Hasso B. Niemann

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Saturn's largest moon, Titan, remains an enigma, explored only by remote sensing from Earth, and by the Voyager and Cassini spacecraft. The most puzzling aspects include the origin of the molecular nitrogen and methane in its atmosphere, and the mechanism(s) by which methane is maintained in the face of rapid destruction by photolysis. The Huygens probe,(More)
We present our current understanding of the composition, vertical mixing, cloud structure and the origin of the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn. Available observations point to a much more vigorous vertical mixing in Saturn's middle-upper atmosphere than in Jupiter's. The nearly cloud-free nature of the Galileo probe entry site, a 5-micron hotspot, is(More)
[1] The Cassini‐Huygens probe gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS) determined the composition of the Titan atmosphere from ∼140 km altitude to the surface. After landing, it returned composition data of gases evaporated from the surface. Height profiles of molecular nitrogen (N2), methane (CH4), and molecular hydrogen (H2) were determined. Traces were(More)
The Cassini Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) has obtained the first in situ composition measurements of the neutral densities of molecular nitrogen, methane, molecular hydrogen, argon, and a host of stable carbon-nitrile compounds in Titan's upper atmosphere. INMS in situ mass spectrometry has also provided evidence for atmospheric waves in the upper(More)
The Cassini spacecraft passed within 168.2 kilometers of the surface above the southern hemisphere at 19:55:22 universal time coordinated on 14 July 2005 during its closest approach to Enceladus. Before and after this time, a substantial atmospheric plume and coma were observed, detectable in the Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) data set out to a(More)
The Galileo probe mass spectrometer determined the composition of the Jovian atmosphere for species with masses between 2 and 150 amu from 0.5 to 21.1 bars. This paper presents the results of analysis of some of the constituents detected: H2, He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe, CH4, NH3, H2O, H2S, C2 and C3 nonmethane hydrocarbons, and possibly PH3 and Cl. 4He/H2 in the(More)
Jets of water ice from surface fractures near the south pole of Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus produce a plume of gas and particles. The source of the jets may be a liquid water region under the ice shell—as suggested most recently by the discovery of salts in E-ring particles derived from the plume—or warm ice that is heated, causing dissociation of clathrate(More)
The four giant planets in the Solar System have abundances of 'metals' (elements heavier than helium), relative to hydrogen, that are much higher than observed in the Sun. In order to explain this, all models for the formation of these planets rely on an influx of solid planetesimals. It is generally assumed that these planetesimals were similar, if not(More)
Saturn's moon Titan shows landscapes with fluvial features suggestive of hydrology based on liquid methane. Recent efforts in understanding Titan's methane hydrological cycle have focused on occasional cloud outbursts near the south pole or cloud streaks at southern mid-latitudes and the mechanisms of their formation. It is not known, however, if the clouds(More)
Ions were detected in the vicinity of Saturn's A ring by the Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) instrument onboard the Cassini Orbiter during the spacecraft's passage over the rings. The INMS saw signatures of molecular and atomic oxygen ions and of protons, thus demonstrating the existence of an ionosphere associated with the A ring. A likely(More)