Luca Mintici and Paul Oprea

Luca Mintici and Paul Oprea

School: Gymnasium School No. 97

City: Bucharest

Topic: Miranda

Miranda-The Broken Planet

"After carefully studying the three suggested satellites, we’ve decided to select Miranda, moon of Uranus and target 1, for further studying of its unnatural geological activity and its almost Frankenstein-like surface made up of different patches of rocks. Other than its weird geological activity, another interesting characteristic of Miranda is its hydrostatic equilibrium (which allows the forming of atmospheres and the spherical shape of planets) despite its small size, making it the smallest closely observed object in the Solar System to have hydrostatic equilibrium.

Artist's rendering of Voyager 2 and Miranda
We believe that Miranda is one of the best targets for further researching due to its geology, which could lead to multiple advancements in either potential habitation of different planets, the discovery of a potential unknown factor in the formation of planets or even more information on the early Solar System. Miranda is one of the few moons that are worth studying further or even settling on just for research and new discoveries, although the satellite does have a very low gravity (0.079 m/s2) which would make long term habitation very hard alongside the deadly cosmic radiation, so sending probes would be more efficient for research and observation. The most interesting part of the survey would be the interior composition of the moon and investigating its differentiation of layers, almost like the Earth’s layers. Target 1 also presents 3 coronae which are large oval-shaped features on the moon’s surface which are usually caused by upwellings of warm material below the surface (coronae are also present on Venus).

The only information currently available on this peculiar moon of Uranus is given to us thanks to the Voyager 2 probe, which also provided some unique information: the presence of the tallest cliff in the Solar System, Verona Rupes, which is 20 km (12 miles) high and the presence of multiple crater sites suggesting that Miranda’s surface is old but with a few large craters suggesting a major resurfacing event in its past.

We believe that Miranda is a worthy target for further investigating, not only due to its scientific potential but also due to its industrial potential since, in its interior, it has reserves of ethanol, silica, potential clathrate, a water ammonia lava-like mixture and other organic compounds which could serve as substitutes for the limited natural resources of Earth, and not to mention the core made of different types of rocks which haven’t, as of yet, been documented.

In conclusion, Miranda (target 1) is an underrated and often glossed over satellite which presents fascinating characteristics and geological and scientific mysteries waiting to be discovered, alongside some niche resources inside the crust, with the moon having terrain that seems to almost be a natural catastrophe, but also very remarkable in its uniqueness."

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