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International Edition Winners - 2013: Romania, Target 3, Grade 9-12

International Edition Winners - 2013: Romania, Target 3, Grade 9-12

Target 3, Saturn
Corina Georgiana Zamfir, Elena Corina Enache

Grade: 9-12

Teacher: Mariana Lili Badea

School: “Iulia Hasdeu” National High School

City: Bucharest

"Being one of the planets most difficult to study, because of its poor lighting, Saturn represents one of the unknown mysteries of the Solar System. From our point of view, but also from the perspective of finding new things about Saturn, its rings are those that give the planet glow and make it really mysterious.

Over time, scientists have tried to discover how those fabulous rings were formed, concluding that they are actually the result of a cosmic cataclysm, Mirel Bârlan, from Astronomical Observatory of Paris, saying that: “the ring is a remnant of primordial cloud of dust and gas that formed the planet Saturn. “

Regarding the new findings, a recent study gives us the opportunity to observe the evolution of those spectacular rings. The study was realized by the team of researchers led by James O'Donoghue from University of Leicester, UK, and published in the journal, “Nature "on April 10. Observations have shown the existence of some dark bands in parallel with the equator of Saturn. Then, the following calculations, showed that there is a correlation between these bands and Saturn’s rings. According to the results, solar radiation ionizes water molecules present in the planet's rings, then are transported along magnetic field lines to Saturn's upper atmosphere . Different said, the rings of Saturn produce rain on the planet, but we are not speaking about heavy rain. Estimates show that from rings of Saturn, the amount of water that reaches the upper atmosphere in a day , is equivalent to one containd up to ten Olympic swimming pools.

On the other side, the particles that make up Saturn's rings date back over 3 billion years ago , being older than Solar Sistem. This makes us think that they also might stand forever or at least for an unlimited period of time. These data do nothing else than arouse more interest in knowledge, discerning the mysteries being the most spectacular part.

Certainly, the number of the rings is another thing that keeps our attention rapt. In the last few years , were discovered two rings which helped discerning the mystery regarding the composition and their movement on the orbit. Apparently, there are some solid formations, but basically represent expanses of ice and rock particles attracted to the magnetic center of the planet.

In conclusion, we think that a photograph taken in Saturn's rings nearby could provide additional informations on them that would mark both astronomical and scientific area .Science is the art which underline knowledge."

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