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Strange Moons: Miranda

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posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 05:24 PM
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When I was a child back in the mid 1970s, I took an interest in astronomy. At that time, images of our

planets here our solar system were limited to what had been imaged at the time.

Pioneer 10 and 11 had been sent out to the outer planets as a test for the launches of Voyager 1 and 2.

But neither of the Voyagers had been even launched yet when Pioneer 10 first encountered Jupiter in

November of 1973.

Books and magazines had pictures displaying the images captured of Jupiter by Pioneer 10, and at the

time it was considered impressive:



They were great compared to what anyone's ground based telescope could show at the time, which was

a large sphere with what looked like alternating brown and white stripes with a big red spot.

Jupiter's moons were only tiny points of light that would change their positions daily.

Images from the Pioneer probes of Jupiter's four largest moons were better than points of light....but left

a lot to be desired in detail:

Io



Ganymede



Those images were the best that Pioneer could do.

So, it was a waiting game. Wait until Voyager 1 and 2 made their flybys with their more advanced

cameras and equipments.

Finally in 1979, the wait was over with, and the first color images from Voyager 1 were shown:



This drop dead gorgeous picture from Voyager 1 was the first image I saw when I got my issue of

Astronomy Magazine while living in Bangkok, Thailand at the time. My eyeballs about fell out of their

head looking at this stunning image.

And while the image of Jupiter was making my head spin, later images of not Jupiter....but it's moons

were to make me sit down, eyes wide with wonder.

Moons. Big deal, right? We have a moon. Only 250,000 miles away. I can whip out my telescope and

see stunning craters, mares, mountains, valles, you name it. See it all the time.

As a young teen, I never thought twice about Jupiter's moons. They would look just like our ball of rock

we call a moon, right?

Wrong.

The images from Voyager 1 and later from Voyager 2 were to show us that Jupiter's moons looked

NOTHING like our moon.

Jupiter's moons looked like what I had imagined alien worlds looked like in some of my science fiction

novels I had read:

Io



Europa



Ganymede



Callisto



The only ones that looked like our moon to me were Ganymede and Callisto, but even then, not quite.

They just didn't look like our moon, but still strange and wonderful.

It didn't stop with Jupiter. Voyager was to show us just how strange Saturn's moons were. Then Voyager

2 flew by Uranus and Neptune and again, the strangeness didn't stop. In fact, in some cases, the

strangeness just seemed to increase!

So come along with me. Let me show you some Strange Moons. For this first thread, Let us take a look

at a moon that seems to have had a very rough life........



+6 more 
posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 05:25 PM
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Miranda



Diameter: 480x468x465km

Discovered on February 16, 1948

Surface temp: 60k average ( -213 C )



Miranda, aka Uranus V, looks like a very bad car wreck.

I had a friend of mine who told me that the first time he saw images of Miranda from Voyager 2, his first thought was that God had been REALLY ticked off, and just took a baseball bat and beat the crud out of it........

Miranda is in a strange neighborhood as it is. First, all of Uranus moons are not named with the traditional mythilogical people / creatures.

Instead, all of the moons of Uranus are named after characters from the works of Shakespeare.

Next, Uranus itself is strange in that it's axis of spin is tilted 97 degrees from the solar plane. In other words: it's spining on it's side, with it's poles spending many decades facing either the sun or in total darkness.

So Miranda is in good company as far as the "Strange" factor is concerned.

When planetary scientist studied the images from Voyager 2 of Miranda, it had them really scratching their heads.
Here was a moon that looked like it was related to the Frankenstien Monster: a bunch of different parts quickly slapped together.
Trying to explain WHY it looked this way, the only theory that they could think of at the time was that Miranda had suffered some sort of massive collision in the distant past that literally broke it apart, but gravity was able to have the pieces come back together.

If you're not buying that theory, you're not alone. The energy required to break a moon apart even as small as Miranda would not just crack it into giganic mismatched parts that come back together.
Even planetary scientist didn't buy that. That theory has fallen to the wayside, and a new theory has been developed: Tidal forces

They think (and in their defense of having to say they "think" or "believe", there are no other images of Miranda.....Voyager 2 has been the only probe to visit, and there are no probes on their way or have passed by recently. So any images you can find of Miranda, all came from Voyager 2's flyby. Miranda is much to small for Hubble to resolve with any detail) that tidal forces from a earlier orbit of Miranda had it being pulled and squeezed between Uranus and another moon, Umbriel, producing upwelling of material from inside Miranda, until it moved from that orbit (which was highly eccentric) into the orbit that is has today.

Is that a reasonable theory? I don't see why not. Miranda's orbit is unusually high in inclination for a moon so close to it's planet, and the above theory helps figure out how it got there.

The way Miranda looks, there is geology here on Earth that looks the same, and the same labels are used for it.

Someone here on ATS mentioned that to them it looks like Miranda has been mined.

Looking at strip mining here on Earth, I had to at least agree that some of Miranda's images do remind me of of that:



Here on Earth:


Did some intelligent species stop by our solar system, millions or billions of years ago and use Miranda as a place to mine someting that it had, and they needed?



Well, I can't prove or disprove that some alien armada may have passed through our solar system billions of years ago. How could I? No one can prove or disprove that.
Even if it was only 1,000 years ago, there would be no way to prove or disprove it.

But if they stopped by to do some mining on Miranda, and the "evidence" is how Miranda looks, it had to of been a VERY long time ago because of the craters over those marks show that they are very old.

It could be that these are just geological processes that happened to Miranda, and not alien miners.

But then, I don't know what mining on a planetary scale would look like!



In any case, I'll agree it's pretty neat to imagine.

And speaking of Geology, you can look at a geological map of Miranda:



The above picture, can be found at the Geographicus web site. The link will take you to a interactive version of it where you can zoom in and out and pan the above picture around.

Hope some people found this subject interesting. All be doing another thread later on another:

Strange Moon.
edit on 21-8-2013 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-8-2013 by eriktheawful because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 06:07 PM
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Very nice post. I've known about Miranda's existence and nothing more. The markings on the moon are quite odd indeed. I'm sure there is someone who knows what they are. You've given me another moon to research. I've always found Europa to be fascinating.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 06:08 PM
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Thanks a lot for sharing this with us. Natural satellites (moons) around other planets have always interested me. This interest piqued when talk in the scientific community grew to include potential life on the moons Europa and Titan. This fascination prompted me to explore and study other natural satellites within the solar system. However, by far, the most unique and interesting moon in my opinion is Mars' largest and closest moon: Phobos. It just doesn't look right in my eyes. Perhaps I just have a preconceived notion about how a moon is "supposed" to look, yet it looks just so strange.





posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 06:16 PM
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great post i got into the planets about the same time as you but it is saturns moon ? lapetus that does it for me if that is not the death star i don't know what is



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 07:10 PM
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reply to post by eriktheawful
 


Thanx. with the 'ison' thing i'm gonna sleep tonight.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by eriktheawful
 

I noticed that Miranda carries the chevron symbol used by NASA and everyone else.
According to the movie Firefly all answers can be found on Miranda :-)

Some of the outer scars could have been caused by miners capturing the moon the way plans are now being made to do here in the future.


edit on 21-8-2013 by Char-Lee because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:05 PM
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I think one of my favorite parts of Miranda is this zoom in here:



Those cliffs remind me of the white cliffs of Dover......

Except these cliffs are about 5 km tall! Woo Hoo!

Now, as to the "Mining" part:

Most pictures I can look at and say: Ah well I've seen natural formations on the surface of the Earth like that.

And that IS true. I have, and is also why I think those areas are classified as such by planetary scientist.

But, when intrptr in another thread posting a picture of Miranda and mentioned the mining idea, I remembered this picture here:



and to me, that picture really does look like someone has cut parts of the crust of the moon away!

Not saying it's proof, but it can get one's imagination going.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:07 PM
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Originally posted by geobro
great post i got into the planets about the same time as you but it is saturns moon ? lapetus that does it for me if that is not the death star i don't know what is


Lapetus is on my list of Strange Moons. So I'll be doing a thread about it.

Some of Saturn's moons have some very.......interesting things in them. And no LROC to zoom in I'm afraid, heh.

But I'll get to it. I think my next thread is going to be on Hyperion.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:19 PM
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I can relate.
You probably suffered from "Kohoutek disappointment syndrome" as well?
en.wikipedia.org...

I do remember having to wait for the magazines to come out, to see the Pioneer, and the Voyager images.
The last encounter, Neptune..Was a little different. PBS had a program "Neptune All night" hosted by Carl Sagan.
Where we got to see the downlinked images live on TV. Do you remember that?

Now this funky moon Miranda. It does look like a jigsaw puzzle of a moon. Perhaps it was whacked a little, then gravitationally pushed and pulled.

Ariel has bad skin too, not as messed up as Miranda though.

edit on 21-8-2013 by spacedoubt because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:42 PM
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Great post. Absolutely puzzling surface that defy known planetary processes at every level. Damn it being so far away... One for our children to dig into perhaps.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by spacedoubt
I can relate.
You probably suffered from "Kohoutek disappointment syndrome" as well?
en.wikipedia.org...

I do remember having to wait for the magazines to come out, to see the Pioneer, and the Voyager images.
The last encounter, Neptune..Was a little different. PBS had a program "Neptune All night" hosted by Carl Sagan.
Where we got to see the downlinked images live on TV. Do you remember that?

Now this funky moon Miranda. It does look like a jigsaw puzzle of a moon. Perhaps it was whacked a little, then gravitationally pushed and pulled.

Ariel has bad skin too, not as messed up as Miranda though.

edit on 21-8-2013 by spacedoubt because: (no reason given)


Yes, I remember the disappointment with Kohoutek. I was living in San Diego then.

When Voyager 2 visited Uranus, I had been in the Navy for a year, and had just gotten to my first ship which was in the yards. Didn't pay attention to a lot of news at that time, except that was also when the shuttle disaster happened.
Never forget that. All of us sailors were gathered around the TV watching what happened.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 08:53 PM
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Originally posted by PINGi14
Great post. Absolutely puzzling surface that defy known planetary processes at every level. Damn it being so far away... One for our children to dig into perhaps.


Wait until I show you Mimas........for some reason that moon reminds me of Minecraft.

I'll explain why when I make the thread.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:07 PM
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Star and flag from lj01.

Thank you for the good read.

Keep up the good work.



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 09:39 PM
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Nice thread man ty

snf



posted on Aug, 21 2013 @ 10:24 PM
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reply to post by eriktheawful
 


Doesn't Uranus have a retrograde direction of spin, too (as well as being "on its side")? Maybe something smacked the heck outta it and Miranda some time ago?



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 01:39 AM
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Originally posted by geobro
great post i got into the planets about the same time as you but it is saturns moon ? lapetus that does it for me if that is not the death star i don't know what is


I do: Mimas.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 03:47 AM
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Thank you for a really interesting read, must have been a huge mining machine to make gauges that big, and yes, I too wonder what it was they mined.



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 03:53 AM
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Everytime I hear the name Miranda I keep humming this...

edit on 22-8-2013 by MrKipling because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 22 2013 @ 04:16 AM
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Fantastic thread!! S&F for you


I particularly like the way you deal in facts and throw in some speculation ... you are my type of OP ... Im really looking forward to your future threads ... keep up the great work





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