Kayla just wanted to get out of her cabin. It was way too quiet. 

Music was a constant in the Apollo cabin. An enchanted iPod with every song ever recorded on it, a gift from dad, usually never stopped playing, not even at night. But after the death of Michael, the twenty-four hours of radio silence had taken over the iPod. She couldn’t take it any more. 

She hoped the ambiance of the strawberry fields would calm her down – the birdsongs, the quiet laughter in the distance, the breeze. But the only song she heard was “What are you doing here?” 

Sure, Kayla’s dark, punk appearance and long sleeves in August didn’t really fit the strawberry field’s aesthetic, but she didn’t think she was that out of place. 

Kayla looked up, and saw Miranda, the brown haired, North Dakota-raised daughter of Demeter with a silver cross around her neck standing in front of her. 

“Trying to mourn the death of my older brother in peace, am I bothering you?” 

Miranda looked like she didn’t know what to say next. “Sorry, no, you aren’t bothering me, you just don’t usually come around here.” 

Kayla shrugged, “I didn’t know where else to go.” 

“Well, you can stay as long as you want.” Miranda said, before turning around to pick strawberries. When she bent over, Kayla couldn’t help but notice that she found Miranda Gardener, a brown haired, North Dakota-raised daughter of Demeter, with a silver cross around her neck, incredibly hot

“Come on, I know that look, that’s look of ‘I think I might like someone.” WIll said, trying to lighten the heavy mood at dinner. 

“It’s nothing, just a cute girl, you know, the usual.” 

“Nah, it doesn’t seem usual.” Will pointed a spoonful of mashed potatoes at her, “come on, who caught your attention.” 

Kayla took a deep breath and looked in the direction of the Demeter cabin. 

“Good luck, pretty sure that Katie is straight.” 

“No, her sister.” 

“Miranda is probably straight too.” 

Kayla just pouted, “You ruin all the fun.” 

Despite Will’s warning, Kayla found herself going back to the strawberry fields every day for a week. And then, after that, she found herself hanging out with Miranda outside of the strawberry fields. After two weeks, she was comfortable saying she and Miranda were friends. After three weeks, she was comfortable saying she wanted to burry her head between Miranda’s thighs. After a month, she was comfortable saying she wanted to take Miranda out to a nice meal and hold her hand and all of that crap. 

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Meet Miranda: a Moon with a View

Miranda doesn’t seem like a particularly important moon. It is one of five main satellites orbiting Uranus, travelling along the innermost orbit. It is only 472km in diameter - the smallest of the five major moons. While its surface appears bright, it is in fact second to Ariel in brightness. But Miranda’s unassuming statistics hide a secret. As Voyager 2 passed by Uranus in 1986, it sent back images of an unexpectedly fascinating world.

Nicknamed the ‘Frankenstein moon’, Miranda’s surface merges together like mismatched patchwork. Smooth areas appear alongside heavily cratered ones, and gigantic cliffs give way to deep canyons. However, the most interesting features of this bizarre coalition are the three giant coronae. In this image, the coronae are the “chevron” figures enclosed by concentric lines. Each corona measures around 200km across, and is surrounded by parallel grooves and concentric ridges. They are shaped roughly like trapezoids, giving the impression that Miranda doesn’t quite fit together.

Scientists have proposed several different explanations for Miranda’s curious features. One reason could be that at some point in its history, Miranda was smashed apart in a violent collision, and then gravity caused the fragments to reassemble in a haphazard manner. As rocky material submerged into the newly reformed moon, it produced concentric creases, forming the coronae.
Another possibility suggests that the coronae are impact sites from large meteorites. Miranda is thought to comprise of roughly even amounts of silicate rock and water ice. As these meteorites collided with the moon, they partially melted the ice beneath the crust, causing water to make its way to the surface where it would then refreeze.

However, the most likely scenario to explain Miranda’s exotic features places Uranus squarely into the picture. Given Miranda’s small size, it would have cooled quickly after its formation. This particular structure doesn’t possess the radioactive materials like Earth has to keep its centre hot. Instead, through three-dimensional computer simulations, researchers have demonstrated how Uranus influenced the structure of the moon.

As a result of its gravitational pull, Uranus generated tidal forces, melting the moon from the inside out. In this model, Miranda once had a more oval-shaped orbit. As its proximity to Uranus shifted, the tidal effects constantly stretched and compressed Miranda, enough to generate a considerable amount of heat. This heat was transmitted to the icy mantle so that the crust receded, allowing new material to rise up in its place and form the coronae. As Miranda’s orbit gradually stabilized, the moon stopped producing heat and cooled down into its present form.

Miranda has proved to be a fairly complex world. While we have only seen the southern hemisphere, as Voyager 2 only imaged the one half, we have still been able to view one of the most diverse landscapes ever found on an extra-terrestrial object.

~ eKAT

Miranda: Overview.
Bizarre Shape of Uranus’ ‘Frankenstein’ Moon Explained.
Sparrow, Giles 2015, ‘The Solar System’, Astronomy in Minutes, Quercus Editions Ltd, London.