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First Images of Titan at 1.3 Micron with the Adaptive Optics PUEO System at the CFHT

  • Athena Coustenis (a1), Eric Gendron (a1), Oliver Lai (a2), Jean-Pierre Véran (a3), Julien Woillez (a4), Michel Combes (a4), Thierry Fusco (a5) and Laurent Mugnier (a5)...

Abstract

The first images of Titan at 1.3 micron were obtained with the PUEO adaptive optics system at the CFHT, on October 26 1998. We have also obtained images of Titan at 1.6 micron. Our diffraction-limited images (about 10 independent resolution elements or 20 pixels on the disk) pertain to Titan’s leading hemisphere. We have used narrow-band filters centered outside (1.29, 1.6 µm) and in the wings (1.18, 1.64 µm) of the methane bands, so as to be able to subtract the atmospheric contribution from our data. Images of Titan’s surface show the large equatorial region to be bright at both wavelengths. Combined with previous spectroscopic and imaging data, our findings are compatible with the presence of a mountainous plateau, covered with bright ice (perhaps methane), near the equator of Titan and with hydrocarbon deposits in the darker areas.

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References

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Combes, M., Vapillon, L., Gendron, E., Coustenis, A., Lai, O., Wittemberg, R., & Sirdey, R. 1997, Icarus, 129, 482
Coustenis, A., Gendron, E., Lai, O., Véran, J.-P., Woillez, J., Combes, M., Fusco, Th., & Mugnier, L. 2000a, submitted
Coustenis, A., Schmitt, B., Lellouch, E., McKay, C.P., Rannou, P., Raynaud, E., Cabane, M., & Maillard, J.-P. 2000b, in preparation
Meier, R., Smith, B.A., & Owen, T.C. 2000, Icarus, 145, 462
Smith, P.H., Lemmon, M.T., Lorenz, R.D., Sromovsky, L.A., Calwell, J.J., & Allison, M.D. 1996, Icarus, 119, 336

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First Images of Titan at 1.3 Micron with the Adaptive Optics PUEO System at the CFHT

  • Athena Coustenis (a1), Eric Gendron (a1), Oliver Lai (a2), Jean-Pierre Véran (a3), Julien Woillez (a4), Michel Combes (a4), Thierry Fusco (a5) and Laurent Mugnier (a5)...

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