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About Saturn Planet | Solar System

Saturn

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

Saturn occupies almost 60 percent of Jupiter’s volume but has only about one-third of its mass and the lowest mean density—about 70 percent that of water—of any known object in the solar system. Hypothetically, Saturn would float in an ocean large enough to hold it. Both Saturn and Jupiter resemble stars in that their bulk chemical composition is dominated by hydrogen. Also, as is the case for Jupiter, the tremendous pressure in Saturn’s deep interior maintains the hydrogen there in a fluid metallic state. Saturn’s structure and evolutionary history, however, differ significantly from those of its larger counterpart. Like the other giant, or Jovian, planets—Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune—Saturn has extensive systems of moons (natural satellites) and rings, which may provide clues to its origin and evolution as well as to those of the solar system.


Physical characteristics

Saturn is a gas giant because it is predominantly composed of hydrogen and helium. It lacks a definite surface, though it may have a solid core.Saturn's rotation causes it to have the shape of an oblate spheroid; that is, it is flattened at the poles and bulges at its equator. Its equatorial and polar radii differ by almost 10%: 60,269 km versus 54,365 km.Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, the other giant planets in the Solar System, are also oblate but to a lesser extent. The combination of the bulge and rotation rate means that the effective surface gravity along the equator, 8.97 m/s2, is 75% that at the poles and is lower than the surface gravity of Earth. However, the equatorial escape velocity of nearly 35 km/s is much higher than that for Earth.
Video Source: NetGeo


However, direct measurement of the field’s rotation was difficult because the field is highly symmetrical around the rotational axis. At the time of the Voyager encounters, radio outbursts from Saturn, apparently related to small irregularities in the magnetic field, showed a period of 10 hours 39.4 minutes; this value was taken to be the magnetic field rotation period. Measurements made 25 years later by the Cassini spacecraft indicated that the field was rotating with a period 6–7 minutes longer. It was believed that the solar wind is responsible for some of the difference between these two measurements of the rotational period. Not until Cassini flew inside Saturn’s rings on its final orbits was the rotation period accurately measured. 


Internal structure

Despite consisting mostly of hydrogen and helium, most of Saturn's mass is not in the gas phase, because hydrogen becomes a non-ideal liquid when the density is above 0.01 g/cm3, which is reached at a radius containing 99.9% of Saturn's mass. The temperature, pressure, and density inside Saturn all rise steadily toward the core, which causes hydrogen to be a metal in the deeper layers.
Saturn Planet

It's hard to imagine, but Saturn is the only planet in our solar system whose average density is less than water. The giant gas planet could float in a bathtub if such a colossal thing existed.


Moons

Saturn has 82 known moons, 53 of which have formal names. In addition, there is evidence of dozens to hundreds of moonlets with diameters of 40–500 meters in Saturn's rings, which are not considered to be true moons. Titan, the largest moon, comprises more than 90% of the mass in orbit around Saturn, including the rings.Saturn's second-largest moon, Rhea, may have a tenuous ring system of its own, along with a tenuous atmosphere.

Saturn Statistics

Source : Solarview.com
Saturn Statistics
Mass (kg)5.688e+26
Mass (Earth = 1)9.5181e+01
Equatorial radius (km)60,268
Equatorial radius (Earth = 1)9.4494e+00
Mean density (gm/cm^3)0.69
Mean distance from the Sun (km)1,429,400,000
Mean distance from the Sun (Earth = 1)9.5388
Rotational period (hours)10.233
Orbital period (years)29.458
Mean orbital velocity (km/sec)9.67
Orbital eccentricity0.0560
Tilt of axis (degrees)25.33
Orbital inclination (degrees)2.488
Equatorial surface gravity (m/sec^2)9.05
Equatorial escape velocity (km/sec)35.49
Visual geometric albedo0.47
Magnitude (Vo)0.67
Mean cloud temperature-125°C
Atmospheric pressure (bars)1.4
Atmospheric composition
Hydrogen
Helium

97%
3%

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