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Date: 1993 - 1999


Question:
What gives Neptune its bluish color?


Replies:
The light we see coming from Neptune is sunlight scattered by its upper atmosphere, rather than being reflected from its surface. Neptune's atmosphere contains a small amount of methane, which absorbs light in the red part of the spectrum. Thus, the sunlight by which we see Neptune is depleted in red light, a nd hence the planet appears bluish-green. (This explanation also applies to Uranus.)

RC Winther



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