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Oxygen compounds in Titan's stratosphere as observed by Cassini CIRS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-363
Number of pages10
JournalIcarus
Volume186
Issue number2
DOIs
DatePublished - Feb 2007

Abstract

We have investigated the abundances of Titan's stratospheric oxygen compounds using 0.5 cm(-1) resolution spectra from the Composite Infrared Spectrometer on the Cassini orbiter. The CO abundance was derived for several observations of far-infrared nadir spectra, taken at a range of latitudes (75 degrees S-35 degrees N) and emission angles (0 degrees-60 degrees), using rotational lines that have not been analysed before the arrival of Cassini at Saturn. The derived volume mixing ratios for the different observations are mutually consistent regardless of latitude. The weighted mean CO volume mixing ratio is 47 +/- 8ppm if CO is assumed to be uniform with latitude. H(2)O could not be detected and an upper limit of 0.9 ppb was determined. CO(2) abundances derived from mid-infrared nadir spectra show no significant latitudinal variations, with typical values of 16 +/- 2 ppb. Mid-infrared limb spectra at 55 degrees S were used to constrain the vertical profile Of CO(2) for the first time. A vertical CO(2) profile that is constant above the condensation level at a volume mixing ratio of 15 ppb reproduces the limb spectra very well below 200 km. This is consistent with the long chemical lifetime Of CO(2) in Titan's stratosphere. Above 200 km the CO(2) volume mixing ratio is not well constrained and an increase with altitude cannot be ruled out there. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • ATMOSPHERE, MOLECULAR SPECTROSCOPIC DATABASE, TEMPERATURES, LATITUDINAL VARIATIONS, MIXED VERTICAL PROFILE, titan, VOYAGER INFRARED OBSERVATIONS, PAIRS, ROTOTRANSLATIONAL ABSORPTION-SPECTRA, atmospheres, composition, CARBON-MONOXIDE, MILLIMETER HETERODYNE OBSERVATIONS

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