First observation in the south of titan's far-infrared 220 cm-1 cloud

Donald E. Jennings*, C.M. Anderson, R.E. Samuelson, F.M. Flasar, C.A. Nixon, G.L. Bjoraker, P.N. Romani, R.K. Achterberg, V. Cottini, B.E. Hesman, V.G. Kunde, R.C. Carlson, R. De Kok, A. Coustenis, S. Vinatier, G. Bampasidis, N.A. Teanby, S.B. Calcutt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


An emission feature at 220 cm-1 which has been attributed to a cloud of condensed material in Titan's winter stratosphere has been seen for the first time in the south. This feature had previously been found only at high northern latitudes during northern winter and spring. The material emitting at 220 cm-1, as yet unidentified, may be volatiles associated with nitrile gases that accumulate in the absence of ultraviolet sunlight. Not detected as recently as 2012 February, the 220 cm-1 feature clearly appeared at the south pole in Cassini spectra recorded on 2012 July 24, indicating a rapid onset of the emission. This is the first indication of the winter buildup of condensation in the southern stratosphere that has been expected as the south pole moves deeper into shadow. In the north the 220 cm-1 feature continued to decrease in intensity with a half-life of 3 years.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL15
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • processes - planets and satellites: atmospheres - planets and satellites: composition -planets and satellites: individual (Titan) - radiation mechanisms: thermal


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