September 20

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. - Hebrews 13:8 NKJV

Astronomers discovered Neptune by using mathematics. Two different sci­entists—John C. Adams, in England, and Urbain Leverrier, in France—in­dependently noticed that as it circled the sun, Uranus would speed up, then slow down. The two astronomers wondered why the planet didn’t maintain a constant speed, and each concluded that the gravity of another planet—a more distant one—would have that effect on Uranus. So they each calculated the spot in the sky where the phantom planet should appear.

In September 1846, astronomers trained their telescopes on the point in space where Adams and Leverrier said the new planet would be. And there it was!

1. Neptune is 2.8 billion miles from the sun. It takes sunlight about four hours and 10 min­utes to get there.

2. Even at a speed of 12,150 miles per hour, Neptune requires 165 Earth-years to orbit the sun. To be 12 years old on Neptune, you would have to live 1,980 Earth-years. When Methu­selah died at the age of 969, he was less than 6 Neptune years old.

3. One day on Neptune equals almost 16 Earth-hours.

4. Neptune has eight moons, but they don’t act like the moons of any of the other planets. Nereid is only 200 miles in diameter and fol­lows an egg-shaped orbit more like that of a comet or an asteroid than a moon. It takes Nereid an entire Earth-year to complete its orbit. Triton, believed to be more than 2,000 miles in diameter and one of the largest moons in the solar system, circles Neptune once every six Earth-days. But its orbit is backward—in the opposite direction of which its planet spins.

5. Astronomers call Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune the gas giants, with Neptune being the smallest. It has no surface on which to land—just hydrogen, helium, and methane gases in an atmosphere above a continuous ocean of water and ammonia—­much like Uranus.

One of the wonders of the universe is that we can predict the exact location of an object in space by mathematics. Only God could cre­ate such order.

Nature Quest – James & Priscilla Tucker