Cassini Collects Data on Formation of Smog on Titan


Cassini Collects Data on Formation of Smog on Titan

A study has recently been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which has claimed that Cassini probe of NASA has gathered data on how the highest part of the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's moon, started seeing the formation of aerosols.

The study had been conducted by researchers at the University of Reims. It says that the formation of smog on Titan starts when nitrogen and methane molecules are excited by solar radiation in the ionosphere and these form a "soup" of positive and negative ions.

It is being said that it is because of collisions amongst the molecules that allow them to convert themselves into more complex aerosols. These aerosols unite once they reach the atmosphere's lower part.

At the end, the hydrocarbon rain is produced by the molecules, which is responsible for creation of the lakes that are seen on the surface of Titan. The solar system has Titan as the only second object, which has been known for stable liquid on its surface.

The study has raised the team's hopes that the behaviour of `smoggy aerosol layers' on Earth is predictable. "This Saturn storm behaved like a terrestrial hurricane -- but with a twist unique to Saturn", the Cassini mission's member of the imaging team, Andrew Ingersoll.


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