Saturn • The first person to actually look at Saturn in a telescope was Galileo. He saw a strange oval-shaped planet. He thought the planet might have ears, or two small balls on either side. Later observations showed that these were actually Saturn’s grand ring system. Galileo also discovered Saturn’s moon . Saturn is a giant gas mostly made out of helium and hydrogen. Saturn has the lowest density of all planets and is only one less dense than water, so if there was a bathtub big enough Saturn would float. • Saturn is the farthest planet from Earth visible to the naked human eye. The rings seen around Saturn are from super fast winds in the upper atmosphere which can reach up to 1,100 mph (1,800 kph) around its equator, combined with heat rising from the inside of the planet • Did you know? • Saturn is big enough to hold 760 Earths
Facts Saturn was the Roman name for Cronus, the lord of the Titans in Greek mythology. Saturn is the root of the English word Saturday Saturn is the last planet that can be seen without using a telescope or binoculars and the planet was known before telescopes were invented. However, the rings can only be seen by using a telescope. Saturn takes 29 and a half years to make one complete orbit of the Sun. The earth takes one year. •Other planets have rings. Saturn's rings are the only ones that can be seen from Earth. All you need is a small telescope
More Facts •Saturn spins on its axis very fast. A day on Saturn is 10 hours and 14 minutes. Only 4 spacecraft sent from Earth have ever visited Saturn, and three of these were just brief flybys. The first was Pioneer 11, in 1979, which flew within 20,000 km of Saturn. Next came Voyager 1 in 1980, and then Voyager 2 in 1981. It wasn’t until Cassini’s arrival in 2004 that a spacecraft actually went into orbit around Saturn and captured photographs of the planet and its rings and moons. The planet Saturn is named after the Roman god of farming, Saturn, who was also the father of the Roman god Jupiter. Because Saturn spins on a tilt, it has seasons. Summer on Saturn lasts about eight Earth years.