Almost all of the 27 moons around Uranus weren’t discovered until we entered space exploration to get closer to the planet.
Titania Moon Profile
|Discovered By:||William Herschel January 11, 1787|
|Mass:||3.42 × 10^21 kg (4.7% Moon)|
|Orbit Distance:||436,300 km|
|Orbit Length:||8.7 days|
|Surface Temperature:||-203 °C|
Who discovered Titania
Titania is the largest of these moons at 981 mi/1,579 km in diameter. Each of the moons of Uranus were named after characters of plays by William Shakespeare.
Famous astronomer, William Herschel, discovered the first two moons of Uranus in 1787.
The moons, Titania and Oberon were discovered only six years after they discovered Uranus.
Voyager 2 Space Mission
Pictures taken of Titania show that it has surface fault lines which indicate seismic activity. Prior to the 1977 Voyager 2 space mission, astronomers were only aware of five moons around Uranus.
When the probe did a flyby again in 1986 it discovered ten additional moons.
This was quite an astounding situation because this flyby was done during the winter time when an entire section of all of the moons were dark.
Voyager 2 couldn’t examine one moon at a time, but instead had to take on the entire system around Uranus at once.
The results of this flyby is that Voyager 2 was only able to skim by Uranus and its moons and most of the images of the moons appear as far off distant dots.
But even if they weren’t detailed, it should be important to remember that if Voyager 2 hadn’t flown by, we would never know about all of the other moons.
Since the last Voyager 2 flyby, there haven’t been any new missions to Uranus.
What do scientists think?
The information found during the mission combined with new techniques and technologies have allowed scientists to create a theory that Uranus’ moons may have been created from debris after a collusion knocked Uranus on its side.
This explains both the odd axis tilt and the satellites. Each of the moons of Uranus seem to be different, although many are similar in composition.
Using current telescope technology, we may have gotten a bit more detail on the moons of Uranus but given its distance, without an additional space mission, we are limited on our observations.
There have been current discussions to send spacecraft to the Uranus area including using the newer cubesats for cost reduction.
In both 2010 and 2015, a team submitted a recommendation to the European Space Agency known as Uranus Pathfinder orbiter mission concept.
Neither of the submissions were approved for funding.
Scientists are excited about the Cassini spacecraft observations that hinted that the moons of Saturn may have oceans below the surface, and have suggested that the same situation might exist with the moons of Uranus.
The subsurface liquid water is one of the signs for potential life.
Facts about Titania
- Observations of some of the moons of Uranus indicate that there may be evidence of mixed carbon dioxide and water on their surfaces.
- Many of the Uranus’ moons show effects of tidal heating which encourages liquid water.
- Uranus has a thin ring around it and scientists think that there may be more moons hiding within the ring.
- Any hidden moons that are being shielded by the rings around Uranus wouldn’t be over 3 mi/5 km in radius.
- All of the moons of Uranus have an orbit around the planet on their sides. Titania’s tilt creates seasons that last 42 years.
- The makeup of Titania is believed to be due to being formed from debris and dust leftover from when Uranus was created.
- Titania has huge canyons as well as cracks in its crust.
- The sideways tilt of all of the moons of Uranus give them the ability to get more polar radiation than at their middle. This warms the carbon dioxide at the poles creating a carbon cycle that is similar to that of Earth.
- Titania’s orbit is almost a perfect circular orbit.
- Titania is tidally locked to Uranus so that only one side always faces the parent planet.
- Scientists think that Titania may have an atmosphere made up of only carbon dioxide.
- The tidal pressures and tectonic movement on Titania gives it the ability to cover and resurface any of the impact craters and have a smoother surface.
- What position do all of the moons of Uranus have for their orbit?
- According to size, what position does Titania have within the 27 moons of Uranus?
- What famous historical writer created stories and characters that the moons of Uranus are named after?
- What is a unique feature of Titania’s orbit around Uranus?
almost perfectly circular
- How long does one of Titania’s seasons last?
- What important feature do scientists think Titania has that may be a hint for harboring life?
subsurface liquid water
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