It’s now known that Titan’s hydrologic cycle is surprisingly similar to Earth’s, with one big exception: the liquid on Titan is liquid methane/ethane instead of water, due to the extreme cold. … Scientists had thought that the lakes would be an almost equal mixture of methane and ethane, like the larger seas.
Why on Titan does it rain methane?
Lakes on Titan’s surface are made of methane too. Scientists believe that cryovolcanoes (ice volcanoes) erupt and spew methane into Titan’s atmosphere, which then rains down onto the surface, forming lakes. Liquid methane is the dominant force behind Titan’s weather and surface erosion.
Is Titan full of methane?
Titan’s atmosphere is mostly nitrogen (about 95 percent) and methane (about 5 percent), with small amounts of other carbon-rich compounds. High in Titan’s atmosphere, methane and nitrogen molecules are split apart by the Sun’s ultraviolet light and by high-energy particles accelerated in Saturn’s magnetic field.
Why can’t Mercury have an atmosphere?
There are two primary factors: size and distance from the Sun. … Also, if you are closer to the Sun, the atmosphere is hotter and the molecules are moving faster and so can reach escape velocity. This is why Mercury has no atmosphere, but much smaller and colder Pluto can still retain a thin atmosphere.
Does Titan have oxygen?
Titan also has a presence of organic molecules that contain carbon and hydrogen, and that often include oxygen and other elements similar to what is found in Earth’s atmosphere and that are essential for life.
Are Titans dark?
Unlike anywhere else in the solar system, Saturn’s moon Titan is brighter during twilight than during daylight, a new study finds. Titan is bigger than the planet Mercury, making it the largest of the more than 60 known moons orbiting Saturn. … To understand why this happens, imagine Titan as a ball facing the sun.
Does methane mean life?
Nearly all the methane gas found in Earth’s atmosphere is produced by biological activity. It usually comes from animal and plant life. But it can also be formed by geological processes, such as interactions between rocks and water.
Where is the biggest moon on Earth?
Size. Ganymede is the largest and most massive moon in the Solar System. Its diameter of 5,268 km is 0.41 times that of Earth, 0.77 times that of Mars, 1.02 times that of Saturn’s Titan (Solar System’s second largest moon), 1.08 times Mercury’s, 1.09 times Callisto’s, 1.45 times Io’s and 1.51 times the Moon’s.
Can we drink the water on Titan?
Titan is going to have methane and ethane tainting the ice. And Enceladus and Europa are going to be all kinds of salts and possibly magnesium sulphate, or epsom salts if it’s hydrated. … But you can’t set fire to the water on Titan because there’s no oxygen from methane to burn with.
Will Mercury fall into the Sun?
Mercury, like the other planets, is in a stable orbit around the Sun. A planet’s orbit is a geodesic through curved spacetime. … So, Mercury is unlikely to fall into the Sun. In about 6 billion years time, the Sun will run out of Hydrogen fuel in its core.
Is Mercury’s atmosphere thick or thin?
Atmosphere. Instead of an atmosphere, Mercury possesses a thin exosphere made up of atoms blasted off the surface by the solar wind and striking meteoroids. Mercury’s exosphere is composed mostly of oxygen, sodium, hydrogen, helium, and potassium.