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Target 2: Tethys & Rings

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Target 2: Tethys & Rings

Kelly Perry

Science Planner Engineer

Tethys and Saturn's rings
Software used by the Cassini science planning team simulates the field of view the cameras on board the Cassini spacecraft can capture at a specific date and time. This is a computer-generated image of Tethys & Saturn rings as seen by the Cassini spacecraft's Narrow Angle Camera on Oct. 11, 2009. Click on the image for a larger view.

Hi. I'm Kelly, and I'm a Science Planning Engineer.

I think the best target is number 2 -- it shows the moon Tethys and parts of Saturn's Rings.

Cassini has only had two close fly-bys of Tethys so far. Magnetometer data from one of these fly-bys showed a very slight possibility that Tethys could be adding to the E ring.

Although the amount of material that Tethys contributes is extremely small relative to Enceladus, this possibility puts Tethys in the group of elite icy moons that definitely warrant further study.

Saturn's F ring and the outer edge of the A ring will also be visible in this image.

Scientists are extremely interested in the F ring, because its features often change in a matter of hours.

The shepherd moons, Prometheus and Pandora, often create unique kinks and knots. We may even be able to spot one of the very small moons that scientists believe exist, but we haven't yet seen.

The outer edge of the A ring is also very dynamic and interesting. The gravitational pull of Saturn's moons often create waves in the rings, and the edge of the A ring is a prime location for viewing these features.

If you're interested in making a new discovery, you should definitely choose target 2.