Saturn is the second-largest planet in mass and size of the solar system and the sixth closest planet in the distance from the sun. As a non-twinkling point of light, Planet Saturn is clearly visible to the unaided eye in the night sky. The world, surrounded by its majestic rings, is probably the most beautiful object in the solar system, as viewed through only a small telescope.
Here are 10 Amazing Facts About Planet Saturn.
- Saturn is the flattest planet. Its polar diameter represents 90 percent of its equatorial diameter, due to its low density and rapid rotation. Planet Saturn turns on its axis once every 10 hours and 34 minutes to give it the second-shortest day of any planet in the solar system.
2. Planet Saturn takes about 10.7 hours (no one knows exactly) to rotate once — a Saturn “day” — on its axis, and 29 Earth years to orbit the sun.
3. Planet Saturn was known to mankind since ancient times because of its prominence and similarity to Earth. It won’t be possible to give credit to someone for Saturn’s discovery, but Galileo Galilei conducted the first telescopic observation in 1610.
4. Planet Saturn’s most famous nickname is “The Ringed Planet,” a nickname that derives from the massive, majestic, and extensive ring structure that surrounds the planet. These rings are composed mainly of ice blocks and carbonaceous particles. We spread out from the Earth for more than 12,700 km but are just 20 meters thick.
5. Planet Saturn has just been visited multiple times by the rocket. Just 4 rocket sent from Earth have ever visited Saturn, and three of these were simply concise flybys. The first was Pioneer 11 in 1979, which flew inside 20,000 km of Saturn. Next came Voyager 1 of every 1980, and afterward Voyager 2 of every 1981. It wasn’t until Cassini’s appearance in 2004 that a rocket really went into space around Saturn and caught photos of the planet and its rings and moons.