By: Natalie James
Saturn is one of the farthest planets from the sun, being the sixth. After being first spotted in 1610 by Galileo Galilei, Saturn was named after the Roman god of wealth and agriculture, Saturnus. The most common nickname for this gas giant is “The Ringed Planet”, for the large rings surrounding it that Saturn is famed for.
Originally the Italian astronomer, Galileo Galilei, thought that Saturn was triple bodied, but in 1658 Dutch astronomer, Christiaan Huygens, using a more powerful telescope than Galileo, announced that Saturn was surrounded by a thin, flat ring. Then in 1675 Italian-born astronomer, Jean-Dominique Cassini, discovered a “division” in between what is now, the A and B rings. That “division” is now …show more content…
In the early 1980’s, NASA’s Voyager spacecraft concluded that Saturn’s ring are mostly made out of water ice, and dark features in the rings that circle the planet at different rates from that of the surrounding material. Saturn has 63 discovered moons and 7 groups of rings, the exact number of rings is not known. Saturn’s largest moon is named Titan after the fact that Saturnus was a Titan, all of Saturn’s moons are named after Titan’s or something related to the fact.
Saturn had the lowest density of all planets, and is the only one less dense than water. If there were a body of water big enough to contain it, Saturn would float.
Saturn’s most recent discover could be the giant hexagon circling its north pole, with sides nearly 7,500 miles across- big enough to fit nearly 4 earths inside. Thermal images show it reaches some 60 miles down into the planet’s atmosphere. The cause remains uncertain.
As Saturn is the sixth planet, it is said to be cold. It is about 886,700,000 miles from the sun, the main source of heat in our solar system. Saturn is also the second largest planet, second to Jupiter. Saturn is so big it’s the equivalent of 764 earths! It takes 29 Earth years for Saturn to orbit the sun. Saturn is a tannish-beige color.
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