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Neptün's first photo taken 30 years ago

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The blue gas giant Neptune of the Solar System was first photographed 30 years ago. It wasn't easy to photograph the planet.

In the summer of 1989, NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft took pictures of Neptune, one of the gas giants beyond the asteroid belt. It was a first in history. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's vehicle took pictures of the eighth planet during the crossing from Neptune's north pole at about 5,000 kilometers.

During the transition over the planet, clouds and structures in the atmosphere of the blue planet were also observed. Neptune's six satellites and four rings were also discovered during this mission. Voyager 2 visited Jupiter in 1979 and Saturn in 1981.

30-year exciting photo of Neptune

Neptune

Capturing the image of Neptune was a very challenging process for the spacecraft. The planet, which has a distance of 30 times more than the Earth's distance to the Sun, can receive as much as one thousandth of the Earth. That's why Voyager 2 needs a longer exposure time to produce a quality image.

Voyager 2's Neptune's closest speed of 90 thousand kilometers per hour to reach the long exposure to be done means that the image is blurry. For this reason, the NASA team went to find a different solution.

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Resetting the Voyager 2 thrusters, researchers found a balance in which the vehicle would rotate with it as the planet rotates, so that it would always observe the same part. Thus, the vehicle would continue to shoot the same image even when exposed to long exposure.

Still, the problems did not end there. Due to the distance of Voyager 2, the signals from the vehicle to the Earth are very weak. At that time, Voyager 2 was using a system called the Deep Space Network (DSN). Several antennas that were not used for the DSN were installed in Australia and New Mexico, and the signals were amplified.

Voyager 1 continues on its way

Voyager-1

Today, Voyager 2's cousin Voyager 1 continues on the 42nd Interstellar Mission. Today, the vehicle is located at a distance of 18 billion kilometers. Voyager 2 has left behind the region called the Sun Globe.