With its brilliant ring system, Saturn is arguably the most stunning planet in our solar system. Located at the sixth position relative to the sun, it is the second largest world orbiting the sun, after Jupiter.
Although Saturn is famous for its rings, all the other giant planets, including Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, have ring systems. But Saturn stands out for having beautiful bands of yellow and gold on its surface, as well as having more moons than any other planet in the solar system, some of which are among the best. search for life beyond Earth.
What is Saturn’s name?
Saturn has been known since ancient times, according to NASA. It is the farthest planet from Earth that is still visible to the naked eye in the night sky, and our modern name for it comes from the Roman god of agriculture and wealth, Saturn.
Saturn is called Kronos in Greek and Sani in Sanskrit, according to the educational website The Nine Planets. Other ancient names for the planet include Sao (Thai), Zuhal (Arabic), Kayvon (Farsi), Tuxing (which means Earth Star in Mandarin), and Kayamanu (Babylonian), according to TKTKTKT.
What is Saturn made of?
Saturn’s atmosphere is composed of 96% hydrogen and 4% helium, with small amounts of water, methane and ammonia, according to European Space Agency (ESA). It has a radius of 36,183 miles (58,232 km), nine times wider than Earth, according to NASA.
The planet has a dense core made of metals like iron and nickel, surrounded by rocky material and in turn surrounded by liquid metallic hydrogen that is subject to intense heat and pressure. Recent research has suggested that Saturn’s core is not a solid sphere like Earth’s. but rather a fuzzy soup composed of rock, ice, and metallic liquid that wobbles around and affects its gravity, which in turn affects the structure of its giant rings.
Saturn’s outermost layers are made up of swirling gases mostly hydrogen and helium, plus small amounts of water, ammonia and methane, which become liquid as pressure and temperature rise deeper, according to NASA. It is the least dense planet in the solar system, with an average density less than water, meaning it would float in a (very large) bath.
Winds in Saturn’s upper atmosphere are much stronger than those produced by storm on earthreaches a staggering 1,090 mph (1,755 km/h in its equatorial regions.The planet’s clouds come in different shades of brown, yellow, and gray, and they form one cloud. mystery and Strange hexagon storm system at the north pole.
Lightning is said to be 10,000 times stronger than what on Earth can be seen on Saturn, and NASA’s Cassini spacecraft detected a storm affecting the planet’s weather patterns for more than three years, according to ESA. According to the agency, because of its rapid rotation, Saturn is flattened at its poles.
How far is Saturn from the sun?
Saturn orbits at an average distance of 886 million miles (1.4 billion km) from sunthe central star in our solar system, that is, a Saturn year lasts about 29.4 Earth years, according to NASA. It usually takes 80 minutes of sunlight to travel between the sun and Saturn.
This planet has the second shortest day in the solar system, at just 10.7 hours, just slightly longer than Jupiter’s 9.93 hour day. Saturn has an axial tilt very close to ours, about 26.73 degrees from its orbit around the sun (Earth’s is 23.5 degrees), which means Saturn experiences similar seasons. like our planet.
Have humans discovered Saturn yet?
According to NASA, four probes have visited Saturn. The Pioneer 11 spacecraft launched from Earth on April 5, 1973, and completed its flyby of the ringed giant on September 1, 1979. according to the Planetary Society.
NASA’s Voyager 1 flew past Saturn in 1980 and, together with Voyager 2, which arrived at the planet in 1981, captured nearly 16,000 images of Saturn, its rings and moons. The two probes discovered three new moons, studied the complex ring system in detail, and collected data about the planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere. After encountering the largest moon, Titan, Voyager 2 was pointed up and out of the plane of orbit, the plane in which all the planets orbit the sun, giving researchers a view from high above the planet and its rings.
The most in-depth study of Saturn was made possible by NASA-ESA’s joint Cassini-Huygens mission, which was launched from Earth in 1997 and reached the ring gas giant in 2004, according to ESA. The Huygens probe landed on Titan in 2005, becoming the first robot to reach the surface of a moon in the outer solar system. It take great pictures of the sea, river channels and mountains when it decreases. Cassini remained in orbit around Saturn until September 15, 2017, making a total of 294 orbits and then plunging into the planet’s atmosphere, according to the Planetary Society.
How many moons does Saturn have?
Saturn has more known moons than any other planet, with 53 confirmed and another 29 pending confirmation, bringing the total to 82, according to NASA. Its largest moon, Titan, is the second largest moon in the solar system, after Jupiter’s Ganymede and larger than the planet Mercury.
Titan is an incredible world wrapped in a dense atmosphere of nitrogen and hydrocarbons. This layer of mud forms a yellow haze in the frigid minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 180 degrees Celsius), beneath which can be found astonishing geological features such as lakes, seas and rivers containing liquid methane. and ethane.
The largest sea on Titan is called Kraken Mare and is more than 1,000 feet (300 meters) deep, roughly the height of New York City’s Chrysler Building. The Kraken Mare was so deep that Cassini’s radar could not probe all the way through. Moon Sea seems unusually calmwith waves that are only 0.25 inches (1 cm) high and about 8 inches (20 cm) long.
Could there be life on Saturn?
Because of Saturn’s extreme temperatures, pressures and wind speeds, scientists think the potential for life as we know it on the planet is very small. according to NASA. But the planet’s moons are the primary target of exploration when it comes to habitable environments beyond Earth.
According to NASA, with its thick atmosphere and liquid masses on its surface, Titan is one of the places in the solar system thought to be capable of hosting life. An even more liquid sea could lie beneath its icy crust, and the agency has planned a Dragonfly mission to launch in 2026 and explore the moon in more detail, according to the Planetary Society.
One of Saturn’s most fascinating moons is Enceladus. It is surrounded by a frozen crust of ice from which shoots high geysers of liquid water at 800 mph (1,290 km/h), according to NASA. Although Enceladus was very small – only 313 miles (504 km) long – Cassini discovered methane come from faults known as tiger stripes near its south pole, a possible sign of organisms living in the ocean below its surface.
Some astronomers think that Enceladus’s ocean surrounded just long enough, about 1 billion years, for the chemicals to dissolve and start the processes that fuel life. But whether something is swimming around beneath its icy shell remains to be seen.
Saturn’s other moons bring surprises. For example, Mimas, a small world with a large crater that makes it look like the Death Star from the Star Wars series could also have a block of liquid water trapped beneath its outer layer of ice.
How did Saturn’s rings form?
Researchers believe that Saturn’s beautiful ring system, made up of pieces of icy rock and dust, was formed when asteroids, comets and fragments of the moon broken into pieces under the influence of Saturn’s gravity. Pieces of the ring range in size from giant mountain-sized rocks to microscopic dust particles.
Saturn’s rings extend up to 175,000 miles (282,000 km) from the planet, but are razor thin, with an average vertical height of just 30 feet (10 m) in the main rings, according to NASA. The rings are named in the order in which they were discovered, with the main rings being the A, B, and C rings, while the D, E, F and G rings are fainter and more recently discovered. There is a measured distance of 2,920 miles (4,700 km) between loops A and B.
In the distance, there is a very faint ring in the orbit of Saturn’s moon Phoebe. Matter is continuously falling from the rings towards Saturn in a phenomenon known as “ring rain”, which means that the beautiful ring system is likely to be exhausted in the future. at least 100 million years.
Fly around the Saturn system and its amazing moons with this Interactive website from NASA. Then get lost in These amazing pictures of the gas giant and its rings in an online gallery hosted by the agency. Finally, get your spirits up for the upcoming event Dragonfly Quest by exploring the official website of NASA and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
https://www.livescience.com/facts-about-saturn Saturn: Facts about the ringed planet