Universe Guide

Ariel, Moon of Uranus

Ariel is a Moon that orbits round the planet Uranus. Its mass is estimated/calculated at being 1,294,849,526,195,970,000,000 kg. Its density has been calculated at being 1.592. Its volume is 812641988.

The orbital period, i.e. the period it takes to complete an orbit round Uranus is 2.52038 days. The figure is also known as the sidereel period. The figure comes from N.A.S.A..

The Equatorial Radius of the object is 579km. The value is the radius in km of the said object at the Equator.

The Escape Velocity of the object is 1,967 km/h. The Escape Velocity is the speed an object needs to be travelling in order to break free from the objects gravity. The larger an object is, the more velocity (speed) is needed to break free from the object.The Semi-Major Axis of the orbit is 190.9, which is the furthest point from the centre to the edge of an elliptical point.

The equatorial circumference of Ariel is 3637.3 km. The surface area of Ariel is 4,211,307.59. The surface gravity of the said item is 0.258. The Mean orbit velocity, that is the speed at which it orbits is 19832.30 km/h. The is the average distance in km of the object is from its parent 190900.00.

The orbital inclination, the angle at which Ariel orbits in relation to the orbital plane is 0.04 degrees. The orbital eccentricity is 0.0012, it is the degree at which Ariel orbits close to a circular (0) orbit as opposed to an elliptical (1) orbit.

Ariel is the fourth largest moon that orbits Uranus. It is possible to see the moon from Earth but you do need at least a 12 inch aperture telescope and a very dark sky so good luck in looking for it. Nine planets

Ariel is believed to be composed of both half-water ice and half rocky material. Although has the same composition as Rhea, it has a slightly larger amount of rock. It has a large number of valleys that you can see from the image below that criss-cross the moons surface. The canyons are believed to have been caused by liquid running over them. The liquid would not have been water but more likely amonia, methane or carbon monoxide. Seasky

The surface of Ariel is believed to be young, not much in the way of asteroid or meteorite impact craters. The larger impact craters are believed to have been wiped out by more recent impact craters. The surface is the brightest of the largest Uranian moons but it is still a dimmly lit moon, returning only a third of the sunlight that is believed to hit the moon. The moon is tidally locked with the planet as it keeps the same face to Uranus like what the Moon does to the Earth. NASA

How Ariel got its Name

Despite where you might have heard the name Ariel before, it is not from Disney nor from Hans Christian Andersen's the Little Mermaid. Ariel is a character in both William Shakespeare play "The Tempest" and a character in Alexander Popes "Rape of the Lock". the moon was named by William Lassell, a British Astronomer who named it.

Whilst most astronomical bodies are named after deitys mainly Ancient Greeks and Romans, Uranus ones are named after William Shakespeare characters. The naming rule came in later after the moons name got accepted. Ariel was a spirit who served the main character Prospero in the play. In Rape of the Lock, Ariel is the leading spirit in the story. Rape in the context of the play is not in the same context as it used to day to mean a criminal offence but one that means to snatch, take.

The name Ariel can be traced back to biblical times and appears in the Old Testament in Isiah 29:1 "Woe to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelled! add you year to year; let them kill sacrifices."

Image of the Uranus moon of Ariel

Image of the Uranus moon of Ariel

Ariel Facts

Mass (kg)1,294,849,526,195,970,000,000
Density (g/cm^3)1.592
Volume (km^3)812641988
Orbital DirectionPrograde, same as the parents direction
Date of Discovery24 October 1851
Orbital Period (days)2.52038
Equatorial Radius (km)579
Escape Velocity (km/h)1,967
Semi-Major Axis (10^3 km)190.9
Equatorial Circumference (km)3637.3
Surface Area (km^2)4,211,307.59
Surface Gravity (m/s^2)0.258
Mean Orbit Velocity (km/h)19832.30
Average Orbit Distance (km)190900.00
Orbital Inclination (degrees)0.04
Orbital Eccentricity0.0012

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