Why is Saturn less dense than water?
What makes Saturn less dense than H2O, and is it the only gas giant which is less dense than water...if so, what makes it different?
- 9 years agoFavorite Answer
The difference comes from the inner structure and in particular the proportions of low density layers (gas) and high density layers (metallic hydrogen) between the two planets. Due to the higher pressures and gravity, Jupiter has a thinner gaseous layer. Scroll to the bottom of the page you reach with the link below for more details.
- f42Lv 49 years ago
Saturn is the only gas giant (in our solar system at least) that is less dense than water. Basically, gas giants are composed of 2 main sections: The core (dense) and the H+He envelope (not dense). The density of the planet as a whole depends on the ratio of these two that make up the planet.* Hope this helps!
*Actually it is quite a bit more complicated than this. The density can be affected by other factors such as temperature (as gases expand when it's warmer), and outer giants Neptune and Uranus are ice giants, which also increases there density.
- ReginaldQLv 69 years ago
Saturn is less dense than water but contrary to what was said it is the only planet in the Solar System that is less dense than water. Nobody actually has answered the question. They only explained the principle behind density but not why is Saturn really less dense than water. Like all gas giants, Saturn is in a state where it is still shrinking. I know of Jupiter shrinking about 10cm per year but not of Saturn, perhaps it is less progressive due to less mass. There is still however considerable heat inside Saturn, close to 25,000K at the core which somehow pushes the planet inside out. This, plus the cold environment plus the fact that it is radiating more heat than it receives from the Sun causes it its large volume spread over a defined mass.
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- Anonymous9 years ago
Saturn is less dense then water because of the type of gases it is made up with, and the rate of gravitational spin I suppose. Tommy is wrong, Jupiter is almost twice as dense as Saturn, and the other gas planets are also denser then water!
- 9 years ago
Gas giant is your key here. I would say since it it smaller than Jupiter that it is a safe bet that Jupiter is also less dense than H2O. The other gas giants may also be. Since density is measured in mass/volume, and most of Saturn is made up of gas, which is less dense than liquid(as a general rule), then it makes sense with so much gas ans so little solid in such a large area, that overall it would be less dense than a liquid.(Sorry for the horrendous run-on sentence)
Anyway, Hope this helps you understand.
- wilde_spaceLv 79 years ago
Because of its large volume versus its mass.
Saturn is the only planet of the Solar System that is less dense than water. Although Saturn's core is considerably denser than water, the average specific density of the planet is 0.69 g/cm³ due to the gaseous atmosphere.Source(s): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn
- 9 years ago
It is because Saturn's mass is spread out over a large area, making it less dense.
density = mass/Volume
- 9 years ago
Saturn has a very small mass for it's massive size.
- NancyLv 44 years ago
Hydronium ion. Written H3O+