JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Travelling at more than 64,000 km/hr, Voyager 2 is less than 6 hours from closest approach to the planet Uranus, on 24/Jan/86, in this artwork by Julian Baum. The planet's atmosphere consists mainly of hydrogen, helium and methane and has a characteristic greenish hue. Uranus is unique in that its equator, along with its moons and tenuous ring system, is tilted at 98 degrees to the plane of the Solar System, which means that in alternate seasons the poles and the equator will in turn face the Sun. Uranus orbits the Sun once in 84 years and, at present, the planet's south pole faces the Sun, in the midst of a 21 year long summer.
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