Environmental temperature effect on the far-infrared absorption features of aromatic-based Titan's aerosol analogs

Thomas Gautier, Melissa G. Trainer, Mark J. Loeffler, Joshua A. Sebree, Carrie M. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Benzene detection has been reported in Titan's atmosphere both in the stratosphere at ppb levels by remote sensing (Coustenis et al., 2007; Vinatier et al., 2007) and in the thermosphere at ppm levels by the Cassini's Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (Waite et al., 2007). This detection supports the idea that aromatic and heteroaromatic reaction pathways may play an important role in Titan's atmospheric chemistry, especially in the formation of aerosols. Indeed, aromatic molecules are easily dissociated by ultraviolet radiation and can therefore contribute significantly to aerosol formation. It has been shown recently that aerosol analogs produced from a gas mixture containing a low concentration of aromatic and/or heteroaromatic molecules (benzene, naphthalene, pyridine, quinoline and isoquinoline) have spectral signatures below 500 cm−1, a first step towards reproducing the aerosol spectral features observed by Cassini's Composite InfraRed Spectrometer (CIRS) in the far infrared (Anderson and Samuelson 2011, and references therein). In this work we investigate the influence of environmental temperature on the absorption spectra of such aerosol samples, simulating the temperature range to which aerosols, once formed, are exposed during their transport through Titan's stratosphere. Our results show that environmental temperature does not have any major effect on the spectral shape of these aerosol analogs in the far-infrared, which is consistent with the CIRS observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-341
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Atmosphere
  • Atmosphere
  • Chemistry
  • Photochemistry
  • Titan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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