RASC Calgary: Infrared of Titan Aerosol Analogues

Event Date: 
Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 21:30 to 23:00 EST

Infrared Transmission and Reflection of Titan Aerosol Analogues

Presented by Ashley Walker

RASC Calgary

Saturn’s moon, Titan, is the only body in the solar system with a thick nitrogen atmosphere that may be similar to that of the Early Earth. Photochemistry in Titan’s atmosphere, composed mainly of nitrogen and methane, produces incredibly complex organic materials. The purpose of this work is to understand the composition of these organic materials through the use of laboratory atmosphere simulation experiments. The Planetary HAZE Research Chamber (PHAZER) at Johns Hopkins University operated by the Hörst Lab group has been used to simulate a variety of solar systems and exoplanet atmospheres including that of Titan. In this chamber, nitrogen and methane gases flow past cold plasma in order to create aerosols called “tholins”; experiments such as these have been used to improve our understanding of the chemistry in Titan’s atmosphere for decades. The particles generated in these experiments are deposited as thin films and then analyzed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). FTIR provides information regarding the chemical composition and optical properties of the particles and can be compared to remote sensing observations of Titan’s atmosphere. We review and compare our spectral data to tholins from previous experiments to provide a better understanding of the habitability of Titan.

The talk will take place February 18, 2021 7:30-9:00 pm MST (9:30-11:00 pm EST)

Join the Zoom Webinar HERE! (No registration required)