Chemical reactions in the Titan's troposphere during lightning

Tamás Kovács, Tamás Turányi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the lower troposphere of the Titan the temperature is about 90K, therefore the chemical production of compounds in the CH4/N2 atmosphere is extremely slow. However, atmospheric electricity could provide conditions at which chemical reactions are fast. This paper is based on the assumption that there are lightning discharges in the Titan's lower atmosphere. The temporal temperature profile of a gas parcel after lightning was calculated at the conditions of 10km above the Titan's surface. Using this temperature profile, composition of the after-lightning atmosphere was simulated using a detailed chemical kinetic mechanism consisting of 1829 reactions of 185 species. The main reaction paths leading to the products were investigated. The main products of lighting discharges in the Titan's atmosphere are H2, HCN, C2N2, C2H2, C2H4, C2H6, NH3 and H2CN. The annual production of these compounds was estimated in the Titan's atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938-947
Number of pages10
JournalIcarus
Volume207
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2010

Keywords

  • Lightning
  • Titan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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