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Upper limit set for level of lightning activity on TitanBecause optically thick cloud and haze layers prevent lightning detection at optical wavelength on Titan, a search was conducted for lightning-radiated signals (spherics) at radio wavelengths using the planetary radioastronomy instrument aboard Voyager 1. Given the maximum ionosphere density of about 3000/cu cm, lightning spherics should be detectable above an observing frequency of 500 kHz. Since no evidence for spherics is found, an upper limit to the total energy per flash in Titan lightning of about 10 to the 6th J, or about 1000 times weaker than that of typical terrestrial lightning, is inferred.
Document ID
19900037492
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Desch, M. D. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Kaiser, M. L. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 14, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: Nature
Volume: 343
ISSN: 0028-0836
Subject Category
LUNAR AND PLANETARY EXPLORATION
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other