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Uranus
Missions to Uranus
Uranus Sign/Name
Uranus Short Facts
Uranus Pictures
Uranus Moons
   -  Cordelia
   -  Ophelia
   -  Bianca
   -  Cressida
   -  Desdemona
   -  Juliet
   -  Portia
   -  Rosalind
   -  Belinda
   -  Puck
   -  Miranda
   -  Ariel
   -  Umbriel
   -  Titania
   -  Oberon
   -  Caliban
Uranus Summary

Uranus

Uranus Moon: Miranda!

This color composite of the Uranian satellite Miranda was taken by Voyager 2 on Jan. 24, 1986, from a distance of 147,000 kilometers.


Miranda is the eleventh moon of Uranus and one of the most remarkable objects in the solar system. When Voyager 2 flew by Miranda in 1986, it took numerous pictures of the surface and found a vast and diverse array of fractures, faults, grooves and craters which were unlike anything ever seen.

Plate tectonics and internal activity may have caused the large faults seen all around the surface while other troughs and canyons may have been produced by the unusual formation of the moon.

The younger regions may have been produced by incomplete differentiation of the moon, a process in which upwelling of lighter material surfaced in certain areas. However, some scientists favor the view that Miranda has been shattered, perhaps as many as 5 times in its history. After each such catastrophe, the theory goes, the moon would have reassembled from the remains of its former self with portions of the core exposed and portions of the surface buried.

Its radius is 235.8 kilometers making it a relatively small sized moon of Uranus. The surface temperature is measured to be -187 degrees C or -335 degrees F with icy material on the crust. It takes Miranda 1 day, 9 hours and 55 minutes to complete an orbit around Uranus.

Miranda, innermost of Uranus' large satellites, is seen at close range in this Voyager 2 image, taken Jan. 24, 1986, as part of a high-resolution mosaicking sequence.


Miranda, innermost of Uranus' large satellites, is seen at close range in this Voyager 2 image, taken Jan. 24, 1986, as part of a high-resolution mosaicking sequence. Voyager was some 36,OOO kilometers (22,OOO miles) away from Miranda. This clear-filter, narrow-angle image shows an area about 25O km (15O mi) across, at a resolution of about 8OO meters (2,6OO feet). Two distinct terrain types are visible: a rugged, higher-elevation terrain (right) and a lower, striated terrain. Numerous craters on the rugged, higher terrain indicate that it is older than the lower terrain. Several scarps, probably faults, cut the different terrains. The impact crater in the lower part of this image is about 25 km (15 mi) across.


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