Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend
NASA’s Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft that has visited Uranus. It was also the first spacecraft to fly past the planet. Long-range observations of the planet began on Nov. 4, 1985. On Jan. 24, 1986, Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Uranus and came within 50,640 miles of the planet’s cloud tops. The planet appeared generally featureless.
Despite having only 5.5 hours of close study during its flyby, Voyager 2 discovered 10 new moons and two new rings. It also returned information about the planet’s magnetic field, wind speeds and evidence of a boiling ocean of water about 500 miles below the top cloud surface. Voyager 2 also took photos of five of Uranus’ larger moons.