Advertisement

Titan

  • Cindy C. Cunningham
Reference work entry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Earth Science book series (EESS)

Titan is the largest satellite in our solar system and in many ways it is more like a planet than some planets are ( Plate 29). Its atmosphere was first detected by Kuiper (1944, 1952), but most of what we know about it has been learned since 1971. Titan's low mean density requires an interior model much richer in ices than is the case for the terrestrial planets, despite the other similarities between these bodies and Titan (Lewis, 1971) Titan's size and average density are bracketed by those for Jupiter's Galilean satellites, Ganymede and Callisto. The Galilean satellites are believed to consist of rock (silicates and iron compounds) and water ice (25–50% by mass). Candidate ice compounds for Titan's interior are different from Ganymede and Callisto, however, with NH3·H2O and CH4·H2O being the most likely alternatives to water ice. Titan's interior is probably made up of equal parts of rocky and icy material (∼ 52 : 48 by mass).

Titan is the only planetary moon with a significant...

Bibliography

  1. Barbato, J. P. and Ayer, E. A. (1981) Atmospheres. A View of the Gaseous Envelopes Surrounding Members of our Solar System. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  2. Caldwell, J., Cunningham, C. C., Anthony, D. et al. (1992) Titan: evidence for seasonal change. A comparison of Hubble Space Telescope and Voyager images. Icarus, 97, 1–9.Google Scholar
  3. Coustenis, A. (1990) Spatial variations of temperature and composition in Titan's atmosphere: recent results. Annales Geophysicae, 8, 645–52.Google Scholar
  4. Eshlemann, V. R., Lindal, G. F. and Tyler, G. L. (1983) Is Titan wet or dry? Science, 221, 53–5.Google Scholar
  5. Flasar, F. M. (1983) Oceans on Titan? Science, 221, 55–7.Google Scholar
  6. Hunten, D. M., Tomasko, M. G., Flasar, F. M. et al. (1984) Titan, in Saturn (eds T. Gehrels and M. S. Matthews). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, pp. 671–759.Google Scholar
  7. Hunten, D. M. (1977) Titan's atmosphere and surface, in Planetary Satellites (ed. J. A. Burns). Tucson: University of Arizona Press, pp. 420–37.Google Scholar
  8. Kuiper, G. P. (1944) Titan: a satellite with an atmosphere. Astrophys. J., 62, 245.Google Scholar
  9. Kuiper, G. P. (1952) Planetary atmospheres and their origin, in The Atmospheres of the Earth and Planets (ed. G. P. Kuiper). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 306–405.Google Scholar
  10. Lellouch, E., Coustenis, A., Raulin, F. et al. (1989) Titan atmosphere temperature profile: a reanalysis of Voyager 1 radio-occultation and IRIS 7.7 micron data. Icarus, 79, 328–49.Google Scholar
  11. Lellouch, E. (1990) Atmospheric models of Titan and Triton. Annales Geophysicae, 8, 653–60.Google Scholar
  12. Lewis, J. S. (1971) Satellites of the outer planets: their physical and chemical nature. Icarus, 15, 174–85.Google Scholar
  13. Lindal, G. F, Wood, G. E., Hotz, H. B. et al. (1983) The atmosphere of Titan: an analysis of the Voyager 1 radio occultation measurements. Icarus, 53, 348–63.Google Scholar
  14. Lunine, J. I., Stevenson, D. J. and Yung, Y. L. (1983) Ethane ocean on Titan. Science, 222, 73.Google Scholar
  15. Lunine, J. I., Atreya, S. K. and Pollack, J. B. (1989) Present state and chemical evolution of the atmospheres of Titan, Triton and Pluto, in Origin and Evolution of Planetary Satellite Atmospheres (ed. S. K. Atreya, J. B. Pollack and M. S. Matthews). Tuscon: University of Arizona Press, pp. 605–65.Google Scholar
  16. Lunine, J. I. (1990) Titan. Adv. Space. Res., 10, 1137–44.Google Scholar
  17. McKay, C. P., Pollack, J. B. and Courtin, R. (1991) The greenhouse and anti-greenhouse effects on Titan. Science, 253, 1118–21.Google Scholar
  18. Muhleman, D. O., Grossman, A. W., Butler, B. J. and Slade, M. A. (1990) Radar reflectivity of Titan. Science, 248, 975–80.Google Scholar
  19. Owen, T. and Gautier, D. (1989) Titan: some new results. Adv. Space Res., 9, 273–78.Google Scholar
  20. Strobel, D. F. and Shemansky, D. E. (1982) EUV emission from Titan's upper atmosphere — Voyager 1 encounter. J. Geophys. Res., 87, 1361–8.Google Scholar
  21. Wagener, R., Owen, T., Jaffe, W. and Caldwell. J. (1989) The surface emissivity of Titan at 2 cm. Bull. Am. Astron. Soc., 20, 843.Google Scholar
  22. Yung, Y. L., Allen, M. and Pinto, J. P. (1984) Photochemistry of the atmosphere of Titan: comparison between model and observations. Astrophys. J. Suppl., 55, 465–506.Google Scholar
  23. Yung, Y. L. (1987) An update of nitrile photochemistry on Titan. Icarus, 72, 468–72.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cindy C. Cunningham

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations