When referring to Saturn, people immediately think of the characteristic large rings. But not only that, this planet has a lot of interesting things.
Saturn is a giant planet, ranked 2nd in solar system only after Jupiter. For many astronomy enthusiasts, planet It has a strange charm.
A drop of water can float
Saturn is several times larger in size than Earth – (Image: Universetoday.com).
Saturn is mostly hydrogen and helium gas, which means you can’t stand on the surface of Saturn like you would on the surface of Earth.
Scientists also believe that Saturn can float when dropped in water because it is the only planet in the solar system with a lower density than water, about 30% less.
It is also the least dense planet in the solar system.
Very short days, very long years
Saturn is the 6th planet from the sun – (Image: NASA).
Saturn’s rotation around its axis is very rapid. Today, scientists agree that a day on this planet only lasts 10 hours 32 minutes 35 seconds.
In contrast, Saturn moves very slowly around the sun. 1 year on Saturn equals approximately 10,759 Earth days, or about 29.5 Earth years.
The flattest sphere in the solar system
Due to its rapid rotation on its axis, Saturn becomes an oblate sphere.
The very rapid rotation of the planet caused it to wear down into a distinctly flattened spherical shape.
Specifically, Saturn’s equator widens and the poles flatten. The distance between Saturn’s poles is 54,364 km, compared to the equatorial diameter of 60,268 km, which is 10% different.
Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune are also gas giants, but they are not as violently flattened as Saturn.
Seen from Earth, Saturn is pale yellow and is one of the brightest objects in the night sky. The main material of this planet is hydrogen, so its density is 8 times lower than that of the Earth.
Saturn is very windy. The wind at the equator of Saturn has a speed of up to 1,800 km/h, while the wind speed record on Earth is only 400 km/h.
The number of “huge” satellites
Titan – Saturn’s largest moon and the second largest in the solar system – (Image: NASA).
Saturn currently has at least 62 natural satellites, 53 of which have been named, primarily composed of rock, methane, ammonia, and CO2, many of which formed around the same time Saturn’s birthplace.
Titan is Saturn’s largest moon and also the second largest moon in the solar system after Jupiter’s moon Ganymede. Their structure is mostly made up of nitrogen combined with rocks and ice. Scientists question life on Titan, but it is certain that life here is very different from Earth.
Only four spacecraft have visited Saturn: Pioneer 11, Voyager 1 and 2, and Cassini-Huygen.
hexagonal vortex north pole, circular vortex south pole
Six-sided vortex at Saturn’s north pole – (Image: NASA).
Atmospheric vortices at Saturn’s north pole have a distinctive hexagonal shape, located at about 78° latitude, first detected by the Voyager spacecraft. The right side of the north polar hexagon is about 13,800 km long, which is larger than the diameter of the Earth.
Whirling at the South Pole – (Image: NASA).
Meanwhile, Hubble images of the south pole show the presence of a high-velocity gas flow but do not form a strong atmospheric vortex or hexagonal structure like at the north pole.
Named after the god of time
Saturn is named after the god of time.
Saturn rotates around its axis rapidly, the orbit around the sun is very slow. It is this slowness that makes the Greeks think of the passage of time and name the planet Cronus – the god of time. In Roman, this planet is called Saturn.
Moreover, Saturn is also fixed for the 7th day of the week – Saturday.
Saturn in astrology is the ruling planet of Capricorn and Aquarius.
The main rings are characteristic of Saturn.
Saturn is the planet with the largest ring system in the solar system. Other planets also have rings, but Saturn’s rings are the only ones visible from Earth.
Saturn’s rings contain a multitude of particles ranging in size from the size of an ordinary grain of sand to the size of a tall building, and some even exceed a kilometer in diameter. They are derived from ice, dust, or debris left behind by comets, asteroids, or moons that melt in space.
Galileo Galilei was the first person to see Saturn’s rings in 1610 but he didn’t know what it was but deduced that the rings were…Saturn’s moon. Then in 1655, the Dutch astronomer Christian Huygens, with a better telescope, was able to discover that these “moons” were actually infinitely wide and narrow ellipses.
The outer circumference of the belt may be equal to the distance from the Earth to the Moon, but only about 20 m thick.
According to Youth.