(ORDO NEWS) — Ariel is the fourth largest of the 27 known moons of Uranus and was discovered by British astronomer William Lassell on October 24, 1851.
The image (above), which is the best color image of Ariel to date, shows a very heterogeneous terrain, which can be roughly divided into three types: rugged, relief terrain and plain.
The image showing Ariel’s southern hemisphere is stitched together from several images taken by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft on January 24, 1986, from a distance of 170,000 kilometers from the satellite’s surface. Voyager 2 used green, blue, and purple narrow-angle camera filters; the resolution is about three kilometers per pixel.
Amazing satellite of Uranus
Most of the visible surface is represented by a relatively intensely cracked terrain, intersected by fault ledges and areas that are lowered relative to the surrounding terrain (grabens). Some of the largest valleys seen near the Terminator (right) are partially filled with younger sediments with fewer craters.
Light spots near the limb and on the left are mainly the edges of small craters. Most of the bright-edged craters are too small to be visible in this image, although one, about 30 kilometers in diameter, flaunts near the center of the image (image below). It is worth noting that the bright-edged craters are the youngest craters on Ariel.
Although Ariel is only about 1200 kilometers in diameter, in the distant past, the satellite clearly experienced powerful geological activity.
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