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Titan's atmosphere is orange. We cannot see the surface of Titan because of the thick atmosphere.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.

Titan

Titan is the largest moon of the planet Saturn. Titan is the second largest moon in our Solar System. The diameter of Titan is 5,150 km (3,200 miles), which is about the distance across the United States. Jupiter's moon Ganymede is the only moon in our Solar System that is larger than Titan. Titan is larger than the planets Mercury and Pluto!

Titan is the only moon in the Solar System that has a thick atmosphere. Titan's atmosphere is even thicker than Earth's! We can't see through Titan's atmosphere to get a clear view of the moon's surface. Thanks to the Huygens lander and to radar on the Cassini spacecraft we are beginning to get some good looks at the surface of Titan. Scientists have discovered lakes of liquid methane and ethane near Titan's poles. They have also spotted clouds in the atmosphere of Titan.

Titan was discovered by Christiaan Huygens in 1655. It orbits Saturn at a distance of 1,221,830 km (759,208 miles). Titan is very cold (-178 C, or -288 F, at the surface), and is mostly made of ice. The moon has an unusual history, and some scientists believe there is a very tiny chance that life might exist on Titan!


Last modified January 22, 2009 by Randy Russell.

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