Saturn: Titan may oneday fly away or smash into the planet

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A giant of a moon appears before a giant of a planet undergoing seasonal changes in this natural color view of Titan and Saturn from NASA Cassini spacecraft.

Saturn’s moon Titan passing in front of the planet

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

Saturn’s largest moon Titan has an outsized effect on the planet’s tilt, and its outwards migration could knock the planet onto its side and doom Titan itself.

Titan is moving away from Saturn at a rate of about 11 centimetres per year. That isn’t too strange – Earth’s moon is migrating away from our planet too, at a rate of just under 4 centimetres per year – but it is unexpectedly fast. As Titan’s orbit moves further from Saturn, …

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