Saturn | Saturn | Jupiter


Saturn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the Solar System, after Jupiter. Named after the Roman god of agriculture, Saturn, its astronomical symbol (♄) represents the god's sickle. Saturn is a gas giant with an average radius about nine times that of Earth.[10][11] While only one-eighth the average density of Earth, with its larger volume Saturn is just over 95 times more massive than Earth.[12][13][14] 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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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[18] 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.[19]


Saturn in natural color, photographed by Cassini Designations Pronunciation Adjective


Saturnian, Cronian Orbital characteristics[5][a] Epoch J2000.0

Aphelion Perihelion Semi-major axis Eccentricity Orbital period

1,513,325,783 km (10.11595804 AU) 1,353,572,956 km (9.04807635 AU) 1,433,449,370 km (9.5820172 AU) 0.055723219 10 759.22 days 29.4571 yr 24 491.07 Saturn solar days[2]

Synodic period 378.09 days[3] Average 9.69 km/s[3] orbital speed Mean anomaly 320.346 750° Inclination 2.485 240° to Ecliptic 5.51° to Sun's equator 0.93° to invariable plane[4] Longitude of 113.642 811°

1 Physical characteristics 1.1 Internal structure 2 Atmosphere 2.1 Cloud layers


Saturn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2.2 North pole hexagonal cloud pattern 2.3 South pole vortex 2.4 Other features 3 Magnetosphere 4 Orbit and rotation 5 Planetary rings 6 Natural satellites 7 History of exploration 7.1 Ancient observations 7.2 European observations (17th–19th centuries) 7.3 Modern NASA and ESA probes 7.3.1 Pioneer 11 flyby 7.3.2 Voyager flybys 7.3.3 Cassini–Huygens spacecraft 8 Observation 9 In culture 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13 Further reading 14 External links

Longitude of 113.642 811° ascending node Argument of perihelion Satellites 62 with formal designations; innumerable additional moonlets. [3] Physical characteristics Equatorial radius Polar radius Flattening Surface area Volume Mass 60 268 ± 4 km[6][b] 9.4492 Earths 54 364 ± 10 km[6][b] 8.5521 Earths 0.097 96 ± 0.000 18 4.27 × 1010 km²[b][7] 83.703 Earths 8.2713 × 1014 km3[3][b] 763.59 Earths 5.6846 × 1026 kg[3] 95.152 Earths 0.687 g/cm3[3][b] (less than water) 10.44 m/s²[3][b] 1.065 g 10.57 hours[8] 9.87 km/s[b] 35 500 km/h 26.73°[3] 2h 42m 21s 40.589°[6] 83.537°[6] 0.342 (Bond) 0.47 (geometric)[3] mean 134 K[3] 84 K[3] max 336.013 862°

Physical characteristics
Saturn is classified as a gas giant planet because the exterior is predominantly composed of gas and it lacks a definite surface, although it may have a solid core.[20] The Montage roughly comparing the sizes rotation of the of Saturn and Earth. planet causes it to take the shape of an oblate spheroid; that is, it is flattened at the poles and bulges at the equator. Its equatorial and polar radii differ by almost 10% — 60,268 km versus 54,364 km, respectively.[3] Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, the other gas giants in the Solar System, are also oblate but to a lesser extent. Saturn is the only planet of the Solar System that is less dense than water — about 30% less.[21] Although Saturn's core is considerably denser than water, the

Mean density Equatorial surface gravity

Escape velocity 35.5 km/s[3][b] Sidereal Equatorial rotation velocity Axial tilt North pole right ascension North pole declination Albedo Surface temp. min 1 bar level 0.1 bar Apparent rotation period (10 hr 34 min)

+1.47 to −0.24[9]


01% ammonia (NH3) ~0. Examination of the from Saturn (July 19.1"[3] (excludes rings) Atmosphere[3] Internal structure Saturn is termed a gas giant. but this alone may not be sufficient to explain Saturn's heat production. the free encyclopedia average specific density of the planet is 0. in combination with physical models of the interior.wikipedia. gravitational moment of the planet. reaching 11. in the deeper layers of the planet. In 2004.[24] This core is similar in Earth and Moon (visible bottom-right) composition to the Earth.01 g/cm3 .9% of Saturn's mass. The planet primarily consists of hydrogen.Wikipedia.[27] This is surrounded by a thicker liquid metallic hydrogen layer.5 times more energy into space than it receives from the Sun. but it is not entirely gaseous. This density is reached at a radius containing 99.[23] Scale height Composition 59.0007% ethane (C2H6) Ices: Standard planetary ammonia (NH3) models water (H2O) suggest that ammonium hydrosulfide the interior of (NH4SH) Saturn is similar to that of Jupiter. which. followed by a liquid layer of helium-saturated molecular hydrogen that gradually transitions into gas with increasing altitude. As the droplets descend through the lower-density hydrogen. having a small rocky core surrounded by hydrogen and helium NASA's Cassini spacecraft photographs the with trace amounts of various volatiles.4% hydrogen (H2) helium (He) methane (CH4) ~0. and the planet radiates 2. cause hydrogen to transition into a metal. 2013).org/wiki/Saturn 3/21 . the process releases heat by friction and leaves the outer layers of the planet depleted of helium. they estimated that the core must be 9–22 times the mass of the Earth.5"–20. but more dense.[3] Together. Jupiter and Saturn hold 92% of the total planetary mass in the Solar System.000 km.8/19/13 Saturn . allowed French astronomers Didier Saumon and Tristan Guillot to place constraints on the mass of the planet's core. Jupiter has 318 times the Earth's mass. pressure and density inside the planet all rise steadily toward the core.000 km and consists of a gaseous atmosphere.01% hydrogen deuteride (HD) 0. which becomes a non-ideal liquid when the density is above 0. The outermost layer spans 1.69 g/cm3 due to the gaseous atmosphere.[22] while Saturn is 95 times the mass of the Earth.[28][29][30] Saturn has a very hot interior.47 to −0. An additional mechanism may be at play whereby Saturn generates some of its heat through the "raining out" of droplets of helium deep in its interior.[23] Apparent magnitude Angular diameter +1.[24] Atmosphere en. The temperature.24[9] 14.700 °C at the core. Most of this extra energy is generated by the Kelvin–Helmholtz mechanism of slow gravitational compression.5 km ~96% ~3% ~0.[31][32] These descending droplets may have accumulated into a helium shell surrounding the core.[25][26] which corresponds to a diameter of about 25.

[34] Trace amounts of ammonia.[39] The composition of the clouds varies with depth and increasing pressure.5 bar. 1903. while the lower level clouds appear to consist of either ammonium hydrosulfide (NH4 SH) or water. This photochemical cycle is modulated by Saturn's annual seasonal cycle. leading to a series of hydrocarbon chemical reactions with the resulting products being carried downward by eddies and diffusion.Wikipedia. propane.wikipedia. the clouds consist of ammonia ice.[43] In images from the Cassini spacecraft during 2007. Finally. Water ice clouds begin at a level where the pressure is about 2. with the temperature in the range 100–160 K and pressures extending between 0.5–2 bar. The head of the storm (bright area) passes the tail circling around the left 4/21 . another storm will occur in about 2020. the lower layers. acetylene.[41] Previous Great White Spots were observed in 1876. In 1990. lying in the pressure range 3–6 bar with temperatures of 290–235 K.8/19/13 Saturn . The color was most likely caused by en.[37] Cloud layers Saturn's atmosphere exhibits a banded pattern similar to Jupiter's. where temperatures range from 185–270 K. Intermixed in this layer is a band of ammonium hydrosulfide ice. Saturn's usually bland atmosphere occasionally exhibits long-lived ovals and other features common on Jupiter. contains a region of water droplets with ammonia in aqueous solution. Saturn's northern hemisphere displayed a bright blue hue. 1933 and 1960. The 1990 storm was an example of a Great White Spot. roughly every 30 Earth years. but the proportions are assumed to match the primordial abundances from the formation of the Solar System.[38] Ultraviolet radiation from the Sun causes methane photolysis in the upper atmosphere. Voyager data indicate peak easterly winds of 500 m/s (1800 km/h). with a significant fraction located in Saturn's core region.[35][36][37] The upper clouds are composed of ammonia crystals.25% helium. If the periodicity is maintained. Saturn's finer cloud patterns were not observed until the flybys of the Voyager spacecraft during the 1980s. The nomenclature used to describe these bands is the same as on Jupiter.5 bar and extend down to 9. phosphine and methane have been detected in Saturn's atmosphere.3% molecular hydrogen and 3. In the upper cloud layers. but Saturn's bands are much fainter and are much wider near the equator. with the 1933 storm being the most famous.[42] The winds on Saturn are the second fastest among the Solar System's planets.[24] The quantity of elements heavier than helium are not known precisely. smaller storm was observed. the Hubble Space Telescope imaged an enormous white cloud near Saturn's equator that was not present during the Voyager encounters and in 1994. ethane. another. a unique but short-lived phenomenon that occurs once every Saturnian year. the free encyclopedia The outer atmosphere of Saturn contains 96. The total mass of these heavier elements is estimated to be 19–31 times the mass of the Earth. around the time of the northern hemisphere's summer solstice. where pressures are between 10–20 bar and temperatures are 270–330 K.[40] A global storm girdles the planet in 2011.[33] The proportion of helium is significantly deficient compared to the abundance of this element in the Sun. Since then. Earth-based telescopy has improved to the point where regular observations can be made. similar to Uranus.

and it has winds of 550 5/21 .[51][52] South pole vortex HST imaging of the south polar region indicates the presence of a jet stream.[45] Whereas temperatures on Saturn are normally −185 °C.600 mi) long. temperatures on the vortex often reach as high as −122 °C. the only known example of such a phenomenon in the Solar System.8/19/13 Saturn . These features are cloud clearings that reside in deeper cloud layers.[57] This vortex is comparable to the size of Earth.800 km (8.[48] The discovered by Voyager 1 and Closer view of the north polar vortex entire structure rotates with a confirmed in 2006 by Cassini.[45] North pole hexagonal cloud pattern Main article: Saturn's hexagon A persisting hexagonal wave pattern around the north polar vortex in the atmosphere at about 78°N was first noted in the Voyager images.[53] NASA reported in November 2006 that Cassini had observed a "hurricanelike" storm locked to the south pole that had a clearly defined eyewall. the free encyclopedia Rayleigh scattering. images from the Galileo spacecraft did not show an eyewall in the Great Red Spot of Jupiter. diameter of the Earth.[57] Other features Cassini has observed a series of cloud features nicknamed "String of Pearls" found in northern latitudes.[58] en.[54][55] This observation is particularly notable because eyewall clouds had not previously been seen on any planet other than Earth.[44] Infrared imaging has shown that Saturn's south pole has a warm polar vortex.[46][47] The straight sides of the northern polar hexagon are each approximately 13. Most astronomers believe it was caused by some standing-wave pattern in the atmosphere. believed to be the warmest spot on Saturn.[50] The pattern's origin is a matter of much speculation. but no strong polar vortex nor any hexagonal standing wave.Wikipedia. at the center of the hexagon period of 10h 39m 24s (the same period as that of the planet's radio emissions) which is assumed to be equal to the period of rotation of Saturn's interior.[56] The south pole storm may have been present for billions of years. For example.[49] The hexagonal feature does not shift in longitude like the other clouds in the visible atmosphere. making them larger than the North polar hexagonal cloud feature. Polygonal shapes have been replicated in the laboratory through differential rotation of fluids.

because it is very close to System II.[3] which are the nearest and most distant points of the planet along its orbital path.[16] Saturn's magnetosphere.[59] This magnetosphere is efficient at Hubble's STIS ultraviolet deflecting the solar wind particles from the Sun. which extends from the northern edge of the South Equatorial Belt to the southern edge of the North Equatorial Belt.[16] As a result Saturn's magnetosphere is much smaller than Jupiter's. the distance between Saturn and the Sun varies by approximately 155 million kilometres between perihelion and aphelion. based on radio emissions from the planet in the period of the Voyager flybys.1 million km (712. System III.[3] Because of an eccentricity of 0.2 gauss (20 µT) – is approximately one twentieth of that of the field around Jupiter and slightly weaker than Earth's Saturn's south pole storm magnetic field.8°/d). it has largely superseded it.[63] to finish one revolution around the Sun.759 Earth days (or about 29½ years). has a period of 10 h 39 min 22. produces aurorae.000 mi). or 1. the magnetic field is generated similarly to that of Jupiter – by currents in the liquid metallic-hydrogen layer called a metallic-hydrogen dynamo. Its strength at the equator – 0.056.76°/d).org/wiki/Saturn 6/21 . the free encyclopedia Magnetosphere Main article: Magnetosphere of Saturn Saturn has an intrinsic magnetic field that has a simple.8/19/13 Saturn .[59] When HST UV image of Saturn taken near Voyager 2 entered the equinox showing both polar aurorae. Earth's. All other Saturnian latitudes have been assigned a rotation period of 10 h 38 min 25. respectively.[3] it takes Saturn 10. like southern aurora. which is System II.69 km/s.3°/d) and encompasses the Equatorial Zone. magnetosphere.wikipedia.Wikipedia.[62] Orbit and rotation The average distance between Saturn and the Sun is over 1. symmetric shape – a magnetic dipole.[3] The elliptical orbit of Saturn is inclined 2.4 s (810. The visible features on Saturn rotate at different rates depending on latitude and multiple rotation periods have been assigned to various regions (as in Jupiter's case): System I has a period of 10 h 14 min 00 s (844. and remained so for about three days. The moon Titan orbits within and ACS visible light the outer part of Saturn's magnetosphere and contributes plasma from the combine to reveal Saturn's ionized particles in Titan's outer atmosphere.[64] en.[61] Most probably.[60] although it enlarged within several hours. the solar wind pressure was high and the magnetosphere extended only 19 Saturn radii.4 billion kilometres (9 AU). With an average orbital speed of 9.48° relative to the orbital plane of the Earth.4 s (810.

32 minutes. to approximately 10 h 45 m 45 s (± 36 s). it was found that the variation of radio emissions from the planet did not match Saturn's rotation rate. There are two main hypotheses regarding the origin of the rings.Wikipedia. While approaching Saturn in 2004. linear density waves in Saturn's rings that have yielded more reliable calculations of their masses.8/19/13 Saturn . 35 seconds. astronomers believed the rings formed alongside the planet when it formed billions of years ago.[74] Beyond the main rings at a distance of 12 million km from the planet is the sparse Phoebe ring. the age of these planetary rings is probably some hundreds of millions of years. The water vapor emitted into Saturn's orbit by this activity becomes charged and creates a drag upon Saturn's magnetic field.[69] Planetary rings Main article: Rings of Saturn Saturn is probably best known for the system of planetary rings that makes it visually unique. act as shepherd moons to confine the rings and prevent them from spreading out.4 × 109 km (9 AU). Natural satellites en.[73] Instead. including Pandora and Prometheus.[77] The average distance between Saturn and the Sun is over 1. Saturn's is the largest and most visible.[29] The rings extend from 6. slowing its rotation slightly relative to the rotation of the planet. like Phoebe.[72] In the past.630 km to 120. average approximately 20 meters in thickness and are composed of 93% water ice with traces of tholin impurities and 7% amorphous carbon.[71] While the other gas giants also have ring systems.[67][68][68] The latest estimate of Saturn's rotation based on a compilation of various measurements from the Cassini. orbits in retrograde fashion. which is tilted at an angle of 27° to the other rings and. The rings of Saturn (imaged here by Cassini in 2007) are the most massive and conspicuous in the Solar System. Voyager and Pioneer probes was reported in September 2007 is 10 hours.wikipedia. It takes Saturn 7/21 .[76] Pan and Atlas cause weak. Cassini found that the radio rotation period of Saturn had increased appreciably. The second hypothesis is that the rings are left over from the original nebular material from which Saturn formed.[70] The particles that make up the rings range in size from specks of dust up to 10 m. dirtier ringlets in the Cassini Division and Enke Gap show up red.700 km above Saturn's equator. the free encyclopedia A precise value for the rotation period of the interior remains elusive.[65][66] In March 2007.759 Earth days (or about 29 1⁄2 Earth years). Some ice in the central rings comes from the moon Enceladus's ice volcanoes. [29] False-color UV image of Saturn's outer B and A rings. One hypothesis is that the rings are remnants of a destroyed moon of Saturn.[75] Some of the moons of Saturn. to finish one revolution around the Sun. This variance may be caused by geyser activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus.

comprises more than 90% of the mass in orbit around Saturn.8/19/13 Saturn . Iapetus not shown). History of exploration Main article: Exploration of Saturn There have been three main phases in the observation and exploration of Saturn.[104] observed an opposition of Saturn. most of Saturn's moons have been named after Titans of Greek mythology. (In modern Greek. Rhea and Titan. from which the planet takes its name.[101] The Greeks had made the outermost planet sacred to Cronus.[101] The Romans considered Saturnus the equivalent of the Greek god Cronus.wikipedia. the god Saturnus. Starting in the 17th century progressively more advanced telescopic observations from earth have been made.[80] Saturn's second largest moon. it was the most distant of the five known planets in the solar system (excluding Earth) and thus a major character in various mythologies. [78] [79] Titan.[82][83][84][85] Many of the other moons are very small: 34 are less than 10 km in diameter and another 14 less than 50 km but larger than 10 km.[89][90] On June 6. The other type is visitation by spacecraft.[96][97][98] A montage of Saturn and its principal moons (Dione.)[103] en. 53 of which have formal names. Tethys. Babylonian astronomers systematically observed and recorded the movements of Saturn. It is the only satellite with hydrocarbon lakes.[86] Traditionally.[92][93][94][95] Evidence of this life includes the satellite's salt-rich particles having an "ocean-like" composition that indicates most of Enceladus's expelled ice comes from the evaporation of liquid salt water. Ancient observations See also: Saturn (mythology) Saturn has been known since prehistoric times.[102] and the Romans followed suit.[100] In ancient Roman mythology. which was the basis for his 8/21 . Titan is the only satellite in the Solar System with a major atmosphere[87][88] in which a complex organic chemistry occurs. the planet retains its ancient name Cronus (Κρόνος: Kronos). This famous image was created from photographs taken in November 1980 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft. was the god of agriculture. scientists at the IAACSIC reported the detection of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the upper atmosphere of Titan. In the 21st century observations continue from the earth (or earth-orbiting observatories) and from the Cassini orbiter at Saturn. including the rings. a Greek living in Alexandria. The first era was ancient observations (such as with the naked eye). before the invention of the modern telescopes.[99] In ancient Ptolemy.[91] Saturn's moon Enceladus has often been regarded as a potential base for microbial life.Wikipedia. Mimas. the largest. either by orbiting or flyby. may have a tenuous ring system of its own. Enceladus.[81] along with a tenuous atmosphere. Rhea. 2013. a possible precursor for life. the free encyclopedia Main article: Moons of Saturn Saturn has at least 150 moons.

its name is 'Zuhal'.[115] Modern NASA and ESA probes Pioneer 11 flyby Pioneer 11 carried out the first flyby of Saturn in September 1979. there are nine astrological objects. Giovanni Domenico Cassini later discovered four other moons: Iapetus.wikipedia. Saturn is called 'Shabbathai'. Pioneer 11 measured the temperature of Titan. revealing the thin F-ring and the fact that dark gaps in the rings are bright when viewed at high phase angle (towards the sun). In Ottoman Turkish.[105] In Hindu astrology.[106] ̃ ’ In ancient 9/21 . Urdu and Malay.[113] No further discoveries of significance were made until 1789 when William Herschel discovered two further moons. This was based on Five Elements which were traditionally used to classify natural elements. judges everyone based on the good and bad deeds performed in life. During the early 20th century.[111][112] It was not until Christian Huygens used greater telescopic magnification that this notion was refuted. Rhea.[114] Phoebe was the first such satellite found and it takes more than a year to orbit Saturn in a retrograde orbit. Tethys and Dione. Cassini discovered the gap now known as the Cassini Division. a highly irregular satellite that does not rotate synchronously with Saturn as the larger moons do. In addition. The irregularly shaped satellite Hyperion. known as Navagrahas.Wikipedia. The spacecraft also studied Saturn's rings. In 1675.[116] Voyager flybys en. Images were taken of the planet and a few of its moons. when it passed within 20. Its intelligence or beneficial spirit is Agiel (layga) and its spirit (darker aspect) is Zazel (lzaz).[107] Its angel is Cassiel. which has a resonance with Titan. the free encyclopedia Ptolemy.8/19/13 Saturn .[101] Ancient Chinese and Japanese culture designated the planet Saturn as the earth star ( ).[114] Robert Hooke noted the shadows (a and b) cast by both the globe and the rings on each other in this drawing of Saturn in 1666. Huygens discovered Saturn's moon Titan. derived from Arabic ‫ز‬. Mimas and Enceladus. is known as "Shani".[104] observed an opposition of Saturn. although their resolution was too low to discern surface detail.000 km of the planet's cloud tops. which was the basis for his determination of the elements of its orbit. In 1899 William Henry Pickering discovered Phoebe. European observations (17th–19th centuries) Saturn's rings require at least a 15-mm-diameter telescope[108] to resolve and thus were not known to exist until Galileo first saw them in 1610. meaning that they contain fine light-scattering material.[109][110] He thought of them as two moons on Saturn's sides. one of them. a Greek living in Alexandria. Saturn. was discovered in 1848 by a British team. research on Titan led to the confirmation in 1944 that it had a thick atmosphere – a feature unique among the solar system's moons.

[119] Saturn approaching 10/21 . The power of the lightning is approximately 1. sending a flood of data during the atmospheric descent and after the landing. California Institute of Technology. Cassini had already studied the system extensively. Since early 2005. The flyby changed the spacecraft's trajectory out from the plane of the solar system.[118] Cassini has since conducted multiple flybys of Titan and other icy satellites. In June 2004.000 times that of lightning on Earth. It sent back the first high-resolution images of the planet. Huygens descended onto the surface of Titan on January 14. sending back highresolution images and data. the probe's turnable camera platform stuck for a couple of days and some planned imaging was lost. 2004. Images had shown jets of icy particles being emitted into orbit around Saturn from vents in the moon's south polar region. Titan. scientists have been tracking lightning on Saturn. More close-up images of Saturn's moons were acquired. The orbiter completed two Titan flybys before releasing the Huygens probe on December 25. NASA scientists at an Enceladus Focus Group Conference reported that Enceladus "is emerging as the most habitable spot beyond Earth in the Solar System for life as we know it". "Other moons in the solar system have liquid-water oceans covered by kilometers of icy crust. Cassini's flyby of Saturn's largest moon. as well as the small Maxwell Gap (a gap within the C Ring) and Keeler gap (a 42 km wide gap in the A Ring). According to Andrew Ingersoll. 2005. it had conducted a close flyby of Phoebe. so. 2004. Unfortunately.wikipedia. no surface details were seen. during the flyby. has captured radar images of large lakes and their coastlines with numerous islands and mountains. Surface features of various moons were seen for the first time. the Voyager 1 probe visited the Saturn system. its rings and satellites. in August 1981. What's different here is that pockets of liquid water may be no more than tens of meters below the surface. Cassini–Huygens spacecraft On July 1. Saturn's gravity was used to direct the spacecraft's trajectory towards Uranus.[117] Almost a year later.[117] The probes discovered and confirmed several new satellites orbiting near or within the planet's rings. Voyager 2 continued the study of the Saturn system.[121] [122] en. NASA reported that Cassini had found evidence of liquid water reservoirs that erupt in geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus.Wikipedia. the Cassini–Huygens space probe performed the SOI (Saturn Orbit Insertion) maneuver and entered into orbit around Saturn.8/19/13 Saturn . as imaged by the Cassini orbiter Saturn eclipses the Sun. It proved that Titan's atmosphere is impenetrable in visible wavelengths. Voyager 1 performed a close flyby of Titan. as seen from Cassini. increasing knowledge of the atmosphere of the moon. the free encyclopedia In November 1980. Before the SOI."[120] In May 2011. In 2006. as well as evidence of changes in the atmosphere and the rings.

Venus. the probe detected a 8. The probe's mission was extended to September 2010 and then extended again to 2017. to study a full period of Saturn's seasons.[128] Twice every Saturnian year (roughly every 15 Earth years). It takes approximately 29½ years to make a complete circuit of the ecliptic against the background constellations of the zodiac.[127] Observation Saturn is the most distant of the five planets easily visible to the naked eye. the probe discovered and confirmed 8 new satellites. the other four being Mercury. Saturn and its rings are best seen when the planet is at or near opposition (the configuration of a planet when it is at an elongation of 180° and thus appears opposite the Sun in the sky).Wikipedia. 2009. In March 2007. with winds faster than 530 km/h.[129] This will next occur in 2025. The Saturn family of rockets were developed by a team of mostly German rocket scientists led by Wernher von Braun to launch heavy payloads to Earth orbit and beyond.[123] In July 2006. the largest of which is almost the size of the Caspian Sea. Its primary mission ended in 2008 when the spacecraft had completed 74 orbits around the planet. but Saturn will be to close to the sun for any ring crossing observation.[29][108] Amateur telescopic view While it is a rewarding target for observation for most of the time it is visible in the sky.8/19/13 Saturn . the rings appear edge on and briefly disappear from view because they are so thin. During the opposition of December 17. outside the brighter main rings of Saturn and inside the G and E rings. Saturn appears to the naked eye in the night sky as a bright.[131] Originally proposed as a military satellite launcher. Aquarius. 2002. Mars and Jupiter (Uranus and occasionally 4 Vesta are visible to the naked eye in very dark skies). the Bringer of Old Age is a movement in Gustav Holst's The Planets. en. Cassini images provided evidence of hydrocarbon lakes near Titan's north pole.[130] In culture Further information: Saturn in fiction Saturn in astrology ( ) is the ruling planet of Capricorn and. Saturn.[126] In April 2013 Cassini sent back images of a hurricane at the planet's north pole 20 times larger than those found on Earth.[124] In October 2006. additional images near Titan's north pole revealed hydrocarbon "seas".wikipedia. the presence of which were confirmed in January 2007. The source of this ring is believed to be the crashing of a meteoroid off two of the moons of Saturn. the free encyclopedia Cassini photographs have led to other significant discoveries.000 km diameter cyclone-like storm with an eyewall at Saturn's south 11/21 . Saturn appeared at its brightest due to a favorable orientation of its rings relative to the Earth. they were adopted as the launch vehicles for the Apollo program. They have revealed a previously undiscovered planetary ring.[125] From 2004 to November 2. Most people will require optical aid (very large binoculars or a small telescope) magnifying at least 30× to clearly resolve Saturn's rings. traditionally.[128] even though Saturn was closer to the Earth and Sun in late 2003. yellowish point of light whose apparent magnitude is usually between +1 and 0.

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by NASA Gazeteer of Planetary Nomenclature – Saturn (USGS) ( 20/21 ISBN Saturn 'Rev 175' Raw Preview (http://www. Horvath.php?title=Saturn&oldid=569090353" Categories: Saturn Gas giants This page was last modified on 18 August 2013 at 15:12. Further reading Lovett. By using this site. P.cfm?Object=Saturn) at NASA's Solar System Exploration site Saturn Fact Sheet (http://nssdc. Universe Today. Retrieved from "http://en. (2006).universetoday. Ricardo Cardoso. DIANE Publishing. Jones.gsfc.. ^ "Saturn's Rings Edge-On" (http://www. J. Retrieved 2007-10-14. Retrieved 4 August 2013. Outside In ( "Capturing Saturn" (http://www. Jane H. New York: Springer. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation. Saturn: A New View. New York: Harry N. Retrieved 2011-07-19.8/19/13 129.html) of Saturn Astronomy Cast: Saturn (http://www. Paul.astronomy2009.pdf) (PDF).org/62DnsTWVi) from the original on 2011-10-05. et al.1519852). by NASA Research News (http://www. 2008).wr. 2013. Karttunen.nasa. Archived ( nid=1499&dat=19680706&id=EQMqAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CSgEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3124. ^ "Why do Saturn's rings Sometimes Disappear?" (http://news. Saturn . ^ Bilstein. ^ Reis.ciclops. J. about Saturn General information (http://www. Google News. Kröger.html). External links Saturn profile (http://solarsystem.usgs. 133. Retrieved 4 August Classical Astronomy. (1999).classicalastronomy. Tammy (February 22. 132. Stages to Saturn: A Technological History of the Apollo/Saturn Launch Vehicle ( 37. "Saturn: The Ringed Planet" ( System=Saturn) Cassini–Huygens mission ( – film animated from hundreds of thousands of still Cassini photographs Saturn in Daytime (12 inch telescope) (http://www.astronomycast. the free encyclopedia (http://findarticles. ISBN 0-7881-81866. Retrieved a non-profit Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.Wikipedia. Fundamental Astronomy. L.htm) about Saturn Studies on the Rings ( Roger Haese.htm). additional terms may apply. 5th edition.nasa. Brady Haran for the University of Nottingham. ^ Plotner. Sixty on 2007-10-16. you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. ISBN 978-0-8109-3090-2. Inc. 131.. IAU. "Time to Observe Saturn – Opposition Occurs February 23!" (http://www.nasa. (2007).gov/) to Saturn.

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