Emir Han Bulut

Emir Han Bulut

Grade: 9

School: Nişantaşı Nuri Akın Anadolu Lisesi

Teacher: İlhan Demir

Topic: Triton

"When I started learning about space, I was terrified by how big it is. In this huge emptiness we as all world are so small that we may never explore it completely, but it worth trying. In recent decades we have begun discovering the objects near our planet. Mars where we have sent many vehicles has been the core of our interest. But in order to understand the cosmos, various environments on planets, moons and asteroids must be investigated. We know that there are over 500 000 such objects just in our solar system. But to discover so many different objects in space is both challenging and expensive. We have to carefully select the object next to explore. I think Triton Neptune’s moon is the most relevant among the other moons; Miranda Uranus’s and Charon Pluton’s.

Artist's rendering of Voyager 2 and Triton
First of all, Triton with a diameter over 2 700 km has a retrogate rotation around its planet that gives the idea of its interstellar origin or at least outer layer of our solar system Kuiper Belt rather than its formation in its present place. We know that even with our reached highest speed for a spaceship, it will take thousands of years to reach the nearest stars to investigate. Thus, it is still virtually impossible to do that by visiting. This gives us opportunity to learn about outside the solar system.

Triton has plenty of nitrogen and water ice, which is excellent because water is crucial for both life and energy. When water is electrolyzed oxygen and hydrogen will be the two useful products; oxygen for life and hydrogen for rocket fuel. Humanity can use the moon as a resting and refueling spot for the deeper space explorations. It has a micro gravity (0,8m/s) which reduces escape speed implying low energy necessity.

Triton’s soil also includes methane, carbon monoxide and ammonia. At least some amount of methane may originate from living organisms which makes me very excited. Archaeal organisms may produce the methane as byproduct of anaerobic respirations. I am looking forward to hearing further about that if there is any relation between the methane and the possible life out of Earth. The other compound, ammonia, may be used as fertilizer for future cultivation.

Triton’s surface temperature is about -2350C which is, of course, very low for life, as we know, exist. But Neptune’s gravitational force create some waves in the inner side of the moon, that may cause adequate heat inside to form liquid water. That supports living organisms.

I think detailed inspection of Triton will widen our horizon. If it has come from a different star it will provide some important insight about our own star system’s origin with the aid of comparison. We know humanity has limited sources to discover the space, so selected object must be one which provide the most. If meticulously inspected, Triton will be the first step to achieve."

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