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The Planetary Report • November/December 1983

Tantalizing Titan

On the Cover: Sunlight scatters off Titan's thick atmosphere, illuminating a crescent as Voyager 2 looked back on the night side of Saturn's largest satellite. In this false color image, a thin blue haze layer completely outlines the satellite. Organic compounds color the enshrouding clouds, giving Titan a distinct orangish hue. Such organic compounds were the precursors of life on Earth, and by studying Titan we may learn about our own origins.


3 "No Small Rapture": The Exploration of Saturn's Moon Titan: Carl Sagan goes into the history of our knowledge of Saturn's largest moon.

6 A Glimpse of the Past? The Evolution of Titan's Atmosphere: Tobias Owen explains how studying Titan may help us understand the origins of life on Earth.

9 Discovering Organic Molecules on Titan: Rudolf Hanel and John Pearl discuss how organics on Titan were discovered.

11 Mucky Seas and Hazy Skies: An Ethane Ocean on Titan? Jonathan I. Lunine examines Voyager's possible detection of oceans—but not filled with water—on Titan.

14 The Tides of Titan: Stanley F. Dermott describes the tidal effects of Saturn on Titan.

16 The Future Exploration of Titan: Byron L. Swenson gives us a look at what NASA Ames and JPL have planned for exploring Titan down the line.


15 World Watch A letter from Carl Sagan to the NASA administrator.

17 News & Reviews Earth, Venus, and the space station.

18 Society Notes A talk with Lew Allen, director of JPL.

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