Crescent Of Neptune


Behold: Neptune and its moon Triton captured together during the planet’s crescent phase by the Voyager 2 spacecraft. To wit:

The elegant picture of the ice-giant planet and its cloudy moon was taken from behind just after closest approach in 1989. It could not have been taken from Earth because Neptune never shows a crescent phase to sunward Earth. The unusual vantage point also robs Neptune of its familiar blue hue, as sunlight seen from here is scattered forward, and so is reddened like the setting Sun. Neptune is smaller but more massive than Uranus, has several dark rings, and emits more light than it receives from the Sun.

(Image: NASA, Voyager 2)


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7 thoughts on “Crescent Of Neptune

  1. Liam Deliverance

    A magnificent image, especially considering it was 30 years ago and it’s Voyager 2. I also wonder did the “photographer(s)” know the composition would look like this or was it a bit of luck.

  2. Paulus

    I’m sooo glad that scientists/ astronomers have taken to stressing the first syllable in Uranus. Otherwise my inner schoolboy could only snigger at phrases like: ‘Neptune is smaller but more massive than Uranus’

    1. Cú Chulainn

      Did your school boy self ever look up at Uranus from Dun More Head… fnarr fnarr.

    2. ian-oG

      So pronounced OOR as is in POOR rather than ‘YOUR’?

      Should eliminate most jokes, except in Belfast where OORanus will still get some laughs?

      ”Och Ooranus is well sweaty in this heat.”

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