2 shows crescent of Uranus (Click on the image for a
Voyager 2 spacecraft flew closely past distant Uranus, the
seventh planet from the Sun, in January 1986.
its closest, the spacecraft came within 81,500 kilometers
(50,600 miles) of Uranus's cloudtops on Jan. 24, 1986.
2 radioed thousands of images and voluminous amounts of
other scientific data on the planet, its moons, rings, atmosphere,
interior and the magnetic environment surrounding Uranus.
launch on Aug. 20, 1977, Voyager 2's itinerary has taken
the spacecraft to Jupiter in July 1979, Saturn in August
1981, and then Uranus. Voyager 2's next encounter was with
Neptune in August 1989. Both Voyager 2 and its twin, Voyager
1, will eventually leave our solar system and enter interstellar
2's images of the five largest moons around Uranus revealed
complex surfaces indicative of varying geologic pasts. The
cameras also detected 10 previously unseen moons. Several
instruments studied the ring system, uncovering the fine
detail of the previously known rings and two newly detected
rings. Voyager data showed that the planet's rate of rotation
is 17 hours, 14 minutes. The spacecraft also found a Uranian
magnetic field that is both large and unusual. In addition,
the temperature of the equatorial region, which receives
less sunlight over a Uranian year, is nevertheless about
the same as that at the poles.