The most interesting facts of Saturn for kids are not only available in books but can now be viewed online. Thanks to the internet, kids can now learn about the planets of the solar system. Saturn is one of the most attractive planets that will surely catch their attention. It’s considered one of the most beautiful planets out of the eight in our solar system.
Facts say that Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and it’s also the second largest planet in the solar system. The planets are named after the Greek Gods and Goddesses, except the Earth. Saturn is named after The Lord of Titans, Cronus. According to the Greek Mythology, Cronus or Kronos is the son of Uranus and Ge and is also the youngest among the Titans. As colorful as the story of this Cronus, Saturn is also the most colorful planet in the outer space.
The Planet Saturn – What Does It Look Like?
The physical characteristics of Saturn are amazing. Saturn is a ball of giant gas made up of hydrogen and helium. This planet is so big that it can hold up to 760 Earths and is even more massive compared to other planets except the largest one, Jupiter. Despite its mass, which is 95 times more than Earth, Saturn has low density, lower than other planets. This is the only one that has less density than water which means that Saturn can float.
If you check out the other facts of Saturn for kids, you will learn that its yellow and gold bands around its atmosphere are results of very fast winds around its equator; these winds can reach up to 1,100 mph which is equivalent to 1,800 km/h. Saturn is one of the fastest planets, excluding Jupiter. It can complete a rotation in 10½ hours and this rapid spinning causes Saturn to bulge towards the equator but its flat towards the poles. According to facts, Saturn is 8,000 miles wider at the equator compared to the diameter between the poles.
Facts of Saturn for kids – What You Need to Know About the Rings
Saturn in the farthest planet from Earth, but it’s still visible when using a telescope. While looking through a telescope, one feature will stand out about Saturn- its beautiful rings. Even though other gas-formed planets in the solar system like Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, also have rings, Saturn’s rings remain extraordinary. Facts of Saturn for kids includes very important information about the discovery of the planet.
It was Galileo Galilei who first saw the rings of Saturn way back in 1610. However, when he used his telescope, the rings looked like handles or arms. Then, Christiaan Huygens, a Dutch astronomer revealed that Saturn had a thin, flat ring. Later on, astronomers who had powerful telescopes were able to discover that Saturn doesn’t have one, but plenty of rings that are made of billions of particles of ice and rocks that range from a grain of salt to a large house.
The largest Saturn ring spans 7,000 times its diameter and is believed to be leftover debris from comets, asteroids, and even shattered moons. Even though these rings extend up to thousands of miles from the planet, its main rings are only 30 feet thick. Some of these rings have vertical forms; they are particles that pile up in bumps and ridges and can go up to 2 or 3 miles.
Saturn Composition and Structure
Like the other planets in the solar system, when you’re looking for facts of Saturn for kids, you need to learn about its composition and structure. This makes a planet unique as compared to the other seven in the solar system. So here are the additional facts that you need to know about the beautiful Saturn.
- The Atmospheric Composition. Saturn is 96.3% molecular hydrogen and 3.25% helium. It has a small amount of methane, ammonia ice aerosols, hydrogen deuteride, and ethane. It’s also composed of a minor amount of water ice aerosols and ammonia hydrosulfide aerosols.
- The Magnetic Field. The planet Saturn has a magnetic field that is 578 times more than the Earth.
- Saturn’s Chemical Composition. The inner core of Saturn is a composition of hot iron and rocky material surrounded by an outer core. The core may be composed of ammonia, some methane, and also water. After the outer layer comes a highly compressed liquid metallic hydrogen, then a layer of hydrogen and helium which becomes the gaseous surface of the planet and merges with the atmosphere.
- The Internal Structure. Saturn’s core is about 10 to 20 times more massive than Earth.
The most amazing facts of Saturn for kids are its moons. Earth only has one moon, but Saturn has way more. This planet has a total of 62 moons! Since the planet is named after Cronus- The Lord of Titans, most of the moons are also named after other Titans and their descendants. Some moons are named after popular giant myths like Gallic, Inuit, and also Norse.
Titan is the largest Saturn moon and its size is slightly larger than Mercury as mentioned in the article “kid facts about Mercury“. This is the second largest moon in the solar system, after Ganymede- Jupiter’s moon. Titan is covered by a very thick layer of a nitrogen-rich atmosphere; its composed of different hydrocarbons and extends up to about 370 miles into space.
TOP 8 Saturn Moons (According to Size)
- Titan– The largest moon and the first to be discovered.
- Enceladus– Has a dense rocky core that is surrounded by ice.
- Enceladus– Over 100 geysers at the south poles.
- Hyperion– The last Saturn moon to be discovered.
- Iapetus– Has light and dark contrasts on its surface, this gives it a Yin-Yang look.
- Mimas– The moon has a gaping crater and is the heaviest cratered planetary body in the solar system.
- Rhea– Does not have a core in the center, but instead, it’s composed of ice and rock.
- Tethys– The moon that travels closest to Saturn.
Uniquely Shaped Saturn Moons
Another addition to your collection of facts of Saturn for kids- this planet has uniquely shaped moons. Pan and Atlas, for example, are shaped like a flying saucer. Lapetus, on the other hand, has a bright side that resembles snow; while the other side is dark as coal. Enceladus shows evidence of “ice volcanism”, its believed to be hiding an ocean that erupts water and other chemicals; there are 100 geysers that are located at the moon’s south pole. Other satellites like Prometheus and Pandora are referred to as “shepherd moons” because they interact with the ring material to keep them in their own orbits.
Saturn and the Solar System
Since Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system, its pull of gravity is believed to have shaped the functions of the solar system. According to scientists, the gravitational pull has helped push Neptune and Uranus outward. Together with Jupiter, Saturn is believed to have placed a barrier between inner planets during the early stages of the solar system.
Saturn And Its Storms
One Saturn year is equivalent to 30 Earth years. Every Saturn year massive storms appear in the planet’s atmosphere and this disrupts the temperature along with the winds in Saturn’s skies. Since 1879, six storms were observed on the planet; in 2011, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft became the first orbiter to observe a Saturn storm.
Researchers suggest there is a gap between these storms because of the water vapor that’s present in the planet’s atmosphere. This moisture stops warm air from going up for a short time, but for longer periods, the atmosphere of this planet becomes dense, the pressure sinks and it creates huge storms.
The solar system is a wonderful subject to learn about. Each planet has their own unique and interesting characters. This is why the facts of Saturn for kids is on point with continuous studies that are about the planets that surround Earth. Even up to this day, scientists are still discovering the origins of gas giants like Saturn and Jupiter. The studies about the solar system and its formation are still being understood along with the role of every single planet. Kids must learn about Saturn and the other planets of the solar system to enrich their knowledge on what lies beyond our starry skies.