PI: Henry Roe, Lowell Observatory, email@example.com
Address: 1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA
CoI: Emily Schaller, NASA Dryden
CoI: Michael Brown, Caltech
CoI: Chadwick Trujillo, Gemini Observatory
Title: Titan's Methane Weather post-Equinox: Seasonal climate change and large storm systems
Abstract: Titan's troposphere hosts a methane-based meteorology in direct analogy to Earth's water-based meteorology. Titan's atmosphere is a dynamic system with significant weather events regularly occurring on top of the backdrop of dramatic seasonal changes. The combination of Titan's long year (30 Earth years) with significant weather events occurring on timescales of a few days is a challenge to observing programs and spacecraft to acquire the data necessary to understand the complex seasonal cycles. We have assembled a network of ground-based telescopes to study Titan's weather, from small telescope photometry to spatially resolved imaging with ToO observations on Gemini. Observing Titan's clouds requires only a small amount (15-25 min) of large (8-10 meter) adaptive optics telescope time and queued Gemini observations are uniquely suited to this program. As Titan's northern spring progresses (equinox was in August 2009), continued observations are required to monitor the advance of the planetary scale monsoon and identify and characterize large storm systems as they emerge.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360