Aubrey Ellis and David Rowan

Aubrey Ellis and David Rowan

Grade: 5

School: Waterford Township School District

Teacher: Debra Parker

City: Waterford, New Jersey

Topic: Miranda


Why We Should Take a Closer Look at Miranda

"We think we should research the moon Miranda because it is a moon like no other. This moon’s rocky, patchwork-like looking surface can explain that alone. Yet, you shouldn’t judge Miranda by its surface, as there’s still more about it that makes it unique to our solar system, because it also has low gravity, low valleys, and high mountains; which is unusual for our place in space. Read until the end; as you will do; and you will know why we should study Miranda.

The moon Miranda has many cool features like the “coronae”. The coronae is unique among objects in our Solar System. The effects of coronae are ridges and valleys that are deeper than the Grand Canyon. If a moon has coronae, it means that it would have huge valley’s; which would then cause it to have a patchy appearance. If we look at the other side of Miranda, we might be able to see one or two of the following; more types of coronae, or clues on how it might have formed on the moon.

Artist's view of Voyager 2 at Miranda
​Another thing that gives this moon an important reason to research on is that it has low gravity, high mountains, and low valleys. If you threw a rock off of the deepest valley, which is roughly eleven miles deep, it would take ten minutes for the rock to hit the surface due to the low gravity also in play. Needless to say, if there was a rock cycle, it would work very differently. Would the rocks split? Where would they end up after? How would they reform in such a cold environment with such little gravity? The point is, these questions can help us find a new type of rock cycle, and could help us understand new moons and planets in the long run, if we sent up a spacecraft to look.

Finally, Miranda is a good moon to research on because scientists disagree on why Miranda has these features. Some believe that it was smashed apart in a colossal collision, but others believe that the coronae partially melted the icy subsurface and resulted in a episodic period of slushy water rising to her surface and refreezing. If we research Miranda we can find the truth about her very unique surface and if the other side of the moon had an effect on it. Could Miranda’s unknown side shed some light on the answer? We could know if we took a closer look.

As you can see, Miranda is a very unique moon and there can be so much more to find out about it. This makes Miranda a good choice to study on. Nonetheless, Miranda's “coronae”, low gravity and valleys, and its rare place in our solar system is why Miranda is so exclusive."

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