Titan - the next closest thing to Earth.

  • Thread starter Saturni
  • Start date
  • #1
18
0
Can Titan substain human life? Answer: no.
The temperature on Titan is a freezing -179 degrees C, or 290 degrees F.
But unlike other moons, Titan, in fact has known bodies of water on it. Which is amazing.
But sadly, if you ever lived to stand on Titan, the pressure would literally bust your eardrums, and eventually kill you.
The funny thing is, if you lit a match, or even the tiniest spark on Titan occured, the whole planet would erupt in flames.

Funny huh?

-Derek
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
178
1
But unlike other moons, Titan, in fact has known bodies of water on it.

Those bodies of liquid are actually believed to be methane, not water....fyi.
 
  • #3
18
0
Those bodies of liquid are actually believed to be methane, not water....fyi.
saturn.jpl.nasa.gov "Bodies of water".
 
  • #4
DaveC426913
Gold Member
20,012
3,282
The funny thing is, if you lit a match, or even the tiniest spark on Titan occured, the whole planet would erupt in flames.
Why do you think that?

The methane?

Do you think in the history of Titan there has never been a lightning bolt?

Combustion requires three components: fuel, heat and oxygen. One of these is not present on Titan (hint: it's not heat either)
 
  • #5
Nabeshin
Science Advisor
2,207
16
Can Titan substain human life? Answer: no.
The temperature on Titan is a freezing -179 degrees C, or 290 degrees F.
But unlike other moons, Titan, in fact has known bodies of water on it. Which is amazing.
But sadly, if you ever lived to stand on Titan, the pressure would literally bust your eardrums, and eventually kill you.
The funny thing is, if you lit a match, or even the tiniest spark on Titan occured, the whole planet would erupt in flames.

Funny huh?

-Derek

What is the point of this? To inform us of the conditions on Titan?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_(moon [Broken])
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #6
Europa is the only moon known to have water. Titan has an atmosphere which is pretty cool but still could not support human life. The only outside life in our solar system would be microorganisms like algae. But we havent found it yet.
 
  • #7
QuantumPion
Science Advisor
Gold Member
902
42
I forgot where I read this but apparently, due to the low gravity (0.15 g) and high atmospheric pressure (1.5 atm) on Titan, a person could literally fly by flapping their arms, like swimming I guess.
 
  • #8
russ_watters
Mentor
21,024
7,725
saturn.jpl.nasa.gov "Bodies of water".
A google of the site does not turn up that phrase - could you post the actual link where you got it and a fuller quote?
 
  • #9
1,187
5
While we're at it, I'm just wondering, what would be the closest thing to Earth in our solar system (other than Earth)?
 
  • #10
russ_watters
Mentor
21,024
7,725
Europa, maybe? Because of the liquid water.
 
  • #11
epenguin
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,873
897
I forgot where I read this but apparently, due to the low gravity (0.15 g) and high atmospheric pressure (1.5 atm) on Titan, a person could literally fly by flapping their arms, like swimming I guess.

:confused: I'm wondering how low gravity is consistent with high atmospheric pressure. :frown:
 
  • #12
Chronos
Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,429
743
As Dave hinted, no oxygen, no inferno. Oxygen is almost surely biogenic. Any primordial oxygen would be rapidly consumed by chemical processes. Only biological organisms [eg, photosynthesizing plants] are capable of replenishing atmospheric oxygen. This is one of the signatures [ozone to be exact] exoplanetary scientists are looking for as evidence of extraterrestrial life.
 
  • #13
DaveC426913
Gold Member
20,012
3,282
:confused: I'm wondering how low gravity is consistent with high atmospheric pressure. :frown:
Titan is the moon of a gas giant.
 
  • #14
LURCH
Science Advisor
2,552
118
:confused: I'm wondering how low gravity is consistent with high atmospheric pressure. :frown:


Different gasses; heavier gasses.
 
  • #15
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
19,843
3,329
:confused: I'm wondering how low gravity is consistent with high atmospheric pressure. :frown:
Low temperature means high molecular density.

P ~ ρgh.

Titan: A Moon with Atmosphere
http://www.astrobio.net/news/article1755.html

It's also the only atmosphere in the solar system that, like Earth's, is dominated by nitrogen. And that's actually a big mystery - both on Earth and on Titan. Why is there so much nitrogen? If you look at Venus and Mars, the amount of nitrogen is very small, only a few percent. On Earth it's 80 percent. On Titan it's 95 percent.

The interesting thing about Titan's atmosphere is not just that it's made out of nitrogen, but it has all these other compounds in it, all produced from methane and nitrogen photochemistry. Sunlight is hitting the methane molecules, breaking it up , and then they're reacting to form all of these compounds: benzene, acetylene, propane and so on. . . .

. . . . Titan has 1.5 times Earth's atmospheric pressure.


http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Titan

The temperature at Titan's surface is about -178 °C (-289°F).

Titan is of great interest to scientists because it is the only moon in the solar system known to have clouds and a mysterious, thick, planet-like atmosphere. In 1980, NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft tried to take close up images of the natural features of Titan's landscape but was unable to penetrate the thick clouds. Instead, the images showed only slight color and brightness variations in the atmosphere. Titan's atmospheric pressure is about 60 percent greater than Earth's - roughly the same pressure found at the bottom of a swimming pool.


http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/media/cassini-20080320.html
The study of Titan is a major goal of the Cassini-Huygens mission because it may preserve, in deep-freeze, many of the chemical compounds that preceded life on Earth. Titan is the only moon in the solar system that possesses a dense atmosphere. The moon's atmosphere is 1.5 times denser than Earth's. Titan is the largest of Saturn's moons, bigger than the planet Mercury.


The Atmosphere of Titan


Measurements of Titan's atmosphere - thickness.

200 km from ESA data - http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cassini-Huygens/SEMMF2HHZTD_0.html

http://live.psu.edu/story/6330 [Broken]
Chandra's observation revealed that the diameter of the X-ray shadow cast by Titan was larger than the diameter of its solid surface. The difference in diameters gives a measurement of about 550 miles (880 kilometers) for the height of the X-ray absorbing region of Titan's atmosphere. The extent of the upper atmosphere is consistent with, or slightly (10 to 15 percent) larger, than that implied by Voyager I observations made at radio, infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths in 1980.

An X-ray measurement of Titan's atmospheric extent from its transit of the Crab Nebula
http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0403283v1



1.5 atm (earth) is not extraordinarily high and divers on earth breath at much greater pressures. Of course, on Titan, just like underwater, one would have to breath oxygen or air from a container.


I'm curious about the comment that Titan's atmosphere is 1.5 denser as opposed to Titan's atmospheric pressure is 1.5 times that of Earth, or 60% greater (1.6 times?). Since the gravity on Titan is about 0.15 of earth, then if the pressure is 1.5 times that of earth, I would think the density has to be more than 1.5 times that of earth (without accounting for differences in depth of the atmospheres).
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Related Threads on Titan - the next closest thing to Earth.

  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
2K
Replies
79
Views
9K
Replies
8
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
2K
Top