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International Edition Winners 2010: Romania, Target 3 - Grade 4-6 (1)

International Edition Winners 2010: Romania, Target 3 - Grade 4-6 (1)

Cîrstea Daria Andreea
Cîrstea Daria Andreea

"Regina Maria" Secondary School
Teacher Advisor: Salade Maria


"Watching the empty screen in the Command and Control Center at the NASA mission , commander Jones hoped to be successful. The decision belonged to him: The Cassini Spacelab was going to fly across the Saturn planet, to send data, measurements, but especially to send images of the gas giant. Michael and his men insisted on the fact that Cassini's attention should be focused on the satellite Rhea or towards the ice satellites, Tethys and Enceladus. "What else do you want to find out from Saturn?" they asked him few weeks before. "We have very clear data."

Clear data?...What data? The ones known by any secondary school student?!
With his eyes closed, commander Jones reviewed like for a science lesson:

- a huge/giant gas planet
- the second by size in the Solar System
- the heart made by stone and ice
- covered by a very compressed metallic hydrogen layer
- the hydrogen and the liquid helium that turn themselves gradually in a gas on the surface of Saturn
- until now seven rings made of frozen rocks with/in a different shapes and sizes acting like some mirrors able to reflect the light of the Sun , making up amazing images
- the temperature in its core - 10000-15000 C.

Jones hand touched his thoughtful forehead. Well, well, it has been proved that all this "truths" hide numberless unknown aspects. They all realized the difference made by Cassini since it had been flying across the planet Saturn! Until it, all the other spacelabs simply used to pass by Saturn, taking pictures and collecting data in a hurry. Since 2004 when the Cassini Spacelab was orbiting Saturn, have got measurements and surprising images that allowed the specialists, at the Command and Control Center to study the whole planet, including the invisible side, the one that is not lit/ enlightened by the Sun. Cassini's camera has recorded images of the lightings on the Saturn for the first time.

He knew he was right. He knew that this mission was his unique chance that he had been waiting for such a long time.

Although nothing could be seen on the dark screen, in the commander's mind the images were running one after the other very fast. One could clearly see the Saturnian North Pole. The solar winds break the magnetic field of the planet and make up, like in wonder, incandescent light plays in all the colours of the rainbow.

"Just like the auroras borealis at home", Jones smiled. If only it might succeed ! If he would succeed to study in detail the most active aurora from the Solar System, the one on Saturn, for sure, he will know more information about the northern light and the southern light from Earth. The images are unrolling in fast rhythm. Now is above the Storms Alley, in the southern hemisphere of the planet, where the most hurricanes.

The commander watches the two huge hurricanes crashing. "You'd believe that from their crash is forming a bigger hurricane, as on Earth, as home.", murmurs Jones. He knows that on Saturn the things aren't like that. After the crashing is forming a similar hurricane, or the two are breaking up. "Why?" the commander asks himself for the thousand time. Jones sees the terrifying storm from the South Pole of Saturn, that huge vortex created by the heat inside the planet. He knows, he feels, he dreamt, he doesn't know anymore, that somewhere, in the center of that storm, there are hided some dark, odd clouds , which remained a mystery until now. But this time, Cassini will gather enough information and will clear up this bizarre mystery. It must ...
The commander searches with look, like a child, the new ring that have been soon discovered of Saturn. All of them were amazed of the impressive quantity of gas clouds contended by the planet's rings.

All the astronauts agreed in this case. They believe that the new huge Saturn's ring might hide approximately 1 million planets, from which some might have dimensions comparable with Earth's. Now they all are waiting new information and measurements from Cassini to be pronounced as definitive.

Then Jones sees clouds from northern part of the planet's disk. "Why are they always bluer that the ones from the southern part of the planet?" Another question without answer. A secret that will be finally solved, when they will analyze the information sent by the spacecraft.
The commander of the newest spatial mission shudder. "The transmission from Cassini starts, people! Three, two, one!" On the huge screen image of the amazing saturnine auroras will explode in thousand colours."