Uranus' moon Miranda with the 3 main, prominent coronae as imaged by NASA's Voyager 2 probe on Jan. 24, 1986. (Image: © NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Uranus' moon Miranda with the 3 main, prominent coronae as imaged by NASA's Voyager 2 probe on Jan. 24, 1986. (Image: © NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Hello, Earthlings! Apologies for not radioing in earlier, my communications station got frozen with this crazy Earth weather you are experiencing! BRRRR!

Anyways, I have some interesting views into one of the moons of Uranus- Miranda! Miranda may seem like a fairly normal name for a moon (compared to Io or Enceladus or Hyperion), but Miranda, along with other moons of Uranus, is named after a character from Shakespeare’s plays. Miranda was the daughter of Prospero in “The Tempest.”

At only 500-km in diameter, Miranda sports some glorious tectonic features, which is strange for such a tiny moon. Usually, tiny moons are mainly cratered, and that’s about it…not Miranda!

Miranda has one of the most strangest landscapes, known as “coronae"".” They are light-colored canyons of ridges that twist and turn, separated by angled, darker terrains of heavily-cratered surfaces. In essence, it looks like a patchwork sort of surface! Miranda's giant fault canyons are nearly 12 times as deep as the Grand Canyon. Due to Miranda's very low gravity and large cliffs, a rock dropped off the edge of the highest cliff would take a full 10 minutes to reach the foot of the cliff. Weeeeeeeee!

Close-up of the corona edge. Acquired by Voyager 2 on Jan. 24, 1986, around its close approach to the Uranian moon. Image Credit: JPL

Close-up of the corona edge. Acquired by Voyager 2 on Jan. 24, 1986, around its close approach to the Uranian moon. Image Credit: JPL

There are a number of possible scenarios for creating these features, but it is still under debate. These scenarios include: Miranda being struck by large metallic pieces of meteor, Miranda being smashed and pulled back together under gravity, or episodes of freeze-thaw material slushing around from the inside to the surface!

Hopefully Uranus will get its own mission so that we may study these features more closely!

Thank you for reading and come back next week for a look at facts about the Oort Cloud!