37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 41 Titan I
Oral, Wednesday, September 7, 2005, 4:30-6:00pm, Music Concert Hall

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[41.08] Titan's Corona: Evidence for the Presence of Suprathermal Mechanisms Based on the Cassini INMS Data, and Investigations of Their Origin

J.H. Waite, Jr., V. De La Haye (UM), R.V. Yelle (UA), M. Michael, R.E. Johnson (UVA), F. Leblanc (Service d'aeronomie, France), J.G. Luhmann, S. Ledvina (UC Berkeley), T.E. Cravens (KU)

The INMS density data from 1200 to 1500 km, gathered during Titan flybys Ta, Tb, and T5 by Cassini, are found to be well-fit using isothermal temperature profiles ranging between 145 and 160 K. However, an exospheric temperature of 20 to 50 K higher is needed in order to fit the data above 1500 km using standard exospheric theory. These observations constitute evidence for the presence of a significant population of suprathermal neutral molecules in Titan's upper atmosphere. The influence of two distinct processes is explored in the present study: (1) sputtering induced by energetic particles from Saturn's magnetosphere and (2) corona produced by exothermic chemical reactions.

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