Friday, August 5, 2022

What is Saturn made of?

Interestingly, the gas giant mainly consists of the same components as the Sun; however, the planet does not have the mass necessary to undergo fusion and feed a star.


The Formation of Saturn

Like the rest of the planets in the Solar System, Saturn formed from the solar nebula. About 4.5 billion years ago, gravity pulled gas and dust together to form Saturn. The planet settled into its current position as the sixth planet from the Sun about 4 billion years ago.


Saturn's structure


Saturn is a gas giant made almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. There is a dense metallic core at the center of the planet. It is surrounded by liquid metallic hydrogen and a layer of liquid hydrogen; the latter makes a gradual transition to a gas. Saturn's outermost layer of gas spans 1,000 km.


Saturn's surface


Saturn does not have a solid surface: if you tried to walk on the surface of the planet, you would sink through its outer part, suffering high temperatures and pressures. The planet's surface is mostly made up of swirling gases.


Saturn's moons


Saturn surpassed Jupiter as the planet with the most moons in 2019, when American researchers discovered 20 new satellites orbiting the planet. Saturn's natural satellites are numerous and diverse: the ringed planet and its moons resemble a miniature Solar System.


How many moons does Saturn have?


According to NASA, Saturn has 82 moons : 53 of them are known, while another 29 are awaiting confirmation of their discovery and official designation. The ringed planet's natural satellites vary in size, shape and composition. Some of them take half an Earth day to complete their orbit around Saturn, while others take about four Earth years to travel once around the planet.


What is Saturn's largest moon?


With a radius of 2,574 kilometers, Titan is the largest natural satellite of Saturn and the second largest in the Solar System, after Ganymede, moon of Jupiter. It's even bigger than the planet Mercury! Titan makes up 96% of the mass in orbit around Saturn.


What is Saturn's most interesting moon?


Titan is an extraordinary celestial body: it is the only moon in the entire Solar System with a dense atmosphere like Earth's and the only place, with the exception of Earth, that has liquids on its surface. Because the surface temperature is frigid, there is no liquid water on Titan's surface; however, the temperature is suitable for liquid methane and ethane. In addition, evidence of a subsurface ocean of water has been found; within that ocean, it is possible that there are conditions suitable for life .


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