Teacher: Mrs. Humphrey
School: Garth Webb Secondary School
City: Oakville, Ontario
Uranus’s biggest moon; Titania, was first discovered on January 11th, 1787. More than 200 years later, we imaged half of the moon, but what about the other half? What remains undiscovered on the other side of the queen of the fairies?
From the half that scientists have studied, they found that the cracking of the moon’s crust was caused by the global expansion of Titania, proving geological changes occurring at the surface of the moon. These surface changes are not as interesting as the science behind them. Titania would give scientists a chance to research how internal geological changes of Earth can be compared to other celestial bodies. Studying Titania in detail, especially the other side of it, will give us more information on what lies on the surface of the moon, and how those changes are influenced by factors beneath the crust. This can be done by studying what lies beneath the surface of Titania. On Earth we know that the shifting of plates causes many of the geological changes, and events we see, but is that also the case of Titania? Current theories suggest that Titania may have a subsurface ocean at the core-mantle boundary, which could be a factor in the geological features we have seen on the surface of the moon. The cracking of the crust is just one example of what we have seen. Canyons forming on the surface of Titania are more proof of the changes occurring on that moon.
The lack of information we have of the internal structures, allows us to only theorize how many of the geological features of the moon are being formed. Sending a spacecraft there would allow us to study the different processes, and how they differ from the processes on Earth.