School: Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy
Teacher: Cheryl Bordelon
City: Avondale, Louisiana
"Charon, the moon of Pluto, is the one that should be explored further. There are many things that make Charon unique, including its relative size to Pluto, tidal locking, and possible remains of an ocean. Charon has just under the surface area of the United States and is just under half the size of Pluto. Because of its relative size to the dwarf planet, it is sometimes called a double dwarf planet system. The size of Charon also influences the motion of Pluto’s other moons with its gravity, causing them to orbit chaotically. The time that Charon takes to rotate around Pluto is the same amount of time it takes Pluto to rotate one around its axis. This causes Charon to never set in Pluto’s sky, which is very rare considering its occurrence in the solar system.
Charon could also hold clues to what happened at the beginning of our universe and the beginning of our solar system. Every piece of new information could lead to a better understanding of what happened before we were here. A new understanding of what happened at the beginning could also lead to a new understanding of what will happen at the end and why we should continue to explore deeper and deeper into the galaxy we inhabit. No matter what we find on Charon, it will open new scientific doors that were previously closed and lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the planets we share a sun with."