This science game helps children discover more about Saturn, sixth planet from the Sun. Learn about Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun. The second largest planet in the Solar System is a gas giant, Saturn is nine and a half times larger than Earth. It has an average radius of nine and a half times the diameter of the Earth, is one-eighth as dense, and is 95 times more massive than Earth. Find out more about the world's largest planet by reading this article. You'll also learn about the rings that encircle Saturn and its prograde orbit.
Saturn is a gas giant
The sixth planet from the Sun, Saturn is the second-largest planet in our Solar System after Jupiter. A gas giant, Saturn is 95 times more massive than Earth and has an average radius of nine and a half times Earth's radius. It has a density of about one-eighth of that of Earth. This is enough to make it a potentially habitable planet. Saturn is a fascinating object to explore, even for space explorers.
It has 62 known moons
Although the total number of moons on Saturn is much smaller than that of Jupiter, the planet is still thought to have over 60. Of these moons, 62 are officially known and orbit Saturn. Other moons have yet to be discovered. The chart below summarizes the data on each moon, including its name, orbital characteristics, and physical characteristics. Enceladus, Saturn's largest moon, has been observed spraying water into space. It is believed that there may be water on its surface. The other moons, Enceladus and Titan, are thought to be the largest known.
It has a ring system
Rings surround Saturn. These rings are composed of icy particles that form elongated clumps. Saturn has several ring systems, and the main ones are called the A Ring and B Ring, respectively. They are continuously forming and dispersing. The outermost ring of Saturn is roughly the diameter of the Earth. Saturn has more than a billion moons, including its own. Currently, there is not a single ring in the system that is entirely smooth.
It has a prograde orbit
Scientists have discovered that Saturn has three moons in its outer system, and each has an irregular and somewhat funky inclination to its axis, indicating that it has a prograde orbit. These moons orbit Saturn at an angle of 46 degrees to the orbit of the giant planet. Two of these moons are known as "Prograde" and "Retrograde," respectively, and are thought to be fragments of a larger parent moon.
It has deep clouds on its dayside
The Cassini mission's Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) reveals the dramatic structure of Saturn's deep clouds. Compared with the spectrometer used on Earth, VIMS's spectral resolution is greater, but its spatial resolution is much lower. In this view, Saturn's 5-micron flux is split into reflected sunlight and thermal emission from the deep atmosphere. As Saturn's clouds are so thick and dark, the amount of light falling on the planet changes, creating an interesting and dramatic contrast in light. Observations of Saturn's nightside have allowed scientists to separate these components from each other, and the resulting images are stunning.
It has 53 moons
There are 53 moons in all, each of which is different in size and shape. The largest is Titan, while the smallest is Rhea. The moons in the far background are Titan and Enceladus. The five moons in the middle are Mimas, Iapetus, and Hyperion. Other smaller moons are also visible. During recent years, scientists have been able to study several of Saturn's moons.
It has an elliptical orbit
The elliptical orbit of Saturn is the reason why it receives so much sunlight from the Sun, and how it experiences its weather changes throughout the year. Saturn's weather is affected by its polar regions and its seasons, and its hexagonal wave pattern reaches up to 322 km/h, or 200 mph. Its elliptical orbit also influences the way the planet's rings appear and move.
It has rings
The outermost circumference of Saturn's rings is greater than the distance from Earth to the Moon. But that's not all: Saturn's rings are very thin, so thin that they are nearly invisible to Earth. The average thickness of Saturn's main rings is about 30 feet, while parts of the B-ring are three to ten feet thick. The most famous ring is the C-ring, which lies about 1,900 miles away from Saturn and is dimmer than the rest of Saturn's rings.