Joy Kim

Contest: 2019-20

Joy Kim

School: Crosby Heights Public School

Teacher: Tanusree Das

City: Richmond Hill, Ontario

Topic: Miranda

"The image on the computer displays a celestial body, shining radiantly. Miranda, one of Uranus’ many moons, flashes into view. Its patchy surface is covered with ridges and valleys known as coronae. Miranda’s surface is made up of water, ammonia and methane- all of which are frozen, flashing with an icy sheen. This moon has numerous unique features, which is why it should be chosen to be explored next. Miranda is one of the most captivating moons: it has a peculiar surface; it is almost entirely frozen; and Miranda has canyons possibly deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Artist's view of Voyager 2 at Miranda
Miranda is one of the most distinctive moons in the solar system. It has sets of bumpy hills and vast craters known as coronae, and is the only discovered moon that features them. Coronae are ellipse-shaped features formed by upwellings of material that lie under the surface of planets and moons. Coronae are thought to consist of ice and rock, which opens up opportunities to study them and discover what minerals and rock they are composed of. Its patchy coronae may possibly be composed of substances that could prove useful. Miranda’s unusual features are fascinating and can possibly lead to scientific innovation.

Miranda’s icy composition could prove that there may be life forms on this moon. One possible explanation for Miranda’s frosty, frigid surface is that it contains large amounts of water. According to NASA, Miranda has a greater proportion of water-ice to geological material than most other bodies. The water on Miranda could support life adapted to harsh environments, similar to tardigrades, a microscopic species that has been confirmed to be able to survive living on Earth’s moon. The question of whether life forms could inhabit distant areas of the solar system could possibly be answered, with the exploration of Miranda.

Miranda has a captivating landscape. It features canyons up to 12 times deeper than the Grand Canyon that can be explored, with the use of technology. Miranda’s canyons have jagged, ridged cliffs as well as sharp patchy craters, making it look pieced together. The canyons also give Miranda an eccentric non-spherical shape. Further research can provide more information about erosion in outer space, and the bottom of the cliffs as well. Miranda’s canyons are worthy of deep observation.

From its cavernous canyons to its incredible coronae, Miranda is one of the most intriguing moons in the solar system. This moon shines with splendor and stellar beauty. With so many unanswered questions about it, Miranda should be looked into further by the scientists at NASA."

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