Your complete information about our fascinating Solar System.
In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture. He is known as Cronus in Greek mythology. Cronus was the father of Zeus (Jupiter). Saturn is the root of the English word "Saturday.
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun, and the second largest of the nine planets. Like Jupiter, Saturn has bands. Saturn's bands, however, are much fainter. The bands are also much wider near the equator.
Saturn Fast Facts
Distance from Sun
Approximately 856 million miles
Number of Moons
More than 30 (we're discovering more all the time -- 18 have been named
Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and the second largest moon in the entire solar system.
Approximately 75,000 miles (120,000 km)
the second largest planet -- more than 9 Earths could line up across it!
Composition 97% Hydrogen gas, about 3% helium gas and about 0.05% methane, plus ammonia. You could not stand on the surface because it's gaseous.
Length of Day
10 hours, 39 minutes in Earth time (the length of one rotation)
flattened at the poles because of its very rapid rotation
Length of a Year
29.5 Earth years (the length of one orbit around the sun)
named for the Roman god of agriculture. The day Saturday is also named after him.
Discovered by: Saturn has been observed in the night sky since ancient times but Galileo was the first to observe it with a telescope in 1610.
Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, Cassini (2004)
Saturn's rings can be seen with even a small telescope. A larger telescope show that there are multiple rings.
What are the rings made of?The rings are made of chunks of rock and ice -- some just tiny pieces of dust, some more than half a mile (one km) across.
How big are the Rings
Very wide: 150,000 miles in diameter
but very thin: only a few hundred yards thick.
Where did they come from? We don't know! Maybe they're left over material from when the planet formed. Perhaps they're the remains of moons that were destroyed when impacted by other bodies.