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 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: