The Moon Zombies

Year: 2015-2016

Grade: 9 - 12

City: Maracaibo

Teachers: Richard Marquez, Patrick Ivicic Morton

Target: Rhea and Tethys

Team members:

Nestor Bohorquez (team leader) Liceo los Robles
Jean Ghazal Liceo Los Robles
Salvatore Lonigro Liceo Los Robles
Estefany Angulo (team leader) Colegio Unefa
Andrea Fajardo (team leader) Colegio Unefa
Emanuel Caridad Colegio Luz
Jocaris Charilys Cubillan Colegio Romulo Gallegos
Joasun Jose Cubillan Colegio Santiago Mariño
Edgar Daniel Crespo Colegio San Pedro
Juan Pablo Medina Colegio San Pedro

"Absolutely amazing! What an incredible chance to observe this spectacular occultation between Rhea and Tethys, so many different phenomena could occur during this occultation, would it trigger some unusual type of cryovolcanism?, would there be an orbital variation,? will they "wobble" during this occultation?

This incredible opportunity could give us another chance to better calculate and determinate the accurate orbits of these moons - each with its own "dirty snowball composition," thickness, low density, and surface and core composition!!

Concerning Tethys. Geologically speaking if its main structural composition is ice with different types of surface salts that sparkle when the Sun hits the surface, then, how come this appearance of subtle "tiger scratches?"

Couldn't that reddish color be originated by the bombardment of some particular type of meteorites or space particles? And what about its other hemisphere? Shouldn't it be photographed to observe how ice covers or sinks craters?? What about the Odysseus crater, why so brilliant? shouldn't it be further studied? Being the brightest crater in the solar system? If the CIRS CAMERA with its ability to photograph lights that redder than we can see, be able to discover something new? Fractures? Cryovolcanism,? Can UVIS, VIMS, be also used to combine photographic exploration?

Frankly speaking, we have been searching the internet for more information on these two moons and we think there is not enough information on them. So many rare phenomena occur on Rhea and Tethys that we think photographic exploration of these moons should be more precisely focused. We don't know how long will the Cassini spacecraft be able to hold on, its loss will be a severe blow to space exploration, and we don't see any spacecraft being prepared to replace Cassini!!

We think more careful and delicate maneuvers, preferably almost "static" attitude should be exercised, perhaps "attaching" Cassini to some low gravity saturnian moon, in a similar case as the brilliant end of the Eros asteroid exploration, in order to preserve for some other 5 years such a wonderful gem of space exploration, the Cassini Huygens spacecraft. Concerning the size determination, assuming we didn't read the diameters of both moons, if we would be astronauts just arriving to these solar system, we would simply use a trigonometric method we learned from ASP Project Astro's Resource Notebook "How big is the Moon", quite simple. We decide that target 3 should be the one chosen, it will solve,in our opinion, more mysteries waiting to be solved."

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