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Does Saturn Rotate?



Saturn DOES rotate.

More Info: Saturn revolves on its axis at a fast rate compared to the Earth. A day only equals about 10.5 hours on Saturn compared with 24 hours on Earth. However, Saturn rotates at a relatively slow rate around the Sun. Saturn only goes around the Sun once every 10,755.7 Earth days, which equals once every 29.4 Earth years.


Saturn is the sixth farthest planet from the Sun and the most distant one you can easily see with your eyes. It is also the most distant planet from the Earth that was known to man since ancient times. In mythology, people considered Saturn to be the father of Jupiter, which is nearer the Earth.


Saturn rotates slightly slower than Jupiter does, but, like Jupiter, Saturn has what scientists call a differential rotation. That means the rotation time varies at different latitudes. By contrast, the Earth has the same 24-hour rotation period at all latitudes. Scientists think the differential rotation of Saturn, and Jupiter is because both those planets are partially fluid. That doesn’t mean it has water inside it though, scientists say Saturn contains liquid molecular and metallic hydrogen. It just means that Saturn does not have solid surface features. The Earth is a solid body. Although the rotation time differs on Saturn by latitude, the planet’s rotational axis is virtually the same as its magnetic axis.


Saturn has an extensive system of rings. These rings are likely made of icy rock or even chunks of ice, and they also contain dust. These rings constantly rotate around Saturn. However, the rings are not as old as Saturn is. They lose and gain matter over time.



“Ask an Astronomer for KIDS! – How long does it take Saturn to go around the sun?.” Welcome to Cool Cosmos!. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

“NASA – Scientists Find That Saturn’s Rotation Period is a Puzzle.” NASA – Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

“Astronomy: The Planet Saturn.” Current Students ( Web Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2012.

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