NASA Logo

NTRS

NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Ethane ocean on TitanVoyager I radio occultation data is employed to develop a qualitative model of an ethane ocean on Titan. It is suggested that the ocean contains 25 percent CH4 and that the ocean is in dynamic equilibrium with an N2 atmosphere. Previous models of a CH4 ocean are discounted due to photolysis rates of CH4 gas. Tidal damping of Titan's orbital eccentricity is taken as evidence for an ocean layer approximately 1 km deep, with the ocean floor being covered with a solid C2H2 layer 100 to 200 m thick. The photolytic process disrupting the CH4, if the estimates of the oceanic content of CH4 are correct, could continue for at least one billion years. Verification of the model is dependent on detecting CH4 clouds in the lower atmosphere, finding C2H6 saturation in the lower troposphere, or obtaining evidence of a global ocean.
Document ID
19840032298
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Lunine, J. I. (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Stevenson, D. J. (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Yung, Y.L. (California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
December 16, 1983
Publication Information
Publication: Science
Volume: 222
ISSN: 0036-8075
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-185
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSG-7376
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other