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International Edition Winners 2009: India (Grade 9-10: Target 2)

International Edition Winners 2009: India (Grade 9-10: Target 2)

Tethys and Rings
Target 2: Tethys & Rings
Ch. Bhaskar

10th Grade;

Bhasyam School

" As political polls are becoming increased accuracy is attained by questioning representive samples of the population. Similarly In Cassini's exploration a "typical example' should become the image target to further our understanding of Saturn's moons.

Tethys is the best moon to explore because it is similar to Saturn's other moons. Tethys is comparable to Dione and Rhea, and is categorized as a - "mid-sized icy moon" of Saturn, along with Mimas, Enceladus, Dione, Rhea and lapetus. Not only is Tethys similar to other moons, but it also has unique features that merit research.

Tethys travels between Telesto and Calypso, to of Saturn's moons. By exploring Tethys, Scientists can observe uncommon phenomenon-multiple moons "sharing" an orbit. In addition, Tethys has intriguing surface features, such as both heavily and lightly cratered regions. The variation implies that Tethys has experience "internal activity", more recently in locations which are "lightly Cratered".

In contrast, Mimas craters suggest minimal "Internal activity" with in Mimas. regarding titan, it has been studied in some detail by Huygens probe, which was transported by the Cassini spacecraft. Titan possesses unique characteristics, such as the possible existence of lakes containing liquid methane. Exploring titan (whose atmosphere has an abundance of nitrogen and complex molecules) would provide information regarding potential conditions for the formation of life. How ever, some scientists have suggested that, unlike Tethys and Mimas, "Titan can not be a native moon of Saturn". Consequently, Tethys is the best image target to study Saturn's moons because [paradoxically] it is both similar to and different from Saturn's other moons.

Tethys possesses mysteries that could be solved if it becomes Cassini's image target. Relatively recent craters on Tethys surface have brighter coloration than surrounding areas. Cassini has a on board spectrometer-the Cassini composite infrared spectrometer, or CIRS. The CIRS could be used to determine the makeup of the surface of the brighter colored craters. Anther remarkable aspect of Tethys is the crater Odysseus (which is two-fifths the size of Tethys). Tethys was probably largely liquid when a collision formed Odysseus; the greater elasticity would be enable Tethys to survive a colossal impact. This theory of a liquid Tethys explains the presence of Ithaca Chasma. Ithaca Chasma is a huge canyon-like structure which spans across nearly seventy-five percent of Tethys. As Tethys solidified its surface cracked due to the increase in volume, consequently, Ithaca Chasma appeared.

Thus, Tethys is indeed the best image target out of the three options: Tethys, Titan, and Mimas. Tethys similarity to other moons is feature that should be taken advantage of, perhaps to extrapolate the collected data to other moons. Also, Tethys portrays some unusual characteristics and mysteries that merit more research. Although the accuracy of political polls does have grounds for speculation, many scientific findings are pointing to Tethys as the characteristic satellite which will teach us about the general nature of Saturn's moons. "