Tour the solar system: Saturn
Often considered the most beautiful planet in the solar system, Saturn has many interesting features to explore — from its expansive ring system and volatile atmosphere to the different surface details of its four largest moons.
Whenever you think of “planets,” odds are a saturnian shape is the first that comes up. After all, what better way to signify some exotic alien world than distinguishing it with an intricate ring system? The sixth planet from the Sun, Saturn’s about 9.5 times as big across as Earth, spanning some 75,000 miles (121,000 kilometers); this means more than 700 Earths could fit inside. It’s so far from the Sun, about 891 million miles (1.43 billion kilometers), that the Sun appears only about 1 percent as bright as it does from Earth. And because Saturn’s density is only about 12.5 percent of Earth’s, which is less than water, the planet is buoyant! If you could find a body of water big enough, it’d float.
Saturn’s rings more than double Saturn’s visual diameter.
Photo by NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute
Learn more about the king of the planets by registering with Astronomy.com and gaining access to the video, "Tour the solar system: Saturn."
Registration is FREE and takes only a few minutes to complete. Registered members get access to these great online features:
- Participate in our forums and online community
- Comment on articles
- Receive our e-mail newsletter
- Manage your account online
- Much more!
Login to view this article
Haven't registered yet?