Poems of the Week

Titan Works Loose

by Ruth S. Baker

“Saturn’s moon Titan is zooming away from its ringed parent 100 times faster than scientists
expected. … Previous research has suggested that the moon should be moving away from Saturn
at just 0.04 inches (0.1 cm) per year. But this new work suggests that Titan is actually moving
away from its planet at a whopping 4.3 inches (11 cm) every year.”

Saturn’s moon Titan is zooming away,
Responding to nothing his father can say.
Saturn sits wretchedly wringing his rings.
“Well,” rumbles Neptune, “it’s one of those things;
Titan’s a teen (in billennial terms);
One word of rotation, he fidgets and squirms;
Helium bores him, he wanes all he can—
Just try to remember, a moon’s his own man.
Children today—there’s not much to be done,
But back them, and hope they’re not rude to the Sun;
Pull all you like, you can’t hold him, my dear.
He’s leaving, at 4.3 inches per year.”