Until now, all the clouds imaged in Titan's troposphere have been found at far southern latitudes (60°-90° south). The occurrence and location of these clouds is thought to be the result of convection driven by the maximum annual solar heating of Titan's surface, which occurs at summer solstice (2002 October) in this south polar region. We report the first observations of a new recurring type of tropospheric cloud feature, confined narrowly to ∼40° south latitude, which cannot be explained by this simple insolation hypothesis. We propose two classes of formation scenario, one linked to surface geography and the other to seasonally evolving circulation, which will be easily distinguished with continued observations over the next few years.
- Infrared: solar system
- Planets and satellites: individual (Titan)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science