Saturn and it`s rings...

The planet Saturn is the 6th planet in our solar system, and it`s a gas giant. It`s the 2nd largest planet in the solar system in terms of mass, and if you have a telescope, you can easily see it.

Named for the Roman god of agriculture, Saturn has been a constant source of wonder and spectacle in the night sky since ancient times. The astronomer Galileo first saw this beautiful planet with a telescope in 1610. What he saw was the planet`s most remarkable feature.

The ring system

The astronomer Galileo was the first person to see the rings of this planet. He must have been a little confused by what he saw, because he described the rings as "handles"

The rings that we can actually see stretch out over 84,600 miles, but they are less than a kilometer thick! The rings are made of ice and other particles.

Space missions to Saturn

In 1981, the spacecraft Voyager 1 journeyed within 40,000 miles of the 6th planet in our solar system.

In 1982, Voyager 2 came within 26,000 miles of the planet. The 2 space missions produced more than 30,000 spectacular images of the planet.

Did you know that our solar system`s 6th planet is less dense than water?

The atmosphere

The atmosphere on the planet is a lot like Jupiter. When you look at the ringed planet through a telescope, you notice that it`s covered with bands of color.The reason why is that the clouds are different colors at differing elevations.

The great white storm

Once every 30 years or so, a giant white storm appears on the planet`s northern hemisphere. The cloud eventually spreads until it circles the entire planet.

Here are some interesting facts that you may not know:

  • A day on the planet is only 10 hours 39 minutes.
  • A year on this planet is equivalent to 29.5 Earth years.
  • When you look at the planet through a telescope, it looks flattened.

    Who would have that an entire planet would float if it could fit in a bathtub! Pretty cool huh?

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