Annie Hu

Annie Hu

Grade: 9

School: Solon High School

Teacher: Laura Fitch

City: Solon, Ohio

Topic: Titania

As Voyager 2 flew by Uranus in 1986, it was able map 40% of Titania, Uranus's largest moon. Claiming the spot of the eighth largest moon in our Solar System, Titania is filled with canyons, rupes, and craters, the largest being Gertude which reaches 326 kilometers. This indicates its potential geological activeness. However, it is less cratered than Oberon, suggesting a younger surface which could be attributed to early endogenic resurfacing events.

Titania 312
Titania is unique because infrared spectroscopic observations indicate the existence of an icy mantle surrounding a rocky core. If the ice contains ammonia, it could act as an antifreeze which would allow for the existence of liquid water. This raises the question of whether or not there could be liquid oceans hidden beneath the rocky surface. If hydrothermal vents were supported on the floor, this could possibly sustain small patches of extraterrestrial life. If such oceans truly exist, the thickness would be around 31 mi. Considering the importance of liquid water, the possible existence of it on Titania could mean monumental discoveries.

Another interesting discovery made by infrared spectroscopy is the presence of carbon dioxide, possibly attributed to carbonates or organic material influenced by ultraviolet radiation. Because carbon dioxide collected at the poles warms during the summer, it moves to equatorial regions and opposite poles in a process called sublimation. This causes the creation of the carbon cycle, somewhat like the one here on Earth.

With the exception of Voyager 2 in 1986, no other spacecraft has visited Titania. Considering the intriguing discoveries made with just several images, imagine what could be discovered if another mission was sent. Although the condition of Titania's icy mantle or possible hydrothermal vents is not known, more in-depth explorations could mean the answer to our burning questions.

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