There are so many incredible things we are still discovering about the universe and our solar system as a whole. There are an infinite number of potential galaxies and solar systems in space, and we’re still trying to find out about our own. We know the planets that inhabit our solar system, and we know a little about them. For instance, Saturn has several moons that orbit it, and the largest of these is Titan.
Titan is so enormous that the moon itself is actually larger than the planet Mercury! Titan is also one of the most explored and studied moons of our solar system. Behind Jupiter’s moon Ganymede, it is the largest in the solar system and was discovered in 1655 by Christiaan Huygens. Here are some of the top things we know about Titan, and its physiology.
What the surface is like
The surface of Titan is thought to be made up of a lot of ice and rocky material. The dense atmosphere has long prevented the surface of the moon from being explored, this was until the Cassini-Huygens probe visits allowed for closer study. The polar regions of the moon have been found to have lakes, and are smooth, with few mountainous areas. Further studies should reveal even more information about this fascinating moon. But, we also need to think about the elements here as well – they actually aren’t too different from some areas of Earth.
Bring an umbrella
It might surprise you to discover that Titan is actually plagued by pretty intensive rainstorms every year, and much more frequently than you would imagine. Despite the fact that it rains a lot, like on Earth, the rainstorms are actually nothing like they are on Earth. On Titan, the rainstorms dump a foot of liquid methane onto the surface every day. Journal Nature Geoscience has published findings in the rainstorm phenomenon on Titan, and come to some fascinating findings.
It has been discovered that these rainstorms generally occur around once every Titan year, which is the equivalent of close to 30 years on Earth. And, studies suggest that the most extreme storms on the moon occur around once every 20-30 Titan years, which clocks in at around 600-900 Earth years. Mapping weather patterns on Titan has led to this discovery and has helped scientists learn more about the moon and its physiology.
There is currently no future mission planned to Titan, but the Cassini-Huygens probe could well be back in the future. Findings have indicated that Titan is the only place besides Earth that actually has bodies of liquid on its surface. The fact that it has a similar makeup to Earth makes this a fascinating moon to discover, and somewhere we should go back to again and again.
Titan is certainly one of the most interesting and fascinating moons in the solar system and definitely warrants further exploration. The rainstorms that happen here are like what we get on Earth but to a much larger and more severe scale. There is a lot we can learn from looking at Titan, and finding out the lay of the moon, the surface area, and the climate. Let’s hope we return at a later date and find out more.