1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Saturn - Ringed Planet - 6th From Sun

By

Saturn - Ringed Planet - Saturn is the 6th From Sun

Saturn - Ringed Planet - Saturn is the 6th From Sun

NASA
  • MEAN RADIUS: 58232 km
  • MASS: 95.2 (Earth=1)
  • DENSITY: 0.69 (g/cm^3)
  • GRAVITY: 1.16 (Earth=1)
  • ORBIT PERIOD: 29.46 (Earth years)
  • ROTATION PERIOD: 0.436 (Earth days)
  • SEMIMAJOR AXIS OF ORBIT: 9.53 au
  • ECCENTRICITY OF ORBIT: 0.056
Named after the Roman god of agriculture, Saturn is the sixth planet in order of distance from the sun, and the second largest in the solar system. Saturn is most usually thought of for its ring system. The Italian scientist, Galileo was the first to spot Saturn's rings in 1610, using one of the first telescopes.
Galileo's usage of telescopes was a boon to the science of astronomy. He didn't realize the rings were separate from Saturn so he described them as handles. In 1655, Dutch astronomer, Christiaan Huygens was the first to correctly discern the nature of the rings of Saturn.
The atmosphere of Saturn is made up of hydrogen (88 percent) and helium (11 percent) and traces of methane, ammonia, ammonia crystals. Trace amounts of ethane, acetylene, and phosphine are also present. Often confused with a star when viewed with the naked eye, Saturn can be clearly seen with a telescope or binoculars.

Saturn has 18 known moons and an additional 12 newly discovered and unnamed satellites.

Satellites of Saturn:

  • Pan
    Distance (000km) 134 - Radius (km) 10 - Mass (kg) ? - Discovered By & Year Showalter 1990
  • Atlas
    Distance (000km) 138 - Radius (km) 14 - Mass (kg) ? - Discovered By & Year Terrile 1980
  • Prometheus
    Distance (000km) 139 - Radius (km) 46 - Mass (kg) 2.70e17 - Discovered By & Year Collins 1980
  • Pandora
    Distance (000km) 142 - Radius (km) 46 - Mass (kg) 2.20e17 - Discovered By & Year Collins 1980
  • Epimetheus
    Distance (000km) 151 - Radius (km) 57 - Mass (kg) 5.60e17 - Discovered By & Year Walker 1980
  • Janus
    Distance (000km) 151 - Radius (km) 89 - Mass (kg) 2.01e18 - Discovered By & Year Dollfus 1966
  • Mimas
    Distance (000km) 186 - Radius (km) 196 - Mass (kg) 3.80e19 - Discovered By & Year Herschel 1789
  • Enceladus
    Distance (000km) 238 - Radius (km) 260 - Mass (kg) 8.40e19 - Discovered By & Year Herschel 1789
  • Tethys
    Distance (000km) 295 - Radius (km) 530 - Mass (kg) 7.55e20 - Discovered By & Year Cassini 1684
  • Telesto
    Distance (000km) 295 - Radius (km) 15 - Mass (kg) ? Reitsema - Discovered By & Year 1980
  • Calypso
    Distance (000km) 295 - Radius (km) 13 - Mass (kg) ? Pascu - Discovered By & Year 1980
  • Dione
    Distance (000km) 377 - Radius (km) 560 - Mass (kg) 1.05e21 - Discovered By & Year Cassini 1684
  • Helene
    Distance (000km) 377 - Radius (km) 16 - Mass (kg) ? - Discovered By & Year Laques 1980
  • Rhea
    Distance (000km) 527 - Radius (km) 765 - Mass (kg) 2.49e21 Cassini 1672
  • Titan
    Distance (000km) 1222 - Radius (km) 2575 - Mass (kg) 1.35e23 - Discovered By & Year Huygens 1655
  • Hyperion
    Distance (000km) 1481 - Radius (km) 143 - Mass (kg) 1.77e19 - Discovered By & Year Bond 1848
  • Iapetus
    Distance (000km) 3561 - Radius (km) 730 - Mass (kg) 1.88e21 - Discovered By & Year Cassini 1671
  • Phoebe
    Distance (000km) 12952 - Radius (km) 110 - Mass (kg) 4.00e18 - Discovered By & Year Pickering 1898
Related Resources to Saturn

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.