content long 21-August-2019 11:10:24

Winners - Ireland

10 - 12 years old - Saturn's rings, with three of Saturn's moons: Tethys, Enceladus, and Mimas


Joseph O'Donoghue

The first observation of Saturn through a telescope was made by Galileo in 1610. The Romans named Saturn after the God of agriculture, Chronos. Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun (1,429,400,000km away from the Sun) and the second largest in the solar system after Jupiter. Saturn's radius is about nine times that of Earth. It's a Gas planet because its mainly composed of 75% hydrogen and 25% helium with traces of water. It's ring system consists of nine main rings they are extraordinarily thin, though they're 250,000km or more in diameter they're less than one kilometer thin .The ring particles seem to be composed primarily of water ice, but they may also include rocky particles with icy coatings.

Sixty two moons are known to orbit Saturn. Fifty three of them are officially named. Titan, Saturn's largest moon and the second largest in our solar system, is as big as the planet Mercury.


Tethys was discovered by Cassini in 1684.It is completely composed of water or ice similar to Dione and Rhea. The western hemisphere is dominated by a huge crater called Odysseus, whose 400km diameter is nearly 2/5 of that of Tethys itself! Tethys wasn't always frozen solid, in the past it was probably liquid.


Enceladus was discovered by Herschel in 1789. Its surface is completely dominated by fresh, clean ice. There have been at least five different types of terrain identified on Enceladus. We know that Enceladus has an extremely thin atmosphere along with Rhea, Titian and Dione. So could it be possible that Tethys or Mimas have an atmosphere too.        


Mimas was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel. The land area of Mimas is slightly less than the area of Spain. Mimas is home to a giant crater named Herschel (after William Herschel). Herschel's diameter is a third of Mimas itself.
I think that if we did investigate Saturn and all its moons not just Mimas, Enceladus and Tethys we could find something extraordinary. I wouldn't in a million years know what could be found. There could be anything. There could even be Aliens!

Last Update: 26 May 2016

For further information please contact:

Related Articles

Related Links