Flight through Titan's atmosphere

Imke De Pater, Máté Ádámkovics, Seran Gibbard, Henry G. Roe, Caitlin A. Griffith

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We assembled spectral image data cubes of Titan in H-band (1.413-1.808 μm), using adaptive optics on the 10-m W.M. Keck telescope, by stepping a spectrometer slit across Titan's disk. We constructed images of Titan at each wavelength by 'glueing' the spectra together, producing 1400ultra-narrowband (∼0.1 nm) views of the satellite. With this method one can characterise Titan's atmosphere over the entire disk, in more specific vertical detail than possible with either narrowband imaging or slit spectroscopy at one position. Data were obtained of Titan's leading hemisphere on UT 20 February 2001. At the shorter wavelengths we probe all the way down to the surface, revealing the familiar bright and dark terrain, while at longer wavelengths we probe various altitudes in the atmosphere. The data have been assembled into a movie, showing the surface and different haze layers while stepping up in altitude. The transitions from the surface to the tropospheric haze, and through the tropopause into the upper atmospheric haze, are clearly recognised.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-321
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Space Agency, (Special Publication) ESA SP
Issue number1278
StatePublished - 2004
EventInternational Conference TITAN - From Discovery to Encounter - Noordwijk, Netherlands
Duration: Apr 13 2004Apr 17 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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