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Discovery - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Discovery. Titan was discovered March 25, 1655. Christian Huygens was the man to discover Titan. When viewing Saturn he noticed a star that was lined up with Saturn’s rings. Viewing Saturn for a long period of time he realized that the star was orbiting Saturn and was in fact a moon.

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Presentation Transcript
  • Titan was discovered March 25, 1655.
  • Christian Huygenswas the man to discover Titan.
  • When viewing Saturn he noticed a star that was lined up with Saturn’s rings.
  • Viewing Saturn for a long period of time he realized that the star was orbiting Saturn and was in fact a moon.
fun facts
Fun Facts
  • Titan is one of 53 moons orbiting Saturn.
  • Titan is the second largest moon in our solar system.
  • It is bigger than our own moon and bigger than the planet Mercury.
  • Titan is the only moon to be known to have planet-like atmosphere.
  • If Titan had orbited the Sun rather than Saturn it would definitely be considered a planet.
  • In 1981 Voyager I flew by Titan and tried to take close up pictures but was unable to pierce its dense cloud cover.
  • In 1994 the Hubble space telescope successfully got infrared pictures of Titan’s surface revealing Xanadu.
cassini huygens ch
Cassini-Huygens (CH)
  • The Cassini-Huygens Mission is a collaboration of NASA/European Space Agency/Italian Space Agency.
  • Cassini Orbiter was created to monitor Saturn and Titan. While the Huygens Probe was created to penetrate Titans surface.
huygens s probe
Huygens's Probe
  • On its journey to Saturn, Cassini carried the European-built Huygens probe. On Jan. 14, 2005, Huygens achieved humankind's first landing on a body in the Outer Solar System when it parachuted through Titan's murky skies. Huygens took measurements of atmospheric composition and wind speeds during its decent, along with an incredible series of images showing telltale patterns of erosion by flowing liquid. The probe came to rest on what appeared to be a floodplain, surrounded by rounded cobbles of water ice.
cassini orbiter
Cassini Orbiter
  • July 1st 2004 Cassini took place in Saturn’s orbit.
  • The Cassini orbiter has given us many opportunities to see Titan’s atmosphere and weather patterns on different parts of Titans surface
  • Is a continent sized feature on Titan’s surface.
  • It is the size of the Australia.
  • This land had sand dunes and river channels that lead to dark areas that might be lakes.
  • There also is a crater formation that could be caused by a volcanic eruption.
  • Xanadu is seen as a new continent or scientist to explore and discover.
  • Volcanism may occur as well, but with liquid water as the lava.
  • There is said to be 3 “cryovolcanoes”, or icy volcanoes on the surface of Titan.
  • Two of the volcanoes had conical features that were 1,000- 1,500 meters in height.
  • The third is a large crater that look as if caused by an explosion.
  • Titan has a permanent hurricane at its South Pole.

Warm air is

rising up the

sides becoming

cold and is

sinking down

the center

titans atmosphere
Titans atmosphere
  • Titan is the only moon in the solar system with a thick atmosphere
  • Titans atmospheric compositions of titan consist of 95% nitrogen, and about 5% methane
  • Titan rich mixture of chemicals make it an interesting place studying. Scientist have deemed it similar to earth history, except earths was much warmer.
  • Titan spends 95% of its time shielded by Saturn's magnetic sphere protecting it from bombardment of solar radiation.
  • Titan has season very much like earth; however titans seasons last 7 years long.
  • Scientists are using similar technology to predicting earths weather on titan.
  • Titan is suspected to have liquid lakes on the moon.
  • temperature is just 94 degrees above absolute zero. Water is as rock and liquid methane runs through titan.

Titan has many unique characteristics similar to Earth.

  • Instead of Earth’s hydrological cycles Titan has methane cycles. It has methane clouds, rain, and seas.
  • Titan’s atmosphere is 10 times thicker than Earth’s
  • It’s dense atmosphere is mostly Nitrogen but also includes smoggy chemicals like Methane and Ethane. Its smog is so thick it actually rains gasoline like liquids.
  • In 2007 Cassini discovered many dark regions that appear to be lakes on the northern pole of Titan. This body is ranging to be larger than all Great Lakes on the US- Canada border.
  • Near the south pole a dark region shaped like a kidney was detected said to measure the size of Lake Ontario. (64,000 km)
orbit and rotation
Orbit and Rotation
  • Titan orbits Saturn once every 15 days and 22 hours. Like many of the other satellites of the gas giants and the Moon, its rotational period is identical to its orbital period
  • Titan's Rotation Reveals an Internal Ocean and Changing Zonal Winds
  • One titan year is = to
  • 29.5 earth years.
possible forms of life
Possible forms of life

Scientists are forming alternative base theories as to how life could evolve somewhere else. One of those theories is methane based life.

The theory is based off the fact that life has evolved based off of earths abundance to water, so it is possible that it will adapt to whatever is available to them.


  • Griffith, Caitlin Ann. "Titan's Lower Atmosphere." AIP Conference Proceedings 930.1 (2007): 3-36.Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.