Wikijunior:Solar System/Uranus/Ariel

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Ariel as seen by Voyager 2

Ariel is a moon of Uranus. The first and only observations of Ariel were made by Voyager 2 during its January 1986 flyby of Uranus. Only the Southern hemisphere was photographed, since the moon's south pole was pointed towards the Sun.

How big is Ariel?[edit]

Ariel is about 1157.8 km wide.

What is its surface like?[edit]

The surface of Ariel does not have many craters. It has a huge network of fault canyons and liquid water outflows over its surface.

How long is a day on Ariel?[edit]

One day on Ariel is equal to 2.52 days on Earth.

How long is its orbit around Uranus?[edit]

One Orbit around Uranus is also equal to 2.52 days.

What is it made of?[edit]

Ariel is made of roughly 50% water ice, 30% silicate rock, and 20% methane ice, and it appears to have regions of fresh frost in places.

How much would Ariel's gravity pull on me?[edit]

Newtons describe how hard gravity is pulling you down. On Earth, if you weigh 51 kilograms or 112 pounds, your weight is 500 newtons. We only use newtons for some special purposes, when we are really interested in how hard we push down on something because gravity is pulling us.

Your weight in newtons would be less on Ariel, only about 0.27 times what it is on Earth. To find your weight in newtons as you stand on Ariel, just take your weight on Earth, and if that weight is in kilograms, multiply it by 2.65. If that weight is in pounds, multiply it by 1.2 to get newtons. But then you'll have to add in the weight of your spacesuit as well, because that is pressing down on the surface just like you are.

Who is it named after?[edit]

Ariel is named after a sylph, a creature made of air, in Alexander Pope's poem Rape of the Lock.

How was it discovered?[edit]

Ariel was discovered on October 24, 1851 by William Lassell. He also discovered Umbriel at the same time.