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The moon Ariel belongs to the planet Uranus.

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Ariel is a moon of Uranus. Ariel was discovered on 24 October 1851 by William Lassell. Ariel was discovered at the same time as Umbriel.

Name of the moon Ariel.

Ariel Uranus Moon.
Ariel Uranus Moon.
Ariel moon.
Discovery of Ariel Moon.
Discovered by William Lassell
Discovered in October 24, 1851
Orbital characteristics of Ariel Moon.
Semi-major axis 191,020 km
Mean radius 190,900 km
eccentricity 0.0012
Orbital period 2.520 d
inclination 0.260º (to Uranus' equator)
Satellite of Uranus
Physical characteristics of Ariel Moon.
Mean diameter 1157.8 km
(1162.2×1155.8×1155.4 km)

(0.0908 Earths)

Surface area 4,211,300 km˛
Volume 812,600,000 km3
mass 1.35×1021 kg

(2.26×10-4 Earths)

Mean density 1.67 g/cm3
Surface gravity 0.27 m/s2
escape velocity 0.56 km/s
rotation period synchronous
axial tilt º
Albedo 0.39
Surface temperature of Ariel Moon.
 ? K ~58 K  ? K
Atmospheric pressure 0 kPa

Ariel is named after the leading sylph in Alexander Pope's poem Rape of the Lock. Ariel is also the name of the spirit who serves Prospero in Shakespeare's Tempest.

The name "Ariel" and the names of all four satellites of Uranus then known were suggested by John Herschel in 1852 at the request of Lassell. Lassell had earlier endorsed Herschel's 1847 naming scheme for the seven then-known satellites of Saturn and had named his newly-discovered eighth satellite Hyperion in accordance with Herschel's naming scheme in 1848.

Ariel is also designated Uranus I.

Physical characteristics of Ariel: List of geological features on Ariel.

The first and so far only close-up observations of Ariel were made by the Voyager 2 probe during its 1986 Uranus fly-by. Voyager 2 made its closest approach of Ariel on January 24, 1986 and passed within 127,000 km of the moon. Because the moon's south pole was pointed towards the Sun, only the southern hemisphere was photographed.

Ariel's composition is roughly 70% ices (water ice, carbon dioxide ice, and possibly methane ices) and 30% silicate rock, and it appears to have regions of fresh frost in places, particularly in the ejecta radiating from young impact craters. The oldest and most extensive geologic unit observed on Ariel by Voyager 2 was a vast area of cratered plains centered near Ariel's south pole. Analysis of craters seen on Ariel's cratered plains suggest most are younger than many of those seen on Titania, Oberon, and Umbriel. The largest crater observed on Ariel is Yangoor, at only 78 km across, and shows signs of deformation since its formation. Voyager 2 also observed a network of faults, canyons, and icy outflows running along Ariel's mid-southern latitudes, breaking up the cratered plains region. Smooth material and grooves are often seen running down length of Ariel's valley networks, suggested that some canyon floors have been covered in warm ice extruded from Ariel's interior.

Official names have been given to the following geological feature types on Ariel:

  • Craters.
  • Chasmata (chasms).
  • Valles (valleys).

Further reading about the solar system.
The Sun · Mercury · Venus · Earth · Mars · Ceres · Jupiter · Saturn · Uranus · Neptune · Pluto · Eris
Planets · Dwarf planets · Moons: Terran · Martian · Asteroidal · Jovian · Saturnian · Uranian · Neptunian · Plutonian · Eridian
Small bodies:   Meteorites · Asteroids (Asteroid belt) · Centaurs · TNOs (Kuiper belt/Scattered disc) · Comets (Oort cloud)
Solar system related pages. astronomical objects and the solar system's list of solar system objects.

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