www.whyville.net Jul 13, 2007 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Interview with Saturn

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Hey it's mokey6 and I???'m here with another interview with a planet. This time I???'m going to interview a bit of a bragger -- Saturn.

In the past two articles I became informed on how Saturn was a bit of a bragger about his rings. So let???'s see what'???s so great about it, shall we?

Well to start off, the rings were discovered by Galileo in 1610. It was during one of the first telescope viewings of the night sky. Saturn'???s rings are named after the first letters of the alphabet, to help classify large chunks of the rings. But each of these has thousands of smaller ringlets in them. The outer most ring component is F and is a bit faint, and hard to see.

In these rings there are ???knots???. Knots may be clumps of ring material, or mini moons. Saturn???'s rings made it very unique in the solar system. Finally, in 1977 it discovered that Saturn wasn'???t the only planet with rings. They found out that Uranus had some too. Shortly after that, Jupiter's and Neptune???'s rings were discovered.

Saturn's rings are extraordinarily thin: though they're 250,000 km or more in diameter they're less than one kilometer thick. Despite their impressive appearance, there's really very little material in the rings. And as we all know, Saturn has the largest ring system.

Saturn is named after the God of agriculture in Roman mythology.

Saturn was visited first by a spacecraft in 1979. This spacecraft was named Pioneer 11, and was owned by NASA. Other spacecrafts that visited Saturn are Voyager 1, Voyager 2, and Cassini. Cassini was launched in July, 2004, and is planed to be in orbit around Saturn for at least four years.

Like its fellow planet Jupiter, Saturn is made up of around 75% hydrogen and 25% helium. It has traces of water, methane, ammonia, and ???rock???. Even though it'???s the second biggest known planet of our solar system, Saturn is the least dense planet, and its gravity is less than that of water.

Saturn has 34 named/known moons. The earliest one to be discovered was Iapetus and was discovered in 1671. The largest is Phoebe and is more than three and a half times bigger than the second largest moon, Iapetus. The smallest moon is Pan.

Now it was time to meet and greet with Saturn.

Mokey6: I???'ve heard you tend to brag. Do you feel sorry for bragging to the other planets?
Saturn: The other planets are just jealous! Ha, I'm better than them.
Mokey6: No offense, but you do seem to brag.
Saturn: Oh what do you know you???'re just a human.
Mokey6: Right. And we humans know a lot about you and your rings.
Saturn: Ha, then you know how spectacular I am. (Flicks rings like a movie star flicking hair)
Mokey6: Moving on. What do you like most about yourself?
Saturn: Well, to start off, did I mention how great my rings are?
Mokey6: Yes you did. Anything else you like about your shape? Size? Components?
Saturn: Well my rings are (I, mokey6, cuts him off)
Mokey6: Yes we got that! Gracious! Anything else?
Saturn: You're mean. (Saturn walks into corner pouting like little kid.)
Mokey6: Oh I'???m sorry. Will you come out?
Saturn: Sure...It's okay you'???re jealous of my rings. Everyone is.
Mokey6: (Rolls eyes) So what do you like least about your figure?
Saturn: That I don'???t have more rings.

Yes, well here is a picture of Saturn in all its glory:

This has been another (struggling) Interview with the planets. See you next time!


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