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Iran summons Swiss envoy to protest Ďbaselessí US claims on elections interference             Lebanese president tasks Hariri with forming new government            Three-man crew return to Earth from International Space Station             Obama warns Biden supporters not to be ícomplacentí as he rips Trumpís record            Bolivia election transparent, Arceís victory overwhelming: OAS            Iran successfully tests Bavar-373 air defense system on 2nd day of drills            US Democrats fear a late Trump surge despite opinion polls            Turkey extends gas exploration in disputed Mediterranean waters            Mosques in southern France placed under protection amid threats            Advocacy groups file complaint over Texas youth prison conditions            US Senate Intelligence Committee blames Americaís enemies for divide in the nation             Twelve killed in Takhar airstrike, including children            Iran: Saudi military expenditure turned West Asia into powder keg             At least 34 killed in Cambodia flash floods             Linking terrorism to Islam shows ignorance: Imam of Egyptís Al-Azhar            


DATE PUBLISHED: 2016/1/24 - 11:11:01
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30th anniversary of man's only visit to Uranus
30th anniversary of man's only visit to Uranus

Thirty years ago today, humans made their first and only visit to Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, and transmitted images taken from a relatively short distance, which remain unparalleled to this day.

The gas giant was on the itinerary on Voyager 2 space probe, which was launched by NASA on August 20, 1977 to study the outer planets of our Solar System, also including Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.

Size comparison of Earth and Uranus (Wikipedia)

The spacecraft got its closest look at the coldest planet in the Solar System, located way beyond the asteroid belt, on January 24, 1986 when it flew past it from a distance of 81,500 kilometers (50,600 miles). During 5.5 hours of its flyby, Voyager 2 sent back thousands of stunning images from the featureless surface of the mysterious planet, plus enormous amounts of scientific data about it, including its moons, rings, atmosphere, and interior structure.

Voyager 2, along with Voyager 1, is now dashing in the interstellar region of space, beyond heliosphere, or the bubble-like realm of our Sun and still operating and busy sending data beyond its planetary mission. On April 2015, Voyager 2 was measured to be at a distance of 108 AU from the Sun, which makes it one of the most distant man-made objects. The astronomical unit (AU) is a unit of length and is based on the average distance of the Earth from the Sun, which is 150 million kilometers (93 million miles).

 

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