The helium in the moon's atmosphere is easily lost, since it's so much lighter. It does not have a strong enough gravity field to prevent gases, if they existed on the Moon, from escaping into space. Use MathJax to format equations. They both have a troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. Jamie G. 1 decade ago. MathJax reference. But sunlight irreversibly destroys methane after tens of millions of years, so something has replenished methane … So I dunno how it got an atmosphere? Can everyone with my passport data see my American arrival/departure record (form I-94)? To what extent is grease interchangeable? By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. ( Log Out /  Scientists have long known that Titan's atmosphere contains methane, ethane, acetylene and many other hydrocarbon compounds. Since the most widely accepted explanation of why Mars has such a thin atmosphere is it losing its magnetosphere as its core cooled and does not contain nearly as much metallic iron has the Earth’s, it would make sense that Titan would follow the same pattern since it doesn’t have a magnetosphere. When a planet loses atmosphere, where does it go? But if there is a lot of time like millions of years, the very thin tail of the Boltzmann distribution would be enough for most of O2 molecules to finally leave the Moon. rev 2020.11.24.38066, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top, Space Exploration Stack Exchange works best with JavaScript enabled, Start here for a quick overview of the site, Detailed answers to any questions you might have, Discuss the workings and policies of this site, Learn more about Stack Overflow the company, Learn more about hiring developers or posting ads with us. Titan may also be compared with Neptune's large moon Triton and with the dwarf planet Pluto. why does Titan have a thick atmosphere and mercury does not? @Nathan Tuggy 1AU would be used up by the distance from Sun to our moon. Hypothetically, the incoming solar wind bombardment also increases the kinetic energy of the gas molecules over the escape velocity so that over time an atmosphere not protected by a magnetic field would lose its atmosphere due to the solar wind. Mars IIRC there's either a high order polynomial or exponential factor of temperature in the loss rate equations; so being 2-3x colder is a really huge advantage not just marginal tinkering around the edges. And so they're cookie-cutter moons that are formed by the same process. ( Log Out /  How viscous is the liquid? Being that its host planet, Saturn, is 10 Astronomical Units from the sun. Think of it as the Moon having tides because of effects from the Earth, rather than vice-versa. The moon has only 1/6 the gravity field of Earth. If a piece of software does not specify whether it is licenced under GPL 3.0 "only" or "or-later", which variant does it "default to"? Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Does the Dragonfly project (quadcopters on Titan) envision attached RTG's or would they be static and revisited for charging? This magnetic field changes the paths of the particles in the solar wind, thus perserving the volatile gases intact. Answer Save. Therefore Titan would be 9AU further away from that point. Relevance. How did a pawn appear out of thin air in “P @ e2” after queen capture? Another big cause of atmospheric loss is the solar wind. Our Moon, if formed by a collision, had its volatile matter escape between the time of the collision and its re-formation into a massive body, whereas Titan retained more volatile matter. Titan has more mass but less surface gravity? First, it could be that because Saturn is farther out than Jupiter, Titan formed in a colder environment and had a greater amount of nitrogen-rich gases around it, and these formed the atmosphere. Usually, the answer includes magnetism: Earth has an atmosphere because the liquid magma inside the planet produces a magnetic field. Course design: basics first or teach "as you go", Using of the rocket propellant for engine cooling. This also explains why Titan wouldn’t have any oxygen, since this is not true for oxygen molecules as they would be broken up by this radiation. why does titan have an atmosphere? Or are heavier elements like Methane and Nitrogen the only elements which Titan can sustain as an atmosphere? Fedora shows / mounted at the same location as home. This also explains the situation on Mars, since it was believed to once have oxygen, but due to losing its magnetosphere the oxygen was then broken apart and most likely bonded with the iron on the surface, giving it its red tint. ( Log Out /  Since, unlike our moon, Titan has a significant magnetic field, plus it spends 95% of its orbit within Saturn's very strong magnetic field, the little solar wind that does get in the vicinity of Titan is totally deflected or weakened by these magnetic fields. You are right that it's surprising that Titan, being just a moon, has a thick atmosphere. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. ( Log Out /  Information from this blog and more detailed information on this subject is found in this video. Titan is also much further from the Sun, making the gas particles move much more slowly so they don't escape and instead condense … But sunlight irreversibly destroys methane after tens of millions of years, so something has replenished methane in Titan's thick air during the moon's 4.5 billion-year history. Titan has an atmosphere because it is large enough to have a significant enough gravity field to prevent the gases there from escaping into space. Every second customer converts better. 2 Answers. Titan's atmosphere is mostly nitrogen, while the moon is mostly helium and argon. The explanation behind this discrepancy is due to the composition of Titan’s atmosphere. Scientists have long known that Titan's atmosphere contains methane, ethane, acetylene and many other hydrocarbon compounds. It is 9 times farther from the sun than our moon. It’s pretty perplexing as to why Saturn’s moon, Titan, has such a thick atmosphere but a planet like Mars does not. So the solar wind flux reaching Titan is 9 squared or 81 times weaker than at our moon. Relevance. So I dunno how it got an atmosphere? Remember our own, massive (by comparison) Earth did not come with an atmosphere; it outgassed as it cooled. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Favourite answer. Will it need windshield-wipers? Red Rose. Asking for help, clarification, or responding to other answers. JL: That's one of the three great questions about Titan: Why does Titan have that atmosphere, and Ganymede and Callisto do not? Titan itself doesn't have a magnetic field to protect it from the solar wind, but it does happen to orbit an enormous planet with a magnetic field. The flux of the solar wind decreases as the square of the distance from the sun. Titan - Is the source of so much Methane being overlooked? +1 as this is the only answer touching on the important topic of outgassing history. Titan also has more of the right stuff to work with, in order to make an atmosphere. They're the biggest moons, … My planet has a long period orbit. 6 years ago. physics.stackexchange.com/questions/31909/…, How to write an effective developer resume: Advice from a hiring manager, Podcast 290: This computer science degree is brought to you by Big Tech, “Question closed” notifications experiment results and graduation, MAINTENANCE WARNING: Possible downtime early morning Dec 2/4/9 UTC (8:30PM….

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