Sibani Malhotra

Sibani Malhotra

Grade: 9

School: GEMS Wellington International School

Topic: Oberon

Can a mystifying moon hold within it, the secret of potential life? Oberon, a name that keeps me thinking, about the endless possibilities that it can hold. Both because of its features, and its peculiar appearance. What does this moon truly hold? Oberon is the second largest amongst Uranus’ moons in addition to being the outermost one. This striking celestial body was discovered in 1787 by Sir William Herschel, a British astronomer who also discovered Uranus! The name Oberon originates from the King of the Fairies from Shakespeare’s classic- A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is assumed to be composed of rocky material and water ice in equal quantities. A layer of liquid water may be present between its core and mantle-a feature quite astonishing for a moon! Numerous impacts of asteroids and comets have covered the surface of the moon with craters, the widest being Hamlet, which is 206 km in diameter!


Adding more to the mystery of craters, is the origin of unidentified substances that cover the surface of its craters. Some theories suggest that it is dirty water that gushed into the crater after impact, though this area needs more research to establish facts. Another eerie thing about Oberon is that several of its craters exhibit bright ejecta rays from their surfaces which is quite an unusual sight for many moons of Uranus. Ejecta rays is a concept which most people are unaware of. It would be best to return with a spacecraft to discover the true origin of these unidentified substances on its craters, in addition to increasing our knowledge about these ejecta rays and their formation. For the scientific wizards, it is a distinctive topic to study about. This would help us to answer my initial question, “What does this moon truly hold?”

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