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Titan's ground-based observations in the near-infrared


We have observed Titan from 1991 to 2005 between 0.8 and 2.5 microns with the Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FTS) at the Canada France Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) and the NACO adaptive optics system, at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). The CFHT dataset allows us (by applying a microphysical and radiative transfer model) to explore five methane windows at 0.94, 1.08, 1.28, 1.58 and 2 microns at different longitudes and resolutions for a disk average. We will also present a selected sample of the spectra we acquired with VLT/NACO on January 16, 2005, in the K band between 2.03 and 2.40 micron (Negrão et al., 2006b). Our spectra, taken with adaptive optics, include the Huygens landing site and surrounding dark and bright areas. A comparative study of the methane absorption coefficients currently available from different sources was also performed demonstrating the great sensitivity of surface inferences to this model parameter. Based on our results, we recommend the methane absorption coefficients produced by Boudon et al. (2006) and Irwin et al. (2006) for future studies of Titan. The analysis of the data yields information on the atmosphere and surface properties. We find our data to be compatible with mixtures of water ice and tholin but have strong indication for the presence of an additional as yet unidentified component (or components) for which we offer a spectral description. The analysis of the VLT/NACO data seem to indicate a strong decrease of Titan's surface albedo between 2.03 and 2.12 microns in the Huygens landing site area. This is compatible with the presence of ices such as CH4 and H2 O at the surface.
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insu-00358038 , version 1 (02-02-2009)


  • HAL Id : insu-00358038 , version 1


A. Negrao, A. Coustenis, M. Hirtzig, E. Lellouch, J.-P. Maillard, et al.. Titan's ground-based observations in the near-infrared. European Planetary Science Congress 2006, 2006, Berlin, Germany. ⟨insu-00358038⟩
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