Annotated Bibliography

Bostroem, K. and Proffitt, C., 2011, “STIS Data Handbook”, Version 6.0,

(Baltimore: STScI).

This handbook presents technical and data information for the instrument aboard the Hubble Space Telescope. It will provide helpful insight into the coordinates of the spacecraft for use in calculating and mapping the local latitude and longitudes for the data images.


Esposito, L. W., and L. L. House.   1978.   Radiative transfer calculated by a

Markov chain formalism.   Astrophys. J. 219, 1058-1067.   LASP reprint 905.

Larry Esposito is an expert in planetary atmospheres as well as programming models for use with observations and currently is an astronomy professor at the University of Colorado as well as researcher at Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP).

Esposito and House’s paper provides a mathematical model for radiaitve transfer in an atmosphere based off the Markov chain sequence of tracking individual photons. The theory behind the paper is to provide an analytical solution to tracking the photons and how they interact throughout the atmosphere. The authors claim this model can be both accurate as well as economical (CPU process time).

This paper is fairly straightforward for those with minor math and atmospheric backgrounds. The terminology is not portrayed in layman terms, though, but still provides background in each topic presented. The paper serves as an alternative to the previously used Monte Carlo formalism, which it compares to the Markov chain formalism.

This paper will be of used as a reference for me since I am focused primarily on working with Python, but nonetheless it is a valuable resource. The group is using this particular topic as a basis for modeling Titan and thus to use my data manipulation to include as initial conditions for the model.


Hernandez, S., et al. 2014, “STIS Instrument Handbook”, Version 13.0,

(Baltimore: STScI).



Hsu, J. C., et al., 2014 “PyFits Documentation”, Release 3.2.2

This handbook was written specifically for the astronomical data libraries for the computer programming language, Python.


I will use this as a major resource when working with the initial data set from the Hubble telescope; primary data is in .fits extensions.


Karkoschka, Erich.   1994.   Spectrophotometry of the Jovian Planets and

Titan at 300- to 1000-nm Wavelength: The Methane Spectrum.   Icarus. 111, 174-192.

Erich Karkoschka is a planetary researcher for the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory. He became his career at LPL as a graduate student on 1983 and defended his dissertation about Saturn’s atmosphere in 1990. He has worked with several large terrestrial and space telescopes to study the atmospheres of the gas planets as well as Titan.

Karkoschka’s paper presents various spectrographs of the Jovian planets and Titan in numerous wavelengths with intent to distinguish the methane absorption bands from other absorbing constituents in the Jovian system. This is necessary because in laboratory environments, methane absorptions are measured at cold temperature, which only allows small intervals of absorption wavelengths.

The paper reduces observational data to produce transmission and absorption for numerous wavelengths between 300 and 1000 nm, which spans ultraviolet to infrared. The output values from this paper step by 1 nm and are averages of the observed Jovian values.

It will be useful for the most up to date observational wavelengths for various methane absorption bands. This will help to determine which wavelengths Titan can be best viewed through and as a reference for comparing my data images of Titan with associated wavelengths in Karkoschka’s table. The small region of the spectrum I will be using is documented with good precision in Karkoschka’s paper as well, so this should be a good analysis if the data reduction is accurate in representing Titan’s atmosphere.


Smith, F. L. III and Cody Smith. 1972. Numerical Evaluation of Chapman’s

Incidence Integral ch(X,x). Journal of Geophysical Research 77.19

The Smith and Smith paper discusses numerical evaluations of Chapman’s grazing incident angle integral to model how electromagnetic waves behave as they interact with atmospheric constituents.

This paper is very audience specific, the language is very strong and it assumes the reader has a background in atmospheric composition and dynamics.

Smith and Smith provide a numerical approach using computer programming to solve the Chapman function, which is an important value when evaluating atmospheric behavior.

This paper is not a specific reference for my work, but is an important one for the overall group. Using this function, they will be able to better model Titan’s atmosphere at the edges and during sunrise/sunset instances.


Young, Eliot and et al. (2002), A Three-dimensional Map of Titan’s

Tropospheric Haze Distribution Based on Hubble Space Telescope. The Astronomical Journal 123: 3473-3486

Eliot Young is a Principal Scientist at Southwest Research Institute’s Space Sciences office in Boulder, CO.

Young’s paper demonstrates mapping of optical haze depth in three dimensions using 6 specific wavelengths in the infrared spectrum from images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope ranging from 888 to 953 nm. The haze produced in Titan’s atmosphere appears to be a homogenous yellow ball when looked at in the visible portion of the spectrum. In looking at it in infrared, the group was able to probe Titan’s atmosphere from the surface up to roughly 100 km. The main goal of the project, and thus the paper, was to be able to create a 3-dimensional map of by using computer models to match images of each wavelength form Hubble images and combine them to resolve the concentration of haze throughout the atmosphere.

This paper provides me with a starting point in the theory of how I will accomplish writing the Python code to establish the distribution of methane throughout Titan’s atmosphere. It also serves a a good reference for me as to the very complex interactions that happen in Titan’s atmosphere.