StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Saturn's Moon Titan - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet

Extract of sample
Saturn's Moon Titan

The highly successful Cassini/Huygens mission began sending data back to earth in the spring of 2005, and since that date man has documented volumes of data concerning this moon once a mystery to mankind. While Titan is uninhabitable by man, "Scientists believe that Titan's environment may be similar to that of the Earth's before life began putting oxygen into the atmosphere" (Hamilton). The image of a primordial earth has added to Titan's mystique as the Cassini orbiter continues to map and reveal the surface and composition of Saturn's moon, Titan.
Understanding the geophysical characteristics of Titan begins with a picture of its chemical composition and the temperature range that it exists in. The atmosphere of Titan, the only moon in the solar system to have a dense atmosphere, is composed primarily of nitrogen and methane (Ocean May Exist). There are also trace amounts of organic chemicals in the atmosphere, though the conditions are far from ideal for the creation of life. The moon has a gravitational force of about 15 percent of earth's and the temperature hovers around a cold minus 289 degrees Fahrenheit (Britt, "Smog on Saturn's Moon"). In 2002, scientists studying Titan believed that, "High in the Titan sky, solar radiation helps fuel chemical reactions that break the nitrogen and methane down into other substances. Eventually, lower down, some of these molecules serve as seeds for clouds. Methane condenses on the seeds to form rain or hailstones that fall to the surface" (Britt, "Smog on Saturn's Moon"). Indeed, three years later the Huygens probe would land during a methane rain as it broke through the atmosphere on Titan. These early and initial observations of Titan created more questions than they answered. What was the source of all the methane on the planet In a solar system that is routinely impacted by objects from space, why was Titan' surface relatively smooth, as if it had escaped the force of impacts The Cassini mission and the Huygens probe would provide the data necessary to begin to answer these questions.
Much of what we know about Titan came from a descent and landing on Titan's surface of the Huygens probe, a part of the European Space Agency's Cassini program. There has been a keen interest in Titan since the early days of astronomy as scientists speculated on a world that "is extraordinarily like Earth, with rivers, rain, islands, seas and mountains, but is otherwise a totally alien world where geology and chemistry are turned on their heads" (Walker). Launched in 1997, the Huygens probe separated from the Cassini orbiter and entered Titan's thick atmosphere in late 2004. Though it was not designed to be a lander, Huygens survived the descent and continued to relay data back to Earth for approximately 90 minutes. The first images sent back from Huygens were remarkable. According to Eddy, "Huygens landed at the shoreline of what appears to be large body of liquid when it ended a seven-year journey". Landing in a rain of methane, the Huygens probe landed in an area that was typical of Titan's surface. "European Space Agency scientists said at a press conference in Paris that the consistency of the surface was like icy wet mud" (Walker). The Cassini orbiter is still active and continues to survey the moon as it makes passes near Titan ...Show more


Titan, one of the largest moons in the solar system, has intrigued mankind as it was often thought to mirror earth's composition and possibly have the ingredients necessary to support life. Shrouded in a dark and heavy atmosphere, the moon defied man's ability to survey the surface, which led to speculation of liquid methane oceans and frozen water ice…
Author : gorczanyima
Saturns Moon Titan essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Saturn's Moon Titan"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

The Moon and Phases
For elementary grades, this includes teaching students the phases of the moon. As the Moon revolves around the Earth, the moon looks like it is changing shape from the sky. From Earth, people can see the Moon start from a thin crescent and seemingly transform to a full disk or full moon, before it goes back to its crescent shape.
4 pages (1000 words) Essay
The Moon Illusion
Does it really look bigger Is it an optical illusion Is it always the same size and, thus, a person's eyes play tricks What do the explanations say Studying the collective body of works about "The Moon Illusion" that experts have produced throughout the ages, one conclusion seems certain: They've agreed to disagree!
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
The Moon is Dawn
As messages go, this is a fairly noble and idealistic one. As literature, "The Moon Is Down" was written by a mature Steinbeck at the peak of his powers. Steinbeck avoided the easy mechanism of casting the "Nazis" in a demonic fashion, instead portraying them as humans torn by the brutality of what they must do.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
NASAs Space Infrared Telescope Exploring
In researching about this wonderful undertaking, I read about 'the discovery of significant amounts of icy organic materials sprinkled throughout several "planetary construction zones", or dusty planet-forming discs, which circle infant stars' ("Spotting Life", 2004).
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Physical Characteristics
But due to the vast differences in its size and orbit from the other certified planets, several astronomers were in thought whether it should be approved as a planet or not; because it actually matched more with KBO's than the planetary bodies. In 2006, the International Astronomical Unit officially reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
The Moon is Dawn
may be physically conquered by brute force for a time, but that their spirits will never be subjugated, and that eventually the flies will conquer the flypaper. As messages go, this is a fairly noble and idealistic one. As literature, "The Moon Is Down" was written by a mature
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Saturn Titan Mission Questions
Christian Huygens was born in 1629, April. He was a Dutch scientist, mathematician and astronomer. Among his famous works and discoveries
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Project 2: Moon Journal
The position at this time changes relative to the stars in the sky having in mind that there are 360 degrees in a complete circle
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Moon Journal
From research, I found out that the moon takes approximately 27.3 days to rotate the earth. That means that every day it moves about 13.2° each day eastwards relative to the position of the stars. The stars move across the sky in
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Moon Titan
Unlike other moon, Titan is dense due to its higher gravity and large size. The atmosphere of Titan is composed of double cloud layers of 200km and 300km, which is equivalent to 125 miles and 186 miles respectively above the surface. Titan
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Contact Us