The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 07, 1989, Page 11, Image 11

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    By Joeth Zucco
Senior Editor
Mankind took another giant
step this summer.
It saw Neptune and its moons
up close and gathered enough in
formation to keep scientists busy
making discoveries for years.
Jack Dunn, coorainator of
Mueller Planetarium, said the dis
coveries may lead to theories about
the way the Earth may have been
millions of years ago. But the dis
coveries won’t be made overnight.
Dunn said much ol the report
ing and education was incorrect at
the time of the television and satel
lite broadcasts.
“Scientists were misrepre
sented,’’ he said. “It’ll take some
time for the findings to be com
pletely analyzed. The press was
expecting scientists to do instant
science, but it’ll take years to digest
all that data.”
The planetarium’s satellite sys
tem, donated a year ago by General
Instruments, allowed several
hundred people to watch transmis
sions from thejet Propulsion Labo
ratory. During the three-day period
was discovered containing boul
der-sized particles as well as ten
new satellites.
Dunn said that at one time
people believed Neptune and Ura
nus to be twin planets, but the
Voyager 2 discoveries have proven
that wrong. Dunn said that he
See NEPTUNE on 12
12-year, tour-planet ride ends at Neptune
when Voyager 2 was closest to
Neptune and its moons, the JPL
received transmissions through the
deep space network then rebroad
cast those images with interviews
and updates to satellites all over
the country.
Dunn said the JPL wanted to do
the program as a special event so
museums and planetariums could
pick up the transmissions.
“It all started with the moon
landings,” Dunn said. “Landing on
the moon was something we
shared together. We all watched it
together. Nobody predicted the
moon landing.
“Everyone was able to share in
the discovery of Neptune and that’s
a big change. That’s why our way
of seeing things is changing be
cause we can go along for the
I he ride started in 1977. Since its
launch, Voyager 2 has encoun
tered Jupiter, July 1979; Saturn,
August 1981; and Uranus, January
Discoveries on Jupiter and its
planets include a varied geology
with volcanos on lo and three
smaller satellites. Rings of fine dust
Page 11
were discovered as were cloud-top
lightning bolts.
Saturn’s discoveries included a
nitrogen atmosphere on Titan, a
complex ring system and more sat
Uranus was discovered to have
a very low internal heat source,
receiving only about 15 percent of
solar energy. A broad ring system
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