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Cassini Scientist for a Day -- Fall 2009 Winners
Target 2: Tethys & Rings, Grade 5 & 6

Cassini Scientist for a Day -- Fall 2009 Winners
Target 2: Tethys & Rings, Grade 5 & 6


Kathryn Myers
Tethys & Saturn's Rings
Tethys & Saturn's Rings
Kathryn Myers

5th Grade
Highland School
Teacher: Gregory Kuebler
Warrenton, Va.


"Target two, shows a picture of Tethys underneath Saturn's F and A rings. Saturn has multiple rings around it made of small rocks and gas. Tethys is the 5th largest moon out of the 61 moons of Saturn. Tethys is an icy moon covered with many small craters and one very large unique crater called Odysseus. I believe that the craters were formed by collisions with other rocks. I believe these craters are scientifically interesting and need to be investigated more to find out how they were created.

Tethys is now located outside of Saturn's rings, which are full of rocks. Therefore, I believe it is possible, Tethys was located in the rings at some point and a big rock could have smashed in to it and caused the big crater Odysseus to be made but also pushed Tethys out of the ring and into a new orbit.

Another reason why Tethys is interesting is that two rocks, one in the front and the other behind Tethys, may be from the collision that caused the crater. The two rocks named Telesto and Calypso are the same distance from Tethys and are in the same orbit. To find out if the pieces of rock are from Tethys, tests would need to be done to find out if they are all the same material.

Tethys also has a canyon on it called Ithaca Chasm. Usually canyons are made from moving liquids over a very long time but Tethys is an ice moon without liquids. This is scientifically interesting because possibly Tethys used to have water or some type of liquid on it to form the canyon. Maybe Tethys changed because it was thrown into a new orbit turning the liquid into ice, how else would a canyon get there if it is solid ice?

We need to investigate more on the moon Tethys and if its orbital position has changed over time or if its location in space has caused Tethys to change from a liquid and solid to only a solid. "