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The Planetary Report • March/April 1992

Voyager 2 at Neptune

On the Cover: From the edge of our planetary system, the spacecraft Voyager 2 transmitted back to Earth images of Neptune, its large moon Triton, its strange ring system and its retinue of small satellites. In this montage constructed from high-resolution images, the south pole of Triton dominates, with cloud-streaked Neptune in the background. The flyby of Neptune in 1989 was the last Voyager planetary encounter. These two doughty spacecraft opened up the outer solar system for scientific exploration, and we shall not see their like again.
Alfred McEwen, USGS Flagstaff


4 The Elusive Rings of Neptune: Carolyn Porco tells the story of the pursuit of Neptune's rings.

10 The Magnetosphere of Neptune: S. M. Krimigis compares the magnetic fields of Earth and the gas giants.

14 Triton: Voyager's Finale: R. H. Brown showcases one of the solar system's most amazing, perplexing, and beautiful objects.

18 The Clouds and Winds of Neptune: Reta Beebe reveals what Voyager 2 has taught us about the atmosphere of Neptune.

22 Neptune's Small Satellites: Peter Thomas looks at Neptune's retinue of moons.


3 Members' Dialogue Space station Freedom; Earth impact hazard.

25 Society Notes See Mars Observer launch; Gene Roddenberry's last gift.

26 World Watch Monitoring Russia's Mars program; NASA's budget.

28 Q&A How do you fly into outer space?

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Bill Nye and people
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