Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and doubtless the foremost gorgeous planet of our solar system. The spectacular rings of Saturn are one of the most beautiful things of our solar system. There is a lot to know about Saturn. Let's explore the ten most interesting facts about the planet Saturn.
1. Saturn has the most number of moons.
Saturn has a total of 82 known moons. Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is the second-largest moon of our solar system.
2. Saturn has the most beautiful ring system of our solar system.
Saturn's ring system is astonishing 175,000 miles (or 282,000 km) wide, but its vertical height is just about 30 feet (10 meters). The size of objects in Saturn's ring system ranges from dust-size to as big as mountains. With a decent telescope, we can watch the stunning rings of Saturn from here on Earth.
3. Spacecrafts can not land on Saturn.
Saturn is a gaseous planet, So there is no solid surface where a spacecraft can land. Not only landing is the problem but also, flying. The speed of winds on Saturn can reach 1,800 km/hr (or 1,118 miles per hour). For comparison, The strongest wind on Earth reaches about 396 km/hr ( or 246 miles per hour).
4. Only one spacecraft has ever orbited Saturn.
There are very few missions to Saturn. This includes flybys of Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, and Voyager 2. Cassini spacecraft is the only one to orbit the planet.
5. Saturn has a short day and a long year.
Saturn has the second shortest day among all the planets of our solar system ( Jupiter has the shortest ). Saturn takes about ten and half hours to complete one rotation on its axis. Saturn is a distant planet, so it takes longer time to orbit the sun. A Saturn year is equal to 29.5 Earth years.
6. Saturn has the lowest density compare to the other planets of our solar system.
Saturn has even less density than water, about 30 percent less. Saturn's size is slightly less than Jupiter but the mass of Jupiter is much greater than the mass of Saturn, thanks to the density difference.
7. About two tons of Saturn's mass belong to Earth.
After the completion of the Cassini mission, the Cassini spacecraft was intentionally burnt into Saturn's atmosphere in 2017. So, this two-ton Cassini spacecraft sums up to Saturn's total mass.
8. Twice Every 29.5 Earth years, Saturn's ring becomes invisible from Earth.
We are able to see the ring system of Saturn from Earth with the assistance of a decent telescope but twice every 29.5 Earth years (time taken by Saturn to orbit the sun once), Saturn's ring comes edge-on as viewed from the Earth. They're hardly visible to us even with powerful telescopes.
9. Few moons of Saturn have conditions to support life.
The largest moon of Saturn, Titan, may have an ocean 35 to 50 miles or 55 to 80 km below its icy surface.
Enceladus, the sixth largest moon of Saturn, is thought to have liquid water ocean beneath its icy surface.
Both Titan and Enceladus could contain habitable environments.
10. Saturn has one of the most beautiful auroras in the solar system.
Beautiful auroras of Saturn are the result of its strong magnetic field. Saturn's Magnetic field is about 578 times stronger than Earth's. Auroras are caused by Solar winds once they impinge on the magnetic field of a planet. Saturn's Auroras can be seen only in ultraviolet light. Instruments on the Hubble Space Telescope are sensitive to UV light. Hubble has taken some splendid images of Saturn's aurora.