Saturn and Jupiter
The history of this pair, the ancient Kronos and Zeus,
or Saturn and Jupiter, as reflected in many traditions all around the
world, tells a story that has nothing in it resembling the sedate and
uneventful circling of these bodies on their orbits that modern astronomy
asserts as a fact.
Saturn and Jupiter are very much like the sun; were
they not planets, they would be considered stars, like our sun.(1)
Jupiter is nearly 330 times more massive than the Earth, and Saturn 80
times. Both planets are covered with gases which are in constant motion,
like the gaseous atmosphere of the sun. The sun has nine satellites and
numerous asteroids and comets; Jupiter has at least fourteen satellites
and several asteroids and comets. Saturn has ten known satellites; and
four or five comets constitute the Saturnian family (though these comets
do not circle around Saturn itself, they are commonly regarded as related
to the orbit of Saturn).
Were Jupiter and Saturn free from the bonds of the sun,
they could be considered as stars or suns. Were two such stars set in
space close to one another, they would constitute a double-star system,
both stars circling around a common focus.
As told, the picture that emerges from comparative folklore
and mythology presents Saturn and Jupiter in vigorous interactions. Suppose
that these two bodies approached each other rather closely at one time,
causing violent perturbations and huge tidal effects in each others
atmospheres. Their mutual disturbance led to a stellar explosion, or nova.
As we have seen, a nova is thought to result from an instability in a
star, generated by a sudden influx of matter, usually derived from its
companion in a binary system. If what we call today Jupiter and Saturn
are the products of such a sequence of events, their appearance and respective
masses must formerly have been quite different.(2)
A scenario such as this would explain the prominence
of Saturn prior to its cataclysmic disruption and dismembermentit
must have been a larger body than it is now, possibly of the volume of
Jupiter. Interestingly, for certain reasons G. Kuiper assumed that Saturn
originally was of a mass equal to that of Jupiter.(3)
At some point during a close approach to Jupiter, Saturn became unstable;
and, as a result of the influx of extraneous material, it exploded, flaring
as a nova which, after subsiding, left a remnant that the ancients still
recognized as Saturn, even though it was but a fraction of the celestial
body of earlier days. In Saturns explosion much of the matter absorbed
earlier was thrown off into space. Saturn was greatly reduced in size
and removed to a distant orbitthe binary system was broken up and
Jupiter took over the dominant position in the sky. The ancient Greeks
saw this as Zeus, victorious over his father, forcing him to release the
children he earlier had swallowed and banishing him to the outer reaches
of the sky. In Egyptian eyes it was Horus-Jupiter assuming royal power,
leaving Osiris to reign over the kingdom of the dead.
If the descriptions of Saturn as a sun mean
anything, Saturn must have been visible, in the time before its explosion,
as a large disk. If this was the case the increased distance between the
Earth and Saturn could have been the result of the removal of the Earth
from its place or of Saturn from its place, or both. Saturn could be removed
only by the planet Jupiter, the sole member of the planetary family more
powerful than Saturn. And indeed, the myth says that Saturn was removed
[In Worlds in Collision
Velikovsky wrote of events that may theoretically take place in
the future: Some dark star, like Jupiter or Saturn, may
be in the path of the sun, and may be attracted to the solar system
and cause havoc in it. (Emphasis added). While in 1950 both planets
were assumed by astronomers to be covered by thick layers of ice, they
are now known to be star-like in their composition and thermal properties.
In the case of Saturn, H. Spencer Jones (Life on Other Worlds [Macmillan
Company: New York, 1940], ch. 6) argued that Saturn must be coated with
water ice or frozen ammonia. Spencer-Jones book was published
in the same year in which Velikovsky drew very different conclusions
about Saturns thermal history and structure. The astronomers
conjecture was based on a simple calculation of the amount of heat reaching
the planet: Saturn, being almost ten times farther away from the Sun
than the Earth had to have a mean temperature in the neighborhood of
-155 degrees Celsius. The reasons why Velikovsky concluded that Saturns
temperature must be considerably higher than the accepted estimate were,
first, in the residual heat of the catastrophe in which Saturn
was derailed from its orbit and, second, the radioactivity
that resulted from the catastrophe must still be pronounced on Saturn.
(From the unpublished manuscript, The Test of Time). On top of
all this, based on its past history, Saturn can be regarded as
a star and may have some of the mechanism that makes our sun burn with
In 1966 Kellerman described
his observations and measurements at a wavelength of 21.3 cm, which
showed a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit for the inner atmospheric
layers. (Icarus) Revised textbooks, taking account of the findings,
began to speak of room temperature on Saturn, recorded
in the 21-centimeter band. (E.g., Fred Whipple, Earth, Moon
and Planets third revised edition [Cambridge, Mass., 1968], p.
187). By 1972 measurements at radio wavelengths of 50 and 100 centimeters
found unusually high temperaturesabout 240 degrees
F. and 520 degrees F. respectively. Thus it appears that Saturn,
like Jupiter, is not the entirely frozen wasteland it was once thought
to be. (D. McNally, Are the Jovian Planets Failed
Stars? Nature 244 [August, 1973], pp. 424-426).
Soon it was realized that
Saturn must have an internal energy source, and is in fact more like
a star than like a planet, though it it not considered sufficiently
massive to function as a true star. (Science News 101 ,
p. 312. The article compares the view expressed only a few years previously
by C. Sagan that Saturn could not be an abode of life because of atmospheric
temperatures several hundred degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Cf. Intelligent
Life in the Universe).
Measurements in the far-infrared
and submillimeter ranges, published in 1977, indicate that the internal
energy source on Saturn lies within the range of 2.3 to 3.2
times the absorbed solar flux. (R. F. Loewenstein et al.,
Far Infrared and Submillimeter Observations of the Planets,
Icarus 31 , p. 315. Cf. The Astrophysical Journal
157, pp. 169ff.). In other words, Saturn gives off up to about
three times the amount of energy it receives from the Sun.
At the beginning of 1980 analysis
of measurements taken by Pioneer 11 during its flight past Saturn
showed that the interior of the planet has a temperature exceeding
10,000 degrees Kelvin, which is considerably hotter than the surface
of the Sun (less than 6,000 degrees Kelvin).].
that the protoplanet masses of Jupiter and Saturn were nearly the
same was advanced by G. Kuiper. See Sky and Telescope, (March,
1959), p. 259.
- Sky and Telescope (March, 1959), p. 259.