UMD Geology: Titan’s organic aerosols

2016 University of Maryland Geology Dept. Colloquium Series

Friday, September 23rd 2016 at 3:00 pm
in PLS 1140

Melissa Trainer
NASA-GSFC

Insights on Titan’s organic aerosol formation from the laboratory

Saturn’s moon Titan is enshrouded with a thick haze that is the product of the extensive organic chemistry that takes place in Titan’s N2/CH4 atmosphere. The organic aerosol that comprises the haze has been studied extensively through observation and experimental simulations, yet the exact nature of the composition or formation mechanisms are still not known. Laboratory studies in our group have explored the optical, chemical, and isotopic properties of photochemical Titan aerosol analogs to provide insight on the major components and formation mechanism that may influence aerosol production on Titan. I will review our findings and discuss implications for improved understanding of observations of Titan’s haze as well as the chemical cycle of CH4 and trace atmospheric species.

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