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INSIDE SATURNUranus' MoonsSATURN'S RingsNeptune's RingsNeptune's MoonsToday's featured page: African Elephant Printout


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SATURN
General
Description
Inside Saturn and the Atmosphere Rings Moons Activities, Web Links

SATURN'S MOONS
Saturn has many moons (62 discovered as of 2012). The moons are: Titan, Rhea, Iapetus, Dione, Tethys, Enceladus, Mimas, Hyperion; Prometheus, Pandora (shepherd moons), Phoebe, Janus, Epimetheus, Helene, Telesto, Calypso, Atlas, Pan, Ymir, Paaliaq, Siarnaq, Tarvos, Kiviuq, Ijiraq, Thrymr, Skathi, Mundilfari, Erriapo, Albiorox, Suttung and 30 unnamed moons. Titan is the biggest moon; this moon has a thick nitrogen atmosphere.

The moons of Saturn in order of distance from Saturn:
Moon Discovery

Distance from the center of Saturn (km)

Orbital period (Earth days)
Radius (km)

Mass (kg)
Pan Discovered: Mark R. Showalter/Voyager 2, 1990

Distance from Saturn: 133,583km

Orbital period: 0.5750 day
Radius: 10 km

Mass: unknown
Located within the Encke Gap in the rings
Atlas
Discovered: R. Terrile/Voyager 1, 1980

Distance from Saturn: 137,670km

Orbital period: 0.6019 day
Radius: 18.5x17.2x13.5 km

Mass: unknown
A shepherd satellite for Saturn's A-ring.
Prometheus
Discovered: S. A. Collins & D. Carlson/Voyager 1, 1980

Distance from Saturn: 139,353km

Orbital period: 0.613 day
Radius: 74x50x34 km

Mass: unknown
A shepherd satellite for the inner edge of Saturn's F Ring.
Pandora
Discovered: S. A. Collins & D. Carlson/Voyager 1, 1980

Distance from Saturn: 141,700km

Orbital period: 0.6285 day
Radius: 55x44x31 km

Mass: unknown
A shepherd satellite for the outer edge of Saturn's F Ring.
Epimetheus
Discovered: R. Walker/1966 and J. Fountain, S. Larson/1978

Distance from Saturn: 151,422km

Orbital period: 0.694 day
Radius: 69x55x55 km

Mass: 5.4 x 10 17kg
Covered by grooves, valleys, and craters over 30 km in diameter. Shares orbit with Janus (they are only separated by about 50 kilometers (31 miles)). Once every four years they approach each other, exchange some momentum and switch orbits.
Janus
Discovered: Audouin Dollfus, 1966

Distance from Saturn: 151,472km

Orbital period: 0.694 day
Radius: 97x95x77 km

Mass: 1.92 x 10 18kg
Heavily cratered (craters over 30 km in diameter). Shares orbit with Epimetheus (they are only separated by about 50 kilometers (31 miles)). Once every four years they approach each other, exchange some momentum and switch orbits.
Mimas
Discovered: William Herschel, 1789

Distance from Saturn: 185,520km

Orbital period: 0.942 day

Radius: 209x196x191.4 km

Mass: 3.75 x 10 19kg
Icy, heavily-cratered surface. Huge crater, Herschel, is 80 miles (130 km) wide. Herschel's central mountain is 4 miles (6 km) tall, about 2/3 the height of Mount Everest. Very low temperatures (-200° C = -328°F).
Enceladus
Discovered: William Herschel, 1789

Distance from Saturn: 238,020km

Orbital period: 1.37 days
Radius: Radius: 256x247x244.6 km

Mass: 7 x 10 19kg
Bright, smooth surface. Reflects almost all of the sunlight that hits it and is very cold ( -201° C = -330° F). 5 different types of terrain, suggesting a liquid interior: small craters, plains, fissures, corrugated terrain, and resurfaced areas.
Tethys
Discovered: G.D. Cassini, 1684

Distance from Saturn: 294,660km

Orbital period: 1.89 days
Radius: 535.6x528x526 km

Mass: 6.27 x 10 20kg
Icy surface with craters, many cracks and plains. One huge ice trench, the Ithaca Chasma, is 40 miles (65 km) wide and extends over 3/4 of the way around the moon. A water-ice interior composition (density =1.21 gm/cm3). Surface temperature is -187° C = -305° F.
Telesto

Discovered: B. Smith, H. Reitsema, S. Larson, J. Fountain, 1980

Distance from Saturn: 294,660km (leads Tethys)

Orbital period: 1.89 days
Radius: 15x12.5x7.5 km

Mass: unknown
Shares an orbit with Calypso; these 2 moons are also called the Tethys Trojans because they orbit Saturn in Tethys orbit, Telesto is 60° ahead of Tethys, Calypso is 60° behind Tethys.
Calypso

Discovered: B. Smith, H. Reitsema, S. Larson, J. Fountain, 1980

Distance from Saturn: 294,660km (trails Tethys)

Orbital period: 1.89 days
Radius: 15.0x8.0x8.0 km

Mass: unknown
Shares an orbit with Calypso; these 2 moons are also called the Tethys Trojans because they orbit Saturn in Tethys' orbit, Telesto is 60° ahead of Tethys, Calypso is 60° behind Tethys.
Dione
Discovered: G.D. Cassini, 1684

Distance from Saturn: 377,400 km

Orbital period: 2.74 days
Radius: 560 km

Mass: 1.10 x 10 21kg
Icy surface with craters, plains and streaks of bright material. Some craters over 100 km wide. Its density is 1.43 gm/cm3, the densest moon of Saturn, indicating a large rocky core.
Helene
Discovered: P. Laques & J. Lecacheus, 1980

Distance from Saturn: 377,400 km (leads Dione)

Orbital period: 2.74 days
Radius: 18x16x15 km

Mass: unknown
Shares orbit with Dione, leads it by 60°.
Rhea
Discovered: G.D. Cassini,1672

Distance from Saturn: 527,040 km

Orbital period: 4.52 days
Radius: 764 km

Mass: 2.31 x 1021kg
Icy surface with craters, plains and bright streaks. No atmosphere. Its density is 1.33 gm/cm3, indicating a small, rocky core covered with water-ice.
Titan
Discovered: C. Huygens, 1655

Distance from Saturn: 1,221,830 km

Orbital period: 15.9 days
Radius: 2,575 km

Mass: 1.3455 x 10 23kg
Biggest moon of Saturn and second largest moon in Solar System (after Jupiter's Ganymede). It is larger than the planets Mercury and Pluto. Titan has a thick mostly nitrogen atmosphere (with some methane) and an atmospheric pressure of 1.6 bars (60 percent greater than the Earth's). This atmosphere with its heavy clouds obscures the moon's surface. It may rain liquid methane. The surface temperature is about -178°C = -289°F.
Hyperion
Discovered: W. & G. Bond/W. Lassell, 1848

Distance from Saturn: 1,481,100 km

Orbital period: 21.27 days
Radius: 180x140x112.5 km

Mass: 2 x 10 19kg
Hyperion is the largest-known irregular-shaped body. It has a reddish color. Surface marred with craters. Variable rotational period.
Iapetus
Discovered: G.D. Cassini,1671

Distance from Saturn: 3,561,300 km

Orbital period: 79.33 days
Radius: 718 km

Mass: 1.6 x 10 21kg
A rocky moon that is partly bright and partly reddish in color. Craters on surface.
Phoebe
Discovered: W. Pickering, 1898

Distance from Saturn: 12,952,000 km

Orbital period: 550.48 days (retrograde orbit)
Radius: 110 km

Mass: 4 x 10 18kg
Almost circular shape, reddish color. Orbits in a retrograde direction (opposite in direction to other satellites' orbits). Rotates on its axis every 9 hours (this is unlike the other moons of Saturn, except Hyperion, which always show the same face to Saturn). Phoebe may be a captured asteroid.
Moon Discovery

Distance from the center of Saturn (km)

Orbital period (Earth days)
Radius (km)

Mass (kg)




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