Aylin Akınal and Roy Erzurumluoğlu
Grade: 11 and 12
School: Eyüboğlu Koleji
Teacher: Burcu Parmak Yıldırım
"In Greek mythology, Charon is the mysterious ferryman of Hades, a figure that no one knows much about. And Pluto’s moon Charon is just as mysterious as the mythical figure it was named after. In our essay, we will discuss why we think Charon will be the best destination to send a probe to.
What we aspire to learn is the composition of the water-ice surface, the astrodynamics of the binary dwarf system that is both tidally locked and the process that forms the organic molecules on Charon’s north pole. We also want to analyze Charon because of it’s early-era Earth-like crust and its craters, believing it would provide us more information about our planet and whether Charon or Pluto formed earlier. Lastly, an investigation into Charon’s only mountain on the surface can lead to new discoveries in the field of planetary geology.
We believe that a better scientific understanding of Charon will help us understand the nature of icy celestial bodies better and the lifetime of ocean worlds and transition between the ocean and icy worlds. Also, we would be able to have a better understanding of what Earth’s geological state was like billions of years ago by analyzing seismic data. Furthermore, get an insight into how plate tectonics behave on such celestial bodies. We have the technology to analyze chemical compounds, and seismic activities of an extraterrestrial surface, that was proven in Mars many times, and we believe that technologies such as mass spectrometers and seismometers are able to analyze many subjects stated above. With the acquirement of such knowledge, we will be able to interpret observational data of bodies like Charon with greater accuracy."