Is Saturn a planet?
Where is Saturn located in our solar system?
It is the sixth planet in our Solar System and is situated between Jupiter and Uranus.
Does Saturn have moons?
There are numerous moons and moonlets orbiting around it, but till now only a total of 62 have been discovered. Fifty-three of them have been officially named, with Titan being the largest one.
What is the color of Saturn?
It has a distinct yellowish-brown color.
What is the composition of Saturn?
Saturn has a small rocky core covered by a layer of liquid gases along with an atmosphere mainly composed of Hydrogen and Helium, along with traces of methane, ammonia, water vapor, hydrocarbons and few more volatile gases. This gaseous atmosphere is responsible for its bright coloration.
Does Saturn have rings?
Having the brightest and most extensive ring system in our solar system, it has the densest ring formation out of the four gas giants, which spread over a diameter of 241,402 kilometers.
What are the rings made up of?
These planetary rings are made up of chunks of rock, dust and ice, which vary from sizes as small as dust particles to as huge as 1 kilometer across.
When and how was Saturn discovered?
This planet has often appeared, since pre-historic times, as one of the brightest stars visible from Earth with naked eyes. The first observation through a telescope was made in 1610, by Galileo Galilei, who also observed ring like structures around it but did not have a theory for them. In 1659, Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens officially discovered Saturn’s rings along with its largest moon, Titan. Later, Giovanni Domenico Cassini discovered four more moons.
How many space-crafts have been sent to Saturn?
Till date, NASA has sent 4 space probes to this planet that have been successful – Pioneer 11 (1979), Voyager 1 (1980), Voyager 2 (1981) and Cassini-Huygens space probe (2004).
Interesting facts about Saturn
- The planet is named after Saturnus, the God of agriculture in Roman mythology
- The word ‘Saturday’ comes from Saturn
- It is the fifth brightest object in the Solar System
- 1 day here lasts for only 10 earth hours 39 earth minutes!
- The planet is so huge that we can fit 755 Earths in it
- Its bright and beautiful ring system has earned the planet the name “Jewel of the Solar System”
- Being the lightest planet, Saturn is so light that it could float on water!
- Although one of the coldest planets by surface, its core temperatures are estimated to be around 11700 degrees Celsius (almost as hot as the surface of Sun)
- Surya Sidhhanta – A text from 5th century B.C, approximated this planet’s diameter and its calculations vary by just 1% to the officially accepted diameter now!
- Scientists speculate that the rings around it will eventually disappear over a span of 50 million years
- It has a stormy weather with wind speeds reaching up to 1800km/hour. Titan also has immense wind speeds that produces the only sound ever heard in space till date
- Titan is the second largest moon in our Solar System and the only one to have a distinguishable atmosphere, which is similar to Earth due to its nitrogenous nature
|Distance from Sun||1,433 million km|
|Surface Area||42.7×109 km2|
|Surface Temperature||– 178 degrees Celsius|
|Orbital Period||29 Earth Years|