History of the Universe

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Saturn

Saturn is the 6th planet from the Sun. From one side to the other it is almost 10 times the size of the Earth and almost 100 times heavier.

Now if the Earth were blown up by 10 times in every direction it would be 1000 times heavier, so you can see that Saturn is made of much lighter stuff than the Earth!

Image of Saturn from NASA, ESA and E. Karkoschka (University of Arizona)

Saturn is mostly gas, most of which is hydrogen and helium. At its center is a rocky core, about ten times as heavy as Earth, surrounded by a thick ocean of liquid hydrogen and helium. Because of the high-pressure around the core, the hydrogen behaves like a metal.

Above this ocean is a thick atmosphere of hydrogen and helium gas. What we see is the top of this atmosphere

The most famous features of Saturn are the rings. They can easily be seen with a small telescope. They lie in a disc around the planet and consist of millions of rocks and particles, perhaps ranging in size from a hundred meters down to the size of a dust grain.

Saturn has at least 18 moons.

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