Q:

What is the symbol for Saturn?

A:

Quick Answer

Although it has no formal name, the symbol for Saturn is meant to represent a scythe or sickle and is similar in appearance to a cursive "h" with a horizontal line across the top. The International Astronomical Union prefers for scientists to use the abbreviation "S" in formal contexts.

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Full Answer

Saturn derives its name from the Roman god of agriculture, who is the likely source of the sickle-shaped symbol. Ancient Greeks typically used planetary symbols in artworks. In recent times, the symbols are more often used in astrology than in formal scientific publications. The sun, moon and minor planets also have representative symbols.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the distance between Saturn and Uranus?

    A:

    The distance between Saturn and Uranus varies based on where the planets are in their orbits around the sun, but averages 9.6 astronomical units. This translates to about 2.3 billion miles.

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  • Q:

    What year was Saturn discovered?

    A:

    Since Saturn is visible to the naked eye, it has been known of for thousands of years. Saturn has names in several ancient cultures; it was called Kronos by the ancient Greeks, Shabbathai by the Hebrews and Navagrahas by Hindu cultures.

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  • Q:

    Is Saturn hot or cold?

    A:

    Saturn is a mostly cold planet, with areas that reach temperatures as low as minus 270 F. There are some regions of the planet that feature temperatures of 80 F, but these remain unfriendly, having an extremely high atmospheric pressure.

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  • Q:

    What is the weather on Saturn?

    A:

    With an average temperature of minus 288 degrees Fahrenheit and frequent, powerful storms throughout the planet, Saturn is not hospitable to life. Unlike most planets in the Milky Way, Saturn derives its heat from its core rather than from the Sun. The planet is known as a gas giant; it is primarily composed of gases, including hydrogen and molecular helium.

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