Saturn's biggest satellite, 2nd biggest in solar system
Most amazingly, Titan has an atmosphere. A big one. Surface
pressure is 1.5 atmospheres!
From Earth, methane was detected spectroscopically.
Voyager 1 flew by, this methane was confirmed, but it was realized that
nitrogen (N2) was the dominant gas in the atmosphere.
Ultraviolet radiation from the Sun interacts with the
in the atmosphere to produce the ethane, propane, ethalyne, etc - a photochemical
smog. (Where else in the solar
do we have a photochemical smog?)
Nitrogen (N2) 82-99%
Methane (CH4) 1-6%
Argon? (Ar) 0-10% (?)
Minor constituents (organic
Hydrogen cyanide (HCN)
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Cold: 94 degrees Kelvin
of temperature and pressure under which a substance can exist as
solid, and vapor.
Methane temperature triple point: 90.7K (near
Methane pressure triple point: 117 millibar (a
up in Titan's atmosphere)
Methane may act on
way water does on the Earth!
- methane clouds almost certainly exist
- methane/ethane rain? ("raining frozen
- methane/ethane snow?
- methane/ethane lakes and oceans?
Think about this:
What does this sound
- Thick atmosphere
- Liquid on surface
- Organic compounds
The Cassini/Huygens Mission
2004/5: Saturn orbiter/Titan lander, provided shots of