School: Kadıköy Anatolian High School
City: Moda, Istanbul
Teacher: Esen Najim
"There are over 150 moons in our complicated solar system but I think Saturn's moon, Titan would be the best one for a spacecraft to explore and obtain more information than landing on Europa, and Enceladus.
The gigantic ice moon can be a new hope to life in other worlds because of its natural sources, like water and its similarities to the earth atmosphere. As it is said, ”Where is water there is life!”
Despite its similarities, it has some differences too.
Titan is the second largest moon of our solar system after Jupiter's moon Ganymede being slightly larger by just 2% in diameter. Titan is also the largest moon of Saturn. Even larger than the planet Mercury itself and is almost as large as Mars. If it were not orbiting Saturn, Titan could be considered as a planet since it is larger than Mercury.
Titan has a radius of about 1,600 miles (2,575 kilometers), and is nearly 50 percent wider than Earth’s moon. Titan is about 759,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) from Saturn, which itself is about 886 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) from the Sun.
What makes Titan different from the other two moons which are Europa and Enceladus is the fact that Titan is, besides Earth, the only place which discovered in our solar system to have a liquid cycle and activity. It is earthlike. There are lakes, rivers, and seas of liquid methane and ethane on the surface while it is thought that it has a channels and fills great lakes with liquid natural gas activity on its surface which carves rivers.
No other world in the solar system, aside from Earth, has that kind of liquid subsurface of ocean water.
The surface and the subsurface is believed to be a habitat for possible forms of life and if that's true, there might be creatures in the surface which are thought to be different from the ones which we are used to.
As much as the similarities of Titan and Earth there are also big differences. For instance, a year on Saturn and Titan is about 29 Earth years. Saturns axis is rotated similarly to the one of the Earth which creates seasons on both Saturn and Titan but the difference is that each of these seasons last more than 7 Earth years.
In addition, because of its distance from the Sun, the sunlight is about 100 times fainter at Saturn and Titan than at Earth. Light from the Sun takes about 80 minutes to reach Titan. For this reason it is colder than the Earth. It is so cold (-290 degrees Fahrenheit or -179 degrees Celsius) that water ice plays the role of rock.
To sum up, I think that Titan might be a new door for us to discover other living creatures out in the depths of the outer space. We might find various different forms of life all used to living in much contrasting conditions than here on Earth. Who knows, maybe we are not alone in the universe after all."