Saturn is a gas giant, the sixth planet from the sun and the second largest in the solar system. It was discovered more than 400 years ago and attracted the attention of astronomers with an abundance of satellites and rings, as well as anomalous phenomena on the surface.
14 Fun Facts About Saturn:
- The planet Saturn was named after the Roman God of Agriculture (Saturnus). He also has an alternative name - Kronos (Greek god). Saturn symbol Sickle.
- Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system (Jupiter is the largest). It is so huge that it can be seen even with a small telescope.
- Saturn has over 60 satellites (62 found), although the exact number is still unknown. The largest moon, titan, is larger than the planets Pluto and Mercury. It is the second largest satellite in the solar system
- Saturn is composed primarily of helium and hydrogen. This is why Saturn is so different from Earth. Our Earth has a solid foundation, but Saturn is composed of 96% gas with only a small, dense core. It is the planet with the lowest density among the planets of the solar system, half the density of water.
- Saturn has a diameter of approximately 120, 000 kilometers and is 95 times that of Earth. And it is located 9.5 times farther from the Sun than the Earth.
- A day on Saturn is only 10 hours and 14 minutes, but 1 year on Saturn is equal to almost 30 years on Earth. This is how much time it takes for the planet to make a complete revolution around the Sun
- Saturn is similar to Earth in terms of seasonal variations because it has a similar tilt axis. There is a change of seasons on the planet. Each season lasts more than seven Earth years.
- Saturn has more rings than other planets in the solar system. The famous rings of Saturn were discovered by astronomers in 1610. They consist of ice particles ranging in diameter from a few millimeters to tens of meters. The diameter of Saturn's rings reaches 250, 000 kilometers, and the thickness is less than a kilometer.
- Saturn has the shape of an ellipse. Its rotation speed is so great that it flattens itself. The speed of rotation of Saturn around its axis is faster than that of any other planet in the solar system.
- In 1979, the automated US interplanetary station Pioneer 11 flew near Saturn for the first time in history. Spacecraft have visited the vicinity of Saturn only four times - Pioner 11 (1979), Voyager 1 (1980), Voyager 2 (1981), Cassin probe (2014).
- Saturn has a powerful magnetic field that operates over a million kilometers. Its source is the metallic hydrogen of the core, which generates a field like a dynamo as the planet rotates.
- Wind speeds on Saturn can reach 1, 800 kilometers per hour. This is caused by the planet's high rotational speed and unstable atmosphere.
- Aurora Borealis occurs on Saturn. It can only be seen in ultraviolet light due to the prevalence of hydrogen in the atmosphere.
- An atmospheric phenomenon has been repeatedly photographed at Saturn's north pole that scientists cannot explain. It is a geometrically regular hexagon with a diameter of 25 thousand kilometers. The anomaly was named "Hexagonal Storm".