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International Edition Winners 2011: Australia, Target 1

International Edition Winners 2011: Australia, Target 1




Cecilia Rafanan
Hyperion
Hyperion
Cecilia Rafanan

 
Caroline Chisholm Catholic College


Age Group: 7th-8th Grade


"Most often, people recognise a moon for its spherical, smooth and creamy white colour, but Saturn’s fourth moon, Hyperion, has undeniably defied this statement. Its mysteries that are yet to be discovered are beyond compare from the other two targets. Hence, this will not only be a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to yield valuable information and unlock secrets from Hyperion, but will become a treasured accomplishment, commemorated for times to come. Therefore, I know that everyone will agree with me when I say, “Hyperion is the target which will provide the greatest science.”

At first glance, Hyperion looks as if it’s plastered in an achromatic grey colour and simultaneously with dark depressions, but in fact; Hyperion is tinted in red and when it is observed through a colour image, it happens to reveal hidden secrets, additional details and variations of colours throughout its surface; however, these ‘secrets’ are not so accurate and, therefore, will require more insight. Furthermore, the feature which startles most spacecraft missions is Hyperion’s asymmetrical shape and ‘spongy’ surface which is rarely found on the other moons in Saturn’s system. Hypothetically, these irregularities were supposedly due to a shower of meteors which was deemed to have played a major part in shaping and altering the surface of Hyperion, thus, the effect of this bombardment have theoretically caused Hyperion to appear and become primarily known as the oldest surface in Saturn’s system.

If we go back and recall the last Cassini spacecraft mission on September 26, 2005; the Cassini spacecraft had taken sharp, crisp images and videos of Hyperion but were not accurate enough to allow scientists to gather enough information for examining and answering questions, especially regarding the unusual congregations of craters which spreads miscellaneously around the exterior of this moon. These curiosities then expose the question, ‘What is the strange, dark substance or material which fills some craters on this moon?’ This query leads to whether or not landslides or other celestial activities occur on Hyperion’s surface to allow this substance or material to fill these depressions. But the foremost and initial mystery of this moon exposes the question, ‘Why does Hyperion differ from the other moons which belong in Saturn’s system?’ With modern technology and the opportunity to glean from this celestial body, these questions may be answered. If Cassini takes the opportunity to explore and observe the features of Hyperion, Cassini will not only answer these brain-straining questions but discover, reveal and truly understand the mysteries of Hyperion.

Further study on this moon can result in amazing discoveries about the exterior and interior of Hyperion, which is certainly deemed valuable in unravelling mind-boggling questions which still, puzzles the intellectual scientists of this era and will absolutely be a worthwhile advancement in astrophysics. Thus, I believe that Target 1 is definitely the target which will provide the best science."