The heavens above are complex and limitless. Each celestial body is bound in its own mysteries. Saturn shouldn't cease to amaze us. Saturn is a masterpiece; from its composition, to orbit, mythical stories about formation and its relationship with Gods. Who wouldn't want to know more about Saturn?




  • Temperature ranges from -270 to -168 degrees Celsius.
  • It is the second largest planet in our entire solar system.

The diameter of Saturn is 72368 mi.

  • 9.5 times Earth's Diameter
  • 83 times Earth's Surface Area
  • 764 times Earth's Volume

764 Earth's can fit into Saturn

  • Length of Day in Earth Days: 10h 42m
  • Gravity: 10.44 m/s/s
  • Distance from Sun: 866 million mi.
  • Revolution about the Sun: 29 Earth Years
  • Density: 687 kg/m³


  • Saturn is composed of 96% hydrogen, 3% helium and 1% various trace elements that include methane, ammonia, ethane, and hydrogen deuteride. The deeper you descend into this gas giant, you notice these gases in gas, liquid and molten states. Relative to pressure and temperature.
  • Cloudy top layer: Ammonia crystals can be found and closer to the surface ammonium hydrosulfide and/or water. 
  • Beneath the clouds the atmospheric pressure increases causing an increase in temperature, so hydrogen moves into a liquid state.
  • Pressure and temperature continue to increase as you close in on the core, causing hydrogen to become metallic.

Special Features

  • {C}Saturn has many remarkable features that make it's planet very unique. It is known as one of the windiest planets in our solar system with winds raging at over 1,000 mph!
  • Saturn is known for it's abnormal storms, that are considered hurricanes. Hurricanes on Saturn originate the size of Earth, and can multiply to be 30 times bigger than Earth.
  • It is one of the four planets in our solar system with planetary rings. Unlike the others, though, Saturn has very distinct, obvious planetary rings. The other planets with planetary rings have very faint, not as noticeable rings.
  • Saturn has a hexagon that was first discovered in 1988 by a scientist viewing data from NASA's Voyager flyby in 1980 and 81' but its existence was not confirmed until NASA's Cassini spacecraft observed the ringed planet up-close years later. It's about 20,000 miles wide and is 60 miles thick. Shallow jets at the cloud level and Winds below the cloud level apparently help keep the shape of the hexagon sharp and control the rate at which the hexagon drifts.

Rings and Moons

  • Saturn's rings cut across a scene that is ruled by Titan's luminous crescent and globe-encircling haze, broken by the small moon Enceladus, whose icy jets are dimly visible at its south pole.
  • Saturn is known to have 53 moons and 9 unofficial moons. However, a precise number of moons can never be given, as there is no objective diving line between the anonymous orbiting fragments that form Saturn's ring system and the larger objects that have already been named as moons.

Before the advent of telescopic photography, 8 moons of Saturn were discovered by direct observation using an optical telescope:

  • Titan, discovered in 1655 by Christiaan Huygens;
  • Tethys, Dione, Rhea and Iapetus (the "Sidera Lodoicea") discovered 1671-1684 by Giovanni Domenico Cassini;
  • Mimas and Enceladus, discovered 1789 by William Herschel; Hyperion discovered 1858 by W.C. Bond, G.P. Bond and Lassell.
  • The spurious satellite Chiron, "discovered" in 1861, is now known not to exist. The use of long-exposure photographic plates made it possible to discover additional moons.
  • Phoebe was the first satellite discovered by telescopic photograph in 1899 by W.H. Pickering.
  • Themis, "discovered" in 1905, also was later proven not to exist.
  • In 1966, Janus and Epimetheus were observed, but not confirmed, and it was not realized that there were two distinct moons sharing an orbit. The study of the outer planets has since been revolutionized, first bt the use of unmanned space probes, and then by advances in telescopy:
  • From 1980, when the first of Voyager space probes arrived at Saturn, to 1990, analysis of Voyager images revealed eight more moons in the inner Saturnian system. The last discovered was Pan.
  • A survey starting in late 2000 found thirteen new moons orbiting Saturn at a great distance in orbits that suggest they are fragments of larger bodies captured by Saturn's gravitational pull (Nature vol. 412, pp. 163-166).
  • The Cassini mission, which arrived at Saturn in the summer of 2004, discovered three small moons in the inner Saturnian system as well as three suspected but unconfirmed moons in the F Ring.

This increased the total to 37 moons, confirms and unconfirmed.

  • On November 16, 2004, Cassini scientists announces that the structure of Saturn's rings indicated the presence of several more moons orbiting within the rings, but only one, Daphnis, has been visually confirmed so far (its confirmation was announced on May 6, 2005).
  • On May 3, 2005, astronomers using the Mauna Kea Observatory announced the discovery of 12 more small outer moons.
  • On June 30, 2006 astronomers using the Subaru 8.2 m telescope announce the discover of 9 more small outer moons.
  • On April 13, 2007, S/2007 S 1 was announced.
  • On May 1, 2007, S/2007 S 2 and S/2007 S 3 were announced.
  • On July 18, 2007, Anthe was announced.
  • Saturn has 7 ring groups. These rings include gaps and divisions - each ring is the distance between Earth and its moon away from each other.


  • {C} Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun.
  • It is the second largest planet, and third largest body in our solar system.
  • It was explored on the Voyager I mission (1930-81) and again on the Cassini expedition (2004-09).
  • This planet is visibly flattened at it's celestial poles, resulting in it's very fast rotation.
  • One day on Saturn is about 10 hours and 42 minutes.
  • It's atmosphere is composed of Helium, Hydrogen, and a small amount of Methane gas.
  • It also has traces of sulfur in it's composition, which causes the planet's yellow-orange color.
  • At Saturn's equator, velocity reaches as much as 500 meters per second.
  • It's winds blow mostly in the Easternly direction. At latitudes greater than 35 degrees, winds on this planet alternate between East and West as latitude increases.
  • Saturn has the largest, most complex, and best-known ring system in our solar system.
  • The motions of Saturn's interior contribute to the development of the powerful and extensive magnetosphere. Saturn's magnetosphere can fit all its moons and rings, streching much further than its moon Pheobe. Saturn's magnetosphere produces a beautiful aurora, as well as strong radio signals and other waves, such as whistler waves.
  • Saturn is unusual because it spins perfectly aligned with its magnetic field. Saturn's magnetic field steers off high-energy subatomic particles towards the planet's magnetic poles.
  • When these particles hit gas molecules in Saturn's atmosphere, they produce the glowing light of the aurora.
  • Titan, Saturn's largest moon, has frigid lakes of liquid gas at each of its poles and astronomers have also spotted clouds (possibly rain) filling up the polar lakes. It is one of the few moons in the solar system with much of an atmosphere. It is larger than the planet Mercury.
  • Lapetus has one hemisphere covered in a dark substance.
  • Enceladus seems to have many fissures, possibly holding an ocean underneath, like what Europe is proposed to have. In 2006, the Cassini spacecraft found a weird "hurricane-like" storm swirling around Saturn's South Pole. Saturn has not changed much since it's evolution out of primitive solar nebula, and it still in it's early stages of formation.


- 1345: Saturn/Jupiter/Mars were in conjunction. It was thought to be the 'cause of the plague epidemic."
- April 26, 1514: Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) made his first observation of Saturn. Copernicus later proposed that the sun is stationary and that the Earth and the planets move in circular orbits around it.
- June 8, 1625: Giovanni Demenico Cassini, discoverer of four satellites of Saturn, was born in Italy. He was an astrologer and then became an astronomer. He was known in France as Jean-Dominique Cassini. At the Paris observatory, he discovered the wide gap in the rings of Saturn, now called the Cassini division, as well as four of the planet's moons.
- 1655: Saturn's rings seen by Galileo, who thinks of them as twin moons.
- 1655: Huygens discovers Titan, Saturn's largest moon.
- 1656: Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695) oberserves the rings of Saturn.
- 1671: Italian-born French astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712) discovers Iapetus, a satellite of Saturn.
- 1675: Cassini postulates that the planet Saturn has separated rings which must be composed of small objects.
- 1787: William Herschel discovers Enceladus, a moon of Saturn.
- 1789: Herschel discovers Mimas, satellite of Saturn.
- 1848: Bond (US) and Lassell (England) independently discover Hyperion, a moon of Saturn.
- 1856: James Clerk Maxwell demonstrates that a solid ring around Saturn would be torn apart by gravitational forces and argues that Saturn's rings consist of a multitude of tiny satellites.
- 1899: Phoebe, a moon of Saturn, is discovered by Pickering.
- 1962: The sun, the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are aligned within 16 degress of each other.
- 1966: Audouin Dollfus discovers tenth satellite of Saturn, Janus.
- 1973: Pioneer 11 launched toward Jupiter and Saturn.
- 1977: Rings are found on other planets.
- 1977: NASA launches Voyager 2 for fly-by of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
- 1979: Pioneer 11 makes first fly-by of Saturn, discovers new moon and rings.
- 1980: Voyager 1 space probe discovers 15th moon of Saturn.
- 1980: US space probe Voyager 1 approaches 77,000 miles (124,000 kilometers) of Saturn.
- 1980: Voyager 1 sends back images of Saturn and its system.
- 1981: Voyager 2's closest approach to Saturn (63,000 miles/100,000 kilometers).
- 1989: Conjunction of Venus, Mars, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, and the Moon.
- 1990: Pan, Saturn's 18th known moon, is the latest discovered.
- August 26, 2006: The "Planet Definition" Resolution was put to the 2006 General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, the outcome decided the definition of what objects in the solar system should be classified as "planets." Pluto loses its status as a planet, returning the number of "planets" in our solar system to eight.
Saturn ir keck feb 2004 sm.jpg

Mythological and Cutural Significance


Cronus was the son of Uranus and Gaea. He lead his brothers and sisters, the Titans, in a revolt against their father and became the king of the gods. He married the Titan Rhea.

They had a total of six children, but Cronus had a bad habit of eating his newborn children, to prevent them from one day overthrowing him as king of the gods. Finally, at the birth of her last child, Zeus, Rhea tricked him into swallowing a rock instead. Zeus then beat his father, with the help of his brothers and sisters. The Romans adopted Cronus as the god Saturn.

Pan is the protector of shepherd, sheep, and goats. According to an account of his birth, Hermes was his father. Romans confused him with the Roman god Faunus. Pan's name is said to derive from the Greek word "paein," which means "to pasture." He has horns and legs of a goat, and he is able to shout so loudly that he terrifies people and animals. The word panic derives from his name. His personality has also gentle aspects. In fact, he plays so well a reed pipe, called syrinx, that he challenged the sun god Apollo in a musical contest. But unfortunately, Pan lost and Apollo received the prize for playing his lyre.

One of the moons of the planet Saturn was named after him.


Sani was identified with the planet Saturn. Sani's parents were the Sun god Surya and Chhaya whose name means shade. Surya's wife could not tolerate the intense heat produced by her husband the sun god. To protect herself, she sent a shade to her husband in the form of a mistress whose name was Chhaya. Sani was known as the evil-eyes one because his glance was extremely powerful and could burn anything instantly. Hindus identified each planet with a god. They believed there were twelve celestial sections in the zodiac (along the equator) which formed a council and were identified with celestial objects that changed positions systematically during the lifetime of a human. These were: the Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, an ascending node and a descending node of the Moon. The ascending and descending nodes, which are the invisible nodes of the Moon's orbit, were considered important enough to be included in the planetary council. Probably, Hindus did not include Uranus and Neptune in their astrological calculations as they had not been discovered.

Hindus learned from the Vedas (ancient spoken scriptures of knowledge) that the time determined by the presence of planets in specific angular separations, and orientation of individuals were able to affect the lives of individuals, societies, and the course of history. For this rebase, these planets are held in godly esteem. There are temples for the gods representing these in Southern India.


Ancient Rome's Atlas was the leader of the giant Titans who fought a war against the gods. The head of the gods was Jupiter, who was fighting against his father, the Titan Saturn, to gain control of the world. When Jupiter won the war, he severely punished Atlas by making him carry the sky on his shoulders. A moon of the planet Saturn was named after the Titan Atlas for fighting with his brother Saturn.

Atlas was the father of the Pleiades, the Hyades, and the Hesperides. The Hesperides were the guardians of a tree of golden apples. The earth goddess Gaea gave the tree to Juno, the wife of Jupiter, as a wedding present.

The tree was in a secret location. Nevertheless, an oracle told Atlas that a son of Jupiter would one day steal the golden apples guarded by his daughters. For this reason, Atlas refused to let anyone visit his home. One day, a famous hero, Perseus passed by where Atlas was living. When Atlas denied hospitality to him, Perseus, showed Atlas the head of the Gorgon Medusa, which had the ability to turn anything into stone. The giant Atlas was immediately transformed into the homonymous mountains in northwest Africa.

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Now that you've gotten a glimpse of this galactic wonder aren't you just dying to know more. There's so much we don't to know about this great celestial beauty. Who knows what else we'll find out in the future. Saturn's miniature version of a solar system has a lot of secrets swept under the rug. We just have yet to uncover them. Saturn has a mixed personality not even scientist could get a grasp completely around. That's what makes it such a marvel. Also 21st of December of the Great Conjustion. 🪐