Image of Ariel obtained by Voyager 2 in 1986
Ariel is a moon of Uranus found on October 24, 1851 by William Lassell. It was found at the same time as Umbriel.
The moon is named after the leading sylph in Alexander Pope's poem Rape of the Lock. It is also the name of the spirit who serves Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest.
Images for kids
Size comparison of Earth, the Moon, and Ariel.
The highest-resolution Voyager 2 color image of Ariel. Canyons with floors covered by smooth plains are visible at lower right. The bright crater Laica is at lower left.
Graben (chasmata) near Ariel's terminator. Their floors are covered by smooth material, possibly extruded from beneath via cryovolcanism. Several are cut by sinuous central grooves, e.g. Sprite and Leprechaun valles above and below the triangular horst near the bottom.
False-color map of Ariel. The prominent noncircular crater below and left of center is Yangoor. Part of it was erased during formation of ridged terrain via extensional tectonics.
HST image of Ariel transiting Uranus, complete with shadow