celsius. After a long plunge, you will find yourself about 6,500 kilometers inside Neptune, where the temperature reaches 4,000 degrees Celsius and the pressure reaches 10,000 atmospheres.
Mantle of gas giants
Which is what is called coat Gas giants, a hot layer composed of water ice, methane and ammonia Like a hot, thick liquid. Due to extreme pressures, carbon atoms crystallize Diamond formationWhich you will literally see raining down around you like sparkling hailstones. After passing through this area, you will finally land on a solid surface that has the same mass as the Earth: Nucleus! Scientists believe that it is composed of iron rocks and ice, but they do not rule out the possibility that there is a layer of diamonds everywhere.
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