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2014 Essay Contest: Winner, Target 3, Grade 7 - 8

2014 Essay Contest: Winner, Target 3, Grade 7 - 8

Belen Morote
Target 3, Saturn
Belen Morote

Copiague Middle School
8th Grade
Copiague, New York

Teacher: Dr.Leccese

"This June will be Cassini’s 10th year circling Saturn. Over 300 scientists work with Cassini and study the different aspects of Saturn, such as the planet itself, its rings, or its moon Titan. With so many different targets, it’s difficult to choose which one would give us the best scientific results. During Cassini’s upcoming observations, I think its cameras should be pointed towards Saturn.

We should observe Saturn because it has many unique features. Two of the many interesting aspects of Saturn are the hurricane right at its North Pole, and the hexagon shaped feature. Saturn’s hurricane and earths hurricanes are quite similar. Both hurricanes have a central eye with either no clouds or very few of them. However, one big difference is that Saturn’s hurricane is much bigger and way faster than a regular hurricane on earth. Also, unlike a terrestrial hurricane, Saturn’s hurricane does not drift and is already as far up north as it could be. Studying this hurricane and having images from the pole would give scientists a better understanding on earth’s hurricane and how they generate and sustain. It would also help scientists understand the cloud depths and what’s going on inside the hurricane. Another interesting feature is the hexagon.

Scientists want to understand the wave like nature of this hexagon. This hexagon is a jet stream consisting of 200 mile per hour winds, and it is 20,000 miles long. Scientists say there is no other weather feature like this in the solar system, it is extremely unique. A hurricane on earth would typically last about a week, however this hurricane has been at the pole for decades, maybe even centuries. I think it’s a great idea to study these storms at the North Pole because we have never seen anything like it, and we may never see it again. Focusing on the North Pole will give us a better understanding of weather which is a very complicated subject to comprehend.

As said by scientist Brigitte Hesman, Cassini is going up and over the poles right now, and it won’t be doing that for much longer. Therefore, without the good images we’re able to take at this point, we won’t have another good view. This may be a one chance opportunity so I think we should take it. Saturn is one of the most interesting planets in the solar system and its features are even more compelling. The hurricane is a beautiful quality that I think we should definitely explore. The hexagon is something a lot of people don’t understand and we should try to give them answers. On its upcoming observation, Cassini’s cameras should be faced towards Saturn."