Q:

How many satellites does Saturn have?

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Quick Answer

Saturn has 53 natural satellites, also known as moons, as of 2014. It has nine provisional moons, defined as moons whose discovery is awaiting confirmation by the International Astronomical Union.

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How many satellites does Saturn have?
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Full Answer

Christiaan Huygens discovered Saturn's moon Titan in 1655, the first recorded discovery of a moon orbiting Saturn. Giovanni Domenico Cassini discovered the next four moons, finding Iapetus in 1671, Rhea in 1672 and Dione and Tethys in 1684. Titan is the largest of Saturn's moons and the second-largest moon in the Solar System. Its atmosphere is similar to the atmosphere of prehistoric Earth. Many of Saturn's smaller moons orbit near one another; sometimes, they exchange orbits.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who discovered Saturn?

    A:

    The discovery of Saturn dates back to prehistoric times, as it is visible with the naked eye. It is prominent throughout ancient Babylonian, Greek and Roman mythologies. The European astronomer Galileo was the first to discover Saturn's rings in 1610.

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  • Q:

    How was Saturn formed?

    A:

    Though there are competing theories about the formation of the planets, including Saturn, the most widely accepted theory in 2014 is that of core accretion. Gravity pulled elements in space together in clumps. The clump cores then rotated, binding gases and other elements.

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  • Q:

    Who first discovered Saturn?

    A:

    Saturn is a large, bright planet, and according to NASA, it has been known to humankind since ancient times. The first person to view Saturn through a telescope, Galileo Galilei, was also the first person to ever see the planet's famous rings.

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  • Q:

    When was Saturn discovered?

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    Unlike many planets and stars, Saturn doesn't have a universally recognized date of discovery. Because Saturn is visible with the naked eye, its existence was known by ancient civilizations. Ancient Greeks named the planet "Kronos" after their god of agriculture, which is the Roman equivalent of Saturn.

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