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Discovery of Temperate Latitude Clouds on Titan

Roe, H. G. and Bouchez, A. H. and Trujillo, C. A. and Schaller, E. L. and Brown, M. E. (2005) Discovery of Temperate Latitude Clouds on Titan. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 618 (1). L49-L52. ISSN 2041-8205. doi:10.1086/427499.

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Until now, all the clouds imaged in Titan's troposphere have been found at far southern latitudes (60°-90° south). The occurrence and location of these clouds is thought to be the result of convection driven by the maximum annual solar heating of Titan's surface, which occurs at summer solstice (2002 October) in this south polar region. We report the first observations of a new recurring type of tropospheric cloud feature, confined narrowly to ~40° south latitude, which cannot be explained by this simple insolation hypothesis. We propose two classes of formation scenario, one linked to surface geography and the other to seasonally evolving circulation, which will be easily distinguished with continued observations over the next few years.

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Brown, M. E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Additional Information:© 2005 American Astronomical Society. Received 2004 October 6; accepted 2004 November 17; published 2004 November 29. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which 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. Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (US), the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (UK), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), CNPq (Brazil), and CONICET (Argentina). H. G. R. is supported by an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-0401559. Additional support was provided by NSF award AST-0307929. The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Mauna Kea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain. Note added in proof. The Cassini spacecraft confirmed the frequent presence of these midlatitude clouds with observations starting 2004 May 29 (C. C. Porco et al. 2005, in preparation).
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics FellowshipAST-0401559
Subject Keywords:infrared: solar system; planets and satellites: individual (Titan)
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120926-104521348
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Official Citation:Discovery of Temperate Latitude Clouds on Titan H. G. Roe et al. 2005 ApJ 618 L49
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34440
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:26 Sep 2012 18:11
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:08

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