Cloud and haze in the winter polar region of titan observed with visual and infrared mapping spectrometer on board cassini

P. Rannou, S. Le Mouélic, C. Sotin, R. H. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

A large cloud in the north polar region of Titan was first observed by the Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) in 2005 and then in 2006. This cloud, confined beyond the latitude 62°N, is surrounded by a mixture of aerosol and mist probably lying in the low stratosphere and troposphere. Subsequent images of this region of Titan show a gradual vanishing of this cloud which was reported previously. In this paper, we characterize the physical properties of this cloud, haze, and mist as well as their time evolutions. We note several details on the images such as a secondary cloud above the main cloud and latitudes beyond 70°N. We also show that the cloud disappearance leaves the polar region poorly loaded in aerosols, yielding an annular zone of aerosols between 50°N and 65°N. Our analysis suggests that this structure observed by VIMS in the near-IR is an annular structure observed by ISS on board Voyager one Titan year ago in 1980.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume748
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 20 2012

Keywords

  • planets and satellites: atmospheres
  • radiative transfer
  • techniques: photometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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