Space: Next And Final Stop: Neptune

Voyager sees some intriguing sights as it nears the eighth planet

After a marathon journey of twelve years and more than 4 billion miles, the remarkable Voyager 2 space probe is finally approaching its last port of call. Having made historic flybys of Jupiter in 1979, Saturn in 1981 and Uranus in 1986, it is poised for an Aug. 24 rendezvous with Neptune, the most distant of the giant planets. (It will not encounter Pluto, whose bizarre orbit now places it closer to the sun than Neptune is.) Voyager's aging cameras and electronic sensors are somewhat impaired, and the probe is so distant that its signals take four hours to travel to...

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