Updates on Titan

TitanJPLScientists have long identified Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, as one of the most intriguing objects in the immediate celestial neighborhood. For starters, there’s its size. Titan is the second-largest moon in the solar system (behind only Ganymede), and is even larger than Mercury. What’s more, Titan is covered by an unusually thick atmosphere. This feature is not unknown in the cosmos (see: Venus), but it is unique among the solar system’s 170+ moons. Voyager 1 famously provided the first up-close images of Titan’s atmosphere in 1981, and subsequent missions have produced still more stunning results. For the past ten years, the multinational Cassini-Huygens mission has captured some incredible images of Titan from both above and below the moon’s fabled atmosphere, and has conclusively shown that the surface of Titan is covered with lakes of liquid methane. And now, as if all that were not tantalizing enough, scientists recently confirmed that data from Cassini have revealed that an ocean’s worth of incredibly salty water lies more than 50 miles beneath Titan’s surface. To learn more about these recent developments, check out the links here, here, and here.