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International Edition Winners 2012: Pakistan, Grade 5-6, Target 1

International Edition Winners 2012: Pakistan, Grade 5-6, Target 1

Uzair Rafiq
Target 1, Pan
Uzair Rafiq

School: Aisha Bawany Academy
5th Grade

"Scientists have always been curious to know about the world and whatever is in it. To fulfill their curiosity they struggled to get many researches, sent satellites and spacecrafts to unexplored world, ultimately discovered solar system in which planets are arranged in a particular custom.

The recent planet scientists are observing minutely is Saturn. Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and well recognized by its marvelous and unique rings and moons. Galileo is the list person to observe it with a telescope in 1610.

To get further details, Cassini. a robotic spacecraft is sent. It is orbiting the planet and observing the changes since many years. It is cooperative project of NASA, European and Italian agencies. The jet propulsion laboratory, California a manages this solstice mission.

Cassini has sent some images to earth which we have to write about it are: Pan, F ring and Saturn and rings.

I would choose Pan to be the best pointing location for Cassini to collect upcoming changes. In my opinion, it is the most exciting and happening target of the planet.

Pan is the inner most known satellite of Saturn. It is bizarre shape, strangest moon in the solar system. It was discovered by Mark R. Showwalter in 1990. Pan was named on 16 September 1991.

All of Saturn satellites are named for mythological figures and so as Pan. In Greek myth, Pan is a creature resembling a man with hind legs and hooves of a goat. It is a Greek god of nature and forest.

Pan exists in Encke, the gap between A ring and F ring. The gap is 325 km opening in A ring. Pan keeps the Eneke gap open at all times to function Saturn's operations effectively' that is why it is called Shepherd satellite.

Pan creates stripes called 'wakes'. When ring particles move faster toward Eneke gap while passing the satellite they receive gravitational shove from Pan. This gravitational thrust generates waves throughout the ring and keeps the ring particles away from the Encke gap.

The gravitational interaction between satellite and ring particles creates density waves within the rings and also has the ability to maintain sharp edges of the ring boundaries.

Whatever I read and observe, I found pan is the most interesting target because it holds so many responsibilities and still has many aspects to he discovered.

What I am curious to know about Pan is:

1. If it allow the ring particles to enter within the Encke gap, would it be closed or disbalance the ring system?
2. Is thieve any magnetic attraction between Pan and Saturn's ring?

3. How Eneke gap acts between Pan. Saturn and its ring?

4. What is the geological composition and outer structure of Pan?

I was always interested to know about the mysteries of nature.

I am thankful to NASA for giving an opportunity to young students to research about this interested topic.