|Diameter||120500 km, 9.4 x Earth's|
|Average Distance from Sun||1427 x 106km = 9.539 AU|
|Atmosphere||Hydrogen, ammonia and methane|
|Length of Day||10.5 hours|
|Length of Year||29.5 years|
|No. of Moons||18|
|Gravity||1.16 x Earth's|
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun, and the second of the gas giants. It is most famous for its rings, which seem to be solid but are actually 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 ones.
Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System, but has such a low density that it would float in water.
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 may be able to support life. There is a spacecraft called Cassini-Huygens on its way to Saturn, which will arrive in 2004 and drop the probe called Huygens into Titanís atmosphere to study it more closely. Cassini will then move on to study the planet and its rings.
Authors: Carolyn Brinkworth and Claire Thomas
Last updated: July 2001