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Titan: Preliminary results on surface properties and photometry from VIMS observations of the early flybys

Buratti, B. J. and Sotin, C. and Brown, R. H. and Hicks, M. D. and Clark, R. N. and Mosher, J. A. and McCord, T. B. and Jaumann, R. and Baines, K. H. and Nicholson, P. D. and Momary, T. and Simonelli, D. P. and Sicardy, B. (2006) Titan: Preliminary results on surface properties and photometry from VIMS observations of the early flybys. Planetary and Space Science, 54, pp. 1498-1509. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.psss.2006.06.015. ISSN 0032-0633.

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Abstract

Cassini observations of the surface of Titan offer unprecedented views of its surface through atmospheric windows in the 1–5 μm region. Images obtained in windows for which the haze opacity is low can be used to derive quantitative photometric parameters such as albedo and albedo distribution, and physical properties such as roughness and particle characteristics. Images from the early Titan flybys, particularly T0, Ta, and T5 have been analyzed to create albedo maps in the 2.01 and 2.73 μm windows. We find the average normal reflectance at these two wavelengths to be 0.15±0.02 and 0.035±0.003, respectively. Titan's surface is bifurcated into two albedo regimes, particularly at 2.01 μm. Analysis of these two regimes to understand the physical character of the surface was accomplished with a macroscopic roughness model. We find that the two types of surface have substantially different roughness, with the low-albedo surface exhibiting mean slope angles of not, vert, similar18°, and the high-albedo terrain having a much more substantial roughness with a mean slope angle of not, vert, similar34°. A single-scattering phase function approximated by a one-term Henyey–Greenstein equation was also fit to each unit. Titan's surface is back-scattering (gnot, vert, similar0.3–0.4), and does not exhibit substantially different backscattering behavior between the two terrains. Our results suggest that two distinct geophysical domains exist on Titan: a bright region cut by deep drainage channels and a relatively smooth surface. The two terrains are covered by a film or a coating of particles perhaps precipitated from the satellite's haze layer and transported by eolian processes. Our results are preliminary: more accurate values for the surface albedo and physical parameters will be derived as more data is gathered by the Cassini spacecraft and as a more complete radiative transfer model is developed from both Cassini orbiter and Huygens Lander measurements.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/54737/
Document Type:Article
Title:Titan: Preliminary results on surface properties and photometry from VIMS observations of the early flybys
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Buratti, B. J.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sotin, C.University of Nantes, Nantes, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Brown, R. H.Department of Planetary Science and LPL, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hicks, M. D.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Clark, R. N.USGS, Denver, CO, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mosher, J. A.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
McCord, T. B.Space Science Institute, Winthrop, WA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Jaumann, R.UNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Baines, K. H.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Nicholson, P. D.Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Momary, T.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Simonelli, D. P.Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sicardy, B.Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:2006
Journal or Publication Title:Planetary and Space Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:54
DOI:10.1016/j.psss.2006.06.015
Page Range:pp. 1498-1509
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0032-0633
Status:Published
Keywords:Titan, Saturnian satellites, Cassini mission
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:18 Aug 2008
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 15:05

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