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Here are some facts about Saturn:Saturn

  • second largest planet
  • seven large, flat rings encircle it
  • sixth planet from the sun and has 60 known moons
    • Titan is the largest with a diameter larger than some planets, also known to have an atmosphere consisting of mostly nitrogen
  • orbit is elliptical
  • distance from the sun
    • closest point: 1,349,467,000 kilometers away from sun
    • farthest point: 1,503,983,000 kilometers away from sun
  • revolution takes 29 1/2 Earth years
  • rotation takes 10 hours and 39 minutes of an Earth day
  • extreme temperatures
    • hotest: -130° C
    • coldest: -180° C
  • mass: 95.16 times the mass of Earth or 568,510,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms
  • surface area: 85.22 times the surface area of Earth or 16,782,000,000 square miles
  • named after the Roman god of agriculture, Saturn
  • several space probes have visited Saturn in the past years
    • Pioneer Saturn was sent to fly-by both Jupiter and Saturn and discovered some of the outer rings
    • Voyager 1 and 2 studied Saturn in adition to other planets
      • confirmed the seven rings and sevral ringlets that make up the rings
      • confirmed many moon discoveries
    • Cassini began orbit of the planet in 2004 for future discoveries
      • Huygens, being carried on Cassini, was used to study Titan


The Cassini probe, launched in 1997, began orbiting Saturn in 2004. Cassini was designed to study Saturn, its rings, and its moons and to drop a probe called Huygens into the atmosphere of the moon Titan.

Cassini and Huygens

Photo Credit: Nasa





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