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Results for Titan's atmosphere from its occultation of 28 Sagittarii


ON 3 July 1989 the bright K giant star 28 Sgr was occulted by Saturn's largest moon, Titan. This event, which was predicted by Wasserman1, offered a unique opportunity to probe Titan's extensive nitrogen-rich atmosphere in an altitude range not investigated by the Voyager 1 spacecraft2,3. Our group observed the occultation from three stations in the Mediterranean area, and here we examine the data set. We derive average mesospheric temperatures of 180 K, with evidence for lateral and vertical atmospheric inhomogeneities on scales ranging from 10–1,000 km. Our results are consistent with published models4of Titan's mesosphere.

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Hubbard, W., Hunten, D., Reitsema, H. et al. Results for Titan's atmosphere from its occultation of 28 Sagittarii. Nature 343, 353–355 (1990).

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