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Published on Jul 2, 2008
Neptune is the eighth planet and orbits the sun only once every 164.79 Earth years. Another gas giant (though frozen solid it should probably be called an "ice giant"), Neptune is the fourth largest planet in our system. Named for the Roman god of the sea, Neptune was discovered in 1846 as the result of a mathematical prediction (astronomers had noticed irregularities in the orbit of Uranus and theorized they were caused by an unknown planet), rather than actually being observed in the sky. We know a lot more about it now, thanks to NASA's planetary explorations. The music is from Gustav Holst's seven-movement orchestral suite, The Planets Op. 32. This particular movement is called "Neptune, the Mystic."