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definition The sixth planet from the Sun and the second largest with an equatorial diameter of 120,536 km orbiting at an average distance of 1,429,400,000 km (9.54 astronomical units) from Sun. With an eccentricity of 0.05555, its distance from the Sun ranges from 1.35 billion km (9.024 AU) at its perihelion to 1.509 billion km (10.086 AU) at its aphelion. Its average orbital speed being 9.69 km/s, it takes Saturn 29.457 Earth years (or 10,759 Earth days) to complete a single revolution around the Sun. However, Saturn also takes just over 10 and a half hours (10 hours 33 minutes) to rotate once on its axis. This means that a single year on Saturn lasts about 24,491 Saturnian solar days. Saturn has a mass of 5.6836 x 1026 kg (95.159 Earth masses) and a mean density of 0.687 g cm^(-3). Like Jupiter, Saturn is about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium with traces of water, methane, and ammonia, similar to the composition of the primordial Solar Nebula from which the solar system was formed. The temperature on Saturn is ~ -185 °C. Like Jupiter, Saturn has a solid core of iron-nickel and rock (silicon and oxygen compounds). The core has an estimated mass of 9-22 Earth Masses and a diameter of about 25,000 km (about 2 Earth diameter). The core is enveloped by a liquid metallic hydrogen layer and a molecular hydrogen layer. Saturn's interior is hot (12,000 K at the core). The planet radiates more energy into space than it receives from the Sun. Most of the extra energy is generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism as in Jupiter. Saturn has 62 known satellites. Saturn's ring. On 1 July 2004 NASA/ESA's Cassini-Huygens became the first to orbit Saturn, beginning a 13 year mission that revealed many secrets and surprises about Saturn and its system of rings and moons.
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