Home Universe 20 Facts About Titan – Amazing And Boring!

20 Facts About Titan – Amazing And Boring!

by Sankalan Baidya
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facts about titan

Okay, since we were not done telling about Titan facts in our previous two articles, we promised of a third article. However, we need to say that this article is not a compilation of all amazing facts about Titan. In fact, you will encounter some generic data-based facts that we prefer classifying as Boring and then, there are some Amazing facts too that you are going to love. So, we will begin with our boring facts and end with the interesting ones.

Facts about Titan (Boring Ones): 1-5

1. The diameter of Titan is 5,150 kilometers. To be precise, it is 5,149.4 kilometers.

2. As far as the mass of Titan is concerned, it has 1.8 times the mass of our Moon. The exact mass is 1.35 x 1023 kilograms.

3. The satellite is tidally locked to Saturn. This means that Titan shows only one face to Saturn always. The other face of Titan cannot see Saturn – ever!

4. The time taken by Titan to orbit around the host planet (in this case, Saturn) is 15 days (Earth days) and 22 hours. Interestingly, that is the exact amount of time Titan takes to complete one rotation around its rotational axis.

5. Put points 3 and 4 together and what we get is that one day on Titan actually lasts for 15 days and 22 hours.

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Facts about Titan (Boring Ones): 6-10

6. Titan was the sixth moon to be discovered in our Solar System.

7. Titan was discovered by Christiaan Huygens – a Dutch astronomer. He came up with this discovery in 1655. The exact date was March 25.

8. Because a day on Titan lasts as long as its orbital period, there is a point on Titan which is known as the sub-Saturnian point. Standing at this point, it will appear that Saturn is hanging directly overhead.

9. The discoverer of this satellite named the moon as Saturni Luna. However, between 1673 and 1686, four more moons were discovered. The result was that those moons were named as Saturn I, Saturn II, Saturn III, Saturn IV and Saturn V. By this time Titan was already in the fourth position and hence, was named as Saturn IV.

10. The problem is that Titan had to bear all these names – Saturn II, Saturn IV and Saturn VI. So, as more and more satellites kept coming in, the numbering system was given up. Finally the name Titan was given by John Herschel, who was the son of William Herschel. It was William Herschel who discovered Enceladus and Miams – both of which are moons of Saturn.

Facts about Titan (Amazing Ones): 11-15

11. Did you know that Titan doesn’t have a magnetic field of its own? That’s pretty weird.

12. Titan’s atmosphere is very dense but the problem is with its gravity. The gravity is very low. This means that we can actually attach home-made wings to our arms and flap our way up into the skies of Saturn. Yes, you can literally fly in Saturn’s atmosphere.

13. The reason why natural gases (methane and ethane) are found in liquid state on Titan is that its atmospheric pressure is too high and the surface temperature is too cold. -290°F or -179°C along with substantial amount of atmospheric pressure allows ethane and methane to be in liquid state.

14. The most distant landing ever made in outer solar system is on Titan. A probe called Huygens managed to land on the moon and transmit data for 1.5 hours. Huygens was carried by Cassini spacecraft.

15. Actually, Titan was supposed to be far colder than what it is. Methane that is present in the atmosphere of Titan is responsible for keeping the moon warm enough by creating greenhouse effect.

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Facts about Titan (Amazing Ones) 16-20

16. The greenhouse effect would have been more profound had there been no haze around the celestial body. The sunlight that comes to Titan, a majority of it is bounced back into space by the haze and thus, canceling out the greenhouse effect produced by Methane to a great extent. This means that the upper atmosphere of the moon is pretty much warmer than the celestial body itself.

17. Titan’s surface is geologically young. Interestingly, Titan has been around since our entire solar system was formed but over time, the surface of Titan was reshaped by geological process. Currently, it is estimated that the surface of Titan is anywhere between 100 million years and 1 billion years old.

18. There are three major seas on Titan (filled with liquid hydrocarbons). These are Kraken Mare, Ligeia Mare and Punga Mare. However, when it comes to number of lakes, there are actually many of them. There are 36 lakes in total.

19. In addition to lakes and seas, the moon also has bays and islands. There are 10 islands and 15 bays in total.

20. In 2014 July 2, NASA said that the global ocean that is lurking beneath the icy surface of Titan is perhaps extremely salty? Just how salty? According to NASA, it is as salty as the Dead Sea on Earth!

Well, we will conclude our list on facts about Titan here. Actually, we could have written more but we think these facts will suffice for now and moreover, we don’t want to torture you any further. So, we will end right here!

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Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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