Some bioastronomical aspects of the giant planets and Titan

Research areas:
Year:
2000
Authors:
  • F Raulin
  • P Coll
  • H Cottin
  • N Smith
  • V Vuitton
  • S Ramirez-Jimenez
  • R Navarro-Gonzalez
  • Delphine Nna Mvondo
  • Y Benilan
  • JC Guillemin
  • MC Gazeau
Editor:
Lemarchand, GA and Meech, KJ
Volume:
213
Book title:
BIOASTRONOMY'99, A NEW ERA IN BIOASTRONOMY, PROCEEDINGS
Series:
ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF THE PACIFIC CONFERENCE SERIES
Pages:
325-332
Organization:
Int Astronom Union, Commiss 51
ISBN:
1-58381-044-7
BibTex:
Abstract:
Organic chemistry in extraterrestrial environments is an important
aspect of bioastronomy. All the outer planets, from Jupiter to Neptune
(and even Pluto) involve organic chemical processes, through the
chemistry of their atmosphere, initiated by methane photochemistry.
Those processes also occur in the dense atmosphere of Titan, the largest
satellite of Saturn (in the gas and aerosol phases). Although the
chemistry of these environments has been studied in some detail, many
questions still remain, such as, What are the processes involved in the
formation of HCN in the atmosphere of Neptune? What is the chemical
nature of the aerosols of Titan? How representative of these particles
are the so called ``tholins{''} (refractory organics produced in
laboratory simulation experiments)? How realistic are the photochemical
models of these environments, such as Titan's atmosphere, and what are
the uncertainties in the description of the chemistry in such models?
How complex is Titan's organic chemistry? Some of these questions are
discussed on the basis of the latest results obtained from the three
complementary approaches: observation, experimental simulation, and
theoretical modeling.