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June 6, 2024 36 mins

In this classic episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe continue their multi-year mission to discuss the various moons of our solar system – this time with the literary-themed moons of the ice giant Uranus. (Part 2 of 3, originally published 05/11/2023)

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Speaker 1 (00:06):
Hey you, welcome to Stuff to Blow your Mind. We
have another vault episode for you. This is going to
be The Moons of Uruana's Part two, which originally published
on five eleven, twenty twenty three. This is part two
of three. Please enjoy. This is the uss Hamlet's Father's
Ghost requesting entry into Uranian orbit and the Uranian satellite system.

(00:27):
We have decelerated and seek clearance to Titanium.

Speaker 2 (00:30):
Greetings, USS Hamlet's Father's Ghost. This is Mustard Seed. Can
you state the purpose of your visit?

Speaker 1 (00:36):
Roger that Mustard Seed. I have two hundred and fifty
Shakespeare enthusiast on board, just waking up for a tour
of the Uranian Moons. Our visit to the Royal Automated
Uranian Theater on Titanius should be registered in the log.

Speaker 2 (00:48):
All right, Roger that USSHFG. I can confirm your reservation
now and docking credentials are good to go with your passengers,
a pleasant and safe visit to the Uranian satellite system.
The next Automated Thespianoid performance will be let's see Ooh
Edward the third Well, better luck next time.

Speaker 3 (01:13):
Welcome to Stuff to Blow your Mind. The production of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 1 (01:22):
Hey you welcome to Stuff to blow your mind. My
name is Robert.

Speaker 2 (01:25):
Lamb and I'm Joe McCormick, and we're back with part
two of our series on the planet Uranus and its moons. Now,
in part one we focused mainly on the planet itself.
This time we're going to start getting more into the moons.
Maybe we'll do all of the moons this time. I
think last time we promised it would happen. We'll see

(01:46):
whether we can fit it all into one episode. But
I had a few more core planet digressions burning a
hole in my pocket that I wanted to mention before
we fly off to the satellites. Are you okay with that, rob.

Speaker 1 (01:57):
Let's do it.

Speaker 2 (01:58):
So. First of all, I was wondering what's the density
of Uranus, And it turns out that Uranus is the
second least dense planet in the Solar System at one
point twenty seven grams per cubic centimeter. The only planet
less dense is actually Saturn, the second largest planet in
the Solar System. You might wonder which planet is the densest, Baby,

(02:20):
that's Earth. That's Earth. We are at five point five
to one grams per cubic centimeter, so we are the
density king. But one of the real things I wanted
to return to was a question of materials, because in
the last episode we mentioned, just giving sort of an
overview of the basics of the planet, that most of

(02:40):
the mass of Uranus is thought to be a hot,
dense fluid of ices, probably surrounding a rocky core of
some sort. And though it might be kind of strange
to hear like hot dense fluid of ices, that almost
kind of doesn't make sense based on our definition of ice.

(03:00):
And it's true that a lot of this ice is
going to be different than the kind of ice we know.
So I was reading more about this in an article
by a planetary atmospheric scientist named Amy Simon, who is
a senior researcher at NASA Goddard, and this was written
for the magazine of the Planetary Society. The article is
called the Realm of the Ice Giants, and one of

(03:21):
the questions Simon addresses in this article is why are
the planets Uranus and Neptune called ice giants as opposed
to regular gas giants. It's because compared to regular gas
giants like Jupiter and Saturn, Uranus and neptune are composed
of a higher proportion of ice forming molecules like water

(03:43):
and methane, though much of that so called ice is
in a phase unfamiliar to us. On the surface of Earth,
Simon writes, quote, ice giants are mostly water, probably in
the form of a super critical fluid. The visible clouds
likely consist of ice crystals with different compositions. So regarding

(04:03):
supercritical fluid, a supercritical fluid doesn't behave exactly like a liquid,
gas or a solid. It's an emergent state of matter
occurring at temperatures and pressures beyond what is known as
the critical point for each substance. And Simon has a
very good paragraph clarifying the planetary science use of the

(04:26):
term ice, which could help clear up any confusion there.
She says that on Earth we usually use the term
ice to refer to just water H two O when
it is frozen solid, but planetary astronomers use the word
ice to refer to any condensable molecule in its solid form.
She writes, quote, These tend to be highly reflective form clouds,

(04:48):
and unlike minerals, can readily change between liquid, solid and
gas states at relatively low temperatures, so we're mainly familiar
with water ice on the surf of Earth, but throughout
space there are lots of ices. There's methane, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide,
and phosphene pH three, and these are all condensable molecules

(05:11):
and could all freeze in the atmosphere of Uranus and
Neptune also for that matter, and Simon writes that most
of the clouds we see in the atmospheres of these
ice giants are clouds of methane ice crystals or hydrogen
sulfide ice, So there's probably weird supercritical fluids down below,
and then an atmosphere above. The atmosphere in its gas

(05:34):
contents is mostly hydrogen and helium, but that atmosphere is
probably full of traces of different kinds of ice, including
not just H two O, but things like ammonia and methane.
And speaking of methane, as we mentioned last time, the
blue color of both Neptune and Uranus appears to come

(05:54):
from the presence of methane in their atmospheres, which absorbs
the red wavelength of light from the sun and reflects
only the blue spectrum. But the question is why is
Urinus a paler shade of blue than Neptune. If you
look at Neptune, it's often kind of a royal blue,
whereas in true color, Urinus appears kind of a gray

(06:16):
green blue. Simon writes that this is quote either because
Urinus has more haze, so more kind of a cloudy
outer shell, but she goes on, or because Neptune's atmosphere
has another unidentified constituent that absorbs longer wavelength light even
more strongly, and of course longer wavelength light would be

(06:37):
more red shifted toward the red end of the visible spectrum. Okay,
so that's ice, the atmosphere, the makeup of the planet.
But there's one more thing you may have seen headlines
about regarding Urinus in Neptune that if you have seen
these headlines, I'm sure you're wondering about it, and that
is the claim that some experts have argued that it
likely rains diamonds on Urine Neptune, and from what I

(07:02):
can tell, this is true. Now, this is obviously something
we haven't been able to detect directly with probes or anything,
so nobody can sense this happening. Instead, it's based on
what we do know about the planets and argue and
sort of extrapolating logically from those starting facts. So how
does the logic go? Well, I was reading about this

(07:23):
in an article for space dot com by the sunny
Stonybrook astrophysicist Paul Im Sutter, and in this article, Sutter
explains that we know from mathematical models that the inner
mantles of ice giants probably have temperatures of about seven
thousand kelvins or over sixty seven hundred celsius and pressure

(07:45):
about six million times the atmospheric pressure on the surface
of Earth. Meanwhile, higher up in the mantle, things are
cooler about two thousand kelvins and only two hundred thousand
times Earth's atmospheric pressure. And we know that water, ammonia,
and methane are present within that mantle. So what happens
to those substances in those conditions. Well, these conditions of

(08:10):
temperature and pressure would tend to tear apart molecules of methane, methane,
is ch four carbon, and hydrogen. And when those molecules
get torn apart, we are left with free carbon. Free
carbon tends to link together with other free carbon to
form long chains of carbon what happens to long chains

(08:32):
of pure carbon under high pressure that gets pressed into
a diamond. These diamonds would tend to then drop down
to lower in the mantle where high temperatures vaporize them,
and then they float back up into the upper mantle,
and then the cycle repeats, so you're left with diamond rain.
Sounds like the name of a great alternate universe collaborative

(08:54):
sci fi movie musical between Prince and David Bowie. Wish
I could have seen it, but it does to be
very likely a physical reality on Uranus and Neptune as well.

Speaker 1 (09:05):
So you're saying that all we have to do is
jet out to Uranus, dip down into the atmosphere of Uranus,
scoop up some diamonds, then get back to Earth and
we're set for life.

Speaker 2 (09:17):
I've always said when I look up at the stars
at night, what I see is profit. Okay, but one
more digression before we get to the moons. Since part one,
we actually got a really great bit of listener mail
from Joe, not me, but a different Joe who listens
to the show, who brought to our attention some really

(09:38):
awesome photos of Uranus recently captured by the James web
Space Telescope. Joe writes, quote, I've long awaited with tremulous
anticipation the resumption of your ural journey to the heliopause,
and was thrilled to see the recumbent sky king Uranus
on my podcast feed. Your choice was timely, indeed, as
the James Webb Space Telescope just last month least some

(10:00):
spectacular visuals of Uranus. These images boast greater clarity than
the Hubble's effort, especially of the planet's rings. I love
living under a sky that will never run out of
extraordinary things to look at and talk about, and I
appreciate when you cast your gaze upward from time to time. Joe, Well,
thank you, Joe. Because I had not seen these, I

(10:20):
looked them up and this is fantastic. So I saw
these within the context of a NASA press release from
April sixth, twenty twenty three that Joe shared with us
Rob I pasted these two photos here in the outline.
One is just zoomed in on the planet from the
more zoomed out second one. I would say, from my perspective,

(10:41):
these images are gorgeous. They fill one with awe at
the picture of this frosty, dark recess where the blue
God lives. And this might sound a little bit weird,
but I actually mean this in the best possible way. Somehow,
in these images, Urinus looks more like an optical artifact
than a physical object, as if the planet were like

(11:04):
a glint or a lens flare. And to explain what
I mean, so the planet is pictured on its side,
because of course that's how it is. We're not seeing
the rings laterally from the side, crossing over and behind
the planet, like we do in most photos of Saturn. Instead,
we're seeing the rings encircling the planet in an egg
shape because we're looking roughly down toward the north pole,

(11:28):
which faces sideways. And in this particular photo, though this
is not exactly true color, the planet is pale blue
with a white cap, and the rings sort of fade
outward to inward, from a screaming fluorescent white to a
dim blue gray as they sink toward the planet's atmosphere.

(11:49):
And the sunlight seems blinding in these images because we
actually see it gleaming off the edge of the planet.
Which is even weirder because, as I said, the disk
of Urinus facing us looks like a glint or a
gleam itself, and in the more zoomed out of these
two photos, we can see the blue dots of the
larger moons surrounding it, also sending out these sort of

(12:11):
shafts of reflected light in these hexagonal criss crosses out
into space.

Speaker 1 (12:16):
Yeah, these images are gorgeous. It makes it look like.
Urinus is a planet designed by Japanese illustrator Hajimi Soriyama, whose,
of course I think he worked on the design for
the original Sony Aibo robot, but also mostly known for

(12:36):
robot pin up like really shiny, silvery robot pin up models.
This artist is on my mind because the movie we're
watching Friday in for Weird House Cinema, this artist is
credited like deep down in the credits because there's a
character in the movie that has some of this art
up on his workstation. But this kind of but there's

(12:58):
a certain from the female robot bodies in his art.
There is this kind of like glimmering like silvery perfection
to things, And that's what I kind of get from
this image of Urinus. And if you're into planets, like
I mean, put it on a calendar. It looks, it
looks nice.

Speaker 2 (13:16):
It is beautiful, And I will say the blue in
this photo, as I alluded to, is not exactly true
color from the visible spectrum. I think it's approximate. So
the image is from the webs near infrared camera, combining
data from two filters. According to the press release, it
was one point four and three point oh microns, and
then the article explains these are coded out to blue

(13:38):
and orange respectively. Now I mentioned the white cap that
we see on Urinus in this photo. The article explains
that this is known as the polar cap, and it
seems to manifest when the pole of the planet goes
into direct sunlight during its long polar summer, which again,
as we talked about last time, lasts many years at

(14:00):
a time, and then the cap seems to disappear in
the fall when it starts to turn away from the sun.
As far as I could find, we aren't sure exactly
what causes this, or maybe if somebody knows, I just
didn't dig that up. But so regarding the beautiful rings
in the picture, Uranus has thirteen known rings, and you
can see eleven of them in this photo, though some

(14:22):
of them are so bright that they bleed together. In
the image, there are nine major rings, and then there
are two kind of faint dusty rings that were discovered
during the approach and Voyager two in nineteen eighty six.
But speaking of those rings and moons, rings and moons
sometimes have an interesting origin story, So I was wondering
where do experts generally think they came from in the

(14:45):
case of Uranus. Going back to that Planetary Society article
by Amy Simon, Simon writes that the medium sized moons
of Uranus probably formed in place at the same time
or after whatever event it was that left Uranus tilted
on its side. And as we talked about last time,
it seems likely that Uranus was probably knocked on its

(15:08):
side and left colder than all the other planets because
of an impact with a large object, maybe like an
Earth sized planet, billions of years ago. And so what
we're left with is that the moon's orbit Urinus on
its equatorial plane, So like the planet itself and like
its rings, the moons are tilted at a roughly ninety

(15:30):
degree angle to the rest of the Solar System. In general,
the moons of Urinus are made of ice and rock,
usually slightly more ice than rock, and they show some
interesting surface features, like patterns of darkening on their surfaces
that are caused by some unknown material. Spectral analysis reveals
the presence of frozen carbon dioxide on a lot of

(15:52):
the moons. Meanwhile, the origin of the rings, the consensus
seems to be that they are created by the shattering
into dust and fragments of formerly solid moons. And as
we've seen with other planets, the sudden or gradual smash
up of moons can happen a number of ways, by

(16:13):
you know, lots of little collisions with meteoroids or other objects,
or by tidal breakup due to gravity, in any case,
turning former larger satellites into smaller satellites and rings of
little fragments.

Speaker 1 (16:28):
Yeah, it's fascinating. How from our human perspective we look
up at our moon, we consider the moons of other worlds,
and there's a certain certain stability to them, you know.
But if you look at any planets, moons or moon,
generally you're looking at a more violent relationship over the

(16:49):
vast history of a given planet. There's nothing peaceful about it.
All right, Well, let's begin, at least begin to dip
into the moons of Uranus. Like I said, we originally

(17:10):
set out to do them all. Maybe we won't do
them all. Maybe we'll get part way through the journey
and we'll come back on Tuesday. Who knows, maybe we'll
just we'll just get into we'll finish them up, and
then we'll go right into Neptune. There are no rules.
We can do what we want. So let's start with
the inner moons of Uranus. Thirteen total known. All right,
We're going to start with a pair of moons, Cordelia

(17:33):
and Ophelia. These are named for the youngest daughter of
King Lear and of course Hamlet's tragic beloved, respectively. The
main significance of these moons is that both Cordelia and
Ophelia are shepherd moons, as their gravity keeps Uranus's epsilon
ring from dispersing.

Speaker 2 (17:53):
Now I thought this was interesting, so I was looking
up how exactly it is that shepherd moons work. What
does the shepherd moon do? These little small moons, how
do they keep a ring? Essentially, they keep a ring
in tight formation around the planet and clear these gaps
between the rings. And it seems that essentially it works

(18:15):
like this. So you've got a small moon and it's
orbiting the planet, And imagine at first it's orbiting the
planet along with a bunch of other small particles sort
of within the lane of that small moon's orbit. Particles
that are ahead of the small moon will be attracted

(18:35):
by gravity to it, meaning if they're orbiting ahead of it,
they will naturally want to slow down in their orbit,
right because they're getting pulled toward this moon. But slowing
down in their orbit actually causes them to lose energy
and fall down closer to the planet that they're orbiting.
So these like dust and particles and things in the

(18:56):
ring actually end up sorting into lower orbit rings. And
then meanwhile, things that are orbiting along the same lane
as this moon that are behind it in its orbit
are attracted to it and thus sped up. And as
they get sped up during to chase after this moon

(19:18):
by the force of gravity, that acceleration actually causes them
to have greater energy and to ascend in their orbit
and end up going into outer rings beyond that little moon.

Speaker 1 (19:29):
So again we have the Shepherd moons here. They were
discovered by Voyager two in nineteen eighty six. Like the
rest of Uranus's inner moons. They appear to be roughly
equal split of water, ice and rock. They're small. Of
note to Cordelia is the closest to the planet, and
I guess we should also point out or come back

(19:49):
to the fact that, yes, these are both Shakespearean references.
There are going to be a lot of shakespeare references
as we go through the moons of Uranus and these
just the first two.

Speaker 2 (20:01):
It seems that a lot of the names of these satellites,
for some reason were chosen either from the works of
Shakespeare or from the works of Alexander Pope.

Speaker 1 (20:10):
Yeah, predominantly Shakespearean, but definitely there's some key Alexander Pope
references as well. So as as we go through it,
we're we'll probably talk a little bit about some of
the namesakes here.

Speaker 2 (20:21):
Well, this was something I was wondering. I don't know
about the origin exactly, like what people had in mind
when they were naming these, but so I think, like,
is there some significance to the innermost minor moon here
being called Cordelia, Because Cordelia is a very poignant character.
Cordelia is the youngest daughter of King Lear in the

(20:43):
play King Lear. If you don't know the play or
need refreshing the very beginning of it. The first scene
is King Lear is this old king? He comes out.
He decides that he will divide up his kingdom between
his three daughters, Goneril, Reagan, and Cordelia, and he's gonna
give the largest portion to the daughter that loves him most.
So Goneril and Reagan give these speeches where they overwhelm

(21:08):
their father with absurd insincere flattery about how much they
love him. And then when it's Cordelia's time to speak,
she finds that she cannot put into words. She cannot
express her love for her father to herself. She says
that she knows her love is richer than her tongue.
And then when it's her time to speak, she says,

(21:28):
unhappy that I am. I cannot heave my heart into
my mouth. I love your majesty according to my bond,
no more nor less, and I think he gives her
a chance to amend her statement. She doesn't, really, and
the so Leir gets furious at this decides to disinherit her.
He gives nothing to Cordelia, splits his kingdom between the

(21:49):
other two daughters, Goneril and Reagan who secretly think he
is a fool, and they will go on to betray
him once they come to power, And of course it's
a tragedy, so things just get worse and worries. Basically
everybody ends up dead. But you know, it's a very
meaningful character and something I think, I don't know that
that moment in the first scene is something that always
got me, something I can really relate to, like the

(22:12):
feeling of worrying that you don't express positive feelings because
you're afraid that you can't phrase them in the sincerest way,
like you don't know how to put them to words.
So then you worry that like you're perceived as not
wanting to say a positive thing at all. I don't
know if that makes sense.

Speaker 1 (22:30):
No, no, no, no, I mean certainly with the example
here from the play, absolutely.

Speaker 2 (22:36):
But she's the daughter that truly loved him. She just
you know, didn't want to give a big, insincere speech. Anyway,
It's a very meaningful character. So I'm wondering, is there
some similarly at play here in the selection of the
name for this moon? Maybe not so, Like it's a
very small satellite, it's the closest to the planet of these.
It is one of the shepherd moons that sort of

(22:58):
guide guides the epsilon and keeps it tight in formation.
By the end, I mean, she does show great discipline
because she comes back with an army to try to
to fight on her father's side against her cruel, duplicitous sisters.
I don't know, maybe not, I don't know if it fits,
but I was wondering.

Speaker 1 (23:17):
No, I think it's natural to try and read some
sort of sense into the naming. Though. Of course, as
we'll discuss it, it's different people at different times coming
up with these names. You know, some are maybe probably
a little more up on the works of William Shakespeare
than others. Sometimes there seems like something they could be getting,
at other times not. And also some of these kind

(23:40):
of slip by on a technicality, so they're kind of
all over the place. All right, let's let's go into
the next one. There's a Bianca named after Kate's sister
in the Taming of the Shrew. This one does nothing
really else that I think is significant about it, and
it was also discovered by voyager two. All right, after that,
we have Cresida. This is the title character from Troylus

(24:03):
and Cressida. Again, nothing other else. It's really significant about
this moon. It was also discovered by Voyger two. I
know some of you are probably wondering when's Voyager six
is going to show up in all this, But I
guess Voyder six just shot right out there, right.

Speaker 2 (24:17):
I was unsure. But what you're referring to vgre here?

Speaker 1 (24:20):
Right? Yes, yeah, Voyger six doesn't actually exist except in
the world of Star Trek. Okay, specifically Star Trek the
motion picture, the most riveting of all of them, that
is pinned by Alan Dean Foster.

Speaker 2 (24:34):
Oh wait, was he the one who wrote the novelization
of Halloween three or something like that?

Speaker 1 (24:41):
He wrote the novelization of most films? Yes, all right.
The next moon of note here is Desdemona. This one's
named after the wife of Othello, no other real significance,
once again discovered by Voyager two. All right, now we're
moving on to another one. This is Juliet or Juliet
right if you're depending on how you're what line from

(25:02):
the play using sometimes you got to hit two syllables
instead of three on that. This is of course named
after the title character from Romeo and Juliet. Romeo, meanwhile,
is nowhere to be found amid the moons of Uranus.
It is kind of interesting that there's a part in
Romeo and Juliet where Romeo is swearing his love up
and down the universe and Juliet specifically asked him not

(25:25):
to swear by the moon. She says, quote, oh, swear
not by the moon, the inconstant moon that monthly changes
in her circle orb less that thy love prove likewise.

Speaker 2 (25:37):
Variable changes in her circle orb What does that refer
to the waxing and waning of the moon or maybe
I'm not sure I know what that means.

Speaker 1 (25:47):
I mean I take it to mean, Yeah, it's like
there are different faces of the moon, Like like if
your love is like the moon, Romeo, then I don't
you know, it's like what am I going to get today?
I mean it seems like if it is like the moon,
she could charted out and then she'd have a really
good idea of what she's going to get, you know,
phase by phase. But yeah, she's like, I need consistency.

Speaker 2 (26:08):
Right, your love should not wax and Wayne, we shouldn't
have a new moon of your love. Yes, it's were
Wolf night every night.

Speaker 1 (26:16):
Yeah, anyway, aside from these thoughts, Juliet, nothing else than
literally significant, once again discovered by Voyger two. Then we
have Portia. This one is named after the heroine from
the Merchant of Venice. This one, I guess the main
significance is that it orbits urin us in less than
one earth day, and it was discovered by Voyger two.

(26:46):
All right. Up, next we have Rosalind. Rosalind is one
of the Duke's daughters in As You Like It. That's
the namesake. Nothing else really significant to discuss here. This
one was also discovered by Voyager two. All right. The
next one is is Cupid. This one is a tough
one to fit in, but okay. Cupid is, of course

(27:07):
the Roman god.

Speaker 2 (27:08):
Of love, famously invented by William Shakespeare.

Speaker 1 (27:13):
Well, he is technically a character in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens.
I'm not familiar with this play. I don't know anything
about that one. This may be one of the more
obscure ones. I don't remember studying this one in school.
But the discovery of it is kind of interesting because
it was discovered by m R Showalter in JJ Lisauer

(27:37):
using the Hubble space telescope in two thousand and three.
It was too small and too dark for Voyager two
to spot. And I was thinking about this. It's tempting
to try and spin this one out and think of like, Okay,
here we have Cupid as this dark, near invisible shadow
press presence, you know, reminding us of past discussions about

(27:57):
how Cupid was sometimes said to shoot lead and arrows.
So it's you know, he's not only dealing out love
with his projectiles, but also some of the ramifications of
love and maybe even the tragic ramifications of love. But again,
this one, this one seems to sort of slip by
on a on a technicality in terms of its naming.

(28:18):
All Right, the next one is Belinda. And this is
one where we have to just have to ask Shakespeare
to move over, because this one is named after the
character whose lock of hair is stolen in Alexander Pope's
Rape of the Lock.

Speaker 2 (28:33):
Now, this is an unfortunately titled poem because it doesn't
mean what it sounds like that the poem by Pope
is an older definition of the word rape, which is basically,
in this context it means like theft or snatching. So
the poem is a mock heroic satire. It narrates like
a social scandal in which a lord of some sort.

(28:56):
I did read this in school, and I forget a
lot of the details. But he like steals a lock
of hair from a young woman. But it's written like
in the style of the Iliad to be mocking of
the like oh ho ho, this is actually insignificant. I
think Pope's point is best summarized in one of its lines,
where he says, what mighty contests rise from trivial things?

(29:17):
Though I don't know thinking back on it now, there
are obviously much worse crimes, but stealing somebody's hair is
pretty weird.

Speaker 1 (29:25):
Yeah, Plus hair has magical connotations. They could be stealing
it to work some sort of magic. Maybe that's explored
in the poem. I don't know. I have a degree
in English, and I somehow managed to never read this poem.
I remember that, you know the course, I'm familiar with
the author's name and his popularity and importance in English literature.
But I remember this title would come up and I

(29:46):
would think, Oh, that doesn't sound like something I want
to read, not realizing that it's about hair theft.

Speaker 2 (29:51):
Alexander Pope everything I recall that he wrote is basically
satirical in nature. I'm sure he must have written serious poems.
But like, the other main thing I remember he wrote
is something called the Dunciad, which is a sort of
an epic poem about stupidity.

Speaker 1 (30:08):
Hmm.

Speaker 2 (30:09):
He was like, it seems like he was just really
into not suffering fools. Though, I feel like, if that's
your main vibe, you really open yourself up to to scrutiny,
don't you.

Speaker 1 (30:19):
Yeah, all right, well we'll come back to Pope's work
in a bit, because there are more moons named after him.
The next one is Perdita, and this is the daughter
of Leontes and Hermione in William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tail.
This one's discovery is actually pretty interesting because Voyger two
is involved in its discovery, but it wasn't recognized till

(30:40):
two thousand and three. Basically, University of Arizona's Eric Karkoshka
discovered it by comparing Voyger two imagery with Hubble imagery
and sort of working out its existence based on these
two different streams. All right, up next we have Puck is,
of course, named after the sprite from a midsummer Night's Dream.

(31:02):
Stanley Tucci played him in the nineteen ninety nine film adaptation,
which had a great cast. I do remember seeing this
film when it came out, and I imagine I've seen multiple.
It seems like Midsummer Night's Dream is just one of
those plays that you're just going to fall into seeing it,
even if you don't set out to watch Shakespeare in life.

Speaker 2 (31:19):
Puck's a great character, great mischief maker, the mischief maker
who brings wisdom, whether on purpose or not.

Speaker 1 (31:25):
Yeah, yeah, Tucci was perfect casting. Now significance Here is
the smallest of the inner moons, with a diameter of
about one hundred and fifty kilometers or about ninety miles,
And it was guess what discovered by voyager two? All right,
up next we have Mab. It's named after Queen Mab,
queen of the fair folk and English folklore. She's mentioned

(31:48):
in Romeo and Juliet So and just mentioned. So it
just really really squeaks by on a tacticality. I mean,
this is one of those situations where I feel like
I want to shout a little bit and be like, look,
there are a lot of names that are mentioned in Shakespeare,
and there are plenty of characters. I don't know why
Queen Mab seems like the ideal choice here.

Speaker 2 (32:10):
Is there an inner moon named Julius Caesar?

Speaker 1 (32:15):
No, but you know you could that would have been
a good one. Caesar, right, But that's just off the
top of my head. I'm not sure if there's some
other well, you know, I should also point out when
you start looking. And I didn't get into this in
any of my note taking, really, but there are individual
features on some moons that are likewise named after other things.
So it could be a Caesar in there somewhere, you

(32:37):
know what.

Speaker 2 (32:37):
Actually, I want to be fair, Even a lot of
the Shakespeare characters that we think of as more original
shakespeare characters are actually often from like adapted versions of
pre existing tales. Like a lot of Shakespeare's plays were
not wholly made up stories. They were based on something
from history or from an older story or another play,

(32:58):
or something right right, like who would have thought of it?
You know? Hamlet is the guy from the Northman.

Speaker 1 (33:07):
Yeah, I mean, if you were around today, he'd be uh,
you know, he'd be in the MCU somewhere working on
a project.

Speaker 2 (33:14):
Of it.

Speaker 1 (33:15):
Anyway, Mab is the moon here. This one was discovered
in two thousand and three by show Alter and Lessauer
using the Hubble space telescope.

Speaker 2 (33:24):
Interesting in fact, I came across while reading that article
by the NASA Goddard researcher Amy Simon. She writes that
mab quote maybe generating a tenuous blue toned ring like
Enceladus does for Saturn's e ring, though the source currently
remains a mystery.

Speaker 1 (33:43):
Well, you know that sounds kind of fitting for the
Queen of the fairy Folk, So I do like that.

Speaker 2 (33:48):
Well, I'm looking at the clock, and do you know
what the clock reads. It reads a promise broken because
we said we were going to do all of the
moons within part two, and I think we have failed
because we're coming up against a time limit. We got
to cap it here and we've got all of the
major moons left to talk about. So I think that's
going to have to be part three of our series
on Urinus and its satellites.

Speaker 1 (34:11):
Yeah, hopefully we didn't mess anybody up there, but I
think the journey will be better for breaking into three
parts here, and there's going to be a lot of
fun stuff to talk about, especially with the major moons
of Uranus, and then getting also into just some of
the additional Shakespearean references in the naming of these moons.
In the meantime, if you would like to catch up

(34:31):
on past episodes of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, including
our past episodes dealing with the moons of Jupiter and
Saturn and Mars and so forth, you'll find those in
the Stuff to Blow your Mind podcast feed, which you'll
find wherever you get your podcasts. We have core episodes
of Stuff to Blow Your Mind airing there on Tuesdays
and Thursdays. On Mondays, we open up the mail bag

(34:53):
on our listener mail episodes. That's primarily where we read
emails from people. Occasionally we'll read one in an episod,
so as in today's episode, you know if it relates
to the subject matter, but generally it's going to be
in the Monday episodes. On Wednesdays, we do a short
form artifact or monster fact episode. This week. Of course,
it ties into our theme of Urinus, so go check

(35:14):
that out if you haven't. And then on Fridays, we
set aside most serious concerns to just talk about a
weird film on Weird House Cinema. Our selection for this
week does not have anything to do with the planet Uranus,
but that it's still a.

Speaker 2 (35:27):
Lot of fun. Bye God. We'll find a way to
tie it in by the time Friday comes around anyway.
Huge thanks as always to our audio producer JJ Posway.
If you would like to get in touch with us
with feedback on this episode or any other, to suggest
a topic for the future, or just to say hello,

(35:49):
you can email us at contact at stuff to Blow
your Mind dot com.

Speaker 3 (36:00):
Stuff to Blow Your Mind is production of iHeartRadio. For
more podcasts from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

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