Model of Titanís atmosphere

Model of Titanís atmosphere

Fig. 10.25 . A study of the bending and fading of homebound radio signals when the Voyager 1 spacecraft passed behind Titan led to this plot of the temperature and pressure in the satelliteís atmosphere. The temperature (bottom axis) decreases with height until about 40 kilometers altitude, and then increases rapidly at higher altitudes (left axis). The entire atmosphere is well below the freezing temperature of water, at 273 kelvin, but the lower atmosphere is just warm enough to allow the condensation of liquid nitrogen. The high-altitude smog on Titan covers clouds of methane, and liquid ethane and methane probably rain down to the surface. The pressure (right axis) is given in units of millibars or 0.001 bars, and it reaches 1500 millibars or 1.5 bar near the surface of Titan. The air pressure at sea level on Earth is 1.0 bar.

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University