FACTS ABOUT SATURN
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun, and last of the planets known to ancient civilizations. It was known to the Babylonians and Far Eastern observer. The surface gravity on Saturn is about 107% of the surface gravity on Earth, so if you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 107 pounds on Saturn (assuming you could find someplace to, well, stand)? Saturn is one of five planets able to be seen with the naked eye. It is also the fifth brightest object in the solar system. The most common nickname for Saturn is “The Ringed Planet”, a nickname arising from the large, beautiful and extensive ring system that encircles the planet. These rings are mostly made from chunks of ice. They stretch out more than 12,700 km from the planet but are only a mere 20 meters thick. Saturn gives off more energy than it receives from the Sun. This unusual quality is believed to be generated from the gravitational compression of the planet combined with the friction from large amount of helium found within its atmosphere.
Saturn has the fastest winds of any other planet in our solar system. These winds have been measured at approximately 1,800 km per hour (1,100 miles per hour). Saturn is the least dense planet in the solar system. It is made mostly of hydrogen and has a density which is less than water – which technically means that Saturn would float. The layers of hydrogen get denser further into the planet, eventually becoming metallic and leading to a hot interior core. Saturn has 150 moons and smaller moonlets. All of these moons are frozen – the largest of which are Titan and Rhea.
Saturn is the flattest of all the planets. This is because of the planet’s low density and fast rotation speed – it takes Saturn 10 hours and 34 minutes to turn on its axis. Saturn has oval shaped storms which are similar to those of Jupiter. The interior of Saturn is very hot, reaching temperatures of up to 11,700°C (21,000 °F).