Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and is
probably the most well known of all the planets. One of the reasons
why so many people know the planet is because it has a really pretty
set of rings.
The pictures on this page shows how Saturn looks
through a big telescope; you can easily see the rings. I'm sure
you have seen the Moon in the night sky.
The rings around Saturn are made up of millions
and millions of tiny pieces of rock, all moving around the planet
in the same way the Moon moves around the Earth.
Because they are so small and there are so many
of them, they look like solid rings, but there are gaps inside the
rings. You can also see this in our pictures.
As well as the bits of rock making up the rings,
Saturn also has some much larger moons. The last time we looked,
there were 31 moons but we will probably find more as telescopes
Saturn, like Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, is made
up of gas instead of being solid like the Earth.
The Earth and other planets all have a hard surface
that we can walk and run around on. Saturn doesn't. What we see
when we look at Saturn is the top of a big ball of gas.
Because Saturn is made up of gasses, it is really
light. In fact it is so light that if it was put in water, it would
float. Imagine having Saturn floating in your bath!
The arrow is pointing to the north star
How to find Saturn in the sky
Now you know all about Saturn, you may want to
find it in the sky.
All you need to do, is go outside and take a look
in the sky looking south east.
To do this, go outside with an adult you know and
find the shape of stars called the Plough.
These are part of a much larger group of stars
called Ursa Major (see the picture on the left). The Plough actually
looks more like a saucepan than a plough!
Once you have found them, follow the two stars
at the end, shown in the diagram and they will point you to the
North Pole Star.
This star lies North, so having found that, turn
round so you are looking in the opposite direction, then turn right
You will see a star shining brightly - this is
not a star but Saturn.
If you have a telescope, try pointing it at the
planet and see if you can find the rings. Good luck.
Got a question on Saturn? Ask
our astronomy expert, Mark »