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On the Saturn for a walk, would be impossible. Because the gas giant has no solid surface. Astronomers this poses a Problem: you can not make a point of orientation, you can determine how fast the Planet rotates around itself. The unusual magnetic field calculations made so far, is difficult.

How long is a day on the second largest planet in our solar system, takes, could, therefore, say that so far, no one with certainty. Now researchers report to have finally found an answer: A day on Saturn takes, therefore, ten hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds.


New data from the Saturn probe “Cassini” the researchers are on the right track. The unmanned probe was launched in October 1997 and had reached in July 2004, the ringed planet. Around 13 years of Cassini then moved her tracks by the fascinating Saturn System, discovered new rings and moons, and revealed many secrets of the second largest planet in the solar system, with its large rings and dozens of moons.

In 2017, Cassini “ran out of fuel”, and the probe burned up in the atmosphere of gas planets. Previously, she had sent enormous amounts of data in the direction of earth that are yet to be evaluated. Thus, researchers know, for example, the Saturn sounds like.

“Cassini”the Saturn sounds

“Cassini” also get detailed shots of the 100,000 rings that surround Saturn. They consist mainly of water ice and rocks. The outer diameter of nearly a Million kilometers. They are amazingly thin, the thickest measuring just about 100 meters.

An astronomy Student from Santa Cruz, Christopher Mankovich, looked at the shots of the Saturn probe in more detail and found that the rings react to vibrations in the interior of the planet, similar to seismometers, with which earthquakes are measured. It was thus possible to calculate Makovich, how fast the gas giant is turning to himself, as he reported with colleagues in the journal “Astrophysical Journal”.

Faster than thought

The analysis show that the Saturn rotates faster than previously thought. The most recent calculations from the 1981, were assumed to be at a rotation speed of ten hours, 39 minutes and 23 seconds. But even then, researchers knew that the result is inaccurate because you went on the calculations of the magnetic field. And this is when Saturn, which is very unusual, because it runs almost exactly parallel to the axis of rotation – unique in our solar system.

“researchers have looked through the rings into the Interior of the Saturn and came out this fundamental knowledge,” says Linda Spilker, a scientist of the Cassini-project. “The answer was in the rings.”

In the Video: The Saturn loses its rings


the Knowledge of the rotation speed is the only groundbreaking news from the gas giant. According to the latest researches of Nasa, the rings around Saturn much younger, than in the past. Accordingly, they were formed only about 100 million year – to lived in a time when on earth dinosaurs. The Planet itself is much older, about 4.5 billion years.

A popular theory is that once a moon could have come to the planet and its gravity have been destroyed. A collision between two of Saturn’s moons is suspected to be the cause for the formation of the rings. Since then, the rings breadcrumbs – researchers expect that they will be gone in a good 300 million years.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.