Global Modeling of the Seasonal and Solar Cycle Trends in Titan’s Methane

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Jared Micheal Bell1, Joseph H Westlake2, Jack H Waite Jr3 and Rebecca Perryman3, (1)National Institute of Aerospace, Yorktown, VA, United States, (2)JHUAPL, Laurel, MD, United States, (3)Southwest Research Institute San Antonio, Space Sciences and Engineering, San Antonio, TX, United States
We present three-dimensional (3-D) global simulations of Titan’s upper atmosphere between 500 km and 1600 km altitude using the Titan Global Ionosphere-Thermosphere Model (T-GITM). In particular, we focus on quantifying the trends in the methane mixing ratios over time, by sampling different solar cycle and seasonal configurations using daily F10.7-cm data taken from the NOAA National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC). Moreover, we also examine trends in the key radiatively active species HCN, which has a significant impact on the thermal balance in Titan’s upper atmosphere. Finally, we investigate how other major species (such as N2 and H2) vary over time according to our 3-D global simulations.