Priyanshi Singh

Priyanshi Singh

Grade: 8

School: Sophia Girls’ School

City: Meerut

Topic: Ariel

A blue-appearing ice giant in outer Solar System named "Uranus" is one of the most alluring and peculiar planets grabbing the attention of scientists and enthusiasts. Its satellites are equally mysterious, being the moons by which no probe other than the "Voyager 2" has passed till date.

The fourth largest moon of Uranus, "Ariel", is a satellite worth investigation. All we know about Ariel is just 40% of its surface mainly based on the images provided by Voyager 2 in 1986.


Its surface is composed of water ice and rocky material, like other Uranian moons, still it has characteristics which no other moon possesses. For instance, it manifests signs of the most recent geologic activities happening underneath its surface making it the youngest Uranian moon but the reason is still unknown.

It contains carbonaceous substances - CO2, CH4, etc. along with tholins which are one of the factors for life existence. It also holds water in frozen form. With the presence of organic substances and water, there might be conditions that support frigid life! But there isn't any proof till now.

One of the most abundant compounds on Ariel is CO2. The scientists are not sure of its origin, deepening its mystery.

Thought it has abundance of CO2 (a sunlight-absorbing gas), it owns the most reflective surface and this sparks lots of questions about its mysterious surface. The reason which causes its surface to reflect heat even after presence of such substances is still to be recognized. It holds another unanswered question - "the blue spots", which in no way have evidence of origin, but are present.

There is so much to investigate about Ariel. Its conundrums are so fascinating which when solved can reveal so much about Universe, hence a probe should be aimed at it.

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