School: Alameda High School
Teacher: Jennifer Campbell
City: Alameda, California
Oberon is not a satellite of typical interest. A floating sphere with icy surface of 70 degrees Kelvin accompanied by a rocky core does not sound much like a harbinger of life. Neither does its sparse geological activity and lack of warm liquid water, indicating an absence of any identifiers of life. But, however lifeless Oberon may seem, the planet’s appearances are deceiving. Oberon is a living museum, and for those with an esoteric interest, it may be a gateway into discovering information about the conception of life as we know it.
The famous Miller-Urey experiment has already proven that organic molecules can be created out of nonliving material. This information could be the basis of a mission to Oberon. The question about the conception of all life is far too intriguing to ignore, and the possibility of early life frozen in time on this far off moon could provide a long sought-after answer.