The current distance between Saturn and Earth is 1,359,556,826 kilometers, or 9.088076 astronomical units. Light travels from Saturn to us in 1 hour, 15 minutes, and 34.9934 seconds. So, it takes 9 hours, 45 minutes, and 14.994342 minutes for messages to travel from Saturn to Earth.
This is called a "light-minute" distance. One light-minute is 3.265469 miles, or 5.417911 kilometers.
Saturn takes 90 years, 6 months and 2.5 days to orbit the Sun. Its average distance from the Sun is 40786.7 kilometers or 26244.9 million miles.
Earth's average distance from the Sun is 93000 kilometers or 55000 miles. So, on average, Earth is 40000 kilometers away from the Sun. But because of its tilt, we experience a varying amount of sunlight at any given time of year. In fact, our seasons are caused by our proximity to the Sun. As you might expect, winter is when we are closest to it and summer is when we are farthest away.
During spring and fall, the Earth is directly over the Sun as it orbits around it every day. This is called an equinox.
The distance between Earth and Saturn is 636 kilometers. The whole time spent travelling from Earth to Saturn is 6 hours and 19 minutes.
The average speed of Earth relative to the Sun is 30.093 km/s. At this speed, anyone on Earth would see Saturn rise in the east and set in the west about every 10 years 2 hours and 49 minutes. The reason for this apparent movement across the sky is that Saturn actually stays put at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, which is itself moving through space around a central supermassive black hole. We call this motion across the sky "precession."
Astronomers use a great circle on the surface of Earth to represent Saturn's orbit around the Sun. This is called the ecliptic, and it passes right through the constellations of Taurus and Auriga.
Saturn takes 29 years to complete one rotation on its axis, so during these nine months it will appear to move slowly across the sky from south-west to north-east. During the other ten months it travels in the opposite direction, from north-east to south-west.
In addition to this apparent movement across the sky, all of Saturn's major features change location with each rotation.
For the sake of simplicity, Saturn is 1.2 billion km (roughly 7 AU) from the Earth when the two are at their closest approach to one another. They are 1.67 billion km (around 11 AU) from each other when they are at their most distant.
This is not very far compared with other planets in our solar system. But it's a large distance, especially considering that we know where they are on Earth at any given time. So knowing their separation helps us understand how far away they are from each other as well as from us.
Saturn is about 90 million km across, so it's easy to grasp how huge this planet is. It's also very dense: water weighs almost 2 pounds per gallon, so if there was a liquid ocean under its surface, it would be nearly 8 miles deep!
In addition, there is a thin gas layer called an atmosphere that covers Saturn. It is made up of molecules that are 80% nitrogen and 20% oxygen, with some smaller amounts of other gases such as methane present. The atmosphere has a total mass of about 1.8 billion tons, which is more than all the water on Earth combined.
The average temperature of Saturn is -179 degrees C. That's cold by human standards, but not really by planetary standards; it's actually quite warm compared with the rest of the Solar System.