37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 20 Outer Planets I
Oral, Tuesday, September 6, 2005, 9:00-10:30am, Law LG19

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[20.04] Latitudinal variations of acetylene and ethane in the stratosphere of Saturn from Cassini/CIRS observations

C. Howett, P. Irwin, S. Calcutt, F. Taylor, N. Teanby (AOPP/Univ. Oxford), T. Fouchet (LESIA/Obs. Paris), A. Simon-Miller (GSFC/NASA), CIRS Team

Acetylene and ethane are formed in the stratosphere of Saturn by the photolysis of methane. Since their lifetime is short variations in their abundances can be used to infer information on the photochemical processes of hydrocarbons and transport systems within the stratosphere.

Cassini's approach of Saturn in May 2004 allowed CIRS to map the entire southern hemisphere of the planet unobscured by the planet's rings, providing one of the most latitudinally complete maps of Saturn recorded to date. Variations in the abundance of acetylene and ethane in the stratosphere of Saturn's southern hemisphere have been retrieved from the nadir observations made by CIRS. The retrieved maps are compared to previously conducted, largely ground-based, studies.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.