Comparative pyrolysis mass spectrometric data of Titan aerosol analogues, called "tholins", are presented. The Titan tholins were produced in the laboratory at Cornell by irradiation of simulated Titan atmospheres with high energy electrons in plasma discharge. Mass-spectrometry measurements were performed at FOM of the solid phase of various tholins by Curie-point pyrolysis Gas-Chromatography/Mass-Spectrometry (GCMS) and by temperature resolved insource Pyrolysis Mass-Spectrometry to reveal the composition and evolution temperature of the dissociation products. The results presented here are used to further define the ACP (Aerosol Collector Pyrolyser)-GCMS experiment and provide a basis for modelling of aerosol composition on Titan and for the interpretation of Titan atmosphere data from the Huygens probe in the future.

Adv. Space Res.

Ehrenfreund, P., Boon, J. J., Commandeur, J. M., Sagan, C., Thompson, W. R., & Khare, B. (1995). Analytical pyrolysis experiments of Titan aerosol analogues in preparation for the Cassini Huygens mission. Adv. Space Res., 15, 335–342.