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Image of Neptune
THE DISAPPEARING DARK SPOT: Dark, cold, and whipped by supersonic winds, Neptune is the furthest away from the Sun of the hydrogen and helium gas giants in our Solar System. No probe has ever been sent there, and its thick atmosphere acts as a dark veil to the surface below. We do know that it has 13 moons and a ring system, and takes almost 165 Earth years to orbit the Sun. Neptune's atmosphere extends to great depths, gradually merging into water and other melted ices over a heavier, approximately Earth-sized, solid core. In 1989, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft tracked a large, oval-shaped storm called the called the ‘Great Dark Spot’ (similar to the Great Red Spot on Jupiter). In 1994 when NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope imaged the planet, no sign of the Great Dark Spot could be seen. Image Credit: NASA/JPL
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