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Saturn's Ring System


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. It was not until 1655 when Christiaan Huygens was the first person to describe them as a disk surrounding Saturn.

Saturn's a Failed Star

It is the second largest planet in the solar system after Jupiter. It could be classed as a failed star given its size and composition. The smallest star so far discovered is EBLM J0555-57Ab which is in the constellation of Pictor. As the reference link shows, the star is roughly about the same size as Saturn. Saturn definitely has the size to become a star but it doesn't have the mass and that's what is important. Its not size but mass that determines whether a star can start nuclear fusion. Astronomy.com.

Visitors to Saturn, Pioneer, Voyager and Cassini

The first artificial visitor to Jupiter 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 Jupiter and its biggest 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.

The Cassini mission was bought to an end when the probe was directed to enter Saturn and break/burn up on entry. The satellite was destroyed so that it wouldn't crash into any of the other moons and cause possible contamination of the environments. They'll be future missions to the planet but not just yet because of other projects in the pipeline.

Saturn Legend

The inspiration for naming Saturn came from the Roman God of the same name. Saturn was known as the God of Agriculture, Liberation and Time. Saturn was also the father of Jupiter of which is the planet that is closest to Saturn and is closer in than Saturn.

The Greek equivalent of Saturn was the Greek God Cronus. Saturn's wife was known as Ops and likewise, the wife of Cronus was Rhea. Saturday, the seventh day of the week is named after the Saturn. ref:Crystal Links

Titan, Saturnian Moon

The Saturnian moon Titan is the only moon in the Solar System that has an atmosphere. The atmosphere is not one that humans would be able to breathe on, its gasses are mainly nitrogen. Earth main gas in the atmosphere is Nitrogen but it is oxygen that keeps us alive which Titan does not have. Titan is also the largest moon orbiting the planet Saturn but it is not the largest moon in the solar system. The largest moon in the solar system is Ganymede, a moon orbiting Jupiter. Also Earth's Moon, the moon is the largest moon in comparison with the planet it orbits.

Rhea, the Ringed Moon

Rhea is the second largest moon that orbits Saturn. It is notable for the fact that has a ring system like the planet it orbits. Its a faint one but it has one. It reported as being tenuous and further investigation is warranted. The ring system was discovered by the cassini-huygens space craft according to a report by N.A.S.A. .

Saturn Facts

List of Moons in orbit around Saturn

MoonDiscoveredOrbit Circumference
AegaeonAug. 15, 2008 1,052,433.54 km
Aegir12 December 2004 128,272,946.86 km
Albiorix9 November 2000 96,726,713.37 km
Anthe1,242,185.42 km
Atlas1980 865,005.81 km
Bebhionn12 December 2004 100,947,762.72 km
Bergelmir12 December 2004 120,893,879.74 km
Bestla12 December 2004 119,926,793.86 km
Calypso1 March 1980 2,371,369.91 km
Daphnis1 May 2005 857,654.79 km
Dione1684 2,371,365.51 km
Enceladus1789 1,495,622.32 km
Epimetheus1966 951,640.25 km
Erriapus2000 104,333,269.82 km
Farbauti12 December 2004 126,146,054.43 km
Fenrir12 December 2004 140,459,769.23 km
Fornjot12 December 2004
Greip6 March 2006 112,926,492.35 km
Hati12 December 2004 119,813,373.85 km
Helene1 March 1980 2,371,369.91 km
Hyperion1848 9,429,377.34 km
Hyrrokkin12 December 2004 112,647,481.66 km
Iapetus1671 22,368,684.06 km
Ijiraq23 September 2000 67,516,066.88 km
Janus1966 951,640.25 km
Jarnsaxa6 March 2006 120,173,869.21 km
Kari6 March 2006 130,186,531.63 km
Kiviuq7 August 2000 70,588,248.86 km
Logi6 March 2006 143,634,260.25 km
Methone1 June 2004 1,221,702.55 km
Mimas17 September 1789 1,165,663.95 km
Mundilfari2000 116,050,449.86 km
Narvi8 April 2003 116,260,381.58 km
Paaliaq7 August 2000 87,080,192.85 km
PalleneJune 1, 2004 1,333,789.24 km
Pandora1980 890,449.09 km
PhoebeAugust 1898 80,808,357.62 km
Polydeuces21 October 2004 2,369,799.06 km
Prometheus1980 875,749.31 km
Rhea1672 3,311,665.09 km
S/2004 S1312 December 2004 113,678,850.21 km
S/2004 S1712 December 2004 121,200,183.62 km
S/2004 S712 December 2004 122,178,525.37 km
S/2005 S1212 December 2004 121,512,877.18 km
S/2006 S16 March 2006 117,693,231.27 km
S/2006 S36 March 2006 133,000,661.82 km
S/2007 S22007 104,240,170.07 km
S/2007 S32007 118,243,025.18 km
S/2009 S1
Siarnaq23 September 2000 108,394,044.13 km
Skathi23 September 2000 95,953,368.15 km
Skoll6 March 2006 104,560,866.80 km
Surtur6 March 2006 136,538,557.68 km
Suttungr2000 121,977,843.10 km
Tarqeq16 January 2007 112,134,455.81 km
Tarvos23 September 2000 106,178,340.27 km
Telesto1 March 1980 2,371,369.91 km
Tethys1684 1,851,478.78 km
Thrymr2000 121,156,943.36 km
Titan1655 7,675,612.02 km
Ymir2000 141,259,079.59 km

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