The Process of Tholin Formation in Titan's Upper Atmosphere

  title={The Process of Tholin Formation in Titan's Upper Atmosphere},
  author={J. H. Waite and David T. Young and Thomas E. Cravens and Andrew J. Coates and F. Crary and Brian A. Magee and Joseph Westlake},
  pages={870 - 875}
Titan's lower atmosphere has long been known to harbor organic aerosols (tholins) presumed to have been formed from simple molecules, such as methane and nitrogen (CH4 and N2). Up to now, it has been assumed that tholins were formed at altitudes of several hundred kilometers by processes as yet unobserved. Using measurements from a combination of mass/charge and energy/charge spectrometers on the Cassini spacecraft, we have obtained evidence for tholin formation at high altitudes (∼1000… 

Cation Chemistry in Titan’s Upper Atmosphere and its Influence on Tholin Formation

Titan is Saturn’s largest satellite. This object is unique in the solar system as it hosts a dense atmosphere mainly made of molecular nitrogen N and methane CH4, with a surface pressure of 1.5 bar.

Photochemistry of HCN Ice on Tholins Simulated in Titan’s Lower Atmosphere Conditions

Titan’s organic atmospheric chemistry is unique in the Solar System. Revealed by the Voyager and ongoing Cassini Missions, a variety of latitudinal and altitudinal-changing trace species broken down

Composition and chemistry of Titan's thermosphere and ionosphere

  • V. VuittonR. YelleP. Lavvas
  • Physics, Chemistry
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2008
Observations of Titan's ionospheric chemistry indicate that molecular growth starts in the upper atmosphere rather than at lower altitude, and that Benzene (C6H6) is created by ion chemistry at high altitudes and its main photolysis product, the phenyl radical, is at the origin of the formation of aromatic species at higher altitude.

Low-Temperature Alkaline pH Hydrolysis of Oxygen-Free Titan Tholins: Carbonates' Impact.

To produce reliable laboratory analogues of organic aerosols produced in Titan's atmosphere that play an important role in atmospheric and surface processes and in organic chemistry as it applies to exobiological interests, a device for the synthesis of clean tholins was developed and tested, and a list of potential precursors of these compounds was established.

A Study of Chemical Modeling for Several Precursors of Tholins in Titan's Atmosphere

Titan, one of the moons of Saturn, has an atmosphere rich in organic molecules. It is similar to the atmosphere of Primordial Earth. In Titan’s atmosphere, there are highly abundant conjugated




Titan's atmosphere is unique because dissociation of N2 and CH4, the primary atmospheric constituents, provides the H, C, and N atoms necessary for the synthesis of complex organic molecules. The

Photochemistry of the atmosphere of Titan: comparison between model and observations.

The photochemistry of simple molecules containing carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen atoms in the atmosphere of Titan has been investigated using updated chemical schemes and the authors' own estimates of a number of key rate coefficients, which satisfactorily accounts for the concentrations of minor species observed by the Voyager IRIS and UVS instruments.

The abundances of constituents of Titan's atmosphere from the GCMS instrument on the Huygens probe

Direct atmospheric measurements from the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS), including altitude profiles of the constituents, isotopic ratios and trace species (including organic compounds), were reported, confirming the primary constituents were confirmed to be nitrogen and methane.

Mechanisms for the formation of benzene in the atmosphere of Titan

[1] Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are important interstellar species, and their precursor benzene (C6H6) has been detected in our solar system. In this study the possibility of benzene

Models for Polar Haze Formation in Jupiter's Stratosphere

We present coupled chemical–microphysical models for the formation, growth, and physical properties of the jovian polar haze based on a gas-phase photochemical model for the auroral regions developed

Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer Results from the First Flyby of Titan

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

Laser flash photolysis of benzene. VIII. Formation of hot benzene from the S2 state and its collisional deactivation

Time‐resolved absorption spectra of gaseous benzene have been observed in the time range from 0 to 4 μs with an ArF laser (193 nm) as an excitation source, which pumps the S2 state. The absorption