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International Edition Winners - 2013: Canada, Target 2, Grade 5-6

International Edition Winners - 2013: Canada, Target 2, Grade 5-6


Michael Cheng
Dione
Target 2, Dione
Michael Cheng

 
Claude Watson School for the Arts
Toronto, Ontario

 




"Although there are three target destinations for the Cassini Satellite, there is only one destination that will yield the best scientific results. Dione, target two, has early signs of extraterrestrial life. Its oxygen content is rising due to from Saturn's radiation. It has high amounts of water, ideal for life. Its temperature has been raised due to cyrovolcanos. It has the protection of Saturn's magnetic field. Cassini should be sent to Dione to receive data that will change our view of it.

Even though it looks like a lifeless ball of ice and rock, Dione has many traits that make it a suitable home for alien extremophiles. Firstly, Dione has a tenuous atmosphere, also known as an exosphere of oxygen. The quantities of oxygen gas are low, but new oxygen gas forms very frequently. High energy particles and radiation from Saturn splits the ice on the moon into hydrogen and oxygen. Since oxygen is essential to life, the rising level of oxygen is promising.

Although the water on Dione is in solid form, due to the cold temperatures, it can lead to potential sustenance of extraterrestrial life. Dione's density is about 1.48 times denser than water, implying that 1/3 of its mass is water. Since water is the basis of life, there is a high chance that scientists might find micro-organisms on Dione. Water is essential to any form of life, and the amount of water on this moon makes life much more possible.

Dione's temperature is on the rise due to the presence of cyrovolcanos. The volcanoes do not spew out molten rocks; instead, the volcanic eruption gives off ammonia, methane, and water. Ammonia is a toxic gas. It does not help with Dione's potential of life. However, methane, through the greenhouse effect, helps heat Dione up. This causes the moon's temperature to reach a level that may potentially be able to support life. Water, the third product, has a pretty self- explanatory purpose for supporting potential dionean life. The addition of heat and water increases Dione's chance of life.

The final vital characteristic of earth that helps it support life is its magnetic field. Earth's magnetic field protects it from harmful solar radiation. Although Dione lacks a magnetic field of its own, its close proximity to Saturn allows it to borrow Saturn's magnetic field. According to current scientific research, Dione has a likely chance of supporting alien extremophiles, that may evolve into complex and intelligent life forms after a few million, or billion, years. If extremophiles can survive, Dione might be the new earth!
Target two: Dione, is the best destination for send Cassini. Dione has an increasingly hotter exosphere of oxygen due to cyrovolcanoes. Water is added in the process, adding possibilities of extraterrestrial life. They will all be protected by Saturn's magnetic field. If Cassini,is sent to Dione, it will be an amazing opportunity to uncover the many secrets underlying the characteristics of this mysterious moon. "

1.

Iapetus
Target 1, Iapetus

2.

Dione
Target 2, Dione
3.
Saturn
Target 3, Saturn