Astronomy_1_worksheet_4_part_12 - 1. When you arrive at...

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1. When you arrive at Titan , you will be viewing a moon that is actually larger than both the planet Mercury and the planet Pluto. At 5,150 km (3200 miles), its diameter makes it large enough to be a planet, were it orbiting the Sun instead of Saturn. 2. Titan also possesses something rare for any moon. This large, bright, orange/beige moon is the only moon in the Solar System that has a thick atmosphere. Its atmosphere is denser than Earth’s air. However, that colored haze is mostly nitrogen gas, mixed with hydrocarbon gases very rich in methane and ethane, the same compounds we use here on Earth for fuel. Its atmosphere is an unbreathable, natural type of smog! It is so thick in fact, that we cannot see Titan’s surface in visible light. All we see is orange hydrocarbon smog. 3. Titan also has some other features that are frankly, really strange. It is so cold in its orbit far from the Sun that some of its gas vapors have condensed into a liquid. Ethane, for example, is a liquid at
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Astronomy_1_worksheet_4_part_12 - 1. When you arrive at...

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