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Discovery of propylene in Titan's upper atmosphere with Cassini CIRS
Sunlight scattering through the periphery of Titan's atmosphere and forming a ring of color.

Cassini's Composite Infrared Spectrometer (CIRS) Team detected a new molecule, propylene (propene), in Titan's upper atmosphere.

Significance: First definitive identification of propylene gas in a planetary atmosphere outside Earth.

Propylene is an important raw material for our chemical industry. It is used to make polypropylene, a durable plastic that is molded into many commercial common items, including food storage containers.

Detection of Propene [Propylene] in Titan's Stratosphere
C. Nixon, D. Jennings, B. Bézard, S. Vinatier, N. Teanby, K. Sung, T. Ansty, P. Irwin, N. Gorius, V. Cottini, A. Coustenis, F. M. Flasar. Astroph.J.Lett. 776, 2013


Last Updated: 23 October 2013

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Last Updated: 23 Oct 2013