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.Know More
Clouds cover Saturn, with the upper layer of clouds consisting of ammonia ice. Beneath that is a layer of ammonium hydro-sulfate clouds. The lowest layer of clouds on the planet are water clouds. The storms that occur on Saturn do so around its rings. A single storm is capable of lasting for many years.
Saturn's interior temperatures climb as high as 21,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The planet radiates twice the heat it receives from the sun, which is located 891 million miles away in space. Scientists speculate that the interior heat is created by the planet's gravitational compression as well as by the friction occurring as helium regularly seeps into the planet's core. Most of what scientists know about conditions on Saturn comes from data gathered during the Voyager I and Voyager II space flights that occurred in 1980 and 1981 respectively.Learn more about Planets
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.Full 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.Full Answer >
The Sun is almost 12 times larger than Saturn. The equatorial circumference of Saturn is 227,349 miles, while the Sun has an approximate circumference of 2,713,406 miles. The Sun has an average radius of 432,450 miles, while Saturn's mean radius is 36,184 miles.Full Answer >
Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun at a distance of 886 million miles and has a composition of hydrogen and helium. Saturn was first observed through a telescope by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei.Full Answer >