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Voyager looks at Neptune - and can see.

Voyager looks at Neptune -- and can see

When Voyager 2 photographed Uranus three years ago, that planet appeared so bland and haze-wrapped that it revealed almost no details even in closeups (SN: 2/1/86, p.72). Last November, however, scientists in charge of Voyager 2's camera applauded when photos taken through a telescope on Earth showed at least fuzzy features in the atmosphere of Neptune (SN: 11/12/88, p.310), which Voyager will pass on Aug. 24. Now the spacecraft has taken a look for itself.

Voyager 2's first color pictures of Neptune were made from images obtained Jan. 23. The camera does not take pictures in "true color" but combines images made through a sequence of filters, in this case orange, violet and clear. Neptune's "natural" color is more like a pale blue-green. The pictures were taken about two hours apart, during which time the hurtling spacecraft got about 75,000 miles closer to Neptune. The smallest details visible in these photos are about 3,600 miles across, with their change in position consistent with a day on Neptune lasting 17 to 18 hours.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 11, 1989
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