saturn moons - From the beginning of time, the sky has...

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From the beginning of time, the sky has greatly fascinated mankind. Early civilizations worshipped the sun, moon and other heavenly bodies. There were many myths surrounding the visible objects in the sky. But now, we have a greater understanding of the Universe and the heavenly objects than ever before. The scientific world has organized and mapped out many objects in the universe. Still our understanding of our world (solar system) and the worlds beyond is minute. The depths of space is never ending, thus our quest for understanding it is an infinite journey as well. One of the main driving forces behind space exploration has been the human curiosity. Within our solar system, the object that has long intrigued human beings is arguably, the planet Saturn. Saturn: Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun. It is the second largest in the solar system with an equatorial diameter of 119,300 kilometers. Much of what is known about the planet is due to the Voyager explorations in 1980’s. Saturn is visibly flattened at the poles, a result of the very fast rotation of the planet on its axis. Its day is 10 hours, 39 minutes long, and it takes 29.5 Earth years to revolve about the Sun. The atmosphere is primarily composed of hydrogen with small amounts of helium and methane. What further makes Saturn engrossing, are the rings surrounding the majestic planet. The origin of the rings is obscure. It is thought that the rings may have been formed from larger moons that were shattered by impacts of comets and meteoroids. That brings us to the subject of this paper: Saturn’s satellites. What is a Satellite?: A natural satellite or moon is a celestial body that orbits a planet or smaller body. The large gas giants have a large system of moons. The largest natural satellites in the Solar System (those bigger than about 3000 km across) are Earth's moon, Jupiter's Galilean moons, Saturn's moon Titan, and Neptune's captured moon Triton. Saturn has numerous moons.
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Officially recognized total is 34. Other estimates range from 45 to 61! Since there are so many of
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course AS 101 taught by Professor Biegel during the Fall '11 term at Montgomery College.

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saturn moons - From the beginning of time, the sky has...

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