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International Edition Winners 2011: Romania, Target 1, Grade 9-12

International Edition Winners 2011: Romania, Target 1, Grade 9-12

Alice Bancu, Ioana-Diana Gardus and Iulia-Alexandra Sofian
Alice Bancu
Ioana-Diana Gardus
Iulia-Alexandra Sofian

12th Grade
Tudor Vianu National High School of Computer Science
Bucharest, Romania

Teacher: Daniel Crocnan

"One autumn evening, while pointing his telescope at the sky, he noticed something unusual: a bizarre moon, elongated and crushed by craters, chaotically gravitating next to Iapetus and Titan. He was drawn by its peculiar silhouette, apparently covered in ice and he made an oath to expose its secrets somehow, someday...

... Later, much later, the science team was anxiously observing the exploring ship flying through space. He was all grown up now and, in the meantime, he studied thoroughly about Hyperion, the most intriguing moon of the Solar System: its flawed shape and antipodal evolution, unlike its Saturnian brothers, everything made it glow among the others.

So out of place among Rhea, Titan and Enceladus, Hyperion's sight, caught by the space mission represented a genuine contrast: the first moon with non-ellipsoidal figure, easily mistaken for a meteor by the uninitiated ones, has always raised a couple of curiosities: through what process can its craters remain invariable for eons on end, therefore resulting in a structure apparently struck by air stones? And, nevertheless, what makes it tick?

The oldest of the Cronian moons however, will not let its secrets easily revealed. Recent studies revealed that 40% of its surface is actually void. It is also believed that the porosity measurement preserves an atypical pattern.

The space mission will be designed to collect data so that they can continue researching. It is believed that this satellite is made up mostly of solid water and very little stone. Exploring its surface, it may also take samples of the dark material inside the craters, to be compared with the composition of Iapetus, similar to Hyperion. Its reddish color, odd disposing of shades, as well as the spongy appearance of the moon will be investigated in terms of geological fragments, which scientists will have at hand with the return of the ship set out to explore.

Last but not least, panoramic pictures of Iapetus and Titan, satellites nearby Hyperion, will complete the overview of the Saturnian system. The main factors that prevent regular rotation of the moon and its internal composition will represent new research basis after the mission will be completed.

24 hours have passed like a moment, and so the exploring station leaves the most uncommon moon of Saturn. In the background, its unusual image, with reddish hues, plays few minutes while Iapetus seems wrapped in gold leaflet.

"Kaleidoscope of colors, shapes, composition and light ..." he says , the only one who stayed in the central observations room. This exploration is made with good objectives: the study of the satellite's genesis, the comparison with the other celestial bodies, the analysis of samples taken and the images captured, all this will fully reward the curiosity of the researchers.

Meanwhile, the lonely moon, without a clear delimitation of the hemispheres and the perfect spherical contours, continues its unpredictable rotation. The indirect visit of the earthlings will remain only an ambiguous dream for her eternal sleep in the dark space."