Few solar system or galaxy space bodies evoke the interest of the three planets: Saturn, Jupiter and Mars. This is true in both astronomy and in astrology.
What is so outstanding about the three planets?
Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun (Mercury - Venus - Earth - Mars - Jupiter - Saturn). The diameter of Saturn is almost the same as Jupiter but Jupiter is a much denser planet. Also, the rings of Saturn are much more prominent than the rings of Jupiter or any other planet. Astronomy-wise, the rings are what made Saturn famous. They give Saturn an aura that other planets cannot match.
Saturn's atmosphere consists mainly of hydrogen and massive storms (equal in diameter to that of Earth) occur.
Saturn has at least 19 satellites (moons) not including the many mini-satellites in the rings. By far, the largest satellite is Titan.
Titan is a fascinating moon, possibly even more fascinating than its parent, Saturn. The satellite has many of the ingredients necessary for life. For example, lakes of hydrocarbons have been observed to be on the surface. Of course, the frigid temperatures and the presence of hydrogen cyanide in the atmosphere would would be a major detriment to Earth's forms of life. The atmosphere is mainly composed of hydrogen
In the not too distance future, it is likely that some sort of unmanned space station will be set up on Titan. A manned station might eventually follow.
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the sun and is, by far, the most massive planet containing over twice the mass of all the other planets combined. Like Saturn, Jupiter is considered a gaseous planet but, unlike Saturn, may also contain a rocky core. Jupiter's atmosphere is composed mostly of Hydrogen and, often, has huge storms raging in it. One long-existing storm, The "Giant Red Spot," is several time larger than Earth.
Jupiter is of such mass that it is sometimes considered a "failed star." If it were larger, it might have become a "brown star," a type of "cool" star.
Jupiter has a strong magnetosphere and, consequently, the planet is surrounded by a radiation belt that would kill humans venturing nearby and is of danger to spacecraft approaching the planet.
The planet has at least 63 moons and the four largest - Ganymede, Europa, Io, and Callisto - are of great interest to astronomers because several moons are believed to contain oceans of liquid water and, also, due to volcanic action on several moons.
A day on Jupiter is equal to approximately 10 Earth hours. Jupiter revolves around the Sun in approximately 12 Earth years.
Mars is often called "the Red Planet" and the red color has shown to be the result of the large amount of iron oxide on the surface of the planet. Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and is located between Earth and Jupiter.
Mars is of particular interest because it is believed to be the closest planet to Earth in the ability to sustain life as we know it. At one time, astronomers thought they were observing flourishing canals on the planet, however it has been shown that the canals were an optical illusion. No proof of any type of life existing (or having existed) on Mars has ever been verified. Countless works of fiction have depicted life on Mars but so far "it just ain't so."
Mars is small compared to Earth having only 11% of the mass of Earth. The atmosphere is extremely thin there and there is little oxygen in it. At this time, man could exist there only if he brings his own oxygen supply. Man would find plenty of water there but it is apparently all frozen. Most of it is located at the north and south polar ice caps and below the surface. It should be noted that evidence of running liquid water at some time in Mar's past has been observed.
Mars has several item of interest to astronomers: It has the highest known mountain in the solar system, Olympus being three times as tall as Mount Everest; Mars has two small moons - Phonos and Deimos - which may actually be captured astroids; Days have about the same length on Mars as on Earth but the Mars year is about twice that of the Earth year; and, finally, Mars has been visited often by unmanned spacecraft from Earth (manned spacecraft will likely visit the planet in a few decades).
In astrology, Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricon. In mythology, Saturn is the God of agriculture, and of social order and conformity. In this regard, the famous rings of Saturn provides evidence of the limitation of man's limitations. Thus, Saturn is strongly associated with the principals of limitations, restraints, boundaries, practicality, and reality.
Saturn governs ambition, careers, authority, hierarchy, and social structure
Sort of a harsh view of Saturn but someone has to take care of business!
Jupiter is the ruling planet of Sagittarius. In Roman Mythology, Jupiter is the ruler of all the Gods, having overthrown Saturn. In summary, Jupiter is the big boss - the ruler of all the planets.
In Astronomy, Jupiter is believed to play an important role in protecting Earth and the other inner planets - Mercury, Venus, and Mars - by using its massive size and gravity to prevent comets and asteroids from colliding and damaging with the smaller inner planets. In some instances, it captures the dangerous alien bodies and, in other cases, it expels them from the solar system,
Astrologically, Jupiter is associated with the principles of growth, expansion, prosperity, and good fortune. Jupiter governs foreign travel, higher education, religion, and the law. In medicine, Jupiter is associated with the liver, pituitary gland, and the dispersion of fats.
Lets face it. Jupiter is the big boy---the boss! The planet has many functions and is the take-charge planet
Mars is the ruling planet of Aries. It is the Roman God of War.
Mars is often called the "Red Planet." This red color is often cited by astrologers as being the color of blood. (The actual cause of the Redness is the iron oxide existing in the Martian soil.)
Astrologically, Mars is associated with confidence and self-assertion.
In medicine, Mars rules the genitals and other masculine systems.
In summary, Mars is the planet of masculine action and aggressiveness.
Three exciting planets in the solar system are Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. They are important planets both in astronomy and astrology.
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