NASA - Cassini Mission to Saturn patch.
July 13, 2015
Titan may be a "large" moon - its name even implies it! - but it is still dwarfed by its parent planet, Saturn. As it turns out, this is perfectly normal.
Although Titan (3200 miles or 5150 kilometers across) is the second-largest moon in the solar system, Saturn is still much bigger, with a diameter almost 23 times larger than Titan’s. This disparity between planet and moon is the norm in the solar system. Earth’s diameter is “only” 2.3 times our moon’s diameter, making our natural satellite something of an oddity. (Another exception to the rule: dwarf planet Pluto’s diameter is just under two times that of its moon.) So the question isn't why is Titan so small (relatively speaking), but why is Earth’s moon so big?
This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Titan. North on Titan is up. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft wide-angle camera on April 18, 2015 using a near-infrared spectral filter with a passband centered at 752 nanometers.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 930,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) from Titan. Image scale is 56 miles (90 kilometers) per pixel.
Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn
The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado.
For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov or http://www.nasa.gov/cassini . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org and http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Cassini-Huygens
Images, Text, Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute/Tony Greicius.