Since its arrival at Saturn in 2004, Cassini performed nine flybys devoted to the determination of Titan's gravity field and its tidal variations. Here we present an updated gravity solution based on the final data set collected during the gravity-dedicated passes, before Cassini's plunge into Saturn's atmosphere. The data set includes an additional flyby (T110, March 2015, primarily devoted to imaging Titan's north polar lakes) carried out with the low-gain antenna. This flyby was particularly valuable because the closest approach occurred at a high latitude (75°N), over an area not previously sampled. Previously published gravity results (Iess et al., 2012) indicated that Titan is subject to large eccentricity tides in response to the time varying perturbing potential exerted by Saturn. The magnitude of the response quad- rupole field, expressed in the tidal Love number k2, was used to infer the existence of an internal ocean. The new gravity field determination provides an improved estimate of k2 of about 0.62, accurate to a level of a few percent. The value is higher than the simplest models of Titan suggest and the interpretation is unclear; pos- sibilities include a high density ocean (as high as 1300 kg/m3), a partially viscous response of the deeper region, or a dynamic contribution to the tidal response. The new solution includes higher degree and order harmonic coefficients (up to 5) and offers an improved map of gravity anomalies. The geoid is poorly correlated with the topography, implying strong compensation. In addition, the updated geoid and its associated uncertainty could be used to refine the gravity-altimetry correlation analysis and for improved interpretation of radar altimetric data.

Titan's gravity field and interior structure after Cassini / Durante, Daniele; Hemingway, D. J.; Racioppa, P.; Iess, L.; Stevenson, D. J.. - In: ICARUS. - ISSN 0019-1035. - 326:(2019), pp. 123-132. [10.1016/j.icarus.2019.03.003]

Titan's gravity field and interior structure after Cassini

Durante, Daniele
Primo
;
Hemingway, D. J.;Racioppa, P.;Iess, L.;
2019

Abstract

Since its arrival at Saturn in 2004, Cassini performed nine flybys devoted to the determination of Titan's gravity field and its tidal variations. Here we present an updated gravity solution based on the final data set collected during the gravity-dedicated passes, before Cassini's plunge into Saturn's atmosphere. The data set includes an additional flyby (T110, March 2015, primarily devoted to imaging Titan's north polar lakes) carried out with the low-gain antenna. This flyby was particularly valuable because the closest approach occurred at a high latitude (75°N), over an area not previously sampled. Previously published gravity results (Iess et al., 2012) indicated that Titan is subject to large eccentricity tides in response to the time varying perturbing potential exerted by Saturn. The magnitude of the response quad- rupole field, expressed in the tidal Love number k2, was used to infer the existence of an internal ocean. The new gravity field determination provides an improved estimate of k2 of about 0.62, accurate to a level of a few percent. The value is higher than the simplest models of Titan suggest and the interpretation is unclear; pos- sibilities include a high density ocean (as high as 1300 kg/m3), a partially viscous response of the deeper region, or a dynamic contribution to the tidal response. The new solution includes higher degree and order harmonic coefficients (up to 5) and offers an improved map of gravity anomalies. The geoid is poorly correlated with the topography, implying strong compensation. In addition, the updated geoid and its associated uncertainty could be used to refine the gravity-altimetry correlation analysis and for improved interpretation of radar altimetric data.
2019
titan interior; radio science; gravity field; geodesy
01 Pubblicazione su rivista::01a Articolo in rivista
Titan's gravity field and interior structure after Cassini / Durante, Daniele; Hemingway, D. J.; Racioppa, P.; Iess, L.; Stevenson, D. J.. - In: ICARUS. - ISSN 0019-1035. - 326:(2019), pp. 123-132. [10.1016/j.icarus.2019.03.003]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1281269
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