Following the successful encounter of Voyager 1 with Saturn, Voyager 2 was targeted to fly by Saturn in a manner that caused the flight path to take the spacecraft toward Uranus, the next planet from the Sun. Voyager 2 made its closest approach to Uranus in January 1986. Shown here are the photographs of Uranus taken while the spacecraft was approaching the planet. At left is a natural color view, while on the right side the same information has been enhanced by computer processing to emphasize subtle variations. Neither view shows the kind of atmospheric structure prominent on Jupiter and present, but more subdued, on Saturn. A photochemical haze, similar to smog present over Earth’s cities, in the upper atmosphere of Uranus hides most of the cloud features. The enhanced photograph does show a circular pattern in the haze that is centered over the south rotational pole of the planet (pointed toward the spacecraft because the rotational axis of Uranus lies close to the plane in which the planet orbits the Sun).
Voyager 2 image (Press Release P-29478).