You knew that Saturn has rings. But did you know how wide they are? They are 180,000 miles across. Saturn has 7 flat rings orbiting around it. It has thousands of tiny thin lines. Saturn is known for its rings. Galileo was the first person to find Saturnís rings through a telescope. Through the telescopes the rings on Saturn look all solid because youíre so far away. Saturnís rings are made of rock, dust and ice. Saturnís rings are less than 100 meters thick. Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn all have rings. Saturnís rings gleam in the sky. People thought Saturn was the farthest planet from the sun thousands of years ago. Today we know that Saturn is the 6th planet from the sun.
More Facts about Saturn
Saturn is the 2nd largest planet.
800 Earths could fit inside Saturn.
Saturn is 937,000,000 miles from the sun.
It takes 30 Earth years to go around the sun, so a year on Saturn is 30 Earth years.
It rotates one time in 10 hours and 39 minutes.
Saturnís temperature is -300 F.
Saturn is 937,000,000 miles from the sun. )The Earth is 93,000,000 miles from the sun.)
Saturn is 10 times further from the sun than Earth is.
Saturn is very cold because it is so far away from the sun. Saturn can float in water since it is made of gases. Saturnís gravity is a little stronger than Earthís. If a person weighed 85 pounds on Earth, they would weigh 90 pounds on Saturn. In 1990 scientists found out that Saturn has a white spot. In 1990 they say warm gases rose over the planet and formed the white spot. The white spot is a storm that comes about every 30 years.
People think Saturn has at least 18 moons (See chart). But there may be others discovered later. It has more moons than any other planet. Titan is the biggest of Saturnís moons, but only the second biggest in the solar system. The temperature on Titan is -202 F and thatís too cold to have living things. Titan is about 3,200 miles across. Titanís surface is made of rock and ice. Titan has an atmosphere made of nitrogen and hydrocarbons. In 1973 the U.S. sent a probe called the Pioneer-Saturn to find information about Jupiter and Saturn. The probe came back with some close-up pictures of Saturn. The data and pictures helped them to find two of Saturnís outer rings. The Pioneer-Saturn found that Saturn has a magnetic force field that is 1,000 times stronger than Earthís. In 1977 the U.S. sent two probes to study Saturn and more planets. This time it was called Voyager 1 and 2. Voyager 1 flew 78,000 miles to Saturn. Voyager 2 flew 63,000 miles to Saturn. One of Voyagerís probes found Saturnís 7 rings. Saturn has an atmosphere. The clouds form layers of skin, thin as an apple peel. Voyager 2 had a clearer view of the clouds on Saturn than Voyager 1, which passed nine months earlier. People believe Saturn is a big ball of gas that has no surface. But Saturn has a hot, solid inner core. It is made up of iron and rock. The part of the outer core probably is made up of ammonia, methane, and water. Could people live on Saturn? No, because Saturn has an atmosphere, but itís not the same kind of atmosphere as Earth. Humans canít breathe the atmosphere on Saturn and thereís no surface on Saturn. Itís made of gas. How can people land on Saturn if itís made of gas? The closest you could get to Saturn for good pictures is one of Saturnís moons. People can land and take a picture of Saturn on one of its moons. How did the people know about Saturn? Because the probes went to Saturn, took some good pictures of Saturn, and came back with the pictures that led to the discovery of the seven rings.