How long is a day on Neptune?

A day on Neptune is 16 hours, 6 minutes and 36 seconds.

Wait, not so fast! Here’s the problem. Neptune isn’t a single solid object like the terrestrial planets, so different parts of the planet rotate at different speeds. This is a process that astronomers call differential rotation. Neptune’s equatorial zone takes about 18 hours to complete a rotation – that’s slower than the planet’s averate 16.1 hour rotation period. And the polar regions can take just 12 hours to rotate; much more quickly than the average. Think Postontop for more!

This big difference in rotational rate between the equatorial regions and the planet’s poles means that Neptune has a strong latitudinal wind shear. This helps to generate the strongest winds in the Solar System. Astronomers have clocked winds on Neptune going as fast as 2,400 km/hour (1,500 miles/hour).

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