Saturn (astronomical sign H), a planet, the average distance from the Sun is 9.54 a. e., the period of rotation 29.46 years, the period of rotation on the equator (cloud layer) 10.2 h, the equatorial diameter of 120 660 km, the mass of 5.68 · 10 26 kg, has 17 satellites, the atmosphere consists of CH 4, H 2, No, NN 3. Radiation belts were discovered in Saturn. Saturn is a planet with rings.
Saturn, sixth from the Sun, the second largest in size after Jupiter, the great planet of the solar system; belongs to giant planets.
Movement, size, shape
The elliptical orbit of Saturn has an eccentricity of 0,0556 and an average radius of 9,539 a. e. (1,427 million km). The maximum and minimum distance from the Sun is approximately 10 and 9 a. The distance from the Earth varies from 1.2 to 1.6 billion km. The inclination of the orbit of the planet to the plane of the ecliptic 2 ° 29.4. The angle between the planes of the equator and the orbit reaches 26 ° 44. Saturn moves in its orbit at an average speed of 2.64 km / s; the period of rotation around the Sun is 29.46 Earth years.
The planet does not have a clear solid surface, optical observation is difficult to opacity of the atmosphere. For equatorial and polar radii, values of 60 thousand km and 53.5 thousand km are taken. The average radius of Saturn is 9.1 times greater than that of the Earth. Saturn looks like a yellowish star in the earth’s sky, whose shine varies from zero to first magnitude. The Saturn mass is 5.68 · 1026 kg, which exceeds the weight of the Earth 95.1 times, while the average density of Saturn, equal to 0.68 g / cm3, is almost an order of magnitude smaller than the density of the Earth. The acceleration of free fall near the surface of Saturn at the equator is 9.06 m / s2.
The surface of Saturn (cloud layer), like Jupiter, does not turn as a whole. Tropical areas in the atmosphere of Saturn are treated with a period of 10 hours 14 minutes of Earth time, and at moderate latitudes this period is 26 minutes longer.
The structure of the planet
Saturn, like Jupiter, has a very dense atmosphere. On the upper edge of its cloud cover, noticeably little detail and their contrast with the surrounding background is small. This Saturn differs from Jupiter, where there is a host of contrasting details in the form of dark and light bands, waves, nodes, indicating the significant activity of its atmosphere.
It is established that the speed of winds on Saturn is even higher than that of Jupiter: at an equator of 1700 km / h. The number of cloud zones is greater than that of Jupiter, and they reach higher latitudes. Thus, snapshots of the cloud show the peculiarity of the atmosphere of Saturn, which is even more active in Jupiteran. Meteorological phenomena on Saturn occur at a lower temperature than in the earth’s atmosphere. The temperature of the planet at the level of the upper edge of cloud cover, where the pressure is equal to 0.1 atm., Consists only-188o S. It is interesting that due to the heating of one Sun, even such a temperature can not be obtained. The calculation shows: in the depths of Saturn has its own source of heat, the flow of which is 2.5 times more than from the Sun. The sum of these two streams gives the observable temperature of the planet.
The spacecraft explored in detail the chemical composition of the cloudy atmosphere of Saturn. It basically consists of almost 89% hydrogen. In the second place helium is about 11%. We note that in the atmosphere of Jupiter it is 19%. The deficit in helium on Saturn is explained by the gravitational division of helium and hydrogen in the depths of the planet: helium, which is heavier, gradually precipitates at great depths. Other gases in the atmosphere — methane, ammonia, ethane, acetylene, phosphine — are present in small quantities. Methane at such a low temperature is mainly in a drip-liquid state. It forms the cloud cover of Saturn. As for the small contrast of details visible in the atmosphere of Saturn, the causes of this phenomenon are not yet clear. It was suggested that in the atmosphere weighted weighs the contrast of haze particles from fine particles. But the observations of Voyager-2 refute this: the dark stripes on the surface of the planet remained sharp and clear to the very edge of the disc of Saturn, whereas in the presence of furs, they would have become obscured by the large number of particles in front of them.
In its internal structure, Saturn is similar to Jupiter. It is assumed that the shell of the planet consists of liquid hydrogen, which, as it moves to the center of the planet, passes from the liquid to the metal state. In the center of the planet is the iron-silicon core, with an admixture of ice from methane, ammonia and water.
Saturn is surrounded by rings, which are clearly visible in the telescope in the form of «ears» on both sides of the disc of the planet. They were noticed by Galileo in 1610. Saturn’s rings — one of the most amazing and interesting formations in the solar system. The flat system of rings encircles the planet around the equator and nowhere touches the surface. The rings are separated by three main concentric zones, separated by narrow slits: the outer ring A, the middle B (the brightest), the inner ring C, is fairly transparent, «crepe», the inner edge is not sharp. The closest to the planet are weakly visible parts of the inner ring denoted by the symbol D. The existence of a practically transparent outer ring D ‘is also revealed.