Learn why NASA scientists are so excited about all three of this year’s essay contest topics. All three of these moons are interesting to planetary scientists, because they have each been observed on only one side. What does the back of each of these moons look like? We don’t know! And neither does anyone else... yet.
Topic 1: Miranda, Moon of Uranus
Topic 2: Triton, Moon of Neptune
Topic 3: Charon, Moon of Pluto
If you could send a robotic spacecraft to learn even more about Miranda, Triton, or Charon, which moon would you like to study further? What do you think we might find there?
All three of these moons conceal a mystery: What does the back of each moon look like? Flyby missions only reveal the side of the moon that’s visible by the camera on the passing spacecraft. Since each of these moons has only been visited once, we haven’t had a chance to see the back of these moons yet. If we could return to one of these moons with a robotic spacecraft, what do you think might be there? What do you hope we might find?