Fast Facts:

  • sixth planet from the Sun
  • average distance from the Sun is 1430 million km
  • average temperature is -190 degrees Celsius
  • diameter at equator is 120,000km
  • number of moons is 24
  • length of day is 10hrs 14mins
  • length of year is 29.5 Earth years
  • atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium
  • nearest distance to Earth is 1280 million km

"Saturn is the second largest planet in the solar system. Like the other gaseous outer
planets — Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune — its atmosphere is made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. Saturn's placid-looking, butterscotch-colored face masks a windswept atmosphere where jet streams blow at 1,800 kilometers per hour and swirling storms
roil just beneath the cloud tops. Spacecraft passing by Saturn found a huge and complex magnetic environment, called a magnetosphere, where trapped protons and electrons interact with each other, the planet, the rings and the surfaces of many of the moons.
The bright rings for which Saturn is best known have been found to consist of not just a
few but hundreds of rings and ringlets, broad and thin, made up of ice and rock particles ranging in size from grains of sand to (railway) boxcars.

More moons of greater variety orbit Saturn than any other planet. These natural satellites
range from Titan, which is larger than either Mercury or Pluto and nearly the size of Mars,
to bodies so puny that astronomers call them "moonlets." There are likely many more moons than the 18 that have been confirmed.