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Negrao Alberto, Hirtzig Mathieu, Coustenis Athéna, Gendron Éric, Drossart Pierre, Rannou Pascal, Combes Michel, Boudon Vincent

The 2-mum spectroscopy of Huygens probe landing site on Titan with Very Large Telescope/Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System Near-Infrared Imager and Spectrograph

Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets), 2007, vol. 112

Référence DOI : 10.1029/2005JE002651
Référence ADS : 2007JGRE..112.2S92N

Résumé :

Several ground-based telescopes followed the event of the Huygens probe descent through Titan's atmosphere (14 January 2005). We used the Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System Near-Infrared Imager and Spectrograph (NACO) adaptive optics system at the UT-4 of the Very Large Telescope in Chile to perform both spectroscopic and imaging measurements of Titan. We present here a selected sample of the spectra we acquired on 16 January 2005 in the K band between 2.03 and 2.40 mum. Our spectra include the Huygens landing site and surrounding dark and bright areas. We apply a radiative transfer code using new methane absorption coefficients calculated in the 2-mum region. The analysis of the data yields information on the atmosphere and surface properties of these areas. The latter seem to indicate a strong decrease of Titan's surface albedo between 2.03 and 2.12 mum in all areas. This is compatible with the presence of ices such as CH<SUB>4</SUB> and H<SUB>2</SUB>O at the surface. Sensitivity tests on the influence of the haze profile and the methane absorption on these results were performed.

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