Alexander Ivanov

Alexander Ivanov

Grade: 11

Topic: Titania

In one of my hands I hold Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night's Dream” while peeking out the spaceship’s viewing port. Looking into the emptiness of outer space, I feel a bubbling excitement inside me. A colleague of mine enters the room and tells me that in approximately an hour we will be passing Titania — one of Uranus’s moons — and a personal favorite of mine.

I’ve always thought that Titania is the one moon of Uranus that should definitely be explored further. It’s the largest one that has long fault valleys, some nearly 1609 kilometers. Images taken by Voyager 2 make us think that this moon was once geologically active. The moon consists of approximately equal amounts of ice and rock. Past research has suggested that Titania may have a tenuous carbon dioxide atmosphere with a surface pressure of about ten nanopascals. Many people think that Titania is interesting because of its less cratered surface, high density, and young history. However, the one thing that surprised me the most was the possibility of it having subsurface oceans. Scientists have used the technique of calculating the strength of Titania’s magnetic field tugs, which led them to believe that there might be liquid underwater on the moon. Another factor that intrigued me was that Titania’s mantle is icy. This helps us conclude that a subsurface ocean can possibly be at the core-mantle boundary. Nevertheless, until we decide to go and explore the moon more in-depth, these breakthroughs can be taken with a grain of salt.

Titania 312

That’s why I believe that coming back to Titania — to examine its other half’s surface and composition — can help us find evidence of life and hopefully meet a more advanced and intelligent civilization. Until then, I will be preparing for this adventurous and hopeful space mission!

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