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The Neptune System in Voyager's Afterglow

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Science  29 Sep 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4925, pp. 1450-1451
DOI: 10.1126/science.245.4925.1450


Any time the view of a planet leaps from a fuzzy dot accompanied by two pinpoints of light to the riveting details of swirling clouds, rings, cratered moonlets, and even individual dust particles, planetary science is going to be in for some upheaval. Voyager 2's encounter with Neptune was no exception. Something as seemingly innocuous as an hour or two shift in the new length of a Neptunian day is giving meteorologists and physicists fits. And Neptune's canted, complex magnetic field found by Voyager knocks into a cocked hat most ideas about why a similar field at Uranus was unique. But there were more reassuring discoveries as well. Here are samplings of both sorts of findings.

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