Saturn, the planet identified by the naked eye to be the furthest from Earth, has been known since antiquity. The planet is named after Jupiter's father, the Roman god of agriculture and riches. It is also called the Golden Planet because it is mostly made up of gold and iron minerals.
The first modern explanation for the name comes from 1610 when Johannes Kepler proposed that it was because Saturn is the most important planet in the Solar System after Earth. He called it "the royal planet" because kings were often crowned on the head of Saturn (or Neptune).
Another explanation comes from 1799 when William Herschel discovered many new objects beyond Pluto that he could not explain. He suggested that they might be planets but they were so far away from the Sun that they must be frozen bodies. He called these objects "Nepenthes", which means "incapable of feeling sorrow".
After Herschel's work was published, other scientists began to propose more exotic ideas about what might lie out there in space. In 1846 Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter that "some philosophers have guessed that there may be other worlds like ours, only larger or smaller, with people living on them."
In 1847 Robert Peel reported seeing four stars in the constellation Sagittarius that were unusually close together.
Saturn is our solar system's sixth planet from the Sun and the second biggest planet.
Saturn is a gas giant with an average diameter about 940 miles (1,520 kilometers) that fills up half of our solar system. It has one large moon, Titan, and more than 50 smaller ones. Titan is the only other body in our solar system larger than itself.
Saturn was the first planet to be discovered by the use of astronomy. Aristotle predicted its existence based on his theory of the four elements (earth, air, fire, and water). Astronomers using telescopes have found evidence of Saturn ever since they started looking for it in 1610.
The idea of planets as objects orbiting around stars came long before Galileo proved this concept through observational data. As early as 240 B.C., Plato wrote about three different kinds of celestial bodies: stars, sun-like objects called moons, and planets. Around 150 AD, Ptolemy proposed the modern understanding of the Solar System, which included eight planets including Earth. But even though Pluto was considered a planet at one time, it was later demoted to a dwarf planet because it doesn't orbit around the Sun like the others.
It is the sixth planet from the sun and the second-largest major planet in astronomy. The planet Saturn was named after the Roman deity of agriculture, Saturn. Saturn, like Jupiter, is mostly made up of gases and liquids. Saturn is the most distant planet that can be seen with the naked eye. The telescope reveals many details about Saturn's atmosphere, clouds, and magnetic field not visible to the naked eye.
Saturn has an average distance of 584 million km from the sun. Its orbit is slightly elliptical, with its perihelion (closest approach to the sun) being 493 million km and its aphelion (farthest distance from the sun) being 686 million km. Thus, it spends approximately four years at each of these distances from the sun. This means that Saturn moves through the zodiac faster than any other planet; it has aged more deeply since it was first discovered in 1556.
At an average distance of 55 million km from Earth, Saturn is large enough to cast a shadow over Europe. This occurs when Saturn reaches its autumnal equinox, which happens every 9 years. The next such event will be in 2020/21. At this time, its shadow will pass across half of England between April 20th and May 25th 2021.
Saturn has two small but important satellites: Titan and Uranus. Titan is the only moon in the solar system that has a dense atmosphere.