How Long Is a Day on Saturn?

Everyone knows that a day on Earth lasts for twenty four hours. Almost everything we do in relation to time revolves around the length of a day. Did you know that other planets have different lengths for each of their days? That is because not everything out in the solar system is rotating at the same speed. In fact, there are vastly different lengths to a day depending on what planet you are standing on.

Some objects spin very quickly while others hardly spin at all. Still, other objects are tidally locked and appear not to be moving in relation to the object they are orbiting around, like how our moon always has the same face pointed towards us on the ground.

Did you know that a day on Saturn is much shorter than a day on Earth? So how long is a day on Saturn?

A day on Saturn is exactly 10 hours, 33 minutes, and 38 seconds. This information comes to use from data gathered from the Cassini space missions which studied the ringed planet in detail over the course of many years. This latest information is the most precise set of data ever received from Saturn and actually slims down the length of a day by a few minutes off of the previously recorded time.

Previous Estimation

The previous estimation for a day on Saturn was 10 hours and 42 minutes. The reason for the disparity is that, without solid ground and steady landmarks to judge its rotation by, there is nothing concrete to try and use to gauge the exact length of a year. When all you can see is swirling clouds, judging whether or not the planet has completely finished a rotation is hard to do.

Other planets such as Jupiter and Neptune have more distinct features to help astronomers judge the length of their days. Jupiter, for example, has the Great Red Spot which is an extremely helpful landmark to use on a gaseous planet to measure time. Saturn, by comparison, is one of the most featureless planets in the solar system making judging its day much harder than the average planet.

New Data Discovery

However, with new data being published recently from the most recent in-space observations. Scientists are now comfortable nailing down Saturn’s day exactly. And it is a short one.

At 10 hours, 33 minutes, and 38 seconds, a day on Saturn is actually about 2-¼ times shorter than a day on Earth. Despite being much larger, Saturn is spinning much faster than the Earth.

But even at those speeds, Saturn still does not have the shortest day in the solar system. Jupiter’s day is actually even shorter coming in at just over 9 hours long. These gas giants are spinning like tops.

What’s even crazier about having such a short day is that it makes your years feel even longer. Saturn already has an incredibly long year by Earth standards clocking in at over 29 Earth years to complete. But if we use Saturn’s short days, we get a single year that lasts 24,491 Saturn days. Talk about having a long year. That means if you are having a bad year on Saturn, you will have to wait much, much longer before it is finally over.

In contrast, if you were to have a bad day on Saturn, it would be over much quicker as well. In fact, to abide by Saturn time, humans would have a rough go of it. With 8 hours of recommended sleep per night, people would only be awake for two hours. Before a new day was upon them. Instead of having a useful day-night cycle that roughly corresponds to our daily sleep needs. The days on Saturn would move past quickly leaving many of us dazed and confused.

Luckily, humans evolved here on Earth, and we are not subjected to Saturn’s insanely short 10 hour days.


So next time you look up into the night sky with your Telescopes For Viewing Planets and bring Saturn into focus. You will know that the days are much shorter.

With all this information we can now find out How Long Is a Year On Saturn.

We keep discovering Facts about Saturn, and I keep enjoying blogging about them, like How Far Is Saturn From Earth to Can Saturn Float On Water. As our knowledge about Saturn grows, so will our discovery about this great planet.