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International Edition Winners 2009: Zambia (Year 9)

International Edition Winners 2009: Zambia (Year 9)


Farhin Akberali
Titan
Titan
Farhin Akberali

Year 9; Lechwe Trust School

Kitwe, Zambia



"Titan!!!

When you look at Saturn through any telescope, all you can see is Saturn's day side and the sunlit part of its rings. 'With the Cassini spacecraft we can see the whole planet, including the night side. We can see the rings. We can get close enough to see things like tiny storms that even the powerful telescopes can't see. We can collect data and make measurements that can only be done by actually going to Saturn.'

The orbiter's up-close perspective has led to new discoveries about Saturn's dynamic atmosphere and its internal structure. For example, Cassini has revealed that each of the planet’s poles possesses a monstrous vortex where heat from the interior powers giant thunderstorms. Further observations are planned during the Cassini Equinox Mission to see how these vortices evolve as the seasons change on Saturn.

In respect of Saturn’s largest moon, titan is one of the most earth-like world found up to date. With its thick atmosphere and organic-rich chemistry, Titan resembles a frozen version of Earth, several billion years ago, before life began pumping oxygen into our atmosphere. Titan is of great interest to scientists because it has a substantial, active atmosphere and complex, Earth-like processes that shape its surface. The moon is enveloped by an orange haze of naturally produced photochemical smog that frustratingly obscured its surface prior to Cassini's arrival. Since 2004, the spacecraft's observations have taken the study of this unique world into a whole new dimension.

Haze is high in titan atmosphere, sunlight breaks apart methane (which consist of carbon and hydrogen).the elements react with nitrogen and other ingredients to form a thick haze of complex hydrocarbons that completely enshrouds the moon.

Titan is the only known moon with a dense atmosphere. The pressure at the surface is slightly higher than on earth winds blow across the landscape and transport clouds across the skies. Torrents of methane rain occasionally pour from storm clouds.

the surface temperature on titan is so cold (-290 degrees fahrenheit or -179 degrees celsius) that water is as hard as rock and methane flows as a liquid. The icy landscapes includes mountains,river channels and vast methane/ethane lakes.large areas of the surface are covered by fields of dark hydrocarbon sand dunes.
Titan’s interior appears to harbor an internal ocean of liquid, water and ammonia, perhaps about 100 kilometres (60 miles) beneath the surface.Scientist also think that titan’s thick atmosphere is replenished as it is lost to space by volcanic outgassing from the interior."