<< Back to gallery


Avani Soares

Location of Photo:

Parsec Observatory, Canoas, Brazil

Date/Time of photo:

2023-09-20 ; 01:01 UT


C14 Edge + ASI 290MM, ASI 662MC + PM 2X + L filter and IR 610


Saturn Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet in the solar system. It has an impressive 145 moons. It is the most distant planet visible to the naked eye from Earth, but the planet's most striking features – its rings – are best seen through a telescope. Although the solar system's other gas giants—Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune—also have rings, Saturn's rings are particularly prominent, earning it the nickname “Ringed Planet.” Saturn has been known since ancient times and has been observed by cultures around the world. The planet is visible to the naked eye and to ancient cultures it appeared as a bright light shifting between the stars. There are countless names and mythologies associated with the planet. If you're wondering what kind of planet Saturn is, it's a gas giant made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. Saturn's volume is greater than 760 Earths and it is the second most massive planet in the solar system, about 95 times the mass of Earth. The Ringed Planet is the least dense of all the planets and is the only one less dense than water. If there was a bathtub big enough to contain it, Saturn would float. The yellow and gold bands seen in Saturn's atmosphere are the result of super-fast winds in the upper atmosphere, which can reach up to 1,100 mph (1,800 km/h) around its equator, combined with heat rising from the planet's interior. . Saturn rotates about once every 10.5 hours. The planet's high-speed rotation causes Saturn to bulge at the equator and flatten at the poles. The planet is about 75,000 miles (120,000 kilometers) across at its equator and 68,000 miles (109,000 km) from pole to pole. Galileo Galilei was the first to see Saturn's rings in 1610, although through his telescope the rings looked more like handles or arms. Forty-five years later, in 1655, Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, who possessed a more powerful telescope, later proposed that Saturn had a thin, flat ring. Today we know that many planets and even some smaller bodies have rings. Examples include Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune. As scientists developed better instruments, they continued to learn more about the structure and composition of rings. In fact, Saturn has many rings made of billions of particles of ice and rock, ranging in size from a grain of sugar to the size of a house. The particles are believed to be the remains of destroyed comets, asteroids or moons. A 2016 study also suggested that the rings may be the carcasses of dwarf planets. The largest ring measures 7,000 times the diameter of the planet. The main rings are normally only about 9 meters thick, but the Cassini-Huygens probe has revealed vertical formations in some of the rings, with particles accumulating in protrusions and ridges more than 3 km high. The rings are named alphabetically in the order they were discovered. The main rings, which originate from the planet, are known as C, B and A. The innermost is the extremely faint D ring, while the outermost so far, revealed in 2009, is so large it could accommodate a billion Earths. inside him. . The Cassini Division, a gap about 4,700 km wide, separates the B and A rings. Mysterious rays have been seen in Saturn's rings, which appear to form and disperse in just a few hours. Scientists have conjectured that these beams could be composed of electrically charged sheets of dust-sized particles created by the impact of small meteors on the rings, or by electron beams from the planet's lightning strikes. Saturn's F Ring also has a curious braided appearance. The ring is made up of several narrower rings, and curves, folds and shiny tufts in them can give the illusion that these strands are braided. Asteroid and comet impacts have also altered the appearance of the rings. At the end of its mission, the Cassini probe traveled closer to the rings than any other probe. The probe collected data that is still under analysis, but has already provided insights into the colors of some of Saturn's moons. In the gaps between the rings, the probe found unusually complex chemicals in the “ring rain” of debris falling from the rings into the atmosphere and made new measurements of the planet's magnetic field, which produces a powerful current of electrons. Saturn is always losing its rings, but very slowly. They are not disappearing at a rate that we could clearly see with a telescope from Earth, but as the rocks and ice in the rings move around Saturn, they are [slowly] losing chunks on Saturn as gravity pulls them away. attracts.