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In situ measurements of the physical characteristics of Titan's environment

Fulchignoni, M.; Ferri, F.; Angrilli, F.; Ball, A.J.; Bar-Nun, A.; Barucci, M.A.; Bettanini, C.; Bianchini, G.; Borucki, W.; Colombatti, G.; Coradini, M.; Coustenis, A.; Debei, S.; Falkner, P.; Fanti, G.; Flamini, E.; Gaborit, V.; Grard, R.; Hamelin, M.; Harri, A.M.; Hathi, B.; Jernej, I.; Leese, M.R.; Lehto, A.; Lion Stoppato, P.F.; López-Moreno, J.J.; Mäkinen, T.; McDonnell, J.A.M.; McKay, C.P.; Molina-Cuberos, G.; Neubauer, F.M.; Pirronello, V.; Rodrigo, R.; Saggin, B.; Schwingenschuh, K.; Sieff, A.; Simões, F.; Svedhem, H.; Tokano, T.; Towner, M.C.; Traunter, R.; Withers, P. and Zarnecki, J.C. (2005). In situ measurements of the physical characteristics of Titan's environment. Nature, 438(7069) pp. 785–791.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature04314
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Abstract

On the basis of previous ground-based and fly-by information, we knew that Titan's atmosphere was mainly nitrogen, with some methane, but its temperature and pressure profiles were poorly constrained because of uncertainties in the detailed composition. The extent of atmospheric electricity ('lightning') was also hitherto unknown. Here we report the temperature and density profiles, as determined by the Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument (HASI), from an altitude of 1,400 km down to the surface. In the upper part of the atmosphere, the temperature and density were both higher than expected. There is a lower ionospheric layer between 140 km and 40 km, with electrical conductivity peaking near 60 km. We may also have seen the signature of lightning. At the surface, the temperature was 93.65 0.25 K, and the pressure was 1,467 1 hPa.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1476-4687
Extra Information: Some of the symbols may not have transferred correctly into this bibliographic record.
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Physical Sciences
Science
Other Departments > Other Departments
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 5195
Depositing User: Users 6872 not found.
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2006
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2014 09:25
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/5195
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