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International Edition Winners 2012: Pakistan, Grade 5-6, Target 2

International Edition Winners 2012: Pakistan, Grade 5-6, Target 2


Iman Masood
Saturn's F ring
Target 2, Saturn's F ring
Iman Masood

Headstart School System, Clifton Campus
5th Grade


"There were three targets. Target no. 1, Pan is a miniature moon in Saturn's orbit. It's responsible for leaving space in the Encke gap. So that orbit is not filled with Ring particles. Why was Pan chosen for this job intrigues me. Saturn & its rings also bring out curiosity. If we discover its weather, we can use information to learn more about the planet. Whether life ever existed on this planet or possibility of existence? Moreover, why rocks form integral part of Saturn's Rings and do not leave orbit. I also visualize them as a shield against the unknown, Target 3 could also reveal further information about the composition of particles in the rings, importantly their purpose and what's keeping them not to fall out of Rings. All Targets had their reasons to be chosen but I thought Target no. 2 was most interesting.

When we study the space. we immediately recognize Saturn by its rings. Most people's opinion is that there is a one massive ring orbiting Saturn. Actually, there are many tiny rings that are said to form this one massive major ring. These numerous rings have been marked A through 0. F-Ring lies a delicate faint ring also orbits Saturn like other various rings. This ring is target no 2. It was discovered long time ago way back in 1979 by the NASA's pioneer 11 space craft. Apparently, these rings are of different blended, creamy textured, smooth, enhanced colors. These rings have many different forms, like they might not be similar in the width. A further investigation of Target no 2 would reveal nature's secret for keeping everything together inside, F-Ring. It also seems to act as a thin layer maintaining a functional system. But how & why? At the same time, The F-ring is guarded by the responsible Shepard moons called Prometheus and Pandora. They follow the F- ring on each end so that it doesn't prolix into space. Like two walking sticks helping granny balance.

Moons make giant size snow balls which shoot in and out of F-ring. They make large effecting holes in the F-ring and tumble around Saturn. Over 500 of these snow ball cut through the F- ring. Meaning. F- ring is punctured several times repeatedly. Surprisingly, its damage is never permanent and nature has its own way of healing the F-ring. Again raises query as to why it is necessary for F-ring to be punctured. Is it Gods way of maintaining Saturn's balance of forces unknown to human? There are some other mysteries still to be answered. Like which moon makes the snow balls? Or why do the moons only orbit the F- ring? Why do the main rings only orbit the planet Saturn? Why the F- ring so faint?

So, if Saturn is to be imaged and further observed, logically, it should be from outside to inside (F-ring to Saturn). It would also provide foundation knowledge of understanding phenomenon occurring in F-ring, as well as, in other areas."