3.1.9 Some other cryovolcanic moons
The surface of Ariel is thought to be the youngest of all of Uranus’ moons, having had the most recent geological activity. While it is unknown if it is currently active, it has been completely resurfaced since the beginning of the Solar System. The deep canyons seen in the image have been filled in and are possibly linear vents. Some similar features occur on Pluto’s largest moon, Charon.
The smooth surface is thought to be of cryovolcanic origin with mounds and pits formed by ice flows. It has a thin, nitrogen atmosphere that is thought to have been created by the volcanic activity.
Next, try a short quiz on some of what you’ve learnt so far this week.