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Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children

Ask Science and Arts Magazine for Kids and Children November/December 2019

Each themed issue of ASK invites newly independent readers to explore the world of science and ideas with topics that really appeal to kids: What makes wind? Where do colors come from? Were pirates real? Filled with lively, well-written articles, vivid graphics, activities, cartoons, and plenty of humor, ASK is science kids demand to read! Grades 3-5

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9 Numéros

dans ce numéro

2 min.
nosy news

The City Clouds and the Country Clouds Cities tend to be a little warmer than the areas around them, especially in the evening. That’s because a city’s streets, buildings, and dark rooftops hold onto heat from the sun. Now scientists have found another way the weather is different: cities have more clouds. Researchers used satellites and tools on the ground to (scientifically) measure clouds over Paris and London. They also looked at weather reports and photos from the late spring and summer over 10 years. Both cities, they saw, were a tiny bit cloudier than the nearby countryside. The extra clouds showed up in the afternoon and evening. Scientists think city heat changes how the air moves, leading to more clouds. Bird-Eating Sharks How does a shark end up with a belly full of feathers?…

7 min.
surprising saturn

As you zoom away from Earth in your spaceship, you wave to the Moon, zip past Mars, and weave through the rocky asteroid belt. After a long while, there’s massive Jupiter. And finally, 800 million miles from home, you arrive at everyone’s favorite ringed giant: Saturn. Time to explore its secrets! Welcome to Saturn Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun, and the second largest planet in our solar system. It’s 95 times more massive than Earth, and 9 times as wide. A year on Saturn (the time it takes to go around the sun once) is 29.5 Earth years long. But the days are short. Saturn is spinning very quickly, so it has a new day every 10.5 hours. Saturn is very far away. It orbits about 870 million miles (1,400 million…

3 min.
seeing saturn

Saturn is easy to see in the night sky. Though you will need a telescope to spot the rings! Where should you look? To spot Saturn, you need to know two things: 1. Which constellation (group of stars) Saturn will be in on the night you’re looking, and 2. When and in what direction that constellation will be visible. You can find out these things from a star chart, star-finding website, or night-sky phone app. These let you look up the night sky by date and time, or search for an object (like Saturn). What is a planet? Ancient people noticed that the stars moved together across the night sky. Except a few, which seemed to drift from constellation to constellation. The Greeks called the drifting points of light planets, which means “wanderer.” We…

1 min.
the day the earth smiled

The Cassini spacecraft began its long journey to Saturn on October 15, 1997. When it arrived in 2004, it went to work, taking thousands of close-up pictures of the planet and its moons and rings. Planetary scientist Carolyn Porco has spent her whole life studying Saturn. She helped build Cassini and its cameras. Back on Earth, she studied the photos. She and her team found strange lakes on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. They saw huge plumes of frozen mist escaping from the moon Enceladus. They discovered seven new Saturn moons. Porco knew the power of photos to move people. She wanted to create a special photo of Earth as seen from Saturn. On July 9, 2013, she got her wish. That day, Cassini’s cameras turned toward Earth and snapped pictures of the…

4 min.
express to saturn

The End The control room was quiet. NASA had lost all signals from Cassini. The 3.9-billion-dollar spacecraft fell into Saturn’s thick atmosphere. It broke into pieces and melted. Had disaster struck? And if so, why was everyone cheering? On September 15, 2017, Cassini crashed into the planet it had studied for 13 years. On purpose! It was almost out of fuel. Scientists worried that it might drift and crash on one of Saturn’s moons. That might contaminate the moon with Earth microbes. Letting Cassini burn up in Saturn’s atmosphere was the easiest way to prevent that. And during its final trip, Cassini could take some amazing close-up pictures. The Mission Cassini was a joint mission between NASA and the European and Italian space agencies (ESA and ASI). It blasted off from Earth on October…

4 min.
is there life on these moons?

Enchanting Enceladus Enceladus is a small, icy moon. It’s covered in long blue cracks, nicknamed “tiger stripes.” Unlike many of Saturn’s moons, it’s quite smooth, with few craters. In 2005, scientists got a clue why. As it sped by, the Cassini spacecraft saw huge plumes of icy mist erupting out of the cracks at the moon’s south pole. The mist comes from an ocean of salty water hiding under its icy crust. Geysers spew water onto its surface and fill in the craters, like a Zamboni smoothing out a skating rink. A few of these water jets are so powerful that they shoot ice into space to create one of Saturn’s thin rings. Some even ends up on other moons! How can a moon made of ice have liquid water underneath? The center,…