Thirty years in the past NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft flew previous Neptune, finishing its epic journey by the outer photo voltaic system. The eighth and outermost planet in our neighborhood, Neptune is taken into account one of many ice giants, together with Uranus. However that title is a misnomer because the planet is definitely lined in gasoline, and no matter ice is beneath that’s principally slushy.
When Voyager launched we had no concept what Uranus and Neptune regarded like up shut. The mission uncovered two worlds very not like another planets in our photo voltaic system, and we now know that each have rings, in addition to sturdy storms and weird icy moons. And as scientists uncover extra exoplanets round different stars, lots of them find yourself wanting an terrible lot like Neptune—which implies that the Voyager 2 planetary knowledge from way back seems to be a superb mannequin for different planets we’d uncover sooner or later.