Presentation on theme: "Saturn By: Dyani Chock and Kaya Umeda. How it got it’s name Saturn is named for the Roman god of agriculture. The Greek equivalent was Cronos, father."— Presentation transcript:
How it got it’s name Saturn is named for the Roman god of agriculture. The Greek equivalent was Cronos, father of Zeus/Jupiter. Other civilizations have given different names to Saturn, which is the farthest planet from Earth that can be observed by the unaided human eye.
General Information Saturn was the most distant of the five planets known to the ancients. In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was the first to gaze at Saturn through a telescope. – To his surprise, he saw a pair of objects on either side of the planet. He sketched them as separate spheres, thinking that Saturn was triple-bodied. – Continuing his observations over the next few years, Galileo drew the lateral bodies as arms or handles attached to Saturn.
In 1659, Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, using a more powerful telescope than Galileo's, proposed that Saturn was surrounded by a thin, flat ring. In 1675, Italian-born astronomer Jean-Dominique Cassini discovered a division between what are now called the A and B rings.
Like Jupiter, Saturn is made mostly of hydrogen and helium. Its volume is 755 times greater than that of Earth. Winds in the upper atmosphere reach 500 m (1,600 feet) per second in the equatorial region. – These super-fast winds, combined with heat rising from within the planet's interior, cause the yellow and gold bands visible in the atmosphere.
Saturn’s Rings In the early 1980s, NASA's Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 spacecraft revealed that Saturn's rings are made mostly of water ice, and they imaged "braided" rings, ringlets and "spokes" -- dark features in the rings that circle the planet at different rates from that of the surrounding ring material. Saturn's ring system extends hundreds of thousands of kilometers from the planet, yet the vertical depth is typically about 10 m (30 feet) in the main rings.
Saturn’s Rings There are billions of ring particles in the entire ring system. The ring particle sizes range from tiny, dust-sized icy grains to a few particles as large as mountains. Two tiny moons orbit in gaps (Encke and Keeler gaps) in the rings and keep the gaps open. Other particles (10's to 100's of meters) are too tiny to see but create propeller-shaped objects in the rings that let us know they are there.
Saturn’s rings are believed to be pieces of comets, asteroids or shattered moons that broke up before they reached the planet. – Each ring orbits at a different speed around the planet.
While the other three gas planets in the solar system - Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune - have rings orbiting around them, Saturn's are by far the largest and most spectacular. – With a thickness of about 1 kilometer (3,200 feet) or less, they span up to 282,000 km (175,000 miles), about three quarters of the distance between the Earth and its moon.
Rings: A, B, C, and the Cassini Division The main rings are, working outward from the planet, known as C, B, and A. The Cassini Division is the largest gap in the rings and separates Rings B and A. – The Cassini Divisiona is a gap measuring 4,700 kilometers (2,920 miles).
Other Rings In addition a number of fainter rings have been discovered more recently. The D Ring is exceedingly faint and closest to the planet. The F Ring is a narrow feature just outside the A Ring. Beyond that are two far fainter rings named G and E. The rings show a tremendous amount of structure on all scales; some of this structure is related to gravitational perturbations by Saturn's many moons, but much of it remains unexplained.
Works Cited "Exploring The Planets - Saturn." Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Web. 03 Mar. 2011.. "Planets: Saturn: Rings." Solar System Exploration. Web. 10 Mar. 2011.. "Saturn L Saturn Facts, Pictures and Information." The Nine Planets Solar System Tour. Web. 03 Mar. 2011.. "Saturn." Views of the Solar System. Web. 03 Mar. 2011..