Atmospheres have been discovered on only a handful of the one hundred and seventy or so moons in the solar system. Amongst them Titan is found to have the most massive and earth-like atmosphere of nitrogen, with a trace of methane thrown in for good measure. Methane to Titan is somewhat like water to Earth, displaying a cycle similar to the hydrological cycle. The combination of nitrogen and methane is responsible for Titan's extensive photochemical "smog", the hydrocarbon haze. In this talk, I will review our current understanding of the origin and chemical evolution of Titan's atmosphere together with the moon's hydrocarbon cycle, based on observations from Cassini- Huygens mission.
Additional materials: PDF
| Huygens video
| Juno video
| Mars Science Laboratory video
ExoClimes 2010, Exeter, Tuesday 7th