Welcome Home, New Shakespearean Moon!

Which Shakespeare character should be cemented among the stars? Astronomers are naming Uranus’ new moon after a Shakespeare character!

The 27 moons of Uranus are named after literary figures, and the majority are Shakespeare characters. With astronomers’ recent discovery of a 28th moon, the theme must be upheld! As of now, this new moon is not named – the perfect task for Shakespeare and astronomy lovers alike.

So far, the following characters already have moons named after them:

  1. Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  2. Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  3. Miranda (The Tempest)
  4. Cordelia (King Lear)
  5. Ophelia (Hamlet)
  6. Bianca (Taming of the Shrew)
  7. Cressida (Troilus and Cressida)
  8. Desdemona (Othello)
  9. Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)
  10. Portia (The Merchant of Venice)
  11. Rosalind (As You Like It)
  12. Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  13. Caliban (The Tempest)
  14. Sycorax (The Tempest)
  15. Prospero (The Tempest)
  16. Setebos (The Tempest)
  17. Stephano (The Tempest)
  18. Trinculo (The Tempest)
  19. Francisco (The Tempest)
  20. Margaret (Richard III)
  21. Ferdinand (The Tempest)
  22. Pedita (The Winter’s Tale)
  23. Mab (Romeo and Juliet)
  24. Cupid (Much Ado About Nothing)
  25. Ariel* (Named after the character in The Rape of the Lock, but also a Tempest character!)

This new moon of Uranus, called S/2023 U1, is potentially the smallest moon and only ~5 miles in diameter. Take a look at the picture. Does this spark any naming inspiration?

Image credit: Scott Sheppard / Carnegie Institute for Science via CBS News