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Image credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute Origin of name
Saturn is named after the Roman god of agriculture, the father of Jupiter in Roman mythology.

Named after Greco-Roman titans, descendants of the titans, the Roman god of the beginning, and giants from Greco-Roman and other mythologies.

ESA Missions


Cassini-Huygens is a NASA/ESA/ASI mission to explore the Saturnian system.  The ESA component consists largely of the Huygens probe, which entered the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, and descended under parachute down to the surface.




Physical Properties


Property Unit Value Earth = 1
Equatorial radius, 1 bar level km 60 268 9.449
Polar radius, 1 bar level km 54 364 8.552
Flattening   0.09796 29.24
Mass  (x1024) kg 568.46 95.159
Volume  (x1010) km3 82 713 763.59
Mean density kgm-3 687 0.125
Gravity at equator, 1 bar level ms-2 10.44 1.065
Escape velocity kms-1 35.5 3.172
Magnetic field at equator  (x10-4) T 0.22 0.72
Magnetic dipole moment  (x1018) Tm3 ~ 4.8 ~ 600
Tilt of dipole axis ° < 1.0  
Dipole field centre offset from planet centre (equatorial radii)   0.04  
Number of natural satellites
(known satellites, as of March 2009)


Orbital Parameters


Property Unit Value
Perihelion  (x106) km 1352.55
Aphelion  (x106) km 1514.50
Mean distance from the Sun  (x106) km 1433.53
Mean distance from the Sun AU 9.539
Eccentricity   0.0565
Sidereal orbit period y 29.457
Sidereal rotation period
Saturnian System III coordinates
h 10.656
Length of day h 10.656
Orbit inclination to Ecliptic ° 2.485
Mean orbital velocity kms-1 9.69
Maximum orbital velocity kms-1 10.18
Minimum orbital velocity kms-1 9.09
Axial tilt ° 26.73


  • Sidereal orbit period
    The time taken by the planet to complete exactly one orbit around the Sun with respect to the celestial sphere.
  • Sidereal rotation period
    The time in which the planet rotates around its axis exactly 360° with respect to the celestial sphere.
  • Length of a day
    Defined as the time between two successive sunrises over the meridian.
  • Magnetic dipole moment
    Calculated as the ratio of the magnetic field strength at the equator divided by the cube of the equatorial radius.


Last Update: 1 September 2019
20-May-2024 09:08 UT

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