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Sample records for titan upper atmosphere

  1. Large Abundances of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Titan's Upper Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Puertas, M.; Dinelli, B. M.; Adriani, A.; Funke, B.; Garcia-Comas, M.; Moriconi, M. L.; D'Aversa, E.; Boersma, C.; Allamandola, L. J.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we analyze the strong unidentified emission near 3.28 micron in Titan's upper daytime atmosphere recently discovered by Dinelli et al.We have studied it by using the NASA Ames PAH IR Spectroscopic Database. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), after absorbing UV solar radiation, are able to emit strongly near 3.3 micron. By using current models for the redistribution of the absorbed UV energy, we have explained the observed spectral feature and have derived the vertical distribution of PAH abundances in Titan's upper atmosphere. PAHs have been found to be present in large concentrations, about (2-3) × 10(exp 4) particles / cubic cm. The identified PAHs have 9-96 carbons, with a concentration-weighted average of 34 carbons. The mean mass is approx 430 u; the mean area is about 0.53 sq. nm; they are formed by 10-11 rings on average, and about one-third of them contain nitrogen atoms. Recently, benzene together with light aromatic species as well as small concentrations of heavy positive and negative ions have been detected in Titan's upper atmosphere. We suggest that the large concentrations of PAHs found here are the neutral counterpart of those positive and negative ions, which hence supports the theory that the origin of Titan main haze layer is located in the upper atmosphere.

  2. Simulating the 3-D Structure of Titan's Upper Atmosphere

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    Bell, J. M.; Waite, H.; Westlake, J.; Magee, B.

    2009-05-01

    We present results from the 3-D Titan Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model (Bell et al [2009], PSS, in review). We show comparisons between simulated N2, CH4, and H2 density fields and the in-situ data from the Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS). We describe the temperature and wind fields consistent with these density calculations. Variations with local time, longitude, and latitude will be addressed. Potential plasma heating sources can be estimated using the 1-D model of De La Haye et al [2007, 2008] and the impacts on the thermosphere of Titan can be assessed in a global sense in Titan-GITM. Lastly, we will place these findings within the context of recent work in modeling the 2-D structure of Titan's upper atmosphere (Mueller-Wodarg et al [2008]).

  3. The dynamics in the upper atmospheres of Mars and Titan

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    Bell, Jared M.

    2008-06-01

    This thesis explores the dynamics of two terrestrial bodies: Mars and Titan. At Mars, the coupled Mars General Circulation Model - Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MGCM-MTGCM) is employed to investigate the phenomenon known as Mars winter polar warming. At Titan, a new theoretical model, the Titan Global Ionosphere - Thermosphere Model (T-GITM), is developed, based upon previous work by Ridley et al. [2006]. Using this new model, three separate numerical studies quantify the impacts of solar cycle, seasons, and lower boundary zonal winds on the Titan thermosphere structure and dynamics. At Mars, this thesis investigates thermospheric winter polar warming through three major studies: (1) a systematic analysis of vertical dust mixing in the lower atmosphere and its impact upon the dynamics of the lower thermosphere (100-130 km), (2) an interannual investigation utilizing three years of lower atmosphere infrared (IR) dust optical depth data acquired by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) instrument on board Mars Global Surveyor (MGS), and finally (3) a brief study of the MTGCM's response to variations in upward propagating waves and tides from the lower atmosphere. Ultimately, this investigation suggests that an interhemispheric summer-to-winter Hadley circulation, originating in the lower atmosphere and extending into the upper atmosphere, is responsible for thermospheric winter polar warming [ Bell etal. , 2007]. A major branch of this thesis builds upon the previous work of Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000], Müller-Wodarg et al. [2003], M7uuml;ller-Wodarg et al. [2006], and Yelle et al. [2006] as it attempts to explain the structures in Titan's upper atmosphere, between 500-1500 km. Building also upon the recent development of GITM by Ridley et al. [2006], this thesis presents a new theoretical framework, T-GITM. This model is then employed to conduct a series of numerical experiments to quantify the impacts of the solar cycle, the season, and the

  4. ATOMIC CARBON IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE OF TITAN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, X.; Yung, Y. L.; Ajello, J. M.

    2010-01-01

    The atomic carbon emission C I line feature at 1657 A ( 3 P 0 J - 3 P J ) in the upper atmosphere of Titan is first identified from the airglow spectra obtained by the Cassini Ultra-violet Imaging Spectrograph. A one-dimensional photochemical model of Titan is used to study the photochemistry of atomic carbon on Titan. Reaction between CH and atomic hydrogen is the major source of atomic carbon, and reactions with hydrocarbons (C 2 H 2 and C 2 H 4 ) are the most important loss processes. Resonance scattering of sunlight by atomic carbon is the dominant emission mechanism. The emission intensity calculations based on model results show good agreement with the observations.

  5. Characterizing the Upper Atmosphere of Titan using the Titan Global Ionosphere- Thermosphere Model: Nitrogen and Methane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. M.; Waite, J. H.; Bar-Nun, A.; Bougher, S. W.; Ridley, A. J.; Magee, B.

    2008-12-01

    Recently, a great deal of effort has been put forth to explain the Cassini Ion-Neutral Mass Spectrometer (Waite et al [2004]) in-situ measurements of Titan's upper atmosphere (e.g. Muller-Wodarg [2008], Strobel [2008], Yelle et al [2008]). Currently, the community seems to agree that large amounts of CH4 are escaping from Titan's upper atmosphere at a rate of roughly 2.0 x 1027 molecules of CH4/s (3.33 x 1028 amu/s), representing a significant mass source to the Kronian Magnetosphere. However, such large escape fluxes from Titan are currently not corroborated by measurements onboard the Cassini Spacecraft. Thus, we posit another potential scenario: Aerosol depletion of atmospheric methane. Using the three-dimensional Titan Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model (T-GITM) (Bell et al [2008]), we explore the possible removal mechanisms of atmospheric gaseous constituents by these aerosols. Titan simulations are directly compared against Cassini Ion-Neutral Mass Spectrometer in-situ densities of N2 and CH4. From this work, we can then compare and contrast this aerosol depletion scenario against the currently posited hydrodynamic escape scenario, illustrating the merits and shortcomings of both.

  6. Non-LTE models of Titan's upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yelle, Roger V.

    1991-01-01

    Models for the thermal structure of Titan's upper atmosphere, between 0.1 mbar and 0.01 nbar are presented. The calculations include non-LTE heating/cooling in the rotation-vibration bands of CH4, C2H2, and C2H6, absorption of solar IR radiation in the near-IR bands of CH4 and subsequent cascading to the nu-4 band of CH4, absorption of solar EUV and UV radiation, thermal conduction and cooling by HCN rotational lines. Unlike earlier models, the calculated exospheric temperature agrees well with observations, because of the importance of HCN cooling. The calculations predict a well-developed mesopause with a temperature of 135-140 K at an altitude of approximately 600 km and pressure of about 0.1 microbar. The mesopause is at a higher pressure than predicted by earlier calculations because non-LTE radiative transfer in the rotation-vibration bands of CH4, C2H2, and C2H6 is treated in an accurate manner. The accuracy of the LTE approximation for source functions and heating rates is discussed.

  7. Wave phenomena comparison between Mars and Titan upper atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elrod, Meredith K.; Bell, J. M.

    2013-10-01

    We will examine the presence of waves in the neutral atmospheres of two terrestrial bodies: Mars and Titan. We will examine the aerobraking datasets from both the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) and Mars Odyssey (ODY) missions, analyzing the neutral densities to characterize the planetary tides and/or smaller-scale internal gravity waves present in the data. While several studies have examined these features before at Mars (e.g., Forbes et al. [2002] and Fritts and Tolson [2006]), we will be focusing on examining whether or not the wave features observed in the thermosphere could be explained primarily with planetary tides, as posted recently in Klienbohl et al. [2013]. In addition to this, we will also examine the neutral densities obtained by the Cassini Ion-Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) in order to determine if planetary tides can explain the numerous wave-like features that have been interpreted as gravity waves propagating vertically (cf., Mueller-Wodarg et al. [2008], Cui et al. [2013], and Snowden et al. [2013]).

  8. LARGE ABUNDANCES OF POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS IN TITAN'S UPPER ATMOSPHERE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lopez-Puertas, M.; Funke, B.; Garcia-Comas, M. [Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (CSIC), E-18080 Granada (Spain); Dinelli, B. M. [ISAC-CNR, I-40129 Bologna (Italy); Adriani, A.; D' Aversa, E. [IAPS-INAF, I-00133 Rome (Italy); Moriconi, M. L. [ISAC-CNR, I-00133 Rome (Italy); Boersma, C.; Allamandola, L. J., E-mail: puertas@iaa.es [NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000 (United States)

    2013-06-20

    In this paper, we analyze the strong unidentified emission near 3.28 {mu}m in Titan's upper daytime atmosphere recently discovered by Dinelli et al. We have studied it by using the NASA Ames PAH IR Spectroscopic Database. The polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), after absorbing UV solar radiation, are able to emit strongly near 3.3 {mu}m. By using current models for the redistribution of the absorbed UV energy, we have explained the observed spectral feature and have derived the vertical distribution of PAH abundances in Titan's upper atmosphere. PAHs have been found to be present in large concentrations, about (2-3) Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 4} particles cm{sup -3}. The identified PAHs have 9-96 carbons, with a concentration-weighted average of 34 carbons. The mean mass is {approx}430 u; the mean area is about 0.53 nm{sup 2}; they are formed by 10-11 rings on average, and about one-third of them contain nitrogen atoms. Recently, benzene together with light aromatic species as well as small concentrations of heavy positive and negative ions have been detected in Titan's upper atmosphere. We suggest that the large concentrations of PAHs found here are the neutral counterpart of those positive and negative ions, which hence supports the theory that the origin of Titan main haze layer is located in the upper atmosphere.

  9. Temperature variations in Titan's upper atmosphere: Impact on Cassini/Huygens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Kazeminejad

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Temperature variations of Titan's upper atmosphere due to the plasma interaction of the satellite with Saturn's magnetosphere and Titan's high altitude monomer haze particles can imply an offset of up to ±30K from currently estimated model profiles. We incorporated these temperature uncertainties as an offset into the recently published Vervack et al. (2004 (Icarus, Vol. 170, 91-112 engineering model and derive extreme case (i.e. minimum and maximum profiles temperature, pressure, and density profiles. We simulated the Huygens probe hypersonic entry trajectory and obtain, as expected, deviations of the probe trajectory for the extreme atmosphere models compared to the simulation based on the nominal one. These deviations are very similar to the ones obtained with the standard Yelle et al. (1997 (ESA SP-1177 profiles. We could confirm that the difference in aerodynamic drag is of an order of magnitude that can be measured by the probe science accelerometer. They represent an important means for the reconstruction of Titan's upper atmospheric properties. Furthermore, we simulated a Cassini low Titan flyby trajectory. No major trajectory deviations were found. The atmospheric torques due to aerodynamic drag, however, are twice as high for our high temperature profile as the ones obtained with the Yelle maximum profile and more than 5 times higher than the worst case estimations from the Cassini project. We propose to use the Cassini atmospheric torque measurements during its low flybys to derive the atmospheric drag and to reconstruct Titan's upper atmosphere density, pressure, and temperature. The results could then be compared to the reconstructed profiles obtained from Huygens probe measurements. This would help to validate the probe measurements and decrease the error bars.

  10. Temperature variations in Titan's upper atmosphere: Impact on Cassini/Huygens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Kazeminejad

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Temperature variations of Titan's upper atmosphere due to the plasma interaction of the satellite with Saturn's magnetosphere and Titan's high altitude monomer haze particles can imply an offset of up to ±30K from currently estimated model profiles. We incorporated these temperature uncertainties as an offset into the recently published Vervack et al. (2004 (Icarus, Vol. 170, 91-112 engineering model and derive extreme case (i.e. minimum and maximum profiles temperature, pressure, and density profiles. We simulated the Huygens probe hypersonic entry trajectory and obtain, as expected, deviations of the probe trajectory for the extreme atmosphere models compared to the simulation based on the nominal one. These deviations are very similar to the ones obtained with the standard Yelle et al. (1997 (ESA SP-1177 profiles. We could confirm that the difference in aerodynamic drag is of an order of magnitude that can be measured by the probe science accelerometer. They represent an important means for the reconstruction of Titan's upper atmospheric properties. Furthermore, we simulated a Cassini low Titan flyby trajectory. No major trajectory deviations were found. The atmospheric torques due to aerodynamic drag, however, are twice as high for our high temperature profile as the ones obtained with the Yelle maximum profile and more than 5 times higher than the worst case estimations from the Cassini project. We propose to use the Cassini atmospheric torque measurements during its low flybys to derive the atmospheric drag and to reconstruct Titan's upper atmosphere density, pressure, and temperature. The results could then be compared to the reconstructed profiles obtained from Huygens probe measurements. This would help to validate the probe measurements and decrease the error bars.

  11. Active Upper-atmosphere Chemistry and Dynamics from Polar Circulation Reversal on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teanby, Nicholas A.; Irwin, Patrick Gerard Joseph; Nixon, Conor A.; DeKok, Remco; Vinatier, Sandrine; Coustenis, Athena; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Calcutt, Simon B.; Flasar, Michael F.

    2012-01-01

    Saturn's moon Titan has a nitrogen atmosphere comparable to Earth's, with a surface pressure of 1.4 bar. Numerical models reproduce the tropospheric conditions very well but have trouble explaining the observed middle-atmosphere temperatures, composition and winds. The top of the middle-atmosphere circulation has been thought to lie at an altitude of 450 to 500 kilometres, where there is a layer of haze that appears to be separated from the main haze deck. This 'detached' haze was previously explained as being due to the colocation of peak haze production and the limit of dynamical transport by the circulation's upper branch. Herewe report a build-up of trace gases over the south pole approximately two years after observing the 2009 post-equinox circulation reversal, from which we conclude that middle-atmosphere circulation must extend to an altitude of at least 600 kilometres. The primary drivers of this circulation are summer-hemisphere heating of haze by absorption of solar radiation and winter-hemisphere cooling due to infrared emission by haze and trace gases; our results therefore imply that these effects are important well into the thermosphere (altitudes higher than 500 kilometres). This requires both active upper-atmosphere chemistry, consistent with the detection of high-complexity molecules and ions at altitudes greater than 950 kilometres, and an alternative explanation for the detached haze, such as a transition in haze particle growth from monomers to fractal structures.

  12. Poster 6: Influence of traces elements in the organic chemistry of upper atmosphere of Titan

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    Mathe, Christophe; Carrasco, Nathalie; Trainer, Melissa G.; Gautier, Thomas; Gavilan, Lisseth; Dubois, David; Li, Xiang

    2016-06-01

    In the upper atmosphere of Titan, complex chemistry leads to the formation of organic aerosols. Since the work of Khare et al. in 1984, several experiments investigated the formation of Titan aerosols, so called tholins, in the laboratory. It has been suggested that nitrogen-containing compounds may contribute significantly to the aerosols formation process. In this study, we focused on the influence of pyridine, the simplest nitrogenous aromatic hydrocarbon, on the chemistry of Titan's atmosphere and on aerosol formation. To assess the effect of pyridine on aerosol formation chemistry, we used two different experimental setups : a capacitively coupled radio-frequency (electronic impact), and a VUV Deuterium lamp (photochemistry) in a collaboration between LATMOS (Guyancourt) and NASA-GSFC (Greenbelt), respectively. Aerosols produced with both setups were first analyzed using a FTIR-ATR (Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy - Attenuated Total Reflection) with a spectral range of 4000-800 cm-1 to characterize their optical properties. Next the samples were analysed using a Bruker Autoflex Speed MALDI mass spectrometer with a m/z range up to 2000 Da in order to infer their composition. Infrared spectroscopy analysis showed that tholins produced with a nitrogen-methane gas mixture (95:5) and nitrogenpyridine gas mixture (99:250ppm) present very similar spectra features. Tholins produced with a mixture of nitrogenmethane-pyridine (99:1:250ppm) do not present aliphatic CH2 or CH3 vibrational signatures. This could indicate a cyclic polymerization by a pyridine skeleton. Mass spectrometry is still in progress to confirm this.

  13. EUV-VUV photochemistry in the upper atmospheres of Titan and the early Earth

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    Imanaka, H.; Smith, M. A.

    2010-12-01

    Titan, the organic-rich moon of Saturn, possesses a thick atmosphere of nitrogen, globally covered with organic haze layers. The recent Cassini’s INMS and CAPS observations clearly demonstrate the importance of complex organic chemistry in the ionosphere. EUV photon radiation is the major driving energy source there. Our previous laboratory study of the EUV-VUV photolysis of N2/CH4 gas mixtures demonstrates a unique role of nitrogen photoionization in the catalytic formation of complex hydrocarbons in Titan’s upper atmosphere (Imanaka and Smith, 2007, 2009). Such EUV photochemistry could also have played important roles in the formation of complex organic molecules in the ionosphere of the early Earth. It has been suggested that the early Earth atmosphere may have contained significant amount of reduced species (CH4, H2, and CO) (Kasting, 1990, Pavlov et al., 2001, Tian et al., 2005). Recent experimental study, using photon radiation at wavelengths longer than 110 nm, demonstrates that photochemical organic haze could have been generated from N2/CO2 atmospheres with trace amounts of CH4 or H2 (Trainer et al., 2006, Dewitt et al., 2009). However, possible EUV photochemical processes in the ionosphere are not well understood. We have investigated the effect of CO2 in the possible EUV photochemical processes in simulated reduced early Earth atmospheres. The EUV-VUV photochemistry using wavelength-tunable synchrotron light between 50 - 150 nm was investigated for gas mixtures of 13CO2/CH4 (= 96.7/3.3) and N2/13CO2/CH4 (= 90/6.7/3.3). The onsets of unsaturated hydrocarbon formation were observed at wavelengths shorter than the ionization potentials of CO2 and N2, respectively. This correlation indicates that CO2 can play a similar catalytic role to N2 in the formation of heavy organic species, which implies that EUV photochemistry might have significant impact on the photochemical generation of organic haze layers in the upper atmosphere of the early Earth.

  14. Titan's hydrodynamically escaping atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobel, Darrell F.

    2008-02-01

    The upper atmosphere of Titan is currently losing mass at a rate ˜(4-5)×10 amus, by hydrodynamic escape as a high density, slow outward expansion driven principally by solar UV heating by CH 4 absorption. The hydrodynamic mass loss is essentially CH 4 and H 2 escape. Their combined escape rates are restricted by power limitations from attaining their limiting rates (and limiting fluxes). Hence they must exhibit gravitational diffusive separation in the upper atmosphere with increasing mixing ratios to eventually become major constituents in the exosphere. A theoretical model with solar EUV heating by N 2 absorption balanced by HCN rotational line cooling in the upper thermosphere yields densities and temperatures consistent with the Huygens Atmospheric Science Investigation (HASI) data [Fulchignoni, M., and 42 colleagues, 2005. Nature 438, 785-791], with a peak temperature of ˜185-190 K between 3500-3550 km. This model implies hydrodynamic escape rates of ˜2×10 CHs and 5×10 Hs, or some other combination with a higher H 2 escape flux, much closer to its limiting value, at the expense of a slightly lower CH 4 escape rate. Nonthermal escape processes are not required to account for the loss rates of CH 4 and H 2, inferred by the Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) measurements [Yelle, R.V., Borggren, N., de la Haye, V., Kasprzak, W.T., Niemann, H.B., Müller-Wodarg, I., Waite Jr., J.H., 2006. Icarus 182, 567-576].

  15. Organic chemistry in Titan's upper atmosphere and its astrobiological consequences: I. Views towards Cassini plasma spectrometer (CAPS) and ion neutral mass spectrometer (INMS) experiments in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, A.; Sittler, E. C.; Chornay, D.; Rowe, B. R.; Puzzarini, C.

    2015-05-01

    The discovery of carbocations and carbanions by Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) and the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) instruments onboard the Cassini spacecraft in Titan's upper atmosphere is truly amazing for astrochemists and astrobiologists. In this paper we identify the reaction mechanisms for the growth of the complex macromolecules observed by the CAPS Ion Beam Spectrometer (IBS) and Electron Spectrometer (ELS). This identification is based on a recently published paper (Ali et al., 2013. Planet. Space Sci. 87, 96) which emphasizes the role of Olah's nonclassical carbonium ion chemistry in the synthesis of the organic molecules observed in Titan's thermosphere and ionosphere by INMS. The main conclusion of that work was the demonstration of the presence of the cyclopropenyl cation - the simplest Huckel's aromatic molecule - and its cyclic methyl derivatives in Titan's atmosphere at high altitudes. In this study, we present the transition from simple aromatic molecules to the complex ortho-bridged bi- and tri-cyclic hydrocarbons, e.g., CH2+ mono-substituted naphthalene and phenanthrene, as well as the ortho- and peri-bridged tri-cyclic aromatic ring, e.g., perinaphthenyl cation. These rings could further grow into tetra-cyclic and the higher order ring polymers in Titan's upper atmosphere. Contrary to the pre-Cassini observations, the nitrogen chemistry of Titan's upper atmosphere is found to be extremely rich. A variety of N-containing hydrocarbons including the N-heterocycles where a CH group in the polycyclic rings mentioned above is replaced by an N atom, e.g., CH2+ substituted derivative of quinoline (benzopyridine), are found to be dominant in Titan's upper atmosphere. The mechanisms for the formation of complex molecular anions are discussed as well. It is proposed that many closed-shell complex carbocations after their formation first, in Titan's upper atmosphere, undergo the kinetics of electron recombination to form open-shell neutral

  16. Analysis of Titan's neutral upper atmosphere from Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer measurements in the Closed Source Neutral mode

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Jun

    In this thesis I present an in-depth study of the distribution of various neutral species in Titan's upper atmosphere, at altitudes between 950 and 1,500 km for abundant species (N 2 , CH 4 as well as their isotopes) and between 950 and 1,200 km for most minor species. However, the study of the H 2 distribution on Titan is extended to an altitude as high as 6,000 km in the exosphere. The analysis is based on a large sample of Cassini/INMS (Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer) measurements in the CSN (Closed Source Neutral) mode, obtained during 15 close flybys of Titan. The densities of abundant species including N 2 , CH 4 and H 2 are determined directly from their main channels. However, to untangle the overlapping cracking patterns of minor species, the technique of Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) is used to determine simultaneously the densities of various hydrocarbons, nitriles and oxygen compounds. All minor species except for 40 Ar present density enhancements measured during the outbound legs. This can be interpreted as a result of wall effects, which could be either adsorption/desorption or heterogeneous surface chemistry on the chamber walls. In the thesis, I use a simple model to describe the observed time behavior of minor species. Results on their atmospheric abundances are provided both in terms of direct inbound measurements assuming ram pressure enhancement and values corrected for wall adsorption/desorption. Among all minor species of photochemical interest, the INMS data provide direct observational evidences for C 2 H 2 , C 2 H 4 , C 2 H 6 , CH 3 C 2 H, C 4 H 2 , C 6 H 6 , HC 3 N and C 2 N 2 in Titan's upper atmosphere. Upper limits are put for other minor species. The globally averaged distribution of N 2 , CH 4 and H 2 are each modeled with the diffusion approximation. The N 2 profile suggests an average thermospheric temperature of 154 K. The CH 4 and H 2 distribution constrains their fluxes to be 3.0 × 10 9 cm -2 s -1 and 1.3 × 10 10 cm -2 s

  17. Chemistry and evolution of Titan's atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strobel, D.F.

    1982-01-01

    The chemistry and evolution of Titan's atmosphere is reviewed in the light of the scientific findings from the Voyager mission. It is argued that the present N 2 atmosphere may be Titan's initial atmosphere rather than photochemically derived from an original NH 3 atmosphere. The escape rate of hydrogen from Titan is controlled by photochemical production from hydrocarbons. CH 4 is irreversibly converted to less hydrogen rich hydrocarbons, which over geologic time accumulate on the surface to a layer thickness of approximately 0.5 km. Magnetospheric electrons interacting with Titan's exosphere may dissociate enough N 2 into hot, escaping N atoms to remove approximately 0.2 of Titan's present atmosphere over geologic time. The energy dissipation of magnetospheric electrons exceeds solar e.u.v. energy deposition in Titan's atmosphere by an order of magnitude and is the principal driver of nitrogen photochemistry. The environmental conditions in Titan's upper atmosphere are favorable to building up complex molecules, particularly in the north polar cap region. (author)

  18. Organic chemistry in Titan's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scattergood, T.

    1982-01-01

    Laboratory photochemical simulations and other types of chemical simulations are discussed. The chemistry of methane, which is the major known constituent of Titan's atmosphere was examined with stress on what can be learned from photochemistry and particle irradiation. The composition of dust that comprises the haze layer was determined. Isotope fractionation in planetary atmospheres is also discussed.

  19. Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Wodarg, Ingo; Griffith, Caitlin A.; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Cravens, Thomas E.

    2014-03-01

    Introduction I. C. F. Müller-Wodarg, C. A. Griffith, E. Lellouch and T. E. Cravens; Prologue 1: the genesis of Cassini-Huygens W.-H. Ip, T. Owen and D. Gautier; Prologue 2: building a space flight instrument: a P.I.'s perspective M. Tomasko; 1. The origin and evolution of Titan G. Tobie, J. I. Lunine, J. Monteux, O. Mousis and F. Nimmo; 2. Titan's surface geology O. Aharonson, A. G. Hayes, P. O. Hayne, R. M. Lopes, A. Lucas and J. T. Perron; 3. Thermal structure of Titan's troposphere and middle atmosphere F. M. Flasar, R. K. Achterberg and P. J. Schinder; 4. The general circulation of Titan's lower and middle atmosphere S. Lebonnois, F. M. Flasar, T. Tokano and C. E. Newman; 5. The composition of Titan's atmosphere B. Bézard, R. V. Yelle and C. A. Nixon; 6. Storms, clouds, and weather C. A. Griffith, S. Rafkin, P. Rannou and C. P. McKay; 7. Chemistry of Titan's atmosphere V. Vuitton, O. Dutuit, M. A. Smith and N. Balucani; 8. Titan's haze R. West, P. Lavvas, C. Anderson and H. Imanaka; 9. Titan's upper atmosphere: thermal structure, dynamics, and energetics R. V. Yelle and I. C. F. Müller-Wodarg; 10. Titan's upper atmosphere/exosphere, escape processes, and rates D. F. Strobel and J. Cui; 11. Titan's ionosphere M. Galand, A. J. Coates, T. E. Cravens and J.-E. Wahlund; 12. Titan's magnetospheric and plasma environment J.-E. Wahlund, R. Modolo, C. Bertucci and A. J. Coates.

  20. The atmospheric temperature structure of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Pollack, J. B.; Courtin, Regis; Lunine, Jonathan I.

    1992-01-01

    The contribution of various factors to the thermal structure of Titan's past and present atmosphere are discussed. A one dimensional model of Titan's thermal structure is summarized. The greenhouse effect of Titan's atmosphere, caused primarily by pressure induced opacity of N2, CH4, and H2, is discussed together with the antigreenhouse effect dominated by the haze which absorbs incident sunlight. The implications for the atmosphere of the presence of an ocean on Titan are also discussed.

  1. Interaction of Titan's atmosphere with Saturn's magnetosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartle, R.E.

    1985-01-01

    The Voyager 1 measurements made during the Titan flyby reveal that Saturn's rotating magnetospheric plasma interacts directly with Titan's neutral atmosphere and ionosphere. This results from the lack of an intrinsic magnetic field at Titan. The interaction induces a magnetosphere which deflects the flowing plasma around Titan and forms a plasma wake downstream. Within the tail of the induced magnetosphere, ions of ionospheric origin flow away from Titan. Just outside Titan's magnetosphere, a substantial ion-exosphere forms from an extensive hydrogen-nitrogen exosphere. The exospheric ions are picked up and carried downstream into the wake by the plasma flowing around Titan. Mass loading produced by the addition of exospheric ions slows the wake plasma down considerably in the vicinity of the magnetopause. 36 references

  2. Titan's Atmospheric Dynamics and Meteorology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flasar, F. M.; Baines, K. H.; Bird, M. K.; Tokano, T.; West, R. A.

    2008-01-01

    Titan, after Venus, is the second example of an atmosphere with a global cyclostrophic circulation in the solar system, but a circulation that has a strong seasonal modulation in the middle atmosphere. Direct measurement of Titan's winds, particularly observations tracking the Huygens probe at 10degS, indicate that the zonal winds are generally in the sense of the satellites rotation. They become cyclostrophic approx. 35 km above the surface and generally increase with altitude, with the exception of a sharp minimum centered near 75 km, where the wind velocity decreases to nearly zero. Zonal winds derived from the temperature field retrieved from Cassini measurements, using the thermal wind equation, indicate a strong winter circumpolar vortex, with maximum winds at mid northern latitudes of 190 ms-' near 300 km. Above this level, the vortex decays. Curiously, the zonal winds and temperatures are symmetric about a pole that is offset from the surface pole by approx.4 degrees. The cause of this is not well understood, but it may reflect the response of a cyclostrophic circulation to the offset between the equator, where the distance to the rotation axis is greatest, and the solar equator. The mean meridional circulation can be inferred from the temperature field and the meridional distribution of organic molecules and condensates and hazes. Both the warm temperatures in the north polar region near 400 km and the enhanced concentration of several organic molecules suggests subsidence there during winter and early spring. Stratospheric condensates are localized at high northern latitudes, with a sharp cut-off near 50degN. Titan's winter polar vortex appears to share many of the same characteristics of winter vortices on Earth-the ozone holes. Global mapping of temperatures, winds, and composition in he troposphere, by contrast, is incomplete. The few suitable discrete clouds that have bee found for tracking indicate smaller velocities than aloft, consistent with the

  3. THE DISSOCIATIVE RECOMBINATION OF PROTONATED ACRYLONITRILE, CH2CHCNH+, WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR THE NITRILE CHEMISTRY IN DARK MOLECULAR CLOUDS AND THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE OF TITAN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vigren, E.; Hamberg, M.; Zhaunerchyk, V.; Kaminska, M.; Thomas, R. D.; Larsson, M.; Geppert, W. D.; Millar, T. J.; Walsh, C.

    2009-01-01

    Measurements on the dissociative recombination (DR) of protonated acrylonitrile, CH 2 CHCNH + , have been performed at the heavy ion storage ring CRYRING located in the Manne Siegbahn Laboratory in Stockholm, Sweden. It has been found that at ∼2 meV relative kinetic energy about 50% of the DR events involve only ruptures of X-H bonds (where X = C or N) while the rest leads to the production of a pair of fragments each containing two heavy atoms (alongside H and/or H 2 ). The absolute DR cross section has been investigated for relative kinetic energies ranging from ∼1 meV to 1 eV. The thermal rate coefficient has been determined to follow the expression k(T) = 1.78 x 10 -6 (T/300) - 0.80 cm 3 s -1 for electron temperatures ranging from ∼10 to 1000 K. Gas-phase models of the nitrile chemistry in the dark molecular cloud TMC-1 have been run and results are compared with observations. Also, implications of the present results for the nitrile chemistry of Titan's upper atmosphere are discussed.

  4. Selections from 2017: Discoveries in Titan's Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-12-01

    Editors note:In these last two weeks of 2017, well be looking at a few selections that we havent yet discussed on AAS Nova from among the most-downloaded paperspublished in AAS journals this year. The usual posting schedule will resume in January.Carbon Chain Anions and the Growth of Complex Organic Molecules in Titans IonospherePublished July2017Main takeaway:Graphic depicting some of the chemical reactions taking place in Titans atmosphere, leading to the generation of organic haze particles. [ESA]In a recently published study led by Ravi Desai (University College London), scientists used data from the Cassini mission to identify negatively charged molecules known as carbon chain anions in the atmosphere of Saturns largest moon, Titan.Why its interesting:Carbon chain anions are the building blocks ofmore complex molecules, and Titans thick nitrogen and methane atmosphere mightmimic the atmosphere of earlyEarth. This first unambiguous detection of carbon chain anions in a planet-like atmosphere might therefore teach us about the conditions and chemical reactions that eventually led to the development of life on Earth. And ifwe can use Titan to learn about how complex molecules grow from these anion chains, we may be able to identify auniversal pathway towards the ingredients for life.What weve learned so far:Cassini measured fewer and fewer lower-mass anions the deeper in Titans ionosphere that it looked and at the same time,an increase in the number of precursors to larger aerosol molecules further down. This tradeoff strongly suggests that the anions are indeed involved in building up the more complex molecules, seeding their eventual growth into the complex organic haze of Titans lower atmosphere.CitationR. T. Desai et al 2017 ApJL 844 L18. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/aa7851

  5. Multi-wavelength search for complex molecules in Titan's Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nixon, C. A.; Cordiner, M. A.; Greathouse, T. K.; Richter, M.; Kisiel, Z.; Irwin, P. G.; Teanby, N. A.; Kuan, Y. J.; Charnley, S. B.

    2017-12-01

    Titan's atmosphere is one of the most complex astrochemical environments known: the photochemistry of methane and nitrogen, induced by solar UV and Saturn magnetospheric electron impacts, creates a bonanza of organic molecules like no other place in the solar system. Cassini has unveiled the first glimpses of Titan's chemical wonderland, but many gaps remain. In particular, interpreting the mass spectra of Titan's upper atmosphere requires external knowledge, to disentangle the signature of molecules from their identical-mass brethren. Cassini infrared spectroscopy with CIRS has helped to some extent, but is also limited by low spectral resolution. Potentially to the rescue, comes high-resolution spectroscopy from the Earth at infrared and sub-millimeter wavelengths, where molecules exhibit vibrational and rotational transitions respectively. In this presentation, we describe the quest to make new, unique identifications of large molecules in Titan's atmosphere, focusing specifically on cyclic molecules including N-heterocycles. This molecular family is of high astrobiological significance, forming the basic ring structure for DNA nucleobases. We present the latest spectroscopic observations of Titan from ALMA and NASA's IRTF telescope, discussing present findings and directions for future work.

  6. ALMA observations of Titan's atmospheric chemistry and seasonal variation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordiner, Martin

    2017-04-01

    Titan is the largest moon of Saturn, with a thick (1.45 bar) atmosphere composed primarily of molecular nitrogen and methane. Photochemistry in Titan's upper atmosphere results in the production of a wide range of organic molecules, including hydrocarbons, nitriles and aromatics, some of which could be of pre-biotic relevance. Thus, we obtain insights into the possible molecular inventories of primitive (reducing) planetary atmospheres. Titan's atmosphere also provides a unique laboratory for testing our understanding of fundamental processes involving the chemistry and spectroscopy of complex organic molecules. In this talk, results will be presented from our studies using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) during the period 2012-2015, focussing in particular on the detection and mapping of emission from various nitrile species. By combining data from multiple ALMA observations, our spectra have reached an unprecedented sensitivity level, enabling the first spectroscopic detection and mapping of C2H3CN (vinyl cyanide) on Titan. Liquid-phase simulations of Titan's seas indicate that vinyl cyanide molecules could combine to form vesicle membranes (similar to the cells of terrestrial biology), and the astrobiological implications of this discovery will be discussed. Furthermore, ALMA observations provide instantaneous snapshot mapping of Titan's entire Earth-facing hemisphere, for gases inaccessible to previous instruments. Combined with complementary data obtained from the Cassini Saturn orbiter, as well as theoretical models and laboratory studies, our observed, seasonally variable, spatially resolved abundance patterns are capable of providing new insights into photochemical production and transport in primitive planetary atmospheres in the Solar System and beyond.

  7. Numerical simulation of the circulation of the atmosphere of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hourdin, F.; Levan, P.; Talagrand, O.; Courtin, Regis; Gautier, Daniel; Mckay, Christopher P.

    1992-01-01

    A three dimensional General Circulation Model (GCM) of Titan's atmosphere is described. Initial results obtained with an economical two dimensional (2D) axisymmetric version of the model presented a strong superrotation in the upper stratosphere. Because of this result, a more general numerical study of superrotation was started with a somewhat different version of the GCM. It appears that for a slowly rotating planet which strongly absorbs solar radiation, circulation is dominated by global equator to pole Hadley circulation and strong superrotation. The theoretical study of this superrotation is discussed. It is also shown that 2D simulations systemically lead to instabilities which make 2D models poorly adapted to numerical simulation of Titan's (or Venus) atmosphere.

  8. The thermal structure of Titan's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Pollack, James B.; Courtin, Regis

    1989-01-01

    The present radiative-convective model of the Titan atmosphere thermal structure obtains the solar and IR radiation in a series of spectral intervals with vertical resolution. Haze properties have been determined with a microphysics model encompassing a minimum of free parameters. It is determined that gas and haze opacity alone, using temperatures established by Voyager observations, yields a model that is within a few percent of the radiative convective balance throughout the Titan atmosphere. Model calculations of the surface temperature are generally colder than the observed value by 5-10 K; better agreement is obtained through adjustment of the model parameters. Sunlight absorption by stratospheric haze and pressure-induced gas opacity in the IR are the most important thermal structure-controlling factors.

  9. Organic chemistry in the atmosphere. [laboratory modeling of Titan atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, C.

    1974-01-01

    The existence of an at least moderately complex organic chemistry on Titan is stipulated based on clear evidence of methane, and at least presumptive evidence of hydrogen in its atmosphere. The ratio of methane to hydrogen is the highest of any atmosphere in the solar system. Irradiation of hydrogen/methane mixtures produces aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons. A very reasonable hypothesis assumes that the red cloud cover of Titan is made of organic chemicals. Two-carbon hydrocarbons experimentally produced from irradiated mixtures of methane, ammonia, water, and hydrogen bear out the possible organic chemistry of the Titanian environment.

  10. Photoreactivity of condensed species in Titan lower atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleury, Benjamin; Gudipati, Murthy; Couturier-Tamburelli, Isabelle; Carrasco, Nathalie

    2017-10-01

    Photochemical processes initiated in the thermosphere of Titan at about 1000 km by the dissociation and the ionization of N2 and CH4 by the VUV solar photons [1] lead to the formation of a number of hydrocarbons and nitriles species. Some of these species can condense in the troposphere and the lower stratosphere of Titan ( 300 nm) can reach these lower atmospheric layers [4], ongoing possible further solid-state chemistry as demonstrated experimentally [5]. We will present here an experimental study simulating the reactivity of ices in the atmosphere of Titan and will discuss the photoreactivity occurring in the lower atmospheric layers of Titan despite the absorption of the most energetic photons.AcknowledgmentsThis work is supported by NASA Solar System Workings grant " Photochemistry in Titan’s Lower Atmosphere". The research work has been carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NC acknowledges the European Research Council for their financial support (ERC Starting Grant PRIMCHEM, grant agreement n°636829).References[1] Waite, J. H., et al., The process of Tholin formation in Titan’s upper atmosphere, (2007), Science 316, 870-875.[2] Barth, E. L., Modeling survey of ices in Titan’s stratosphere, (2017), Planetary and Space Science 137, 20-31.[3] Fulchignoni, M., et al., In situ measurements of the physical characteristics of Titan’s environment, (2005), Nature 438, 785-791.[4] Tomasko, M. G., et al., Rain, winds and haze during the Huygens probe’s descent to Titan’s surface, (2005), Nature 438, 765-778.[5] Gudipati, M. S., et al., Photochemical activity of Titan’s low-altitude condensed haze, (2013), Nature Communications, 4: p1648.

  11. Modeling the Chemical Complexity in Titan's Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuitton, Veronique; Yelle, Roger; Klippenstein, Stephen J.; Horst, Sarah; Lavvas, Panayotis

    2018-06-01

    Titan's atmospheric chemistry is extremely complicated because of the multiplicity of chemical as well as physical processes involved. Chemical processes begin with the dissociation and ionization of the most abundant species, N2 and CH4, by a variety of energy sources, i.e. solar UV and X-ray photons, suprathermal electrons (reactions involving radicals as well as positive and negative ions, all possibly in some excited electronic and vibrational state. Heterogeneous chemistry at the surface of the aerosols could also play a significant role. The efficiency and outcome of these reactions depends strongly on the physical characteristics of the atmosphere, namely pressure and temperature, ranging from 1.5×103 to 10-10 mbar and from 70 to 200 K, respectively. Moreover, the distribution of the species is affected by molecular diffusion and winds as well as escape from the top of the atmosphere and condensation in the lower stratosphere.Photochemical and microphysical models are the keystones of our understanding of Titan's atmospheric chemistry. Their main objective is to compute the distribution and nature of minor chemical species (typically containing up to 6 carbon atoms) and haze particles, respectively. Density profiles are compared to the available observations, allowing to identify important processes and to highlight those that remain to be constrained in the laboratory, experimentally and/or theoretically. We argue that positive ion chemistry is at the origin of complex organic molecules, such as benzene, ammonia and hydrogen isocyanide while neutral-neutral radiative association reactions are a significant source of alkanes. We find that negatively charged macromolecules (m/z ~100) attract the abundant positive ions, which ultimately leads to the formation of the aerosols. We also discuss the possibility that an incoming flux of oxygen from Enceladus, another Saturn's satellite, is responsible for the presence of oxygen-bearing species in Titan's reductive

  12. Coupled atmosphere-ocean models of Titan's past

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Pollack, James B.; Lunine, Jonathan I.; Courtin, Regis

    1993-01-01

    The behavior and possible past evolution of fully coupled atmosphere and ocean model of Titan are investigated. It is found that Titan's surface temperature was about 20 K cooler at 4 Gyr ago and will be about 5 K warmer 0.5 Gyr in the future. The change in solar luminosity and the conversion of oceanic CH4 to C2H6 drive the evolution of the ocean and atmosphere over time. Titan appears to have experienced a frozen epoch about 3 Gyr ago independent of whether an ocean is present or not. This finding may have important implications for understanding the inventory of Titan's volatile compounds.

  13. Titan Coupled Surface/Atmosphere Retrievals

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, R. A.; Pitman, K. M.

    2009-05-01

    Titan's thick haze obscures its surface at visible wavelengths and hinders surface photometric studies in the near-infrared. The large vertical extent of the haze produces two effects which require radiative transfer analysis beyond the capability of plane-parallel multi-scatter models. Haze aerosols extend to altitudes above 500 km and require a spherical-shell RT algorithm close to the limb or terminator. Even near nadir viewing, horizontal scattering at spatial scales less than a few hundred km requires a code capable of simulating the adjacency effect. The adjacency effect will reduce contrast more for small spatial scales than for large spatial scales, and the amount of contrast reduction depends on many factors (haze optical thickness, vertical distribution, single scattering albedo, scattering geometry, spatial scale). Titan's haze is strongly forward scattering even near 1-µm wavelength and many RT codes do a poor job. Fortunately the problem is more tractable at longer wavelengths. We show how data from the Cassini VIMS and ISS instruments can be used to understand surface contrast and atmospheric haze properties.

  14. Non-LTE diagnositics of infrared radiation of Titan's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feofilov, Artem; Rezac, Ladislav; Kutepov, Alexander; Vinatier, Sandrine; Rey, Michael; Nikitin, Andrew; Tyuterev, Vladimir

    2016-06-01

    Yelle (1991) and Garcia-Comas et al, (2011) demonstrated the importance of accounting for the local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) breakdown in the middle and upper atmosphere of Titan for the interpretation of infrared radiances measured at these heights. In this work, we make further advance in this field by: • updating the non-LTE model of CH4 emissions in Titan's atmosphere and including a new extended database of CH4 spectroscopic parameters • studying the non-LTE CH4 vibrational level populations and the impact of non-LTE on limb infrared emissions of various CH4 ro-vibrational bands including those at 7.6 and 3.3 µm • implementing our non-LTE model into the LTE-based retrieval algorithm applied by Vinatier et al., (2015) for processing the Cassini/CIRS spectra. We demonstrate that accounting for non-LTE leads to an increase in temperatures retrieved from CIRS 7.6 µm limb emissions spectra (˜10 K at 600 km altitude) and estimate how this affects the trace gas density retrieval. Finally, we discuss the effects of including a large number of weak one-quantum and combinational bands on the calculated daytime limb 3.3 µm emissions and the impact they may have on the CH4 density retrievals from the Cassini VIMS 3.3 µm limb emission observations.

  15. Titan!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, Dennis L.

    2010-05-01

    Cassini-Huygens achieved Saturnian orbit on July 1, 2004. The first order of business was the safe delivery of the Huygens atmospheric probe to Titan that took place on January 14, 2005. Huygens descended under parachute obtaining observations all the way down to a safe landing. It revealed Titan for the first time. Stunning are the similarities between Titan and the Earth. Viewing the lakes and seas, the fluvial terrain, the sand dunes and other features through the hazy, nitrogen atmosphere, brings to mind the geological processes that created analogous features on the Earth. On Titan frozen water plays the geological role of rock; liquid methane takes the role of terrestrial water. The atmospheres of both Earth and Titan are predominately nitrogen gas. Titan's atmosphere contains 1.5% methane and no oxygen. The surface pressure on Titan is 1.5 times the Earth's. There are aerosol layers and clouds that come and go. Now, as Saturn proceeds along its solar orbit, the seasons are changing. The effects upon the transport of methane are starting to be seen. A large lake in the South Polar Region seems to be filling more as winter onsets. Will the size and number of the lakes in the South grow during winter? Will the northern lakes and seas diminish or dry up as northern summer progresses? How will the atmospheric circulation change? Much work remains not only for Cassini but also for future missions. Titan has many different environments to explore. These require more capable instruments and in situ probes. This work was conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  16. Upper limit set for level of lightning activity on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desch, M. D.; Kaiser, M. L.

    1990-01-01

    Because optically thick cloud and haze layers prevent lightning detection at optical wavelength on Titan, a search was conducted for lightning-radiated signals (spherics) at radio wavelengths using the planetary radioastronomy instrument aboard Voyager 1. Given the maximum ionosphere density of about 3000/cu cm, lightning spherics should be detectable above an observing frequency of 500 kHz. Since no evidence for spherics is found, an upper limit to the total energy per flash in Titan lightning of about 10 to the 6th J, or about 1000 times weaker than that of typical terrestrial lightning, is inferred.

  17. Detection and mapping of organic molecules in Titan's atmosphere using ALMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordiner, Martin

    2016-06-01

    Titan's atmospheric photochemistry results in the production of a wide range of organic molecules, including hydrocarbons, nitriles, aromatics and other complex species of possible pre-biotic relevance. Studies of Titan's atmospheric chemistry thus provide a unique opportunity to explore the origin and evolution of organic matter in primitive (terrestrial) planetary atmospheres. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a powerful new facility, well suited to the study of molecular emission from Titan's upper and middle-atmosphere. Results will be presented from our ongoing studies of Titan using ALMA data obtained during the period 2012-2014 [1,2], including detection and mapping of emission from C2H5CN, HNC, HC3N, CH3CN and CH3CCH. In addition, combining data from multiple ALMA Band 6 observations, we obtained high-resolution spectra with unprecedented sensitivity, enabling the first detection of C2H3CN (vinyl cyanide) on Titan, and derived a mean C2H3CN C2H5CN abundance ratio above 300 km of 0.3. Vinyl cyanide has recently been investigated as a possible constituent of (pre-biotic) vesicle membranes in Titan's liquid CH4 oceans [3]. Radiative transfer models and possible chemical formation pathways for the detected molecules will be discussed. ALMA observations provide instantaneous snapshot mapping of Titan's entire Earth-facing hemisphere for gases inaccessible to previous studies, and therefore provide new insights into photochemical production and transport, particularly at higher altitudes. Our maps show spatially resolved peaks in Titan's northern and southern hemispheres, consistent with the molecular distributions found in previous studies at infrared wavelengths by Voyager and Cassini, but high-altitude longitudinal asymmetries in our nitrile data indicate that the mesosphere may be more spatially variable than previously thought.

  18. Titan atmospheric composition by hypervelocity shock layer analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, H.F.; Park, C.; Whiting, E.E.

    1989-01-01

    The Cassini Mission, a NASA/ESA cooperative project which includes a deployment of probe into the atmosphere of Titan, is described, with particular attention given to the shock radiometer experiment planned for the Titan probe for the analysis of Titan's atmosphere. Results from a shock layer analysis are presented, demonstrating that the mole fractions of the major species (N2, CH4, and, possibly Ar) in the Titan atmosphere can be successfully determined by the Titan-probe radiometer, by measuring the intensity of the CN(violet) radiation emitted in the shock layer during the high velocity portion of the probe entry between 200 and 400 km altitude. It is shown that the sensitivity of the CN(violet) radiation makes it possible to determine the mole fractions of N2, CH4, and Ar to about 0.015, 0.003, and 0.01, respectively, i.e., much better than the present uncertainties in the composition of Titan atmosphere. 29 refs

  19. Nonthermal atmospheric escape from Mars and Titan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lammer, H.; Bauer, S.J.

    1991-01-01

    Energy flux spectra and particle concentrations of the hot O and N coronae from Mars and Titan, respectively, resulting primarily from dissociative recombination of molecular ions, have been calculated by means of a Monte Carlo method. The calculated energy flux spectra lead to an escape flux null esc ∼ 6 x 10 6 cm -2 s -1 for Mars and null esc ∼ 2 x 10 6 cm -2 s -1 for Titan, corresponding to a mass loss of about 0.14 kg/s for Mars and about 0.3 kg/s for Titan. (The contribution of electron impact ionization on N 2 amounts to only about 25% of Titan's mass loss.) Mass loss via solar and magnetospheric wind is also estimated using newly calculated mass loading limits. The mass loss via ion pickup from the extended hot atom corona for Mars amounts to about 0.25 kg/s (O + ) and for Titan to about 50 g/s (N 2 + or H 2 CN + ). Thus, the total mass loss rate from Mars and Titan is about the same, i.e., 0.4 kg/s

  20. Nitrogen Fixation by Photochemistry in the Atmosphere of Titan and Implications for Prebiotic Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balucani, Nadia

    The observation of N-containing organic molecules and the composition of the haze aerosols, as determined by the Aerosol Collector and Pyrolyser (ACP) on-board Huygens, are clear indications that some chemistry involving nitrogen active forms and hydrocarbons is operative in the upper atmosphere of Titan. Neutral-neutral reactions involving the first electronically excited state of atomic nitrogen, N(2D), and small hydrocarbons have the right prerequisites to be among the most significant pathways to formation of nitriles, imines and other simple N-containing organic molecules. The closed-shell products methanimine, ethanimine, ketenimine, 2H-azirine and the radical products CH3N, HCCN and CH2NCH can be the intermediate molecular species that, via addition reactions, polymerization and copolymerization form the N-rich organic aerosols of Titan as well as tholins in bulk reactors simulating Titan's atmosphere.

  1. The Titan Sky Simulator ™ - Testing Prototype Balloons in Conditions Approximating those in Titan's Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nott, Julian

    This paper will describe practical work flying prototype balloons in the "The Titan Sky Simulator TM " in conditions approximating those found in Titan's atmosphere. Saturn's moon, Titan, is attracting intense scientific interest. This has led to wide interest in exploring it with Aerobots, balloons or airships. Their function would be similar to the Rovers exploring Mars, but instead of moving laboriously across the rough terrain on wheels, they would float freely from location to location. To design any balloon or airship it is essential to know the temperature of the lifting gas as this influences the volume of the gas, which in turn influences the lift. To determine this temperature it is necessary to know how heat is transferred between the craft and its surroundings. Heat transfer for existing balloons is well understood. However, Titan conditions are utterly different from those in which balloons have ever been flown, so heat transfer rates cannot currently be calculated. In particular, thermal radiation accounts for most heat transfer for existing balloons but over Titan heat transfer will be dominated by convection. To be able to make these fundamental calculations, it is necessary to get fundamental experimental data. This is being obtained by flying balloons in a Simulator filled with nitrogen gas at very low temperature, about 95° K / minus 180° C, typical of Titan's temperatures. Because the gas in the Simulator is so cold, operating at atmospheric pressure the density is close to that of Titan's atmosphere. "The Titan Sky Simulator TM " has an open interior approximately 4.5 meter tall and 2.5 meters square. It has already been operated at 95° K/-180° C. By the time of the Conference it is fully expected to have data to present from actual balloons flying at this temperature. Perhaps the most important purpose of this testing is to validate numerical [computational fluid dynamics] models being developed by Tim Colonius of Caltech. These numerical

  2. Titan Lifting Entry & Atmospheric Flight (T-LEAF) Science Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, G.; Sen, B.; Ross, F.; Sokol, D.

    2016-12-01

    Northrop Grumman has been developing the Titan Lifting Entry & Atmospheric Flight (T-LEAF) sky rover to roam the lower atmosphere and observe at close quarters the lakes and plains of Saturn's ocean moon, Titan. T-LEAF also supports surface exploration and science by providing precision delivery of in-situ instruments to the surface of Titan. T-LEAF is a highly maneuverable sky rover and its aerodynamic shape (i.e., a flying wing) does not restrict it to following prevailing wind patterns on Titan, but allows mission operators to chart its course. This freedom of mobility allows T-LEAF to follow the shorelines of Titan's methane lakes, for example, or to target very specific surface locations. We will present a straw man concept of T-LEAF, including size, mass, power, on-board science payloads and measurement, and surface science dropsonde deployment CONOPS. We will discuss the various science instruments and their vehicle level impacts, such as meteorological and electric field sensors, acoustic sensors for measuring shallow depths, multi-spectral imagers, high definition cameras and surface science dropsondes. The stability of T-LEAF and its long residence time on Titan will provide for time to perform a large aerial survey of select prime surface targets deployment of dropsondes at selected locations surface measurements that are coordinated with on-board remote measurements communication relay capabilities to orbiter (or Earth). In this context, we will specifically focus upon key factors impacting the design and performance of T-LEAF science: science payload accommodation, constraints and opportunities characteristics of flight, payload deployment and measurement CONOPS in the Titan atmosphere. This presentation will show how these factors provide constraints as well as enable opportunities for novel long duration scientific studies of Titan's surface.

  3. Titan through Time: Evolution of Titan's Atmosphere and its Hydrocarbon Cycle on the Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilliam, Ashley E.

    The Introduction and Appendix i-A outline briefly the history of Titan exploration since its discovery by Christiaan Huygens in 1675 through the recent International Mission of Cassini-Huygens.. Chapter 1: This chapter discusses two possible pathways of loss of the two main gases from Titan's post-accretional atmosphere, methane (CH 4) and ammonia (NH3), by the mechanisms of thermal escape and emission from the interior coupled with thermal escape. Chapter 2: In this chapter, a simple photolysis model is created, where the second most abundant component of the present-day Titan atmosphere, methane (CH4), can either escape the atmosphere or undergo photolytic conversion to ethane (C2H6). Chapter 3: This chapter examines different fluvial features on Titan, identified by the Cassini spacecraft, and evaluates the possibilities of channel formation by two mechanisms: dissolution of ice by a concentrated solution of ammonium sulfate, and by mechanical erosion by flow of liquid ammonia and liquid ethane. Chapter 4: This chapter presents: (1) new explicit mathematical solutions of mixed 1st and 2nd order chemical reactions, represented by ordinary differential first-degree and Riccati equations; (2) the computed present-day concentrations of the three gases in Titan's scale atmosphere, treated as at near-steady state; and (3) an analysis of the reported and computed atmospheric concentrations of CH4, CH 3, and C2H6 on Titan, based on the reaction rate parameters of the species, the rate parameters taken as constants representative of their mean values. Chapter 5: This chapter examines the possible reactions of methane formation in terms of the thermodynamic relationships of the reactions that include pure carbon as graphite, the gases H2, CO2, H2 O, and serpentinization and magnetite formation from olivine fayalite. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

  4. Observations of CO in Titan's Atmosphere Using ALMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serigano, Joseph; Nixon, Conor A.; Cordiner, Martin; Irwin, Patrick G. J.; Teanby, Nicholas; Charnley, Steven B.; Lindberg, Johan E.; Remijan, Anthony J.

    2015-11-01

    The advent of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has provided a powerful facility for probing the atmospheres of solar system targets at long wavelengths (84-720 GHz) where the rotational lines of small, polar molecules are prominent. In the dense, nitrogen-dominated atmosphere of Titan, photodissociation of molecular nitrogen and methane leads to a wealth of complex hydrocarbons and nitriles in small abundances. Past millimeter/submillimeter observations, including ground-based observations as well as those by the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) aboard the Cassini spacecraft, have proven the significance of this wavelength region for the derivation of vertical mixing profiles, latitudinal and seasonal variations, and molecular detections. Previous ALMA studies of Titan have presented mapping and vertical column densities of hydrogen isocyanide (HNC) and cyanoacetylene (HC3N) (Cordiner et al. 2014) as well as the first spectroscopic detection of ethyl cyanide (C2H5CN) in Titan’s atmosphere (Cordiner et al. 2015).Here, we report several submillimetric observations of carbon monoxide (CO) and its isotopologues 13CO, C18O, and C17O in Titan’s atmosphere obtained with flux calibration data from the ALMA Science Archive. We employ NEMESIS, a line-by-line radiative transfer code, to determine the stratospheric abundances of these molecules. The abundance of CO in Titan's atmosphere is determined to be approximately 50±1 ppm, constant with altitude, and isotopic ratios are determined to be approximately 12C/13C = 90, 16O/18O = 470, and 16O/17O = 2800. This report presents the first spectroscopic detection of C17O in the outer solar system, detected at >11σ confidence. This talk will focus on isotopic ratios in CO in Titan's atmosphere and will compare our results to previously measured values for Titan and other bodies in the Solar System. General implications for the history of Titan from measurements of CO and its isotopologues will be

  5. Noble gases, nitrogen, and methane from the deep interior to the atmosphere of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glein, Christopher R.

    2015-04-01

    Titan's thick N2-CH4 atmosphere is unlike any in the Solar System, and its origin has been shrouded in mystery for over half a century. Here, I perform a detailed analysis of chemical and isotopic data from the Cassini-Huygens mission to develop the hypothesis that Titan's (non-photochemical) atmospheric gases came from deep within. It is suggested that Titan's CH4, N2, and noble gases originated in a rocky core buried inside the giant satellite, and hydrothermal and cryovolcanic processes were critical to the creation of Titan's atmosphere. Mass balance and chemical equilibrium calculations demonstrate that all aspects of this hypothesis can be considered geochemically plausible with respect to contemporary observational, experimental, and theoretical knowledge. Specifically, I show that a rocky core with a bulk noble gas content similar to that in CI carbonaceous meteorites would contain sufficient 36Ar and 22Ne to explain their reported abundances. I also show that Henry's law constants for noble gases in relevant condensed phases can be correlated with the size of their atoms, which leads to expected mixing ratios for 84Kr (∼0.2 ppbv) and 132Xe (∼0.01 ppbv) that can explain why these species have yet to be detected (Huygens upper limit serpentinization). I show that sufficient CH4 can be produced to replenish Titan's atmosphere many times over in the face of irreversible photolysis and escape of CH4, which is consistent with the favored model of episodic cryovolcanic outgassing. There should also have been enough NH3 inside Titan so that its thermal decomposition in a hot rocky core can generate the observed atmospheric N2, and if correct this model would imply that Titan's interior has experienced vigorous hydrothermal processing. The similarity in 14N/15N between cometary NH3 and Titan's N2 is consistent with this picture. As for the isotopes in CH4, I show that their observed relative abundances can be explained by low-temperature (∼20 °C) equilibria

  6. Formation and Evolution of the Atmosphere on Early Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marounina, N.; Tobie, G.; Carpy, S.; Monteux, J.; Charnay, B.; Grasset, O.

    2014-12-01

    The mass and composition of Titan's massive atmosphere, which is dominated by N2 and CH4 at present, have probably varied all along its history owing to a combination of exogenous and endogenous processes. In a recent study, we investigated its fate during the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) by modeling the competitive loss and supply of volatiles by cometary impacts and their consequences on the atmospheric balance. We examine the emergence of an atmosphere as well as the evolution of a primitive atmosphere of various sizes and compositions. By considering an impactor population characteristic of the LHB, we showed that an atmosphere with a mass equivalent to the present-day one cannot be formed during the LHB era. Our calculations indicated that the high-velocity impacts during the LHB led to a strong atmospheric erosion, so that the pre-LHB atmosphere should be 5 to 7 times more massive than at present (depending mostly on the albedo), in order to sustain an atmosphere equivalent to the present-day one. This implies that either a massive atmosphere was formed on Titan during its accretion or that the nitrogen-rich atmosphere was generated after the LHB.To investigate the primitive atmosphere of the satellite, we consider chemical exchanges of volatils between a global water ocean at Titan's surface, generated by impact heating during the accretion and an atmosphere. We are currently developing a liquid-vapor equilibrium model for various initial oceanic composition to investigate how a massive atmosphere may be generated during the satellite growth and how it may evolve toward a composition dominated by N2. More generally, our model address how atmosphere may be generated in water-rich objects, which may be common around other stars.

  7. Upper atmosphere research at INPE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clemesha, B.R.

    1984-01-01

    Upper atmosphere research at INPE is mainly concerned with the chemistry and dynamics of the stratosphere, upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere, and the middle thermosphere. Experimental work includes lidar observations of the stratospheric aerosol, measurements of stratospheric ozone by Dobson spectrophotometers and by balloon and rocket-borne sondes, lidar measurements of atmospheric sodium, and photometric observations of O, O 2 , OH and Na emissions, including interferrometric measurements of the OI6300 emission for the purpose of determing thermospheric winds and temperature. The airglow observations also include measurements of a number of emissions produced by the precipitation of energetic neutral particles generated by charge exchange in the ring current. Some recent results of INPE's upper atmosphere program are presented. (Author) [pt

  8. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the atmospheres of Titan and Jupiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, Carl; Khare, B. N.; Thompson, W. R.; Mcdonald, G. D.; Wing, Michael R.; Bada, Jeffrey L.; Vo-Dinh, Tuan; Arakawa, E. T.

    1993-01-01

    PAHs are important components of the interstellar medium and carbonaceous chondrites, but have never been identified in the reducing atmospheres of the outer solar system. Incompletely characterized complex organic solids (tholins) produced by irradiating simulated Titan atmospheres reproduce well the observed UV/visible/IR optical constants of the Titan stratospheric haze. Titan tholin and a tholin generated in a crude simulation of the atmosphere of Jupiter are examined by two-step laser desorption/multiphoton ionization mass spectrometry. A range of two- to four-ring PAHs, some with one to four alkylation sites, are identified, with a net abundance of about 0.0001 g/g (grams per gram) of tholins produced. Synchronous fluorescence techniques confirm this detection. Titan tholins have proportionately more one- and two-ring PAHs than do Jupiter tholins, which in turn have more four-ring and larger PAHs. The four-ringed PAH chrysene, prominent in some discussions of interstellar grains, is found in Jupiter tholins.

  9. Improved Mars Upper Atmosphere Climatology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bougher, S. W.

    2004-01-01

    The detailed characterization of the Mars upper atmosphere is important for future Mars aerobraking activities. Solar cycle, seasonal, and dust trends (climate) as well as planetary wave activity (weather) are crucial to quantify in order to improve our ability to reasonably depict the state of the Mars upper atmosphere over time. To date, our best information is found in the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Accelerometer (ACC) database collected during Phase 1 (Ls = 184 - 300; F10.7 = 70 - 90) and Phase 2 (Ls = 30 - 90; F10.7 = 90 - 150) of aerobraking. This database (100 - 170 km) consists of thermospheric densities, temperatures, and scale heights, providing our best constraints for exercising the coupled Mars General Circulation Model (MGCM) and the Mars Thermospheric General Circulation Model (MTGCM). The Planetary Data System (PDS) contains level 0 and 2 MGS Accelerometer data, corresponding to atmospheric densities along the orbit track. Level 3 products (densities, temperatures, and scale heights at constant altitudes) are also available in the PDS. These datasets provide the primary model constraints for the new MGCM-MTGCM simulations summarized in this report. Our strategy for improving the characterization of the Mars upper atmospheres using these models has been three-fold : (a) to conduct data-model comparisons using the latest MGS data covering limited climatic and weather conditions at Mars, (b) to upgrade the 15-micron cooling and near-IR heating rates in the MGCM and MTGCM codes for ad- dressing climatic variations (solar cycle and seasonal) important in linking the lower and upper atmospheres (including migrating tides), and (c) to exercise the detailed coupled MGCM and MTGCM codes to capture and diagnose the planetary wave (migrating plus non-migrating tidal) features throughout the Mars year. Products from this new suite of MGCM-MTGCM coupled simulations are being used to improve our predictions of the structure of the Mars upper atmosphere for the

  10. Effect of noble gases on an atmospheric greenhouse /Titan/.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cess, R.; Owen, T.

    1973-01-01

    Several models for the atmosphere of Titan have been investigated, taking into account various combinations of neon and argon. The investigation shows that the addition of large amounts of Ne and/or Ar will substantially reduce the hydrogen abundance required for a given greenhouse effect. The fact that a large amount of neon should be present if the atmosphere is a relic of the solar nebula is an especially attractive feature of the models, because it is hard to justify appropriate abundances of other enhancing agents.

  11. Titan 2D: Understanding Titan’s Seasonal Atmospheric Cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Michael; Zhang, X.; Li, C.; Hu, R.; Shia, R.; Newman, C.; Müller-Wodarg, I.; Yung, Y.

    2013-10-01

    In this study, we present results from a novel two-dimensional (2D) model that simulates the physics and chemistry of Titan’s atmosphere. Despite being an icy moon of Saturn, Titan is the only Solar System object aside from Earth that is sheathed by a thick nitrogen-dominated atmosphere. This vulnerable gaseous envelope—an embodiment of a delicate coupling between photochemistry, radiation, and dynamics—is Nature’s laboratory for the synthesis of complex organic molecules. Titan’s large obliquity generates pronounced seasonal cycles in its atmosphere, and the Cassini spacecraft has been observing these variations since 2004. In particular, Cassini measurements show that the latitudinal distribution of Titan’s rich mélange of hydrocarbon species follows seasonal patterns. The mixing ratios of hydrocarbons increase with latitude towards the winter pole, suggesting a pole-to-pole circulation that reverses after equinox. Using a one-dimensional photochemical model of Titan’s atmosphere, we show that photochemistry alone cannot produce the observed meridional hydrocarbon distribution. This necessitates the employment of a 2D chemistry-transport model that includes meridional circulation as well as diffusive processes and photochemistry. Of additional concern, no previous 2D model of Titan extends beyond 500 km altitude—a critical limitation since the peak of methane photolysis is at 800 km. Our 2D model is the first to include Titan’s stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. The meridional circulation in our 2D model is derived from the outputs of two general circulation models (GCMs): the TitanWRF GCM (Newman et al. 2011) covering the troposphere, stratosphere, and lower mesosphere, and a thermosphere general circulation model (TGCM) covering the remainder of the atmosphere through the thermosphere (Müller-Wodarg et al. 2003; 2008). This presentation will focus on the utilization of these advances applied to the 2D Caltech/JPL KINETICS model to

  12. Climate of the upper atmosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Jacobi

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available

    In the frame of the European COST 296 project (Mitigation of Ionospheric Effects on Radio Systems, MIERS

    investigations of the climate of the upper atmosphere have been carried out during the last four years to obtain

    new information on the upper atmosphere. Mainly its ionospheric part has been analysed as the ionosphere

    most essential for the propagation of radio waves. Due to collaboration between different European partners

    many new results have been derived in the fields of long-term trends of different ionospheric and related atmospheric

    parameters, the investigations of different types of atmospheric waves and their impact on the ionosphere,

    the variability of the ionosphere, and the investigation of some space weather effects on the ionosphere.


  13. Formation of amino acids and nucleotide bases in a Titan atmosphere simulation experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hörst, S M; Yelle, R V; Buch, A; Carrasco, N; Cernogora, G; Dutuit, O; Quirico, E; Sciamma-O'Brien, E; Smith, M A; Somogyi, A; Szopa, C; Thissen, R; Vuitton, V

    2012-09-01

    The discovery of large (>100 u) molecules in Titan's upper atmosphere has heightened astrobiological interest in this unique satellite. In particular, complex organic aerosols produced in atmospheres containing C, N, O, and H, like that of Titan, could be a source of prebiotic molecules. In this work, aerosols produced in a Titan atmosphere simulation experiment with enhanced CO (N(2)/CH(4)/CO gas mixtures of 96.2%/2.0%/1.8% and 93.2%/5.0%/1.8%) were found to contain 18 molecules with molecular formulae that correspond to biological amino acids and nucleotide bases. Very high-resolution mass spectrometry of isotopically labeled samples confirmed that C(4)H(5)N(3)O, C(4)H(4)N(2)O(2), C(5)H(6)N(2)O(2), C(5)H(5)N(5), and C(6)H(9)N(3)O(2) are produced by chemistry in the simulation chamber. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses of the non-isotopic samples confirmed the presence of cytosine (C(4)H(5)N(3)O), uracil (C(5)H(4)N(2)O(2)), thymine (C(5)H(6)N(2)O(2)), guanine (C(5)H(5)N(5)O), glycine (C(2)H(5)NO(2)), and alanine (C(3)H(7)NO(2)). Adenine (C(5)H(5)N(5)) was detected by GC-MS in isotopically labeled samples. The remaining prebiotic molecules were detected in unlabeled samples only and may have been affected by contamination in the chamber. These results demonstrate that prebiotic molecules can be formed by the high-energy chemistry similar to that which occurs in planetary upper atmospheres and therefore identifies a new source of prebiotic material, potentially increasing the range of planets where life could begin.

  14. Quantum chemical spectral characterization of CH2NH2+ for remote sensing of Titan's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thackston, Russell; Fortenberry, Ryan C.

    2018-01-01

    Cassini has shown that CH2NH2+ is likely present in relatively high abundance in Titan's upper atmosphere. Relatively little is known about this molecule even though it contains the same number of electrons as ethylene, a molecule of significance to Titan's chemistry. Any studies on CH2NH2+ with application to Titan or its atmospheric chemistry will have to be done remotely at this point with the end of the fruitful Cassini mission. Consequently, trusted quantum chemical techniques are utilized here to produce the rotational, vibrational, and rovibrational spectroscopic constants for CH2NH2+ for the first time. The methodology produces a tightly fit potential energy surface here that is well-behaved indicating a strong credence in the accuracy for the produced values. Most notably, the 884.1 cm-1 NH2 out-of-plane bend is the brightest of the vibrational frequencies reported here for CH2NH2+ , and an observed and unattributed feature in this spectral region has been documented but never assigned to a molecular carrier. Follow-up IR or radio observations making use of the 540 GHz to 660 GHz range with the 0.45 D molecular dipole moment will have to be undertaken in order to confirm this or any attribution, but the data provided in this work will greatly assist in any such studies related to CH2NH2+.

  15. Titan's Carbon Isotopic Ratio: A Clue To Atmospheric Evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nixon, C. A.; Jennings, D. E.; Romani, P. N.; Jolly, A.; Teanby, N. A.; Irwin, P. G.; Bézard, B.; Vinatier, S.; Coustenis, A.; Flasar, F. M.

    2009-12-01

    In this presentation we describe the latest results to come from Cassini CIRS and ground-based telescopic measurements of Titan's 12C/13C ratio in atmospheric molecules, focusing on hydrocarbons. Previously, the Huygens GCMS instrument measured 12CH4/13CH4 to be 82±1 (Niemann et al., Nature, 438, 779-784, 2005), substantially and significantly lower than the VPDB inorganic Earth standard of 89.4. It is also at odds with measurements for the giant planets. Cassini CIRS infrared spectra have confirmed this enhancement in 13CH4, but also revealed that the ratio in ethane, the major photochemical product of methane photolysis, does not appear enhanced (90±7) (Nixon et al.. Icarus, 195, 778-791, 2008) and is compatible with the terrestrial and combined giant planet value (88±7, Sada et al., Ap. J., 472, p. 903-907, 1996). Recently-published results from spectroscopy using the McMath-Pierce telescope at Kitt Pitt (Jennings et al., JCP, 2009, in press) have confirmed this deviation between methane and ethane, and an explanation has been proposed. This invokes a kinetic isotope effect (KIE) in the abstraction of methane by ethynyl, a major ethane formation pathway, to preferentially partition 12C into ethane and leave an enhancement in atmospheric 13CH4 relative to the incoming flux from the reservoir. Modeling shows that a steady-state solution exists where the 12C/13C methane is decreased from the reservoir value by exactly the KIE factor (the ratio of 12CH4 to 13CH4 abstraction reaction rates): which is plausibly around 1.08, very close to the observed amount. However, a second solution exists in which we are observing Titan about ~1 methane lifetime after a major injection of methane into the atmosphere which is rapidly being eliminated. Updated measurements by Cassini CIRS of both the methane and ethane 12C/13C ratios will be presented, along with progress in interpreting this ratio. In addition, we summarize the 12C/13C measurements by CIRS in multiple other Titan

  16. The Upper Atmosphere; Threshold of Space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, John

    This booklet contains illustrations of the upper atmosphere, describes some recent discoveries, and suggests future research questions. It contains many color photographs. Sections include: (1) "Where Does Space Begin?"; (2) "Importance of the Upper Atmosphere" (including neutral atmosphere, ionized regions, and balloon and investigations); (3)…

  17. A whiff of nebular gas in Titan's atmosphere - Potential implications for the conditions and timing of Titan's formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glein, Christopher R.

    2017-09-01

    In situ data from the GCMS instrument on the Huygens probe indicate that Titan's atmosphere contains small amounts of the primordial noble gases 36Ar and 22Ne (tentative detection), but it is unknown how they were obtained by the satellite. Based on the apparent similarity in the 22Ne/36Ar (atom) ratio between Titan's atmosphere and the solar composition, a previously neglected hypothesis for the origin of primordial noble gases in Titan's atmosphere is suggested - these species may have been acquired near the end of Titan's formation, when the moon could have gravitationally captured some nebular gas that would have been present in its formation environment (the Saturnian subnebula). These noble gases may be remnants of a primary atmosphere. This could be considered the simplest hypothesis to explain the 22Ne/36Ar ratio observed at Titan. However, the 22Ne/36Ar ratio may not be exactly solar if these species can be fractionated by external photoevaporation in the solar nebula, atmospheric escape from Titan, or sequestration on the surface of Titan. While the GCMS data are consistent with a 22Ne/36Ar ratio of 0.05 to 2.5 times solar (1σ range), simple estimates that attempt to account for some of the effects of these evolutionary processes suggest a sub-solar ratio, which may be depleted by approximately one order of magnitude. Models based on capture of nebular gas can explain why the GCMS did not detect any other primordial noble gas isotopes, as their predicted abundances are below the detection limits (especially for 84Kr and 132Xe). It is also predicted that atmospheric Xe on Titan should be dominated by radiogenic 129Xe if the source of primordial Xe is nebular gas. Of order 10-2-10-1 bar of primordial H2 may have been captured along with the noble gases from a gas-starved disk, but this H2 would have quickly escaped from the initial atmosphere. To have the opportunity to capture nebular gas, Titan should have formed within ∼10 Myr of the formation of the

  18. Evidence for the existence of supercooled ethane droplets under conditions prevalent in Titan's atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigurbjörnsson, Omar F; Signorell, Ruth

    2008-11-07

    Recent evidence for ethane clouds and condensation in Titan's atmosphere raise the question whether liquid ethane condensation nuclei and supercooled liquid ethane droplets exist under the prevalent conditions. We present laboratory studies on the phase behaviour of pure ethane aerosols and ethane aerosols formed in the presence of other ice nuclei under conditions relevant to Titan's atmosphere. Combining bath gas cooling with infrared spectroscopy, we find evidence for the existence of supercooled liquid ethane aerosol droplets. The observed homogeneous freezing rates imply that supercooled ethane could be a long-lived species in ethane-rich regions of Titan's atmosphere similar to supercooled water in the Earth's atmosphere.

  19. Report from upper atmospheric science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carignan, G.R.; Roble, R.G.; Mende, S.B.; Nagy, A.F.; Hudson, R.D.

    1989-01-01

    Most of the understanding of the thermosphere resulted from the analysis of data accrued through the Atmosphere Explorer satellites, the Dynamics Explorer 2 satellite, and observations from rockets, balloons, and ground based instruments. However, new questions were posed by the data that have not yet been answered. The mesosphere and lower thermosphere have been less thoroughly studied because of the difficulty of accessibility on a global scale, and many rather fundamental characteristics of these regions are not well understood. A wide variety of measurement platforms can be used to implement various parts of a measurement strategy, but the major thrusts of the International Solar Terrestrial Physics Program would require Explorer-class missions. A remote sensing mission to explore the mesosphere and lower thermosphere and one and two Explorer-type spacecraft to enable a mission into the thermosphere itself would provide the essential components of a productive program of exploration of this important region of the upper atomsphere. Theoretical mission options are explored

  20. A NEW ASTROBIOLOGICAL MODEL OF THE ATMOSPHERE OF TITAN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Willacy, K. [MS 169-507, Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Allen, M. [Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Yung, Y., E-mail: Karen.Willacy@jpl.nasa.gov [Division of Geological and Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2016-10-01

    We present results of an investigation into the formation of nitrogen-bearing molecules in the atmosphere of Titan. We extend a previous model to cover the region below the tropopause, so the new model treats the atmosphere from Titan’s surface to an altitude of 1500 km. We consider the effects of condensation and sublimation using a continuous, numerically stable method. This is coupled with parameterized treatments of the sedimentation of the aerosols and their condensates, and the formation of haze particles. These processes affect the abundances of heavier species such as the nitrogen-bearing molecules, but have less effect on the abundances of lighter molecules. Removal of molecules to form aerosols also plays a role in determining the mixing ratios, particularly of HNC, HC{sub 3}N, and HCN. We find good agreement with the recently detected mixing ratios of C{sub 2}H{sub 5}CN, with condensation playing an important role in determining the abundance of this molecule below 500 km. Of particular interest is the chemistry of acrylonitrile (C{sub 2}H{sub 3}CN) which has been suggested by Stevenson et al. as a molecule that could form biological membranes in an oxygen-deficient environment. With the inclusion of haze formation, we find good agreement of our model predictions of acrylonitrile with the available observations.

  1. A NEW ASTROBIOLOGICAL MODEL OF THE ATMOSPHERE OF TITAN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Willacy, K.; Allen, M.; Yung, Y.

    2016-01-01

    We present results of an investigation into the formation of nitrogen-bearing molecules in the atmosphere of Titan. We extend a previous model to cover the region below the tropopause, so the new model treats the atmosphere from Titan’s surface to an altitude of 1500 km. We consider the effects of condensation and sublimation using a continuous, numerically stable method. This is coupled with parameterized treatments of the sedimentation of the aerosols and their condensates, and the formation of haze particles. These processes affect the abundances of heavier species such as the nitrogen-bearing molecules, but have less effect on the abundances of lighter molecules. Removal of molecules to form aerosols also plays a role in determining the mixing ratios, particularly of HNC, HC 3 N, and HCN. We find good agreement with the recently detected mixing ratios of C 2 H 5 CN, with condensation playing an important role in determining the abundance of this molecule below 500 km. Of particular interest is the chemistry of acrylonitrile (C 2 H 3 CN) which has been suggested by Stevenson et al. as a molecule that could form biological membranes in an oxygen-deficient environment. With the inclusion of haze formation, we find good agreement of our model predictions of acrylonitrile with the available observations.

  2. Spectroscopy of carbonated chains: experimental investigation and observation of Titan's atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jolly, Antoine

    2012-01-01

    In this report for an Accreditation to Supervise Research (HDR), the author proposes an overview of his research works. These works first addressed quantitative spectroscopy and more particularly the measurement of absolute absorption coefficients which are necessary parameters for the quantification of molecules which are remotely sensed through their spectroscopic signature. Secondly, the author addresses the adjustment of line lists in the infrared for a better investigation of recent observations of Titan's atmosphere made by the Cassini mission. Thirdly, he reports the use of this line list for the processing of observations of Titan. The last part addresses an experimental atmospheric simulation which aims at reproducing Titan's atmosphere by submitting its main components (nitrogen and methane) to an energetic flow representative of what is present on Titan

  3. Surface-Atmosphere Connections on Titan: A New Window into Terrestrial Hydroclimate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulk, Sean

    This dissertation investigates the coupling between the large-scale atmospheric circulation and surface processes on Titan, with a particular focus on methane precipitation and its influence on surface geomorphology and hydrology. As the only body in the Solar System with an active hydrologic cycle other than Earth, Titan presents a valuable laboratory for studying principles of hydroclimate on terrestrial planets. Idealized general circulation models (GCMs) are used here to test hypotheses regarding Titan's surface-atmosphere connections. First, an Earth-like GCM simulated over a range of rotation rates is used to evaluate the effect of rotation rate on seasonal monsoon behavior. Slower rotation rates result in poleward migration of summer rain, indicating a large-scale atmospheric control on Titan's observed dichotomy of dry low latitudes and moist high latitudes. Second, a Titan GCM benchmarked against observations is used to analyze the magnitudes and frequencies of extreme methane rainstorms as simulated by the model. Regional patterns in these extreme events correlate well with observed geomorphic features, with the most extreme rainstorms occurring in mid-latitude regions associated with high alluvial fan concentrations. Finally, a planetary surface hydrology scheme is developed and incorporated into a Titan GCM to evaluate the roles of surface flow, subsurface flow, infiltration, and groundmethane evaporation in Titan's climate. The model reproduces Titan's observed surface liquid and cloud distributions, and reaches an equilibrium state with limited interhemispheric transport where atmospheric transport is approximately balanced by subsurface transport. The equilibrium state suggests that Titan's current hemispheric surface liquid asymmetry, favoring methane accumulation in the north, is stable in the modern climate.

  4. Climate of the upper atmosphere

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bremer, J.; Laštovička, Jan; Mikhailov, A. V.; Altadill, D.; Pal, B.; Burešová, Dalia; Franceschi de, G.; Jacobi, C.; Kouris, S. S.; Perrone, L.; Turunen, E.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 52, 3/4 (2009), s. 273-299 ISSN 1593-5213 R&D Projects: GA MŠk OC 091 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517 Keywords : Ionosphere * trends * atmospheric waves * ionospheric variability * incoherent radar * space weather Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 0.548, year: 2009

  5. Titan's hydrodynamically escaping atmosphere: Escape rates and the structure of the exobase region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobel, Darrell F.

    2009-08-01

    In Strobel [Strobel, D.F., 2008. Icarus, 193, 588-594] a mass loss rate from Titan's upper atmosphere, ˜4.5×10 amus, was calculated for a single constituent, N 2 atmosphere by hydrodynamic escape as a high density, slow outward expansion driven principally by solar UV heating due to CH 4 absorption. It was estimated, but not proven, that the hydrodynamic mass loss is essentially CH 4 and H 2 escape. Here the individual conservation of momentum equations for the three major components of the upper atmosphere (N 2, CH 4, H 2) are solved in the low Mach number limit and compared with Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) measurements to demonstrate that light gases (CH 4, H 2) preferentially escape over the heavy gas (N 2). The lightest gas (H 2) escapes with a flux 99% of its limiting flux, whereas CH 4 is restricted to ⩾75% of its limiting flux because there is insufficient solar power to support escape at the limiting rate. The respective calculated H 2 and CH 4 escape rates are 9.2×10 and 1.7×10 s, for a total of ˜4.6×10 amus. From the calculated densities, mean free paths of N 2, CH 4, H 2, and macroscopic length scales, an extended region above the classic exobase is inferred where frequent collisions are still occurring and thermal heat conduction can deliver power to lift the escaping gas out of the gravitational potential well. In this region rapid acceleration of CH 4 outflow occurs. With the thermal structure of Titan's thermosphere inferred from INMS data by Müller-Wodarg et al. [Müller-Wodarg, I.C.F., Yelle, R.V., Cui, J., Waite Jr., J.H., 2008. J. Geophys. Res. 113, doi:10.1029/2007JE003033. E10005], in combination with calculated temperature profiles that include sputter induced plasma heating at the exobase, it is concluded that on average that the integrated, globally average, orbit-averaged, plasma heating rate during the Cassini epoch does not exceed ˜5×10 eVcms ( ˜0.0008 ergcms).

  6. Upper Atmosphere Research Report Number 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    1946-12-30

    as a whol,. The history of the program was given in some detail in the first report*. The part of the Naval Research Laboratory in upper atmosphere...5B and 6. The third gage was installed as a service to the spectroscopy program. The gago elements were simply 6 watt, 110 volt Mazda pilot *1 lamps

  7. Global Change in the Upper Atmosphere

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Laštovička, Jan; Akmaev, R. A.; Beig, G.; Bremer, J.; Emmert, J. T.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 314, č. 5803 (2006), s. 1253-1254 ISSN 0036-8075 R&D Projects: GA MŠk OC 091 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517 Keywords : Global change * Upper Atmosphere * Ionosphere Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 30.028, year: 2006

  8. Model Titan atmospheric hydrocarbon analysis by Ion Mobility Spectrometry in dry helium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kojiro, D.R.; Stimac, R.M.; Wernlund, R.F.; Cohen, M.J.

    1990-01-01

    Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) is one analytical technique being investigated for the in situ analysis of the atmosphere of Titan. Any hydrocarbon ions that may form react immediately, in microseconds, with the high concentration of water vapor normally present in conventional IMS. By reducing the water concentration to the parts-per-billion range, the lifetime of the hydrocarbon ions may be increased to the milliseconds required for measurement. At low water level concentrations, other species may become the reactant ion. This study focuses on IMS analysis of expected Titan atmospheric hydrocarbons under very dry, low water concentration conditions

  9. ALMA Spectroscopy of Titan's Atmosphere: First Detections of Vinyl Cyanide and Acetonitrile Isotopologues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordiner, Martin; Y Palmer, Maureen; Nixon, Conor A.; Charnley, Steven B.; Mumma, Michael J.; Irwin, Pat G. J.; Teanby, Nick A.; Kisiel, Zbigniew; Serigano, Joseph

    2015-11-01

    Studies of Titan's atmospheric chemistry provide a unique opportunity to explore the origin and evolution of complex organic matter in primitive planetary atmospheres. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a powerful new telescope, well suited to the study of molecular emission from Titan's stratosphere and mesosphere. Here we present early results from our ongoing study to exploit the large volume of Titan data taken using ALMA in Early Science Mode (during the period 2012-2014). Combining data from multiple ALMA Band 6 observations, we obtained high-resolution mm-wave spectra with unprecedented sensitivity, enabling the first detection of vinyl cyanide (C2H3CN) in Titan's atmosphere. Initial estimates indicate a mesospheric abundance ratio with respect to ethyl cyanide (C2H5CN) of [C2H3CN]/[C2H5CN] = 0.31. In addition, we report the first detections on Titan of the 13C and 15N-substituted isotopologues of acetonitrile (13CH3CN and CH3C15N). Radiative transfer models and possible chemical formation pathways for these molecules will be discussed.

  10. Radioisotope Stirling Engine Powered Airship for Atmospheric and Surface Exploration of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colozza, Anthony J.; Cataldo, Robert L.

    2014-01-01

    The feasibility of an advanced Stirling radioisotope generator (ASRG) powered airship for the near surface exploration of Titan was evaluated. The analysis did not consider the complete mission only the operation of the airship within the atmosphere of Titan. The baseline airship utilized two ASRG systems with a total of four general-purpose heat source (GPHS) blocks. Hydrogen gas was used to provide lift. The ASRG systems, airship electronics and controls and the science payload were contained in a payload enclosure. This enclosure was separated into two sections, one for the ASRG systems and the other for the electronics and payload. Each section operated at atmospheric pressure but at different temperatures. The propulsion system consisted of an electric motor driving a propeller. An analysis was set up to size the airship that could operate near the surface of Titan based on the available power from the ASRGs. The atmospheric conditions on Titan were modeled and used in the analysis. The analysis was an iterative process between sizing the airship to carry a specified payload and the power required to operate the electronics, payload and cooling system as well as provide power to the propulsion system to overcome the drag on the airship. A baseline configuration was determined that could meet the power requirements and operate near the Titan surface. From this baseline design additional trades were made to see how other factors affected the design such as the flight altitude and payload mass and volume.

  11. Infrared Spectra and Optical Constants of Nitrile Ices Relevant to Titan's Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Carrie; Ferrante, Robert F.; Moore, W. James; Hudson, Reggie; Moore, Marla H.

    2011-01-01

    Spectra and optical constants of nitrile ices known or suspected to be in Titan?s atmosphere have been determined from 2.0 to 333.3 microns (approx.5000 to 30/cm). These results are relevant to the ongoing modeling of Cassini CIRS observations of Titan?s winter pole. Ices studied were: HCN, hydrogen cyanide; C2N2, cyanogen; CH3CN, acetonitrile; C2H5CN, propionitrile; and HC3N, cyanoacetylene. Optical constants were calculated, using Kramers-Kronig analysis, for each nitrile ice?s spectrum measured at a variety of temperatures, in both the amorphous- and crystalline phases. Spectra were also measured for many of the nitriles after quenching at the annealing temperature and compared with those of annealed ices. For each of these molecules we also measured the real component, n, of the refractive index for amorphous and crystalline phases at 670 nm. Several examples of the information contained in these new data sets and their usefulness in modeling Titan?s observed features will be presented (e.g., the broad emission feature at 160/cm; Anderson and Samuelson, 2011).

  12. Internal gravity waves in Titan's atmosphere observed by Voyager radio occultation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, D. P.; Tyler, G. L.

    1983-01-01

    The radio scintillations caused by scattering from small-scale irregularities in Titan's neutral atmosphere during a radio occultation of Voyager 1 by Titan are investigated. Intensity and frequency fluctuations occurred on time scales from about 0.1 to 1.0 sec at 3.6 and 13 cm wavelengths whenever the radio path passed within 90 km of the surface, indicating the presence of variations in refractivity on length scales from a few hundred meters to a few kilometers. Above 25 km, the altitude profile of intensity scintillations closely agrees with the predictions of a simple theory based on the characteristics of internal gravity waves propagating with little or no attenuation through the vertical stratification in Titan's atmosphere. These observations support a hypothesis of stratospheric gravity waves, possibly driven by a cloud-free convective region in the lowest few kilometers of the stratosphere.

  13. Investigation of Titan's surface and atmosphere photometric functions using the Cassini/VIMS instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornet, Thomas; Altobelli, Nicolas; Rodriguez, Sébastien; Maltagliati, Luca; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Sotin, Christophe; Brown, Robert; Barnes, Jason; Buratti, Bonnie; Baines, Kevin; Clark, Roger; Nicholson, Phillip

    2015-04-01

    After 106 flybys spread over 10 years, the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument acquired 33151 hyperspectral cubes pointing at the surface of Titan on the dayside. Despite this huge amount of data available for surface studies, and due to the strong influence of the atmosphere (methane absorption and haze scattering), Titan's surface is only visible with VIMS in 7 spectral atmospheric windows centred at 0.93, 1.08, 1.27, 1.59, 2.01, 2.7-2.8 and 5 microns. Atmospheric scattering and absorption effects dominate Titan's spectrum at wavelengths shorter than 3 microns, while the 5 micron window, almost insensitive to the haze scattering, only presents a reduced atmospheric absorption contribution to the signal recorded by VIMS. In all cases, the recorded I/F represents an apparent albedo, which depends on the atmospheric contributions and the surface photometry at each wavelength. We therefore aim to determine real albedo values for Titan's surface by finding photometric functions for the surface and the atmosphere that could be used as a basis for empirical corrections or Radiative Transfer calculations. After updating the navigation of the VIMS archive, we decomposed the entire VIMS data set into a MySQL relational database gathering the viewing geometry, location, time (season) and I/F (for pure atmosphere and surface-atmosphere images) for each pixel of the 33151 individual VIMS cubes. We then isolated all the VIMS pixels where Titan's surface has been repeatedly imaged at low phase angles (< 20 degrees) in order to characterize phase curves for the surface at 5 microns and for the atmosphere. Among these, the T88 flyby appears noteworthy, with a "Emergence-Phase Function (EPF)"-type observation: 25 cubes acquired during the same flyby, over the same area (close to Tortola Facula, in relatively dark terrains), at a constant incidence and with varying emergence and phase (from 0 to 60 degrees) angles. The data clearly exhibit an increase

  14. Atmospheric Circulation, Chemistry, and Infrared Spectra of Titan-like Exoplanets around Different Stellar Types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lora, Juan M.; Kataria, Tiffany; Gao, Peter

    2018-01-01

    With the discovery of ever smaller and colder exoplanets, terrestrial worlds with hazy atmospheres must be increasingly considered. Our solar system’s Titan is a prototypical hazy planet, whose atmosphere may be representative of a large number of planets in our Galaxy. As a step toward characterizing such worlds, we present simulations of exoplanets that resemble Titan but orbit three different stellar hosts: G, K, and M dwarf stars. We use general circulation and photochemistry models to explore the circulation and chemistry of these Titan-like planets under varying stellar spectra, in all cases assuming a Titan-like insolation. Due to the strong absorption of visible light by atmospheric haze, the redder radiation accompanying later stellar types produces more isothermal stratospheres, stronger meridional temperature gradients at mbar pressures, and deeper and stronger zonal winds. In all cases, the planets’ atmospheres are strongly superrotating, but meridional circulation cells are weaker aloft under redder starlight. The photochemistry of hydrocarbon and nitrile species varies with stellar spectra, with variations in the FUV/NUV flux ratio playing an important role. Our results tentatively suggest that column haze production rates could be similar under all three hosts, implying that planets around many different stars could have similar characteristics to Titan’s atmosphere. Lastly, we present theoretical emission spectra. Overall, our study indicates that, despite important and subtle differences, the circulation and chemistry of Titan-like exoplanets are relatively insensitive to differences in the host star. These findings may be further probed with future space-based facilities, like WFIRST, LUVOIR, HabEx, and OST.

  15. ABOUT THE POSSIBLE ROLE OF HYDROCARBON LAKES IN THE ORIGIN OF TITAN'S NOBLE GAS ATMOSPHERIC DEPLETION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cordier, D.; Mousis, O.; Lunine, J. I.; Lebonnois, S.; Lavvas, P.; Lobo, L. Q.; Ferreira, A. G. M.

    2010-01-01

    An unexpected feature of Titan's atmosphere is the strong depletion in primordial noble gases revealed by the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer aboard the Huygens probe during its descent on 2005 January 14. Although several plausible explanations have already been formulated, no definitive response to this issue has yet been found. Here, we investigate the possible sequestration of these noble gases in the liquid contained in lakes and wet terrains on Titan and the consequences for their atmospheric abundances. Considering the atmosphere and the liquid existing on the soil as a whole system, we compute the abundance of each noble gas relative to nitrogen. To do so, we make the assumption of thermodynamic equilibrium between the liquid and the atmosphere, the abundances of the different constituents being determined via regular solution theory. We find that xenon's atmospheric depletion can be explained by its dissolution at ambient temperature in the liquid presumably present on Titan's soil. In the cases of argon and krypton, we find that the fractions incorporated in the liquid are negligible, implying that an alternative mechanism must be invoked to explain their atmospheric depletion.

  16. Investigating the Chemical Pathways to PAH- and PANH-Based Aerosols in Titan's Atmospheric chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sciamma-O'Brien, Ella Marion; Contreras, Cesar; Ricketts, Claire Louise; Salama, Farid

    2011-01-01

    A complex organic chemistry between Titan's two main constituents, N2 and CH4, leads to the production of more complex molecules and subsequently to solid organic aerosols. These aerosols are at the origin of the haze layers giving Titan its characteristic orange color. In situ measurements by the Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) and Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) instruments onboard Cassini have revealed the presence of large amounts of neutral, positively and negatively charged heavy molecules in the ionosphere of Titan. In particular, benzene (C6H6) and toluene (C6H5CH3), which are critical precursors of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) compounds, have been detected, suggesting that PAHs might play a role in the production of Titan s aerosols. Moreover, results from numerical models as well as laboratory simulations of Titan s atmospheric chemistry are also suggesting chemical pathways that link the simple precursor molecules resulting from the first steps of the N2-CH4 chemistry (C2H2, C2H4, HCN ...) to benzene, and to PAHs and nitrogen-containing PAHs (or PANHs) as precursors to the production of solid aerosols.

  17. Study of irradiation of flash lightning type in a Titan simulated atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosa C, J.G. De la

    2001-01-01

    Titan is the greatest satellite of the Saturn planet and the unique moon of the Solar System which presents a dense atmosphere constituted by nitrogen, methane and traces of hydrocarbons and nitriles. Constantly it is bombarded by different energy sources which interacting with the atmosphere cause countless of chemical reactions which have giving origin to the synthesis of organic molecules from its formation since 4.5 thousand millions of years ago. The electric activity was not detected in the satellite when the space probe Voyager I had its nearest match with Titan in November 1980, however, due to the presence of methane clouds rain and of convective activity in the troposphere of the satellite, it is thought in the possible existence of electrical activity in this. In this work it is studied the production of gaseous compounds generated by irradiations type flash lightning in the Titan simulated atmosphere constituted by nitrogen and methane. The lightning are imitated by laser induced plasma (LIP) with similar physical properties to the naturals produced in the Earth. The separation and identification of the organic compounds generated by simulated lightning s were carried out by attached methods of analysis such as the Gas chromatography, Infrared spectroscopy with Fourier transform (FTIR-S) and Mass spectroscopy (MS). The compounds which were identified are: hydrocarbons and nitriles, some of them already have been identified in Titan as well as the hydrogen cyanide (HCN), acetylene, etilene and cyanoacetylene. Moreover we studied the influence that different parameters of irradiation have in the production of organic molecules generated submitting to discharges type lightning the simulated atmosphere of Titan. It was realized an estimation of the available energy in the satellite which could be vanished as discharges type lightning. By means of a model based on conditions of thermodynamic equilibria it was calculated the temperature to which are freeze

  18. Studying Titan's surface photometry in the 5 microns atmospheric window with the Cassini/VIMS instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornet, T.; Altobelli, N.; Sotin, C.; Le Mouelic, S.; Rodriguez, S.; Philippe, S.; Brown, R. H.; Barnes, J. W.; Buratti, B. J.; Baines, K. H.; Clark, R. N.; Nicholson, P. D.

    2014-12-01

    Due to the influence of methane gas and a thick aerosols haze in the atmosphere, Titan's surface is only visible in 7 spectral atmospheric windows centered at 0.93, 1.08, 1.27, 1.59, 2.01, 2.7-2.8 and 5 microns with the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS). The 5 microns atmospheric window constitutes the only one being almost insensitive to the haze scattering and which presents only a reduced atmospheric absorption contribution to the signal recorded by the instrument. Despite these advantages leading to the almost direct view of the surface, the 5 microns window is also the noisiest spectral window of the entire VIMS spectrum (an effect highly dependent on the time exposure used for the observations), and it is not totally free from atmospheric contributions, enough to keep "artefacts" in mosaics of several thousands of cubes due to atmospheric and surface photometric effects amplified by the very heterogeneous viewing conditions between each Titan flyby. At first order, a lambertian surface photometry at 5 microns has been used as an initial parameter in order to estimate atmospheric opacity and surface photometry in all VIMS atmospheric windows and to determine the albedo of the surface, yet unknown, both using radiative transfer codes on single cubes or empirical techniques on global hyperspectral mosaics. Other studies suggested that Titan's surface photometry would not be uniquely lambertian but would also contain anisotropic lunar-like contributions. In the present work, we aim at constraining accurately the surface photometry of Titan and residual atmospheric absorption effects in this 5 microns window using a comprehensive study of relevant sites located at various latitudes. Those include bright and dark (dunes) terrains, 5-microns bright terrains (Hotei Regio and Tui Regio), the Huygens Landing Site and high latitudes polar lakes and seas. The VIMS 2004 to 2014 database, composed of more than 40,000 hyperspectral cubes acquired on

  19. Untangling the Chemical Evolution of Titan's Atmosphere and Surface -- From Homogeneous to Heterogeneous Chemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaiser, Ralf I.; Maksyutenko, Pavlo; Ennis, Courtney; Zhang, Fangtong; Gu, Xibin; Krishtal, Sergey P.; Mebel, Alexander M.; Kostko, Oleg; Ahmed, Musahid

    2010-03-16

    The arrival of the Cassini-Huygens probe at Saturn's moon Titan - the only Solar System body besides Earth and Venus with a solid surface and a thick atmosphere with a pressure of 1.4 atm at surface level - in 2004 opened up a new chapter in the history of Solar System exploration. The mission revealed Titan as a world with striking Earth-like landscapes involving hydrocarbon lakes and seas as well as sand dunes and lava-like features interspersed with craters and icy mountains of hitherto unknown chemical composition. The discovery of a dynamic atmosphere and active weather system illustrates further the similarities between Titan and Earth. The aerosol-based haze layers, which give Titan its orange-brownish color, are not only Titan's most prominent optically visible features, but also play a crucial role in determining Titan's thermal structure and chemistry. These smog-like haze layers are thought to be very similar to those that were present in Earth's atmosphere before life developed more than 3.8 billion years ago, absorbing the destructive ultraviolet radiation from the Sun, thus acting as 'prebiotic ozone' to preserve astrobiologically important molecules on Titan. Compared to Earth, Titan's low surface temperature of 94 K and the absence of liquid water preclude the evolution of biological chemistry as we know it. Exactly because of these low temperatures, Titan provides us with a unique prebiotic 'atmospheric laboratory' yielding vital clues - at the frozen stage - on the likely chemical composition of the atmosphere of the primitive Earth. However, the underlying chemical processes, which initiate the haze formation from simple molecules, have been not understood well to date.

  20. Organic chemistry on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, S.; Scattergood, T.; Aronowitz, S.; Flores, J.

    1979-01-01

    Features taken from various models of Titan's atmosphere are combined in a working composite model that provides environmental constraints within which different pathways for organic chemical synthesis are determined. Experimental results and theoretical modeling suggest that the organic chemistry of the satellite is dominated by two processes: photochemistry and energetic particle bombardment. Photochemical reactions of CH4 in the upper atmosphere can account for the presence of C2 hydrocarbons. Reactions initiated at various levels of the atmosphere by cosmic rays, Saturn 'wind', and solar wind particle bombardment of a CH4-N2 atmospheric mixture can account for the UV-visible absorbing stratospheric haze, the reddish appearance of the satellite, and some of the C2 hydrocarbons. In the lower atmosphere photochemical processes will be important if surface temperatures are sufficiently high for gaseous NH3 to exist. It is concluded that the surface of Titan may contain ancient or recent organic matter (or both) produced in the atmosphere.

  1. Temperature structure of the Uranian upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliot, J. L.; Dunham, E.

    1979-01-01

    The temperature structure of the upper atmosphere of Uranus at two locations on the planet was determined from observations of the occultation of the star SAO158687 by Uranus on 10 March 1977, carried out at the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. The temperature-pressure relationships obtained from the immersion and emersion data for 7280 A channel show peak-to-peak variations of 45 K for immersion and 35 K for emersion. The mean temperature for both immersion and emersion profiles is about 100 K, which shows that Uranus has a temperature inversion between 0.001 mbar and the 100 mbar level probed by IR measurements. Both profiles show wavelike temperature variations, which may be due to dynamical or photochemical processes.

  2. Titan Ice and Dust Experiment (TIDE): Detection and Analysis of Compounds of Interest to Astrobiology in the Lower Atmosphere and Surface of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Holland Paul M.; Stimac, Robert M.; Kaye, William J.; Takeruchi, Noreshige

    2004-01-01

    The Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission (TOAM) is a proposed concept for the Solar System Exploration Visions Mission, Titan Explorer, a follow-on to the Cassini-Huygens mission. TOAM would use a Titan polar orbiter and a lighter-than-air aerorover to investigate the surface and atmosphere of Titan. Astrobiology issues will be addressed though TOAM investigations including, for example: Distribution and composition of organics (atmospheric, aerosol, surface); Organic chemical processes, their chemical context and energy sources; and Seasonal variations and interactions of the atmosphere and surface. The TIDE instrument will perform in-situ analyses to obtain comprehensive and sensitive molecular and elemental assays of volatile organics in the atmosphere, oceans and surface. TIDE chemical analyses are conducted by a Gas Chromatograph-Ion Mobility Spectrometer (GC-IMS). This TIDE GC-IMS was a component of the mini-Cometary Ice and Dust Experiment (mini-CIDEX) developed for the chemical analysis of a cometary environment. Both the GC and helium IMS of mini-CIDEX have been further developed to better meet the analytical and operational requirements of the TOAM. application. A Micro-ElectroMechanical System (MEMS) GC and Mini-Cell helium IMS are under development to replace their respective mini-CIDEX components, providing similar or advanced analytical capabilities.

  3. Radio scintillations observed during atmospheric occultations of Voyager: Internal gravity waves at Titan and magnetic field orientations at Jupiter and Saturn. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, D. P.

    1983-01-01

    The refractive index of planetary atmospheres at microwave frequencies is discussed. Physical models proposed for the refractive irregularities in the ionosphere and neutral atmosphere serve to characterize the atmospheric scattering structures, and are used subsequently to compute theoretical scintillation spectra for comparison with the Voyager occultation measurements. A technique for systematically analyzing and interpreting the signal fluctuations observed during planetary occultations is presented and applied to process the dual-wavelength data from the Voyager radio occultations by Jupiter, Saturn, and Titan. Results concerning the plasma irregularities in the upper ionospheres of Jupiter and Saturn are reported. The measured orientation of the irregularities is used to infer the magnetic field direction at several locations in the ionospheres of these two planets; the occultation measurements conflict with the predictions of Jovian magnetic field models, but generally confirm current models of Saturn's field. Wave parameters, including the vertical fluxes of energy and momentum, are estimated, and the source of the internal gravity waves discovered in Titan's upper atmosphere is considered.

  4. Titan Casts Revealing Shadow

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-05-01

    A rare celestial event was captured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory as Titan -- Saturn's largest moon and the only moon in the Solar System with a thick atmosphere -- crossed in front of the X-ray bright Crab Nebula. The X-ray shadow cast by Titan allowed astronomers to make the first X-ray measurement of the extent of its atmosphere. On January 5, 2003, Titan transited the Crab Nebula, the remnant of a supernova explosion that was observed to occur in the year 1054. Although Saturn and Titan pass within a few degrees of the Crab Nebula every 30 years, they rarely pass directly in front of it. "This may have been the first transit of the Crab Nebula by Titan since the birth of the Crab Nebula," said Koji Mori of Pennsylvania State University in University Park, and lead author on an Astrophysical Journal paper describing these results. "The next similar conjunction will take place in the year 2267, so this was truly a once in a lifetime event." Animation of Titan's Shadow on Crab Nebula Animation of Titan's Shadow on Crab Nebula Chandra's observation revealed that the diameter of the X-ray shadow cast by Titan was larger than the diameter of its solid surface. The difference in diameters gives a measurement of about 550 miles (880 kilometers) for the height of the X-ray absorbing region of Titan's atmosphere. The extent of the upper atmosphere is consistent with, or slightly (10-15%) larger, than that implied by Voyager I observations made at radio, infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths in 1980. "Saturn was about 5% closer to the Sun in 2003, so increased solar heating of Titan may account for some of this atmospheric expansion," said Hiroshi Tsunemi of Osaka University in Japan, one of the coauthors on the paper. The X-ray brightness and extent of the Crab Nebula made it possible to study the tiny X-ray shadow cast by Titan during its transit. By using Chandra to precisely track Titan's position, astronomers were able to measure a shadow one arcsecond in

  5. Study of irradiation of flash lightning type in a Titan simulated atmosphere; Estudio de irradiaciones tipo relampago en una atmosfera simulada de Titan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rosa C, J.G. De la

    2001-07-01

    Titan is the greatest satellite of the Saturn planet and the unique moon of the Solar System which presents a dense atmosphere constituted by nitrogen, methane and traces of hydrocarbons and nitriles. Constantly it is bombarded by different energy sources which interacting with the atmosphere cause countless of chemical reactions which have giving origin to the synthesis of organic molecules from its formation since 4.5 thousand millions of years ago. The electric activity was not detected in the satellite when the space probe Voyager I had its nearest match with Titan in November 1980, however, due to the presence of methane clouds rain and of convective activity in the troposphere of the satellite, it is thought in the possible existence of electrical activity in this. In this work it is studied the production of gaseous compounds generated by irradiations type flash lightning in the Titan simulated atmosphere constituted by nitrogen and methane. The lightning are imitated by laser induced plasma (LIP) with similar physical properties to the naturals produced in the Earth. The separation and identification of the organic compounds generated by simulated lightning s were carried out by attached methods of analysis such as the Gas chromatography, Infrared spectroscopy with Fourier transform (FTIR-S) and Mass spectroscopy (MS). The compounds which were identified are: hydrocarbons and nitriles, some of them already have been identified in Titan as well as the hydrogen cyanide (HCN), acetylene, etilene and cyanoacetylene. Moreover we studied the influence that different parameters of irradiation have in the production of organic molecules generated submitting to discharges type lightning the simulated atmosphere of Titan. It was realized an estimation of the available energy in the satellite which could be vanished as discharges type lightning. By means of a model based on conditions of thermodynamic equilibria it was calculated the temperature to which are freeze

  6. Magnetohydrodynamic simulations of hot jupiter upper atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trammell, George B.; Li, Zhi-Yun; Arras, Phil, E-mail: gbt8f@virginia.edu, E-mail: zl4h@virginia.edu, E-mail: arras@virginia.edu [Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400325, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4325 (United States)

    2014-06-20

    Two-dimensional simulations of hot Jupiter upper atmospheres including the planet's magnetic field are presented. The goal is to explore magnetic effects on the layer of the atmosphere that is ionized and heated by stellar EUV radiation, and the imprint of these effects on the Lyα transmission spectrum. The simulations are axisymmetric, isothermal, and include both rotation and azimuth-averaged stellar tides. Mass density is converted to atomic hydrogen density through the assumption of ionization equilibrium. The three-zone structure—polar dead zone (DZ), mid-latitude wind zone (WZ), and equatorial DZ—found in previous analytic calculations is confirmed. For a magnetic field comparable to that of Jupiter, the equatorial DZ, which is confined by the magnetic field and corotates with the planet, contributes at least half of the transit signal. For even stronger fields, the gas escaping in the mid-latitude WZ is found to have a smaller contribution to the transit depth than the equatorial DZ. Transmission spectra computed from the simulations are compared to Hubble Space Telescope Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph and Advanced Camera for Surveys data for HD 209458b and HD 189733b, and the range of model parameters consistent with the data is found. The central result of this paper is that the transit depth increases strongly with magnetic field strength when the hydrogen ionization layer is magnetically dominated, for dipole magnetic field B {sub 0} ≳ 10 G. Hence transit depth is sensitive to magnetic field strength, in addition to standard quantities such as the ratio of thermal to gravitational binding energies. Another effect of the magnetic field is that the planet loses angular momentum orders of magnitude faster than in the non-magnetic case, because the magnetic field greatly increases the lever arm for wind braking of the planet's rotation. Spin-down timescales for magnetized models of HD 209458b that agree with the observed transit depth

  7. Infrared Spectra, Index of Refraction, and Optical Constants of Nitrile Ices Relevant to Titan's Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Marla; Ferrante, Robert; Moore, William; Hudson, Reggie

    2010-01-01

    Spectra and optical constants of nitrite ices known or suspected to be in Titan's atmosphere are presented from 2.5 to 200 microns (4000 to 50 per cm ). These results are relevant to the ongoing modeling of Cassini CIRS observations of Titan's winter pole. Ices studied include: HCN, hydrogen cyanide; C2N2, cyanogen; CH3CN, acetonitrile; C 2H5CN, propionitrile; and HC3N, cyanoacetylene. For each of these molecules we report new measurements of the index of refraction, n, determined in both the amorphous- and crystallinephase at 670 nm. Spectra were measured and optical constants were calculated for each nitrite at a variety of temperatures including 20, 35, 50, 75, 95, and 110 K, in the amorphous- and crystalline-phase. This laboratory effort uses a dedicated FTIR spectrometer to record transmission spectra of thin-film ice samples. Laser interference is used to measure film thickness during condensation onto a transparent cold window attached to the tail section of a closed-cycle helium cryostat. Optical constants, real (n) and imaginary (k) refractive indices, are determined using Kramers-Kronig (K-K) analysis. Our calculation reproduces the complete spectrum, including all interference effects. Index of refraction measurements are made in a separate dedicated FTIR spectrometer where interference deposit fringes are measured using two 670 nm lasers at different angles to the ice substrate. A survey of these new measurements will be presented along with a discussion of their validation, errors, and application to Titan data.

  8. Corona discharge experiments in admixtures of N2 and CH4: a laboratory simulation of Titan's atmosphere

    OpenAIRE

    Horvath, G.; Skalny, J. D.; Mason, N. J.; Klas, M.; Zahoran, M.; Vladoiu, R.; Manole, M.

    2009-01-01

    A positive corona discharge fed by a N2:CH4 mixture (98:2) at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature has been studied as a laboratory mimic of the chemical processes occurring in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. In-situ measurements of UV and IR transmission spectra within the discharge have shown that the main chemical product is C2H2, produced by dissociation of CH4, with small but significant traces of ethane and HCN, all species that have been detected in Titan's atmo...

  9. INFRARED SPECTRA AND OPTICAL CONSTANTS OF NITRILE ICES RELEVANT TO TITAN's ATMOSPHERE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moore, Marla H.; Hudson, Reggie; Ferrante, Robert F.; James Moore, W.

    2010-01-01

    Spectra and optical constants of nitrile ices known or suspected to be in Titan's atmosphere are presented from 2.0 to 333.3 μm (∼5000-30 cm -1 ). These results are relevant to the ongoing modeling of Cassini CIRS observations of Titan's winter pole. Ices studied are: HCN, hydrogen cyanide; C 2 N 2 , cyanogen; CH 3 CN, acetonitrile; C 2 H 5 CN, propionitrile; and HC 3 N, cyanoacetylene. For each of these molecules, we also report new cryogenic measurements of the real refractive index, n, determined in both the amorphous and crystalline phases at 670 nm. These new values have been incorporated into our optical constant calculations. Spectra were measured and optical constants were calculated for each nitrile at a variety of temperatures, including, but not limited to, 20, 35, 50, 75, 95, and 110 K, in both the amorphous phase and the crystalline phase. This laboratory effort used a dedicated FTIR spectrometer to record transmission spectra of thin-film ice samples. Laser interference was used to measure film thickness during condensation onto a transparent cold window attached to the tail section of a closed-cycle helium cryostat. Optical constants, real (n) and imaginary (k) refractive indices, were determined using Kramers-Kronig analysis. Our calculation reproduces the complete spectrum, including all interference effects.

  10. Accurate spectroscopic characterization of protonated oxirane: a potential prebiotic species in Titan's atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giacomo Ciamician, Università di Bologna, Via Selmi 2, I-40126 Bologna (Italy))" data-affiliation=" (Dipartimento di Chimica Giacomo Ciamician, Università di Bologna, Via Selmi 2, I-40126 Bologna (Italy))" >Puzzarini, Cristina; Ali, Ashraf; Biczysko, Malgorzata; Barone, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    An accurate spectroscopic characterization of protonated oxirane has been carried out by means of state-of-the-art computational methods and approaches. The calculated spectroscopic parameters from our recent computational investigation of oxirane together with the corresponding experimental data available were used to assess the accuracy of our predicted rotational and IR spectra of protonated oxirane. We found an accuracy of about 10 cm –1 for vibrational transitions (fundamentals as well as overtones and combination bands) and, in relative terms, of 0.1% for rotational transitions. We are therefore confident that the spectroscopic data provided herein are a valuable support for the detection of protonated oxirane not only in Titan's atmosphere but also in the interstellar medium.

  11. Accurate spectroscopic characterization of protonated oxirane: a potential prebiotic species in Titan's atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Puzzarini, Cristina [Dipartimento di Chimica " Giacomo Ciamician," Università di Bologna, Via Selmi 2, I-40126 Bologna (Italy); Ali, Ashraf [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Biczysko, Malgorzata; Barone, Vincenzo, E-mail: cristina.puzzarini@unibo.it [Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza dei Cavalieri 7, I-56126 Pisa (Italy)

    2014-09-10

    An accurate spectroscopic characterization of protonated oxirane has been carried out by means of state-of-the-art computational methods and approaches. The calculated spectroscopic parameters from our recent computational investigation of oxirane together with the corresponding experimental data available were used to assess the accuracy of our predicted rotational and IR spectra of protonated oxirane. We found an accuracy of about 10 cm{sup –1} for vibrational transitions (fundamentals as well as overtones and combination bands) and, in relative terms, of 0.1% for rotational transitions. We are therefore confident that the spectroscopic data provided herein are a valuable support for the detection of protonated oxirane not only in Titan's atmosphere but also in the interstellar medium.

  12. A view of the upper atmosphere from Antarctica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rycroft, M.

    1985-01-01

    The paper reviews the phenomena associated with the earth's upper atmosphere, as detected from field stations on the Antarctic continent. A description is given of the earth's atmosphere, including the auroral regions, the ionosphere and magnetosphere. Geospace phenomena investigated from the Antarctic are described, and include whistlers, chorus and trimpi events. The earth's geomagnetic field is measured at several Antarctic stations. Possibilities for future projects in Antarctica are also discussed. (U.K.)

  13. Crystallization of sol-gel derived lead zirconate titanate thin films in argon and oxygen atmospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bursill, L.A.

    1994-01-01

    Electron diffraction and high-resolution electron microscopic techniques are applied to reveal the mechanisms of crystallization of 75 nm thin films of ferroelectric lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT). Sol-gel methods, followed by pyrolysis at 350 deg C, were used to provide a common starting point after which a variety of rapid-thermal annealing (RTA) experiments in the temperature range 400-700 deg C were made in argon, oxygen and nitrogen/hydrogen atmospheres. The results are interpreted in terms of the crystal chemical analysis, which points out that partial pressure of oxygen and heating rate are important experimental parameters which must be controlled if ferroelectric perovskite-type Pb 2 ZrTiO 6 , rather than pyrochlore-type Pb 2 ZrTiO 6+x , where O < X < 1 or -1 < X < O, is to be obtained after the RTA step. Thus significant improvements in the crystallization of perovskite-type PZT were clearly demonstrated by using argon atmospheres for the RTA step. The results have significance for the production of high-quality ferroelectric thin films, with improved switching and fatigue characteristics, since even small amounts of the pyrochlore phase prove detrimental for these properties. 18 refs., 1 tab., 10 figs

  14. Crystallization of sol-gel derived lead zirconate titanate thin films in argon and oxygen atmospheres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bursill, L A [Melbourne Univ., Parkville, VIC (Australia). School of Physics; Brooks, K G [Ecole Polytechnique Federale, Lausanne (Switzerland)

    1994-12-31

    Electron diffraction and high-resolution electron microscopic techniques are applied to reveal the mechanisms of crystallization of 75 nm thin films of ferroelectric lead-zirconate-titanate (PZT). Sol-gel methods, followed by pyrolysis at 350 deg C, were used to provide a common starting point after which a variety of rapid-thermal annealing (RTA) experiments in the temperature range 400-700 deg C were made in argon, oxygen and nitrogen/hydrogen atmospheres. The results are interpreted in terms of the crystal chemical analysis, which points out that partial pressure of oxygen and heating rate are important experimental parameters which must be controlled if ferroelectric perovskite-type Pb{sub 2}ZrTiO{sub 6}, rather than pyrochlore-type Pb{sub 2}ZrTiO{sub 6+x}, where O < X < 1 or -1 < X < O, is to be obtained after the RTA step. Thus significant improvements in the crystallization of perovskite-type PZT were clearly demonstrated by using argon atmospheres for the RTA step. The results have significance for the production of high-quality ferroelectric thin films, with improved switching and fatigue characteristics, since even small amounts of the pyrochlore phase prove detrimental for these properties. 18 refs., 1 tab., 10 figs.

  15. Corona discharge experiments in admixtures of N2 and CH4: a laboratory simulation of Titan's atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horvath, G; Skalny, J D; Klas, M; Zahoran, M; Mason, N J; Vladoiu, R; Manole, M

    2009-01-01

    A positive corona discharge fed by a N 2 : CH 4 mixture (98 : 2) at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature has been studied as a laboratory mimic of the chemical processes occurring in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. In situ measurements of UV and IR transmission spectra within the discharge have shown that the main chemical product is C 2 H 2 , produced by dissociation of CH 4 , with small but significant traces of ethane and HCN, all species that have been detected in Titan's atmosphere. A small amount (0.2%) of CH 4 was decomposed after 12 min of treatment requiring an average energy of 2.7 kWh g -1 . After 14 min the discharge was terminated due to the formation of a solid yellow deposit on the central wire electrode. Such a deposit is similar to that observed in other discharges and is believed to be an analogue of the aerosol and dust observed in Titan's atmosphere and is composed of chemical species commonly known as 'tholins'. We have also explored the electrical properties of the discharge. The admixture of methane into nitrogen caused an increase in the onset voltage of the discharge and consequently led to a reduction in the measured discharge current.

  16. Diurnal variations of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, J.; Galand, M.; Yelle, R. V.; Vuitton, V.; Wahlund, J.-E.; Lavvas, P. P.; Mueller-Wodarg, I. C. F.; Kasprzak, W. T.; Waite, J. H.

    2009-04-01

    We present our analysis of the diurnal variations of Titan's ionosphere (between 1,000 and 1,400 km) based on a sample of Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) measurements in the Open Source Ion (OSI) mode obtained from 8 close encounters of the Cassini spacecraft with Titan. Though there is an overall ion depletion well beyond the terminator, the ion content on Titan's nightside is still appreciable, with a density plateau of ~700 cm-3 below ~1,300 km. Such a plateau is associated with the combination of distinct diurnal variations of light and heavy ions. Light ions (e.g. CH5+, HCNH+, C2H5+) show strong diurnal variation, with clear bite-outs in their nightside distributions. In contrast, heavy ions (e.g. c-C3H3+, C2H3CNH+, C6H7+) present modest diurnal variation, with significant densities observed on the nightside. We propose that the distinctions between light and heavy ions are associated with their different chemical loss pathways, with the former primarily through "fast" ion-neutral chemistry and the latter through "slow" electron dissociative recombination. The INMS data suggest day-to-night transport as an important source of ions on Titan's nightside, to be distinguished from the conventional scenario of auroral ionization by magnetospheric particles as the only ionizing source on the nightside. This is supported by the strong correlation between the observed night-to-day ion density ratios and the associated ion lifetimes. We construct a time-dependent ion chemistry model to investigate the effects of day-to-night transport on the ionospheric structures of Titan. The predicted diurnal variation has similar general characteristics to those observed, with some apparent discrepancies which could be reconciled by imposing fast horizontal thermal winds in Titan's upper atmosphere.

  17. The microwave limb sounder for the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waters, J. W.; Peckham, G. E.; Suttie, R. A.; Curtis, P. D.; Maddison, B. J.; Harwood, R. S.

    1988-01-01

    The Microwave Limb Sounder was designed to map the concentrations of trace gases from the stratosphere to the lower thermosphere, to improve understanding of the photochemical reactions which take place in this part of the atmosphere. The instrument will measure the intensity of thermal radiation from molecules in the atmosphere at frequencies corresponding to rotational absorption bands of chlorine monoxide, ozone, and water vapor. Molecular concentration profiles will be determined over a height range of 15 to 80 km (20 to 45 km for C10). The 57 deg inclination orbit proposed for the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite will allow global coverage.

  18. An update of nitrile photochemistry on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Yuk L.

    1987-01-01

    Comparisons are undertaken between laboratory kinetics experiments and Voyager observations in order to shed light on possible chemical reaction pathways to the generation of cyanogen and dicyanoacetylene in Titan's upper atmosphere. The predicted concentrations of the simple nitrile compounds are found to be of a magnitude realistically corresponding to the Voyager observations.

  19. Laboratory Studies of Low Temperature Rate Coefficients: The Atmospheric Chemistry of the Outer Planets and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogan, Denis

    1999-01-01

    Laboratory measurements have been carried out to determine low temperature chemical rate coefficients of ethynyl radical (C2H) for the atmospheres of the outer planets and their satellites. This effort is directly related to the Cassini mission which will explore Saturn and Titan. A laser-based photolysis/infrared laser probe setup was used to measure the temperature dependence of kinetic rate coefficients from approx. equal to 150 to 350 K for C2H radicals with H2, C2H2, CH4, CD4, C2H4, C2H6, C3H8, n-C4H10, i-C4H10, neo-C5H12, C3H4 (methylacetylene and allene), HCN, and CH3CN. The results revealed discrepancies of an order of magnitude or more compared with the low temperature rate coefficients used in present models. A new Laval nozzle, low Mach number supersonic expansion kinetics apparatus has been constructed, resulting in the first measurements of neutral C2H radical kinetics at 90 K and permitting studies on condensable gases with insufficient vapor pressure at low temperatures. New studies of C 2H with acetylene have been completed.

  20. The properties and Roles of Resonance-Stabilized Radicals in Photochemical Pathways in Titan's Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebree, Joshua A.; Kidwell, Nathan; Zwier, Timothy

    2010-11-01

    In recent years, the Cassini satellite has been providing details about the composition of Titan's atmosphere. Recent data has shown the existence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at higher altitudes than previously expected including masses tentatively ascribed to naphthalene and anthracene. The formation of indene (C9H9) and naphthalene (C10H8), the simplest PAHs, and their derivatives are of great interest as similar mechanisms may lead to the formation of larger fused-ring systems. In recent years it has been proposed that resonance-stabilized radicals (RSRs) may play an important role as intermediates along these pathways. RSRs gain extra stability by delocalizing the unpaired electron through a neighboring conjugated π-system. Because of this extra stability, RSRs are able to build up in concentration, allowing for the creation of larger, more complex systems through their recombination with other RSRs. Mass-selective UV-visible spectra of two RSRs, phenylallyl and benzylallenyl radicals, have been recorded under jet-cooled conditions. These two radicals, while sharing the same radical conjugation, have unique properties. The roles these radicals may play in the formation of fused ring systems will be discussed along with recent photochemical results on reaction pathways starting from benzylallene through the benzylallenyl radical.

  1. Role of solar influences on geomagnetosphere and upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar Tripathi, Arvind

    The Earth's magnetosphere and upper atmosphere can be greatly perturbed by variations in the solar luminosity caused by disturbances on the solar surface. The state of near-Earth space environment is governed by the Sun and is very dynamic on all spatial and temporal scale. The geomagnetic field which protects the Earth from solar wind and cosmic rays is also essential to the evolution of life; its variations can have either direct or indirect effect on human physiology and health state even if the magnitude of the disturbance is small. Geomagnetic disturbances are seen at the surface of the Earth as perturbations in the components of the geomagnetic field, caused by electric currents flowing in the magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. Ionospheric and thermospheric storms also result from the redistribution of particles and fields. Global thermospheric storm winds and composition changes are driven by energy injection at high latitudes. These storm effects may penetrate downwards to the lower thermosphere and may even perturb the mesosphere. Many of the ionospheric changes at mid-latitude can be understood as a response to thermospheric perturbations. The transient bursts of solar energetic particles, often associated with large solar transients, have been observed to have effects on the Earth's middle and lower atmosphere, including the large-scale destruction of polar stratospheric and tropospheric ozone. In the present, we have discussed effect of solar influences on earth's magnetosphere and upper atmosphere that are useful to space weather and global warming, on the basis of various latest studies.

  2. Self-consistent modeling of induced magnetic field in Titan's atmosphere accounting for the generation of Schumann resonance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béghin, Christian

    2015-02-01

    This model is worked out in the frame of physical mechanisms proposed in previous studies accounting for the generation and the observation of an atypical Schumann Resonance (SR) during the descent of the Huygens Probe in the Titan's atmosphere on 14 January 2005. While Titan is staying inside the subsonic co-rotating magnetosphere of Saturn, a secondary magnetic field carrying an Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) modulation is shown to be generated through ion-acoustic instabilities of the Pedersen current sheets induced at the interface region between the impacting magnetospheric plasma and Titan's ionosphere. The stronger induced magnetic field components are focused within field-aligned arcs-like structures hanging down the current sheets, with minimum amplitude of about 0.3 nT throughout the ramside hemisphere from the ionopause down to the Moon surface, including the icy crust and its interface with a conductive water ocean. The deep penetration of the modulated magnetic field in the atmosphere is thought to be allowed thanks to the force balance between the average temporal variations of thermal and magnetic pressures within the field-aligned arcs. However, there is a first cause of diffusion of the ELF magnetic components, probably due to feeding one, or eventually several SR eigenmodes. A second leakage source is ascribed to a system of eddy-Foucault currents assumed to be induced through the buried water ocean. The amplitude spectrum distribution of the induced ELF magnetic field components inside the SR cavity is found fully consistent with the measurements of the Huygens wave-field strength. Waiting for expected future in-situ exploration of Titan's lower atmosphere and the surface, the Huygens data are the only experimental means available to date for constraining the proposed model.

  3. A TRANSMISSION SPECTRUM OF TITAN'S NORTH POLAR ATMOSPHERE FROM A SPECULAR REFLECTION OF THE SUN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnes, Jason W. [Department of Physics, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID 83844-0903 (United States); Clark, Roger N. [United States Geological Survey, Denver, CO 80225 (United States); Sotin, Christophe; Buratti, Bonnie J. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Ádámkovics, Máté [Department of Astronomy, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411 (United States); Appéré, Thomas; Rodriguez, Sebastien [Laboratoire AIM, Université Paris Diderot, Paris 7/CNRS/CEA-Saclay, DSM-IRFU/SAp, F-91191 Gif sur Yvette (France); Soderblom, Jason M. [Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 (United States); Brown, Robert H. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Baines, Kevin H. [Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 53706 (United States); Le Mouélic, Stéphane [Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, Université de Nantes, F-44322 Nantes (France); Nicholson, Philip D., E-mail: jwbarnes@uidaho.edu [Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States)

    2013-11-10

    Cassini/VIMS T85 observations of a solar specular reflection off of Kivu Lacus (87.°4N 241.°1E) provide an empirical transmission spectrum of Titan's atmosphere. Because this observation was acquired from short range (33,000 km), its intensity makes it visible within the 2.0, 2.7, and 2.8 μm atmospheric windows in addition to the 5 μm window where all previous specular reflections have been seen. The resulting measurement of the total one-way normal atmospheric optical depth (corresponding to haze scattering plus haze and gas absorption) provides strong empirical constraints on radiative transfer models. Using those models, we find that the total haze column abundance in our observation is 20% higher than the Huygens equatorial value. Ours is the first measurement in the 2-5 μm wavelength range that probes all the way to the surface in Titan's arctic, where the vast majority of surface liquids are located. The specular technique complements other probes of atmospheric properties such as solar occultations and the direct measurements from Huygens. In breaking the degeneracy between surface and atmospheric absorptions, our measured optical depths will help to drive future calculations of deconvolved surface albedo spectra.

  4. Trends in the Neutral and Ionized Upper Atmosphere

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Laštovička, Jan; Solomon, S.C.; Qian, L.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 168, 1-4 (2012), s. 113-145 ISSN 0038-6308 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP209/10/1792 Institutional support: RVO:68378289 Keywords : Global change * Long-term trends * Ionosphere * Upper atmosphere Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 5.519, year: 2012 http://www.springerlink.com/content/d4015w2q031q5048/fulltext.pdf

  5. Trends in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere: Recent progress

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Laštovička, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 118, č. 6 (2013), s. 3924-3935 ISSN 2169-9380 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP209/10/1792; GA MŠk LD12070 Institutional support: RVO:68378289 Keywords : Long-term trends * upper atmosphere * ionosphere Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 3.440, year: 2013 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jgra.50341/abstract

  6. Energy Dissipation in the Upper Atmospheres of TRAPPIST-1 Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Ofer; Glocer, Alex; Garraffo, Cecilia; Drake, Jeremy J.; Bell, Jared M.

    2018-03-01

    We present a method to quantify the upper limit of the energy transmitted from the intense stellar wind to the upper atmospheres of three of the TRAPPIST-1 planets (e, f, and g). We use a formalism that treats the system as two electromagnetic regions, where the efficiency of the energy transmission between one region (the stellar wind at the planetary orbits) to the other (the planetary ionospheres) depends on the relation between the conductances and impedances of the two regions. Since the energy flux of the stellar wind is very high at these planetary orbits, we find that for the case of high transmission efficiency (when the conductances and impedances are close in magnitude), the energy dissipation in the upper planetary atmospheres is also very large. On average, the Ohmic energy can reach 0.5–1 W m‑2, about 1% of the stellar irradiance and 5–15 times the EUV irradiance. Here, using constant values for the ionospheric conductance, we demonstrate that the stellar wind energy could potentially drive large atmospheric heating in terrestrial planets, as well as in hot Jupiters. More detailed calculations are needed to assess the ionospheric conductance and to determine more accurately the amount of heating the stellar wind can drive in close-orbit planets.

  7. Cosmic-rays induced Titan tholins and their astrobiological significances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Kensei; Taniuchi, Toshinori; Hosogai, Tomohiro; Kaneko, Takeo; Takano, Yoshinori; Khare, Bishun; McKay, Chris

    Titan is the largest satellite of Saturn. It is quite unique satellite since it has a dense atmosphere composed of nitrogen and methane, and has been sometimes considered as a model of primitive Earth. In Titan atmosphere, a wide variety of organic compounds and mists made of complex organics. Such solid complex organics are often referred to as tholins. A number of laboratory experiments simulating reactions in Titan atmosphere have been conducted. In most of them, ultraviolet light and discharges (simulating actions of electrons in Saturn magnetosphere) were used, which were simulation of the reactions in upper dilute atmosphere of Titan. We examined possible formation of organic compounds in the lower dense atmosphere of Titan, where cosmic rays are major energies. A Mixture of 35 Torr of methane and 665 Torr of nitrogen was irradiated with high-energy protons (3 MeV) from a van de Graaff accelerator (TIT, Japan) or from a Tandem accelerator (TIARA, QUBS, JAEA, Japan). In some experiments, 13 C-labelled methane was used. We also performed plasma discharges in a mixture of methane (10 %) and nitrogen (90 %) to simulate the reactions in the upper atmosphere of Titan. Solid products by proton irradiation and those by plasma discharges are hereafter referred to as PI-tholins and PD-tholins, respectively. The resulting PI-tholins were observed with SEM and AFM. They were characterized by pyrolysis-GC/MS, gel permeation chromatography, FT-IR, etc. Amino acids in PI-and PD-tholins were analyzed by HPLC, GC/MS and MALDI-TOF-MS after acid hydrolysis. 18 O-Labelled water was used in some cases during hydrolysis. Filamentary and/or globular-like structures were observed by SEM and AFM. By pyrolysis-GC/MS of PI-tholins, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide were detected, which was the same as the results obtained in Titan atmosphere during the Huygens mission. A wide variety of amino acids were detected after hydrolysis of both tholins. It was proved that oxygen atoms in the amino

  8. Cassini results on Titan's atmospheric and surface properties changes since the northern equinox

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coustenis, Athena; Drossart, Pierre; Flasar, F. Michael; Achterberg, Richard K.; Rodriguez, Sebastien; Nixon, Conor; Bampasidis, Georgios; Solomonidou, Anezina; Jennings, Donald; Lavvas, Panayiotis

    2016-07-01

    -term variations both in the atmosphere and the surface and the two environments are connected. Deposits from the atmosphere can be found on the ground and the tropospheric processes (clouds, rain) affect the appearance of the surface. Thus, we analyse spectro-imaging data (0.8-5.2 µm) from Cassini/VIMS to study Titan's surface multivariable geological terrain and its interactions with the lower atmosphere. The Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) and other instruments have provided a better understanding of the dynamic and complex surface expressions of this Saturnian moon, suggesting exogenic and endogenic processes [3;4;5].We apply a Radiative transfer code to analyse different regions and to monitor their spectral behavior with time [6;7,8]. We have already shown that temporal variations of surface albedo (in chemical composition and/or morphology) exist for some areas, but that their origin may differ from one region to the other. Tui Regio and Sotra Patera for instance change with time becoming darker and brighter respectively in terms of surface albedo while the undifferentiated plains and the suggested evaporitic areas in the equatorial regions do not present any significant change [8]. We will infer information on the haze content that we will compare with findings from the stratosphere by CIRS and we will compare with cloud monitoring over specific regions [9]. It remains to identify the role the atmosphere plays in the surface changes. References: [1] Coustenis, et al., Icarus 207, 461, 2010 ; Astrophys. J. 799, 177, 9p ; Icarus, in press, 2015 ; [2] Jennings et al., ApJ 804, L34, 5, 2015; [3] Lopes, R.M.C., et al.: JGR, 118, 416-435, 2013 ; [4] Solomonidou, A., et al.: PSS, 70, 77-104, 2013 ; [5] Moore, J.M., and Howard, A.D.: GRL, 37, L22205, 2010; [6] Hirtzig, M., et al.: Icarus, 226, 470-486, 2013 ; [7] Solomonidou, A., et al.: JGR, 119, 1729-1747, 2014; [8] Solomonidou, A., et al.: Icarus, in press, 2015; [9] Rodriguez et al., Icarus 216, 89

  9. Ionization Efficiency in the Dayside Martian Upper Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, J.; Wu, X.-S.; Xu, S.-S.; Wang, X.-D.; Wellbrock, A.; Nordheim, T. A.; Cao, Y.-T.; Wang, W.-R.; Sun, W.-Q.; Wu, S.-Q.; Wei, Y.

    2018-04-01

    Combining the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution measurements of neutral atmospheric density, solar EUV/X-ray flux, and differential photoelectron intensity made during 240 nominal orbits, we calculate the ionization efficiency, defined as the ratio of the secondary (photoelectron impact) ionization rate to the primary (photon impact) ionization rate, in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere under a range of solar illumination conditions. Both the CO2 and O ionization efficiencies tend to be constant from 160 km up to 250 km, with respective median values of 0.19 ± 0.03 and 0.27 ± 0.04. These values are useful for fast calculation of the ionization rate in the dayside Martian upper atmosphere, without the need to construct photoelectron transport models. No substantial diurnal and solar cycle variations can be identified, except for a marginal trend of reduced ionization efficiency approaching the terminator. These observations are favorably interpreted by a simple scenario with ionization efficiencies, as a first approximation, determined by a comparison between relevant cross sections. Our analysis further reveals a connection between regions with strong crustal magnetic fields and regions with high ionization efficiencies, which are likely indicative of more efficient vertical transport of photoelectrons near magnetic anomalies.

  10. A Shuttle Upper Atmosphere Mass Spectrometer /SUMS/ experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, R. C.; Duckett, R. J.; Hinson, E. W.

    1982-01-01

    A magnetic mass spectrometer is currently being adapted to the Space Shuttle Orbiter to provide repeated high altitude atmosphere data to support in situ rarefied flow aerodynamics research, i.e., in the high velocity, low density flight regime. The experiment, called Shuttle Upper Atmosphere Mass Spectrometer (SUMS), is the first attempt to design mass spectrometer equipment for flight vehicle aerodynamic data extraction. The SUMS experiment will provide total freestream atmospheric quantitites, principally total mass density, above altitudes at which conventional pressure measurements are valid. Experiment concepts, the expected flight profile, tradeoffs in the design of the total system and flight data reduction plans are discussed. Development plans are based upon a SUMS first flight after the Orbiter initial development flights.

  11. ISAMS and MLS for NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llewellyn-Jones, D.; Dickinson, P. H. G.

    1990-04-01

    The primary goal of NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), planned to be launched in 1991, is to compile data about the structure and behavior of the stratospheric ozone layer, and especially about the threat of the chlorine-based pollutants to its stablility. Two of the payload instruments, manufactured in the UK, are described: the Improved Stratospheric and Mesospheric Sounder (ISAMS), a radiometer designed to measure thermal emission from selected atmospheric constituents at the earth's limb, then making it possible to obtain nearly global coverage of the vertical distribution of temperature and composition from 80 deg S to 80 deg N latitude; and the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), a limb sounding radiometer, measuring atmospheric thermal emission from selected molecular spectral lines at mm wavelength, in the frequency regions of 63, 183, and 205 GHz.

  12. The atmospheres of Saturn and Titan in the near-infrared: First results of Cassini/Vims

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baines, K.H.; Momary, T.W.; Buratti, B.J.; Matson, D.L.; Nelson, R.M.; Drossart, P.; Sicardy, B.; Formisano, V.; Bellucci, G.; Coradini, A.; Griffith, C.; Brown, R.H.; Bibring, J.-P.; Langevin, Y.; Capaccioni, F.; Cerroni, P.; Clark, R.N.; Combes, M.; Cruikshank, D.P.; Jaumann, R.; McCordt, T.B.; Mennella, V.; Nicholson, P.D.; Sotin, Christophe

    2006-01-01

    The wide spectral coverage and extensive spatial, temporal, and phase-angle mapping capabilities of the Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard the Cassini-Huygens Orbiter are producing fundamental new insights into the nature of the atmospheres of Saturn and Titan. For both bodies, VIMS maps over time and solar phase angles provide information for a multitude of atmospheric constituents and aerosol layers, providing new insights into atmospheric structure and dynamical and chemical processes. For Saturn, salient early results include evidence for phosphine depletion in relatively dark and less cloudy belts at temperate and mid-latitudes compared to the relatively bright and cloudier Equatorial Region, consistent with traditional theories of belts being regions of relative downwelling. Additional Saturn results include (1) the mapping of enhanced trace gas absorptions at the south pole, and (2) the first high phase-angle, high-spatial-resolution imagery of CH4 fluorescence. An additional fundamental new result is the first nighttime near-infrared mapping of Saturn, clearly showing discrete meteorological features relatively deep in the atmosphere beneath the planet's sunlit haze and cloud layers, thus revealing a new dynamical regime at depth where vertical dynamics is relatively more important than zonal dynamics in determining cloud morphology. Zonal wind measurements at deeper levels than previously available are achieved by tracking these features over multiple days, thereby providing measurements of zonal wind shears within Saturn's troposphere when compared to cloudtop movements measured in reflected sunlight. For Titan, initial results include (1) the first detection and mapping of thermal emission spectra of CO, CO2, and CH3D on Titan's nightside limb, (2) the mapping of CH4 fluorescence over the dayside bright limb, extending to ??? 750 km altitude, (3) wind measurements of ???0.5 ms-1, favoring prograde, from the movement of a persistent

  13. Ionization Processes in the Atmosphere of Titan (Research Note). III. Ionization by High-Z Nuclei Cosmic Rays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronoff, G.; Mertens, C.; Lilensten, J.; Desorgher, L.; Fluckiger, E.; Velinov, P.

    2011-01-01

    Context. The Cassini-Huygens mission has revealed the importance of particle precipitation in the atmosphere of Titan thanks to in-situ measurements. These ionizing particles (electrons, protons, and cosmic rays) have a strong impact on the chemistry, hence must be modeled. Aims. We revisit our computation of ionization in the atmosphere of Titan by cosmic rays. The high-energy high-mass ions are taken into account to improve the precision of the calculation of the ion production profile. Methods. The Badhwahr and O Neill model for cosmic ray spectrum was adapted for the Titan model. We used the TransTitan model coupled with the Planetocosmics model to compute the ion production by cosmic rays. We compared the results with the NAIRAS/HZETRN ionization model used for the first time for a body that differs from the Earth. Results. The cosmic ray ionization is computed for five groups of cosmic rays, depending on their charge and mass: protons, alpha, Z = 8 (oxygen), Z = 14 (silicon), and Z = 26 (iron) nucleus. Protons and alpha particles ionize mainly at 65 km altitude, while the higher mass nucleons ionize at higher altitudes. Nevertheless, the ionization at higher altitude is insufficient to obscure the impact of Saturn s magnetosphere protons at a 500 km altitude. The ionization rate at the peak (altitude: 65 km, for all the different conditions) lies between 30 and 40/cu cm/s. Conclusions. These new computations show for the first time the importance of high Z cosmic rays on the ionization of the Titan atmosphere. The updated full ionization profile shape does not differ significantly from that found in our previous calculations (Paper I: Gronoff et al. 2009, 506, 955) but undergoes a strong increase in intensity below an altitude of 400 km, especially between 200 and 400 km altitude where alpha and heavier particles (in the cosmic ray spectrum) are responsible for 40% of the ionization. The comparison of several models of ionization and cosmic ray spectra (in

  14. Upper atmospheric gravity wave details revealed in nightglow satellite imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Steven D.; Straka, William C.; Yue, Jia; Smith, Steven M.; Alexander, M. Joan; Hoffmann, Lars; Setvák, Martin; Partain, Philip T.

    2015-01-01

    Gravity waves (disturbances to the density structure of the atmosphere whose restoring forces are gravity and buoyancy) comprise the principal form of energy exchange between the lower and upper atmosphere. Wave breaking drives the mean upper atmospheric circulation, determining boundary conditions to stratospheric processes, which in turn influence tropospheric weather and climate patterns on various spatial and temporal scales. Despite their recognized importance, very little is known about upper-level gravity wave characteristics. The knowledge gap is mainly due to lack of global, high-resolution observations from currently available satellite observing systems. Consequently, representations of wave-related processes in global models are crude, highly parameterized, and poorly constrained, limiting the description of various processes influenced by them. Here we highlight, through a series of examples, the unanticipated ability of the Day/Night Band (DNB) on the NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership environmental satellite to resolve gravity structures near the mesopause via nightglow emissions at unprecedented subkilometric detail. On moonless nights, the Day/Night Band observations provide all-weather viewing of waves as they modulate the nightglow layer located near the mesopause (∼90 km above mean sea level). These waves are launched by a variety of physical mechanisms, ranging from orography to convection, intensifying fronts, and even seismic and volcanic events. Cross-referencing the Day/Night Band imagery with conventional thermal infrared imagery also available helps to discern nightglow structures and in some cases to attribute their sources. The capability stands to advance our basic understanding of a critical yet poorly constrained driver of the atmospheric circulation. PMID:26630004

  15. TSSM: The in situ exploration of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coustenis, A.; Lunine, J. I.; Lebreton, J. P.; Matson, D.; Reh, K.; Beauchamp, P.; Erd, C.

    2008-09-01

    The Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) mission was born when NASA and ESA decided to collaborate on two missions independently selected by each agency: the Titan and Enceladus mission (TandEM), and Titan Explorer, a 2007 Flagship study. TandEM, the Titan and Enceladus mission, was proposed as an L-class (large) mission in response to ESA's Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Call. The mission concept is to perform remote and in situ investigations of Titan primarily, but also of Enceladus and Saturn's magentosphere. The two satellites are tied together by location and properties, whose remarkable natures have been partly revealed by the ongoing Cassini-Huygens mission. These bodies still hold mysteries requiring a complete exploration using a variety of vehicles and instruments. TSSM will study Titan as a system, including its upper atmosphere, the interactions with the magnetosphere, the neutral atmosphere, surface, interior, origin and evolution, as well as the astrobiological potential of Titan. It is an ambitious mission because its targets are two of the most exciting and challenging bodies in the Solar System. It is designed to build on but exceed the scientific and technological accomplishments of the Cassini- Huygens mission, exploring Titan and Enceladus in ways that are not currently possible (full close-up and in situ coverage over long periods of time for Titan, several close flybys of Enceladus). One overarching goal of the TSSM mission is to explore in situ the atmosphere and surface of Titan. In the current mission architecture, TSSM consists of an orbiter (under NASA's responsibility) with a large host of instruments which would perform several Enceladus and Titan flybys before stabilizing in an orbit around Titan alone, therein delivering in situ elements (a Montgolfière, or hot air balloon, and a probe/lander). The latter are being studied by ESA. The balloon will circumnavigate Titan above the equator at an altitude of about 10 km for several months. The

  16. A Direct Simulation Monte Carlo Model Of Thermal Escape From Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert E.; Tucker, O. J.

    2008-09-01

    Recent analysis of density profiles vs. altitude from the Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) on Cassini (Waite et al. 2005) suggest Titan could have loss a significant amount of atmosphere in 4 Gyr at present escape rates (e.g., Johnson 2008). Strobel 2008 applied a slow hydrodynamic escape model to Titan's atmosphere using solar heating below the exobase to drive upward thermal conduction and power escape. However, near the exobase continuum models become problematic as a result of the increasing rarefaction in the atmosphere. The microscopic nature of DSMC is directly suitable to model atmosphere flow in nominal exobase region (e.g., Michael et. al. 2005). Our Preliminary DSMC models have shown no evidence for slow hydrodynamic escape of N2 and CH4 from Titan's atmosphere using boundary conditions normalized to the atmospheric properties in Strobel (2008). In this paper we use a 1D radial Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) model of heating in Titan's upper atmosphere to estimate the escape rate as a function of the Jean's parameter. In this way we can test under what conditions the suggested deviations from Jeans escape would occur. In addition, we will be able to extract the necessary energy deposition to power the heavy molecule loss rates suggested in recent models (Strobel 2008; Yelle et. al. 2008). Michael, M. Johnson, R.E. 2005 Energy Deposition of pickup ions and heating of Titan's atmosphere. Planat. Sp. Sci. 53, 1510-1514 Johnson, R.E., "Sputtering and Heating of Titan's Upper Atmosphere", Proc Royal Soc. (London) (2008) Strobel, D.F. 2008 Titan's hydrodynamically escaping atmosphere. Icarus 193, 588-594 Yelle, R.V., J. Cui and I. C.F. Muller-Wodarg 2008 Methane Escape from Titan's Atmosphere. J. Geophys. Res in press Waite, J.H., Jr., Niemann, H.B., Yelle, R.V. et al. 2005 Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer Results from the First Flyby of Titan. Science 308, 982-986

  17. New upper limits for atmospheric constituents on Io

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, U.; Larson, H. P.; Gautier, T. N., III

    1976-01-01

    A spectrum of Io from 0.86 to 2.7 microns with a resolution of 3.36 per cm and a signal to rms noise ratio of 120 is presented. No absorptions due to any atmospheric constituents on Io could be found in the spectrum. Upper limits of 0.12 cm-atm for NH3, 0.12 cm-atm for CH4, 0.4 cm-atm for N2O, and 24 cm-atm for H2S were determined. Laboratory spectra of ammonia frosts as a function of temperature were compared with the spectrum of Io and showed this frost not to be present at the surface of Io. A search for possible resonance lines of carbon, silicon, and sulfur, as well as the 1.08-micron line of helium, proved negative. Upper emission limits of 60, 18, 27, and 60 kilorayleighs, respectively, were established for these lines.

  18. Pressure-induced absorption coefficients for radiative transfer calculations in Titan's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtin, Regis

    1988-01-01

    The semiempirical theory of Birnbaum and Cohen (1976) is used to calculate the FIR pressure-induced absorption (PIA) spectra of N2, CH4, N2 + Ar, N2 + CH4, and N2 + H2 under conditions like those in the Titan troposphere. The results are presented graphically and compared with published data from laboratory measurements of PIA in the same gases and mixtures (Dagg et al., 1986; Dore et al., 1986). Good agreement is obtained, with only a slight underestimation of PIA at 300-400/cm in the case of CH4. The absorption coefficients are presented in tables, and it is suggested that the present findings are of value for evaluating the effects of tropospheric clouds on the Titan FIR spectrum and studying the greenhouse effect near the Titan surface.

  19. Penetration of internal gravity waveguide modes into the upper atmosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rudenko G.V.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes internal gravity waveguide modes, using dissipative solutions above the source. We compare such a description with an accurate approach and a WKB approximation for dissipationless equations. For waveguide disturbances, dispersion relations calculated by any method are shown to be close to each other and to be in good agreement with observed characteristics of traveling ionospheric disturbances. Unlike other methods, dissipative solutions above the source allow us to adequately describe the spatial structure of disturbances in the upper atmosphere.

  20. Upper atmosphere research: Reaction rate and optical measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stief, L. J.; Allen, J. E., Jr.; Nava, D. F.; Payne, W. A., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    The objective is to provide photochemical, kinetic, and spectroscopic information necessary for photochemical models of the Earth's upper atmosphere and to examine reactions or reactants not presently in the models to either confirm the correctness of their exclusion or provide evidence to justify future inclusion in the models. New initiatives are being taken in technique development (many of them laser based) and in the application of established techniques to address gaps in the photochemical/kinetic data base, as well as to provide increasingly reliable information.

  1. A novel polarization interferometer for measuring upper atmospheric winds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ting-Kui, Mu; Chun-Min, Zhang

    2010-01-01

    A static polarization interferometer for measuring upper atmospheric winds is presented, based on two Savart plates with their optical axes perpendicular to each other. The principle and characteristics of the interferometer are described. The interferometer with a wide field of view can offer a stable benchmark optical path difference over a specified spectral region of 0.55–0.63 μm because there are no quarter wave plates. Since the instrument employs a straight line common-path configuration but without moving parts and slits, it is very compact, simple, inherently robust and has high throughput. The paper is limited to a theoretical analysis. (general)

  2. Infrared radiation in the energy balance of the upper atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gordiets, B.F.; Markov, M.N.

    1977-01-01

    The contribution of the infrared radiation to the energy balance of the Earth's upper atmosphere is discussed. The theoretical analysis has been carried out of the mechanisms of the transformation of the energy of outgoing particles and the ultraviolet-radiation of the Sun absorbed at the heights of Z >= 90 km into the infrared radiation. It is found out the the infrared radiation within the wave length range of 1.2-20 μ is more intensive that the 63 μ radiation of atomic oxygen and plays an important role in the general energy balance and the thermal regime of the thermosphere. It has been found out too that in the area of Z >= 120 km heights the radiation in the 5.3 μ NO band is the most intensive. This radiation is to be considered for the more accurate description of parameters of the atmosphere (temperature, density) conditioning the nature of the translocation of ionospheric sounds (ISS)

  3. A 2D-model of planetary atmospheres based on a collisional approach : application to Mars and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boqueho, V.; Blelly, P. L.; Peymirat, C.

    A 2D model of planetary atmospheres has been developed, based on a collisional approach. The multi-moment multi-species transport equations allow to study the atmospheric regions from the ground to the thermosphere and the exosphere in an only one self-consistent model. A 13-moment approximation is used: concentration, velocities, temperature, heat flows and stress tensor are then solved for each species. On Mars, we consider 8 species in the altitude - longitude plane, from surface to 450 km, the altitude above which atomic hydrogen becomes the major species. Main chemical and photodissociation processes are included, and thermal processes are considered above 80 km. On Titan, 3 species are considered in the altitude range 800 - 3000 km, and UV heating and HCN radiative cooling are accounted for. Different solar conditions have been considered, and simulations have been performed in the equatorial region. Results of the model for Mars are compared to Viking and Mariner data and to Bougher et al. [1988] model. Concerning Titan, the results are compared to Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000] model. Temperature profiles on Mars appear to be consistent with experimental data, but horizontal winds are very different from Bougher et al. [1988]. On Titan, results appear to be close to Müller-Wodarg et al. [2000] in the thermosphere; nevertheless, the change in the behavior above the exobase is as important as on Mars. The differences between models are analyzed, and contributions of a multi-moment multi-species approach in 2D are discussed.

  4. The effect of different atmospheres on structural changes of titanate nanotubes during heating

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Václavů, T.; Rudajevová, A.; Václavů, M.; Daniš, S.; Popelková, Daniela; Kužel, R.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 128, č. 2 (2017), s. 779-785 ISSN 1388-6150 Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : titanate nanotubes * X-ray diffraction * thermal analysis Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry OBOR OECD: Polymer science Impact factor: 1.953, year: 2016

  5. A Model of Titan-like Chemistry to Connect Experiments and Cassini Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Alexander W.; Sciamma-O’Brien, Ella; Salama, Farid; Mazur, Eric

    2018-02-01

    A numerical model is presented for interpreting the chemical pathways that lead to the experimental mass spectra acquired in the Titan Haze Simulation (THS) laboratory experiments and for comparing the electron density and temperature of the THS plasma to observations made at Titan by the Cassini spacecraft. The THS plasma is a pulsed glow-discharge experiment designed to simulate the reaction of N2/CH4-dominated gas in Titan's upper atmosphere. The transient, one-dimensional model of THS chemistry tracks the evolution of more than 120 species in the direction of the plasma flow. As the minor species C2H2 and C2H4 are added to the N2/CH4-based mixture, the model correctly predicts the emergence of reaction products with up to five carbon atoms in relative abundances that agree well with measured mass spectra. Chemical growth in Titan's upper atmosphere transpires through ion–neutral and neutral–neutral chemistry, and the main reactions involving a series of known atmospheric species are retrieved from the calculation. The model indicates that the electron density and chemistry are steady during more than 99% of the 300 μs long discharge pulse. The model also suggests that the THS ionization fraction and electron temperature are comparable to those measured in Titan's upper atmosphere. These findings reaffirm that the THS plasma is a controlled analog environment for studying the first and intermediate steps of chemistry in Titan's upper atmosphere.

  6. What Does Titan's Atmosphere Look Like Near The Poles At The End Of The Cassini Mission ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nixon, C. A.; Coustenis, A.; Jennings, D. E.; Achterberg, R. K.; Bampasidis, G.; Cottini, V.; Flasar, F. M.; Lavvas, P.

    2017-12-01

    The Cassini mission ends on Sept. 15, 2017, after - among other - 127 targeted Titan flybys. We have monitored the seasonal evolution near Titan's poles during the mission. Titan's North pole had been enhanced in chemical species since the beginning of the observations, but since 2010, we observe at Titan's south pole a strong temperature decrease and the onset of a dramatic enhancement of several trace species such as complex hydrocarbons and nitriles (HC3N and C6H6 in particular) previously observed only at high northern latitudes (Coustenis et al. 2016 and references therein). This is due to the transition of Titan's seasons from northern winter in 2002 to northern summer in 2017 and, at the same time, the advent of winter in the south pole, during which time species with longer chemical lifetimes remain in the north for a little longer undergoing slow photochemical destruction, while those with shorter lifetimes disappear, reappearing in the south. An opposite effect has been expected in the North, but not observed with any significant certainty until 2016. We present here an analysis of nadir spectra acquired by Cassini/CIRS (Jennings et al., 2017) at high resolution in the past years and describe the newly observed decrease in chemical abundances of the components in the North. From 2013 until 2016, the Northern polar region has shown a temperature increase of 10 K, while the South had shown a more significant decrease in a similar period of time. The chemical content in the North is finally showing a clear depletion for most molecules since 2015 (Coustenis et al., 2017). References: Coustenis et al., 2016, Icarus 270, 409-420 ; Coustenis et al., 2017, submitted; Jennings et al., 2017, Applied Optics 56, no 18, 5274-5294.

  7. CO concentration in the upper stratosphere and mesosphere of Titan from VIMS dayside limb observations at 4.7 μm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabiano, F.; López Puertas, M.; Adriani, A.; Moriconi, M. L.; D'Aversa, E.; Funke, B.; López-Valverde, M. A.; Ridolfi, M.; Dinelli, B. M.

    2017-09-01

    During the last 30 years, many works have focused on the determination of the CO abundance in Titan's atmosphere, but no measurement above 300 km has been done yet due to the faint signal of CO. Nevertheless, such measurements are particularly awaited as a confirmation of photochemical models predictions that CO is uniformly mixed in the whole atmosphere. Moreover, since CO is the main atmospheric reservoir of oxygen, its actual abundance has implications on the origins of Titan's atmosphere. In this work, we analyse a set of Cassini VIMS daytime limb observations of Titan at 4.7 μm, which is dominated by solar-pumped non-LTE (non-local thermodynamic equilibrium) emission of CO ro-vibrational bands. In order to retrieve the CO abundance from these observations, we developed a non-LTE model for the CO vibrational levels. The retrieval of the CO concentration is performed following a bayesian approach and using the calculated non-LTE populations. The data set analysed consists of 47 limb scanning sequences -about 1500 spectra- acquired by VIMS in 2006 and 2007. CO relative abundance profiles from 200 to 500 km are obtained, for each set analysed. The mean result shows no significant variations with altitude and is consistent with the prediction of a well-mixed vertical profile. However, if compared with Earth-based mm measurements, a small vertical gradient is plausible.

  8. Cosmic ray induced charged particle albedos in the upper atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bhatnagar, S.P.; Verma, S.D.

    1982-01-01

    There are several observations made in balloon and satellite experiments of relativistic albedo electrons in 50 to 10,000 MeV energy region. The spectrum of these electrons is a power law with negative exponent. At lower energies, 1 to 50 MeV region theoretical evaluations indicate that their energy spectrum will have a similar shape, thus the flux at low energies will be much higher. The only spectrum measurements available below 20 MeV were taken at Ft. Churchill by Hovestadt and Meyer (1969). The flux and energy spectrum of the Re-entrant albedos electrons have been calculated in the energy range 3-50 MeV for Ft. Churchill, Canada, Palestein, Texas and Hyderabad, India, and are presented. The angular distribution of re-entrant electrons in the upper atmosphere is not yet observed, however Kurnosova et. al. (1979) have measured the Vertical and Horizontal integral flux at Hyderabad, India

  9. A Pilot Study of Ion - Molecule Reactions at Temperatures Relevant to the Atmosphere of Titan

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Zymak, Illia; Žabka, Ján; Polášek, Miroslav; Španěl, Patrik; Smith, D.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 46, č. 4 (2016), s. 533-538 ISSN 0169-6149 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-19693S Grant - others:COST(XE) TD1308 Institutional support: RVO:61388955 Keywords : titan ionosphere * variable temperature selected ions flow tube * ion-molecule reactions Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry Impact factor: 1.000, year: 2016

  10. THE VARIABILITY OF HCN IN TITAN’S UPPER ATMOSPHERE AS IMPLIED BY THE CASSINI ION-NEUTRAL MASS SPECTROMETER MEASUREMENTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cui, J.; Cao, Y.-T. [National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012 (China); Lavvas, P. P. [Groupe de Spectroscopie Moleculaire et Atmospherique, Universite de Reims, Champagne-Ardenne, CNRS UMR F-7331 (France); Koskinen, T. T. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2016-07-20

    HCN is an important constituent in Titan’s upper atmosphere, serving as the main coolant in the local energy budget. In this study, we derive the HCN abundance at the altitude range of 960–1400 km, combining the Ion-Neutral Mass Spectrometer data acquired during a large number of Cassini flybys with Titan. Typically, the HCN abundance declines modestly with increasing altitude and flattens to a near constant level above 1200 km. The data reveal a tendency for dayside depletion of HCN, which is clearly visible below 1000 km but weakens with increasing altitude. Despite the absence of convincing anti-correlation between HCN volume mixing ratio and neutral temperature, we argue that the variability in HCN abundance makes an important contribution to the large temperature variability observed in Titan’s upper atmosphere.

  11. Angular dependent transport of auroral electrons in the upper atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lummerzheim, D.; Rees, M.H.

    1989-01-01

    The transport of auroral electrons through the upper atmosphere is analyzed. The transport equation is solved using a discrete ordinate method including elastic and inelastic scattering of electrons resulting in changes of pitch angle, and degradation in energy as the electrons penetrate into the atmosphere. The transport equation is solved numerically for the electron intensity as a function of altitude, pitch angle, and energy. In situ measurements of the pitch angle and energy distribution of precipitating electrons over an auroral arc provide boundary conditions for the calculation. The electron spectra from various locations over the aurora present a variety of anisotropic pitch angle distributions and energy spectra. Good agreement is found between the observed backscattered electron energy spectra and model predictions. Differences occur at low energies (below 500 eV) in the structure of the pitch angle distribution. Model calculations were carried out with various different phase functions for elastic and inelastic collisions to attempt changing the angular scattering, but the observed pitch angle distributions remain unexplained. We suggest that mechanisms other than collisional scattering influence the angular distribution of auroral electrons at or below 300 km altitude in the low energy domain. (author)

  12. Vertical Structure and Optical Properties of Titans Aerosols from Radiance Measurements Made Inside and Outside the Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doose, Lyn R.; Karkoschka, Erich; Tomasko, Martin G.; Anderson, Carrie M.

    2017-01-01

    Prompted by the detection of stratospheric cloud layers by Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS; see Anderson, C.M., Samuelson, R.E. [2011]. Icarus 212, 762-778), we have re-examined the observations made by the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer (DISR) in the atmosphere of Titan together with two constraints from measurements made outside the atmosphere. No evidence of thin layers (measured from outside the atmosphere the decrease in the single scattering albedo of Titan's aerosols at high altitudes, noted in earlier studies of DISR data, must continue to much higher altitudes. The altitude of Titan's limb as a function of wavelength requires that the scale height of the aerosols decrease with altitude from the 65 km value seen in the DISR observations below 140 km to the 45 km value at higher altitudes. We compared the variation of radiance with nadir angle observed in the DISR images to improve our aerosol model. Our new aerosol model fits the altitude and wavelength variations of the observations at small and intermediate nadir angles but not for large nadir angles, indicating an effect that is not reproduced by our radiative transfer model. The volume extinction profiles are modeled by continuous functions except near the enhancement level near 55 km altitude. The wavelength dependence of the extinction optical depth is similar to earlier results at wavelengths from 500 to 700 nm, but is smaller at shorter wavelengths and larger toward longer wavelengths. A Hapke-like model is used for the ground reflectivity, and the variation of the Hapke single scattering albedo with wavelength is given. Fits to the visible spectrometers looking upward and downward are achieved except in the methane bands longward of 720 nm. This is possibly due to uncertainties in extrapolation of laboratory measurements from 1 km-am paths to much longer paths at lower pressures. It could also be due to changes in the single scattering phase functions at low altitudes, which

  13. THE ν8 BENDING MODE OF DIACETYLENE: FROM LABORATORY SPECTROSCOPY TO THE DETECTION OF 13C ISOTOPOLOGUES IN TITAN'S ATMOSPHERE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jolly, A.; Benilan, Y.; Fayt, A.; Jacquemart, D.; Nixon, C. A.; Jennings, D. E.

    2010-01-01

    The strong ν 8 band of diacetylene at 627.9 cm -1 has been investigated to improve the spectroscopic line data used to model the observations, particularly in Titan's atmosphere by Cassini/Composite Infrared Spectrometer. Spectra have first been recorded in the laboratory at 0.5 and 0.1 cm -1 resolution and temperature as low as 193 K. Previous analysis and line lists present in the GEISA database appeared to be insufficient to model the measured spectra in terms of intensity and hot band features. To improve the situation and in order to be able to take into account all rovibrational transitions with a non-negligible intensity, a global analysis of C 4 H 2 has been carried out to improve the description of the energy levels up to E v = 1900 cm -1 . The result is a new extensive line list which enables us to model very precisely the temperature variation as well as the numerous hot band features observed in the laboratory spectra. One additional feature, observed at 622.3 cm -1 , was assigned to the ν 6 mode of a 13 C isotopologue of diacetylene. The ν 8 bands of both 13 C isotopomers were also identified in the 0.1 cm -1 resolution spectrum. Finally, a 13 C/C 4 H 2 line list was added to the model for comparison with the observed spectra of Titan. We obtain a clear detection of 13 C monosubstituted diacetylene at 622.3 cm -1 and 627.5 cm -1 (blended ν 8 bands), deriving a mean 12 C/ 13 C isotopic ratio of 90 ± 8. This value agrees with the terrestrial (89.4, inorganic standard) and giant planet values (88 ± 7), but is only marginally consistent with the bulk carbon value in Titan's atmosphere, measured in CH 4 by Huygens GCMS to be 82 ± 1, indicating that isotopic fractionation during chemical processing may be occurring, as suggested for ethane formation.

  14. A retrieved upper limit of CS in Neptune's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iino, T.; Mizuno, A.; Nagahama, T.; Hirota, A.; Nakajima, T.

    2012-12-01

    We present our new result of CS(J=7-6), CO(J=3-2) observations of Neptune's atmosphere carried out with 10-m ASTE sub-mm waveband telescope on August 2010. As a result, while CS line was not detected with 6.4 mK 1-sigma r.m.s. noise level, CO line was detected as 282 mK with 9.7 mK noise level in antenna temperature scale. All of the observations were carried out with 512 MHz bandwidth and 500 kHz resolution, the total integration time for CS and CO were 23 m 40 s and 11 m 00 s, respectively. Abundances have been obtained from the comparison between the intensity and the synthesis spectra modeled by plane parallel 1-D radiative transfer code assuming various mixing ratio of each gas. The retrieved upper limit of CS mixing ratio was 0.03 ppb throughout tropopause to stratosphere. CO mixing ratio have been retrieved 1.0 ppm with errors +0.3 and -0.2 ppm, and the result was consistent with previous observation [1]. The origin of abundant CO in Neptune's atmosphere has been long discussed since its mixing ratio is 30 - 500 times higher than the value of other gas giants [2][3][4]. Assuming that all of CO is produced by thermochemical equilibrium process in deep interior of Neptune, required O/H value in interior is 440 times higher than the solar value [5]. For this reason, it is claimed that the external CO supply source, such as the impact of comet or asteroid, is also the possible candidates of the origin of CO along with the internal supply source [6]. In this observation, we searched the remnant gas of cometary impact in Neptune's atmosphere. Along with CO and HCN, CS could be one of the possible candidate of the remnant gas of cometary impact since CS was largely produced after the impact of comet SL/9 on Jupiter while many other major sulfur compounds have not been detected. Actually, derived L37-40. [7]Moreno et al., 2003. Planetary and Space Sciences 51, 591-611 [8]Zahnle et al.,1995. GRL 22, 1593-1596 [9]Feuchtgruber et al., 1999. Proceeding of the conference

  15. Hubble Observes Surface of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    's first flyby of Titan, the spacecraft is to release the European Space Agency's Huygens Probe to parachute to Titan's surface. Images like Smith's team has taken of Titan can be used to identify choice landing spots - - and help engineers and scientists understand how Titan's winds will blow the parachute through the satellite's atmosphere.UA scientists play major roles in the Cassini mission: Carolyn C. Porco, an associate professor at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, leads the 14-member Cassini Imaging Team. Jonathan I. Lunine, also an associate professor at the lab, is the only American selected by the European Space Agency to be on the three-member Huygens Probe interdisciplinary science team. Smith is a member of research professor Martin G. Tomasko's international team of scientists who will image the surface of Titan in visible light and in color with the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer, one of five instruments in the Huygens Probe's French, German, Italian and U.S. experiment payload. Senior research associate Lyn R. Doose is also on Tomasko's team. Lunine and LPL professor Donald M. Hunten are members of the science team for another U.S. instrument on that payload, the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer. Hunten was on the original Cassini mission science definition team back in 1983.PHOTO CAPTION: Four global projections of the HST Titan data, separated in longitude by 90 degrees. Upper left: hemisphere facing Saturn. Upper right: leading hemisphere (brightest region). Lower left: the hemisphere which never faces Saturn. Lower right: trailing hemisphere. Not that these assignments assume that the rotation is synchronous. The imaging team says its data strongly support this assumption -- a longer time baseline is needed for proof. The surface near the poles is never visible to an observer in Titan's equatorial plane because of the large optical path.The Wide Field/Planetary Camera 2 was developed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and managed by the Goddard

  16. Titan's organic chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, C.; Thompson, W. R.; Khare, B. N.

    1985-01-01

    Voyager discovered nine simple organic molecules in the atmosphere of Titan. Complex organic solids, called tholins, produced by irradiation of the simulated Titanian atmosphere, are consistent with measured properties of Titan from ultraviolet to microwave frequencies and are the likely main constituents of the observed red aerosols. The tholins contain many of the organic building blocks central to life on earth. At least 100-m, and possibly kms thicknesses of complex organics have been produced on Titan during the age of the solar system, and may exist today as submarine deposits beneath an extensive ocean of simple hydrocarbons.

  17. Microbes in the upper atmosphere and unique opportunities for astrobiology research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David J

    2013-10-01

    Microbial taxa from every major biological lineage have been detected in Earth's upper atmosphere. The goal of this review is to communicate (1) relevant astrobiology questions that can be addressed with upper atmosphere microbiology studies and (2) available sampling methods for collecting microbes at extreme altitudes. Precipitation, mountain stations, airplanes, balloons, rockets, and satellites are all feasible routes for conducting aerobiology research. However, more efficient air samplers are needed, and contamination is also a pervasive problem in the field. Measuring microbial signatures without false positives in the upper atmosphere might contribute to sterilization and bioburden reduction methods for proposed astrobiology missions. Intriguingly, environmental conditions in the upper atmosphere resemble the surface conditions of Mars (extreme cold, hypobaria, desiccation, and irradiation). Whether terrestrial microbes are active in the upper atmosphere is an area of intense research interest. If, in fact, microbial metabolism, growth, or replication is achievable independent of Earth's surface, then the search for habitable zones on other worlds should be broadened to include atmospheres (e.g., the high-altitude clouds of Venus). Furthermore, viable cells in the heavily irradiated upper atmosphere of Earth could help identify microbial genes or enzymes that bestow radiation resistance. Compelling astrobiology questions on the origin of life (if the atmosphere synthesized organic aerosols), evolution (if airborne transport influenced microbial mutation rates and speciation), and panspermia (outbound or inbound) are also testable in Earth's upper atmosphere.

  18. Incoherent scatter studies of upper atmosphere dynamics and coding technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haeggstroem, Ingemar.

    1990-09-01

    Observations by the EISCAT incoherent scatter radar are used to study the dynamics of the auroral upper atmosphere. The study describes some effects of the strong plasma convection occurring at these latitudes and a new coding technique for incoherent scatter radars. A technique to determine the thermospheric neutral wind from incoherent scatter measurements is described. Simultaneous Fabry-Perot interferometer measurements of the wind are compared with those derived from the radar data. F-region electron density depletions in the afternoon/evening sector of the auroral zone, identified as the main ionospheric trough, are investigated. In a statistical study, based on wide latitude scanning experiment made at solar minimum, the trough appearance at a given latitude is compared to the geomagnetic index K p , and an empirical model predicting the latitude of the trough is proposed. Detailed studies, using different experiment modes, show that the equatorward edge of the auroral oval is co-located of up to 1 degree poleward of the trough minimum, which in turn is co-located with the peak convective electric field, with its boundary 1 degree - 2 degree equatorward of the trough minimum. It is shown that the F-region ion composition changes from pure 0 + to molecular ion dominated (NO + /O 2 + ) as the trough moves into the region probed by the radar. In a special case, where a geomagnetic sudden impulse caused an expansion of the plasma convection pattern, the equatorward trough progression is studied together with ionosonde measurements. A new coding technique for incoherent scatter radar measurement is introduced and described. The method, called alternating codes, provides significantly more accurate estimates of the plasma parameters than can be obtained by frequency commutated multipulse measurements. Simple explanations of the method are given as well as a precise definition. Two examples of application of the alternating codes are presented, showing the high

  19. Corona discharge experiments in admixtures of N{sub 2} and CH{sub 4}: a laboratory simulation of Titan's atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horvath, G; Skalny, J D; Klas, M; Zahoran, M [Department of Experimental Physics, Comenius University, Mlynska dolina F-2, 842 48 Bratislava (Slovakia); Mason, N J [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Open University, Walton Hall, MK7 6AA, Milton Keynes (United Kingdom); Vladoiu, R; Manole, M [Ovidius University Constanta, B - dul Mamaia 124, 900527 Constanta (Romania)], E-mail: horeszka@gmail.com

    2009-08-15

    A positive corona discharge fed by a N{sub 2} : CH{sub 4} mixture (98 : 2) at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature has been studied as a laboratory mimic of the chemical processes occurring in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. In situ measurements of UV and IR transmission spectra within the discharge have shown that the main chemical product is C{sub 2}H{sub 2}, produced by dissociation of CH{sub 4}, with small but significant traces of ethane and HCN, all species that have been detected in Titan's atmosphere. A small amount (0.2%) of CH{sub 4} was decomposed after 12 min of treatment requiring an average energy of 2.7 kWh g{sup -1}. After 14 min the discharge was terminated due to the formation of a solid yellow deposit on the central wire electrode. Such a deposit is similar to that observed in other discharges and is believed to be an analogue of the aerosol and dust observed in Titan's atmosphere and is composed of chemical species commonly known as 'tholins'. We have also explored the electrical properties of the discharge. The admixture of methane into nitrogen caused an increase in the onset voltage of the discharge and consequently led to a reduction in the measured discharge current.

  20. NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP) and Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP): Research Summaries 1997-1999

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurylo, M. J.; DeCola, P. L.; Kaye, J. A.

    2000-01-01

    Under the mandate contained in the FY 1976 NASA Authorization Act, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed and is implementing a comprehensive program of research, technology development, and monitoring of the Earth's upper atmosphere, with emphasis on the upper troposphere and stratosphere. This program aims at expanding our chemical and physical understanding to permit both the quantitative analysis of current perturbations as well as the assessment of possible future changes in this important region of our environment. It is carried out jointly by the Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP) and the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP), both managed within the Research Division in the Office of Earth Science at NASA. Significant contributions to this effort have also been provided by the Atmospheric Effects of Aviation Project (AEAP) of NASA's Office of Aero-Space Technology. The long-term objectives of the present program are to perform research to: understand the physics, chemistry, and transport processes of the upper troposphere and the stratosphere and their control on the distribution of atmospheric chemical species such as ozone; assess possible perturbations to the composition of the atmosphere caused by human activities and natural phenomena (with a specific emphasis on trace gas geographical distributions, sources, and sinks and the role of trace gases in defining the chemical composition of the upper atmosphere); understand the processes affecting the distributions of radiatively active species in the atmosphere, and the importance of chemical-radiative-dynamical feedbacks on the meteorology and climatology of the stratosphere and troposphere; and understand ozone production, loss, and recovery in an atmosphere with increasing abundances of greenhouse gases. The current report is composed of two parts. Part 1 summarizes the objectives, status, and accomplishments of the research tasks supported

  1. Heavy Ion Formation in Titan's Ionosphere: Magnetospheric Introduction of Free Oxygen and a Source of Titan's Aerosols?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sittler, E. C., Jr.; Ali, A.; Cooper, J. F.; Hartle, R. E.; Johnson, R. E.; Coates, A. J.; Young, D. T.

    2009-01-01

    Discovery by Cassini's plasma instrument of heavy positive and negative ions within Titan's upper atmosphere and ionosphere has advanced our understanding of ion neutral chemistry within Titan's upper atmosphere, primarily composed of molecular nitrogen, with approx.2.5% methane. The external energy flux transforms Titan's upper atmosphere and ionosphere into a medium rich in complex hydrocarbons, nitriles and haze particles extending from the surface to 1200 km altitudes. The energy sources are solar UV, solar X-rays, Saturn's magnetospheric ions and electrons, solar wind and shocked magnetosheath ions and electrons, galactic cosmic rays (CCR) and the ablation of incident meteoritic dust from Enceladus' E-ring and interplanetary medium. Here it is proposed that the heavy atmospheric ions detected in situ by Cassini for heights >950 km, are the likely seed particles for aerosols detected by the Huygens probe for altitudes <100km. These seed particles may be in the form of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) containing both carbon and hydrogen atoms CnHx. There could also be hollow shells of carbon atoms, such as C60, called fullerenes which contain no hydrogen. The fullerenes may compose a significant fraction of the seed particles with PAHs contributing the rest. As shown by Cassini, the upper atmosphere is bombarded by magnetospheric plasma composed of protons, H(2+) and water group ions. The latter provide keV oxygen, hydroxyl and water ions to Titan's upper atmosphere and can become trapped within the fullerene molecules and ions. Pickup keV N(2+), N(+) and CH(4+) can also be implanted inside of fullerenes. Attachment of oxygen ions to PAH molecules is uncertain, but following thermalization O(+) can interact with abundant CH4 contributing to the CO and CO2 observed in Titan's atmosphere. If an exogenic keV O(+) ion is implanted into the haze particles, it could become free oxygen within those aerosols that eventually fall onto Titan's surface. The process

  2. Titan Montgolfiere Terrestrial Test Bed, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — With the Titan Saturn System Mission, NASA is proposing to send a Montgolfiere balloon to probe the atmosphere of Titan. To better plan this mission and create a...

  3. Titan Montgolfiere Terrestrial Test Bed, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — With the Titan Saturn System Mission, NASA is proposing to send a Montgolfiere balloon to probe the atmosphere of Titan. In order to better plan this mission and...

  4. The Greenhouse and Anti-Greenhouse Effects on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, C. P.; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and is the only moon in the solar system with a substantial atmosphere. Its atmosphere is mostly made of nitrogen, with a few percent CH4, 0.1% H2 and an uncertain level of Ar (less than 10%). The surface pressure is 1.5 atms and the surface temperature is 95 K, decreasing to 71 at the tropopause before rising to stratospheric temperatures of 180 K. In pressure and composition Titan's atmosphere is the closest twin to Earth's. The surface of Titan remains unknown, hidden by the thick smog layer, but it may be an ocean of liquid methane and ethane. Titan's atmosphere has a greenhouse effect which is much stronger than the Earth's - 92% of the surface warming is due to greenhouse radiation. However an organic smog layer in the upper atmosphere produces an anti-greenhouse effect that cuts the greenhouse warming in half - removing 35% of the incoming solar radiation. Models suggest that during its formation Titan's atmosphere was heated to high temperatures due to accretional energy. This was followed by a cold Triton-like period which gradually warmed to the present conditions. The coupled greenhouse and haze anti-greenhouse may be relevant to recent suggestions for haze shielding of a CH4 - NH3 early atmosphere on Earth or Mars. When the NASA/ESA mission to the Saturn System, Cassini, launches in a few years it will carry a probe that will be sent to the surface of Titan and show us this world that is strange and yet in many ways similar to our own.

  5. New accurate theoretical line lists of 12CH4 and 13CH4 in the 0-13400 cm-1 range: Application to the modeling of methane absorption in Titan's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, Michaël; Nikitin, Andrei V.; Bézard, Bruno; Rannou, Pascal; Coustenis, Athena; Tyuterev, Vladimir G.

    2018-03-01

    The spectrum of methane is very important for the analysis and modeling of Titan's atmosphere but its insufficient knowledge in the near infrared, with the absence of reliable absorption coefficients, is an important limitation. In order to help the astronomer community for analyzing high-quality spectra, we report in the present work the first accurate theoretical methane line lists (T = 50-350 K) of 12CH4 and 13CH4 up to 13400 cm-1 ( > 0.75 μm). These lists are built from extensive variational calculations using our recent ab initio potential and dipole moment surfaces and will be freely accessible via the TheoReTS information system (http://theorets.univ-reims.fr, http://theorets.tsu.ru). Validation of these lists is presented throughout the present paper. For the sample of lines where upper energies were available from published analyses of experimental laboratory 12CH4 spectra, small empirical corrections in positions were introduced that could be useful for future high-resolution applications. We finally apply the TheoRetS line list to model Titan spectra as observed by VIMS and by DISR, respectively onboard Cassini and Huygens. These data are used to check that the TheoReTS line lists are able to model observations. We also make comparisons with other experimental or theoretical line lists. It appears that TheoRetS gives very reliable results better than ExoMol and even than HITRAN2012, except around 1.6 μm where it gives very similar results. We conclude that TheoReTS is suitable to be used for the modeling of planetary radiative transfer and photometry. A re-analysis of spectra recorded by the DISR instrument during the descent of the Huygens probe suggests that the CH4 mixing ratio decreases with altitude in Titan's stratosphere, reaching a value of ∼10-2 above the 110 km altitude.

  6. Chemistry in Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plessis, S.; Carrasco, N.; Pernot, P.

    2009-04-01

    , D.A. Gell, H.B. Niemann, I.C.F. Müller-Wodarg, N. Borggren, G.G. Fletcher, E.L. Patrick, E. Raaen, and B.A. Magee. Analysis of Titan's neutral upper atmosphere from Cassini ion neutral mass spectrometer measurements. Icarus, In Press, Accepted Manuscript:-, 2008. [2] V. Vuitton, R. V. Yelle, and M.J. McEwan. Ion chemistry and N-containing molecules in Titan's upper atmosphere. Icarus, 191:722-742, 2007. [3] V. De La Haye, J.H. Waite Jr., T.E. Cravens, I.P. Robertson, and S. Lebonnois. Coupled ion and neutral rotating model of Titan's upper atmosphere. Icarus, 197(1):110 - 136, 2008. [4] J. B. A. Mitchell, C. Rebrion-Rowe, J. L. Le Garrec, G. Angelova, H. Bluhme, K. Seiersen, and L. H. Andersen. Branching ratios for the dissociative recombination of hydrocarbon ions. I: The cases of C4H9+ and C4H5+. International Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 227(2):273-279, June 2003. [5] N. Carrasco and P. Pernot. Modeling of branching ratio uncertainty in chemical networks by Dirichlet distributions. Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 11(18):3507-3512, 2007.

  7. Formation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Nitrogen Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds in Titan's Atmosphere, the Interstellar Medium and Combustion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landera, Alexander

    2013-12-01

    Several different mechanisms leading to the formation of (substituted) naphthalene and azanaphthalenes were examined using theoretical quantum chemical calculations. As a result, a series of novel synthetic routes to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Nitrogen Containing Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (N-PACs) have been proposed. On Earth, these aromatic compounds originate from incomplete combustion and are released into our environment, where they are known to be major pollutants, often with carcinogenic properties. In the atmosphere of a Saturn's moon Titan, these PAH and N-PACs are believed to play a critical role in organic haze formation, as well as acting as chemical precursors to biologically relevant molecules. The theoretical calculations were performed by employing the ab initio G3(MP2,CC)/B3LYP/6-311G** method to effectively probe the Potential Energy Surfaces (PES) relevant to the PAH and N-PAC formation. Following the construction of the PES, Rice-Ramsperger-Kassel-Markus (RRKM) theory was used to evaluate all unimolecular rate constants as a function of collision energy under single-collision conditions. Branching ratios were then evaluated by solving phenomenological rate expressions for the various product concentrations. The most viable pathways to PAH and N-PAC formation were found to be those where the initial attack by the ethynyl (C2H) or cyano (CN) radical toward a unsaturated hydrocarbon molecule led to the formation of an intermediate which could not effectively lose a hydrogen atom. It is not until ring cyclization has occurred, that hydrogen elimination leads to a closed shell product. By quenching the possibility of the initial hydrogen atom elimination, one of the most competitive processes preventing the PAH or N-PAC formation was avoided, and the PAH or N-PAC formation was allowed to proceed. It is concluded that these considerations should be taken into account when attempting to explore any other potential routes towards

  8. Titan's Ammonia Feature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smythe, W.; Nelson, R.; Boryta, M.; Choukroun, M.

    2011-01-01

    NH3 has long been considered an important component in the formation and evolution of the outer planet satellites. NH3 is particularly important for Titan, since it may serve as the reservoir for atmospheric nitrogen. A brightening seen on Titan starting in 2004 may arise from a transient low-lying fog or surface coating of ammonia. The spectral shape suggests the ammonia is anhydrous, a molecule that hydrates quickly in the presence of water.

  9. WATER FORMATION IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE OF THE EARLY EARTH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fleury, Benjamin; Carrasco, Nathalie; Marcq, Emmanuel; Vettier, Ludovic; Määttänen, Anni, E-mail: benjamin.fleury@latmos.ipsl.fr [Université Versailles St-Quentin, Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, CNRS/INSU, LATMOS-IPSL, 11 Boulevard d’Alembert, F-78280 Guyancourt (France)

    2015-07-10

    The water concentration and distribution in the early Earth's atmosphere are important parameters that contribute to the chemistry and the radiative budget of the atmosphere. If the atmosphere above the troposphere is generally considered as dry, photochemistry is known to be responsible for the production of numerous minor species. Here we used an experimental setup to study the production of water in conditions simulating the chemistry above the troposphere of the early Earth with an atmospheric composition based on three major molecules: N{sub 2}, CO{sub 2}, and H{sub 2}. The formation of gaseous products was monitored using infrared spectroscopy. Water was found as the major product, with approximately 10% of the gas products detected. This important water formation is discussed in the context of the early Earth.

  10. Upper-Atmospheric Space and Earth Weather Experiment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The USEWX project is seeking to monitor, record, and distribute atmospheric measurements of the radiation environment by installing a variety of dosimeters and other...

  11. Long-term trends in the ionosphere and upper atmosphere parameters

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bremer, J.; Alfonsi, L.; Pal, B.; Laštovička, Jan; Mikhailov, A. V.; Rogers, N.

    47 /suppl./, 2/3 (2004), s. 1009-1029 ISSN 1593-5213. [Final Meeting COST271 Action. Effects of the upper atmosphere on terrestrial and Earth-space communications (EACOS). Abingdon, 26.08.2004-27.08.2004] R&D Projects: GA MŠk OC 271.10 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z3042911 Keywords : long-term trends * ionosphere * upper atmosphere Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 0.413, year: 2004

  12. Emerging pattern of global change in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Laštovička

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available In the upper atmosphere, greenhouse gases produce a cooling effect, instead of a warming effect. Increases in greenhouse gas concentrations are expected to induce substantial changes in the mesosphere, thermosphere, and ionosphere, including a thermal contraction of these layers. In this article we construct for the first time a pattern of the observed long-term global change in the upper atmosphere, based on trend studies of various parameters. The picture we obtain is qualitative, and contains several gaps and a few discrepancies, but the overall pattern of observed long-term changes throughout the upper atmosphere is consistent with model predictions of the effect of greenhouse gas increases. Together with the large body of lower atmospheric trend research, our synthesis indicates that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are affecting the atmosphere at nearly all altitudes between ground and space.

  13. Towards a converged barrier height for the entrance channel transition state of the N( 2D) + CH 4 reaction and its implication for the chemistry in Titan's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouk, Chanda-Malis; Zvereva-Loëte, Natalia; Bussery-Honvault, Béatrice

    2011-10-01

    The N( 2D) + CH 4 reaction appears to be a key reaction for the chemistry of Titan's atmosphere, opening the door to nitrile formation as recently observed by the Cassini-Huygens mission. Faced to the controversy concerning the existence or not of a potential barrier for this reaction, we have carried out accurate ab initio calculations by means of multi-state multi-reference configuration interaction (MS-MR-SDCI) method. These calculations have been partially corrected for the size-consistency errors (SCE) by Davidson, Pople or AQCC corrections. We suggest a barrier height of 3.86 ± 0.84 kJ/mol, including ZPE, for the entrance transition state, in good agreement with the experimental value. Its implication in Titan's atmopsheric chemistry is discussed.

  14. Molecular weight growth in Titan's atmosphere: branching pathways for the reaction of 1-propynyl radical (H3CC≡C˙) with small alkenes and alkynes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Benjamin B; Savee, John D; Trevitt, Adam J; Osborn, David L; Wilson, Kevin R

    2015-08-28

    The reaction of small hydrocarbon radicals (i.e.˙CN, ˙C2H) with trace alkenes and alkynes is believed to play an important role in molecular weight growth and ultimately the formation of Titan's characteristic haze. Current photochemical models of Titan's atmosphere largely assume hydrogen atom abstraction or unimolecular hydrogen elimination reactions dominate the mechanism, in contrast to recent experiments that reveal significant alkyl radical loss pathways during reaction of ethynyl radical (˙C2H) with alkenes and alkynes. In this study, the trend is explored for the case of a larger ethynyl radical analogue, the 1-propynyl radical (H3CC[triple bond, length as m-dash]C˙), a likely product from the high-energy photolysis of propyne in Titan's atmosphere. Using synchrotron vacuum ultraviolet photoionization mass spectrometry, product branching ratios are measured for the reactions of 1-propynyl radical with a suite of small alkenes (ethylene and propene) and alkynes (acetylene and d4-propyne) at 4 Torr and 300 K. Reactions of 1-propynyl radical with acetylene and ethylene form single products, identified as penta-1,3-diyne and pent-1-en-3-yne, respectively. These products form by hydrogen atom loss from the radical-adduct intermediates. The reactions of 1-propynyl radical with d4-propyne and propene form products from both hydrogen atom and methyl loss, (-H = 27%, -CH3 = 73%) and (-H = 14%, -CH3 = 86%), respectively. Together, these results indicate that reactions of ethynyl radical analogues with alkenes and alkynes form significant quantities of products by alkyl loss channels, suggesting that current photochemical models of Titan over predict both hydrogen atom production as well as the efficiency of molecular weight growth in these reactions.

  15. SUMS preliminary design and data analysis development. [shuttle upper atmosphere mass spectrometer experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, E. W.

    1981-01-01

    The preliminary analysis and data analysis system development for the shuttle upper atmosphere mass spectrometer (SUMS) experiment are discussed. The SUMS experiment is designed to provide free stream atmospheric density, pressure, temperature, and mean molecular weight for the high altitude, high Mach number region.

  16. Parachute systems for the atmospheric reentry of launcher upper stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bogdan DOBRESCU

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Parachute systems can be used to control the reentry trajectory of launcher upper stages, in order to lower the risks to the population or facilitate the retrieval of the stage. Several types of parachutes deployed at subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic speeds are analyzed, modeled as single and multistage systems. The performance of deceleration parachutes depends on their drag area and deployment conditions, while gliding parachutes are configured to achieve stable flight with a high glide ratio. Gliding parachutes can be autonomously guided to a low risk landing area. Sizing the canopy is shown to be an effective method to reduce parachute sensitivity to wind. The reentry trajectory of a launcher upper stage is simulated for each parachute system configuration and the results are compared to the nominal reentry case.

  17. Composition and structure of the martian upper atmosphere: analysis of results from viking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McElroy, M B; Kong, T Y; Yung, Y L; Nier, A O

    1976-12-11

    Densities for carbon dioxide measured by the upper atmospheric mass spectrometers on Viking 1 and Viking 2 are analyzed to yield height profiles for the temperature of the martian atmosphere between 120 and 200 kilometers. Densities for nitrogen and argon are used to derive vertical profiles for the eddy diffusion coefficient over the same height range. The upper atmosphere of Mars is surprisingly cold with average temperatures for both Viking 1 and Viking 2 of less than 200 degrees K, and there is significant vertical structure. Model calculations are presented and shown to be in good agreement with measured concentrations of carbon monoxide, oxygen, and nitric oxide.

  18. Upper atmospheric planetary-wave and gravity-wave observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justus, C. G.; Woodrum, A.

    1973-01-01

    Previously collected data on atmospheric pressure, density, temperature and winds between 25 and 200 km from sources including Meteorological Rocket Network data, ROBIN falling sphere data, grenade release and pitot tube data, meteor winds, chemical release winds, satellite data, and others were analyzed by a daily-difference method, and results on the magnitude of atmospheric perturbations interpreted as gravity waves and planetary waves are presented. Traveling planetary-wave contributions in the 25-85 km range were found to have significant height and latitudinal variation. It was found that observed gravity-wave density perturbations and wind are related to one another in the manner predicted by gravity-wave theory. It was determined that, on the average, gravity-wave energy deposition or reflection occurs at all altitudes except the 55-75 km region of the mesosphere.

  19. Carbon monoxide in jupiter's upper atmosphere: An extraplanetary source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Prather, M.J.; Logan, J.A.; McElroy, M.B.

    1978-01-01

    Ablation of meteoroidal material in Jupiter's atmosphere may provide substantial quantities of H 2 O. Subsequent photochemistry can convert H 2 O and CH 4 to CO and H 2 . The associated source of CO could account for the observations by Beer, Larson, Fink, and Treffers, and Beer and Taylor, and would explain the relatively low rotational temperatures inferred by Beer and Taylor. Meteoritic debris might also provide spectroscopically detectable concentrations of SiO

  20. Gamma ray flashes add to mystery of upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atmospheric electricity research has come a long way since Benjamin Franklin's kite-flying days. But what researchers have been learning lately about above-thunderstorm electricity has wrought a whole new era of mysteries.For a start, last summer a Colorado meteorologist sparked interest in a terrestrial phenomenon that the community first observed more than 100 years ago: optical flashes that occur above thunderstorms—at least 30 km above Earth. Walter Lyons with the Ft. Collins-based Mission Research Corporation, demonstrated that such flashes are not anomalies, as conventional scientific wisdom had held. He filmed hundreds of flashes during a 2-week period.

  1. Titan's Radioactive Haze : Production and Fate of Radiocarbon On Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenz, R. D.; Jull, A. J. T.; Swindle, T. D.; Lunine, J. I.

    Just as cosmic rays interact with nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere of Earth to gener- ate radiocarbon (14C), the same process should occur in Titan`s nitrogen-rich atmo- sphere. Titan`s atmosphere is thick enough that cosmic ray flux, rather than nitrogen column depth, limits the production of 14 C. Absence of a strong magnetic field and the increased distance from the sun suggest production rates of 9 atom/cm2/s, approx- imately 4 times higher than Earth. On Earth the carbon is rapidly oxidised into CO2. The fate and detectability of 14C on Titan depends on the chemical species into which it is incorporated in Titan's reducing atmosphere : as methane it would be hopelessly diluted even in only the atmosphere (ignoring the other, much more massive carbon reservoirs likely to be present on Titan, like hydrocarbon lakes.) However, in the more likely case that the 14C attaches to the haze that rains out onto the surface (as tholin, HCN or acetylene and their polymers - a much smaller carbon reservoir) , haze in the atmosphere or recently deposited on the surface would therefore be quite intrinsically radioactive. Such activity may modify the haze electrical charging and hence its coag- ulation. Measurements with compact instrumentation on future in-situ missions could place useful constraints on the mass deposition rates of photochemical material on the surface and identify locations where surface deposits of such material are `freshest`.

  2. Titan Montgolfiere Buoyancy Modulation System, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Titan is ideally suited for balloon exploration due to its low gravity and dense atmosphere. Current NASA mission architectures baseline Montgolfiere balloon...

  3. Investigating gravity waves evidences in the Venus upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migliorini, Alessandra; Altieri, Francesca; Shakun, Alexey; Zasova, Ludmila; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Bellucci, Giancarlo; Grassi, Davide

    2014-05-01

    We present a method to investigate gravity waves properties in the upper mesosphere of Venus, through the O2 nightglow observations acquired with the imaging spectrometer VIRTIS on board Venus Express. Gravity waves are important dynamical features that transport energy and momentum. They are related to the buoyancy force, which lifts air particles. Then, the vertical displacement of air particles produces density changes that cause gravity to act as restoring force. Gravity waves can manifest through fluctuations on temperature and density fields, and hence on airglow intensities. We use the O2 nightglow profiles showing double peaked structures to study the influence of gravity waves in shaping the O2 vertical profiles and infer the waves properties. In analogy to the Earth's and Mars cases, we use a well-known theory to model the O2 nightglow emissions affected by gravity waves propagation. Here we propose a statistical discussion of the gravity waves characteristics, namely vertical wavelength and wave amplitude, with respect to local time and latitude. The method is applied to about 30 profiles showing double peaked structures, and acquired with the VIRTIS/Venus Express spectrometer, during the mission period from 2006-07-05 to 2008-08-15.

  4. Simulation of Optical Phenomena in the Upper Atmosphere.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woods, Mark Christopher; Sailor, William C

    2016-09-01

    This SAND report investigates the electron transport equation in the upper atmo- sphere and how it relates to auroral light emissions. The electron transport problem is a very stiff boundary value problem, so standard numerical methods such as symmetric collocation and shooting methods will not succeed unless if the boundary conditions are altered with unrealistic assumptions. We show this to be unnecessary and demon- strate a method in which the fast and slow modes of the boundary value problem are essentially decoupled. This allows for an upwind finite difference method to be applied to each mode as is appropriate. This greatly reduces the number of points needed in the mesh, and we demonstrate how this eliminates the need to define new boundary conditions. This method can be verified by showing that under certain restrictive as- sumptions, the electron transport equation has an exact solution that can be written as an integral. The connection between electron transport and the aurora is made explicit and a kinetic model for calculating auroral light emissions is given.

  5. DIAS Project: The establishment of a European digital upper atmosphere server

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belehaki, A.; Cander, Lj.; Zolesi, B.; Bremer, J.; Juren, C.; Stanislawska, I.; Dialetis, D.; Hatzopoulos, M.

    2005-08-01

    The main objective of DIAS (European Digital Upper Atmosphere Server) project is to develop a pan-European digital data collection on the state of the upper atmosphere, based on real-time information and historical data collections provided by most operating ionospheric stations in Europe. A DIAS system will distribute information required by various groups of users for the specification of upper atmospheric conditions over Europe suitable for nowcasting and forecasting purposes. The successful operation of the DIAS system will lead to the development of new European added-value products and services, to the effective use of observational data in operational applications and consequently to the expansion of the relevant European market.

  6. Space fireworks for upper atmospheric wind measurements by sounding rocket experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, M.

    2016-01-01

    Artificial meteor trains generated by chemical releases by using sounding rockets flown in upper atmosphere were successfully observed by multiple sites on ground and from an aircraft. We have started the rocket experiment campaign since 2007 and call it "Space fireworks" as it illuminates resonance scattering light from the released gas under sunlit/moonlit condition. By using this method, we have acquired a new technique to derive upper atmospheric wind profiles in twilight condition as well as in moonlit night and even in daytime. Magnificent artificial meteor train images with the surrounding physics and dynamics in the upper atmosphere where the meteors usually appear will be introduced by using fruitful results by the "Space firework" sounding rocket experiments in this decade.

  7. Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission with Enceladus Science (TOAMES)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sittler, E.; Cooper, J.; Mahaffy, P.; Fairbrother, D.; de Pater, I.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Pitman, J.

    2007-08-01

    same time made us aware of how little we understand about these bodies. For example, the source, and/or recycling mechanism, of methane in Titan's atmosphere is still puzzling. Indeed, river beds (mostly dry) and lakes have been spotted, and occasional clouds have been seen, but the physics to explain the observations is still mostly lacking, since our "image" of Titan is still sketchy and quite incomplete. Enceladus, only 500 km in extent, is even more puzzling, with its fiery plumes of vapor, dust and ice emanating from its south polar region, "feeding" Saturn's E ring. Long term variability of magnetospheric plasma, neutral gas, E-ring ice grain density, radio emissions, and corotation of Saturn's planetary magnetic field in response to Enceladus plume activity are of great interest for Saturn system science. Both Titan and Enceladus are bodies of considerable astrobiological interest in view of high organic abundances at Titan and potential subsurface liquid water at Enceladus. We propose to develop a new mission to Titan and Enceladus, the Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission with Enceladus Science (TOAMES), to address these questions using novel new technologies. TOAMES is a multi-faceted mission that starts with orbit insertion around Saturn using aerobraking with Titan's extended atmosphere. We then have an orbital tour around Saturn (for 1-2 years) and close encounters with Enceladus, before it goes into orbit around Titan (via aerocapture). During the early reconnaissance phase around Titan, perhaps 6 months long, the orbiter will use altimetry, radio science and remote sensing instruments to measure Titan's global topography, subsurface structure and atmospheric winds. This information will be used to determine where and when to release the Aerorover, so that it can navigate safely around Titan and identify prime sites for surface sampling and analysis. In situ instruments will sample the upper atmosphere which may provide the seed population for the complex

  8. The upper atmosphere of Uranus - Mean temperature and temperature variations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, E.; Elliot, J. L.; Gierasch, P. J.

    1980-01-01

    The number-density, pressure, and temperature profiles of the Uranian atmosphere in the pressure interval from 0.3 to 30 dynes/sq cm are derived from observations of the occultation of SAO 158687 by Uranus on 1977 March 10, observations made from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory and the Cape Town station of the South African Astronomical Observatory. The mean temperature is found to be about 95 K, but peak-to-peak variations from 10 K to 20 K or more exist on a scale of 150 km or 3 scale heights. The existence of a thermal inversion is established, but the inversion is much weaker than the analogous inversion on Neptune. The mean temperature can be explained by solar heating in the 3.3 micron methane band with a methane mixing ratio of 4 x 10 to the -6th combined with the cooling effect of ethane with a mixing ratio of not greater than 4 x 10 to the -6th. The temperature variations are probably due to a photochemical process that has formed a Chapman layer.

  9. Interaction between ionization and gravity waves in the upper atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balcioglu, O.

    1982-10-01

    It is known that travelling ionospheric disturbances are produced by gravity waves. During their movement from the F region downwards to the E region, gravity waves can produce thin layers called transients on ionograms and, if the wave motion persists, 'h-type Esub(S) can be produced. To investigate the problem, the continuity equations for both the E and F regions are solved for a perturbation, the motion of which is taken to be a gravity wave. Hitherto, N'/N 0 , the ratio of the disturbed to the undisturbed electron density, has been calculated by using only the Hall conductivity and ignoring the diffusion term for the F region. In the present calculations we have used Pedersan and Hall conductivities and calculated the N'/N 0 ratio for both the E and F regions. Using CIRA standard atmosphere data we find for the F region that N' can exceed N 0 by up to 4 percent, depending on the horizontal wind velocity. In the E region, N' reaches much higher values than in the F region. Thus at 120 km if we take a typical horizontal wind velocity of 80 m/sec (wavelength 150 km), N' is about twice as large as N 0 . From these results we see that the diffusion term is important for the E region. (author)

  10. Transparency of the 2 μm (5000 cm-1) methane window in Titan's atmosphere and impact on retrieved surface reflectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rannou, Pascal; Seignovert, Benoit; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Sotin, Christophe

    2016-10-01

    The study of Titan properties with remote sensing relies on a good knowledge of the atmosphere properties. The in-situ observations made by Huygens combined with recent advances in the definition of methane properties enable to model and interpret observations with a very good accuracy. Thanks to these progresses, we can analyze in this work the observations made at the limb of Titan in order to retrieve information on the haze properties as its vertical profiles and its spectral behaviour along the VIMS/Cassini range (from 0.88 to 5.1 μm). However, for applications to real atmospheres, one need to account for the widening of the spectroscopic lines (e.g., Voigt profile) and apply an empirical cut-off of the far wings. In general, this is a multiplying function of the wavenumber, f(ν), applied to the Voigt profile that allows a faster decay of the wing profile beyond a given distance from the center of the line ν0 : f(ν)=1 if |ν- ν0| ≤ Δν, and f(ν)=exp(-|ν- ν0|/ σ) if |ν- ν0| > Δν. Although the 2-μm window is apparently straitforward to model, it appears that the standard cut-off parameters (that is Δν ~ 26 cm-1 and σ ~ 120 cm-1) which is used for other windows in Titan's atmosphere is not adequat for this window. Other sets of parameter must be used to reproduce Titan spectrum at 2 μm. However, there is no convergence of the results between these works and a large variety of cut-off parameters are used. Alternatively, it was found that some gas absorptions (ethane and another unknown gas) leave a signature around 2-μm and also affect the transparency in this window. In our study we make an exhaustive investigation on the cut-off parameters to determine which are the best couples of parameters to fit the 2-μm window. We also evaluated how gaseous absorptions can allow to reach a satisfactory agreement and, especially, if it allows to match observations with the standard cut-off. Finally, we investigate the impact of the different solutions

  11. Magnetospheric energy inputs into the upper atmospheres of the giant planets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. G. A. Smith

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available We revisit the effects of Joule heating upon the upper atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. We show that in addition to direct Joule heating there is an additional input of kinetic energy – ion drag energy – which we quantify relative to the Joule heating. We also show that fluctuations about the mean electric field, as observed in the Earth's ionosphere, may significantly increase the Joule heating itself. For physically plausible parameters these effects may increase previous estimates of the upper atmospheric energy input at Saturn from ~10 TW to ~20 TW.

    Keywords. Ionosphere (Electric fields and currents; Planetary ionosphere – Magnetospheric physics (Auroral phenomena

  12. Poster 9: Isotopic Ratios of Carbon and Oxygen in Titan's CO using ALMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serigano, Joseph; Nixion, Conor A.; Cordiner, Martin A.; Irwin, Patrick G. J.; Teanby, Nick A.; Charnley, Steven B.; Lindberg, Johan E.

    2016-06-01

    The advent of the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) has provided a new and powerful facility for probing the atmospheres of solar system targets at long wavelengths (84-720 GHz) where the rotational lines of small, polar molecules are prominent. In the complex atmosphere of Titan, photochemical processes dissociate and ionize molecular nitrogen and methane in the upper atmosphere, creating a complex inventory of trace hydrocarbons and nitriles. Additionally, the existence of oxygen on Titan facilitates the synthesis of molecules of potential astrobiological importance. Utilization of ground-based submillimeter observations of Titan has proven to be a powerful tool to complement results from spacecraft observations. ALMA provides the ability to probe this region in greater detail with unprecedented spectral and spatial resolution at high sensitivity, allowing for the derivation of vertical mixing profiles, molecular detections, and observations of latitudinal and seasonal variations. Recent ALMA studies of Titan have presented spectrally and spatially-resolved maps of HNC and HC3N emission (Cordiner et al. 2014), as well as the first spectroscopic detection of ethyl cyanide (C2H5CN) in Titan's atmosphere (Cordiner et al. 2015). This poster will focus on ALMA observations of carbon monoxide (CO) and its isotopologues 13CO, C18O, and C 17O in Titan's atmosphere. Molecular abundances and the vertical atmospheric temperature profile were derived by modeling the observed emission line profiles using NEMESIS, a line-by-line radiative transfer code (Irwin et al. 2008). This study reports the first spectroscopic detection of 17O in the outer solar system with C17O detected at >8σ confidence. The abundances of these molecules and isotopic ratios of 12C/13C, 16O/18O, and 16O/17O will be presented. General implications for the history of Titan from these measurements will be discussed.

  13. Titan Orbiter Aerorover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sittler Jr., E. C.; Acuna, M.; Burchell, M. J.; Coates, A.; Farrell, W.; Flasar, M.; Goldstein, B. E.; Gorevan, S.; Hartle, R. E.; Johnson, W. T. K.

    2001-01-01

    We propose a combined Titan orbiter and Titan Aerorover mission with an emphasis on both in situ and remote sensing measurements of Titan's surface, atmosphere, ionosphere, and magnetospheric interaction. The biological aspect of the Titan environment will be emphasized by the mission (i.e., search for organic materials which may include simple organics to 'amono' analogues of amino acids and possibly more complex, lightening detection and infrared, ultraviolet, and charged particle interactions with Titan's surface and atmosphere). An international mission is assumed to control costs. NASA will provide the orbiter, launch vehicle, DSN coverage and operations, while international partners will provide the Aerorover and up to 30% of the cost for the scientific instruments through collaborative efforts. To further reduce costs we propose a single PI for orbiter science instruments and a single PI for Aerorover science instruments. This approach will provide single command/data and power interface between spacecraft and orbiter instruments that will have redundant central DPU and power converter for their instruments. A similar approach could be used for the Aerorover. The mission profile will be constructed to minimize conflicts between Aerorover science, orbiter radar science, orbiter radio science, orbiter imaging science, and orbiter fields and particles (FP) science. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  14. Titan's icy scar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, C. A.; Penteado, P. F.; Turner, J. D.; Neish, C. D.; Mitri, G.; Montiel, M. J.; Schoenfeld, A.; Lopes, R. M. C.

    2017-09-01

    We conduct a Principal Components Analysis (PCA) of Cassini/VIMS [1] infrared spectral windows to identify and quantify weak surface features, with no assumptions on the haze and surface characteris- tics. This study maps the organic sediments, supplied by past atmospheres, as well as ice-rich regions that constitute Titan's bedrock.

  15. Long-term changes and trends in the upper atmosphere - An introduction

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Laštovička, Jan; Akmaev, R. A.; Emmert, J. T.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 71, 14-15 (2009), s. 1511-1513 ISSN 1364-6826 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517 Keywords : long-term changes * long-term trends * upper atmosphere Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 1.643, year: 2009 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13646826

  16. Sensitivity of upper atmospheric emissions calculations to solar/stellar UV flux

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barthelemy Mathieu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The solar UV (UltraViolet flux, especially the EUV (Extreme UltraViolet and FUV (Far UltraViolet components, is one of the main energetic inputs for planetary upper atmospheres. It drives various processes such as ionization, or dissociation which give rise to upper atmospheric emissions, especially in the UV and visible. These emissions are one of the main ways to investigate the upper atmospheres of planets. However, the uncertainties in the flux measurement or modeling can lead to biased estimates of fundamental atmospheric parameters, such as concentrations or temperatures in the atmospheres. We explore the various problems that can be identified regarding the uncertainties in solar/stellar UV flux by considering three examples. The worst case appears when the solar reflection component is dominant in the recorded spectrum as is seen for outer solar system measurements from HST (Hubble Space Telescope. We also show that the estimation of some particular line parameters (intensity and shape, especially Lyman α, is crucial, and that both total intensity and line profile are useful. In the case of exoplanets, the problem is quite critical since the UV flux of their parent stars is often very poorly known.

  17. Synergism of Saturn, Enceladus and Titan and Formation of HCNO Prebiotic Molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sittler, Edward C.; Cooper, John F.

    2011-01-01

    Saturn as a system has two very exotic moons Titan and Enceladus. Titan, taking in energy from Saturn's magnetosphere, solar UV irradiation, and cosmic rays, can make HCN based molecules as discussed in earlier paper by Raulin and Owen. Space radiation effects at both moons, and as coupled by the Saturn magnetosphere, could cause an unexpected series of events potentially leading to prebiotic chemical evolution at Titan with HCNO from magnetospheric oxygen as the new ingredient. The "Old Faithful" model suggests that Enceladus, highly irradiated by Saturn magnetospheric electrons and thus having a source of chemical energy from radiolytic gas production, has episodic ejections of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and various hydrocarbons into Saturn's magnetosphere. The hydrocarbons do not survive transport through the plasma environment, but oxygen ions from Enceladus water molecules become the dominant ion species in the outer magnetosphere. At Titan, Cassini discovered that 1) keV oxygen ions, evidently from Enceladus, are bombarding Titan's upper atmosphere and 2) heavy positive and negative ions exist in significant abundances within Titan's upper atmosphere. Initial models of heavy ion formation in Titan's upper atmosphere invoked polymerization of aromatics such as benzenes and their radicals to make polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) , while a more recent model by Sittler et al., has raised the possibility of carbon chains forming from the polymerization of acetylene and its radicals to make fullerenes. Laboratory measurements indicate that fullerenes, which are hollow carbon shells, can trap keV oxygen ions. Clustering of the fullerenes with aerosol mixtures from PAHs and the dominant nitrogen molecules could form larger aerosols enriched in trapped oxygen. Aerosol precipitation could then convey these chemically complex structures deeper into the atmosphere and to the moon surface. Ionizing solar UV, magnetospheric electron, and galactic cosmic ray

  18. Titan's greenhouse and antigreenhouse effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Pollack, James B.; Courtin, Regis

    1992-01-01

    Thermal mechanisms active in Titan's atmosphere are discussed in a brief review of data obtained during the Voyager I flyby in 1980. Particular attention is given to the greenhouse effect (GHE) produced by atmospheric H2, N2, and CH4; this GHE is stronger than that on earth, with CH4 and H2 playing roles similar to those of H2O and CO2 on earth. Also active on Titan is an antigreenhouse effect, in which dark-brown and orange organic aerosols block incoming solar light while allowing IR radiation from the Titan surface to escape. The combination of GHE and anti-GHE leads to a surface temperature about 12 C higher than it would be if Titan had no atmosphere.

  19. Upper limits to trace constituents in Jupiter's atmosphere from an analysis of its 5 micrometer spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treffers, R. R.; Larson, H. P.; Fink, U.; Gautier, T. N.

    1978-01-01

    A high-resolution spectrum of Jupiter at 5 micrometers recorded at the Kuiper Airborne Observatory is used to determine upper limits to the column density of 19 molecules. The upper limits to the mixing ratios of SiH4, H2S, HCN, and simple hydrocarbons are discussed with respect to current models of Jupiter's atmosphere. These upper limits are compared to expectations based upon the solar abundance of the elements. This analysis permits upper limit measurements (SiH4), or actual detections (GeH4) of molecules with mixing ratios with hydrogen as low as 10 to the minus 9th power. In future observations at 5 micrometers the sensitivity of remote spectroscopic analyses should permit the study of constituents with mixing ratios as low as 10 to the minus 10th power, which would include the hydrides of such elements as Sn and As as well as numerous organic molecules.

  20. Landscape Evolution of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey

    2012-01-01

    Titan may have acquired its massive atmosphere relatively recently in solar system history. The warming sun may have been key to generating Titan's atmosphere over time, starting from a thin atmosphere with condensed surface volatiles like Triton, with increased luminosity releasing methane, and then large amounts of nitrogen (perhaps suddenly), into the atmosphere. This thick atmosphere, initially with much more methane than at present, resulted in global fluvial erosion that has over time retreated towards the poles with the removal of methane from the atmosphere. Basement rock, as manifested by bright, rough, ridges, scarps, crenulated blocks, or aligned massifs, mostly appears within 30 degrees of the equator. This landscape was intensely eroded by fluvial processes as evidenced by numerous valley systems, fan-like depositional features and regularly-spaced ridges (crenulated terrain). Much of this bedrock landscape, however, is mantled by dunes, suggesting that fluvial erosion no longer dominates in equatorial regions. High midlatitude regions on Titan exhibit dissected sedimentary plains at a number of localities, suggesting deposition (perhaps by sediment eroded from equatorial regions) followed by erosion. The polar regions are mainly dominated by deposits of fluvial and lacustrine sediment. Fluvial processes are active in polar areas as evidenced by alkane lakes and occasional cloud cover.

  1. Experimental study of heterogeneous organic chemistry induced by far ultraviolet light: Implications for growth of organic aerosols by CH3 addition in the atmospheres of Titan and early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Peng; Sekine, Yasuhito; Sasamori, Tsutoni; Sugita, Seiji

    2018-06-01

    Formation of organic aerosols driven by photochemical reactions has been observed and suggested in CH4-containing atmospheres, including Titan and early Earth. However, the detailed production and growth mechanisms of organic aerosols driven by solar far ultraviolet (FUV) light remain poorly constrained. We conducted laboratory experiments simulating photochemical reactions in a CH4sbnd CO2 atmosphere driven by the FUV radiations dominated by the Lyman-α line. In the experiments, we analyzed time variations in thickness and infrared spectra of solid organic film formed on an optical window in a reaction cell. Gas species formed by FUV irradiation were also analyzed and compared with photochemical model calculations. Our experimental results show that the growth rate of the organic film decreases as the CH4/CO2 ratio of reactant gas mixture decreases, and that the decrease becomes very steep for CH4/CO2 organic film but that the addition reaction of CH3 radicals onto the organic film with the reaction probability around 10-2 can explain the growth rate. At CH4/CO2 organic film. Our results suggest that organic aerosols would grow through CH3 addition onto the surface during the precipitation of aerosol particles in the middle atmosphere of Titan and early Earth. On Titan, effective CH3 addition would reduce C2H6 production in the atmosphere. On early Earth, growth of aerosol particles would be less efficient than those on Titan, possibly resulting in small-sized monomers and influencing UV shielding.

  2. Titan Polar Landscape Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    With the ongoing Cassini-era observations and studies of Titan it is clear that the intensity and distribution of surface processes (particularly fluvial erosion by methane and Aeolian transport) has changed through time. Currently however, alternate hypotheses substantially differ among specific scenarios with respect to the effects of atmospheric evolution, seasonal changes, and endogenic processes. We have studied the evolution of Titan's polar region through a combination of analysis of imaging, elevation data, and geomorphic mapping, spatially explicit simulations of landform evolution, and quantitative comparison of the simulated landscapes with corresponding Titan morphology. We have quantitatively evaluated alternate scenarios for the landform evolution of Titan's polar terrain. The investigations have been guided by recent geomorphic mapping and topographic characterization of the polar regions that are used to frame hypotheses of process interactions, which have been evaluated using simulation modeling. Topographic information about Titan's polar region is be based on SAR-Topography and altimetry archived on PDS, SAR-based stereo radar-grammetry, radar-sounding lake depth measurements, and superposition relationships between geomorphologic map units, which we will use to create a generalized topographic map.

  3. Titan's Methane Cycle is Closed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofgartner, J. D.; Lunine, J. I.

    2013-12-01

    Doppler tracking of the Cassini spacecraft determined a polar moment of inertia for Titan of 0.34 (Iess et al., 2010, Science, 327, 1367). Assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, one interpretation is that Titan's silicate core is partially hydrated (Castillo-Rogez and Lunine, 2010, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L20205). These authors point out that for the core to have avoided complete thermal dehydration to the present day, at least 30% of the potassium content of Titan must have leached into an overlying water ocean by the end of the core overturn. We calculate that for probable ammonia compositions of Titan's ocean (compositions with greater than 1% ammonia by weight), that this amount of potassium leaching is achievable via the substitution of ammonium for potassium during the hydration epoch. Formation of a hydrous core early in Titan's history by serpentinization results in the loss of one hydrogen molecule for every hydrating water molecule. We calculate that complete serpentinization of Titan's core corresponds to the release of more than enough hydrogen to reconstitute all of the methane atoms photolyzed throughout Titan's history. Insertion of molecular hydrogen by double occupancy into crustal clathrates provides a storage medium and an opportunity for ethane to be converted back to methane slowly over time--potentially completing a cycle that extends the lifetime of methane in Titan's surface atmosphere system by factors of several to an order of magnitude over the photochemically-calculated lifetime.

  4. Twenty-five years of Antarctic upper atmosphere research at Rhodes University

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gledhill, J.A.

    1987-01-01

    South Africa, as one of the twelve signatories of the Antarctic Treaty is required to establish presence in Antarctica. In this article the past 25 years of upper atmosphere research in Antarctica, and the ionosphere programme at SANAE (South African National Antarctic Expedition) are described. The use of ionograms, Barry ionosondes, airglow photometers, oblique incidence ionograms and the digitized FM ionosonde are discussed as well as anomalous daily variations, the ionospheric effects of particle precipitation, Atmosphere Explorer-C and project ISAAC (International South Atlantic Anomaly Campaign)

  5. The upper atmosphere of Venus: A tentative explanation of its rotation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, C.

    1986-01-01

    The upper atmosphere of Venus seems to revolve every 4 days, while the planet rotates in 243 days. Mariner 10 UV data on the changing positions of dark spots in the upper Venusian clouds have supported estimations of speeds ranging from 120-240 m/s. High rates of acceleration and deceleration occur on the night side, the former between -110 to -90 deg and the latter continuing to -50 deg. Arch and Y formations have been seen repeatedly between -110 to -70 deg. The highest are seen at about -90 deg and the lowest at about -30 deg. The temperature of the cloud layer at 60 km altitude is about 20 C, the pressure is nearly one earth atmosphere, and complex molecules, including O, C, H, N and S and combinations of these are present in abundance.

  6. Upper atmosphere research satellite program. [to study the chemistry energetics, and dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntress, W. T., Jr.

    1978-01-01

    A satellite program to conduct research on the chemistry, energetics, and dynamics of the upper atmosphere was developed. The scientific goals of the Upper Atmospheric Research Program, the program requirements, and the approach toward meeting those requirements are outlined. An initial series of two overlapping spacecraft missions is described. Both spacecraft are launched and recovered by the STS, one in the winter of 1983 at a 56 deg inclination, and the other a year later at a 70 deg inclination. The duration of each mission is 18 months, and each carries instruments to make global measurements of the temperature, winds, composition, irradation, and radiance in the stratosphere, mesosphere, and lower thermosphere between the tropopause and 120 km altitude. The program requires a dedicated ground-based data system and a science team organization that leads to a strong interaction between the experiments and theory. The program includes supportive observations from other platforms such as rockets, balloons, and the Spacelab.

  7. Do vibrationally excited OH molecules affect middle and upper atmospheric chemistry?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. von Clarmann

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Except for a few reactions involving electronically excited molecular or atomic oxygen or nitrogen, atmospheric chemistry modelling usually assumes that the temperature dependence of reaction rates is characterized by Arrhenius' law involving kinetic temperatures. It is known, however, that in the upper atmosphere the vibrational temperatures may exceed the kinetic temperatures by several hundreds of Kelvins. This excess energy has an impact on the reaction rates. We have used upper atmospheric OH populations and reaction rate coefficients for OH(v=0...9+O3 and OH(v=0...9+O to estimate the effective (i.e. population weighted reaction rates for various atmospheric conditions. We have found that the effective rate coefficient for OH(v=0...9+O3 can be larger by a factor of up to 1470 than that involving OH in its vibrational ground state only. At altitudes where vibrationally excited states of OH are highly populated, the OH reaction is a minor sink of Ox and O3 compared to other reactions involving, e.g., atomic oxygen. Thus the impact of vibrationally excited OH on the ozone or Ox sink remains small. Among quiescent atmospheres under investigation, the largest while still small (less than 0.1% effect was found for the polar winter upper stratosphere and mesosphere. The contribution of the reaction of vibrationally excited OH with ozone to the OH sink is largest in the upper polar winter stratosphere (up to 4%, while its effect on the HO2 source is larger in the lower thermosphere (up to 1.5% for polar winter and 2.5% for midlatitude night conditions. For OH(v=0...9+O the effective rate coefficients are lower by up to 11% than those involving OH in its vibrational ground state. The effects on the odd oxygen sink are negative and can reach −3% (midlatitudinal nighttime lowermost thermosphere, i.e. neglecting vibrational excitation overestimates the odd

  8. The upper atmosphere and solar-terrestrial relations - An introduction to the aerospace environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hargreaves, J.K.

    1979-01-01

    A theoretical and observational overview of earth's aerospace environment is presented in this book. Emphasis is placed on the principles and observed phenomena of the neutral upper atmosphere, particularly in relation to solar activity. Topics include the structure of the ionosphere and magnetosphere, waves in the magnetosphere, solar flares and solar protons, and storms and other disturbance phenomena, while applications to communications, navigation and space technology are also discussed

  9. Progress in observations and simulations of global change in the upper atmosphere

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Qian, L.; Laštovička, Jan; Roble, R. G.; Solomon, S.C.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 116, - (2011), A00H03/1-A00H03/16 ISSN 0148-0227 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP209/10/1792 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517 Keywords : Long-term trends * upper atmosphere * ionosphere Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 3.021, year: 2011 http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010JA016317.shtml

  10. [The response of the upper respiratory tract to the impact of atmospheric pollution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukhamadiev, R A; Ismagilov, Sh M

    2015-01-01

    The present literature review characterizes the environmental conditions in the Russian Federation in general and the Republic of Tatarstan in particular with special reference to the influence of atmospheric pollution on the development and the clinical picture of the diseases of the respiratory organs including pathology of the upper respiratory tract in the populations of the industrial centres and other environmentally unfriendly areas. The views of the domestic and foreign authors concerning the role of the environmental factors in the clinical picture of the upper respiratory tract disorders are described in detail. The authors emphasize the necessity of the further investigationsinto this problem and the development of the methods for the prevention of diseases of the upper respiratory react.

  11. Ground-based Observations for the Upper Atmosphere at King Sejong Station, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jee, Geonhwa; Kim, Jeong-Han; Lee, Changsup; Kim, Yong Ha

    2014-06-01

    Since the operation of the King Sejong Station (KSS) started in Antarctic Peninsula in 1989, there have been continuous efforts to perform the observation for the upper atmosphere. The observations during the initial period of the station include Fabry-Perot Interferometer (FPI) and Michelson Interferometer for the mesosphere and thermosphere, which are no longer in operation. In 2002, in collaboration with York University, Canada, the Spectral Airglow Temperature Imager (SATI) was installed to observe the temperature in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region and it has still been producing the mesopause temperature data until present. The observation was extended by installing the meteor radar in 2007 to observe the neutral winds and temperature in the MLT region during the day and night in collaboration with Chungnam National University. We also installed the all sky camera in 2008 to observe the wave structures in the MLT region. All these observations are utilized to study on the physical characteristics of the MLT region and also on the wave phenomena such as the tide and gravity wave in the upper atmosphere over KSS that is well known for the strong gravity wave activity. In this article, brief introductions for the currently operating instruments at KSS will be presented with their applications for the study of the upper atmosphere

  12. Ground-based Observations for the Upper Atmosphere at King Sejong Station, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geonhwa Jee

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Since the operation of the King Sejong Station (KSS started in Antarctic Peninsula in 1989, there have been continuous efforts to perform the observation for the upper atmosphere. The observations during the initial period of the station include Fabry-Perot Interferometer (FPI and Michelson Interferometer for the mesosphere and thermosphere, which are no longer in operation. In 2002, in collaboration with York University, Canada, the Spectral Airglow Temperature Imager (SATI was installed to observe the temperature in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT region and it has still been producing the mesopause temperature data until present. The observation was extended by installing the meteor radar in 2007 to observe the neutral winds and temperature in the MLT region during the day and night in collaboration with Chungnam National University. We also installed the all sky camera in 2008 to observe the wave structures in the MLT region. All these observations are utilized to study on the physical characteristics of the MLT region and also on the wave phenomena such as the tide and gravity wave in the upper atmosphere over KSS that is well known for the strong gravity wave activity. In this article, brief introductions for the currently operating instruments at KSS will be presented with their applications for the study of the upper atmosphere.

  13. NIR-driven Moist Upper Atmospheres of Synchronously Rotating Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujii, Yuka; Del Genio, Anthony D.; Amundsen, David S.

    2017-01-01

    H 2 O is a key molecule in characterizing atmospheres of temperate terrestrial planets, and observations of transmission spectra are expected to play a primary role in detecting its signatures in the near future. The detectability of H 2 O absorption features in transmission spectra depends on the abundance of water vapor in the upper part of the atmosphere. We study the three-dimensional distribution of atmospheric H 2 O for synchronously rotating Earth-sized aquaplanets using the general circulation model (GCM) ROCKE-3D, and examine the effects of total incident flux and stellar spectral type. We observe a more gentle increase of the water vapor mixing ratio in response to increased incident flux than one-dimensional models suggest, in qualitative agreement with the climate-stabilizing effect of clouds around the substellar point previously observed in GCMs applied to synchronously rotating planets. However, the water vapor mixing ratio in the upper atmosphere starts to increase while the surface temperature is still moderate. This is explained by the circulation in the upper atmosphere being driven by the radiative heating due to absorption by water vapor and cloud particles, causing efficient vertical transport of water vapor. Consistently, the water vapor mixing ratio is found to be well-correlated with the near-infrared portion of the incident flux. We also simulate transmission spectra based on the GCM outputs, and show that for the more highly irradiated planets, the H 2 O signatures may be strengthened by a factor of a few, loosening the observational demands for a H 2 O detection.

  14. NIR-driven Moist Upper Atmospheres of Synchronously Rotating Temperate Terrestrial Exoplanets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fujii, Yuka; Del Genio, Anthony D.; Amundsen, David S. [NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY (United States)

    2017-10-20

    H{sub 2}O is a key molecule in characterizing atmospheres of temperate terrestrial planets, and observations of transmission spectra are expected to play a primary role in detecting its signatures in the near future. The detectability of H{sub 2}O absorption features in transmission spectra depends on the abundance of water vapor in the upper part of the atmosphere. We study the three-dimensional distribution of atmospheric H{sub 2}O for synchronously rotating Earth-sized aquaplanets using the general circulation model (GCM) ROCKE-3D, and examine the effects of total incident flux and stellar spectral type. We observe a more gentle increase of the water vapor mixing ratio in response to increased incident flux than one-dimensional models suggest, in qualitative agreement with the climate-stabilizing effect of clouds around the substellar point previously observed in GCMs applied to synchronously rotating planets. However, the water vapor mixing ratio in the upper atmosphere starts to increase while the surface temperature is still moderate. This is explained by the circulation in the upper atmosphere being driven by the radiative heating due to absorption by water vapor and cloud particles, causing efficient vertical transport of water vapor. Consistently, the water vapor mixing ratio is found to be well-correlated with the near-infrared portion of the incident flux. We also simulate transmission spectra based on the GCM outputs, and show that for the more highly irradiated planets, the H{sub 2}O signatures may be strengthened by a factor of a few, loosening the observational demands for a H{sub 2}O detection.

  15. Comment on "An Analysis of VLF Electric Field Spectra Measured in Titan's Atmosphere by The Huygens Probe" By J. A. Morente et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grard, Rejean; Berthelin, Stephanie; Beghin, Christian; Hamelin, Michel; Berthelier, Jean-Jacques; Lopez-Moreno, Jose J.; Simoes, Fernando

    2011-01-01

    Morente et al. have recently revisited the VLF electric field measurements made with the Permittivity, Wave and Altimetry (PWA) instrument during the descent of the Huygens Probe through the atmosphere of Titan. They assert that they have identified several harmonics of the transverse resonance mode of the surface?]ionosphere cavity, which would prove the existence of an electrical activity in the atmosphere of the largest satellite of Saturn. We refute this finding on the basis that it results from an artifact due to an improper analysis of the data set. [2] The investigators of the Permittivity, Wave and Altimetry (PWA) experiment on the Huygens Probe have reported the extremely low frequency (ELF) and very low frequency (VLF) electric signals recorded during the descent through the atmosphere of Titan. The PWA data are archived in the Planetary Science Archive (PSA) of ESA, and an extensive description of the instrument is at the disposal of the scientific community. Morente and his coworkers have revisited this data set and reported the results of their investigations in two papers. In a first paper, they claim that they have detected in the ELF range (0.100 Hz) several harmonics of a global resonance allegedly generated by lightning activity in the spherical cavity guide formed by the surface of Titan and the inner boundary of the ionosphere, a phenomenon similar to the Schumann resonance observed at EartH In the second paper dedicated to the VLF electric signal recorded by PWA, in the range 0.10 kHz, they argue that they can also bring out the transverse resonance and its harmonics, a more local phenomenon that develops around the excitation source and whose frequency is controlled by the separation between Titan?fs surface and the inner ionospheric boundary. [3] The PWA investigators have analyzed the narrowband ELF signal at about 36 Hz effectively observed during the entire descent. They have not endorsed, however, the alternative approach of Morente et al

  16. Sensing the upper and lower levels of the atmosphere during the 2009 equinoxes using GPS measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wayan Suparta

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available This short-term work characterized the upper and lower levels of the atmosphere through Global Positioning System (GPS measurements. The observations were conducted during the 2009 equinoxes from two pairs of conjugate polar observing stations: Husafell, Iceland (HUSA and Resolute in Nunavut, Canada (RESO and their conjugate pairs at Scott Base (SBA and Syowa (SYOG in Antarctica, respectively. The total electron content (TEC, an indicator of the upper atmosphere, and the precipitable water vapor (PWV, which served as the lower atmospheric response, were retrieved and analyzed. The results reveal a good relationship between TEC and PWV at each station during the onset day of the equinoxes, whereas an asymmetrical response was observed in the beginning of and after the equinoxes. In addition, the conjugate pairs were only consistent during the autumnal equinox. Thus, the high correlation was observed following the seasonal pattern for the onset day, while strong and moderate correlations were found only for the vernal equinox in Antarctica and the Arctic, respectively. This relationship reflects the fact that the intensity of solar activity during the solar minimum incident on the lower atmosphere through the conjugate points is associated with the variation of the Sun’s seasonal cycle, whereas the TEC and PWV showed an opposite relationship.

  17. TITAN’S UPPER ATMOSPHERE FROM CASSINI/UVIS SOLAR OCCULTATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Capalbo, Fernando J.; Bénilan, Yves [Laboratoire Inter-Universitaire des Systèmes Atmosphériques (LISA), UMR 7583 du CNRS, Universités Paris Est Créteil (UPEC) and Paris Diderot - UPD, 61 avenue du Général de Gaulle, F-94010, Créteil Cédex (France); Yelle, Roger V.; Koskinen, Tommi T., E-mail: fernando.capalbo@lisa.u-pec.fr [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)

    2015-12-01

    Titan’s atmosphere is composed mainly of molecular nitrogen, methane being the principal trace gas. From the analysis of 8 solar occultations measured by the Extreme Ultraviolet channel of the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph (UVIS) on board Cassini, we derived vertical profiles of N{sub 2} in the range 1100–1600 km and vertical profiles of CH{sub 4} in the range 850–1300 km. The correction of instrument effects and observational effects applied to the data are described. We present CH{sub 4} mole fractions, and average temperatures for the upper atmosphere obtained from the N{sub 2} profiles. The occultations correspond to different times and locations, and an analysis of variability of density and temperature is presented. The temperatures were analyzed as a function of geographical and temporal variables, without finding a clear correlation with any of them, although a trend of decreasing temperature toward the north pole was observed. The globally averaged temperature obtained is (150 ± 1) K. We compared our results from solar occultations with those derived from other UVIS observations, as well as studies performed with other instruments. The observational data we present confirm the atmospheric variability previously observed, add new information to the global picture of Titan’s upper atmosphere composition, variability, and dynamics, and provide new constraints to photochemical models.

  18. A non-LTE retrieval scheme for sounding the upper atmosphere of Mars in the infrared

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Valverde, Miguel Angel; García-Comas, Maya; Funke, Bernd; Jimenez-Monferrer, Sergio; Lopez-Puertas, Manuel

    2016-04-01

    Several instruments on board Mars Express have been sounding the upper atmosphere of Mars systematically in a limb geometry in the IR part of the spectrum. Two of them in particular, OMEGA and PFS, performed emission measurements during daytime and detected the strongest IR bands of species like CO2 and CO (Piccialli et al, JGRE, submitted). Similarly on Venus, the instrument VIRTIS carried out observations of CO2 and CO bands at 2.7, 4.3 and 4.7 um at high altitudes (Gilli et al, JGRE, 2009). All these daylight atmospheric emissions respond to fluorescent situations, a case of non-local thermodynamic equilibrum conditions (non-LTE), well understood nowadays using comprehensive non-LTE theoretical models and tools (Lopez-Valverde et al., Planet. Space Sci., 2011). However, extensive exploitation of these emissions has only been done in optically thin conditions to date (Gilli et al, Icarus, 2015) or in a broad range of altitudes if in nadir geometry (Peralta et al, Apj, 2015). Within the H2020 project UPWARDS we aim at performing retrievals under non-LTE conditions including optically thick cases, like those of the CO2 and CO strongest bands during daytime in the upper atmosphere of Mars. Similar effort will also be applied eventually to Venus. We will present the non-LTE scheme used for such retrievals, based on similar efforts performed recently in studies of the Earth's upper atmosphere using data from the MIPAS instrument, on board Envisat (Funke et al., Atmos. Chem. Phys., 2009; Jurado-Navarro, PhD Thesis, Univ. Granada, 2015). Acknowledgemnt: This work is supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme under grant agreement UPWARDS-633127

  19. Ethane ocean on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, J. I.; Stevenson, D. J.; Yung, Y.L.

    1983-01-01

    Voyager I radio occultation data is employed to develop a qualitative model of an ethane ocean on Titan. It is suggested that the ocean contains 25 percent CH4 and that the ocean is in dynamic equilibrium with an N2 atmosphere. Previous models of a CH4 ocean are discounted due to photolysis rates of CH4 gas. Tidal damping of Titan's orbital eccentricity is taken as evidence for an ocean layer approximately 1 km deep, with the ocean floor being covered with a solid C2H2 layer 100 to 200 m thick. The photolytic process disrupting the CH4, if the estimates of the oceanic content of CH4 are correct, could continue for at least one billion years. Verification of the model is dependent on detecting CH4 clouds in the lower atmosphere, finding C2H6 saturation in the lower troposphere, or obtaining evidence of a global ocean.

  20. Toward a New Capability for Upper Atmospheric Research using Atomic Oxygen Lidar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clemmons, J. H.; Steinvurzel, P.; Mu, X.; Beck, S. M.; Lotshaw, W. T.; Rose, T. S.; Hecht, J. H.; Westberg, K. R.; Larsen, M. F.; Chu, X.; Fritts, D. C.

    2017-12-01

    Progress on development of a lidar system for probing the upper atmosphere based on atomic oxygen resonance is presented and discussed. The promise of a fully-developed atomic oxygen lidar system, which must be based in space to measure the upper atmosphere, for yielding comprehensive new insights is discussed in terms of its potential to deliver global, height-resolved measurements of winds, temperature, and density at a high cadence. An overview of the system is given, and its measurement principles are described, including its use of 1) a two-photon transition to keep the optical depth low; 2) laser tuning to provide the Doppler information needed to measure winds; and 3) laser tuning to provide a Boltzmann temperature measurement. The current development status is presented with a focus on what has been done to demonstrate capability in the laboratory and its evolution to a funded sounding rocket investigation designed to make measurements of three-dimensional turbulence in the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere.

  1. Numerical simulation of small-scale mixing processes in the upper ocean and atmospheric boundary layer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Druzhinin, O; Troitskaya, Yu; Zilitinkevich, S

    2016-01-01

    The processes of turbulent mixing and momentum and heat exchange occur in the upper ocean at depths up to several dozens of meters and in the atmospheric boundary layer within interval of millimeters to dozens of meters and can not be resolved by known large- scale climate models. Thus small-scale processes need to be parameterized with respect to large scale fields. This parameterization involves the so-called bulk coefficients which relate turbulent fluxes with large-scale fields gradients. The bulk coefficients are dependent on the properties of the small-scale mixing processes which are affected by the upper-ocean stratification and characteristics of surface and internal waves. These dependencies are not well understood at present and need to be clarified. We employ Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) as a research tool which resolves all relevant flow scales and does not require closure assumptions typical of Large-Eddy and Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes simulations (LES and RANS). Thus DNS provides a solid ground for correct parameterization of small-scale mixing processes and also can be used for improving LES and RANS closure models. In particular, we discuss the problems of the interaction between small-scale turbulence and internal gravity waves propagating in the pycnocline in the upper ocean as well as the impact of surface waves on the properties of atmospheric boundary layer over wavy water surface. (paper)

  2. New Horizons Upper Limits on O{sub 2} in Pluto’s Present Day Atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kammer, J. A.; Gladstone, G. R. [Southwest Research Institute San Antonio, TX 78238 (United States); Stern, S. A.; Young, L. A.; Steffl, A. J.; Olkin, C. B. [Southwest Research Institute Boulder, CO 80302 (United States); Weaver, H. A. [Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); Ennico, K., E-mail: jkammer@swri.edu [NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); Collaboration: New Horizons Atmospheres and Alice UV Spectrograph Teams

    2017-08-01

    The surprising discovery by the Rosetta spacecraft of molecular oxygen (O{sub 2}) in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko challenged our understanding of the inventory of this volatile species on and inside bodies from the Kuiper Belt. That discovery motivated our search for oxygen in the atmosphere of Kuiper Belt planet Pluto, because O{sub 2} is volatile even at Pluto’s surface temperatures. During the New Horizons flyby of Pluto in 2015 July, the spacecraft probed the composition of Pluto’s atmosphere using a variety of observations, including an ultraviolet solar occultation observed by the Alice UV spectrograph. As described in these reports, absorption by molecular species in Pluto’s atmosphere yielded detections of N{sub 2}, as well as hydrocarbon species such as CH{sub 4}, C{sub 2}H{sub 2}, C{sub 2}H{sub 4}, and C{sub 2}H{sub 6}. Our work here further examines this data to search for UV absorption from molecular oxygen (O{sub 2}), which has a significant cross-section in the Alice spectrograph bandpass. We find no evidence for O{sub 2} absorption and place an upper limit on the total amount of O{sub 2} in Pluto’s atmosphere as a function of tangent height up to 700 km. In most of the atmosphere, this upper limit in line-of-sight abundance units is ∼3 × 10{sup 15} cm{sup −2}, which, depending on tangent height, corresponds to a mixing ratio of 10{sup −6} to 10{sup −4}, far lower than in comet 67P/CG.

  3. Poleward upgliding Siberian atmospheric rivers over sea ice heat up Arctic upper air.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komatsu, Kensuke K; Alexeev, Vladimir A; Repina, Irina A; Tachibana, Yoshihiro

    2018-02-13

    We carried out upper air measurements with radiosondes during the summer over the Arctic Ocean from an icebreaker moving poleward from an ice-free region, through the ice edge, and into a region of thick ice. Rapid warming of the Arctic is a significant environmental issue that occurs not only at the surface but also throughout the troposphere. In addition to the widely accepted mechanisms responsible for the increase of tropospheric warming during the summer over the Arctic, we showed a new potential contributing process to the increase, based on our direct observations and supporting numerical simulations and statistical analyses using a long-term reanalysis dataset. We refer to this new process as "Siberian Atmospheric Rivers (SARs)". Poleward upglides of SARs over cold air domes overlying sea ice provide the upper atmosphere with extra heat via condensation of water vapour. This heating drives increased buoyancy and further strengthens the ascent and heating of the mid-troposphere. This process requires the combination of SARs and sea ice as a land-ocean-atmosphere system, the implication being that large-scale heat and moisture transport from the lower latitudes can remotely amplify the warming of the Arctic troposphere in the summer.

  4. CAN TiO EXPLAIN THERMAL INVERSIONS IN THE UPPER ATMOSPHERES OF IRRADIATED GIANT PLANETS?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spiegel, David S.; Silverio, Katie; Burrows, Adam

    2009-01-01

    Spitzer Space Telescope infrared observations indicate that several transiting extrasolar giant planets have thermal inversions in their upper atmospheres. Above a relative minimum, the temperature appears to increase with altitude. Such an inversion probably requires a species at high altitude that absorbs a significant amount of incident optical/UV radiation. Some authors have suggested that the strong optical absorbers titanium oxide (TiO) and vanadium oxide (VO) could provide the needed additional opacity, but if regions of the atmosphere are cold enough for Ti and V to be sequestered into solids they might rain out and be severely depleted. With a model of the vertical distribution of a refractory species in gaseous and condensed form, we address the question of whether enough TiO (or VO) could survive aloft in an irradiated planet's atmosphere to produce a thermal inversion. We find that it is unlikely that VO could play a critical role in producing thermal inversions. Furthermore, we find that macroscopic mixing is essential to the TiO hypothesis; without macroscopic mixing, such a heavy species cannot persist in a planet's upper atmosphere. The amount of macroscopic mixing that is required depends on the size of condensed titanium-bearing particles that form in regions of an atmosphere that are too cold for gaseous TiO to exist. We parameterize the macroscopic mixing with the eddy diffusion coefficient K zz and find, as a function of particle size a, the values that K zz must assume on the highly irradiated planets HD 209458b, HD 149026b, TrES-4, and OGLE-TR-56b to loft enough titanium to the upper atmosphere for the TiO hypothesis to be correct. On these planets, we find that for TiO to be responsible for thermal inversions K zz must be at least a few times 10 7 cm 2 s -1 , even for a = 0.1 μm, and increases to nearly 10 11 cm 2 s -1 for a = 10 μm. Such large values may be problematic for the TiO hypothesis, but are not impossible.

  5. A telescope for observation from space of extreme lightnings in the upper atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, S.; Artikova, S.; Chung, T.; Garipov, G.; Jeon, J.A.; Jeong, S.; Jin, J.Y.; Khrenov, B.A.; Kim, J.E.; Kim, M.; Kim, Y.K.; Klimov, P.; Lee, J.; Lee, H.Y.; Na, G.W.; Oh, S.J.; Panasyuk, M.; Park, I.H.; Park, J.H.; Park, Y.-S.

    2008-01-01

    A new type of telescope with a wide field-of-view and functions of fast zoom-in has been introduced. Two kinds of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) micromirrors, digital and analog, are used for reflectors of the telescope, placed at different focal lengths. We apply this technology to the observation from space of TLE (Transient Luminous Events), extremely large transient sparks occurring at the upper atmosphere. TLE are one type of important backgrounds to be understood for future space observation of UHECR (Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays). The launch of the payload carried by a Russian microsatellite is foreseen in the middle of 2008

  6. Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) science data processing center implementation history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herring, Ellen L.; Taylor, K. David

    1990-01-01

    NASA-Goddard is responsible for the development of a ground system for the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) observatory, whose launch is scheduled for 1991. This ground system encompasses a dedicated Central Data Handling Facility (CDHF); attention is presently given to the management of software systems design and implementation phases for CDHF by the UARS organization. Also noted are integration and testing activities performed following software deliveries to the CDHF. The UARS project has an obvious requirement for a powerful and flexible data base management system; an off-the-shelf commercial system has been incorporated.

  7. Joint US Navy/US Air Force climatic study of the upper atmosphere. Volume 2: February

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changery, Michael J.; Williams, Claude N.; Dickenson, Michael L.; Wallace, Brian L.

    1989-09-01

    The upper atmosphere was studied based on 1980 to 1985 twice daily gridded analyses produced by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. This volume is for the month of February. Included are global analyses of: (1) Mean temperature standard deviation; (2) Mean geopotential height standard deviation; (3) Mean density standard deviation; (4) Height and vector standard deviation (all for 13 pressure levels - 1000, 850, 700, 500, 400, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 70, 50, 30 mb); (5) Mean dew point standard deviation for the 13 levels; and (6) Jet stream for levels 500 through 30 mb. Also included are global 5 degree grid point wind roses for the 13 pressure levels.

  8. Joint US Navy/US Air Force climatic study of the upper atmosphere. Volume 1: January

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changery, Michael J.; Williams, Claude N.; Dickenson, Michael L.; Wallace, Brian L.

    1989-07-01

    The upper atmosphere was studied based on 1980 to 1985 twice daily gridded analyses produced by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. This volume is for the month of January. Included are global analyses of: (1) Mean temperature standard deviation; (2) Mean geopotential height standard deviation; (3) Mean density standard deviation; (4) Mean density standard deviation (all for 13 levels - 1000, 850, 700, 500, 400, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 70, 50, 30 mb); (5) Mean dew point standard deviation for the 13 levels; and (6) Jet stream at levels 500 through 30 mb. Also included are global 5 degree grid point wind roses for the 13 pressure levels.

  9. Joint US Navy/US Air Force climatic study of the upper atmosphere. Volume 4: April

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changery, Michael J.; Williams, Claude N.; Dickenson, Michael L.; Wallace, Brian L.

    1989-07-01

    The upper atmosphere was studied based on 1980 to 1985 twice daily gridded analyses produced by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. This volume is for the month of April. Included are global analyses of: (1) Mean temperature standard deviation; (2) Mean geopotential height standard deviation; (3) Mean density standard deviation; (4) Height and vector standard deviation (all for 13 pressure levels - 1000, 850, 700, 500, 400, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 70, 50, 30 mb); (5) Mean dew point standard deviation for the 13 levels; and (6) Jet stream for levels 500 through 30 mb. Also included are global 5 degree grid point wind roses for the 13 pressure levels.

  10. Numerical Solution of the Electron Transport Equation in the Upper Atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woods, Mark Christopher [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Holmes, Mark [Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst., Troy, NY (United States); Sailor, William C [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2017-07-01

    A new approach for solving the electron transport equation in the upper atmosphere is derived. The problem is a very stiff boundary value problem, and to obtain an accurate numerical solution, matrix factorizations are used to decouple the fast and slow modes. A stable finite difference method is applied to each mode. This solver is applied to a simplifieed problem for which an exact solution exists using various versions of the boundary conditions that might arise in a natural auroral display. The numerical and exact solutions are found to agree with each other to at least two significant digits.

  11. NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Program UARP and Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP): Research Summaries 1994 - 1996. Report to Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, Rose (Compiler); Wolfe, Kathy (Compiler)

    1997-01-01

    Under the mandate contained in the FY 1976 NASA Authorization Act, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has developed and is implementing a comprehensive program of research, technology, and monitoring of the Earth's upper atmosphere, with emphasis on the stratosphere. This program aims at expanding our understanding to permit both the quantitative analysis of current perturbations as well as the assessment of possible future changes in this important region of our environment. It is carried out jointly by the Upper Atmosphere Research Program (UARP) and the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP), both managed within the Science Division in the Office of Mission to Planet Earth at NASA. Significant contributions to this effort are also provided by the Atmospheric Effects of Aviation Project (AEAP) of NASA's Office of Aeronautics. The long-term objectives of the present program are to perform research to: understand the physics, chemistry, and transport processes of the upper atmosphere and their effect on the distribution of chemical species in the stratosphere, such as ozone; understand the relationship of the trace constituent composition of the lower stratosphere and the lower troposphere to the radiative balance and temperature distribution of the Earth's atmosphere; and accurately assess possible perturbations of the upper atmosphere caused by human activities as well as by natural phenomena. In compliance with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, Public Law 101-549, NASA has prepared a report on the state of our knowledge of the Earth's upper atmosphere, particularly the stratosphere, and on the progress of UARP and ACMAP. The report for the year 1996 is composed of two parts. Part 1 summarizes the objectives, status, and accomplishments of the research tasks supported under NASA UARP and ACMAP in a document entitled, Research Summary 1994-1996. Part 2 is entitled Present State of Knowledge of the Upper Atmosphere

  12. Modeling of synchrotron-based laboratory simulations of Titan's ionospheric photochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Nathalie; Peng, Zhe; Pernot, Pascal

    2014-11-01

    The APSIS reactor has been designed to simulate in the laboratory with a VUV synchrotron irradiation the photochemistry occurring in planetary upper atmospheres. A N2-CH4 Titan-like gas mixture has been studied, whose photochemistry in Titan's ionospheric irradiation conditions leads to a coupled chemical network involving both radicals and ions. In the present work, an ion-neutral coupled model is developed to interpret the experimental data, taking into account the uncertainties on the kinetic parameters by Monte Carlo sampling. The model predicts species concentrations in agreement with mass spectrometry measurements of the methane consumption and product blocks intensities. Ion chemistry and in particular dissociative recombination are found to be very important through sensitivity analysis. The model is also applied to complementary environmental conditions, corresponding to Titan's ionospheric average conditions and to another existing synchrotron setup. An innovative study of the correlations between species concentrations identifies two main competitive families, leading respectively to saturated and unsaturated species. We find that the unsaturated growth family, driven by C2H2 , is dominant in Titan's upper atmosphere, as observed by the Cassini INMS. But the saturated species are substantially more intense in the measurements of the two synchrotron experimental setups, and likely originate from catalysis by metallic walls of the reactors.

  13. Upper tropospheric cloud systems determined from IR Sounders and their influence on the atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubenrauch, Claudia; Protopapadaki, Sofia; Feofilov, Artem; Velasco, Carola Barrientos

    2017-02-01

    Covering about 30% of the Earth, upper tropospheric clouds play a key role in the climate system by modulating the Earth's energy budget and heat transport. Infrared Sounders reliably identify cirrus down to an IR optical depth of 0.1. Recently LMD has built global cloud climate data records from AIRS and IASI observations, covering the periods from 2003-2015 and 2008-2015, respectively. Upper tropospheric clouds often form mesoscale systems. Their organization and properties are being studied by (1) distinguishing cloud regimes within 2° × 2° regions and (2) applying a spatial composite technique on adjacent cloud pressures, which estimates the horizontal extent of the mesoscale cloud systems. Convective core, cirrus anvil and thin cirrus of these systems are then distinguished by their emissivity. Compared to other studies of tropical mesoscale convective systems our data include also the thinner anvil parts, which make out about 30% of the area of tropical mesoscale convective systems. Once the horizontal and vertical structure of these upper tropospheric cloud systems is known, we can estimate their radiative effects in terms of top of atmosphere and surface radiative fluxes and by computing their heating rates.

  14. Characteristics of atmospheric gravity waves observed using the MU (Middle and Upper atmosphere) radar and GPS (Global Positioning System) radio occultation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuda, Toshitaka

    2014-01-01

    The wind velocity and temperature profiles observed in the middle atmosphere (altitude: 10-100 km) show perturbations resulting from superposition of various atmospheric waves, including atmospheric gravity waves. Atmospheric gravity waves are known to play an important role in determining the general circulation in the middle atmosphere by dynamical stresses caused by gravity wave breaking. In this paper, we summarize the characteristics of atmospheric gravity waves observed using the middle and upper atmosphere (MU) radar in Japan, as well as novel satellite data obtained from global positioning system radio occultation (GPS RO) measurements. In particular, we focus on the behavior of gravity waves in the mesosphere (50-90 km), where considerable gravity wave attenuation occurs. We also report on the global distribution of gravity wave activity in the stratosphere (10-50 km), highlighting various excitation mechanisms such as orographic effects, convection in the tropics, meteorological disturbances, the subtropical jet and the polar night jet.

  15. Titan's methane clock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nixon, C. A.; Jennings, D. E.; Romani, P. N.; Teanby, N. A.; Irwin, P. G. J.; Flasar, F. M.

    2010-04-01

    Measurements of the 12C/13C and D/H isotopic ratios in Titan's methane show intriguing differences from the values recorded in the giant planets. This implies that either (1) the atmosphere was differently endowed with material at the time of formation, or (2) evolutionary processes are at work in the moon's atmosphere - or some combination of the two. The Huygens Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer Instrument (GCMS) found 12CH4/13CH4 = 82 +/- 1 (Niemann et al. 2005), some 7% lower than the giant planets' value of 88 +/- 7 (Sada et al. 1996), which closely matches the terrestrial inorganic standard of 89. The Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) has previously reported 12CH4/13CH4 of 77 +/-3 based on nadir sounding, which we now revise upwards to 80 +/- 4 based on more accurate limb sounding. The CIRS and GCMS results are therefore in agreement about an overall enrichment in 13CH4 of ~10%. The value of D/H in Titan's CH4 has long been controversial: historical measurements have ranged from about 8-15 x 10-5 (e.g. Coustenis et al. 1989, Coustenis et al. 2003). A recent measurement based on CIRS limb data by Bezard et al. (2007) puts the D/H in CH4 at (13 +/- 1) x 10-5, very much greater than in Jupiter and Saturn, ~2 x 10-5 (Mahaffy et al. 1998, Fletcher et al. 2009). To add complexity, the 12C/13C and D/H vary among molecules in Titan atmosphere, typically showing enhancement in D but depletion in 13C in the daughter species (H2, C2H2, C2H6), relative to the photochemical progenitor, methane. Jennings et al. (2009) have sought to interpret the variance in carbon isotopes as a Kinetic Isotope Effect (KIE), whilst an explanation for the D/H in all molecules remains elusive (Cordier et al. 2008). In this presentation we argue that evolution of isotopic ratios in Titan's methane over time forms a ticking 'clock', somewhat analogous to isotopic ratios in geochronology. Under plausible assumptions about the initial values and subsequent replenishment, various

  16. The solar-terrestrial environment. An introduction to geospace - the science of the terrestrial upper atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargreaves, J. K.

    This textbook is a successor to "The upper atmosphere and solar-terrestrial relations" first published in 1979. It describes physical conditions in the upper atmosphere and magnetosphere of the Earth. This geospace environment begins 70 kilometres above the surface of the Earth and extends in near space to many times the Earth's radius. It is the region of near-Earth environment where the Space Shuttle flies, the aurora is generated, and the outer atmosphere meets particles streaming out of the sun. The account is introductory. The intent is to present basic concepts, and for that reason the mathematical treatment is not complex. There are three introductory chapters that give basic physics and explain the principles of physical investigation. The principal material contained in the main part of the book covers the neutral and ionized upper atmosphere, the magetosphere, and structures, dynamics, disturbances and irregularities. The concluding chapter deals with technological applications.

  17. Understanding and Forecasting Upper Atmosphere Nitric Oxide Through Data Mining Analysis of TIMED/SABER Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, S.; Knipp, D. J.; Matsuo, T.; Mlynczak, M. G.; Hunt, L. A.

    2017-12-01

    Storm time energy input to the upper atmosphere is countered by infrared radiative emissions from nitric oxide (NO). The temporal profile of these energy sources and losses strongly control thermospheric density profiles, which in turn affect the drag experienced by low Earth orbiting satellites. Storm time processes create NO. In some extreme cases an overabundance of NO emissions unexpectedly decreases atmospheric temperature and density to lower than pre-storm values. Quantifying the spatial and temporal variability of the NO emissions using eigenmodes will increase the understanding of how upper atmospheric NO behaves, and could be used to increase the accuracy of future space weather and climate models. Thirteen years of NO flux data, observed at 100-250 km altitude by the SABER instrument onboard the TIMED satellite, is decomposed into five empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) and their amplitudes to: 1) determine the strongest modes of variability in the data set, and 2) develop a compact model of NO flux. The first five EOFs account for 85% of the variability in the data, and their uncertainty is verified using cross-validation analysis. Although these linearly independent EOFs are not necessarily independent in a geophysical sense, the first three EOFs correlate strongly with different geophysical processes. The first EOF correlates strongly with Kp and F10.7, suggesting that geomagnetic storms and solar weather account for a large portion of NO flux variability. EOF 2 shows annual variations, and EOF 3 correlates with solar wind parameters. Using these relations, an empirical model of the EOF amplitudes can be derived, which could be used as a predictive tool for future NO emissions. We illustrate the NO model, highlight some of the hemispheric asymmetries, and discuss the geophysical associations of the EOFs.

  18. Accurate spectroscopic characterization of oxirane: A valuable route to its identification in Titan's atmosphere and the assignment of unidentified infrared bands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Puzzarini, Cristina [Dipartimento di Chimica " Giacomo Ciamician," Università di Bologna, Via Selmi 2, I-40126 Bologna (Italy); Biczysko, Malgorzata; Bloino, Julien; Barone, Vincenzo, E-mail: cristina.puzzarini@unibo.it [Scuola Normale Superiore, Piazza dei Cavalieri 7, I-56126 Pisa (Italy)

    2014-04-20

    In an effort to provide an accurate spectroscopic characterization of oxirane, state-of-the-art computational methods and approaches have been employed to determine highly accurate fundamental vibrational frequencies and rotational parameters. Available experimental data were used to assess the reliability of our computations, and an accuracy on average of 10 cm{sup –1} for fundamental transitions as well as overtones and combination bands has been pointed out. Moving to rotational spectroscopy, relative discrepancies of 0.1%, 2%-3%, and 3%-4% were observed for rotational, quartic, and sextic centrifugal-distortion constants, respectively. We are therefore confident that the highly accurate spectroscopic data provided herein can be useful for identification of oxirane in Titan's atmosphere and the assignment of unidentified infrared bands. Since oxirane was already observed in the interstellar medium and some astronomical objects are characterized by very high D/H ratios, we also considered the accurate determination of the spectroscopic parameters for the mono-deuterated species, oxirane-d1. For the latter, an empirical scaling procedure allowed us to improve our computed data and to provide predictions for rotational transitions with a relative accuracy of about 0.02% (i.e., an uncertainty of about 40 MHz for a transition lying at 200 GHz).

  19. Titan the earth-like moon

    CERN Document Server

    Coustenis, Athena

    1999-01-01

    This is the first book to deal with Titan, one of the most mysterious bodies in the solar system. The largest satellite of the giant planet Saturn, Titan is itself larger than the planet Mercury, and is unique in being the only known moon with a thick atmosphere. In addition, its atmosphere bears a startling resemblance to the Earth's, but is much colder.The American and European space agencies, NASA and ESA, have recently combined efforts to send a huge robot spacecraft to orbit Saturn and land on Titan. This book provides the background to this, the greatest deep space venture of our time, a

  20. Analytic Theory of Titans Schumann Resonance: Constraints on Ionospheric Conductivity and Buried Water Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beghin, Christian; Randriamboarison, Orelien; Hamelin, Michel; Karkoschka, Erich; Sotin, Christophe; Whitten, Robert C.; Berthelier, Jean-Jacques; Grard, Rejean; Simoes, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    This study presents an approximate model for the atypical Schumann resonance in Titan's atmosphere that accounts for the observations of electromagnetic waves and the measurements of atmospheric conductivity performed with the Huygens Atmospheric Structure and Permittivity, Wave and Altimetry (HASI-PWA) instrumentation during the descent of the Huygens Probe through Titan's atmosphere in January 2005. After many years of thorough analyses of the collected data, several arguments enable us to claim that the Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) wave observed at around 36 Hz displays all the characteristics of the second harmonic of a Schumann resonance. On Earth, this phenomenon is well known to be triggered by lightning activity. Given the lack of evidence of any thunderstorm activity on Titan, we proposed in early works a model based on an alternative powering mechanism involving the electric current sheets induced in Titan's ionosphere by the Saturn's magnetospheric plasma flow. The present study is a further step in improving the initial model and corroborating our preliminary assessments. We first develop an analytic theory of the guided modes that appear to be the most suitable for sustaining Schumann resonances in Titan's atmosphere. We then introduce the characteristics of the Huygens electric field measurements in the equations, in order to constrain the physical parameters of the resonating cavity. The latter is assumed to be made of different structures distributed between an upper boundary, presumably made of a succession of thin ionized layers of stratospheric aerosols spread up to 150 km and a lower quasi-perfect conductive surface hidden beneath the non-conductive ground. The inner reflecting boundary is proposed to be a buried water-ammonia ocean lying at a likely depth of 55-80 km below a dielectric icy crust. Such estimate is found to comply with models suggesting that the internal heat could be transferred upwards by thermal conduction of the crust, while

  1. Empirical global model of upper thermosphere winds based on atmosphere and dynamics explorer satellite data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedin, A. E.; Spencer, N. W.; Killeen, T. L.

    1988-01-01

    Thermospheric wind data obtained from the Atmosphere Explorer E and Dynamics Explorer 2 satellites have been used to generate an empirical wind model for the upper thermosphere, analogous to the MSIS model for temperature and density, using a limited set of vector spherical harmonics. The model is limited to above approximately 220 km where the data coverage is best and wind variations with height are reduced by viscosity. The data base is not adequate to detect solar cycle (F10.7) effects at this time but does include magnetic activity effects. Mid- and low-latitude data are reproduced quite well by the model and compare favorably with published ground-based results. The polar vortices are present, but not to full detail.

  2. Registering upper atmosphere parameters in East Siberia with Fabry—Perot Interferometer KEO Scientific "Arinae"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilyev, Roman; Artamonov, Maksim; Beletsky, Aleksandr; Zherebtsov, Geliy; Medvedeva, Irina; Mikhalev, Aleksandr; Syrenova, Tatyana

    2017-09-01

    We describe the Fabry–Perot interferometer designed to study Earth’s upper atmosphere. We propose a modification of the existing data processing method for determining the Doppler shift and Doppler widening and also for separating the observed line intensity and the background intensity. The temperature and wind velocity derived from these parameters are compared with physical characteristics obtained from modeling (NRLMSISE-00, HWM14). We demonstrate that the temperature is determined from the oxygen 630 nm line irrespective of the hydroxyl signal existing in interference patterns. We show that the interferometer can obtain temperature from the oxygen 557.7 nm line in case of additional calibration of the device. The observed wind velocity mainly agrees with model data. Night variations in the red and green oxygen lines quite well coincide with those in intensities obtained by devices installed nearby the interferometer.

  3. Joint US Navy/US Air Force climatic study of the upper atmosphere. Volume 7: July

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changery, Michael J.; Williams, Claude N.; Dickenson, Michael L.; Wallace, Brian L.

    1989-07-01

    The upper atmosphere was studied based on 1980 to 1985 twice daily gridded analysis produced by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. This volume is for the month of July. Included are global analyses of: (1) Mean temperature/standard deviation; (2) Mean geopotential height/standard deviation; (3) Mean density/standard deviation; (4) Height and vector standard deviation (all at 13 pressure levels - 1000, 850, 700, 500, 400, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 70, 50, 30 mb); (5) Mean dew point standard deviation at levels 1000 through 30 mb; and (6) Jet stream at levels 500 through 30 mb. Also included are global 5 degree grid point wind roses for the 13 pressure levels.

  4. Joint US Navy/US Air Force climatic study of the upper atmosphere. Volume 3: March

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changery, Michael J.; Williams, Claude N.; Dickenson, Michael L.; Wallace, Brian L.

    1989-11-01

    The upper atmosphere was studied based on 1980 to 1985 twice daily gridded analysis produced by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. This volume is for the month of March. Included are global analyses of: (1) Mean Temperature Standard Deviation; (2) Mean Geopotential Height Standard Deviation; (3) Mean Density Standard Deviation; (4) Height and Vector Standard Deviation (all for 13 pressure levels - 1000, 850, 700, 500, 400, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 70, 50, 30 mb); (5) Mean Dew Point Standard Deviation for levels 1000 through 30 mb; and (6) Jet stream for levels 500 through 30 mb. Also included are global 5 degree grid point wind roses for the 13 pressure levels.

  5. Joint US Navy/US Air Force climatic study of the upper atmosphere. Volume 10: October

    Science.gov (United States)

    Changery, Michael J.; Williams, Claude N.; Dickenson, Michael L.; Wallace, Brian L.

    1989-07-01

    The upper atmosphere was studied based on 1980 to 1985 twice daily gridded analysis produced by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts. This volume is for the month of October. Included are global analyses of: (1) Mean temperature/standard deviation; (2) Mean geopotential height/standard deviation; (3) Mean density/standard deviation; (4) Height and vector standard deviation (all at 13 pressure levels - 1000, 850, 700, 500, 400, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 70, 50, 30 mb); (5) Mean dew point/standard deviation at levels 1000 through 30 mb; and (6) Jet stream at levels 500 through 30 mb. Also included are global 5 degree grid point wind roses for the 13 pressure levels.

  6. Comprehensive calculation of the energy per ion pair or W values for five major planetary upper atmospheres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Simon Wedlund

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The mean energy W expended in a collision of electrons with atmospheric gases is a useful parameter for fast aeronomy computations. Computing this parameter in transport kinetic models with experimental values can tell us more about the number of processes that have to be taken into account and the uncertainties of the models. We present here computations for several atmospheric gases of planetological interest (CO2, CO, N2, O2, O, CH4, H, He using a family of multi-stream kinetic transport codes. Results for complete atmospheres for Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Titan are also shown for the first time. A simple method is derived to calculate W of gas mixtures from single-component gases and is conclusively checked against the W values of these planetary atmospheres. Discrepancies between experimental and theoretical values show where improvements can be made in the measurement of excitation and dissociation cross-sections of specific neutral species, such as CO2 and CO.

  7. Instrumentation for in situ sampling and analysis of compounds of interest to Astrobiology in the lower atmosphere and surface of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Paul M.; Kojiro, Daniel R.; Stimac, Robert; Kaye, William; Takeuchi, Nori

    2006-01-01

    Instrumentation for exploration of the solar system will require new enabling technology for in situ sample acquisition and analysis of pre-biotic chemistry in extreme planetary environments, such as that encountered at the surface of Titan. The potential use of balloon aero-rovers for Titan places special emphasis on the importance of miniaturization, low power and low usage of consumables. To help meet this need, we are developing a miniature gas chromatograph coupled with a new Mini-Cell ion mobility spectrometer (GC-IMS), and one of us (PMH) has begun development work on a miniaturized cryogenic inlet system with sampling probes for Titan. This instrumentation, and its approach for meeting measurement needs for the analysis of prebiotic chemistry on Titan, will be discussed.

  8. Polarisation of auroral emission lines in the Earth's upper atmosphere : first results and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, H.; Barthelemy, M.; Simon Wedlund, C.; Lilensten, J.; Bommier, V.

    2011-12-01

    Polarisation of light is a key observable to provide information about asymmetry or anisotropy within a radiative source. Following the pioneering and controversial work of Duncan in 1959, the polarisation of auroral emission lines in the Earth's upper atmosphere has been overlooked for a long time, even though the red intense auroral line (6300Å) produced by collisional impacts with electrons precipitating along magnetic field lines is a good candidate to search for polarisation. This problem was investigated again by Lilensten et al (2006) and observations were obtained by Lilensten et al (2008) confirming that the red auroral emission line is polarised. More recent measurements obtained by Barthélemy et al (2011) are presented and discussed. The results are compared to predictions of the theoretical work of Bommier et al (2011) and are in good agreement. Following these encouraging results, a new dedicated spectropolarimeter is currently under construction between BIRA-IASB and IPAG to provide simultaneously the polarisation of the red line and of other interesting auroral emission lines such as N2+ 1NG (4278Å), other N2 bands, etc... Perspectives regarding the theoretical polarisation of some of these lines will be presented. The importance of these polarisation measurements in the framework of atmospheric modeling and geomagnetic activity will be discussed.

  9. Multi-station synthesis of early twentieth century surface atmospheric electricity measurements for upper tropospheric properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. G. Harrison

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The vertical columnar current density in the global atmospheric electrical circuit depends on the local columnar resistance. A simple model for the columnar resistance is suggested, which separates the local boundary layer component from the upper troposphere cosmic ray component, and calculates the boundary layer component from a surface measurement of air conductivity. This theory is shown to provide reasonable agreement with observations. One application of the simple columnar model theory is to provide a basis for the synthesis of surface atmospheric electrical measurements made simultaneously at several European sites. Assuming the ionospheric potential to be common above all the sites, the theoretical air-earth current density present in the absence of a boundary layer columnar resistance can be found by extrapolation. This is denoted the free troposphere limit air-earth current density, J0. Using early surface data from 1909 when no ionospheric potential data are available for corroboration, J0 is found to be ~6 pA m−2, although this is subject to uncertainties in the data and limitations in the theory. Later (1966–1971 European balloon and surface data give J0=2.4 pA m−2.

  10. Titan's Emergence from Winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flasar, F. Michael; Achterberg, Richard; Jennings, Donald; Schinder, Paul

    2011-01-01

    We summarize the changes in Titans thermal structure derived from Cassini CIRS and radio-occultation data during the transition from winter to early spring. Titan's surface, and middle atmosphere show noticeable seasonal change, whereas that in most of the troposphere is mated. This can be understood in terms of the relatively small radiative relaxation time in the middle atmosphere and much larger time scale in the troposphere. The surface exhibits seasonal change because the heat capacity in an annual skin depth is much smaller than that in the lowest scale height of the troposphere. Surface temperatures rise 1 K at raid and high latitudes in the winter northern hemisphere and cool in the southern hemisphere. Changes in in the middle atmosphere are more complicated. Temperatures in the middle stratosphere (approximately 1 mbar) increase by a few kelvin at mid northern latitudes, but those at high latitudes first increase as that region moves out of winter shadow, and then decrease. This probably results from the combined effect of increased solar heating as the suit moves higher in the sky and the decreased adiabatic warming as the sinking motions associated with the cross-equatorial meridional cell weaken. Consistent with this interpretation, the warm temperatures observed higher up at the winter polar stratopause cool significantly.

  11. Partially collisional model of the Titan hydrogen torus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hilton, D.A.

    1987-01-01

    A numerical model was developed for atomic hydrogen densities in the Titan hydrogen torus. The effects of occasional collisions were included in order to accurately simulate physical conditions inferred from the Voyager 1 and 2 Ultraviolet Spectrometer (UVS) results of Broadfoot et al. (1981) and Sandel et al. (1982). The model employed Lagrangian perturbation of orbital elements of hydrogen atoms launched from Titan and Monte Carlo simulation of collisions and loss mechanisms. The torus is found to be azimuthally symmetric with the density sharply peaked at Titan's orbit, and decreasing rapidly in the outward and perpendicular directions and more gradually inward from 17 to 5 R/sub s/. The energetic hydrogen atoms from Saturn's upper atmosphere, first predicted by Shemansky and Smith (1982), were also investigated. Collisions of these Saturnian atoms with the torus population do not contribute to the torus density, and will lead to a net loss of torus atoms if their launch speeds from Saturn extend above 40 km/sec. The Saturnian atoms produce a corona which was modeled using the theory of Chamberlain (1963)

  12. The determination of parameters of the upper atmosphere by the radio-meteor measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamukov, Damir; Fahrutdinova, Antonina; Nugmanov, Ildus

    Study of the parameters of the upper atmosphere on the basis of amplitude-time characteristics of meteor ionization. Together with various methods meteor observations (optical, photographic, visual, spectral, television), the most effective modern method of studying meteors means is radar. The development of modern radar technology allows us to apply this tool to monitor meteors. This method allows to determine the parameters of temperature and atmospheric pressure. Actual issue is the development of methods of determining the coefficient of ambipolar diffusion, pressure, density and temperature of the atmosphere in the meteor zone. Graph of amplitude-time characteristic has the exponential form. This fact allows to determine the coefficient of ambipolar diffusion. New algorithm for estimation of the ambipolar diffusion coefficient based on a set of statistical methods and techniques of digital signal processing. There are decomposition of data on singular values and Prony's method. This method of modeling the sample data as a linear combination of exponential. Prony’s method approximates the amplitude-time characteristics of using a deterministic exponential model. Input data is amplitude-time characteristics of the meteor trail x[1]…x[N]. The method allows to estimate x[n] p-membered exponential model: begin{center} x[n]=Sigma2A_{k}exp[a _{k}(n-1)]Cos[2Pif_{k}(n-1)T+Fi_{k}] (1) end{center} 1<=n<=N, T - time range in seconds, A_{k} and a_{k} - amplitude and damping coefficient, f_{k} and Fi_{k} - frequency and initial phase. The equation describing the decay of radio signal: begin{center} A=A_{0}exp(-16Pi^{2}$D_{a}t/λ (2) ). (2) lambdaλ - radar wavelength. The output of the algorithm - the ambipolar diffusion coefficient values D_{a}. begin{center} T=0.5lnD-T_{0}+mg/2kT_{0} (3) Last equation allows to obtain temperature values using the coefficient of ambipolar diffusion depends on the height.

  13. On transient events in the upper atmosphere generated away of thunderstorm regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morozenko, V.; Garipov, G.; Khrenov, B.; Klimov, P.; Panasyuk, M.; Sharakin, S.; Zotov, M.

    2011-12-01

    origin may be related to electromagnetic pulses (EMP) or waves (whistler, EMW) generated by lightning. The EMP-EMW is transmitted in the ionosphere- ground channel to large distances R with low absorption. The part of EMP-EMW "visible" in the detector aperture diminishes with distance as R-1 due to observation geometry. The EMP-EMW triggers the electric discharge in the upper atmosphere (lower ionosphere, ~70 km). Estimates of resulting transients luminosity and their correlation with geomagnetic field are in progress.

  14. The greenhouse and antigreenhouse effects on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckay, Christopher P.; Pollack, James B.; Courtin, Regis

    1991-01-01

    The parallels between the atmospheric thermal structure of the Saturnian satellite Titan and the hypothesized terrestrial greenhouse effect can serve as bases for the evaluation of competing greenhouse theories. Attention is presently drawn to the similarity between the roles of H2 and CH4 on Titan and CO2 and H2O on earth. Titan also has an antigreenhouse effect due to a high-altitude haze layer which absorbs at solar wavelengths, while remaining transparent in the thermal IR; if this haze layer were removed, the antigreenhouse effect would be greatly reduced, exacerbating the greenhouse effect and raising surface temperature by over 20 K.

  15. ON THE COMBINATION OF IMAGING-POLARIMETRY WITH SPECTROPOLARIMETRY OF UPPER SOLAR ATMOSPHERES DURING SOLAR ECLIPSES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qu, Z. Q.; Deng, L. H.; Dun, G. T.; Chang, L.; Zhang, X. Y.; Cheng, X. M.; Qu, Z. N.; Xue, Z. K.; Ma, L.; Allington-Smith, J.; Murray, G.

    2013-01-01

    We present results from imaging polarimetry (IP) of upper solar atmospheres during a total solar eclipse on 2012 November 13 and spectropolarimetry of an annular solar eclipse on 2010 January 15. This combination of techniques provides both the synoptic spatial distribution of polarization above the solar limb and spectral information on the physical mechanism producing the polarization. Using these techniques together we demonstrate that even in the transition region, the linear polarization increases with height and can exceed 20%. IP shows a relatively smooth background distribution in terms of the amplitude and direction modified by solar structures above the limb. A map of a new quantity that reflects direction departure from the background polarization supplies an effective technique to improve the contrast of this fine structure. Spectral polarimetry shows that the relative contribution to the integrated polarization over the observed passband from the spectral lines decreases with height while the contribution from the continuum increases as a general trend. We conclude that both imaging and spectral polarimetry obtained simultaneously over matched spatial and spectral domains will be fruitful for future eclipse observations

  16. The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite: From Coffee Table Art to Quantitative Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglass, Anne R.

    1999-01-01

    The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) has provided an unprecedented set of observations of constituents of the stratosphere. When used in combination with data from other sources and appropriate modeling tools, these observations are useful for quantitative evaluation of stratospheric photochemical processes. This is illustrated by comparing ozone observations from airborne Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL), from the Polar Ozone and Aerosol Measurement (POAM), from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS), and from the Halogen occultation Experiment (HALOE) with ozone fields generated with a three dimensional model. For 1995-96, at polar latitudes, observations from DIAL flights on December 9 and January 30, and POAM and MLS between late December and late January are compared with ozone fields from the GSFC 3D chemistry and transport model. Data from the three platforms consistently show that the observed ozone has a negative trend relative to the modeled ozone, and that the trend is uniform in time between early and mid winter, with no obvious dependence on proximity to the vortex edge. The importance of chlorine catalyzed photochemistry to this ozone loss is explored by comparing observations from MLS and HALOE with simulations for other northern winters, particularly 1997-98.

  17. Wind and turbulence measurements by the Middle and Upper Atmosphere Radar (MUR: comparison of techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Praskovsky

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available The structure-function-based method (referred to as UCAR-STARS, a technique for estimating mean horizontal winds, variances of three turbulent velocity components and horizontal momentum flux was applied to the Middle and Upper atmosphere Radar (MUR operating in spaced antenna (SA profiling mode. The method is discussed and compared with the Holloway and Doviak (HAD correlation-function-based technique. Mean horizontal winds are estimated with the STARS and HAD techniques; the Doppler Beam Swinging (DBS method is used as a reference for evaluating the SA techniques. Reasonable agreement between SA and DBS techniques is found at heights from 5km to approximately 11km, where signal-to-noise ratio was rather high. The STARS and HAD produced variances of vertical turbulent velocity are found to be in fair agreement. They are affected by beam-broadening in a different way than the DBS-produced spectral width, and to a much lesser degree. Variances of horizontal turbulent velocity components and horizontal momentum flux are estimated with the STARS method, and strong anisotropy of turbulence is found. These characteristics cannot be estimated with correlation-function-based SA methods, which could make UCAR-STARS a useful alternative to traditional SA techniques.

  18. Simulation of non-hydrostatic gravity wave propagation in the upper atmosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Deng

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The high-frequency and small horizontal scale gravity waves may be reflected and ducted in non-hydrostatic simulations, but usually propagate vertically in hydrostatic models. To examine gravity wave propagation, a preliminary study has been conducted with a global ionosphere–thermosphere model (GITM, which is a non-hydrostatic general circulation model for the upper atmosphere. GITM has been run regionally with a horizontal resolution of 0.2° long × 0.2° lat to resolve the gravity wave with wavelength of 250 km. A cosine wave oscillation with amplitude of 30 m s−1 has been applied to the zonal wind at the low boundary, and both high-frequency and low-frequency waves have been tested. In the high-frequency case, the gravity wave stays below 200 km, which indicates that the wave is reflected or ducted in propagation. The results are consistent with the theoretical analysis from the dispersion relationship when the wavelength is larger than the cutoff wavelength for the non-hydrostatic situation. However, the low-frequency wave propagates to the high altitudes during the whole simulation period, and the amplitude increases with height. This study shows that the non-hydrostatic model successfully reproduces the high-frequency gravity wave dissipation.

  19. Top-of-atmosphere radiative forcing affected by brown carbon in the upper troposphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuzhong; Forrister, Haviland; Liu, Jiumeng; Dibb, Jack; Anderson, Bruce; Schwarz, Joshua P.; Perring, Anne E.; Jimenez, Jose L.; Campuzano-Jost, Pedro; Wang, Yuhang; Nenes, Athanasios; Weber, Rodney J.

    2017-07-01

    Carbonaceous aerosols affect the global radiative balance by absorbing and scattering radiation, which leads to warming or cooling of the atmosphere, respectively. Black carbon is the main light-absorbing component. A portion of the organic aerosol known as brown carbon also absorbs light. The climate sensitivity to absorbing aerosols rapidly increases with altitude, but brown carbon measurements are limited in the upper troposphere. Here we present aircraft observations of vertical aerosol distributions over the continental United States in May and June 2012 to show that light-absorbing brown carbon is prevalent in the troposphere, and absorbs more short-wavelength radiation than black carbon at altitudes between 5 and 12 km. We find that brown carbon is transported to these altitudes by deep convection, and that in-cloud heterogeneous processing may produce brown carbon. Radiative transfer calculations suggest that brown carbon accounts for about 24% of combined black and brown carbon warming effect at the tropopause. Roughly two-thirds of the estimated brown carbon forcing occurs above 5 km, although most brown carbon is found below 5 km. The highest radiative absorption occurred during an event that ingested a wildfire plume. We conclude that high-altitude brown carbon from biomass burning is an unappreciated component of climate forcing.

  20. Present State of Knowledge of the Upper Atmosphere 1996: An Assessment Report to Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurylo, M. J.; Kaye, J. A.; Decola, P. L.; Friedl, R. R.; Peterson, D. B.

    1997-01-01

    This document is issued in response to the Clean Air Act Amendment of 1990, Public Law 101-549, which mandates that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other key agencies submit triennial report to congress and the Environmental Protection Agency. NASA is charged with the responsibility to report on the state of our knowledge of the Earth's upper atmosphere, particularly the Stratosphere. Part 1 of this report summarizes the objectives, status, and accomplishments of the research tasks supported under NASA's Upper Atmosphere Research Program and Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program for the period of 1994-1996. Part 2 (this document) presents summaries of several scientific assessments, reviews, and summaries. These include the executive summaries of two scientific assessments: (Section B) 'Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1994'; (Section C) 'l995 Scientific Assessment of the Atmospheric Effects of Stratospheric Aircraft); end of mission/series statements for three stratospherically-focused measurement campaigns: (Section D) 'ATLAS End-of-Series Statement'; (Section E) 'ASHOE/MAESA End-of-Mission Statement'; (Section F) 'TOTE/VOTE End-of-Mission Statement'; a summary of NASA's latest biennial review of fundamental photochemical processes important to atmospheric chemistry 'Chemical Kinetics and Photochemical Data for Use in Stratospheric Modeling'; and (Section H) the section 'Atmospheric Ozone Research" from the Mission to Planet Earth Science Research Plan, which describes NASA's current and future research activities related to both tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry.

  1. Titan after Cassini Huygens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchamp, P. M.; Lunine, J.; Lebreton, J.; Coustenis, A.; Matson, D.; Reh, K.; Erd, C.

    2008-12-01

    In 2005, the Huygens Probe gave us a snapshot of a world tantalizingly like our own, yet frozen in its evolution on the threshold of life. The descent under parachute, like that of Huygens in 2005, is happening again, but this time in the Saturn-cast twilight of winter in Titan's northern reaches. With a pop, the parachute is released, and then a muffled splash signals the beginning of the first floating exploration of an extraterrestrial sea-this one not of water but of liquid hydrocarbons. Meanwhile, thousands of miles away, a hot air balloon, a "montgolfiere," cruises 6 miles above sunnier terrain, imaging vistas of dunes, river channels, mountains and valleys carved in water ice, and probing the subsurface for vast quantities of "missing" methane and ethane that might be hidden within a porous icy crust. Balloon and floater return their data to a Titan Orbiter equipped to strip away Titan's mysteries with imaging, radar profiling, and atmospheric sampling, much more powerful and more complete than Cassini was capable of. This spacecraft, preparing to enter a circular orbit around Saturn's cloud-shrouded giant moon, has just completed a series of flybys of Enceladus, a tiny but active world with plumes that blow water and organics from the interior into space. Specialized instruments on the orbiter were able to analyze these plumes directly during the flybys. Titan and Enceladus could hardly seem more different, and yet they are linked by their origin in the Saturn system, by a magnetosphere that sweeps up mass and delivers energy, and by the possibility that one or both worlds harbor life. It is the goal of the NASA/ESA Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) to explore and investigate these exotic and inviting worlds, to understand their natures and assess the possibilities of habitability in this system so distant from our home world. Orbiting, landing, and ballooning at Titan represent a new and exciting approach to planetary exploration. The TSSM mission

  2. Wind and Temperature Spectrometry of the Upper Atmosphere in Low-Earth Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrero, Federico

    2011-01-01

    Wind and Temperature Spectrometry (WATS) is a new approach to measure the full wind vector, temperature, and relative densities of major neutral species in the Earth's thermosphere. The method uses an energy-angle spectrometer moving through the tenuous upper atmosphere to measure directly the angular and energy distributions of the air stream that enters the spectrometer. The angular distribution gives the direction of the total velocity of the air entering the spectrometer, and the energy distribution gives the magnitude of the total velocity. The wind velocity vector is uniquely determined since the measured total velocity depends on the wind vector and the orbiting velocity vector. The orbiting spectrometer moves supersonically, Mach 8 or greater, through the air and must point within a few degrees of its orbital velocity vector (the ram direction). Pointing knowledge is critical; for example, pointing errors 0.1 lead to errors of about 10 m/s in the wind. The WATS method may also be applied without modification to measure the ion-drift vector, ion temperature, and relative ion densities of major ionic species in the ionosphere. In such an application it may be called IDTS: Ion-Drift Temperature Spectrometry. A spectrometer-based coordinate system with one axis instantaneously pointing along the ram direction makes it possible to transform the Maxwellian velocity distribution of the air molecules to a Maxwellian energy-angle distribution for the molecular flux entering the spectrometer. This implementation of WATS is called the gas kinetic method (GKM) because it is applied to the case of the Maxwellian distribution. The WATS method follows from the recognition that in a supersonic platform moving at 8,000 m/s, the measurement of small wind velocities in the air on the order of a few 100 m/s and less requires precise knowledge of the angle of incidence of the neutral atoms and molecules. The same is true for the case of ion-drift measurements. WATS also

  3. Solar magnetism eXplorer (SolmeX). Exploring the magnetic field in the upper atmosphere of our closest star

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Hardi; Abbo, L.; Andretta, V.; Auchère, F.; Bemporad, A.; Berrilli, F.; Bommier, V.; Braukhane, A.; Casini, R.; Curdt, W.; Davila, J.; Dittus, H.; Fineschi, S.; Fludra, A.; Gandorfer, A.; Griffin, D.; Inhester, B.; Lagg, A.; Landi Degl'Innocenti, E.; Maiwald, V.; Sainz, R. Manso; Martínez Pillet, V; Matthews, S.; Moses, D.; Parenti, S.; Pietarila, A.; Quantius, D.; Raouafi, N.-E.; Raymond, J.; Rochus, P.; Romberg, O.; Schlotterer, M.; Schühle, U.; Solanki, S.; Spadaro, D.; Teriaca, L.; Tomczyk, S.; Trujillo Bueno, J.; Vial, J.-C.

    2012-04-01

    The magnetic field plays a pivotal role in many fields of Astrophysics. This is especially true for the physics of the solar atmosphere. Measuring the magnetic field in the upper solar atmosphere is crucial to understand the nature of the underlying physical processes that drive the violent dynamics of the solar corona—that can also affect life on Earth. SolmeX, a fully equipped solar space observatory for remote-sensing observations, will provide the first comprehensive measurements of the strength and direction of the magnetic field in the upper solar atmosphere. The mission consists of two spacecraft, one carrying the instruments, and another one in formation flight at a distance of about 200 m carrying the occulter to provide an artificial total solar eclipse. This will ensure high-quality coronagraphic observations above the solar limb. SolmeX integrates two spectro-polarimetric coronagraphs for off-limb observations, one in the EUV and one in the IR, and three instruments for observations on the disk. The latter comprises one imaging polarimeter in the EUV for coronal studies, a spectro-polarimeter in the EUV to investigate the low corona, and an imaging spectro-polarimeter in the UV for chromospheric studies. SOHO and other existing missions have investigated the emission of the upper atmosphere in detail (not considering polarization), and as this will be the case also for missions planned for the near future. Therefore it is timely that SolmeX provides the final piece of the observational quest by measuring the magnetic field in the upper atmosphere through polarimetric observations.

  4. Updated Results from the Michigan Titan Thermospheric General Circulation Model (TTGCM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. M.; Bougher, S. W.; de Lahaye, V.; Waite, J. H.; Ridley, A.

    2006-05-01

    This paper presents updated results from the Michigan Titan Thermospheric General Circulation Model (TTGCM) that was recently unveiled in operational form (Bell et al 2005 Spring AGU). Since then, we have incorporated a suite of chemical reactions for the major neutral constituents in Titan's upper atmosphere (N2, CH4). Additionally, some selected minor neutral constituents and major ionic species are also supported in the framework. At this time, HCN, which remains one of the critical thermally active species in the upper atmosphere, remains specified at all altitudes, utilizing profiles derived from recent Cassini-Huygen's measurements. In addition to these improvements, a parallel effort is underway to develop a non-hydrostatic Titan Thermospheric General Circulation Model for further comparisons. In this work, we emphasize the impacts of self-consistent chemistry on the results of the updated TTGCM relative to its frozen chemistry predecessor. Meanwhile, the thermosphere's thermodynamics remains determined by the interplay of solar EUV forcing and HCN rotational cooling, which is calculated by a full line- by-line radiative transfer routine along the lines of Yelle (1991) and Mueller-Wodarg (2000, 2002). In addition to these primary drivers, a treatment of magnetospheric heating is further tested. The model's results will be compared with both the Cassini INMS data and the model of Mueller-Wodarg (2000,2002).

  5. Acetylene on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sandeep; McCord, Thomas B.; Combe, Jean-Philippe; Rodriguez, Sebastien; Cornet, Thomas; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Clark, Roger Nelson; Maltagliati, Luca; Chevrier, Vincent

    2016-10-01

    Saturn's moon Titan possesses a thick atmosphere that is mainly composed of N2 (98%), CH4 (2 % overall, but 4.9% close to the surface) and less than 1% of minor species, mostly hydrocarbons [1]. A dissociation of N2 and CH4 forms complex hydrocarbons in the atmsophere and acetylene (C2H2) and ethane (C2H6) are produced most abundently. Since years, C2H2 has been speculated to exist on the surface of Titan based on its high production rate in the stratosphere predicted by photochemical models [2,3] and from its detection as trace gas sublimated/evaporated from the surface after the landing of the Huygens probe by the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) [1]. Here we show evidence of acetylene (C2H2) on the surface of Titan by detecting absorption bands at 1.55 µm and 4.93 µm using Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) [4] at equatorial areas of eastern Shangri-La, and Fensal-Aztlan/Quivira.An anti-correlation of absorption band strength with albedo indicates greater concentrations of C2H2 in the dark terrains, such as sand dunes and near the Huygens landing site. The specific location of the C2H2 detections suggests that C2H2 is mobilized by surface processes, such as surface weathering by liquids through dissolution/evaporation processes.References:[1]Niemann et al., Nature 438, 779-784 (2005).[2]Lavvas et al., Planetary and Space Science 56, 67 - 99 (2008).[3]Lavvas et al., Planetary and Space Science 56, 27 - 66 (2008).[4] Brown et al., The Cassini-Huygens Mission 111-168 (Springer, 2004).

  6. Observations of a free-energy source for intense electrostatic waves. [in upper atmosphere near upper hybrid resonance frequency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurth, W. S.; Frank, L. A.; Gurnett, D. A.; Burek, B. G.; Ashour-Abdalla, M.

    1980-01-01

    Significant progress has been made in understanding intense electrostatic waves near the upper hybrid resonance frequency in terms of the theory of multiharmonic cyclotron emission using a classical loss-cone distribution function as a model. Recent observations by Hawkeye 1 and GEOS 1 have verified the existence of loss-cone distributions in association with the intense electrostatic wave events, however, other observations by Hawkeye and ISEE have indicated that loss cones are not always observable during the wave events, and in fact other forms of free energy may also be responsible for the instability. Now, for the first time, a positively sloped feature in the perpendicular distribution function has been uniquely identified with intense electrostatic wave activity. Correspondingly, we suggest that the theory is flexible under substantial modifications of the model distribution function.

  7. Dependence of positive and negative sprite morphology on lightning characteristics and upper atmospheric ambient conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Jianqi; Celestin, Sebastien; Pasko, Victor P.

    2013-05-01

    Carrot sprites, exhibiting both upward and downward propagating streamers, and columniform sprites, characterized by predominantly vertical downward streamers, represent two distinct morphological classes of lightning-driven transient luminous events in the upper atmosphere. It is found that positive cloud-to-ground lightning discharges (+CGs) associated with large charge moment changes (QhQ) tend to produce carrot sprites with the presence of a mesospheric region where the electric field exceeds the value 0.8Ek and persists for >˜2 ms, whereas those associated with small QhQ are only able to produce columniform sprites. Columniform sprites may also appear in the periphery of a sprite halo produced by +CGs associated with large QhQ. For a sufficiently large QhQ, the time dynamics of the QhQ determines the specific shape of the carrot sprites. In the case when the sufficiently large QhQ is produced mainly by an impulsive return stroke, strong electric field is produced at high altitudes and manifests as a bright halo, and the corresponding conductivity enhancement lowers/enhances the probability of streamer initiation inside/below the sprite halo. A more impulsive return stroke leads to a more significant conductivity enhancement (i.e., a brighter halo). This conductivity enhancement also leads to fast decay and termination of the upper diffuse region of carrot sprites because it effectively screens out the electric field at high altitudes. On the contrary, if the sufficiently large QhQ is produced by a weak return stroke (i.e., a dim halo) accompanied by intense continuing current, the lightning-induced electric field at high altitudes persists at a level that is comparable to Ek, and therefore an extensive upper diffuse region can develop. Furthermore, we demonstrate that `negative sprites' (produced by -CGs) should be necessarily carrot sprites and most likely accompanied by a detectable halo, since the initiation of upward positive streamers is always easier

  8. The Application of Satellite Borne Accelerometer Data to the Study of Upper Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, H. B.

    2010-10-01

    The thesis studies some issues on the upper atmosphere based on the accelerometer data of CHAMP and GRACE-A/B satellites (Reigber et al. 2001, Tapley et al. 2004). The total atmospheric densities from 2002 to 2008 are computed from accelerometer measurements. Then the accuracies of three empirical density models such as CIRA72, DTM94 and NRLMSISE00 are evaluated. It shows that the mean errors of these models are about 22%, 26% and 27%, respectively. All of them underestimated the densities. For the years of Solar maximum (2002-2003), the models' errors exceed 30%, while for the years of Solar minimum (2007-2008), the errors are less than 15%. Three characteristics of density variation are studied, such as diurnal variation, seasonal variation and semi-annual variation. The results are: (1) The diurnal-amplitude in low-latitude region is about 1.3 at 470 km and 0.8 at 370 km. (2) The seasonal-amplitude is about 0.6 in the 60 degree region and 0.3 in the 30 degree region. (3) The semi-annual variation is related to the solar radiation. The stronger the radiation is, the greater the semi-annual-amplitude is. For example, it is about 0.32 with strong solar radiation and 0.20 with weak solar radiation. The effects of various solar indices on the model accuracy are also studied. It is shown that E10.7 could reduce the mean errors of models about 20%, and S10, Mg10, Y10 could reduce the standard deviations of models about 5%. To study the density response to magnetic storms, 52 storm events from 2003 to 2007 (ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/GEOMAGNETIC_DATA/INDICES/KP_AP) are chosen as examples. It is deduced that the index Dst is more suitable to describe the density variation than index Ap. The first response of density during the storm is very fast. In about 15 minutes after the storm onset, the density around the north and south poles would enhance about 40%~70%. However, the disturbance would take 2~6 hours to travel to the equator region. It is also found that the

  9. Titan from Cassini-Huygens

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, Robert H; Waite, J. Hunter

    2010-01-01

    This book reviews our current knowledge of Saturn's largest moon Titan featuring the latest results obtained by the Cassini-Huygens mission. A global author team addresses Titan’s origin and evolution, internal structure, surface geology, the atmosphere and ionosphere as well as magnetospheric interactions. The book closes with an outlook beyond the Cassini-Huygens mission. Colorfully illustrated, this book will serve as a reference to researchers as well as an introduction for students.

  10. Proceedings of the 13th annual meeting on upper atmosphere studies by optical methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maaseide, K.

    1986-12-01

    A total of 41 papers were presented under the following session topics: Atmospheric emissions; auroral features and dynamics; auroral pulsations; airglow and atmospheric parameters; atmospheric constituents; instrumentation and data handling; and observation programs. The report presents the full text or abstracts of 31 of the lectures given at the meeting. 25 of the papers are seperate input to the data base from this report

  11. Influence of asymmetries in the magnetic draping pattern at Titan on the emission of energetic neutral atoms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabanovic, Slawa; Feyerabend, Moritz; Simon, Sven; Meeks, Zachary; Wulms, Veit

    2018-03-01

    We model the emission of energetic neutral atoms (ENAs) that are generated by the interaction between energetic ions from Saturn's magnetosphere and neutrals from the upper atmosphere of the giant planet's largest moon Titan. The trajectories of the parent ions and the resulting ENA emission morphology are highly sensitive to the electromagnetic field configuration near the moon. We therefore compare the ENA emission pattern for spatially homogeneous fields to the emission obtained from a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) and a hybrid (kinetic ions, fluid electrons) model of Titan's magnetospheric interaction, by computing the trajectories of several billion energetic test particles. While the MHD model takes into account the draping of the magnetic field lines around Titan, the hybrid approach also considers the significant asymmetries in the electromagnetic fields due to the large gyroradii of pick-up ions from Titan's ionosphere. In all three models, the upstream parameters correspond to the conditions during Cassini's TA flyby of Titan. The shape, magnitude, and location of the ENA emission maxima vary considerably between these three field configurations. The magnetic pile-up region at Titan's ramside deflects a large number of the energetic parent ions, thereby reducing the ENA flux. However, the draped magnetic field lines in Titan's lobes rotate the gyration planes of the incident energetic ions, thereby facilitating the observable ENA production. Overall, the ENA flux calculated for the MHD model is weaker than the emission obtained for the electromagnetic fields from the hybrid code. In addition, we systematically investigate the dependency of the ENA emission morphology on the energy of the parent ions and on the upstream magnetic field strength.

  12. Titan Aerial Daughtercraft

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Saturn's giant moon Titan has become one of the most fascinating bodies in the Solar System. Titan is the richest laboratory in the solar system for studying...

  13. Titanic: A Statistical Exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takis, Sandra L.

    1999-01-01

    Uses the available data about the Titanic's passengers to interest students in exploring categorical data and the chi-square distribution. Describes activities incorporated into a statistics class and gives additional resources for collecting information about the Titanic. (ASK)

  14. Metadata database and data analysis software for the ground-based upper atmospheric data developed by the IUGONET project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, H.; Tanaka, Y.; Hori, T.; Koyama, Y.; Shinbori, A.; Abe, S.; Kagitani, M.; Kouno, T.; Yoshida, D.; Ueno, S.; Kaneda, N.; Yoneda, M.; Tadokoro, H.; Motoba, T.; Umemura, N.; Iugonet Project Team

    2011-12-01

    The Inter-university Upper atmosphere Global Observation NETwork (IUGONET) is a Japanese inter-university project by the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR), Tohoku University, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, and Kyushu University to build a database of metadata for ground-based observations of the upper atmosphere. The IUGONET institutes/universities have been collecting various types of data by radars, magnetometers, photometers, radio telescopes, helioscopes, etc. at various locations all over the world and at various altitude layers from the Earth's surface to the Sun. The metadata database will be of great help to researchers in efficiently finding and obtaining these observational data spread over the institutes/universities. This should also facilitate synthetic analysis of multi-disciplinary data, which will lead to new types of research in the upper atmosphere. The project has also been developing a software to help researchers download, visualize, and analyze the data provided from the IUGONET institutes/universities. The metadata database system is built on the platform of DSpace, which is an open source software for digital repositories. The data analysis software is written in the IDL language with the TDAS (THEMIS Data Analysis Software suite) library. These products have been just released for beta-testing.

  15. Long term evolution of temperature in the venus upper atmosphere at the evening and morning terminators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, P.; Sornig, M.; Wischnewski, C.; Kostiuk, T.; Livengood, T. A.; Herrmann, M.; Sonnabend, G.; Stangier, T.; Wiegand, M.; Pätzold, M.; Mahieux, A.; Vandaele, A. C.; Piccialli, A.; Montmessin, F.

    2018-01-01

    This paper contains a comprehensive dataset of long-term observations between 2009 and 2015 at the upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere providing temperature values at different locations of the morning and evening side of the terminator of Venus. Temperature information is obtained by line-resolved spectroscopy of Doppler broadened CO2 transitions features. Results are restricted to a pressure level of 1 μbar, ∼110 km altitude due the nature of the addressed non-LTE CO2 emission line at 10 μm. The required high spectral resolution of the instrumentation is provided by the ground-based spectrometers THIS (University of Cologne) and HIPWAC (NASA GSFC). For the first time upper mesosphere/lower thermosphere temperatures at the Venusian terminator derived from IR-het spectroscopy between 2009 and 2015 are investigated in order to clarify the local-time dependences, latitudinal dependences and the long-term trend. Measured temperatures were distributed in the range between 140 K and 240 K, with mean values equal to 199 K ± 17 K for the morning side of the terminator and 195 K ± 19 K for the evening side of the terminator. Within the uncertainty no difference between the averaged morning and evening terminator side temperature is found. In addition, no strong latitudinal dependency is observed at these near terminator local times. In contrast IR-het data from 2009 show a strong latitudinal dependency at noon, with a temperature difference of around 60 K between the equatorial and polar region (Sonnabend et al., 2012). Accord with the instruments of the Venus Express mission a northern-southern hemispherical symmetry is observed (Mahieux et al., 2012; Piccialli et al., 2015). The data shows no consistent long-term temperature trend throughout the six years of observation, but a variability in the order of tens of Kelvin for the different observing runs representing a time step of few month to two years. This is about the same order of magnitude as the variability

  16. R.M.S Titanic 2003 Expedition on the Russian Research Vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh between 20030622 and 20030702

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — As the leading ocean agency, and as per the Guidelines for Research, Exploration and Salvage of RMS Titanic, issued under the authority of the RMS Titanic Maritime...

  17. The rotation of Titan and Ganymede

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hoolst, Tim; Coyette, Alexis; Baland, Rose-Marie; Trinh, Antony

    2016-10-01

    The rotation rates of Titan and Ganymede, the largest satellites of Saturn and Jupiter, are on average equal to their orbital mean motion. Here we discuss small deviations from the average rotation for both satellites and evaluate the polar motion of Titan induced by its surface fluid layers. We examine different causes at various time scales and assess possible consequences and the potential of using librations and polar motion as probes of the interior structure of the satellites.The rotation rate of Titan and Ganymede cannot be constant on the orbital time scale as a result of the gravitational torque of the central planet acting on the satellites. Titan is moreover expected to show significant polar motion and additional variations in the rotation rate due to angular momentum exchange with the atmosphere, mainly at seasonal periods. Observational evidence for deviations from the synchronous state has been reported several times for Titan but is unfortunately inconclusive. The measurements of the rotation variations are based on determinations of the shift in position of Cassini radar images taken during different flybys. The ESA JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) mission will measure the rotation variations of Ganymede during its orbital phase around the satellite starting in 2032.We report on different theoretical aspects of the librations and polar motion. We consider the influence of the rheology of the ice shell and take into account Cassini measurements of the external gravitational field and of the topography of Titan and similar Galileo data about Ganymede. We also evaluate the librations and polar motion induced by Titan's hydrocarbon seas and use the most recent results of Titan's atmosphere dynamics. We finally evaluate the potential of rotation variations to constrain the satellite's interior structure, in particular its ice shell and ocean.

  18. Titan Orbiter with Aerorover Mission (TOAM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sittler, Edward C.; Cooper, J. F.; Mahaffey, P.; Esper, J.; Fairbrother, D.; Farley, R.; Pitman, J.; Kojiro, D. R.; TOAM Team

    2006-12-01

    We propose to develop a new mission to Titan called Titan Orbiter with Aerorover Mission (TOAM). This mission is motivated by the recent discoveries of Titan, its atmosphere and its surface by the Huygens Probe, and a combination of in situ, remote sensing and radar mapping measurements of Titan by the Cassini orbiter. Titan is a body for which Astrobiology (i.e., prebiotic chemistry) will be the primary science goal of any future missions to it. TOAM is planned to use an orbiter and balloon technology (i.e., aerorover). Aerobraking will be used to put payload into orbit around Titan. The Aerorover will probably use a hot air balloon concept using the waste heat from the MMRTG 500 watts. Orbiter support for the Aerorover is unique to our approach for Titan. Our strategy to use an orbiter is contrary to some studies using just a single probe with balloon. Autonomous operation and navigation of the Aerorover around Titan will be required, which will include descent near to the surface to collect surface samples for analysis (i.e., touch and go technique). The orbiter can provide both relay station and GPS roles for the Aerorover. The Aerorover will have all the instruments needed to sample Titan’s atmosphere, surface, possible methane lakes-rivers, use multi-spectral imagers for surface reconnaissance; to take close up surface images; take core samples and deploy seismometers during landing phase. Both active and passive broadband remote sensing techniques will be used for surface topography, winds and composition measurements.

  19. Methane rain on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toon, Owen B.; Mckay, Christopher P.; Courtin, Regis; Ackerman, Thomas P.

    1988-01-01

    The atmosphere of Titan is characterized by means of model computations based on Voyager IRIS IR spectra and published data from laboratory determinations of absorption coefficients and cloud refractive indices. The results are presented in tables and graphs, and it is pointed out that the presence of Ar is not required in the model. Particular attention is given to the role of CH4, which is found to form patchy clouds (with particle radii of 50 microns or greater and visible/IR optical depths of 2-5) at altitudes up to about 30 km. The mechanisms by which such rain-sized particles could form are discussed, and it is suggested that the observed 500-600/cm spectrum is affected much less by the CH4 clouds than by H2 or variations in the temperature of the high-altitude haze.

  20. Uncertainty for calculating transport on Titan: A probabilistic description of bimolecular diffusion parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plessis, S.; McDougall, D.; Mandt, K.; Greathouse, T.; Luspay-Kuti, A.

    2015-11-01

    Bimolecular diffusion coefficients are important parameters used by atmospheric models to calculate altitude profiles of minor constituents in an atmosphere. Unfortunately, laboratory measurements of these coefficients were never conducted at temperature conditions relevant to the atmosphere of Titan. Here we conduct a detailed uncertainty analysis of the bimolecular diffusion coefficient parameters as applied to Titan's upper atmosphere to provide a better understanding of the impact of uncertainty for this parameter on models. Because temperature and pressure conditions are much lower than the laboratory conditions in which bimolecular diffusion parameters were measured, we apply a Bayesian framework, a problem-agnostic framework, to determine parameter estimates and associated uncertainties. We solve the Bayesian calibration problem using the open-source QUESO library which also performs a propagation of uncertainties in the calibrated parameters to temperature and pressure conditions observed in Titan's upper atmosphere. Our results show that, after propagating uncertainty through the Massman model, the uncertainty in molecular diffusion is highly correlated to temperature and we observe no noticeable correlation with pressure. We propagate the calibrated molecular diffusion estimate and associated uncertainty to obtain an estimate with uncertainty due to bimolecular diffusion for the methane molar fraction as a function of altitude. Results show that the uncertainty in methane abundance due to molecular diffusion is in general small compared to eddy diffusion and the chemical kinetics description. However, methane abundance is most sensitive to uncertainty in molecular diffusion above 1200 km where the errors are nontrivial and could have important implications for scientific research based on diffusion models in this altitude range.

  1. Emerging pattern of global change in the upper atmosphere and ionosphere

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Laštovička, Jan; Akmaev, R. A.; Beig, G.; Bremer, J.; Emmert, J. T.; Jacobi, C.; Jarvis, M.J.; Nedoluha, G.; Portnyagin, Yu. I.; Ulich, T.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 5 (2008), s. 1255-1268 ISSN 0992-7689 R&D Projects: GA MŠk OC 091 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517 Keywords : Atmospheric composition and structure * Thermosphere – composition and chemistry * Evolution of the atmosphere * Ionosphere * Ionosphere-atmosphere interactions Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 1.660, year: 2008 http://www.ann-geophys.net/26/1255/2008/

  2. Modeling Chemical Growth Processes in Titan's Atmosphere: 1. Theoretical Rates for Reactions between Benzene and the Ethynyl (C2H) and Cyano (CN) Radicals at Low Temperature and Pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woon, David E.

    2006-01-01

    Density functional theory calculations at the B3LYP/6-31+G** level were employed to characterize the critical points for adducts, isomers, products, and intervening transition states for the reactions between benzene and the ethynyl (C2H) or cyano (CN) radicals. Both addition reactions were found to have no barriers in their entrance channels, making them efficient at the low temperature and pressure conditions that prevail in the haze-forming region of Titan's atmosphere as well as in the dense interstellar medium (ISM). The dominant products are ethynylbenzene (C6H5C2H) and cyanobenzene (C6H5CN). Hydrogen abstraction reactions were also characterized but found to be non-competitive. Trajectory calculations based on potentials fit to about 600 points calculated at the ROMP2/6-31+G** level for each interaction surface were used to determine reaction rates. The rates incorporated any necessary corrections for back reactions as ascertained from a multiwell treatment used to determine outcome distributions over the range of temperatures and pressures pertinent to Titan and the ISM and are in good agreement with the limited available experimental data.

  3. Future Exploration of Titan and Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, D. L.; Coustenis, A.; Lunine, J.; Lebreton, J.; Reh, K.; Beauchamp, P.

    2009-05-01

    The future exploration of Titan and Enceladus has become very important for the planetary community. The study conducted last year of the Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) led to an announcement in which ESA and NASA prioritized future OPF missions, stating that TSSM is planned after EJSM (for details see http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/). TSSM consists of a TSSM Orbiter that would carry two in situ elements: the Titan Montgolfiere hot air balloon and the Titan Lake Lander. The mission could launch in the 2023-2025 timeframe on a trajectory to arrive ~9 years later for a 4-year mission in the Saturn system. Soon after arrival at Saturn, the montgolfiere would be delivered to Titan to begin its mission of airborne, scientific observations of Titan from an altitude of about 10 km. The montgolfiere would have a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) power system and would be designed to last at least 6-12 months in Titan's atmosphere. With the predicted winds and weather, that would be sufficient to circumnavigate the globe! On a subsequent fly-by, the TSSM orbiter would release the Lake Lander on a trajectory toward Titan for a targeted entry. It would descend through the atmosphere making scientific measurements, much like Huygens did, and then land and float on one of Titan's seas. This would be its oceanographic phase, making a physical and chemical assessment of the sea. The Lake Lander would operate 8-10 hours until its batteries become depleted. Following the delivery of the in situ elements, the TSSM orbiter would explore the Saturn system via a 2-year tour that includes in situ sampling of Enceladus' plumes as well as Titan flybys. After the Saturn system tour, the TSSM orbiter would enter orbit around Titan for a global survey phase. Synergistic and coordinated observations would be carried out between the TSSM orbiter and the in situ elements. The scientific requirements were developed by the international TSSM Joint Science Definition

  4. XUV-exposed, non-hydrostatic hydrogen-rich upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Part I: atmospheric expansion and thermal escape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkaev, Nikolai V; Lammer, Helmut; Odert, Petra; Kulikov, Yuri N; Kislyakova, Kristina G; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold; Biernat, Helfried

    2013-11-01

    The recently discovered low-density "super-Earths" Kepler-11b, Kepler-11f, Kepler-11d, Kepler-11e, and planets such as GJ 1214b represent the most likely known planets that are surrounded by dense H/He envelopes or contain deep H₂O oceans also surrounded by dense hydrogen envelopes. Although these super-Earths are orbiting relatively close to their host stars, they have not lost their captured nebula-based hydrogen-rich or degassed volatile-rich steam protoatmospheres. Thus, it is interesting to estimate the maximum possible amount of atmospheric hydrogen loss from a terrestrial planet orbiting within the habitable zone of late main sequence host stars. For studying the thermosphere structure and escape, we apply a 1-D hydrodynamic upper atmosphere model that solves the equations of mass, momentum, and energy conservation for a planet with the mass and size of Earth and for a super-Earth with a size of 2 R(Earth) and a mass of 10 M(Earth). We calculate volume heating rates by the stellar soft X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation (XUV) and expansion of the upper atmosphere, its temperature, density, and velocity structure and related thermal escape rates during the planet's lifetime. Moreover, we investigate under which conditions both planets enter the blow-off escape regime and may therefore experience loss rates that are close to the energy-limited escape. Finally, we discuss the results in the context of atmospheric evolution and implications for habitability of terrestrial planets in general.

  5. TITAN'S TRANSPORT-DRIVEN METHANE CYCLE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, Jonathan L.

    2012-01-01

    The mechanisms behind the occurrence of large cloud outbursts and precipitation on Titan have been disputed. A global- and annual-mean estimate of surface fluxes indicated only 1% of the insolation, or ∼0.04 W m –2 , is exchanged as sensible and/or latent fluxes. Since these fluxes are responsible for driving atmospheric convection, it has been argued that moist convection should be quite rare and precipitation even rarer, even if evaporation globally dominates the surface-atmosphere energy exchange. In contrast, climate simulations indicate substantial cloud formation and/or precipitation. We argue that the top-of-atmosphere (TOA) radiative imbalance is diagnostic of horizontal heat transport by Titan's atmosphere, and thus constrains the strength of the methane cycle. Simple calculations show the TOA radiative imbalance is ∼0.5-1 W m –2 in Titan's equatorial region, which implies 2-3 MW of latitudinal heat transport by the atmosphere. Our simulation of Titan's climate suggests this transport may occur primarily as latent heat, with net evaporation at the equator and net accumulation at higher latitudes. Thus, the methane cycle could be 10-20 times previous estimates. Opposing seasonal transport at solstices, compensation by sensible heat transport, and focusing of precipitation by large-scale dynamics could further enhance the local, instantaneous strength of Titan's methane cycle by a factor of several. A limited supply of surface liquids in regions of large surface radiative imbalance may throttle the methane cycle, and if so, we predict more frequent large storms over the lakes district during Titan's northern summer.

  6. Light in Condensed Matter in the Upper Atmosphere as the Origin of Homochirality: Circularly Polarized Light from Rydberg Matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmlid, Leif

    2009-08-01

    Clouds of the condensed excited Rydberg matter (RM) exist in the atmospheres of comets and planetary bodies (most easily observed at Mercury and the Moon), where they surround the entire bodies. Vast such clouds are recently proposed to exist in the upper atmosphere of Earth (giving rise to the enormous features called noctilucent clouds, polar mesospheric clouds, and polar mesospheric summer radar echoes). It has been shown in experiments with RM that linearly polarized visible light scattered from an RM layer is transformed to circularly polarized light with a probability of approximately 50%. The circular Rydberg electrons in the magnetic field in the RM may be chiral scatterers. The magnetic and anisotropic RM medium acts as a circular polarizer probably by delaying one of the perpendicular components of the light wave. The delay process involved is called Rabi-flopping and gives delays of the order of femtoseconds. This strong effect thus gives intense circularly polarized visible and UV light within RM clouds. Amino acids and other chiral molecules will experience a strong interaction with this light field in the upper atmospheres of planets. The interaction will vary with the stereogenic conformation of the molecules and in all probability promote the survival of one enantiomer. Here, this strong effect is proposed to be the origin of homochirality. The formation of amino acids in the RM clouds is probably facilitated by the catalytic effect of RM.

  7. Light in condensed matter in the upper atmosphere as the origin of homochirality: circularly polarized light from Rydberg matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmlid, Leif

    2009-01-01

    Clouds of the condensed excited Rydberg matter (RM) exist in the atmospheres of comets and planetary bodies (most easily observed at Mercury and the Moon), where they surround the entire bodies. Vast such clouds are recently proposed to exist in the upper atmosphere of Earth (giving rise to the enormous features called noctilucent clouds, polar mesospheric clouds, and polar mesospheric summer radar echoes). It has been shown in experiments with RM that linearly polarized visible light scattered from an RM layer is transformed to circularly polarized light with a probability of approximately 50%. The circular Rydberg electrons in the magnetic field in the RM may be chiral scatterers. The magnetic and anisotropic RM medium acts as a circular polarizer probably by delaying one of the perpendicular components of the light wave. The delay process involved is called Rabi-flopping and gives delays of the order of femtoseconds. This strong effect thus gives intense circularly polarized visible and UV light within RM clouds. Amino acids and other chiral molecules will experience a strong interaction with this light field in the upper atmospheres of planets. The interaction will vary with the stereogenic conformation of the molecules and in all probability promote the survival of one enantiomer. Here, this strong effect is proposed to be the origin of homochirality. The formation of amino acids in the RM clouds is probably facilitated by the catalytic effect of RM.

  8. Plasma density enhancements created by the ionization of the Earth's upper atmosphere by artificial electron beams

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Neubert, Torsten; Banks, P.M.

    line) and down-going differential energy flux. The equations are solved numerically, using the MSIS atmospheric model and the IRI ionospheric model. The results from the model compare well with recent observations from the CHARGE 2 sounding rocket experiment. Two aspects of the beam-neutral atmosphere...... interaction are discussed: First we investigate the limits on the electron beam current that can be emitted from a space. craft without substantial spacecraft charging. This question is important because the charging of the spacecraft to positive potentials limits the current and the escape energy of the beam...... electrons and thereby limits the ionization of the neutral atmosphere. As an example we find from CHARGE 2 observations and from the model calculations that below about 180 km, secondary electrons generated through the ionization of the neutral atmosphere by 1-10 keV electron beams from sounding rockets...

  9. METHANE GAS STABILIZES SUPERCOOLED ETHANE DROPLETS IN TITAN'S CLOUDS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Chia C.; Lang, E. Kathrin; Signorell, Ruth

    2010-01-01

    Strong evidence for ethane clouds in various regions of Titan's atmosphere has recently been found. Ethane is usually assumed to exist as ice particles in these clouds, although the possible role of liquid and supercooled liquid ethane droplets has been recognized. Here, we report on infrared spectroscopic measurements of ethane aerosols performed in the laboratory under conditions mimicking Titan's lower atmosphere. The results clearly show that liquid ethane droplets are significantly stabilized by methane gas which is ubiquitous in Titan's nitrogen atmosphere-a phenomenon that does not have a counterpart for water droplets in Earth's atmosphere. Our data imply that supercooled ethane droplets are much more abundant in Titan's clouds than previously anticipated. Possibly, these liquid droplets are even more important for cloud processes and the formation of lakes than ethane ice particles.

  10. Titan: a laboratory for prebiological organic chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, C.; Thompson, W. R.; Khare, B. N.

    1992-01-01

    When we examine the atmospheres of the Jovian planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), the satellites in the outer solar system, comets, and even--through microwave and infrared spectroscopy--the cold dilute gas and grains between the stars, we find a rich organic chemistry, presumably abiological, not only in most of the solar system but throughout the Milky Way galaxy. In part because the composition and surface pressure of the Earth's atmosphere 4 x 10(9) years ago are unknown, laboratory experiments on prebiological organic chemistry are at best suggestive; but we can test our understanding by looking more closely at the observed extraterrestrial organic chemistry. The present Account is restricted to atmospheric organic chemistry, primarily on the large moon of Saturn. Titan is a test of our understanding of the organic chemistry of planetary atmospheres. Its atmospheric bulk composition (N2/CH4) is intermediate between the highly reducing (H2/He/CH4/NH3/H2O) atmospheres of the Jovian planets and the more oxidized (N2/CO2/H2O) atmospheres of the terrestrial planets Mars and Venus. It has long been recognized that Titan's organic chemistry may have some relevance to the events that led to the origin of life on Earth. But with Titan surface temperatures approximately equal to 94 K and pressures approximately equal to 1.6 bar, the oceans of the early Earth have no ready analogue on Titan. Nevertheless, tectonic events in the water ice-rich interior or impact melting and slow re-freezing may lead to an episodic availability of liquid water. Indeed, the latter process is the equivalent of a approximately 10(3)-year-duration shallow aqueous sea over the entire surface of Titan.

  11. Measurements of upper atmosphere water vapor made in situ with a new moisture sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chleck, D.

    1979-01-01

    A new thin-film aluminum oxide sensor, Aquamax II, has been developed for the measurement of stratospheric and upper tropospheric water vapor levels. The sensor is briefly described with attention given to its calibration and performance. Data obtained from six balloon flights are presented; almost all the results show a constant water vapor mixing ratio, in agreement with other data from midlatitude regions.

  12. First ever in situ observations of Venus' polar upper atmosphere density using the tracking data of the Venus Express Atmospheric Drag Experiment (VExADE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblatt, P.; Bruinsma, S. L.; Müller-Wodarg, I. C. F.; Häusler, B.; Svedhem, H.; Marty, J. C.

    2012-02-01

    On its highly elliptical 24 h orbit around Venus, the Venus Express (VEX) spacecraft briefly reaches a periapsis altitude of nominally 250 km. Recently, however, dedicated and intense radio tracking campaigns have taken place in August 2008, October 2009, February and April 2010, for which the periapsis altitude was lowered to the 186-176 km altitude range in order to be able to probe the upper atmosphere of Venus above the North Pole for the first time ever in situ. As the spacecraft experiences atmospheric drag, its trajectory is measurably perturbed during the periapsis pass, allowing us to infer total atmospheric mass density at the periapsis altitude. A Precise Orbit Determination (POD) of the VEX motion is performed through an iterative least-squares fitting process to the Doppler tracking data, acquired by the VEX radioscience experiment (VeRa). The drag acceleration is modelled using an initial atmospheric density model (VTS3 model, Hedin, A.E., Niemann, H.B., Kasprzak, W.T., Seiff, A. [1983]. J. Geophys. Res. 88, 73-83). A scale factor of the drag acceleration is estimated for each periapsis pass, which scales Hedin's density model in order to best fit the radio tracking data. Reliable density scale factors have been obtained for 10 passes mainly from the second (October 2009) and third (April 2010) VExADE campaigns, which indicate a lower density by a factor of about 1.8 than Hedin's model predicts. These first ever in situ polar density measurements at solar minimum have allowed us to construct a diffusive equilibrium density model for Venus' thermosphere, constrained in the lower thermosphere primarily by SPICAV-SOIR measurements and above 175 km by the VExADE drag measurements (Müller-Wodarg et al., in preparation). The preliminary results of the VExADE campaigns show that it is possible to obtain with the POD technique reliable estimates of Venus' upper atmosphere densities at an altitude of around 175 km. Future VExADE campaigns will benefit from

  13. Water vapor absorption spectra of the upper atmosphere /45-185 per cm/

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augason, G. C.; Mord, A. J.; Witteborn, F. C.; Erickson, E. F.; Swift, C. D.; Caroff, L. J.; Kunz, L. W.

    1975-01-01

    The far IR nighttime absorption spectrum of the earth's atmosphere above 14 km is determined from observations of the bright moon. The spectra were obtained using a Michelson interferometer attached to a 30-cm telescope aboard a high-altitude jet aircraft. Comparison with a single-layer model atmosphere implies a vertical column of 3.4 plus or minus 0.4 microns of precipitable water on 30 August 1971 and 2.4 plus or minus 0.3 microns of precipitable water on 6 January 1972.-

  14. AVIATR—Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barnes, Jason W.; Lemke, Lawrence; Foch, Rick

    2012-01-01

    We describe a mission concept for a stand-alone Titan airplane mission: Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance (AVIATR). With independent delivery and direct-to-Earth communications, AVIATR could contribute to Titan science either alone or as part of a sustained Titan...... Exploration Program. As a focused mission, AVIATR as we have envisioned it would concentrate on the science that an airplane can do best: exploration of Titan's global diversity. We focus on surface geology/hydrology and lower-atmospheric structure and dynamics. With a carefully chosen set of seven...... of a Space Vehicle (SV) for cruise, an Entry Vehicle (EV) for entry and descent, and the Air Vehicle (AV) to fly in Titan's atmosphere. Using an Earth-Jupiter gravity assist trajectory delivers the spacecraft to Titan in 7.5 years, after which the AVIATR AV would operate for a 1-Earth-year nominal mission...

  15. Montgolfiere balloon missions from Mars and Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Jack A.

    2005-01-01

    Montgolfieres, which are balloons that are filled with heated ambient atmospheric gas, appear promising for the exploration of Mars as well as of Saturn's moon, Titan. On Earth, Montgolfieres are also known as 'hot air balloons'. Commercial versions are typically heated by burning propane, although a number of radiant and solar-heated Montgolfieres have been flown on earth by CNES.

  16. Acoustic energy transfer to the upper atmosphere from surface chemical and underground nuclear explosions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Drobzheva, Yana Viktorovna; Krasnov, Valerij Michailovič

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 68, 3-5 (2006), s. 578-585 ISSN 1364-6826 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/04/2110 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517 Keywords : Acoustic wave * Energy * Atmosphere * Ionosphere Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 1.448, year: 2006

  17. Response of the upper atmosphere to variations in the solar soft x-ray irradiance. Ph.D. Thesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Scott Martin

    1995-01-01

    Terrestrial far ultraviolet (FUV) airglow emissions have been suggested as a means for remote sensing the structure of the upper atmosphere. The energy which leads to the excitation of FUV airglow emissions is solar irradiance at extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft x-ray wavelengths. Solar irradiance at these wavelengths is known to be highly variable; studies of nitric oxide (NO) in the lower thermosphere have suggested a variability of more than an order of magnitude in the solar soft x-ray irradiance. To properly interpret the FUV airflow, the magnitude of the solar energy deposition must be known. Previous analyses have used the electron impact excited Lyman-Birge-Hopfield (LBH) bands of N2 to infer the flux of photoelectrons in the atmosphere and thus to infer the magnitude of the solar irradiance. This dissertation presents the first simultaneous measurements of the FUV airglow, the major atmospheric constituent densities, and the solar EUV and soft x-ray irradiances. The measurements were made on three flights of an identical sounding rocket payload at different levels of solar activity. The linear response in brightness of the LBH bands to variations in solar irradiance is demonstrated. In addition to the N2 LBH bands, atomic oxygen lines at 135.6 and 130.4 nm are also studied. Unlike the LBH bands, these emissions undergo radiative transfer effects in the atmosphere. The OI emission at 135.6 nm is found to be well modeled using a radiative transfer calculation and the known excitation processes. Unfortunately, the assumed processes leading to OI 130.4 nm excitation are found to be insufficient to reproduce the observed variability of this emission. Production of NO in the atmosphere is examined; it is shown that a lower than previously reported variability in the solar soft x-ray irradiance is required to explain the variability of NO.

  18. UV spectroscopy of Titan's atmosphere, planetary organic chemistry and prebiological synthesis. II - Interpretation of new IUE observations in the 220-335 nm range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Courtin, Regis; Wagener, Richard; Mckay, Christopher P.; Caldwell, John; Fricke, Karl-Heinrich

    1991-01-01

    The theoretical model developed by McKay et al. (1989) to characterize the size distribution, thermal structure, and chemical composition of the stratospheric haze of Titan is applied to new 220-335-nm albedo measurements obtained with the long-wavelength prime camera of the IUE during August 1987. Data and model predictions are presented in extensive graphs and discussed in detail. It is shown that a simple model with particles of one size at a given altitude does not accurately reproduce the observed features in all spectral regions, but that good general agreement is obtained using a model with a uniformly mixed layer at 150-600 km and a bimodal distribution of small 'polymer' haze particles (radius less than 20 nm) and larger haze particles (radius 100-500 nm). The number densities implied by this model require, however, a mechanism such as electrostatic charging or reaction kinetics to inhibit coagulation of the smaller particles.

  19. Resolving the Strange Behavior of Extraterrestrial Potassium in the Upper Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plane, J. M. C.; Feng, W.; Dawkins, E.; Chipperfield, M. P.; Hoeffner, J.; Janches, D.; Marsh, D. R.

    2014-01-01

    It has been known since the 1960s that the layers of Na and K atoms, which occur between 80 and 105km in the Earth's atmosphere as a result of meteoric ablation, exhibit completely different seasonal behavior. In the extratropics Na varies annually, with a pronounced wintertime maximum and summertime minimum. However, K varies semiannually with a small summertime maximum and minima at the equinoxes. This contrasting behavior has never been satisfactorily explained. Here we use a combination of electronic structure and chemical kinetic rate theory to determine two key differences in the chemistries of K and Na. First, the neutralization of K+ ions is only favored at low temperatures during summer. Second, cycling between K and its major neutral reservoir KHCO3 is essentially temperature independent. A whole atmosphere model incorporating this new chemistry, together with a meteor input function, now correctly predicts the seasonal behavior of the K layer.

  20. Acoustic energy transfer to the upper atmosphere from sinusoidal sources and a role of nonlinear processes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krasnov, Valerij Michailovič; Drobzheva, Yana Viktorovna; Laštovička, Jan

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 12 (2007), s. 1357-1365 ISSN 1364-6826 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/04/2110; GA ČR GA205/07/1367 Grant - others:Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan (KZ) 1-4-1.11-1 (112) Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30420517 Keywords : Infrasonic waves * Ionosphere * Atmosphere Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 1.566, year: 2007

  1. THE ROLE OF NITROGEN IN TITAN’S UPPER ATMOSPHERIC HYDROCARBON CHEMISTRY OVER THE SOLAR CYCLE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luspay-Kuti, A.; Mandt, K. E.; Greathouse, T. K. [Department of Space Research, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX 78228 (United States); Westlake, J. H. [Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); Plessis, S., E-mail: aluspaykuti@swri.edu [Fund Kis, F-92160 Antony (France)

    2016-06-01

    Titan’s thermospheric photochemistry is primarily driven by solar radiation. Similarly to other planetary atmospheres, such as Mars’, Titan’s atmospheric structure is also directly affected by variations in the solar extreme-UV/UV output in response to the 11-year-long solar cycle. Here, we investigate the influence of nitrogen on the vertical production, loss, and abundance profiles of hydrocarbons as a function of the solar cycle. Our results show that changes in the atmospheric nitrogen atomic density (primarily in its ground state N({sup 4}S)) as a result of photon flux variations have important implications for the production of several minor hydrocarbons. The solar minimum enhancement of CH{sub 3}, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, and C{sub 3}H{sub 8}, despite the lower CH{sub 4} photodissociation rates compared with solar maximum conditions, is explained by the role of N({sup 4}S). N({sup 4}S) indirectly controls the altitude of termolecular versus bimolecular chemical regimes through its relationship with CH{sub 3}. When in higher abundance during solar maximum at lower altitudes, N({sup 4}S) increases the importance of bimolecular CH{sub 3} + N({sup 4}S) reactions producing HCN and H{sub 2}CN. The subsequent remarkable CH{sub 3} loss and decrease in the CH{sub 3} abundance at lower altitudes during solar maximum affects the overall hydrocarbon chemistry.

  2. Short-term cyclic variations and diurnal variations of the Venus upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keating, G. M.; Taylor, F. W.; Nicholson, J. Y.; Hinson, E. W.

    1979-01-01

    The vertical structure of the nighttime thermosphere and exosphere of Venus was discussed. A comparison of the day and nighttime profiles indicates, contrary to the model of Dickinson and Riley (1977), that densities (principally atomic oxygen) dropped sharply from day to night. It was suggested either that the lower estimates were related to cooler exospheric temperatures at night or that the atomic bulge was flatter than expected at lower altitudes. Large periodic oscillations, in both density and inferred exospheric temperatures, were detected with periods of 5 to 6 days. The possibility that cyclic variations in the thermosphere and stratosphere were caused by planetary-scale waves, propagated upward from the lower atmosphere, was investigated using simultaneous temperature measurements obtained by the Venus radiometric temperature experiment (VORTEX). Inferred exospheric temperatures in the morning were found to be lower than in the evening as if the atmosphere rotated in the direction of the planet's rotation, similar to that of earth. Superrotation of the thermosphere and exosphere was discussed as a possible extension of the 4-day cyclic atmospheric rotation near the cloud tops.

  3. Near-infrared brightness of the Galilean satellites eclipsed in Jovian shadow: A new technique to investigate Jovian upper atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsumura, K. [Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Science, Tohoku University, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8578 (Japan); Arimatsu, K.; Matsuura, S.; Shirahata, M.; Wada, T. [Department of Space Astronomy and Astrophysics, Institute of Space and Astronoutical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Egami, E. [Department of Astronomy, Arizona University, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States); Hayano, Y.; Minowa, Y. [Hawaii Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Honda, C. [Research Center for Advanced Information Science and Technology, Aizu Research Cluster for Space Science, The University of Aizu, Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima 965-8589 (Japan); Kimura, J. [Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo 152-8550 (Japan); Kuramoto, K.; Takahashi, Y. [Department of Cosmosciences, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810 (Japan); Nakajima, K. [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8581 (Japan); Nakamoto, T. [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo 152-8551 (Japan); Surace, J., E-mail: tsumura@astr.tohoku.ac.jp [Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)

    2014-07-10

    Based on observations from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Subaru Telescope, we have discovered that Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are bright around 1.5 μm even when not directly lit by sunlight. The observations were conducted with non-sidereal tracking on Jupiter outside of the field of view to reduce the stray light subtraction uncertainty due to the close proximity of Jupiter. Their eclipsed luminosity was 10{sup –6}-10{sup –7} of their uneclipsed brightness, which is low enough that this phenomenon has been undiscovered until now. In addition, Europa in eclipse was <1/10 of the others at 1.5 μm, a potential clue to the origin of the source of luminosity. Likewise, Ganymede observations were attempted at 3.6 μm by the Spitzer Space Telescope, but it was not detected, suggesting a significant wavelength dependence. It is still unknown why they are luminous even when in the Jovian shadow, but forward-scattered sunlight by hazes in the Jovian upper atmosphere is proposed as the most plausible candidate. If this is the case, observations of these Galilean satellites while eclipsed by the Jovian shadow provide us with a new technique to investigate the Jovian atmospheric composition. Investigating the transmission spectrum of Jupiter by this method is important for investigating the atmosphere of extrasolar giant planets by transit spectroscopy.

  4. Spacecraft Exploration of Titan and Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matson, D.; Coustenis, A.; Lunine, J. I.; Lebreton, J.; Reh, K.; Beauchamp, P.; Erd, C.

    2009-12-01

    The future exploration of Titan and Enceladus is very important for planetary science. The study titled Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) led to an announcement in which ESA and NASA prioritized future OPF missions, stating that TSSM is planned after EJSM (for details see http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/). The TSSM concept consists of an Orbiter that would carry two in situ elements: the Titan Montgolfiere hot air balloon and the Titan Lake Lander. This mission could launch in the 2023-2025 timeframe on a trajectory to arrive ~9 years later and begin a 4-year mission in the Saturnian system. At an appropriate time after arrival at Saturn, the montgolfiere would be delivered to Titan to begin its mission of airborne, scientific observations of Titan from an altitude of about 10 km above the surface. The montgolfiere would have a Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) power system whose waste heat would warm the gas in the balloon, providing buoyancy. It would be designed to survive at least 6-12 months in Titan’s atmosphere. With the predicted winds and weather, it should be possible to circumnavigate the globe! Later, on a subsequent fly-by, the TSSM orbiter would send the Lake Lander to Titan. It would descend through the atmosphere making scientific measurements, much like Huygens did, and then land and float on one of Titan’s seas. This would be its oceanographic phase of making a physical and chemical assessment of the sea. The Lake Lander would operate for 8-10 hours until its batteries become depleted. Following the delivery of the in situ elements, the TSSM orbiter would then explore the Saturn system for two years on a tour that includes in situ sampling of Enceladus’ plumes as well as flybys of Titan. After the Saturn tour, the TSSM orbiter would go into orbit around Titan and carry out a global survey phase. Synergistic observations would be carried out by the TSSM orbiter and the in situ elements. The scientific requirements for

  5. Electron-impact vibrational excitation of the hydroxyl radical in the nighttime upper atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Laurence; Brunger, Michael J.

    2018-02-01

    Chemical processes produce vibrationally excited hydroxyl (OH) in a layer centred at an altitude of about 87 km in the Earth's atmosphere. Observations of this layer are used to deduce temperatures in the mesosphere and to observe the passage of atmospheric gravity waves. Due to the low densities and energies at night of electrons at the relevant altitude, it is not expected that electron-impact excitation of OH would be significant. However, there are unexplained characteristics of OH densities and radiative emissions that might be explained by electron impact. These are measurements of higher than expected densities of OH above 90 km and of emissions at higher energies that cannot be explained by the chemical production processes. This study simulates the role of electron impact in these processes, using theoretical cross sections for electron-impact excitation of OH. The simulations show that electron impact, even in a substantial aurora, cannot fully explain these phenomena. However, in the process of this investigation, apparent inconsistencies in the theoretical cross sections and reaction rates were found, indicating that measurements of electron-impact excitation of OH are needed to resolve these problems and scale the theoretical predictions to allow more accurate simulations.

  6. Explorer of Enceladus and Titan (E2T): Investigating Ocean Worlds' Evolution and Habitability in the Saturn System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitri, Giuseppe

    2017-04-01

    The NASA-ESA Cassini-Huygens mission has revealed Titan and Enceladus to be two of the most interesting worlds in the Solar System. Titan, with its organically rich and dynamic atmosphere and geology, and Enceladus, with its active plumes, both harboring subsurface oceans, are prime environments in which to investigate the conditions for the emergence of life and the habitability of ocean worlds. Explorer of Enceladus and Titan (E2T) is dedicated to investigating the evolution and habitability of these Saturnian satellites and is proposed in response to ESA's M5 Call as a medium-class mission led by ESA in collaboration with NASA. E2T has a focused payload that will provide in-situ composition investigations and high-resolution imaging during multiple flybys of Enceladus and Titan using a solar-electric powered spacecraft in orbit around Saturn. The E2T mission will provide high-resolution mass spectroscopy of the plumes currently emanating from Enceladus's south polar terrain (SPT) and of Titan's changing upper atmosphere. In addition, high-resolution IR imaging will detail Titan's geomorphology at 50-100 m resolution and the source fractures on Enceladus's SPT at meter resolution. These combined measurements of both Titan and Enceladus will permit to achieve the two major scientific goals of the E2T mission: 1) Study the origin and evolution of volatile-rich ocean worlds; and 2) Explore the habitability and potential for life in ocean worlds. More in detail, these goals will be achieved by measuring the nature, abundance and isotopic properties of solid- and vapor-phase species in Enceladus's plume and Titan's upper atmosphere, and determining the processes that are transporting and transforming organic materials on the surface of Titan and the mechanisms controlling, and the energy dissipated by, Enceladus's plumes. E2T's two high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometers will enable us to resolve the ambiguities left by Cassini regarding the identification

  7. Volatile products controlling Titan's tholins production

    KAUST Repository

    Carrasco, Nathalie

    2012-05-01

    A quantitative agreement between nitrile relative abundances and Titan\\'s atmospheric composition was recently shown with a reactor simulating the global chemistry occurring in Titan\\'s atmosphere (Gautier et al. [2011]. Icarus, 213, 625-635). Here we present a complementary study on the same reactor using an in situ diagnostic of the gas phase composition. Various initial N 2/CH 4 gas mixtures (methane varying from 1% to 10%) are studied, with a monitoring of the methane consumption and of the stable gas neutrals by in situ mass spectrometry. Atomic hydrogen is also measured by optical emission spectroscopy. A positive correlation is found between atomic hydrogen abundance and the inhibition function for aerosol production. This confirms the suspected role of hydrogen as an inhibitor of heterogeneous organic growth processes, as found in Sciamma-O\\'Brien et al. (Sciamma-O\\'Brien et al. [2010]. Icarus, 209, 704-714). The study of the gas phase organic products is focussed on its evolution with the initial methane amount [CH 4] 0 and its comparison with the aerosol production efficiency. We identify a change in the stationary gas phase composition for intermediate methane amounts: below [CH 4] 0=5%, the gas phase composition is mainly dominated by nitrogen-containing species, whereas hydrocarbons are massively produced for [CH 4] 0>5%. This predominance of N-containing species at lower initial methane amount, compared with the maximum gas-to solid conversion observed in Sciamma-O\\'Brien et al. (2010) for identical methane amounts confirms the central role played by N-containing gas-phase compounds to produce tholins. Moreover, two protonated imines (methanimine CH 2NH and ethanamine CH 3CHNH) are detected in the ion composition in agreement with Titan\\'s INMS measurements, and reinforcing the suspected role of these chemical species on aerosol production. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

  8. A kinetic-theory approach for computing chemical-reaction rates in upper-atmosphere hypersonic flows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallis, Michael A; Bond, Ryan B; Torczynski, John R

    2009-09-28

    Recently proposed molecular-level chemistry models that predict equilibrium and nonequilibrium reaction rates using only kinetic theory and fundamental molecular properties (i.e., no macroscopic reaction-rate information) are investigated for chemical reactions occurring in upper-atmosphere hypersonic flows. The new models are in good agreement with the measured Arrhenius rates for near-equilibrium conditions and with both measured rates and other theoretical models for far-from-equilibrium conditions. Additionally, the new models are applied to representative combustion and ionization reactions and are in good agreement with available measurements and theoretical models. Thus, molecular-level chemistry modeling provides an accurate method for predicting equilibrium and nonequilibrium chemical-reaction rates in gases.

  9. Modeling of plasma chemical processes in the artificial ionized layer in the upper atmosphere by the nanosecond corona discharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vikharev, A. L.; Gorbachev, A. M.; Ivanov, O. A.; Kolisko, A. L.; Litvak, A. G.

    1993-08-01

    The plasma chemical processes in the corona discharge formed in air by a series of high voltage pulses of nanosecond duration are investigated experimentally. The experimental conditions (reduced electric field, duration and repetition frequency of the pulses, gas pressure in the chamber) modeled the regime of creation of the artificial ionized layer (AIL) in the upper atmosphere by a nanosecond microwave discharge. It was found that in a nanosecond microwave discharge predominantly generation of ozone occurs, and that the production of nitrogen dioxide is not large. The energy expenditures for the generation of one O 3 molecule were about 15 eV. On the basis of the experimental results the prognosis of the efficiency of ozone generation in AIL was made.

  10. Rocket investigations of electron precipitation and VLF waves in the Antarctic upper atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sheldon, W.R.; Benbrook, J.R.; Bering, E.A.

    1988-01-01

    The results of two Antarctic rocket campaigns, primarily initiated to investigate electron precipitation stimulated by signals from the Siple-Station ground-based VLF transmitter, are presented. While the primary objective of the campaigns was not achieved, the Siple VLF transmitter facilitated a study of the wave environment in the ionosphere. Standing wave patterns in the ionosphere were observed for the first time by detectors flown aboard the Nike-Tomahawk rockets; the same detectors monitored a continuous signal from the transmitter through the neutral atmosphere and into the ionosphere, providing unique data for comparison with theoretical studies of wave propagation. The measurements of penetrating electron precipitation were interpreted in terms of a model of energetic electron precipitation from the trapped radiational belts. 52 references

  11. Thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere at solar minimum from global circulation model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Moffat-Griffin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of the Martian upper atmosphere have been produced from a self-consistent three-dimensional numerical model of the Martian thermosphere and ionosphere, called MarTIM. It covers an altitude range of 60 km to the upper thermosphere, usually at least 250 km altitude. A radiation scheme is included that allows the main sources of energy input, EUV/UV and IR absorption by CO2 and CO, to be calculated. CO2, N2 and O are treated as the major gases in MarTIM, and are mutually diffused (though neutral chemistry is ignored. The densities of other species (the minor gases, CO, Ar, O2 and NO, are based on diffusive equilibrium above the turbopause. The ionosphere is calculated from a simple photoionisation and charge exchange routine though in this paper we will only consider the thermal and dynamic structure of the neutral atmosphere at solar minimum conditions. The semi-diurnal (2,2 migrating tide, introduced at MarTIM's lower boundary, affects the dynamics up to 130 km. The Mars Climate Database (Lewis et al., 2001 can be used as a lower boundary in MarTIM. The effect of this is to increase wind speeds in the thermosphere and to produce small-scale structures throughout the thermosphere. Temperature profiles are in good agreement with Pathfinder results. Wind velocities are slightly lower compared to analysis of MGS accelerometer data (Withers, 2003. The novel step-by-step approach of adding in new features to MarTIM has resulted in further understanding of the drivers of the Martian thermosphere.

  12. Thermal structure and dynamics of the Martian upper atmosphere at solar minimum from global circulation model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Moffat-Griffin

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Simulations of the Martian upper atmosphere have been produced from a self-consistent three-dimensional numerical model of the Martian thermosphere and ionosphere, called MarTIM. It covers an altitude range of 60 km to the upper thermosphere, usually at least 250 km altitude. A radiation scheme is included that allows the main sources of energy input, EUV/UV and IR absorption by CO2 and CO, to be calculated. CO2, N2 and O are treated as the major gases in MarTIM, and are mutually diffused (though neutral chemistry is ignored. The densities of other species (the minor gases, CO, Ar, O2 and NO, are based on diffusive equilibrium above the turbopause. The ionosphere is calculated from a simple photoionisation and charge exchange routine though in this paper we will only consider the thermal and dynamic structure of the neutral atmosphere at solar minimum conditions. The semi-diurnal (2,2 migrating tide, introduced at MarTIM's lower boundary, affects the dynamics up to 130 km. The Mars Climate Database (Lewis et al., 2001 can be used as a lower boundary in MarTIM. The effect of this is to increase wind speeds in the thermosphere and to produce small-scale structures throughout the thermosphere. Temperature profiles are in good agreement with Pathfinder results. Wind velocities are slightly lower compared to analysis of MGS accelerometer data (Withers, 2003. The novel step-by-step approach of adding in new features to MarTIM has resulted in further understanding of the drivers of the Martian thermosphere.

  13. Global transport and localized layering of metallic ions in the upper atmospherer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. N. Carter

    1999-02-01

    Full Text Available A numerical model has been developed which is capable of simulating all phases of the life cycle of metallic ions, and results are described and interpreted herein for the typical case of Fe+ ions. This cycle begins with the initial deposition of metallics through meteor ablation and sputtering, followed by conversion of neutral Fe atoms to ions through photoionization and charge exchange with ambient ions. Global transport arising from daytime electric fields and poleward/ downward di.usion along geomagnetic field lines, localized transport and layer formation through de- scending convergent nulls in the thermospheric wind field, and finally annihilation by chemical neutralization and compound formation are treated. The model thus sheds new light on the interdependencies of the physical and chemical processes a.ecting atmospheric metallics. Model output analysis confirms the dominant role of both global and local transport to the ion's life cycle, showing that upward forcing from the equatorial electric field is critical to global movement, and that diurnal and semidiurnal tidal winds are responsible for the forma- tion of dense ion layers in the 90±250 km height region. It is demonstrated that the assumed combination of sources, chemical sinks, and transport mechanisms actually produces F-region densities and E-region layer densities similar to those observed. The model also shows that zonal and meridional winds and electric fields each play distinct roles in local transport, whereas the ion distribution is relatively insensitive to reasonable variations in meteoric deposition and chemical reaction rates.Key words. Ionosphere (ion chemistry and composition; ionosphere-atmosphere interactions.

  14. Global transport and localized layering of metallic ions in the upper atmospherer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. N. Carter

    Full Text Available A numerical model has been developed which is capable of simulating all phases of the life cycle of metallic ions, and results are described and interpreted herein for the typical case of Fe+ ions. This cycle begins with the initial deposition of metallics through meteor ablation and sputtering, followed by conversion of neutral Fe atoms to ions through photoionization and charge exchange with ambient ions. Global transport arising from daytime electric fields and poleward/ downward di.usion along geomagnetic field lines, localized transport and layer formation through de- scending convergent nulls in the thermospheric wind field, and finally annihilation by chemical neutralization and compound formation are treated. The model thus sheds new light on the interdependencies of the physical and chemical processes a.ecting atmospheric metallics. Model output analysis confirms the dominant role of both global and local transport to the ion's life cycle, showing that upward forcing from the equatorial electric field is critical to global movement, and that diurnal and semidiurnal tidal winds are responsible for the forma- tion of dense ion layers in the 90±250 km height region. It is demonstrated that the assumed combination of sources, chemical sinks, and transport mechanisms actually produces F-region densities and E-region layer densities similar to those observed. The model also shows that zonal and meridional winds and electric fields each play distinct roles in local transport, whereas the ion distribution is relatively insensitive to reasonable variations in meteoric deposition and chemical reaction rates.

    Key words. Ionosphere (ion chemistry and composition; ionosphere-atmosphere interactions.

  15. Exploring Earth's Ionosphere with CINDI: Bringing an Upper Atmosphere Mission into Pre-College Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urquhart, M. L.; Hairston, M. R.; Richardson, J. M.; Olson, C.

    2003-12-01

    We will present the Education and Public Outreach work in progress for the joint Air Force/NASA project CINDI (Coupled Ion Neutral Dynamic Investigation), which will launch in early 2004 on a US Air Force C/NOFS (Communications/Navigations Outage Forecast System) Satellite. CINDI, in conjunction with the other instruments on C/NOFS, will study how radio signals sent through the ionosphere are affected by variability with this layer of the atmosphere. The Educational outreach for CINDI is focused on helping students, educators, and the general public better understand the link between the ionosphere and our technological civilization. The ionosphere is typically neglected in pre-college science classes despite its impact on modern society and the substantial resources invested by funding agencies on furthering our understanding of this atmospheric layer. Our approach is to increase student understanding of the terrestrial ionosphere and Sun-Earth connections through strong connections to existing pre-college curricula and standards. We have created a partnership between the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences and the Science Education Program within the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) to produce a quality Educator Guide and a Summer Educator Workshop. A senior graduate student in physics and an experienced middle school educator in UTD's Science Education Master of Science Teaching Program have been partnered to ensure that our the Educator Guide and Workshop will contain both science and pedagogy, and be easily integrated into secondary science classes. The summer 2004 workshop will be offered in the Dallas area, which has a significant population of minority and economically disadvantaged students. We will recruit teachers from districts that serve a large number of underserved/underrepresented students. The Educator Guide and workshop materials will be made available on the CINDI Web site for distribution to a national audience.

  16. Experimental basis for a Titan probe organic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mckay, C.P.; Scattergood, T.W.; Borucki, W.J.; Kasting, J.F.; Miller, S.L.; California Univ., San Diego, La Jolla)

    1986-01-01

    The recent Voyager flyby of Titan produced evidence for at least nine organic compounds in that atmosphere that are heavier than methane. Several models of Titan's atmosphere, as well as laboratory simulations, suggest the presence of organics considerably more complex that those observed. To ensure that the in situ measurements are definitive with respect to Titan's atmosphere, experiment concepts, and the related instrumentation, must be carefully developed specifically for such a mission. To this end, the possible composition of the environment to be analyzed must be bracketed and model samples must be provided for instrumentation development studies. Laboratory studies to define the optimum flight experiment and sampling strategy for a Titan entry probe are currently being conducted. Titan mixtures are being subjected to a variety of energy sources including high voltage electron from a DC discharge, high current electric shock, and laser detonation. Gaseous and solid products are produced which are then analyzed. Samples from these experiements are also provided to candidate flight experiments as models for instrument development studies. Preliminary results show that existing theoretical models for chemistry in Titan's atmosphere cannot adequetely explain the presence and abundance of all trace gases observed in these experiments

  17. Titan and habitable planets around M-dwarfs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, Jonathan I

    2010-01-01

    The Cassini-Huygens mission discovered an active "hydrologic cycle" on Saturn's giant moon Titan, in which methane takes the place of water. Shrouded by a dense nitrogen-methane atmosphere, Titan's surface is blanketed in the equatorial regions by dunes composed of solid organics, sculpted by wind and fluvial erosion, and dotted at the poles with lakes and seas of liquid methane and ethane. The underlying crust is almost certainly water ice, possibly in the form of gas hydrates (clathrate hydrates) dominated by methane as the included species. The processes that work the surface of Titan resemble in their overall balance no other moon in the solar system; instead, they are most like that of the Earth. The presence of methane in place of water, however, means that in any particular planetary system, a body like Titan will always be outside the orbit of an Earth-type planet. Around M-dwarfs, planets with a Titan-like climate will sit at 1 AU--a far more stable environment than the approximately 0.1 AU where Earth-like planets sit. However, an observable Titan-like exoplanet might have to be much larger than Titan itself to be observable, increasing the ratio of heat contributed to the surface atmosphere system from internal (geologic) processes versus photons from the parent star.

  18. CARINA Satellite Mission to Investigate the Upper Atmosphere below the F-Layer Ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siefring, C. L.; Bernhardt, P. A.; Briczinski, S. J., Jr.; Huba, J.; Montgomery, J. A., Jr.

    2017-12-01

    A new satellite design permits broad science measurements from the ocean to the ionosphere by flying below the F-Layer. The satellite called CARINA for Coastal-Ocean, Assimilation, Radio, Ionosphere, Neutral-Drag, and Atmospherics. The unique system capabilities are long duration orbits below the ionosphere and a HF receiver to measure broadband signals. The CARINA science products include recording the ocean surface properties, data for assimilation into global ionosphere models, radio wave propagation measurements, in-situ observations of ionospheric structures, validating neutral drag models and theory, and broadband atmospheric lightning characterization. CARINA will also measure nonlinear wave-generation using ionospheric modification sites in Alaska, Norway, Puerto Rico, and Russia and collaborate with geophysics HF radars (such as Super-DARN) for system calibration. CARINA is a linear 6-U CubeSat with a long antenna extended in the wake direction. The CARINA science mission is supported by three instruments. First, the Electric Field Instrument (EFI) is a radio receiver covering the 2 to 18 MHz range. The receiver can capture both narrow and wide bandwidths for up to 10 minutes. EFI is designed to provide HF signal strength and phase, radar Doppler shift and group delay, and electron plasma density from photoelectron excited plasma waves. Second a Ram Langmuir Probe (RLP) measures high-resolution ion currents at a 10 kHz rate. These measurements yield electron and ion density at the spacecraft. Finally, the Orbiting GPS Receiver (OGR) provides dual frequency GPS position with ionosphere correction. OGR also measures total electron content above the spacecraft and L-Band scintillations. CARINA will be the lowest satellite in orbit at 250 km altitude, <0.01 eccentricity, and up to 4-month lifetime. The design supports unique capabilities with broad applications to the geosciences. Remote sensing of the ocean will sample the HF signals scattered from the rough

  19. Progressive Climate Change on Titan: Implications for Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J. M.; A. D. Howard

    2014-01-01

    Titan's landscape is profoundly shaped by its atmosphere and comparable in magnitude perhaps with only the Earth and Mars amongst the worlds of the Solar System. Like the Earth, climate dictates the intensity and relative roles of fluvial and aeolian activity from place to place and over geologic time. Thus Titan's landscape is the record of climate change. We have investigated three broad classes of Titan climate evolution hypotheses (Steady State, Progressive, and Cyclic), regulated by the role, sources, and availability of methane. We favor the Progressive hypotheses, which we will outline here, then discuss their implication for habitability.

  20. Highlights from the First Ever Demographic Study of Solar Physics, Space Physics, and Upper Atmospheric Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moldwin, M.; Morrow, C. A.; White, S. C.; Ivie, R.

    2014-12-01

    Members of the Education & Workforce Working Group and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) conducted the first ever National Demographic Survey of working professionals for the 2012 National Academy of Sciences Solar and Space Physics Decadal Survey to learn about the demographics of this sub-field of space science. The instrument contained questions for participants on: the type of workplace; basic demographic information regarding gender and minority status, educational pathways (discipline of undergrad degree, field of their PhD), how their undergraduate and graduate student researchers are funded, participation in NSF and NASA funded spaceflight missions and suborbital programs, and barriers to career advancement. Using contact data bases from AGU, the American Astronomical Society's Solar Physics Division (AAS-SPD), attendees of NOAA's Space Weather Week and proposal submissions to NSF's Atmospheric, Geospace Science Division, the AIP's Statistical Research Center cross correlated and culled these data bases resulting in 2776 unique email addresses of US based working professionals. The survey received 1305 responses (51%) and generated 125 pages of single space answers to a number of open-ended questions. This talk will summarize the highlights of this first-ever demographic survey including findings extracted from the open-ended responses regarding barriers to career advancement which showed significant gender differences.

  1. Upper atmosphere tidal oscillations due to latent heat release in the tropical troposphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. M. Forbes

    1997-09-01

    Full Text Available Latent heat release associated with tropical deep convective activity is investigated as a source for migrating (sun-synchronous diurnal and semidiurnal tidal oscillations in the 80–150-km height region. Satellite-based cloud brightness temperature measurements made between 1988 and 1994 and averaged into 3-h bins are used to determine the annual- and longitude-average local-time distribution of rainfall rate, and hence latent heating, between ±40° latitude. Regional average rainfall rates are shown to be in good agreement with climatological values derived from surface rain gauge data. A global linearized wave model is used to estimate the corresponding atmospheric perturbations in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere (80–150 km resulting from upward-propagating tidal components excited by the latent heating. The annual-average migrating diurnal and semidiurnal components achieve velocity and temperature amplitudes of order 10–20 m s–1 and 5–10 K, respectively, which represent substantial contributions to the dynamics of the region. The latent heat forcing also shifts the phase (local solar time of maximum of the semidiurnal surface pressure oscillation from 0912 to 0936 h, much closer to the observed value of 0944 h.

  2. Observations of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) in the upper troposphere by the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tereszchuk, K. A.; Moore, D. P.; Harrison, J. J.; Boone, C. D.; Park, M.; Remedios, J. J.; Randel, W. J.; Bernath, P. F.

    2013-01-01

    Peroxyacetyl nitrate (CH3CO·O2NO2, abbreviated as PAN) is a trace molecular species present in the troposphere and lower stratosphere due primarily to pollution from fuel combustion and the pyrogenic outflows from biomass burning. In the lower troposphere, PAN has a relatively short life-time and is principally destroyed within a few hours through thermolysis, but it can act as a reservoir and carrier of NOx in the colder temperatures of the upper troposphere where UV photolysis becomes the dominant loss mechanism. Pyroconvective updrafts from large biomass burning events can inject PAN into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS), providing a means for the long-range transport of NOx. Given the extended lifetimes at these higher altitudes, PAN is readily detectable via satellite remote sensing. A new PAN data product is now available for the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS) Version 3.0 data set. We report measurements of PAN in Boreal biomass burning plumes recorded during the Quantifying the impact of BOReal forest fires on Tropospheric oxidants over the Atlantic using Aircraft and Satellites (BORTAS) campaign. The retrieval method employed and errors analysis are described in full detail. The retrieved volume mixing ratio (VMR) profiles are compared to coincident measurements made by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) instrument on the European Space Agency (ESA) ENVIronmental SATellite (ENVISAT). Three ACE-FTS occultations containing measurements of Boreal biomass burning outflows, recorded during BORTAS, were identified as having coincident measurements with MIPAS. In each case, the MIPAS measurements demonstrated good agreement with the ACE-FTS VMR profiles for PAN. The ACE-FTS PAN data set is used to obtain zonal mean distributions of seasonal averages from ~5 to 20 km. A strong seasonality is clearly observed for PAN concentrations in the global UTLS. Since the

  3. On the role of atmospheric forcing on upper ocean physics in the Southern Ocean and biological impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carranza, Magdalena M.

    The Southern Ocean (SO) plays a key role in regulating climate by absorbing nearly half of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2). Both physical and biogeochemical processes contribute to the net CO2 sink. As a result of global warming and ozone depletion, westerly winds have increased, with consequences for upper ocean physics but little is known on how primary producers are expected to respond to changes in atmospheric forcing. This thesis addresses the impact of atmospheric forcing on upper ocean dynamics and phytoplankton bloom development in the SO on synoptic storm scales, combining a broad range of observations derived from satellites, reanalysis, profiling floats and Southern elephant seals. On atmospheric synoptic timescales (2-10 days), relevant for phytoplankton growth and accumulation, wind speed has a larger impact on satellite Chl-a variability than surface heat fluxes or wind stress curl. In summer, strong winds are linked to deep mixed layers, cold sea surface temperatures and enhanced satellite chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), which suggest wind-driven entrainment plays a role in sustaining phytoplankton blooms at the surface. Subsurface bio-optical data from floats and seals reveal deep Chl-a fluorescence maxima (DFM) are ubiquitous in summer and tend to sit at the base of the mixed layer, but can occur in all seasons. The fact that wind speed and Chl-a correlations are maximal at zero lag time (from daily data) and incubation experiments indicate phytoplankton growth occurs 3-4 days after iron addition, suggests high winds in summer entrain Chl-a from a subsurface maximum. Vertical profiles also reveal Chl-a fluorescence unevenness within hydrographically defined mixed layers, suggesting the biological timescales of adaptation through the light gradient (i.e. growth and/or photoacclimation) are often faster than mixing timescales, and periods of quiescence between storms are long enough for biological gradients to form within the homogeneous layer in density

  4. Explorer of Enceladus and Titan (E2T): Investigating ocean worlds' evolution and habitability in the solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitri, Giuseppe; Postberg, Frank; Soderblom, Jason M.; Wurz, Peter; Tortora, Paolo; Abel, Bernd; Barnes, Jason W.; Berga, Marco; Carrasco, Nathalie; Coustenis, Athena; Paul de Vera, Jean Pierre; D'Ottavio, Andrea; Ferri, Francesca; Hayes, Alexander G.; Hayne, Paul O.; Hillier, Jon K.; Kempf, Sascha; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Lorenz, Ralph D.; Martelli, Andrea; Orosei, Roberto; Petropoulos, Anastassios E.; Reh, Kim; Schmidt, Juergen; Sotin, Christophe; Srama, Ralf; Tobie, Gabriel; Vorburger, Audrey; Vuitton, Véronique; Wong, Andre; Zannoni, Marco

    2018-06-01

    Titan, with its organically rich and dynamic atmosphere and geology, and Enceladus, with its active plume, both harbouring global subsurface oceans, are prime environments in which to investigate the habitability of ocean worlds and the conditions for the emergence of life. We present a space mission concept, the Explorer of Enceladus and Titan (E2T), which is dedicated to investigating the evolution and habitability of these Saturnian satellites. E2T is proposed as a medium-class mission led by ESA in collaboration with NASA in response to ESA's M5 Cosmic Vision Call. E2T proposes a focused payload that would provide in-situ composition investigations and high-resolution imaging during multiple flybys of Enceladus and Titan using a solar-electric powered spacecraft in orbit around Saturn. The E2T mission would provide high-resolution mass spectrometry of the plume currently emanating from Enceladus' south polar terrain and of Titan's changing upper atmosphere. In addition, high-resolution infrared (IR) imaging would detail Titan's geomorphology at 50-100 m resolution and the temperature of the fractures on Enceladus' south polar terrain at meter resolution. These combined measurements of both Titan and Enceladus would enable the E2T mission scenario to achieve two major scientific goals: 1) Study the origin and evolution of volatile-rich ocean worlds; and 2) Explore the habitability and potential for life in ocean worlds. E2T's two high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometers would enable resolution of the ambiguities in chemical analysis left by the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens mission regarding the identification of low-mass organic species, detect high-mass organic species for the first time, further constrain trace species such as the noble gases, and clarify the evolution of solid and volatile species. The high-resolution IR camera would reveal the geology of Titan's surface and the energy dissipated by Enceladus' fractured south polar terrain and plume

  5. Titan AVIATR - Aerial Vehicle for In Situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kattenhorn, Simon A.; Barnes, J. W.; McKay, C. P.; Lemke, L.; Beyer, R. A.; Radebaugh, J.; Adamkovics, M.; Atkinson, D. H.; Burr, D. M.; Colaprete, T.; Foch, R.; Le Mouélic, S.; Merrison, J.; Mitchell, J.; Rodriguez, S.; Schaller, E.

    2010-10-01

    Titan AVIATR - Aerial Vehicle for In Situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance - is a small (120 kg), nuclear-powered Titan airplane in the Discovery/New Frontiers class based on the concept of Lemke (2008 IPPW). The scientific goals of the mission are designed around the unique flexibility offered by an airborne platform: to explore Titan's diversity of surface landforms, processes, and compositions, as well as to study and measure the atmospheric circulation, aerosols, and humidity. AVIATR would address and surpass many of the science goals of hot-air balloons in Titan flagship studies. The strawman instrument payload is narrowly focused on the stated scientific objectives. The optical remote sensing suite comprises three instruments - an off-nadir high-resolution 2-micron camera, a horizon-looking 5-micron imager, and a 1-6 micron pushbroom near-infrared spectrometer. The in situ instruments include atmospheric structure, a methane humidity sensor, and a raindrop detector. An airplane has operational advantages over a balloon. Its piloted nature allows a go-to capability to image locations of interest in real time, thereby allowing for directed exploration of many features of primary geologic interest: Titan's sand dunes, mountains, craters, channels, and lakes. Subsequent imaging can capture changes in these features during the primary mission. AVIATR can fly predesigned routes, building up large context mosaics of areas of interest before swooping down to low altitude to acquire high-resolution images at 30-cm spatial sampling, similar to that of HiRISE at Mars. The elevation flexibility of the airplane allows us to acquire atmospheric profiles as a function of altitude at any desired location. Although limited by the direct-to-Earth downlink bandwidth, the total scientific data return from AVIATR will be >40 times that returned from Huygens. To maximize the science per bit, novel data storage and downlink techniques will be employed, including lossy compression

  6. Nitrogen isotope variations in camphor (Cinnamomum Camphora) leaves of different ages in upper and lower canopies as an indicator of atmospheric nitrogen sources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiao Huayun, E-mail: xiaohuayun@vip.skleg.c [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 46, Guanshui Road, Guiyang 550002 (China); Wu Lianghong; Zhu Renguo; Wang Yanli; Liu Congqiang [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No. 46, Guanshui Road, Guiyang 550002 (China)

    2011-02-15

    Nitrogen isotopic composition of new, middle-aged and old camphor leaves in upper and lower canopies has been determined in a living area, near a motorway and near an industrial area (Jiangan Chemical Fertilizer Plant). We found that at sites near roads, more positive {delta}{sup 15}N values were observed in the camphor leaves, especially in old leaves of upper canopies, and {Delta}{delta}{sup 15}N = {delta}{sup 15}N{sub upper} - {delta}{sup 15}N{sub lower} > 0, while those near the industrial area had more negative {delta}{sup 15}N values and {Delta}{delta}{sup 15}N < 0. These could be explained by two isotopically different atmospheric N sources: greater uptake from isotopically heavy pools of atmospheric NO{sub x} by old leaves in upper canopies at sites adjacent to roads, and greater uptake of {sup 15}N-depleted NH{sub y} in atmospheric deposition by leaves at sites near the industrial area. This study presents novel evidence that {sup 15}N natural abundance of camphor leaves can be used as a robust indicator of atmospheric N sources. - Research highlights: Camphor leaves showed high {delta}{sup 15}N values near roads and low values near the industrial area. The {delta}{sup 15}N values of camphor leaves near roads increased with time of exposure. The {delta}{sup 15}N values of camphor leaves near the industrial area decreased with time of exposure. More positive foliage {delta}{sup 15}N values were found in the upper canopies near roads. Near the industrial area, the upper canopies showed more negative foliage {delta}{sup 15}N values. - Nitrogen isotope in camphor leaves indicating atmospheric nitrogen sources.

  7. The Exploration of Titan and the Saturnian System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coustenis, Athena

    The exploration of the outer solar system and in particular of the giant planets and their environments is an on-going process with the Cassini spacecraft currently around Saturn, the Juno mission to Jupiter preparing to depart and two large future space missions planned to launch in the 2020-2025 time frame for the Jupiter system and its satellites (Europa and Ganymede) on the one hand, and the Saturnian system and Titan on the other hand [1,2]. Titan, Saturn's largest satellite, is the only other object in our Solar system to possess an extensive nitrogen atmosphere, host to an active organic chemistry, based on the interaction of N2 with methane (CH4). Following the Voyager flyby in 1980, Titan has been intensely studied from the ground-based large telescopes (such as the Keck or the VLT) and by artificial satellites (such as the Infrared Space Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope) for the past three decades. Prior to Cassini-Huygens, Titan's atmospheric composition was thus known to us from the Voyager missions and also through the explorations by the ISO. Our perception of Titan had thus greatly been enhanced accordingly, but many questions remained as to the nature of the haze surrounding the satellite and the composition of the surface. The recent revelations by the Cassini-Huygens mission have managed to surprise us with many discoveries [3-8] and have yet to reveal more of the interesting aspects of the satellite. The Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturnian system has been an extraordinary success for the planetary community since the Saturn-Orbit-Insertion (SOI) in July 2004 and again the very successful probe descent and landing of Huygens on January 14, 2005. One of its main targets was Titan. Titan was revealed to be a complex world more like the Earth than any other: it has a dense mostly nitrogen atmosphere and active climate and meteorological cycles where the working fluid, methane, behaves under Titan conditions the way that water does on

  8. Raising the Titanic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Romona

    1990-01-01

    Described is an activity in which groups of students investigate engineering principles by writing a feasibility study to raise the luxury liner, Titanic. The problem statement and directions, and suggestions for problem solutions are included. (CW)

  9. AVIATR - Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance A Titan Airplane Mission Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Jason W.; Lemke, Lawrence; Foch, Rick; McKay, Christopher P.; Beyer, Ross A.; Radebaugh, Jani; Atkinson, David H.; Lorenz, Ralph D.; LeMouelic, Stephane; Rodriguez, Sebastien; hide

    2011-01-01

    We describe a mission concept for a stand-alone Titan airplane mission: Aerial Vehicle for In-situ and Airborne Titan Reconnaissance (AVIATR). With independent delivery and direct-to-Earth communications, AVIATR could contribute to Titan science either alone or as part of a sustained Titan Exploration Program. As a focused mission, AVIATR as we have envisioned it would concentrate on the science that an airplane can do best: exploration of Titan's global diversity. We focus on surface geology/hydrology and lower-atmospheric structure and dynamics. With a carefully chosen set of seven instruments-2 near-IR cameras, 1 near-IR spectrometer, a RADAR altimeter, an atmospheric structure suite, a haze sensor, and a raindrop detector-AVIATR could accomplish a significant subset of the scientific objectives of the aerial element of flagship studies. The AVIATR spacecraft stack is composed of a Space Vehicle (SV) for cruise, an Entry Vehicle (EV) for entry and descent, and the Air Vehicle (AV) to fly in Titan's atmosphere. Using an Earth-Jupiter gravity assist trajectory delivers the spacecraft to Titan in 7.5 years, after which the AVIATR AV would operate for a 1-Earth-year nominal mission. We propose a novel 'gravity battery' climb-then-glide strategy to store energy for optimal use during telecommunications sessions. We would optimize our science by using the flexibility of the airplane platform, generating context data and stereo pairs by flying and banking the AV instead of using gimbaled cameras. AVIATR would climb up to 14 km altitude and descend down to 3.5 km altitude once per Earth day, allowing for repeated atmospheric structure and wind measurements all over the globe. An initial Team-X run at JPL priced the AVIATR mission at FY10 $715M based on the rules stipulated in the recent Discovery announcement of opportunity. Hence we find that a standalone Titan airplane mission can achieve important science building on Cassini's discoveries and can likely do so within

  10. Role of upper-most crustal composition in the evolution of the Precambrian ocean-atmosphere system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Large, R. R.; Mukherjee, I.; Zhukova, I.; Corkrey, R.; Stepanov, A.; Danyushevsky, L. V.

    2018-04-01

    Recent research has emphasized the potential relationships between supercontinent cycles, mountain building, nutrient flux, ocean-atmosphere chemistry and the origin of life. The composition of the Upper-Most Continental Crust (UMCC) also figures prominently in these relationships, and yet little detailed data on each component of this complex relationship has been available for assessment. Here we provide a new set of data on the trace element concentrations, including the Rare Earth Elements (REE), in the matrix of 52 marine black shale formations spread globally through the Archean and Proterozoic. The data support previous studies on the temporal geochemistry of shales, but with some important differences. Results indicate a change in provenance of the black shales (upper-most crustal composition), from more mafic in the Archean prior to 2700 Ma, to more felsic from 2700 to 2200 Ma, followed by a return to mafic compositions from 2200 to 1850 Ma. Around 1850 to 1800 Ma there is a rapid change to uniform felsic compositions, which remained for a billion years to 800 Ma. The shale matrix geochemistry supports the assertion that the average upper-most continental source rocks for the shales changed from a mix of felsic, mafic and ultramafic prior to 2700 Ma to more felsic after 1850 Ma, with an extended transition period between. The return to more mafic UMCC from 2200 to 1850 Ma is supported by the frequency of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) and banded iron formations, which suggest a peak in major mantle-connected plume events and associated Fe-rich hydrothermal activity over this period. Support for the change to felsic UMCC around 1850 Ma is provided by previous geological data which shows that felsic magmas, including, A-type granites and K-Th-U-rich granites intruded vast areas of the continental crust, peaking around 1850 Ma and declining to 1000 Ma. The implications of this change in UMCC are far reaching and may go some way to explain the distinct

  11. Clash of the Titans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramaniam, Karthigeyan

    2010-01-01

    WebQuests and the 5E learning cycle are titans of the science classroom. These popular inquiry-based strategies are most often used as separate entities, but the author has discovered that using a combined WebQuest and 5E learning cycle format taps into the inherent power and potential of both strategies. In the lesson, "Clash of the Titans,"…

  12. The TITAN reversed-field-pinch fusion reactor study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-01-01

    This report discusses the following topics: overview of titan-2 design; titan-2 fusion-power-core engineering; titan-2 divertor engineering; titan-2 tritium systems; titan-2 safety design and radioactive-waste disposal; and titan-2 maintenance procedures

  13. The TITAN reversed-field-pinch fusion reactor study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1990-01-01

    This report discusses the following topics: overview of titan-2 design; titan-2 fusion-power-core engineering; titan-2 divertor engineering; titan-2 tritium systems; titan-2 safety design and radioactive-waste disposal; and titan-2 maintenance procedures.

  14. Understanding the formation and composition of hazes in planetary atmospheres that contain carbon monoxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hörst, S. M.; Yoon, Y. H.; Hicks, R. K.; Tolbert, M. A.

    2012-09-01

    Measurements from the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS) have revealed the presence of molecules in Titan's ionosphere with masses in excess of hundreds of amu. Negative ions with mass/charge (m/z) up to 10,000 amu/q [1] and positive ions with m/z up to 400 amu/q [2] have been detected. CAPS has also observed O+ flowing into Titan's upper atmosphere [3], which appears to originate from Enceladus and is likely the source of oxygen bearing molecules in Titan's atmosphere [4]. The observed O+ is deposited in the region now known to contain large organic molecules. A recent Titan atmosphere simulation experiment has shown that incorporation of oxygen into Titan aerosol analogues results in the formation of all five nucleotide bases and the two smallest amino acids, glycine and alanine [5]. Similar chemical processes may have occurred in the atmosphere of the early Earth, or in the atmospheres of extrasolar planets; atmospheric aerosols may be an important source of the building blocks of life. Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in determining the radiation budget of an atmosphere and can also provide a wealth of organic material to the surface. The presence of atmospheric aerosols has been invoked to explain the relatively featureless spectrum of HD 189773b, including the lack of predicted atmospheric Na and K spectral lines [9]. The majority of the O+ precipitating into Titan's atmosphere forms CO (O(3P)+CH3 -> CO+H2+H) [4]. CO has also been detected in the atmospheres of a number of exoplanets including HD 189733b, HD 209458b, and WASP-12b [6-8]. It is therefore important to understand the role CO plays in the formation and composition of hazes in planetary atmospheres. Using a High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) (see e.g. [10]) we have obtained in situ composition measurements of aerosol particles (so-called "tholins") produced in N2/CH4/CO gas mixtures subjected to either FUV radiation (deuterium lamp, 115-400 nm) or a

  15. Measurements in interplanetary space and in the Martian upper atmosphere with a hydrogen absorption-cell spectrophotometer for Lα-radiation on-board Mars 4 - 7 spaceprobes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Babichenko, S.I.; Deregusov, E.V.; Kurt, V.G.; Romanova, N.N.; Skljankin, V.A.; Smirnov, A.S.; Bertaux, J.J.; Blamont, J.

    1977-01-01

    An ultraviolet spectrophotometer UFS-2, designed to measure radiation of atomic hydrogen in the Lα-line, was installed onboard the interplanetary Mars 4 - 7 spaceprobes launched in August 1973. The absorption cell which was used for the first time outside the hydrogen geocorona allowed direct temperature measurements of neutral interstellar hydrogen near the Sun and in the upper Martian atmosphere. (Auth.)

  16. The seasonal cycle of Titan's detached haze

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Robert A.; Seignovert, Benoît; Rannou, Pascal; Dumont, Philip; Turtle, Elizabeth P.; Perry, Jason; Roy, Mou; Ovanessian, Aida

    2018-04-01

    Titan's `detached' haze, seen in Voyager images in 1980 and 1981 and monitored by the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) during the period 2004-2017, provides a measure of seasonal activity in Titan's mesosphere with observations over almost half of Saturn's seasonal cycle. Here we report on retrieved haze extinction profiles that reveal a depleted layer (having a diminished aerosol content), visually manifested as a gap between the main haze and a thin, detached upper layer. Our measurements show the disappearance of the feature in 2012 and its reappearance in 2016, as well as details after the reappearance. These observations highlight the dynamical nature of the detached haze. The reappearance seems congruent with earlier descriptions by climate models but more complex than previously described. It occurs in two steps, first as haze reappearing at 450 ± 20 km and one year later at 510 ± 20 km. These observations provide additional tight and valuable constraints about the underlying mechanisms, especially for Titan's mesosphere, that control Titan's haze cycle.

  17. Aerosol chemistry in Titan's ionosphere: simultaneous growth and etching processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Nathalie; Cernogora, Guy; Jomard, François; Etcheberry, Arnaud; Vigneron, Jackie

    2016-10-01

    Since the Cassini-CAPS measurements, organic aerosols are known to be present and formed at high altitudes in the diluted and partially ionized medium that is Titan's ionosphere [1]. This unexpected chemistry can be further investigated in the laboratory with plasma experiments simulating the complex ion-neutral chemistry starting from N2-CH4 [2]. Two sorts of solid organic samples can be produced in laboratory experiments simulating Titan's atmospheric reactivity: grains in the volume and thin films on the reactor walls. We expect that grains are more representative of Titan's atmospheric aerosols, but films are used to provide optical indices for radiative models of Titan's atmosphere.The aim of the present study is to address if these two sorts of analogues are chemically equivalent or not, when produced in the same N2-CH4 plasma discharge. The chemical compositions of both these materials are measured by using elemental analysis, XPS analysis and Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry. We find that films are homogeneous but significantly less rich in nitrogen and hydrogen than grains produced in the same experimental conditions. This surprising difference in their chemical compositions is explained by the efficient etching occurring on the films, which stay in the discharge during the whole plasma duration, whereas the grains are ejected after a few minutes [3]. The impact for our understanding of Titan's aerosols chemical composition is important. Our study shows that chemical growth and etching process are simultaneously at stake in Titan's ionosphere. The more the aerosols stay in the ionosphere, the more graphitized they get through etching process. In order to infer Titan's aerosols composition, our work highlights a need for constraints on the residence time of aerosols in Titan's ionosphere. [1] Waite et al. (2009) Science , 316, p. 870[2] Szopa et al. (2006) PSS, 54, p. 394[3] Carrasco et al. (2016) PSS, 128, p. 52

  18. Use of Fourier transforms for asynoptic mapping: Applications to the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite microwave limb sounder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elson, Lee S.; Froidevaux, Lucien

    1993-01-01

    Fourier analysis has been applied to data obtained from limb viewing instruments on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite. A coordinate system rotation facilitates the efficient computation of Fourier transforms in the temporal and longitudinal domains. Fields such as ozone (O3), chlorine monoxide (ClO), temperature, and water vapor have been transformed by this process. The transforms have been inverted to provide maps of these quantities at selected times, providing a method of accurate time interpolation. Maps obtained by this process show evidence of both horizontal and vertical transport of important trace species such as O3 and ClO. An examination of the polar regions indicates that large-scale planetary variations are likely to play a significant role in transporting midstratospheric O3 into the polar regions. There is also evidence that downward transport occurs, providing a means of moving O3 into the polar vortex at lower altitudes. The transforms themselves show the structure and propagation characteristics of wave variations.

  19. The electronic Space Weather upper atmosphere (eSWua project at INGV: advancements and state of the art

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Romano

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available The eSWua project is based on measurements performed by all the instruments installed by the upper atmosphere physics group of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italy and on all the related studies. The aim is the realization of a hardware-software system to standardize historical and real-time observations for different instruments.

    An interactive Web site, supported by a well organized database, can be a powerful tool for the scientific and technological community in the field of telecommunications and space weather. The most common and useful database type for our purposes is the relational one, in which data are organized in tables for petabytes data archiving and the complete flexibility in data retrieving.

    The project started in June 2005 and will last till August 2007. In the first phase the major effort has been focused on the design of hardware and database architecture. The first two databases related to the DPS4 digisonde and GISTM measurements are complete concerning populating, tests and output procedures. Details on the structure and Web tools concerning these two databases are presented, as well as the general description of the project and technical features.

  20. The electronic Space Weather upper atmosphere (eSWua project at INGV: advancements and state of the art

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Romano

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available The eSWua project is based on measurements performed by all the instruments installed by the upper atmosphere physics group of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Italy and on all the related studies. The aim is the realization of a hardware-software system to standardize historical and real-time observations for different instruments. An interactive Web site, supported by a well organized database, can be a powerful tool for the scientific and technological community in the field of telecommunications and space weather. The most common and useful database type for our purposes is the relational one, in which data are organized in tables for petabytes data archiving and the complete flexibility in data retrieving. The project started in June 2005 and will last till August 2007. In the first phase the major effort has been focused on the design of hardware and database architecture. The first two databases related to the DPS4 digisonde and GISTM measurements are complete concerning populating, tests and output procedures. Details on the structure and Web tools concerning these two databases are presented, as well as the general description of the project and technical features.

  1. Big Impacts and Transient Oceans on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, K. J.; Korycansky, D. G.; Nixon, C. A.

    2014-01-01

    We have studied the thermal consequences of very big impacts on Titan [1]. Titan's thick atmosphere and volatile-rich surface cause it to respond to big impacts in a somewhat Earth-like manner. Here we construct a simple globally-averaged model that tracks the flow of energy through the environment in the weeks, years, and millenia after a big comet strikes Titan. The model Titan is endowed with 1.4 bars of N2 and 0.07 bars of CH4, methane lakes, a water ice crust, and enough methane underground to saturate the regolith to the surface. We assume that half of the impact energy is immediately available to the atmosphere and surface while the other half is buried at the site of the crater and is unavailable on time scales of interest. The atmosphere and surface are treated as isothermal. We make the simplifying assumptions that the crust is everywhere as methane saturated as it was at the Huygens landing site, that the concentration of methane in the regolith is the same as it is at the surface, and that the crust is made of water ice. Heat flow into and out of the crust is approximated by step-functions. If the impact is great enough, ice melts. The meltwater oceans cool to the atmosphere conductively through an ice lid while at the base melting their way into the interior, driven down in part through Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities between the dense water and the warm ice. Topography, CO2, and hydrocarbons other than methane are ignored. Methane and ethane clathrate hydrates are discussed quantitatively but not fully incorporated into the model.

  2. TandEM: Titan and Enceladus mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coustenis, A.; Atreya, S.K.; Balint, T.; Brown, R.H.; Dougherty, M.K.; Ferri, F.; Fulchignoni, M.; Gautier, D.; Gowen, R.A.; Griffith, C.A.; Gurvits, L.I.; Jaumann, R.; Langevin, Y.; Leese, M.R.; Lunine, J.I.; McKay, C.P.; Moussas, X.; Muller-Wodarg, I.; Neubauer, F.; Owen, T.C.; Raulin, F.; Sittler, E.C.; Sohl, F.; Sotin, Christophe; Tobie, G.; Tokano, T.; Turtle, E.P.; Wahlund, J.-E.; Waite, J.H.; Baines, K.H.; Blamont, J.; Coates, A.J.; Dandouras, I.; Krimigis, T.; Lellouch, E.; Lorenz, R.D.; Morse, A.; Porco, C.C.; Hirtzig, M.; Saur, J.; Spilker, T.; Zarnecki, J.C.; Choi, E.; Achilleos, N.; Amils, R.; Annan, P.; Atkinson, D.H.; Benilan, Y.; Bertucci, C.; Bezard, B.; Bjoraker, G.L.; Blanc, M.; Boireau, L.; Bouman, J.; Cabane, M.; Capria, M.T.; Chassefiere, E.; Coll, P.; Combes, M.; Cooper, J.F.; Coradini, A.; Crary, F.; Cravens, T.; Daglis, I.A.; de Angelis, E.; De Bergh, C.; de Pater, I.; Dunford, C.; Durry, G.; Dutuit, O.; Fairbrother, D.; Flasar, F.M.; Fortes, A.D.; Frampton, R.; Fujimoto, M.; Galand, M.; Grasset, O.; Grott, M.; Haltigin, T.; Herique, A.; Hersant, F.; Hussmann, H.; Ip, W.; Johnson, R.; Kallio, E.; Kempf, S.; Knapmeyer, M.; Kofman, W.; Koop, R.; Kostiuk, T.; Krupp, N.; Kuppers, M.; Lammer, H.; Lara, L.-M.; Lavvas, P.; Le, Mouelic S.; Lebonnois, S.; Ledvina, S.; Li, Ji; Livengood, T.A.; Lopes, R.M.; Lopez-Moreno, J. -J.; Luz, D.; Mahaffy, P.R.; Mall, U.; Martinez-Frias, J.; Marty, B.; McCord, T.; Salvan, C.M.; Milillo, A.; Mitchell, D.G.; Modolo, R.; Mousis, O.; Nakamura, M.; Neish, Catherine D.; Nixon, C.A.; Mvondo, D.N.; Orton, G.; Paetzold, M.; Pitman, J.; Pogrebenko, S.; Pollard, W.; Prieto-Ballesteros, O.; Rannou, P.; Reh, K.; Richter, L.; Robb, F.T.; Rodrigo, R.; Rodriguez, S.; Romani, P.; Bermejo, M.R.; Sarris, E.T.; Schenk, P.; Schmitt, B.; Schmitz, N.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Schwingenschuh, K.; Selig, A.; Sicardy, B.; Soderblom, L.; Spilker, L.J.; Stam, D.; Steele, A.; Stephan, K.; Strobel, D.F.; Szego, K.; Szopa,

    2009-01-01

    TandEM was proposed as an L-class (large) mission in response to ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015–2025 Call, and accepted for further studies, with the goal of exploring Titan and Enceladus. The mission concept is to perform in situ investigations of two worlds tied together by location and properties, whose remarkable natures have been partly revealed by the ongoing Cassini–Huygens mission. These bodies still hold mysteries requiring a complete exploration using a variety of vehicles and instruments. TandEM is an ambitious mission because its targets are two of the most exciting and challenging bodies in the Solar System. It is designed to build on but exceed the scientific and technological accomplishments of the Cassini–Huygens mission, exploring Titan and Enceladus in ways that are not currently possible (full close-up and in situ coverage over long periods of time). In the current mission architecture, TandEM proposes to deliver two medium-sized spacecraft to the Saturnian system. One spacecraft would be an orbiter with a large host of instruments which would perform several Enceladus flybys and deliver penetrators to its surface before going into a dedicated orbit around Titan alone, while the other spacecraft would carry the Titan in situ investigation components, i.e. a hot-air balloon (Montgolfière) and possibly several landing probes to be delivered through the atmosphere.

  3. Low-Latitude Ethane Rain on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalba, Paul A.; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Brown, R. H.; Barnes, J. W.; Baines, K. H.; Sotin, C.; Clark, R. N.; Lawrence, K. J.; Nicholson, P. D.

    2012-01-01

    Cassini ISS observed multiple widespread changes in surface brightness in Titan's equatorial regions over the past three years. These brightness variations are attributed to rainfall from cloud systems that appear to form seasonally. Determining the composition of this rainfall is an important step in understanding the "methanological" cycle on Titan. I use data from Cassini VIMS to complete a spectroscopic investigation of multiple rain-wetted areas. I compute "before-and-after" spectral ratios of any areas that show either deposition or evaporation of rain. By comparing these spectral ratios to a model of liquid ethane, I find that the rain is most likely composed of liquid ethane. The spectrum of liquid ethane contains multiple absorption features that fall within the 2-micron and 5-micron spectral windows in Titan's atmosphere. I show that these features are visible in the spectra taken of Titan's surface and that they are characteristically different than those in the spectrum of liquid methane. Furthermore, just as ISS saw the surface brightness reverting to its original state after a period of time, I show that VIMS observations of later flybys show the surface composition in different stages of returning to its initial form.

  4. Radiation effects in uranium-niobium titanates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lian, J.; Wang, S.X.; Wang, L.M.; Ewing, R.C.

    2000-01-01

    Pyrochlore is an important actinide host phase proposed for the immobilization of high level nuclear wastes and excess weapon plutonium.[1] Synthetic pyrochlore has a great variety of chemical compositions due to the possibility of extensive substitutions in the pyrochlore structure.[2] During the synthesis of pyrochlore, additional complex titanate phases may form in small quantities. The response of these phases to radiation damage must be evaluated because volume expansion of minor phases may cause micro-fracturing. In this work, two complex uranium-niobium titanates, U 3 NbO 9.8 (U-rich titanate) and Nb 3 UO 10 (Nb-rich titanate) were synthesized by the alkoxide/nitrate route at 1300 deg. C under an argon atmosphere. The phase composition and structure were analyzed by EDS, BSE, XRD, EMPA and TEM techniques. An 800 KeVKr 2+ irradiation was performed using the IVEM-Tandem Facility at Argonne National Laboratory in a temperature range from 30 K to 973 K. The radiation effects were observed by in situ TEM

  5. Energy loss of solar p modes due to the excitation of magnetic sausage tube waves: Importance of coupling the upper atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gascoyne, A.; Jain, R.; Hindman, B. W.

    2014-01-01

    We consider damping and absorption of solar p modes due to their energy loss to magnetic tube waves that can freely carry energy out of the acoustic cavity. The coupling of p modes and sausage tube waves is studied in a model atmosphere composed of a polytropic interior above which lies an isothermal upper atmosphere. The sausage tube waves, excited by p modes, propagate along a magnetic fibril which is assumed to be a vertically aligned, stratified, thin magnetic flux tube. The deficit of p-mode energy is quantified through the damping rate, Γ, and absorption coefficient, α. The variation of Γ and α as a function of frequency and the tube's plasma properties is studied in detail. Previous similar studies have considered only a subphotospheric layer, modeled as a polytrope that has been truncated at the photosphere. Such studies have found that the resulting energy loss by the p modes is very sensitive to the upper boundary condition, which, due to the lack of an upper atmosphere, have been imposed in a somewhat ad hoc manner. The model presented here avoids such problems by using an isothermal layer to model the overlying atmosphere (chromosphere, and, consequently, allows us to analyze the propagation of p-mode-driven sausage waves above the photosphere. In this paper, we restrict our attention to frequencies below the acoustic cut off frequency. We demonstrate the importance of coupling all waves (acoustic, magnetic) in the subsurface solar atmosphere with the overlying atmosphere in order to accurately model the interaction of solar f and p modes with sausage tube waves. In calculating the absorption and damping of p modes, we find that for low frequencies, below ≈3.5 mHz, the isothermal atmosphere, for the two-region model, behaves like a stress-free boundary condition applied at the interface (z = –z 0 ).

  6. Energy loss of solar p modes due to the excitation of magnetic sausage tube waves: Importance of coupling the upper atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gascoyne, A.; Jain, R. [Applied Mathematics Department, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7RH (United Kingdom); Hindman, B. W., E-mail: a.d.gascoyne@sheffield.ac.uk, E-mail: r.jain@sheffield.ac.uk [JILA and Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309-0440 (United States)

    2014-07-10

    We consider damping and absorption of solar p modes due to their energy loss to magnetic tube waves that can freely carry energy out of the acoustic cavity. The coupling of p modes and sausage tube waves is studied in a model atmosphere composed of a polytropic interior above which lies an isothermal upper atmosphere. The sausage tube waves, excited by p modes, propagate along a magnetic fibril which is assumed to be a vertically aligned, stratified, thin magnetic flux tube. The deficit of p-mode energy is quantified through the damping rate, Γ, and absorption coefficient, α. The variation of Γ and α as a function of frequency and the tube's plasma properties is studied in detail. Previous similar studies have considered only a subphotospheric layer, modeled as a polytrope that has been truncated at the photosphere. Such studies have found that the resulting energy loss by the p modes is very sensitive to the upper boundary condition, which, due to the lack of an upper atmosphere, have been imposed in a somewhat ad hoc manner. The model presented here avoids such problems by using an isothermal layer to model the overlying atmosphere (chromosphere, and, consequently, allows us to analyze the propagation of p-mode-driven sausage waves above the photosphere. In this paper, we restrict our attention to frequencies below the acoustic cut off frequency. We demonstrate the importance of coupling all waves (acoustic, magnetic) in the subsurface solar atmosphere with the overlying atmosphere in order to accurately model the interaction of solar f and p modes with sausage tube waves. In calculating the absorption and damping of p modes, we find that for low frequencies, below ≈3.5 mHz, the isothermal atmosphere, for the two-region model, behaves like a stress-free boundary condition applied at the interface (z = –z{sub 0}).

  7. Concentrations of ethane (C2H6) in the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere and acetylene (C2H2) in the upper troposphere deduced from Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy/Spacelab 3 spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinsland, C. P.; Russell, J. M., III; Zander, R.; Farmer, C. B.; Norton, R. H.

    1987-01-01

    This paper reports the results of the spectroscopic analysis of C2H6 and C2H2 absorption spectra obtained by the Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy (ATMOS) instrument flown on the Shuttle as part of the Spacelab 3 mission. The spectra were recorded during sunset occultations occurring between 25 deg N and 31 deg N latitudes, yielding volume-mixing ratio profiles of C2H6 in the lower stratosphere and the upper troposphere, and an upper tropospheric profile of C2H2. These results compare well with previous in situ and remote sounding data obtained at similar latitudes and with model calculations. The results demonstrate the feasibility of the ATMOS instrument to sound the lower atmosphere from space.

  8. Lightning generation in Titan due to the electrical self-polarization properties of Methane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quintero, A.; Falcón, N.

    2009-05-01

    We describe an electrical charge process in Titan's thunderclouds, due to the self-polarization properties or pyroelectricity of methane, which increases the internal electric field in thunderclouds and facilitates the charge generation and separation processes. Microphysics that generates lightning flashes is associated with the physical and chemical properties of the local atmosphere, so methane could be the principal agent of the electrical activity because of its great concentration in Titan's atmosphere. Besides, Titan's electrical activity should not be very influenced by Saturn's magnetosphere because lightning occurs at very low altitude above Titan's surface, compared with the greater distance of Saturn's magnetosphere and Titan's troposphere. Using an electrostatic treatment, we calculate the internal electric field of Titan's thunderclouds due to methane's pyroelectrical properties, 7.05×10^11 Vm^-1; and using the telluric capacitor approximation for thunderclouds, we calculate the total charge obtained for a typical Titan thundercloud, 2.67×10^9 C. However, it is not right to use an electrostatic treatment because charge times are very fast due to the large methane concentration in Titan's clouds and the life time of thunderclouds is very low (around 2 hours). We consider a time dependent mechanism, employing common Earth atmospheric approaches, because of the similitude in chemical composition of both atmospheres (mainly nitrogen), so the typical charge of a thundercloud in Titan should reach between 20 C to 40 C, like on Earth. We obtain that lightning occurs with a frequency between 2 and 6 KHz. In Titan's atmosphere, methane concentration is higher than on Earth, and atmospheric electrical activity is stronger, so this model could be consistent with the observed phenomenology.

  9. Titan Density Reconstruction Using Radiometric and Cassini Attitude Control Flight Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, Luis G., Jr.; Burk, Thomas A.

    2015-01-01

    This paper compares three different methods of Titan atmospheric density reconstruction for the Titan 87 Cassini flyby. T87 was a unique flyby that provided independent Doppler radiometric measurements on the ground throughout the flyby including at Titan closest approach. At the same time, the onboard accelerometer provided an independent estimate of atmospheric drag force and density during the flyby. These results are compared with the normal method of reconstructing atmospheric density using thruster on-time and angular momentum accumulation. Differences between the estimates are analyzed and a possible explanation for the differences is evaluated.

  10. Plasma environment of Titan: a 3-D hybrid simulation study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Simon

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Titan possesses a dense atmosphere, consisting mainly of molecular nitrogen. Titan's orbit is located within the Saturnian magnetosphere most of the time, where the corotating plasma flow is super-Alfvénic, yet subsonic and submagnetosonic. Since Titan does not possess a significant intrinsic magnetic field, the incident plasma interacts directly with the atmosphere and ionosphere. Due to the characteristic length scales of the interaction region being comparable to the ion gyroradii in the vicinity of Titan, magnetohydrodynamic models can only offer a rough description of Titan's interaction with the corotating magnetospheric plasma flow. For this reason, Titan's plasma environment has been studied by using a 3-D hybrid simulation code, treating the electrons as a massless, charge-neutralizing fluid, whereas a completely kinetic approach is used to cover ion dynamics. The calculations are performed on a curvilinear simulation grid which is adapted to the spherical geometry of the obstacle. In the model, Titan's dayside ionosphere is mainly generated by solar UV radiation; hence, the local ion production rate depends on the solar zenith angle. Because the Titan interaction features the possibility of having the densest ionosphere located on a face not aligned with the ram flow of the magnetospheric plasma, a variety of different scenarios can be studied. The simulations show the formation of a strong magnetic draping pattern and an extended pick-up region, being highly asymmetric with respect to the direction of the convective electric field. In general, the mechanism giving rise to these structures exhibits similarities to the interaction of the ionospheres of Mars and Venus with the supersonic solar wind. The simulation results are in agreement with data from recent Cassini flybys.

  11. Plasma environment of Titan: a 3-D hybrid simulation study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Simon

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Titan possesses a dense atmosphere, consisting mainly of molecular nitrogen. Titan's orbit is located within the Saturnian magnetosphere most of the time, where the corotating plasma flow is super-Alfvénic, yet subsonic and submagnetosonic. Since Titan does not possess a significant intrinsic magnetic field, the incident plasma interacts directly with the atmosphere and ionosphere. Due to the characteristic length scales of the interaction region being comparable to the ion gyroradii in the vicinity of Titan, magnetohydrodynamic models can only offer a rough description of Titan's interaction with the corotating magnetospheric plasma flow. For this reason, Titan's plasma environment has been studied by using a 3-D hybrid simulation code, treating the electrons as a massless, charge-neutralizing fluid, whereas a completely kinetic approach is used to cover ion dynamics. The calculations are performed on a curvilinear simulation grid which is adapted to the spherical geometry of the obstacle. In the model, Titan's dayside ionosphere is mainly generated by solar UV radiation; hence, the local ion production rate depends on the solar zenith angle. Because the Titan interaction features the possibility of having the densest ionosphere located on a face not aligned with the ram flow of the magnetospheric plasma, a variety of different scenarios can be studied. The simulations show the formation of a strong magnetic draping pattern and an extended pick-up region, being highly asymmetric with respect to the direction of the convective electric field. In general, the mechanism giving rise to these structures exhibits similarities to the interaction of the ionospheres of Mars and Venus with the supersonic solar wind. The simulation results are in agreement with data from recent Cassini flybys.

  12. HST observations of the limb polarization of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bazzon, A.; Schmid, H. M.; Buenzli, E.

    2014-12-01

    Context. Titan is an excellent test case for detailed studies of the scattering polarization from thick hazy atmospheres. Accurate scattering and polarization parameters have been provided by the in situ measurements of the Cassini-Huygens landing probe. For Earth-bound observations Titan can only be observed at a backscattering situation, where the disk-integrated polarization is close to zero. However, with resolved imaging polarimetry a second order polarization signal along the entire limb of Titan can be measured. Aims: We present the first limb polarization measurements of Titan, which are compared as a test to our limb polarization models. Methods: Previously unpublished imaging polarimetry from the HST archive is presented, which resolves the disk of Titan. We determine flux-weighted averages of the limb polarization and radial limb polarization profiles, and investigate the degradation and cancelation effects in the polarization signal due to the limited spatial resolution of our observations. Taking this into account we derive corrected values for the limb polarization in Titan. The results are compared with limb polarization models, using atmosphere and haze scattering parameters from the literature. Results: In the wavelength bands between 250 nm and 2 μm a strong limb polarization of about 2 - 7% is detected with a position angle perpendicular to the limb. The fractional polarization is highest around 1 μm. As a first approximation, the polarization seems to be equally strong along the entire limb. The comparison of our data with model calculations and the literature shows that the detected polarization is compatible with expectations from previous polarimetric observations taken with Voyager 2, Pioneer 11, and the Huygens probe. Conclusions: Our results indicate that ground-based monitoring measurements of the limb-polarization of Titan could be useful for investigating local haze properties and the impact of short-term and seasonal variations of

  13. The tides of Titan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iess, Luciano; Jacobson, Robert A; Ducci, Marco; Stevenson, David J; Lunine, Jonathan I; Armstrong, John W; Asmar, Sami W; Racioppa, Paolo; Rappaport, Nicole J; Tortora, Paolo

    2012-07-27

    We have detected in Cassini spacecraft data the signature of the periodic tidal stresses within Titan, driven by the eccentricity (e = 0.028) of its 16-day orbit around Saturn. Precise measurements of the acceleration of Cassini during six close flybys between 2006 and 2011 have revealed that Titan responds to the variable tidal field exerted by Saturn with periodic changes of its quadrupole gravity, at about 4% of the static value. Two independent determinations of the corresponding degree-2 Love number yield k(2) = 0.589 ± 0.150 and k(2) = 0.637 ± 0.224 (2σ). Such a large response to the tidal field requires that Titan's interior be deformable over time scales of the orbital period, in a way that is consistent with a global ocean at depth.

  14. Chemistry of the galactic cosmic ray induced ionosphere of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina-Cuberos, G. J.; López-Moreno, J. J.; Rodrigo, R.; Lara, L. M.

    1999-09-01

    Titan's lower ionosphere (from 1 to 400 km) has been studied with a one-dimensional ion-neutral model. In this region of the atmosphere, galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) are the main ionization source. They penetrate to the deeper atmosphere and ionize the neutral constituents of Titan's atmosphere (mainly N2, CH4, Ar, H2, and CO) to produce N2+, N+, Ar+, CH4+, CH3+, CH2+, H2+, H+, and CO+. Fast reactions with the neutrals convert these ions into ions such as CH5+, C2H5+, and N2H+. Different pathways are proposed to obtain the ion and electron densities. The most abundant ions are cluster ions, like CH5+.CH4, HCO+.H2, and HCNH+.C2H4, and long chain hydrocarbon ions. In atmospheres very rich in N2, such as Titan's, ions like H4C7N+ and CH3CNH+ also represent an important contribution to the total positive ion density. Three-body reactions may play an important role in the dense atmosphere of Titan, and special attention is devoted to them. The calculated electron density in the lower atmosphere reaches a peak of ~2150 cm-3 at an altitude of 90 km.

  15. Rainfall Downscaling Conditional on Upper-air Atmospheric Predictors: Improved Assessment of Rainfall Statistics in a Changing Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langousis, Andreas; Mamalakis, Antonis; Deidda, Roberto; Marrocu, Marino

    2015-04-01

    To improve the level skill of Global Climate Models (GCMs) and Regional Climate Models (RCMs) in reproducing the statistics of rainfall at a basin level and at hydrologically relevant temporal scales (e.g. daily), two types of statistical approaches have been suggested. One is the statistical correction of climate model rainfall outputs using historical series of precipitation. The other is the use of stochastic models of rainfall to conditionally simulate precipitation series, based on large-scale atmospheric predictors produced by climate models (e.g. geopotential height, relative vorticity, divergence, mean sea level pressure). The latter approach, usually referred to as statistical rainfall downscaling, aims at reproducing the statistical character of rainfall, while accounting for the effects of large-scale atmospheric circulation (and, therefore, climate forcing) on rainfall statistics. While promising, statistical rainfall downscaling has not attracted much attention in recent years, since the suggested approaches involved complex (i.e. subjective or computationally intense) identification procedures of the local weather, in addition to demonstrating limited success in reproducing several statistical features of rainfall, such as seasonal variations, the distributions of dry and wet spell lengths, the distribution of the mean rainfall intensity inside wet periods, and the distribution of rainfall extremes. In an effort to remedy those shortcomings, Langousis and Kaleris (2014) developed a statistical framework for simulation of daily rainfall intensities conditional on upper air variables, which accurately reproduces the statistical character of rainfall at multiple time-scales. Here, we study the relative performance of: a) quantile-quantile (Q-Q) correction of climate model rainfall products, and b) the statistical downscaling scheme of Langousis and Kaleris (2014), in reproducing the statistical structure of rainfall, as well as rainfall extremes, at a

  16. Mission Techniques for Exploring Saturn's icy moons Titan and Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reh, Kim; Coustenis, Athena; Lunine, Jonathan; Matson, Dennis; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Vargas, Andre; Beauchamp, Pat; Spilker, Tom; Strange, Nathan; Elliott, John

    2010-05-01

    The future exploration of Titan is of high priority for the solar system exploration community as recommended by the 2003 National Research Council (NRC) Decadal Survey [1] and ESA's Cosmic Vision Program themes. Cassini-Huygens discoveries continue to emphasize that Titan is a complex world with very many Earth-like features. Titan has a dense, nitrogen atmosphere, an active climate and meteorological cycles where conditions are such that the working fluid, methane, plays the role that water does on Earth. Titan's surface, with lakes and seas, broad river valleys, sand dunes and mountains was formed by processes like those that have shaped the Earth. Supporting this panoply of Earth-like processes is an ice crust that floats atop what might be a liquid water ocean. Furthermore, Titan is rich in very many different organic compounds—more so than any place in the solar system, except Earth. The Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) concept that followed the 2007 TandEM ESA CV proposal [2] and the 2007 Titan Explorer NASA Flagship study [3], was examined [4,5] and prioritized by NASA and ESA in February 2009 as a mission to follow the Europa Jupiter System Mission. The TSSM study, like others before it, again concluded that an orbiter, a montgolfiѐre hot-air balloon and a surface package (e.g. lake lander, Geosaucer (instrumented heat shield), …) are very high priority elements for any future mission to Titan. Such missions could be conceived as Flagship/Cosmic Vision L-Class or as individual smaller missions that could possibly fit within NASA's New Frontiers or ESA's Cosmic Vision M-Class budgets. As a result of a multitude of Titan mission studies, several mission concepts have been developed that potentially fit within various cost classes. Also, a clear blueprint has been laid out for early efforts critical toward reducing the risks inherent in such missions. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of potential Titan (and Enceladus) mission

  17. Spatial and Temporal Variations of Infrared Emissions in the Upper Atmosphere. 3. 5.3-μm Nitric Oxide Emission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semenov, A. I.; Medvedeva, I. V.; Perminov, V. I.

    2018-03-01

    The results of rocket and satellite measurements available in the literature of 5.3-μm nitric oxide emission in the upper atmosphere have been systematized and analyzed. Analytical dependences describing the height distribution of volumetric intensity of 5.3-μm emission of the NO molecule and its variations in a range of heights from 100 to 130 km as a function of the time of year, day, latitude, and solar activity have been obtained.

  18. Asphalt Volcanism as a Model to Understand the Geochemical Nature of Pitch Lake, a Planetary Analog for Titan and the Implications towards Methane Flux into Earth's Atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, A.

    2016-12-01

    Pitch Lake is located in the southwest peninsula of the island near La Brea in Trinidad and Tobago, covering an area of approximately 46 hectares. It was discovered in the year 1595 and is the largest of three natural asphalt lakes that exist on Earth. Pitch Lake is a large oval shaped reservoir composed of dominantly hydrocarbon compounds, but also includes minor amounts of clay and muddy water. It is a natural liquid asphalt desert, which is nourished by a form of petroleum consisting of mostly asphaltines from the surrounding oil-rich region. The hydrocarbons mix with mud and gases under high pressure during upward seepage, and the lighter portion evaporates or is volatilized, which produces a high-viscosity liquid asphalt residue. The residue on and near the surface is a hydrocarbon matrix, which poses extremely challenging environmental conditions to microorganisms characterized by an average low water activity in the range of 0.49 to 0.75, recalcitrant carbon substrates, and toxic chemical compounds. Nevertheless, an active microbial community of archaea and bacteria, many of them novel strains, was found to inhabit the liquid hydrocarbon matrix of Pitch Lake. Geochemical analyses of minerals, done by our team, which revealed sulfates, sulfides, silicates, and metals, normally associated with deep-water hydrothermal vents leads to our new hypothetical model to describe the origins of Pitch Lake and its importance to atmospheric and earth sciences. Pitch Lake is likely the terrestrial equivalent of an offshore submarine asphalt volcano just as La Brea Tar Pits are in some ways an on-land version of the asphalt volcanoes discovered off shore of Santa Barbara by Valentine et al. in 2010. Asphalt volcanism possibly also creates the habitat for chemosynthetic life that is widespread in this lake, as reported by Schulze-Makuch et al. in 2011 and Meckenstock et al. in 2014.

  19. Reactions of substituted benzene anions with N and O atoms: Chemistry in Titan’s upper atmosphere and the interstellar medium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Zhe-Chen; Bierbaum, Veronica M. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309 (United States)

    2016-06-07

    The likely existence of aromatic anions in many important extraterrestrial environments, from the atmosphere of Titan to the interstellar medium (ISM), is attracting increasing attention. Nitrogen and oxygen atoms are also widely observed in the ISM and in the ionospheres of planets and moons. In the current work, we extend previous studies to explore the reactivity of prototypical aromatic anions (deprotonated toluene, aniline, and phenol) with N and O atoms both experimentally and computationally. The benzyl and anilinide anions both exhibit slow associative electron detachment (AED) processes with N atom, and moderate reactivity with O atom in which AED dominates but ionic products are also formed. The reactivity of phenoxide is dramatically different; there is no measurable reaction with N atom, and the moderate reactivity with O atom produces almost exclusively ionic products. The reaction mechanisms are studied theoretically by employing density functional theory calculations, and spin conversion is found to be critical for understanding some product distributions. This work provides insight into the rich gas-phase chemistry of aromatic ion-atom reactions and their relevance to ionospheric and interstellar chemistry.

  20. Titan: a distant but enticing destination for human visitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nott, Julian

    2009-10-01

    Until recently, very little was known about Saturn's largest satellite, Titan. But that has changed dramatically since the Cassini spacecraft started orbiting in the Saturn system in 2004. Larger than Mercury and with a dense atmosphere, Titan has many of the characteristics of a planet. Indeed, many scientists now see it as the most interesting place in the Solar System for robotic exploration, with many unique features and even the possibility of exotic forms of life. This paper points out that Titan is also a potential destination for humans. With its predominantly nitrogen atmosphere, moderate gravity, and available water and oxygen, it also appears that, once it becomes possible to travel there, it will prove to be much more hospitable for human visitors than any other destination in the Solar System.

  1. Wavelength Dependence of Solar Irradiance Enhancement During X-Class Flares and Its Influence on the Upper Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yanshi; Richmond, Arthur D.; Deng, Yue; Chamberlin, Phillip C.; Qian, Liying; Solomon, Stanley C.; Roble, Raymond G.; Xiao, Zuo

    2013-01-01

    The wavelength dependence of solar irradiance enhancement during flare events is one of the important factors in determining how the Thermosphere-Ionosphere (T-I) system responds to flares. To investigate the wavelength dependence of flare enhancement, the Flare Irradiance Spectral Model (FISM) was run for 61 X-class flares. The absolute and the percentage increases of solar irradiance at flare peaks, compared to pre-flare conditions, have clear wavelength dependences. The 0-14 nm irradiance increases much more (approx. 680% on average) than that in the 14-25 nm waveband (approx. 65% on average), except at 24 nm (approx. 220%). The average percentage increases for the 25-105 nm and 122-190 nm wavebands are approx. 120% and approx. 35%, respectively. The influence of 6 different wavebands (0-14 nm, 14-25 nm, 25-105 nm, 105- 120 nm, 121.56 nm, and 122-175 nm) on the thermosphere was examined for the October 28th, 2003 flare (X17-class) event by coupling FISM with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Thermosphere-Ionosphere-Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIE-GCM) under geomagnetically quiet conditions (Kp=1). While the enhancement in the 0-14 nm waveband caused the largest enhancement of the globally integrated solar heating, the impact of solar irradiance enhancement on the thermosphere at 400 km is largest for the 25-105 nm waveband (EUV), which accounts for about 33 K of the total 45 K temperature enhancement, and approx. 7.4% of the total approx. 11.5% neutral density enhancement. The effect of 122-175 nm flare radiation on the thermosphere is rather small. The study also illustrates that the high-altitude thermospheric response to the flare radiation at 0-175 nm is almost a linear combination of the responses to the individual wavebands. The upper thermospheric temperature and density enhancements peaked 3-5 h after the maximum flare radiation.

  2. Titan LEAF: A Sky Rover Granting Targeted Access to Titan's Lakes and Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Floyd; Lee, Greg; Sokol, Daniel; Goldman, Benjamin; Bolisay, Linden

    2016-10-01

    Northrop Grumman, in collaboration with L'Garde Inc. and Global Aerospace Corporation (GAC), has been developing the Titan Lifting Entry Atmospheric Flight (T-LEAF) sky rover to roam the atmosphere and observe at close quarters the lakes and plains of Titan. T-LEAF also supports surface exploration and science by providing precision delivery of in situ instruments to the surface.T-LEAF is a maneuverable, buoyant air vehicle. Its aerodynamic shape provides its maneuverability, and its internal helium envelope reduces propulsion power requirements and also the risk of crashing. Because of these features, T-LEAF is not restricted to following prevailing wind patterns. This freedom of mobility allows it be commanded to follow the shorelines of Titan's methane lakes, for example, or to target very specific surface locations.T-LEAF utilizes a variable power propulsion system, from high power at ~200W to low power at ~50W. High power mode uses the propellers and control surfaces for additional mobility and maneuverability. It also allows the vehicle to hover over specific locations for long duration surface observations. Low power mode utilizes GAC's Titan Winged Aerobot (TWA) concept, currently being developed with NASA funding, which achieves guided flight without the use of propellers or control surfaces. Although slower than high powered flight, this mode grants increased power to science instruments while still maintaining control over direction of travel.Additionally, T-LEAF is its own entry vehicle, with its leading edges protected by flexible thermal protection system (f-TPS) materials already being tested by NASA's Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) group. This f-TPS technology allows T-LEAF to inflate in space, like HIAD, and then enter the atmosphere fully deployed. This approach accommodates entry velocities from as low as ~1.8 km/s if entering from Titan orbit, up to ~6 km/s if entering directly from Saturn orbit, like the Huygens probe

  3. Geochemistry and Organic Chemistry on the Surface of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunine, J. I.; Beauchamp, P.; Beauchamp, J.; Dougherty, D.; Welch, C.; Raulin, F.; Shapiro, R.; Smith, M.

    2001-01-01

    Titan's atmosphere produces a wealth of organic products from methane and nitrogen. These products, deposited on the surface in liquid and solid form, may interact with surface ices and energy sources to produce compounds of exobiological interest. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  4. Descent imager/spectral radiometer (DISR) instrument aboard the Huygens probe of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasko, Martin G.; Doose, Lyn R.; Smith, Peter H.; Fellows, C.; Rizk, B.; See, C.; Bushroe, M.; McFarlane, E.; Wegryn, E.; Frans, E.; Clark, R.; Prout, M.; Clapp, S.

    1996-10-01

    The Huygen's probe of the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan includes one optical instrument sensitive to the wavelengths of solar radiation. The goals of this investigation fall into four broad areas: 1) the measurement of the profile of solar heating to support an improved understanding of the thermal balance of Titan and the role of the greenhouse effect in maintaining Titan's temperature structure; 2) the measurement of the size, vertical distribution, and optical properties of the aerosol and cloud particles in Titan's atmosphere to support studies of the origin, chemistry, life cycles, and role in the radiation balance of Titan played by these particles; 3) the composition of the atmosphere, particularly the vertical profile of the mixing ratio of methane, a condensable constituent in Titan's atmosphere; and 4) the physical state, composition, topography, and physical processes at work in determining the nature of the surface of Titan and its interaction with Titan's atmosphere. In order to accomplish these objectives, the Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer (DISR) instrument makes extensive use of fiber optics to bring the light from several different sets of foreoptics to a silicon CCD detector, to a pair of InGaAs linear array detectors, and to three silicon photometers. Together these detectors permit DISR to make panoramic images of the clouds and surface of Titan, to measure the spectrum of upward and downward streaming sunlight from 350 to 1700 nm at a resolving power of about 200, to measure the reflection spectrum of >= 3000 locations on the surface, to measure the brightness and polarization of the solar aureole between 4 and 30 degrees from the sun at 500 and 935 nm, to separate the direct and diffuse downward solar flux at each wavelength measured, and to measure the continuous reflection spectrum of the ground between 850 and 1600 nm using an onboard lamp in the last 100 m of the descent.

  5. Titanic exploration with GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerski, J.J.

    2004-01-01

    To help teachers and students investigate one of the world's most famous historical events using the geographic perspective and GIS tools and methods, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) created a set of educational lessons based on the RMS Titanic's April 1912 sailing. With these lessons, student researchers can learn about latitude and longitude, map projections, ocean currents, databases, maps, and images through the analysis of the route, warnings, sinking, rescue, and eventual discovery of the submerged ocean liner in 1985. They can also consider the human and physical aspects of the maiden voyage in the North Atlantic Ocean at a variety of scales, from global to regional to local. Likewise, their investigations can reveal how the sinking of the Titanic affected future shipping routes.

  6. Dragonfly: In Situ Exploration of Titan's Organic Chemistry and Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turtle, E. P.; Barnes, J. W.; Trainer, M. G.; Lorenz, R. D.

    2017-12-01

    Titan's abundant complex carbon-rich chemistry, interior ocean, and past presence of liquid water on the surface make it an ideal destination to study prebiotic chemical processes and document the habitability of an extraterrestrial environment. Titan exploration is a high science priority due to the level of organic synthesis that it supports. Moreover, opportunities for organics to have interacted with liquid water at the surface (e.g., in impact melt sheets) increase the potential for chemical processes to progress further, providing an unparalleled opportunity to investigate prebiotic chemistry, as well as to search for signatures of potential water-based or even hydrocarbon-based life. The diversity of Titan's surface materials and environments drives the scientific need to be able to sample a variety of locations, thus mobility is key for in situ measurements. Titan's atmosphere is 4 times denser than Earth's reducing the wing/rotor area required to generate a given amount of lift, and the low gravity reduces the required magnitude of lift, making heavier-than-air mobility highly efficient. Dragonfly is a rotorcraft lander mission proposed to NASA's New Frontiers Program to take advantage of Titan's unique natural laboratory to understand how far chemistry can progress in environments that provide key ingredients for life. Measuring the compositions of materials in different environments will reveal how far organic chemistry has progressed. Surface material can be sampled into a mass spectrometer to identify the chemical components available and processes at work to produce biologically relevant compounds. Bulk elemental surface composition can be determined by a neutron-activated gamma-ray spectrometer. Meteorology measurements can characterize Titan's atmosphere and diurnal and spatial variations therein. Geologic features can be characterized via remote-sensing observations, which also provide context for samples. Seismic sensing can probe subsurface

  7. Titan's plasma environment: 3D hybrid simulation and comparison with observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipatov, A. S.; Sittler, E. C.; Hartle, R. E.

    2007-12-01

    A multiscale combined (fluid--kinetic) numerical method allows us to use more realistic plasma models at Titan. This method takes into account charge-exchange and photoionization processes. We study the Titan's plasma environment in case of high, intermediate and low exosphere density in Chamberlain models. The background ions H+, O+ and pickup ions H2+, CH4+ and N2+ are described in a kinetic approximation, where the electrons are approximated as a fluid. We also include an immobile ionosphere at the height 1300km. In this report we consider the multiscale spatial structure for plasma and electromagnetic field, and the velocity distribution of ions that results from the coupling between background ions and pickup ions. Special attention will be paid for the comparisons our numerical results with Voyager and Cassini observations (see e.g. [Sittler, Hartle, et al., 2005; Hartle, Sittler et al., 2006]). We shall estimate of mass loading rate for Ta, energy input to upper atmosphere from ambient +pickup ions, and the T9 encounter with two crossings. \

  8. DYNAMO: a Mars upper atmosphere package for investigating solar wind interaction and escape processes, and mapping Martian fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chassefiere, E.; Nagy, A.; Mandea, M.

    2004-01-01

    DYNAMO is a small multi-instrument payload aimed at characterizing current atmospheric escape, which is still poorly constrained, and improving gravity and magnetic field representations, in order to better understand the magnetic, geologic and thermal history of Mars. The internal structure...... of periapsis 170 km), and in a lesser extent 2a, offers an unprecedented opportunity to investigate by in situ probing the chemical and dynamical properties of the deep ionosphere, thermosphere, and the interaction between the atmosphere and the solar wind, and therefore the present atmospheric escape rate...

  9. On the structure of the upper atmosphere of Mars according to data from experiments on the Viking space vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izakov, M. N.

    1979-01-01

    Altitude profiles of the concentrations of the atmospheric components measured by the on board mass spectrometers during the descent of Viking lander are discussed by assuming that temperature has a smoother profile, and the eddy mixing coefficients are smaller at altitudes of 120 to 170 km than those formally determined. The influence of acoustic gravitational waves and errors in measurements and calculations are discussed in relation to the convolutions in the altitude profiles of the concentrations of the atmospheric components and the temperature of the atmosphere.

  10. Titan's Stratospheric Condensibles at High Northern Latitudes During Northern Winter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Carrie; Samuelson, R.; Achterberg, R.

    2012-01-01

    The Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer (IRIS) instrument on board Voyager 1 caught the first glimpse of an unidentified particulate feature in Titan's stratosphere that spectrally peaks at 221 per centimeter. Until recently, this feature that we have termed 'the haystack,' has been seen persistently at high northern latitudes with the Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) instrument onboard Cassini, The strength of the haystack emission feature diminishes rapidly with season, becoming drastically reduced at high northern latitudes, as Titan transitions from northern winter into spring, In contrast to IRIS whose shortest wavenumber was 200 per centimeter, CIRS extends down to 10 per centimeter, thus revealing an entirely unexplored spectral region in which nitrile ices have numerous broad lattice vibration features, Unlike the haystack, which is only found at high northern latitudes during northern winter/early northern spring, this geometrically thin nitrile cloud pervades Titan's lower stratosphere, spectrally peaking at 160 per centimeter, and is almost global in extent spanning latitudes 85 N to 600 S, The inference of nitrile ices are consistent with the highly restricted altitude ranges over which these features are observed, and appear to be dominated by a mixture of HCN and HC3N, The narrow range in altitude over which the nitrile ices extend is unlike the haystack, whose vertical distribution is significantly broader, spanning roughly 70 kilometers in altitude in Titan's lower stratosphere, The nitrile clouds that CIRS observes are located in a dynamically stable region of Titan's atmosphere, whereas CH4 clouds, which ordinarily form in the troposphere, form in a more dynamically unstable region, where convective cloud systems tend to occur. In the unusual situation where Titan's tropopause cools significantly from the HASI 70.5K temperature minimum, CH4 should condense in Titan's lower stratosphere, just like the aforementioned nitrile clouds, although

  11. Young planets under extreme UV irradiation. I. Upper atmosphere modelling of the young exoplanet K2-33b

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kubyshkina, D.; Lendl, M.; Fossati, L.; Cubillos, P. E.; Lammer, H.; Erkaev, N. V.; Johnstone, C. P.

    2018-04-01

    The K2-33 planetary system hosts one transiting 5 R⊕ planet orbiting the young M-type host star. The planet's mass is still unknown, with an estimated upper limit of 5.4 MJ. The extreme youth of the system (age of the system indicates that the planet is more massive than 10 M⊕.

  12. Critical Evaluation of Chemical Reaction Rates and Collision Cross Sections of Importance in the Earth's Upper Atmosphere and the Atmospheres of Other Planets, Moons, and Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huestis, David L.

    2006-01-01

    We propose to establish a long-term program of critical evaluation by domain experts of the rates and cross sections for atomic and molecular processes that are needed for understanding and modeling the atmospheres in the solar system. We envision data products resembling those of the JPL/NASA Panel for Data Evaluation and the similar efforts of the international combustion modeling community funded by US DoE and its European counterpart.

  13. Cassini/CIRS Observations of Water Vapor in Titan's Stratosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjoraker, Gordon L.; Achterberg, R. K.; Anderson, C. M.; Samuelson, R. E.; Carlson, R. C.; Jennings, D. E.

    2008-01-01

    The Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) on the Cassini spacecraft has obtained spectra of Titan during most of the 44 flybys of the Cassini prime mission. Water vapor on Titan was first detected using whole-disk observations from the Infrared Space Observatory (Coustenis et al 1998, Astron. Astrophys. 336, L85-L89). CIRS data permlt the retrieval of the latitudinal variation of water on Titan and some limited information on its vertical profile. Emission lines of H2O on Titan are very weak in the CIRS data. Thus, large spectral averages as well as improvements in calibration are necessary to detect water vapor. Water abundances were retrieved in nadir spectra at 55 South, the Equator, and at 19 North. Limb spectra of the Equator were also modeled to constrain the vertical distribution of water. Stratospheric temperatures in the 0.5 - 4.0 mbar range were obtained by inverting spectra of CH4 in the v4 band centered at 1304/cm. The temperature in the lower stratosphere (4 - 20 mbar) was derived from fitting pure rotation lines of CH4 between 80 and 160/cm. The origin of H2O and CO2 is believed to be from the ablation of micrometeorites containing water ice, followed by photochemistry. This external source of water originates either within the Saturn system or from the interplanetary medium. Recently, Horst et al (J. Geophys. Res. 2008, in press) developed a photochemical model of Titan in which there are two external sources of oxygen. Oxygen ions (probably from Enceladus) precipitate into Titan's atmosphere to form CO at very high altitudes (1100 km). Water ice ablation at lower altitudes (700 km) forms H2O and subsequent chemistry produces CO2. CIRS measurements of CO, CO2, and now of H2O will provide valuable constraints to these photochemical models and - improve our understanding of oxygen chemistry on Titan.

  14. The Titan haze revisted: Magnetospheric energy sorces quantitative tholin yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, W. Reid; Mcdonald, Gene D.; Sagan, Carl

    1994-01-01

    We present laboratory measurements of the radiation yields of complex organic solids produced from N2/CH4 gas mixtures containing 10 or 0.1% CH4. These tholins are thought to resemble organic aerosols produced in the atmospheres of Titan, Pluto, and Triton. The tholin yields are large compared to the total yield of gaseous products: nominally, 13 (C + N)/100 eV for Titan tholin and 2.1 (C + N)/100 eV for Triton tholin. High-energy magnetospheric electrons responsible for tholin production represents a class distinct from the plasma electrons considered in models of Titan's aiglow. Electrons with E greater than 20 keV provide an energy flux approximately 1 x 10(exp -2) erg/cm/sec, implying from our measured tholin yields a mass flux of 0.5 to 4.0 x 10(exp -14) g/sq cm/sec of tholin. (The corresponding thickness of the tholin sedimentary column accumulated over 4 Gyr on Titan's surface is 4 to 30 m). This figure is in agreement with required mass fluxes computed from recent radiative transfer and sedimentation models. If, however, theses results, derived from experiments at approximately 2 mb, are applied to lower pressure levels toward peak auroral electron energy deposition and scaled with pressure as the gas-phase organic yields, the derived tholin mass flux is at least an order of magnitude less. We attrribute this difference to the fact that tholin synthesis occurs well below the level of maximum electron energy depositon and to possible contributions to tholis from UV-derived C2-hydrocarbons. We conclude that Tita tholin, produced by magnetospheric electrons, is alone sufficient to supply at least a significant fraction of Titan's haze-a result consistent with the fact that the optical properties of Titan tholin, among all proposed material, are best at reproducing Titan's geometric albedo spectrum from near UV to mid-IR in light-scattering models.

  15. Detailed exploration of Titan with a Montgolfiere aerobot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spilker, T.; Tipex Team

    The International Cassini/Huygens (CH) mission has verified the expectation that Saturn's moon Titan offers many opportunities for studying high-priority planetary and astrobiology science objectives. CH results to date show that this world, though entirely alien in its frigid environment, presents an Earth-like and diverse appearance due to the relative balance of competing forces such as geology/tectonics, meteorology, aeronomy, and cosmic impacts. But with the limitations of a single Huygens probe, and a finite number of Cassini flybys limited in proximity and remote sensing resolution by Titan's thick atmosphere and hazes, there is much science to be done there after the CH mission has ended. Detailed exploration of Titan's surface and lower atmosphere, especially for astrobiological objectives, is best addressed by in situ investigations. The atmosphere and its hazes severely restrict orbital remote sensing: Titan cannot be mapped from orbit in the same manner as Mars, at (essentially) arbitrarily high resolution, and limited infrared (IR) windows allow only gross compositional interpretations. After CH indeed there will be further orbital investigations to be carried out, notably completion of the global mapping by Synthetic Aperture Radar and IR mapping spectrometry begun by CH, at the best resolutions practical from orbit. But to fully understand Titan as an evolving, planetary-scale body and an abode of preserved protobiological chemistry will require a platform that has access to, and mobility at, the surface and the lowest few kilometers of the atmosphere. The TiPEx study team weighed the options for Titan in situ exploration, and finds that a mission based on a Montgolfiere (a type of hot-air balloon) aerobot is the best candidate for post-CH exploration. Ground-based platforms of the type used to date on Mars are far too limited in range to sample the diversity of Titan, and do not adequately investigate the lower atmosphere. Titan's cold, dense

  16. The Michigan Titan Thermospheric General Circulation Model (TTGCM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. M.; Bougher, S. W.; de Lahaye, V.; Waite, J. H.

    2005-12-01

    The Cassini flybys of Titan since late October, 2004 have provided data critical to better understanding its chemical and thermal structures. With this in mind, a 3-D TGCM of Titan's atmosphere from 600km to the exobase (~1450km) has been developed. This paper presents the first results from the partially operational code. Currently, the TTGCM includes static background chemistry (Lebonnois et al 2001, Vervack et al 2004) coupled with thermal conduction routines. The thermosphere remains dominated by solar EUV forcing and HCN rotational cooling, which is calculated by a full line-by-line radiative transfer routine along the lines of Yelle (1991) and Mueller-Wodarg (2000, 2002). In addition, an approximate treatment of magnetospheric heating is explored. This paper illustrates the model's capabilities as well as some initial results from the Titan Thermospheric General Circulation model that will be compared with both the Cassini INMS data and the model of Mueller-Wodarg (2000,2002).

  17. Barium titanate thick films prepared by screen printing technique

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirjana M. Vijatović

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The barium titanate (BaTiO3 thick films were prepared by screen printing technique using powders obtained by soft chemical route, modified Pechini process. Three different barium titanate powders were prepared: i pure, ii doped with lanthanum and iii doped with antimony. Pastes for screen printing were prepared using previously obtained powders. The thick films were deposited onto Al2O3 substrates and fired at 850°C together with electrode material (silver/palladium in the moving belt furnace in the air atmosphere. Measurements of thickness and roughness of barium titanate thick films were performed. The electrical properties of thick films such as dielectric constant, dielectric losses, Curie temperature, hysteresis loop were reported. The influence of different factors on electrical properties values was analyzed.

  18. Crater Topography on Titan: Implications for Landscape Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neish, Catherine D.; Kirk, R.L.; Lorenz, R. D.; Bray, V. J.; Schenk, P.; Stiles, B. W.; Turtle, E.; Mitchell, K.; Hayes, A.

    2013-01-01

    We present a comprehensive review of available crater topography measurements for Saturn's moon Titan. In general, the depths of Titan's craters are within the range of depths observed for similarly sized fresh craters on Ganymede, but several hundreds of meters shallower than Ganymede's average depth vs. diameter trend. Depth-to-diameter ratios are between 0.0012 +/- 0.0003 (for the largest crater studied, Menrva, D approximately 425 km) and 0.017 +/- 0.004 (for the smallest crater studied, Ksa, D approximately 39 km). When we evaluate the Anderson-Darling goodness-of-fit parameter, we find that there is less than a 10% probability that Titan's craters have a current depth distribution that is consistent with the depth distribution of fresh craters on Ganymede. There is, however, a much higher probability that the relative depths are uniformly distributed between 0 (fresh) and 1 (completely infilled). This distribution is consistent with an infilling process that is relatively constant with time, such as aeolian deposition. Assuming that Ganymede represents a close 'airless' analogue to Titan, the difference in depths represents the first quantitative measure of the amount of modification that has shaped Titan's surface, the only body in the outer Solar System with extensive surface-atmosphere exchange.

  19. Titan's Surface Composition from Cassini VIMS Solar Occultation Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCord, Thomas; Hayne, Paul; Sotin, Christophe

    2013-04-01

    Titan's surface is obscured by a thick absorbing and scattering atmosphere, allowing direct observation of the surface within only a few spectral win-dows in the near-infrared, complicating efforts to identify and map geologi-cally important materials using remote sensing IR spectroscopy. We there-fore investigate the atmosphere's infrared transmission with direct measure-ments using Titan's occultation of the Sun as well as Titan's reflectance measured at differing illumination and observation angles observed by Cas-sini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS). We use two im-portant spectral windows: the 2.7-2.8-mm "double window" and the broad 5-mm window. By estimating atmospheric attenuation within these windows, we seek an empirical correction factor that can be applied to VIMS meas-urements to estimate the true surface reflectance and map inferred composi-tional variations. Applying the empirical corrections, we correct the VIMS data for the viewing geometry-dependent atmospheric effects to derive the 5-µm reflectance and 2.8/2.7-µm reflectance ratio. We then compare the cor-rected reflectances to compounds proposed to exist on Titan's surface. We propose a simple correction to VIMS Titan data to account for atmospheric attenuation and diffuse scattering in the 5-mm and 2.7-2.8 mm windows, generally applicable for airmass water ice for the majority of the low-to-mid latitude area covered by VIMS measurements. Four compositional units are defined and mapped on Titan's surface based on the positions of data clusters in 5-mm vs. 2.8/2.7-mm scatter plots; a simple ternary mixture of H2O, hydrocarbons and CO2 might explain the reflectance properties of these surface units. The vast equatorial "dune seas" are compositionally very homogeneous, perhaps suggesting transport and mixing of particles over very large distances and/or and very consistent formation process and source material. The composi-tional branch characterizing Tui Regio and Hotei Regio is

  20. Modeling and Observing the Role of Wind-Waves in Lake-Climate Interactions on Titan using the T104 Flyby of Kraken Mare

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, A. G., Jr.; Lorenz, R. D.; Zebker, H. A.; Donelan, M. A.; Karatekin, O.; Mastrogiuseppe, M., Sr.; Le Gall, A. A.; Hofgartner, J. D.; Encrenaz, P.; Poggiali, V.

    2014-12-01

    Oceanography is no longer just an Earth Science. Standing bodies of liquid that interact with both atmospheric and surface reservoirs are known to exist on Titan, and are thought to have existed on early Mars. The exchange of heat, moisture, and momentum between lakes/seas and the atmosphere are of fundamental importance to the hydrologic systems of all three bodies. The generation and propagation of wind-waves, and their consequent shoreline erosion, are key factors in air-sea-surface exchange. Titan, in particular, offers a laboratory in which to understand these processes at a more fundamental level. Much of the parameterization for wave models on Earth are empirical, despite laboratory studies that have demonstrated wave growth depends on both gravity and fluid properties. Titan's exotic environment ensures that even rudimentary measurements of wave generation will provide valuable data to anchor physical models. Furthermore, in the presence of wind waves, Cassini can be used as an anemometer to measure wind speeds over hydrocarbon liquids. Herein, we will report on the results of the Aug 21st altimetry observation over Titan's largest sea, Kraken Mare, and interpret them in the context of wave activity and composition (from passive radiometry). On Earth, it is rare to observe a body of water whose surface is not disturbed by some form of wave activity. On Titan, Cassini observations through the end of its Equinox Mission in Dec 2010 showed no indication of waves. These observations are intriguing given the predominance of aeolian features at equatorial latitudes and have been attributed to the light winds predicted during the Titan winter. More recently, however, the previous series of upper limits and non-detections are giving way to indications that the expected freshening of winds in northern summer may be causing sporadic ruffling of the sea surfaces. Specifically, apparent sunglints offset from the geometric specular point has been observed by VIMS in

  1. Titan's cold case files - Outstanding questions after Cassini-Huygens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nixon, C. A.; Lorenz, R. D.; Achterberg, R. K.; Buch, A.; Coll, P.; Clark, R. N.; Courtin, R.; Hayes, A.; Iess, L.; Johnson, R. E.; Lopes, R. M. C.; Mastrogiuseppe, M.; Mandt, K.; Mitchell, D. G.; Raulin, F.; Rymer, A. M.; Todd Smith, H.; Solomonidou, A.; Sotin, C.; Strobel, D.; Turtle, E. P.; Vuitton, V.; West, R. A.; Yelle, R. V.

    2018-06-01

    The entry of the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft into orbit around Saturn in July 2004 marked the start of a golden era in the exploration of Titan, Saturn's giant moon. During the Prime Mission (2004-2008), ground-breaking discoveries were made by the Cassini orbiter including the equatorial dune fields (flyby T3, 2005), northern lakes and seas (T16, 2006), and the large positive and negative ions (T16 & T18, 2006), to name a few. In 2005 the Huygens probe descended through Titan's atmosphere, taking the first close-up pictures of the surface, including large networks of dendritic channels leading to a dried-up seabed, and also obtaining detailed profiles of temperature and gas composition during the atmospheric descent. The discoveries continued through the Equinox Mission (2008-2010) and Solstice Mission (2010-2017) totaling 127 targeted flybys of Titan in all. Now at the end of the mission, we are able to look back on the high-level scientific questions from the start of the mission, and assess the progress that has been made towards answering these. At the same time, new scientific questions regarding Titan have emerged from the discoveries that have been made. In this paper we review a cross-section of important scientific questions that remain partially or completely unanswered, ranging from Titan's deep interior to the exosphere. Our intention is to help formulate the science goals for the next generation of planetary missions to Titan, and to stimulate new experimental, observational and theoretical investigations in the interim.

  2. Cryovolcanism on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitri, G.; Showman, A. P.; Lunine, J. I.; Lopes, R. M.

    2008-12-01

    Remote sensing observations yield evidence for cryovolcanism on Titan, and evolutionary models support (but do not require) the presence of an ammonia-water subsurface ocean. The impetus for invoking ammonia as a constituent in an internal ocean and cryovolcanic magma comes from two factors. First, ammonia-water liquid has a lower freezing temperature than pure liquid water, enabling cryovolcanism under the low- temperature conditions prevalent in the outer Solar System. Second, pure water is negatively buoyant with respect to pure water ice, which discourages eruption from the subsurface ocean to the surface. In contrast, the addition of ammonia to the water decreases its density, hence lessening this problem of negative buoyancy. A marginally positive buoyant ammonia-water mixture might allow effusive eruptions from a subsurface ocean. If the subsurface ocean were positively buoyant, all the ammonia would have been erupted very early in Titan's history. Contrary to this scenario, Cassini-Huygens has so far observed neither a global abundance nor a complete dearth of cryovolcanic features. Further, an ancient cryovolcanic epoch cannot explain the relative youth of Titan's surface. Crucial to invoking ammonia-water resurfacing as the source of the apparently recent geological activity is not how to make ammonia-water volcanism work (because the near neutral buoyancy of the ammonia-water mixture encourages an explanation), but rather how to prevent eruption from occurring so easily that cryovolcanic activity is over early on. Although cryovolcanism by ammonia-water has been proposed as a resurfacing process on Titan, few models have specifically dealt with the problem of how to transport ammonia-water liquid onto the surface. We proposed a model of cryovolcanism that involve cracking at the base of the ice shell and formation of ammonia-water pockets in the ice. While the ammonia-water pockets cannot easily become neutral buoyant and promote effusive eruptions

  3. Trend-outflow method for understanding interactions of surface water with groundwater and atmospheric water for eight reaches of the Upper Rio Grande

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi; Sheng, Zhuping

    2011-11-01

    SummaryAtmospheric water, surface water, and groundwater interact very actively through hydrologic processes such as precipitation, infiltration, seepage, irrigation, drainage, evaporation, and evapotranspiration in the Upper Rio Grande Basin. A trend-outflow method has been developed in this paper to gain a better understanding of the interactions based on cumulated inflow and outflow data for any river reaches of interest. A general trend-outflow equation was derived by associating the net interaction of surface water with atmospheric water as a polynomial of inflow and the net interaction of surface water with groundwater as a constant based on surface water budget. Linear and quadratic relations are probably two common trend-outflow types in the real world. It was found that trend-outflows of the Upper Rio Grande reaches, Española, Albuquerque, Socorro-Engle, Palomas, and Rincon are linear with inflow, while those of reaches, Belen, Mesilla and Hueco are quadratic. Reaches Belen, Mesilla and Hueco are found as water deficit reaches mainly for irrigated agriculture in extreme drought years.

  4. The rocky road to the upper atmosphere; NASA's quest to create long-term platforms in the stratosphere

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pagitz, M.

    2011-01-01

    A recent program by NASA aims to develop balloons capable of carrying payloads of several tonnes to above 99% of the Earth's atmosphere for up to a hundred days. However, the road to the stratosphere turned out to be much harder and longer than expected

  5. THE INFLUENCE OF THE EXTREME ULTRAVIOLET SPECTRAL ENERGY DISTRIBUTION ON THE STRUCTURE AND COMPOSITION OF THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE OF EXOPLANETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guo, J. H. [Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 110, Kunming 650011 (China); Ben-Jaffel, Lotfi, E-mail: guojh@ynao.ac.cn, E-mail: bjaffel@iap.fr [Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ. Paris 6 et CNRS, UMR 7095, Institut Astrophysique de Paris, F-75014 Paris (France)

    2016-02-20

    By varying the profiles of stellar extreme ultraviolet (EUV) spectral energy distributions (SEDs), we tested the influences of stellar EUV SEDs on the physical and chemical properties of an escaping atmosphere. We apply our model to study four exoplanets: HD 189733b, HD 209458b, GJ 436b, and Kepler-11b. We find that the total mass loss rates of an exoplanet, which are determined mainly by the integrated fluxes, are moderately affected by the profiles of the EUV SED, but the composition and species distributions in the atmosphere can be dramatically modified by the different profiles of the EUV SED. For exoplanets with a high hydrodynamic escape parameter (λ), the amount of atomic hydrogen produced by photoionization at different altitudes can vary by one to two orders of magnitude with the variation of stellar EUV SEDs. The effect of photoionization of H is prominent when the EUV SED is dominated by the low-energy spectral region (400–900 Å), which pushes the transition of H/H{sup +} to low altitudes. In contrast, the transition of H/H{sup +} moves to higher altitudes when most photons are concentrated in the high-energy spectral region (50–400 Å). For exoplanets with a low λ, the lower temperatures of the atmosphere make many chemical reactions so important that photoionization alone can no longer determine the composition of the escaping atmosphere. For HD 189733b, it is possible to explain the time variability of Lyα between 2010 and 2011 by a change in the EUV SED of the host K-type star, yet invoking only thermal H i in the atmosphere.

  6. The Influence of Runoff and Surface Hydrology on Titan's Weather and Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulk, S.; Lora, J. M.; Mitchell, J.; Moon, S.

    2017-12-01

    Titan's surface liquid distribution has been shown by general circulation models (GCMs) to greatly influence the hydrological cycle, producing characteristic weather and seasonal climate patterns. Simulations from the Titan Atmospheric Model (TAM) with imposed polar methane "wetlands" reservoirs realistically produce observed cloud features and temperature profiles of Titan's atmosphere, whereas "aquaplanet" simulations with a global methane ocean are not as successful. In addition, wetlands simulations, unlike aquaplanet simulations, demonstrate strong correlations between extreme rainfall behavior and observed geomorphic features, indicating the influential role of precipitation in shaping Titan's surface. The wetlands configuration is, in part, motivated by Titan's large-scale topography featuring low-latitude highlands and high-latitude lowlands, with the implication being that methane may concentrate in the high-latitude lowlands by way of runoff and subsurface flow of a global or regional methane table. However, the extent to which topography controls the surface liquid distribution and thus impacts the global hydrological cycle by driving surface and subsurface flow is unclear. Here we present TAM simulations wherein the imposed wetlands reservoirs are replaced by a surface runoff scheme that allows surface liquid to self-consistently redistribute under the influence of topography. We discuss the impact of surface runoff on the surface liquid distribution over seasonal timescales and compare the resulting hydrological cycle to observed cloud and surface features, as well as to the hydrological cycles of the TAM wetlands and aquaplanet simulations. While still idealized, this more realistic representation of Titan's hydrology provides new insight into the complex interaction between Titan's atmosphere and surface, demonstrates the influence of surface runoff on Titan's global climate, and lays the groundwork for further surface hydrology developments in Titan

  7. XUV-exposed, non-hydrostatic hydrogen-rich upper atmospheres of terrestrial planets. Part II: hydrogen coronae and ion escape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kislyakova, Kristina G; Lammer, Helmut; Holmström, Mats; Panchenko, Mykhaylo; Odert, Petra; Erkaev, Nikolai V; Leitzinger, Martin; Khodachenko, Maxim L; Kulikov, Yuri N; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold

    2013-11-01

    We studied the interactions between the stellar wind plasma flow of a typical M star, such as GJ 436, and the hydrogen-rich upper atmosphere of an Earth-like planet and a "super-Earth" with a radius of 2 R(Earth) and a mass of 10 M(Earth), located within the habitable zone at ∼0.24 AU. We investigated the formation of extended atomic hydrogen coronae under the influences of the stellar XUV flux (soft X-rays and EUV), stellar wind density and velocity, shape of a planetary obstacle (e.g., magnetosphere, ionopause), and the loss of planetary pickup ions on the evolution of hydrogen-dominated upper atmospheres. Stellar XUV fluxes that are 1, 10, 50, and 100 times higher compared to that of the present-day Sun were considered, and the formation of high-energy neutral hydrogen clouds around the planets due to the charge-exchange reaction under various stellar conditions was modeled. Charge-exchange between stellar wind protons with planetary hydrogen atoms, and photoionization, lead to the production of initially cold ions of planetary origin. We found that the ion production rates for the studied planets can vary over a wide range, from ∼1.0×10²⁵ s⁻¹ to ∼5.3×10³⁰ s⁻¹, depending on the stellar wind conditions and the assumed XUV exposure of the upper atmosphere. Our findings indicate that most likely the majority of these planetary ions are picked up by the stellar wind and lost from the planet. Finally, we estimated the long-time nonthermal ion pickup escape for the studied planets and compared them with the thermal escape. According to our estimates, nonthermal escape of picked-up ionized hydrogen atoms over a planet's lifetime within the habitable zone of an M dwarf varies between ∼0.4 Earth ocean equivalent amounts of hydrogen (EO(H)) to <3 EO(H) and usually is several times smaller in comparison to the thermal atmospheric escape rates.

  8. EFFECTS OF NITROGEN PHOTOABSORPTION CROSS SECTION RESOLUTION ON MINOR SPECIES VERTICAL PROFILES IN TITAN’S UPPER ATMOSPHERE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luspay-Kuti, A.; Mandt, K. E.; Greathouse, T. K.; Plessis, S.

    2015-01-01

    The significant variations in both measured and modeled densities of minor species in Titan’s atmosphere call for the evaluation of possible influencing factors in photochemical modeling. The effect of nitrogen photoabsorption cross section selection on the modeled vertical profiles of minor species is analyzed here, with particular focus on C 2 H 6 and HCN. Our results show a clear impact of cross sections used on all neutral and ion species studied. Affected species include neutrals and ions that are not primary photochemical products, including species that do not even contain nitrogen. The results indicate that photochemical models that employ low-resolution cross sections may significantly miscalculate the vertical profiles of minor species. Such differences are expected to have important implications for Titan’s overall atmospheric structure and chemistry

  9. EFFECTS OF NITROGEN PHOTOABSORPTION CROSS SECTION RESOLUTION ON MINOR SPECIES VERTICAL PROFILES IN TITAN’S UPPER ATMOSPHERE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luspay-Kuti, A.; Mandt, K. E.; Greathouse, T. K. [Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238 (United States); Plessis, S., E-mail: aluspaykuti@swri.edu [ICES, The University of Texas at Austin, 201 East 24th Street, Austin, TX 78712 (United States)

    2015-03-01

    The significant variations in both measured and modeled densities of minor species in Titan’s atmosphere call for the evaluation of possible influencing factors in photochemical modeling. The effect of nitrogen photoabsorption cross section selection on the modeled vertical profiles of minor species is analyzed here, with particular focus on C{sub 2}H{sub 6} and HCN. Our results show a clear impact of cross sections used on all neutral and ion species studied. Affected species include neutrals and ions that are not primary photochemical products, including species that do not even contain nitrogen. The results indicate that photochemical models that employ low-resolution cross sections may significantly miscalculate the vertical profiles of minor species. Such differences are expected to have important implications for Titan’s overall atmospheric structure and chemistry.

  10. Titan's Gravitational Field

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, G.; Anderson, J. D.

    2013-12-01

    Titan's gravitational field is inferred from an analysis of archived radio Doppler data for six Cassini flybys. The analysis considers each flyby separately in contrast to the approach of lumping all the data together in a massive inversion. In this way it is possible to gain an improved understanding of the character of each flyby and its usefulness in constraining the gravitational coefficient C22 . Though our analysis is not yet complete and our final determination of C22 could differ from the result we report here by 1 or 2 sigma, we find a best-fit value of C22 equal to (13.21 × 0.17) × 10-6, significantly larger than the value of 10.0 × 10-6 obtained from an inversion of the lumped Cassini data. We also find no determination of the tidal Love number k2. The larger value of C22 implies a moment of inertia factor equal to 0.3819 × 0.0020 and a less differentiated Titan than is suggested by the smaller value. The larger value of C22 is consistent with an undifferentiated model of the satellite. While it is not possible to rule out either value of C22 , we prefer the larger value because its derivation results from a more hands on analysis of the data that extracts the weak hydrostatic signal while revealing the effects of gravity anomalies and unmodeled spacecraft accelerations on each of the six flybys.

  11. On the role of ozone in long-term trends in the upper atmosphere-ionosphere system

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Laštovička, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 30, č. 5 (2012), s. 811-816 ISSN 0992-7689 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP209/10/1792 Keywords : Ionosphere-atmosphere interactions * Mid-latitude ionosphere Subject RIV: DG - Athmosphere Sciences, Meteorology Impact factor: 1.518, year: 2012 http://www.ann-geophys.net/30/811/2012/angeo-30-811-2012.html

  12. Oceanographic data collected during the Titanic Expedition 2004 (titanic2004) on NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown in North Atlantic Ocean from 2004-05-27 to 2004-06-12 (NODC Accession 0072311)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Nearly 20 years after first finding the sunken remains of the RMS Titanic, marine explorer Robert Ballard returned in June 2004 to help the National Oceanic and...

  13. Science goals and mission concept for the future exploration of Titan and Enceladus

    OpenAIRE

    Tobie, G.; Teanby, N.A.; Coustenis, A.; Jaumann, R.; Raulin, F; Schmidt, J.; Carrasco, N.; Coates, A.J.; Cordier, D.; de Kok, Remco; Geppert, W.D.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Lefevre, A.; Livengood, T.A.; Mandt, K.E.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Saturn?s moons, Titan and Enceladus, are two of the Solar System?s most enigmatic bodies and are prime targets for future space exploration. Titan provides an analogue for many processes relevant to the Earth, more generally to outer Solar System bodies, and a growing host of newly discovered icy exoplanets. Processes represented include atmospheric dynamics, complex organic chemistry, meteorological cycles (with methane as a working fluid), astrobiology, surface liquids and lakes, g...

  14. XUV-Exposed, Non-Hydrostatic Hydrogen-Rich Upper Atmospheres of Terrestrial Planets. Part II: Hydrogen Coronae and Ion Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammer, Helmut; Holmström, Mats; Panchenko, Mykhaylo; Odert, Petra; Erkaev, Nikolai V.; Leitzinger, Martin; Khodachenko, Maxim L.; Kulikov, Yuri N.; Güdel, Manuel; Hanslmeier, Arnold

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We studied the interactions between the stellar wind plasma flow of a typical M star, such as GJ 436, and the hydrogen-rich upper atmosphere of an Earth-like planet and a “super-Earth” with a radius of 2 REarth and a mass of 10 MEarth, located within the habitable zone at ∼0.24 AU. We investigated the formation of extended atomic hydrogen coronae under the influences of the stellar XUV flux (soft X-rays and EUV), stellar wind density and velocity, shape of a planetary obstacle (e.g., magnetosphere, ionopause), and the loss of planetary pickup ions on the evolution of hydrogen-dominated upper atmospheres. Stellar XUV fluxes that are 1, 10, 50, and 100 times higher compared to that of the present-day Sun were considered, and the formation of high-energy neutral hydrogen clouds around the planets due to the charge-exchange reaction under various stellar conditions was modeled. Charge-exchange between stellar wind protons with planetary hydrogen atoms, and photoionization, lead to the production of initially cold ions of planetary origin. We found that the ion production rates for the studied planets can vary over a wide range, from ∼1.0×1025 s−1 to ∼5.3×1030 s−1, depending on the stellar wind conditions and the assumed XUV exposure of the upper atmosphere. Our findings indicate that most likely the majority of these planetary ions are picked up by the stellar wind and lost from the planet. Finally, we estimated the long-time nonthermal ion pickup escape for the studied planets and compared them with the thermal escape. According to our estimates, nonthermal escape of picked-up ionized hydrogen atoms over a planet's lifetime within the habitable zone of an M dwarf varies between ∼0.4 Earth ocean equivalent amounts of hydrogen (EOH) to stars—Early atmospheres—Earth-like exoplanets—Energetic neutral atoms—Ion escape—Habitability. Astrobiology 13, 1030–1048. PMID:24283926

  15. Advances in Architectural Elements For Future Missions to Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reh, Kim; Coustenis, Athena; Lunine, Jonathan; Matson, Dennis; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Vargas, Andre; Beauchamp, Pat; Spilker, Tom; Strange, Nathan; Elliott, John

    2010-05-01

    The future exploration of Titan is of high priority for the solar system exploration community as recommended by the 2003 National Research Council (NRC) Decadal Survey [1] and ESA's Cosmic Vision Program themes. Recent Cassini-Huygens discoveries continue to emphasize that Titan is a complex world with very many Earth-like features. Titan has a dense, nitrogen atmosphere, an active climate and meteorological cycles where conditions are such that the working fluid, methane, plays the role that water does on Earth. Titan's surface, with lakes and seas, broad river valleys, sand dunes and mountains was formed by processes like those that have shaped the Earth. Supporting this panoply of Earth-like processes is an ice crust that floats atop what might be a liquid water ocean. Furthermore, Titan is rich in very many different organic compounds—more so than any place in the solar system, except Earth. The Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) concept that followed the 2007 TandEM ESA CV proposal [2] and the 2007 Titan Explorer NASA Flagship study [3], was examined [4,5] and prioritized by NASA and ESA in February 2009 as a mission to follow the Europa Jupiter System Mission. The TSSM study, like others before it, again concluded that an orbiter, a montgolfiere hot-air balloon and a surface package (e.g. lake lander, Geosaucer (instrumented heat shield), …) are very high priority elements for any future mission to Titan. Such missions could be conceived as Flagship/Cosmic Vision L-Class or as individual smaller missions that could possibly fit into NASA New Frontiers or ESA Cosmic Vision M-Class budgets. As a result of a multitude of Titan mission studies, a clear blueprint has been laid out for the work needed to reduce the risks inherent in such missions and the areas where advances would be beneficial for elements critical to future Titan missions have been identified. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of the flagship mission architecture and

  16. Titan's Primordial Soup: Formation of Amino Acids via Low Temperature Hydrolysis of Tholins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neish, Catherine; Somogyi, Á.; Smith, M. A.

    2009-09-01

    Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is a world rich in the "stuff of life". Reactions occurring in its dense nitrogen-methane atmosphere produce a wide variety of organic molecules, which subsequently rain down onto its surface. Water - thought to be another important ingredient for life - is likewise abundant on Titan. Theoretical models of Titan's formation predict that its interior consists of an ice I layer several tens of kilometers thick overlying a liquid ammonia-rich water layer several hundred kilometers thick (Tobie et al., 2005). Though its surface temperature of 94K dictates that Titan is on average too cold for liquid water to persist at its surface, melting caused by impacts and/or cryovolcanism may lead to its episodic availability. Impact melt pools on Titan would likely remain liquid for 102 - 104 years before freezing (O'Brien et al., 2005). The combination of complex organic molecules and transient locales of liquid water make Titan an interesting natural laboratory for studying prebiotic chemistry. In this work, we sought to determine what biomolecules might be formed under conditions analogous to those found in transient liquid water environments on Titan. We hydrolyzed Titan organic haze analogues, or "tholins", in 13 wt. % ammonia-water at 253K and 293K for a year. Using a combination of high resolution mass spectroscopy and tandem mass spectroscopy fragmentation techniques, four amino acids were identified in the hydrolyzed tholin sample. These four species have been assigned as the amino acids asparagine, aspartic acid, glutamine, and glutamic acid. This represents the first detection of biologically relevant molecules created under conditions similar to those found in impact melt pools and cryolavas on Titan. Future missions to Titan should therefore carry instrumentation capable of detecting amino acids and other prebiotically relevant molecules on its surface This work was supported by the NASA Exobiology Program.

  17. Thermogravimetric study of the kinetics of lithium titanate reduction by hydrogen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sonak, Sagar; Rakesh, R.; Jain, Uttam; Mukherjee, Abhishek; Kumar, Sanjay; Krishnamurthy, Nagaiyar

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Li 2 TiO 3 powder is synthesized by the gel combustion route. • Activation energy of reduction of Li 2 TiO 3 by H 2 found out to be 27.45 kJ/mol H 2 . • Non-stoichiometric phase of Li 2 TiO 3 is formed in hydrogen atmosphere. • One-dimensional diffusion appears to be the most probable mechanism of reduction. - Abstract: The lithium titanate powder was synthesized by gel-combustion route. The mechanism and the kinetics of hydrogen interaction with lithium titanate powder were studied using non-isothermal thermogravimetric technique. Lithium titanate underwent reduction in hydrogen atmosphere which led to the formation of oxygen deficient non-stoichiometric compound in lithium titanate. One-dimensional diffusion appeared to be the most probable reaction mechanism. The activation energy for reduction of lithium titanate under hydrogen atmosphere was found to be 27.4 kJ/mol/K. Structural changes after hydrogen reduction in lithium titanate were observed in X-ray diffraction analysis

  18. IN SITU MEASUREMENTS OF THE SIZE AND DENSITY OF TITAN AEROSOL ANALOGS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoerst, S. M.; Tolbert, M. A, E-mail: sarah.horst@colorado.edu [Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)

    2013-06-10

    The organic haze produced from complex CH{sub 4}/N{sub 2} chemistry in the atmosphere of Titan plays an important role in processes that occur in the atmosphere and on its surface. The haze particles act as condensation nuclei and are therefore involved in Titan's methane hydrological cycle. They also may behave like sediment on Titan's surface and participate in both fluvial and aeolian processes. Models that seek to understand these processes require information about the physical properties of the particles including their size and density. Although measurements obtained by Cassini-Huygens have placed constraints on the size of the haze particles, their densities remain unknown. We have conducted a series of Titan atmosphere simulation experiments and measured the size, number density, and particle density of Titan aerosol analogs, or tholins, for CH{sub 4} concentrations from 0.01% to 10% using two different energy sources, spark discharge and UV. We find that the densities currently in use by many Titan models are higher than the measured densities of our tholins.

  19. IN SITU MEASUREMENTS OF THE SIZE AND DENSITY OF TITAN AEROSOL ANALOGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hörst, S. M.; Tolbert, M. A

    2013-01-01

    The organic haze produced from complex CH 4 /N 2 chemistry in the atmosphere of Titan plays an important role in processes that occur in the atmosphere and on its surface. The haze particles act as condensation nuclei and are therefore involved in Titan's methane hydrological cycle. They also may behave like sediment on Titan's surface and participate in both fluvial and aeolian processes. Models that seek to understand these processes require information about the physical properties of the particles including their size and density. Although measurements obtained by Cassini-Huygens have placed constraints on the size of the haze particles, their densities remain unknown. We have conducted a series of Titan atmosphere simulation experiments and measured the size, number density, and particle density of Titan aerosol analogs, or tholins, for CH 4 concentrations from 0.01% to 10% using two different energy sources, spark discharge and UV. We find that the densities currently in use by many Titan models are higher than the measured densities of our tholins.

  20. Seasonal Changes in Titan's Meteorology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turtle, E. P.; DelGenio, A. D.; Barbara, J. M.; Perry, J. E.; Schaller, E. L.; McEwen, A. S.; West, R. A.; Ray, T. L.

    2011-01-01

    The Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem has observed Titan for 1/4 Titan year, and we report here the first evidence of seasonal shifts in preferred locations of tropospheric methane clouds. South \\polar convective cloud activity, common in late southern summer, has become rare. North \\polar and northern mid \\latitude clouds appeared during the approach to the northern spring equinox in August 2009. Recent observations have shown extensive cloud systems at low latitudes. In contrast, southern mid \\latitude and subtropical clouds have appeared sporadically throughout the mission, exhibiting little seasonality to date. These differences in behavior suggest that Titan s clouds, and thus its general circulation, are influenced by both the rapid temperature response of a low \\thermal \\inertia surface and the much longer radiative timescale of Titan s cold thick troposphere. North \\polar clouds are often seen near lakes and seas, suggesting that local increases in methane concentration and/or lifting generated by surface roughness gradients may promote cloud formation. Citation

  1. A Report of Clouds on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corlies, Paul; Hayes, Alexander; Adamkovics, Mate; Rodriguez, Sebastien; Kelland, John; Turtle, Elizabeth P.; Mitchell, Jonathan; Lora, Juan M.; Rojo, Patricio; Lunine, Jonathan I.

    2017-10-01

    We present in this work a detailed analysis of many of the clouds in the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) dataset in order to understand their global and seasonal properties. Clouds are one of the few direct observables in Titan’s atmosphere (Griffith et al 2009, Rodriguez et al 2009, Adamkovics et al 2010), and so determining their characteristics allows for a better understanding of surface atmosphere interactions, winds, transport of volatile material, and general circulation. We find the clouds on Titan generally reside in at 5-15km altitude, which agrees with previous modelling efforts (Rafkin et al. 2015), as well as a power law distribution for cloud optical depth. We assume an average cloud droplet size of 100um. No seasonal dependence is observed with either cloud altitude or optical depth, suggesting there is no preferred seasonal formation mechanisms. Combining these characteristics with cloud size (Kelland et al 2017) can trace the transport of volatiles in Titan’s atmosphere, which can be compared against general circulation models (GCMs) (Lora et al 2015). We also present some specific analysis of interesting cloud systems including hypothesized surface fogs (Brown et al 2009) and orographic cloud formation (Barth et al 2010, Corlies et al 2017). In this analysis we use a correlation between Cassini VIMS and RADAR observations as well as an updated topographic map of Titan’s southern hemisphere to better understand the role that topography plays in influencing and driving atmospheric phenomena.Finally, with the end of the Cassini mission, ground based observing now acts as the only means with which to observe clouds on Titan. We present an update of an ongoing cloud campaign to search for clouds on Titan and to understand their seasonal evolution.References:Adamkovics et al. 2010, Icarus 208:868Barth et al. 2010, Planet. Space Sci. 58:1740Corlies et al. 2017, 48th LPSC, 2870CGriffith et al. 2009, ApJ 702:L105Kelland et al

  2. The age of Titan's surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neish, C. D.; Lorenz, R. D.

    2010-04-01

    High-resolution images of the surface of Titan taken by the Cassini spacecraft reveal a world with an extreme paucity of impact craters. Planetary surfaces are commonly dated by dividing the number of impact craters by the estimated impactor flux, but this approach has been confounded at Titan by several difficulties. First, high-resolution imaging of the surface of Titan is far from complete (in the near-infrared as well as radar). As of December 2007, Cassini RADAR images covered only 22% of its surface. However, we can use Monte-Carlo models to explore how many craters of a given size (with large or very large craters being of particular interest) may be present in the unobserved areas. Second, literature descriptions of the crater formation rate (e.g. Korycansky and Zahnle 2005 and Artemieva and Lunine 2005) are apparently not in agreement. We discuss possible resolutions. Third, since surface modification processes are ongoing, the actual number of craters on Titan's surface remains uncertain, as craters may be eroded beyond recognition, or obscured by lakes or sand seas. In this connection, we use the Earth as an analogue. The Earth is in many ways the most "Titan-like" world in the solar system, with extensive modification by erosion, burial, tectonism, and volcanism. We compare the observed number of terrestrial craters to the expected terrestrial impactor flux to determine the crater reduction factor for a world similar to Titan. From this information, we can back out the actual number of craters on Titan's surface and estimate its crater retention age. An accurate age estimate will be critical for constraining models of Titan's formation and evolution.

  3. Monosodium titanate particle characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chandler, G.T.; Hobbs, D.T.

    1993-01-01

    A characterization study was performed on monosodium titanate (MST) particles to determine the effect of high shear forces expected from the In-Tank Precipitation (ITP) process pumps on the particle size distribution. The particles were characterized using particle size analysis and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). No significant changes in particle size distributions were observed between as-received MST and after 2--4 hours of shearing. Both as-received and sheared MST particles contained a large percentage of porosity with pore sizes on the order of 500 to 2,000 Angstroms. Because of the large percentage of porosity, the overall surface area of the MST is dominated by the internal surfaces. The uranium and plutonium species present in the waste solution will have access to both interior and exterior surfaces. Therefore, uranium and plutonium loading should not be a strong function of MST particle size

  4. Comprehensive investigation of the basic parameters of the upper atmosphere at the time of the flight of the geophysical rocket 'Vertical-6'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apathy, I.; Szemerey, I.; Bencze, P.

    1981-01-01

    On October 25, 1977, the geophysical rocket Vertical-6 was launched from the mid-latitude area of the European part of the USSR for a comprehensive investigation of the upper atmosphere. The rocket reached an altitude of 1500 km. The measurements were conducted with the aid of five planar retarding potential analyzers and a photoelectron analyzer. Results of the investigation are presented in the form of graphs. One graph shows the variation of total ion concentration with height, while the variation of ion temperature with altitude and the electron temperature profile are given on a second graph. The heating and cooling rates of the ion gas are also shown. It is found that the variation of electron temperature with height is affected by the electron (ion) density profile to a height of about 500 km

  5. The TITAN reversed-field-pinch fusion reactor study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1990-01-01

    This report discusses research on the titan-1 fusion power core. The major topics covered are: titan-1 fusion-power-core engineering; titan-1 divertor engineering; titan-1 tritium systems; titan-1 safety design and radioactive-waste disposal; and titan-1 maintenance procedures.

  6. The TITAN reversed-field-pinch fusion reactor study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-01-01

    This report discusses research on the titan-1 fusion power core. The major topics covered are: titan-1 fusion-power-core engineering; titan-1 divertor engineering; titan-1 tritium systems; titan-1 safety design and radioactive-waste disposal; and titan-1 maintenance procedures

  7. Methane, Ethane, and Nitrogen Stability on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanley, J.; Grundy, W. M.; Thompson, G.; Dustrud, S.; Pearce, L.; Lindberg, G.; Roe, H. G.; Tegler, S.

    2017-12-01

    Many outer solar system bodies are likely to have a combination of methane, ethane and nitrogen. In particular the lakes of Titan are known to consist of these species. Understanding the past and current stability of these lakes requires characterizing the interactions of methane and ethane, along with nitrogen, as both liquids and ices. Our cryogenic laboratory setup allows us to explore ices down to 30 K through imaging, and transmission and Raman spectroscopy. Our recent work has shown that although methane and ethane have similar freezing points, when mixed they can remain liquid down to 72 K. Concurrently with the freezing point measurements we acquire transmission or Raman spectra of these mixtures to understand how the structural features change with concentration and temperature. Any mixing of these two species together will depress the freezing point of the lake below Titan's surface temperature, preventing them from freezing. We will present new results utilizing our recently acquired Raman spectrometer that allow us to explore both the liquid and solid phases of the ternary system of methane, ethane and nitrogen. In particular we will explore the effect of nitrogen on the eutectic of the methane-ethane system. At high pressure we find that the ternary creates two separate liquid phases. Through spectroscopy we determined the bottom layer to be nitrogen rich, and the top layer to be ethane rich. Identifying the eutectic, as well as understanding the liquidus and solidus points of combinations of these species, has implications for not only the lakes on the surface of Titan, but also for the evaporation/condensation/cloud cycle in the atmosphere, as well as the stability of these species on other outer solar system bodies. These results will help interpretation of future observational data, and guide current theoretical models.

  8. Designing and Implementing a Computational Methods Course for Upper-level Undergraduates and Postgraduates in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, E.; L'Ecuyer, T. S.; Douglas, A.; Hansen, Z.

    2017-12-01

    In the modern computing age, scientists must utilize a wide variety of skills to carry out scientific research. Programming, including a focus on collaborative development, has become more prevalent in both academic and professional career paths. Faculty in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin—Madison recognized this need and recently approved a new course offering for undergraduates and postgraduates in computational methods that was first held in Spring 2017. Three programming languages were covered in the inaugural course semester and development themes such as modularization, data wrangling, and conceptual code models were woven into all of the sections. In this presentation, we will share successes and challenges in developing a research project-focused computational course that leverages hands-on computer laboratory learning and open-sourced course content. Improvements and changes in future iterations of the course based on the first offering will also be discussed.

  9. Productino of KSR-III Airglow Photometers to Measure MUV Airglows of the Upper Atmosphere Above the Korean Peninsular

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. H. Oh

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available We have constructed two flight models of airglow photometer system (AGP to be onboard Korea Sounding Rocket-III (KSR-III for detection of MUV dayglow above the Korean peninsular. The AGP system is designed to detect dayglow emissions of OI 2972 Å, N_2 VK (0,6 2780Å, N_2 2PG 3150Å and background 3070Å toward the horizon at altitudes between 100 km and 300 km. The AGP system consists of a photometer body, a baffle, an electronic control unit and a battery unit. The MUV dayglow emissions enter through a narrow band interference filter and focusing lens of the photometer, which contains an ultraviolet sensitive photomultiplier tube. The photometer is equipped with an in-flight calibration light source on a circular plane that will rotate at the rocket's apogee. A baffle tube is installed at the entry of the photometer in order to block strong scattering lights from the lower atmosphere. We have carried out laboratory measurements of sensitivity and in-flight calibration light source for the AGP flight models. Although absolute sensitivities of the AGP flight models could not be determined in the country, relative sensitivities among channels are well measured so that observation data during rocket flight in the future can be analyzed with confidence.

  10. Remote Sensing of the Upper Atmosphere and the Ionosphere in the Extreme and Far Ultraviolet: Results from the LITES Experiment aboard the IS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finn, S. C.; Chakrabarti, S.; Stephan, A. W.; Geddes, G.; Budzien, S. A.; Cook, T.; Aryal, S.; Martel, J.; Galkin, I. A.; Erickson, P. J.

    2017-12-01

    The Limb-Imaging Ionospheric and Thermospheric Extreme-ultraviolet Spectrograph (LITES) was launched as part of the Space Test Program Houston #5 (STP-H5) payload aboard a commercial resupply flight on February 19, 2017 and was subsequently installed on the International Space Station (ISS). LITES is an imaging spectrograph that spans the 60 - 140 nm wavelength range at 1 nm spectral resolution and samples tangent altitudes 150 - 350 km with 0.2° angular resolution. LITES, in combination with the GPS Radio Occultation and Ultraviolet Photometry - Colocated (GROUP-C) experiment, which includes a GPS receiver and a nadir viewing 135.6 nm photometer, jointly collect new information on the thermosphere and the ionosphere using simultaneous UV and radio emissions. LITES, which uses standard stars to perform in-flight calibration, observes altitude profiles of day and night airglow emissions that are being used to infer thermospheric and ionospheric density profiles. Furthermore, due to the inclination of the ISS, LITES has also observed auroral spectrum and their altitude and spatial variations. Finally, geomagnetic storm effects on its UV emissions can be used to remotely sense their effects on the upper atmospheric morphology. These ISS observations,which are complement to the upcoming ICON and GOLD NASA missions, are focused on ionosphere-atmosphere coupling and global-scale atmospheric response to space weather observed from higher altitudes . We will present an overview of the LITES instrument, some early results from the first few months of operations. We will also summarize the advantages in calibration and validation activities that are possible through space-based LITES, GROUP-C and stellar measurements and simultaneous ground-based optical and radar observations.

  11. Pluto's atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elliot, J.L.; Dunham, E.W.; Bosh, A.S.; Slivan, S.M.; Young, L.A.

    1989-01-01

    Airborne CCD photometer observations of Pluto's June 9, 1988 stellar occultation have yielded an occultation lightcurve, probing two regions on the sunrise limb 2000 km apart, which reveals an upper atmosphere overlying an extinction layer with an abrupt upper boundary. The extinction layer may surround the entire planet. Attention is given to a model atmosphere whose occultation lightcurve closely duplicates observations; fits of the model to the immersion and emersion lightcurves exhibit no significant derived atmosphere-structure differences. Assuming a pure methane atmosphere, surface pressures of the order of 3 microbars are consistent with the occultation data. 43 references

  12. Phase 1 Final Report: Titan Submarine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Steven R.; Lorenz, Ralph D.; Paul, Michael V.

    2015-01-01

    The conceptual design of a submarine for Saturn's moon Titan was a funded NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase 1 for 2014. The proposal stated the desire to investigate what science a submarine for Titan's liquid hydrocarbon seas might accomplish and what that submarine might look like. Focusing on a flagship class science system (100 kg), it was found that a submersible platform can accomplish extensive science both above and below the surface of the Kraken Mare. Submerged science includes mapping using side-looking sonar, imaging and spectroscopy of the lake, as well as sampling of the lake's bottom and shallow shoreline. While surfaced, the submarine will not only sense weather conditions (including the interaction between the liquid and atmosphere) but also image the shoreline, as much as 2 km inland. This imaging requirement pushed the landing date to Titan's next summer period (2047) to allow for lighted conditions, as well as direct-to-Earth communication, avoiding the need for a separate relay orbiter spacecraft. Submerged and surfaced investigation are key to understanding both the hydrological cycle of Titan as well as gather hints to how life may have begun on Earth using liquid, sediment, and chemical interactions. An estimated 25 Mb of data per day would be generated by the various science packages. Most of the science packages (electronics at least) can be safely kept inside the submarine pressure vessel and warmed by the isotope power system.The baseline 90-day mission would be to sail submerged and surfaced around and through Kraken Mare investigating the shoreline and inlets to evaluate the sedimentary interaction both on the surface and then below. Depths of Kraken have yet to be sensed (Ligeia to the north is thought to be 200 m (656 ft) deep), but a maximum depth of 1,000 m (3,281 ft) for Kraken Mare was assumed for the design). The sub would spend 20 d at the interface between Kraken Mare and Ligeia Mare for clues to the drainage of

  13. Suitability of selected bioindicators of atmospheric pollution in the industrialised region of Ostrava, Upper Silesia, Czech Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francová, Anna; Chrastný, Vladislav; Šillerová, Hana; Kocourková, Jana; Komárek, Michael

    2017-08-29

    This study is a continuation of our preceding research identifying suitable environmental samples for the tracing of atmospheric pollution in industrial areas. Three additional types of environmental samples were used to characterise contamination sources in the industrial area of Ostrava city, Czech Republic. The region is known for its extensive metallurgical and mining activities. Fingerprinting of stable Pb isotopes was applied to distinguish individual sources of anthropogenic Pb. A wide range of 206 Pb/ 207 Pb ratios was observed in the investigated samples: 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.168-1.198 in mosses; 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.167-1.215 in soils and 206 Pb/ 207 Pb = 1.158-1.184 in tree cores. Black and brown coal combustion, as well as metallurgical activities, is the two main sources of pollution in the area. Fossil fuel burning in industry and households seems to be a stronger source of Pb emissions than from the metallurgical industry. Concentration analyses of tree rings showed that a significant increase in As concentrations occurred between 1999 and 2016 (from 0.38 mg kg -1 to 13.8 mg kg -1 ). This shift corresponds to the use of brown coal from Bílina, Czech Republic, with an increased As concentration. The burning of low-quality fuels in households remains a problem in the area, as small ground sources have a greater influence on the air quality than do industrial sources.

  14. Atmospheric Dust in the Upper Colorado River Basin: Integrated Analysis of Digital Imagery, Total Suspended Particulate, and Meteorological Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, F. E.; Reynolds, R. L.; Neff, J. C.; Fernandez, D. P.; Reheis, M. C.; Goldstein, H.; Grote, E.; Landry, C.

    2012-12-01

    Improved measurement and observation of dust emission and deposition in the American west would advance understanding of (1) landscape conditions that promote or suppress dust emission, (2) dynamics of dryland and montane ecosystems, (3) premature melting of snow cover that provides critical water supplies, and (4) possible effects of dust on human health. Such understanding can be applied to issues of land management, water-resource management, as well as the safety and well-being of urban and rural inhabitants. We have recently expanded the scope of particulate measurement in the Upper Colorado River basin through the establishment of total-suspended-particulate (TSP) measurement stations located in Utah and Colorado with bi-weekly data (filter) collection, along with protocols for characterizing dust-on-snow (DOS) layers in Colorado mountains. A sub-network of high-resolution digital cameras has been co-located with several of the TSP stations, as well as at other strategic locations. These real-time regional dust-event detection cameras are internet-based and collect digital imagery every 6-15 minutes. Measurements of meteorological conditions to support these collections and observations are provided partly by CLIM-MET stations, four of which were deployed in 1998 in the Canyonlands (Utah) region. These stations provide continuous, near real-time records of the complex interaction of wind, precipitation, vegetation, as well as dust emission and deposition, in different land-use settings. The complementary datasets of dust measurement and observation enable tracking of individual regional dust events. As an example, the first DOS event of water year 2012 (Nov 5, 2011), as documented at Senator Beck Basin, near Silverton, Colorado, was also recorded by the camera at Island-in-the-Sky (200 km to the northwest), as well as in aeolian activity and wind data from the Dugout Ranch CLIM-MET station (170 km to the west-northwest). At these sites, strong winds and the

  15. 3D hybrid simulation of the Titan's plasma environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipatov, Alexander; Sittler, Edward, Jr.; Hartle, Richard

    2007-11-01

    Titan plays an important role as a simulation laboratory for multiscale kinetic plasma processes which are key processes in space and laboratory plasmas. A development of multiscale combined numerical methods allows us to use more realistic plasma models at Titan. In this report, we describe a Particle-Ion--Fluid-Ion--Fluid--Electron method of kinetic ion-neutral simulation code. This method takes into account charge-exchange and photoionization processes. The model of atmosphere of Titan was based on a paper by Sittler, Hartle, Vinas et al., [2005]. The background ions H^+, O^+ and pickup ions H2^+, CH4^+ and N2^+ are described in a kinetic approximation, where the electrons are approximated as a fluid. In this report we study the coupling between background ions and pickup ions on the multiple space scales determined by the ion gyroradiis. The first results of such a simulation of the dynamics of ions near Titan are discussed in this report and compared with recent measurements made by the Cassini Plasma Spectrometer (CAPS, [Hartle, Sittler et al., 2006]). E C Sittler Jr., R E Hartle, A F Vinas, R E Johnson, H T Smith and I Mueller-Wodarg, J. Geophys. Res., 110, A09302, 2005.R E Hartle, E C Sittler, F M Neubauer, R E Johnson, et al., Planet. Space Sci., 54, 1211, 2006.

  16. The evolution of Titan's high-altitude aerosols under ultraviolet irradiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, Nathalie; Tigrine, Sarah; Gavilan, Lisseth; Nahon, Laurent; Gudipati, Murthy S.

    2018-04-01

    The Cassini-Huygens space mission revealed that Titan's thick brownish haze is initiated high in the atmosphere at an altitude of about 1,000 km, before a slow transportation down to the surface. Close to the surface, at altitudes below 130 km, the Huygens probe provided information on the chemical composition of the haze. So far, we have not had insights into the possible photochemical evolution of the aerosols making up the haze during their descent. Here, we address this atmospheric aerosol aging process, simulating in the laboratory how solar vacuum ultraviolet irradiation affects the aerosol optical properties as probed by infrared spectroscopy. An important evolution was found that could explain the apparent contradiction between the nitrogen-poor infrared spectroscopic signature observed by Cassini below 600 km of altitude in Titan's atmosphere and a high nitrogen content as measured by the aerosol collector and pyrolyser of the Huygens probe at the surface of Titan.

  17. Organic chemistry on Titan: Surface interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, W. Reid; Sagan, Carl

    1992-01-01

    The interaction of Titan's organic sediments with the surface (solubility in nonpolar fluids) is discussed. How Titan's sediments can be exposed to an aqueous medium for short, but perhaps significant, periods of time is also discussed. Interactions with hydrocarbons and with volcanic magmas are considered. The alteration of Titan's organic sediments over geologic time by the impacts of meteorites and comets is discussed.

  18. Crater relaxation on Titan aided by low thermal conductivity sand infill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schurmeier, Lauren R.; Dombard, Andrew J.

    2018-05-01

    Titan's few impact craters are currently many hundreds of meters shallower than the depths expected. Assuming these craters initially had depths equal to that of similar-size fresh craters on Ganymede and Callisto (moons of similar size, composition, and target lithology), then some process has shallowed them over time. Since nearly all of Titan's recognized craters are located within the arid equatorial sand seas of organic-rich dunes, where rain is infrequent, and atmospheric sedimentation is expected to be low, it has been suggested that aeolian infill plays a major role in shallowing the craters. Topographic relaxation at Titan's current heat flow was previously assumed to be an unimportant process on Titan due to its low surface temperature (94 K). However, our estimate of the thermal conductivity of Titan's organic-rich sand is remarkably low (0.025 W m-1 K-1), and when in thick deposits, will result in a thermal blanketing effect that can aid relaxation. Here, we simulate the relaxation of Titan's craters Afekan, Soi, and Sinlap including thermal effects of various amounts of sand inside and around Titan's craters. We find that the combination of aeolian infill and subsequent relaxation can produce the current crater depths in a geologically reasonable period of time using Titan's current heat flow. Instead of needing to fill completely the missing volume with 100% sand, only ∼62%, ∼71%, and ∼97%, of the volume need be sand at the current basal heat flux for Afekan, Soi, and Sinlap, respectively. We conclude that both processes are likely at work shallowing these craters, and this finding contributes to why Titan overall lacks impact craters in the arid equatorial regions.

  19. Titan's Surface Temperatures Maps from Cassini - CIRS Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottini, Valeria; Nixon, C. A.; Jennings, D. E.; Anderson, C. M.; Samuelson, R. E.; Irwin, P. G. J.; Flasar, F. M.

    2009-09-01

    The Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) observations of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, are providing us with the ability to detect the surface temperature of the planet by studying its outgoing radiance through a spectral window in the thermal infrared at 19 μm (530 cm-1) characterized by low opacity. Since the first acquisitions of CIRS Titan data the instrument has gathered a large amount of spectra covering a wide range of latitudes, longitudes and local times. We retrieve the surface temperature and the atmospheric temperature profile by modeling proper zonally averaged spectra of nadir observations with radiative transfer computations. Our forward model uses the correlated-k approximation for spectral opacity to calculate the emitted radiance, including contributions from collision induced pairs of CH4, N2 and H2, haze, and gaseous emission lines (Irwin et al. 2008). The retrieval method uses a non-linear least-squares optimal estimation technique to iteratively adjust the model parameters to achieve a spectral fit (Rodgers 2000). We show an accurate selection of the wide amount of data available in terms of footprint diameter on the planet and observational conditions, together with the retrieved results. Our results represent formal retrievals of surface brightness temperatures from the Cassini CIRS dataset using a full radiative transfer treatment, and we compare to the earlier findings of Jennings et al. (2009). In future, application of our methodology over wide areas should greatly increase the planet coverage and accuracy of our knowledge of Titan's surface brightness temperature. References: Irwin, P.G.J., et al.: "The NEMESIS planetary atmosphere radiative transfer and retrieval tool" (2008). JQSRT, Vol. 109, pp. 1136-1150, 2008. Rodgers, C. D.: "Inverse Methods For Atmospheric Sounding: Theory and Practice". World Scientific, Singapore, 2000. Jennings, D.E., et al.: "Titan's Surface Brightness Temperatures." Ap. J. L., Vol. 691, pp. L103-L

  20. Observations of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) in the upper troposphere by the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment-Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tereszchuk, K. A.; Moore, D. P.; Harrison, J. J.; Boone, C. D.; Park, M.; Remedios, J. J.; Randel, W. J.; Bernath, P. F.

    2013-06-01

    Peroxyacetyl nitrate (CH3CO·O2NO2, abbreviated as PAN) is a trace molecular species present in the troposphere and lower stratosphere due primarily to pollution from fuel combustion and the pyrogenic outflows from biomass burning. In the lower troposphere, PAN has a relatively short lifetime and is principally destroyed within a few hours through thermolysis, but it can act as a reservoir and carrier of NOx in the colder temperatures of the upper troposphere, where UV photolysis becomes the dominant loss mechanism. Pyroconvective updrafts from large biomass burning events can inject PAN into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS), providing a means for the long-range transport of NOx. Given the extended lifetimes at these higher altitudes, PAN is readily detectable via satellite remote sensing. A new PAN data product is now available for the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS) version 3.0 data set. We report observations of PAN in boreal biomass burning plumes recorded during the BORTAS (quantifying the impact of BOReal forest fires on Tropospheric oxidants over the Atlantic using Aircraft and Satellites) campaign (12 July to 3 August 2011). The retrieval method employed by incorporating laboratory-recorded absorption cross sections into version 3.0 of the ACE-FTS forward model and retrieval software is described in full detail. The estimated detection limit for ACE-FTS PAN is 5 pptv, and the total systematic error contribution to the ACE-FTS PAN retrieval is ~ 16%. The retrieved volume mixing ratio (VMR) profiles are compared to coincident measurements made by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) instrument on the European Space Agency (ESA) Environmental Satellite (ENVISAT). The MIPAS measurements demonstrated good agreement with the ACE-FTS VMR profiles for PAN, where the measured VMR values are well within the associated measurement errors for both instruments and comparative

  1. NIAC Phase 1 Final Study Report on Titan Aerial Daughtercraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthies, Larry

    2017-01-01

    Saturns giant moon Titan has become one of the most fascinating bodies in the Solar System. Even though it is a billion miles from Earth, data from the Cassini mission reveals that Titan has a very diverse, Earth-like surface, with mountains, fluvial channels, lakes, evaporite basins, plains, dunes, and seas [Lopes 2010] (Figure 1). But unlike Earth, Titans surface likely is composed of organic chemistry products derived from complex atmospheric photochemistry [Lorenz 2008]. In addition, Titan has an active meteorological system with observed storms and precipitation-induced surface darkening suggesting a hydrocarbon cycle analogous to Earths water cycle [Turtle 2011].Titan is the richest laboratory in the solar system for studying prebiotic chemistry, which makes studying its chemistry from the surface and in the atmosphere one of the most important objectives in planetary science [Decadal 2011]. The diversity of surface features on Titan related to organic solids and liquids makes long-range mobility with surface access important [Decadal 2011]. This has not been possible to date, because mission concepts have had either no mobility (landers), no surface access (balloons and airplanes), or low maturity, high risk, and/or high development costs for this environment (e,g. large, self-sufficient, long-duration helicopters). Enabling in situ mobility could revolutionize Titan exploration, similarly to the way rovers revolutionized Mars exploration. Recent progress on several fronts has suggested that small-scale rotorcraft deployed as daughtercraft from a lander or balloon mothercraft may be an effective, affordable approach to expanding Titan surface access. This includes rapid progress on autonomous navigation capabilities of such aircraft for terrestrial applications and on miniaturization, driven by the consumer mobile electronics market, of high performance of sensors, processors, and other avionics components needed for such aircraft. Chemical analysis, for

  2. Diurnal variations of Titan's ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, J.; Galand, M.; Yelle, R. V.; Vuitton, V.; Wahlund, J.-E.; Lavvas, P. P.; Müller-Wodarg, I. C. F.; Cravens, T. E.; Kasprzak, W. T.; Waite, J. H.

    2009-06-01

    We present our analysis of the diurnal variations of Titan's ionosphere (between 1000 and 1300 km) based on a sample of Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) measurements in the Open Source Ion (OSI) mode obtained from eight close encounters of the Cassini spacecraft with Titan. Although there is an overall ion depletion well beyond the terminator, the ion content on Titan's nightside is still appreciable, with a density plateau of ˜700 cm-3 below ˜1300 km. Such a plateau is a combined result of significant depletion of light ions and modest depletion of heavy ones on Titan's nightside. We propose that the distinctions between the diurnal variations of light and heavy ions are associated with their different chemical loss pathways, with the former primarily through “fast” ion-neutral chemistry and the latter through “slow” electron dissociative recombination. The strong correlation between the observed night-to-day ion density ratios and the associated ion lifetimes suggests a scenario in which the ions created on Titan's dayside may survive well to the nightside. The observed asymmetry between the dawn and dusk ion density profiles also supports such an interpretation. We construct a time-dependent ion chemistry model to investigate the effect of ion survival associated with solid body rotation alone as well as superrotating horizontal winds. For long-lived ions, the predicted diurnal variations have similar general characteristics to those observed. However, for short-lived ions, the model densities on the nightside are significantly lower than the observed values. This implies that electron precipitation from Saturn's magnetosphere may be an additional and important contributor to the densities of the short-lived ions observed on Titan's nightside.

  3. Understanding the land-atmospheric interaction in drought forecast from CFSv2 for the 2011 Texas and 2012 Upper Midwest US droughts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Y.; Roundy, J. K.; Ek, M. B.; Wood, E. F.

    2015-12-01

    Prediction and thus preparedness in advance of hydrological extremes, such as drought and flood events, is crucial for proactively reducing their social and economic impacts. In the summers of 2011 Texas, and 2012 the Upper Midwest, experienced intense droughts that affected crops and the food market in the US. It is expected that seasonal forecasts with sufficient skill would reduce the negative impacts through planning and preparation. However, the forecast skill from models such as Climate Forecast System Version 2 (CFSv2) from National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) is low over the US, especially during the warm season (Jun - Sep), which restricts their practical use for drought prediction. This study analyzes the processes that lead to premature termination of 2011 and 2012 US summer droughts in CFSv2 forecast resulting in its low forecast skill. Using the North American Land Data Assimilation System version 2 (NLDAS2) and Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) as references, this study investigates the forecast skills of CFSv2 initialized at 00, 06, 12, 18z from May 15 - 31 (leads out to September) for each event in terms of land-atmosphere interaction, through a recently developed Coupling Drought Index (CDI), which is based on the Convective Triggering Potential-Humidity Index-soil moisture (CTP-HI-SM) classification of four climate regimes: wet coupling, dry coupling, transitional and atmospherically controlled. A recycling model is used to trace the moisture sources in the CFSv2 forecasts of anomalous precipitation, which lead to the breakdown of drought conditions and a lack of drought forecasting skills. This is then compared with tracing the moisture source in CFSR with the same recycling model, which is used as the verification for the same periods. This helps to identify the parameterization that triggered precipitation in CFSv2 during 2011 and 2012 summer in the US thus has the potential to improve the forecast skill of CSFv2.

  4. Joint atmospheric-terrestrial water balances for East Africa: a WRF-Hydro case study for the upper Tana River basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerandi, Noah; Arnault, Joel; Laux, Patrick; Wagner, Sven; Kitheka, Johnson; Kunstmann, Harald

    2018-02-01

    For an improved understanding of the hydrometeorological conditions of the Tana River basin of Kenya, East Africa, its joint atmospheric-terrestrial water balances are investigated. This is achieved through the application of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and the fully coupled WRF-Hydro modeling system over the Mathioya-Sagana subcatchment (3279 km2) and its surroundings in the upper Tana River basin for 4 years (2011-2014). The model setup consists of an outer domain at 25 km (East Africa) and an inner one at 5-km (Mathioya-Sagana subcatchment) horizontal resolution. The WRF-Hydro inner domain is enhanced with hydrological routing at 500-m horizontal resolution. The results from the fully coupled modeling system are compared to those of the WRF-only model. The coupled WRF-Hydro slightly reduces precipitation, evapotranspiration, and the soil water storage but increases runoff. The total precipitation from March to May and October to December for WRF-only (974 mm/year) and coupled WRF-Hydro (940 mm/year) is closer to that derived from the Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Stations (CHIRPS) data (989 mm/year) than from the TRMM (795 mm/year) precipitation product. The coupled WRF-Hydro-accumulated discharge (323 mm/year) is close to that observed (333 mm/year). However, the coupled WRF-Hydro underestimates the observed peak flows registering low but acceptable NSE (0.02) and RSR (0.99) at daily time step. The precipitation recycling and efficiency measures between WRF-only and coupled WRF-Hydro are very close and small. This suggests that most of precipitation in the region comes from moisture advection from the outside of the analysis domain, indicating a minor impact of potential land-precipitation feedback mechanisms in this case. The coupled WRF-Hydro nonetheless serves as a tool in quantifying the atmospheric-terrestrial water balance in this region.

  5. Calorimetric measurements on hafnium titanate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kandan, R.; Prabhakara Reddy, B.; Panneerselvam, G.; Nagarajan, K.

    2012-01-01

    Owing to its desirable nuclear and mechanical properties such as good absorption cross-section for thermal neutrons (105 barns), hafnium titanate (HfTiO 4 ) finds application as control rods for nuclear reactors. An accurate knowledge of the thermo physical properties of this material is necessary for design of control rod and for modeling its performance. Heat capacity is an important thermodynamic property that determines the temperature dependent variation of all other thermodynamic properties. Hence enthalpy increments of hafnium titanate (HfTiO 4 ) were measured in the temperature range 803-1663 K by employing the method of inverse drop calorimetry using high temperature differential calorimeter

  6. Atmospheric electrodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Volland, H.

    1984-01-01

    The book Atmospheric Electrodynamics, by Hans Voland is reviewed. The book describes a wide variety of electrical phenomena occurring in the upper and lower atmosphere and develops the mathematical models which simulate these processes. The reviewer finds that the book is of interest to researchers with a background in electromagnetic theory but is of only limited use as a reference work

  7. Does Titan have an Active Surface?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, R.

    2009-12-01

    Robert M. Nelson-1, L. W. Kamp-1, R. M. C. Lopes-1, D. L. Matson-1, R. L. Kirk-2, B. W. Hapke-3, M. D. Boryta-4, F. E. Leader-1, W. D. Smythe-1, K. L. Mitchell-1, K. H. Baines-1, R. Jaumann-5, C. Sotin-1, R. N. Clark-6, D. P. Cruikshank-7 , P. Drossart-8, J. I. Lunine-9, M. Combes-10, G. Bellucci-11, J.-P. Bibring-12, F. Capaccioni-11, P. Cerroni-11, A. Coradini-11, V. Formisano-11, G. Filacchione-11, Y. Langevin-12, T. B. McCord-13, V. Mennella-14, B. Sicardy-8, P. G. J. Irwin-15 ,J.C. Pearl-16 1-JPL, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena CA 91109;2-USGS, Flagstaff; 3-U Pittsburgh; 4-Mt. San Antonio College; 5-DLR, Berlin;6-USGS Denver; 7-NASA AMES; 8-U Paris-Meudon; 9-U Arizona; 10- Obs de Paris; 11-INAF-ISAF Rome; 12-U Paris -Sud. Orsay; 13-Bear Flt Cntr. Winthrop WA;14-Obs Capodimonte Naples; 15-Clarendon Laboratory, Oxford, UK, 16-Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD Surface changes on Saturn’s moon Titan have been reported during the Cassini spacecraft’s four-year orbital tour of the Saturnian system based on Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) data [1]. Titan’s surface is hard to observe because it’s atmosphere is opaque at visual wavelengths due to absorption by methane in Titan’s atmosphere. VIMS is able to image the surface through “windows” at infrared wavelengths where the methane is relatively transparent [1,2]. VIMS infrared images find surface reflectance variability at Hotei Reggio (26S,78W) and suggest that the variability might be due to deposition, followed by coverage or dissipation, of ammonia frost. Subsequently, Cassini RADAR images found that Hotei Reggio, has lobate “flow” forms, consistent with the morphology of volcanic terrain [3]. Here we report the discovery of lobate “flow” patterns at Hotei Reggio based on VIMS infrared images taken during Cassini close flybys during 2008-2009. This new evidence is consistent with the suggestion that the brightness variability at Hotei Reggio is associated with

  8. Comparison of circular orbit and Fourier power series ephemeris representations for backup use by the upper atmosphere research satellite onboard computer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kast, J. R.

    1988-01-01

    The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) is a three-axis stabilized Earth-pointing spacecraft in a low-Earth orbit. The UARS onboard computer (OBC) uses a Fourier Power Series (FPS) ephemeris representation that includes 42 position and 42 velocity coefficients per axis, with position residuals at 10-minute intervals. New coefficients and 32 hours of residuals are uploaded daily. This study evaluated two backup methods that permit the OBC to compute an approximate spacecraft ephemeris in the event that new ephemeris data cannot be uplinked for several days: (1) extending the use of the FPS coefficients previously uplinked, and (2) switching to a simple circular orbit approximation designed and tested (but not implemented) for LANDSAT-D. The FPS method provides greater accuracy during the backup period and does not require additional ground operational procedures for generating and uplinking an additional ephemeris table. The tradeoff is that the high accuracy of the FPS will be degraded slightly by adopting the longer fit period necessary to obtain backup accuracy for an extended period of time. The results for UARS show that extended use of the FPS is superior to the circular orbit approximation for short-term ephemeris backup.

  9. High Data Rates for AubieSat-2 A & B, Two CubeSats Performing High Energy Science in the Upper Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, William H.

    2015-01-01

    This paper will discuss a proposed CubeSat size (3 Units / 6 Units) telemetry system concept being developed at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in cooperation with Auburn University. The telemetry system incorporates efficient, high-bandwidth communications by developing flight-ready, low-cost, PROTOFLIGHT software defined radio (SDR) payload for use on CubeSats. The current telemetry system is slightly larger in dimension of footprint than required to fit within a 0.75 Unit CubeSat volume. Extensible and modular communications for CubeSat technologies will provide high data rates for science experiments performed by two CubeSats flying in formation in Low Earth Orbit. The project is a collaboration between the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Auburn University to study high energy phenomena in the upper atmosphere. Higher bandwidth capacity will enable high-volume, low error-rate data transfer to and from the CubeSats, while also providing additional bandwidth and error correction margin to accommodate more complex encryption algorithms and higher user volume.

  10. Barium titanate coated with magnesium titanate via fused salt method and its dielectric property

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Renzheng; Cui Aili; Wang Xiaohui; Li Longtu

    2003-01-01

    Barium titanate fine particles were coated homogeneously with magnesium titanate via the fused salt method. The thickness of the magnesium titanate film is 20 nm, as verified by TEM and XRD. The mechanism of the coating is that: when magnesium chloride is liquated in 800 deg. C, magnesium will replace barium in barium titanate, and form magnesium titanate film on the surface of barium titanate particles. Ceramics sintered from the coated particles show improved high frequency ability. The dielectric constant is about 130 at the frequency from 1 to 800 MHz

  11. A 3-D Chemistry Transport Model for Titan's Thermosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doege, M. C.; Marsh, D. R.; Brasseur, G. P.; Mueller-Wodarg, I.; Tokano, T.; Newman, C. E.

    2008-12-01

    MOZART-2 (Horowitz et al., 2003) has been adapted to investigate seasonal and diurnal differences in neutral composition in Titan's atmosphere between the surface and 1,200 km altitude. The chemical scheme with 64 solution species and 383 reactions is based on a simplified version of the Lavvas et al. (2008) scheme, without haze production. Wind and temperature fields were taken from the Cologne GCM (Tokano, 2007) or TitanWRF (Richardson et al., 2007) for the troposphere and stratosphere, and from the London TGCM (Mueller-Wodarg, 2000) for the thermosphere. Pronounced hemispheric concentration gradients develop in the thermosphere, and a strong diurnal cycle in composition is found, similar to the findings of Mueller-Wodarg (2003) for methane. Sensitivity experiments with different strengths of thermospheric circulation to account for uncertainty about the wind fields in that region are presented.

  12. A preliminary assessment of the Titan planetary boundary layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, Michael

    1992-01-01

    Results of a preliminary assessment of the characteristic features of the Titan planetary boundary are addressed. These were derived from the combined application of a patched Ekman surface layer model and Rossby number similarity theory. Both these models together with Obukhov scaling, surface speed limits and saltation are discussed. A characteristic Akman depth of approximately 0.7 km is anticipated, with an eddy viscosity approximately equal to 1000 sq cm/s, an associated friction velocity approximately 0.01 m/s, and a surface wind typically smaller than 0.6 m/s. Actual values of these parameters probably vary by as much as a factor of two or three, in response to local temporal variations in surface roughness and stability. The saltation threshold for the windblown injection of approximately 50 micrometer particulates into the atmosphere is less than twice the nominal friction velocity, suggesting that dusty breezes might be an occassional feature of the Titan meteorology.

  13. Geodetic data support trapping of ethane in Titan's polar crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotin, Christophe; Rambaux, Nicolas

    2016-04-01

    Titan's surface is characterized by polar depressions that strongly influence interpretations of the gravity data. This study investigates several geodynamical models that can explain these depressions. For each model, the values of the three moments of inertia are computed numerically by discretizing the interior in spherical coordinates. The study shows that a Pratt model where the polar subsurface is made of ethane clathrates can explain the polar depression, the abrupt jump in altitude at about 60 degrees latitude, and the values of the degree 2 gravity coefficients. This model, proposed by Choukroun and Sotin [1], is based on the stability of ethane clathrate hydrates relative to methane clathrate hydrates. In addition to fitting the geodetic data, it explains the absence of ethane in Titan's atmosphere although ethane is the main product of the photolysis of methane. Other geophysical models based on latitudinal variations in the tidal heating production or in the heat flux at the base of the icy crust do not provide such a good match to the gravity and topographic observations. The ethane-clathrate model predicts that all the ethane produced by photolysis of methane at the present rate during the last billion years could be stored in the polar subsurface. It is consistent with the age of Titan's surface and that of Titan's atmospheric methane inferred from geological and geochemical observations by the Cassini/Huygens mission. The present study also emphasizes the role of mass anomalies on the interpretation of the degree 2 gravity coefficients. It shows that for Titan, a slow rotator, the values of the two equatorial moments of inertia (MoI) are largely affected by the polar depressions whereas the value of polar MoI is not. Therefore, as pointed out by previous calculations [2], calculating the moment of inertia (MoI) factor from the value of J2 could lead to major errors. This is not the case for our preferred Titan's model for which the negative polar

  14. Planetary Surface-Atmosphere Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrison, J. P.; Bak, E.; Finster, K.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Holstein-Rathlou, C.; Knak Jensen, S.; Nørnberg, P.

    2013-09-01

    Planetary bodies having an accessible solid surface and significant atmosphere, such as Earth, Mars, Venus, Titan, share common phenomenology. Specifically wind induced transport of surface materials, subsequent erosion, the generation and transport of solid aerosols which leads both to chemical and electrostatic interaction with the atmosphere. How these processes affect the evolution of the atmosphere and surface will be discussed in the context of general planetology and the latest laboratory studies will be presented.

  15. Cassini-Huygens makes first close approach to Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-10-01

    Purple zaze hi-res Size hi-res: 88 kb Credits: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute Purple haze around Titan This NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini-Huygens image of Titan was taken with the narrow-angle camera on 3 July 2004, from a distance of about 789 000 kilometres from Titan. The image scale is 4.7 kilometres per pixel. This image shows two thin haze layers. The outer haze layer is detached and appears to float high in the atmosphere. Because of its thinness, the high haze layer is best seen at the moon's limb. The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of ultraviolet light centred at 338 nanometres. The image has been falsely coloured, the globe of Titan retains the pale orange hue our eyes would usually see, but both the main atmospheric haze and the thin detached layer have been brightened and given a purple colour to enhance their visibility. At the time of the closest approach, which is scheduled for 18:44 CEST, the spacecraft will be travelling only 1200 kilometres above the surface of the moon, almost grazing the outer atmosphere, at a speed of six kilometres per second (21 800 kilometres per hour)! Confirmation that the fly-by was successful and that all the data were received will not take place until 03:30 CEST on 27 October. This fly-by not only allows important surface science to be performed, such as radar analysis at close quarters, but also it significantly changes the orbit of the spacecraft around Saturn. Currently Cassini-Huygens has an orbital period of four months, which will change to 48 days, thus setting the course for the next close Titan fly-by on 13 December 2004 and the Huygens probe release on 25 December. Several of the observations performed during this fly-by will provide important information for ESA’s Huygens team, who will be using the data gathered to double-check atmospheric models for entry and descent on 14 January 2005. The Huygens probe will need to perform reliably in some of the most challenging and remote

  16. Particle excitation, airglow and H2 vibrational disequilibrium in the atmosphere of Jupiter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shemansky, D.E.

    1984-09-01

    The extreme ultraviolet EUV emission produced by particle excitation of the hydrogen atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn is examined using model calculations to determine the nature of the energy deposition process and the effect of such processes on atmospheric structure. Tasks ranging from examination of phenomenologically related processes on Saturn and Titan to analysis of experimental laboratory data required to allow accurate modeling of emissions from hydrogenic atmospheres are investigated. An explanation of the hydrogen H Ly(alpha) bulge in Jupiter's emission from the equatorial region is presented. It is proposed that Saturn, rather than Titan is the major source of the extended hydrogen cloud. The atomic hydrogen detected at the rings of Saturn may originate predominantly from the same source. A cross calibration is obtained between the Pioneer 10 EUV photometer and the Voyager EUV spectrometers, thus providing a direct measure of the temporal morphology of Jupiter between a minimum and a maximum in solar activity. Atomic and molecular data required for the research program are analyzed. An extrapolation of conditions in the upper atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn produces a predicted condition at Uranus in terms of excitation and hydrogen escape rates that may be observed at Voyager-Uranus encounter

  17. Light scattering measurements with Titan's aerosols analogues produced by dusty plasma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadamcik, E.; Renard, J.-B.; Szopa, C.; Cernogora, G.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.

    The Titan s atmosphere contains solid aerosols produced by the photochemistry of nitrogen and methane These aerosols are at the origin of the characteristic brown yellow colour of Titan During the descent of the Huygens probe the 14 th January 2005 optical measurements of the Titan s haze and Titan s surface have been done In order to explain the obtained results laboratory simulations are necessary We produce analogues of the Titan s aerosols in a RF capacitively coupled low-pressure plasma in a N 2 --CH 4 mixture representative of the Titan s atmosphere Szopa et al 2006 Szopa et al this conference The morphology of the produced solid aerosols is observed by SEM analyses They are quasi spherical and their mean size is function of the plasma conditions Moreover their colour changes from yellow to brown as a function of CH 4 ratio in the plasma In order to have information on the optical properties of the produced aerosols measurements have been performed with the PROGRA2 experiment Renard et al 2002 The PROGRA2 experiment measures the phase dependence of the linear polarization of the light scattered by dust particles for two wavelengths 543 5 nm and 632 8 nm The particles are lifted either in microgravity in the CNES ESA dedicated airplane or by an air-draught in ground-based conditions The aim of this work is to build a database for further modelling of the optical properties of Titan s in connection with the Huygens data These particles have also an astrophysical interest as organic compounds Hadamcik et

  18. Diurnal Variations of Titan's Surface Temperatures From Cassini -CIRS Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cottini, Valeria; Nixon, Conor; Jennings, Don; Anderson, Carrie; Samuelson, Robert; Irwin, Patrick; Flasar, F. Michael

    The Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) observations of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, are providing us with the ability to detect the surface temperature of the planet by studying its outgoing radiance through a spectral window in the thermal infrared at 19 m (530 cm-1) characterized by low opacity. Since the first acquisitions of CIRS Titan data the in-strument has gathered a large amount of spectra covering a wide range of latitudes, longitudes and local times. We retrieve the surface temperature and the atmospheric temperature pro-file by modeling proper zonally averaged spectra of nadir observations with radiative transfer computations. Our forward model uses the correlated-k approximation for spectral opacity to calculate the emitted radiance, including contributions from collision induced pairs of CH4, N2 and H2, haze, and gaseous emission lines (Irwin et al. 2008). The retrieval method uses a non-linear least-squares optimal estimation technique to iteratively adjust the model parameters to achieve a spectral fit (Rodgers 2000). We show an accurate selection of the wide amount of data available in terms of footprint diameter on the planet and observational conditions, together with the retrieved results. Our results represent formal retrievals of surface brightness temperatures from the Cassini CIRS dataset using a full radiative transfer treatment, and we compare to the earlier findings of Jennings et al. (2009). The application of our methodology over wide areas has increased the planet coverage and accuracy of our knowledge of Titan's surface brightness temperature. In particular we had the chance to look for diurnal variations in surface temperature around the equator: a trend with slowly increasing temperature toward the late afternoon reveals that diurnal temperature changes are present on Titan surface. References: Irwin, P.G.J., et al.: "The NEMESIS planetary atmosphere radiative transfer and retrieval tool" (2008). JQSRT, Vol. 109, pp

  19. Behaviour of solid phase ethyl cyanide in simulated conditions of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couturier-Tamburelli, I.; Toumi, A.; Piétri, N.; Chiavassa, T.

    2018-01-01

    In order to simulate different altitudes in the atmosphere of Titan, we investigated using infrared spectrometry and mass spectrometry the photochemistry of ethyl cyanide (CH3CH2CN) ices at different temperatures. Heating experiments of the solid phase until complete desorption showed up three phase transitions with a first one appearing to be approximately at the temperature of Titan's surface (94 K), measured by the Huygens probe. Ethyl cyanide, whose presence has been suggested in solid phase in Titan, can be considered as another nitrile for photochemical models of the Titan atmosphere after our first study (Toumi et al., 2016) concerning vinyl cyanide (CH2CHCN). The desorption energy of ethyl cyanide has been calculated to be 36.75 ( ± 0.55) kJ mol-1 using IRTF and mass spectroscopical techniques. High energetic photolysis (λ > 120 nm) have been performed and we identified ethyl isocyanide, vinyl cyanide, cyanoacetylene, ethylene, acetylene, cyanhydric acid and a methylketenimine form as photoproducts from ethyl cyanide. The branching ratios of the primary products were determined at characteristic temperatures of Titan thanks to the value of the νCN stretching band strength of ethyl cyanide that has been calculated to be 4.12 × 10-18 cm molecule-1. We also report here for the first time the values of the photodissociation cross sections of C2H5CN for different temperatures.

  20. NASA-ESA Joint Mission to Explore Two Worlds of Great Astrobiological Interest - Titan and Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reh, K.; Coustenis, A.; Lunine, J.; Matson, D.; Lebreton, J.-P.; Erd, C.; Beauchamp, P.

    2009-04-01

    Rugged shorelines, laced with canyons, leading to ethane/methane seas glimpsed through an organic haze, vast fields of dunes shaped by alien sciroccos… An icy moon festooned with plumes of water-ice and organics, whose warm watery source might be glimpsed through surface cracks that glow in the infrared… The revelations by Cassini-Huygens about Saturn's crown jewels, Titan and Enceladus, have rocked the public with glimpses of new worlds unimagined a decade before. The time is at hand to capitalize on those discoveries with a broad mission of exploration that combines the widest range of planetary science disciplines—Geology, Geophysics, Atmospheres, Astrobiology,Chemistry, Magnetospheres—in a single NASA/ESA collaboration. The Titan Saturn System Mission will explore these exciting new environments, flying through Enceladus' plumes and plunging deep into Titan's atmosphere with instruments tuned to find what Cassini could only hint at. Exploring Titan with an international fleet of vehicles; from orbit, from the surface of a great polar sea, and from the air with the first hot air balloon to ride an extraterrestrial breeze, TSSM will turn our snapshot gaze of these worlds into an epic film. This paper will describe a collaborative NASA-ESA Titan Saturn System Mission that will open a new phase of planetary exploration by projecting robotic presence on the land, on the sea, and in the air of an active, organic-rich world.

  1. Precipitation Climatology on Titan-like Exomoons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokano, Tetsuya

    2015-06-01

    The availability of liquid water on the surface on Earth's continents in part relies on the precipitation of water. This implies that the habitability of exomoons has to consider not only the surface temperature and atmospheric pressure for the presence of liquid water, but also the global precipitation climatology. This study explores the sensitivity of the precipitation climatology of Titan-like exomoons to these moons' orbital configuration using a global climate model. The precipitation rate primarily depends on latitude and is sensitive to the planet's obliquity and the moon's rotation rate. On slowly rotating moons the precipitation shifts to higher latitudes as obliquity is increased, whereas on quickly rotating moons the latitudinal distribution does not strongly depend on obliquity. Stellar eclipse can cause a longitudinal variation in the mean surface temperature and surface pressure between the subplanetary and antiplanetary side if the planet's obliquity and the moon's orbital distance are small. In this particular condition the antiplanetary side generally receives more precipitation than the subplanetary side. However, precipitation on exomoons with dense atmospheres generally occurs at any longitude in contrast to tidally locked exoplanets.

  2. Phase Behaviour of Methane Hydrate Under Conditions Relevant to Titan's Interior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sclater, G.; Fortes, A. D.; Crawford, I. A.

    2018-06-01

    The high-pressure behaviour Clathrate hydrates, thought to be abundant in the outer solar system, underpins planetary modelling efforts of the interior of Titan, where clathrates are hypothesised to be the source of the dense N2, CH4 atmosphere.

  3. Amino acidis derived from Titan tholins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khare, Bishun N.; Sagan, Carl; Ogino, Hiroshi; Nagy, Bartholomew; Er, Cevat

    1986-01-01

    The production of amino acids by acid treatment of Titan tholin is experimentally investigated. The synthesis of Titan tholin and the derivatization of amino acids to N-trifluoroacetyl isopropyl esters are described. The gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy analysis of the Titan tholins reveals the presence of glycine, alpha and beta alainine, and aspartic acid, and the total yield of amino acids is about 0.01.

  4. Equinoctial Activity Over Titan Dune Fields Revealed by Cassini/vims

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, S.; Le Mouelic, S.; Barnes, J. W.; Hirtzig, M.; Rannou, P.; Sotin, C.; Brown, R. H.; Bow, J.; Vixie, G.; Cornet, T.; Bourgeois, O.; Narteau, C.; Courrech Du Pont, S.; Le Gall, A.; Reffet, E.; Griffith, C. A.; Jaumann, R.; Stephan, K.; Buratti, B. J.; Clark, R. N.; Baines, K. H.; Nicholson, P. D.; Coustenis, A.

    2012-12-01

    Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn, is the only satellite in the solar system with a dense atmosphere. The close and continuous observations of Titan by the Cassini spacecraft, in orbit around Saturn since July 2004, bring us evidences that Titan troposphere and low stratosphere experience an exotic, but complete meteorological cycle similar to the Earth hydrological cycle, with hydrocarbons evaporation, condensation in clouds, and rainfall. Cassini monitoring campaigns also demonstrate that Titan's cloud coverage and climate vary with latitude. Titan's tropics, with globally weak meteorological activity and widespread dune fields, seem to be slightly more arid than the poles, where extensive and numerous liquid reservoirs and sustained cloud activity have been discovered. Only a few tropo-spheric clouds have been observed at Titan's tropics during the southern summer. As equinox was approaching (in August 2009), they occurred more frequently and appeared to grow in strength and size. We present here the observation of intense brightening at Titan's tropics, very close to the equinox. These detections were conducted with the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard Cassini. We will discuss the VIMS images of the three individual events detected so far, observed during the Titan's flybys T56 (22 May 2009), T65 (13 January 2010) and T70 (21 June 2010). T56, T65 and T70 observations show an intense and transient brighten-ing of large regions very close to the equator, right over the extensive dune fields of Senkyo, Belet and Shangri-La. They all appear spectrally and morphologically different from all transient surface features or atmospheric phenomena previously reported. Indeed, these events share in particular a strong brightening at wavelengths greater than 2 μm (especially at 5 μm), making them spectrally distinct from the small tropical clouds observed before the equinox and the large storms observed near the equator in September and October

  5. Molecular Dications in Planetary Atmospheric Escape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Falcinelli

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Fundamental properties of multiply charged molecular ions, such as energetics, structure, stability, lifetime and fragmentation dynamics, are relevant to understand and model the behavior of gaseous plasmas as well as ionosphere and astrophysical environments. Experimental determinations of the Kinetic Energy Released (KER for ions originating from dissociations reactions, induced by Coulomb explosion of doubly charged molecular ions (molecular dications produced by double photoionization of CO2, N2O and C2H2 molecules of interest in planetary atmospheres, are reported. The KER measurement as a function of the ultraviolet (UV photon energy in the range of 28–65 eV was extracted from the electron-ion-ion coincidence spectra obtained by using tunable synchrotron radiation coupled with ion imaging techniques at the ELETTRA Synchrotron Light Laboratory Trieste, Italy. These experiments, coupled with a computational analysis based on a Monte Carlo trajectory simulation, allow assessing the probability of escape for simple ionic species in the upper atmosphere of Mars, Venus and Titan. The measured KER in the case of H+, C+, CH+, CH2+, N+, O+, CO+, N2+ and NO+ fragment ions range between 1.0 and 5.5 eV, being large enough to allow these ionic species to participate in the atmospheric escape from such planets into space. In the case of Mars, we suggest a possible explanation for the observed behavior of the O+ and CO22+ ion density profiles.

  6. Titan's geoid and hydrology: implications for Titan's geological evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sotin, Christophe; Seignovert, Benoit; Lawrence, Kenneth; MacKenzie, Shannon; Barnes, Jason; Brown, Robert

    2014-05-01

    A 1x1 degree altitude map of Titan is constructed from the degree 4 gravity potential [1] and Titan's shape [2] determined by the Radio Science measurements and RADAR observations of the Cassini mission. The amplitude of the latitudinal altitude variations is equal to 300 m compared to 600 m for the amplitude of the latitudinal shape variations. The two polar caps form marked depressions with an abrupt change in topography at exactly 60 degrees at both caps. Three models are envisaged to explain the low altitude of the polar caps: (i) thinner ice crust due to higher heat flux at the poles, (ii) fossil shape acquired if Titan had higher spin rate in the past, and (iii) subsidence of the crust following the formation of a denser layer of clathrates as ethane rain reacts with the H2O ice crust [3]. The later model is favored because of the strong correlation between the location of the cloud system during the winter season and the latitude of the abrupt change in altitude. Low altitude polar caps would be the place where liquids would run to and eventually form large seas. Indeed, the large seas of Titan are found at the deepest locations at the North Pole. However, the lakes and terrains considered to be evaporite candidates due to their spectral characteristics in the infrared [4,5] seem to be perched. Lakes may have been filled during Titan's winter and then slowly evaporated leaving material on the surface. Interestingly, the largest evaporite deposits are located at the equator in a deep depression 150 m below the altitude of the northern seas. This observation seems to rule out the presence of a global subsurface hydrocarbon reservoir unless the evaporation rate at the equator is faster than the transport of fluids from the North Pole to the equator. This work has been performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract to NASA. [1] Iess L. et al. (2012) Science, doi 10.1126/science.1219631. [2] Lorenz R.D. (2013

  7. Study of barium bismuth titanate prepared by mechanochemical synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lazarević Z.Ž.

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Barium-bismuth titanate, BaBi4Ti4O15 (BBT, a member of Aurivillius bismuth-based layer-structure perovskites, was prepared from stoichiometric amounts of barium titanate and bismuth titanate obtained via mechanochemical synthesis. Mechanochemical synthesis was performed in air atmosphere in a planetary ball mill. The reaction mechanism of BaBi4Ti4O15 and the preparation and characteristics of BBT ceramic powders were studied using XRD, Raman spectroscopy, particle analysis and SEM. The Bi-layered perovskite structure of BaBi4Ti4O15 ceramic forms at 1100 °C for 4 h without a pre-calcination step. The microstructure of BaBi4Ti4O15 exhibits plate-like grains typical for the Bi-layered structured material and spherical and polygonal grains. The Ba2+ addition leads to changes in the microstructure development, particularly in the change of the average grain size.

  8. Titan Exploration Using a Radioisotopically-Heated Montgolfiere Balloon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, John O.; Reh, Kim; Spilker, Tom

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes results of a recent Titan exploration mission study; one which includes an aerial vehicle in the form of a hot air balloon, or montgolfiere. Unlike terrestrial montgolfieres which require burning fuel, the dual use of MMRTGs to provide a continuous source of heat as well as electrical power would give the balloon an inherent ability to float for a very long time in the atmosphere of Titan. It would ride with the easterly winds at a cruising altitude of about 10,000 km, occasionally changing altitude to take advantage of possible reverse wind directions and even descending to the surface to physically sample sites of interest. Seasonal and tidal north-south winds would allow the mission to explore different latitudes, which Cassini data have shown to be amazingly diverse in geologic nature. Communication from the aerial vehicle would be relayed through an accompanying orbiter spacecraft, as well as transmitted directly to Earth, providing the potential for data return from Titan's surface equivalent to that provided by many comparable orbiter missions at much closer destinations.

  9. Insights on landscape evolution and climatic forcing on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, A.; Daudon, C.; Rodriguez, S.; Cornet, T.; Perron, J. T.

    2017-12-01

    The landscapes of Titan were observed for nearly 13 years by the Cassini spacecraft and Huygens probe. With dunes, mountains, seas, lakes, rivers..., the great morphological variety observed testifies to the geological richness that Titan shares with the Earth. In this study, we combine analysis of radar and hyperspectral data provided by the Cassini-Huygens mission, with models of valley and river network evolution to better understand the processes at work that sculpt these familiar landscapes. We develop quantitative criteria for comparing 3D morphologies obtained by numerical simulation with those derived for Titan by photogrammetry. These criteria are validated on Earth's landscapes. We simulate morphologies similar to those observed and show that landscapes at the equator and poles are mainly controlled by river incision and mass wasting such as landslides for which we quantify their respective contribution. Subsequently, we relate modeling to precipitation rates of methane and show values that are to be compared with general circulation model predictions (GCM). Our results also show a very young age of formation of the observed morphologies, less than a few million years. Finally, we provide new constraints on current amplitude of the tidal effects and organic precipitation rates from atmosphere chemistry.

  10. Thermal stability of titanate nanotubes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Králová, Daniela; Kužel, R.; Kovářová, Jana; Dybal, Jiří; Šlouf, Miroslav

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 16, 2a (2009), s. 41-43 ISSN 1211-5894. [Struktura - Colloquium of Czech and Slovak Crystallographic Association. Hluboká nad Vltavou, 22.06.2009-25.06.2009] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/07/0717; GA AV ČR KAN200520704 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40500505 Keywords : titanate nanotubes * thermal stability Subject RIV: CD - Macromolecular Chemistry

  11. Anion and cation diffusion in barium titanate and strontium titanate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kessel, Markus Franz

    2012-01-01

    Perovskite oxides show various interesting properties providing several technical applications. In many cases the defect chemistry is the key to understand and influence the material's properties. In this work the defect chemistry of barium titanate and strontium titanate is analysed by anion and cation diffusion experiments and subsequent time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). The reoxidation equation for barium titanate used in multi-layer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) is found out by a combination of different isotope exchange experiments and the analysis of the resulting tracer diffusion profiles. It is shown that the incorporation of oxygen from water vapour is faster by orders of magnitude than from molecular oxygen. Chemical analysis shows the samples contain various dopants leading to a complex defect chemistry. Dysprosium is the most important dopant, acting partially as a donor and partially as an acceptor in this effectively acceptor-doped material. TEM and EELS analysis show the inhomogeneous distribution of Dy in a core-shell microstructure. The oxygen partial pressure and temperature dependence of the oxygen tracer diffusion coefficients is analysed and explained by the complex defect chemistry of Dy-doped barium titanate. Additional fast diffusion profiles are attributed to fast diffusion along grain boundaries. In addition to the barium titanate ceramics from an important technical application, oxygen diffusion in cubic, nominally undoped BaTiO 3 single crystals has been studied by means of 18 O 2 / 16 O 2 isotope exchange annealing and subsequent determination of the isotope profiles in the solid by ToF-SIMS. It is shown that a correct description of the diffusion profiles requires the analysis of the diffusion through the surface space-charge into the material's bulk. Surface exchange coefficients, space-charge potentials and bulk diffusion coefficients are analysed as a function of oxygen partial pressure and temperature. The

  12. ALMA OBSERVATIONS OF HCN AND ITS ISOTOPOLOGUES ON TITAN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Molter, Edward M.; Nixon, C. A.; Cordiner, M. A.; Charnley, S. B.; Lindberg, J. E. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Serigano, J. [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Irwin, P. G. J. [Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Planetary Physics, Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU (United Kingdom); Teanby, N. A., E-mail: edward.m.molter@nasa.gov [School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ (United Kingdom)

    2016-08-01

    We present sub-millimeter spectra of HCN isotopologues on Titan, derived from publicly available ALMA flux calibration observations of Titan taken in early 2014. We report the detection of a new HCN isotopologue on Titan, H{sup 13}C{sup 15}N, and confirm an earlier report of detection of DCN. We model high signal-to-noise observations of HCN, H{sup 13}CN, HC{sup 15}N, DCN, and H{sup 13}C{sup 15}N to derive abundances and infer the following isotopic ratios: {sup 12}C/{sup 13}C = 89.8 ± 2.8, {sup 14}N/{sup 15}N = 72.3 ± 2.2, D/H = (2.5 ± 0.2) × 10{sup −4}, and HCN/H{sup 13}C{sup 15}N = 5800 ± 270 (1 σ errors). The carbon and nitrogen ratios are consistent with and improve on the precision of previous results, confirming a factor of ∼2.3 elevation in {sup 14}N/{sup 15}N in HCN compared to N{sub 2} and a lack of fractionation in {sup 12}C/{sup 13}C from the protosolar value. This is the first published measurement of D/H in a nitrile species on Titan, and we find evidence for a factor of ∼2 deuterium enrichment in hydrogen cyanide compared to methane. The isotopic ratios we derive may be used as constraints for future models to better understand the fractionation processes occurring in Titan’s atmosphere.

  13. DETECTION OF PROPENE IN TITAN'S STRATOSPHERE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nixon, C. A.; Flasar, F. M. [Planetary Systems Laboratory, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Jennings, D. E. [Detector Systems Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Bézard, B.; Vinatier, S.; Coustenis, A. [LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, 5 Place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon Cedex (France); Teanby, N. A. [School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queen' s Road, Bristol BS8 1RJ (United Kingdom); Sung, K. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, CA 91109 (United States); Ansty, T. M. [Department of Space Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Irwin, P. G. J. [Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, University of Oxford, Clarendon Laboratory, Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PU (United Kingdom); Gorius, N. [IACS, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064 (United States); Cottini, V. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)

    2013-10-10

    The Voyager 1 flyby of Titan in 1980 gave a first glimpse of the chemical complexity of Titan's atmosphere, detecting many new molecules with the infrared interferometer spectrometer (IRIS). These included propane (C{sub 3}H{sub 8}) and propyne (CH{sub 3}C{sub 2}H), while the intermediate-sized C{sub 3}H {sub x} hydrocarbon (C{sub 3}H{sub 6}) was curiously absent. Using spectra from the Composite Infrared Spectrometer on Cassini, we show the first positive detection of propene (C{sub 3}H{sub 6}) in Titan's stratosphere (5σ significance), finally filling the three-decade gap in the chemical sequence. We retrieve a vertical abundance profile from 100-250 km, that varies slowly with altitude from 2.0 ± 0.8 ppbv at 125 km, to 4.6 ± 1.5 ppbv at 200 km. The abundance of C{sub 3}H{sub 6} is less than both C{sub 3}H{sub 8} and CH{sub 3}C{sub 2}H, and we remark on an emerging paradigm in Titan's hydrocarbon abundances whereby alkanes > alkynes > alkenes within the C{sub 2}H {sub x} and C{sub 3}H {sub x} chemical families in the lower stratosphere. More generally, there appears to be much greater ubiquity and relative abundance of triple-bonded species than double-bonded, likely due to the greater resistance of triple bonds to photolysis and chemical attack.

  14. Vapor-liquid equilibrium thermodynamics of N2 + CH4 - Model and Titan applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, W. R.; Zollweg, John A.; Gabis, David H.

    1992-01-01

    A thermodynamic model is presented for vapor-liquid equilibrium in the N2 + CH4 system, which is implicated in calculations of the Titan tropospheric clouds' vapor-liquid equilibrium thermodynamics. This model imposes constraints on the consistency of experimental equilibrium data, and embodies temperature effects by encompassing enthalpy data; it readily calculates the saturation criteria, condensate composition, and latent heat for a given pressure-temperature profile of the Titan atmosphere. The N2 content of condensate is about half of that computed from Raoult's law, and about 30 percent greater than that computed from Henry's law.

  15. Interferometric imaging of Titan's HC$_3$N, H$^{13}$CCCN and HCCC$^{15}$N

    OpenAIRE

    Cordiner, M. A.; Nixon, C. A.; Charnley, S. B.; Teanby, N. A.; Molter, E. M.; Kisiel, Z.; Vuitton, V.

    2018-01-01

    We present the first maps of cyanoacetylene isotopologues in Titan's atmosphere, including H$^{13}$CCCN and HCCC$^{15}$N, detected in the 0.9 mm band using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array (ALMA) around the time of Titan's (southern winter) solstice in May 2017. The first high-resolution map of HC$_3$N in its $v_7=1$ vibrationally excited state is also presented, revealing a unique snapshot of the global HC$_3$N distribution, free from the strong optical depth effects that adv...

  16. AN INFRARED SPECTROSCOPIC STUDY OF AMORPHOUS AND CRYSTALLINE ICES OF VINYLACETYLENE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR SATURN'S SATELLITE TITAN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Y. S.; Kaiser, R. I.

    2009-01-01

    Laboratory infrared spectra of amorphous and crystalline vinylacetylene ices were recorded in the range of 7000-400 cm -1 . The spectra showed several amorphous features in the ice deposited at 10 K, which were then utilized to monitor a phase transition between 93 ± 1 K to form the crystalline structure. Successive heating allows monitoring of the sublimation profile of the vinylacetylene sample in the range of 101-120 K. Considering Titan's surface temperature of 94 K, vinylacetylene ice is likely to be crystalline. Analogous studies on related planetary-bound molecules such as triaceylene and cyanoacetylene may be further warranted to gain better perspectives into the composition of the condensed phases in the Titan's atmosphere (aerosol particles) and of Titan's surface. Based on our studies, we recommend utilizing the ν 1 and ν 16 //ν 11 /ν 17 fundamentals at about 3300 and 650 cm -1 to determine if solid vinylacetylene is crystalline or amorphous on Titan.

  17. Implications of Wind-Assisted Aerial Navigation for Titan Mission Planning and Science Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elfes, A.; Reh, K.; Beauchamp, P.; Fathpour, N.; Blackmore, L.; Newman, C.; Kuwata, Y.; Wolf, M.; Assad, C.

    2010-01-01

    The recent Titan Saturn System Mission (TSSM) proposal incorporates a montgolfiere (hot air balloon) as part of its architecture. Standard montgolfiere balloons generate lift through heating of the atmospheric gases inside the envelope, and use a vent valve for altitude control. A Titan aerobot (robotic aerial vehicle) would have to use radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) for electric power, and the excess heat generated can be used to provide thermal lift for a montgolfiere. A hybrid montgolfiere design could have propellers mounted on the gondola to generate horizontal thrust; in spite of the unfavorable aerodynamic drag caused by the shape of the balloon, a limited amount of lateral controllability could be achieved. In planning an aerial mission at Titan, it is extremely important to assess how the moon-wide wind field can be used to extend the navigation capabilities of an aerobot and thereby enhance the scientific return of the mission. In this paper we explore what guidance, navigation and control capabilities can be achieved by a vehicle that uses the Titan wind field. The control planning approach is based on passive wind field riding. The aerobot would use vertical control to select wind layers that would lead it towards a predefined science target, adding horizontal propulsion if available. The work presented in this paper is based on aerodynamic models that characterize balloon performance at Titan, and on TitanWRF (Weather Research and Forecasting), a model that incorporates heat convection, circulation, radiation, Titan haze properties, Saturn's tidal forcing, and other planetary phenomena. Our results show that a simple unpropelled montgolfiere without horizontal actuation will be able to reach a broad array of science targets within the constraints of the wind field. The study also indicates that even a small amount of horizontal thrust allows the balloon to reach any area of interest on Titan, and to do so in a fraction of the time needed

  18. The tide in the seas of Titan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sagan, C.; Dermott, S.F.

    1982-01-01

    It is argued that, if Titan has oceans consisting of liquid methane, then the present high eccentricity of the satellite necessitates that the depth would be greater than 400 m. Such an ocean should be detectable by radar. The effects of tidal dissipation due to the possible existence of an ocean on Titan are considered. (author)

  19. Chemical compatibility study of lithium titanate with Indian reduced activation ferritic martensitic steel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sonak, Sagar; Jain, Uttam; Haldar, Rumu; Kumar, Sanjay

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • Chemical compatibility between Li_2TiO_3 and Indian RAFM steel has been studied at ITER operating temperature. • The lithium titanate chemically reacted with ferritic martensitic steel to form a brittle and non-adherent oxide layer. • The layer grew in a parabolic manner as a function of heating time. • Diffusion of oxygen (from Li_2TiO_3) appears to be controlling the oxide layer. - Abstract: Chemical compatibility between lithium titanate and Indian reduced activation ferritic-martensitic steel (In-RAFMS) was studied for the first time under ITER operating temperature. Lithium titanate required for the study was synthesized in-house. Coupons of In-RAFMS were packed inside lithium titanate powder and heated at 550 °C up to 900 h under inert argon atmosphere. The lithium titanate chemically reacted with ferritic martensitic steel to form a brittle and non-adherent oxide layer. The layer grew in a parabolic manner as a function of heating time. Microstructural and phase evolution of this oxide layer was studied using XRD, SEM and EPMA. Iron and chromium enriched zones were found within the oxide layer. Diffusion of oxygen (from Li_2TiO_3) appears to be controlling the oxide layer.

  20. The second stage of a Titan II rocket is lifted for mating at the launch tower, Vandenberg AFB

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    At the launch tower, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., the second stage of a Titan II rocket is lifted to vertical. The Titan will power the launch of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA-L) satellite scheduled no earlier than Sept. 12. NOAA-L is part of the Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) program that provides atmospheric measurements of temperature, humidity, ozone and cloud images, tracking weather patterns that affect the global weather and climate. «

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  1. SEASONAL CHANGES IN TITAN'S SURFACE TEMPERATURES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jennings, D. E.; Cottini, V.; Nixon, C. A.; Flasar, F. M.; Kunde, V. G.; Samuelson, R. E.; Romani, P. N.; Hesman, B. E.; Carlson, R. C.; Gorius, N. J. P.; Coustenis, A.; Tokano, T.

    2011-01-01

    Seasonal changes in Titan's surface brightness temperatures have been observed by Cassini in the thermal infrared. The Composite Infrared Spectrometer measured surface radiances at 19 μm in two time periods: one in late northern winter (LNW; L s = 335 deg.) and another centered on northern spring equinox (NSE; L s = 0 deg.). In both periods we constructed pole-to-pole maps of zonally averaged brightness temperatures corrected for effects of the atmosphere. Between LNW and NSE a shift occurred in the temperature distribution, characterized by a warming of ∼0.5 K in the north and a cooling by about the same amount in the south. At equinox the polar surface temperatures were both near 91 K and the equator was at 93.4 K. We measured a seasonal lag of ΔL S ∼ 9 0 in the meridional surface temperature distribution, consistent with the post-equinox results of Voyager 1 as well as with predictions from general circulation modeling. A slightly elevated temperature is observed at 65 0 S in the relatively cloud-free zone between the mid-latitude and southern cloud regions.

  2. Safe prescribing: a titanic challenge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routledge, Philip A

    2012-10-01

    The challenge to achieve safe prescribing merits the adjective 'titanic'. The organisational and human errors leading to poor prescribing (e.g. underprescribing, overprescribing, misprescribing or medication errors) have parallels in the organisational and human errors that led to the loss of the Titanic 100 years ago this year. Prescribing can be adversely affected by communication failures, critical conditions, complacency, corner cutting, callowness and a lack of courage of conviction, all of which were also factors leading to the Titanic tragedy. These issues need to be addressed by a commitment to excellence, the final component of the 'Seven C's'. Optimal prescribing is dependent upon close communication and collaborative working between highly trained health professionals, whose role is to ensure maximum clinical effectiveness, whilst also protecting their patients from avoidable harm. Since humans are prone to error, and the environments in which they work are imperfect, it is not surprising that medication errors are common, occurring more often during the prescribing stage than during dispensing or administration. A commitment to excellence in prescribing includes a continued focus on lifelong learning (including interprofessional learning) in pharmacology and therapeutics. This should be accompanied by improvements in the clinical working environment of prescribers, and the encouragement of a strong safety culture (including reporting of adverse incidents as well as suspected adverse drug reactions whenever appropriate). Finally, members of the clinical team must be prepared to challenge each other, when necessary, to ensure that prescribing combines the highest likelihood of benefit with the lowest potential for harm. © 2012 The Author. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology © 2012 The British Pharmacological Society.

  3. This is Commercial Titan Inc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Rensselaer, F. L.; Slovikoski, R. D.; Abels, T. C.

    Out of a quarter-century heritage of eminently successful expendable launch vehicle history with the U.S. government, a commercial launch services enterprise which challenges the corporation as well as the competition has been launched within the Martin Marietta Corporation. This paper is an inside look at the philosophy, structure, and success of the new subsidiary, Commercial Titan Inc., which is taking on its U.S. and foreign rocket-making competitors to win a share of the international communication satellite market as well as the U.S. government commercial launch services market.

  4. Organic matter in the Titan lakes, and comparison with primitive Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khare, Bishun N.; McKay, C.; Wilhite, P.; Beeler, D.; Carter, M.; Schurmeier, L.; Jagota, S.; Kawai, J.; Nna-Mvondo, D.; Cruikshank, D.; Embaye, T.

    2013-06-01

    Titan is the only world in the solar system besides the Earth that has liquid on its surface. The liquid in the lakes is thought to be composed primarily of ethane with methane and nitrogen in solution. The clouds are thought to be composed of liquid methane drops. Surface liquid is present in polar lakes and in surface materials at equatorial sites. Studying the chemical processing that potentially results from organic material interacting with this liquid is one of the main goals of proposed missions to Titan. We have been engaged in producing tholin under Titan-like conditions for more than three decades, first at the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University in collaboration with Late Dr. Carl Sagan and for over a decade at Laboratory for Planetary Studies at NASA Ames Research Center and Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, SETI Institute. Our focus is to understand the capabilities for analysis of tholin solubility in liquid methane and ethane for flight instruments. Our results are expected to contribute to an understanding of the organic chemistry on Titan and to the development of an explicit and targeted scientific strategy for near term analysis of the products of organic-liquid interactions on Titan. Organics are produced as a haze in Titan's high atmosphere due to photolysis of methane with the Sun's extreme ultraviolet light and subsequent reaction with N. Also tholins are formed at a much higher level on Titan by charged particles of Saturn magnetosphere. However, the presence of organics is not the sole feature, which makes Titan significant to astrobiology; organics are widely present in the outer solar system. The reason Titan is a prime target for future outer solar system missions is the combination of organic material and liquid on the surface; liquid that could over a medium for further organic synthesis. NASA recently selected for further study a Discovery proposal TiME to investigate the chemistry of the

  5. Critical ionization velocity as a mechanism for producing Titan's plasma tail

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Galeev, A.A.; Khabibrakhmanov, I.KH.

    1984-01-01

    The phenomenon of a critical ionization velocity may explain the anomalous interaction between the magnetospheric plasma corotating with Saturn and the atmosphere of Titan. Although the dominant role will be played by the lower-hybrid instability due to the counterstreaming of the magnetospehric plasma and newly formed atmospheric ions, charge-separation effects caused by the very large Larmor radius of the new nitrogen ions also may trigger instability. The kinetic energy of the newly formed ions will be conveyed to the electrons by plasma waves generated in the counterflow, thereby exciting the atmospheric atoms to emit radiation. The limiting plasma density and electron temperature in Titan's plasma tail and the frequency spectrum of the waves that develop are determined and compared against the Voyager measurements. 11 references

  6. Atmospheric Photochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massey, Harrie; Potter, A. E.

    1961-01-01

    The upper atmosphere offers a vast photochemical laboratory free from solid surfaces, so all reactions take place in the gaseous phase. At 30 km altitude the pressure has fallen to about one-hundredth of that at ground level, and we shall, rather arbitrarily, regard the upper atmosphere as beginning at that height. By a little less than 100 km the pressure has fallen to 10(exp -3) mm Hg and is decreasing by a power of ten for every 15 km increase in altitude. Essentially we are concerned then with the photochemistry of a nitrogen-oxygen mixture under low-pressure conditions in which photo-ionization, as well as photodissociation, plays an important part. Account must also be taken of the presence of rare constituents, such as water vapour and its decomposition products, including particularly hydroxyl, oxides of carbon, methane and, strangely enough, sodium, lithium and calcium. Many curious and unfamiliar reactions occur in the upper atmosphere. Some of them are luminescent, causing the atmosphere to emit a dim light called the airglow. Others, between gaseous ions and neutral molecules, are almost a complete mystery at this time. Similar interesting phenomena must occur in other planetary atmospheres, and they might be predicted if sufficient chemical information were available.

  7. Chemical investigation of Titan and Triton tholins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcdonald, Gene D.; Thompson, W. R.; Heinrich, Michael; Khare, Bishun N.; Sagan, Carl

    1994-01-01

    We report chromatographic and spectroscopic analyses of both Titan and Triton tholins, organic solids made from the plasma irradiation of 0.9:0.1 and 0.999:0.001 N2/CH4 gas mixtures, respectively. The lower CH4 mixing ratio leads to a nitrogen-richer tholin (N/C greater than 1), probably including nitrogen heterocyclic compounds. Unlike Titan tholin, bulk Triton tholin is poor in nitriles. From high-pressure liquid chromatography, ultraviolet and infrared spectroscopy, and molecular weight estimation by gel filtration chromatography, we conclude that (1) several H2O-soluble fractions, each with distinct UV and IR spectral signatures, are present, (2) these fractions are not identical in the two tholins, (3) the H2O-soluble fractions of Titan tholins do not contain significant amounts of nitriles, despite the major role of nitriles in bulk Titan tholin, and (4) the H2O-soluble fractions of both tholins are mainly molcules containing about 10 to 50 (C + N) atoms. We report yields of amino acids upon hydrolysis of Titan and Triton tholins. Titan tholin is largely insoluble in the putative hydrocarbon lakes or oceans on Titan, but can yield the H2O-soluble species investigated here upon contact with transient (e.g., impact-generated) liquid water.

  8. Electron-molecule chemistry and charging processes on organic ices and Titan's icy aerosol surrogates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirim, C.; Gann, R. D.; McLain, J. L.; Orlando, T. M.

    2015-09-01

    Electron-induced polymerization processes and charging events that can occur within Titan's atmosphere or on its surface were simulated using electron irradiation and dissociative electron attachment (DEA) studies of nitrogen-containing organic condensates. The DEA studies probe the desorption of H- from hydrogen cyanide (HCN), acetonitrile (CH3CN), and aminoacetonitrile (NH2CH2CN) ices, as well as from synthesized tholin materials condensed or deposited onto a graphite substrate maintained at low temperature (90-130 K). The peak cross sections for H- desorption during low-energy (3-15 eV) electron irradiation were measured and range from 3 × 10-21 to 2 × 10-18 cm2. Chemical and structural transformations of HCN ice upon 2 keV electron irradiation were investigated using X-ray photoelectron and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy techniques. The electron-beam processed materials displayed optical properties very similar to tholins produced by conventional discharge methods. Electron and negative ion trapping lead to 1011 charges cm-2 on a flat surface which, assuming a radius of 0.05 μm for Titan aerosols, is ∼628 charges/radius (in μm). The facile charge trapping indicates that electron interactions with nitriles and complex tholin-like molecules could affect the conductivity of Titan's atmosphere due to the formation of large negative ion complexes. These negatively charged complexes can also precipitate onto Titan's surface and possibly contribute to surface reactions and the formation of dunes.

  9. A post-Cassini view of Titan's methane-based hydrologic cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayes, Alexander G.; Lorenz, Ralph D.; Lunine, Jonathan I.

    2018-05-01

    The methane-based hydrologic cycle on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, is an extreme analogue to Earth's water cycle. Titan is the only planetary body in the Solar System, other than Earth, that is known to have an active hydrologic cycle. With a surface pressure of 1.5 bar and temperatures of 90 to 95 K, methane and ethane condense out of a nitrogen-based atmosphere and flow as liquids on the moon's surface. Exchange processes between atmospheric, surface and subsurface reservoirs produce methane and ethane cloud systems, as well as erosional and depositional landscapes that have strikingly similar forms to their terrestrial counterparts. Over its 13-year exploration of the Saturn system, the Cassini-Huygens mission revealed that Titan's hydrocarbon-based hydrology is driven by nested methane cycles that operate over a range of timescales, including geologic, orbital (for example, Croll-Milankovitch cycles), seasonal and that of a single convective storm. In this Review Article, we describe the dominant exchange processes that operate over these timescales and present a post-Cassini view of Titan's methane-based hydrologic system.

  10. Ceria and strontium titanate based electrodes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2010-01-01

    A ceramic anode structure obtainable by a process comprising the steps of: (a) providing a slurry by dispersing a powder of an electronically conductive phase and by adding a binder to the dispersion, in which said powder is selected from the group consisting of niobium-doped strontium titanate......, vanadium-doped strontium titanate, tantalum-doped strontium titanate, and mixtures thereof, (b) sintering the slurry of step (a), (c) providing a precursor solution of ceria, said solution containing a solvent and a surfactant, (d) impregnating the resulting sintered structure of step (b...

  11. The commercial evolution of the Titan program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isakowitz, Steven

    1988-07-01

    The present status evaluation of proprietary efforts to turn the once exclusively government-requirements-oriented Titan launch vehicle into a successful commercial competitor is divided into three phases. The first phase notes recent changes in U.S. space transportation policy and the Titan configurations evaluated for commercial feasibility. The second phase is a development history for the current vehicle's marketing organization and the right-to-use agreement for a launch site. Phase three projects the prospective marketing climate for a commercial Titan vehicle and its planned improvements.

  12. Titan's organic chemistry: Results of simulation experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, Carl; Thompson, W. Reid; Khare, Bishun N.

    1992-01-01

    Recent low pressure continuous low plasma discharge simulations of the auroral electron driven organic chemistry in Titan's mesosphere are reviewed. These simulations yielded results in good accord with Voyager observations of gas phase organic species. Optical constants of the brownish solid tholins produced in similar experiments are in good accord with Voyager observations of the Titan haze. Titan tholins are rich in prebiotic organic constituents; the Huygens entry probe may shed light on some of the processes that led to the origin of life on Earth.

  13. Cassini/VIMS hyperspectral observations of the HUYGENS landing site on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, S.; Le, Mouelic S.; Sotin, Christophe; Clenet, H.; Clark, R.N.; Buratti, B.; Brown, R.H.; McCord, T.B.; Nicholson, P.D.; Baines, K.H.

    2006-01-01

    Titan is one of the primary scientific objectives of the NASA-ESA-ASI Cassini-Huygens mission. Scattering by haze particles in Titan's atmosphere and numerous methane absorptions dramatically veil Titan's surface in the visible range, though it can be studied more easily in some narrow infrared windows. The Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) instrument onboard the Cassini spacecraft successfully imaged its surface in the atmospheric windows, taking hyperspectral images in the range 0.4-5.2 ??m. On 26 October (TA flyby) and 13 December 2004 (TB flyby), the Cassini-Huygens mission flew over Titan at an altitude lower than 1200 km at closest approach. We report here on the analysis of VIMS images of the Huygens landing site acquired at TA and TB, with a spatial resolution ranging from 16 to14.4 km/pixel. The pure atmospheric backscattering component is corrected by using both an empirical method and a first-order theoretical model. Both approaches provide consistent results. After the removal of scattering, ratio images reveal subtle surface heterogeneities. A particularly contrasted structure appears in ratio images involving the 1.59 and 2.03 ??m images north of the Huygens landing site. Although pure water ice cannot be the only component exposed at Titan's surface, this area is consistent with a local enrichment in exposed water ice and seems to be consistent with DISR/Huygens images and spectra interpretations. The images show also a morphological structure that can be interpreted as a 150 km diameter impact crater with a central peak. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Putative cryomagma interaction with aerosols deposit at Titan's surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Patrice; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Raulin, Francois; Coscia, David; Ramirez, Sandra I.; Buch, Arnaud; Szopa, Cyril; Poch, Olivier; Cabane, Michel; Brassé, Coralie

    The largest moon of Saturn, Titan, is known for its dense, nitrogen-rich atmosphere. The organic aerosols which are produced in Titan’s atmosphere are of great astrobiological interest, particularly because of their potential evolution when they reach the surface and may interact with putative ammonia-water cryomagma [1]. In this context we have followed the evolution of alkaline pH hydrolysis (25wt% ammonia-water) of Titan aerosol analogues, that have been qualified as representative of Titan’s aerosols [2]. Indeed the first results obtained by the ACP experiment onboard Huygens probe revealed that the main products obtained after thermolysis of Titan’s collected aerosols, were ammonia (NH3) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN). Then performing a direct comparison of the volatiles produced after a thermal treatment done in conditions similar to the ones used by the ACP experiment, we may estimate that the tholins we used are relevant to chemical analogues of Titan’s aerosols, and to note free of oxygen. Taking into account recent studies proposing that the subsurface ocean may contain a lower fraction of ammonia (about 5wt% or less [3]), and assuming the presence of specific gas species [4, 5], in particular CO2 and H2S, trapped in likely internal ocean, we determine a new probable composition of the cryomagma which could potentially interact with deposited Titan’s aerosols. We then carried out different hydrolyses, taking into account this composition, and we established the influence of the hydrolysis temperature on the organic molecules production. References: [1] Mitri et al., 2008. Resurfacing of Titan by ammonia-water cryomagma. Icarus. 196, 216-224. [2] Coll et al. 2013, Can laboratory tholins mimic the chemistry producing Titan's aerosols? A review in light of ACP experimental results, Planetary and Space Science 77, 91-103. [3] Tobie et al. 2012. Titan’s Bulk Composition Constrained by Cassini-Huygens: implication for internal outgassing. The

  15. Waves in the middle and upper atmosphere of Mars as seen by the Radio Science Experiment MaRS on Mars Express

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tellmann, S.; Paetzold, M.; Häusler, B.; Hinson, D. P.; Peter, K.; Tyler, G. L.

    2017-12-01

    Atmospheric waves play a crucial role in the Martian atmosphere. They are responsible for the redistribution of momentum, energy and dust and for the coupling of the different atmospheric regions on Mars. Almost all kinds of waves have been observed in the lower atmosphere (e.g. stationary and transient waves, baroclinic waves as well as migrating and non-migrating thermal tides, gravity waves, etc...). Atmospheric waves are also known to exist in the middle atmosphere of Mars ( 70-120 km, e.g. by the SPICAM instrument on Mars Express). In the thermosphere, thermal tides have been observed e.g. by radio occultation or accelerometer measurements on MGS. Recently, the NGIMS instrument on MAVEN reported gravity waves in the thermosphere of Mars. Radio Science profiles from the Mars Express Radio Science experiment MaRS on Mars Express can analyse the temperature, pressure and neutral number density profiles in the lower atmosphere (from a few hundred metres above the surface up to 40-50 km) and electron density profiles in the ionosphere of Mars. Wavelike structures have been detected below the main ionospheric layers (M1 & M2) and in the topside of the ionosphere. The two coherent frequencies of the MaRS experiment allow to discriminate between plasma density fluctuations in the ionosphere and Doppler related frequency shifts caused by spacecraft movement. A careful analysis of the observed electron density fluctuations in combination with sensitivity studies of the radio occultation technique will be used to classify the observed fluctuations. The MaRS experiment is funded by DLR under grant 50QM1401.

  16. Titan's fluvial valleys: Morphology, distribution, and spectral properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langhans, M.H.; Jaumann, R.; Stephan, K.; Brown, R.H.; Buratti, B.J.; Clark, R.N.; Baines, K.H.; Nicholson, P.D.; Lorenz, R.D.; Soderblom, L.A.; Soderblom, J.M.; Sotin, Christophe; Barnes, J.W.; Nelson, R.

    2012-01-01

    Titan's fluvial channels have been investigated based on data obtained by the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) instrument and the Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard the Cassini spacecraft. In this paper, a database of fluvial features is created based on radar-SAR data aiming to unveil the distribution and the morphologic and spectral characteristics of valleys on Titan on a global scale. It will also study the spatial relations between fluvial valleys and Titan's geologic units and spectral surface units which have become accessible thanks to Cassini-VIMS data. Several distinct morphologic types of fluvial valleys can be discerned by SAR-images. Dendritic valley networks appear to have much in common with terrestrial dendritic systems owing to a hierarchical and tree-shaped arrangement of the tributaries which is indicative of an origin from precipitation. Dry valleys constitute another class of valleys resembling terrestrial wadis, an indication of episodic and strong flow events. Other valley types, such as putative canyons, cannot be correlated with rainfall based on their morphology alone, since it cannot be ruled out that they may have originated from volcanic/tectonic action or groundwater sapping. Highly developed and complex fluvial networks with channel lengths of up to 1200 km and widths of up to 10 km are concentrated only at a few locations whereas single valleys are scattered over all latitudes. Fluvial valleys are frequently found in mountainous areas. Some terrains, such as equatorial dune fields and undifferentiated plains at mid-latitudes, are almost entirely free of valleys. Spectrally, fluvial terrains are often characterized by a high reflectance in each of Titan's atmospheric windows, as most of them are located on Titan's bright 'continents'. Nevertheless, valleys are spatially associated with a surface unit appearing blue due to its higher reflection at 1.3??m in a VIMS false color RGB composite with R: 1.59/1.27??m, G: 2

  17. The impact of runoff and surface hydrology on Titan's climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulk, Sean; Lora, Juan; Mitchell, Jonathan

    2017-10-01

    Titan’s surface liquid distribution has been shown by general circulation models (GCMs) to greatly influence the hydrological cycle. Simulations from the Titan Atmospheric Model (TAM) with imposed polar methane “wetlands” reservoirs realistically produce many observed features of Titan’s atmosphere, whereas “aquaplanet” simulations with a global methane ocean are not as successful. In addition, wetlands simulations, unlike aquaplanet simulations, demonstrate strong correlations between extreme rainfall behavior and observed geomorphic features, indicating the influential role of precipitation in shaping Titan’s surface. The wetlands configuration is, in part, motivated by Titan’s large-scale topography featuring low-latitude highlands and high-latitude lowlands, with the implication being that methane may concentrate in the high-latitude lowlands by way of runoff and subsurface flow. However, the extent to which topography controls the surface liquid distribution and thus impacts the global hydrological cycle by driving surface and subsurface flow is unclear. Here we present TAM simulations wherein the imposed wetlands reservoirs are replaced by a surface runoff scheme that allows surface liquid to self-consistently redistribute under the influence of topography. To isolate the singular impact of surface runoff on Titan’s climatology, we run simulations without parameterizations of subsurface flow and topography-atmosphere interactions. We discuss the impact of surface runoff on the surface liquid distribution over seasonal timescales and compare the resulting hydrological cycle to observed cloud and surface features, as well as to the hydrological cycles of the TAM wetlands and aquaplanet simulations. While still idealized, this more realistic representation of Titan’s hydrology provides new insight into the complex interaction between Titan’s atmosphere and surface, demonstrates the influence of surface runoff on Titan’s global climate

  18. New concepts for interplanetary balloons and blimps, particularly for Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nott, J.

    This paper proposes novel approaches for balloons for planets Titan BALLUTE A balloon or blimp arriving at a planet or moon with an atmosphere might inflate falling under a parachute or after landing Neither is ideal In both cases the envelope must include qualities needed for inflation as well as those for flight A ballute BALLoon parachUTE could be used thus a ballute is like a hot air balloon with a large mouth Initially it fills by ram pressure descending through an atmosphere As proposed it would then be heated by solid propellant It would stop descending and float level with hot air lift It is now a perfect location for inflation without wind or movement through the atmosphere and away from the uncertainties of the surface A ballute could be used over several bodies in the solar system BALLOONS FOR LOW TEMPERATURES Flight in very low temperatures is also discussed Conditions are so different that it is useful to examine basic factors These apply for any planet with low temperature and weather calm enough for balloons or blimps First for terrestrial hot air balloons thermal radiation is usually the dominant way heat is lost But radiation rises with the 4th power of absolute temperature At Titan radiation will be one or two orders of magnitude smaller Also the dense atmosphere allows small balloons small temperature differences So convection is small It appears a hot air balloon can easily be heated by a radioactive source likely carried to make electricity Pinholes are not important in such a balloon

  19. Titanic või turist? / Karin Paulus

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Paulus, Karin, 1975-

    2006-01-01

    Tallinnas Tartu maanteel asuva endise Turisti poe (arhitektid Peep Jänes, Henno Sepmann) asemele tahavad hoone omanikud ehitada kõrghoone nimega Titanic. Hoone ajutine võtmine muinsuskaitse alla on põhjustanud kohtuvaidluse

  20. Titan Submarine: Exploring the Depths of Kraken

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Titan is unique in the outer solar system in that it is the only one of the bodies outside the Earth with liquid lakes and seas on its surface. The Titanian seas,...

  1. Aluminum titanate crucible for molten uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asbury, J.J.

    1975-01-01

    An improved crucible for molten uranium is described. The crucible or crucible liner is formed of aluminum titanate which essentially eliminates contamination of uranium and uranium alloys during molten states thereof. (U.S.)

  2. Safe prescribing: a titanic challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routledge, Philip A

    2012-01-01

    The challenge to achieve safe prescribing merits the adjective ‘titanic’. The organisational and human errors leading to poor prescribing (e.g. underprescribing, overprescribing, misprescribing or medication errors) have parallels in the organisational and human errors that led to the loss of the Titanic 100 years ago this year. Prescribing can be adversely affected by communication failures, critical conditions, complacency, corner cutting, callowness and a lack of courage of conviction, all of which were also factors leading to the Titanic tragedy. These issues need to be addressed by a commitment to excellence, the final component of the ‘Seven C's’. Optimal prescribing is dependent upon close communication and collaborative working between highly trained health professionals, whose role is to ensure maximum clinical effectiveness, whilst also protecting their patients from avoidable harm. Since humans are prone to error, and the environments in which they work are imperfect, it is not surprising that medication errors are common, occurring more often during the prescribing stage than during dispensing or administration. A commitment to excellence in prescribing includes a continued focus on lifelong learning (including interprofessional learning) in pharmacology and therapeutics. This should be accompanied by improvements in the clinical working environment of prescribers, and the encouragement of a strong safety culture (including reporting of adverse incidents as well as suspected adverse drug reactions whenever appropriate). Finally, members of the clinical team must be prepared to challenge each other, when necessary, to ensure that prescribing combines the highest likelihood of benefit with the lowest potential for harm. PMID:22738396

  3. Titan's aerosol optical properties with VIMS observations at the limb

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rannou, Pascal; Seignovert, Benoit; Le Mouelic, Stephane; Sotin, Christophe

    2016-06-01

    The study of Titan properties with remote sensing relies on a good knowledge of the atmosphere properties. The in-situ observations made by Huygens combined with recent advances in the definition of methane properties enable to model and interpret observations with a very good accuracy. Thanks to these progresses, we can analyze in this work the observations made at the limb of Titan in order to retrieve information on the haze properties as its vertical profiles but also the spectral behaviour between 0.88 and 5.2 µm. To study the haze layer and more generally the source of opacities in the stratosphere, we use some observation made at the limb of Titan by the VIMS instrument onboard Cassini. We used a model in spherical geometry and in single scattering, and we accounted for the multiple scattering with a parallel plane model that evaluate the multiple scattering source function at the plane of the limb. Our scope is to retrieve informations about the vertical distribution of the haze, its spectral properties, but also to obtain details about the shape of the methane windows to desantangle the role of the methane and of the aerosols. We started our study at the latitude of 55°N, with a image taken in 2006 with a relatively high spatial resolution (for VIMS). Our preliminary results shows the spectral properties of the aerosols are the same whatever the altitude. This is a consequence of the large scale mixing. From limb profile between 0.9 and 5.2 µm, we can probe the haze layer from about 500 km (at 0.9 µm) to the ground (at 5.2 µm). We find that the vertical profile of the haze layer shows three distinct scale heights with transitions around 250 km and 350 km. We also clearly a transition around 70-90 km that may be due to the top of a condensation layer.

  4. Atmospheric chemistry and transport modeling in the outer solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yuan-Tai (Anthony)

    2001-11-01

    This thesis consists of 1-D and 2-D photochemical- dynamical modeling in the upper atmospheres of outer planets. For 1-D modeling, a unified hydrocarbon photochemical model has been studied in Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Titan, by comparing with the Voyager observations, and the recent measurements of methyl radicals by ISO in Saturn and Neptune. The CH3 observation implies a kinetically sensitive test to the measured and estimated hydrocarbon rate constants at low temperatures. We identify the key reactions that control the concentrations of CH3 in the model, such as the three-body recombination reaction, CH3 + CH3 + M --> C 2H6 + M, and the recycling reaction H + CH3 + M --> CH4 + M. The results show reasonable agreement with ISO values. In Chapter 4, the detection of PH3 in the lower stratosphere and upper troposphere of Jupiter has provided a photochemical- dynamical coupling model to derive the eddy diffusion coefficient in the upper troposphere of Jupiter. Using a two-layers photochemical model with updated photodissociation cross-sections and chemical rate constants for NH3 and PH 3, we find that the upper tropospheric eddy diffusion coefficient 106 cm2 sec-1, are required to match the derived PH3 vertical profile by the observation. The best-fit functional form derivation of eddy diffusion coefficient in the upper troposphere of Jupiter above 400 mbar is K = 2.0 × 104 (n/2.2 × 1019)-0.5 cm 2 sec-1. On the other hand, Chapter 5 demonstrates a dynamical-only 2-D model of C2H6 providing a complete test for the current 2-D transport models in Jovian lower stratosphere and upper troposphere (270 to 0.1 mbar pressure levels). Different combinations of residual advection, horizontal eddy dispersion, and vertical eddy mixing are examined at different latitudes.

  5. Hydrolysis of Laboratory Made Tholins in Aqueous Solutions: Implications for Prebiotic Chemistry on Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neish, Catherine; Somogyi, Á.; Lunine, J.; Smith, M.

    2008-09-01

    Laboratory experiments that simulate the reactions occurring in Titan's thick nitrogen-methane atmosphere produce complex organic precipitates known as tholins. Tholins have the general formula CxHyNz, and are spectrally similar to Titan's haze. When placed in liquid water, specific water soluble compounds in the tholins have been shown to produce oxygenated organic species with activation energies in the range of 60 ± 10 kJ mol-1 and half-lives between 0.3 and 17 days at 273 K (Neish et al. 2008). Oxygen incorporation into such materials - a necessary step towards the formation of biological molecules - is therefore fast compared to the freezing of impact melts and cryolavas on Titan. The rates quoted above are for reactions occurring in pure liquid water. The composition of impact melts and lavas on Titan are not likely to be pure water, but rather contain a few percent ammonia. Tobie et al. (2005) predict that Titan has a subsurface water layer with an ammonia concentration of 14 wt. % in the present era. The presence of ammonia would likely change the reaction rates and yields of the hydrolysis reactions of tholins. We have therefore extended our work to include the measurement of tholin hydrolysis rate coefficients in ammonia-water solutions. In this work, tholins were synthesized from a 0.98 N2/0.02 CH4 atmosphere in a high voltage AC flow discharge reactor, and dissolved in a 13 wt. % ammonia-water solution. Rates were determined by monitoring intensity changes of select species over time using high resolution FT-ICR MS. Comparisons between rates of similar species observed at different pH will be presented. This work was supported by the NASA Exobiology Program. C. Neish was supported by an NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship.

  6. Characterization and evolution of distant planetary atmospheres using stellar occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, L. A.

    2008-09-01

    Ground-based or near-Earth (e.g., HST) stellar occultations of every atmosphere in our solar system has been observed: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Titan, Uranus, Neptune, Triton, and Pluto [1]. These observations probe the atmospheres at roughly 0.1 to 100 microbar. I will talk about three aspects of stellar occultations: one-dimensional vertical profiles of the atmosphere, two- or three-dimensional atmospheric states, and the time evolution of atmosphere. In all three, I will draw on recent observations, with an emphasis on Pluto. Occultations are particularly important for the study of Pluto's atmosphere, which is impossible to study with imaging, and extremely difficult to study with spectroscopy. It was discovered by stellar occultation in 1988 [2]. No subsequent Pluto occultations were observed until two events in 2002 [3]. Pluto is now crossing the galactic plane, and there have been several additional occultations observed since 2006. These include a high signal-to-noise observation from the Anglo Australian Observatory in 2006 [4] (Fig 1), densely spaced visible and infrared observations of Pluto's upper atmosphere from telescopes in the US and Mexico in March, 2007 [5] (Fig. 2), and a dualwavelength central flash observation from Mt. John in July, 2007 [6] (Fig 3). The flux from a star occulted by an atmosphere diminishes primarily due to the increase in refraction with depth in the atmosphere, defocusing the starlight, although absorption and tangential focusing can also contribute. Because the atmospheric density, to first order, follows an exponential, it is feasible to derive a characteristic pressure and temperature from isothermal fits to even low-quality occultation light curves. Higher quality light curves allow fits with more flexible models, or light curve inversions that derive temperatures limited by the resolution of the data. These allow the derivation of one-dimensional profiles of temperature and pressure vs. altitude, which are critical

  7. On the shores of Titan's farthest sea a scientific novel

    CERN Document Server

    Carroll, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Titan is practically a planet in its own right, with a diameter similar to that of Mercury, methane rainstorms, organic soot and ethane seas. All of the most detailed knowledge on the moon's geology, volcanology, meteorology, marine sciences and chemistry are gathered together here to paint a factually accurate hypothetical future of early human colonization on this strange world. The views from Titan’s Mayda Outpost are spectacular, but all is not well at the moon's remote science base. On the shore of a methane sea beneath glowering skies, atmospherics researcher Abigail Marco finds herself in the middle of murder, piracy and colleagues who seem to be seeing sea monsters and dead people from the past. On the Shores of Titan’s Farthest Sea provides thrills, excitement and mystery – couched in the latest science – on one of the Solar System’s most bizarre worlds, Saturn’s huge moon Titan. "This riveting story, set against a plausibly well integrated interplanetary space, carries us along with its ...

  8. Global Coupled Model Studies of The Jovian Upper Atmosphere In Response To Electron Precipitation and Ionospheric Convection Within The Auroral Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millward, G. H.; Miller, S.; Aylward, A. D.

    The Jovian Ionospheric Model (JIM) is a global three-dimensional model of Jupiter's coupled ionosphere and thermosphere, developed at University College London. Re- cently, the model has been used to investigate the atmospheric response to electron precipitation within the high-latitude auroral region. A series of simulations have been performed in which the model atmosphere is subjected to monochromatic precipitat- ing electrons of varying number flux and initial energy and, in addition, to various degrees of ionospheric convection. The auroral ionospheric conductivity which re- sults is shown to be strongly non-linear with respect to the incoming electron energy, with a maximum observed for incident particles of initial energy 60 KeV. Electrons with higher energies penetrate the thermospheric region completely, whilst electrons of lower energy (say 10 keV) produce ionisation at higher levels in the atmosphere which are less less condusive to the creation of ionospheric conductivity. Studies of the thermospheric winds with the auroral region show that zonal winds (around the auroral oval) can attain values of around 70% of the driving zonal ion velocity. Also the results show that these large neutral winds are limited in vertical extent to the region of large ionospheric conductivity, tailing off markedly at altitudes above this. The latest results from this work will be presented, and the implications for Jovian magnetospheric-ionospheric coupling will be discussed.

  9. Low temperature alkaline pH hydrolysis of oxygen-free Titan tholins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brassé, Coralie; Buch, Arnaud; Raulin, François; Coll, Patrice; Poch, Olivier; Ramirez, Sandra

    2014-05-01

    The largest moon of Saturn, Titan, is known for its dense, nitrogen-rich atmosphere. The organic aerosols which are produced in Titan's atmosphere are of great astrobiological inte