DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 21. Titan III
Poster, Highlighted on, Wednesday, September 3, 2003, 3:00-5:30pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[21.09] A Photochemically-Based Microphysical Study of Titan Hazes

E. H. Wilson, R. A. West, S. G. Edgington (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), S. K. Atreya (U. of Michigan)

Titanís haze region acts as an end product of Titanís hydrocarbon and nitrile chemistry and plays an important role in the distribution of atmospheric constituents, affecting the transfer of radiation that helps trigger that chemistry. Recent investigations into the chemical sources of Titan haze [1,2] have suggested that the source region of Titan haze might be lower than what is found in most conventional microphysical models. Furthermore, modeling [1] and laboratory studies [3] have shown that PAHs may be more prominent in Titan haze than previously thought. To analyze the implications of these results we use a microphysical model [4] to calculate a haze distribution of spherical particles based on a photochemical source profile. Results will be compared to observations and the possible consequences of fractal haze particles will be discussed. The effects of haze composition on the distribution of hazes as well as on the radiative transfer and resultant chemistry will be examined and placed in the context of the upcoming Cassini-Huygens mission.

This research is supported by the National Research Council Research Associateship Program.

[1] E. H. Wilson and S. K. Atreya, Planet. Space Sci., in press. [2] S. Lebonnois et al., Icarus, 159, 505-517, 2002. [3] B. N. Khare et al., Icarus, 160, 172-182, 2002. [4] O. B. Toon et al., J. Atmos. Sci., 45, 2123-2143, 1988.


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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.