New laboratory measurements of CH4 in Titan's conditions and a reanalysis of the DISR near-surface spectra at the Huygens landing site - Sorbonne Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Planetary and Space Science Year : 2008

New laboratory measurements of CH4 in Titan's conditions and a reanalysis of the DISR near-surface spectra at the Huygens landing site

Abstract

Laboratory spectra of methane-nitrogen mixtures have been recorded in the near-infrared range (1.0 - 1.65 µm) in conditions similar to Titan's near surface, to facilitate the interpretation of the DISR/DLIS spectra taken during the last phase of the descent of the Huygens Probe, when the surface was illuminated by a surface science lamp. We used a 0.03 cm-1 spectral resolution, adequate to resolve the lines at high pressure (pN2 ~ 1.5 bar). By comparing the laboratory spectra with synthetic calculations in the well-studied ν2 + 2ν3 band (7515-7620 cm-1), we determine a methane absorption column density of 178±20 cm-am and a temperature of 118±10 K in our experiment. From this, we derive the methane absorption coefficients over 1.0-1.65 µm with a 0.03 cm-1 sampling, allowing for the extrapolation of the results to any other methane column density under the relevant pressure and temperature conditions. We then revisit the calibration and analysis of the Titan "lamp-on" DLIS spectra. We infer a 5.1±0.8 % methane mixing ratio in the first 25 m of Titan's atmosphere. The CH4 mixing ratio measured 90 sec after landing from a distance of 45 cm is found to be 0.92±0.25 times this value, thus showing no post-landing outgassing of methane in excess of ̴ 20 %. Finally, we determine the surface reflectivity as seen from 25 m and 45 cm and find that the 1500 nm absorption band is deeper in the post-landing spectrum as compared to pre-landing.
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Dates and versions

hal-00746033 , version 1 (26-10-2012)

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David Jacquemart, Emmanuel Lellouch, Bruno Bézard, Catherine de Bergh, Athena Coustenis, et al.. New laboratory measurements of CH4 in Titan's conditions and a reanalysis of the DISR near-surface spectra at the Huygens landing site. Planetary and Space Science, 2008, 56 (5), pp.613-623. ⟨10.1016/j.pss.2007.10.008⟩. ⟨hal-00746033⟩
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