Q:

What is the symbol for Saturn?

A:

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.

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:

    How far away is Saturn from the sun?

    A:

    Saturn is an average of 886 million miles from the sun, which puts it about 9.5 times farther away from the sun than the Earth. The exact distance from Saturn to the sun varies based on Saturn's location along its elliptical orbit.

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  • Q:

    When was Saturn discovered?

    A:

    Unlike many planets and stars, Saturn doesn't have a universally recognized date of discovery. Because Saturn is visible with the naked eye, its existence was known by ancient civilizations. Ancient Greeks named the planet "Kronos" after their god of agriculture, which is the Roman equivalent of Saturn.

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