Finding Uranus Moons Is A Titania Achievement 

Uranus' moons are for the most part rather small.

There are 27 natural satellites orbiting the planet but only five are worth trying to find for the backyard stargazer.

Uranus itself is so far away from Earth that its peak brightness is only about 6th magnitude. Barely visible to the naked eye under very dark skies.

So naturally its tiny moons are virtually impossible to find in amateur telescopes.

Although larger high-end scopes can bring them into sight.

These moons made of ice and rock are, combined, less than half the mass of Triton the largest satellite of Neptune.

Titania the largest of the five is less than half the size of the Moon.

In order from the planet are:

The names of the first four to be discovered were suggested by John Herschel in 1852(Miranda wasn't discovered until 1948)


Uranus' moon Miranda

Apparent Magnitude: 15.8

Orbit Time: 33.5 hours

Discovered: 2/16/1948 by Gerard Kuiper

Miranda is the smallest of the five major Uranian moons and closest to the planet.


Uranus' moon Ariel

Apparent Magnitude: 14.4

Orbit Time: 2.5 days

Discovered: 10/24/1851 by William Lassell

Miranda is second from the planet and is one of the Solar System's smaller moons. Of the 19 natural satellites that are spherical in shape, Miranda is 14th in diameter.

Discovered on the same day as Umbriel.


Uranus' moon Umbriel

Apparent Magnitude: 14.5

Orbit Time: 4 days

Discovered: 10/24/1851 by William Lassell

Lassell discovered Umbriel and Ariel the same night.

Consisting mainly of ice with a rocky core and an ice mantle Umbriel was subjected to much cratering from impacts and has the darkest surface of the five major moons.


Uranus' moon Titania

Apparent Magnitude: 13.9

Orbit Time: 8 days 17 hours

Discovered: 1/11/1787 by William Herschel

Fourth in distance and the largest of Uranus' moons is Titania.

Discovered with Oberon, Titania is mostly ice and rock in equal parts.

The eighth largest moon in the Solar System.


Uranus' moon Oberon

Apparent Magnitude: 14.1

Orbit Time: 13.5 days

Discovered: 1/11/1781 by William Herschel

the second largest of Uranus' Moons, Oberon was discovered at the same time as Titania.

The ninth most massive moon in the Solar System, Herschel's telescope was the only one used to view Oberon and Titania for nearly 50 years.


Because of the unusual orbit of Uranus on its side the north and south poles of the planet and the moons are subject to 42 years of sunlight followed by 42 years of darkness during the 84 year orbit of Uranus around the Sun.

› Uranus' Moons
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