I'm in search of historical knowledge of the outer ice giants, which seems so hard to come by. Right now I would be happy with just a photo of each, the best photo we had of them before Voyager 2. Such a photo from the 60's to early 80's would be great. This will almost surely be from the Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory, because it's 5 meter primary mirror was the biggest for a long time.

Note: I'm not entirely sure that Neptune would even be a resolvable disk, but nevertheless I still want to see what our best photo of it (from that time) would be.

After googling this for so long, I've come to the conclusion that the best bet would be old astronomy books, which sadly, I do not have. Maybe someone here can help me out.

  • $\begingroup$ Check out these Google Books search results. Some of them have some pictures--I don't know if they were the highest quality obtainable, but it gives you an idea of the range they were working with. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Commented Jul 28, 2015 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


As per the books referred to in comments:

Both planets could be resolved as a disk, but no surface features could be observed on either. Spectrograms had been taken, so the general colour of the planets was known. The extreme axial tilt of Uranus was known about. But the relative warmth of Neptune was not.


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