Cassini Views Titan Looking “Not So Titanic” Next to Saturn

New Cassini Image of Titan and Saturn

Saturn and its largest moon Titan. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

As this new image from NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft shows, Titan is a “large” moon but it is still dwarfed by Saturn.

Although Titan (3200 miles or 5150 kilometers across) is the second-largest moon in the solar system, Saturn is still much bigger, with a diameter almost 23 times larger than Titan’s. This disparity between planet and moon is the norm in the solar system. Earth’s diameter is “only” 2.3 times our moon’s diameter, making our natural satellite something of an oddity. (Another exception to the rule: dwarf planet Pluto’s diameter is just under two times that of its moon.) So the question isn’t why is Titan so small (relatively speaking), but why is Earth’s moon so big?

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Titan. North on Titan is up. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 18, 2015, using a near-infrared spectral filter with a passband centered at 752 nanometers.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Titan. The image scale is 56 miles (90 kilometers) per pixel.

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