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Space Pictures / Neptune (Original)

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Title: Neptune South Pole

Source: Voyager 2

Information: This post-encounter view of the south pole of Neptune was obtained after Voyager 2 passed the planet and sped away on a southward-trending trajectory. Looking back from 900,000 km (560,000 miles) Voyager's wide-angle camera saw features as small as 120 km (75 miles) in diameter. The angle between the Sun, the center of the planet, and the spacecraft is 137 degrees, so the entire south polar region is illuminated. Near the bright limb, clouds located at 71 and 42 degrees south latitude rotate eastward onto Neptune's night side. A bright cloud (bottom center) lies within 1.5 degrees of Neptune's south pole, which has been determined from the orbits of the planet's rings and satellites. The feature is believed to be created by an organized circulation around the pole that forms a clear "eye" at the center of the system.