Brijesh Raj Phullel

Brijesh Raj Phullel

Grade: 12

School: Horizon Gautam Buddha School

City: Butwal

Topic: Miranda

"Miranda, often seemed as frankenstein's monster is orbiting around Uranus, 3.02 billion km away from us. Being a small member of the 27 moons of Uranus, Miranda is the newly discovered one by Gerard P. Kuiper on Feb.16, 1948. What makes it really fascinating to study about, is its geographical structure and its possibility being in hydrostatic equlibrium. After leaving Earth's surface, Voyager 2 met Miranda, giving us its amazing topography in Jan. 1986. As, most of the moons of Uranus are named after the characters of Shakespheare and Pope's play as Ferdinand, Prospero, Juliet, etc. Similarly, Miranda got its name after the daughter of Prospero(antagonist) in play 'The Tempest'.

Artist's view of Voyager 2 at Miranda
​Making Miranda different from other moons is its peak-shaped tectonic features, often known as Coronae. It includes the highest cliff in solar system Verona Rupes(20km high) which is about more than double the height of Everest. Imagine how cool it would be to reach at the top at an gravity of just 0.079m/s2!! With an freezing temperature of -335F, whole region is covered by mantle of ice. Just observing the south pole, Miranda seems so fascinating, what about the uncharred north pole? Tons of mysteries, facts, may be another taller Verona?

Miranda might have got its unique structure by the refreezing of slushy water rising to its surface after meteorite strikes. Also it might be due to tidal heating when It was in 3:1 orbital resonance with Umbriel. Miranda's surface is not as much reflecting than one-third part of the sunlight it receives. So, it doesn't seem much brighter. As, carbon and its compounds are highly efficient for absorption of light, it shows that most of the Miranda's surface contains carbon. It has equal propotion of water ice and silicate rocks. Miranda orbits the closest to Uranus among other moons within a distance of 129,000km resulting it’s orbital period just 34 hours and fulfilling the condition of tidal locking(showing same face to Uranus). It’s orbital inclination is found to be 4.34⁰ which makes it different from other moons.

Having just a mass of 6.4*1019kg and radius of about 235.8km, escape velocity of Miranda is 695km/hr which makes it much easier to lift and land a probe for bright explorations. If I would get a chance to launch a spacecraft, It would surely be Miranda, my first destination. I would like to explore and extract each and every facts of Miranda which are unraveled in it’s North pole. I would perform much researches to figure out most fruitful cause and evidences for the formation of such huge Coronae, the inclination of Miranda on it’s orbit. With it’s smaller size less tremors can be felt in Miranda making us easier to conduct research activities on it’s surface. Having a lot of water and suspected 3% concentration of atmospheric gases with the freezing temperature there are very less chances to discover a new ecosystem but research never gets wasted and study should take it’s own pace."

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