June 1, 2009 - Voyager Goes Green
Voyager Goes Green Twenty years ago this week, the Voyager 2 spacecraft was close enough (73 million miles) to Neptune to begin regularly monitoring activity in Neptune’s atmosphere. This observatory phase was significant because it marked the beginning of Voyager 2’s final planetary port of call after a twelve-year voyage through the outer solar system. As it approached Neptune, Voyager returned increasingly higher resolution images of Neptune’s Great Dark Spot and a smaller white feature known as Scooter, shown here from only three million miles away. Launched in 1977, Voyager visited Jupiter in 1979, Saturn in 1981, and Uranus in 1986. Because it used the gravity of one planet to accelerate it to the next, Voyager 2’s fuel economy was an impressive 30,000 miles per gallon.
Image credit: NASA / JPL
June 1-7, 2009
Holidays - Sky Events - Space History
Full Moon 2:12 pm
Antares 0.6° south of Moon
1992: Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer launched