School: Chris Hadfield P.S.
City: Milton, Ontario
For many years, humanity has looked with hope to the stars. As we continue to explore the world beyond Earth, there are so many things we have yet to discover. Among these things are the moons of Uranus. In 1986, the Voyager 2 spacecraft observed three moons, Titania, Ariel,
and Oberon. However, it only observed one half of each, leaving the other halves in the shadows. Someday, another spacecraft will journey to these moons, but will only explore one of them. I feel that the moon being observed should be Titania. This is because of the geological activity there, and how that may hold future possibilities for life.
On the surface, Titania reveals several impact craters, pockmarks, and rift valleys, lowland regions where tectonic plates move apart. This is a sign of tectonic activity. On Earth, there are several examples of rift valleys. The Baikal Rift Valley, formed by the fracturing and
moving or the Earth’s crust, is located in eastern Russia, running for 2,000 kilometres. Like Earth, Titania may also prove to have current geological activity on the side which we have yet to observe. There is also the possibility that Titania could hold liquid water beneath its surface. If the icy mantle beneath the surface has enough ammonia,or other antifreeze, it may have melted to water. If these oceans have hydrothermal vents, there may even be current life near the moon's core.
Sending another spacecraft to explore the hidden side of Titania could lead to many fascinating discoveries. These discoveries could help us learn more about our planet and better observe the other celestial bodies in the Solar System. Not only could we find extraterrestrial life, but one day, it may even be possible to colonize this Earth-like satellite.