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Dissipation of Titan’s south polar clouds

Schaller, Emily L. and Brown, Michael E. and Roe, Henry G. and Bouchez, Antonin H. and Trujillo, Chadwick A. (2006) Dissipation of Titan’s south polar clouds. Icarus, 184 (2). pp. 517-523. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2006.05.025.

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Nearly all adaptive optics images of Titan taken between December 2001 and November 2004 showed tropospheric clouds located within 30° of the south pole. We report here on a dissipation of Titan's south polar clouds observed in twenty-nine Keck and Gemini images taken between December 2004 and April 2005. The near complete lack of south polar cloud activity during this time, and subsequent resurgence months later at generally higher latitudes, may be the beginning of seasonal change in Titan's weather. The ∼5 month decrease in cloud activity may also have been caused by methane rainout from a large cloud event in October 2004. Understanding the seasonal evolution of Titan's clouds, and of any precipitation associated with them, is essential for interpreting the geological observations of fluid flow features observed over a wide range of Titan latitudes with the Cassini/Huygens spacecraft.

Item Type:Article
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Brown, Michael E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Additional Information:© 2006 Elsevier Inc. Received 22 January 2006; revised 12 May 2006. Available online 18 July 2006. We thank Robert West and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments. E.L.S. is supported by an NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship. H.G.R. is supported by an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under Award AST-0401559. Additional support was provided by an NSF Grant to M.E.B. (AST-0307929). The W.M. Keck Observatory is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W.M. Keck Foundation. The Gemini Observatory is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the NSF, the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (UK), the National Research Council (Canada), Comision Nacional de Investigacion Cientfficay Tecnologica (CONICYT) (Chile), the Autralian Research Council (Australia), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq) (Brazil) and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET) (Argentina).
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Graduate Student Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics FellowshipAST-0401559
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Titan; Infrared observations; Atmospheres, dynamics; Meteorology
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120926-085043954
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Official Citation:Emily L. Schaller, Michael E. Brown, Henry G. Roe, Antonin H. Bouchez, Chadwick A. Trujillo, Dissipation of Titan's south polar clouds, Icarus, Volume 184, Issue 2, October 2006, Pages 517-523, ISSN 0019-1035, 10.1016/j.icarus.2006.05.025. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34390
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Sep 2012 16:05
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:08

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