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What are some facts about Saturn for kids?

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Quick Answer

Saturn is a gas giant and is the second-largest planet in the solar system, after Jupiter. It is the sixth planet from the sun. The planet is named after the Roman god Saturn, the father of Jupiter and the god of agriculture.

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As a gas giant, Saturn consists of liquid hydrogen, helium and methane surrounding a small core of rock. Because it is composed of mostly gaseous elements, Saturn is the lightest planet in the solar system, despite its large size.

Saturn is encircled by three main rings, with smaller rings between them; scientists believe the rings are most likely made of ice. Some of the chunks of ice making up Saturn's rings are as large as a house, while others are very tiny. Although the rings stretch hundreds of thousands of miles into space from the planet, they are very thin -- less than half a mile from top to bottom. The Renaissance astronomer Galileo was the first person ever to see Saturn's rings, a feat which was accomplished with the aid of a telescope he invented.

Saturn's largest moon is Titan. It is larger than Earth and is the second-largest moon in the solar system. Titan is the only moon in the solar system with an atmosphere.

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