Five mind-blowing facts about Saturn’s moon Titan

Did you know you could fly on the surface of Titan with a pair of homemade wings? Well, you could. Find out why, and more, in these amazing facts.


You could fly in its sky

Titan’s thick atmosphere, low gravity (less than our Moon) and reasonable surface pressure (50% of Earth’s) mean that, by flapping a pair of wings strapped to your arms, you could fly in its skies with no more effort than walking.

It’s the only other world with liquid (that we know of)

Aside from Earth, Titan is the only world we know of that has liquids on its surface. These are in the form of lakes and rivers composed of liquid hydrocarbons including Ontario Lacus, a lake 240 kilometres (150 miles) long in Titan’s southern hemisphere.

It has a climate system like Earth

The liquids on Titan undergo a similar cycle to water here on Earth. Liquid methane evaporates from the surface, forming extremely thick clouds in the skies, before eventually raining down and replenishing the lakes and rivers on the ground.

We’ve landed on it, and we will again

The Saturn-orbiting spacecraft Cassini carried with it the Huygens probe, which landed on Titan (our only landing in the outer Solar System) on 14 January 2005. There are proposals being discussed for another landing, this time possibly using a boat.

It’s bigger than Mercury

Titan is beaten in size only by the Sun, the seven planets other than Mercury, and Jupiter’s Ganymede. It is over 8,000 kilometres (5,000 miles) wide, and is significantly more massive than all Saturn’s 61 other known moons combined.

You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @Astro_Jonny

Image courtesy of NASA

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