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February 12, 2018 - Inside-Out Miranda

Inside-Out Miranda   Scarred by giant faults and steep canyons far too large and deep for such a small body, Miranda, the fifth largest moon of Uranus, was discovered seventy years ago this week by Gerard Kuiper. It wasn’t until 1986, when Voyager 2 swung past Uranus on its way to Neptune, that astronomers on Earth got a close view of this geologically tortured world. Miranda’s odd surface hints at a complicated past: heavily cratered rolling plains lie next to grooved and ridged terrain; canyons as deep as 20 km (12 mi) scar the tiny moon, which is only 470 km (293 mi) in diameter; and some of Miranda’s surface appears to be its churned-out interior, frozen solid before it had a chance to reform into a more “normal” body. Voyager 2 took this mosaic of Miranda during its 1986 flyby.

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Weekly Calendar

February 12-18, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 12

1963: NASA selects contractor to build the Crawler Transporter
1974: Mars 5 enters orbit around Mars
2001: NEAR-Shoemaker lands on asteroid Eros

Moon phase Tuesday 13

1852: Johan Dreyer born
1937Sigmund Jähn born, first German to fly in space

Moon phase Wednesday 14

Valentine’s Day

Juno in conjunction with Sun

1972: Luna 20 launched
1980: Solar Max launched
1990: Voyager 1 takes solar system "family portrait"
2000: NEAR-Shoemaker orbits asteroid Eros

Moon phase Thursday 15

New Moon 4:05 PM ET
Partial solar eclipse (Antarctica, S. Amer.)

1564: Galileo Galilei born
1973: Pioneer 10 becomes first spacecraft to pass through the asteroid belt
2013Meteor explodes over Chelyabinsk, Russia injuring 1,500 people

Moon phase Friday 16

Chinese New Year

1948: Gerard Kuiper discovers Miranda, moon of Uranus
1965: Saturn SA-9 launched

Moon phase Saturday 17

Mercury in superior conjunction

1959: Vanguard 2 launched
1965: Ranger 8 launched
1996: NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft launched
2007: THEMIS spacecraft launched
2009Dawn spacecraft flies by Mars

Moon phase Sunday 18

1930: Pluto discovered by Clyde Tombaugh
1970: HL-10 sets lifting body speed record
1977: First captive flight of space shuttle Enterprise

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.