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Titan: Earth-like on the Outside, Ocean World on the Inside

Abstract : Thanks to the Cassini-Huygens mission, Titan, the pale orange dot of Pioneer and Voyager encounters, has been revealed to be a dynamic, hydrologically shaped, organic-rich ocean world offering unparalleled opportunities to explore prebiotic chemistry. And while Cassini-Huygens revolutionized our understanding of each of the three "layers" of Titan-the atmosphere, the surface, and the interior-we are only beginning to hypothesize how these realms interact. In this paper, we summarize the current state of Titan knowledge and discuss how future exploration of Titan would address some of the next decade's most compelling planetary science questions. We also demonstrate why exploring Titan, both with and beyond the Dragonfly New Frontiers mission, is a necessary and complementary component of an Ocean Worlds Program that seeks to understand whether habitable environments exist elsewhere in our solar system.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 3, 2022 - 2:34:01 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 12:01:25 PM
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Shannon Mackenzie, Samuel Birch, Sarah Hörst, Christophe Sotin, Erika Barth, et al.. Titan: Earth-like on the Outside, Ocean World on the Inside. The Planetary Science Journal, IOP Science, 2021, 2, 13 pp. ⟨10.3847/psj/abf7c9⟩. ⟨hal-03657991⟩

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