Tudor Ene and Vlad Crintea

Tudor Ene and Vlad Crintea

School: “Ion Heliade Radulescu” Gymnasium School

City: Bucharest

Topic: Charon


"I.The reasons why we chose the Charon Moon

We chose this topic because it is the moon of a planet, Pluto, that we don't know much about. Charon, the moon of Pluto, is very interesting and cought our attention, due to its sealed surface, that foster organic materials. We see in this fact a great potential for further exploration and development of new theories.

II.Scientific data of the Charon Moon

Artist's rendering of Charon and New Horizon
Charon is Pluto's biggest moon that was recently discovered by NASA's New Horizons satellit, in 2015. New Horizons images show us that Charon's surface is heavily covered by ice. The satellite also observed gigantic canyons formed along the equator of about 965.6064 km. Scientists also discovered organic materials on the ice-covered surface. These could prove that life exists on other planets or moons. The Charon’s ice is formed due to the fact that the Charon Moon is very far from the sun.

It is presumed that the Charon Moon was formed 4.5 billion years ago (as did the earth and our moon). It is also believed that Charon's orbit was formed after a collision with Pluto. A full orbit of Charon is done in 6,387 days. The approximate distance between Pluto and Charon is 19,570 km, and the mass of Charon is equal to 12% of the mass of the planet Pluto. Which is quite abnormal because the moons are not so large, compared to the planets they orbit, and this causes the planet to frequently quake.

Unlike the radius of the planet that Charon orbits, it has a radius much smaller than about 606 km and a density of 1.71 g / cm cube. The temperature of Charon varies between -258C and -213C, in the winter.

III.The reasons why NASA should design another mission on this moon

As stated in the text above, Charon has organic materials that can prove that life exists (whether it is in the form of plants, bacteria, animals, etc.). In the light of these findings, new living species and new materials could be identified, that can change, in some respects, what science knows, up untill now, and, also, can impact the way we look and understand everything around us. We strongly believe, that further inquieries, observations and expedition, could bring new discoveries and influence the future.

Great discoveries are often made through numerous trials and tests, which is why new expeditions should be made to learn about the Charon, the moon of Pluto until the discoveries made would be sufficiently edifying in its occurrence and possible connections with other worlds in which life is similar with the one we have on Earth."

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