"If you could find a big enough ocean to put it in, Saturn would float!"

Saturn, the "ringed wonder", has an average density lower than any other major planet—
lower even than water!  This and its rapid spin
make Saturn the most "flattened" major planet!  (1.6.x)   (1.4.1)

Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun, completes one orbit about every 30 years!  (1.6.x)   (1.4.1)

Saturn and Earth are tilted by roughly the same amount to their respective orbits!  (1.6.x)   (1.4.1)

Right Drag with your mouse after you run the links above that display planetary orbits to get a good sense of their 3-dimensional aspects.

Are you unfamiliar with our 1.6.x and 1.4.1 links?  For an explanation  click here.

CLOUD VIEWS

Like Jupiter, Saturn lacks a solid or liquid "surface".  So the ringed planet's "visible surface" is really the top of its elaborate cloud system!  Not as multihued as Jupiter, Saturn will one day present us with awesome views!  Its incomparable rings, visible through its cloud decks, will arc from horizon to horizon!  Enjoy these links to artists' depictions of what we may expect to one day see!

Saturn has some of the fastest winds on the Solar System, much faster than those on Jupiter. 
SkyMarvels™ Art © 2013

Here's a transitional region, where the winds of Saturn are considerably more calm. 
SkyMarvels™ Art © 2013

CELES-TIPS

The following will help you enjoy this page's 1.6.x and 1.4.1 links that run events directly in CELESTIA.  If you're new to the program, these tips will also help you learn to use it.

You'll find more information about many of CELESTIA's controls on our  Learning Center  page.


SATURN

Current Views and Conditions from Earth
Current Location in the Constellations (w/ Geo-Coords)
Current Location in Orbit

Equatorial Radius:    60,268 km
Equatorial Radius (Earth = 1):    9.449
Rotational Flattening:    0.09796
Mass (Earth = 1):    95.159
Volume (Earth = 1):    763.59
Mean Density (Water = 1):    0.70
Mean Density (Earth = 1):    0.125
"Surface" Gravity (Earth = 1):    1.065
Inclination of Axis to Orbit:    26.73°
      (we therefore see Saturn's rings at different angles
      when it is in different parts of its 29½-year orbit)

     
Saturn
"tips its hat"
to us every
29½ years!

Rotation Period:**
      Synodic ("Day" in Earth hours):    10.656
      Sidereal (in Earth hours):    10.656
Albedo (geometric):    0.47
Magnetosphere    
      Magnetic Field (Earth = 1):    500
      Magnetic Polarity:    opposite that of Earth
      Regions

Cassini Mission Overview Page

Saturn Rotating 
View Saturn in 3-D (showing NO rings)
NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI Vid:  Mysterious Hurricane at Saturn's North Pole 
NASA/JPL/University of Arizona Vid:  Saturn's Hexagon Polar Structure 
Image Tours: Saturn  is a nice Flash interactive from HubbleSite
NASA / JPL's Photojournal pages for Saturn

NOTE:  to see Saturn's internal structure, hover your cursor over the planet's image at upper-right.

Number of Moons:    at least 62 (more suspected)

      (moons number in billions if you count ring chunks)
      Compare to Other Moons
      Wikipedia's Moons of Saturn page
      Structure of Titan: Saturn's Largest Moon 
      Structure of Enceledus 
      NASA Graphic Of Rings Relative to Inner Moons

Ring System:    Yes (a spectacular one!)

Scroll image below to study Cassini's detailed
natural-color mosaic of Saturn's incredible rings.

For more information on this image,  click here.

View Saturn's Largest Ring, discovered by SPITZER  
Another View of Saturn's Infrared Ring  
SPITZER Video of Saturn's Infrared Ring

Planet Classifications:
      Outer Planet (along with Jupiter, Uranus & Neptune)
      Gas Giant (mostly hydrogen and helium)
      Superior Planet (has larger orbit than Earth)

Orbit:   (1.6.x)   (1.4.1)
      Period:    29.457 Earth years
      Distance from Sun:
            Mean (Earth = 1 AU):    9.582 AU
            Mean:    1,433,530,000 km
            Perihelion:    1,352,550,000 km
            Aphelion:    1,514,500,000 km
      Velocity:
            Mean:    34,884 km/hr
            Min:    32,724 km/hr
            Max:    36,648 km/hr
      Eccentricity:    0.0565
      Inclination to Ecliptic:    2.485°

*Earth mean solar day = 24.0000 hours (24h00m00s)
  Earth sidereal day = 23.9345 hr (23h56m4.1s)

**Different latitudes on the Gas Giants rotate at different speeds

Information Source: NASA Fact Sheets


ADJECTIVES MEANING
"pertaining to Saturn"

      Saturnian
      Cronian (from Greek god, Cronus)


SATURN'S SKY PATH 2013–2014

SATURN CASSINI Location

SATURN, the Ringed Wonder

EQUINOX AT SATURN
video credit: NASA

DIRECT LINKS TO OTHER NASA VIDEOS

You must have the noted player installed to view these.  Note: you might have to click on these more than once, as some NASA servers (like http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov in particular) can be temperamental and slow to connect.  If a video does not load, try again at another time.


DIRECT LINKS TO MEDIA
OFFERED ON OTHER SITES

"CASSINI-HUYGENS: Mission to Saturn" Poster
image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

You'll find loads of information and images of Saturn at the  CICLOPS (Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations)  site.

A nice NASA graphic of the  Cassini Interplanetary Trajectory.

A nice NASA-JPL Multimedia of  the Voyager Missions.


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SKY VIEWING
SOLAR SYSTEM
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MERCURY
VENUS
EARTH
THE MOON
MARS
JUPITER
SATURN
URANUS
NEPTUNE
SMALLER WORLDS
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———————
SKY-FUN / SKY-GAMES


NASA's LATEST

SATURN CASSINI Location and Status


SATURN FUN FACTS

On average, Saturn is less dense than water!  It would float—that is, if you could find a bathtub big enough to put it in!

Saturn's rings are beautiful, so beautiful in fact that the planet's nickname is the "Jewel of the Solar System!"

The total mass of Saturn's rings is thought to be about the same as the mass of the planet's small moon Mimas!

The particles that comprise Saturn's rings range from dust-sized specks to a small number that are the size of mountains!

SATURN INTERACTIVES

QUICK ACCESS LIST

Note: some links are echoed elsewhere on this page and may include descriptive text.

HubbleSite's  Image Tours: Saturn

View & Drag in 3-D:  (When link runs click in the page's right column on "Interactive Sphere".)
    Saturn (no rings)
        Titan    Iapetus    Rhea
        Dione    Tethys
        Enceladus    Mimas

View & Drag Saturn in 3-D  (no rings)

Links to interactive features that show Saturn's orbit in 3-D can be found on our  Solar System page

From ESA  Where Is Cassini Now?  lets you examine the spacecraft's fly-bys of the Saturnian moons and offers current and future info!

From U. of Colorado's LASP site, check out:  Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn and Titan

CASSINI-HUYGENS Mission to Saturn Poster

Saturn Viewer  lets you find the tilt of Saturn & its rings, and the location of its major moons, for any time and date.

Saturn Moon Tracker  allows you to generate and download diagrams of the locations of Saturn's major moons and rings over spans of time.


SKYMARVELS™
POSTERS FEATURING SATURN

Earth's Tides

Our Corner of the Cosmos

Anatomy of the Milky Way


SKYMARVELS™
VIDEOS FEATURING SATURN

The Solar System Barycenter

The Speed of Light

Stunning Fields of View 001

Have You Ever . . . ?

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