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International Edition Winners 2011: Turkey, Target 2, Grade 9th

International Edition Winners 2011: Turkey, Target 2, Grade 9th


Emre Sunel
Rhea and Titan
Rhea and Titan
Emre Sunel

9th Grade
Bahcesehir Fen ve Teknoloji Lisesi, Bahcesehir High School for Science and Technology
Istanbul





"Where should the cameras on Cassini be pointed? What point can yield the best science return and provide most useful information along with space photos for the investigations of scientists? The aim of this essay is to explain what location would be the best option to place the cameras. From my point of view, the best celestials to point cameras at are Titan and Rhea, which are the largest moons of Saturn.

For many years, scientists have been launching satellites into space. They observe planets and their moon(s), thus trying to predict orbits of planets by using mathematical models to figure out the mystery of the universe, to discover new galaxies, to understand how the universe originated, the last but not the least, to discover chances of life forms, -if there are any-. Humankind is so curious whether they could do anything to search for the answer of this question: 'Do aliens exist?'

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. Its diameter is 5150 km, which is quiet long for a moon. In addition, this moon is larger than Mercury and Pluto. But, there is another thing that makes Titan momentous: It has an atmosphere, which is a luxury for a moon. Its atmosphere contains approximately % 98.4 N2 and %1.6 CH4 and there are CH4 oceans and liquid mass. In the last ten years, NASA found out that there may have been little organisms, because the conditions may have been suitable enough. After this possibility had been explored, scientists started to focus on Titan. If the investigations get extended, It is highly certain that scientists will discover Titan and possibly existing little organisms. If this happens, that will lead to an incredible development for the humanity.

Apart from Titan, Rhea is a quite important figure as well. Rhea is the second largest moon of Saturn and its diameter is 1528 km. Although Rhea has a very thin atmosphere, the latest observations show that Rhea's atmosphere contains CO2 and O2, which is approximately 1013 times less than the Earth's atmosphere. That essential fact encouraged scientists to make more complicated and promising observations. Another interesting fact about Rhea is the possibility of a ring around itself just as Saturn. According to infrared photos, there is a strange mass around Rhea. If it is proved, Rhea will be the first moon that has a ring. However, some scientists say that Rhea does not have a ring. It is a strange, symmetric magnetic field. If Cassini's cameras were pointed in order to observe Rhea, scientists could have more chance to explore what it really is.

Considering all these, I would suggest that Cassini's cameras be pointed at Rhea and Titan. Many secrets which have been absolutely incredible for mankind, are waiting to be unveiled. I hope the data that can be reached by Cassini cameras paves the way to effective findings for mankind."