Saturn is best known for its fabulous ring, it is the sixth planet from the Sun. Saturn is the most distant planet that can be seen with naked eye from Earth. In 1610, Galileo Galilei discovered Saturn rings.
Facts about Saturn:
1. Saturn is the fifth brightest object in the solar system and can be easily studied through a small telescope or binoculars.
2. Saturn was known to the ancients, including far eastern observers and Babylonians, and was named after the Roman god Saturnus.
3. Saturn is the flattest planet due to it’s low density and fast rotation. It’s polar diameter is 90% of its equatorial diameter.
4. Saturn completes it’s rotation in 10 hours and 34 minutes, Saturn has the second shortest day in the solar system, first comes Jupiter.
5. Saturn moves very slowly, it takes 29.4 years to orbit round the Sun.
6. Saturn’s upper atmosphere is divided into bands of clouds, the lower layers are mostly sulfur ice mixtures. Above them, the clouds are largely water ice. Layers above them are mostly ammonia ice.
7. Saturn is mostly made up of hydrogen, it exists in layers. Hydrogen becomes denser as we go into the planet, eventually, deep inside, the hydrogen becomes metallic.
8. In the north pole, the clouds are in hexagonal-shaped pattern.
9. Voyager 1 and 2, Pioneer 11, and the Cassini-Huygens mission are the four spacecraft that have visited Saturn.
11. Titan is composed of rock and water ice, it is complex and has dense nitrogen-rich atmosphere. Titan’s frozen surface has lakes of liquid methane and covered with frozen nitrogen.
12. Saturn has the most extensive rings which are made of chunks of ice and small amounts of carbonaceous dust. These rings are very thin only about 20 meters thick and they stretch out more than 120,700 km from the planet.
13. Saturn is the second larges planet in the solar system after Jupiter.
14. Saturn has the lowest density of all the planets and roughly 95 times more massive than Earth.
15. Saturn is called as “The Jewel of the Solar System” sometimes.
16. Winds move at a very high speed on Saturn, they reach 1,800 kilometers per hour at the equator.
17. Saturn has a very strong magnetic field.
18. Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune are other planets which have rings like Saturn, but they are much fainter and less spectacular.
19. Saturday is named after the planet Saturn.
20. Titan, Saturn’s moon is the second largest moon in the solar system, first comes Ganymede, Jupiter’s moon.
21. Saturn has no real surface, its core is a ball of rock, of earth size. The planet contains mostly gases.
Statistical facts about Saturn
22. Saturn’s mass is very high, when compared to Earth’s, it has a mass of 568,319,000,000,000,000 billion kg.
23. Saturn has an equatorial diameter of 120,536 kilometers.
24. Saturn has a polar diameter of 108,728 kilometers.
25. Saturn has an equatorial circumference of 365,882 kilometers.
26. 10,755.70 Earth days (29.45 Earth years) is the orbit
27. 1,426,666,422 kilometers is the orbit distance of Saturn.
28. Saturn has 62 satellites, the notable ones are Titan, Rhea and Enceladus.
29. Surface temperature on Saturn is around -178 °C