Friday, November 1, 2013

Saturn: The Jewel of the Solar System

Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun, but in many ways it is a planet of seconds:

It is the second largest planet
It is the planet with the second strongest magnetic field
It has the second largest moon (Titan)
It has the second fastest rotation (10h 30min)

But Saturn still is, and probably always will be, number one.

For obvious reasons, Saturn is frequently referred to as “The Jewel of the Solar System.” Although all of the gas giants in our solar system have ring systems, Saturn’s ornaments are, by far, the most awe-inspiring. There are billions of particles that comprise Saturn’s rings; these particles range from dust-sized grains to minor giants (some of which have a diameter of some 1.8 kilometers/1.1 miles). And with a thickness of about 1 km (3,200 feet), the rings span roughly 282,000 km (175,000 miles), which is about three fourths the distance between the Earth and Moon. Moreover, these rings are the only ones that can be seen from the Earth with nothing more than a small telescope. The planet itself is the farthest planet from Earth that can be observed by the unaided human eye.

To learn more about this amazing planet, see:

Image source: NASA /JPL-Caltech/SSI

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