Titan Occultation May Give Astronomers Clues About Saturn's Biggest Moon

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Description

Astronomers in Australia are eager for a special celestial alignment this week that could tell them more about one of the most intriguing candidates for hosting life beyond Earth.

That's because for a brief 4 minutes late Wednesday night (July 18) local time, Saturn's moon Titan will slip directly between Earth and a bright star. The rare alignment, formally called an occultation, will let astronomers study light streaming through the layers of Titan's hazy atmosphere.

"It will be like an eclipse of the sun with the moon passing in front, but on a very subtle scale," David Coward, an astronomer at the University of Western Australia, told The West Australian, a local newspaper.

Period16 Jul 2018

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Media contributions

  • TitleTitan Occultation May Give Astronomers Clues About Saturn's Biggest Moon
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletSpace.com
    Media typeWeb
    CountryAustralia
    Date16/07/18
    DescriptionAstronomers in Australia are eager for a special celestial alignment this week that could tell them more about one of the most intriguing candidates for hosting life beyond Earth.
    That's because for a brief 4 minutes late Wednesday night (July 18) local time, Saturn's moon Titan will slip directly between Earth and a bright star. The rare alignment, formally called an occultation, will let astronomers study light streaming through the layers of Titan's hazy atmosphere.
    "It will be like an eclipse of the sun with the moon passing in front, but on a very subtle scale," David Coward, an astronomer at the University of Western Australia, told The West Australian, a local newspaper.
    Producer/AuthorMeghan Bartels
    URLhttps://www.space.com/41179-saturn-moon-titan-occultation-atmosphere-composition.html
    PersonsDavid Coward