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The Voyager 2 Story in Photos

  • diagram of planned trajectories for voyager 1 and 2

    This illustration from 1965 shows the predicted trajectories for Voyager 1 and 2, which were launched during a rare alignment of the planets that happens once every 176 years. The trajectories that Voyager 1 and 2 took transported them to outer planets that they wouldn't have been able to access otherwise. Jupiter and Saturn gave them both 'gravity assists', which is an extra boost from being pulled into the planet's gravitational pull, then swung out again. Both Voyagers took slightly different paths than planned. 

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  • photo of engineers in white suits working on voyager 2 in 1977

    Engineers working on Voyager 2 in 1977 in California. 



  • man holding up small american flag with gold disk in front of voyager 2

    A small American flag and a golden record filled with sounds and pictures - momentos from Earth. 




  • image golden plaque sent into space that has recorded sounds and images

    Pioneers 10 and 11, which preceded the Voyagers, both carried small metal plaques like this one. Engraved on the surface are instructions for playing the golden record, which contains sounds and images from Earth. 




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  • photo of voyager 2 being attached to launch vehicle at kennedy space center

    Voyager 2 before being attached to it's launch vehicle at NASA's Kennedy Space Center




  • image of voyager 2 launching in 1977

    Voyager 2 launching on 20th August 1977. 



  • photo of io moon in front of jupiter taken by voyager 2

    An amazing photo of Io, one of Jupiter's moons, floating in front of the giant planet. This picture was taken by Voyager 2 on 1979, at a distance of 8 miles away. 



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  • first photo of jupiter's moon europa black and white

    This is the first ever look at Jupiter's satellite moon Europa. Taken in 1979, this photo was captured from 152,000 miles away. 



  • photo pink saturn on diagonal angle moons

    This incredible photo of Saturn (which has been color-enhanced) was taken in 1981 by Voyager 2. In the bottom left we can also see four of Saturn's moons



  • photo of saturns rings colorful taken by voyager 2

    This is another color-enhanced photo taken of Saturn's rings by Voyager 2. Possible variations in chemical composition from one part of the rings to another may explain the varying colors. 



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  • photo of light blue sphere uranus with black background voyager 2

    This image shows Uranus, captured from 7.8 miles away in 1986. 



  • black and white photos of uranus rings with moving small particles

    This photo helped scientists to understand the continuous distribution of small particles throughout the Uranus ring system



  • photo deep blue neptune black background voyager 2 photo

    This is Neptune, captured through the orange and green filters on Voyager 2's narrow angle camera. In this image, we can see the Great Dark Spot and it's neighboring bright smudge. 



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  • close up image of blue and white streaked neptune

    This is a reconstruction of two images taken of Neptune with Voyager 2's green and clear filters. 


  • photo of carl sagan and ed stone looking at photos of neptunes moon triton

    Carl Sagan and Ed Stone, both Voyager 2 scientists, look at an image of Neptune's moon Triton



  • photo triton neptune's biggest moon covered in nitrogen frost

    This is Triton, Neptune's largest moon and one of three known objects in the solar system to have a nitrogen-dominated atmosphere (the others are Earth and Titan, Saturn's giant moon). The blue-green hue in this photo may be fresh nitrogen frost deposits. 




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  • photo of control room in pasadena 2007 voyager 2 passed close to sun

    The mission control room in Pasadena on 30th August 2007, when Voyager 2 passed into the heliosheath - approximately 1 billion miles closer to the sun than Voyager 1's route. 


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