Titan, one of the 62 moons that orbit the planet Saturn, is also the largest. Measuring 5,199 miles in diameter, Titan is about half the size of Earth and twice the size of the Earth's moon.
However, we can not simply stop the comparison between the Titan and the Earth there, let's delve a little deeper, because Titan is very special!
Titan was discovered on 25 March 1655 by Christiaan Huygens and was named after John Herschel after the mythological Greek gods. Although Titan is a moon, its atmosphere is very similar to that of primitive earth.
It has a heavy atmosphere and cloud formations inside it. It is believed that such an atmospheric condition is present on Earth, which is believed to be a fuel for the formation of life on Earth.
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Many believe that Titan has its own moon, however, this statement is false. Titan is itself a moon of Saturn and has no other celestial bodies spinning around it.
It is, however, larger than the planet Mercury and is almost as large as the planet Mars.
The atmosphere is not only the only thing that makes Titan different, it also has lakes and other bodies of water flowing like what we see on Earth. But they hide a big difference, the fluid lakes of Titan are not filled with water, but with hydrocarbons, to be more precise – liquid methane and liquid ethane.
This liquid evaporates and forms the clouds of Titan. And since its clouds are made with methane and ethane, it rains the same thing on Titan.
However, interestingly, only 5% of Titan's atmosphere contains hydrocarbon mixture, since the rest is nitrogen.
Another fascinating characteristic of Titan is that the surface of Titan is covered by a layer of ice. Researchers believe that water is present under the ice sheet, and the contact between water and hydrocarbons can act as the catalyst's life.
More terrestrial than our neighbors
There are also desert areas covered by a soil-like substance. These are not silicate materials that we see on Earth, but are coated with solid hydrocarbons that fall out of the atmosphere, almost black.
So when looking for a place that is similar to the earth, Titan presents himself as a viable candidate, however, Titan is also a place of vast extremes. At higher temperatures, Titan measures at -179 ° C.
Then the ice will not melt so soon and it will stay like this for many, many years.
However, Titan's temperature will increase gradually over the years, and scientists believe that in 5-6 billion years, it will reach something in the range of -70 ° C. In such a temperature range, the Titan will be able to sustain oceans that are a mixture of ammonia and water.
Although Titan has an abundance of hydrocarbons, there is a total lack of carbon dioxide (CO2), the critical component that ensures the sustenance of plant life.
There are also visible craters scattered across Titan. This is a sign that it had impacts on its surface, possible from meteorites in the past.
One of the defining characteristics of Earth's atmosphere is the changing seasons. Titan also has seasons, but unlike Earth, each season lasts 7.5 years.
In June 2016, Cassini Orbiter discovered something very interesting on the north pole of Titan. A bright patch was discovered that spaced an area of 120,000 square kilometers.
The satellite picked up and after analysis, the researchers were able to find out what it was, the evaporation of a puddle that was caused by methane rain.
The rain during this time was a sign that Titan was slowly entering the summer season. Cassini, Saturn's orbital satellite, had special infrared cameras that helped study what happened beyond Titan's thick atmosphere.
Another feature that makes the earth so right for us is the level of gravity it has. Imagine the earth without gravity, and surely the chaos follows.
As Titan has less mass than earth, it is bound to have less gravitational force. Researchers calculated that free-falling objects on Titan will have a speed of only 1.6 meters per second, while the same object will have a velocity of 9.2 meters per second.
In essence, Titan's gravity is somewhat equivalent to that of the Moon. So, yes, we can jump higher and further than we can on earth when we're on Titan.
Jenelle Wellons, NASA's Instrumentation Operations Engineer, shared in Reddit her views on Titan: "How about considering one of the aquatic worlds in our solar system – Titan?" Titan is Saturn's largest moon, larger than the planet Mercury, so I think "It's so dense that we can actually put wings in our arms and fly on this moon." I do not know, it seems like an incredible place to be. to live ".
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Their views came as an answer to the question "Where would the most appropriate place in the universe be if we could not theoretically live on Earth anymore?" Now we would resort to a more common response that is the moon or Mars.
However, this is a very interesting sight, since everything she shared is facts about Titan which makes it a viable choice, not today, but definitely when the time comes!
It's really amazing to see the Earth's atmosphere in our solar system. Of course, Titan is not capable of sustaining life, but having the knowledge that we have something remotely similar to Earth gives us hope of finding a planet like earth one day, a safe haven if and when we have imposed limits here on Mother Earth.