Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System (after Jupiter), but you really need a comparison. Let’s take a look at Saturn compared to Earth.
First, let’s just look at Saturn’s physical characteristics. The equatorial diameter of Saturn is 120,536 km; that’s about 9.5 times bigger than the diameter of the Earth. The surface area of Saturn is 83 times the area of Earth, and the volume is 764 times the volume of Earth. In other words, you could fit 764 planets the size of Earth inside Saturn. Finally, the mass of Saturn is 95 times the mass of the Earth.
One interesting comparison between Earth and Saturn is density. Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System, while Saturn is the least dense. The density of Earth is 5.52 g/cm3, while the density of Saturn is 0.687 g/cm3. In other words, Earth is 8 times as dense as Saturn.
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Another region where Saturn and Earth are similar is gravity. Of course, Saturn has much more mass than Earth, but it’s spread out over a larger area. Saturn doesn’t have a solid surface, of course, but if you could walk on the surface of Saturn, you would experience almost exactly the same gravity as you feel on Earth.
Earth takes 24 hours to complete a day, while Saturn takes 10 hours and 32 minutes. A year on Earth is, well, 1 year, while a year on Saturn lasts 30 years.
Are you wondering about other planets compared to Earth? Here’s an article about Jupiter compared to Earth, and here’s Mars compared to Earth.
Want more information on Saturn? Here’s a link to Hubblesite’s News Releases about Saturn, and here’s NASA’s Solar System Exploration Guide.
We have recorded a podcast just about Saturn for Astronomy Cast. Click here and listen to Episode 59: Saturn.