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Solar System Exploration
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Mab: Overview
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Mab is a small, inner moon of Uranus. It orbits at the same distance as one of the planet's rings, the Mu ring, and in fact may provide dust for that ring when the moon is struck by small meteoroids or ring particles. Because of its small size and dark color, it was overlooked in the Voyager 2 images until after it was spotted with a ground-based telescope in 2003.

Discovery:
Mab was discovered on 25 August 2003 by Mark R. Showalter and Jack J. Lissauer, using the Hubble Space Telescope.

How Mab Got its Name:
Moons of Uranus are named for characters in Shakespeare's plays and from Alexander Pope's "Rape of the Lock."

Mab is queen of the fairies in English folklore. She is mentioned in a speech given in William Shakespeare's play, "Romeo and Juliet," so the name is at least somewhat in keeping with the practice of naming most Uranian moons after characters in Shakespeare's plays. The original designation for this moon was S/2003 U1.

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Last Updated: 12 Aug 2013