William Sheehan is a historian of astronomy, writer and amateur astronomer, based in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. His most recent books include Jupiter with Thomas Hockey, Mercury (both Reaktion, 2018), Discovering Pluto (2018) with Dale Cruikshank, and Northern Arizona Space Training (2017) with Kevin Schindler. Asteroid Sheehan 16037 has been named in his honor.
Saturn is probably the most iconic planet after Earth, its rings being its trademark and a source of fascination going back to the first observations performed by Galileo and Huygens. More recently, Cassini provided a trove of photographic data that helped us understand this giant gas planet. In his book, Sheehan travels through history, from the mythological origins of its name to our current understanding of this distant world. The formation of Saturn, its interior, its atmosphere, and its rings are all discussed, supported by rich illustrations and up-to-date references. --Nature Astronomy Sheehan's writing is captivating and his narrative is enhanced by the myriad beautiful images, which include the talented hand-drawings made by pre-camera astronomers. For all armchair and professional astronomers, this is a must-have addition to your library. --Astronomy Now A detailed exploration of the most well-known of the ringed planets in our Solar System. It's an amazing account of how much we can learn from so little; how, over time, new things slowly reveal themselves; and how many questions we have yet to answer about this infamous giant world. . . . This book manages to show how--with the help of Galileo and his early telescopes--Saturn went from being a pale orange dot wandering across the constellations, to a body vital to the development of ground-based astronomical observations. Sheehan relates the story in detail, but keeps it exciting as he spins the tale of the planet's role in human history, from ancient Mesopotamia to modern-day space missions. . . . Saturn is a must-read for any enthusiastic amateur astronomer armed with a small telescope and the curiosity to learn more about the planet, its rings, and moons. --BBC Sky at Night Magazine