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Neptune, the most distant of the major planets in our solar system, makes its closest approach to Earth on August 31st. Join Slooh for a show with live telescope feeds and informative discussion about Neptune as it reaches opposition in 2015.

Records show the first human to see Neptune was Galileo in 1612. He happened upon the planet by chance, but he did not notice its motion and recorded it as a star. The planet was discovered more than 200 years later in 1846 by the astronomers Adams and Leverrier who independently calculated the expected position of the planet by its effect on the orbit of Uranus. The planet was first observed using these calculations by German astronomer Johann Galle at the Berlin Observatory.

Because the planet is more than 2.5 billion miles away, Neptune gives up detail grudgingly.  But its blue-green disk is visible in a backyard telescope, and stargazers with a 12” or larger scope can glimpse Triton, Neptune’s biggest moon. Like Uranus, Neptune was also visited by Voyager 2 which in 1989 imaged the planet close up and discovered extraordinary weather patterns in the atmosphere of the big planet, including a giant storm called the Great Dark Spot which has since faded from view.

Join Slooh on August 31st for an examination of Neptune and a live view of this distant world through our remote telescopes.