The Influence of CO2 Admixtures on Process in Titan's Atmospheric Chemistry
Keywords:atmosphere of Titan, glow discharge, GC-MS analysis, FTIR spectroscopy
AbstractThe exploration of planetary atmosphere is being advanced by the exciting results of the Cassin-Huygens mission to Titan. The complex chemistry revealed in such atmospheres leading to the synthesis of bigger molecules is providing new insights into our understanding of how life on Earth developed. In our experiments Titan's atmosphere is simulated in a glow discharge formed from a mixture of N2:CH4:CO2 gas. Samples of the discharge gas were analysed by GC-MS and FTIR. The major products identified in spectra were: hydrogen cyanide, acetylene and acetonitrile. The same compounds were detected in the FTIR: hydrogen cyanide, acetylene and ammonia. Whilst many of these compounds have been predicted and/or observed in the Titan atmosphere, the present plasma experiments provide evidence of both the chemical complexity of Titan atmospheric processes and the mechanisms by which larger species grow prior to form the dust that should cover much of the Titan's surface.
C.A. Nixon. Detection of propene in Titan’s stratosphere. Astrophys J, 776(1), 2013.
V.A. Krasnopolsky. Chemical composition of Titan’s atmosphere and ionosphere: Observations and the photochemical model. Icarus, 236:83–91, 2014.
K.L. Aplin. Atmospheric electriﬁcation in the solar system. Surveys in Geophysics, 27(1):63–108, 2006.
S. Vinatier. Vertical abundance proﬁles of hydrocarbons in titan’s atmosphere at 15 degrees s and 80 degrees n retrieved from CASSINI/CIRS spectra. Icarus, 188(1):120–138, 2007.
R. Navarro Gonzalez. Corona discharge of titan’s troposphere. Life Sciences: Complex Organics in Space, pages 1121–1133, 1997.
M.L. Cable. Titan tholins: Simulating titan organic chemistry in the cassini-huygens era. Chemical Reviews, 112(3):1882–1909, 2012.
S.L. Miller. A production of amino acids under possible primitive earth conditions. Science, 117(3046):528–609, 1953.
G. Horvath. Methane decomposition leading to deposit formation in a dc positive ch4-n2 corona discharge. Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing, 31(2):327–335, 2011.
S.I. Ramirez. Organic chemistry induced by corona discharges in titan’s troposphere: Laboratory simulations. Space Life Sciences, 36(2):274–280, 2005.
C. Szopa. Pampre: A dusty plasma experiment for titan’s tholins production and study. Planetary and Space Science, 54(4):394–404, 2006.
E. Sciamma-O’Brien. The titan haze simulation experiment on cosmic: Probing titan’s atmospheric chemistry at low temperature. Icarus, 243(0):325–336, 2014.
P. Lavvas. Aerosol growth in titan’s ionosphere. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(8):2729–2734, 2013.
R. Navarro-Gonzalez. Production of hydrocarbons and nitriles by electrical processes in titan’s atmosphere. Space Life Sciences, 27(2):271–282, 2001.
G. Horvath. Packed bed dbd discharge experiments in admixtures of n2 and ch4. Plasma Chemistry and Plasma Processing, 30(5):565–577, 2010.
J.M. Bernard. Experimental simulation of titan’s atmosphere: Detection of ammonia and ethylene oxide. Planetary and Space Science, 51(14):1003–1011, 2003.
J.M. Bernard. Reﬂectance spectra and chemical structure of titan’s tholins: Application to the analysis of cassini-huygens observations. Icarus, 185(1):301–307, 2006.
C.D. Pintassilgo. Methane decomposition and active nitrogen in a n2-ch4 glow discharge at low pressures. Plasma Sources Science and Technology, 8(3):463–478, 1999.
Y. Sekine. The role of organic haze in titan’s atmospheric chemistry i. laboratory investigation on heterogeneous reaction of atomic hydrogen with titan tholin. Icarus, 194(1):186–200, 2008.
T. Gautier. Nitrile gas chemistry in titan’s atmosphere. Icarus, 213(2):625–635, 2011.
H. Imanaka. Laboratory experiments of titan tholin formed in cold plasma at various pressures: Implications for nitrogen-containing polycyclic aromatic compounds in titan haze. Icarus, 168(2):344–366, 2004.
U.S. Department of Commerce. 2009 National institute of standards and technology.
B. Fleury. Inﬂuence of co on titan atmospheric reactivity. Icarus, 238(0):221–229, 2014.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).