Harvey's Space Adventure: Saturn


Click and drag to rotate the planet!

Source: NASA Visualization Technology Applications and Development (VTAD)


After Jupiter, the next planet in our solar system as you move farther from the sun is Saturn. It's easy to tell which planet is Saturn because of its very visible rings.


Here are some interesting facts about Saturn:



In our solar system, Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun. It's also the planet the best day of the week is named after: Saturday!



Saturn isn't quite as big as Jupiter, but it's the second largest planet in our solar system. Not counting its rings, the diameter of Saturn is about the same distance as 9 Earths lined up side by side!



No one knows exactly how long it takes Saturn to rotate on its axis, but we think it's about 10 1/2 hours. That would make one day on Saturn. It takes about 29 Earth years for Saturn to orbit the sun, so 29 years on Earth equal one year on Saturn!



Saturn is a gas giant like Jupiter. It's a massive ball, mostly made of hydrogen and helium. It doesn't have a solid surface.



Saturn has 53 known moons. 29 more have been discovered but are waiting to be confirmed. If all 29 are confirmed, that would be a total of 82 moons!



Probably the most special feature of Saturn is its rings. They are made up of chunks of ice and rock, and there are seven of them, with gaps and divisions in between them.



There have been a few spacecraft that flew by Saturn, but the spacecraft Cassini orbited Saturn 294 times. It sent lots of pictures and information back to NASA!



There is no life on Saturn. It would be pretty hard to live on a planet that had no solid surface!




Hubble Telescope Image of Saturn

Source: NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).

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