A Tour of the Moons of Saturn – Titan

Titan, the largest of the Saturnian moons, with the thick planet-like atmosphere. The moon with the Earth-like surface, of deeply cut fluid channels, broad sea-like basins, pebbled channel beds, lakes, wind-driven sediments, and occasional craters. The alien moon with water ice as rock carved by periodically flowing methane streams and rivers, with hydrocarbons snowing from its nitrogen and methane atmosphere to collect downstream in basins, with methane clouds and perhaps rain, and with brights spots and warms spots that point to heating caused by unknown mechanisms.

Titan, the latest destination in the search for extraterrestrial life and a key to our own terrestrial history of life. Where the methane at the surface and in the atmosphere must be constantly replenished from an unknown vast reservoir. The moon that has planetary scientists scratching their heads and holding hours long meetings to discuss the latest findings painstakingly gathered by Cassini as it attempts to peer through the atmospheric shroud at various wavelengths.

Titan, a distant neighbor in our solar system that has captured the public imagination unlike any other object since Mars.

Titan, where the best is yet to come…

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Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a fiction writer and poet, with his first published poem forthcoming later in 2017 from Impossible Archetype. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published on Tiny Donkey. Richard is also the Downlink Lead for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) team at the University of Arizona. He monitors images of the Martian surface taken by the HiRISE camera located on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in orbit around Mars and helps ensure they process successfully and are validated for quick release to the science community and public. Once upon a time, Richard wrote and edited the science and technology news and commentary website Frontier Channel, hosted the RADIO Frontier Channel podcast, and organized transhumanist clubs. Follow Richard on his website (richardleis.com), on Goodreads (richardleis), his Micro.blog (@richardleis), Twitter (@richardleisjr), and Facebook (richardleisjr).