Return to 		Advanced Index Beginners Intermediate Advanced





Saturn




Symbol
Diameter120500 km, 9.4 x Earth's
Mass95.16 ME
Volume752 VE
Mean Density0.7 g/cm3
Mean Distance from Sun1427 x 106km = 9.539 AU
Eccentricity of Orbit0.056
Inclination of Equator to Orbit27°
Inclination of Orbit to Ecliptic2.5°
Colouryellow
Temperature-150°C
AtmosphereHydrogen, ammonia, methane
Length of Day10.5 hours
Length of Year29.5 years
No. of Moons18
Gravity1.16 x Earth's
Escape Velocity35.6 km/s
Albedo0.47



Saturn casts a shadow over its ring system Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun, and the second of the gas giants. It is most famous for its rings, which seem continuous but are made of lots of small icy rocks, frozen water and dust. They reflect light so well that they can be seen even through a small telescope. Saturn has three main rings, but there are about seven in total. Saturn is not the only planet to have rings Ė Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune also have faint ring systems.

Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System, but has a very low density - less than that of water. If you were able to find a body of water large enough, Saturn would float in it.

Titan Saturn has 18 moons, which is more than any other planet in the Solar System. One of the moons, Titan is the largest moon in the Solar System. Itís even bigger than Mercury. Titan is very interesting because it is thought to be one of the few places in the Solar System capable of supporting life. There is currently a spacecraft called Cassini-Huygens on its way to Saturn, which will arrive in 2004 and drop the Huygens probe into Titanís atmosphere to study it more closely. Cassini will then move on to study the planet and its rings.

Cassini drops the Huygens probe into the atmosphere of Titan





Planets Introduction

Mercury

Venus

Earth

The Moon

Mars

Jupiter

Uranus

Neptune

Pluto

Asteroids

Comets

Meteorites

Extra-Solar Planets



Return to 		Advanced Index Beginners Intermediate Advanced





Authors: Carolyn Brinkworth and Claire Thomas

Last updated: July 2001