PI: Henry Roe, Lowell Observatory, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
CoI: Emily Schaller, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii
CoI: Michael Brown, Caltech
CoI: Chadwick Trujillo, Gemini Observatory
Title: Titan methane weather at Equinox: Seasonal climate change and surface geology
Abstract: Previously in this program we discovered Titan's mid-latitude clouds (Roe et al. 2005a) and that their locations are controlled by surface processes, possibly including cryovolcanoes, geysering, and/or the opening of surface cracks (Roe et al. 2005b). We observed a massive storm engulfing the south pole (Schaller et al. 2006a) and found a near- disappearance of south polar cloud activity as the season moved further into southern summer (Schaller et al. 2006B). In the most recent observing season we discovered clouds in the north polar region that are formed via lake-effect processes (Brown et al. 2008) and observed a tropical storm that induced Rossby-wave clouds in the south polar region (Schaller et al. 2009). Observing Titan's clouds requires only a small amount (20-25 min) of large (8-10 meter) adaptive optics telescope time and queued Gemini observations are uniquely suited to this observing program. As Titan's Northern spring season commences (August 2009), continued observations are required to monitor the advance of the planetary scale monsoon, driving new clouds in the northern and southern polar regions, and identify and monitor regions of active surface geology.
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