All About Saturn

A cartoon Saturn smiling and saying, Everyone loves my rings.

What is Saturn like?

Saturn isn’t the only planet to have rings, but it definitely has the most beautiful ones. The rings we see are made of groups of tiny ringlets that surround Saturn. They’re made of chunks of ice and rock. Like Jupiter, Saturn is mostly a ball of hydrogen and helium.

When Galileo Galilei saw Saturn through a telescope in the 1600s, he wasn't sure what he was seeing. At first he thought he was looking at three planets, or a planet with handles. Now we know those "handles" turned out to be the rings of Saturn.


Saturn's Merit Badges

Click the planet badges to learn more about Saturn:


a merit badge with a purple ring in the center
a merit badge has bands of yellow and blue showing a general gas giant
a merit badge with a sun and an arrow encircling it, showing revolution around the sun
a merit badge with an orange planet and a thick blue band above it
a merit badge with an ancient symbol
a merit badge that shows an orange planet horizon and a moon in the background
a merit badge with a simplified spacecraft made of a square and two rectangles

See all the planet badges.


What does Saturn look like?

A close up view of Saturn's rings. They are grey and tan, and there are spaces in between where you can see the black color of space through them.

The Cassini spacecraft took this picture of Saturn's rings. You can see the grey and tan colors.

A photo of Saturn with its rings at an angle pointing upwards. Next to Saturn are two white dots, which are moons.

This is a picture of Saturn and its moons Tethys and Dione. Voyager 1 took this picture as it passed by.

A photo of Saturn where it is backlit by the sun. Saturn and its rings are nearly black, and the sun is making the edges glow.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft went behind Saturn and took this picture in 2013. You can see seven of its moons and its inner rings. In the background you can also see Earth.

A photo of Saturn looking down on it, showing its rings clearly. The shadow of Saturn falls on the left side of the rings.

A portrait looking down on Saturn and its rings. This picture was made from images taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft in 2013. It was put together by amateur image processor and Cassini fan Gordan Ugarkovic.


For more information visit solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/saturn.

article last updated August 9, 2017
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