Observations of Titan's mesosphere

C. A. Griffith, P. Penteado, T. K. Greathouse, H. G. Roe, R. V. Yelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have recorded spectra of Titan's ν4 band of CH 4 at a higher resolving power (R = 70,000) than prior measurements to better constrain the thermal structure of Titan's atmosphere from 100 to 600 km altitude. Radiative transfer analyses of the spectra indicate a temperature profile below 300 km that is consistent with past measurements. The high resolving power of our observations provides the first infrared measurement of Titan's thermal structure between 300 and 600 km. We detect the presence of a mesosphere, with a drop of temperature above 380-100+50 km altitude of at least 15 K, consistent with radiative cooling of the atmosphere by emission from hydrocarbons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L57-L60
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume629
Issue number1 II
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 10 2005

Keywords

  • Infrared: solar system
  • Planets and satellites: general
  • Radiative transfer
  • Techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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