Voyager 2 visits the third planet on its grand tour of the outer solar system, becoming the first and only man-made spacecraft to visit Uranus. Since the blue-green planet and its moon are tipped over, Voyager has fewer opportunities to gather images of the moons of Uranus, but a close pass by its innermost large satellite, Miranda, yields pictures of one of the stranger surfaces in the solar system: a moon that was ripped apart and melted back together in the distant past. The atmosphere of Uranus reveals almost no details to Voyager 2’s cameras in the scant visible light available this far from the sun, but ten new moons are discovered, and the planet’s elusive dark rings are captured in several images. With no other missions to Uranus in the pipeline, Voyager 2’s brief flyby remains the primary source of most of our knowledge of the seventh planet from the sun. It will now take Voyager 2 three years to reach Neptune, its final target.
Voyager 2 at Uranus
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