Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and is the second largest in the solar system with an equatorial diameter of 119,300 kilometers.
An artist'sconception of Voyager I's encounter with Saturn on Nov. 12, 1980.
Saturn was first observed by Galileo in 1610 and first visited by the Pioneer 11 spacecraft in 1979. Saturnhas also since been visited by Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. Much of what is known about the planet is due to the Voyager explorations in 1980-81.
Saturn is visibly flattenedat the poles, a result of the very fast rotation of the planet on its axis. Its day is 10 hours, 39 minutes long, and it takes 29.5 Earth years to revolve about the Sun.The atmosphere is primarily composed of about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium. Is the only planet less dense than water.
Saturn's rings are made up mostly of water ice, butthey may also include rocky particles with icy coatings. The origin of the rings of Saturn is currently unknown. It is thought that the rings may have been formed fromlarger moons that were shattered by impacts of comets and meteoroids..
There are almost 50 discovered natural satellites of the planet Saturn, 34 of which have been named, andprobably more to be discovered within the rings of Saturn. Moons might be hidden in the rings because most are very small.
The two diagrams below show the named satellitesbut their location on the charts is not really their actual positions in terms of distance: