From the incredible low-density of Saturn
to the famous “dragon storm”, we countdown the Top 10 interesting Facts about Saturn! 10. The basics
There is no doubt that Saturn is the most beautiful planet in our solar system. Thanks
to its extensive icy planetary rings, Saturn manages to stand out. The gas giant is the
second-largest planet and sixth closest planet to the sun. Ancient Romans have actually named
Saturn after a Roman agricultural deity of the same name. In mythology, Saturn was the
son of Uranus and the father of Jupiter. Also, the planet’s astronomical symbol represents
the god of agriculture’s sickle. 9. Saturn has about 150 moons and moonlets
Saturn has a large number of natural satellites, and its moon system is very asymmetrical.
All the moons vary in size and shape. Its largest moon, Titan, is bigger than Mercury
while its smallest moonlet is only one kilometer in size. Then we have Mimas, the fascinating
moon that resembles the Death Star from Star Wars and Hyperion that looks like an ugly
sponge-like lump. There is dark and mysterious Phoebe that was once thought to be an asteroid
only pretending to be a moon. It won’t be wrong to say that every satellite is unique
in its own way. The larger moons are made up of ice, but the tiny moonlets are likely
to be rocky. 8. Saturn’s moon Phoebe has a retrograde orbit
Phoebe is one mysterious moon. It is the largest irregular moon of Saturn discovered by William
Henry Pickering in 1899. Phoebe is roughly spherical in shape with its own ring. Its
ring actually makes up one of the rings of Saturn, but it is enormous in size and dwarfs
other rings. Not only that, it is somewhat invisible. Another unique thing about Phoebe
is that its orbit moves in the opposite direction. Its dark coloring led scientists to believe
that it was an asteroid rather than a moon. However, further studies proved that wrong. 7. Saturn could float
Saturn is a low-density planet. As it is mostly composed of hydrogen and helium, its density
is even lower than water. If there were an ocean large enough for it, Saturn would happily
float on it. 6. The rings of Saturn
Saturn has the most extensive planetary ring system in the entire solar system. With the
right telescope, anyone can observe the pretty rings of Saturn from earth. They are made
up of innumerable water ice particles that range in size from micrometers (dust) to meters
(moonlets). These particles together orbit the Saturn. They are approximately 282,000
km across and only 1 km thick. The rings are beautifully colored in various shades of pink,
grey and brown. 5. The Dragon Storm
The Dragon Storm is an unusually shaped convective storm in the southern hemisphere of Saturn.
It is known for its enormous size, brightness and radio emissions. The thunderstorm first
appeared in 2004 and has been still going on. It has periodic flare ups featuring radio
bursts and pronounced white plumes. 4. Exploration of Saturn
A number of unmanned probes have been sent to the planet for exploration. Three of these
missions were flybys that include Pioneer 11, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. In 2004, the
Cassini–Huygens spacecraft was launched to perform the Saturn Orbit Insertion maneuver.
The Cassini orbiter has found evidence of hydrocarbon lakes and seas as big as the Caspian
Sea on Saturn’s moons Titan, proof of liquid water reservoirs on Enceladus, new planetary
rings and new satellites among other things. 3. Saturn is super windy
Saturn is gaseous and windy. On Earth, the fastest wind speed is not more than 400 kilometers
per hour, but on Saturn, it is normal for the wind speed to reach 1,800 kilometers per
hour! It is particularly windy around the equator. 2. The planet has very short days but very
long years Saturn rotates on its axis twice as fast as
Earth. A day on Saturn is only 10 hours and 14 minutes long! However, one year on Saturn
is equal to 29.7 Earth years because it spins very slowly around the sun. 1. The Jewel of the Solar System
Saturn is lovingly called The Jewel of the Solar System and it is easy to see why! Its
large size and visible rings make it quite a sight. If you have a telescope lying around,
make sure to obverse the planet! Hey guys its Fuzzy TV, thanks for watching
my video on the Top 10 interesting Facts about Saturn. The “Facts about Our Solar System”
series is coming to an end shortly, so comment below your ideas for the next Fact series!
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