Satellites of Saturn

This article provides interactive visualization of the most known moons of Saturn as they would be see through telescope at the given time. These moons are numerous and diverse. Sixty-two moons have confirmed orbits, fifty-three of which have names, and only thirteen of which have diameters larger than 50 kilometers. Saturn has seven moons that are large enough to be spherical, and dense rings with complex orbital motions of their own[1]. Particularly notable among Saturn's moons are Titan, the second-largest moon in the Solar System (Ganymede is the first)[2].

The current position of Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, Titan, Hyperion and Iapetus (numbered I-VIII) around Saturn. Click on the moon to see its name in the status bar. Some moons that are currently too far away or behind the Saturn may not be visible.

However may of these moons are difficult to observe without powerful tools. It is relatively easy to see Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, Titan, Hyperion and Iapetus (the applet provides a realtime view they current positions). Some moons are locked in resonance orbits: the orbital period of Mimas is half that of Tethys, the period of Enceladus is half that of Dione and the period of Titan is 3/4 that of Hyperion[3]. Saturn's system of rings and moons is inclined, and the angle of inclination (as seen by the observer from the Earth) also changes over time.

References

  1. 1 NASA summary page on various satellites
  2. 2 Ganymede page on Universe today
  3. 3 Saturn moons page at nineplanets.org

Acknowledgements

Applet has been written by Akkana Peck