Saturn is perhaps the most beautiful planet in our solar system, thanks to its magnificent ring system. Located sixth in line from the Sun, it is the second largest world orbiting the Sun after Jupiter.
Although Saturn is famous for its rings, but all the other giant planets, including Jupiter, Uranium and Neptune, a feature of ring systems. But Saturn stands out with beautiful yellow and gold stripes on the surface, as well as having more satellites than any other planet in the world. The solar systemsome of which are some of the best places to find life outside of Earth.
How did Saturn get its name?
Saturn has been known since ancient times, according to NASA. It is the most distant planet from Earth, which is still visible to the naked eye in the night sky, and our modern name comes from the Roman god of wealth and agriculture Saturn.
Saturn was known as Cronus in Greek and Sani in Sanskrit, according to the educational site The Nine Planets. Other ancient names of the planet include Sao (Thai), Zuhal (Arabic), Kayvon (Persian), Tuxing (meaning star soil on mandarin) and Kayamanu (Babylonian), according to TKTKTKT.
What is Saturn made of?
Saturn’s atmosphere is 96% hydrogen and 4% helium, with little water, methane and ammonia. European Space Agency (ESA). It has a radius of 36,183 miles (58,232 kilometers), making it nine times wider than Earth. according to NASA.
The planet has a dense core of metals such as iron and nickel, surrounded by rocky material, which in turn is covered by liquid metallic hydrogen, which is exposed to intense temperatures and pressures. Recent research has shown that Saturn’s core is not a solid sphere like Earth’s, rather an inaccurate soup consists of rocks, ice and metallic liquids that splash around and affect its gravitational attraction, which in turn affects the structure of its giant rings.
Saturn’s outermost layers consist of swirling gases, mostly hydrogen and helium, as well as 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 that of water, which means it will float in a (very large) bath.
The winds in the upper atmosphere of Saturn are much stronger than those produced by it hurricanes on Earthreaching a staggering speed of 1090 miles per hour (1755 km / h in equatorial regions. The planet’s clouds come in different shades of brown, yellow and gray) and they form a mysterious and amazing hexagonal storm system at the North Pole.
Thought it was lightning 10,000 times more powerful than on Earth, can be seen on Saturn, and NASA’s Cassini spacecraft noticed a storm that affected the planet’s weather for more than three years, according to ESA. Due to the fast speed of rotation Saturn is noticeably flattened at its poles, the agency said.
How far is Saturn from the Sun?
Saturn orbits at an average distance of 886 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) from The sunthe central star in our solar system, which means that one year of Saturn lasts about 29.4 Earth years, according to NASA. Normally sunlight takes 80 minutes to travel between the sun and Saturn.
The planet has the second shortest day in the solar system, just 10.7 hours, slightly more than Jupiter’s 9.93-hour day. Saturn has an inclination of the axis, very close to ours, about 26.73 degrees relative to its orbit around the sun (Earth’s is 23.5 degrees), which means that Saturn is experiencing seasons similar to our planet.
Have people explored Saturn?
Four robotic probes have visited Saturn, according to NASA. The Pioneer 11 spacecraft was launched from Earth on April 5, 1973 and completed the flight of the ring giant on September 1, 1979. according to the Planetary Society.
NASA’s Voyager 1 flew past Saturn in 1980 and, along with Voyager 2, which reached the planet in 1981, took nearly 16,000 images of Saturn, its rings and satellites. The two probes discovered three new satellites, studied the complex system of rings in detail and collected data on the planet’s magnetic field and atmosphere. Faced with the largest moon, Titan, Voyager 2 was directed upward and out of the ecliptic plane, which is the plane in which all planets revolve around the Sun, giving researchers a view of the planet and its rings from above.
The most in-depth study of Saturn was made by a joint NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens mission, which launched from Earth in 1997 and reached the ring gas giant in 2004. according to ESA. The Huygens spacecraft landed on Titan in 2005, becoming the first robot to reach the moon’s surface in the outer solar system. This made amazing pictures of the seas, river canals and mountains as she sank. “Cassini” remained in orbit around Saturn until September 15, 2017, making a total of 294 orbits, and then plunged into the planet’s atmosphere, according to the Planetary Society.
How many months is Saturn?
Saturn has more known satellites than any other planet, with 53 confirmed satellites and another 29 awaiting confirmation, bringing the total to 82, according to NASA. Its largest satellite, Titan, is the second largest satellite in the solar system after Ganymede Jupiter and larger than the planet. Mercury.
Titan is an incredible world dense atmosphere nitrogen and hydrocarbons. This sediment forms a yellowish band at minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 180 degrees Celsius), below which you can find incredible geological features such as lakes, seas and rivers of liquid methane and ethane.
The largest sea on Titan is called Kraken Mare and is over 1,000 feet (300 meters) in depth, about the same height as the Chrysler Building in New York. Kraken Mare is so deep that the Cassini radar could not explore to the bottom. Lunar seas seems unusually calmwith waves only 0.25 inches (1 cm) high and about 8 inches (20 cm) long.
Can there be life on Saturn?
Due to the extreme temperatures, pressures and wind speeds of Saturn, scientists believe that the potential for life as we know it on the planet itself is small, according to NASA. But the planet’s satellites are the main objects of study when it comes to housing outside of Earth.
According to NASA, with its dense atmosphere and liquid bodies on the surface Titan is one of the places in the solar system that is believed to potentially host life. Another sea of liquid water may be under its ice crust, and the agency has planned to launch a Dragonfly mission in 2026 and explore the Moon in more detail. according to the Planetary Society.
Another of Saturn’s most intriguing moons is Enceladus. It is surrounded by frozen ice shells, from which high geysers of liquid water explode at a speed of 800 miles per hour (1290 km / h), according to NASA. Although Enceladus is tiny – only 313 miles (504 km) across – Cassini noticed the methane emanating from faults known as tiger stripes near its south pole, a possible allusion to organisms living in its subterranean ocean.
Some astrobiologists believe that the Enceladus Ocean was around long enough, about 1 billion years old, to dissolve chemicals and start life-feeding processes. But whether there is anything floating under its cold crust remains to be seen.
Other satellites of Saturn give surprises. For example, Mimas, a small world with a large crater that makes it look like the Death Star from the Star Wars series pond with liquid water trapped under her outer ice.
How did Saturn’s rings form?
Researchers believe that a beautiful system of Saturn’s rings, consisting of ice fragments of rock and dust, formed when asteroids, comets and pieces of the moon shattered under the force of attraction of Saturn. Pieces of rings range in size from huge stones the size of a mountain to tiny dust particles.
Saturn’s rings extend up to 175,000 miles (282,000 km) from the planet, but, according to NASA, are as thin as a razor, with a vertical height averaging just 30 feet (10 m) in the main rings. The rings are named according to the order in which they were discovered, with the main rings being rings A, B and C, while the rings D, E, F and G are weaker and have been discovered recently. Between rings A and B there is a gap of 2920 miles (4700 km).
Very far in the orbit of Saturn’s moon Phoebe is a very weak ring. The material is constantly falling from the rings towards Saturn in a phenomenon known as “ring rain”, which means that the stunning system of rings is likely to be exhausted only 100 million years old.
Fly around the Saturn system and its amazing satellites NASA’s interactive website. Then get lost these stunning images the gas giant and its rings in an online gallery run by the agency. Finally, tune in to the future Dragonfly mission having studied its official website NASA and the Johns Hopkins Laboratory of Applied Physics.