Planet Saturn

Saturn is “the ringed planet.” Although all four Gas Giant planets have rings, Saturn’s are by far the most-spectacular and intricate. Saturn’s upper atmosphere is not as turbulent when compared to Jupiter’s upper atmosphere; it does not show as many markings and spots as Jupiter. The atmosphere shows an odd polar hexagon, due to Saturn’s atmospheric jet stream.There are some other interesting Saturnian characteristics. First, the density of Saturn is so low that it would float in water – if you could find a bathtub big enough to hold Saturn. Much like Jupiter, Saturn probably has a very small rocky core surrounded by hydrogen and helium. And also like Jupiter, Saturn also experiences aurora and lightning.

Saturn at a Glance

Characteristics to Compare

Atmosphere

  • Hydrogen (H ), Helium (H ), Methane (CH ), Ammonia (NH ), Water (H O)

Rotation

  • Short rotation — 10.6 hours

Revolution

  • Long revolution — 29.46 years

Rings

  • An intricate system of rings:
    • Spokes
    • Twisted F ring
    • Giant outer ring

Magnetic Field

  • Yes
Image Planet Saturn with Rings.
Images of the planet Saturn via NASA Cassini SpacecraftPublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.

Image Multiple images showing Saturn’s aurora or white spots at the top of the planet.
Saturn’s aurora; white spots at the top via NASA Hubble Space TelescopePublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.

Image Storm on Saturn’s Cloud Tops; the rings appear as a thin line, with the shadow of the rings below the rings on the planet.
Storm on Saturn’s cloud tops via NASA Cassini SpacecraftPublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.

Image of Black and white image of Saturn’s odd six sided Polar Hexagon.
Saturn’s odd polar hexagon via NASA Cassini SpacecraftPublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.