This is an image of Saturn.
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An Overview of the Evolution of Saturn's Atmosphere
Atmospheres of the giant planets have definitely evolved from their formation
out of the primitive solar nebula. How much they have evolved remains to be seen, however. Because of their enormous gravity, most of the original atmosphere of the planet remains in place
. (The terrestrial planets lost all of the original atmosphere they were made with, because the atmosphere drifted away).
Saturn is made primarily of the basic materials hydrogen and helium, which is what existed in the vicinity of Saturn when it was forming.
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The dramatic appearance of Saturn stems mainly from the spectacular rings. What is visible of the atmosphere is much less dramatic. The clouds of Saturn are much less colorful than those of Jupiter. This...more
The most important motions in the atmosphere are winds. The major winds in Saturn's atmosphere are the zonal winds which are composed of alternating belts and zones flowing in opposite directions. Belts...more
The striped cloud bands on Saturn, like Jupiter, are divided into belts and zones. In a belt, the wind flows very strongly in one direction only. In a zone, the wind flows very strongly in exactly the...more
As shown in this picture, while they were forming in the solar nebula, the nucleii of the planets-to-be (called protoplanets) drew material to themselves from the cloud of gas and dust around them. The...more
Astronomers have discovered a bizarre, hexagon-shaped feature in the clouds of Saturn near the planet's North Pole. The feature was first seen in images returned by the Voyager spacecraft in the 1980s,...more
Saturn's South Pole is an extremely stormy and surprisingly warm region. A vast, hurricane-like storm centered on the South Pole dominates the area. Astonishingly, the pole is also warmer than any other...more