Studying Neptune: Investigating the Unknown

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In summary: Trying to figure out what to focus on when investigating a new planet can be difficult, and you might want to consider what has been done before when conducting your research.
  • #1
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i am doing a project on neptune. a main constituent of this project is deciding what you want to investigate (scientific objectives) about neptune (multiple things can/should be studied). i seem to be having trouble with this. i can't think of much to study because i don't really know what's important to study about a not too well know planet. what has been studied before? i want to do something with the dark spot (i think its a storm), perhaps measure windspeed or something but I'm not sure i can do this from a satellite (everything has to be studied by satellite). i would really appreciate any insight and help anyone can offer. thank you very much in advance
 
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  • #2
this is kind of a pressing matter and i don't know where to start because there are so many different things to measure (infrared, magnetosphere, make up, plasma something, is topography possible for neptune?). i really need help. if you just discovered a planet, what would you want to know about it?
 
  • #3
Hope this isn't too late ...

What's known about a planet in our solar system depends rather a great deal on which spaceprobes have visited (or landed on) the planet (or not, in the case of Pluto ... assuming for now that you call it a planet). Neptune has been so visited by only one - Voyager 2.

You could go about your investigation from several different perspectives - e.g. you are designing a new spaceprobe to be sent to Neptune, so what would you want to study? or you looking to understand something about neptune better using the data gathered by Voyager 2 + Hubble Space Telescope images (etc). And so on.

In any case, what you want to do will likely be related to understanding something about the planet (e.g. nature of the Dark Spot, strength of the magnetic field, variation in the composition of the atmosphere by height), not just an observation for its own sake (e.g. 'I wonder what Neptune looks like if I take a picture of it in the light of triply-ionised rhenium?')
 
  • #4
I must apologise for not spotting this. I do not normally wonder into the Astronomy & Cosmology Forum much.

Most of what we know about Neptune has come from satellite information (whether it was from the first satellite to it, as Nereid said, or simple spectroscopy to determine what its atmosphere was made of). This simple means that you can write about anything you want to about Neptune (more or less).

If I were doing this project I would start with some facts about the planet (nothing detailed or too technique, just some general knowledge about the planet: e.g. where its name came from and how many moons it has). Then, I think, I would try and give a presentation on why we cannot live there. The obvious problem is that Neptune is made of gas but make it interesting, e.g. what if Neptune's atmosphere replaced the Earth's etc. This topic line will not only allow you to mention windspeed and the Dark Spot but also what the atmosphere is made of and about the problem it can encounter with meteors and the temperature of the planet. None of this information could come from anything other than satellites (either near the planet or in the orbit of Earth).

Hope that might help :smile:

The Bob (2004 ©)
 
  • #5
You might be interested in current thinking about the perturbations of Neptune that led to the discovery of Pluto. They certainly were not due to Pluto, which is smaller than Earth's moon. Pluto would need to be several times more massive than the Earth (and was believed to be for many years) to cause the perturbations the founder of the Flagstaff AZ observatory (Percival Lowell) used to predict Pluto's location.

I would be interested in what is thought now to have been the cause of these "observed perturbations" Please let me know at local_black_hole@Yahoo.com if you follow up on this or want more information.
 
  • #6
an excellent place to begin learning about what is known and what is not...
http://www.seds.org/billa/tnp/neptune.html
 
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  • #7
thank you very much for your help. its all over and done with now. seemed to go smoothly. thank you again for the advice
 
  • #8
So, without giving too much away, would you mind sharing with us what scientific objectives you wrote for your project?
 

Related to Studying Neptune: Investigating the Unknown

What is Neptune and why is it important to study?

Neptune is the eighth and farthest planet from the sun in our solar system. It is important to study because it is the only ice giant in our solar system and can provide valuable insights into the formation and evolution of our solar system.

What are some key characteristics of Neptune?

Neptune has a blue color due to the presence of methane gas in its atmosphere. It also has the strongest winds in the solar system, reaching speeds of up to 1,500 miles per hour. It has a complex ring system and 14 known moons.

How do scientists study Neptune?

Scientists study Neptune using a variety of methods, including telescopes, spacecraft missions, and computer simulations. Telescopes allow us to observe Neptune's atmosphere, while spacecraft missions provide valuable data on its composition and structure. Computer simulations help us understand the planet's internal processes.

What mysteries about Neptune are scientists trying to solve?

Scientists are still trying to understand the origin and composition of Neptune's rings, as well as the unusual dynamics of its atmosphere. They are also trying to determine the exact composition of its interior and the source of its powerful magnetic field.

How does studying Neptune benefit us?

Studying Neptune helps us better understand the outer planets in our solar system and how they formed. This knowledge can also be applied to exoplanets, improving our understanding of the potential for life in other solar systems. Additionally, studying Neptune can also lead to advancements in space technology and exploration.

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