· · · ·

Titan

Moon of Saturn

An immense moon of Saturn, orbiting the ringed planet once in about sixteen days, between the paths of the smaller moons Rhea and Hyperion. Its diameter of more than 5,000 kilometres makes Titan the largest of Saturn's satellites by far, though it is not quite the largest moon in the entire Solar System. That honour goes to Jupiter's moon Ganymede, though Ganymede's diameter is only about 100 kilometres greater than Titan's.

Unusually for a moon, Titan has a thick atmosphere, characterised by a thick layer of orange haze. Since its discovery by Christian Huygens in 1655, what lay beneath this hazy atmosphere had remained in the realm of theory, until a probe bearing its discover's name landed on the surface exactly 350 years later. The Huygens lander revealed a frozen landscape sculpted by liquid methane.

Indexes

Related Entries