on 30 June 2013
After the disappointment of Voyager 2's encounter with Uranus, the final planet in our solar system to face the on-board cameras was Neptune.
Neptune was discovered in 1846 by D'Arrest and Galle and also confirmed by British mathematican John Couch Adams. Earth based observations suggested a gas giant with a changing weather system and less of a mystic world like Uranus. And so it proved.
Neptune was banded and possessed swirling storms not unlike Jupiter and Saturn. A large weather feature that rotated the planet was named The Great Dark Spot and a smaller more polar bound feature was nicknamed The Scooter. The planet's deep aqua marine colour was abundant.
However, the highlight was Neptune's largest moon Triton. Triton was found to have a frozen cracked surface but with erupting geisers! The flux of material from the geisters rolled across the surface, facing and refacing as it went.
All this, a commentary of the full encounter and a potted history can be found in this marvellous atlas.