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