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Jessica Alcalde Earth and Space Saturn SATURN Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun and it is the second largest of the nine planets in the solar system In Roman mythology it was believed to be the god of agriculture he ate his children Its Greek name is Cronos Saturn is distinctively known for its ring system which was first seen by Galileo in 1610 Of all the planets Saturn has the most moons with a total of twenty-eight Until recently there were only 18 known moons that were orbiting Saturn In the last ten months astronomers have discovered ten more making the total twenty-eight The diameters of Saturns moons range from 20 to 5150 km They are mostly made up of ice gas and dust nebula form which the solar system was formed and from where the sun could not evaporate the frozen gases and ice The five largest known Saturn moons are Mimas Enceladus Tethys Dione and Rhea Diones surface is believed to be 40 rock material and it has many craters that have been caused by meteorite impacts Many astronomers think that there is tectonic activity happening on Eceladus Dion and Rhea look very similar on the outside because they are both very bright and wispy streaks on their surface caused by ice from the interior that has moved to the surface Last week a Canadian astronomer named JJ Kavelaars discovered four of the ten new moons These newly discovered moons are different from the other moons The new ones are much smaller and their orbits are highly inclined relative to Saturns rings and its equator Also they are highly elliptical Some of Saturns moons orbit in the same direction as Saturn and others go in the opposite direction Because of the unusual orbit of some of the moons many astronomers believe that Saturn captured these moons after it was formed 46 billion
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