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Solar Control of the Upper Atmosphere of Triton

Lyons, James R. and Yung, Yuk L. and Allen, Mark (1992) Solar Control of the Upper Atmosphere of Triton. Science, 256 (5054). pp. 204-206. ISSN 0036-8075. doi:10.1126/science.11540928. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140813-093857286

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Abstract

If the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Triton are controlled by precipitation of electrons from Neptune's magnetosphere as previously proposed, Triton could have the only ionosphere in the solar system not controlled by solar radiation. However, a new model of Triton's atmosphere, in which only solar radiation is present, predicts a large column of carbon atoms. With an assumed, but reasonable, rate of charge transfer between N_2^+ and C, a peak C^+ abundance results that is close to the peak electron densities measured by Voyager in Triton's ionosphere. These results suggest that Triton's upper atmospheric chemistry may thus be solar-controlled. Measurement of key reaction rate constants, currently unknown or highly uncertain at Triton's low temperatures, would help to clarify the chemical and physical processes occurring in Triton's atmosphere.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://www.jstor.org/stable/info/2876985JSTORArticle
http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.11540928DOIArticle
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/256/5054/204.abstractPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© 1992 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 8 November 1991; Accepted 24 February 1992. We thank D. Strobel and R. Yelle for helpful discussion. This work was supported in part by National Aeronautics and Space Administration grants NAGW-1 509 and NAGW-2362 to the California Institute of Technology. Contribution 5054 from the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAGW-1509
NASANAGW-2362
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences5054
Issue or Number:5054
DOI:10.1126/science.11540928
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140813-093857286
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20140813-093857286
Official Citation:Lyons, J. R., Yung, Y. L., & Allen, M. (1992). Solar Control of the Upper Atmosphere of Triton. Science, 256(5054), 204-206. doi: 10.2307/2876985
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:48495
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Joanne McCole
Deposited On:13 Aug 2014 19:57
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:32

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