Artist's impression of Huygens probe entering Titan's atmosphere

Smog-shrouded Titan,
Saturn's largest moon—
Its murky mystery penetrated
By Huygens' curious parachutes,
Sent to probe a pumpkin-tinted haze,
That thick wool pulled over our eyes
Since the universe was infant.
We found some things that we expected—
Cold, yes, bitter cold and acetylene ice,
But who would have believed our luck
To land upon a tormented shoreline
That hints at reservoirs of ammonia mixed with water.
Far below its broken surface,
Titan's keeping secrets still.
For centuries we've turned our eyes
Outward to the planets and their barren satellites
Searching for clues to our world's origin.
We hoped that Titan held some key—
But its brittle lakes and broken tributaries
Tell us nothing of young Earth's singular spawning.
Titan is a world all its own.

Copyright © 2007, Robin Mayhall

Image Credit: ESA

Robin M. Mayhall is a corporate communications writer and accredited public relations professional who writes fantasy and science fiction short stories and poetry in her "spare time." She shares an apartment in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with four cats, who indulge her writing hobby with only occasional attempts to sit on her iBook's keyboard.