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Titan (in astronomy)

Titan (tī´tən), in astronomy, the largest of the named moons, or natural satellites, of Saturn. Also known as Saturn VI (or S6), Titan is 3,200 mi (5,150 km) in diameter, orbits Saturn at a mean distance of 759,209 mi (1,221,830 km), and has equal orbital and rotational periods of 15.9454 earth days. Titan was discovered by the Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens in 1655. Titan was thought to be the largest satellite in the solar system until recently, when it was recognized that estimates of its size had included its thick atmosphere. Titan's solid surface is slightly smaller than that of Ganymede, the largest of Jupiter's satellites. Titan is composed of about half water ice and half rocky materials. It probably consists of several layers, with a 2,100 mi (3,400 km) rocky center surrounded by several layers of different forms of crystal ice that surround a liquid water and ammonia ocean. The solid surface is surrounded by an atmosphere consisting mostly of molecular nitrogen with small amounts of methane, ethane, and other hydrocarbons as well as some hydrogen. The thick, opaque atmosphere prevents the surface from being seen in visible light. In Titan's frigid atmosphere, methane rains onto the surface to form streams and lakes; grains of frozen hydrocarbons form dunes in some areas. Titan is the only natural satellite in the solar system with a significant atmosphere, although a much thinner one has been detected around Triton, a satellite of Neptune. Titan's atmosphere was first detected spectroscopically by the Dutch-American astronomer Gerard P. Kuiper in 1944. Some surface detail has been observed via the Hubble Space Telescope using infrared light; one prominent feature seen in this way is c.2,500 mi (4,000 km) across, about the size of the Australian continent. More significant studies have been conducted by the space probe Cassini, an orbiter that was launched in 1997 and has been studying Saturn and its rings and moons since 2004; it has infrared, microwave, and other imaging systems. In 2005 the space probe Huygens, which had been carried by Cassini, landed on Titan and returned photographs of its surface. Titan forms a satellite pair with Hyperion; that is, the two moons interact gravitationally.

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Titan

Ti·tan / ˈtītn/ 1. Greek Mythol. any of the older gods who preceded the Olympians and were the children of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth). Led by Cronus, they overthrew Uranus; Cronus' son, Zeus, then rebelled against his father and eventually defeated the Titans. ∎  [as n.] (usu. a titan) a person or thing of very great strength, intellect, or importance: a titan of American industry. 2. Astron. the largest satellite of Saturn, the fifteenth closest to the planet, discovered by C. Huygens in 1655, and having a diameter of 3,200 miles (5,150 km). It is unique in having a hazy atmosphere of nitrogen, and methane and other hydrocarbons.

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Titan

Titan Largest satellite of Saturn, and the second largest in the Solar System, discovered (1655) by Christiaan Huygens. It is unique among planetary satellites in having a substantial atmosphere. It is composed of rock and water-ice in roughly equal proportions. The space probe Voyager 1 found no gaps in an opaque, reddish cloud layer c.200km (125mi) above the surface. The atmosphere consists mostly of nitrogen, with some methane and other hydrocarbon compounds. The surface temperature is 95K, at which methane can exist as solid, liquid or gas, so methane may play the role that water does on Earth, forming clouds, rain, and lakes.

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Titan

Titan in Greek mythology, any of the older gods who preceded the Olympians and were the children of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth). Led by Cronus, they overthrew Uranus; Cronus' son, Zeus, then rebelled against his father and eventually defeated the Titans.

In early poetry, Titan is used as a name for the sun-god, or for the sun personified, or for the elder brother of Cronus as the first-born of the race. From the early 19th century, titan has denoted a person or thing of very great strength, intellect, or importance.

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Titan

Titan the sun-god XV; (pl.) family of giants, born of Uranus and Gaea, (sg.) ancestor of these XVII; (gen.) giant XIX. — L. Tītan, -án-, elder brother of Kronos — Gr. Tītán, pl. Tītânes.
Hence titanic XVII.

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Titan

Titan (Saturn VI) One of the major satellites of Saturn, with a radius of 2575 km; mass 1345.5× 1020kg; mean density 1881kg/m3; visual albedo 0.21. It was discovered in 1655 by C. Huygens.

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titan

titanbaton, batten, fatten, flatten, harmattan, Manhattan, Mountbatten, paten, patten, pattern, platen, Saturn, slattern •Shackleton • Appleton •Hampton, Northampton, Rockhampton, Southampton, Wolverhampton •Canton, lantern, Scranton •Langton, plankton •Clapton •Aston, pastern •Gladstone •Caxton, Paxton •capstan • Ashton • phytoplankton •Akhenaten, Akhetaten, Aten, Barton, carton, Dumbarton, hearten, Parton, smarten, spartan, tartan •Grafton •Carlton, Charlton •Charleston • kindergarten •Aldermaston •Breton, jetton, Sowetan, threaten, Tibetan •lectern •Elton, melton, Skelton •Denton, Fenton, Kenton, Lenten, Trenton •Repton •Avestan, Midwestern, northwestern, Preston, southwestern, western •sexton •Clayton, Deighton, Leighton, Paton, phaeton, Satan, straighten, straiten •Paignton • Maidstone •beaten, Beaton, Beeton, Cretan, Keaton, neaten, Nuneaton, overeaten, sweeten, uneaten, wheaten •chieftain •eastern, northeastern, southeastern •browbeaten • weatherbeaten •bitten, bittern, Britain, Briton, Britten, handwritten, hardbitten, kitten, Lytton, mitten, smitten, underwritten, witan, written •Clifton •Milton, Shilton, Stilton, Wilton •Middleton • singleton • simpleton •Clinton, Linton, Minton, Quinton, Winton •cistern, Liston, piston, Wystan •brimstone • Winston • Kingston •Addington • Eddington •Workington •Arlington, Darlington •skeleton •Ellington, wellington •exoskeleton •cosmopolitan, megalopolitan, metropolitan, Neapolitan •Burlington • Hamilton • badminton •lamington • Germiston • Penistone •Bonington • Orpington • Samaritan •Carrington, Harrington •sacristan • Festschriften •Sherrington • typewritten •Warrington • puritan • Fredericton •Lexington • Occitan • Washington •Whittington • Huntington •Galveston • Livingstone •Kensington •Blyton, brighten, Brighton, Crichton, enlighten, frighten, heighten, lighten, righten, tighten, titan, triton, whiten •begotten, cotton, forgotten, ill-gotten, misbegotten, rotten •Compton, Crompton •wanton • Longton •Boston, postern •boughten, chorten, foreshorten, Laughton, Morton, Naughton, Orton, quartan, quartern, shorten, tauten, torten, Wharton •Alton, Dalton, Galton, saltern, Walton •Taunton • Allston • Launceston •croton, Dakotan, Minnesotan, oaten, verboten •Bolton, Doulton, molten •Folkestone • Royston •Luton, newton, rambutan, Teuton •Houston • Fulton •button, glutton, Hutton, mutton •sultan •doubleton, subaltern •fronton • Augustan • Dunstan •tungsten • quieten • Pinkerton •charlatan • Wollaston • Palmerston •Edmonton • automaton • Sheraton •Geraldton • Chatterton • Betterton •Chesterton • Athelstan •burton, curtain, uncertain •Hurston

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