Status Report

The seasonal cycle of Titan’s detached haze

By SpaceRef Editor
May 1, 2018
Filed under , ,

Robert A. West, Benoît Seignovert, Pascal Rannou, Philip Dumont, Elizabeth P. Turtle, Jason Perry, Mou Roy, Aida Ovanessian
(Submitted on 28 Apr 2018)

Titan’s ‘detached’ haze, seen in Voyager images in 1980 and 1981 and monitored by the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS), during the period 2004-2017, provides a measure of seasonal activity in Titan’s mesosphere with observations over almost one half of Saturn’s seasonal cycle. Here we report on retrieved haze extinction profiles that reveal a depleted layer that visually manifests as a thin layer detached from the main haze below. Our new measurements show the disappearance of the feature in 2012 and its reappearance in 2016, as well as details after the reappearance. These observations highlight the dynamical nature of the detached haze. The reappearance appears congruent but more complex than previously described by climate models. It occurs in two steps, first as haze reappearing at $450\pm20$ km and one year later at $510\pm20$ km. These new observations provide additional tight and valuable constraints about the underlying mechanisms, especially for Titan’s mesosphere, that control Titan’s haze cycle.

Comments:    Nature Astronomy, 2018
Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
DOI:    10.1038/s41550-018-0434-z
Cite as:    arXiv:1804.10842 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1804.10842v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Benoît Seignovert 
[v1] Sat, 28 Apr 2018 19:07:15 GMT (949kb,D)

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