New accurate theoretical line lists of 12CH4 and 13CH4 in the 0–13400 cm − 1 range: Application to the modeling of methane absorption in Titan's atmosphere
Abstract The spectrum of methane is very important for the analysis and modeling of Titan’s atmosphere but its insufficient knowledge in the near infrared, with the absence of reliable absorption coefficients, is an important limitation. In order to help the astronomer community for analyzing high-quality spectra, we report in the present work the first accurate theoretical methane line lists (T = 50–350 K) of 12 CH 4 and 13 CH 4 up to 13400 cm − 1 ( > 0.75 μm). These lists are built from extensive variational calculations using our recent ab initio potential and dipole moment surfaces and will be freely accessible via the TheoReTS information system (http://theorets.univ-reims.fr, http://theorets.tsu.ru). Validation of these lists is presented throughout the present paper. For the sample of lines where upper energies were available from published analyses of experimental laboratory 12 CH 4 spectra, small empirical corrections in positions were introduced that could be useful for future high-resolution applications. We finally apply the TheoRetS line list to model Titan spectra as observed by VIMS and by DISR, respectively onboard Cassini and Huygens. These data are used to check that the TheoReTS line lists are able to model observations. We also make comparisons with other experimental or theoretical line lists. It appears that TheoRetS gives very reliable results better than ExoMol and even than HITRAN2012, except around 1.6 μm where it gives very similar results. We conclude that TheoReTS is suitable to be used for the modeling of planetary radiative transfer and photometry. A re-analysis of spectra recorded by the DISR instrument during the descent of the Huygens probe suggests that the CH 4 mixing ratio decreases with altitude in Titan’s stratosphere, reaching a value of ∼ 10 − 2 above the 110 km altitude. Highlights Ab initio calculations. Methane ( 12 CH 4 and 13 CH 4 ). Theoretical line lists. TheoReTS database. Titan atmosphere.
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