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Learn about planets outside our solar system through Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems by Tahir Yaqoob, Ph.D., a book in our online store book collection.
This is a schematic of the interior of Saturn.
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An Overview of Saturn's Interior

The Giant planets do not have the same layered structure that the terrestrial planets do. Their evolution was quite different than that of the terrestrial planets, and they have less solid material inside.

Saturn's interior composition is primarily that of simple molecules such as hydrogen and helium, which are liquids under the high pressure environments found in the interiors of the outer planets, and not solids.

Motions in the interior of Saturn contribute in a very special way to the development of the powerful and extensive magnetosphere of Saturn. Heat generated within Saturn contributes to the unusual motions of the atmosphere.


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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

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The Structure of Saturn's Interior

There is no surface to the giant planets, only a gradual transition from the atmosphere, as depicted in this drawing. The hydrogen and helium of which Saturn is mostly composed change to liquid form under...more

An Overview of Saturn's Magnetosphere

Saturn's magnetosphere is not as big as Jupiter's, but is very large nonetheless. It extends well beyond the orbits of Saturn's moons. It is probably generated in the same manner as is Jupiter's, which...more

The Liquid Hydrogen Layer

The first liquid layer inside Saturn, immediately under the atmosphere, is the liquid hydrogen layer. The hydrogen atmosphere becomes thicker and thicker, a fog with more and more liquid hydrogen droplets,...more

Discover Saturn

Like the inner planets and Jupiter, Saturn is clearly visible in the night sky. The ancient Greeks named the planet after the god of agriculture and time. It wasn't until 1655, however, that we knew Saturn...more

An Overview of Saturn's Atmosphere

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

An Overview of Saturn's Interior

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Saturn's Rings

Many people are fascinated by Saturn's rings. Although Saturn isn't the only planet with rings, it is the only planet famous for them. Almost every image or drawing of the planet has the rings included....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF