It’s also one of the biggest celestial bodies in our galaxy, and one of the most mysterious. Want to learn more about this galactic beast? Keep reading for some interesting facts about Saturn.
1. Saturn’s a gas – not a physical planet.
Saturn is much like Jupiter in that it’s a gas giant. It’s made of methane, hydrogen, and more.
2. So don’t prepare for landing, basically!
That also means it’s impossible to land on Saturn – any plucky astronauts will just sink!
3. Would Saturnians all have squeaky voices?
There’s even helium on Saturn – but likely not the same concentration you’ll find in party balloons!
4. Saturn’s moon count is monstrous.
Saturn has an incredible number of moons – around 82, at last count! That’s more than any other planet in the solar system, and believe it or not, we only discovered 20 of them in 2019.
5. It’s extremely cold on Saturn.
Saturn looks hotter than it is – on the surface alone it’s around -218 degrees F!
6. Saturn’s not a sphere.
It’s a bit of an odd shape – the way it spins makes it flatten itself so it’s not really a complete sphere. This is because it spins so fast!
7. Very few exploratory missions have headed to Saturn.
We really should visit more often – we’ve only ever sent four different spacecraft out to explore Saturn successfully.
8. You can see Saturn without a telescope.
You can see Saturn in the night sky occasionally – you won’t be able to see the full shape of the planet, but there’s a bright spot in the sky that’s most certainly this famous body.
9. The rings aren’t solid.
The rings are actually composite of bits of dust, floating rock, and even ice. While it looks like you could land on them, you’ll fall straight through.
10. Other planets have rings, too!
Saturn’s known as ‘the planet with the rings’, but it’s not the only one. We just happen to be able to see Saturn’s pretty clearly.
11. The days are short…
Saturn days are around half the time of our own, as it spins super-fast – a whole day here is around ten and a quarter hours long!
12. …but the years are long!
13. We’ve known of Saturn for a very long time.
Saturn was first spotted on Earth by the Assyrians, back in 8 BC!
14. Is there ocean life near Saturn?
One of Saturn’s many, many moons – Enceladus – may be hiding an ocean. However, the planet is frozen, so we’ll need to dig deeper to find out!
15. Chilly stuff!
Much of Saturn itself, in fact, is icy. The top layer of the atmosphere out here is frozen ammonia, while its surface is gaseous – eventually turning metallic!
16. It dwarfs us – easily.
Saturn is MUCH bigger than Earth – you could fit 700 of us inside it!
FAQs about Saturn
Why does Saturn have rings?
The debris floating around Saturn is there because it’s solid objects torn apart by the planet’s gravity before reaching it!
Does it rain diamonds on Saturn?
Yes! It was discovered recently that diamond rain exists on both Saturn and Jupiter - as well as Neptune.
Are Saturn’s rings hot?
Nope - they’re around -333 degrees F - absolutely freezing!
Do you know any fun facts about Saturn? Share them in the comments below!
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