Learned Foot, a wise man once said, is an inspiration to us all. I would like to thank him for soliciting blog entries for the "Blog For Uranus" Internet campaign, in honor of Voyager 2's flyby of the planet right up Saturn's behind.
As a child, I learned that Saturn was the only planet encircled by rings. Magnificent! Saturn had something that no other planet had!
Or did it? Whenever we asked our teachers whether any other planet had rings, the answers ranged from "no" to a definite maybe. In the wake of lunar exploration, it was hard to fathom that there might be something that we didn't already know about any of the planets in our very own star system.
Voyager did something special for us. It proved to the world -- nay, to the entire Solar System! -- that the planet Uranus is encircled by rings like Saturn! Not just like Saturn, mind you; the larger planet has a more elaborate pattern of frosty goodness around its midsection. But you, Uranus, did something that no other planet could do: you whipped out your planettude and made the entire Earth gasp!
When you go out into the world today, in the office, in the school, in the bus shelter, and especially in the public rest room, be sure to cry out: "Dude! There are rings around Uranus!"