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Titan airglow during eclipse

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Abstract

[1] Solar XUV photons can provide enough energy to account for the observed nitrogen UV dayglow emissions above 800 km, but a small or sporadic contribution from energetic particles cannot be ruled out. Furthermore, ion production at altitudes deeper than 800 km as inferred from radio occultation cannot be produced by solar XUV stimulation and implies energy deposition from protons and oxygen ions. Here we examine UV spectra and visible-wavelength images of Titan in Saturn's shadow, when XUV stimulation is absent. UV emissions are observed in one of the three sets of spectra, and the intensity of these emissions is about a factor of 10 less than the peak intensity reported on the dayside. We observe visible-wavelength emissions for the first time. No horizontally resolved auroral structures are seen in the visible images. At visible wavelengths Titan has a global emission at the haze-top level that is not understood, although cosmic ray ionization and chemiluminescence are candidates needing further investigation.

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