The Effect of CO on Planetary Haze Formation

Organic haze plays a key role in many planetary processes ranging from influencing the radiation budget of an atmosphere to serving as a source of prebiotic molecules on the surface.

Numerous experiments have investigated the aerosols produced by exposing mixtures of N2/CH4 to a variety of energy sources. However, many N2/CH4 atmospheres in both our solar system and extrasolar planetary systems also contain CO. We have conducted a series of atmosphere simulation experiments to investigate the effect of CO on formation and particle size of planetary haze analogues for a range of CO mixing ratios using two different energy sources, spark discharge and UV.

We find that CO strongly affects both number density and particle size of the aerosols produced in our experiments and indicates that CO may play an important, previously unexplored, role in aerosol chemistry in planetary atmospheres.

Sarah M. Hoerst, Margaret A. Tolbert (Submitted on 19 Dec 2013)

Comments: 4 Figures, 1 Table. Accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Cite as: arXiv:1312.5651 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1312.5651v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)

Submission history From: Sarah Hoerst [v1] Thu, 19 Dec 2013 17:31:15 GMT (679kb)

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