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Cassini Scientist for a Day -- 2010 Edition Winners
Target 1: Rhea, Grade 7 & 8

Cassini Scientist for a Day -- 2010 Edition Winners
Target 1: Rhea, Grade 7 & 8


Isabelle Morrissey
Rhea
Rhea
Isabelle Morrissey

7th Grade
Homeschool
Teacher: Francesca Morrissey
New Milford, Conn.


"Rhea, Saturn's second largest moon, was discovered in 1672 by Giovanni Cassini. Rhea is an icy body with many hidden secrets. I think the best way to learn more about Saturn's moons is by choosing Target 1: Rhea because there are a lot of unsolved mysteries surrounding this moon. These mysteries have to do with Rhea's geographical surface, its weight, and whether or not it has rings.

Scientists have discovered interesting geological features on Rhea. By using Cassini's pictures, they have found that Rhea's surface has two different physical characteristics. One part of Rhea's surface has many large craters, while its other side has vivid, airy markings. This implies that a major resurfacing may have occurred during Rhea's development.

Yet another reason why Rhea should be our main focus is because of its mysterious mass. Rhea has an intriguing weight for a moon because it is surprisingly light. Scientists are led to believe that this moon consists mostly of ice, which makes sense because the temperature on Rhea ranges from –281°F to –364°F. I find this mysterious, as well, because Rhea has no identifiable atmosphere.

My favorite mystery is whether or not Rhea has rings. NASA's Cassini spacecraft found indications of matter orbiting Rhea. If this matter is really a ring, then Rhea may be the first moon ever to have rings. This would be an amazing phenomenon!

I find Rhea to be fascinating. Its geological features, its mass, and the possibility of its having rings, make Rhea a very puzzling moon. I think we should find out more about Rhea by pointing Cassini's cameras at this mystifying moon of Saturn."