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International Edition Winners 2010: Romania, Target 2 -- Grade 10-12

International Edition Winners 2010: Romania, Target 2 -- Grade 10-12

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

Teacher Advisor: Daniel Ovidiu Crocnan
"Tudor Vianu" National Highschool of Computer Science


"The God of time is watching the sleeping satellites chained in their dance underneath Saturn's icy rings. Off we go on our journey following these twinkling celestial bodies.

The terrestrial crew is watching the galaxy being scanned and they can feel the thrill of getting closer to the first satellite, light years distance away.

The giant Titan is meeting the interplanetary traveller with his dense atmosphere, filled with nitrogen gaseous systems. The surface of Titan, Saturn's biggest satellite, stays hidden by the ultraviolet rays. The crew is going to remain here for some days. The reason?

What can there be more challenging than to discover the secrets of the frozen Titan, where the temperature maintains itself at -200 degrees? The planet has been considered 'the twin' of the earth since billions of years ago, and Cassini has travelled through the Milky Way to get samples. The volcanic activity, the liquid methane, the huge craters and the eroding wind, they all give numerous investigation tracks. All these bring out precious information about the nature and the age of this mysterious moon that hosts seasons even, making the temperature change. The purpose of this research is, in our opinion, the parallel we can draw between developing the life on Terra and the evolution on Titan. Can here the organisms adapt and build ecosystems? There will be an answer when our traveller comes back home.

The mission is accomplished on Saturn's biggest moon. The space is opening up again, endlessly, Titan's image showing up in a pale orange light.

Tethys appears on the horizon, one of the most intense reflection surfaces in the Solar System. Its solid body, composed of ice, reveals gigantic craters before our spacecraft, which lands near the huge Odysseus. Why to stay here? To learn about the impacts that have modified the appearance of the planet and to study the possible existence of liquid water. The taken images are priceless, capturing landscapes of Saturn.

The journey goes on ... Enceladus, the last satellite, appears, crossed by violet-blue lines of water and snow knitted at the South Pole. We stop to study the ice surface of this moon. The most interesting part of the journey approaches: we will analyze the hydrocarbons that can sustain life, and volcanism, a special phenomenon in which the "geysers" water is almost instantaneously transformed into ice. The supposition of the existence of large underground oceans favourable to microorganisms, have determined us to investigate the 'tiger stripes" .Enceladus is the planet which has the necessary components to sustain life: energy, molecules of carbon and last but not least, water, therefore we paid special attention to this satellite.

The trip ends with a feat of strength over the rings of Saturn, from where the planet appears for the last time .The itinerary proved ideal: proofs and relevant images have been captured, understanding both the overview, and planets in particular.

These are the reasons why our story should become real."