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Quiz about Titans and Giants
Quiz about Titans and Giants

Titans and Giants Trivia Quiz


Nine of Saturn's more than 60 moons were discovered prior to the 20th century. Named for the Titans and Giants of Greek mythology, what do you know of these early discoveries?

A multiple-choice quiz by reedy. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
reedy
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
372,159
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
432
Last 3 plays: Linda_Arizona (10/10), gracious1 (8/10), angostura (10/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Titan, Saturn's largest moon and second largest in the solar system, was discovered in 1655 by Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens. Just as with Earth, Titan's atmosphere is mostly comprised of which gas? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The second of Saturn's moons to be discovered (in 1671) is named for the Titan Iapetus, who was the father of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius. Who discovered it (and the next three moons)? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Discovered in 1672, Saturn's second largest moon is named for the Titaness Rhea, the 'mother of the gods'. Does Rhea have a retrograde (in the opposite direction of the planet's rotation) orbit?


Question 4 of 10
4. Tethys and Dione were discovered together in 1684, bringing the total number of known moons up to five. Along with Iapetus and Rhea, what title was given to this group of four moons, in honour of King Louis XIV? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Dione also happens to share a 2:1 orbital resonance with the sixth moon to be discovered orbiting Saturn. Named for a Giant in Greek mythology, what is this moon, discovered in 1789, called? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The seventh moon to be discovered around Saturn was observed just two weeks after its 'brother'. The innermost of the seven moons discovered (to that time), what Giant's name does it hold? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The sixth and seventh moons of Saturn were both discovered by the same man, also known for his discovery of the planet Uranus. Who was he? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Hyperion was the eighth moon of Saturn to be discovered, and the first moon anywhere found not to be round in shape. Which of these astronomers did NOT share in its discovery in 1848? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. William Henry Pickering discovered Saturn's ninth moon in 1899. What was different about Phoebe's discovery, compared to the previous eight? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In 1847, the names for the first seven moons of Saturn were suggested by astronomer, mathematician and inventor John Herschel. He chose Titans and Giants of Greek mythology because Saturn is the Roman version of which Greek Titan who overthrew his father Uranus to rule?

Answer: (One Word (6 letters))

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Most Recent Scores
Jun 11 2024 : Linda_Arizona: 10/10
Jun 03 2024 : gracious1: 8/10
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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Titan, Saturn's largest moon and second largest in the solar system, was discovered in 1655 by Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens. Just as with Earth, Titan's atmosphere is mostly comprised of which gas?

Answer: Nitrogen

Where Earth's atmosphere is 78.1% nitrogen (and 20.1% oxygen), the atmosphere of Titan is 98.4% nitrogen. Titan is the only moon known to have a significant atmosphere. Its atmospheric pressure is actually greater than that of Earth's, and Titan's lower gravity means that the atmosphere extends out further than Earth's.

When Titan was first discovered, it was believed to be larger than Ganymede (one of the Galilean moons of Jupiter and the largest moon in the solar system), but the largely opaque atmosphere made observers believe it had a larger diameter than it actually did.

Titan is also unique among the moons of the solar system in that it has an active liquid cycle, with clouds, precipitation, lakes and rivers (of liquid methane).

As mentioned, Titan is very large as moons go, with a diameter of 5,152 km. It orbits beyond the E Ring at a distance of roughly 1,200,000 km from the center of the planet.
2. The second of Saturn's moons to be discovered (in 1671) is named for the Titan Iapetus, who was the father of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius. Who discovered it (and the next three moons)?

Answer: Giovanni Domenico Cassini

Iapetus is Saturn's third largest moon, and the eleventh largest in the solar system (fitting between Oberon of Uranus and Pluto's Charon). Its diameter is 1,469 km and it orbits much further out than Titan (the next major inward moon) at a distance of 3,560,820 km from the centre of Saturn.

Giovanni Domenico Cassini (1625-1712) observed Iapetus from the Paris Observatory, but could only see it when it was on Saturn's west side. He surmised that it was darker on one side than the other, a theory later proven with a more powerful telescope. The darker hemisphere was named Cassini Regio, in honour of its discoverer.
3. Discovered in 1672, Saturn's second largest moon is named for the Titaness Rhea, the 'mother of the gods'. Does Rhea have a retrograde (in the opposite direction of the planet's rotation) orbit?

Answer: No

Saturn does have moons that travel in a retrograde direction, but Rhea is not one of them.

Rhea is part of the outer group of large moons, positioned beyond Saturn's E Ring (more than 480,000 km out from the centre of Saturn). Rhea is the first of these, then comes Titan, Hyperion and Iapetus. Rhea's orbital period and rotation period are synchronous at 4.518212 days, meaning that the same side of the moon is always facing Saturn.

Although Rhea is Saturn's second-largest moon, at 1,528 km in diameter it is still less than one third the size of Titan.
4. Tethys and Dione were discovered together in 1684, bringing the total number of known moons up to five. Along with Iapetus and Rhea, what title was given to this group of four moons, in honour of King Louis XIV?

Answer: Sidera Lodoicea

Giovanni Domenico Cassini followed the example shown by Galileo when he named the Jovian moons that he discovered 'Sidera Medicea' after his patron. In this case, King Louis XIV was the patron of the Paris Observatory, of which Cassini was the Director, and the direct translation of Sidera Lodoicea is Louisian Stars.

Tethys was named for the Titaness and river goddess of Greek mythology. It has a diameter of 1,060 km and has two co-orbital moons (Telesto and Calypso, both discovered in 1980), called trojans or Lagrangian objects.

Dione was also named for a Titaness, the mother of Aphrodite. It has a diameter of 1,122 km and (like Tethys) also has two co-orbital moons (Helene, discovered in 1980 - and Polydeuces, discovered in 2004).

Both Tethys and Dione are within the E Ring, Tethys at approximately 295,000 km from the centre of the planet, and Dione at approximately 377,000 km.
5. Dione also happens to share a 2:1 orbital resonance with the sixth moon to be discovered orbiting Saturn. Named for a Giant in Greek mythology, what is this moon, discovered in 1789, called?

Answer: Enceladus

Not only was Enceladus the sixth moon of Saturn to be discovered, it is also the sixth largest of Saturn's moons with a diameter of 504 km. It was the innermost of all of the moons discovered to that date, at approximately 238,000 km from the centre of the planet.

The Cassini spacecraft flew past Enceladus in 2005 and observed more than 100 geysers on the moon, near the south pole. It is surmised that these ejected materials have contributed to the formation of Saturn's E Ring.
6. The seventh moon to be discovered around Saturn was observed just two weeks after its 'brother'. The innermost of the seven moons discovered (to that time), what Giant's name does it hold?

Answer: Mimas

Interestingly, Mimas is in a 2:1 orbital resonance with Tethys in the same way that Enceledas is with Dione. In order (not counting smaller moons and moonlets), from inner to outer, are Mimas, Enceladus, Tethys, and Dione.

Mimas is also the satellite that is responsible for creating the Cassini Division - the space between Saturn's A Ring and B Ring.

With a diameter of 396 km, Mimas is Saturn's seventh-largest moon, and the 21st-largest in the solar system.
7. The sixth and seventh moons of Saturn were both discovered by the same man, also known for his discovery of the planet Uranus. Who was he?

Answer: William Herschel

Sir Frederick William Herschel (1738-1822) did not become interested in astronomy until the age of 35, after which he became a pioneer in the field, constructing his own large telescopes, and developing sophisticated diagnostic tools for the observation of the cosmos.

At the time of the discovery of Enceladus and Mimas, Herschel was using his newly constructed 1.2 metre telescope, the largest in the world at that time.
8. Hyperion was the eighth moon of Saturn to be discovered, and the first moon anywhere found not to be round in shape. Which of these astronomers did NOT share in its discovery in 1848?

Answer: Johann Gottfried Galle

The father-and-son team of William (father) and George (son) Bond discovered Hyperion on September 16th, 1848. Two days later, it was also independently discovered by William Lassell, who actually published his findings before the Bonds did. All three are given credit for Hyperion's discovery.

Hyperion is an interesting moon, looking very like a sponge, and having a very wobbly rotation. Its mean diameter is roughly 122 km, and its orbit falls between Titan and Iapetus.
9. William Henry Pickering discovered Saturn's ninth moon in 1899. What was different about Phoebe's discovery, compared to the previous eight?

Answer: It was discovered in a photograph.

A photographic plate of Saturn taken on August 16th 1898, from the Boyden Observatory in Peru, was the source of the discovery of Phoebe by Pickering, who didn't actually 'discover' it until March of 1899.

Phoebe (unlike Rhea) actually does have a retrograde orbit, meaning that it orbits Saturn in the opposite direction from Saturn's rotation. Phoebe is one of Saturn's outer moons, orbiting at a distance of nearly 13,000,000 km. It is an irregularly-shaped moon that has a mean diameter of about 220 km.
10. In 1847, the names for the first seven moons of Saturn were suggested by astronomer, mathematician and inventor John Herschel. He chose Titans and Giants of Greek mythology because Saturn is the Roman version of which Greek Titan who overthrew his father Uranus to rule?

Answer: Cronus

Cronus (by whatever spelling) was the youngest of Uranus and Gaia's children - the first generation of Titans. His siblings were Rhea, Oceanus, Hyperion, Theia, Coeus, Phoebe, Iapetus, Crius, Mnemosyne, Tethys and Themis. Cronus also happened to be the father of Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Chiron.

Zeus, of course, overthrew his father in turn, casting him into Tartarus.

For a time, after the naming of the first seven of Saturn's moons, they were known as the Cronian moons.
Source: Author reedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor rossian before going online.
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