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The largest moon of Saturn and the second-largest moon in the solar system. Titan has a thick, cold, nitrogen-rich atmosphere that supports winds, clouds, and rain. The rain, which consists of droplets of liquid methane and ethane, fills hundreds of lakes and seas in Titan’s polar regions, and appears to carve river channels. Tiny grains of methane ice form long, tall dunes across parts of Titan, and “volcanoes” may spurt frozen water onto the surface. A vast ocean of liquid water may lie far beneath Titan’s crust. The Huygens probe landed on Titan in 2006, with its images showing rounded pebbles on the surface, perhaps smoothed by water. Titan is difficult to study from afar because the atmosphere is topped by “smog” — a layer of hydrocarbons that turn orange when exposed to sunlight. The Cassini spacecraft, which ferried Huygens to Titan, has made by dozens of passes by the big moon, using radar and instruments sensitive to infrared and ultraviolet light to peer through the haze and map much of Titan’s surface.

Radio Programs

Saturn at Opposition II A warm blanket for a frigid moon August 4, 2021

Moon and Saturn Splashing into two worlds July 23, 2021

Moon and Saturn Whispered hints of life June 26, 2021

Moon and Saturn Plunging into some frigid lakes August 2, 2020

Moon and Saturn Learning about a hidden moon June 8, 2020

Moon and Saturn Buzzing around a chilly moon September 8, 2019

Moon and Saturn Dusting a distant moon December 8, 2018

Moon and Saturn A remarkably familiar world May 30, 2018

Exploring Saturn Getting to know a giant planet September 13, 2017

Saturn at Opposition III Sculpting sand dunes on a cold world June 14, 2017

Featured Images

A Cassini radar image of Mare Kraken, the largest sea on Titan

Deep Blue Sea May 2, 2021

The moons Titan and Dione in front of Saturn

Hazy Moon June 8, 2020

An artist's concept shows the Dragonfly drone above Titan

Cold Dragonfly September 8, 2019

Cassini view of Titan lakes, clouds

Cold Moon May 30, 2018