Follow this link to skip to the main content

International Edition Winners 2012: Romania, Grade 7-8, Target 2

International Edition Winners 2012: Romania, Grade 7-8, Target 2


Silvia Maria NI??
?tefania PETRE
Saturn's F ring
Target 2, Saturn's F ring
Silvia Maria Nita, Ioana Stefania Petre

Gymnasial School No.195
Bucharest

Teacher: Florentina IOFCIU


"Beautiful, glorious and mysterious, the rings of Saturn are the most recognized rings in the Solar System. They cover an area of hundreds of thousands of kilometers, although very thin, as thin as tens of meters. The ring consists of millions of particles that are made almost entirely of water ice. There is still no consensus as to their origin and formation.

The main rings were named in the order of their discovery and hence do not appear in alphabetical order: D, C, B, A, F, G, E. The ones you see today were not all created at the same.

The F ring is very thin, being held together by two satellites, Prometheus and Pandora, which orbit inside and outside it. These satellites are called shepherd moons because they control the movement of ring's particles.

However, when Prometheus encounters the ring, the particles are not attracted to it, but instead they depart from it. This phenomenon was discovered for the first time in 2004 as revealed by the high resolution images taken by the Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn.

"I think the F ring is Saturn's weirdest ring, and these latest Cassini results go to show how the F ring is even more dynamic than we ever thought," said Carl Murray, a scientist based at Queen Mary University of London. This statement was determined by mysterious objects discovered by researchers at NASA inside the F ring, whose region is "like a zoo", as scientists believe.
According to the information provided by International Business Times, these "objects" measure approximately 800 meters, perforating the ring with an average speed of 2 m/s. The collisions drag glitter ice particles out of the F ring. The theory was further deepened by NASA scientists who discovered in a period of seven years 500 such appearances, analyzing 20,000 images.

Beyond just showing us the strange beauty of the F ring, sscientists believe that the studies of this ring help us understand more about THE EVOLUTION OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM. Therefore, we believe that this ring is ideal for research, as more information about IT is more information about US."