SATURN

This giant planet has a magnificent system of shining rings circling its equator. Saturn is the second-largest planet in the Solar System. It is made mainly of hydrogen and helium.

WHAT ARE SATURN’S RINGS?

Saturn’s seven rings may look solid, but in reality they are scattered chunks of rock and ice. The largest lumps are hundreds of yards across and the smallest are specks of dust. The rings may be the broken remains of one or more comets.

Table 9. SATURN DATA

Diameter (width) at equator74,900 miles (120,536 km)
Average distance from Sun887 million miles (1.427 billion km)
Time to orbit Sun29.46 years
Time to spin around own axis10.66 hours
Mass95 x Earth’s mass
Gravity0.92 x Earth’s gravity
Cloudtop temperature–220°F (–140°C)
Number of moons31

WHAT IS TITAN LIKE?

Bigger than the planet Mercury, Titan is Saturn’s largest moon. Measuring 3,200 miles (5,150 km) across, it is the second-largest moon in the Solar System. Titan’s temperature is about –290°F (–180°C), and it is the only moon with a thick atmosphere.

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley