Q:

Of what is Saturn made?

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Quick Answer

Saturn is believed to be comprised of hydrogen, helium, methane, ammonia, ethane and hydrogen deuteride, according to Universe Today. The rings of Saturn are made up of bits of ice, dust and rock.

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Full Answer

While there is still a great deal about Saturn that is unknown, through various means of testing, scientists believe that Saturn is made up primarily of gases. It is believed that the core of the planet is made of iron and rock, while the rest of the planet is comprised of 96 percent hydrogen, 3 percent helium and 1 percent trace elements of hydrogen deuteride, ethane, ammonia and methane, according to Universe Today. The state of these elements is a combination of gas, liquid and molten, depending on the altitude. It is the various temperatures and pressures that alter the state of the gases. Saturn's rings are made of bits that range in sizes as small as sand grains to those as large as tall buildings, according to NASA. Saturn is the second-largest planet in the solar system, and its area is equal to nine Earths. In addition to the large size of Saturn, it also has a slow rotation around the sun. In fact, a Saturn year is equal to 29 years on Earth.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is Saturn's surface made of?

    A:

    The surface of Saturn is made of hydrogen, helium and a small amount of additional trace elements. The surface of Saturn is not solid, but is composed almost entirely of gas, making it impossible for any type of spacecraft to land on the planet.

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  • Q:

    What is the composition of Neptune's surface?

    A:

    Neptune is composed of 80 percent hydrogen, 19 percent helium and small amounts of methane, hydrogen deuteride and ethane. As a gas giant, the planet has no solid surface. The surface is defined as the area where the pressure is equal to the pressure of the Earth at sea level.

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  • Q:

    How old is Saturn?

    A:

    Saturn, like the rest of the planets in the solar system, was formed a little over four and a half billion years ago. The planets formed from a spinning cloud of gas and dust that was leftover from the creation of the sun.

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  • Q:

    How hot or cold is Saturn?

    A:

    Saturn's temperature is minus 288 degrees Fahrenheit. Since Saturn is a gas-giant planet, it does not have a solid surface. It's atmosphere is composed mainly of hydrogen and helium.

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