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This article is for those who have a keen interest in Space Science. We will provide you some interesting and useful knowledge or better to say worthwhile information which can enrich your background. Now let’s focus on our main topic: Moons of Uranus. The planet Uranus is the seventh planet of the Solar System which has 27 known moons, that most of them were not discovered until the space age. And all of them are named after characters from the works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Moons range from Titania, 981 miles (1,579 kilometers) in diameter, to tiny Cupid, only 11 miles (18 km) in diameter. Uranus moons are divided into three groups: thirteen inner moons, five major moons, and nine irregular moons. The inner moons are small dark bodies that share common properties and origins with Uranus’s rings. The five major moons are massive enough to have reached hydrostatic equilibrium, and four of them show signs of internally driven processes such as canyon formation and volcanism on their surfaces.
“Sweet Moon,” William Shakespeare wrote in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “I thank thee for thy sunny beams; I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright.” A few centuries ago honor with famous playwright the moons of Uranus named after the characters from the works of Shakespeare.
Moons of Uranus: Oberon and Titania
Oberon and Titania are the largest Uranian moons that was discovered at the first time by William Herschel in 1787.
Oberon, the outermost of the five major moons, is old, heavily cratered and shows little signs of internal activity. Unidentified dark material appears on the floors of many of its craters. Oberon’s density is indicative of the fact that it contains equal proportions of water ice as well as a non-ice dense component. Titania has several major impact craters. Gertrude it is roughly three hundred kilometers across and two kilometers deep.
Moons of Uranus: Ariel and Umbriel
Ariel and Umbriel was discovered 1851 by William Lassell.
Ariel is the fourth-largest of the 27 known moons of Uranus. It orbits and rotates in the equatorial plane of Uranus, which is almost perpendicular to the orbit of Uranus and so has an extreme seasonal cycle. Ariel has the brightest and possibly the youngest surface among all the moons of Uranus. It has few large craters and many small ones, indicating that fairly recent low-impact collisions wiped out the large craters that would have been left by much earlier, bigger strikes.
Umbriel named after a character in Alexander Pope’s poem “The Rape of the Lock”. Umbriel consists of ice with a substantial fraction of rock, and may be differentiated into a rocky core and an icy mantle. It is ancient, and the darkest of the five large moons. It has many old, large craters and sports a mysterious bright ring on one side.
Moons of Uranus: Miranda
Miranda is the smallest and innermost of Uranus’s five round satellites. It was discovered by Gerard Kuiper on 16 February 1948 at McDonald Observatory, and named after Miranda from William Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”. Miranda has a surface unlike any other moon that’s been seen. It has giant fault canyons as much as 12 times as deep as the Grand Canyon, terraced layers and surfaces that appear very old, and others that look much younger.
The remaining moons were discovered after 1985, either during the Voyager 2 flyby mission or with the aid of advanced Earth-based telescopes.
Source: NASA, wikipedia.org
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