36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 6 Titan I: Surface, Troposphere, etc.
Oral, Monday, November 8, 2004, 3:30-6:00pm, Clark

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[6.04] Radio Wavelength Observations of Titan with the VLA

B.J. Butler (NRAO), M.A. Gurwell (CfA)

Radio wavelength observations of Titan are a powerful technique for probing through the atmosphere to the surface and subsurface. For more than 20 years, the VLA has been used to observe Titan at wavelengths from 0.7cm to 6cm. A synopsis of these observations will be presented. Three results in particular will be focused on. First, in 1992 seventeen short observations at 3.5cm were used to create a radio light curve for Titan. Preliminary reduction of that data showed no believable light curve (Grossman & Muhleman 1992, BAAS, 24, 954). New reduction, including incorporation of sophisticated algorithms for removing confusing sources (including Saturn), shows a detectable light curve, peaking around 180\circ longitude, with a peak-to-peak amplitude of ~10%. The mean brightness temperature of 79.3 ± 2.4 K (including absolute uncertainty) is consistent with that found from the earlier reduction. Second, in 1993 two long observations were performed in an attempt to directly measure the dielectric constant of the surface. The result from those experiments is a dielectric constant of 2.7 ± 1.7. Third, in 1999 three long observations were performed at 0.7cm in an attempt to detect C3H2 in the atmosphere. As a byproduct of these observations, brightness maps at 0.7 and 1.3cm were produced - the highest resolution radio maps of Titan ever made (~0.2\prime\prime). These and other results will be presented.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.nrao.edu/~bbutler/work/titan/DPS04.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: bbutler@nrao.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.