Remembering Voyager 2’s Visit With Neptune, 30 Years On (Part 2)

Artist’s concept of Triton and its thin atmosphere, with Neptune and the distant Sun in the background. Image Credit: European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Thirty years ago, this month, humans and technology steeled themselves for the last, first-time, close-up glimpse of a new planet in the 20th century. NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft, launched in August […]

Giant Radio Ear: Remembering Voyager 2's Encounter With Neptune, 30 Years On (Part 1)

Neptune and its large moon, Triton, as seen by Voyager 2 in August 1989, three days after closest approach. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, this month, all eyes were on the outermost reaches of the Solar System, as humanity braced itself for its last, first-time, close-up glimpse of a new planet in the […]

To Keep Boldly Going: NASA's New Plan for the Voyager Mission

Artist’s concept of one of NASA’s Voyager spacecraft, including the location of the cosmic ray subsystem (CRS) instrument. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

With all of the current and recent planetary missions throughout the Solar System, it may be easy to forget sometimes that there are still some older spacecraft that have been traveling for decades […]

Torn Apart at Birth: 70 Years Since the Discovery of Miranda, Mysterious Moon Viewed by Voyager 2

Uranus’ moon Miranda shows signs of past geological activity, with deep canyons and other chaotic terrain. Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Seventy years ago, the existence of a new world was added to the growing vault of human knowledge. More than 1.8 billion miles (2.9 billion km) from Earth, circling the gaseous planet Uranus, its […]

Four Decades, Four Planets: Voyager 2 Celebrates 40 Years of Deep Space Exploration

The Voyager adventure began 40 years ago, today, on 20 August 1977. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Forty years ago, today, on 20 August 1977, a space explorer rose from Earth on a multi-decade adventure, which would unveil all four of the Solar System’s giant gaseous planets in unprecedented detail. Despite being originally detailed to […]

Leading Planetary Scientists Discuss Prospect of Missions to Uranus and Neptune

Uranus and Neptune: the Solar System’s unique ice giant planets, of which we only got brief glimpses during the Voyager 2 flybys in the 1980s, beckon for further, more detailed exploration. Image Credit: NASA

Last year’s historic close flyby of Pluto by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft put the outer Solar System firmly back […]

A Jewel in the Rough: Juno Returns First Rich Scientific Harvest From Jupiter

From NASA: “NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured this view as it closed in on Jupiter’s north pole, about two hours before closest approach on Aug. 27, 2016.” Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS

Jupiter, with its complex layers of clouds and storms, is revealing itself to be a multifaceted jewel of a planet. Over forty years […]

Mysterious World: 30 Years Since Voyager 2's Encounter With Uranus (Part 2)

Uranus and its six largest moons, from left Puck, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, and Oberon. Image Credit: NASA

At 12:59 p.m. EST (5:59 p.m. GMT) today, exactly three decades passed since NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft became the first machine fashioned by human hands to visit Uranus, the seventh planet in line from the […]

Uncertain Journey: 30 Years Since Voyager 2's Encounter With Uranus (Part 1)

Visible only as a crescent, Uranus recedes from Voyager 2 in the days after Closest Approach. Photo Credit: NASA

Thirty years ago, today and tomorrow, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft gave humanity its first close-up glimpse of Uranus. Known for more than two centuries, and frequently the “butt” of many off-color jokes, this giant […]

Back to the Ice Giants: Proposed New Mission Would Re-Visit Uranus or Neptune (or Both!)

Uranus (left) and Neptune (right). These two ice giants and their many moons are awaiting further exploration. Image Credit: NASA

The outer Solar System has been a busy place lately, with the ongoing Cassini mission at Saturn and New Horizons’ recent spectacular flyby of Pluto. Literally in-between those two worlds, however, it has […]