2011 Cassini Scientist for a Day Competition Open

Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest 2011

Open to students in Grades 5 - 12

The Cassini Scientist for a Day Essay Contest is an opportunity for students around the world to learn about the Cassini mission to Saturn and earn the chance to ask the scientists working on the mission about their work.

Applications close Wednesday 26th October, 2011

In September 2011, the Cassini spacecraft will take images of these three targets. Your assignment is to chose the one target you think will provide the best science, and to write an essay of up to 500 words to explain your reasons.

Students watch videos of Cassini team members (scientists, engineers, mission planners, etc.) as they advocate for one of the three proposed targets. These videos will be posted at http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/education/scientistforaday10thedition/ in August.

Target 1: Hyperion
The Narrow-Angle Camera (NAC) on Cassini will take this high resolution image of the moon Hyperion from about 86,000 kilometers (53,000 miles) away. Most of the visible hemisphere is sunlit.

Target 2: Rhea & Titan
The Cassini spacecraft will image Rhea (left) with its NarrowAngle Camera (NAC) as the moon seems to approach and pass in front of Titan (right). That day, Cassini will be about 1.1 million kilometers (685,000 miles) from Rhea, and about 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Titan

Target 3: Saturn
The Wide-Angle Camera (WAC) will image Saturn. The edge-on rings will be barely visible. Cassini will image Saturn from about 2.7 million kilomters (1.6 million miles) away

Students are encouraged to draw on other resource material and work collaboratively; essays from pairs of students will be accepted. Please read the [intlink id="2866" type="page"]competition guidelines[/intlink] carefully and make use of the extra resource material provided.

All entries will receive a certificate of participation. The category winners will receive a certificate and an opportunity to send questions to the Cassini Science team. Questions from around the world will be collated and presented to Cassini scientists during a live webcast. Watch the 2010 and 2009 webcasts and read the 2010 winning essays.

Australian category winners earn the opportunity for their class to speak to an Australian Astronomer or Astrophysicist

Year 5/6 Free VSSEC Star Search Video Conference program
Year 7/8Dr Angel Lopez-Sanchez
Austrealian Astronomical Observatory /
Macquarie University
Year 9/10Speaker to be confirmed
CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science
Year 11/12Speaker to be confirmed
ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics

VSSEC is the National Point of Contact for Australia. All entries must be emailed to bookings@vssec.vic.edu.au with an entry form by the deadline to be considered. Visit the VSSEC website for competition guidelines and entry form.