CICLOPS: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for OPerationS

Ariel at Voyager Closest Approach
[For trouble viewing the images/movies on this page, go here]
This picture is part of the highest-resolution Voyager 2 imaging sequence of Ariel, a moon of Uranus about 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) in diameter. The clear-filter, narrow-angle image was taken Jan. 24, 1986, from a distance of 130,000 km (80,000 mi).

The complexity of Ariel's surface indicates that a variety of geologic processes have occurred. The numerous craters, for example, are indications of an old surface bombarded by meteoroids over a long period.

Also conspicuous at this resolution, about 2.4 km (1.5 mi), are linear grooves (evidence of tectonic activity that has broken up the surface) and smooth patches (indicative of deposition of material).

The Voyager Project is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Acquired: January 1986
  Ariel at Voyager Closest Approach
PIA 00037

Full Size 800x800:
PNG 280 KB

Alliance Member Comments
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Aug 14, 2009 at 5:30 PM):
(Of course 'features' , not 'featurs' .)
Dragon_of_Luck_Mah_Jonng1971 (Aug 14, 2009 at 5:13 PM):
Thank you for your observation, kheider.
Because of your observation I examined all Voyager 2 pictures of the 5 large Uranian satellites for this feature. I believe very much that they are image processing facts -- no real featurs -- because once this feature also is on a picture of Uranus. I found similar features on these pictures: PIA 00039 (Titania), PIA 00140 (Miranda), PIA 00032 (Uranus), PIA 00043 (Miranda) and PIA 01534 (Ariel). On PIA 00043 I found it four times and on PIA 01534 two times. On PIA 00032 only at the false-color picture of Uranus. At PIA 00140 it is cutting inside the limb and dark, so there its reversed. At PIA 00039 it's weaker. I believe so because there can't be cryovolcanic plumes at the edge of Uranus' atmosphere.
But that doesn't mean for me that Ariel is not active in the present. I believe that in the past of these 5 satellites only Umbriel was not active. At the present I believe that Miranda, Ariel, Titania are active. If there were images of a new mission to Uranus or Uranus and Neptune of higher resolution then this would be easier to find out. At Oberon Voyager 2 images have only a low resolution so that I can't believe there something about activity. I believe that Oberon is active at the present because similar in size to Titania which is also active ( at least in the past ).
kheider (Dec 29, 2008 at 10:18 AM):
Could that be a cryovolcanic plume at the 8 o'clock position?
-- Kevin Heider

Want to add a comment?   Login (for Alliance Members) ... or ... Join the CICLOPS Alliance!