Solar control of the upper atmosphere of Triton

James Lyons, Yuk L. Yung, Mark Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

If the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Triton are controlled by precipitation of electrons from Neptune's magnetosphere as previously proposed, Triton could have the only ionosphere in the solar system not controlled by solar radiation. However, a new model of Triton's atmosphere, in which only solar radiation is present, predicts a large column of carbon atoms. With an assumed, but reasonable, rate of charge transfer between N2 + and C, a peak C+ abundance results that is close to the peak electron densities measured by Voyager in Triton's ionosphere. These results suggest that Triton's upper atmospheric chemistry may thus be solar-controlled. Measurement of key reaction rate constants, currently unknown or highly uncertain at Triton's low temperatures, would help to clarify the chemical and physical processes occurring in Triton's atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-206
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume256
Issue number5054
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Atmosphere
Chemical Phenomena
Electrons
Physical Phenomena
Radiation
Solar System
Carbon
Temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Solar control of the upper atmosphere of Triton. / Lyons, James; Yung, Yuk L.; Allen, Mark.

In: Science, Vol. 256, No. 5054, 01.01.1992, p. 204-206.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lyons, James ; Yung, Yuk L. ; Allen, Mark. / Solar control of the upper atmosphere of Triton. In: Science. 1992 ; Vol. 256, No. 5054. pp. 204-206.
@article{df3e9de4b8b64e8ca1633bb717739b9c,
title = "Solar control of the upper atmosphere of Triton",
abstract = "If the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Triton are controlled by precipitation of electrons from Neptune's magnetosphere as previously proposed, Triton could have the only ionosphere in the solar system not controlled by solar radiation. However, a new model of Triton's atmosphere, in which only solar radiation is present, predicts a large column of carbon atoms. With an assumed, but reasonable, rate of charge transfer between N2 + and C, a peak C+ abundance results that is close to the peak electron densities measured by Voyager in Triton's ionosphere. These results suggest that Triton's upper atmospheric chemistry may thus be solar-controlled. Measurement of key reaction rate constants, currently unknown or highly uncertain at Triton's low temperatures, would help to clarify the chemical and physical processes occurring in Triton's atmosphere.",
author = "James Lyons and Yung, {Yuk L.} and Mark Allen",
year = "1992",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1126/science.11540928",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "256",
pages = "204--206",
journal = "Science",
issn = "0036-8075",
publisher = "American Association for the Advancement of Science",
number = "5054",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Solar control of the upper atmosphere of Triton

AU - Lyons, James

AU - Yung, Yuk L.

AU - Allen, Mark

PY - 1992/1/1

Y1 - 1992/1/1

N2 - If the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Triton are controlled by precipitation of electrons from Neptune's magnetosphere as previously proposed, Triton could have the only ionosphere in the solar system not controlled by solar radiation. However, a new model of Triton's atmosphere, in which only solar radiation is present, predicts a large column of carbon atoms. With an assumed, but reasonable, rate of charge transfer between N2 + and C, a peak C+ abundance results that is close to the peak electron densities measured by Voyager in Triton's ionosphere. These results suggest that Triton's upper atmospheric chemistry may thus be solar-controlled. Measurement of key reaction rate constants, currently unknown or highly uncertain at Triton's low temperatures, would help to clarify the chemical and physical processes occurring in Triton's atmosphere.

AB - If the upper atmosphere and ionosphere of Triton are controlled by precipitation of electrons from Neptune's magnetosphere as previously proposed, Triton could have the only ionosphere in the solar system not controlled by solar radiation. However, a new model of Triton's atmosphere, in which only solar radiation is present, predicts a large column of carbon atoms. With an assumed, but reasonable, rate of charge transfer between N2 + and C, a peak C+ abundance results that is close to the peak electron densities measured by Voyager in Triton's ionosphere. These results suggest that Triton's upper atmospheric chemistry may thus be solar-controlled. Measurement of key reaction rate constants, currently unknown or highly uncertain at Triton's low temperatures, would help to clarify the chemical and physical processes occurring in Triton's atmosphere.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0027116624&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0027116624&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1126/science.11540928

DO - 10.1126/science.11540928

M3 - Article

VL - 256

SP - 204

EP - 206

JO - Science

JF - Science

SN - 0036-8075

IS - 5054

ER -