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International Edition Winners - 2013: Romania, Target 1, Grade 7-8

International Edition Winners - 2013: Romania, Target 1, Grade 7-8

Target 1, Iapetus
Coraga Irina
Coraga Irina

Grade: 7-8

Teacher: Isabel Bandrabur

School: Scoala Gimnaziala nr. 194

City: Bucharest

The Yin-Yang Moon

"Humanity’s wish was and will always be to conquer. The limits have changed: from countries to continents, from continents to the entire world, and now, from the world to space, the Universe and the Solar System. And, by exploring what further than we knew we could, and we re-discover ourselves. Existing as a human being is only proved by the things we did in life, the things we discovered, by how much the world has changed after our death. And that’s exactly what NASA scientists do: changing and improving. The mission Cassini is named after the French astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini. This man was the first to discover Iapetus. So, I can say that the discovery of Iapetus was a starting point for the entire mission.

After years of exploring, Cassini has to concentrate on one target: Saturn, Iapetus or Dione. I have chosen Iapetus because of his interesting appearance. This Saturn’s moon is half white and half black. Even scientist cannot explain why, and probably more research would help them.

Iapetus has a shape of a walnut, different from most of the moons. It is always facing Saturn with the same side, and makes a full rotation in 79 days.

Another mystery is the equatorial ridge. This mountain system is believed to be ancient because of his craters. The peeks rise over 20 km, which is higher that Mountain Everest and higher than the majority of mountains we know about in the entire Solar System.

We know little even about our planet, and instead of trying to understand completely a planet or a moon’s formation, and missing a lot of other things about the entire Solar System, we should try to know a little bit about every planet, and have an overview of everything that surrounds us. After that, scientists might even discover things that would change everything, or things that would support our present theories.

Iapetus is one of the most interesting moons we know so far, even though we know little about it. Another reason that supports my choice is the amount of things we know about our Moon, and the amount of things that we might discover about our Moon after the Cassini mission about Iapetus.

Saturn’s rings offer the best view on Iapetus, and I think that this is not the only beautiful thing about Iapetus. Some people often call it the Yin-Yang of the Solar System because of its colors.

I think that Iapetus is the best choice, it is beneficial to discover things you don’t know, and do not prove facts just to make yourself an image or a reputation. Do something that will make people talk about. Do something that nobody has done before. And, the most important, the thing you consider less important will produce more surprises than the one you thought was more interesting, because, that’s just the way things work in the Universe."

  • Blend space exploration with reading and writing -- Reading, Writing & Rings!
  • Cassini Scientist for a Day -- Students get involved
  • Cassini Raw Images