Neptune celebrates one-year anniversary since discoveryby Steven Mostyn - Jul 13 2011, 14:20
Latest snaps of our distant neighbour. Image: NASA.
Hereís a little science factoid that might bake your noodle for a moment: It has been one year since the planet Neptune was first discovered.
Specifically, although the distant icy world was initially spied in the night sky back in 1846, it has taken 164.8 years for it to complete one solar year, which is a full orbit of the sun.
And to commemorate June 12ís landmark achievement, NASA has released the above near-infrared photos of Neptune, snapped on June 25 and June 26 by the long-serving Hubble Space Telescope.
Hosting seasons that stretch for 40 years, Neptune orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles (4.5 billion kilometres), which is roughly 30 times further out than Earth.
Neptune was officially discovered by French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier during an investigation to isolate the cause of unusual gravitational effects on the orbit of Uranus.