Ecaterina-Maria Buru

Grade: 6

School: Ion Pillat Gymnasium

City: Wien

Topic: Miranda

"Miranda is a natural satellite, like a puzzle, of the planet Uranus, because it is supposed to be made up of pieces, coming from a moon broken by a meteorite, but, reunited by gravity. For this reason it is not a smooth satellite, but a rough one.

It was discovered by Gerard Kuiper on February 16, 1948, in telescopic photographs of the Uranian system. It was the last moon, of the 27 moons, discovered before Voyager 2's space mission.

Artist's view of Voyager 2 at Miranda
​Its name comes from a character, was inspired by aw play, ”The Storm”, written by William Shakespeare.

Miranda is a small satellite compared to Uranus, we can say that it is like David besides Goliath. Miranda has a diameter of 470 km. It has an atypical orbit(moving away from and approaching Uranus) from other satellites. On its surface there are deep rifts and polygonal deformations (peaks or edges), formed by ”melting” (by convection) of the ice cap.

The strange landforms, as well as the way they are formed, are similar to those on planet Earth, which may lead to the assumption that the Miranda satellite could support life. The fact that exobiologists, when looking for possible planets to support life, appreciate the presence of water, geographical shape, organic compounds, all these being elements that are found on Miranda, also contributes to the support of this assumption.

It is possible that it has extraterrestrial life, if we refer to the fact that it is supposed to face the strong tides forces that shaped the existing landscape on the satellite, so as to keep enough ice in the basement to allow life to evolve.

On the satellite were recorded, by space probes, sounds called by NASA expressions "acoustic waves of ions". These would be produced by the interactions between the solar wind and the ionosphere on Miranda. These are similar to the sounds of the human inner body and, named by Dr. Thompson, ”the music of the stars”.

Given that the celestial space is huge, and humanity is in the period of galactic pioneering, it is certain that Miranda is and will remain under observation, in the attention and analysis of specialists being very possible to reveal many scientific surprises."

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