J. Phys. IV France
Volume 12, Numéro 10, November 2002
Page(s) 281 - 292

J. Phys. IV France
12 (2002) Pr10-281
DOI: 10.1051/jp4:20020464

Titan's atmosphere - A review

R. Lorenz

Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 E. University Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85721-0092, U.S.A.

The extraordinary atmosphere of Saturn's satellite Titan is paradoxically unique in the solar system and yet a striking analogue of the Earth's amosphere in many respects. Not only is Titan's atmosphere broadly similar to Earth's in terms of surface pressure and dominant constituent, but the radiative-convective structure is similar, with a warm stratosphere heated by a photochemically-produced absorbed and a lower troposphere . warmed by a condensible greenhouse gas. Further, Titan may have an active methane-based hydrology and meteorology. Titan shows atmospheric changes on hourly timescales, presumably due to the evolution of methane clouds, as well as seasonal changes due to the apparent transport of its photochemical haze by meridional winds.

© EDP Sciences 2002