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Patrick Stewart Explores Voyager 2's Historic Aug. 25, 1989 Visit To The Planet Neptune And Its Moons, Presented In The Highest DVD Quality MPG Video Format Of 9.1 MBPS As An Archival Quality All Regions Format DVD, MP4 Video Download Or USB Flash Drive! (Color, 1990, 58 Minutes.) #Voyager2 #SpaceflightFirsts #SpaceflightRecords #VoyagerProgram #SpaceProbes #InterplanetaryProbes #InterplanetaryExploration #InterplanetarySpace #InterstellarSpace #InterstellarExploration #Spaceflight #Spacecraft #NASA #NASAHistory #SpaceExploration #Neptune #SolarSystem #DVD #VideoDownload #MP4 #USBFlashDrive
The great 12 year Voyager project's mission of visiting all the outer planets except Pluto with two state-of-the-art space probes reached its climax on August 25th, 1989, as it flew by the Neptunian system. This 1990 documentary hosted by Patrick Stewart studies the discoveries made regarding the planet Neptune, the rings the that Voyager discovered orbiting around it, and its unexpectedly active moon Triton.
Neptune has been directly explored by only one space probe, Voyager 2, in 1989. As of August 2021, there are no approved future missions to visit the Neptunian system. NASA, ESA, and independent academic groups have proposed future scientific missions to visit Neptune. Some mission plans are still active, while others have been abandoned or put on hold. Since the mid-1990s, Neptune has been studied from afar with telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope and, more importantly, ground-based telescopes using adaptive optics. After Voyager 2 visited Saturn successfully, it was decided to fund further missions to Uranus and Neptune. These missions were conducted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Neptunian mission was dubbed "Voyager Neptune Interstellar Mission". Voyager 2 started taking navigation images of Neptune in May 1988. Voyager 2's observation phase proper of Neptune began 5 June 1989, the spacecraft officially reached the Neptunian system on 25 August, and data collection ceased on 2 October. Initially it was planned to use a trajectory that resulted in Voyager 2 passing around 1,300 km (810 mi) from Neptune and 8,200 km (5,100 mi) from Triton. The need to avoid ring material detected by stellar occultations prompted this trajectory to be abandoned, and a trajectory that largely avoided the rings but resulted in more distant flybys of both targets was plotted. On 25 August, in Voyager 2's last planetary encounter, the spacecraft swooped only 4,950 km (3,080 mi) above Neptune's north pole, the closest approach it had made to any body since it left Earth in 1977. At that time, Neptune was the farthest known body in the Solar System. It would not be until 1999 that Pluto would move further from the Sun in its trajectory. Voyager 2 studied Neptune's atmosphere, Neptune's rings, its magnetosphere, and Neptune's moons. The Neptunian system had been studied scientifically for many years with telescopes and indirect methods, but the close inspection by the Voyager 2 probe settled many issues and revealed a plethora of information that could not have been obtained otherwise. The data from Voyager 2 are still the best data available on this planet in most cases. The exploration mission revealed that Neptune's atmosphere is very dynamic, even though it receives only three percent of the sunlight that Jupiter receives. Winds on Neptune were found to be the strongest in the Solar System, up to three times stronger than Jupiter's and nine times stronger than the strongest winds on Earth. Most winds blew westward, opposite the planet's rotation. Separate cloud decks were discovered, with cloud systems emerging and dissolving within hours and giant storms circling the entire planet within sixteen to eighteen hours in the upper layers. Voyager 2 discovered an anticyclone dubbed the Great Dark Spot, similar to Jupiter's Great Red Spot. However, images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1994 revealed that the Great Dark Spot had disappeared. Also seen in Neptune's upper atmosphere was an almond-shaped spot designated D2 and a bright, quickly moving cloud high above the cloud decks dubbed "Scooter". The fly-by of the Neptunian system provided the first accurate measurement of Neptune's mass, which was found to be 0.5 percent less than previously calculated. The new figure disproved the hypothesis that an undiscovered Planet X acted upon the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. Neptune's magnetic field was found to be highly tilted and largely offset from the planet's centre. The probe discovered auroras much weaker than those on Earth or other planets. The radio instruments on board found that Neptune's day lasts 16 hours and 6.7 minutes. Neptune's rings had been observed from Earth many years prior to Voyager 2's visit, but the close inspection revealed that the ring systems were full circle and intact, and a total of four rings were counted. Voyager 2 discovered six new small moons orbiting Neptune's equatorial plane, dubbed Naiad, Thalassa, Despina, Galatea, Larissa and Proteus. Three of Neptune's moons—Proteus, Nereid, and Triton—were photographed in detail, of which only the last two had been known prior to the visit. Proteus proved to be an ellipsoid, as large as gravity allows an ellipsoid body to become without rounding into a sphere, and appeared almost as dark as soot in color. Triton was revealed as having a remarkably active past, with active geysers, polar caps, and a very thin atmosphere characterized by clouds of what is thought to be nitrogen ice particles. At just 38 K (-235.2 °C), it is the coldest known planetary body in the Solar System. The closest approach to Triton, the last solid world Voyager 2 would explore close by, was about 40,000 km (25,000 mi).