(daily way in the model: 0.84m)
As the sixth planet from the sun, Saturn is the furthest planet that can be seen with the naked eye. With an equatorial diameter of 120,536 km it is a similar giant ball of gas like Jupiter. Its distance from the sun is 1.43 billion km (9.54 astronomical units AU). It circles round the sun in 29.5 years. Saturn rotates very fast, taking about 10 hours to travel once around its own axis, that is why it is the planet with the flattest poles. Like the Sun and Jupiter, the larger part of Saturn consists of hydrogen and helium, but it possesses a weaker magnetic field. In its atmosphere there are similar turbulences as on Jupiter, and it also has a white spot. With a top speed of 1800 km/h the winds are twice as fast as on Jupiter. 20 moons with solid surfaces circle around Saturn. The largest of them all is Titan with a diameter of 5100 km, which moves at a distance of 1.22 million km around Saturn (the distance in the model is 1.2 m). The Cassini Mission, launched in 1997, should reach it by 2004. It is carrying the Huygens-probe, which Austrian scientists have worked on and which should have a gentle landing on Titan in order to explore it. The size of the other moons is 1500 km at the most, the little ones are similar to asteroids. Saturn is surrounded by a special ring-system that can be divided into five big components, which are named from outwards in as G, F, A, B, C. Explorations of the ring-structure show similar gaps like the asteroid belt.
In many old myths the planet Saturn was considered to be the
ancestorhead of the gods, perhaps because its orbit around the sun of nearly 30
years corresponds to about one human generation. In Greek - Roman mythology his
mother was called Gaia/Terra and his father Uranos/Coelus, from whom titan
Kronos/Saturn acquired his power. From this time on, due to an oracle telling
him that he would also be overpowered by one of his children, Kronos/Saturn ate
all of his children at birth. Finally his wife Rhea was able to hide one son,
Zeus/ Jupiter, from him. Instead of the boy she gave him a stone wrapped in
cloths. When Zeus/Jupiter was strong enough to seize power, he defeated his
father, and titan Kronos/Saturn was banished to a cave on the legendary
island of Ogygia. The titan Prometheus, who in mythology built humankind out of
clay, was considered to be the brother of Kronos. In ancient Egypt, Saturn
corresponded to the gods Ptah and Nemesis and was considered to be the
distributor of measures and laws, of necessity and retaliation. He also played
an important role in the Arabian world. Even before the time of Mohammed, in the
place of the Kaaba of Mekka, there was an all-Arabian sanctuary with a well,
whose opening was adorned with a cube and a statue of the god Hubal
In ancient Roman times so-called Saturnalia were organized, unrestrained festivals with amnesties, which took place to honour Saturn at the time of the winter solstice.
The day chosen for Saturn is Saturday (German: Samstag, Italian: sabato).
The old-Nordic Saeterdaeg and the Icelandic laukidagr are proof of the Nordic Saturn god Loki. Linguistically, "Samstag" originated from the Jewish Schabatt or the Greek Sambaton, but it also appears in myth, in the Samp(s)o of the Finnish national epic Kaleva.