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New Discoveries from Voyager Visit to Uranus

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Text, News From The Universe. March 31, 2020
 
New Discoveries from Voyager Visit to Uranus
 
Image, a smooth, pale blue sphere sits against a black background.
 
Text, The Voyager 2 spacecraft visited the icy seventh planet from the Sun on January 24, 1986.
 
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In planning future missions, astronomers revisited Voyager's magnetometer readings and found a small but significant blip.
 
Graph, Magnetic field over Time, shows a sudden rise and fall in the middle of the data.
 
Text, The zigzag in the data indicates Voyager flew through a plasmoid, a giant magnetic bubble of charged gas.

It's likely plasmoids are slowly ushering Uranus' methane atmosphere away into space.
 
The discovery is a clue to understanding Uranus' unique atmosphere and magnetosphere, but many mysteries await a future mission to the planet.
 
This news was brought to you in part by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD