|Number of Sattelites||62|
|Atmospheric Makeup|| 95.5% hydrogen|
|Distance from Sun||866.5 million miles|
|Diameter|| 75,335 miles|
|Axial tilt||26.726 degrees|
|Orbit||30 Earthen years|
|Position in Solar System||Sixth planet from Sun|
|Surface Features||Gaseous surface with common dust storms|
|Albedo|| (geometric) 0.465|
|Aphelion||945.83 million miles|
|Perihelion||845.98 million miles|
|Mass of Planet||5.685 x 10^26 kg|
|Escape Velocity||35.5 kilometers/second|
The planet Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun. It is the second largest planet in the Solar System, along with having the second most moons after Jupiter. Saturn is most famous for its complex ring system, which are made mostly of ice chunks and crystals.
As all of the gas giants were created, Saturn was created from accretion that compacted nebula gases together. The nebula's distance from the Sun resulted in the failure of the planets to absorb into rock. The amount of gravity from the planet pulled in stray celestial objects from the Asteroid belt and they formed several rings, known as the Rings of Saturn.
The atmosphere of Saturn is extremely dense and thick. So thick, the atmosphere makes up about 50% of Saturn itself. The atmosphere stretches downward from the northern pole. The atmosphere stretches down about halfway to the core of Saturn itself. Below the atmosphere is metallic hydrogen and molten rock.
The atmosphere is mainly consists of hydrogen and helium. The rest include phosphorous, germanium, carbon, ammonia, and other trace elements.
Orbit and RotationEdit
Saturn is about nine times the distance from the sun than the Earth. Therefore it takes much longer to orbit the Sun than the Earth, taking approximately thirty years to orbit the sun.
Saturn is a gas giant, therefore it rotates on its axis much more quickly than the inner rocky planets. Saturn takes approximately ten hours and forty minutes to make on rotation on its axis. Since Saturn rotates on its axis extremely quickly, this causes the planet to distort it shape. Saturn distorts at the poles and bulges toward the equator.
Ring SystemEditSaturn's ring system is the most complex, most massive and largest of all of the rings of the other gas giants in the Solar System. The rings of Saturn encircle the entire planet at exactly the equator. The rings measure about 180,000 miles in diameter, yet measure about 150 feet in thickness, about half the length of a football field. Therefore, these rings can only be seem with high-powered and large telescope.
It is believed that Saturn's rings were created by a former moon that belonged to Saturn. When an asteroid collided with this moon, the moon shattered and became the rings we see today. In fact, if all of the ice chunks were combined from Saturn's rings, it would create a natural satellite about 245 miles in diameter.
Though Saturn was first discovered, along with neighboring planet, Jupiter, by Galileo Galilei, his telescope, known back then as a spyglass, was not powerful enough to spot these rings. It was not until seventeen years later that a Dutch astronomer named Christaan Huygens would later use a more poweful telescope to discover that Saturn was surrounded by a flat ring.
The rings of Saturn is not one ring, as suggested by Huygens, but actually made up of three main rings: The A, B, and C rings (also known as the Crepe ring). The A ring is the ring farthest from the planet of Saturn, though the recently discovered F ring is supposedly farther from the planet than the A ring. The A ring consists of the smaller rock particles, such as those as small as marbles. The whitest and brightest ring is the closer B ring. This ring contains chunks of ice the size of houses and buildings. The A and B rings are separated by the Cassini Division, a 3000-mile wide gap between these two rings created by gravitational influences, or resonances with Saturn's moons. The ring closest to Saturn is the faintest ring, the C-ring, also known as the Crepe ring, due to it representing a nearly transparent fabric known as crepe.
Mercury • Venus • Earth • Mars • Jupiter • Saturn • Uranus • Neptune