Titan (moon)

TitanSaturn's moon Titanatmospheremoon of the same nameTitaneanTitanians
Titan is the largest moon of Saturn.wikipedia
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Moons of Saturn

moon of Saturnmoonmoons
Titan is the largest moon of Saturn.
The moons of Saturn are numerous and diverse, ranging from tiny moonlets less than 1 kilometer across to the enormous Titan, which is larger than the planet Mercury.

Christiaan Huygens

HuygensHuygens, ChristiaanChristiaan
Discovered in 1655 by the Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens, Titan was the first known moon of Saturn, and the sixth known planetary satellite (after Earth's moon and the four Galilean moons of Jupiter).
In physics, Huygens made groundbreaking contributions in optics and mechanics, while as an astronomer he is chiefly known for his studies of the rings of Saturn and the discovery of its moon Titan.

Mercury (planet)

Mercuryplanet MercuryMercurio
It is the second-largest moon in the Solar System after Jupiter's moon Ganymede, and is larger than the smallest planet, Mercury, but only 40% as massive.
It is the smallest planet in the Solar System, with an equatorial radius of 2439.7 km. Mercury is also smaller—albeit more massive—than the largest natural satellites in the Solar System, Ganymede and Titan.

Saturn

Saturn's atmosphereExploration of Saturnhome planet
Titan is the sixth gravitationally rounded moon from Saturn.
Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and the second-largest in the Solar System, is larger than the planet Mercury, although less massive, and is the only moon in the Solar System to have a substantial atmosphere.

Natural satellite

moonmoonssatellite
It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object in space, other than Earth, where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid have been found.
The only known exception is Saturn's natural satellite Hyperion, which rotates chaotically because of the gravitational influence of Titan.

Impact crater

cratercratersimpact basin
The geologically young surface is generally smooth, with few impact craters, although mountains and several possible cryovolcanoes have been found.
On other planets and moons that experience more active surface geological processes, such as Earth, Venus, Mars, Europa, Io and Titan, visible impact craters are less common because they become eroded, buried or transformed by tectonics over time.

Solar System

outer Solar Systeminner Solar SystemSol system
It is the second-largest moon in the Solar System after Jupiter's moon Ganymede, and is larger than the smallest planet, Mercury, but only 40% as massive.
In the 17th century, Galileo discovered that the Sun was marked with sunspots, and that Jupiter had four satellites in orbit around it. Christiaan Huygens followed on from Galileo's discoveries by discovering Saturn's moon Titan and the shape of the rings of Saturn.

Callisto (moon)

CallistoAtmosphere of Callistofourth Galilean moon of Jupiter
Titan's diameter and mass (and thus its density) are similar to those of the Jovian moons Ganymede and Callisto.
It is the third-largest moon in the Solar System after Ganymede and Saturn's largest moon Titan, and the largest object in the Solar System not to be properly differentiated.

Voyager 1

Voyager1the first spacecraft to leave the Solar System
Before the arrival of Voyager 1 in 1980, Titan was thought to be slightly larger than Ganymede (diameter 5262 km) and thus the largest moon in the Solar System; this was an overestimation caused by Titan's dense, opaque atmosphere, which extends many kilometres above its surface and increases its apparent diameter.
The probe's objectives included flybys of Jupiter, Saturn, and Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

Ganymede (moon)

GanymedeAtmosphere of GanymedeGanymedans
It is the second-largest moon in the Solar System after Jupiter's moon Ganymede, and is larger than the smallest planet, Mercury, but only 40% as massive. Before the arrival of Voyager 1 in 1980, Titan was thought to be slightly larger than Ganymede (diameter 5262 km) and thus the largest moon in the Solar System; this was an overestimation caused by Titan's dense, opaque atmosphere, which extends many kilometres above its surface and increases its apparent diameter.
Its diameter of 5,268 km is 0.41 times that of Earth, 0.77 times that of Mars, 1.02 times that of Saturn's Titan (the second-largest moon), 1.08 times Mercury's, 1.09 times Callisto's, 1.45 times Io's and 1.51 times the Moon's.

Triton (moon)

TritonAndvarimoon of Neptune
It is second in terms of relative diameter of moons to a gas giant; Titan being 1/22.609 of Saturn's diameter, Triton is larger in diameter relative to Neptune at 1/18.092.
Triton is one of the few moons in the Solar System known to be geologically active (the others being Jupiter's Io and Europa, and Saturn's Enceladus and Titan).

Orbital resonance

1:1 resonanceresonancemean-motion resonance
The small, irregularly shaped satellite Hyperion is locked in a 3:4 orbital resonance with Titan.
The outer end of this eccentric ringlet always points towards Saturn's major moon Titan.

Voyager program

VoyagerVoyager spacecraftVoyagers
Observations from the Voyager space probes have shown that Titan's atmosphere is denser than Earth's, with a surface pressure about 1.45 atm.
Voyager 1 was launched after Voyager 2, but along a shorter and faster trajectory that was designed to provide an optimal flyby of Saturn's moon Titan, which was known to be quite large and to possess a dense atmosphere.

Hyperion (moon)

HyperionHyperion’s Chaotic Rotation
The small, irregularly shaped satellite Hyperion is locked in a 3:4 orbital resonance with Titan.
Over about 1,000 years, ejecta from a presumed Hyperion breakup would have impacted Titan at low speeds, building up volatiles in the atmosphere of Titan.

Tidal locking

tidally lockedsynchronoussynchronous rotation
Like the Moon and many of the satellites of the giant planets, its rotational period (its day) is identical to its orbital period; Titan is tidally locked in synchronous rotation with Saturn, and permanently shows one face to the planet, so Titan's "day" is equal to its orbit period.
One conclusion is that, other things being equal (such as Q and \mu), a large moon will lock faster than a smaller moon at the same orbital distance from the planet because m_s\, grows as the cube of the satellite radius R. A possible example of this is in the Saturn system, where Hyperion is not tidally locked, whereas the larger Iapetus, which orbits at a greater distance, is. However, this is not clear cut because Hyperion also experiences strong driving from the nearby Titan, which forces its rotation to be chaotic.

Diacetylene

1,3-Butadiynebutadiynediyne
There are trace amounts of other hydrocarbons, such as ethane, diacetylene, methylacetylene, acetylene and propane, and of other gases, such as cyanoacetylene, hydrogen cyanide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, cyanogen, argon and helium.
Diacetylene has been identified in the atmosphere of Titan and in the protoplanetary nebula CRL 618 by its characteristic vibrational spectrum.

Rhea (moon)

Rhea
Saturn's mid-sized moons, such as Iapetus and Rhea, were formed from the debris of these collisions.
Astronomers fell into the habit of referring to them and Titan as Saturn I through Saturn V.

John Herschel

Sir John HerschelHerschelJohn
The name Titan, and the names of all seven satellites of Saturn then known, came from John Herschel (son of William Herschel, discoverer of two other Saturnian moons, Mimas and Enceladus), in his 1847 publication Results of Astronomical Observations Made during the Years 1834, 5, 6, 7, 8, at the Cape of Good Hope.
In this publication he proposed the names still used today for the seven then-known satellites of Saturn: Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, Dione, Rhea, Titan, and Iapetus.

Iapetus (moon)

IapetusEquatorial ridgeIapetian
Saturn's mid-sized moons, such as Iapetus and Rhea, were formed from the debris of these collisions.
Although it is Saturn's third-largest moon, it orbits much farther from Saturn than the next closest major moon, Titan.

Constantijn Huygens Jr.

ConstantijnConstantijn HuygensConstantijn Jr.
Christiaan, with the help of his older brother Constantijn Huygens, Jr., began building telescopes around 1650 and discovered the first observed moon orbiting Saturn with one of the telescopes they built.
In 1655 Christiaan discovered Titan, a moon orbiting Saturn.

Hydrocarbon

hydrocarbonsliquid hydrocarbonHC
There are trace amounts of other hydrocarbons, such as ethane, diacetylene, methylacetylene, acetylene and propane, and of other gases, such as cyanoacetylene, hydrogen cyanide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, cyanogen, argon and helium. Much as with Venus before the Space Age, the dense opaque atmosphere prevented understanding of Titan's surface until the Cassini–Huygens mission in 2004 provided new information, including the discovery of liquid hydrocarbon lakes in Titan's polar regions.
Lakes of liquid methane and ethane have been found on Titan, Saturn's largest moon, confirmed by the Cassini-Huygens Mission.

Xanadu (Titan)

Xanadu
These include Xanadu, a large, reflective equatorial area about the size of Australia.
Xanadu (often called "Xanadu Region", though this is not its official name) is a highly reflective area on the leading hemisphere of Saturn's moon Titan.

Ligeia Mare

There are dark areas of similar size elsewhere on Titan, observed from the ground and by Cassini; at least one of these, Ligeia Mare, Titan's second-largest sea, is almost a pure methane sea.
Ligeia Mare is a lake in the north polar region of Titan, the planet Saturn's largest moon.

Atmosphere

atmosphericatmospheresplanetary atmospheres
It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object in space, other than Earth, where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid have been found.
Thus, distant and cold Titan, Triton, and Pluto are able to retain their atmospheres despite their relatively low gravities.

Cassini–Huygens

CassiniCassini spacecraftCassini'' spacecraft
Much as with Venus before the Space Age, the dense opaque atmosphere prevented understanding of Titan's surface until the Cassini–Huygens mission in 2004 provided new information, including the discovery of liquid hydrocarbon lakes in Titan's polar regions.
The Flagship-class robotic spacecraft comprised both NASA's Cassini probe, and ESA's Huygens lander which landed on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.