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Reflectance spectra and chemical structure of Titan's tholins: Application to the analysis of Cassini–Huygens observations

Abstract : Titan's tholins are used as analogs of Titan's aerosols and N-rich organic solids present on many icy surfaces. However, it is not clear whether or not they are relevant analogs, and which kind of tholins should be used among a wide set available in literature. This paper presents reflectance spectral data of two tholins selected as end-members of a series of samples covering a very wide range of continuous chemical and optical properties. These samples were formed under experimental conditions fairly consistent with Titan's stratosphere. A general framework for using these laboratory data to the analysis of spectral observation of Titan's surface or other objects is suggested. Furthermore, the study reports the first in situ unambiguous identification of aromatics compounds and evidences variations in the sp2 carbon structure, which controls the absorption properties in the visible/NIR. These results also point out it is very unlikely to derive quantitative chemical information (e.g., N content, sp2/sp3 ratio) from remote sensing reflectance data.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00356857
Contributor : Béatrice Pibaret-Bourdon <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - 6:36:14 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 3:48:46 AM

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Jean-Michel Bernard, Eric Quirico, O. Brissaud, Gilles Montagnac, Bruno Reynard, et al.. Reflectance spectra and chemical structure of Titan's tholins: Application to the analysis of Cassini–Huygens observations. Icarus, Elsevier, 2006, 185 (1), pp.301-307. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2006.06.004⟩. ⟨insu-00356857⟩

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