Saturn is often called the most beautiful planet in the solar system, but we understand that it’s a matter of taste. Regardless of one’s preference, we can agree that Saturn stands out from the rest of the planets.
Thanks to its impressive rings and immense size, many consider Saturn one of the most fascinating planets in the solar system. But what makes Saturn such an interesting and outstanding place? It can’t be just its rings, right?
If you want to know more about this amazing planet, read these 25 Dizzying Facts About Planet Saturn. You will find yourself at least 100% wiser by the time you reach the end of the article.
Last Updated on
It's a "Failed" Star
You’ve probably heard before that Saturn is a “gas giant,” right? Astronomers use the name “gas giant” for any gigantic planet composed mainly of hydrogen and helium. Jupiter and Saturn are the only gas giants in our solar system.
Saturn is also sometimes called a ”failed” star. Gas giants also go by this lesser-known name because they contain the same basic elements as a star.
You Could Not Stand on Saturn
Saturn’s surface is nothing like this of Earth. This planet is made mostly of gases.
For this reason, it doesn’t have a solid surface on which you could hypothetically walk or stand.
Least Dense Planet
Earth is known for being the densest planet in the solar system, while Saturn is the opposite.
The density of the planet is estimated to be 0.687 grams per cubic centimeter, which is less dense than water. In other words, Saturn could float in water.
"Monstrous" Atmospheric Pressure
The atmosphere of Saturn is composed primarily of hydrogen, which was captured in the early stages of its formation. Most of the remaining composition is helium. There are also traces of other substances like methane, ammonia, and propane.
All that gas produces high pressure as you descend into the atmosphere. NASA’s scientists suggest that the pressure of Saturn’s core is 1,000 times stronger than that of Earth’s core. This is enough pressure to force hydrogen into its liquid state, and finally into a solid metal at the planet’s core.
Needless to say, this kind of pressure wouldn’t only crush the human body but even man-made spaceships that might attempt to “land” on this planet.
Exploration of Saturn
Only four spacecraft have visited Saturn so far. The first was Pioneer 11 in 1973; Voyager 1 and 2 followed in 1977.
It was the Cassini-Huygens mission that sent back an immense wealth of data about the planet, its moons, and rings. The Cassini spacecraft orbited Saturn from June 30, 2004, until September 15, 2017, a total of 13 years and three months.