South Korea Team

Year: 2015-16

Target: Jupiter

"Jupiter and its many moons have many mysteries that are yet unsolved. Questions about the existence of the Great Red Spot and some of the Jupiter's numerous moons are the chief questions regarding Jupiter that are still unanswered. Thus, making Jupiter and its many moons, especially Calisto, the Great Red Spot and Europa the next target of the Cassini mission could potentially result in remarkable discoveries.

Analyzing Europa's ice-based plate tectonics promises intriguing information panning several fields. First of all, this phenomenon comprises of ice and water and naturally has a different source compared to Earth's, which consists of rocks and is fueled by a hot core, Analyzing it will help better understand our own planet's plate tectonics. Secondly, the deepest part of the speculated subsurface ocean is hypothesized to have similar conditions as that of the Mariana trench and could potentially harbor primitive lifeforms, possibly living through chemosynthesis. Such a discovery will be revolutionary for the study of the origins and conditions of life, as well as broadening the horizons of exobiology.

Callisto, a moon also known the "long dead moon", is approximately 4.5 billion years old and has a similar age to Jupiter. Though we do know that is roughly similar in size to Mercury and happens to be the third largest moon in the solar system, this moon still has many mysterious characteristics which scientists. For example, it potentially has a subsurface ocean composed of salt water which could be a possible habitat for extraterrestrial life. In addition, Callisto has the interesting characteristic of having low radiation compared to other moons, making it a safer place to eventually place a human base for future space exploration. These undeniably interesting facts and its potential to provide practical benefits to human beings in the future make Callisto a compelling target for the Cassini Project to study.

Though it has been over four hundred years since people first discovered the Great Red Spot, it still holds many swirling enigmas. To start with the color, scientists still can't explain how the Great Red Spot has its reddish hue. Scientists are guessing that Jupiter's atmosphere has clouds made up of ammonia, ammonium hydrosulfide, and water, but this still fails to explain how and why its color is always red. This massive tornado which is as big as the Earth, is rotating counterclockwise, exactly opposite of tornadoes on Earth which rotate clockwise. Also, in 2014 it was observed that the size of the Great Red Spot shrunk to almost half of the size measured in historic observations.

Jupiter is blessed with numerous moons and distinctive characteristics which are filled with riddles of their own. Europa and Callisto have many intriguing traits that make them ideal targets for analysis, as well as The Great Red Spot on Jupiter itself. Analyzing them closely may allow both scientists and laymen to have a better understanding of our universe."

Solar System News