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International Edition Winners - 2013: Venezuela, Grade: 7-8

International Edition Winners - 2013: Venezuela, Grade: 7-8

Target 2, Dione

Grade: 7-8

Team leaders: Alexander Ocando, Melisa Romero, Jesus Romero, Luis Gustavo Villalobos, Roberto Carlos Fernandez, and Luis Carlos Padron.

Team members: Santiago Montiel, Santiago Soto, Andreina Vera,
Francesco Gonnella, Miguel Blazques, Rafael Uzcategui, Miguel Bortolin, Diego Fuenmayor, and Erika Mejias.

Teachers: Alexis Mavarez, Pedro Medina, Rafael Morales, Manuel Villarreal, Jorge Aldana, Venancio Morales, and Carlos Avila.

Schools: Liceo Los Robles, Mater Salvatoris, Nuestra Senora de Fatima, Altamira, Nuestra Senora Medalla, and Guzman Blanco.

City: Maracaibo

"As junior amateur astronomers our team considers itself as scientists that study celestial bodies such as black holes, moons, planets, stars, nebulae,this experience will teach us how incredible is being a part of Nasa team. We suggest to photograph DIONE combined with some of its instruments such as RADAR.

The possible presence of a subsurface ocean at Dione would boost the astrobiological potential of this once-boring would be good to know whats below the surface were photographing. Also the spacecraft's magnetometer has detected a faint particle stream coming from the moon, and images showed evidence for a possible liquid or slushy layer under its rock-hard ice crust.

We read Saturn has more water moons than the rest of the planets! investigating deeply the surface of DIONE to determine if it can be a potential home for alien life.. Slushy, subterranean bodies of liquid could lie below the moons icy crust, could erupt from time to time through ancient fissures and we want to know as young amateur astronomers if this water emerging is an actual recurrent process of the moon?, there's potential for life?

Photography combined with instruments Cassini Plasma Spectrometer, Cosmic Dust Analyzer, Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer, Magnetometer, Magnetospheric Imaging Instrument (MIMI), Radio and Plasma Wave Science perhaps could determine if a water reservoir could help humans live and grow colonies on DIONE?

We read that Dione has craters 100 kilometers wide, moderately cratered plains, lightly cratered plains and fractured zones. Cratered areas are more common in the trailing hemisphere. Logically, leading hemisphere of the moon should be the most heavily cratered, what has been theorized that an impact occurred recently around Dione.

Fractured areas, seen in Voyager images as bright thin wispy lines, have lengths of tens to hundreds of kilometers. Cassini flybys starting in 2005 showed "the wisps" as bright canyon ice walls (some of them several hundred meters high), probably caused by subsidence cracking. The walls are bright because darker material falls off them, exposing bright water ice. These cliffs suggest Dione experienced past tectonic activity. Perhaps a mature phase of the so-called tiger stripes on Enceladus.

Very fine ice powder from Saturn's E-ring constantly bombards Dione, ultimately comes from Enceladus, which has prominent geyser activity.
Dione density is 1.48 times that of liquid water, suggesting that one third is a dense rock, probably silicate and the remainder is ice. In extremely cold temperature, the ice is very hard and behaves like a rock.

As with Earth's Moon, Dione is phase locked toward Saturn. The craters on Dione patterns seem to show that the moon has turned 180 degrees the reason for this change, however, is still mystery. hopefully our proposed photographic observation may add clues?

The next flyby will be in 2015, and that will be the last time Cassini will get close to this fascinating moon. From our School observatory in Maracaibo, we will observe Saturn and its moons to also become someday explorers of Dione, we will be the youngest amateur astronomers that help Cassini's moons explorations, with our humble knowledge and junior scientist point of view we want to be part of this historical Universal discovery."