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• Titan was discovered March 25, 1655.
• Christian Huygens was the man to discover
• When viewing Saturn he noticed a star that
was lined up with Saturn’s rings.
• Viewing Saturn for a long period of time he
realized that the star was orbiting Saturn and
was in fact a moon.
Fun Facts
• Titan is one of 53 moons orbiting Saturn.
• Titan is the second largest moon in our solar
• It is bigger than our own moon and bigger
than the planet Mercury.
• Titan is the only moon to be known to have
planet-like atmosphere.
• If Titan had orbited the Sun rather than Saturn
it would definitely be considered a planet.
• In 1981 Voyager I flew by Titan and tried to
take close up pictures but was unable to
pierce its dense cloud cover.
• In 1994 the Hubble space telescope
successfully got infrared pictures of Titan’s
surface revealing Xanadu.
Cassini-Huygens (CH)
• The Cassini-Huygens Mission is a collaboration
of NASA/European Space Agency/Italian Space
• Cassini Orbiter was created to monitor Saturn
and Titan. While the Huygens Probe was
created to penetrate Titans surface.
Huygens's Probe
On its journey to Saturn, Cassini carried the Europeanbuilt Huygens probe. On Jan. 14, 2005, Huygens
achieved humankind's first landing on a body in the
Outer Solar System when it parachuted through Titan's
murky skies. Huygens took measurements of
atmospheric composition and wind speeds during its
decent, along with an incredible series of images
showing telltale patterns of erosion by flowing liquid.
The probe came to rest on what appeared to be a
floodplain, surrounded by rounded cobbles of water
Cassini Orbiter
• July 1st 2004 Cassini took place in Saturn’s
• The Cassini orbiter has given us many
opportunities to see Titan’s atmosphere and
weather patterns on different parts of Titans
• Is a continent sized feature on Titan’s surface.
• It is the size of the Australia.
• This land had sand dunes and river channels
that lead to dark areas that might be lakes.
• There also is a crater formation that could be
caused by a volcanic eruption.
• Xanadu is seen as a new continent or scientist
to explore and discover.
• Volcanism may occur as well, but with liquid
water as the lava.
• There is said to be 3 “cryovolcanoes”, or icy
volcanoes on the surface of Titan.
• Two of the volcanoes had conical features that
were 1,000- 1,500 meters in height.
• The third is a large crater that look as if caused
by an explosion.
• Titan has a permanent hurricane at its South
Warm air is
rising up the
sides becoming
cold and is
sinking down
the center
Titans atmosphere
• Titan is the only moon in the solar system with a
thick atmosphere
• Titans atmospheric compositions of titan consist
of 95% nitrogen, and about 5% methane
• Titan rich mixture of chemicals make it an
interesting place studying. Scientist have deemed
it similar to earth history, except earths was much
• Titan spends 95% of its time shielded by Saturn's
magnetic sphere protecting it from
bombardment of solar radiation.
• Titan has season very much like earth;
however titans seasons last 7 years long.
• Scientists are using similar technology to
predicting earths weather on titan.
• Titan is suspected to have liquid lakes on the
• temperature is just 94 degrees above absolute
zero. Water is as rock and liquid methane runs
through titan.
• Titan has many unique characteristics similar to
• Instead of Earth’s hydrological cycles Titan has
methane cycles. It has methane clouds, rain, and
• Titan’s atmosphere is 10 times thicker than
• It’s dense atmosphere is mostly Nitrogen but also
includes smoggy chemicals like Methane and
Ethane. Its smog is so thick it actually rains
gasoline like liquids.
• In 2007 Cassini discovered many dark regions
that appear to be lakes on the northern pole
of Titan. This body is ranging to be larger than
all Great Lakes on the US- Canada border.
• Near the south pole a dark region shaped like
a kidney was detected said to measure the
size of Lake Ontario. (64,000 km)
Orbit and Rotation
• Titan orbits Saturn once every 15 days and 22
hours. Like many of the other satellites of the
gas giants and the Moon, its rotational period
is identical to its orbital period
• Titan's Rotation Reveals an Internal Ocean and
Changing Zonal Winds
• One titan year is = to
• 29.5 earth years.
Possible forms of life
Scientists are forming alternative base theories
as to how life could evolve somewhere else. One
of those theories is methane based life.
The theory is based off the fact that life has
evolved based off of earths abundance to water,
so it is possible that it will adapt to whatever is
available to them.
• Griffith, Caitlin Ann. "Titan's Lower Atmosphere." AIP
Conference Proceedings 930.1 (2007): 3-36.Academic
Search Premier. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.