What Is the Surface Pressure on Saturn?


Quick Answer

The surface pressure on Saturn is 1,000 bars. Most of the planet's mass features helium, and the weather conditions on Saturn differ significantly from those on Earth.

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Scientists measure the surface pressure on Saturn in the area where it reaches the same level as Earth's sea level. NASA defines the surface pressure as 1,000 bars, and states that its temperature at one bar is -218.20 degrees Fahrenheit, or -139 degrees Celsius. At this point, the winds reach 400 miles per second.

Although Saturn features just 7 percent helium, much of this sinks through the hydrogen. As a result, most of its mass is helium. It is due to Saturn's cold conditions that helium does not dissolve in hydrogen, and the magnetic attraction found in the planet's hydrogen contributes to its electromagnetic field. There is some water present but mainly in the form of ice, and Saturn's distance from the sun contributes to its cold temperatures.

Temperatures rise towards the planet's center, and although there are clouds, many of them are made of ammonia ice. Some of the storms that form are large enough to contain two Earths, and every 30 years, giant thunderstorms occur. These storms are 6,200 miles wide and arise when Saturn's axis tilts towards the sun.

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