Thursday, March 24, 2005

LPSC Notes Part I

As you can probably imagine, I took quite a lot of notes at LPSC. My original plan was to have all my notes on my PDA that would make for transferring to my blog a fairly painless process. Then the charger for my PDA died (thank gob for the CompUSA nearby). Regardless, I am now having to re-type my notes from my original handwriting, which even I can barely read.
Over the last few days, other news site have posted reports from LPSC so I will refrain from re-treading where others have posted. It wastes both my time and your time. And since other news sites, like pretty effectively covered some Cassini talks, this leaves me with not as big of a task.
I am posting these notes in raw format. Meaning, very little re-writing from my notebook (or in some cases, my camera), to this blog. I admit it, I am a lazy person by nature, ask anyone I know, and I don't feel like writing a huge story. I apologize in advance for those who were expecting nicely written reports like those posted by Emily Lakdawalla over at, but I just don't have it in me today. Maybe I will re-write this tomorrow, I don't know. Today, I will cover the first day of talks, from last Wednesday, and tomorrow I will post notes from the second day of talks, from last Thursday.
  • LeBreton - Huygens results
    • spin reversed at T0 + 9.5 min. SCET
    • 93.65 +/- 0.25 K temperature at the surface
  • M. Tomasko - DISR results
    • Earliest Discernable surface features - 40-45 km
    • Sun Tracker lost track @ 40 km due to probe motions
    • Bottom 20 km, wind speed dropped far below expectations
    • Several Degrees of swing and tilt seen all the way to the surface
    • Drainage channels 40 meters wide
    • 50% linear polarization @ 500 nm @ 140 km
    • Haze particles larger than expected (monomer size ~ 0.05 microns in haze)
    • number of monomers in haze ~ many hundreds
    • 5% methane mixing ratio at 20 meters altitude
    • Specta shows water ice absorbtion at 1.5-1.6 microns
    • Upward looking spectrometer indicates that the sky is brightest at 50 km
    • Edge of bright terrain - steep slope - 100 meter tall scarp
  • R. Lorenz - SSP results
    • Sounder - speed of sound ~ 180 m/s
  • H. Niemann - GCMS results
    • Loss of ion source 5 ~ failed to operate after T0 + 23m30s ~ caused loss of seperation between CO and N2
    • Mass 96 enrichment?
    • Trace amount of ethane detected at surface
    • Methane mixing ratio ~ 5.4%
    • 14N/15N ~ 114
    • 12C/13C ~ 83
    • Argon-40 mixing ratio ~ 5x10^-5
  • Cassini RADAR results
    • Cat scratches - 2-3 km seperation - 100s km in length - interpreted as longitudinal dunes
    • Evidence for regional slopes - flow to east
  • Cassini INMS results
    • constant, isothermal temperature ~ 143 +/- 3 K
    • Ch4 mole fraction ~ 2.7 +/- 0.1% @ 1174 km
    • 12C/13C ~ 96.6
    • 14N/15N ~ 187-216
    • Argon-40 ~ 8.6 ppm


Blogger Jason said...

I'm kinda getting tired for today. When the coverage plot for T4 comes out next week, I hope you all savor it, I certainly spent more time on it than I really should have.

3/25/2005 05:48:00 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

What I meant to say was that I won't get to my second part of my LPSC notes today. Sorry. I will try to get back to it next Wednesday after I get back from a meeting up at the USGS.

3/25/2005 05:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael Chisnall said...

I'm puzzled by the claim that the cat scratches are dunes. If there is 'sand' on Titan's surface then why don't we see large dust storms like on Mars? Even here on Earth we see mass transport of dust with more than a million tonnes of dust from china landing in america each year I believe. I wonder if the cat scratches are really fold belts?

4/01/2005 02:39:00 AM  

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