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Cassini Scientist for a Day -- 2010 Edition, U.S. Winners
Target 2: Titan, Tethys and Enceladus, Grade 5 & 6

Cassini Scientist for a Day -- 2010 Edition, U.S. Winners
Target 2: Titan, Tethys and Enceladus, Grade 5 & 6


Alden Hogdon
Titan and Tethys
Titan and Tethys
Alden William Hodgdon

6th Grade
Saint Jeanne De Lestonnac
Teacher: Allison Spillman
Tustin, Calif.


" The Cassini Scientist for the Day Contest was announced during class and I was very interested in learning more of what our scientists would be studying and why. My teacher showed my class incredible videos of the Cassini spacecraft and the three images of Saturn’s moons that will be taken. She asked us many questions as to why we should or would be interested in this mission.

I feel that Target 2, Tethys and Saturn’s Rings are the most important of the three targets that the scientists should be studying. This target shows Tethys Moon and some parts of Saturn’s Rings. According to some information that I read, Cassini has had only a couple of sightings that the moon could be contributing to a ring. Tethys might be made up of other icy moons and this could be very interesting to the scientist.

I am also interested in the “F” ring and the “A” ring, which might be visible in some of the images taken by Cassini. The scientists are interested in the “F” ring, mainly because they believe that there are several changes taken place every hour or so. These changes are either geographical or are effected by some weather conditions.

The scientists will be able to have around sixty images to study from this observation. They will then be able to make slow motion video in order for us to have a better view and understanding. This target is the best because it will show three of the most unique moons that orbit the planet Saturn and have incredible pictures of its rings.

These scientists will observe the moon Titan. Titan is Saturn’s largest moon. This moon will be the main view and the rings will be very visible as well. Another moon, Enceladus will also be able to be seen at the same time. The moon Titan is made up of a very thick atmosphere and materials that are similar to Tethys and its icy characteristics. Enceladus is made up of ice geysers that are known to affect Saturn’s rings.

Also, Prometheus which is known as an inner moon of Saturn is another area of interest to the scientists. Prometheus is another moon that has many interesting characteristics. It is made up of many ridges, craters, and valleys. It is icy and is very solid. This moon affects Saturn’s “F” ring and is known as the “Shepherd Moon.” Because of the light and darkness it creates many scientist have noticed seasonal changes. This could be very important to their research and could help them understand weather patterns. The scientists believe that this could affect the future and changes on the planet Saturn and its moons.

The Cassini spacecraft mission will help many scientists understand more clearly Saturn, its rings, and many moons by using the information gained from Target 2."