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International Edition Winners 2011: Romania, Target 3, Grade 5-6

International Edition Winners 2011: Romania, Target 3, Grade 5-6

Necula Bianca
Bianca Necula

5th Grade
School No. 27 "Princess Ileana"
Bucharest, Romania

Teacher: Alina Vatui

"I chose Target 3 – Saturn due to its size, its spectacular shape, its unique rings inside our Solar System.

The Cassini probe took shots of planet Saturn from all the angles. It discovered many important data about the planet and its satellites. There are 62 satellites orbiting Saturn at the present time, among which, 53 have official names.

Compared to Earth's weather, Saturn's weather is both interesting and strange. At the present time, the Casssini probe is orbiting the northern hemisphere of Saturn, where there's spring since 2009. On Saturn, a season lasts around 7 years, a year lasts 29.5 days, and a day only 10.2 hours. Seasons are mainly influenced by Saturn's revolution. Although it's volum is much bigger than Earth's, Saturn has a lesser density.

There are many storms on Saturn. From the images, scientists have picked up two violent storms at the poles of the planet. The tornadoes are very powerful, much stronger than the ones on Earth. When there are no storms, could the probe identify a spot through which it could take pictures of the gaseous interior of the planet? How could the contact area between the gas and the liquid core look like?

Saturn offers the most beautiful view in our entire Solar System due to its rings which are mainly made out of star dust, ice, asteroids leftovers etc. We still don't know the actual age of Saturn's rings. The pictures taken by the Cassini probe will become the starting point for the analysis of these rings.

We could also ask if the core of the planet is influenced by solar heat or not.

Is the magnetosphere influenced by the distance from the Sun or is it in proportion with the mass of the planet? Or both? Could the probe measure the intensity of the magnetosphere in different spots of the planet Saturn and then compare the data with the ones obtained by measuring Earth's magnetosphere?

The Cassini probe can observe many new things in one day. I want it to discover the secrets that lie inside Saturn's gaseous interior, and which could lead us to a better understanding of this planet, and also, to a better understanding of our own planet, Earth."