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Cassini Scientist for a Day -- Fall 2009 Winner
Target 1: Saturn & Rings, Grade 6 & 7

Cassini Scientist for a Day -- Fall 2009 Winner
Target 1: Saturn & Rings, Grade 6 & 7


Morgan Shoup
Saturn and its rings
Saturn and its Rings
Morgan Shoup

7th Grade
Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy
Teacher: Jeff Rigg
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho


"The Cassini Mission should be sent toward Saturn's Rings because there is so much we have yet to learn! The satellite was sent to view the rings of Saturn on October 11, 2006 and two new rings were discovered along with the many changes in the waviness of the F and D rings. Who knows what we may discover with another expedition of viewing the rings?

Exploring Saturn's rings would be great and help us possibly answer some questions about our universe. For example I would like to know what the Saturn rings are made of. Some observations say that moon debris, moons, ice chunks, or dust. Wouldn't it be nice to get some more beautiful photos of the rings and learn exactly what makes them up?

Another couple questions that might be answered with this expedition would be: Why are there rings? How were they made? One theory I researched was that the gravitational pull of the planet pulls debris off of the sixty or more moons and suspends it in a ring around Saturn. Another educated guess I researched was that the rings were made along with the planet and are part of it. I believe that these would be very fascination questions to research and answer!

Do the rings change with the seasons? How long will the rings stay? Why are some wavy? What more is there to be discovered? Are there moons in the rings? How old are the rings? How old is the planet Saturn? I believe that sending Cassini to view the rings will help answer some of my questions. Who knows? With Cassini we may even make some new discoveries! Observing Saturn's rings will give us a better understanding of how this planet was made and the beautiful unique rings it possesses."