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International Edition Winners - 2013: Pakistan, Target 2, Grade 5-6

International Edition Winners - 2013: Pakistan, Target 2, Grade 5-6

Raania Siddiqui
Target 2, Dione
Raania Siddiqui

Hamza, Army Public School & College
Grade: 6

"Saturn is the sixth planet (from the sun) in our solar system. Saturn has dozens of moons. It has 18-named moons. Dione is one of the Saturn's moon.

Dione orbits Saturn with the semi major axis, about 2% less than that of Earth's moon. Its diameter is 1122 km and is more massive than all known moons, smaller than itself combined. It is composed of water ice. It means life can exist on it because water is necessary for life. Its trailing hemisphere, meanwhile contains an usual and distinctive surface feature, a network of bright ice cliffs. Bright ice cliffs are created by tectonic fractures Dione's icy surface includes heavily created terrain, moderately created plains, lightly created plains and areas of tectonic fractures.

On April 7, 2010, instruments on board the Cassini probe, which flew by Dione, detected a thin layer of molecular oxygen ions (O+2) around the moon. So thin that scientists prefer to call it an exosphere rather than a tenuous atmosphere. The density of molecular oxygen ion ranges from 0.01 to 0.09 per cm3. Now this is another clue that life can exist on it and human beings and other animals can survive there.

Cassini probe instruments were unable to directly detect water from exosphere due to high background level but it seems that highly charged particles from the planets powerful radiation belts could split the water in the ice into hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen is again necessary for humans and other animals and hydrogen is another element and can be used as fuel.

Its surface temperature is -186 -56oc. Now 56oc is the temperature where living things can survive and we also have this temperature on Earth at some places. Hints of Dione activity have recently come from Cassini, which has been exploring the Saturn system since 2004. The Space Craft magnetometer has detected a faint particle stream coming from the moon and images showed evidence for a possible liquid or slushy layer under its rocks – hard ice crust. Dione gels heat up by being stretched and squeezed as it gets closer to and farther from Saturn in its orbit. So, in this way a suitable temperature can be there. Where life can exist and we and all other living things can survive. With an icy crust that can slide around independently of moon's core, the gravitational pulls of Saturn get exaggerated and creates 10 times more heat. Beneath these icy subsurface, water may be present. So it may have underground oceans.

Dione's oxygen appears to derive from either solar photons or energetic particles from space bombarding the moon's water ice surface and liberating oxygen molecules. Atmosphere around Dione is less dense than other Saturn's moons. The density of oxygen at the surface of Dione is around 5 trillion times less dense than that at Earth's surface. Toker said Scientists suspected molecular oxygen would exist at Dione because "NASA's Hubble Space Telescope" detected Ozone. Discovery of oxygen could mean ingredients for life are abundant an icy space bodies. The concentration of oxygen in Dione's atmosphere is roughly similar to what you would find in Earth's atmosphere at an altitude of about 300 miles. Tokar said. "It is not enough to sustain life but together with similar observations of other moons around Saturn and Jupiter – these are definitive examples of a process by which a lot of Oxygen can be produced in icy celestial bodies that are bombarded by charged particles or photons from sun or whatever light source happens to be nearby. Perhaps even more exciting is the possibility that on moon with subsurface water such as Jupiter's moon Eurpa, molecular oxygen could combine with carbon in subsurface, lake to form building blocks of life."

Conclusion: All these evidences show that Cassini Target "Dione" will yield the best scientific results as it has many positive things necessary for human life i.e. oxygen and water. In my opinion we should try to bring Dione near the Earth and make it our natural Satellite. In this way we can go there easily. When humans and animal will be there, they release carbon dioxide and in carbon dioxide atmosphere plants can be grown."