Saturn, the second most massive planet, and the most distant planet known to the ancients, is one of the most beautiful sites in the Solar System. The most striking feature of Saturn is the spectacular ring system. Although this feature is no longer unique, since we now know that all the Gas Giant planets have rings, the rings of Saturn are much more elaborate than those of any of the other planets.
Saturn is one of the windiest places in the Solar System. The wind speeds have reached 1800 km per hour at the equator.
Saturn occasionally has storms on its surface, similar to those of Jupiter. The Great White Spot is a massive storm in the planet's northern hemisphere that has been observed about once every Saturnian year since 1876.
The ring system consists of 5 divisions (parts): G, F, A, B and C rings, listed from outside to inside. The F and G rings are thin and difficult to see, while the A, B and C rings are broad and easily visible. The Cassini division is the large gap between the A ring and and the B ring.
Scientists don't believe there is life on Saturn, however it may be possible on ones of its moons.
Saturn is named for the Roman god of agriculture. The Greek equivalent was Cronos, father of Zeus.
Planet Saturn was discovered by the ancients.
In 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was the first to observe Saturn through a telescope. As his telescope was not strong enough, he could not see the rings , but just saw an ear like shape on the sides of the planet. In 1659, Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens 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.
In 1979, Pioneer 11 was the first spacecraft to reach Saturn, flying within 22,000 km (13,700 miles) of the cloud tops. In 1981, Voyager 2 uses Saturn's powerful gravity as an...