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The Atmospheres of Saturn and Titan in the Near-Infrared: First Results of Cassini/VIMS

Baines, K. H. and Momary, T. W. and Buratti, B. J. and Matson, D. L. and Nelson, R. M. and Drossart, P. and Sicardy, B. and Formisano, V. and Bellucci, G. and Coradini, A. and Griffith, C. and Brown, R. H. and Bibring, J. P. and Langevin, Y. and Capaccioni, F. and Cerroni, P. and Clark, R. N. and Combes, M. and Cruikshank, D. P. and Jaumann, R. and McCord, T.B. and Mennella, V. and Nicholson, P. D. and Sotin, C. (2005) The Atmospheres of Saturn and Titan in the Near-Infrared: First Results of Cassini/VIMS. Earth, Moon and Planets, 96 (3-4), pp. 119-147. Springer. DOI: 10.1007/s11038-005-9058-2 ISSN 0167-9295

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Abstract

The wide spectral coverage and extensive spatial, temporal, and phase-angle mapping capabilities of the Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard the Cassini-Huygens Orbiter are producing fundamental new insights into the nature of the atmospheres of Saturn and Titan. For both bodies, VIMS maps over time and solar phase angles provide information for a multitude of atmospheric constituents and aerosol layers, providing new insights into atmospheric structure and dynamical and chemical processes. For Saturn, salient early results include evidence for phosphine depletion in relatively dark and less cloudy belts at temperate and mid-latitudes compared to the relatively bright and cloudier Equatorial Region, consistent with traditional theories of belts being regions of relative downwelling. Additional Saturn results include (1) the mapping of enhanced trace gas absorptions at the south pole, and (2) the first high phase-angle, high-spatial-resolution imagery of CH<sub>4</sub> fluorescence. An additional fundamental new result is the first nighttime near-infrared mapping of Saturn, clearly showing discrete meteorological features relatively deep in the atmosphere beneath the planet’s sunlit haze and cloud layers, thus revealing a new dynamical regime at depth where vertical dynamics is relatively more important than zonal dynamics in determining cloud morphology. Zonal wind measurements at deeper levels than previously available are achieved by tracking these features over multiple days, thereby providing measurements of zonal wind shears within Saturn’s troposphere when compared to cloudtop movements measured in reflected sunlight. For Titan, initial results include (1) the first detection and mapping of thermal emission spectra of CO, CO<sub>2</sub>, and CH<sub>3</sub>D on Titan’s nightside limb, (2) the mapping of CH<sub>4</sub> fluorescence over the dayside bright limb, extending to ∼ ∼750 km altitude, (3) wind measurements of ∼ ∼0.5 ms<sup>−1</sup>, favoring prograde, from the movement of a persistent (multiple months) south polar cloud near 88° S latitude, and (4) the imaging of two transient mid-southern-latitude cloud features.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/43879/
Document Type:Article
Title:The Atmospheres of Saturn and Titan in the Near-Infrared: First Results of Cassini/VIMS
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Baines, K. H.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Momary, T. W.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Buratti, B. J.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Matson, D. L.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Nelson, R. M.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Drossart, P.Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Sicardy, B.Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Formisano, V.Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, CNR, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Bellucci, G.Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, CNR, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Coradini, A.Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario, CNR, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Griffith, C.Lunar and Planetary Lab and Stewart Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USAUNSPECIFIED
Brown, R. H.Lunar and Planetary Lab and Stewart Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USAUNSPECIFIED
Bibring, J. P.Institzt d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Universite de Paris, Paris, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Langevin, Y.Institzt d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Universite de Paris, Paris, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Capaccioni, F.Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, CNR, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Cerroni, P.Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica, CNR, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Clark, R. N.U. S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO, USAUNSPECIFIED
Combes, M.Department De Recherche Spatial, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Meudon, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Cruikshank, D. P.NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Jaumann, R.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
McCord, T.B.Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Washington, DC, USAUNSPECIFIED
Mennella, V.INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Catania, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Nicholson, P. D.Astronomy Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USAUNSPECIFIED
Sotin, C.Laboratoire de Planetologie et Geodynamique, Universite de Nantes, Nantes, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Date:2005
Journal or Publication Title:Earth, Moon and Planets
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:96
DOI :10.1007/s11038-005-9058-2
Page Range:pp. 119-147
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0167-9295
Status:Published
Keywords:Cassini, Saturn, Titan, Atmosphere, VIMS, Near-Infrared
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - Vorhaben CASSINI (old)
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research
Deposited By: Pieth, Susanne
Deposited On:13 Jun 2006
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 12:56

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