Projects per year
We report a wide-ranging study of Titan's surface temperatures by analysis of the Moon's outgoing radiance through a spectral window in the thermal infrared at 19 mu m (530 cm(-1)) characterized by lower atmospheric opacity. We begin by modeling Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) far infrared spectra collected in the period 2004-2010, using a radiative transfer forward model combined with a non-linear optimal estimation inversion method. At low-latitudes, we agree with the HASI near-surface temperature of about 94K at 10 degrees S (Fulchignoni et al., 2005). We find a systematic decrease from the equator toward the poles, hemispherically asymmetric, of similar to 1 K at 60 degrees south and similar to 3 K at 60 degrees north, in general agreement with a previous analysis of CIRS data (Jennings et al., 2009), and with Voyager results from the previous northern winter. Subdividing the available database, corresponding to about one Titan season, into 3 consecutive periods, small seasonal changes of up to 2 K at 60 degrees N became noticeable in the results. In addition, clear evidence of diurnal variations of the surface temperatures near the equator are observed for the first time: we find a trend of slowly increasing temperature from the morning to the early afternoon and a faster decrease during the night. The diurnal change is similar to 1.5 K, in agreement with model predictions for a surface with a thermal inertia between 300 and 600J m(-2) s(-1/2) K-1. These results provide important constraints on coupled surface-atmosphere models of Titan's meteorology and atmospheric dynamic. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.