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2001 Edition -- Target 3: Saturn, Grade 5 and 6 Winner

2001 Edition -- Target 3: Saturn, Grade 5 and 6 Winner


Joey Woods
Titan and Tethys
Saturn
Joey Woods

5th Grade
Park View School
Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Teacher: Kerin Motsinger


"The Cassini satellite has three great options of space to study but there is only one best choice that should be made. While it is true that Hyperion and Rhea and Titan are all interesting moons of Saturn, they cannot compete with the northern hemisphere of the planet. The northern hemisphere has many unique aspects that I will describe.

One significant reason to study Saturn's northern hemisphere is that it is rare for us to see that part of Saturn. Saturn's rotation around the sun takes 30 years and every season lasts for 7.5 years. When this happens the planet's rings shadow one hemisphere each season. This means that we have a short time to observe.

Another important reason why the Cassini should observe Saturn's northern hemisphere is because there are massive storms on Saturn. These are called great white spots, and can last for months at a time. The northern hemisphere also experiences many large, chaotic earthquakes.

In the 1980s, something very interesting happened. We found a hexagon at the north pole of Saturn. It is enormous! It could even fit four replicas of Earth in it. This is something that NASA could learn more about by studying Saturn's northern hemisphere.

Now you can ask yourself, why shouldn't we observe the other two choices first? Well, to start, there are deficiencies surrounding the other two choices. For example, the moons will be constantly visible, while Saturn's northern hemisphere can only be seen for a limited period of time. Also, due to the lesser amount of land on each of the moons, it is possible that these moons would not offer as much information as the northern hemisphere would.

For these reasons, it is clear that Saturn's northern hemisphere is the best choice for NASA to study."