the world-cultural-shock

The Saturn

Saturn verdeckt die Sonne; von Cassini aufgenommen. In der Vergrößerung ist links von den hellen Ringen die Erde als Lichtpünktchen zu erkennen.

The free English translation on 15 November 2021.

The German-language document you may find here!


How far is Saturn from the Sun and Earth?

Saturn is about 1.4 billion kilometres from the Sun, which is almost ten times further than the Earth. The distance from Earth is between 1.2 and 1.7 billion kilometres, depending on the time.


Where does Saturn get its Name?

Saturn is also one of the planets that were already known to the ancients. In the Roman world of gods, Saturn was the god of agriculture.


How big is Saturn?

Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system after Jupiter.

It has a diameter of over 120000 kilometres, which is about ten times the diameter of the Earth. However, its mass is small compared to its size. It has only 95 times the mass of the Earth.

Jupiter, on the other hand, whose diameter is about 20000 kilometres larger, has a mass more than three times that of Saturn.


Why is Saturn so flat?

With the help of a telescope, you can easily see Saturn's somewhat flattened shape. It is a consequence of the strong rotation and can also be found on other gas planets, but nowhere as strongly as on Saturn.


Why is Saturn so light?

Saturn has an extremely low density, even smaller than that of water. This makes Saturn the planet with the lowest density in the solar system.


Is Saturn similar in Structure to Jupiter?

Yes, Jupiter and Saturn are very similar in structure. Both are gas planets and have no solid surface. Saturn, too, is likely to have a solid core deep inside its atmosphere. Above this, as with Jupiter, there is a layer of metallic hydrogen.


Does Saturn also have Clouds and Storm Systems like Jupiter?

Yes, but the bands that make observing Jupiter so interesting are less pronounced on Saturn. Cloud structures cannot be observed in detail, so it was only the Voyager probes that enabled further comparison with Jupiter.

Long and stable storm systems were also found on Saturn, like the "big red spot" on Jupiter.


How many Moons does Saturn have?

Aufnahme des Saturn und seines Mondes Titan von Pioneer 11

Currently, 31 moons of Saturn are known and just like Jupiter, 13 moons alone have been discovered in recent years. The largest moon, Titan, has a diameter of 5150 kilometres and was already discovered by Huygens in 1650. Reha - Saturn's second largest moon - has a diameter of only 1530 kilometres. Reha was discovered by Cassini in 1672.


Why is Saturn's moon Titan unique?

Titan is by far the largest moon of Saturn. It has a larger diameter than Mercury and is also significantly larger than Pluto. Titan is also the only moon in the solar system that has a dense atmosphere.