PIA16843: Simulating Titan-Like Smog

Simulating Titan-Like Smog


In a laboratory experiment at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., scientists simulating the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan have brewed up complex organic molecules that they think could eventually lead to the building blocks of life. In this picture, molecules of dicyanoacetylene are seen on a special film on a sapphire window. They are the result of exposing simple organic molecules known to exist at Titan with sun-like radiation on Aug. 4, 2010. The residue is among the smog-like airborne molecules with carbon-nitrogen-hydrogen bonds that the astronomer Carl Sagan called "tholins" that give orange-brown color to Titan.

The experiment was conducted at JPL's Titan Organic Aerosol and Surface Chemistry laboratory.

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Titan Saturn, Sun
System Saturn
Target Type Satellite Planet, Sun
Instrument Host
Host Type
Extra Keywords Atmosphere, Color
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2013-04-03
Date in Caption 2010-08-04
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16843
Identifier PIA16843