Volume 572, December 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||27 November 2014|
The evolution of infalling sulfur species in Titan’s atmosphere
1 Univ. Bordeaux, ISM, UMR 5255, 33400 Talence, France
2 CNRS, ISM, UMR 5255, 33400 Talence, France
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensytemforschung, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
4 Laboratoire Réactions et Génie des Procédés, CNRS, Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France
5 Univ. Bordeaux, LAB, UMR 5804, 33270 Floirac, France
6 CNRS, LAB, UMR 5804, 33270 Floirac, France
Received: 29 July 2014
Accepted: 19 September 2014
Aims. We studied the hypothesis that micrometeorites and Enceladus’ plume activity could carry sulfur-bearing species into the upper atmosphere of Titan, in a manner similar to oxygen-bearing species.
Methods. We have developed a detailed photochemical model of sulfur compounds in the atmosphere of Titan that couples hydrocarbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur chemistries.
Results. Photochemical processes produce mainly CS and H2CS in the upper atmosphere of Titan and C3S, H2S and CH3SH in the lower atmosphere. Mole fractions of these compounds depend significantly on the source of sulfur species.
Conclusions. A possible future detection of CS (or the determination of a low upper limit) could be used to distinguish the two scenarios for the origin of sulfur species, which then could help to differentiate the various scenarios for the origin of H2O, CO, and CO2 in the stratosphere of Titan.
Key words: planets and satellites: individual: Titan / planets and satellites: atmospheres / planets and satellites: composition
© ESO, 2014
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