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.
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).