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24 votes
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How did Arecibo detect methane lakes on Titan, and image Saturn's rings?

Titan "lakes": Published Open Access in Science: Radar Evidence for Liquid Surfaces on Titan Campbell, D. B., Black, G. J., Carter, L. M., and Ostro, S. J., Science 302, 5644, pp. 431-434, 17 Oct ...
uhoh's user avatar
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22 votes
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Why doesn't Titan have a carbon dioxide atmosphere?

The chemistry of Titan's atmosphere is complex, with reactions occurring between carbon dioxide, oxygen, carbon monoxide, hydroxl, and other compounds. This means that carbon dioxide production and ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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17 votes
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Are there other pictures of Titan surface from Huygens?

One second of googling reveals the whole archive: http://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/titanraw/index.htm (note you can click onto the strips to inspect them!) The archive depicts the whole decent of ...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
16 votes
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Why does Titan have lower surface gravity than the Moon when Titan is more massive?

Surface gravitational acceleration on an object with mass $M$ and radius $R$ is given by $$ g = \frac{GM}{R^2} \propto G\rho R $$ where $\rho \propto M/R^3$ is the density of the object. If one body ...
rob's user avatar
  • 1,021
15 votes

Why do certain moons have their rotational period equal to their orbital period?

The answer to this is certainly tidal forces, but that doesn't explain the exact mechanism for how tidal forces result in tidal locking, i.e., an orbiting body showing the same face to the central ...
zephyr's user avatar
  • 15k
12 votes

How did Arecibo detect methane lakes on Titan, and image Saturn's rings?

It did not detect methane lakes. It found that Titan was shiny (in radar terms): that is, the reflections were from a smooth surface rather than a rough one, and at the same time not very intense. ...
Martin Kochanski's user avatar
10 votes
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What would happen to the Galilean moons and Titan if Jupiter and Saturn disappeared?

They might escape from the solar system, if the angles are right. If not, they'll probably wind up in elliptical orbits around the Sun. We'll use a simplifying assumption that the orbits are circular ...
notovny's user avatar
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9 votes
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Why the Circumstellar Habitable Zone is defined as it is, if life could be possible outside of it?

From your first link, the definition is: "The circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ), or simply the habitable zone, is the range of orbits around a star within which a planetary surface can support ...
Rory Alsop's user avatar
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7 votes
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What causes Titan a moon to have a denser atmosphere than that of a Mars?

Mars and Titan differ markedly in distance from the Sun, composition, and possibly geological activity. Titan is about 6.3 times as remote from the Sun as is Mars, which means Titan receives about 1/...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 34.1k
6 votes

Why does Titan's atmosphere not start to burn?

This question is little different from asking why, if the Sun is a ball of Hydrogen, it hasn't already exploded (or burned out). It is difficult for me to take it seriously. But I'll try. Methane ...
Li Zhi's user avatar
  • 69
5 votes
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How bright would it be on the "face" of Titan

It's not hard to calculated brightness to distance, but that doesn't take into account cloud cover, which is important for Titan. Just looking at distance first, Titan (based on Saturn's distance) ...
userLTK's user avatar
  • 24.1k
5 votes

How would humans with appropriate equipment navigate the surface of Saturn's moon Titan on foot?

I wonder if this would be better for worldbuilding or space travel, but I can touch on the basics. You'd need oxygen and protection from the cold, but a space suit on Titan would be less restrictive, ...
userLTK's user avatar
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5 votes
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When was the diameter of Titan first measured?

Discovery of Titan, 1655: Unknown diameter. Dollfus, 1970: 4,850$\pm$300km (1). Measured by Filar micrometer (2) and diskmeter / double-image micrometer (3). (Apparently a summary of earlier ...
IronEagle's user avatar
  • 641
5 votes

For colonization purposes, what is so good about Titan?

There is nowhere in the solar system except for parts of Earth where humans have any hope of surviving without heavy technological support. There is next to no free oxygen anywhere, nowhere has a ...
Steve Linton's user avatar
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4 votes
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Is it possible that Titan is a kuiper object captured by Saturn?

Titan is roughly ten times more massive than Pluto or Eris, the most massive known Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs). (Titan is in fact more massive than any other moon in the Solar System except Ganymede.) ...
Peter Erwin's user avatar
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4 votes
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What does "Active Weather Patterns" mean?

It means that Titan has weather (driven by methane rather than water) and that it's weather changes with the seasons. Cassini has been observing Titan for almost half of a Titan year, which is 29.457 ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 34.1k
3 votes
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Underground sea in Titan(Saturn's moon), water or hydrocarbons?

Titan is believed to have a layer of liquid water under its surface, due to tidal heating of the icy crust. Titan has a surface formed of ices with some hydrocarbon (methane) lakes. The crust of ...
James K's user avatar
  • 123k
3 votes

Does Saturn raise tides on Titan's lakes?

I would like to add some more points. Titan is indeed tidally locked to Saturn. Numerical calculation shows Titan's tides due to Saturn's gravity is 400 times as strong as Moon's tidal effect on Earth....
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 4,691
3 votes

Does Saturn raise tides on Titan's lakes?

Sort of... Titan is tidally locked to Saturn, so points the same side toward Saturn all the time. The tide caused by Saturn on Titan should be nearly unchanging, except that Titan has an elliptical ...
Jonathan's user avatar
  • 4,385
3 votes

Why do rocks on other solar system bodies that have an atmosphere seem to be flat?

I don't know what you're talking about. The only one that seems to have mostly flat rocks is Venus. At least based on what little photographs we have from the surface of Venus. Mars Venus
Katie Katie's user avatar
3 votes

Is it possible to see Saturn from Titan's surface, day and night?

"since I believe the atmosphere's opacity changes in day time and night time" maybe to a very small factor, somewhere in the upper atmosphere, in the UV-wavelengths where plasma opacities play a role. ...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
3 votes

Why do certain moons have their rotational period equal to their orbital period?

The simple answer is: tidal forces, which are a secondary effect of gravity. In the same way that the Moon causes low and high tides of the oceans here on Earth, the Earth also has a similar effect on ...
Rumplestillskin's user avatar
3 votes
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Extraterrestrial snow?

Four locations in which "snow" might be falling. The most Earth-like moon might be Titan. It is large enough to have a substantial atmosphere and there seems to be an "ethane cycle"...
James K's user avatar
  • 123k
3 votes
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What color does Titan turn in a lunar eclipse?

It would be dark. Titan in eclipse can be dimly lit by refracted sunlight and light scattered by Saturn's rings. The refracted light would be reddened, but the scattered light would be white. But ...
James K's user avatar
  • 123k
3 votes
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How do we know the hydrocarbon lakes on Titan are actually liquid?

There are waves on the lakes on Titan. SAILING THE LAKES OF TITAN? PREPARE FOR ROUGH SEAS. If you look at the paper they refer to a number of properties of these mare that point to them being liquid: ...
James K's user avatar
  • 123k
3 votes
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What happened to Titan's magnetic field?

It is true that Titan does not have its own magnetic field. It has been confirmed by magnetometer data from a flyby of Titan by the Cassini spacecraft. Although scientist argues that the absence of ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 4,691
2 votes

Say we were to bring Titan to Earth's orbit. How much would its atmospheric pressure change?

As Temperature rises, so would the pressure, this would work immediately, as heat from the sun reaches Titan's surface. The atmospheric escape (and thus, pressure loss, as you describe it) would ...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
2 votes
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Did this paper just argue that there is surely life on Titan?

The underlying assumption in the paper is that the planet has water in liquid form. The paper suggests that finding both CO2 and CH4 in the atmosphere of a rocky planet in the "habitable zone" (in ...
James K's user avatar
  • 123k
2 votes
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Is Titan Better or Mars?

We have no practical means to travel to either planet and set up even a base, let alone a colony. As such neither is better. Also note that we have no reason to do it and we would need an extremely ...
StephenG - Help Ukraine's user avatar
2 votes
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Is it possible for a septuple eclipse to happen on Saturn considering there are 7 moons capable of eclipsing the Sun?

The short answer is no, septuple eclipses can’t happen. Using a method described by Meeus in Mathematical Astronomy Morsels (p. 190), we find that while it is, in theory, possible, for the seven ...
Pierre Paquette's user avatar

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