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Titan has a thick atmosphere made up of mostly molecular Nitrogen and Methane which absorbs light and blocks the surface to telescopes, save for certain "spectral windows" (the white portions in the following figure): Principal absorbing gases in Titan's atmosphere

Taken from Clark et al., 2010.

The abovementioned paper also lists chemical compounds that were detected on Titan's surface (methane, ethane, benzene, toluene and others).

I am now interested to know which compounds can be seen through which "spectral window". In the paper, the authors say: "We searched spectral libraries, published spectra, and conducted our own laboratory measurements of organic compounds in order to search for matches to the spectral features illustrated..."

How exactly did they do it? If I want to find which compound can be seen through which window, where should I look it up? I searched for papers and looked up references, but I was unable to find definite statements along the lines of "water are expected to be seen in XX micron and benzene in YY micron".

I have also come across a paper by Soderblom et al. which presents this figure (figure 6.12 there): enter image description here

I think this is what I am looking for, but how can I recreate it for other compounds?

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  • $\begingroup$ Sub-question (didn't think it warranted a separate question and didn't want to complicate the above question further): If we look at the 2.0 micron window, would we be able to see methane ice and carbon dioxide ice but not water ice? Am I interpreting the last figure correctly? $\endgroup$ – Don_S Mar 18 '18 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ Nice to see your question undeleted. $\endgroup$ – peterh Apr 14 at 0:20

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