Saturn: The Ringed Planet
Isn't that interesting?Saturn has the lowest density of any planet in our solar system. Its density is so low that it would float if it was placed in water.
|Saturn is a large gas planet with an atmosphere composed of hydrogen and helium. Saturn's rapid spin tends to flatten out the poles while causing a bulge at its equator. The winds in Saturn's atmosphere reach speeds up to 1800 kilometers per hour! Astronomers see large white spots (or clouds) on Saturn which they believe are storms. Just like Jupiter, Saturn emits twice as much heat as it absorbs from the Sun indicating it also has an internal heat source. Saturn has an extensive ring system which is formed by a thousand individual rings. The rings appear to contain water ice and dust. The thickness of the rings ranges from 10 to 100 meters and the rings vary in brightness. There are gaps between some rings, while other rings appear to be braided together. Astronomers believe the rings developed from particles that resulted from the break-up of naturally occurring satellites. The particles in the rings closer to the planet orbit the planet at a faster speed than the particles in the rings farther from the planet. There are satellites within the rings which result in the gaps that are present between some rings. As with Jupiter, the pressurized hydrogen in Saturn's mantle produces electric currents which create a strong magnetic field around the planet. Saturn has at least 53 naturally occurring satellites.|
A QuestionSaturn's most prominent feature is its ring system. What is the composition of the rings?
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