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Miranda, the closest moon of Uranus

 Automatic translationAutomatic translation Category: moons
Updated June 01, 2013

Miranda (Uranus V) was discovered in 1948 by Gerard Kuiper using a telescope of two meters, at McDonald Observatory. The southern hemisphere of Miranda was photographed by Voyager 2 in January 1986.
Its orbit is prograde (forward) and nearly circular (eccentricity = 0.0013).
Miranda is constituted by a roughly equal mixture of ice and rock. It is the nearest of the moons of Uranus, the semi-major axis of its orbit is 129 900 km.
Uranus is practically lying on the ecliptic plane with an inclination of its axis of rotation of 97.86 °, the orbit of Miranda follows the atypical rotation of the planet.
A catastrophic event is certainly at the origin of this inclination. Uranus' moons were formed from the sub-nebula that gave birth to Uranus.
Miranda has a slope (4.338 ° to the plane of the equator of Uranus), greater than other large moons of Uranus (≈ 0 °). Miranda innermost large moons of Uranus is a strange world that has probably had a tumultuous past.
Closely examined by Voyager 2 in 1986, this dark world and far proved to be quite surprising.
Miranda shows a unique variety of terrain which led some astronomers to believe that it was broken up 5 times during its evolution as shown in the famous "chevron" feature, the brilliant V-shape just above the image center. This composite image of high resolution Miranda shows a series of peaks, valleys and smooth surfaces as well as obscure canyons ≈ 24 km depth as the large crater (center of image).
The center of the picture is the south pole of Uranus.

 Miranda moon of the planet Uranus

Image: Miranda, the moon of Uranus, photographed by Voyager 2, which flew over the south pole in 1986 to 31 000 km of distance, distance sufficient to geological mapping and counting craters on the moon. Miranda is constituted by a roughly equal mixture of ice and rock.
credit: NASA (ref. jpl)

MirandaMoon of Uranus
Dimensions480×468×465.8 km
Mean diameter ≈ 471.6 km
Periapsis129 700 km
Apoapsis130 100 km
Argument of periapsis68.312 °
Ascending node326.438 °
Mass6.59×1019 kg
Discovered in February 16, 1948
Discovered byGerard Kuiper
Semi-major axis129 900 km
Inclination / equator of Uranus4,232°
Mean temperature≈ 86 K
Escape velocity0.193 km/s
Rotation periodsynchronal
Orbital period1.413479 day
1997 © − Astronomy, Astrophysics, Evolution and Earth science.
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