Voyager 2 acquired this image fewer than 5 days before its closest approach to Neptune on August 25, 1989. You can see Neptune’s Great Dark Spot – a storm in its atmosphere – and the bright, light-blue smudge of clouds that accompanies the storm. Read more about this image via NASA/JPL-Caltech.
Reprinted from NASA.
Thirty years ago, on August 25, 1989, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft made a close flyby of Neptune, giving humanity its first close-up of our solar system’s eighth planet. Marking the end of the Voyager mission’s Grand Tour of the solar system’s four giant planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – that first was also a last: No other spacecraft has visited Neptune since. Ed Stone, a professor of physics at Caltech and Voyager’s project scientist since 1975, said:
The Voyager planetary program really was an opportunity to show the public what science is all about. Every day we learned something new.
Wrapped in teal- and cobalt-colored bands of clouds, the planet that Voyager 2 revealed looked like a blue-hued sibling to Jupiter and Saturn, the blue indicating the presence of methane. A massive, slate-colored storm was dubbed the Great Dark Spot, similar to Jupiter’s Great ...