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GEOL 3045: Planetary Geology. Lysa Chizmadia Saturn. Introduction. 2nd largest planet Sixth from Sun (or seventh) Eccentricity = 0.056 9.0 - 10.1 AU Axial Tilt = 25.3º Earth = 23.5º Orbital period = 29.5 years Rotational period = 10.2 hours (2nd fastest) Mass = 5.69 x 10 26 kg

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GEOL 3045: Planetary Geology


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geol 3045 planetary geology

GEOL 3045: Planetary Geology

Lysa Chizmadia

Saturn

introduction
Introduction
  • 2nd largest planet
    • Sixth from Sun (or seventh)
  • Eccentricity = 0.056
    • 9.0 - 10.1 AU
  • Axial Tilt = 25.3º
    • Earth = 23.5º
  • Orbital period = 29.5 years
  • Rotational period = 10.2 hours (2nd fastest)
  • Mass = 5.69 x 1026 kg
    • ~95 Earths
  • Volume = 8.27 x 1014 km3
    • ~763 Earths
  • Average  = 0.69 g/cm3
    •  = 5.52 g/cm3 (lowest density in solar system)
  • At least 63 moons

Image from: http://www.nineplanets.org/saturn.html

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn

internal structure
Internal Structure
  • Atmosphere (59.5 km):
    • ~93% H & ~7% He
      • Depleted in He relative to solar
  • Molecular Hydrogen upper mantle
    • >100,000 bars
    • Earth atmosphere ~1 bar
  • Metallic Hydrogen lower mantle
    • >1,000,000 bars
    • Liquid H lower mantle
      • H nuclei do not have lattice order
  • Rocky-Ice Core:
    • 9-22 x Earth

Image from: http://solarviews.com/eng/saturn.htm

atmosphere

True color of N pole

Atmosphere
  • Structure:
    • Upper clouds: NH3 crystals
    • Lower clouds: NH4SH and H2O
  • Winds among the highest in Solar System
    • < 500 m/s (~1800 km/h)
  • Northern hemisphere blue ~ Uranus
  • With trace amounts of:
      • NH3, C2H2, C2H6, PH3, CH4

Image from: http://www.solarviews.com/eng/saturn.htm

Hexagonal Cloud Rotation in N pole

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn

clouds
Clouds
  • Ices in clouds:
    • H2O, NH3, NH4SH
      • Similar to Jupiter
    • Average cloud T: - 185ºC
      • Colder than Jupiter
  • Bands due to circulation zones
    • Tropical zones
    • Wider than Jupiter
  • Winds up to 500 m/s
  • Great White Spot:
    • Occurs once every Saturnian year
      • ~ every 30 y
    • Next one in 2020

Image from: http://www.nineplanets.org/saturn.html

Image from: http://www.solarviews.com/eng/saturn.htm

rings
Rings
  • Brightest of gas giants
  • Discovered in 1610 by Galileo
  • Structure:
    • <1 km thick

Ring over Titan & Enceladus

Spokes in Rings

Rings edge-on

Image from: http://www.nineplanets.org/saturn.html

Image from: http://www.solarviews.com/eng/saturn.htm

Images from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn

magnetosphere
Magnetosphere
  • ~ magnitude of Earth’s
    • 1/20th of Jupiter’s
  • Simple dipole
  • Extends slightly past orbit of Titan
    • 1.22 x 106 km
  • Probably produced by currents in liquid metallic H

Saturnian auroral emissions

Image from: http://www.solarviews.com/eng/saturn.htm

heat output
Heat Output
  • Radiates more Q than receives from Sun
    • Due to contraction (shrinks ~2 cm/yr)
    • He raining out of the atmosphere
  • N hemisphere twice as hot as S hemisphere

Thermal view of Saturn

Thermal emissions

Image from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn

Image from: http://www.solarviews.com/eng/saturn.htm

summary
Summary
  • 2nd largest planet in solar system
    • Very fast rotation (day)
  • Atmosphere has fastest winds in solar system
  • Interior P & T high
    • Liquid metallic H mantle
  • Rings have high albedo = icy dust
  • Radiates more heat than receives from Sun
    • Due to contraction & He rain
    • N hemisphere hotter than S hemisphere