SOLAR SYSTEM

Saturn the ringed planet

Saturn is the sixth of nine planets in our solar system and is one of the outer "gas giant" planets. It is not believed to have a solid surface.


Saturn 4K pan-zoom image

Pan, zoom, or go full-screen with this megapixel image of Saturn.

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  Original image: NASA/JPL


Saturn facts

CHARACTERISTIC VALUE
Magnitude: 0.67
Mass: 5.69 x 1026 kg
Radius: 60,268 km
Density: 0.69 gm/cm3
Distance from Sun: 1.43 billion km
Rotational period: 10.7 hours
Orbital period: 29.46
Orbital velocity: 9.67 km/sec
Eccentricity of orbit: 0.056
Tilt of axis: 25.3 °
Inclination of orbit: 2.49 °
Surface gravity: 9.05 m/sec2
Escape velocity: 35.5 km/sec
Albedo: 0.47
Temperature (at 1 bar): -139°C mean
Atmosphere: H2 = 96%
He = 3.25%
CH4 = 0.45%
Moons: 83


Saturn cloud features

Saturn has no solid surface, so only atmospheric features such as light cloud zones and dark belts are visible. Once every year, a short-lived storm called the Great White Spot is visible.



Saturn poles

Both poles of Saturn have intense long-lived cyclone storms. The north pole also features the Hexagon, which is a unique standing-wave cloud pattern.




Rings of Saturn

Saturn has a large, complex, and visually stunning ring system comprised of rings, ring arcs, and gaps. A number of moons play a role in either shepherding/constraining rings (shepherd moons) or in providing source material for moons (ring maker moons).

NAME DISTANCE SHEPHERD/MAKER MOON
D ring 66,900-74,510 -
C Ring 74,658-92,000 -
B Ring 92,000-117,580 -
A Ring 122,170-136,775 Atlas
Encke Gap inside A Ring Pan
Keeler Gap inside A Ring Daphnis
F Ring 140,180 Prometheus, Pandora
Janus/Epimetheus Ring 149,000-154,000 Janus, Epimetheus
G Ring 166,000-175,000 Aegaeon
Methone Ring Arc 194,230 Methone
Anthe Ring Arc 197,665 Anthe
Pallene Ring 211,000-213,500 Pallene
E Ring 180,000-480,000 Enceladus
Phoebe Ring 4,000,000 - 13,000,000 Phoebe


Largest moons of Saturn (6 out of 83 shown)

Saturn has 83 known moons, with Titan being the largest. The largest six moons are shown, all of which can be seen through a telescope. For information on all 27 moons, see Moons of Saturn. In addition, there are thousands of small "propeller" moonlets believed to be embedded in the A ring.

Saturn vs. Earth ratios

Planet sizes are to relative scale.





Two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

- Albert Einstein