Essay On Titan

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Titan was discovered by Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens in 1665. Huygens was born in 1629 to a wealthy Dutch family. As a boy Huygens showed great promise in mathematics and in 1645 enrolled the University of Leiden. After discovering the law of refraction, Huygens developed a new telescope and began to study Saturn’s rings in 1655. Ten years later he discovered a large object on Saturn’s outer ring, which he dubbed Titan. Though Huygens died in 1695 his legacy endures as Titan stands as a testimony to time itself.
Titan is one of the 62 known moons that orbit Saturn. It is located at 9.5 AU from the Sun, Titan lays nestled 1425.88 km, or 886 mi, from Saturn in its outermost ring. From here it takes 15 days and 22 hours to orbit Saturn
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As a result Titan’s atmosphere interacts directly with Saturn’s magnetic field and energetic particles. This magnetic field is dragged along a by a plasma cloak that douses Titan, in turn creating a very complex magnetic environment. Titan’s gravity is only 1/10th of Earths, yet is holds a stable, dense, and active atmosphere composed of 95% Nitrogen and 5% Methane. Titan’s atmosphere extends 600 km, 370 miles, above sea level making it a lot higher than that of Earth’s. In addition to its atmosphere, Scientists speculate Titan has the presence of organic compounds such as Carbon and Hydrogen as well as trace amounts of Oxygen, making Titan very similar to Earths early atmosphere. However with temperatures well below that of the habitable zone at a whopping -179 degrees Celsius, -290 degrees Fahrenheit, the possibility for life on Titan is highly unlikely. That being said, evolution could take place on Titan 6 billion years from now when our sun becomes a red giant star placing Titan in the habitable …show more content…
It was enacted by the ESA, NASA, and ASI to thoroughly investigate important elements that were to be uncovered in the Saturnian region. The Cassini was launched in October 15, 1997 aboard a Titan IVB/Centaur. Cassini was outfitted with an array of instruments and Cameras and carried in side of it the Huygens probe, named after Titan’s discover. In July of 2004 after an interplanetary journey past Mars and Jupiter, the Cassini orbiter reached Saturn’s system. On Cassini’s flyby it took dozens of pictures of Titan and the Saturnian region. It recorded 10 images of a period of nine hours, documenting Titan’s Southern Vortex, Methane lakes and Atmospheric distance. When it neared it closest point to Titan, the Cassini dispatched the lander, Huygens, to begin a 22-day long coast toward Titan. The Cassini orbiter then continued on its orbit around Saturn and is expected to continue its various missions until 2017. As the Huygens entered Titan’s atmosphere, three sets of parachutes gradually slowed the probe, providing a platform for scientific measurements, were it recorded Titans temperature, surface pressure, and chemical composition all the while taking pictures upon decent. The probe continued to transmit data throughout its decent onto Titans surface and gathered interesting data of its soil. 90 minutes into the mission the battery died, rendering the probe useless. In total the Huygens relayed 350

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