How far is Saturn from Earth

How Far is Saturn from Earth? Facts About Saturn

In this article we are going to answer the question, how far is Saturn from Earth? Saturn is at a distance of 746 million miles (1.2 billion km) from Earth when it is at its closest and slightly farther than one billion miles (1.7 billion kilometers) away from Earth at its farthest.

How far is Saturn from the Sun?

Saturn’s follows an oval path around the sun. The distance between Saturn and the sun ranges from 839 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers) to 934 million miles (1.5 billion kilometers).

The average distance between Saturn and the sun is 886 million miles (1.4 billion kilometers). The ringed planet completes one trip around the sun in 29.5 Earth years.

How long does it take light to travel to Saturn?

Sunlight takes 79.3 minutes to get to Saturn. Light takes 9.54 minutes to travel from Saturn to Earth.

What are the diameter and circumference of Saturn?

Saturn has a volume that is 764 times bigger than that of Earth making it the second largest planet in the solar system. The surface area is 83 times that of Earth. Since this gas giant rotates very fast on its axis, it has bulged at its equator and flattened at the poles.

The equatorial diameter is approximately 75,000 miles (120,000 km). By contrast, the diameter measured from the North Pole to the South Pole is 68,000 miles (109,000 kilometers). The circumference of Saturn is 235,298 miles (378,675 kilometers). You can fit 9.5 Earth-sized spheres across Saturn’s Equator.

How long would it take to travel to Saturn?

When traveling to Saturn, you wouldn’t just move in a straight line. You have to use the gravitational forces of other planets and moons for propulsion to save on fuel. Therefore, there are variations in the amount of time it would take to reach the ringed gas giant.

Pioneer 11, the first mission to fly by Saturn took 6 years to get to the gas giant. Voyager 1 took 3 years because it relied on Jupiter’s gravity. Voyager 2 took four years.

The Cassini spacecraft took 7 years because it used a less straightforward path to get to the ringed giant.

What would you find when you get to Saturn?

Saturn is best known for its rings; however, you can only view them using a telescope. The planet itself is visible to the naked eye, but only as a tiny dot. The spacecraft we have sent to it shows that it looks like a ball covered in moving gold, grey, and brown bands.

Saturn’s Rings:

You cannot discuss Saturn without bringing up its spectacular rings. They were discovered by Galileo in the 17th Century but his telescope was not powerful enough to see them as such. He thought they were two separate bodies. It was only when we built stronger instruments that we saw them for what they really were; rings.

The rings are composed of space debris that is believed to be leftovers of comets, shattered moons, asteroids, and dwarf planets. The sizes of the particles range anywhere between a tiny grain of sand and a mountain-sized boulder.

There are many concentric rings, the largest of which is 175,000 miles (282,000 kilometers) from the planet. The main rings have an average thickness of 30 feet (10 meters). The rings move at different speeds.

The innermost ring is called the D ring. The main ones moving outwards are C, B, and A. There is a big gap, called the Cassini Division, between A and B caused by the moon known as Mimas. After ring A, we have F, G, and finally E.

There are two moons – Pandora and Prometheus – known as shepherd moons because they keep the rings on their paths. The rings are constantly impacted by meteors, comets and electron beams caused by planetary lightning.

The Atmosphere:

Saturn is a gas giant and, therefore,

has no surface. Its atmosphere is predominantly Helium and Hydrogen. There are traces of ammonia, oxygen, methane, and nitrogen. Super fast winds blow in the upper regions of the atmosphere reaching up to 1,100 miles per hour (1,800 kilometers per hour) around the equator.

At the North Pole is a hexagon-shaped atmospheric region with winds blowing at 200 miles per hour (322 kilometers per hour). Saturn has a magnetic field 578 times stronger than Earth’s field. All the bodies revolving around it lie within its magnetosphere.

The Seasons:

Like Jupiter, the ringed planet rotates at an impressive 10.5 hours per full rotation on its axis. Its days are, therefore, shorter than half of our days on Earth. Since its axis is tilted, it experiences seasons. Each season lasts 7 years.

The average temperature at Saturn is -288 degrees Fahrenheit (-178 Celsius). Although there are temperature variations longitudinally because of seasonal changes, lateral changes are more apparent because most of Saturn’s heat is generated internally. The core reaches up to 21,000 degrees Fahrenheit (11,700 Celsius). Temperatures in the outer atmosphere range from -280 degrees Fahrenheit (-173 Celsius) to -170 degrees Fahrenheit (-113 Celsius).

The Terrain:

Saturn has no terrain because it is a ball of gas. Because of this do you think Saturn has clouds? Check out this article to find out!

How many moons does Saturn have?

There are at least 53 confirmed moons revolving around Saturn (there are 9 others yet to be confirmed). The largest one is called Titan (has nothing to do with Thanos). It is bigger than Mercury but smaller than Ganymede (Jupiter’s moon). Earth’s moon is number five on the list of big moons.

Saturn’s moons have some fascinating features. For example, Atlas and Pan look like flying saucers, Enceladus probably has an ocean of water underneath its crust that ejects water and other elements onto the surface, and Iapetus has two sharply contrasting hemispheres (one is bright, the other is dark). Then there are the shepherd moons that keep the rings intact.

Is there water on Saturn?

While you won’t find liquid water on Saturn (has no surface), there are traces of moisture in the upper atmosphere possibly deposited there by rains from its icy moon, Enceladus. A bulk of water on Saturn’s system is in the form of ice on its rings and moons.

How much would you weigh on Saturn?

The mass of Saturn is 95 times that of Earth. However, it is the least dense planet on our solar system. In fact, if there was a body of water large enough to toss Saturn into, it would float.

Saturn has a gravitational pull that is 1.07 times that of Earth. If you weigh 100 pounds (45 kilos) here, the scale would read 107 pounds (48 kilos) on Saturn.

Man’s Missions to Saturn

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 flew by the ringed planet and photographed it in 1981. The Italian Space Agency, the ESA, and NASA sent the Cassini mission to Saturn in 2005. It revolved around Saturn more than 70 times within a period of 12 years. A mission by Huygens probe explored Titan whereby it descended through its atmosphere and collected useful data.

Additional Readings

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