Saturn’s Satellites

Saturn has 62 known moons (as of August 2014); a large number like Jupiter. Titan is the second largest moon in the solar system (to Jupiter’s Ganymede) and is also larger than the planet Mercury. Christian Huygens discovered Titan in 1655. Most of Saturn’s moons are very small; many are smaller than 50 kilometers (30 miles) across. As noted when discussing Saturn’s ring, there are several Shepard moons and Gap moons.

Saturn Satellites of Distinction

Brief Description

Enceladus

  • Geysers, distinctive twisted surface features

Mimas

  • Gap moon with a moon-splitting crater; looks like the Death Star

Prometheus

  • F-Ring Sheepherder or Shepard satellite

Titan

  • Thick atmosphere of mostly Nitrogen, liquid methane on the surface
Image of Saturn’s Satellite Enceladus showing distinctive twisted surface features.
Enceladus via NASA Cassini SpacecraftPublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.

Image of Black and white image showing Geysers erupting upward from Enceladus.
Geysers erupting from Enceladus, there are 101 geysers in what is called the Enceladus Geyser Basin via NASA Cassini SpacecraftPublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.

Image of Saturn’s satellite Mimas, a gap moon with a moon-splitting crater, looking like the Death Star.
Mimas via NASA Cassini SpacecraftPublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.

Image of Saturn’s satellite Prometheus, small and elongated in shape showing ridges and valleys.
Prometheus via NASA Cassini SpacecraftPublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.

Image of Black and white image showing spatial relationship of barely visible F ring, Saturn’s oblong Prometheus satellite, and Saturn’s rings.
F ring (left), Prometheus (center oblong), and Saturn’s rings to the right – note the F ring twists via NASA Cassini SpacecraftPublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.

Image of Saturn’s Satellite Titan showing its thick orange atmospheric haze.
Titan and its thick atmosphere via NASA Cassini SpacecraftPublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.

Image of Surface of Titan enveloped in an orange haze of smog.
Surface of Titan via NASA Huygens SpacecraftPublic Domain | Image courtesy of NASA.