Our Solar System’s Planets: Saturn | in 4K Resolution

Our Solar System’s Planets: Saturn | in 4K Resolution

Hi I’m Alex McColgan, and you’re watching
Astrum, and today I am super excited. Why? Because I get to show you the amazing planet
that is Saturn. As far as the planets go, this is my favourite that isn’t Earth. And
I think by the end of this video, you may agree with me, because thanks to the Cassini
probe, we have some astonishing imagery of this beautiful planet.
I’m going to give insights to these pictures, as well as explain everything you could want
to know about the 6th planet from the Sun. Physical Characteristics
Saturn is big. It’s is a gas giant with an average radius about nine times that of
Earth, making it the second biggest planet in our Solar System. I say average radius
though, because its equatorial and polar radii differ by almost 10%: 60,268 km at the equator,
versus 54,364 km from pole to pole. While only one-eighth the average density
of Earth, 0.687 g/cm3 compared to 5.514 g/cm3, with its larger volume Saturn has the mass
of over 95 Earths. Interestingly, Saturn is the only planet of the Solar System that is
less dense than water—about 30% less. Saturn is classified as a gas giant because
the part of the planet we see is just gas, it doesn’t have a surface that we know of,
although it may have a solid core. Saturn is called a gas giant, but it is not entirely
made of gas, it’s just got too much mass for that. Especially when we know that it
consists primarily of hydrogen, which becomes liquid under high pressures. Saturn has a
very hot interior, reaching 11,700 °C at the core which is twice as hot as the surface
of the Sun, and the planet radiates 2.5 times more energy into space than it receives from
the Sun. If we look at Saturn through the infrared,
we see Saturn’s glow, represented in brilliant shades of electric blue, sapphire and mint
green. On the night side (right side of image), with no sunlight, Saturn’s own thermal radiation
lights things up. This light is generated deep within Saturn, and works its way upward,
eventually escaping into space. Scientists predict that Saturn’s interior
is probably made of a core of iron, nickel and rock, surrounded by a deep layer of metallic
hydrogen, a middle layer of liquid hydrogen and liquid helium and an outer gaseous layer.
But seeing as we can’t even land on the surface of Venus for any extended period of
time without being crushed, actually testing this theory for Saturn where pressures and
gravity are huge is a bit of a ways off. Atmosphere
Saturn’s atmosphere has a banded pattern similar to Jupiter’s, but Saturn’s bands are much
fainter and are much wider near the equator. And the reason Saturn is yellow? It has ammonia
crystals in its upper atmosphere. But while the surface of Saturn may appear
calm, the planet is actually very active. The winds on Saturn are the second fastest
among the Solar System’s planets, after Neptune’s. They can be a blistering 1800 km/h. Visible
storms are also known to appear on Saturn, like this one that lasted just under a year
in 2011. Every 30 Earth years, the planet produces what is called a “Great White spot”
which is a unique but short-lived phenomenon that occurs once every Saturnian year. If
this storm wasn’t an early rendition of this great white spot, the next one is expected
in 2020. In storms on Saturn, lightning is produced.
Cassini has even detected the sound of the thunder. But while this mean sound weak, the
power of lightning on Saturn is about 1,000 times stronger than on Earth.
Poles Still talking about storms, but moving on
to the planet’s poles, we find that each pole has giant, permanent storms. NASA reported
in November 2006 that Cassini had observed a “hurricane-like” storm locked to the south
pole that had a clearly defined eyewall. Eyewall clouds had not previously been seen on any
planet other than Earth. The ring is similar to the eyewall of a hurricane, but much larger.
The clear air there is warm, like the eye of hurricane, but on Saturn it is locked to
the pole, whereas a hurricane on Earth drifts around.
The north pole is even more unusual. There is a persistent hexagon shaped storm that
rotates with the planet, but it doesn’t change longitude like the rest of the cloud
on the planet. The straight sides of the polar hexagon are each about 13,800 km (8,600 mi)
long, making them larger than the diameter of the Earth. And why does this happen and
to such a big scale? No-one really knows. Nature seems to have a thing for 60 degree
angles though. Giant’s Causeway anyone? But like the south pole, the north pole also
has a vortex, or eye wall. Aurora
While not anywhere near as strong as Jupiter’s, Saturn does have a magnetosphere which is
strong enough to deflect Solar wind from the Sun. And Saturn’s magnetosphere, like Earth’s,
produces aurorae. Their location and brightness strongly depends on the Solar wind pressure:
the aurorae become brighter and move closer to the poles when the Solar wind pressure
increases. The same process produces auroras on both Earth and Saturn: electrons stream
along the magnetic field lines into the upper atmosphere. There, they collide with atoms
and molecules, exciting them to higher energies. The atoms and molecules release this added
energy by radiating light at different colours and wavelengths. On Earth, this light is mostly
from oxygen atoms and nitrogen molecules. On Saturn, it is from hydrogen. Rings
The rings for me are one of the highlights of the planet. Saturn has a prominent ring
system that consists of nine continuous main rings, made mostly of ice particles with a
smaller amount of rocky debris and dust. While they are mainly named after letters of the
alphabet, the naming conventions are still a little confusing so bear with me. The first
5 rings, from the closest to the planet outward are, D ring, which is very faint, C ring,
B Ring – which is the brightest and widest of all the rings, A ring – which is the
last of the large bright rings, and then F ring.
The rings extend from 66,000 km to 120,700 km above Saturn’s equator are made up mostly
of water ice, with traces of rocks. If we look in the ultraviolet at a section of the
brightest rings, it shows there is more ice toward the outer part of the rings, than in
the inner part. The red in the image indicates sparser ringlets likely made of ‘dirty,’ and
possibly smaller, particles than in the icier turquoise ringlets.
If we look at a picture representing radio occultation, we can judge the size of the
individual particles that made up the rings. Color is used to represent information about
ring particle sizes based on the measured effects of the three radio signals. Shades
of red indicate regions where there is a lack of particles less than 5 centimeters (about
2 inches) in diameter. Green and blue shades indicate regions where there are particles
of sizes smaller than 5 centimeters (2 inches) and 1 centimeter (less than one third of an
inch), respectively. Overall it’s thought that the particles in the rings aren’t bigger
than 10m, and can be microscopic in size. Using occultations again, scientists observe
the brightness of a star as the rings pass in front of the star. This provides a measurement
of the amount of ring material between the spacecraft and the star which means we can
estimate how thick the rings are. Colors in this image indicate the orientation of clumps,
and brightness indicates the density of ring particles. Yellow is too dense to let starlight
through, and so shows this to be the densest parts of the main rings. The main rings are
thought to be as little as 10m thick, to 1 km thick.
Particularly the B rings, we can see that the rings are not perfectly symmetrical. During
the planet’s equinox, the rings can get a bit wonky. Look at the top of this video,
where the B ring meet the A ring. Zooming in on this structure reveals ridges and spokes
a couple of km tall, their presence given away by their shadows. Zooming out again,
we can see the scale of how many spokes there are during this period. Oscillations happen
all the time in the rings though, perhaps due to the presence of a shepherd moon, or
even just naturally. The differences, which can be seen all in only a day, can be up to
200km. So I’ve talked about the d, c, b, and a
rings, and also mentioned the F ring. The F ring has a great can also get quite wonky,
and has a perfect example of what is called a shepherd moon, Prometheus, that leaves a
ripple in the ring as it orbits. Once during its 14.7-hour orbit of Saturn, Prometheus
(102 kilometers, or 63 miles across) reaches the point in its elliptical path, called apoapse,
where it is farthest away from Saturn and closest to the F ring. At this point, Prometheus’
gravity is just strong enough to draw a “streamer” of material out of the core region of the
F ring. So what comes after the F ring? First, Janus
or Epimetheus Ring, G Ring, Pallene Ring and then the E Ring. Now, this picture is amazing,
and I might do a separate video just on this. But for the sake of time, this bright blue
ring is the E ring, you can just about see the faint Pallene Ring at the top of the picture.
The G ring is the next distinct ring, and again you can just about see the Janus or
Epimetheus ring at the top below it. And can you see us? We’re all in this picture too.
Here’s Earth and the Moon! So now you know about the rings. I think you’ll
agree they are so interesting in their own right. Theories abound as to why they are
there, but simply we don’t know. We know that some of the moons are responsible for
some of the material there, and we also know that some of the material there is responsible
for some of the moons. Moons
And talking of moons, I’m going to give you a brief run down about those that belong
to Saturn. Again, I plan to do a separate video or videos about them as there are at
least 150, 53 with formal names! They come in all shapes and sizes, and most uniquely,
Saturn’s biggest moon Titan, which is even bigger than Mercury, is the only moon in the
Solar System with a thick atmosphere around it. I’m also going to throw in here that
Saturn has the Death Star orbiting it, biding its time. We call it Mimas. Orbit
Lastly, I’m going to talk about Saturn’s orbit. Now Saturn orbits about 9 to 10 times
further away from the Sun as Earth, and one year on Saturn takes 30 Earth years. Funnily
enough, a day on Saturn is different depending on where you stood (not that you could stand
on Saturn). At the equator or at the poles, a day lasts about 10 hours and 14 minutes.
Everywhere else (apart from the poles) a day lasts 10 hours and 38 minutes. The issue is,
because Saturn isn’t solid, it’s not bound to rotate at the same speed all over. Saturn Colours
I just want to leave you with this. Few sights in the solar system are more strikingly beautiful
than softly hued Saturn embraced by the shadows of its rings. The gas planet’s subtle northward
gradation from gold to azure is a striking visual effect that scientists don’t fully
understand. Current thinking says that it may be related to seasonal influences, tied
to the cold temperatures in the northern (winter) hemisphere. And despite all that we have learned
from Cassini, Saturn remains a world of mystery.


  • Shazbot81 says:

    7:12 – is there almost no ice in the inner ring due to the heat radiation of Saturn itself? Would the radiation be hot enough to melt ice in space?

  • Mr. World says:

    Earth would be considered a moon if it was orbiting Saturn.

  • CG Account says:

    Cool video but I find the background music is a bit too loud

  • adsdandy says:

    This is one of the most beautiful, wondrous, eerie, intimidating things I’ve ever seen

  • Chop King says:

    My favorite planet is

  • DM Sour Kush says:

    Saturn is warmer than the surface of the sun! WOW That proves my theory that the Gas Giant planets are possibly Dormant suns that haven’t lit up yet

  • Nahidh Kurdi says:

    The fact tha Maxwell was able to fathom the nature of those rings by mathematics only in 1859 was worthy of mention, I think.

  • ZadfrackGlutz Zesozose says:

    Very fitting that Saturn has a hexagonal hat.

  • Y2kSd4 says:

    Prometheus??? Is nt that one asteroid that would hit the earth on 2029 or 2034 ?!!!?
    And if it is, Whats with Prometheus hanging & banging on Saturn's Rings???

  • Dhanshyam Kamath says:

    I heard that two of saturn's moon revolve in same orbit. Is it true??

  • José Prieto says:

    what stupid comments about jupiter and saturn.

  • Fernando Solimando says:

    Thank you so much for this video! I have to ask: Do you have a guidance on how to differentiate False Color pictures or any type of colouring not visible to the naked human eye when such information is not explicitly provided by any of the Labs/Observatories/Space Agencies responsible for the capture and analysis of celestial/planetary images?

  • Elizabeth Frantes says:

    loved it, subbed.

  • eli ortega says:

    That was fantastic!

  • Rosa YAHSHUA IS THE WAY says:

    Hi there, thank you for your lovely video. .what I really appreciate and im serious…is that you did not once mention……millions biilions of years unproven theories and presumptions that always seem to come with government programs and documentaries.

    The Heavens DECLARE THE GLORY of GOD AND the firmament shows HIS handywork.

  • nouky's world says:

    that next great white spot will be in 2020, damn that’s next year……. wow

  • Dustin MidNyte Driscoll says:

    God loved saturn so much, he put a ring on it

  • Adrian_ Zombturtle says:

    I can't see it's ring with my 50×50 biginers telescope 🙁

  • Gordon Freeman says:

    I'm pretty sure that by 2014, we already knew how the hexagon is formed.
    Other than that, good stuff.

  • stephen burton says:

    I was told that Brian cox said that the rings have only been around the planet for a thousand years and will not be there in another thousand years, this is here say, but is that true?

  • God Speaks to Me in Math says:

    The Hexagon on Saturn is actually a cymatic light effect of the rings themselves, not a storm or a portal…the rotation you see in the hexagon is actually the planet itself rotating in contrast to the rings reflection… i have a scientifically reproduceable setup to demonstrate this effect, check out the vid on my channel for proof.. use subtitles. btw, if you look closely you see reflections of the rings going up and down the reflective sphere called Saturn… and you see the circles compressing into a hexagon as the circumference lessens towards the poles. Light bends (or expands) around corners but apparently it compresses also around spheres and other geometries. Ive never heard that explanation given scientifcally so I think i deserve credit for that discovery (Soweto M)…

  • DonalD MagneSS says:

    If you learn the complex forms of dreaming , you could go in one night to saturn …some already do …it acts as a gateway to further galaxies there ether dream earths are formed of myriads of particles energetic science would take millions of years to identify new particles alone not to mention redefine time …but some do use saturn …more than 90%can't remember any of it ….you need to have something better than this device and college to get to the really cool evolution control stuff ….for instance …when a person has traveled to saturn and an ether earth of another galaxy…you need to know what a real hindi bed of nails is ….even the hindis forgot what that means …a hindi bed of nails has nothing to do with nails …it means when you wake up …do not move ..do not get up to piss do not scratch your head nothing ..when you wake up lie tgere for five to ten minutes …tbe dream you just forgot the travel to Saturn will open up like the strangest thing ….the hurry to do …even the slightest movement causes a ripple effect pushing the extraordinary journey deep into the subconscious ….later

  • Asad Bhatti says:

    Informative video.. Allah is greatest

  • ХабблТраббл says:

    Неймовірне відео!

  • The Science Man says:


  • Goon Smith says:

    He reason for the Hexagon is not unkown: It is fluid dynamics! If two different viscous fluids rotate around each others vortexes are generated and the Hexagon (or triangle or even more angles etc.) can occur: watch?v=n_c9A9Auf0A

  • Vampyre G says:

    what a beautiful planet, it's amazing to think that the true size of it is uncomprehensible for humans. i love the image at 8:38 is one of my favorites because it gives more insight onto the genuine colossal scale you are viewing things in.

  • UtTeR666 says:

    Yeah i can guess why you didn’t put me in the video I’m TRIGGERD

  • donvee2000 says:

    As he said no one knows why Saturn's rings are there. If anyones in the real reason they are there….Read the Ring makers of Saturn by Norman Bergrun

  • Control Z says:

    saturn is made of chocolate and vanilla ice cream . and i absolutely love your videos.

  • callie briggs says:

    I just wish I could enjoy star gazing with a nice girl

  • Krystian Sieminski says:

    Its mind blowing haw much info do we have about our solar system and there sun, planets and the moons, the publications of the data reads is in the open, but the actual scans are not….it that a bit weird, after all they can make that stuff up all the way…..hm.TH

  • Lazy Jones says:

    your content is great …i love to get information about our universe ! …keep it going pls !

  • Alexander Carder says:

    I bleive that my eyes behave in the same way as Saturn's shade between the rings. If a lamp is to the right of my eyes and I close my right eye, the hue will be slightly redder in my left eye. If I close my left eyes and open my right, the hue will be bluer. It's not a slightly different colour imballence because if I remove the lamp to be on my left side instead of my right and repeat the procedure the same happens but reversed. Why is this happening? I think it's the difference in distance that light has to cross and what I am experiencing is a slight "redshift"

  • Christian e.g. says:

    the perfect theme song for Saturn:

    "Magnum Opus" by Kansas

  • nikolaj christov says:

    the last of the rings is like "F im last"

  • Saturn says:

    Wait twin brother

  • Sam Balsillie says:

    Did we just name fucking moon Peggy

  • Noel McDavid says:

    Saturn has always been my favorite planet too, since I was a kid. I didn't even have a great reason why. Now I have tons of reasons! Great video! 😀

  • John Arch says:

    I’d be more excited if NASA didn’t admit that a lot of these photos they took or spruced up by their artists because otherwise there wouldn’t be much to look at so obvious 4K pictures really weren’t looking like that when they were taken

  • Dean Harvey says:

    watch the gameplay of the game observation

  • Black Swan says:


  • G Dunken says:

    Your narration was awesome. Production quality at another level.

  • Panther Platform says:

    My NEW favorite channel.

  • Confessions of Walking Speech 1.0 says:

    It's a religion ….

  • Confessions of Walking Speech 1.0 says:

    People .. All of this is composited in a computer.

  • ZorxTom says:

    You sure thats lightning? It seems like a good 8-bit drum pattern!

  • Márcio A. Marsiglia says:

    Fantastic vídeo!!! ALL the best from Brazil…

  • Mike Cronis says:


  • kalaivani eswarasamy says:

    Dont you know your k shane passed away 8 days away..dont worry..lot of spirit followed her..i am photo copy of her…spirit followed me also…i am also going to be die ..becz 4 days i am not feeling well..she fight with spirit but finally lose… I think i am also gonna having same result…any one help me getting out from here…

  • kalaivani eswarasamy says:

    Please find social influencer asking me help for getting me out from the crudge house..now i am idol…i have not enough money to getting out from here and own identity..anyone help. …god blesd you a lot…

  • kalaivani eswarasamy says:

    Shane torched me last 4 days…i an not feeling well..who can helping me…i think spirit findout she died thats why..they revenged me..i am not reason for that..please getting out from here to out of country calm and peacefull place..i dont know local people..its true..honestly..she burned..she never come back..

  • kalaivani eswarasamy says:

    I am posted comment only for alex..not you..

  • gcal says:

    Sturn used to be one of our suns, my favourite too

  • everlongs says:

    Nature loves hexagons

  • Michael Kisielka says:

    What if Saturn lost it magnetic field or we crash a satellite or bomb into it would we set it off or could we turn it into a sun ? What if the gas layer came off into space what would we see?

  • Do NOT says:

    The rings are what give Saturn it’s power.

  • Jim Johns says:

    How does Saturn produce so much heat?

  • Daniel Brown says:

    I heard that Saturn used to be the Sun, or at least the original Sun in our solar system.

    Anyone hear this? That's why its core is 2x hotter than the Sun's surface

  • Eduardo Valdivia says:

    Can't wait to see great white spot in 2020. If only we had a functioning satellite over there right now.

  • Holl E. H. says:

    If we can see the surface of Venus with radar, do we have the ability to use a radar signal strong enough to see a possible surface of the gas giants?
    I think we need to at least attempt it in a future flyby of these 4 gas giants. That would tell us more than we could ever guess…

    Also, what was the detail I heard about the last ring for Saturn being that of a double-helix? I've only ever heard mention of this once or twice, that an innermost moon was a shepherd moon, possibly a binary set of moons, that made this formation… If you know and/or learn anything about it, please let me know! I want to fact-check.

  • Vincent Telfer says:

    possibly the hexagonal storms at the poles are made of water

  • Vincent Telfer says:

    possibly the ice rings (if they're ice rings?) where closer at some point to the surface of the planet resulting in a giant burst like a global ice age would be on earth we know there was land underneath the ice, thermal heat building pressure and size with the planet in a cocoon of ice, if life on a planet undergoes metamorphosis than there's the possibility the planet does too

  • Vincent Telfer says:

    are you sure Saturn is not solid ?

  • Deja Porter says:


  • Rhidgy Rhidge says:

    I think of a vinyl record when I see the rings. I bet it plays a cool tune.

  • Leo Martin says:

    Saturn is sentient! Just like NIGGAZ such as myself.! Saturns orbital behavoir iS CONSTANT and. INTANGIBLY for us. "ALIVE!:

  • Jini m manoj says:

    Y the rings are not seen through our eye

  • Jini m manoj says:

    Y the rings are not seen through our eye

  • oron61 says:

    I suggest you structure your videos like an investigation. Start with the years just before Pioneer 11 and add on to our knowledge as time passes. That will help explain the order of the rings of Saturn, as I'm sure the E-Ring was discovered before the Janus Ring.

  • danksonicdeluxe says:


    Absolutely nobody:

    Not a single soul:


  • John Smith says:

    Best channels on astronomy. No room for speculation but real pics and facts.

  • busywl69 says:

    this is porn. the good stuff.

  • Kaustubh Kaus says:

    Why people scares saturn planet

  • Suthin Scientist says:

    Saturn is great and all, but its moons, especially Titan are the real attractions.

  • Rifet Okic says:

    You forgot the SUPER sized infrared ring!

  • Jahvelle Dionte says:

    Great vid! Please do more!

  • Antonsen GG says:

    God liked this planet so much, that he putted a ring on it o

  • EyeDee says:

    *Northern Ireland 😉

  • kaywan jalal says:

    My name is Kaywan, kaywan is mean Saturn planet

  • Nathan Humes says:

    Juptiter your the biggest planet in our solar sistum and your the king Saturn is the queen

  • Matt Spet says:

    Stunning video and it amazes me how much detailed info we have about the planet when as such we have never visited Saturn. This is fantastic stuff for any young budding astronomer

  • Jason Miller says:

    You answered a previous request, to do a video or videos about moons. I'll be checking those out! One of the biggest thrills in my life has been to see Saturn, full frame, through a 16" refractor scope. It look like someone put a colorful static sticker on the front element of the scope.

  • wyse TV says:


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