Saturn is the second of the gas giants or Jovian planets. This "earred" planet is probably the most beautiful planet as viewed from an Earth based telescope or a close-up from Voyager. The rings of Saturn are visible from the Earth in a small to medium sized telescope. The rings are made up of thousands and thousands of small pieces of rock and ice which are orbiting the planet. There appear to be 3 main sections of the rings, simply A,B, and C. There are bands or divisions in the rings where it appears that there is no debris. The one that can be seen in a medium telescope from Earth is called the Cassini division. On a good night, you can even see the smaller inner division. I always enjoy hearing someone's reaction to seeing Saturn in a telescope for the first time. They think I put a picture on the other side of the telescope. Saturn has one interesting point, it is the only planet in the solar system whose specific gravity is less than water. This means that if you placed any of the other planets in a huge tub of water, they would sink. If you placed Saturn in this tub, it would FLOAT! Only problem is that when you take it out, it leaves a ring...(sorry)
Saturn has at least 18 satellites and 12 of those are over 100 km (62 miles) across.
Saturn's satellites: Titan, Iapetus, Dione, Mimas, and Tethys:
Titan is Saturn's largest satellite and is the second largest satellite in the solar system. Titan is nearly half the size of the Earth. It is also one of the easiest satellites to see.
Iapetus orbits at nearly 4 million kilometers from Saturn. One side of Iapetus is heavily crated while the other side appears to be almost smooth. This phenomenon is still puzzling to the scientists.
Dione is heavily cratered and also has winding valleys that are geological faults or cracks in the icy crust.
Mimas is a most unusual satellite in that it has one huge crater that is one-third the size of the satellite. Mimas is also covered with many fractures that were probably caused by impacts.
Tethys has one very noticeable feature: Ithaca Chasma, a huge valley more that 2000 km (1240 miles) long extending three-quarters of the way around the satellite.