Found traces of the collapse of the rings of Uranus on the satellite Miranda

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists at the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute in California have determined the likely origin of Miranda’s regolith deposits, which could have been caused by part of Uranus’ rings collapsing onto the moon‘s surface.

The results of the study, will help planetary scientists determine the internal structure of Miranda and understand whether it has an internal ocean.

Astronomers analyzed the craters to determine the thickness of Miranda’s surface regolith. Regolith is loose soil resulting from space weathering of rocks exposed to meteorite impacts and radiation.

Due to Miranda’s small size, it is unlikely that a subsurface ocean could exist on it for a long time, but a thick layer of regolith could trap the internal heat of the satellite and extend the life of the ocean.

The researchers identified three potential sources that could provide the moon with enough regolith: giant impact ejecta, plume deposits, and material from Uranus’ rings.

The data indicate that the most plausible hypothesis is the fall of matter from the rings of Uranus due to the blue hue of the satellite and the large spatial extent of the regolith on its surface.

If this hypothesis is confirmed, then Miranda could have formed from the material of the rings or migrated through them in the early stages of its existence.

A thick layer of regolith could contribute to an increase in geological activity and the formation of crowns – geological features in the form of wide polygonal rings or ovals.

The crowns are thought to have formed as a result of diapirs, when the underlying material is pressed into the denser overlying rocks along faults or zones of structural instability.

However, further research is needed, as scientists could not completely rule out other scenarios for the formation of a thick layer of regolith.

One or more collisions with giant objects could also reproduce the observed pattern.


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