Complex calculations are needed to simulate the paths of two large celestial bodies that interact with one another. Maximilian Marienhagen, 17, Toni Ringling, 18, and Aaron Wild, 18, from Thuringia showed under which conditions orbital movements can become chaotic. The three young researchers won in the Earth and Space Sciences category.
Jugend forscht - Category Earth and Space Sciences
Of Exoplanets and Grain Sizes
The Earth and Space Sciences category of the Jugend forscht competition covers a lot of ground — for example, observations of celestial bodies, the study of weather patterns, analysis of soil structures, and the excavation of fossils. Up-and-coming researchers in this category might analyze the stratification in a mine or the use of space in different regions, or reconstruct various types of animal and plant fossils.
Highlight Projects 2016
Calculating Mass-Radius Relationships and Modeling the Interior Structures of Earth-Like Exoplanets
Is there life on other planets? Human beings have been asking this question ever since the beginnings of astronomy. In order to determine whether planets outside our solar system might at least theoretically be habitable, we need to know certain things about them. Tuan Tung Nguyen examined two planets known as Kepler-10c and Kepler-452b. Using a software program he had designed himself, Tuan analyzed data concerning the exoplanets’ mass, radius, atmospheric pressure, and temperature and was able to demonstrate that Kepler-452b shares many similarities with Earth, meaning it could theoretically support life. Kepler-10c is completely different, however, as it might consist primarily of forsterite, which is a magnesium silicate. In both cases, the question of extraterrestrial life remained unanswered. Nevertheless, Tuan’s efforts were impressive enough to earn him first prize in the Earth and Space Sciences category.
Soil Condition Analyses in the Context of Climate Change: The Vogelstang District of Mannheim
What is the composition of the soil on the outskirts of the city of Mannheim? Helin Dogan decided to find out by taking a close look at the farmland and the forests in the area. She analyzed the humus and carbonate content of various soil samples, as well as the sizes of the soil grains. She found that humus content varied in line with the way different parcels of land were used. Humus content was highest in forest areas, lower in meadows, and lowest on farmland. Dogan was also able to show that the smaller the soil grain size and the greater the amount of clay in the soil, the higher will be the humus content. Because rising temperatures resulting from climate change accelerate microbial humus decomposition, Dogan recommends that farmers switch to crops that enrich humus. She took second prize in the Earth and Space Sciences category in 2016.