Discovering U1:A new moon for Uranus

A new moon for Uranus

The image was so faint that scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., checked to make sure it was not the result of a blemish on the camera lens or static distorting the telemetry. But it was real, a tiny circle that represented a previously undiscovered moon only 35 miles in diameter, orbiting 37,500 miles above the murky atmosphere of the planet Uranus.

The photograph, transmitted across 1.8 billion miles of emptiness, was taken by the indefatigable traveler Voyager 2 as it approached its Jan. 24 rendezvous with the solar system's seventh planet. On that day, the spacecraft will...

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