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Explore Saturn

Student Planet Facts

Saturn is the next biggest planet in the solar system.
Here are some facts and other places you can find information.

Saturn and moonsSaturn and some of its moons can be seen in the composite image at left. Four more moons were found in late 2000 and 9 more were discovered recently for a total of 31. Scientists are tracking more objects that may be additional moons.

The Voyager missions found winds, magnetic field, auroras and lightning on the planet similar to Jupiter. Also, the planet has light colored cloud bands (zones) and darker bands (belts) like the larger gas giant.

The fascinating ring system observed by Galileo in 1610 is only beginning to be understood. At first thought to be a solid ring, it is now known to be thousands of water ice particles with some chunks as big as a small car. The rings are held in place by moons that "sheperd" the particles and keep them in a series of ringlets. Some gaps like the Cassini Division separate the ringlets called the "A Ring", "B Ring" and so on. The Cassini/Huygens spacecraft passed through between the "F" and "G" rings on its way to orbit Saturn (see below).

How much would you weigh on Saturn?
Type your weight in here:
You would weigh about:


Gravity and You
Your weight on Earth is determined by your mass and Earth's mass. Click for Planet Myths and Lore
Would you weigh more or less on Saturn?

 


Planet Names
Why are the planets named for Roman gods? What is the story or myth about their names? Click image or here for Planet Myths and Lore.


Click for NASA/JPL Planetquest Are There Planets Like Jupiter Around Other Stars?
The first planet outside of our solar system was discovered around 51 Pegasi, a small star in the constellation Pegasus. Since then more than 100 planets have been found.
For more information on how astronomers discover new planets click image or go to NASA/JPL Planetquest.
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Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn
The Cassini/Huygens Mission to Saturn.
Shortly after the Cassini orbiter began studying the planet, the Huygens probe landed on Saturn's largest moon, Titan. To find out more information on the mission click image or here, Cassini Mission.


Animated Telescope Dome Click to read more about The Professor's Telescope

New!
Click here to find out about
"The Professor's Telescope",
a new book by Chris Moreau, one of our advisors.
Take an adventure with Eric to Saturn!

A portion of the proceeds will help support Kid's Cosmos.


Quick Facts about Saturn
Topic Data
Diameter 120,536 km
Density 0.69 g/cm3
Mass 5.688 x 1026 kg
Volume 8.183 x 1014 km3
Temperature Range -191° C to >-130° C
Atmosphere Hydrogen, Helium, Methane
Winds Up to 400 m/s
Moons 31
Average Distance from Sun 1,429,400,000 km
Orbital Period 29 Years, 167 Days, 6.7 Hours
Rotation 0 Days, 10.233 Hours
Tilt 25.33°
Rings Yes
Composition Hydrogen and Helium
Magnetic Field Extremely strong

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The Nine Planets
NASA Planet Facts
Galileo Mission
Voyager I and II Missions
Cassini Mission

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