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Available online at www.sciencedirect.com Planetary and Space Science 51 (2003) 10171033
 

Summary: Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Planetary and Space Science 51 (2003) 1017­1033
www.elsevier.com/locate/pss
Chemical sources of haze formation in Titan's atmosphere
E.H. Wilsona;, S.K. Atreyab
aNASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive M/S 169-237, Pasadena, CA 91109-8099, USA
bDepartment of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2455 Hayward Street, Ann Arbor,
MI 48109-2143, USA
Received 16 January 2003; received in revised form 20 June 2003; accepted 23 June 2003
Abstract
A prominent feature of Titan's atmosphere is a thick haze region that acts as the end product of hydrocarbon and nitrile chemistry.
Using a one-dimensional photochemical model, an investigation into the chemical mechanisms responsible for the formation of this haze
region is conducted. The model derives pro˙les for Titan's atmospheric constituents that are consistent with observations. Included is an
updated benzene pro˙le that matches more closely with--recent ISO observations (Icarus 161 (2003) 383), replacing the pro˙le given in
the benzene study of Wilson et al. (J. Geophys. Res. 108 (2003) 5014). Using these pro˙les, pathways from polyynes, aromatics, and
nitriles are considered, as well as possible copolymerization among the pathways. The model demonstrates that the growth of polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons throughout the lower stratosphere plays an important role in furnishing the main haze layer, with nitriles playing
a secondary role. The peak chemical production of haze layer ranges from 140 to 300 km peaking at an altitude of 220 km, with a
production rate of 3:2 × 10-14
g cm-2

  

Source: Atreya, Sushil - Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Science, University of Michigan

 

Collections: Physics