Ionization processes in the atmosphere of Titan: from electron precipitation along magnetic field lines to high-Z cosmic rays ionization

Abstract : Knowledge of the ionization profile in the atmosphere of Titan is needed to understand its chemistry. The different ionization sources have a different impact in term of altitude of ionization, intensity, and variability. The main sources are the solar EUV-XUV flux, the electrons and protons from the magnetosphere of Saturn, and the cosmic rays. In this work, we compare the result of the modeling of these ionizations with the observations by the Cassini and Huygens probes. We show that it is possible to observe the effects of the interaction of the Kronian magnetic field with Titan in the precipitating electron flux measured by Cassini. We also show that the aerosols layers, detected in the upper atmosphere, the mesosphere, and the lower atmosphere, are correlated with the ionization layers detected by several instruments. We therefore suggest that these layers are created by ionization: from EUV-XUV and electrons in the upper atmosphere, protons in the mesosphere, and galactic cosmic rays in the main haze layer
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00698669
Contributor : Catherine Cardon <>
Submitted on : Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 3:32:58 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 4:34:11 PM

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G. Gronoff, C. J. Mertens, J. Lilensten, L. Desorgher, Ronan Modolo, et al.. Ionization processes in the atmosphere of Titan: from electron precipitation along magnetic field lines to high-Z cosmic rays ionization. Second Workshop on Titan Through Time; Unlocking Titan's Past, Present and Future, Apr 2012, Greenbelt, Maryland, United States. pp.92. ⟨hal-00698669⟩

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