Revisiting a tortured moon where cliffs tower miles above a bizarre surface
On 4 January 1986, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft snapped spectacular pictures of Uranus’ moon Miranda, one of the strangest bodies in the solar system. Three lightly cratered areas of ridges and valleys, known as coronae, are separated from presumably older, heavily cratered regions, giving the surface the appearance of “mismatched patches on a moth-eaten cloth,” according to a description on NASA’s Solar System Exploration website. Giant fault canyons plunge 12 times deeper than the Grand Canyon with sheer cliffs that almost defy imagination. Thanks to the moon’s low gravity, an astronaut stepping off the edge of the highest cliff would have a full 10 minutes to reconsider the wisdom of that final step before hitting the ground below.

Miranda. Image: NASA-JPL Miranda is only about 500 kilometres (310 miles) across and an unlikely candidate for tectonic activity. One possible explanation for the moon’s strange appearance is large meteorite impacts that partially melted subsurface ice, resulting in slushy water rising to the surface and refreezing. Another possibility is that Miranda was broken apart in a catastrophic collision and then reassembled in haphazard fashion.

A close-up look at one of Miranda’s highest cliffs, known as Verona Rupes. Image: NASA-JPL

One thought on “Revisiting a tortured moon where cliffs tower miles above a bizarre surface

  1. for an accurate and mind-bending explanation of what Miranda is all about, view, and see how the geometric markings show intelligent mathematics, also view the pages that show how the Miranda geometric patterns match the patterns seen in the pottery and petroglyphs of the ancient Anasasi and Southwestern Tribes of North America. You will want to view or view this site that the comment is connected to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s