Titan, Saturn’s Largest Moon – A Supermoon With Life and a Dragonfly

Titan, Saturn's Largest Moon - A Supermoon With Life and a Dragonfly

Titan exploration in the mid-2030s could look like this: Dragonfly helicopter illustration of Titan (NASA/JHU)

The use of this term for the near-earth full moon is inflationary. But Titan is actually super: it is bigger than the planet Mercury and its own world. Titan’s atmosphere is one and a half times denser than ours and is mostly nitrogen – there is wind, clouds and rain.

Titan has mountains and river valleys

Europe’s Huygens spacecraft landed on Titan in 2005. At first glance, it looks like Earth: Titan has mountains through which river valleys flow. But the mountains are not made of stone, but of water ice. At about minus 180 ° C, the water becomes as hard as granite.

Instead of lava, the icematch pours out through the cracks

Nevertheless, it does rain on Titan: methane, which we know as a component of natural gas, is still liquid at these temperatures and sometimes rain falls from dense clouds. There is some kind of volcano on Titan too. However, it is not lava that oozes out from surface cracks, but icebergs made of hydrocarbons. Ordinary life may have formed on Titan.

NASA’s “Dragonfly” Mission Wants to Explore the Moon

NASA wants to explore the fascinating moon more closely with the “Dragonfly” mission. This is a helicopter that will explore Titan’s surface for many years, constantly moving to new areas. The mission is scheduled to launch in four years and reach Saturn’s moon in 2034.

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