Runaway Moon

Titan, the largest moon of the ringed planet Saturn, is moving out. Not just that, but the large moon is escaping at a faster speed than anyone previously realized. CNN reports that Titan is moving away from Saturn at a rate of four inches per year—100 times faster than previously thought. Other moons in the solar system also migrate, but at a slower rate. Earth’s moon, for example, is pulling away some 1.5 inches per year.

Titan, larger than the planet Mercury, orbits Saturn at a distance of 759,000 miles. Titan is the only moon known to have a considerable atmosphere and, aside from Earth, is the only planetary body in the solar system with liquid rivers and lakes on the surface.

Titan will be visited by a NASA probe, Dragonfly, in 2034. The drone will fly through the moon’s thick atmosphere and visit an impact crater formed tens of thousands of years ago, where scientists believe they might find ingredients for life.

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