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Mab (moon) facts for kids

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Discovered by Mark R. Showalter
and Jack J. Lissauer
Discovered in August 25, 2003
Orbital characteristics
Semi-major axis 97,736 km
Eccentricity 0.0025
Orbital period 0.923 d
Inclination 0.1335° (to Uranus' equator)
Is a moon of Uranus
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter ~24 km (estimate)
Surface area ~1,900 km2 (estimate)
Volume ~8,000 km3 (estimate)
Mass ~1.0×1016 kg (estimate)
Mean density ~1.3 g/cm3 (estimate)
Surface gravity ~0.0044 m/s2 (estimate)
Escape velocity ~0.011 km/s (estimate)
Rotation period synchronous (assumed)
Axial tilt zero (assumed)
Albedo 0.103
Surface temp.
min mean max
~63 K K
Atmospheric pressure 0 kPa

Mab is a closer moon to Uranus. It was found by Mark R. Showalter and Jack J. Lissauer in 2003 using the Hubble Space Telescope. It was named after Queen Mab, a fairy queen from English folklore who is mentioned in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

Because the moon is small and dark, it was not seen in the images taken by Voyager 2 during its Uranus flyby in 1986. However, it is brighter than another moon, Perdita, which was discovered from Voyager's photos in 1997. This led scientists to look at the old photos again, and the moon was finally found in the images.

If it is as dark as Puck, it is about 24 km in diameter. On the other hand, if it is brightly coloured like the neighbouring moon Miranda, it would be even smaller than Cupid and comparable to the smallest farther moons.

Mab is heavily perturbed, meaning its movement is not only caused by the gravity of another large thing. The actual source for perturbation is still unclear, but is probably one or more of the nearby orbiting moons.

Following its discovery, Mab was given the designation S/2003 U 1. The moon is also designated Uranus XXVI.

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