Pluto the next decade of discovery
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Pluto: the next decade of discovery. Leslie Young Southwest Research Institute layoung@boulder.swri.edu. I. Decade-scale surface-atmosphere interaction. 2005: 30.9 AU, 34° sub-solar lat 2015: 32.8 AU, 49° sub-solar lat Farther at 0.2 AU/year distance, More northerly at 1.5 °/year.

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Pluto: the next decade of discovery

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Pluto: the next decade of discovery

Leslie Young

Southwest Research Institute

layoung@boulder.swri.edu


I. Decade-scale surface-atmosphere interaction


2005: 30.9 AU, 34° sub-solar lat

2015: 32.8 AU, 49° sub-solar lat

Farther at 0.2 AU/year distance,

More northerly at 1.5 °/year.


2005-2015, distance increases by 6%, insolation decreases by 12%. Simplest models have temperature decreasing by 3% (~1.2K),for the pressure nearly halving.


Sicardy et al. 2003, Nature 424

Elliot et al. 2003, Nature 424


Hansen and Paige fig 3 (high thermal inertia)

perihelion

1000

year

1200

Hansen and Paige 1996, Icarus 120


Hansen and Paige fig 4 (moderate thermal inertia)

perihelion

1000

year

1200


Hansen and Paige fig 7 (low thermal inertia)

perihelion

1000

year

1200


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


Darkening of ices following sublimation

Thermal inertia

Old, frost-covered winter pole coming into sunlight


II. Distinguishing seasonal models with observations


1954.8

1964.4

1975.2

1982.2

Stern et al. 1988, Icarus 75

Buie et al. 1997, Icarus 125

1992/93

Changes in lightcurve mean and amplitude can be due to volatile transport or changing viewing.


Douté et al 1999, Icarus 142

CH4

CO

N2

Spectra on the surface absorption in reflected sunlight is diagnostic of the volatiles on Pluto's surface, including their grain size, mixing state, and temperature. 0.8-2.5 µm range includes N2, CH4, and CO. Shorter wavelengths include weak CH4 bands, and CH4 and tholins have absorption at 3.3 µm (See Olkin 55.02).


Hansen and Paige 1996, Icarus 120

1300 µm brightess temperature

60 µm brightness temperature

N2 frost temperature

1000

year

1200


Young 2004, BAAS

Occultations are the most sensitive and direct measure of changes in atmospheric pressure.


III. Some words of warning...


Grundy & Buie 2001, Icarus 153

Young 55.03, Buie 49.03

Young et al. 2001, AJ 121

Non-secular time-dependent effects on visible

albedo—rotation and possible opposition surges


1998

1995

Grundy and Buie 2001,Icarus 153.

Longitudinal change is much larger than the tentative secular variation (green vs. red dots) in CH4 1.66 µm band


Lellouch et al. 2000, Icarus 147

.6 Jy

.6 Jy

.3 Jy

.2 Jy

.8 Jy

.8 Jy

.3 Jy

0 Jy

Thermal rotational lightcurves have higher amplitudes thanthe expected seasonal change.


IV. New Horizons spacecraft to Pluto; flight 2006-2015


PERSI Remote Sensing Package

Objectives:

  • MVIC: Global geology and geomorphology. Stereo and terminator images. Refine radii and orbits. Search for rings and satellites. Search for clouds and hazes.

  • LEISA: Global composition maps, high resolution composition maps, temperatures from NIR bands.

  • ALICE: UV airglow and solar occultation to characterize Pluto’s neutral atmosphere. Search for ionosphere, H, H2, and CxHy. Search for Charon’s atmosphere.


REX Radio Experiment

  • Objectives:

  • Profiles of number density,

  • temperature, and pressure in

  • Pluto ’s atmosphere, including

  • conditions at surface.

  • •Search for Pluto’s ionosphere.

  • •Search for atmosphere and

  • ionosphere on Charon.

  • •Measure masses and radii of

  • Pluto and Charon, and masses

  • of flyby KBOs.

  • •Measure disk- averaged

  • microwave brightness

  • temperatures (4.2 cm) of

  • Pluto and Charon.


SWAP Solar Wind Plasma Sensor

  • Objectives:

  • Slowdown of the solar wind,as a diagnostic of Pluto’s atmospheric escape rate.

  • Solar wind standoff

  • Solar wind speed

  • Solar wind density

  • Nature of interaction of solar wind and Pluto’s atmosphere (distinguish magnetic, cometary, and ionospheric interactions)


PEPSSI Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer

  • Objectives:

  • Measure energetic particles from Pluto’s upper atmosphere,as a diagnostic of Pluto’s atmospheric escape rate.


LORRI Long Range Reconnasance Imager

Objectives

• Far-side maps

• High-resolution closest approach images, including terminator and stereo imaging.


Summary

  • We expect Pluto to undergo seasonal change in the next decade

  • Observations can constrain models of voalatile transport in the outer solar system

  • Beware spatial-temporal confusion!

  • Long time-base observations support and are supported by the planned New Horizons mission to Pluto


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