Julian Nakalema

Julian Nakalema

Grade: 10

School: Ariwa Secondary School

Teacher: Atim Zainab

City: Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement

Topic: Miranda

"Miranda is one of the 5 major moons of Uranus and is the smallest and innermost of the planets’ major moons. Miranda is believed to have formed around 4.5 billion years ago right after the formation of its parent planet and it was discovered on 16th February, 1948 by Gerard Kuiper.

Artist's view of Voyager 2 at Miranda
​Miranda orbits around Uranus about 1.4 earth days and it orbits at a speed of 4.1 miles per second or 6.6 km/s and a total volume of 13,155,616 cubic miles. Miranda was named after the daughter of the magician Prospero in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.

The following are the reasons why I want to explore Miranda;

First of all, the origin and evolution of this varied geology, the most of any Urania satellite are not fully understood and multiple hypothesis exist regarding Miranda’s evolution.

Miranda’s orbital inclination is unusually high for a body so close to its planet and roughly ten times that of other major Urania satellites. The reason for this is still uncertain so I would like to explore Miranda in order to discover the reason why Miranda’s orbital inclination is unusually high for a body close to its planet.

In 2017, as part of Planetary Science Decadal Survey, NASA evaluated the possibility of an orbiter to return to Uranus, Miranda was the preferred destination over Neptune due to its favorable planetary alignments meaning a short flight. So I want to explore Miranda than exploring Triton because of the short distance.

Miranda apparent magnitude is +16.6 making it invisible to many telescopes. Virtually all the known information regarding its geology and geography was obtained during flyby on Uranus made by Voyage 2 on 25th January,1986. Of all moons, Miranda had the most visible surface.

Miranda is the most interesting and has ice canyons, terraces and many strange looking surface features, so I would like to explore Miranda in order to discover more interesting things.

Miranda is where the largest cliff in the solar system is. It is called Verona Rupes and its over 12 miles above the surface. The low gravity on Miranda means that a person jumping off Verona rupes would take about 10 minutes to hit the ground and Miranda obtained its round shape form its own gravity. In this I would like to have a look at the largest cliff in the solar system.

The moons occasionally pass through secondary resonances which at some point in the past, led to Miranda being locked for a time into a 3:1 resonance with Umbriel before chaotic behavior induced by the secondary resonances move out of it again."

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