After Jupiter the sixth planet of our solar system is Saturn. It’s a huge gas giant and its radius is 9 times the radius of the earth. The average density of Saturn is 1/8th of Earth. In this post, I have written some basic and advanced facts about the Planet with rings, Saturn.
Because of its larger volume, Saturn is about 95 times more massive than Earth. The name Saturn was given after the name of “Roman God of wealth and agriculture”. The outer layer of the planet is gaseous. The planet has a pale yellow color due to the presence of crystals of ammonia crystals in its upper atmosphere.
Moons and Rings
Saturn has a beautiful ring system which gives it a special look when seen. The rings of Saturn contain dust, rocky debris, and ice particles. Around 82 moons orbit Saturn, among which 53 have an official name given by the astronomers. Hundreds of thousands of small moonlets in Saturn’s ring are not considered natural satellites. The biggest moon of Saturn is “Titan” which is also the second-largest moon in the solar system after Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. Titan is larger than Mercury but less massive.
Like Jupiter, Saturn is also a gas giant. Its gaseous outer atmosphere is made up of Helium and Hydrogen mainly. Saturn does not have a solid surface like its neighbor Jupiter. Saturn has an oblate spheroid shape, which means flat at poles and having a bulge at its equator.
By volume, about 96.3% of the total outer surface of Saturn contains molecular hydrogen. And the remaining 3.25% volume is helium. Other compounds such as propane, ethane, acetylene, phosphine, and gases ammonia, and methane have also been traced in the planet’s atmosphere. Ammonia is the primary element in the upper clouds but the lower clouds may contain either water or ammonium hydrosulfide.
The magnetosphere of Saturn is smaller than the magnetosphere of Jupiter. It has a magnetic field slightly weaker than earth or 1/20th of the magnetic field around Jupiter.
Saturn is 9 AU away from the Sun. This distance is about 1.4 billion kilometers. Saturn takes about 291⁄2 years or about 10,759 days to complete one move around the sun.
As of today, there are 82 moons of Planet Saturn. There are hundreds of moonlets in Saturn’s rings that have a diameter between 40 to 500 meters. The largest of Saturn’s moons is Titan. After Titan comes Rhea (1,527 km in diameter), Lapetus (1,470 km in diameter), and Dione (1,123 km in diameters).
Saturn A Planet With Rings
Saturn is very famous for its planetary ring system. This feature makes the planet unique. The ring system is wide and extends from 6,630 to 120,700 km outward of Saturn with a thickness of about 66ft or 20 meters. Most of the moons in these rings are ice particles and rocks.
Many spacecraft and flyby missions observed Saturn from time to time. The first flyby mission was Pioneer 1 in September 1979. Pioneer 11 took images of Saturn and its moons from some 20,000 km above the upper clouds. Voyager 1 probe visited the planet in November 1980. The Cassini–Huygens space probe started orbiting Saturn on July 1, 2004.
Saturn is a planet with rings and is visible to the naked eye in a dark sky on all other planets including (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter). Saturn appears as a yellowish dot or point in the night sky.
What are 5 facts about Saturn?
1- Saturn is pretty huge in size.
2- It is a gas giant.
3- It does not have a solid surface.
4- Saturn has a thin ring system of several moonlets.
5- If placed in water it will float.
Is Saturn hot or cold?
Saturn has cool temperatures. The average temperature on Saturn is -178 degrees celsius or -288 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can we breathe on Saturn?
Since the surface of Saturn composed of Hydrogen and Helium clouds, it doesn’t seem that the planet has any significant amount of oxygen present on its surface. Thus making it completely impossible to breathe.