Cassini Spacecraft Reveals Length Of Saturn’s Day

For the longest time, it was unknown how fast Saturn traveled around the sun or how long it took to spin on its axis. NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft, however, has now provided us with this sought-after information.

This new method uses Saturn’s gravitational field as a basis for the measurements. It is a breakthrough discovery, as it allows for planets found in the future to be measured in the same way. While it cannot provide exact measurements, it does allow for relatively reliable results, allowing researchers to expand their knowledge of the mysterious gas giant.

Based on its measurements, Saturn’s day is defined as being 10 hours and 32 minutes in length; the time it takes Saturn to make a full trip around the sun is equivalent to 29 years here on Earth.

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft is outfitted with extremely advanced technology that helped it acquire the information. It has a cosmic dust analyzer, magnetospheric imaging, and orientation thrusters. The defining feature of this Cassini spacecraft that helped with this particular project is its magnetometer, which is found on its arm holding device.

Saturn, as a planet, has always fascinated astronauts and space scientists alike. There are many fascinating features to Saturn, from its seven rings to its 53 orbiting moons to its enormous size. Just to put Saturn’s size in the proper perspective, if you were to place Saturn and the Earth next to each other, Saturn would be a basketball and Earth would be a nickel.

As previously mentioned Saturn is a gas planet, so no life forms can exist on the planet. However, the same may not be true for the many moons that Saturn possesses. It is hard to know for sure, as they have not been thoroughly studied. Currently, the Cassini Spacecraft is our best source of known information for Saturn as it’s been studying and exploring all areas of the planet for 11 years. Five missions have been done in order to continue the mission to understand the gas giant.