How long is a day on Saturn? Astronomers just found out.
The gas giant was long the only planet in the solar system missing this vital piece of information.
The beauty of Saturn’s delicate system of rings is indisputable, but human fascination with them isn’t all about aesthetics; those rings can tell us incredible scientific stories, too.
Now, a study published in The Astrophysical Journal has used the planet’s rings to answer a surprisingly frustrating question: How long is a day on Saturn? The answer: 10 hours, 33 minutes, and 38 seconds.
This revelation is important because it’s “a fundamental property of any planet in the solar system,” notes University of Iowa physicist Bill Kurth, who worked on NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn but who was not on the study team. Knowing how long a given planet’s day lasts can help with interpreting its gravitational field and