|Discovered by||William Lassell|
|Discovery date||October 24, 1851|
Average orbital speed
|4.67 km/s (calculated)|
|Inclination||0.128° (to Uranus's equator)|
|584.7±2.8 km (0.092 Earths)|
|4296000 km2 (0.008 Earths)|
|Volume||837300000 km3 (0.0008 Earths)|
|0.25 m/s2 (~ 0.023 g)|
|14.5 (V-band, opposition)|
|zero (presumed to be extremely low)|
Umbriel // is a moon of Uranus discovered on October 24, 1851, by William Lassell. It was discovered at the same time as Ariel and named after a character in Alexander Pope's poem The Rape of the Lock . Umbriel consists mainly of ice with a substantial fraction of rock, and may be differentiated into a rocky core and an icy mantle. The surface is the darkest among Uranian moons, and appears to have been shaped primarily by impacts. However, the presence of canyons suggests early endogenic processes, and the moon may have undergone an early endogenically driven resurfacing event that obliterated its older surface.
Covered by numerous impact craters reaching 210 km (130 mi) in diameter, Umbriel is the second most heavily cratered satellite of Uranus after Oberon. The most prominent surface feature is a ring of bright material on the floor of Wunda crater. This moon, like all moons of Uranus, probably formed from an accretion disk that surrounded the planet just after its formation. The Uranian system has been studied up close only once, by the spacecraft Voyager 2 in January 1986. It took several images of Umbriel, which allowed mapping of about 40% of the moon's surface.
Umbriel, along with another Uranian satellite, Ariel, was discovered by William Lassell on October 24, 1851.Although William Herschel, the discoverer of Titania and Oberon, claimed at the end of the 18th century that he had observed four additional moons of Uranus, his observations were not confirmed and those four objects are now thought to be spurious.
All of Uranus's moons are named after characters created by William Shakespeare or Alexander Pope. The names of all four satellites of Uranus then known were suggested by John Herschel in 1852 at the request of Lassell. II.Umbriel is the "dusky melancholy sprite" in Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock , and the name suggests the Latin umbra , meaning shadow. The moon is also designated Uranus
Umbriel orbits Uranus at the distance of about 266,000 km (165,000 mi), being the third farthest from the planet among its five major moons. Umbriel's orbit has a small eccentricity and is inclined very little relative to the equator of Uranus. Its orbital period is around 4.1 Earth days, coincident with its rotational period. In other words, Umbriel is a synchronous or tidally locked satellite, with one face always pointing toward its parent planet. Umbriel's orbit lies completely inside the Uranian magnetosphere. This is important, because the trailing hemispheres of airless satellites orbiting inside a magnetosphere (like Umbriel) are struck by magnetospheric plasma, which co-rotates with the planet. This bombardment may lead to the darkening of the trailing hemispheres, which is actually observed for all Uranian moons except Oberon (see below). Umbriel also serves as a sink of the magnetospheric charged particles, which creates a pronounced dip in energetic particle count near the moon's orbit as observed by Voyager 2 in 1986.
Because Uranus orbits the Sun almost on its side, and its moons orbit in the planet's equatorial plane, they (including Umbriel) are subject to an extreme seasonal cycle. Both northern and southern poles spend 42 years in complete darkness, and another 42 years in continuous sunlight, with the Sun rising close to the zenith over one of the poles at each solstice.The Voyager 2 flyby coincided with the southern hemisphere's 1986 summer solstice, when nearly the entire northern hemisphere was unilluminated. Once every 42 years, when Uranus has an equinox and its equatorial plane intersects the Earth, mutual occultations of Uranus's moons become possible. In 2007–2008 a number of such events were observed including two occultations of Titania by Umbriel on August 15 and December 8, 2007 as well as of Ariel by Umbriel on August 19, 2007.
Currently Umbriel is not involved in any orbital resonance with other Uranian satellites. Early in its history, however, it may have been in a 1:3 resonance with Miranda. This would have increased Miranda's orbital eccentricity, contributing to the internal heating and geological activity of that moon, while Umbriel's orbit would have been less affected.Due to Uranus's lower oblateness and smaller size relative to its satellites, its moons can escape more easily from a mean motion resonance than those of Jupiter or Saturn. After Miranda escaped from this resonance (through a mechanism that probably resulted in its anomalously high orbital inclination), its eccentricity would have been damped, turning off the heat source.
Umbriel is the third largest and fourth most massive of Uranian moons. g/cm3, which indicates that it mainly consists of water ice, with a dense non-ice component constituting around 40% of its mass. The latter could be made of rock and carbonaceous material including heavy organic compounds known as tholins. The presence of water ice is supported by infrared spectroscopic observations, which have revealed crystalline water ice on the surface of the moon. Water ice absorption bands are stronger on Umbriel's leading hemisphere than on the trailing hemisphere. The cause of this asymmetry is not known, but it may be related to the bombardment by charged particles from the magnetosphere of Uranus, which is stronger on the trailing hemisphere (due to the plasma's co-rotation). The energetic particles tend to sputter water ice, decompose methane trapped in ice as clathrate hydrate and darken other organics, leaving a dark, carbon-rich residue behind.The moon's density is 1.39
Except for water, the only other compound identified on the surface of Umbriel by the infrared spectroscopy is carbon dioxide, which is concentrated mainly on the trailing hemisphere.The origin of the carbon dioxide is not completely clear. It might be produced locally from carbonates or organic materials under the influence of the energetic charged particles coming from the magnetosphere of Uranus or the solar ultraviolet radiation. This hypothesis would explain the asymmetry in its distribution, as the trailing hemisphere is subject to a more intense magnetospheric influence than the leading hemisphere. Another possible source is the outgassing of the primordial CO2 trapped by water ice in Umbriel's interior. The escape of CO2 from the interior may be a result of past geological activity on this moon.
Umbriel may be differentiated into a rocky core surrounded by an icy mantle. km) is about 54% of the radius of the moon, and its mass is around 40% of the moon's mass—the parameters are dictated by the moon's composition. The pressure in the center of Umbriel is about 0.24 GPa (2.4 kbar). The current state of the icy mantle is unclear, although the existence of a subsurface ocean is considered unlikely.If this is the case, the radius of the core (317
Umbriel's surface is the darkest of the Uranian moons, and reflects less than half as much light as Ariel, a sister satellite of similar size.Umbriel has a very low Bond albedo of only about 10% as compared to 23% for Ariel. The reflectivity of the moon's surface decreases from 26% at a phase angle of 0° (geometric albedo) to 19% at an angle of about 1°. This phenomenon is called opposition surge. The surface of Umbriel is slightly blue in color, while fresh bright impact deposits (in Wunda crater, for instance) are even bluer. There may be an asymmetry between the leading and trailing hemispheres; the former appears to be redder than the latter. The reddening of the surfaces probably results from space weathering from bombardment by charged particles and micrometeorites over the age of the Solar System. However, the color asymmetry of Umbriel is likely caused by accretion of a reddish material coming from outer parts of the Uranian system, possibly, from irregular satellites, which would occur predominately on the leading hemisphere. The surface of Umbriel is relatively homogeneous—it does not demonstrate strong variation in either albedo or color.
|Crater||Named after||Coordinates||Diameter (km)|
|Malingee||Malingee (Australian Aboriginal mythology)||164.0|
|Minepa||Minepa (Makua people of Mozambique)||58.0|
|Wokolo||Wokolo (Bambara people of West Africa)||208.0|
|Wunda||Wunda (Australian Aboriginal mythology)||131.0|
Scientists have so far recognized only one class of geological feature on Umbriel—craters. kilometers for the largest known crater, Wokolo. All recognized craters on Umbriel have central peaks, but no crater has rays.The surface of Umbriel has far more and larger craters than do Ariel and Titania. It shows the least geological activity. In fact, among the Uranian moons only Oberon has more impact craters than Umbriel. The observed crater diameters range from a few kilometers at the low end to 210
Near Umbriel's equator lies the most prominent surface feature: Wunda crater, which has a diameter of about 131 km. Wunda has a large ring of bright material on its floor, which may be an impact deposit or a deposit of pure carbon dioxide ice, which formed when the radiolytically formed carbon dioxide migrated from all over the surface of Umriel and then got trapped in relatively cold Wunda. Nearby, seen along the terminator, are the craters Vuver and Skynd, which lack bright rims but possess bright central peaks. Study of limb profiles of Umbriel revealed a possible very large impact feature having the diameter of about 400 km and depth of approximately 5 km.
Much like other moons of Uranus, the surface of Umbriel is cut by a system of canyons trending northeast–southwest.They are not, however, officially recognized due to the poor imaging resolution and generally bland appearance of this moon, which hinders geological mapping.
Umbriel's heavily cratered surface has probably been stable since the Late Heavy Bombardment.The only signs of the ancient internal activity are canyons and dark polygons—dark patches with complex shapes measuring from tens to hundreds of kilometers across. The polygons were identified from precise photometry of Voyager 2's images and are distributed more or less uniformly on the surface of Umbriel, trending northeast–southwest. Some polygons correspond to depressions of a few kilometers deep and may have been created during an early episode of tectonic activity. Currently there is no explanation for why Umbriel is so dark and uniform in appearance. Its surface may be covered by a relatively thin layer of dark material (so called umbral material) excavated by an impact or expelled in an explosive volcanic eruption. Alternatively, Umbriel's crust may be entirely composed of the dark material, which prevented formation of bright features like crater rays. However, the presence of the bright feature within Wunda seems to contradict this hypothesis.
Umbriel is thought to have formed from an accretion disc or subnebula; a disc of gas and dust that either existed around Uranus for some time after its formation or was created by the giant impact that most likely gave Uranus its large obliquity.The precise composition of the subnebula is not known; however, the higher density of Uranian moons compared to the moons of Saturn indicates that it may have been relatively water-poor. Significant amounts of nitrogen and carbon may have been present in the form of carbon monoxide (CO) and molecular nitrogen (N2) instead of ammonia and methane. The moons that formed in such a subnebula would contain less water ice (with CO and N2 trapped as clathrate) and more rock, explaining the higher density.
Umbriel's accretion probably lasted for several thousand years. K was reached at the depth of about 3 km. After the end of formation, the subsurface layer cooled, while the interior of Umbriel heated due to decay of radioactive elements present in its rocks. The cooling near-surface layer contracted, while the interior expanded. This caused strong extensional stresses in the moon's crust, which may have led to cracking. This process probably lasted for about 200 million years, implying that any endogenous activity ceased billions of years ago.The impacts that accompanied accretion caused heating of the moon's outer layer. The maximum temperature of around 180
The initial accretional heating together with continued decay of radioactive elements may have led to melting of the ice K. The ocean, however, is likely to have frozen long ago. Among Uranian moons Umbriel was least subjected to endogenic resurfacing processes, although it may like other Uranian moons have experienced a very early resurfacing event.if an antifreeze like ammonia (in the form of ammonia hydrate) or some salt was present. The melting may have led to the separation of ice from rocks and formation of a rocky core surrounded by an icy mantle. A layer of liquid water (ocean) rich in dissolved ammonia may have formed at the core–mantle boundary. The eutectic temperature of this mixture is 176
So far the only close-up images of Umbriel have been from the Voyager 2 probe, which photographed the moon during its flyby of Uranus in January 1986. Since the closest distance between Voyager 2 and Umbriel was 325,000 km (202,000 mi), the best images of this moon have a spatial resolution of about 5.2 km. The images cover about 40% of the surface, but only 20% was photographed with the quality required for geological mapping. At the time of the flyby the southern hemisphere of Umbriel (like those of the other moons) was pointed towards the Sun, so the northern (dark) hemisphere could not be studied. No other spacecraft has ever visited Uranus or its moons.
Miranda, also designated Uranus V, is the smallest and innermost of Uranus's five round satellites. It was discovered by Gerard Kuiper on 16 February 1948 at McDonald Observatory in Texas, and named after Miranda from William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Like the other large moons of Uranus, Miranda orbits close to its planet's equatorial plane. Because Uranus orbits the Sun on its side, Miranda's orbit is perpendicular to the ecliptic and shares Uranus' extreme seasonal cycle.
Triton is the largest natural satellite of the planet Neptune, and was the first Neptunian moon to be discovered, on October 10, 1846, by English astronomer William Lassell. It is the only large moon in the Solar System with a retrograde orbit, an orbit in the direction opposite to its planet's rotation. Because of its retrograde orbit and composition similar to Pluto, Triton is thought to have been a dwarf planet, captured from the Kuiper belt.
Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. Its name is a reference to the Greek god of the sky, Uranus, who, according to Greek mythology, was the great-grandfather of Ares (Mars), grandfather of Zeus (Jupiter) and father of Cronus (Saturn). It has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in the Solar System. Uranus is similar in composition to Neptune, and both have bulk chemical compositions which differ from that of the larger gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. For this reason, scientists often classify Uranus and Neptune as "ice giants" to distinguish them from the other giant planets. Uranus's atmosphere is similar to Jupiter's and Saturn's in its primary composition of hydrogen and helium, but it contains more "ices" such as water, ammonia, and methane, along with traces of other hydrocarbons. It has the coldest planetary atmosphere in the Solar System, with a minimum temperature of 49 K, and has a complex, layered cloud structure with water thought to make up the lowest clouds and methane the uppermost layer of clouds. The interior of Uranus is mainly composed of ices and rock.
Puck is an inner moon of Uranus. It was discovered in December 1985 by the Voyager 2 spacecraft. The name Puck follows the convention of naming Uranus's moons after characters from Shakespeare. The orbit of Puck lies between the rings of Uranus and the first of Uranus's large moons, Miranda. Puck is approximately spherical in shape and has diameter of about 162 km. It has a dark, heavily cratered surface, which shows spectral signs of water ice.
Rhea is the second-largest moon of Saturn and the ninth-largest moon in the Solar System. It is the smallest body in the Solar System for which precise measurements have confirmed a shape consistent with hydrostatic equilibrium. It was discovered in 1672 by Giovanni Domenico Cassini.
Oberon, also designated Uranus IV, is the outermost major moon of the planet Uranus. It is the second-largest and second most massive of the Uranian moons, and the ninth most massive moon in the Solar System. Discovered by William Herschel in 1787, Oberon is named after the mythical king of the fairies who appears as a character in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Its orbit lies partially outside Uranus's magnetosphere.
Cressida is an inner satellite of Uranus. It was discovered from the images taken by Voyager 2 on 9 January 1986, and was given the temporary designation S/1986 U 3. It was named after Cressida, the Trojan daughter of Calchas, a tragic heroine who appears in William Shakespeare's play Troilus and Cressida. It is also designated Uranus IX.
Desdemona is an inner satellite of Uranus. It was discovered from the images taken by Voyager 2 on 13 January 1986, and was given the temporary designation S/1986 U 6. Desdemona is named after the wife of Othello in William Shakespeare's play Othello. It is also designated Uranus X.
Juliet is an inner satellite of Uranus. It was discovered from the images taken by Voyager 2 on 3 January 1986, and was given the temporary designation S/1986 U 2. It is named after the heroine of William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It is also designated Uranus XI.
Belinda is an inner satellite of the planet Uranus. Belinda was discovered from the images taken by Voyager 2 on 13 January 1986 and was given the temporary designation S/1986 U 5. It is named after the heroine of Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock. It is also designated Uranus XIV.
Titania, also designated Uranus III, is the largest of the moons of Uranus and the eighth largest moon in the Solar System at a diameter of 1,578 kilometres (981 mi). Discovered by William Herschel in 1787, it is named after the queen of the fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Its orbit lies inside Uranus's magnetosphere.
Ariel is the fourth-largest of the 27 known moons of Uranus. Ariel orbits and rotates in the equatorial plane of Uranus, which is almost perpendicular to the orbit of Uranus and so has an extreme seasonal cycle.
Portia is an inner satellite of Uranus. It was discovered from the images taken by Voyager 2 on 3 January 1986, and was given the temporary designation S/1986 U 1. The moon is named after Portia, the heroine of William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice. It is also designated Uranus XII.
Wunda is a large crater on the surface of Uranus' moon Umbriel. It is 131 km in diameter and is located near the equator of Umbriel. The crater is named after Wunda, a dark spirit of Australian aboriginal mythology.
Uranus, the seventh planet of the Solar System, has 27 known moons, most of which are named after characters that appear in, or are mentioned in, the works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Uranus's moons are divided into three groups: thirteen inner moons, five major moons, and nine irregular moons. The inner and major moons all have prograde orbits, while orbits of the irregulars are mostly retrograde. The inner moons are small dark bodies that share common properties and origins with Uranus's rings. The five major moons are ellipsoidal, indicating that they reached hydrostatic equilibrium at some point in their past, and four of them show signs of internally driven processes such as canyon formation and volcanism on their surfaces. The largest of these five, Titania, is 1,578 km in diameter and the eighth-largest moon in the Solar System, about one-twentieth the mass of the Earth's Moon. The orbits of the regular moons are nearly coplanar with Uranus's equator, which is tilted 97.77° to its orbit. Uranus's irregular moons have elliptical and strongly inclined orbits at large distances from the planet.
The exploration of Uranus has, to date, been through telescopes and a lone probe by NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft, which made its closest approach to Uranus on January 24, 1986. Voyager 2 discovered 10 moons, studied the planet's cold atmosphere, and examined its ring system, discovering two new rings. It also imaged Uranus' five large moons, revealing that their surfaces are covered with impact craters and canyons.
Mommur Chasma is the largest 'canyon' on the known part of the surface of Uranus' moon Oberon. This feature probably formed during crustal extension at the early stages of moon's evolution, when the interior of Oberon expanded and its ice crust cracked as a result. The canyon is an example of graben or scarp produced by normal fault(s). The chasma was first imaged by Voyager 2 spacecraft in January 1986.
The Messina Chasmata are the largest canyon or system of canyons on the surface of the Uranian moon Titania, named after a location in William Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing. The 1,492 km (927 mi)- long feature includes two normal faults running NW–SE, which bound a down-dropped crustal block forming a structure called a graben. The graben cuts impact craters, which probably means that it was formed at a relatively late stage of the moon's evolution, when the interior of Titania expanded and its ice crust cracked as a result. The Messina Chasmata have only a few superimposed craters, which also implies being relatively young. The feature was first imaged by Voyager 2 in January 1986.
Rousillon Rupes is a scarp on the surface of the Uranian moon Titania named after "Bertram, count of Rousillon" in William Shakespeare's comedy All's Well That Ends Well. The 402 km long feature is a normal fault situated near the equator and running perpendicular to it. The scarp cuts impact craters, which probably means that it was formed at a relatively late stage of moon's evolution, when the interior of Titania expanded and its ice crust cracked as a result. Rousillon Rupes has only few crater superimposed on it, which also implies its relatively young age. The scarp was first imaged by Voyager 2 spacecraft in January 1986.
The Kachina Chasmata are the longest canyon or system of canyons on the surface of the Uranian moon Ariel. The name comes from a spirit in Hopi mythology. The 622 km long and 50 km wide chasmata arise from a system of normal faults running from the north-west to south-east. The faults bound down-dropped crustal blocks forming structures called graben. The canyons cut the cratered terrain, which means that they were formed at a relatively late stage of the moon's evolution, when the interior of Ariel expanded and its ice crust cracked as a result. The floor of the canyons is not visible on the images obtained by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in January 1986; thus, whether it is covered by smooth plains like the floors of other Arielian graben is currently unknown.
Umbriel crater Skynd.
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