Titania in color, taken by Voyager 2
|Date of discovery||January 11, 1787|
|Name of discoverer||William Herschel|
|Name origin||Queen of the fairies in the play A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare|
|Order from primary||17|
|Semi-major axis||435,910 km|
|Sidereal month||8.705872 da|
|Avg. orbital speed||3.65 km/s|
|Inclination||0.14° to Uranus's equator|
|Sidereal day||8.705872 da|
|Rotational speed||0.006589 km/s|
|Mean radius||788.9 km|
|Surface gravity||0.3781 m/s²|
|Escape speed||0.768 km/s|
|Surface area||7,820,847 km²|
|Mean temperature||60 K|
|Composition||Water ice and rock|
Discovery and naming
Titania is in a somewhat eccentric orbit around Uranus at an average distance of 435,910 km. Its sidereal month is about 8.71 Earth days.
Titania is in tidal lock with Uranus.
Titania has the greatest mass, diameter, and density of all the moons of Uranus. It is probably composed of water ice and rock, with a significantly higher proportion of rock than that of other moons of Uranus.
Titania contains many fault-like interconnected valleys, an indication of significant tectonic activity. Some of these valleys are hundreds of kilometers in length. Perhaps the longest of these valleys is a trench measuring 1,600 km in length. This trench is comparable in size to Ithaca Chasma on Tethys.
On September 8, 2001, at about 0200 UTC, Titania occulted the star Hipparcos #106829 (SAO 164538). Astronomers at the Observatoire Paris-Meudon used the data from this occultation to set an upper limit on the atmosphere of Titania, if it has one. That atmosphere can have no higher pressure than 0.03 microbar.
Problems for uniformitarian theories posed by this body
Titania poses the same problem for uniformitarian astronomy as do all the other moons of Uranus: its orbit is inclined severely to the ecliptic, though not to Uranus' own equator. How the Uranian system came to have such an inclination has never been explained.
Observation and Exploration
The only spacecraft to explore Titania has been Voyager 2. It approached to within 365,200 km of Titania on January 24, 1986, and took a small number of images. No other detailed images are available.
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- Authors unknown. "Limit on an atmosphere for Titania." L'occultation de l'étoile Hipparcos #106829 (SAO 164538) par Titania le 8 septembre 2001, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, France, n.d. Accessed June 15, 2008.
- Arnett, Bill. "Entry for Titania." The
Nine8 Planets, December 11, 2004. Accessed June 15, 2008.
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