Dynamics of Titan's thermosphere

H. Rishbeth, Roger Yelle, M. Mendillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We estimate the wind speeds in Titan's thermosphere by considering the various terms of the wind equation, without actually solving it, with a view to anticipating what might be observed by the Cassini spacecraft in 2004. The winds, which are driven by horizontal pressure gradients produced by solar heating, are controlled in the Earth's thermosphere by ion-drag and coriolis force, but in Titan's thermosphere they are mainly controlled by the nonlinear advection and curvature forces. Assuming a day night temperature difference of 20 K, we find that Titan's thermospheric wind speed is typically 60 m s-1. In contrast, the Earth's thermospheric winds, of order 50 m s-1, do not equalize day and night temperatures. We speculate on other factors, such as the electrodynamics of Titan's thermosphere and the tides due to Saturn.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalPlanetary and Space Science
Volume48
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Titan
thermosphere
wind velocity
night
Coriolis force
electrodynamics
solar heating
Saturn
pressure gradient
curvature
drag
tides
advection
tide
pressure gradients
spacecraft
temperature
temperature gradients
ion
estimates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Rishbeth, H., Yelle, R., & Mendillo, M. (2000). Dynamics of Titan's thermosphere. Planetary and Space Science, 48(1), 51-58.

Dynamics of Titan's thermosphere. / Rishbeth, H.; Yelle, Roger; Mendillo, M.

In: Planetary and Space Science, Vol. 48, No. 1, 01.2000, p. 51-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Rishbeth, H, Yelle, R & Mendillo, M 2000, 'Dynamics of Titan's thermosphere', Planetary and Space Science, vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 51-58.
Rishbeth H, Yelle R, Mendillo M. Dynamics of Titan's thermosphere. Planetary and Space Science. 2000 Jan;48(1):51-58.
Rishbeth, H. ; Yelle, Roger ; Mendillo, M. / Dynamics of Titan's thermosphere. In: Planetary and Space Science. 2000 ; Vol. 48, No. 1. pp. 51-58.
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