Follow this link to skip to the main content

International Edition Winners 2010: Romania, Target 2 -- Grade 4-6

International Edition Winners 2010: Romania, Target 2 -- Grade 4-6




Bianca Neagoe, Dan Niculae and Rares Nicoara
Titan and Tethys
Titan and Tethys
Sky Team: Bianca Neagoe, Dan Niculae and Rares Nicoara

Teacher Advisor: Ioana Stoica
Tudor Vianu National High School of Computer Science

Bucharest



"Titan, Enceladus and Tethys, three "precious jewels," were observed for the first time by Giovanni Domenico Cassini (Enceladus and Thetis) and Christian Huygens (Titan).

Lured by the brilliance of the "jewels," the Cassini spacecraft is orbiting in the neighborhood of Lord Saturn and sends information and pictures about it, about the rings over which it dominates and about its precious jewels.

Titan, the largest of the jewels (the largest satellite of Saturn), has a diameter of 5.140 km and is the second largest satellite in the solar system. Its atmosphere is made up of nitrogen in a gaseous form. In 2004, the Huygens space probe, previously removed from Cassini space probe, landed on its surface. Titan is the only natural satellite, which is known to have a dense atmosphere and has the area covered by mountains, lakes and rivers .This fact has led astronomers to treat the world as a second Earth! Scientists have discovered that there could be life on this satellite. Organic substances have already been detected in the atmosphere, but the liquid on Titan is not water, but methane.
Scientists have discovered clues that alien life forms could breathe in the atmosphere of the satellite and could feed on methane from the surface.

Enceladus is also an important satellite of the planet Saturn. Similar to the way in which under the ice of Antartica there are "buried" over 140 Lakes, the ice surface of the satellite Enceladus could shelter under it a series of reservoirs of natural water in liquid form. In 2005, the Cassini mission was close to Enceladus, providing a high resolution photo of the satellite's south polar region.In that photo, there were noticed geysers which made one think that they might be part of that network of warehouses located close to the water surface of Enceladus. Three years later, the probe Cassini would come close to only 26 km away from the surface of Enceladus.

The third "precious jewel," Thetis, has an enormous ditch named Ithaca Chasma, which is approximately 65 km wide and many km deep. The area covers about three quarters of this satellite. It was once believed that the leak was fluid. Around Tethys there orbit two satellites: Telesto and Calypso. Fascinating!

We are impressed by the dance of the three satellites through the rings of Saturn and we think it is interesting to photograph this dance because we can learn why a satellite can have other satellites. With these photographs we could elucidate if there are life forms on Titan and if, somehow, this satellite is a living laboratory in which we could even get information about our history as a species.

In conclusion we would enjoy it enormously if probe Cassini studied in detail these precious stones of Saturn and it offered us detailed information about these wonders of the solar System."