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This is a schematic of the interior of Saturn.

The Liquid Hydrogen Layer

The first liquid layer inside Saturn, right under the atmosphere, is a layer of liquid hydrogen!.

The air becomes thicker and thicker, like a dense fog, with more and more liquid drops, until the hydrogen from the air completely changes to a liquid. Once the hydrogen is a liquid, it then acts like the ocean and forms currents which carry heat from the inside to the outside of Saturn.

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Motions in Saturn's Interior

Motions in the interior of a planet help carry heat from the inside to the outside of the planet. The drawing shows a kind of movement that is usual in the atmosphere as well as the inside of a planet....more

The Generation of Saturn's Magnetosphere

Magnetospheres are generated with 1.) magnetic materials and 2.) with motions within the magnetic material. The Earth-like planets generate magnetospheres from iron at the center. But Saturn has almost...more

Heat from Inside Saturn

Have you ever thought that a planet could make energy within itself? If you think about it, the ground is not very cold at all (except in the winter). This means that the Earth makes enough energy for...more

Motions in Saturn's Interior, part 2

Motions, or currents in the interior of a gas-giant planet such as Saturn may be very different from the motions typical of the earth's interior. A second idea for the motions in the interior of a gas-giant...more

Saturn Clouds, overview

This image of Saturn makes use of false color to show the cloud pattern. The clouds form in bands which move across the disk of Saturn. The banded pattern of clouds, or stripes, is similar to those found...more

How the Solar System may have formed from a spinning cloud

Scientists think that the solar system formed out of a spinning cloud of hydrogen and helium molecules. Because the cloud was spinning, it flattened into a frisbee shape, just like a ball of pizza dough...more

A Comparison of Saturn's Icy Moons, and the Earth's Moon

This is an image of the Earth's moon, shown in the lower left, with the icy moons of Saturn. The moons in order, starting from the top left are: Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, and Iapetus. ...more


Dione was discovered by G. Cassini in 1684. Dione is the 7th farthest moon from Saturn. It is a small icy moon, lightly cratered, with white streaks across the surface. Dione is about as wide as the Oregon...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA