100px|Saturn, photographed in July 2008
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest planet
in the Solar System, after Jupiter, with an average radius about nine
times larger than the Earth's. Saturn is named after the Roman god
Saturn, equated to the Greek Cronus (the Titan father of Zeus), the
Babylonian Ninurta and the Hindu Shani. Saturn's astronomical symbol
(♄) represents the Roman god's sickle. Along with Jupiter, Uranus and
Neptune, Saturn is a gas giant. Together, these four planets are
sometimes referred to as the Jovian planets, meaning "Jupiter-like".
Saturn has a ring system that is divided into nine continuous and three
discontinuous main rings (arcs), consisting mostly of ice particles
with a smaller amount of rocky debris and dust. Sixty-two known moons
orbit the planet; fifty-three are officially named. This does not
include the hundreds of "moonlets" within the rings. Titan, Saturn's
largest and the Solar System's second largest moon (after Jupiter's
Ganymede), is larger than the planet Mercury and is the only moon in
the Solar System to retain a significant atmosphere. (more...)
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Today's selected anniversaries:
English astronomer Jeremiah Horrocks made the first observation of a
transit of Venus.
Sati, the Hindu funeral custom of widows immolating themselves, was
formally abolished in British India after years of campaigning by Ram
The Montreal Canadiens, the oldest professional ice hockey club in the
world, was founded as a charter member of the National Hockey
Pan American World Airways, which was the principal international
airline of the United States and which was credited with many
innovations, ended operations.
Six black youths in Jena, Louisiana, US, assaulted a white teenager;
the subsequent court case would become a cause célèbre.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
church key (n):
A can opener having a triangular tip that pierces the can
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Standing as I do in view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism
is not enough.
I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.
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