Interesting Facts About Saturn: ‘The Jewel Of The Solar System’

Named after a Roman god of agriculture, Saturn is the 6th planet from the sun and also the 2nd largest planet in the entire Solar System after Jupiter.
Saturn is a gas giant since it predominantly consists of helium (‘gas’) and hydrogen. It has no definite surface, even though it may possess a solid core. Rotation of Saturn causes it to have an oblate spheroid shape; that’s, it bulges at its equator and is flattened at the poles. Its polar and equatorial radii vary by nearly 10 percent: 54,364 km versus60, 268 km, respectively. Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus, the other massive planets in our Solar System, are also oblate but to a minimal extent.
Saturn is the only planet in the Solar System, which is less dense than water -nearly 30 percent less. Though the core of Saturn is significantly denser than water (H2O), the planet’s average specific density is 0.69 g/cm3 due to its atmosphere. Saturn is 95 times the Earth’s mass, whereas Jupiter has 318 times the mass of the Earth, together, Saturn and Jupiter hold 92 percent of the entire planetary mass in the Solar System.
NASA reported finding the center of the Saturn and its family of moons to within four km (2.5 miles) on 8 January 2015.
Interior of Saturn is possibly composed of iron-nickel core and rock (oxygen and silicon compounds). This core is usually surrounded by an intermediate layer of liquid helium and liquid hydrogen, a thick layer of metallic hydrogen, and lastly outside the Frenkel line a gaseous exterior layer. Electrical current within the layer of metallic hydrogen is believed to increase the planetary magnetic field of Saturn that’s weaker than Earth’s magnetic field.
However, it’s a magnetic moment nearly 580 times that of Earth because of the larger size of Saturn. The magnetic field strength of Saturn is approximately 1/20 of Jupiter’s. The outer atmosphere is usually bland and lacking in contrast, even though long-lasting features can appear. Wind speeds on the planet Saturn can reach 500 m/s (1,800 km/h), greater than on Jupiter, but not as strong as those on Neptune.
Sometimes, one might wonder as to how a particular planet can have the ring(s) around it. Saturn is probably a “royal” planet, adorned with many gorgeous ringlets around it as its jewelry and thus is also nicknamed as ‘the jewel of the solar system.’
Saturn features a prominent ring system which comprises of 9 continuous major rings and 3 discontinuous arcs and which is composed mainly of ice particles with a low amount of rocky dust and debris. 62 moons are identified to orbit Saturn, of which 53 are formally named. This doesn’t include many moonlets consisting of the rings. Titan, biggest moon of Saturn and the second-biggest in the Solar System, is bigger than the planet Mercury, though less gigantic, and is the only moon in the entire Solar System to have a significant atmosphere.
Let’s learn ten fascinating Saturn facts and acquire some knowledge about this spectacular creation of the universe.
1. Saturn rotates around the Sun so slowly. One year on the planet Saturn is over 29 years on Earth.
2. Saturn rotates on its axis so fast. A day on Saturn is equal to ten hours and fourteen minutes.
3. The day “Saturday” derives its name from this planet (Saturn).
4. Saturn has fifty-three named moons plus sixteen extra moons awaiting formal confirmation.
5. Saturn has been visited only four times by spacecraft namely Pioneer 11, in 1979, that was the first, following came to Voyager 1 in 1980, then Voyager 2 in 1981 and lastly Cassini in 2004. It’s incredible to understand that Cassini really went into orbit around Saturn and managed to send back the moons of Saturn and images of the rings.
6. Since Saturn is made majorly of gases with helium in plenty, one can’t stand on it as we do on our planet.
7. Rings of Saturn Are Made Mostly of Dust particles and Ice.
Regardless of the fact that the Saturn’s rings seem to continuous hoops of matter surrounding the huge planet, each one is really made of small individual particles. Approximately 93 percent of the matter constituting the rings is water ice, some chunks as huge as a modern car. Nonetheless, many pieces are the dust particles’ size.
8. Saturn is the 5th brightest object in our solar system and can be easily seen using a simple binoculars or telescope.
9. Saturn’s magnetic field is approximately 578 times as strong as that of Earth.
10. Saturn appears yellow in color. This is because of the exterior layer of ammonia crystals that covers its atmosphere. Under these crystals is the clouds’ layer primarily made up of water ice. Below that are layers of cold hydrogen and sulfur ice mixtures.

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