Last updated on May 3rd, 2019
There are eight planets (Pluto was consider a planet between 1930 and 2006, and is currently considered a dwarf planet) in our Solar System and a megastar – the Sun. While all planets revolve around the Sun in different orbits, there are few that have distinctive features as compared to that of the others. With these interesting facts about Saturn, let’s gather more information about this gas giant.
1. They call it beautiful: Saturn is also known as the “Jewel of the Solar System,” because of its beautiful rings and appearance.
“PIONEER 11 WAS THE FIRST SPACECRAFT TO REACH SATURN.”
2. It’s far: it is the 6th planet from the Sun and also the farthest that can be seen with the naked eye (Order of the planets from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (the dwarf planet)).
3. The direction of rotation: Saturn rotates from West to East which is also the direction of Earth’s rotation.
4. Massive in size: in size, Saturn is the 2nd largest of all planets, behind Jupiter.
5. Rings are many and spectacular: Saturn is famous for its rings that are huge but very thin.
6. How many rings? Saturn has seven main rings with spaces between them.
7. The composition like that of Jupiter: composition of Saturn is not much different from that of Jupiter. Is also contains hydrogen and helium; and methane in small proportions.
8. Why is it flat at the poles? it is the flattest of all planets in the Solar System. Because of its high speed of rotation and gaseous composition, Saturn has observed this form. To give you more detail about this, note that the distance from the planet’s center to its equator is 60,300 km while that from its center to its poles is 54,000 km.
9. Days at Saturn: Saturn has the second shortest day behind Jupiter. The length of a day on Saturn is 10 hours 32 minutes; and, did you know how scientists measure this data from various planets? They just spot a crater and wait for the crater to rotate back in view, thus determining the length of a day on a planet. However, in Saturn’s case, as there is no solid mass on the planet, they had to take into account the planet’s magnetic field for that matter.
10. Around the Sun: due to the enormous distance at which the planet is positioned with respect to the Sun, Saturn takes 29.4 Earth years to make one revolution around the Sun.
11. Days vs years: on Saturn, days are short and years are long as compared to that on the Earth.
12. Visitors to the planet: only four space crafts have studied this planet. This might be due to the fact that it is at a greater distance from Earth as compared to other planets. And they do not have any landing site on the planet because of the lack of solid surface. And the planet’s hot gasses won’t even allow any spacecraft unscathed either.
13. Windy and noisy: winds on Saturn can blow as fast as 1800 km per hour while that on the Earth are slower than this.
14. ‘Saturn vs Earth’ in size: given Saturn’s diameter, almost 750 Earths could fit in Saturn and 1600 Saturns could fit inside of the Sun.
15. Day of the week: Saturday–the 6th day of the week–is named after Saturn.
16. A popular moon: Enceladus — one of Saturns’ moon — is the shiniest object in the Solar system. It is mainly because of the fact that it is made up mostly of ice that reflects almost all of the light that falls onto it.
17. A powerful magnetic: Saturn’s magnetic field is 578 times more powerful than Earth’s magnetic field.
18. History speaks: Saturn was mentioned in the oldest written records by the Assyrians from 700 BCE. They named Saturn, “Star of Ninib”, a sparkle in the night sky.
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