Saturn is named after the Ancient Roman God of harvest times, Saturnus. Saturnus (Saturnalia) was also the ancient Roman festival celebrated usually in December.
It is the second biggest planet, with 120,000 km diameter. In spite of its being big, it is one of the fastest revolving planets at the rate of 10,000 km/ph speed. Voyager 1 and 2 had sent photographs of its tornado-like swirling storms. Saturn, according to the NASA scientists, is just gaseous planet comprising helium and hydrogen in liquid form.
It is alarming to note that the wind speed here reaches up to 1100 km/ph. It is four times than the hurricane “Katrina” that battered the US. Its size is so massive (statistic says that it is more than 810 times bigger than the earth) that it usually takes nearly 30 years to complete one orbit around the sun!
But it is a lovely planet to look at. Its rings glisten when it gets the sun light. It was Galileo who had noticed Saturn’s rings way back in 1610. However, another source put it that in 1659 only its rings were spotted and confirmed by a Dutch scientist named Christian Huygens. And the rings are grouped into two: A and B. But it was Jean Cassini, an Italian astronomer found out this deviation in the year 1675.
Nevertheless, these arts- like rings are made up of ice, dust and rocks. But the rings, when measured, are found to be 27,000 km diameter, but the thickness is hardly 4 inches! Almost all the planets in the solar system, including the earth, have magnetic field. They are known as ‘Magnetosphere.’
Saturn travels around 4.5 billion km during each orbit around the sun. Its moon called ‘Titan’ has atmosphere. It is the second largest moon. It’s another moon; ‘Lapetus’ has two different colours on its two sides: black and white. ‘Enceladus,’ another moon of Saturn is about 500 km diameter. The ice that envelops this moon makes it twinkle. And it has deep valleys which is rather rare.
Saturn is worshipped as a demigod by the Hindus.