Karina Hall was one of those little kids who was always staring at the night sky, and her long held obsession has paid off.
Karina, a year 11 student from Emmanuel Anglican College in Ballina, has won joint first place in the $11,000 Macquarie University Eureka Schools Prize for Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences.
Karinas investigation and critical analysis into the possibility of the Earth having had a second moon during its early history was considered a fascinating idea by the judges. She proposed that this captured moon could have been responsible for the series of mass extinctions that have occurred during the evolution of life on Earth.
Karina said her thesis was inspired by the recent discovery of two new moons orbiting Pluto, which got her musing on the idea that maybe our planet had another moon. Her entry had to be in the form of a website, and it just so happens shes a computer whiz as well.
Ever since I was a little girl I was interested in astronomy and space, said Karina, and Im also really interested in web design, so I loved doing this project.
Karinas beautifully illustrated winning entry can be viewed at http://karinahall.txc.net.au/MoonExtinctionCycle/.
Not surprisingly, Karina hopes to study astronomy and astrophysics at Macquarie University when she finishes high school.
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