Check Out The Majesty Of Saturn
The Ringed Planet

full view saturn rings

Saturn is the second largest planet and sixth from the sun. Like the other outer planets (Jupiter,Uranus,Neptune) it's a gas giant, meaning it has no solid surface like Earth does.

It is the only planet less dense than water. that means that if you could drop Saturn in a large ocean it would actually float.

Orbiting the sun in about 29.5 Earth years, its days are only about 10.5 hours long. Spinning so fast that it flattens out at the top and bottom near the poles, and bulges in the middle. Most celestial objects do this to some degree, but Saturn and Jupiter have the largest bulges. The planet has a magnetic field, which is 1,000 times as strong as that of Earth.

When stargazing, the planet is visible with the naked eye. Though you won't be able to see the rings or any of the moons. It has an apparent magnitude of 0.43 compared to that of the Moon at -12.74.

When you see it, it will appear as a bright golden star.

With a pair of large aperture binoculars mounted on a tripod you may be able to see the disk and possibly a ring outline but don't expect it.

saturn in shadow

Telescopes on the other hand can bring the rings into clear view.

Discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610 using a telescope, he was not able to clearly see the rings and thought that there were“ handles” on its sides.

Seven rings labeled from A-G surround the planet.

The rings are labeled in order of discovery.  

They appear in a strange order. Often what was thought to be 1 ring has turned out to be 2 or more as we are better able to see them. From the planet outward they are: D,C,B,A,F,G,E.

Between the B and A rings is the large Cassini Division.

In small scopes of less than 150mm(6in) aperture if conditions are good for viewing you may see the rings and the moon Titan.

Telescopes of 150mm(6in) or larger aperture will reveal quite a lot.

The rings, the Cassini Division , and possibly 7 of the moons.

Look for the gold and brown cloud bands surrounding the planet. You may only be able to distinguish a white-beige region about the equator and the dark polar regions.


At certain times viewing the rings becomes nearly impossible as the planet tilts on its axis and orbits. Sometimes the view from Earth is edge on to the rings and they seem to almost disappear.

Saturn the planet of rings is also the planet of moons. It has 61 moons and moon-lets officially. Most of these are small and insignificant but there are quite a few large ones as well.

Eight of the moons are visible in telescopes.

Titan its largest moon and the second largest in the solar system, larger than the planet Mercury, contains an Earth-like atmosphere.

The other observable moons are: Dione, Enceladus, Hyperion, Iapetus, Mimas, Rhea, and Tethys.

› Saturn
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