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International Edition Winners 2010: Australia, Target 1

International Edition Winners 2010: Australia, Target 1



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Rhea
Rhea
Lauren and Caitlin Heading


Grade: 7
Teacher Advisor: Louisa O'Brian
Korowa Anglican Girl's School

Glen Iris, Melbourne, Australia



"What an anomaly? According to a 2008 report from the European Space Agency, in 2005 there was photographic evidence from Cassini that Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea, had a ring of particles thousands of kilometres in diameter. This flew in the face of the long held view that only planets could have rings.

However, a recent article published on 6 August 2010 by Ker Than in the National Geographic magazine stated that a new study of optical images has failed to detect any signs of structures encircling the natural satellite.
So, what happened to the ring of dust particles that was previously observed around Rhea? It's time to find out, once and for all, whether Rhea has a ring or not.

Another worthwhile reason to look at Rhea is to further investigate why one side of the moon is heavily cratered, and the other not. Also, there are several wispy streaks that we need to find out more about – are they evidence of tectonic movement, or something else? As Rhea is Saturn's second largest moon, and orbits Saturn in such a photogenic position, just under the inner of Saturn's rings, it is surprising that we know so little about it. That is why we believe Target 1 will yield the most interesting science results."