Temperature of Saturn

by Fraser Cain on July 2, 2008

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Color view of Saturn. Image credit: NASA/JPL/SSI
It’s almost impossible to say what is the temperature of Saturn. The highest cloud tops, right at the edge of space, are colder than -150 °C. But as you travel down into the planet, pressures and temperatures rise. At the very core, temperatures can reach 11,700 °C.

You can also check out these cool telescopes that will help you see the beauty of planet Saturn.

As I mentioned above, the internal core of Saturn gets as high as 11,700 °C. This comes from the huge amount of hydrogen and helium compressing down and heating up the core.

Saturn actually generates heat. In fact, it’s putting out 2.5 times as much energy as it receives from the Sun. This is because the planet’s gravity is slowly compressing it down, and generating heat as it does this.

Once you reach the cloud layers in Saturn’s atmosphere, temperatures drop quickly. The bottom of the clouds are made of water ice and have an average temperature of -23 °C. Above this is a layer of ammonium hydrosulfide ice, with an average temperature of -93 °C. Above this are the ammonia ice clouds that give Saturn its orange/yellow color. Temperatures at the very edge of Saturn can get as low as -150 °C.

Here’s an article about a hot spot on Saturn, and the temperature of its rings.

Here’s an article about Saturn from How Stuff Works, and more facts on Saturn from ESA.

We have recorded two episodes of Astronomy Cast just about Saturn. The first is Episode 59: Saturn, and the second is Episode 61: Saturn’s Moons.

About 

Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

jennie December 3, 2008 at 6:05 PM

thank you for the info! it helped me out a lot! =D

donna December 4, 2008 at 1:39 AM

this helped my project

Carol December 9, 2008 at 6:28 PM

I was working on a planet project due on the 12 of this December (2008). I am working on the planet Saturn. It is so fun!

Carol December 9, 2008 at 6:31 PM

I fogot to leave an extra coment saying to make this page more popular so more people could come! Right?! It is important. If that happens, you could add more info and decorations to this page! Maybe there could be an extra page added!

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