Two Slices of Uranus’ Epsilon Ring, Voyager 2, January 1986

Two Slices of Uranus’ Epsilon Ring, Voyager 2, January 1986


Vintage chromogenic print, 20.2 x 25.4 cm

Typed caption taped to verso

[Caption] Two slices of Uranus’ epsilon ring are shown in this computer-constructed image created from data from the photopolarimeter on the Voyager 2 spacecraft, operated by JPL/NASA. The photopolarimeter measured the amount of light from the star Sigma Sagittarii through the rings during Voyager’s flyby of Uranus on January 24, 1986. The measurements show the structure and amount of material in the rings. The colour scheme, used to enhance the visibility of small-scale structure, does not show the true colour of the rings, which are, in reality, very dark. Reddish areas represent portions of the ring containing less material, and yellow areas contain more material. The disparity in the size of the two slices illustrates the accordion-like nature of the ring, which seems to contract and expand as it orbits the planet. The widths of these two slices are, from left to right, 31 kilometres (20 miles) and 22 kilometres (14 miles). The widest section of the ring is the farthest from Uranus. The smallest features discernible are about 90 metres (300 feet) across.

NASA launched the two Voyager spacecraft to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in the late summer of 1977. Voyager 1's closest approach to Jupiter occurred March 5, 1979. Voyager 2's closest approach was July 9, 1979.

Condition: mint

About the Voyager missions here and watch the probe's distance from Earth increase (and occasionally decrease!) in real time here.


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