Saturn is sometimes called "The Jewel of the Solar System." It is a planet that is nothing like our own. Humans have been gazing up at Saturn for a long time. They have been wondering about it for thousands of years.
Image above: Earth can fit across Saturn nine times. Credit: NASA|
Here are some fun facts about the Ringed Planet.
- Saturn is huge. It is the second largest planet in our Solar System. Jupiter is the only planet that is bigger.
- You cannot stand on Saturn. It is not like Earth. Saturn is made mostly of gases. It has a lot of helium. This is the same kind of gas that you put in balloons.
- Its beautiful rings are not solid. They are made up of bits of ice, dust and rock.
Image above: Saturn is the only planet that could float in water. That would take a really big bath tub! Credit: NASA|
- Some of these bits are as small as grains of sand. Some are much larger than tall buildings. Some are up to a kilometer (more than half-a-mile) across.
- The rings are huge but thin. The main rings could almost go from Earth to the moon. Yet, they are less than a kilometer thick.
- Other planets have rings. Saturn's rings are the only ones that can be seen from Earth. All you need is a small telescope.
Image above: The planet is named after Saturn. He was the Roman god of farming. Credit: NASA|
- Saturn could float in water because it is mostly made of gas. (Earth is made of rocks and stuff.)
- It is very windy on Saturn. Winds around the equator can be 1,800 kilometers per hour. That's 1,118 miles per hour! On Earth, the fastest winds "only" get to about 400 kilometers per hour. That's only about 250 miles per hour.
- Saturn goes around the Sun very slowly. A year on Saturn is more than 29 Earth years.
- Saturn spins on its axis very fast. A day on Saturn is 10 hours and 14 minutes.
- The Ringed Planet is so far away from the Sun that it receives much less sunlight than we do here on Earth. Yes, the Sun looks smaller from there.
- The day Saturday was named after Saturn.
Adapted from Saturn Fun Facts