Famous for its impressive rings, Saturn is the sixth planet fom the Sun and the second largest in the Solar System (after Jupiter), with an equatorial diameter of 74,898 miles (120,536km).
It consists almost entirely of the lightest elements, hydrogen and helium, as a result of which it is the least dense planet in the Solar System. So if You could put Saturn in water, the planet will float! Awesome fact right?
Saturn takes 29.49 years to make an orbit around the Sun and it rotates its axis every 10.7 hours. Saturn’s rapid equatorial speed results the 10% wider equator. The planet is tilted at 26.7 degrees, so there are seasonal changes on Saturn, as it travels around the Sun. The axial tilt is also a reason why the view of Saturn’s rings is changing. See this image from NASA:
Winds travel on Saturn at speeds of about 1800 kmph or 1120 milesph and sometimes huge storms also develop.
Saturn is made of a atmosphere of gaseous hydrogen and helium, a outer layer of liquid hydrogen and helium, a inner layer of metallic hydrogen and helium, and a rock and ice core. The cloud top temperature is about -139 C (-218 F).
Saturn currently has 62 moons, from which Titan, Mimas and Enceladus are thought to have water on them!
Saturn’s ring system is the largest from all the gas giants in our solar system. The rings are made up of pieces ice, that can vary in size from tiny particles to car-sized boulders. Although the rings have an enourmous diameter, Saturn’s rings can be as thin as 10 m (33 ft)!
Saturn was studied years from the Cassini space probe, which NASA to crashed in Saturn’s atmosphere in September 2017.
NASA will probably send a new space probe to study Saturn and the Ocean Moons!