The recent expansion of Pluto's atmosphere

  title={The recent expansion of Pluto's atmosphere},
  author={James L. Elliot and Alper K. Ateş and Bruce A. Babcock and Amanda S. Bosh and Marc W. Buie and Kelly B. Clancy and Edward Wood Dunham and Stephen S. Eikenberry and Doyle T. Hall and Susan Diane Kern and Sandy K. Leggett and Stephen E. Levine and Dae Seung Moon and Cathy B. Olkin and David James Osip and Jay M. Pasachoff and Bryan Edward Penprase and Michael J. Person and S. Qu and John Rayner and L. C. Roberts and Colette Salyk and Steven P. Souza and Ronald C. Stone and Brian W. Taylor and David J. Tholen and Joanna Elizabeth Thomas-Osip and David Ticehurst and Lawrence H. Wasserman},
Stellar occultations—the passing of a relatively nearby body in front of a background star—can be used to probe the atmosphere of the closer body with a spatial resolution of a few kilometres (ref. 1). Such observations can yield the scale height, temperature profile, and other information about the structure of the occulting atmosphere. Occultation data acquired for Pluto's atmosphere in 1988 revealed a nearly isothermal atmosphere above a radius of ∼1,215 km. Below this level, the data could… 
Observations of the 2007 March 18 occultation of the star P445.3 (2UCAC 25823784; R = 15.3) by Pluto were obtained at high time resolution at five sites across the western United States and reduced
Changes in Pluto’s Atmosphere
Pluto's tenuous atmosphere was probed in 1988 with a stellar occultation observed from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO, Elliot et al. 1989) and a variety of ground-based sites (Millis et al.
We present results from a multi-chord Pluto stellar occultation observed on 2015 June 29 from New Zealand and Australia. This occurred only two weeks before the NASA New Horizons flyby of the Pluto
Pluto's lower atmosphere structure and methane abundance from high-resolution spectroscopy and stellar occultations
Context. Pluto possesses a thin atmosphere, primarily composed of nitrogen, in which the detection of methane has been reported. Aims. The goal is to constrain essential but so far unknown parameters
Changes in Pluto’s Atmosphere: 1988-2006
The 2006 June 12 occultation of the star P384.2 (2UCAC 26039859) by Pluto was observed from five sites in southeastern Australia with high-speed imaging photometers that produced time-series CCD
New constraints on the surface of Pluto
Aims. Spectroscopic investigation of the surface of Pluto allows us to constrain the chemical properties of the volatile species of the solar system reservoir. This permits us to obtain the relative
The Structure of Pluto's Atmosphere from the 2002 August 21 Stellar Occultation
We have observed the 2002 August 21 occultation by Pluto of theR ¼ 15:7mag star P131.1, using 0.5 s cadence observations in integrated white light with the Williams College frame-transfer,
Exploring the Solar System using stellar occultations
  • B. Sicardy
  • Physics, Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • 2017
Abstract Stellar occultations by solar system objects allow kilometric accuracy, permit the detection of tenuous atmospheres (at nbar level), and the discovery of rings. The main limitation was the
The Pluto system after the New Horizons flyby
In July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons mission performed a flyby of Pluto, revealing details about the geology, surface composition and atmospheres of this world and its moons that are unobtainable from


Pluto's atmosphere
Pluto's Radius and Atmosphere: Results from the Entire 9 June 1988 Occultation Data Set
We have analyzed all photometric observations of the 9 June 1988 occultation of the star P8 by Pluto in order to derive the radius of Pluto and certain parameters of its atmosphere. Our analysis is
The Prediction and Observation of the 1997 July 18 Stellar Occultation by Triton: More Evidence for Distortion and Increasing Pressure in Triton's Atmosphere
Abstract A variety of CCD astrometric data was used to predict the location of the path for the occultation of the star we have denoted “Tr176” by Triton, which occurred on 1997 July 18, and was
Large changes in Pluto's atmosphere as revealed by recent stellar occultations
Data from the first occultations by Pluto since 1988 are reported and it is found that, during the intervening 14 years, there seems to have been a doubling of the atmospheric pressure, a probable seasonal effect on Pluto.
Occultation evidence for an atmosphere on Pluto
On 9 June 1988, Pluto occulted a 12th magnitude star1. Several observations of the occultation were obtained from Australia, New Zealand, and the south Pacific2 and indicated that the initial decline
Upper limits on possible photochemical hazes on Pluto
Elliot et al. [1989] invoked a haze layer near the surface of Pluto to explain certain features of a stellar occultation by that planet in June, 1988. The primary requirements for this haze layer
Analysis of Stellar Occultation Data. II. Inversion, with Application to Pluto and Triton
We present a method for obtaining atmospheric temperature, pressure, and number density profiles for small bodies through inversion of light curves recorded during stellar occultations. This method
Analysis of stellar occultation data for planetary atmospheres. I - Model fitting, with application to Pluto
Consideration is given to an analytic model for a stellar-occultation light curve developed for a small, spherically symmetric planetary atmosphere that includes thermal and molecular weight