Titan: October 2019

The Cassini/Composite InfraRed Spectrometer (CIRS) instrument has been observing the middle atmosphere of Titan over almost half a Saturnian year.

Titan is unique in the solar system as it hosts a dense atmosphere mainly made of N2 and CH4. Cassini-Huygens revealed the presence of an intense atmospheric photochemistry initiated by the photo-dissociation and ionization of N2 and CH4.

In situ exploration of the planetary atmospheres requires the development of laboratory experiments to understand the molecular growth pathways initiated by photochemistry in the upper layers of the atmospheres.