Experimental Study Of Ethylene Evaporites Under Titan Conditions

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Titan

Titan has an abundance of lakes and seas, as confirmed by Cassini. Major components of these liquid bodies include methane (CH4) and ethane (C2H6); however, evidence indicates that minor components such as ethylene (C2H4) may also exist in the lakes.

As the lake levels drop, 5 μm-bright deposits, resembling evaporite deposits on earth, are left behind. Here, we provide saturation values, evaporation rates, and constraints on ethylene evaporite formation by using a Titan simulation chamber capable of reproducing Titan surface conditions (89-94 K, 1.5 bar N2). Experimental samples were analyzed using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, mass, and temperature readings. Ethylene evaporites form more quickly in a methane solvent than in an ethane solvent or in a mixture of methane/ethane. We measured an average evaporation rate of (2.8±0.3)×10−4kgm−2s−1 for methane and an average upper limit evaporation rate of less than 5.5×10−6kgm−2s−1 for ethane. Additionally, we observed red shifts in ethylene absorption bands at 1.630 and 2.121 μm and the persistence of a methane band at 1.666 μm.

E. C. Czaplinski, Woodrow A. Gilbertson, Kendra K. Farnsworth, Vincent F. Chevrier
(Submitted on 11 Feb 2020)

Comments: 33 pages, 12 figures, 2 tables, published in ACS Earth and Space Chemistry
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Journal reference: ACS Earth and Space Chemistry 3 (2019) 2353-2362
DOI: 10.1021/acsearthspacechem.9b00204
Cite as: arXiv:2002.04978 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2002.04978v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Ellen Czaplinski
[v1] Tue, 11 Feb 2020 03:26:35 UTC (3,664 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/2002.04978
Astrobiology, Astrochemistry

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