Formation and Evolution of Titan’s Atmosphere

  title={Formation and Evolution of Titan’s Atmosphere},
  author={Athena Coustenis},
  journal={Space Science Reviews},
The origin and evolution of Titan’s enigmatic atmosphere is reviewed. Starting with the present-day volatile inventory, the question of what was the original composition on Titan and how a satellite of similar size to other Galilean moons managed to acquire and hold on to the required material is discussed. In particular the possible sources and sinks of the main mother molecules (nitrogen, methane and oxygen) are investigated in view of the most recent models and laboratory experiments. The… 

Astrobiology of Titan

Mars, Europa, and Titan—these solar system bodies have a great exobiological significance. Here, we will focus on Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn, which has a dense atmosphere composed

Photochemistry in Outer Solar System Atmospheres

The photochemistries of the H2-He atmospheres of the gas giants Jupiter, Saturn and ice giants Uranus and Neptune and Titan’s mildly reducing N2 atmosphere are reviewed in terms of general chemical

Saturn: Composition and Chemistry

The chapter reviews our current knowledge of the molecular, elemental, and isotopic composition and atmospheric chemistry in Saturn 's shallow atmosphere, i.e., between the cloud levels and the

Photochemistry of Terrestrial Exoplanet Atmospheres

  • R. Hu
  • Geology, Physics
  • 2015
Terrestrial exoplanets are exciting objects to study because they could be potential habitats for extraterrestrial life. Both the search and the characterization of terrestrial exoplanets are

Remote Sensing of Hydrocarbons on Titan

Hydrocarbon reservoirs at Titan come in many forms—as gases and condensates in the atmosphere; as surface accumulations of liquid in lakes, slushy soils, and solid sediments; and in the subsurface,

Solar System Magnetospheres

This article proposes a short review of our present knowledge of solar system magnetospheres, with the purpose of placing the study of Saturn’s magnetosphere in the context of a comparative approach.

Atmospheric Photochemistry, Surface Features, and Potential Biosignature Gases of Terrestrial Exoplanets

  • R. Hu
  • Geology, Physics
  • 2013
The endeavor to characterize terrestrial exoplanets warrants the study of chemistry in their atmospheres. Here I present a comprehensive one-dimensional photochemistrythermochemistry model developed



On the origin of Titan's atmosphere.

  • T. Owen
  • Physics, Geology
    Planetary and space science
  • 2000

Photochemically Driven Collapse of Titan's Atmosphere

Radiative-convective and radiative-saturated equilibrium models of Titan's atmosphere show that methane depletion may have allowed Titan’s atmosphere to cool so that nitrogen, its main constituent, condenses onto the surface, collapsing Titan into a Triton-like frozen state with a thin atmosphere.

D to H ratio and the origin and evolution of Titan's atmosphere

Titan's atmosphere is enriched in deuterium by a factor of ≥3 relative to Jupiter and Saturn, and the greater part of the observed fractionation is probably derived from the formation of Titan and the subsequent evolution of Titan's atmosphere driven by photochemistry.

The D/H Ratio in Methane in Titan: Origin and History

Abstract We propose a new interpretation of the D/H ratio in CH4 observed in the atmosphere of Titan. Using a turbulent evolutionary model of the subnebula of Saturn (O. Mousis et al. 2002,

Comets, impacts, and atmospheres.

A mixture of three basic types of comets appears capable of accounting for the observed volatile inventories on Venus, Earth, and Mars, with the caveat that impact erosion is necessary to explain the present condition of the martian atmosphere.

Evolution of CO on Titan

The early evolution of Titan's atmosphere is expected to produce enrichment in the heavy isotopomers of CO, ^(13)CO and C^(18)O, relative to ^(12)C^(16)O. However, the original isotopic signatures

Formation and Composition of Planetesimals

The composition of planetesimals depends upon the epoch and the location of their formation in the solar nebula. Meteorites produced in the hot inner nebula contain refractory compounds. Volatiles

Monodeuterated methane in the outer solar system. III. Its abundance of Titan

The 3nv2 band of CH3D has been detected in spectra of Titan recorded at 1.6 microns with the Fourier transform spectrometer at the 4 m telescope of the Kitt Peak National Observatory. A value of the