Scientists Present New Clues About Titan

[SIZE=7]Scientists present new clues to cut through the mystery of Titan’s atmospheric haze[/SIZE]

October 8, 2018 , Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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The atmospheric haze of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon (pictured here along Saturn’s midsection), is captured in this natural-color image (box at left). A new study, which involved experiments at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source, has provided new clues about the chemical steps that may have produced this haze. Credit: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Space Science Institute, Caltech

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is unique among all moons in our solar system for its dense and nitrogen-rich atmosphere that also contains hydrocarbons and other compounds, and the story behind the formation of this rich chemical mix has been the source of some scientific debate.

Now, a research collaboration involving scientists in the Chemical Sciences Division at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has zeroed in on a low-temperature chemical mechanism that may have driven the formation of multiple-ringed molecules—the precursors to more complex chemistry now found in the moon’s brown-orange haze layer.

The study, co-led by Ralf Kaiser at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and published in the Oct. 8 edition of the journal Nature Astronomy, runs counter to theories that high-temperature reaction mechanisms are required to produce the chemical makeup that satellite missions have observed in Titan’s atmosphere.

The team also included other researchers at Berkeley Lab, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Samara University in Russia, and Florida International University. The team used vacuum ultraviolet light experiments at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), together with computer simulations and modeling work to demonstrate the chemical reactions that contribute to Titan’s modern-day atmospheric chemistry.

“We provide evidence here for a low-temperature reaction pathway that people have not thought about,” said Musahid Ahmed, a scientist in Berkeley Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division and co-leader of the study at the ALS. “This gives rise to a missing link in Titan’s chemistry.”

Titan may yield clues to the development of complex chemistry on other moons and planets, including Earth, he explained. “People use Titan to think about a ‘pre-biotic’ Earth—when nitrogen was more prevalent in the early Earth’s atmosphere.”

Benzene, a simple hydrocarbon with a six-carbon single-ring molecular structure, has been detected on Titan and is believed to be a building block for larger hydrocarbon molecules with two- and three-ring structures that, in turn, formed other hydrocarbons and aerosol particles that now make up Titan’s atmosphere. These multiple-ring hydrocarbon molecules are known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

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@admin, Can we get a science forum?

the earth is flat

utachota nga?

:smiley:

I second or third. Forum iwe science, technology and industry. We have read many books.

If you flip it, what is on the other side, hell?