The Planet Saturn is the second largest planet. It is the next planet after Jupiter.
Saturn is named after a Roman God and is famous for its beautiful rings.
It has at least 62 moons. These include Titan, Hyperion, Mimas, Enceladus, Rhea,
about Planet Saturn
* Diameter: 120,660 km. It is
about 10 times larger than our Earth
* Temperature: –178°C
* Distance from Earth: At
its closest, Saturn is 1190.4 million km
Hydrogen and helium
consists of liquid and gas.
* Rotation of its axis:
10 hours, 40 min, 24 sec
* Rotation around the Sun:
29.5 Earth years
Saturn has been visited in flybys in the 1970s by NASA's Pioneer 11
and in 1980-81 by the Voyager
1 and 2 spacecraft.
spacecraft, launched in 1997
arrived at Saturn in July 2004.
Huygens probe explored the moon -Titan.
Saturn is one of the windiest places in the Solar
System. The wind speeds have reached 1800 km per hour at the equator.
Saturn occasionally has
storms on its surface, similar to those of Jupiter. The Great
White Spot is a massive storm in the planet's northern hemisphere
that has been observed about once every Saturnian year since 1876.
The ring system
consists of 5 divisions (parts): G, F, A, B and C rings, listed
from outside to inside. The F and G rings are thin and difficult
to see, while the A, B and C rings are broad and easily visible.
The Cassini division is the large gap between the A ring and and
the B ring.
believe there is life on Saturn, however it may be possible on
ones of its moons.
Saturn is named for the Roman god of agriculture. The Greek
equivalent was Cronos, father of Zeus.
Planet Saturn was discovered by the ancients. Date
of Discovery is unknown.
In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was the
first to observe Saturn through a telescope. In 1659, Dutch astronomer
Christiaan Huygens proposed that Saturn was surrounded by a thin, flat ring. In
1675, Italian-born astronomer Jean-Dominique Cassini discovered a division
between what are now called the A and B rings.
Pioneer 11 was the first spacecraft to reach Saturn, flying within 22,000 km
(13,700 miles) of the cloud tops. In 1981, Voyager 2 uses Saturn's powerful
gravity as an interplanetary slingshot and is placed on a path toward Uranus,
then Neptune, then out of the solar system.
In 1994, the
Hubble Space Telescope finds evidence of surface features beneath the hazy
atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon.
Cassini was the first spacecraft to orbit Saturn. In 2005, the Huygens probe
successfully landed on Titan, returning images of the surface.
Did you know?
consists of liquid and gas.
- Saturn's rings are made of billions of ice particles.
Saturn: Cassini and the Huygens Probe by
David M. Harland
Veil : Exploring the Giant Moon of Saturn by
Ralph Lorenz , Jacqueline Mitton
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