AuthorPenteado, Paulo Fernando
AdvisorGriffith, Caitlin A.
Committee ChairGriffith, Caitlin A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWe developed radiative transfer models to reproduce Titan’s visible and near infrared spectra, to determine the effects of the haze, and retrieve the methane abundances during Titan’s current southern summer. With ground-based high resolution spectra of CH3D absorption at 1.6 μm, we measured the global CH₃D abundance. Combined with observations of 8.6 μm emission of CH₃D and CH₄ that indicate their relative abundances, we thus determined the global CH₄ abundance. We expanded on these ground-based measurements, with improved radiative transfer models based on the Huygens DISR models, and spectra which resolve the spatial variation of the CH₃D lines. The profiles of CH3D thus obtained revealed that the methane abundance on the lowest 10 km of Titan’s atmosphere does not vary by more than 20% over 32°S-32°N. With the extensive coverage of Cassini VIMS observations at 0.35-1.6 μm, we determined the latitudinal variation of the methane at 20-50 km and of the haze. We find an ambiguity between the methane and haze abundances, so their gradients become coupled. At the lower limit of the methane gradient, the spectral variation observed can be reproduced with no methane change, and a haze density increase of 60% between 20°S and 10°S. The largest methane variation allowed by the data, derived assuming no haze variation with latitude, is a drop of 60% over latitudes 27°S to 19°N. Our analysis indicates that the latitudinal variations in Titan’s visible to near-IR albedo, the North/South Asymmetry, result primarily from variations in the thickness of the haze above 80 km altitude. The range of methane latitudinal variations allowed between 27°S to 19°N indicates temperature variations of no more than 1.5 K at 20-30 km, altitudes where the Huygens profile is saturated.
Degree ProgramPlanetary Sciences