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

  title={The abundances of constituents of Titan's atmosphere from the GCMS instrument on the Huygens probe},
  author={Hasso Bernhard Otto Niemann and Sushil Atreya and Siegfried J. Bauer and George R. Carignan and J. E. Demick and Robert L. Frost and Daniel Gautier and J. A. Haberman and Dan N. Harpold and Donald M. Hunten and G. Israel and Jonathan I. Lunine and Wayne T. Kasprzak and Tobias C. Owen and M. Paulkovich and François Raulin and Eric Raaen and Stephen Way},
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, launched from the Cassini spacecraft, has made the first direct observations of the satellite's surface and lower atmosphere. Here we report… Expand
The Huygens Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer Investigation Of Titan
A decade ago, on 14 January 2005, the Huygens probe of the Cassini-Huygens mission descended through the smog filled atmosphere of Titan and landed on the surface, revealing for the first time theExpand
Evolution of Titan and implications for its hydrocarbon cycle
  • G. Tobie, M. Choukroun, +8 authors L. Le Corre
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2008
Measurements of the carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios as well as the detection of 40Ar and 36Ar by the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer (GCMS) instrument on board the Huygens probe have providedExpand
Composition and Structure of the Ionosphere and Thermosphere
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An overview of the descent and landing of the Huygens probe on Titan
An overview of the Huygens mission is reported, which enabled studies of the atmosphere and surface, including in situ sampling of the organic chemistry, and revealed an Earth-like landscape. Expand
Composition and chemistry of Titan's stratosphere
  • B. Bézard
  • Medicine
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2008
Thermal measurements by the Cassini spacecraft show that the mixing ratios of all photochemical species, except ethylene, increase with altitude at equatorial and southern latitudes, reflecting transport from a high-altitude source to a condensation sink in the lower stratosphere. Expand
Noble gases, nitrogen, and methane from the deep interior to the atmosphere of Titan
Abstract Titan’s thick N2–CH4 atmosphere is unlike any in the Solar System, and its origin has been shrouded in mystery for over half a century. Here, I perform a detailed analysis of chemical andExpand
A whiff of nebular gas in Titan's atmosphere – Potential implications for the conditions and timing of Titan's formation
Abstract In situ data from the GCMS instrument on the Huygens probe indicate that Titan's atmosphere contains small amounts of the primordial noble gases 36Ar and 22Ne (tentative detection), but itExpand
Composition of Titan's Surface
The Huygens Probe returned the first in situ data on Titan's surface composition in January 2005. Although Huygens landed on a dry plain, the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) showedExpand
Methane and Deuterium in Titan's Atmosphere
Saturn's satellite Titan has an atmosphere containing methane at an abundance of a few percent. This results in a methane "hydrological cycle" with methane condensing as clouds, falling as rain andExpand
The composition of Titan’s lower atmosphere and simple surface volatiles as measured by the Cassini-Huygens probe
The Cassini-Huygens Probe Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS) determined the composition of the Titan atmosphere from ~140km altitude to the surface. After landing, it returned compositionExpand


The composition and origin of Titan's atmosphere
Abstract The discovery that Titan had an atmosphere was made by the identification of methane in the satellite's spectrum in 1944. But the abundance of this gas and the identification of other majorExpand
Chemical composition measurements of the atmosphere of Jupiter with the Galileo Probe mass spectrometer.
  • H. Niemann, S. Atreya, +9 authors N. Spencer
  • Materials Science, Chemistry
  • Advances in space research : the official journal of the Committee on Space Research
  • 1998
The Galileo Probe entered the atmosphere of Jupiter on December 7, 1995. Measurements of the chemical and isotopic composition of the Jovian atmosphere were obtained by the mass spectrometer duringExpand
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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. Expand
Release of volatiles from a possible cryovolcano from near-infrared imaging of Titan
Near-infrared images of Titan obtained on 26 October 2004 by the Cassini spacecraft show that a widespread methane ocean does not exist; subtle albedo variations instead suggest topographical variations, as would be expected for a more solid (perhaps icy) surface. Expand
Titan’s atmosphere from ISO mid-infrared spectroscopy
Abstract We have analyzed Titan observations performed by the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) in the range 7–30 μm. The spectra obtained by three of the instruments on board the mission (the shortExpand
On the volatile inventory of Titan from isotopic abundances in nitrogen and methane.
The analysis of recently published nitrogen and hydrogen isotopic data on Titan indicates an epoch of early atmospheric escape of nitrogen, followed by a later addition of methane by outgassing from the interior, and suggests that Titan's volatile inventory came in part or largely from a circum-Saturnian disk of material more reducing than the surrounding solar nebula. Expand
Titan: a laboratory for prebiological organic chemistry.
Titan is a test of the understanding of the organic chemistry of planetary atmospheres, primarily on the large moon of Saturn, and its atmospheric bulk composition is intermediate between the highly reducing (H2/He/CH4/NH3/H2O) atmospheres of the Jovian planets and the more oxidized (N2/CO2/H 2O) atmosphere of the terrestrial planets Mars and Venus. Expand
AbstractThe wide spectral coverage and extensive spatial, temporal, and phase-angle mapping capabilities of the Visual Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) onboard the Cassini-Huygens Orbiter areExpand
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. Expand
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 hostExpand