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The main differences between Phobos and Titania are that Phobos is a moon that orbits Mars while Titania is a moon that orbits Uranus, Titania is bigger with a diameter 1576.8km compared to Phobos’ diameter of 22.53km and Titania is spherical in shape while Phobos is not.
There are various other differences between the two so, continue reading if you want a more detailed look at both of these bodies along with their similarities and differences below.
What Is The Moon Phobos?
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Phobos is the larger and innermost of the Martian moons, named after the Greek God of fear and panic. This rocky satellite measures approximately 27 x 22 x 18 kilometers and possesses an irregular shape.
Flying only 270 km above Mars’s surface, Phobos orbits the Martian surface so closely that it spins around the planet three times a day (each orbit takes 7 hours and 39 minutes). And this proximity means that the moon cannot always be seen from Mars’ surface (it all depends on where you’re standing).
In general, Phobos rises in the west, passes through the sky in around 4 hours, and sets in the east. And this process occurs twice during one Martian day.
Phobos travels 1.8 m closer to Mars every 100 years, which means this doomed moon will one day crash into its planet or break up into rings. Still, this won’t happen for another 50 million years or so.
The moon is covered in streak patterns from impact craters, the most significant of which is the crater Stickney, with a diameter of 9.7 km. Phobos has weathered thousands of meteorite impacts, one of which almost shattered it to pieces.
It was first discovered by the American astronomer Asaph Hall on 17th August 1877. But, it can be difficult for astronomers to see as it is one of the least reflective bodies in the solar system with an albedo of 0.071.
Despite its small stature, Phobos experiences wildly varying temperatures on its dark side compared to the light side. Measurements on the light side of the moon suggest that temperatures can rise to -4 degrees Celsius, a sort of brisk winter’s day that would be cold but tolerable.
In contrast, temperatures on the dark side can drop to -112 degrees Celsius, even though the two areas are just a few kilometers apart. The probable cause is fine surface dust that cannot retain heat, allowing temperatures to drop rapidly.
The low density of Phobos suggests its composition is similar to carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, which could mean that Phobos is a captured asteroid.
What Is The Moon Titania?
Titania is the biggest of Uranus’s moons, with a circumference of 4,956km and a diameter of 1576.8km.
The high density of this moon suggests that it most likely formed from a collection of dust and debris leftover from the formation of Uranus or from the debris created in the collision that reportedly tilted Uranus onto its side. As a result Titania has a mass of 3.4 × 10^21 kg.
First discovered on 11th January 1787 (the same day as the discovery of Oberon, the second biggest moon of Uranus) by British astronomer William Herschel, the name “Titania” comes from the Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. (Most of Uranus’ moons are named after Shakespeare’s characters.)
Having observed Titania for many years, scientists theorize that its composition is likely to be equal parts ice and rock, the latter of which may contain carbonaceous materials and organic compounds.
Research suggests that the moon most likely has a rocky core (accounting for 66% of the moon’s radius) and an icy mantle. If the mantle contains ammonia, it will act as antifreeze and make it possible for liquid water to exist. In this instance, the moon could possess a layer of liquid ocean around 50km thick.
Titania tilts slightly towards the equator of Uranus and is tidally locked to its planet. This means a Titania day is 8 days and 17 hours which would be the same for its orbital cycle.Titania has an average temperature of -203 degrees Celsius.
The planet Uranus is also tilted, with the moons orbiting on the equatorial plane, giving it extreme seasons. On Titania, the north and south poles experience 42 years of complete sunshine followed by 42 years of total darkness.
Scientists have observed the presence of large amounts of carbon dioxide, suggesting this may be the primary component of this moon’s atmosphere. Thanks to the tilted orbit, and a concentration of solar radiation from the poles, Titania probably maintains a carbon dioxide cycle, similar to the hydrogen cycle on Earth.
Similarities Between Phobos And Titania
As both are natural satellites, Phobos and Titania do share a few similarities, which includes the following:
- Both have a rocky, terrestrial surface.
- Neither have rings surrounding them.
- Both are tidally locked to their planet.
- Both orbit their planet in an elliptical pattern.
- Neither have tectonic plates.
- Neither have a magnetic field.
- Titania and Phobos have a practically non-existent axial tilt.
Differences Between Phobos And Titania
As for the differences between the two so, they include the below:
- Phobos orbits Mars whilst Titania orbits Uranus .
- Titania is a spherical shape while Phobos is not.
- Titania has a diameter of 1576.8km whilst Phobos has a diameter of 22.53km.
- Phobos has no atmosphere whilst the Titania has a very thin atmosphere composed of carbon dioxide.
- A day on Phobos takes 7 hours 39 minutes whilst a Titania orbits Uranus 8 days 17 hours.
- It takes Phobos 7 hours 39 minutes to orbit Mars and around the Sun in 687 days whilst Titania orbits Uranus in 8 days 17 hours and the Sun in 84 years.
- Phobos’ temperature ranges between -4 to -112 degrees Celsius whilst Titania’s is between -203 degree Celsius.
- Titania orbits Uranus at an average distance of 435,840km whilst Phobos is 6,000km away from Mars.
- Titania’s density is 1.71 g/cm³ whilst Phobo’s density is 1.88 g/cm³.
- Titania is amongst the brightest moons in our solar system while Phobos is not.
- Titania’s mass is 3.4 × 10^21 kg whilst Phobos’ mass is 10.6 × 10^15 kg.
- Phobos’ gravitational strength is 0.0057 m/s² whilst Titania’s is 0.367 m/s².
- Phobos only orbits Mars 6,000km away and is getting closer to the planet by 1.8 meters every 100 years.
- Titania may have ice water underneath its surface.
Both Titania and Phobos share a few features such as their terrestrial composition, neither have tectonic activity and are tidally locked to their respective planets but, they are still very different from one another.
Whether it be in regards to mass, size, density, the length of their days, temperatures and more, Titania and Phobos are distinct enough in their own rights to be looked as independent entities as opposed to just another moon orbiting a planet.