Saturn is freaking badass.
Beyond the fact that Saturn is one of the most visually striking bodies in our solar system, it’s got a lot of weird, unique characteristics that continue to make it my favorite stop in our corner of the universe.
1.) Saturn has over 50 named moons (53, to be exact.) Some of them, such as Prometheus, are called shepherding moons, so named because they help preserve the integrity of Saturn’s rings.
2.) Scientists continue to debate over what exactly caused Saturn’s rings. (Naturally, the popular theories deal with collision.) Similarly, they disagree on how long the wonders will last, and how they will come to disappear. Although Saturn isn’t the only planet with rings (Uranus and Neptune have them as well), the sheer size of them is unprecedented in our solar system.
3.) There’s a hexagon shape at the north pole of Saturn, and nobody knows why. When it was first seen by Voyager in 1980, it was assumed to be an anomaly, but Cassini has photographed it again over 20 years later.
4.) On the opposite pole, there’s a massive hurricane-like storm. (Scientists can’t officially call it a hurricane without further analysis, but they know that it resembles one superficially.) Unlike Jupiter’s famous storm, this one has an “eye”, or calm center, which is more akin to the hurricanes on Earth.
5.) Even though Saturn is 750x bigger than Earth, if you could put it into water, it would float.
6.) Winds on Saturn are typically around 1,000 MPH.
7.) Saturn’s moon, Titan, stands to be one of the most likely places for life to be discovered. It has an atmosphere similar to the one that’s theorized to have existed on early Earth and substantial amounts of liquid methane. (If you want to know more about Titan, all you’ll have to do is read back a few posts. I’m completely obsessed with it.)
8.) Saturn’s other moons are also noteworthy, having tectonic activity and geysers, just to name a few oddities.