Saturn

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Named after the Roman god Saturn, its astronomical symbol (♄) represents the god's sickle. Saturn is a gas giant with an average radius about nine times that of Earth. While only one-eighth the average density of Earth, with its larger volume Saturn is just over 95 times more massive than Earth.

Saturn's interior is probably composed of a core of iron, nickel and rock (silicon and oxygen compounds), surrounded by a deep layer of metallic hydrogen, an intermediate layer of liquid hydrogen and liquid helium and an outer gaseous layer. The planet exhibits a pale yellow hue due to ammonia crystals in its upper atmosphere. Electrical current within the metallic hydrogen layer is thought to give rise to Saturn's planetary magnetic field, which is slightly weaker than Earth's and around one-twentieth the strength of Jupiter's. The outer atmosphere is generally bland and lacking in contrast, although long-lived features can appear. Wind speeds on Saturn can reach 1,800 km/h (1,100 mph), faster than on Jupiter, but not as fast as those on Neptune.

Saturn has a prominent ring system that consists of nine continuous main rings and three discontinuous arcs, composed mostly of ice particles with a smaller amount of rocky debris and dust. Sixty-two known moons orbit the planet; fifty-three are officially named. This does not include the hundreds of "moonlets" within the rings. Titan, Saturn's largest and the Solar System's second largest moon, is larger than the planet Mercury and is the only moon in the Solar System to retain a substantial atmosphere.

Read more about Saturn:  Physical Characteristics, Atmosphere, Magnetosphere, Orbit and Rotation, Planetary Rings, Natural Satellites, History of Exploration, Observation, In Culture

Other articles related to "saturn":

Saturn, Romania
... Saturn is a summer resort on the Romanian seacoast, on the Black Sea, 1 km (0.62 mi) north of Mangalia ... Mamaia Constanţa Eforie Nord and Sud Costineşti Olimp Neptun Jupiter Cap Aurora Venus Saturn Mangalia 2 Mai Vama Veche Coordinates 43°49′36″N 28°35′20″E / 43 ...
Magnetosphere Of Saturn
... The magnetosphere of Saturn is the cavity created in the flow of the solar wind by the planet's internally generated magnetic field ... Discovered in 1979 by the Pioneer 11 spacecraft, Saturn's magnetosphere is the second largest of any planet in the Solar System after Jupiter ... The magnetopause, the boundary between Saturn's magnetosphere and the solar wind, is located at a distance of about 20 Saturn radii from the planet's center, while its magnetotail ...
Magnetosphere Of Saturn - Dynamics
... The processes driving Saturn's magnetosphere are similar to those driving Earth's and Jupiter's ... by plasma co–rotation and mass–loading from Io, so Saturn's magnetosphere is dominated by plasma co–rotation and mass–loading from Enceladus ... However, Saturn's magnetosphere is much smaller in size, while its inner region contains too little plasma to seriously distend it and create a large magnetodisk ...
Hyrrokkin (moon)
... Hyrrokkin ( /ˌhɪˈrɒkɨn/ hirr-ROK-ən) or Saturn XLIV (provisional designation S/2004 S 19) is a natural satellite of Saturn ... is about 8 kilometres in diameter, and orbits Saturn at an average distance of 18,168.3 Mm in 914.292 days, at an inclination of 153.3° to the ecliptic (154.3° to Saturn's equator), in a retrograde direction and ...
Magnetosphere Of Saturn - Dynamics - Aurorae
... Saturn has bright polar aurorae, which have been observed in the ultraviolet, visible and near infrared light ... Unlike Jupiter's, the Saturn's main auroral ovals are not related to the breakdown of the co–rotation of the plasma in the outer parts of the planet's ... The aurorae on Saturn are thought to be connected to the reconnection of the magnetic field under the influence of the Solar wind (Dungey cycle), which drives an upward ...

Famous quotes containing the word saturn:

    From you have I been absent in the spring,
    When proud pied April, dressed in all his trim,
    Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
    That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him.
    William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

    Test of the poet is knowledge of love,
    For Eros is older than Saturn or Jove;
    Never was poet, of late or of yore,
    Who was not tremulous with love-lore.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    The forehead and the little ears
    Have gone where Saturn keeps the years;
    The breast where roses could not live
    Has done with rising and with falling.
    Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935)