Did Comets Create the Atmosphere of Saturn’s Moon, Titan?


Saturn’s moon, Titan, has been considered a “unique world in the solar system” since 1908 when, the Spanish astronomer, José Comas y Solá, discovered that it had an atmosphere, something non-existent on other moons. One of Saturn’s 60 moons, Titan is the only moon in the solar system large enough to support an atmosphere.

DS1CometBorrellyComposite600x600

Titan is the only moon in the solar system with a substantial atmosphere, and the origin of its nitrogen-rich air is a mystery. A new theory is that the atmosphere was created 3.9 billion years ago in a period known as the late heavy bombardment, when armadas of comets zipped through the solar system.

“Huge amounts of cometary bodies would have collided with outer icy satellites, including Titan,” says Yasuhito Sekine of the University of Tokyo, Japan.

via Did Comets Create the Atmosphere of Saturn’s Moon, Titan?.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s