Published On: Tue, Feb 23rd, 2016

Cassini Measures Titan Surface Temperatures During Northern Winter and Spring

Newly published investigate sum a varying aspect temperatures on Saturn’s moon Titan during two-year intervals, from 2004 to 2016. The measurements were done by a Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) instrument on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

The maps uncover thermal infrared deviation (heat) entrance from Titan’s aspect during a wavelength of 19 microns, a bright window during that a moon’s differently ambiguous atmosphere is mostly transparent. Temperatures have been averaged around a creation from easterly to west (longitudinally) to stress a anniversary movement opposite latitudes (from north to south). Black regions in a maps are areas for that there was no data.

Titan’s aspect heat changes solemnly over a march of a Saturn system’s prolonged seasons, that any final 7 and a half years. As on Earth, a volume of object perceived during any embodiment varies as a sun’s enlightenment moves northward or southward over a march of a 30-year-long Saturnian year.

When Cassini arrived during Saturn in 2004, Titan’s southern hemisphere was in late summer and was therefore a warmest region. Shortly after a 2009 equinox, in 2010, temperatures were exquisite opposite a northern and southern hemispheres, mimicking a placement celebrated by Voyager 1 in 1980 (one Titan year earlier). Temperatures subsequently cooled in a south and rose in a north, as southern winter approached.

While a altogether trend in a heat change is clearly clear in these maps, there is slight banding in several places that is an artifact of creation a observations by Titan’s atmosphere. The moon’s dense, misty pouch adds sound to a formidable measurement.

The animation above shows a simplified indication of a varying heat information during yearly intervals. The embodiment banding has been smoothed to some-more clearly uncover a how Titan’s rise heat moves from 19 degrees south to 16 degrees north embodiment between 2004 and 2016. The tiny creation in a top right dilemma shows a perspective of Titan as seen from a instruction of a sun. The embodiment on Titan where a object is directly beyond (the subsolar latitude) is indicated by a yellow star.

Although it moves in latitude, a limit totalled heat on Titan stays around -292 degrees Fahrenheit (-179.6 degrees Celsius, 93.6 Kelvin), with a smallest heat during a winter stick usually 6 degrees Fahrenheit (3.5 degrees Celsius or Kelvin) colder. This is a most smaller contrariety than exists between Earth’s warmest and coldest temperatures, that can change by some-more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit, or some-more than 100 degrees Celsius.

These Titan aspect heat maps are a cognisance of measurements that seemed in announcement as: D. E. Jennings et al., Astrophysical Journal Letters, 816, L17, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.3847/2041-8205/816/1/L17.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC

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