Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day we feature a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

December 24, 1995
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Uranus' Moon Miranda
Credit: NASA, JPL, Voyager 2

Explanation: NASA's robot spacecraft Voyager 2 passed the planet Uranus and its moons in 1986. While the cloud tops of Uranus proved to be rather featureless, the surface of Miranda, the innermost of Uranus' large moons, showed several interesting features. Voyager 2 passed closer to Miranda than to any Solar System body and hence photographed it with the clearest resolution. Miranda's heavily cratered terrain shows grooves like Jupiter's moon Ganymede and several valleys and cliffs. Miranda is made of a roughly equal mix of ice and rock. Miranda was discovered by Gerard Kuiper in 1948.

Tomorrow's picture: Earth Rise

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (GMU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA).
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
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