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Saturn    
Saturn, lord of the rings in the Solar System. The two white dots are moons called Rhea and Dione.      
Image copyright NASA/JPL
       

Saturn is a fantastic planet with a bright ring system. Surprisingly it isn't the only ringed planet, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune also possess them but they are almost impossible to see.

It is the second biggest planet and it is so light that it could float on water.
The atmosphere contains many chemicals such as ammonia and methane.

Saturn also has winds that have a speed of 1000mph and lightning that is a million times more powerful than the lightning on Earth.

       
Saturn's rings are composed of many different rings. Some of these rings have empty spaces known as divisions. The rings are primarily made out of ice and they are so bright that they light up the nightside of Saturn.    

Name: Saturn

Distance from Sun: 885,904,700 miles

Diameter: 74 898 miles

Length of Day: 10 hours 39 minutes

Length of Year: 29.4 years

Number of moons: 62

   
             
Saturn's rings        
       
   

The position of the rings are held in place by moons orbiting between some of the smaller fainter rings. These moons are known as shepherd satellites. Examples of shepherd moons are Pan in the Encke Division, Atlas near the A Ring and Prometheus and Pandora near the edge of the F Ring

The rings were probably formed from debris and rubble from moons or comets that got too close to Saturn and were ripped apart by its gravity.

Close up of Saturn's rings. Two divisions are visible, the Encke Division which is the small gap at the bottom and the Cassini Division which is the larger gap above it.

Between the two divisions is the A Ring. The bright part above the Cassini Division is the B Ring and the dark rings above it is the C Ring.

 
       
    Encaladus
Image copyright NASA/JPL
     

Saturn's moons seem less varied and exotic than Jupiter's satellites but they are quite interesting. The most prominent ones are Titan, Encaladus, Mimas, Hyperion and Iapetus.

Encaladus is an extraordinarily small moon and its diameter is smaller than the
United Kingdom. It has liquid ice and cryovolcanoes, icy volcanoes that shoot massive plumes of particles that feed the rings.

     
Hyperion   Encaladus, a bizarre moon with blue 'tiger' stripes. This image has enhanced colour and was taken by the Cassini probe. The cracks might contain ice and shoot out material that gets incorporated by some of Saturns's rings. Encaladus might also have life.
Image copyright NASA/JPL
   
 

Titan was the first moon of Saturn to be discovered by Christiaan Huygens in 1655. It has an extremely thick atmosphere that hides the surface but mapping by a recently launched probe has revealed liquid lakes. The only other Solar System object with liquid lakes is Earth. It is currently unknown what the liquid actually is. Contrastingly, sand dunes have also been discovered and they are darker than the ones on Earth. A weird fact is that the atmospheric pressure is high and the gravity is low meaning a person could fly through the air if they jumped up.

Titan is doubly special because it is Saturn's largest moon and has an atmosphere, which is rare for a moon. It is also the second largest moon in the Solar System.

The spongy looking moon Hyperion.  
Image copyright NASA/JPL
   
Iapetus
   
The north pole of Iapetus.
Image copyright NASA/JPL/G. Ugarkovic