Early views about Saturn

Saturn has been observed in the night sky since prehistoric times. Mesopotamian astronomers called Saturn the 'the old sheep' or 'the eldest old sheep', while the Assyrians described the planet as a sparkle in the night sky and named it 'Star of Ninib'. To the ancient Romans, Saturn was the god of agriculture, while the Greeks called it Cronos, after Zeus's father, the overthrown ruler of the universe. Cronos was the also son of Uranus and Gaia. Saturn is the root of the English word 'Saturday'.

Table 10.1 Details of Saturn

Distance from Sun

1 430 000 000 km (9.54 AU)


120 536 km


5.68 x 1026 kg (95.18 times Earth's mass)


0.69 g/cm3 or 690 kg/m3

Orbital eccentricity

0 0

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