The evolution of Titan's mid-latitude clouds

C. A. Griffith, P. Penteado, K. Baines, P. Drossart, J. Barnes, G. Bellucci, J. Bibring, R. Brown, B. Buratti, F. Capaccioni, P. Cerroni, R. Clark, M. Combes, A. Coradini, D. Cruikshank, V. Formisano, R. Jaumann, Y. Langevin, D. Matson, T. McCordV. Mennella, R. Nelson, P. Nicholson, B. Sicardy, C. Sotin, L. A. Soderblom, R. Kursinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spectra from Cassini's Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer reveal that the horizontal structure, height, and optical depth of Titan's clouds are highly, dynamic. Vigorous cloud centers are seen to rise from the middle to the upper troposphere within 30 minutes and dissipate within the next hour. Their development indicates that Titan's clouds evolve convectively; dissipate through rain; and, over the next several hours, waft downwind to achieve their great longitude extents. These and other characteristics suggest that temperate clouds originate from circulation-induced convergence, in addition to a forcing at the surface associated with Saturn's tides, geology, and/or surface composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-477
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume310
Issue number5747
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 21 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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