Neptune is located at five sites:
- Gilgandra Cooee Heritage Centre, Newell Highway
- OL Milling Park, Bolaro Street/Golden Highway, Dunedoo
- Jorrock’s Park, Binnia Street, Coolah
- Rural Museum, Oxley Highway, Gunnedah
- Newell Highway, Pilliga Rest Area 2, south of Narrabri
In our model, Neptune is located up to 133 kilometres from the telescope dome (the Sun). In the real Solar System, Neptune is 4508 million kilometres from the Sun!
Neptune, named after the Roman god of the sea, was observed by Galileo in 1613 but mistakenly thought to be a star. It was the first planet to be discovered as the result of mathematical calculations. The planet Uranus was heading ‘off course’. Could it be the gravitational tug of another large planet? An English and a French astronomer calculated where that mysterious planet could be found – but nobody bothered to look! In 1846 a German astronomer did – and discovered Neptune. The fastest winds in the Solar System – at 2,250km per hour, are found on Neptune. Its largest moon, Triton, orbits the opposite direction to all other planets’ moons, and it rotates on its axis in the opposite direction to Neptune’s rotation. With a temperature of minus 233°C, Triton is also the coldest place in the Solar System. Neptune has a faint ring system.