Titan: The Largest Moon Of Saturn

891 words - 4 pages

Our knowledge gained of Titan has drastically improved since the early 1980s when Voyager flew past it. Titan is Saturn’s largest moon and the second largest moon of our solar system. It has a diameter estimated roughly 40% of Earth’s moon (Titan’s Radius: 2576, Moon’s Radius: 1737) and is 80% more massive (Titan’s Mass: 1.35 x 10^23 kg, Moon’s Mass: 7.35 x 10^22 kg. Titan has a atmospheric surface pressure 50% more than of Earth’s. In addition to that, Titan is the only moon to have a dense atmosphere. Titan’s atmosphere has been calculated to be 4.5 times more dense than of Earth’s atmosphere, which can been clearly noted by the layers of haze seen. The atmosphere in Titan is approximately 1.5km and is mainly composed of nitrogen. Titan has a very similar vertical atmospheric structure to earth, Titan has a troposphere temperature of ~94-~70K, a tropopause temperature of 70.4K and a stratosphere temperature of ~70-175K.
In regards of greenhouse gasses in Titan’s atmosphere, Methane makes a very capable and effective greenhouse gas . Methane, which is transparent in UV and visible spectral regions, displays absorption bands which complements Titan’s infrared emission spectrum. The cycle of methane on Titan is still a mystery and needs further research gain more understanding, however it seems to be very similar to of water on Earth. Also another efficient greenhouse gas is Molecular hydrogen, which also absorbs the infrared and enact a similar role to Methane. Many answered questions was aided by the Cassini Huygens mission which was developed by NASA and ESA. In Titan’s atmospheric pressure-temperature conditions, it is possible to condense methane but not possible to condense molecular hydrogen. Thus, on Titan, methane and molecular hydrogen are equivalent to earth’s H20 (condensable) and CO2 (non-condensable). Also, similar to earth’s aerosol and clouds, Titan’s haze particles and clouds are act like an anti-greenhouse effect.
There promising studies and research that show that there may be organic molecules (life) on Titan although there is an absence of liquid water. Studies indicate that there is found be hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and cyanoacetylene (HC3N), those 2 which are to be noted as crucial components in the prebiotic chemistry of Earth. Earth and Titan may be closer related in their prebiotic chemistry than we thought, recently a model of hydrogen broke out from earth and left the primitive atmosphere, this conveyed that Titan has been substantially richer in hydrogen and menthane than researchers previously believed.
Methane chemistry is complemented with Nitrogen chemistry which allows the production of many organics in gas and particulate phases in the atmosphere of Titan. Over the last 20 years, there has been a few studies conducted on the photochemical models of the...

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