Saturn Amazing Facts

40 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Saturn | Amazing Facts 4U  

  1. Saturn is a Roman name. In Greek mythology we find Cronus, who is considered to be the lord of Titans. Saturn is just the Roman name for Cronus.
  2. The day ‘Saturday’ in a week derives its name from this planet.
  3. The Assyrians, who lived in modern-day Iraq, were the first to record sighting Saturn in 700 B.C.
  4. Saturn is the second largest planet in our Solar System after Jupiter which is 20% larger. It is the most beautiful planet in the solar system because of its stunning rings. In fact, Saturn’s nickname is “the jewel of the solar system.”
  5. Saturn is the 6th planet from Sun and is one of the gas giants in our solar system others being  Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.
  6. The Saturn is big enough to hold 760 Earths but it has a mass that’s roughly equivalent to 95 times the mass of Earth. However if you compare with Sun , nearly 1,600 Saturns could fit inside it.
  7. Considering it’s density , Saturn can easily float on water since it’s density is 0.687. In contrast, the Earth and Mercury would sink the fastest.
  8. The atmosphere of Saturn is mostly made of molecular hydrogen which accounts for 96.3% of the total atmosphere while helium takes up 3.25%. Rest is ammonia hydrosulfide aerosols, ammonia ice aerosols, ice aerosols, ethane, ammonia, methane etc.
  9. The atmospheric pressure on Saturn is over 100 times greater than the Earth’s atmospheric pressure. The pressure is so powerful that it squeezes gas into liquid. It would crush any human-made spacecraft.
  10. The magnetic field of Saturn is nearly 578 times as powerful as that of our Earth.
  11. Scientists believe that the innermost core of the planet is made of rocky material and iron. Surrounding this core is an outer core made of methane, ammonia and water. The third layer is the liquid metallic hydrogen in highly compressed form. This third layer is covered by a fourth layer of viscous helium and hydrogen. This fourth and final layer gradually becomes gaseous at it moves towards the surface of the planet and eventually merges with the atmosphere of the planet.
  12. Scientists say that the core of Saturn is nearly 10 to 20 times bigger than that of Earth.
  13. The polar and equatorial diameters of Saturn are about 108,000 km and 120,000 km respectively. The planet has an equatorial circumference of 366,000 km.
  14.  The fifth-century B.C. text Surya Siddhanta from India approximated Saturn’s diameter just 1% off from the current estimate.
  15. Saturn has temperature of about -350° F (-212° C). In contrast the coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth is -129° F (-89° C).
  16. Saturn gives off more than twice as much heat as it receives from the Sun. It is believed that Saturn generates heat when helium sinks slowly through liquid hydrogen deep inside the planet. In fact, the temperature at Saturn’s core is estimated to be about 11,700° C, which is almost as hot as the surface of the Sun.
  17. From the Sun, Saturn is located at a distance of about 9.5 times the distance of Earth from Sun.
  18. Saturn shows extraordinary golden and yellow bands in its atmosphere caused by the combination of heat emanating from the planet’s interior and superfast winds blowing in its upper atmosphere. Around the equator, this wind can reach a speed of 1,800 kph. The strongest tornadoes on Earth have reached speeds of only about 480 kph. Storms on Saturn can last for months or even years.
  19. The planet spins very rapidly around its axis, completely one rotation in 10 hours and 30 minutes, making the planet slightly slower than Jupiter but faster than all other planets.
  20. The planet completes one revolution around Sun in 29.4 Earth years i.e. about 10759 days.
  21. Because Saturn spins on a tilt, it has seasons. Summer on Saturn lasts about 8 Earth years.
  22. Saturn is often the third brightest planet in the night sky and has a yellowish color that does not twinkle. Saturn is the most distant planet visible to naked eyes from Earth.
  23. Sun would appear 10 times smaller viewed from Saturn than it does from Earth. On average, Earth receives 90 times more sunlight than Saturn.
  24. Traveling to Saturn by car at 70 miles per hour would take about 1300 years when Saturn is closest to Earth and 1600 years when Saturn is at its farthest.
  25. Galileo Galilei was the first ever person to look at Saturn using a telescope in 1610. His telescope was not powerful enough but he did notice ring-like structures around the planet that eventually turned out to be real rings.
  26. Saturn has the most amazing planetary ring system in entire Solar System. The largest known ring of the planet is nearly 200 times the diameter of Saturn. Rings are made of water ice and small amounts of rocks and carbonaceous dust. The ring system spreads out over a distance of 175,000 miles (282,000 km.).
  27. The objects that make up the rings vary in size. With smallest particles being the size of a sugar grain and the largest ones being as large as a house. The rings fan out to a distance of 120,700 kilometers from the planet’s atmosphere but the main rings are amazingly only 30 feet thick.
  28. Scientists speculate that Saturn’s rings may disappear in 50 million years. Saturn’s gravititional pull will either suck the rings into the planet, or the rings will dissolve into space.
  29. Saturn’s rings seem to disappear about every 14 years when Saturn is tilted directly in line with Earth.
  30. Cassini-Huygens spacecraft revealed that some of the rings have weird formations. They have particles piling up in ridges and bumps that extend up to 2 miles high in space.
  31. All the other gas giants i.e. Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune have rings, although they are much fainter and less spectacular than Saturn’s.
  32. Only Jupiter has more moons (63) than Saturn (61) in entire solar system, not counting Saturn’s hundreds of “moonlets.”
  33. The most notable moons of Saturn include Enceladus, Rhea and Titan. Titan is the largest moon of the Saturn and is the second largest moon in entire Solar System. The credit for largest moon of Solar System goes to Ganymede of Jupiter.
  34. Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is the only known moon to have a substantial atmosphere, which is 370 miles deep, 10 times thicker than Earth’s atmosphere. Conditions on Titan may resemble ancient Earth conditions, though at a much lower temperature. Titan’s atmosphere is rich of nitrogen. The moon is primarily composed of rock and water ice. Scientists believe that underneath the frozen surface of Titan lie lakes of liquid methane.
  35. Titan is the second-largest moon in the solar system. Only Jupiter’s moon Ganymede is larger. Titan is even bigger than Mercury.
  36. Saturn’s moon Enceladus which was discovered in 1789 by William Herschel has geysers that erupt icy particles, water vapor, and organic compounds. It is the shiniest object in the solar system because its icy surface reflects most of the light.
  37. The geysers on Enceladus not only feed the rings around Saturn but also may contain “ingredients for life.” Only two other outer solar system objects have known active eruptions: Neptune’s moon Triton and Jupiter’s moon Io, which are believed to erupt nitrogen and sulfur, respectively.
  38. Lapetus, another moon of Saturn has one side dark as coal and the other side bright as snow.
  39. On July 1, 2004, the Cassini-Huygens was the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn. Launched in 1997, it traveled over 2 billion miles at a speed of about 70000 miles per hour before it reached the Saturn.
  40. The first spacecraft to fly by Saturn was Pioneer 11, which blasted off in 1973 and arrived at Saturn in 1979. Voyagers 1 and 2 also completed fly-bys in 1980 and 1981. Voyager 1 is now the farthest human-made object in space.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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