Year: 2015-16

School: - Vikas - The Concept School

Grade: 8

City: Telangana


Target: Jupiter

"As future astronomers, we would not waste time deciding what to study; the effect of Thetys and Mimas on Enceladus, Jupiter, or the relationship between Rhea and Thetys as the Cassini has only one more year before it gets decommissioned in 2017. We think that it is essential to point the cameras of Cassini towards Jupiter which would be more riveting and will give more results leading to new discoveries.

We are eager to study about the tidal heat created by Mimas and Thetys on Enceladus, which is stopping Enceladus' subsurface ocean from freezing. But, this looks insignificant when we think about the secret of Jupiter's atmosphere which is on the verge of being cracked. Studying about the relationship between Thetys and Rhea will cost the precious time of Cassini. We also think that the Cassini has already scrutinized Saturn and its moons. So, we feel it is more useful to study the mysterious zones and belts of Jupiter.

When the Cassini probe flew past Jupiter On 6th March 2003, the Cassini scientists announced an important discovery made about Jupiter's atmosphere during the flyby. The scientists had discovered that the atmosphere was divided into 'belts' and 'zones'. The dark regions were called "belts", while the pale regions were called as "zones". Initially, the zones containing the pale clouds were mistaken as areas where air was rising because; on Earth clouds are found in areas of upwelling air. But later, the observation of the photographs showed small white individual storm cells, not visible from Earth, popping up exceptionally in the belts. So, the zones are regions of sinking air, while the belts are areas of rising air.

This time the Cassini has an opportunity to view the Jupiter's mysterious atmosphere from many million miles. This is a golden chance for scientists who study planets that are situated outside our solar system and are called "exoplanets." This observation would let scientists study Jupiter as if it were an exoplanet and understand how exoplanets with an atmosphere appear from a billion miles away. Jupiter has already been observed from a far distance by Voyager 1, 25 years ago. But Cassini has advanced technology on board and this look would be much better.

The scientists were taken aback by surprise when the ultraviolet images of Jupiter showed a large swirling dark oval having a high atmospheric haze about the size of the great red spot near the north pole of Jupiter. The different inclination angles in the images of Jupiter's rings taken by the Cassini gave the researchers an insight into the shape of the particles after they studied the way they disperse sunlight. As a result, they determined that the particles were of irregular shape, instead of a spherical shape.

Jupiter's storms and its inexpressible beauty has always caught the attention of scientists. We were always mesmerized by Jupiter's beauty. Since then, Jupiter's mysteries have always caught our attention. Jupiter was a mystery, but it will never remain a 'Mystery' for us."

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