Naz Irem BAZ

Year: 2015-2016

School: Kadikoy Anatolian High School

Teacher: Metin Tevetoglu

Grade: 10

City: Kad köy - Istanbul


Target: Rings and Moons

"Cassini mission continues to examine and explore the Saturnian system since 1997 and thanks to Cassini, I personally had a chance to examine the Saturnian system and got impressed by Saturn and everything it has. It is a glorious planet which is one of the human race's best opportunity to understand the onset of "biological life" out of the Earth and the unknowns of the solar system for today's technology.

Despite the matchless beauty and scientific significance of each target, I choose to examine Saturn's spectacular rings and three of its moons: Enceladus, Tethys and Mimas.

Enceladus is the sixth largest moon of Saturn. Enceladus reflects nearly 100% of the sunlight which makes it one of the brightest objects in our solar system. Its hemispheres have different qualities from each other. The north hemisphere is pretty much like other icy moons, covered with impact craters and ice. However, the south hemisphere is different. There are linear figures, smooth plains, tiger stripes (known as spraying ice into space, creating Saturn's E-ring), and south polar plumes. With the discovery of plumes, it is understood that Enceladus isn't what it looks like. It is active and unexpectedly hot which causes cryovolcanic activities on the south pole.

By studying the Saturnian System, we may have a chance to understand things about the origin of the solar system. Of a surety, Enceladus has an unignorable role as it has fundamentals of life: organic molecules, methane, water, hydrogen, and ammonia. In that case, Enceladus is not only important because it has liquid water and a major importance on formating E-ring but also it may support biological life as it nearly has all the organics and heat source to enable the biological life. Plus, we don't know much about Enceladus as we know about Europa and Mars, though, Enceladus is a great treasure if we have an intention to find other life forms in other worlds.
And of course by taking this picture, we will be able to observe a very significant event when Mimas and Enceladus overlap each other. We may observe a relation between them which can even affect Enceladus' geysers as well as it can cause orbital declination. This declination likely can be used to calculate Enceladus' mass. Furthermore, the tides effect like the one between Enceladus and Saturn is the reason of hot spots on Enceladus. The same situation may be observed in this picture between Enceladus and Mimas, and affects their temperature distribution.

Another point to remember is as there isn't many close flybies to Tethys and Mimas, it could be a good chance to observe them in a clear position.

In conclusion, by taking this photograph we will be able to see Saturnian System's incomparable beauty, the harmony of moons and rings of Saturn. We can examine other worlds, maybe we discover things that even beyond our imaginary. That's what I think about target 1, a very special and unique resource for both our solar system and the meaning of life."

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