The Amazing Ringed Planet


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The Amazing Ringed Planet

By: Sydney

Did you know that Saturn is the only planet to have rings made of chunks of rock and ice, and doesn’t have a true surface? Other planets have rings, but they definitely aren’t as spectacular as Saturn’s. It was found by Galileo. This planet is the sixth from the sun, which is 888.2 million miles from the sun, and has sixty-two moons!

Saturn’s rings are believed to be made from pieces of asteroids, comets, or shattered moons that are torn apart from Saturn’s powerful gravity. The size of the pieces of rock goes from as tiny as dust sized ice grams, to large chunks as big as mountains! In total this planet has seven rings. There are four major rings, and three fainter, skinnier rings. These rings are separated in gaps called divisions. Voyager spacecrafts that flew by in 1980 and 1981 took close up views and saw that the seven ring groups are made up of thousands of smaller rings. Saturn’s rings extend up to 175,000 miles (282,000 km), which is about the length of circling the Earth seven times!

Saturn is home to many awesome moons, and unique and different worlds. Some of Saturn’s moons are as tiny as a kilometer long, which is only about the size of ten football fields. Other moons are gigantic, and bigger than Mercury; like Titan. Titan was the first moon to be discovered. This moon was found by Christisaan Huygens in 1665. Titan is also the second largest moon in our solar system. Ganymede, Jupiter’s moon is the largest. Saturn has a total of sixty two moons, but only fifty three are named.

Saturn was formed about 4.5 billion years ago. It started coming together when gravity pulled dust and swirling gasses to build a planet. Saturn is mostly made of helium and hydrogen, which are also the same two main components as sun. Saturn rotates way faster than Earth. Its axis is tilted by 26.73 degrees with respect to its orbit around the sun, which is similar to Earth’s 23.5-degree tilt. This means that, like Earth, Saturn experiences seasons.

Over all, Saturn is the most amazing, and best planet in our solar system. To its many moons, to complicated formation, and amazing, majestic rings, no wonder it is the most awesome planet!