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Cassini Scientist for a Day -- Fall 2009 Winners
Target 2: Tethys & Rings, Grade 9 to 12

Cassini Scientist for a Day -- Fall 2009 Winners
Target 2: Tethys & Rings, Grade 9 to 12


Jillian Stronk
Tethys & Saturn's Rings
Tethys & Saturn's Rings
Jillian Stronk

11th Grade
Cheshire High School
Cheshire, Conn.



"After studying the three possible targets, it is evident that the target yielding the best scientific results is Target 2, Tethys and the outer Rings of Saturn. This target will provide more new information than any of the other targets. It will allow not only a close up of Saturn's "A", "F", and "E" rings, but it will also allow a relatively close view of Tethys itself.

Because of the close up view of Saturn's rings, studies of the rings' composition can still be carried out. In addition to that, scientists will be able to find out if in fact Tethys is adding to Saturn's "E" ring. Since close fly-bys have yielded data stating that Tethys is possibly adding to the "E" ring, then another fly-by may determine just how much it is contributing and reveal more facts about this moon and its relationship with the shape of Saturn's rings. Additional photographs will allow scientists a greater opportunity to pursue Tethys's effect on the outer rings of Saturn. If, for example, there is a great amount of photographic detail, the scientists could measure the height of the peaks of the waves caused by shepherd moons which may or may not include Tethys. Also from this angle, it is possible that scientists may spot a particular shepherd moon that's existence has not yet been proved.

By including both Saturn's rings and Tethys in the imaging, scientists would be getting twice as much information as the other two targets, considering that those targets only have one main object to study. The other benefit of the Target 2 photographs is that a good picture is guaranteed. The photographs of Target 3, may not be clear enough to reveal the surface of the moon, Titan, and therefore would reveal no new scientific evidence of the moon's past.

When the Cassini Spacecraft's cameras focus on this target, new facts will be revealed, providing more information than the other two targets will."