Is the Atmosphere Breathable on Neptune?

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The atmosphere is technically breathable on Neptune, but probably not in the way you're thinking. Find out if the atmosphere is breathable on Neptune with help from an astrophysics professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Moons & Planets
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist, and this is, "Is the atmosphere breathable on Neptune?" The answer is yes but you probably wouldn't survive for more than a second so technically no but you could still breathe the gas. Let's talk about the composition of Neptune and why it will be deadly. The composition of Neptune is about 80% is molecular hydrogen, 19% is helium and then it has about 1.5% methane depending on where you are in the atmosphere and it has traces of ammonia and other things that can generally kill us. Now let's talk about Earth. Earth's atmosphere here that we are used to breathing is about 80% nitrogen, and the rest of it is oxygen and carbon dioxide etc. But so we can see that the atmospheres are vastly different. So if we were to try to live on Neptune despite the fact that it would be a gas giant in just sense of the atmosphere, it would be very, very difficult to adapt to this type of gases as our bodies have completely evolved to breathe in different gases. My name is Eylene Pirez and I'm an astrophysicist, and this is, "Can you breathe on Neptune?"


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