Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Titan

  • Saturn’s moon Titan has ‘sea level’ like Earth

    Jim SharkeyJanuary 20th, 2018

    Researchers using data from NASA's Cassini mission have discovered a striking similarity between Earth and Saturn's moon Titan. Just as the surface of Earth's oceans lies at an average elevation referred to as "sea level", Titan's seas also lie at an average elevation. Titan is the only world in our solar system other than Earth known to have stable liquid on its surface. Instead of water, Titan's lakes and seas are filled with hydrocarbons, mostly  methane and ethane. Water ice, covered by a layer of solid organic material, forms the bedrock surrounding these lakes and seas.

  • Titan’s haze captured in Cassini photo

    Jason RhianJanuary 17th, 2018

    Downtown L.A. has got nothing on Saturn's moon Titan, at least in terms of smoggy haze that is. Imagery captured by the Cassini spacecraft prior to its plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017 shows a world blanketed in a dense mist.

  • Titan flyby launches Cassini into Grande Finale

    Laurel KornfeldApril 25th, 2017

    NASA's Cassini orbiter conducted its last and closest flyby of Saturn's large moon Titan in the early morning hours of April 22, 2017, putting it on course for the mission's Grand Finale of 22 orbits between the innermost rings and the giant planet.

  • Cassini to conduct last, closest flyby of Titan

    Laurel KornfeldApril 21st, 2017

    As NASA's Cassini spacecraft moves toward its Grand Finale, it will conduct its final and closest flyby of Saturn's moon Titan on April 22, 2017. This last visit is a targeted flyby, meaning Cassini will use either its rocket engine or thrusters to alter its course.

  • Nitrogen in Titan’s lakes may cause them to fizz

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 18th, 2017

    The hydrocarbon lakes of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, may contain nitrogen that, at times, causes them to bubble and fizz, according to a NASA study that simulated conditions on Titan's surface.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: 12 years ago, Huygens touched down on Titan

    Laurel KornfeldJanuary 14th, 2017

    Twelve years ago, on January 14, 2005, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Huygens probe touched down on the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, where it collected images and data about a world viewed by many scientists as an analog of early Earth.

  • Cassini begins dive into Saturn’s rings

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 6th, 2016

    NASA's Cassini orbiter made its first dive into Saturn's ring system on Sunday, Dec. 4. It's the beginning of an endgame in which the spacecraft will fly across the ring plane and ultimately impact the giant planet on Sept. 15, 2017.

  • Cassini prepares to graze Saturn’s rings

    Paul KnightlyNovember 26th, 2016

    NASA's robotic Cassini spacecraft will begin a grand tour of Saturn’s ring system starting this week as the mission enters into its final stages.

  • Dramatic seasonal changes on Titan captured by Cassini

    Laurel KornfeldOctober 23rd, 2016

    As those in the Northern Hemisphere mark the seasonal changes in the glorious colors of the leaves changing, NASA's Cassini orbiter is also seeing changes on a world far removed from our own. The spacecraft, in orbit around the Saturn system since 2004, has observed the planet and its moons long enough to capture seasonal changes on Saturn's largest moon, Titan.

  • Cassini spacecraft spies dunes on Saturn’s moon Titan

    Jim SharkeySeptember 12th, 2016

    Scientists are learning more about the frigid landscape of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, from recent radar images captured by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

  • Titan’s canyons are flooded with liquid hydrocarbons

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 11th, 2016

    Radar data gathered by the Cassini Saturn orbiter have revealed that steep canyons on the planet's large moon Titan are filled with liquid hydrocarbons. During a close pass over Titan in May 2013, Cassini used its radar as an altimeter, or instrument to measure altitude, to study its canyons up close by pinging radio waves to the moon's surface to measure its features' height.

  • Data from Huygens lander suggest prebiotic conditions on Titan

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 11th, 2016

    Although 11 years have passed since ESA’s Huygens probe landed on Saturn’s moon Titan, the data collected by this spacecraft continue to amaze scientists. Recently, a team of researchers led by Martin Rahm of Cornell University has found a chemical trail indicating prebiotic conditions may exist on this moon.

  • Cassini confirms methane sea on Titan

    Jim SharkeyApril 29th, 2016

    Saturn's moon Titan is the only moon in the Solar System that has a dense atmosphere and large liquid reserves on its surface. A new study using data gathered by NASA's Cassini mission finds that Ligeia Mare, the second largest of Titan's seas, is composed mostly of pure liquid methane. The findings provide independent confirmation of an earlier study.

  • Cassini spots tallest mountain on Titan

    Derek RichardsonMarch 27th, 2016

    The tallest peak on Saturn’s moon Titan has been spotted by scientists working on NASA’s Cassini mission. The peak is near Titan’s equator within a trio of mountainous ridges called Mithrim Montes and is about 10,948 feet (3,337 meters) high. It was found using images from Cassini’s radar instrument, which peers through the thick, orange-like smog of the moon’s atmosphere.

  • Our SpaceFlight Heritage: Huygens lands on Titan a decade ago

    Joe LatrellDecember 9th, 2015

    Ten years ago the clouds of an alien world were pierced by a small space probe hurled from the planet Earth. On Jan. 14, 2005, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully deployed the Huygens probe to the cloud-covered Saturnian moon Titan.