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Mar 5, 2010

Uranus, The Planet of Many Moons

Did you know...
Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, has many moons, as much as 27 that we know of.
Uranus, the only planet whose name is derived from a figure from Greek mythology rather than from Roman mythology:
The name Uranus means "small light" and refers to the pale light emitted by the planet as seen from Earth. It takes Uranus 84 (Earth) years to revolve around the Sun. Uranus has 27 known natural moons. All of these moons have names chosen from characters from the works of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. The five main moons are named
Miranda,no not the warning to criminal suspects in police custody but from a character in the play "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare
Ariel,also a character from the play "The Tempest" by Shakespeare who was a lively sprite in attendance on Prospero and from "The Rape of the Lock" by Alexander Pope
Umbriel,who was a moody spirit in poet Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock"
Titania, The Queen of the Fairies and wife of Oberon in Shakespeare's Midsummer-Night's Dream
Oberon from the legendary king of the fairies in medieval and Renaissance literature. He is best known as a character in William Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, written in the mid-1590s, in which he is Consort to Titania, Queen of the Fairies.

The moons Titania and Oberon were spotted by Sir William Herschel on January 11, 1787, six years after he had discovered the planet itself. The other spherical moons, Ariel and Umbriel were discovered in 1851 by William Lassell and in 1948 Gerard Kuiper discovered Miranda. The remaining moons were discovered in 1985 and after, either during the Voyager 2 flyby mission or with the aid of advanced Earth-based telescopes.

The 27 moons of Uranus, When discovered, by whom/what

Cordelia 1986 Voyager 2
Ophelia 1986 Voyager 2
Bianca 1986 Voyager 2
Cressida 1986 Voyager 2
Desdemona 1986 Voyager 2
Juliet 1986 Voyager 2
Portia 1986 Voyager 2
Rosalind 1986 Voyager 2
Cupid 2003 Showalter and Lissauer
Belinda 1986 Voyager 2
Perdita 1999 Voyager 2
Puck 1985 Voyager 2
Mab 2003 Showalter and Lissauer
Miranda 1948 Kuiper
Ariel 1851 Lassell
Umbriel 1851 Lassell
Titania 1787 Herschel
Oberon 1787 Herschel
Francisco 2003 Holman et al.Detected in 2001, published in 2003.
Caliban 1997 Gladman et al.
Stephano 1999 Gladman et al.
Trinculo 2001 Holman et al.
Sycorax 1997 Nicholson et al.
Margaret 2003 Sheppard and Jewitt
Prospero 1999 Holman et al.
Setebos 1999 Kavelaars et al.
Ferdinand 2003 Holman et al.Detected in 2001, published in 2003.

The Rape of the Lock (a poem by Alexander Pope) and the names of the moons of Uranus which derived from this poem :
Ariel, Umbriel, Belinda

The Plays by William Shakespeare from which most of the moons of Uranus derived their names:
o A Midsummer Night's Dream: Titania, Oberon, Puck
o The Tempest: (Ariel), Miranda, Caliban, Sycorax, Prospero, Setebos, Stephano, Trinculo, Francisco, Ferdinand
o King Lear: Cordelia
o Hamlet: Ophelia
o The Taming of the Shrew: Bianca
o Troilus and Cressida: Cressida
o Othello: Desdemona
o Romeo and Juliet: Juliet, Mab
o The Merchant of Venice: Portia
o As You Like It: Rosalind
o Much Ado About Nothing: Margaret
o The Winter's Tale: Perdita
o Timon of Athens: Cupid


10000 memories said...

quiet educational. I didn't know :)

http://hyesung000.blogspot.com/ said...
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