Inspection of near-infrared images from Cassini's Imaging Science Subsystem and Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer have revealed a new feature in Titan's haze structure: a narrow band of increased scattering by haze south of the equator. The band seems to indicate a region of very limited mixing in the lower stratosphere, which causes haze particles to be trapped there. This could explain the sharp separation between the two hemispheres, known as the north-south asymmetry, seen in images. The separation of the two hemispheres can also be seen in the stratosphere above 150 km using infrared spectra measured by Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer. Titan's behaviour in the lower tropical stratosphere is remarkably similar to that of the Earth's tropical stratosphere, which hints at possible common dynamical processes.
- Atmospheres, Composition
- Infrared observations