Fourth Workshop on

‘Titan Chemistry – Observations, Experiments, Computations, and Modeling’

Saint Jacut de la Mer, France June
17-18, 2010

Saturn’s moon Titan is the only solar system body besides Earth and Venus with a thick atmosphere and solid surface and is widely considered as a natural laboratory on the planetary scale to understand the prebiotic che­mis­try on proto-Earth. The Cassini-Huygens mission to Titan has opened a new chapter in Solar System exploration and extraterrestrial atmospheric chemistry. On January 14, 2005, the Huygens probe successfully descended through the atmosphere of Titan and safely landed on its surface. An extraordinary new world has been unveiled. The scientific data obtained by the Huygens experi­ments and by the Cassini Orbiter - currently being archived and analyzed – are far from being understood.

This workshop is part of the NSF-Collaborative Research in Chemistry (CRC) Network "Chemistry of Unsaturated Hydrocarbons in Titan's Atmosphere” and the fourth in a series of annual meetings aimed to better understand the hydrocarbon chemistry taking place in the atmosphere and on the surface of Titan. It brings together atmospheric modelers, astronomical observers, mission specialists, planetary scientists, phy­­si­cal chemists (dynamics, kinetics, photochemistry), theoreticians (electronic struc­ture, dyna­mics calculations), astrobiologists, and or­ganic chemists. By focusing on the interplay between observational & mis­sion data, modeling, and funda­mental investigations of the underlying chemical reactions and photochemical processes, we also seek emerging generalized concepts on the che­mical pro­cessing of hydrocarbon-rich atmospheres of planets and their moons in the Solar System. By exploring the current boundaries of planetary science and chemical know­ledge, we can more effectively design new laboratory experiments under well-defined con­ditions (and recommend promising directions for further observational searches) and upcoming Solar System missions to resolve hitherto unanswered aspects of molecular syn­the­sis in our Solar System.

The workshop features invited (35 min + 10 min discussion) as well as contributed talks (20 min + 5 min discussion) as well as several keynote speakers. The meeting will include a mix of observation, experiments (ion and neutral chemistry; gas phase and condensed phase), theory, and modeling. Details of registration, accommodation, and abstract submission will be posted soon on this web page. For additional questions, please email to ian.sims@univ-rennes1.fr We are looking forward to seeing you in Saint Jacut de la Mer.