What do we know about the satellites of Uranus?

Uranus is the most mysterious and little-known planet.Solar system. When in 1986 the Voyager 2 space station transmitted images of this ice giant to Earth, scientists called the blue planet “expressionless” due to the fact that on Uranus there are no bright stripes, like on Jupiter, there are no prominent rings, like on Saturn, and in terms of temperature, Uranus is even colder than Neptune, which is farther from the Sun. However, despite all its “unremarkability”, Uranus has as many as 27 satellites, some of which really deserve our attention.

Uranus - the third largest planet in the solar system

What do the satellites of Uranus look like?

Despite the fact that Uranus has its ownsuite of 27 satellites, only 5 of them can be reckoned as full-fledged spherical moons. So, the largest satellite of the planet can be considered Titania, whose diameter is 1578 kilometers; in second place is Oberon, named after one of the characters of William Shakespeare, in the third is Umbriel’s satellite, then Ariel and Miranda’s. The last satellite, by the way, is recognized as the ugliest moon in the solar system. The fact is that, according to scientific research, this small satellite of Uranus at one time suffered a massive disaster that caused its complete destruction. After some time, Miranda somehow managed to “stick together” in an incomprehensible way, which is why the satellite’s surface today is an icy desert dotted with shapeless protrusions, against which stands a geological formation called the Verona ledge.

The surface of Miranda and the Verona ledge towering above it

Interesting fact: All the satellites of Uranus got their name thanks to the characters from the works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope.

Uranus Titania satellite - the very first discovered inIn the vicinity of Uranus, a spherical object, which was discovered by the famous astronomer William Herschel in 1787. The surface of this satellite is literally completely streaked with a system of giant faults and cliffs reaching a depth of 5 kilometers. The largest and deepest canyon in Titania is the Messina Canyon, which extends from the equator of this ice moon to the south pole of the satellite.

See also: Scientists first measured the temperature of the rings of Uranus

One of the first images of Titania received by earthlings thanks to Voyager 2

Oberon named after the protagonist fromThe piece “A Midsummer Night's Dream” by William Shakespeare is the most distant satellite of Uranus, the development of which is virtually unaffected by the magnetosphere of the ice giant. In addition, Oberon was recognized as the reddest satellite of the Uranus system due to the presence on its surface of a large amount of dark red material of unknown origin.

Oberon - the most red satellite of Uranus

Half ice and half stone Ariel -one of the smallest spherical satellites in the solar system. Its surface has a complex relief, which consists of deep canyons, cliffs and valleys with signs of geological activity. It is believed that he is saved from complete geological death only by the strong tidal influence of Uranus, stretching the bowels of his ice moon, which occurs due to the rather close location of the satellite to its neighbor.

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Ariel's neighbor Umbriel is officially recognized as the mostthe dark satellite of Uranus due to its extremely low reflectivity, which is only 16%. It is believed that Umbriel is one of the most cratered satellites of the Uranus system, and the sizes of some especially large craters of this moon reach 200 kilometers in diameter. It is known that Umbriel was not visited by any interplanetary probes, except for the already mentioned Voyager 2 in 1986. Further expeditions to this truly lost world are not planned to date.