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Universe Guide


Saturn is the 6th planet from the Sun. The planet is classed as a gas planet. saturn derives its name from the Roman god for God of Time. Saturn has been known for centuries ever since people looked to the stars and noticed a star moving across the sky.Saturn is most famous for its rings and was for a long time considered to be the edge of the solar system, that was until Sir William Herschel discovered Uranus. Orbiting round the planet is Titan which if it wasn't for its atmosphere wouldn't stand out. Titan is the only satellite moon in the solar system known to have an atmosphere. The rings were first noticed by Galileo Galilei after he had made the first telescope.

The first artificial visitor to the planet was the Pioneer 11 space probe back in 1979 on its journey out of the solar system. Since then, the Voyager probes have flown by and most recently the E.S.A. (European Space Agency) sent the Cassini-Huygens craft to look closer at the planet and its bigger moon Titan. The Cassini-Huygens probe is two parts, one to probe the planet from above, the other is to land on Titan. Both have successfully completed their original parts, arrive and land. The Cassini voyage round the planet continues. Huygens is named after Christiaan Huygens, the Dutch astronomer who discovered Titan. The Cassini part of the probe is named after Giovanni Domenico Cassini who discovered a number of Saturns moons and the separation of the rings.

Discoverer -
Discoverer -
Discovered -
Length of Day ( hrs ) 10.656
Distance from Sun ( 10^6Km ) 1433.5
Volume (10^10 km3) 82713
Equatorial Radius 60268
Volumetric Mean Radius 58232
Ellipticity 0.09796
Mean Density 687
Surface Gravity 10.44
Surface Acceleration 8.96
Escape Velocity 35.5
Orbital Period 1074694
Orbit Eccentricity 0.0565
Average Temperature -134K/-139C
Surface Pressure >1000bars
Average Temperature -134K/-139C
Atmosphere Molecular hydrogen (H2) - 96.3% (2.4%); Helium (He) - 3.25% (2.4%)\n



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