Most Important Facts About Saturn
- The natural human eye can see Saturn, but we cannot see its rings. Its distance from the sun ranges from about 840 million to 941 million miles, while the distance from Earth is about 93 million miles. Saturn rotates the sun once in 29 years, 167 days, 6.7 hours.
- Saturn is the second-largest planet in the solar system. According to NASA, it measures to almost 10 times the size of Earth.
- Winds, magnetic fields, lighting, auroras and gas bands have been spotted by satellites in Saturn's atmosphere. The atmosphere is made up of hydrogen, helium and methane. The gravitational pull on Saturn is slightly higher than it is on Earth.
- At the top of Saturn's atmosphere, the temperature is minus 285 degrees F. But NASA reports the planet expels about 2½ times more heat than it receives.
- Saturn has seven thin rings made of tiny ice particles and clumps of ice as big as a small car. Each of these rings is composed of thousands of ringlets. These rings tilt to remain perpendicular to Saturn's equator.
- A total of 31 moons have been discovered orbiting Saturn. The largest of these satellites, Titan, is bigger than Mercury or Pluto.