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Published December 1, 1980 | Published
Journal Article Open

Titan: Aerosol photochemistry and variations related to the sunspot cycle


A photochemical theory is proposed for producing complex polymers in a methane atmosphere. It is argued that the polyacetylenes (C_(2n)H_2) are the most likely precursor molecules for the formation of the stratospheric haze layer on Titan. The production of polyacetylenes involves a strong positive feedback, leading to more production of polyactylenes. The thermosphere of Titan may undergo substantial expansion and contraction over a solar cycle, with important consequences for the chemistry of the upper atmosphere.

Additional Information

© 1980 American Astronomical Society. Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System. Received 1980 June 9; accepted 1980 August 15. We thank W. A. Goddard III and R. C. Flagan for discussions on the mechanism of soot formation; F. S. Rowland, H. Okabe, A. H. Laufer, and L. J. Stief for discussions on the kinetics of hydrocarbons; W. T. Huntress, Jr., and E. M. Purcell for discussions on the chemistry of the interstellar medium and interstellar grains; D. F. Strobel and M. B. McElroy for sharing with us their insight into the chemistry of Jovian atmospheres; and D. M. Hunten and R. M. Goody for critically reading our manuscript. This research is supported by NASA contract NSG 7376 under the Planetary Atmospheres Program. J. P. is an NAS NRC resident research associate.

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Published - 1980ApJ___242L_125A.pdf


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