How Does Saturn Work?
The Planet Saturn takes its name from a Roman God of agriculture and of all the planets revolve around our sun. It's cultivated if you will the greatest ring system by far shining rings filled with ice dust and rock orbit its equator. The whitest one called the phoebe ring has an outer edge. That's millions of miles away from Saturn itself. For comparison the average distance between Earth and our moon is a paltry two hundred thirty nine thousand miles or three hundred eighty four thousand kilometers once again. Astronomy PUTS THE HUMAN EGO IN CHECK. Saturn's rings get all the attention but we shouldn't ignore its other attributes the sixth planet in our solar system. It's also the biggest after Jupiter. Those two are in a league of their own. If you mushed every planet from Mercury to Neptune together Saturn and Jupiter would account for over ninety percent of the cumulative mass of that planetary mass but despite its immense size Saturn is the least dense planet in the sun's orbit and the spherical to. We'll need to look at. Its physical makeup to understand why research published in two thousand nineteen showed that a day on Saturday and lasts just ten hours thirty three minutes and thirty eight seconds. It's spin rate helps explain one of the ring. World's stranger qualities is he. Saturn is ten percent wider than it is tall. A difference of over seven thousand miles or nearly twelve thousand kilometers. Astronomers call that kind of disparity an equatorial bulge every planet in the solar system has one but Saturn's is the most extreme saturn rotates around its axis at a very high speed. Hence the brevity stays. And here's where density comes into play like. Jupiter Saturn is a gas giant such worlds predominantly consists of hydrogen and helium and whereas Earth is solid on. The outside gas. Giants are not they may however have hard intercourse now. Saturn is downright huge in terms of volume. Some seven hundred sixty four earth sized objects could fit inside of it and the planet is ninety five times as massive as our home world and yet relative to its size. Earth is eight times more dense. In fact water yes. Plain water is denser them Saturn although that doesn't mean the planet would float. It's not cohesive enough so thanks to its low. Low density zippy rotational. Speed Saturn's been deformed into a oblong world that looks kind of squished in profile Jupiter's southern hemisphere famously has an ongoing storm called the great. Red Spot Saturn's answer to. This is the great white spots which are periodic tempests that arise every twenty thirty Earth Years I detected in eighteen seventy six. These weather events are colossal scale ness as Cassini spacecraft spent thirteen productive years hovering around Saturn on December fifth of two thousand ten. It witnessed the most recent iteration of the great white spot phenomenon. The storm was about eight hundred miles by sixteen hundred miles long when it first began. That's about thirteen hundred twenty five hundred kilometers but over the next six months. The spot expanded Longitudinal early until it had looped itself around the planet in a gigantic circle. Some researchers think the great white spots might be part of a cycle that sees the outer layer Saturn's atmosphere slowly lose heat allowing the warm air from lower levels to burst upward. Meanwhile Saturn's North Pole. There's a cloud pattern shaped like giant hexagon. This pleasantly symmetrical jet stream spins counterclockwise measures about twenty thousand miles or thirty two thousand kilometers across and includes a hurricane. That's been swirling right over the poll ever since it was discovered back in Nineteen eighty-eight. Of course it's not the hexagon earned Saturday. A place on. Chucky festers T. shirt you know from rugrats anyway. The gas giant is most famous for the spectacular ring system encircling it a planetary rings aren't rare per se Jupiter Uranus and Neptune. Have the well yet. In terms of sheer scale network around Saturn is totally unrivaled. Most of the primary rings come with letter names. The closest one to Saturn is called the D ring which has an inner radius of about forty two thousand miles or sixty seven thousand kilometers a lot closer than our moon. It's surrounded by these C B A F G and earrings in that order by the way. The rings aren't arranged Alphabetically. Because the naming system reflects the dates of their discovery Abmc recited before the rest when measured from its outside edge. The earring showcases an impressive. Three hundred thousand mile radius or four hundred and eighty thousand kilometers. Or at least that looks impressive until you get to know the big bad fearing that. We mentioned earlier. I spotted in two thousand nine. This one was named after one of Saturn's moons untold trillions of ice rock dust particles. Make up these rings. Some bits are the size of a sugar grain. Others could probably Dwarf Your House in any case. The ring material is stretched. Remarkably thin Saturn's rings may be as thick as two miles or kilometers wide. Found just thirty two feet or ten meters wide so proportionately. The gas giants iconic rings thinner than a typical sheet of writing paper as noted by Astronomer. Phil plait whereas Saturn itself is probably around four point five billion years old. The age of its rings isn't as clear. Some scientists think that they were formed ten million to a hundred million years ago when an icy comet or some ice covered moons came too close to the planet. The visitor or visitors would have met a grisly end. Getting ripped to pieces by Saturn's gravity as those fragments collided they grew smaller and multiplied giving rise to the skinny but brilliant system. We all know today on the other. Hand a twenty. Nineteen paper argued that the rings might have originated at an earlier stage in the history of our solar system. We'll have to see how the debate unfolds as new evidence arises. There's lots about this planet that we're still learning in October of two thousand. Nineteen the international astronomical. Union heralded the discovery of twenty newfound moons orbiting the gas giant with these bodies added to the mix. There are now eighty two verified. Saturn moons altogether no other planet in the solar system has that many natural satellites not even mighty Jupiter. You can find Saturn's moons in around and beyond the ring system before Cassini was retired in two thousand seventeen it revealed that some of them gather clumps of ice and dust. From the Rings Saturn's Moon Titan is especially well-named it's our solar system second-biggest moon overall and it's dotted with seas lakes and rivers of liquid methane and pain. There's only one other body within the Sun's orbit that has standing pools of liquid that we know about. And here's a hint. You're sitting on it right now. Tighten is also noteworthy for having an atmosphere and it's theorized that there could be ice volcanoes that spew water instead of lava like Earth Saturn gets auroras at its poles. They're invisible to the unaided human eye. But the Cassini spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope have captured footage of them using infrared and ultraviolet