Updated: Jun 25
Sunday, we salute the scientist(s) and explore Miranda's topography thanks to the footage from the only spacecraft to rendezvous with Miranda and her ravaging story; Voyager 2.
NASAs Voyager 2 spacecraft
I have had the great fortune to consult with both Dr Robert Pappalardo and Dr Linda Spilker, both planetary scientists from NASA/JPL, for research on this moon, of which very little information exists. Dr Pappalardo wrote his thesis on Miranda, and Dr Spilker was on the Voyager team when it made the first-ever fly by.
"Miranda Shattering an Image" - Report by Robert T. Pappalardo
Miranda was the last moon discovered before Voyager 2's brief visit in 1986, and, to date, Voyager 2 remains the only spacecraft to fly by this tortured world. When Voyager 2 transmitted images from its encounter at Miranda, scientists were left perplexed and mystified.
Scientists have various theories about the events that transpired at Miranda and are still trying to piece together her epic past that has left a patchwork of macabre mutations etched into the terrain as if marred by giant cosmic claws.
Extract from Libretto
𝑪𝒂𝒓𝒗𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒓𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒆, 𝑳𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔 𝒂𝒇𝒇𝒓𝒂𝒚
𝑪𝒐𝒎𝒑𝒍𝒊𝒄𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒑𝒂𝒔𝒕, 𝑳𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒆𝒅
"Miranda - Marred by Giant Cosmic Claws"
Miranda Credit: NASA/JPL/ Jason Major
And to think that it took a journey of 19.8 Astronomical units from the sun to fetch this story. A postcard from Voyager 2 from our solar system's cold, dark, expansive, unforgiving edges.
So much is unknown about Miranda's origins, and the following musical excerpt takes on a "Once upon a time" flavor where the music is evocative and deceptively calm. The surface puzzles the eye, and plucked strings support this atmosphere of question marks, a common technique in film scoring.
But very soon, the music intensifies, and brash calls from trumpet with edgy strokes from violins reflect the anguish in this story and serve as a small entrée for more brutal events that follow.
The video will transport you to experience the distinctive world of Miranda with music and animation re-created by the photographs the Voyager 2 spacecraft took as it flew 36,000km above Miranda's surface.
Miranda V Movement Excerpt "In the last tortured Past"