Overview of the coordinated ground-based observations of Titan during the Huygens mission

Olivier Witasse, Jean Pierre Lebreton, Michael K. Bird, Robindro Dutta-Roy, William M. Folkner, Robert A. Preston, Sami W. Asmar, Leonid I. Gurvits, Sergei V. Pogrebenko, Ian M. Avruch, Robert M. Campbell, Hayley E. Bignall, Michael A. Garrett, Huib Jan van Langevelde, Stephen M. Parsley, Cormac Reynolds, Arpad Szomoru, John E. Reynolds, Chris J. Phillips, Robert J. SaultAnastasios K. Tzioumis, Frank Ghigo, Glen Langston, Walter Brisken, Jonathan D. Romney, Ari Mujunen, Jouko Ritakari, Steven J. Tingay, Richard G. Dodson, C. G.M. van't Klooster, Thierry Blancquaert, Athena Coustenis, Eric Gendron, Bruno Sicardy, Mathieu Hirtzig, David Luz, Alberto Negrao, Theodor Kostiuk, Timothy A. Livengood, Markus Hartung, Imke de Pater, Mate Ádámkovics, Ralph D. Lorenz, Henry Roe, Emily Schaller, Michael Brown, Antonin H. Bouchez, Chad A. Trujillo, Bonnie J. Buratti, Lise Caillaut, Thierry Magin, Anne Bourdon, Christophe Laux

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Coordinated ground-based observations of Titan were performed around or during the Huygens atmospheric probe mission at Titan on 14 January 2005, connecting the momentary in situ observations by the probe with the synoptic coverage provided by continuing ground-based programs. These observations consisted of three different categories: (1) radio telescope tracking of the Huygens signal at 2040 MHz, (2) observations of the atmosphere and surface of Titan, and (3) attempts to observe radiation emitted during the Huygens Probe entry into Titan's atmosphere. The Probe radio signal was successfully acquired by a network of terrestrial telescopes, recovering a vertical profile of wind speed in Titan's atmosphere from 140 km altitude down to the surface. Ground-based observations brought new information on atmosphere and surface properties of the largest Saturnian moon. No positive detection of phenomena associated with the Probe entry was reported. This paper reviews all these measurements and highlights the achieved results. The ground-based observations, both radio and optical, are of fundamental importance for the interpretation of results from the Huygens mission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE07S01
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 20 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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