The 6th planet from the Sun in our solar system and known for its amazing rings.

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Saturn has 18 named satellites:
Thank you NASA and bigmouth strikes.

In Roman mythology, Saturn is the god of agriculture. His Greek name is Cronus.

Saturn is also the name of a Sega game system and a car company.
saturn, and it's position in the sky is used in astrology to describe the areas that will cause obstacles in life. saturn symbolizes:

  • difficulties encountered in persuing success
  • approach to achieving success
  • limitations to overcome
  • lessons to be learned
in astrological charts, saturn is symbolized as the sickle of chronos:

      | ,-.
      |/   |
      |    |
      |    |

Saturn advertises itself as "a different kind of car company" although it is actually a division of General Motors. Saturn prides itself on dealerships that feature the "Saturn Difference," which means, among other things, no-haggle pricing.

The basic Saturn sedan is like a domestic version of the Toyota Corolla, or the Honda Civic. Saturn's best-known vehicle feature is the "dent and corrosion-resistant (plastic) bodyside panels."

In the early 80s General Motors decided to look at all of the successful auto divisions and try to create something new. Could the traditional two solitudes of management and union work together in the U.S. to create a "different kind of company"?

What resulted after several years of study was a shared vision of a world class compact car. This new entry in the small car market would compete with the imports that were making inroads into GM's business. A sport coupe and small sedan with a station wagon variant were proposed (today's Saturn SL and SC series cars).

A single plant¹ in Spring Hill, Tennessee was commissioned and constructed during the late 80s. At the same time the UAW was forming the teams that would staff the new Saturn plant.

Pre-production work continued at a number of GM design centres while the Spring Hill plant was built. Care was taken to make the Spring Hill plant a showpiece, including a Child Care center and "green park" work to make the plant as environmentally friendly as possible.

By 1989 the first complete powertrain rolled off the line. Eight months later General Motors chairman Roger B. Smith (of Roger and Me fame) and UAW president Owen Bieber drove the first Saturn, a metallic red SL series four door sedan, off the assembly line.

Saturn became profitable in 1993, the same year the 500,000th car was sold. The next year, the first "Saturn Homecoming" event occurred, where all Saturn owners were invited to return with their cars to the plant for a tour. The 1,000,000th car came off the line in 1995, the 1,500,000th in 1997, and the 2,000,000th in 1999.

In 1998, the "3-door coupe" appeared, and the new bigger "L series" was announced, and in 2000 the Saturn SUV was announced. The L series is already available, and the "Vue" SUV will appear for the 2002 model year. Both will be produced at the second Saturn plant in Wilmington, Delaware.

Much of this info was gleaned from:

Saturn's "no haggle" sales approach, friendly open showrooms, recall policies and other retail decisions shook up the industry as much, or more, than the cars themselves. A whole new market opened up when people who were intimidated, insulted or put off by the traditional car sales process began flocking to Saturn dealerships. Saturn's "brand loyalty" among customers rivals that of companies like Apple - a small but intensely loyal core of converts who will promote the company for free.

Nonetheless a search of the web will find many postings by detractors who feel that the company's reputation is hype and claim to have had bad experiences. Excessive oil use, cracked cylinder heads, and gasket leakage are commonly reported.

Personally, I have had very little trouble, and my experiences with my Saturn-Saab-Isuzu dealership have all been positive. There's a bit too much road noise in my gold 1994 Saturn SL1², and the radiator fluid idiot light is inhabited by a poltergeist, and the brake rotors 'tick' in low speed braking. But overall it runs very well, came through flawlessly in a T-bone accident, and when I need service it has always been fast, friendly, and correct.

1. Consisting of a campus of buildings including Powertrain, Body Systems, General Assembly and Vehicle Interior buildings.
2. I was too cheap in 1994 to pop for the Twin Cam and the colo(u)r matching bumpers. Maybe next time...
Saturn and its rings are one of the most beautiful sights in the night sky when seen through a telescope. Saturn is like a smaller version of Jupiter, although it does not have the same colorful bands of cloud in its atmosphere. There are cloud features, but they seem to be masked by a high-altitude layer of haze that gives the whole planet a smooth, yellowish look.

Every 30 years or so, a large white spot appears on Saturn. The last one, in 1990, was photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope. These spots are actually bright clouds that form during summer in the planet’s northern hemisphere. Summer comes only every 30 years on Saturn because that is how long the planet takes to orbit the Sun.

Eighteen moons have been discovered around Saturn, more than for any other planet, and there are probably other small moons yet unseen. The largest of them, Titan, is the only moon in the Solar System with an atmosphere to speak of. The other moons are mostly chunks of ice and rock. One, called Mimas, has a huge crater in it. The meteorite that caused the crater must have almost broken Mimas apart.

Saturn’s Rings: Around Saturn’s middle lies a set of bright rings. At first sight the rings look solid. But in fact they are made up of countless millions of frozen lumps that range in size from snowballs to icebergs. They all orbit Saturn like a swarm of tiny moonlets.

The rings measure 270,000 kilometers (170,000 miles) from side to side, over twice the width of the planet itself. Yet they are no more than a few hundred meters thick. In relation to their width, they are really as thin as a sheet of paper the size of a football field. As seen from Earth, the rings seem to divide into two main bands, each of different brightness. The brightest part is in the middle, called the B ring. Outside is the A ring, and between them is a gap called Cassini’s Division, the width of the Atlantic Ocean. Closest to the planet is the faintest ring of all, called the C ring or crepe ring.

How were the rings of Saturn formed? Even now, scientists are not sure. They could be material left over from the birth of the planet itself. Or they could be the remains of a moon that strayed to close to the planet and broke up. Other theories are that the ring particles came from collisions between moons, or are the remains of comets that crashed into the moons, or broke up after being captured. Perhaps more than one of these causes gave rise to the rings we see today.

This information was taken and slightly modified from the book: (bibliography)

Ridpath, Ian. ATLAS OF STARS AND PLANETS A Beginner’s Guide to the Universe. USA, Facts on File, Inc., 1993.

Sa"turn (?), n. L. Saturnus, literally, the saower, fr. serere, satum, to sow. See Season.

1. Roman Myth.

One of the elder and principal deities, the son of Celus and Terra (Heaven and Earth), anf the father of Jupiter. The corresponding Greek divinity was Kro`nos, later CHro`nos, Time.

2. Astron.

One of the planets of the solar system, next in magnitude to Jupiter, but more remote from the sun. Its diameter is seventy thousand miles, its mean distance from the sun nearly eight hundred and eighty millions of miles, and its year, or periodical revolution round the sun, nearly twenty-nine years and a half. It is surrounded by a remarkable system of rings, and has eight satellites.

<-- more satellites have been discovered. -->

3. Alchem.

The metal lead.


© Webster 1913.

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