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Sample records for horizons pluto kuiper

  1. The New Horizons Pluto Kuiper belt Mission: An Overview with Historical Context

    CERN Document Server

    Stern, S Alan

    2007-01-01

    NASA's New Horizons (NH) Pluto-Kuiper belt (PKB) mission was launched on 19 January 2006 on a Jupiter Gravity Assist (JGA) trajectory toward the Pluto system for a 14 July 2015 closest approach; Jupiter closest approach occurred on 28 February 2007. It was competitively selected by NASA for development on 29 November 2001. New Horizons is the first mission to the Pluto system and the Kuiper belt; and will complete the reconnaissance of the classical planets. The ~400 kg spacecraft carries seven scientific instruments, including imagers, spectrometers, radio science, a plasma and particles suite, and a dust counter built by university students. NH will study the Pluto system over a 5-month period beginning in early 2015. Following Pluto, NH will go on to reconnoiter one or two 30-50 kilometer diameter Kuiper belt Objects (KBOs), if NASA approves an extended mission. If successful, NH will represent a watershed development in the scientific exploration of a new class of bodies in the solar system - dwarf planet...

  2. New Horizons Reconnaissance of the Pluto-Charon System and the Kuiper Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Russell, C. T

    2009-01-01

    The New Horizons mission provides the first in situ reconnaissance of the Pluto-Charon System and the Kuiper belt, arguably the last frontier of solar system exploration. This book describes the mission, its objectives, expected results, and instruments in articles written by the scientists and engineers most closely involved. The New Horizons mission is expected to return unique observations and discoveries, which will revolutionize our understanding of the formation of the solar system. This volume is aimed at researchers and graduate students active in planetary science and space exploration, and all other potential users of data obtained by the instruments on board the New Horizons mission.

  3. ALICE: The Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph aboard the New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission

    CERN Document Server

    Stern, S Alan; Scherrer, John; Stone, John; Dirks, Greg; Versteeg, Maarten; Davis, Michael; Gladstone, G R; Parker, Joel Wm; Young, Leslie A; Siegmund, O H W

    2007-01-01

    The New Horizons ALICE instrument is a lightweight (4.4 kg), low-power (4.4 Watt) imaging spectrograph aboard the New Horizons mission to Pluto/Charon and the Kuiper Belt. Its primary job is to determine the relative abundances of various species in Pluto's atmosphere. ALICE will also be used to search for an atmosphere around Pluto's moon, Charon, as well as the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that New Horizons hopes to fly by after Pluto-Charon, and it will make UV surface reflectivity measurements of all of these bodies as well. The instrument incorporates an off-axis telescope feeding a Rowland-circle spectrograph with a 520-1870 angstroms spectral passband, a spectral point spread function of 3-6 angstroms FWHM, and an instantaneous spatial field-of-view that is 6 degrees long. Different input apertures that feed the telescope allow for both airglow and solar occultation observations during the mission. The focal plane detector is an imaging microchannel plate (MCP) double delay-line detector with dual solar-...

  4. Ralph: A Visible/Infrared Imager for the New Horizons Pluto/Kuiper Belt Mission

    CERN Document Server

    Reuter, Dennis C; Scherrer, John; Jennings, Donald E; Baer, James; Hanley, John; Hardaway, Lisa; Lunsford, Allen; McMuldroch, Stuart; Moore, Jeffrey; Olkin, Cathy; Parizek, Robert; Reitsma, Harold; Sabatke, Derek; Spencer, John; Stone, John; Throop, Henry; Van Cleve, Jeffrey; Weigle, Gerald E; Young, Leslie A

    2007-01-01

    The New Horizons instrument named Ralph is a visible/near infrared multi-spectral imager and a short wavelength infrared spectral imager. It is one of the core instruments on New Horizons, NASA's first mission to the Pluto/Charon system and the Kuiper Belt. Ralph combines panchromatic and color imaging capabilities with IR imaging spectroscopy. Its primary purpose is to map the surface geology and composition of these objects, but it will also be used for atmospheric studies and to map the surface temperature. It is a compact, low-mass (10.5 kg), power efficient (7.1 W peak), and robust instrument with good sensitivity and excellent imaging characteristics. Other than a door opened once in flight, it has no moving parts. These characteristics and its high degree of redundancy make Ralph ideally suited to this long-duration flyby reconnaissance mission.

  5. Latest Results from and Plans for the New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Harold; Stern, Alan

    2016-07-01

    On 2015 July 14 NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew 12,500 km above the surface of Pluto revealing a world of remarkable complexity and diversity. A giant basin filled with nitrogen ice dominated the encounter hemisphere and is the site of vigorous ongoing solid state convection that generates glacier-like transport along the surface. Giant mountains of water ice appear to be floating in the nitrogen ice. The periphery of the basin has a wide variety of landforms, including ice flow channels and chaotically arranged blocks of water ice. Extensive sublimation pitting is observed within the nitrogen ice sheet, testifying to active volatile transport. Peculiar bladed terrain to the east of the nitrogen ice sheet appears to be coated by methane ice. Pluto's equatorial region is dominated by an ancient dark red belt of material, probably tholins created either by irradiation of surface ices or by haze precipitation from the atmosphere. Pluto sports a wide variety of surface craters with some terrains dating back approximately 4 billion years while some terrains are geologically young. New Horizons discovered trace hydrocarbons in Pluto's atmosphere, multiple global haze layers, and a surface pressure near 10 microbars. Charon, Pluto's largest moon, displays tectonics, evidence for a heterogeneous crustal composition, and a puzzling giant hood of dark material covering its North Pole. Crater density statistics for Charon's surface give a crater retention age of 4-4.5 Ga, indicating that Charon's geological evolution largely ceased early in its history. All of Pluto's four small moons (Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra) have high albedos, highly elongated shapes, and are rotating much faster then synchronous with their orbital periods, with rotational poles clustered near the Pluto-Charon orbital plane. The surfaces of Nix and Hydra are coated with nearly pristine crystalline water ice, despite having crater retention ages greater than 4 billion years. The New Horizons

  6. New Horizons at Pluto: Asking the right questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Leslie; Stern, S. Alan; Olkin, Catherine B.; Spencer, John R.; Cheng, Andrew F.; Weaver, Harold A.; Ennico, Kimberly; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Grundy, William M.; Bagenal, Fran; Gladstone, Randy; Lunine, Jonathan I.; New Horizons Science Team

    2016-10-01

    In the 1980's and 1990's, breakthroughs about Pluto and the outer solar system laid the groundwork for the Outer Planets Science Working Group (1992), the Pluto Kuiper Express mission Science Definition Team (1996), and the Announcement of Opportunity for the Pluto Kuiper-Belt mission in 2001. These included specific science goals that molded the mission design, instrument selection, and observing sequence. These goals held up amazingly well over the decades. This historical review of New Horizons will explain how ground-based and theoretical work prepared us for a successful investigation of Pluto, and speculate on some of the new questions raised by the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  7. New Horizons Mission to Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado, Luis G.

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the trajectory that will take the New Horizons Mission to Pluto. Included are photographs of the spacecraft, the launch vehicle, the assembled vehicle as it is being moved to the launch pad and the launch. Also shown are diagrams of the assembled parts with identifying part names.

  8. Impact Craters on Pluto and Charon Indicate a Deficit of Small Kuiper Belt Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Kelsi N.; McKinnon, William B.; Greenstreet, Sarah; Gladman, Brett; Parker, Alex Harrison; Robbins, Stuart J.; Schenk, Paul M.; Stern, S. Alan; Bray, Veronica; Spencer, John R.; Weaver, Harold A.; Beyer, Ross A.; Young, Leslie; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Binzel, Richard; Grundy, William M.; New Horizons Geology Geophysics and Imaging Science Theme Team, The New Horizons MVIC and LORRI Teams

    2016-10-01

    The impact craters observed during the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system currently provide the most extensive empirical constraints on the size-frequency distribution of smaller impactors in the Kuiper belt. These craters also help us understand the surface ages and geologic evolution of the Pluto system bodies. Pluto's terrains display a diversity of crater retention ages and terrain types, indicating ongoing geologic activity and a variety of resurfacing styles including both exogenic and endogenic processes. Charon's informally named Vulcan Planum did experience early resurfacing, but crater densities suggest this is also a relatively ancient surface. We will present and compare the craters mapped across all of the relevant New Horizons LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) datasets of Pluto and Charon. We observe a paucity of small craters on all terrains (there is a break to a shallower slope for craters below 10 km in diameter), despite adequate resolution to observe them. This lack of small craters cannot be explained by geological resurfacing alone. In particular, the main area of Charon's Vulcan Planum displays no obviously embayed or breached crater rims, and may be the best representation of a production population since the emplacement of the plain. The craters on Pluto and Charon are more consistent with Kuiper belt and solar system evolution models producing fewer small objects.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  9. Destination pluto: New horizons performance during the approach phase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanigan, Sarah H.; Rogers, Gabe D.; Guo, Yanping; Kirk, Madeline N.; Weaver, Harold A.; Owen, William M.; Jackman, Coralie D.; Bauman, Jeremy; Pelletier, Frederic; Nelson, Derek; Stanbridge, Dale; Dumont, Phillip J.; Williams, Bobby; Stern, S. Alan; Olkin, Cathy B.; Young, Leslie A.; Ennico, Kimberly

    2016-11-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft began its journey to the Pluto-Charon system on January 19, 2006 on-board an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. As the first mission in NASA's New Frontiers program, the objective of the New Horizons mission is to perform the first exploration of ice dwarfs in the Kuiper Belt, extending knowledge of the solar system to include the icy "third zone" for the first time. Arriving at the correct time and correct position relative to Pluto on July 14, 2015 depended on the successful execution of a carefully choreographed sequence of events. The Core command sequence, which was developed and optimized over multiple years and included the highest-priority science observations during the closest approach period, was contingent on precise navigation to the Pluto-Charon system and nominal performance of the guidance and control (G&C) subsystem. The flyby and gravity assist of Jupiter on February 28, 2007 was critical in placing New Horizons on the path to Pluto. Once past Jupiter, trajectory correction maneuvers (TCMs) became the sole source of trajectory control since the spacecraft did not encounter any other planetary bodies along its flight path prior to Pluto. During the Pluto approach phase, which formally began on January 15, 2015, optical navigation images were captured primarily with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager to refine spacecraft and Pluto-Charon system trajectory knowledge, which in turn was used to design TCMs. Orbit determination solutions were also used to update the spacecraft's on-board trajectory knowledge throughout the approach phase. Nominal performance of the G&C subsystem, accurate TCM designs, and high-quality orbit determination solutions resulted in final Pluto-relative B-plane arrival conditions that facilitated a successful first reconnaissance of the Pluto-Charon system.

  10. The New Horizons Mission to Pluto and Flyby of Jupiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Alan; Weaver, Hal; Young, Leslie; Bagenal, Fran; Binzel, Richard; Buratti, Bonnie; Cheng, andy; Cruikshank, Dale; Gladstone, Randy; Grundy, Will; Hinson, David; Horanyi, Mihaly; Jennings, Don; Linscott, Ivan; McComas, Dave; McKinnon, William; McNutt, Ralph; Moore, Jeffrey; Murchie, Scott; Olkin, Cathy; Porco, Carolyn; Reitsema, Harold; Reuter, Dennis; Slater, Dave; Spencer, John

    2008-01-01

    New Horizons (NH) is NASA's mission to provide the first in situ reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons Charon, Nix, and Hydra. The NH spacecraft will reach Pluto in July 2015 and will then, if approved for an extended mission phase, continue on to a flyby encounter with one or more Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). NH was launched on 19 January 2006 and received a gravity assist during a flyby encounter with Jupiter (with closest approach at -32 RJ on 28 February 2007) that reduced its flight time to Pluto by 3 years. During the Jupiter flyby, NH collected a trove of multi-wavelength imaging and fields-and-particles measurements. Among the many science results at Jupiter were a detection of planet-wide mesoscale waves, eruptions of atmospheric ammonia clouds, unprecedented views of Io's volcanic plumes and Jupiter's tenuous ring system, a first close-up of the Little Red Spot (LRS), first sightings of polar lightning, and a trip down the tail of the magnetosphere. In 2015, NH will conduct a seven-month investigation of the Pluto system culminating in a closest approach some 12,500 km from Pluto's surface. Planning is presently underway for the Pluto encounter with special emphasis on longidentified science goals of studying the terrain, geology, and composition of the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, examining the composition and structure of Pluto's atmosphere, searching for an atmosphere on Charon, and characterizing Pluto's ionosphere and solar wind interaction. Detailed inspections will also be performed of the newly discovered satellites Nix and Hydra. Additionally, NH will characterize energetic particles in Pluto's environment, refine the bulk properties of Pluto and Charon, and search for additional satellites and rings.

  11. New Horizons: Bridge to the Beginning - to Pluto and Beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, H. M.; Hallau, K. G.; Seaton, P.; Beisser, K.; New Horizons Education; Public Outreach Team

    2010-12-01

    Launched on Jan. 19, 2006, NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt will help us understand worlds at the edge of our solar system by making the first reconnaissance of Pluto and Charon - a "double planet" and the last planet in our solar system to be visited by spacecraft. However, New Horizons’ closest approach to Pluto will not occur until July 14, 2015, and the majority of the craft's time over the next 5 years will be spent in "hibernation." The Education and Public Outreach (EPO) team, however, will not be hibernating as we wait for New Horizons to reach its destination. With three distinct tools-- Educator Fellows, online learning modules and a planetarium program--the team seeks to excite and engage teachers, students and the public with information about the journey to Pluto and beyond. In the past year, the specially selected educators who participate as New Horizons Educator Fellows have trained more than 1,000 teachers across the U.S. on the New Horizons mission and the science behind it. Thousands more students, parents, educators, and citizens have learned about New Horizons from the mission's scientists, engineers and outreach professionals. New Horizons Fellows also distribute another EPO tool: online learning modules. These classroom-ready learning modules consist of educator guides, student handouts, detailed activities, and potential adaptations for students with special needs or disabilities. Some also offer online interactives to convey complex and dynamic concepts. The modules are web-accessible for both students and teachers, and are aligned with relevant national standards. The third tool is a highly visual way to engage the general public and supplement educational programs: a planetarium program that highlights the New Horizons mission from launch to destination Pluto. This program focuses on the engineering design of the spacecraft, with a focus on the concept of the electromagnetic spectrum. In the unique environment

  12. The Exploration of the Pluto System by New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Harold; Stern, S. Alan

    2016-07-01

    The New Horizons (NH) mission was selected by NASA in November 2001 to conduct the first in situ reconnaissance of Pluto and the Kuiper belt. The NH spacecraft was launched on 2006 January 19, received a gravity assist from Jupiter during closest approach on 2007 February 28, and flew 12,500 km above Pluto's surface on 2015 July 14. NH carried a sophisticated suite of seven scientific instruments, altogether weighing less than 30 kg and drawing less than 30 W of power, that includes panchromatic and color imagers, ultraviolet and infrared spectral imagers, a radio science package, plasma and charged particle sensors, and a dust counting experiment. The NH flyby of the Pluto system executed flawlessly, providing unprecedented detail on the Pluto-Charon binary and Pluto's four small moons (Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra, in order of their orbital distance from Pluto). Pluto's surface displays diverse landforms, terrain ages, albedos, colors, and composition gradients. Evidence is found for a water-ice crust, geologically young surface units, surface ice convection, wind streaks, volatile transport, and glacial flow. NH discovered trace hydrocarbons in Pluto's atmosphere, multiple global haze layers, and a surface pressure near 10 microbars. Pluto's diverse surface geology and long term activity raise fundamental questions about how small planets remain active many billions of years (Gyr) after formation. Charon displays tectonics, evidence for a heterogeneous crustal composition, and a puzzling giant hood of dark material covering its North Pole. Crater density statistics for Charon's surface give a crater retention age of 4-4.5 Ga, indicating that Charon's geological evolution largely ceased early in its history. Nix and Hydra have high albedos suggestive of H2O-ice covered surfaces. Crater densities on Nix and Hydra indicate surface ages > 4 Ga. All the small satellites have highly elongated shapes and are rotating much faster then synchronous with their orbital

  13. Origin of the Pluto-Charon system: Constraints from the New Horizons flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, William B.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Nimmo, F.; Bierson, C. J.; Grundy, W. M.; Cook, J. C.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Parker, A. H.; Moore, J. M.; Spencer, J. R.; Young, L. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Ennico Smith, K.

    2017-05-01

    New Horizon's accurate determination of the sizes and densities of Pluto and Charon now permit precise internal models of both bodies to be constructed. Assuming differentiated rock-ice structures, we find that Pluto is close to 2/3 solar-composition anhydrous rock by mass and Charon 3/5 solar-composition anhydrous rock by mass. Pluto and Charon are closer to each other in density than to other large (≳1000-km diameter) Kuiper belt bodies. Despite this, we show that neither the possible presence of an ocean under Pluto's water ice shell (and no ocean within Charon), nor enhanced porosity at depth in Charon's icy crust compared with that of Pluto, are sufficient to make Pluto and Charon's rock mass fractions match. All four small satellites (Styx, Nix, Kerberos, Hydra) appear much icier in comparison with either Pluto or Charon. In terms of a giant impact origin, both these inferences are most consistent with the relatively slow collision of partly differentiated precursor bodies (Canup, Astrophys. J. 141, 35, 2011). This is in turn consistent with dynamical conditions in the ancestral Kuiper belt, but implies that the impact precursors themselves accreted relatively late and slowly (to limit 26Al and accretional heating). The iciness of the small satellites is not consistent with direct formation of the Pluto-Charon system from a streaming instability in the solar nebula followed by prompt collapse of gravitationally bound ;pebble piles,; a proposed formation mechanism for Kuiper belt binaries (Nesvorný et al., Astron. J. 140, 785-793, 2010). Growth of Pluto-scale bodies by accretion of pebbles in the ancestral Kuiper belt is not ruled out, however, and may be needed to prevent the precursor bodies from fully differentiating, due to buried accretional heat, prior to the Charon-forming impact.

  14. Earth, Meet Pluto: The New Horizons Education and Communications Partnership

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, M.

    2015-12-01

    The unique partnership between the NASA New Horizons education/communications and public affairs programs tapped into the excitement of visiting an unexplored planet in a new region of the solar system - resulting in unprecedented public participation in and coverage of a planetary mission. With a range of hands-on learning experiences, Web materials and online , the program provided opportunities for students, educators, museums, science centers, the media, Web surfers and other members of the public to ride along on the first mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt. The programs leveraged resources, materials and expertise to address a wide range of traditional and nontraditional audiences while providing consistent messages and information on this historic NASA endeavor. The E/C program included a variety of formal lesson plans and learning materials — based on New Horizons science and engineering goals, and aligned with National Research Council's National Science Education Standards — that continue to help students in grades K-12 learn more about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. College students designed and built an actual flight instrument on New Horizons and held internships with the spacecraft integration and test team. New Horizons E/C programs went well beyond the classroom, from a chance for people to send their names to Pluto on board the New Horizons spacecraft before launch, to opportunities for the public to access milestone events and the first-ever close-up views of Pluto in places such as museums, science centers and libraries, TV and the Web — as well as thousands who attended interactive "Plutopalooza" road shows across the country. Teamed with E/C was the public affairs strategy to communicate New Horizons news and messages to media, mission stakeholders, the scientific community and the public. These messages include various aspects of New Horizons, including the progress of the mission and key milestones and achievements

  15. The Extraordinary Albedo Variations on Pluto Detected by New Horizons and Implications for Dwarf Planet Eris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buratti, Bonnie J.; Hofgartner, Jason D.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Verbiscer, Anne J.; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Catherine B.; Young, Leslie; New Horizons Geology and Geophysics Team

    2016-10-01

    The New Horizons mission returned stunning observations of active geology on the surface of Pluto (Stern et al., 2015, Science 350, 292). One of the markers for activity on planets or moons is normal albedos approaching 1.0, as is the case for Enceladus (Buratti et al., 1984, Icarus 58, 254; Verbiscer et al., 2005, Icarus 173, 66). When all corrections for viewing geometry are made for Pluto, it has normal albedos that approach unity in the regions that show evidence for activity by a lack of craters, notably the region informally named Sputnik Planum. On the other hand, Pluto also has a very dark (normal albedo ~0.10) equatorial belt.The geometric albedo of Eris, another large dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt, is 0.96 (Sicardy et al., 2011, Nature 478, 493), close to that of Enceladus. Coupled with a high density of 2.5 gm/cc (Sicardy et al., ibid.), implying an even larger amount of radiogenic heating than that for Pluto (with a density near 1.9 gm/cc), we find it highly likely that Eris is also active with some type of solid state convection or cryovolcanism on its surface. Alternate explanations such as complete condensation of methane frost onto its surface in the colder environment at nearly 100 AUs would not lead to the high albedo observed.Another implication of the extreme albedo variations on Pluto is that the temperature varies by at least 20K on its surface, spawning possible aeolian processes and associated features such as wind streaks and dunes, which are currently being sought on New Horizons images. Finally, low albedo regions on Pluto, with normal reflectances less than 0.10, provide possible evidence for dust in the Kuiper Belt that is accreting onto the surface of Pluto. Another - or additional - explanation for this low-albedo dust is native material created in Pluto's hazy atmosphere.New Horizons funding by NASA is gratefully acknowledged.

  16. New Horizons Pluto Flyby Guest Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, M.; Turney, D.; Fisher, S.; Carr, S. S.

    2015-12-01

    On July 14, 2015, after 9.5 years of cruise, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew past the Pluto system to gather first images humankind had ever seen on Pluto and its five moons. While much has been discovered about the Pluto system since New Horizons launch in 2006, the system has never been imaged at high resolution and anticipation of the "First Light" of the Pluto system had been anticipated by planetary enthusiasts for decades. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), which built and operates New Horizons, was the focal point for gathering three distinct groups: science and engineering team members; media and public affairs representatives; and invited public, including VIP's. Guest operations activities were focused on providing information primarily to the invited public and VIP's. High level objectives for the Guest Operations team was set to entertain and inform the general public, offer media reaction shots, and to deconflict activities for the guests from media activities wherever possible. Over 2000 people arrived at APL in the days surrounding closest approach for guest, science or media operations tracks. Reaction and coverage of the Guest Operations events was universally positive and global in impact: iconic pictures of the auditorium waving flags during the moment of closest approach were published in media outlets on every continent. Media relations activities ensured coverage in all key media publications targeted for release, such as the New York Times, Science, Le Monde, and Nature. Social and traditional media coverage of the events spanned the globe. Guest operations activities are designed to ensure that a guest has a memorable experience and leaves with a lifelong memory of the mission and their partnership in the activity. Results, lessons learned, and other data from the New Horizons guest operations activity will be presented and analyzed.

  17. New Horizons: Gas and Plasma in the Pluto System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Leslie; Gladstone, Randy; Summers, Michael; Bagenal, Fran; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Grundy, William M.; New Horizons Atmospheres Science Theme Team, New Horizons Particles and Plasma Science Theme Team

    2016-10-01

    NASA's New Horizons mission gave us information about gas and plasma in the Pluto system from Pluto's surface up to a distance of ~200,000 km beyond Pluto. This review will give an overview of our current theories and observations of the near-surface atmospheric structure; the properties, production and settling of Pluto's ubiquitous haze; the minor atmospheric species and atmospheric chemistry; the energetics and high-altitude thermal structure; the escape rate and the pickup of methane ions; the effect of methane impacting Charon; and Pluto's heavy-ion tail. Details are given in other presentations at this conference.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  18. In search of a signature of binary Kuiper Belt Objects in the Pluto-Charon crater population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zangari, Amanda Marie; Parker, Alex; Singer, Kelsi N.; Stern, S. Alan; Young, Leslie; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Weaver, Harold A.; New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Science Theme Team

    2016-10-01

    In July 2015, New Horizons flew by Pluto and Charon, allowing mapping of the encounter hemisphere at high enough resolution to produce crater counts from the surfaces of the pair. We investigate the distribution of craters in search of a signature of binary impactors. The Kuiper Belt -- especially the cold classical region -- has a large fraction of binary objects, many of which are close-in, equal-mass binaries. We will present results on how the distribution of craters seen on Pluto and Charon compares to a random distribution of single body impactors on the surfaces of each. Examining the surfaces of Pluto and Charon proves challenging due to resurfacing, and the presence of tectonic and other geographic features. For example, the informally-named Cthulhu region is among the oldest on Pluto, yet it abuts a craterless region millions of years young. On Charon, chastmata divide the surface into regions informally named Vulcan Planum and Oz terra. In our statistics, we pay careful attention to the boundaries of where craters may appear, and the dependence of our results on crater size. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  19. Global albedos of Pluto and Charon from LORRI New Horizons observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buratti, B. J.; Hofgartner, J. D.; Hicks, M. D.; Weaver, H. A.; Stern, S. A.; Momary, T.; Mosher, J. A.; Beyer, R. A.; Verbiscer, A. J.; Zangari, A. M.; Young, L. A.; Lisse, C. M.; Singer, K.; Cheng, A.; Grundy, W.; Ennico, K.; Olkin, C. B.

    2017-05-01

    The exploration of the Pluto-Charon system by the New Horizons spacecraft represents the first opportunity to understand the distribution of albedo and other photometric properties of the surfaces of objects in the Solar System's ;Third Zone; of distant ice-rich bodies. Images of the entire illuminated surface of Pluto and Charon obtained by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera provide a global map of Pluto that reveals surface albedo variegations larger than any other Solar System world except for Saturn's moon Iapetus. Normal reflectances on Pluto range from 0.08-1.0, and the low-albedo areas of Pluto are darker than any region of Charon. Charon exhibits a much blander surface with normal reflectances ranging from 0.20-0.73. Pluto's albedo features are well-correlated with geologic features, although some exogenous low-albedo dust may be responsible for features seen to the west of the area informally named Tombaugh Regio. The albedo patterns of both Pluto and Charon are latitudinally organized, with the exception of Tombaugh Regio, with darker regions concentrated at the Pluto's equator and Charon's northern pole. The phase curve of Pluto is similar to that of Triton, the large moon of Neptune believed to be a captured Kuiper Belt Object (KBO), while Charon's is similar to that of the Moon. Preliminary Bond albedos are 0.25 ± 0.03 for Charon and 0.72 ± 0.07 for Pluto. Maps of an approximation to the Bond albedo for both Pluto and Charon are presented for the first time. Our work shows a connection between very high albedo (near unity) and planetary activity, a result that suggests the KBO Eris may be currently active.

  20. Beyond the New Horizon: The Future of Pluto

    CERN Document Server

    Lund, Michael B

    2015-01-01

    Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto's mass has been a value that has repeatedly been calculated. Additionally, the search for Planet X prior to Pluto's discovery results in mass calculations that date back several decades earlier. Over its observed history, the mass of Pluto has consistently decreased. We reassess earlier predictions of Pluto's fate, and rule out the hypothesis that Pluto's mass has been constant over the last century. We are able to fit linear and quadratic equations to Pluto's mass as a function of both time and distance. The observations that will be made by New Horizons will help to determine if we can expect Pluto to continue to shrink until it has negative mass, or if it will begin to increase in mass again.

  1. New Horizons: Overview of Results From and Plans After the Exploration of The Pluto System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Young, Leslie; Ennico, Kimberly; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Spencer, John R.; McKinnon, William B.; Grundy, Will; Gladstone, Randy; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Bagenal, Fran; Summers, Michael; New Horizons Team

    2016-10-01

    Essentially all of the data from the New Horizons Pluto system flyby that culminated in July 2015 is expected to be on Earth by the time of this meeting. As of mid-June 2016, about 75% of those data have been received. All near encounter observations downlinked so far have been examined and were determined to be successful; engineering data from the remaining observations yet to be downlinked indicates they were all successful as well. The first Planetary Data System (PDS) Pluto system delivery has been made; a second PDS delivery is planned for October, with still more deliveries leading to complete and final dataset archiving by late 2017. Numerous scientific results have been obtained, and over 40 scientific papers have been published or submitted by mid-June 2016. This invited review will examine the most interesting geological, compositional, atmospheric, and plasma results obtained about Pluto, Charon and their small moons, and will go on to explore the implications of key results for understanding dwarf planets in general and the origin of the Pluto system in specific. New Horizons is healthy and operating nominally. If its Kuiper Belt Extended Mission is approved, numerous KBO and heliospheric observations are planned for 2016 and beyond, including the very close flyby of the cold, classical KBO 2014 MU69 on 1 January 2019. We summarize these and other plans for New Horizons.

  2. Optical Navigation Preparations for New Horizons Pluto Flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, William M., Jr.; Dumont, Philip J.; Jackman, Coralie D.

    2012-01-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft will encounter Pluto and its satellites in July 2015. As was the case for the Voyager encounters with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, mission success will depend heavily on accurate spacecraft navigation, and accurate navigation will be impossible without the use of pictures of the Pluto system taken by the onboard cameras. We describe the preparations made by the New Horizons optical navigators: picture planning, image processing algorithms, software development and testing, and results from in-flight imaging.

  3. New Horizons: Anticipated Scientific Investigations at the Pluto System

    CERN Document Server

    Young, Leslie A; Weaver, Harold A; Bagenal, Fran; Binzel, Richard P; Buratti, Bonnie; Cheng, Andrew F; Cruikshank, Dale; Gladstone, G Randall; Grundy, William M; Hinson, David P; Horanyi, Mihaly; Jennings, Donald E; Linscott, Ivan R; McComas, David J; McKinnon, William B; McNutt, Ralph; Moore, Jeffery M; Murchie, Scott; Porco, Carolyn C; Reitsema, Harold; Reuter, Dennis C; Spencer, John R; Slater, David C; Strobel, Darrell; Summers, Michael E; Tyler, G Leonard

    2007-01-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft will achieve a wide range of measurement objectives at the Pluto system, including color and panchromatic maps, 1.25-2.50 micron spectral images for studying surface compositions, and measurements of Pluto's atmosphere (temperatures, composition, hazes, and the escape rate). Additional measurement objectives include topography, surface temperatures, and the solar wind interaction. The fulfillment of these measurement objectives will broaden our understanding of the Pluto system, such as the origin of the Pluto system, the processes operating on the surface, the volatile transport cycle, and the energetics and chemistry of the atmosphere. The mission, payload, and strawman observing sequences have been designed to acheive the NASA-specified measurement objectives and maximize the science return. The planned observations at the Pluto system will extend our knowledge of other objects formed by giant impact (such as the Earth-moon), other objects formed in the outer solar system (such ...

  4. The Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) Instrument Aboard New Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    McComas, D; Bagenal, F; Casey, P; Delamere, P; Demkee, D; Dunn, G; Elliott, H; Hanley, J; Johnson, K; Langle, J; Miller, G; Pope, S; Reno, M; Rodríguez, B; Schwadron, N; Valek, P; Weidner, S

    2007-01-01

    The Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument on New Horizons will measure the interaction between the solar wind and ions created by atmospheric loss from Pluto. These measurements provide a characterization of the total loss rate and allow us to examine the complex plasma interactions at Pluto for the first time. Constrained to fit within minimal resources, SWAP is optimized to make plasma-ion measurements at all rotation angles as the New Horizons spacecraft scans to image Pluto and Charon during the flyby. In order to meet these unique requirements, we combined a cylindrically symmetric retarding potential analyzer (RPA) with small deflectors, a top-hat analyzer, and a redundant/coincidence detection scheme. This configuration allows for highly sensitive measurements and a controllable energy passband at all scan angles of the spacecraft.

  5. Hemispherical Pluto and Charon Color Composition From New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennico, K.; Parker, A.; Howett, C. A. J.; Olkin, C. B.; Spencer, J. R.; Grundy, W. M.; Reuter, D. E.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Binzel, R. P.; Buie, M. W.; hide

    2016-01-01

    New Horizons flew by Pluto and its moons on July 14, 2015 [1]. In the days prior to the closest approach (C/A), panchromatic and color observations of Pluto and Charon were made covering a fully complete range of longitudes. Although only a fraction of this "late-approach" data series has been transmitted to the ground, the results indicate Pluto's latitudinal coloring trends seen on the encounter hemisphere continues on the far side. Charon's red pole is visible from a multitude of longitudes and its colors are uniform with longitude at lower latitudes.

  6. The geology of Pluto and Charon through the eyes of New Horizons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M; McKinnon, William B; Spencer, John R; Howard, Alan D; Schenk, Paul M; Beyer, Ross A; Nimmo, Francis; Singer, Kelsi N; Umurhan, Orkan M; White, Oliver L; Stern, S Alan; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Cathy B; Weaver, Harold A; Young, Leslie A; Binzel, Richard P; Buie, Marc W; Buratti, Bonnie J; Cheng, Andrew F; Cruikshank, Dale P; Grundy, Will M; Linscott, Ivan R; Reitsema, Harold J; Reuter, Dennis C; Showalter, Mark R; Bray, Veronica J; Chavez, Carrie L; Howett, Carly J A; Lauer, Tod R; Lisse, Carey M; Parker, Alex Harrison; Porter, S B; Robbins, Stuart J; Runyon, Kirby; Stryk, Ted; Throop, Henry B; Tsang, Constantine C C; Verbiscer, Anne J; Zangari, Amanda M; Chaikin, Andrew L; Wilhelms, Don E

    2016-03-18

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has revealed the complex geology of Pluto and Charon. Pluto's encounter hemisphere shows ongoing surface geological activity centered on a vast basin containing a thick layer of volatile ices that appears to be involved in convection and advection, with a crater retention age no greater than ~10 million years. Surrounding terrains show active glacial flow, apparent transport and rotation of large buoyant water-ice crustal blocks, and pitting, the latter likely caused by sublimation erosion and/or collapse. More enigmatic features include tall mounds with central depressions that are conceivably cryovolcanic and ridges with complex bladed textures. Pluto also has ancient cratered terrains up to ~4 billion years old that are extensionally faulted and extensively mantled and perhaps eroded by glacial or other processes. Charon does not appear to be currently active, but experienced major extensional tectonism and resurfacing (probably cryovolcanic) nearly 4 billion years ago. Impact crater populations on Pluto and Charon are not consistent with the steepest impactor size-frequency distributions proposed for the Kuiper belt. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  7. The Geology of Pluto and Charon Through the Eyes of New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.; McKinnon, William B.; Spencer, John R.; Howard, Alan D.; Schenk, Paul M.; Beyer, Ross A.; Nimmo, Francis; Singer, Kelsi N.; Umurhan, Orkan M.; White, Oliver L.; hide

    2016-01-01

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has revealed the complex geology of Pluto and Charon. Pluto's encounter hemisphere shows ongoing surface geological activity centered on a vast basin containing a thick layer of volatile ices that appears to be involved in convection and advection, with a crater retention age no greater than approximately 10 million years. Surrounding terrains show active glacial flow, apparent transport and rotation of large buoyant water-ice crustal blocks, and pitting, the latter likely caused by sublimation erosion and/or collapse. More enigmatic features include tall mounds with central depressions that are conceivably cryovolcanic and ridges with complex bladed textures. Pluto also has ancient cratered terrains up to approximately 4 billion years old that are extensionally faulted and extensively mantled and perhaps eroded by glacial or other processes. Charon does not appear to be currently active, but experienced major extensional tectonism and resurfacing (probably cryovolcanic) nearly 4 billion years ago. Impact crater populations on Pluto and Charon are not consistent with the steepest impactor size-frequency distributions proposed for the Kuiper belt.

  8. The atmosphere of Pluto as observed by New Horizons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gladstone, G Randall; Stern, S Alan; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Catherine B; Weaver, Harold A; Young, Leslie A; Summers, Michael E; Strobel, Darrell F; Hinson, David P; Kammer, Joshua A; Parker, Alex H; Steffl, Andrew J; Linscott, Ivan R; Parker, Joel Wm; Cheng, Andrew F; Slater, David C; Versteeg, Maarten H; Greathouse, Thomas K; Retherford, Kurt D; Throop, Henry; Cunningham, Nathaniel J; Woods, William W; Singer, Kelsi N; Tsang, Constantine C C; Schindhelm, Eric; Lisse, Carey M; Wong, Michael L; Yung, Yuk L; Zhu, Xun; Curdt, Werner; Lavvas, Panayotis; Young, Eliot F; Tyler, G Leonard

    2016-03-18

    Observations made during the New Horizons flyby provide a detailed snapshot of the current state of Pluto's atmosphere. Whereas the lower atmosphere (at altitudes of less than 200 kilometers) is consistent with ground-based stellar occultations, the upper atmosphere is much colder and more compact than indicated by pre-encounter models. Molecular nitrogen (N2) dominates the atmosphere (at altitudes of less than 1800 kilometers or so), whereas methane (CH4), acetylene (C2H2), ethylene (C2H4), and ethane (C2H6) are abundant minor species and likely feed the production of an extensive haze that encompasses Pluto. The cold upper atmosphere shuts off the anticipated enhanced-Jeans, hydrodynamic-like escape of Pluto's atmosphere to space. It is unclear whether the current state of Pluto's atmosphere is representative of its average state--over seasonal or geologic time scales. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. The Atmosphere of Pluto as Observed by New Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Gladstone, G Randall; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Catherine B; Weaver, Harold A; Young, Leslie A; Summers, Michael E; Strobel, Darrell F; Hinson, David P; Kammer, Joshua A; Parker, Alex H; Steffl, Andrew J; Linscott, Ivan R; Parker, Joel Wm; Cheng, Andrew F; Slater, David C; Versteeg, Maarten H; Greathouse, Thomas K; Retherford, Kurt D; Throop, Henry; Cunningham, Nathaniel J; Woods, William W; Singer, Kelsi N; Tsang, Constantine C C; Schindhelm, Eric; Lisse, Carey M; Wong, Michael L; Yung, Yuk L; Zhu, Xun; Curdt, Werner; Lavvas, Panayotis; Young, Eliot F; Tyler, G Leonard

    2016-01-01

    Observations made during the New Horizons flyby provide a detailed snapshot of the current state of Pluto's atmosphere. While the lower atmosphere (at altitudes <200 km) is consistent with ground-based stellar occultations, the upper atmosphere is much colder and more compact than indicated by pre-encounter models. Molecular nitrogen (N$_2$) dominates the atmosphere (at altitudes <1800 km or so), while methane (CH$_4$), acetylene (C$_2$H$_2$), ethylene (C$_2$H$_4$), and ethane (C$_2$H$_6$) are abundant minor species, and likely feed the production of an extensive haze which encompasses Pluto. The cold upper atmosphere shuts off the anticipated enhanced-Jeans, hydrodynamic-like escape of Pluto's atmosphere to space. It is unclear whether the current state of Pluto's atmosphere is representative of its average state--over seasonal or geologic time scales.

  10. The Atmosphere of Pluto as Observed by New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gladstone, Randy

    2016-07-01

    A major goal of the New Horizons (NH) mission was to explore and characterize the structure and composition of Pluto's atmosphere. Several instruments onboard NH contributed to these goals, primarily: 1) the REX instrument, through uplink X-band radio occultations, 2) the Alice instrument, through extreme- and far-ultraviolet solar occultations, and 3) the LORRI panchromatic and MVIC color imagers, through high-resolution imaging. The associated datasets were obtained near closest approach of NH to Pluto at 11:48 UT on 14 July 2015. Pressure and temperature profiles of the lower atmosphere are derived from the REX radio occultation data, the composition and structure of the extended atmosphere are derived from the Alice solar occultation data, and the distribution and properties of Pluto's hazes are derived from the LORRI and MVIC imaging data. The observations made during the NH flyby provide a detailed snapshot of the current state of Pluto's atmosphere. While the lower atmosphere (at altitudes less than 200 km) is largely consistent with ground-based stellar occultations, the upper atmosphere is much colder and more compact than indicated by pre-encounter models. Molecular nitrogen dominates the atmosphere (at altitudes less than 1800 km or so), while methane, acetylene, ethylene, and ethane are important minor species, and likely help produce the haze which surrounds Pluto. The cold upper atmosphere considerably reduces the magnitude of the hydrodynamic escape of Pluto's atmosphere to space. In this talk an overview of the atmosphere science results will be presented.

  11. The geology of Pluto and Charon through the eyes of New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.; McKinnon, William B.; Spencer, John R.; Howard, Alan D.; Schenk, Paul M.; Beyer, Ross A.; Nimmo, Francis; Singer, Kelsi N.; Umurhan, Orkan M.; White, Oliver L.; Stern, S. Alan; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Cathy B.; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie A.; Binzel, Richard P.; Buie, Marc W.; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Cheng, Andrew F.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Grundy, Will M.; Linscott, Ivan R.; Reitsema, Harold J.; Reuter, Dennis C.; Showalter, Mark R.; Bray, Veronica J.; Chavez, Carrie L.; Howett, Carly J. A.; Lauer, Tod R.; Lisse, Carey M.; Parker, Alex Harrison; Porter, S. B.; Robbins, Stuart J.; Runyon, Kirby; Stryk, Ted; Throop, Henry B.; Tsang, Constantine C. C.; Verbiscer, Anne J.; Zangari, Amanda M.; Chaikin, Andrew L.; Wilhelms, Don E.; Bagenal, F.; Gladstone, G. R.; Andert, T.; Andrews, J.; Banks, M.; Bauer, B.; Bauman, J.; Barnouin, O. S.; Bedini, P.; Beisser, K.; Bhaskaran, S.; Birath, E.; Bird, M.; Bogan, D. J.; Bowman, A.; Brozovic, M.; Bryan, C.; Buckley, M. R.; Bushman, S. S.; Calloway, A.; Carcich, B.; Conard, S.; Conrad, C. A.; Cook, J. C.; Custodio, O. S.; Ore, C. M. Dalle; Deboy, C.; Dischner, Z. J. B.; Dumont, P.; Earle, A. M.; Elliott, H. A.; Ercol, J.; Ernst, C. M.; Finley, T.; Flanigan, S. H.; Fountain, G.; Freeze, M. J.; Greathouse, T.; Green, J. L.; Guo, Y.; Hahn, M.; Hamilton, D. P.; Hamilton, S. A.; Hanley, J.; Harch, A.; Hart, H. M.; Hersman, C. B.; Hill, A.; Hill, M. E.; Hinson, D. P.; Holdridge, M. E.; Horanyi, M.; Jackman, C.; Jacobson, R. A.; Jennings, D. E.; Kammer, J. A.; Kang, H. K.; Kaufmann, D. E.; Kollmann, P.; Krimigis, S. M.; Kusnierkiewicz, D.; Lee, J. E.; Lindstrom, K. L.; Lunsford, A. W.; Mallder, V. A.; Martin, N.; McComas, D. J.; McNutt, R. L.; Mehoke, D.; Mehoke, T.; Melin, E. D.; Mutchler, M.; Nelson, D.; Nunez, J. I.; Ocampo, A.; Owen, W. M.; Paetzold, M.; Page, B.; Parker, J. W.; Pelletier, F.; Peterson, J.; Pinkine, N.; Piquette, M.; Protopapa, S.; Redfern, J.; Roberts, J. H.; Rogers, G.; Rose, D.; Retherford, K. D.; Ryschkewitsch, M. G.; Schindhelm, E.; Sepan, B.; Soluri, M.; Stanbridge, D.; Steffl, A. J.; Strobel, D. F.; Summers, M. E.; Szalay, J. R.; Tapley, M.; Taylor, A.; Taylor, H.; Tyler, G. L.; Versteeg, M. H.; Vincent, M.; Webbert, R.; Weidner, S.; Weigle, G. E.; Whittenburg, K.; Williams, B. G.; Williams, K.; Williams, S.; Woods, W. W.; Zirnstein, E.

    2016-03-01

    NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has revealed the complex geology of Pluto and Charon. Pluto’s encounter hemisphere shows ongoing surface geological activity centered on a vast basin containing a thick layer of volatile ices that appears to be involved in convection and advection, with a crater retention age no greater than ~10 million years. Surrounding terrains show active glacial flow, apparent transport and rotation of large buoyant water-ice crustal blocks, and pitting, the latter likely caused by sublimation erosion and/or collapse. More enigmatic features include tall mounds with central depressions that are conceivably cryovolcanic and ridges with complex bladed textures. Pluto also has ancient cratered terrains up to ~4 billion years old that are extensionally faulted and extensively mantled and perhaps eroded by glacial or other processes. Charon does not appear to be currently active, but experienced major extensional tectonism and resurfacing (probably cryovolcanic) nearly 4 billion years ago. Impact crater populations on Pluto and Charon are not consistent with the steepest impactor size-frequency distributions proposed for the Kuiper belt.

  12. The Small Satellites of Pluto as Observed by New Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Weaver, H A; Buratti, B J; Grundy, W M; Lauer, T R; Olkin, C B; Parker, A H; Porter, S B; Showalter, M R; Spencer, J R; Stern, S A; Verbiscer, A J; McKinnon, W B; Moore, J M; Robbins, S J; Schenk, P; Singer, K N; Barnouin, O S; Cheng, A F; Ernst, C M; Lisse, C M; Jennings, D E; Lunsford, A W; Reuter, D C; Hamilton, D P; Kaufmann, D E; Ennico, K; Young, L A; Beyer, R A; Binzel, R P; Bray, V J; Chaikin, A L; Cook, J C; Cruikshank, D P; Ore, C M Dalle; Earle, A M; Gladstone, G R; Howett, C J A; Linscott, I R; Nimmo, F; Parker, J Wm; Philippe, S; Protopapa, S; Reitsema, H J; Schmitt, B; Stryk, T; Summers, M E; Tsang, C C C; Throop, H H B; White, O L; Zangari, A M

    2016-01-01

    The New Horizons mission has provided resolved measurements of Pluto's moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. All four are small, with equivalent spherical diameters of $\\approx$40 km for Nix and Hydra and ~10 km for Styx and Kerberos. They are also highly elongated, with maximum to minimum axis ratios of $\\approx$2. All four moons have high albedos ( $\\approx$50-90 %) suggestive of a water-ice surface composition. Crater densities on Nix and Hydra imply surface ages $\\gtrsim$ 4 Ga. The small moons rotate much faster than synchronous, with rotational poles clustered nearly orthogonal to the common pole directions of Pluto and Charon. These results reinforce the hypothesis that the small moons formed in the aftermath of a collision that produced the Pluto-Charon binary.

  13. The photochemistry of Pluto's atmosphere as illuminated by New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Michael L.; Fan, Siteng; Gao, Peter; Liang, Mao-Chang; Shia, Run-Lie; Yung, Yuk; Kammer, Joshua A.; Summers, Michael; Gladstone, Randy; Young, Leslie; New Horizons Science Team

    2016-10-01

    New Horizons has granted us an unprecedented glimpse at the structure and composition of Pluto's atmosphere, which is comprised mostly of N2 with trace amounts of CH4, CO, and the photochemical products thereof. Through photochemistry, higher-order hydrocarbons are generated, coagulating into tholins and resulting in global haze layers. The photochemical processes on Pluto are analogous to those occurring in Titan's atmosphere, which have been constrained by comparison to Cassini measurements. The New Horizons dataset offers us a second glimpse at a natural hydrocarbon factory, which will teach us how these processes operate at lower pressures and temperatures. Here we present a state-of-the-art photochemical model for Pluto's atmosphere to explain the abundance profiles of CH4, C2H2, C2H4, and C2H6, the total column density of HCN, and to predict the abundance profiles of oxygen-bearing species. The CH4 profile can be best matched by taking a constant-with-altitude Kzz of 1 × 103 cm2 s–1 and a fixed CH4 surface mixing ratio of 4 × 10–3. Condensation is key to fitting the C2 hydrocarbon profiles. We find that C2H4 must have a much lower saturation vapor pressure than predicted by extrapolations of laboratory measurements to Pluto temperatures. We also find best-fit values for the sticking coefficients of C2H2, C2H4, C2H6, and HCN.

  14. Stargazing from New Horizons: Ultraviolet Stellar Occultations by Pluto's Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammer, Joshua A.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Catherine B.; Gladstone, Randy; Summers, Michael; Steffl, Andrew; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Versteeg, Maarten; Retherford, Kurt D.; Parker, Joel Wm.; Schindhelm, Eric; Strobel, Darrell F.; New Horizons ATM Theme Team, New Horizons Science Team

    2016-10-01

    Not long after the New Horizons encounter with Pluto last July, the Alice ultraviolet imaging spectrograph observed signatures of UV absorption by Pluto's atmosphere during two distinct occultation events. During these events, UV bright stars (the Sun, as well as two B-type stars) passed behind Pluto as seen by the spacecraft, and the attenuated starlight revealed the clear presence of nitrogen, methane, and several other hydrocarbons. Their mixing ratios vary with altitude, including localized peaks in the density of minor hydrocarbons such as C2H2 and C2H4. At about 300 km above Pluto's surface, these particular species are found to have mixing ratios relative to CH4 of approximately 10% and 1%, respectively. While this overall composition was expected pre-New Horizons, the vertical profiles of these species were surprising. In this presentation I will discuss the analysis of these occultations, including several profiles of key atmospheric species, and how they might play a role in explaining the presence of high-altitude haze on this cold, small, distant planet.

  15. The Pluto system after the New Horizons flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Spencer, John

    2017-09-01

    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 Earth. With a resolution as small as 80 metres per pixel, New Horizons' images identified a large number of surface features, including a large basin filled with glacial ices that appear to be undergoing convection. Maps of surface composition show latitudinal banding, with non-volatile material dominating the equatorial region and volatile ices at mid- and polar latitudes. This pattern is driven by the seasonal cycle of solar insolation. New Horizons' atmospheric investigation found the temperature of Pluto's upper atmosphere to be much cooler than previously modelled. Images of forward-scattered sunlight revealed numerous haze layers extending up to 200 km from the surface. These discoveries have transformed our understanding of icy worlds in the outer Solar System, demonstrating that even at great distances from the Sun, worlds can have active geologic processes. This Review addresses our current understanding of the Pluto system and places it in context with previous investigations.

  16. New Horizons Educator Fellowship Program: Taking You to Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, H. M.; Beisser, K.; Hallau, K. G.

    2011-12-01

    The New Horizons Educator Fellowship Program (NHEFP), originally based on the MESSENGER Fellows Program, is a public outreach initiative for motivated volunteers across the nation. These volunteers are master teachers who communicate the excitement of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto and information about recent discoveries to teachers, students, and people in their local communities. Many of the Fellows utilize their experiences and knowledge as members of other programs such as MESSENGER Fellows, Heliophysics Educator Ambassadors, Solar System Educators and Ambassadors to promote the mission thorough professional development workshops incorporating themes, activities, and recent discoveries with other NASA programs to present a well-rounded view of our Solar System. Unlike teacher-volunteer programs tied to missions that take place closer to Earth, the time between New Horizons' launch and its closest approach to Pluto is 9.5 years, with the spacecraft in hibernation for most of its voyager. NHEFP has maintained a core group of Fellows who, through periodic face-to-face or remote training, have taken advantage of opportunities for networking, sharing of ideas in best practices, activities, and presenting and keeping audiences interested in the mission during its long journey to Pluto. This involvement has been key to the program's success.

  17. Radio Occultation Measurements of Pluto's Atmosphere with New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, David P.; Linscott, Ivan; Young, Leslie; Stern, S. Alan; Bird, Mike; Ennico, Kimberly; Gladstone, Randy; Olkin, Catherine B.; Pätzold, Martin; Strobel, Darrell F.; Summers, Michael; Tyler, G. Leonard; Weaver, Harold A.; Woods, Will; New Horizons Science Team

    2016-10-01

    The reconnaissance of the Pluto System by New Horizons in July 2015 included a radio occultation at Pluto. The observation was performed with signals transmitted simultaneously by four antennas of the NASA Deep Space Network, two at the Goldstone complex in California and two at the Canberra complex in Australia. Each antenna radiated 20 kW without modulation at a wavelength of 4.17 cm. New Horizons received the four signals with its 2.1-m high-gain antenna, where the signals were split into pairs and processed independently by two identical REX radio science instruments. Each REX relied on a different ultra-stable oscillator as its frequency reference. The signals were digitized and filtered, and the data samples were stored on the spacecraft for later transmission to Earth. Six months elapsed before all data had arrived on the ground, and the results reported here are the first to utilize the complete set of observations. Pluto's tenuous atmosphere is a significant challenge for radio occultation sounding, which led us to develop a specialized method of analysis. We began by calibrating each signal to remove effects not associated with Pluto's atmosphere, including the diffraction pattern from Pluto's surface. We reduced the noise and increased our sensitivity to the atmosphere by averaging the results from the four signals, while using other combinations of the signals to characterize the noise. We then retrieved profiles of number density, pressure, and temperature from the averaged phase profiles at both occultation entry and exit. Finally, we used a combination of analytical methods and Monte Carlo simulations to determine the accuracy of the measurements. The REX profiles provide the first direct measure of the surface pressure and temperature structure in Pluto's lower atmosphere. There are significant differences between the structure at entry (193.5°E, 17.0°S, sunset) and exit (15.7°E, 15.1°N, sunrise), which arise from spatial variations in surface

  18. Topographic Mapping of Pluto and Charon Using New Horizons Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, P. M.; Beyer, R. A.; Moore, J. M.; Spencer, J. R.; McKinnon, W. B.; Howard, A. D.; White, O. M.; Umurhan, O. M.; Singer, K.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, L. A.; Ennico Smith, K.; Olkin, C.; Horizons Geology, New; Geophysics Imaging Team

    2016-06-01

    New Horizons 2015 flyby of the Pluto system has resulted in high-resolution topographic maps of Pluto and Charon, the most distant objects so mapped. DEM's over ~30% of each object were produced at 100-300 m vertical and 300-800 m spatial resolutions, in hemispheric maps and high-resolution linear mosaics. Both objects reveal more relief than was observed at Triton. The dominant 800-km wide informally named Sputnik Planum bright ice deposit on Pluto lies in a broad depression 3 km deep, flanked by dispersed mountains 3-5 km high. Impact craters reveal a wide variety of preservation states from pristine to eroded, and long fractures are several km deep with throw of 0-2 km. Topography of this magnitude suggests the icy shell of Pluto is relatively cold and rigid. Charon has global relief of at least 10 km, including ridges of 2-3 km and troughs of 3-5 km of relief. Impact craters are up to 6 km deep. Vulcan Planum consists of rolling plains and forms a topographic moat along its edge, suggesting viscous flow.

  19. Geology and Composition of Pluto and Charon from New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, John R.; Stern, S. Alan; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Grundy, W. M.; McKinnon, William B.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Young, Leslie; Ennico, Kimberly; New Horizons Geology/Geophysics and Composition Theme Teams

    2016-10-01

    Data gathered by New Horizons during its July 2015 flyby has revolutionized our understanding of the geology and surface composition of Pluto and Charon. While much of Pluto's ice shell is ancient and rigid, as evinced by locally high crater densities and deep graben, much of the surface has been reworked, up to the present day, by a bewildering variety of geological processes. These include deposition and erosion of kilometers of mantle material, sublimation, apparent cryovolcanism, chaotic breakup of the crust to form rugged mountains, erosion and creation of channel networks by probable glacial action, and active glaciation. Pluto's anti-Charon hemisphere is dominated by 1000 km wide field of actively convecting nitrogen and other ices, informally called Sputnik Planum, occupying a large depression of probable impact origin. Color and composition is very varied, and is dominated by dark red tholins and N2, CH4, and CO ices, with H2O ice bedrock also exposed in many places. Apart from Sputnik Planum, color and composition is strongly correlated with latitude, showing the importance of insolation in controlling ice distribution. Charon shows pervasive extensional tectonism and locally extensive cryovolcanic resurfacing, both dating from early in solar system history. Its color and surface composition, dominated by H2O ice plus NH3 hydrate, is remarkably uniform apart from a thin deposit of dark red material near the north pole which may be due to cold-trapping and radiolysis of hydrocarbons escaping from Pluto. Neither Pluto nor Charon is likely to have experienced tidal heating during the period when observable landforms were created. Charon's surface shows resurfacing comparable in extent and age to many Saturnian and Uranian satellites such as Dione or Ariel, suggesting that observed activity on these satellites may not necessarily be tidally-driven. Pluto demonstrates that resurfacing on small volatile-rich icy bodies can be powered for at least 4.5 Ga by

  20. Constraints on impact rates in the pluto-charon system and the population of the Kuiper comet belt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weissman, P.R. (Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA (USA)); Dobrovolskis, A.R. (NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA (USA)); Stern, S.A. (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (USA))

    1989-11-01

    Impact rates in the Pluto-Charon system are dominated by comets from the proposed Kuiper Belt, 30 to 50 AU from the Sun. Such collisions excite the eccentricity of Charon's orbit, which then decays due to tidal dissipation. Charon's eccentricity approaches a quasi-steady state, which can be used to constrain the total number and mass of comets in the Kuiper Belt. Unfortunately, the current upper limit on Charon's orbital eccentricity must be reduced by more than a factor of ten before useful constraints can be set.

  1. Crater Morphologies on Pluto and Charon: Anticipating New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenk, P.; Bray, V. J.; McKinnon, W. B.; White, O. L.; Moore, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    Impact craters are among the few geologic features we have some confidence will be present in the Pluto/Charon system. Crater morphologies are important as tracers of thermal history (through the mechanism of viscous relaxation), and can be used to probe through icy crusts (in terms of excavating deeper layers as on Ganymede or penetrating through floating ice shells as on Europa). New Horizons will have the opportunity to examine crater morphologies on Pluto to resolutions Charon to ~250 meters over significant areas. Stereo-derived topography maps are anticipated over 20-35% of each body. The first task will be to place the observed craters (assuming they are not deeply eroded) into Solar System context. Crater morphology on icy satellites is controlled primarily by surface gravity. Charon has similar surface gravity to the icy Saturnian satellites and we expect craters on Charon to resemble those seen by Cassini, where the dominant landform will be prominent central peaks. Pluto surface gravity is midway between Ganymede and Rhea. Triton, with similar surface gravity and internal composition to Pluto, is of no help due to the paucity of resolved craters there. This opens the possibility of observing landforms seen on Ganymede, such as central dome craters, palimpsests and perhaps even a multiring basin or two, albeit at larger diameters than we would see on Ganymede. Several issues complicate our rosy picture. A key unresolved concern is that impact velocities in the Pluto system are only a few km/s, in the low end of the hypervelocity range. Numerical models imply possible differences during excavation, producing deeper simple craters than on the icy satellites. Impacts occurring at velocities well below the mean (topographic data sets is unclear. Any viscous relaxation (driven by internal or modest tidal heating) or mass wasting erosion (by volatile redistribution) will also work to reduce crater depths on Pluto in different ways, but cratering onto the likely

  2. The photochemistry of Pluto's atmosphere as illuminated by New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Michael L.; Fan, Siteng; Gao, Peter; Liang, Mao-Chang; Shia, Run-Lie; Yung, Yuk L.; Kammer, Joshua A.; Summers, Michael E.; Gladstone, G. Randall; Young, Leslie A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Weaver, Harold A.; Stern, S. Alan

    2017-05-01

    New Horizons has granted us an unprecedented glimpse at the structure and composition of Pluto's atmosphere, which is comprised mostly of N2 with trace amounts of CH4, CO, and the photochemical products thereof. Through photochemistry, higher-order hydrocarbons are generated, coagulating into aerosols and resulting in global haze layers. Here we present a state-of-the-art photochemical model for Pluto's atmosphere to explain the abundance profiles of CH4, C2H2, C2H4, and C2H6, the total column density of HCN, and to predict the abundance profiles of oxygen-bearing species. The CH4 profile can be best matched by taking a constant-with-altitude eddy diffusion coefficient Kzz profile of 1 × 103 cm2 s-1 and a fixed CH4 surface mixing ratio of 4 × 10-3. Condensation is key to fitting the C2 hydrocarbon profiles. We find that C2H4 must have a much lower saturation vapor pressure than predicted by extrapolations of laboratory measurements to Pluto temperatures. We also find best-fit values for the sticking coefficients of C2H2, C2H4, C2H6, and HCN. The top three precipitating species are C2H2, C2H4, and C2H6, with precipitation rates of 179, 95, and 62 g cm-2 s-1, respectively.

  3. Pluto and Charon Seen with the New Horizons Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruikshank, D. P.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, L. A.; Ennico, K.; Olkin, C. B.

    2016-01-01

    After nearly a decade en route, New Horizons flew through the Pluto system in July 2015. The encounter hemisphere of Pluto shows ongoing surface geological activity centered on a vast basin (Sputnik Planum [SP]*) containing a thick layer of volatile ices with a crater retention age no greater than approximately 10 Ma. Surrounding terrains show active glacial flow, apparent transport and rotation of large buoyant water-ice crustal blocks, and pitting, likely by sublimation erosion and/or collapse. Also seen are constructional mounds with central depressions, and ridges with complex bladed textures. Pluto has ancient cratered terrains up to approximately 4 Ga old that are fractured and mantled, and perhaps eroded by glacial processes. Charon does not appear to be currently active, but experienced major tectonism and resurfacing nearly 4 Ga ago. Imaging spectrometer observations of Pluto reveal the encounter hemisphere to be dominated by volatile ices of N2, CO, and CH4, along with non-volatile components that include H2O and tholins. The most volatile of Pluto's ices (N2 and CO) are especially prevalent in the western half of Tombaugh Regio (TR), and the strikingly flat Sputnik Planum basin, which lies a few km below surrounding elevations. The high mobility of N2 and CO ices enables SP's surface to refresh itself sufficiently rapidly that no impact craters are seen there. This likely occurs through a combination of solid state convective overturning and sublimation/ condensation that produces regular patterns of pits and ridges on scales of 102 to 103 m. In many areas, CH4 appears to favor topographically high regions. Its propensity to condense on ridges could play a role in forming the bladed terrain seen in Tartarus Dorsa. H2O can be discerned across much of Cthulhu Regio, and also in a few isolated spots. In many regions, H2O ice is associated with reddish tholin coloration. Pluto's atmosphere was probed with the radio science experiment (REX) and the Alice UV

  4. Pluto or Bust!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Diane

    2005-01-01

    This article begins with a discussion of the development of the solar system. It also focuses on the fact that in January 2006, NASA plans to launch the New Horizons spacecraft to Pluto-Charon and on to one or more of the icy Kuiper Belt Objects. Sections of the article include: (1) Investigating the Aftermath; (2) Designing a Mission to…

  5. HST- STIS Observations of Pluto and Charon Contemporaneous with the New Horizons Encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Nathaniel J.; Schindhelm, Eric R.; Cook, Jason C.; Kammer, Joshua; Stern, S. Alan; Trafton, Laurence M.

    2016-10-01

    We present mid-ultraviolet (MUV) observations of Pluto and Charon taken with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) onboard the Hubble Space Telescope. These spectra were taken in June 2015, one month prior to the close encounter of the New Horizons spacecraft with the Pluto system. Based on New Horizons' characterization of Pluto's atmosphere, we expect significant but spectrally flat attenuation by haze at MUV wavelengths, and insufficient absorption by atmospheric hydrocarbons to produce measurable spectral features. We use the new STIS spectra to characterize the surfaces of Pluto and Charon by fitting Hapke models to the measured MUV geometric albedos of Pluto and Charon. We find that fitting Pluto's measured albedo slope requires inclusion of water ice and tholins in the model, consistent with New Horizons results; modeling of Charon's flat albedo slope does not yield significant constraints on surface composition.

  6. The Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) on the New Horizons Mission

    CERN Document Server

    McNutt, Ralph L; Gurnee, Reid S; Hill, Matthew E; Cooper, Kim A; Andrews, G Bruce; Keath, Edwin P; Krimigis, Stamatios M; Mitchell, Donald G; Tossman, Barry; Bagenal, Fran; Boldt, John D; Bradley, Walter; Devereux, William S; Ho, George C; Jaskulek, Stephen E; LeFevere, Thomas W; Malcom, Horace; Marcus, Geoffrey A; Hayes, John R; Moore, G Ty; Williams, Bruce D; Wilson, Paul; Brown, L E; Kusterer, M; Vandegriff, J

    2007-01-01

    The Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) comprises the hardware and accompanying science investigation on the New Horizons spacecraft to measure pick-up ions from Pluto's outgassing atmosphere. To the extent that Pluto retains its characteristics similar to those of a "heavy comet" as detected in stellar occultations since the early 1980s, these measurements will characterize the neutral atmosphere of Pluto while providing a consistency check on the atmospheric escape rate at the encounter epoch with that deduced from the atmospheric structure at lower altitudes by the ALICE, REX, and SWAP experiments on New Horizons. In addition, PEPSSI will characterize any extended ionosphere and solar wind interaction while also characterizing the energetic particle environment of Pluto, Charon, and their associated system. First proposed for development for the Pluto Express mission in September 1993, what became the PEPSSI instrument went through a number of development stages to meet the...

  7. The First High-Phase Observations of a KBO: New Horizons Imaging of (15810) 1994 JR 1 from the Kuiper Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, Simon; Spencer, John R.; Benecchi, Susan D.; Verbiscer, Anne J.; Zangari, Amanda Marie; Weaver, Harold A.; Lauer, Tod R.; Parker, Alex; Buie, Marc W.; Cheng, Andrew F.; Young, Leslie; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Stern, S. Alan; New Horizons Science Team

    2016-10-01

    (15810) 1994 JR1, a 3:2 resonant Kupier Belt Object (KBO), was observed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft using the LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on November 2, 2015 from a distance of 1.85 AU, and again on April 7, 2016 from a distance of 0.71 AU. These were the first close observations of any KBO other than Pluto, and the first ever of a small KBO at close range. Combining ground-based and HST observations at small phase angles and the LORRI observations at higher phase angles, we produced the first disk-integrated solar phase curve of a typical in-situ KBO from 0.6 to 58 degrees phase angle. Observations at these geometries, a range only attainable using a spacecraft in the outer Solar System, constrain surface properties such as macroscopic roughness and the single particle phase function. 1994 JR1 has a rough surface with a 37 +/- 5 degrees mean topographic slope angle and has a relatively rapid rotation period of 5.47 +/- 0.33 hours, with a lightcurve amplitude of 0.8 magnitudes from the spacecraft. 1994 JR1 is currently 2.7 AU from Pluto; our astrometric points enable high-precision orbit determination and integrations which show that it comes this close to Pluto every 2.4 million years (10,000 heliocentric orbits), causing Pluto to perturb 1994 JR1. During the November spacecraft observation, the KBO was simultaneously observed using the Hubble Space Telescope in two colors, confirming its very red spectral slope. These observations have laid the groundwork for numerous potential future distant KBO observations in the proposed New Horizons-Kuiper Belt Extended Mission.

  8. Spectroscopic constraints on Pluto's coupled surface and atmosphere: context for the New Horizons encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Eliot F.

    2017-01-01

    Pluto's bright surface is a direct result of the transport of volatiles on seasonal timescales. Over the course of a Pluto year (248 years), nitrogen, CO and methane frosts migrate over different parts of Pluto's surface. Pluto's atmosphere is predominantly N2 gas, supported by the vapor pressure of nitrogen frost -- the most volatile of Pluto's surface constituents. New Horizons obtained spectral image cubes of Pluto's surface in the 2 - 2.5 µm range, where N2, CO, CH4 and other frosts have diagnostic features. Some of the surprising results from New Horizons were the inhomogeneity of N2 frost distribution (why is there "Tombaugh Regio," a concentration of bright N2 frost?) and CH4 frost features on certain topographic locations. Given that the vapor pressure of N2 frost is about five orders of magnitude higher than that of CH4 at a given temperature, one might expect Pluto's seasonal warming and cooling cycles to act as a massive distillery and separate N2 and CH4 frosts. Ground-based spectroscopy from Keck using NIRSPEC extends our spectroscopy of Pluto to the 2.8 - 3.5 µm range, beyond New Horizon's limit. We see that the 3.3 µm band of methane frost is nearly zero, ruling out any N2 frost on Pluto that does not have CH4 frost mixed in. Furthermore, the edge of the 3.3 µm feature is diagnostic of pure CH4 ice vs. CH4 that is mixed in an N2 matrix. The mixed state of N2 and CH4 ices, a surprise given their drastically different vapor pressures, has changed the paradigm of how Pluto's surface frosts and atmosphere are coupled. In particular, Keck spectra help us extend the snapshot of the New Horizons flyby to models of volatile transport that span an entire Pluto orbit. Certain scenarios are prohibited, such as the case where Pluto's atmosphere freezes out during aphelion. Some of the lessons learned for Pluto's seasonal atmospheric behavior can be applied to other frost-covered TNOs in highly eccentric orbits, like Eris or Makemake.

  9. The Pluto system: Initial results from its exploration by New Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Stern, S A; Ennico, K; Gladstone, G R; Grundy, W M; McKinnon, W B; Moore, J M; Olkin, C B; Spencer, J R; Weaver, H A; Young, L A; Andert, T; Andrews, J; Banks, M; Bauer, B; Bauman, J; Barnouin, O S; Bedini, P; Beisser, K; Beyer, R A; Bhaskaran, S; Binzel, R P; Birath, E; Bird, M; Bogan, D J; Bowman, A; Bray, V J; Brozovic, M; Bryan, C; Buckley, M R; Buie, M W; Buratti, B J; Bushman, S S; Calloway, A; Carcich, B; Cheng, A F; Conard, S; Conrad, C A; Cook, J C; Cruikshank, D P; Custodio, O S; Ore, C M Dalle; Deboy, C; Dischner, Z J B; Dumont, P; Earle, A M; Elliott, H A; Ercol, J; Ernst, C M; Finley, T; Flanigan, S H; Fountain, G; Freeze, M J; Greathouse, T; Green, J L; Guo, Y; Hahn, M; Hamilton, D P; Hamilton, S A; Hanley, J; Harch, A; Hart, H M; Hersman, C B; Hill, A; Hill, M E; Hinson, D P; Holdridge, M E; Horanyi, M; Howard, A D; Howett, C J A; Jackman, C; Jacobson, R A; Jennings, D E; Kammer, J A; Kang, H K; Kaufmann, D E; Kollmann, P; Krimigis, S M; Kusnierkiewicz, D; Lauer, T R; Lee, J E; Lindstrom, K L; Linscott, I R; Lisse, C M; Lunsford, A W; Mallder, V A; Martin, N; McComas, D J; McNutt, R L; Mehoke, D; Mehoke, T; Melin, E D; Mutchler, M; Nelson, D; Nimmo, F; Nunez, J I; Ocampo, A; Owen, W M; Paetzold, M; Page, B; Parker, A H; Parker, J W; Pelletier, F; Peterson, J; Pinkine, N; Piquette, M; Porter, S B; Protopapa, S; Redfern, J; Reitsema, H J; Reuter, D C; Roberts, J H; Robbins, S J; Rogers, G; Rose, D; Runyon, K; Retherford, K D; Ryschkewitsch, M G; Schenk, P; Schindhelm, E; Sepan, B; Showalter, M R; Singer, K N; Soluri, M; Stanbridge, D; Steffl, A J; Strobel, D F; Stryk, T; Summers, M E; Szalay, J R; Tapley, M; Taylor, A; Taylor, H; Throop, H B; Tsang, C C C; Tyler, G L; Umurhan, O M; Verbiscer, A J; Versteeg, M H; Vincent, M; Webbert, R; Weidner, S; Weigle, G E; White, O L; Whittenburg, K; Williams, B G; Williams, K; Williams, S; Woods, W W; Zangari, A M; Zirnstein, E

    2015-01-01

    The Pluto system was recently explored by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, making closest approach on 14 July 2015. Pluto's surface displays diverse landforms, terrain ages, albedos, colors, and composition gradients. Evidence is found for a water-ice crust, geologically young surface units, surface ice convection, wind streaks, volatile transport, and glacial flow. Pluto's atmosphere is highly extended, with trace hydrocarbons, a global haze layer, and a surface pressure near 10 microbars. Pluto's diverse surface geology and long-term activity raise fundamental questions about how small planets remain active many billions of years after formation. Pluto's large moon Charon displays tectonics and evidence for a heterogeneous crustal composition, its north pole displays puzzling dark terrain. Small satellites Hydra and Nix have higher albedos than expected.

  10. The Pluto system: Initial results from its exploration by New Horizons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, S A; Bagenal, F; Ennico, K; Gladstone, G R; Grundy, W M; McKinnon, W B; Moore, J M; Olkin, C B; Spencer, J R; Weaver, H A; Young, L A; Andert, T; Andrews, J; Banks, M; Bauer, B; Bauman, J; Barnouin, O S; Bedini, P; Beisser, K; Beyer, R A; Bhaskaran, S; Binzel, R P; Birath, E; Bird, M; Bogan, D J; Bowman, A; Bray, V J; Brozovic, M; Bryan, C; Buckley, M R; Buie, M W; Buratti, B J; Bushman, S S; Calloway, A; Carcich, B; Cheng, A F; Conard, S; Conrad, C A; Cook, J C; Cruikshank, D P; Custodio, O S; Dalle Ore, C M; Deboy, C; Dischner, Z J B; Dumont, P; Earle, A M; Elliott, H A; Ercol, J; Ernst, C M; Finley, T; Flanigan, S H; Fountain, G; Freeze, M J; Greathouse, T; Green, J L; Guo, Y; Hahn, M; Hamilton, D P; Hamilton, S A; Hanley, J; Harch, A; Hart, H M; Hersman, C B; Hill, A; Hill, M E; Hinson, D P; Holdridge, M E; Horanyi, M; Howard, A D; Howett, C J A; Jackman, C; Jacobson, R A; Jennings, D E; Kammer, J A; Kang, H K; Kaufmann, D E; Kollmann, P; Krimigis, S M; Kusnierkiewicz, D; Lauer, T R; Lee, J E; Lindstrom, K L; Linscott, I R; Lisse, C M; Lunsford, A W; Mallder, V A; Martin, N; McComas, D J; McNutt, R L; Mehoke, D; Mehoke, T; Melin, E D; Mutchler, M; Nelson, D; Nimmo, F; Nunez, J I; Ocampo, A; Owen, W M; Paetzold, M; Page, B; Parker, A H; Parker, J W; Pelletier, F; Peterson, J; Pinkine, N; Piquette, M; Porter, S B; Protopapa, S; Redfern, J; Reitsema, H J; Reuter, D C; Roberts, J H; Robbins, S J; Rogers, G; Rose, D; Runyon, K; Retherford, K D; Ryschkewitsch, M G; Schenk, P; Schindhelm, E; Sepan, B; Showalter, M R; Singer, K N; Soluri, M; Stanbridge, D; Steffl, A J; Strobel, D F; Stryk, T; Summers, M E; Szalay, J R; Tapley, M; Taylor, A; Taylor, H; Throop, H B; Tsang, C C C; Tyler, G L; Umurhan, O M; Verbiscer, A J; Versteeg, M H; Vincent, M; Webbert, R; Weidner, S; Weigle, G E; White, O L; Whittenburg, K; Williams, B G; Williams, K; Williams, S; Woods, W W; Zangari, A M; Zirnstein, E

    2015-10-16

    The Pluto system was recently explored by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, making closest approach on 14 July 2015. Pluto's surface displays diverse landforms, terrain ages, albedos, colors, and composition gradients. Evidence is found for a water-ice crust, geologically young surface units, surface ice convection, wind streaks, volatile transport, and glacial flow. Pluto's atmosphere is highly extended, with trace hydrocarbons, a global haze layer, and a surface pressure near 10 microbars. Pluto's diverse surface geology and long-term activity raise fundamental questions about how small planets remain active many billions of years after formation. Pluto's large moon Charon displays tectonics and evidence for a heterogeneous crustal composition; its north pole displays puzzling dark terrain. Small satellites Hydra and Nix have higher albedos than expected. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  11. Mean radius and shape of Pluto and Charon from New Horizons images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, Francis; Umurhan, Orkan; Lisse, Carey M.; Bierson, Carver J.; Lauer, Tod R.; Buie, Marc W.; Throop, Henry B.; Kammer, Josh A.; Roberts, James H.; McKinnon, William B.; Zangari, Amanda M.; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Stern, S. Alan; Young, Leslie A.; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Cathy B.; Ennico, Kim

    2017-05-01

    Approach images taken by the LORRI imaging system during the New Horizons spacecraft encounter have been used to determine the mean radii and shapes of Pluto and Charon. The primary observations are limb locations derived using three independent approaches. The resulting mean radii of Pluto and Charon are 1188.3 ± 1.6 km and 606.0 ± 1.0 km, respectively (2-σ). The corresponding densities are 1854 ± 11 kg/m3 and 1701 ± 33 kg/m3 (2-σ). The Charon radius value is consistent with previous Earth-based occultation estimates. The Pluto radius estimate is consistent with solar occultation measurements performed by the ALICE and Fine Sun Sensor instruments on New Horizons. Neither Pluto nor Charon show any evidence for tidal/rotational distortions; upper bounds on the oblateness are < 0.6% and < 0.5%, respectively.

  12. Radio occultation measurements of Pluto's neutral atmosphere with New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinson, D. P.; Linscott, I. R.; Young, L. A.; Tyler, G. L.; Stern, S. A.; Beyer, R. A.; Bird, M. K.; Ennico, K.; Gladstone, G. R.; Olkin, C. B.; Pätzold, M.; Schenk, P. M.; Strobel, D. F.; Summers, M. E.; Weaver, H. A.; Woods, W. W.

    2017-07-01

    On 14 July 2015 New Horizons performed a radio occultation (RO) that sounded Pluto's atmosphere down to the surface. The sensitivity of the measurements was enhanced by a unique configuration of ground equipment and spacecraft instrumentation. Signals were transmitted simultaneously by four antennas of the NASA Deep Space Network, each radiating 20 kW at a wavelength of 4.2 cm. The polarization was right circular for one pair of signals and left circular for the other pair. New Horizons received the four signals and separated them by polarization for processing by two independent receivers, each referenced to a different ultra-stable oscillator. The two data streams were digitized, filtered, and stored on the spacecraft for later transmission to Earth. The results reported here are the first to utilize the complete set of observations. We calibrated each signal to remove effects not associated with Pluto's atmosphere, including the limb diffraction pattern. We then applied a specialized method of analysis to retrieve profiles of number density, pressure, and temperature from the combined phase measurements. Occultation entry sounded the atmosphere at sunset at 193.5°E, 17.0°S - on the southeast margin of an ice-filled basin known informally as Sputnik Planitia (SP); occultation exit occurred at sunrise at 15.7°E, 15.1°N - near the center of the Charon-facing hemisphere. Above 1215 km radius (∼25 km altitude) there is no discernible difference between the measurements at entry and exit, and the RO profiles are consistent with results derived from ground-based stellar occultation measurements. At lower altitudes the RO measurements reveal horizontal variations in atmospheric structure that had not been observed previously, and they are the first to reach the ground. The entry profile has a strong temperature inversion that ends 3.5 km above the surface, and the temperature in the cold boundary layer beneath the inversion is nearly constant, 38.9 ± 2.1 K, and

  13. Possible scenarios that the New Horizons spacecraft may find in its close encounter with Pluto

    CERN Document Server

    Durand-Manterola, Hector Javier

    2015-01-01

    Next year, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft will have a close encounter with Pluto. In the present study we discuss some possibilities regarding what the spacecraft may encounter during its approach to Pluto. Among them we should include: the presence of geological activity due to heat generated by tides; the unlikely presence of an intrinsic magnetic field; the possibility of a plasmasphere and a plasmapause; the position of an ionopause; the existence of an ionospheric trans-terminator flow similar to that at Venus and Mars; and the presence of a Magnus force that produces a deflection of Pluto plasma wake. This deflection oscillates up and down in its orbit around the sun.

  14. Escape of Pluto's Atmosphere: In Situ Measurements from New Horizons and Remote Observations from Chandra

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Hill, M. E.; Kollmann, P.; Krimigis, S. M.; Brown, L. E.; Kusterer, M. B.; Lisse, C. M.; Mitchell, D. G.; Vandegriff, J. D.; McComas, D. J.; Bagenal, F.; Elliott, H. A.; Ennico Smith, K.; Horanyi, M.; Olkin, C.; Piquette, M. R.; Stern, A.; Strobel, D. F.; Szalay, J.; Valek, P. W.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Weidner, S.; Young, L. A.; Zirnstein, E.; Wolk, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    The escape rate of Pluto's atmosphere is of significant scientific interest. It is a Group 1 science goal of the New Horizons mission. In addition, a Group 3 science goal of the mission has been to characterize the energetic particle environment of the Pluto system. The Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) is a compact, energy by time-of-flight (TOF) instrument developed to address both of these science goals. Pluto is known to have an atmosphere, and current models postulate a majority N2 composition with free escape of up to ~1028 molecules/sec. This is very similar to the physical situation of a variety comets observed in the inner heliosphere. However, the gravitational field of Pluto exerts a significant effect on the escaping neutrals, unlike at a comet. The ionization of neutrals emitted from comets results in heavy ions, which are accelerated by the convective solar-wind electric field. The expected major ionization product near Pluto is singly ionized N2 molecules with pickup energies sufficient to be measured with PEPSSI. In the process of measuring the local energetic particle environment, such measurements will also provide constraints on the local density of Pluto's extended atmosphere, which, along with plasma measurements from the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument also on New Horizons should allow the inference of the strengh and extent of mass-loading of the solar wind due to Pluto's atmosphere. Pluto's neutral atmosphere also provides a source population for charge exchange of highly ionized, minor ions in the solar wind, such as O, C, and N. This process allows these ions to capture one electron and be left in an excited state. That state, in turn decays with the emission of a low-energy (100 eV to 1 keV) X-ray, which can be detected at Earth. Such observations have been made of comets since the X-ray emission discovery in 1996 and used to infer cometary outgassing rates. Similar observatins have been made

  15. Global Albedos of Pluto and Charon from LORRI New Horizons Observations

    CERN Document Server

    Buratti, B J; Hicks, M D; Weaver, H A; Stern, S A; Momary, T; Mosher, J A; Beyer, R A; Young, L A; Ennico, K; Olkin, C B

    2016-01-01

    The exploration of the Pluto-Charon system by the New Horizons spacecraft represent the first opportunity to understand the distribution of albedo and other photometric properties of the surfaces of objects in the Solar System's "Third Zone" within the context of a geologic world. Images of the entire illuminated surface of Pluto and Charon obtained by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera provide a global map of Pluto that revealed surface albedo variegations larger than any other world except for Saturn's moon Iapetus. Normal reflectances on Pluto range from 0.08-1.0. Charon exhibits a much blander surface with normal reflectances ranging from 0.20-0.73. Pluto's albedo features are well-correlated with geologic features, although some exogenous low-albedo dust may be responsible for features seen to the west of the area informally named Tombaugh Regio. The albedo patterns of both Pluto and Charon are latitudinally organized, with the exception of Tombaugh Regio. The low-albedo areas of Pluto a...

  16. The Geology of Pluto and Charon Through the Eyes of New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J. M.; McKinnon, W. B.; Spencer, J. R.; Howard, A. D.; Schenk, P. M.; Beyer, R. A.; Nimmo, F.; Singer, K. N.; Umurhan, O. M.; White, O. L.; Ennico, K.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Reuter, D. C.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has revealed the complex geology of Pluto and Charon. Pluto shows ongoing surface geological activity centered on a vast basin containing a thick layer of volatile ices that is involved in convection and advection, with a crater retention age no greater than 10 Ma. Surrounding terrains show active glacial flow, apparent transport and rotation of large buoyant water-ice crustal blocks, and pitting by sublimation erosion and/or collapse. More enigmatic features include tall mounds with central depressions that are conceivably cryovolcanic, and ridges with complex bladed textures. Pluto also has ancient cratered terrains up to 4 Ga old that are extensionally fractured and extensively mantled and eroded by glacial or other processes. Charon is not currently active, but experienced major extensional tectonism and resurfacing (probably cryovolcanic) nearly 4 billion years ago. Impact crater populations on Pluto and Charon are not consistent with the steepest proposed impactor size-frequency distributions.

  17. The Geology of Pluto and Charon Through the Eyes of New Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Moore, Jeffrey M; Spencer, John R; Howard, Alan D; Schenk, Paul M; Beyer, Ross A; Nimmo, Francis; Singer, Kelsi N; Umurhan, Orkan M; White, Oliver L; Stern, S Alan; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Cathy B; Weaver, Harold A; Young, Leslie A; Binzel, Richard P; Buie, Marc W; Buratti, Bonnie J; Cheng, Andrew F; Cruikshank, Dale P; Grundy, Will M; Linscott, Ivan R; Reitsema, Harold J; Reuter, Dennis C; Showalter, Mark R; Bray, Veronica J; Chavez, Carrie L; Howett, Carly J A; Lauer, Tod R; Lisse, Carey M; Parker, Alex Harrison; Porter, S B; Robbins, Simon J; Runyon, Kirby; Stryk, Ted; Throop, Henry B; Tsang, Constantine C C; Verbiscer, Anne J; Zangari, Amanda M; Chaikin, Andrew L; Wilhelms, Don E

    2016-01-01

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has revealed the complex geology of Pluto and Charon. Pluto's encounter hemisphere shows ongoing surface geological activity centered on a vast basin containing a thick layer of volatile ices that appears to be involved in convection and advection, with a crater retention age no greater than $\\approx$10 Ma. Surrounding terrains show active glacial flow, apparent transport and rotation of large buoyant water-ice crustal blocks, and pitting, likely by sublimation erosion and/or collapse. More enigmatic features include tall mounds with central depressions that are conceivably cryovolcanic, and ridges with complex bladed textures. Pluto also has ancient cratered terrains up to ~4 Ga old that are extensionally fractured and extensively mantled and perhaps eroded by glacial or other processes. Charon does not appear to be currently active, but experienced major extensional tectonism and resurfacing (probably cryovolcanic) nearly 4 billion years ago. Impact crater populations on Pluto...

  18. New Horizons Sees Pluto (Animation) Note: There is debate within the science community as to whether

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons acquired images of the Pluto field three days apart in late September 2006, in order to see Pluto's motion against a dense background of stars. LORRI took three frames at 1-second exposures on both Sept. 21 and Sept. 24. Because it moved along its predicted path, Pluto was detected in all six images. These images are displayed using false-color to represent different intensities: the lowest intensity level is black, different shades of red mark intermediate intensities, and the highest intensity is white. The images appear pixilated because they were obtained in a mode that compensates for the drift in spacecraft pointing over long exposure times. LORRI also made these observations before operators uploaded new flight-control software in October; the upgraded software package includes an optical navigation capability that will make LORRI approximately three times more sensitive still than for these Pluto observations.

  19. Mean radius and shape of Pluto and Charon from New Horizons images

    CERN Document Server

    Nimmo, Francis; Lisse, Casey M; Bierson, Carver J; Lauer, Tod R; Buie, Marc W; Throop, Henry B; Kammer, Josh A; Roberts, James H; McKinnon, William B; Moore, Jeffrey M; Stern, S Alan; Young, Leslie A; Weaver, Harold A; Olkin, Cathy B; Ennico, Kim

    2016-01-01

    Approach images of Pluto and Charon taken by the LORRI imaging system during the New Horizons spacecraft encounter have been used to determine the mean radii and shape of Pluto and Charon. The primary observations are limb locations derived using three independent approaches. The resulting mean radii of Pluto and Charon are 1187.6 +/- 1.8 km and 605.4 +/- 1.2 km, respectively (2-sigma). The corresponding densities are 1857 +/- 6 kg m-3 and 1707 +/- 17 kg m-3 (1-sigma). The Charon radius value is consistent with previous Earth-based occultation estimates. Neither Pluto nor Charon show any evidence for tidal/rotational distortions; upper bounds on the oblateness are <0.6% and <0.5%, respectively.

  20. New Horizons: Long-Range Kuiper Belt Targets Observed by the Hubble Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benecchi, S. D.; Noll, K. S.; Weaver, H. A.; Spencer, J. R.; Stern, S. A.; Buie, M. W.; Parker, A. H.

    2014-01-01

    We report on Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of three Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), discovered in our dedicated ground-based search campaign, that are candidates for long-range observations from the New Horizons spacecraft: 2011 epochY31, 2011 HZ102, and 2013 LU35. Astrometry with HST enables both current and future critical accuracy improvements for orbit precision, required for possible New Horizons observations, beyond what can be obtained from the ground. Photometric colors of all three objects are red, typical of the Cold Classical dynamical population within which they reside; they are also the faintest KBOs to have had their colors measured. None are observed to be binary with HST above separations of approx. 0.02 arcsec (approx. 700 km at 44 AU) and delta m less than or equal to 0.5.

  1. New Horizons Successful Completes the Historic First Flyby of Pluto and Its Moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ennico, Kimberly

    2015-01-01

    On July 14, 2015, after a 9.5 year trek across the solar system, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by the dwarf planet Pluto and its system of moons, taking imagery, spectra and in-situ particle data. Data from New Horizons will address numerous outstanding questions on the geology and composition of Pluto and Charon, plus measurements of Pluto's atmosphere, and provide revised understanding of the formation and evolution of Pluto and Charon and its smaller moons. This data set is an invaluable glimpse into the outer Third Zone of the solar system. Data from the intense July 14th fly-by sequence will be downlinked to Earth over a period of 16 months, the duration set by the large data set (over 60 GBits) and the limited transmitted bandwidth rates (approx. 1-2 kbps) and sharing the three 70 m DSN assets with our missions. The small fraction (approx. 1%) of data downlinked during the early phase of the flyby has already revealed Pluto and Charon to be very different worlds, with increasing and dynamic complexity.

  2. The New Horizons Bistatic Radio Science Experiment to Measure Pluto's Surface Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linscott, I.; Hinson, D. P.; Tyler, G. L.; Vincent, M.

    2014-12-01

    The New Horizons (NH) payload includes a Radio Science Experiment (REX) for principally occultation and radiometric measurement of Pluto and Charon during the flyby in July 2015. The REX subsystem is contained, together with the NH X-Band radio, in the Integrated Electronics Module (IEM) in the New Horizons spacecraft. REX samples and records in two polarizations both total RF power in a 4.5 MHz bandwidth, and radio signal waveforms in a narrow, 1.25 kHz band. During the encounter, and at closest approach to Pluto, the spacecraft's high gain antenna (HGA) will scan Pluto's equatorial latitudes, intercepting the specular zone, a region near Pluto's limb that geometrically favors reflection from the earth's direction. At the same time, a powerful 80 kW uplink beacon will have been transmitted from earth by the DSN to arrive at Pluto during spacecraft closest approach. Reflection from the specular zone is expected to be sufficiently strong to observe the bistatic uplink in the REX narrowband record. Measurements in both polarizations will then be combined to yield surface reflectivity, roughness and limits on the dielectric constant in the specular zone.

  3. PLUTO'S SEASONS: NEW PREDICTIONS FOR NEW HORIZONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Young, L. A. [Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States)

    2013-04-01

    Since the last Pluto volatile transport models were published in 1996, we have (1) new stellar occultation data from 2002 and 2006-2012 that show roughly twice the pressure as the first definitive occultation from 1988, (2) new information about the surface properties of Pluto, (3) a spacecraft due to arrive at Pluto in 2015, and (4) a new volatile transport model that is rapid enough to allow a large parameter-space search. Such a parameter-space search coarsely constrained by occultation results reveals three broad solutions: a high-thermal inertia, large volatile inventory solution with permanent northern volatiles (PNVs; using the rotational north pole convention); a lower thermal-inertia, smaller volatile inventory solution with exchanges of volatiles between hemispheres and a pressure plateau beyond 2015 (exchange with pressure plateau, EPP); and solutions with still smaller volatile inventories, with exchanges of volatiles between hemispheres and an early collapse of the atmosphere prior to 2015 (exchange with early collapse, EEC). PNV and EPP are favored by stellar occultation data, but EEC cannot yet be definitively ruled out without more atmospheric modeling or additional occultation observations and analysis.

  4. Will New Horizons see dust clumps in the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt?

    CERN Document Server

    Vitense, Christian; Löhne, Torsten

    2014-01-01

    Debris disks are thought to be sculptured by neighboring planets. The same is true for the Edgeworth-Kuiper debris disk, yet no direct observational evidence for signatures of giant planets in the Kuiper belt dust distribution has been found so far. Here we model the dust distribution in the outer solar system to reproduce the dust impact rates onto the dust detector onboard the New Horizons spacecraft measured so far and to predict the rates during the Neptune orbit traverse. To this end, we take a realistic distribution of transneptunian objects to launch a sufficient number of dust grains of different sizes and follow their orbits by including radiation pressure, Poynting-Robertson and stellar wind drag, as well as the perturbations of four giant planets. In a subsequent statistical analysis, we calculate number densities and lifetimes of the dust grains in order to simulate a collisional cascade. In contrast to the previous work, our model not only considers collisional elimination of particles, but also ...

  5. Constraints on the Microphysics of Pluto's Photochemical Haze from New Horizons Observations

    CERN Document Server

    Gao, Peter; Wong, Michael L; Liang, Mao-Chang; Shia, Run-Lie; Kammer, Joshua A; Yung, Yuk L; Summers, Michael E; Gladstone, G Randall; Young, Leslie A; Olkin, Catherine B; Ennico, Kimberly; Weaver, Harold A; Stern, S Alan

    2016-01-01

    The New Horizons flyby of Pluto confirmed the existence of hazes in its atmosphere. Observations of a large high- to low- phase brightness ratio, combined with the blue color of the haze, suggest that the haze particles are fractal aggregates, analogous to the photochemical hazes on Titan. Therefore, studying the Pluto hazes can shed light on the similarities and differences between the Pluto and Titan atmospheres. We model the haze distribution using the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres assuming that the distribution is shaped by sedimentation and coagulation of particles originating from photochemistry. Hazes composed of both purely spherical and purely fractal aggregate particles are considered. Agreement between model results and occultation observations is obtained with aggregate particles when the downward flux of photochemical products is equal to the column-integrated methane destruction rate ~1.2 $\\times$ 10$^{-14}$ g cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$, while for spherical particles the mass flu...

  6. Understanding the Pluto-Charon Plasma Environment during the New Horizons Encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, J. M.; Paty, C. S.

    2016-12-01

    This work studies the plasma environment of the Pluto-Charon system during the New Horizons encounter using a multifluid MHD model. We have simulated scenarios in which the upstream solar wind conditions match those observed by New Horizons at the time of the encounter as well as cases which represent what are thought to be more typical, lower solar wind density, conditions. Simulations have also been conducted in which Charon possesses a trace ionosphere in an effort to explain a measured increase in ion density while New Horizons was within Charon's geometric shadow [McComas et al, 2016]. In order to more accurately reflect the local plasma environment, photochemistry and plasma-neutral interactions - specifically photoionization and electron impact ionization as plasma sources and charge exchange as a momentum loss mechanism - have been incorporated into the model. Given the unexpectedly small interaction region observed by New Horizons and the corresponding compactness of Pluto's atmosphere, the heightened physical accuracy afforded by these additions to the model is necessary so that a useful modeling context for the brief period of available physical data may be provided. Our previous work in which Charon is placed either directly upstream or directly downstream of Pluto has been expanded in light of the previously mentioned data returned by New Horizons. The results of this study demonstrate that in these circumstances Charon modifies the upstream flow, both in the case in which Charon possesses an ionosphere, and in the case in which Charon is without an ionosphere. The case in which Charon is upstream and has an ionosphere results in a notable decrease in ionospheric loss from Pluto due to a shielding effect.

  7. Ground-based Light Curves Two Pluto Days Before the New Horizons Passage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosh, A. S.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Durst, R. F.; Seeger, C. H.; Levine, S. E.; Abe, F.; Suzuki, D.; Nagakane, M.; Sickafoose, A. A.; Person, M. J.; Zuluaga, C.; Kosiarek, M. R.

    2015-12-01

    We observed the occultation of a 12th magnitude star, one of the two brightest occultation stars ever in our dozen years of continual monitoring of Pluto's atmosphere through such studies, on 29 June 2015 UTC. At Canterbury University's Mt. John University Observatory on the south island of New Zealand, in clear sky, we used our POETS frame-transfer CCD at 10 Hz with GPS timing on the 1-m McLellan telescope as well as an infrared camera on an 0.6-m telescope and three-color photometry at a slower cadence on a second 0.6-m telescope. The light curves show a central flash, indicating that we were close to the center of the occultation path, and allowing us to explore Pluto's atmosphere lower than usual. The light curves show that Pluto's atmosphere remained robust. Observations from 0.5- and 0.4-m telescopes at the Auckland Observatory gave the first half of the occultation before clouds came in. We coordinated our observations with aircraft observations with NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) and its High Speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations (HIPO). Our ground-based and airborne stellar-occultation effort came only just over two weeks of Earth days and two Pluto days (based on Pluto's rotational period) before the flyby of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, meaning that the mission's exquisite snapshot of Pluto's atmosphere can be placed in the context of our series of ground-based occultation observations carried out on a regular basis since 2002 following a first Pluto occultation observed in 1988 from aloft. Our observations were supported by NASA Planetary Astronomy grants NNX12AJ29G to Williams College, NNX15AJ82G to Lowell Observatory, and NNX10AB27G to MIT, and by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. We thank Alan Gilmore, Pam Kilmartin, Robert Lucas, Paul Tristam, and Carolle Varughese for assistance at Mt. John.

  8. Vibration Testing of the Pluto/New Horizons Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Charles D. Griffin

    2006-06-01

    The Radioisotopic Thermal Generator (RTG) for the Pluto/New Horizons spacecraft was subjected to a flight dynamic acceptance test to demonstrate that it would perform successfully following launch. Seven RTGs of this type had been assembled and tested at Mound, Ohio from 1984 to 1997. This paper chronicles major events in establishing a new vibration test laboratory at the Idaho National Laboratory and the nineteen days of dynamic testing.

  9. Pluto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P.

    1990-01-01

    Discussed are details of what is known about the composition, physical characteristics, and formation of the planet Pluto and its satellite, Charon. Alignments of these bodies and details of their rotations and revolutions are described. (CW)

  10. Chandra Observations of Pluto's Escaping Atmosphere in Support of the New Horizons Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, Ralph, Jr.

    2013-09-01

    Current models of Pluto's extended N2+CH4 atmosphere are still very uncertain, causing numerous difficulties in optimizing the New Horizons fast flyby operations plan for the dwarf planet. Applying knowledge gained from studying cometary X-ray emission, Chandra ACIS-S photometric imaging of X-rays produced by CXE between the solar wind and Pluto's atmosphere will address both the run of atmospheric density and the interaction of the solar wind with the extended Plutonian atmosphere. Determining the atmosphere's extent and amount of free molecular escape will aid the atmospheric sounding measurements of the NH ALICE instrument, while determining the x-ray luminosity will help the NH PEPSI instrument characterize the solar wind particle environment.

  11. Pluto

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Binzel, R.P. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (USA))

    1990-06-01

    A new picture of Pluto has begun to emerge during the past decade. Dedicated observational efforts using a variety of modern instruments, aided by some fortuitous celestial alignments, have produced a number of surprises. Pluto has a satellite, Charon, so large that the two objects can virtually be considered a double planet. The planet has bright polar caps and a darker, mottled equatorial region. A layer of methane ice covers most of its surface. Pluto even possesses a thin atmosphere; when the planet is farthest from the sun, all or part of the atmosphere may freeze and fall to the surface as snow. Charon's surface, which appears to be quite different from Pluto's, may be a great expanse of water ice. Pluto's size and density are much like those of Triton, the large satellite of Neptune that was recently visited by the Voyager 2 probe. These and other similarities suggest that both bodies may be leftover planetesimals, relics from the early days of the solar system that managed not to be swept up by the giant outer planets. In this scenario, Triton was captured by Neptune, whereas Pluto was able to survive as a bona fide planet in an independent orbit about the sun.

  12. Constraints on the microphysics of Pluto's photochemical haze from New Horizons observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Peter; Fan, Siteng; Wong, Michael L.; Liang, Mao-Chang; Shia, Run-Lie; Kammer, Joshua A.; Yung, Yuk L.; Summers, Michael E.; Gladstone, G. Randall; Young, Leslie A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Weaver, Harold A.; Stern, S. Alan

    2017-05-01

    The New Horizons flyby of Pluto confirmed the existence of hazes in its atmosphere. Observations of a large high- to low- phase brightness ratio, combined with the blue color of the haze (indicative of Rayleigh scattering), suggest that the haze particles are fractal aggregates, perhaps analogous to the photochemical hazes on Titan. Therefore, studying the Pluto hazes can shed light on the similarities and differences between the Pluto and Titan atmospheres. We model the haze distribution using the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres assuming that the distribution is shaped by downward transport and coagulation of particles originating from photochemistry. Hazes composed of both purely spherical and purely fractal aggregate particles are considered. General agreement between model results and solar occultation observations is obtained with aggregate particles when the downward mass flux of photochemical products is equal to the column-integrated methane destruction rate ∼1.2 × 10-14 g cm-2 s-1, while for spherical particles the mass flux must be 2-3 times greater. This flux is nearly identical to the haze production flux of Titan previously obtained by comparing microphysical model results to Cassini observations. The aggregate particle radius is sensitive to particle charging effects, and a particle charge to radius ratio of 30 e-/μm is necessary to produce ∼0.1-0.2 μm aggregates near Pluto's surface, in accordance with forward scattering measurements. Such a particle charge to radius ratio is 2-4 times higher than those previously obtained for Titan. Hazes composed of spheres with the same particle charge to radius ratio have particles that are 4 times smaller at Pluto's surface. These results further suggest that the haze particles are fractal aggregates. We also consider the effect of condensation of HCN, C2H2, C2H4, and C2H6 on the haze particles, which may play an important role in shaping their altitude and size distributions.

  13. Peering Into Distant Lands: The Geology of Pluto and Charon as Revealed by New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umurhan, Orkan; Spencer, John; McKinnon, William; Weaver, Harold; Olkin, Cathy; Ennico, Kimberly; Young, Leslie; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Stern, S. Alan

    2016-07-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft's close-encounter with Pluto and Charon has revealed these two planetary bodies to have strikingly different surface appearances despite their similar densities and (presumed) compositions [1,2]. Pluto's surface landforms are varied but most appear to be a consequence of surface-atmosphere interactions and insolation mobilization of volatile ices. Pluto exhibits an abundance of valley systems that appear to be shaped by glacial dynamics involving N_{2} ice. N_{2} and (possibly) CO ice appears to be involved in solid-state convection in the 3-4 km deep, 900 km wide equatorial region called Sputnik Planum [3] with convection pattern size scales ranging from 15-40 km. Calculations involving known properties of volatiles under Pluto's current conditions show that Pluto's radiogenic heat loss is enough to power advection and convection of volatile ices. The Piri Planitia/Rupes complex, located in the uplands west of Sputnik Planum, appears to be a landform undergoing scarp retreat driven by the sublimation of CH_{4} gas. The prominent mountain ranges found on the western margin of Sputnik Planum, including Norgay and Hillary Montes, as well as the odd-looking mound features (possibly cryovolcanic) found to the south, like the 3-4 km high Wright Mons, are likely composed of H_{2}O ice and appear to be geologically young - as suggested by their light cratering and superposition relationships. What drives the formation and development of these Plutonian structures so late in Solar System history remains puzzling and is under investigation. While also harboring geologically varied features, Charon's terrain is heavily cratered and appears to be 4 Ga old and lacks obvious evidence of dynamic remolding by volatile transport. Oz Terra, in the northern portion of the encounter hemisphere, exhibits extremely rugged terrain with craters up to 240 km in diameter and a network of polygonal troughs as deep as 10 km. Oz Terra is separated from the southern

  14. New Horizons at Pluto: An Overview of Educational Activities / Outreach at Fernbank Science Center, Atlanta, Georgia (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albin, Edward F.; Harris, R. Scott

    2015-11-01

    We report on educational activities and associated outreach at Fernbank Science Center (Atlanta, GA) in conjunction with the July 2015 New Horizons spacecraft encounter at Pluto. On encounter day, a public lecture about the dwarf planet was presented by Georgia’s NASA Solar System ambassador to kick off the arrival of the space probe at Pluto. In the months following the flyby, we presented a program called “Exploring New Horizons” in the Science Center’s Zeiss planetarium. This program is a digital full-dome presentation about the discovery of Pluto and its subsequent exploration - including an overview of the New Horizons mission. Since NASA continues to receive data from the probe, a brief update (tribute) is included at the end of each planetarium program that features the latest imagery and data from the dwarf planet. We anticipate running the planetarium program throughout the fall semester of 2015. With Pluto visible in the early evening autumn sky, observations are possible with Center’s 0.9 m telescope, which is open for public viewing on clear Thursday and Friday nights following the planetarium program. Although Pluto is somewhat faint through the telescope's eyepiece, it is visible and clearly identified within the surrounding starfield. Intermittent post-encounter lectures ("Messages from the Outer Solar System") have been given on Friday evenings as well. Finally, due to the continued interest in Pluto, we have developed a new outreach program about dwarf planets in general, geared towards 4th - 6th students.

  15. Surface Compositions Across Pluto and Charon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundy, W. M.; Binzel, R. P.; Buratti, B. J.; Cook, J. C.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Dalle Ore, C. M.; Earle, A. M.; Ennico, K.; Howett, C. J. A.; Lunsford, A. W.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Kuiper Belt hosts a swarm of distant, icy objects ranging in size from small, primordial planetesimals to much larger, highly evolved objects, representing a whole new class of previously unexplored cryogenic worlds. Pluto, the largest among them, along with its system of five satellites, has been revealed by NASAs New Horizons spacecraft flight through the system in July 2015, nearly a decade after its launch.

  16. Pluto's global surface composition through pixel-by-pixel Hapke modeling of New Horizons Ralph/LEISA data

    CERN Document Server

    Protopapa, S; Reuter, D C; Hamilton, D P; Ore, C M Dalle; Cook, J C; Cruikshank, D P; Philippe, S; Quirico, E; Schmitt, B; Binzel, R P; Earle, A M; Ennico, K; Howett, C J A; Lunsford, A W; Olkin, C B; Parker, A; Singer, K N; Stern, A; Weaver, H A; Young, L A

    2016-01-01

    On July 14th 2015, NASA's New Horizons mission gave us a first view of the Pluto system. The complex compositional diversity of Pluto's encounter hemisphere was revealed by the Ralph/LEISA infrared spectrometer on board of New Horizons. We present compositional maps of Pluto defining the spatial distribution of the abundance and textural properties of the volatiles methane and nitrogen ices and non-volatiles water ice and tholin. These results are obtained by applying a pixel-by-pixel Hapke radiative transfer model to the LEISA scans. Our analysis focuses mainly on the large scale latitudinal variations of methane and nitrogen ices and aims at setting observational constraints to volatile transport models. Our findings are consistent with expectations of vigorous spring sublimation after a long polar winter. The latitudinal pattern is broken by Sputnik Planum, a large depository of volatiles, with nitrogen playing the most important role. The physical properties of methane and nitrogen in this region are sugg...

  17. Migration of Frosts from High-Albedo Regions of Pluto: what New Horizons Reveals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buratti, Bonnie J.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, Hal A.; Young, Leslie A.; Olkin, Cathy B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Binzel, Richard P.; Zangari, Amanda; Earle, Alissa M.

    2015-11-01

    With its high eccentricity and obliquity, Pluto should exhibit seasonal volatile transport on its surface. Several lines of evidence support this transport: doubling of Pluto’s atmospheric pressure over the past two decades (Young et al., 2013, Ap. J. 766, L22; Olkin et al., 2015, Icarus 246, 230); changes in its historical rotational light curve, once all variations due to viewing geometry have been modelled (Buratti et al., 2015; Ap. J. 804, L6); and changes in HST albedo maps (Buie et al., 2010, Astron. J. 139, 1128). New Horizons LORRI images reveal that the region of greatest albedo change is not the polar cap(s) of Pluto, but the feature informally named Tombaugh Regio (TR). This feature has a normal reflectance as high as ~0.8 in some places, and it is superposed on older, lower-albedo pre-existing terrain with an albedo of only ~0.10. This contrast is larger than any other body in the Solar System, except for Iapetus. This albedo dichotomy leads to a complicated system of cold-trapping and thermal segregation, beyond the simple picture of seasonal volatile transport. Whatever the origin of TR, it initially acted as a cold trap, as the temperature differential between the high and low albedo regions could be enormous, possibly approaching 20K, based on their albedo differences and assuming their normalized phase curves are similar. This latter assumption will be refined as the full New Horizons data set is returned.Over six decades of ground-based photometry suggest that TR has been decreasing in albedo over the last 25 years. Possible causes include changing insolation angles, or sublimation from the edges where the high-albedo material impinges on a much warmer substrate.Funding by the NASA New Horizons Project acknowledged.

  18. The New Horizons mission to Pluto: Advances in telecommunications system design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deboy, Christopher C.; Haskins, Christopher; Duven, Dennis; Schulze, Ronald; Jensen, J. Robert; Bernacik, Mark; Millard, Wes

    2005-07-01

    This paper presents the RF telecommunications system designed for the New Horizons mission, NASA's planned mission to Pluto, with focus on new technologies developed to meet mission requirements. These technologies include an advanced digital receiver—a mission-enabler for its low DC power consumption at 2.6 W secondary power. The receiver is one-half of a card-based transceiver that is incorporated with other spacecraft functions into an integrated electronics module, providing further reductions in mass and power. Other developments include extending APL's long and successful flight history in ultrastable oscillators (USOs) with an updated design for lower DC power. These USOs offer frequency stabilities to 1 part in 1013, stabilities necessary to support New Horizons’ uplink radio science experiment. In antennas, the 2.1 m high-gain antenna makes use of shaped sub- and main reflectors to improve system performance and achieve a gain approaching 44 dBic. New Horizons would also be the first deep-space mission to fly a regenerative ranging system, offering up to a 30 dB performance improvement over sequential ranging, especially at long ranges. The paper will provide an overview of the current system design and development and performance details on the new technologies mentioned above. Other elements of the telecommunications system will also be discussed. Note: New Horizons is NASA's planned mission to Pluto, and has not been approved for launch. All representations made in this paper are contingent on a decision by NASA to go forward with the preparation for and launch of the mission.

  19. Pluto's atmosphere from the 29 June 2015 ground-based stellar occultation at the time of the New Horizons flyby

    CERN Document Server

    Sicardy, B; Meza, E; Camargo, J I B; Desmars, J; Gault, D; Herald, D; Kerr, S; Pavlov, H; Braga-Ribas, F; Assafin, M; Benedetti-Rossi, G; Dias-Oliveira, A; Ramos-Gomes-Jr., A; Vieira-Martins, R; Berard, D; Kervella, P; Lecacheux, J; Lellouch, E; Beisker, W; Dunham, D; Jelinek, M; Duffard, R; Ortiz, J L; Castro-Tirado, A J; Cunniffe, R; Querel, R; Yock, P A; Cole, A A; Giles, A B; Hill, K M; Beaulieu, J P; Harnisch, M; Jansen, R; Pennell, A; Todd, S; Allen, W H; Graham, P B; Loader, B; McKay, G; Milner, J; Parker, S; Barry, M A; Bradshaw, J; Broughton, J; Davis, L; Devillepoix, H; Drummond, J; Field, L; Forbes, M; Giles, D; Glassey, R; Groom, R; Hooper, D; Horvat, R; Hudson, G; Idaczyk, R; Jenke, D; Lade, B; Newman, J; Nosworthy, P; Purcell, P; Skilton, P F; Streamer, M; Unwin, M; Watanabe, H; White, G L; Watson, D

    2016-01-01

    We present results from a multi-chord Pluto stellar occultation observed on 29 June 2015 from New Zealand and Australia. This occurred only two weeks before the NASA New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system and serves as a useful comparison between ground-based and space results. We find that Pluto's atmosphere is still expanding, with a significant pressure increase of 5 +/- 2% since 2013 and a factor of almost three since 1988. This trend rules out, as of today, an atmospheric collapse associated with Pluto's recession from the Sun. A central flash, a rare occurrence, was observed from several sites in New Zealand. The flash shape and amplitude are compatible with a spherical and transparent atmospheric layer of roughly 3 km in thickness whose base lies at about 4 km above Pluto's surface, and where an average thermal gradient of about 5 K/km prevails. We discuss the possibility that small departures between the observed and modeled flash are caused by local topographic features (mountains) along Pluto's limb...

  20. The Pluto system: Initial results from its exploration by New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, S. A.; Bagenal, F.; Ennico, K.; Gladstone, G. R.; Grundy, W. M.; McKinnon, W. B.; Moore, J. M.; Olkin, C. B.; Spencer, J. R.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, L. A.; Andert, T.; Andrews, J.; Banks, M.; Bauer, B.; Bauman, J.; Barnouin, O. S.; Bedini, P.; Beisser, K.; Beyer, R. A.; Bhaskaran, S.; Binzel, R. P.; Birath, E.; Bird, M.; Bogan, D. J.; Bowman, A.; Bray, V. J.; Brozovic, M.; Bryan, C.; Buckley, M. R.; Buie, M. W.; Buratti, B. J.; Bushman, S. S.; Calloway, A.; Carcich, B.; Cheng, A. F.; Conard, S.; Conrad, C. A.; Cook, J. C.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Custodio, O. S.; Dalle Ore, C. M.; Deboy, C.; Dischner, Z. J. B.; Dumont, P.; Earle, A. M.; Elliott, H. A.; Ercol, J.; Ernst, C. M.; Finley, T.; Flanigan, S. H.; Fountain, G.; Freeze, M. J.; Greathouse, T.; Green, J. L.; Guo, Y.; Hahn, M.; Hamilton, D. P.; Hamilton, S. A.; Hanley, J.; Harch, A.; Hart, H. M.; Hersman, C. B.; Hill, A.; Hill, M. E.; Hinson, D. P.; Holdridge, M. E.; Horanyi, M.; Howard, A. D.; Howett, C. J. A.; Jackman, C.; Jacobson, R. A.; Jennings, D. E.; Kammer, J. A.; Kang, H. K.; Kaufmann, D. E.; Kollmann, P.; Krimigis, S. M.; Kusnierkiewicz, D.; Lauer, T. R.; Lee, J. E.; Lindstrom, K. L.; Linscott, I. R.; Lisse, C. M.; Lunsford, A. W.; Mallder, V. A.; Martin, N.; McComas, D. J.; McNutt, R. L.; Mehoke, D.; Mehoke, T.; Melin, E. D.; Mutchler, M.; Nelson, D.; Nimmo, F.; Nunez, J. I.; Ocampo, A.; Owen, W. M.; Paetzold, M.; Page, B.; Parker, A. H.; Parker, J. W.; Pelletier, F.; Peterson, J.; Pinkine, N.; Piquette, M.; Porter, S. B.; Protopapa, S.; Redfern, J.; Reitsema, H. J.; Reuter, D. C.; Roberts, J. H.; Robbins, S. J.; Rogers, G.; Rose, D.; Runyon, K.; Retherford, K. D.; Ryschkewitsch, M. G.; Schenk, P.; Schindhelm, E.; Sepan, B.; Showalter, M. R.; Singer, K. N.; Soluri, M.; Stanbridge, D.; Steffl, A. J.; Strobel, D. F.; Stryk, T.; Summers, M. E.; Szalay, J. R.; Tapley, M.; Taylor, A.; Taylor, H.; Throop, H. B.; Tsang, C. C. C.; Tyler, G. L.; Umurhan, O. M.; Verbiscer, A. J.; Versteeg, M. H.; Vincent, M.; Webbert, R.; Weidner, S.; Weigle, G. E.; White, O. L.; Whittenburg, K.; Williams, B. G.; Williams, K.; Williams, S.; Woods, W. W.; Zangari, A. M.; Zirnstein, E.

    2015-10-01

    The Pluto system was recently explored by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, making closest approach on 14 July 2015. Pluto’s surface displays diverse landforms, terrain ages, albedos, colors, and composition gradients. Evidence is found for a water-ice crust, geologically young surface units, surface ice convection, wind streaks, volatile transport, and glacial flow. Pluto’s atmosphere is highly extended, with trace hydrocarbons, a global haze layer, and a surface pressure near 10 microbars. Pluto’s diverse surface geology and long-term activity raise fundamental questions about how small planets remain active many billions of years after formation. Pluto’s large moon Charon displays tectonics and evidence for a heterogeneous crustal composition; its north pole displays puzzling dark terrain. Small satellites Hydra and Nix have higher albedos than expected.

  1. Trio of stellar occultations by Pluto One Year Prior to New Horizons' Arrival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Person, Michael J.; Bosh, Amanda S.; Gulbis, Amanda A. S.; Zuluaga, Carlos A.; Levine, Stephen; Osip, David J.; Schiff, Adam R.; Seeger, Christina H.; Babcock, Bryce A.; Rojo, Patricio; Kosiarek, Molly R.; Servajean, Elise

    2015-01-01

    Our campaign in July 2014 yielded three successful stellar occultations (~m=15, 17, and 18) of Pluto (~m=14), observed from telescopes in New Zealand, Australia, and Chile. Telescopes involved included Chile: Magellan's Clay (6.5 m), SOAR (4.1 m), Carnegie's DuPont (2.4 m); Australia: AAT (4 m); and Canterbury's Mt. John McLellan (1-m); as well as various smaller telescopes in Australia and Chile. One of the events was also observed, with negative results, from GROND on La Silla (2.2 m) and SMARTS's ANDICAM at CTIO (1.3 m). Though our observations were coordinated across continents, each successfully observed event was seen from only one site because of bad weather at the other sites. Two of the events were uniquely observed from Mt. John (Pasachoff et al., DPS 2014) and one, with only Chile sites in the predicted path, from the Clay (Person et al., DPS 2014). This last event was expected to be of the brightest star with the largest telescope we have ever observed for a Pluto occultation, but clouds arrived at the 6.5-m Clay 90 s before the predicted time; a 1% occultation was nonetheless seen and eventually, confirmed by Keck AO observations, to be of a 15th magnitude star previously hidden in the brightness of the 12th mag star. Our scientific conclusion is that as of these observations, one year before New Horizons' passage of Pluto, the atmosphere of Pluto remained robust and of the same size. Details on our analysis of the three events will be presented.Acknowledgments: This work was supported in part by NASA Planetary Astronomy grants to Williams College (NNX12AJ29G) and to MIT (NNX10AB27G), as well as grants from USRA (#8500-98-003) and Ames Research (#NAS2-97-01) to Lowell Observatory. A.R.S. was supported by NSF grant AST-1005024 for the Keck Northeast Astronomy Consortium REU, with partial support from U.S. DoD's ASSURE program. P.R. acknowledges support from FONDECYT through grant 1120299. J.M.P. thanks Andrew Ingersoll and Caltech Planetary Astronomy

  2. Unveiling Pluto's global surface composition through modeling of New Horizons Ralph/LEISA data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protopapa, Silvia; Grundy, W. M.; Reuter, D. C.; Hamilton, D. P.; Dalle Ore, Cristina M.; Cook, Jason C.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Philippe, Sylvain; Quirico, Eric; Schmitt, Bernard; Parker, Alex; Binzel, Richard; Earle, Alissa M.; Ennico, Kimberly; Howett, Carly; Lunsford, A. W.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Singer, Kelsi N.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie; New Horizons Science Team

    2016-10-01

    We present compositional maps of Pluto derived from data collected with the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA), part of the New Horizons Ralph instrument (Reuter et al., 2008). Previous analysis of band depths, equivalent widths, and principal components have permitted qualitative analysis of the physical state of Pluto's surface (Grundy et al. 2016; Schmitt et al. 2016); the maps presented here are fully quantitative, generated by applying a complete pixel-by-pixel Hapke radiative transfer model to the near infrared LEISA spectral cubes. These maps quantify the spatial distribution of both the absolute abundances and textural properties of the volatiles methane and nitrogen ices and non volatiles water ice and tholin. Substantial reservoirs of methane and nitrogen ices cover the substratum which, in the absence of volatiles, reveals the presence of water ice, as expected given Pluto's size and temperature. We identify large scale latitudinal variations of methane and nitrogen ices which can help setting constraints to volatile transport models. To the north, by about 55 deg latitude, the nitrogen abundance smoothly tapers off to an expansive polar plain of predominantly methane ice. This transition well correlates with expectations of vigorous spring sublimation after a long polar winter. Continuous illumination northward of 75 deg over the past twenty years, and northward of 55 deg over the past ten years, seems to have sublimated the most volatile nitrogen into the atmosphere, with the best chance for redeposition occurring at points southward. This loss of surface nitrogen appears to have created the polar bald spot seen in our maps and also predicted by Hansen and Paige (1996). Regions that stands out for composition with respect to the latitudinal pattern described above are also going to be discussed. An example is given by informally named Sputnik Planum, where the physical properties of methane and nitrogen are suggestive of the presence of a

  3. Dynamic Universe Model Predicts the Trajectory of New Horizons Satellite Going to Pluto.......

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naga Parameswara Gupta, Satyavarapu

    2012-07-01

    New Horizons is NASA's artificial satellite now going towards to the dwarf planet Pluto. It has crossed Jupiter. It is expected to be the rst spacecraft to go near and study Pluto and its moons, Charon, Nix, and Hydra. These are the predictions for New Horizons (NH) space craft as on A.D. 2009-Aug-09 00:00:00.0000 hrs. The behavior of NH is similar to Pioneer Space craft as NH traveling is alike to Pioneer. NH is supposed to reach Pluto in 2015 AD. There was a gravity assist taken at Jupiter about a year back. As Dynamic universe model explains Pioneer anomaly and the higher gravitational attraction forces experienced towards SUN, It can explain NH also in a similar fashion. I am giving the predictions for NH by Dynamic Universe Model in the following Table 4. Here first two rows give Dynamic Universe Model predictions based on 02-01-2009 00:00 hrs data with Daily time step and hourly time step. Third row gives Ephemeris from Jet propulsion lab.Dynamic Universe Model can predict further to 9-Aug-2009. These Ephemeris data is from their web as on 28th June 2009 Any new data can be calculated..... For finding trajectories of Pioneer satellite (Anomaly), New Horizons satellite going to Pluto, the Calculations of Dynamic Universe model can be successfully applied. No dark matter is assumed within solar system radius. The effect on the masses around SUN shows as though there is extra gravitation pull toward SUN. It solves the Dynamics of Extra-solar planets like Planet X, satellite like Pioneer and NH for 3-Position, 3-velocity 3-acceleration for their masses,considering the complex situation of Multiple planets, Stars, Galaxy parts and Galaxy center and other Galaxies Using simple Newtonian Physics. It already solved problems Missing mass in Galaxies observed by galaxy circular velocity curves successfully. `SITA Simulations' software was developed about 18 years back for Dynamic Universe Model of Cosmology. It is based on Newtonian physics. It is Classical singularity

  4. Is Pluto a planet? Student powered video rap ';battle' over tiny Pluto's embattled planetary standing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beisser, K.; Cruikshank, D. P.; McFadden, T.

    2013-12-01

    Is Pluto a planet? Some creative low income Bay-area middle-schoolers put a musical spin on this hot science debate with a video rap ';battle' over tiny Pluto's embattled planetary standing. The students' timing was perfect, with NASA's New Horizons mission set to conduct the first reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons in July 2015. Pluto - the last of the nine original planets to be explored by spacecraft - has been the subject of scientific study and speculation since Clyde Tombaugh discovered it in 1930, orbiting the Sun far beyond Neptune. Produced by the students and a very creative educator, the video features students 'battling' back and forth over the idea of Pluto being a planet. The group collaborated with actual space scientists to gather information and shot their video before a 'green screen' that was eventually filled with animations and visuals supplied by the New Horizons mission team. The video debuted at the Pluto Science Conference in Maryland in July 2013 - to a rousing response from researchers in attendance. The video marks a nontraditional approach to the ongoing 'great planet debate' while educating viewers on a recently discovered region of the solar system. By the 1990s, researchers had learned that Pluto possessed multiple exotic ices on its surface, a complex atmosphere and seasonal cycles, and a large moon (Charon) that likely resulted from a giant impact on Pluto itself. It also became clear that Pluto was no misfit among the planets - as had long been thought - but the largest and brightest body in a newly discovered 'third zone' of our planetary system called the Kuiper Belt. More recent observations have revealed that Pluto has a rich system of satellites - five known moons - and a surface that changes over time. Scientists even speculate that Pluto may possess an internal ocean. For these and other reasons, the 2003 Planetary Decadal Survey ranked a Pluto/Kuiper Belt mission as the highest priority mission for NASA's newly created

  5. Red, Rough, Fast, and Perturbed: New Horizons Observations of KBO (15810) 1994 JR1 from the Kuiper Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Porter, Simon B; Benecchi, Susan; Verbiscer, Anne; Zangari, Amanda M; Weaver, H A; Lauer, Tod R; Parker, Alex H; Buie, Marc W; Cheng, Andrew F; Young, Leslie A; Olkin, Cathy B; Ennico, Kimberly; Stern, S Alan

    2016-01-01

    The 3:2 resonant KBO (15810) 1994 JR1 was observed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft on November 2, 2015 from a distance of 1.85 AU, and again on April 7, 2016 from a distance of 0.71 AU. Acquired using the LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), these were the first close observations of any KBO other than Pluto, and the first ever of a small KBO. Combining ground-based and HST observations at small phase angles and the LORRI observations at higher phase angles, we produced the first disk-integrated solar phase curve of a typical KBO from alpha=0.6-58 degrees. Observations at these geometries, attainable only from a spacecraft in the outer Solar System, constrain surface properties such as macroscopic roughness and the single particle phase function. 1994 JR1 has a rough surface with a 37+/-5 degree mean topographic slope angle and has a relatively rapid rotation period of 5.47+/-0.33 hours. 1994 JR1 is currently 2.7 AU from Pluto; our astrometric points enable high-precision orbit determination and integr...

  6. Visible-band (390-940nm) monitoring of the Pluto absorption spectrum during the New Horizons encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Robert J.; Marchant, Jonathan M.

    2015-11-01

    Whilst Earth-based observations obviously cannot compete with New Horizons’ on-board instrumentation in most regards, the New Horizons data set is essentially a snapshot of Pluto in July 2015. The New Horizons project team therefore coordinated a broad international observing campaign to provide temporal context and to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to directly link our Earth-based view of Pluto with “ground truth” provided by in situ measurements. This both adds value to existing archival data sets and forms the basis of long term, monitoring as we watch Pluto recede from the Sun over the coming years. We present visible-band (390-940nm) monitoring of the Pluto absorption spectrum over the period July - October 2015 from the Liverpool Telescope (LT). In particular we wished to understand the well-known 6-day fluctuation in the methane ice absorption spectrum which is observable from Earth in relation to the never-before-available high resolution maps of the Pluto surface. The LT is a fully robotic 2.0m optical telescope that automatically and dynamically schedules observations across 30+ observing programmes with a broad instrument suite. It is ideal for both reactive response to dynamic events (such as the fly-by) and long term, stable monitoring with timing constraints individually optimised to the science requirements of each programme. For example past studies of the observed CH4 absorption variability have yielded ambiguity of whether they were caused by real physical changes or geometric observation constraints, in large part because of the uneven time sampling imposed by traditional telescope scheduling.

  7. Photometric Observations Constraining the Size, Shape, and Albedo of 2003 El61, a Rapidly Rotating, Pluto-Sized Object in the Kuiper Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Rabinowitz, D L; Brown, M E; Roe, H; Schwartz, M; Tourtellotte, S; Trujillo, C; Rabinowitz, David L.; Barkume, Kristina; Brown, Michael E.; Roe, Henry; Schwartz, Michael; Tourtellotte, Suzanne; Trujillo, Chad

    2006-01-01

    We present measurements at optical wavelengths of the spectral reflectance, the rotational light curve, and the solar phase curve of 2003 EL61,. With apparent visual magnitude 17.5 at 51 AU from the sun, this newly discovered member of the classical Kuiper Belt is now the third brightest KBO after Pluto and 2005 FY9. Our observations reveal an unambiguous, double-peaked rotational light curve with period 3.9154 +/- 0.0002 hours and peak to peak amplitude 0.28 +/- 0.04 mag. This is the fastest rotation period reliably determined for any body in the solar system larger than 100 km. Assuming the body has relaxed over time to the shape taken by a homogenous fluid body, our observations tightly constrain the shape and density. Given the mass we recently determined for 2003 EL61 from the orbit of a small satellite, we also constrain the size and albedo. We find a total length of 1960 to 2500 km, a mean density of 2600 to 3340 kg m-3, and a visual albedo greater than 0.6. We also measure a neutral reflectance at vis...

  8. How 'New Horizons' will see the Pluto-Charon system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zsigmond, Zsuzsa; Sueli, Aron, E-mail: zs.zsigmond@astro.elte.h [Department of Astronomy, Eoetvoes University, Budapest (Hungary)

    2010-03-01

    We present a detailed survey of the dynamical structure of the phase space around the new moons of the Pluto-Charon system. We investigated the system in the framework of the spatial elliptic restricted three-body problem. Stability maps were created using chaos indicators both on the semimajor axis - eccentricity and semimajor axis - inclination plane. The structures related to the 4:1 and 6:1 mean motion resonances are clearly visible on the maps, but the detailed investigation of the resonant arguments shows no evidence of the resonances. We showed the possibility that Nix might be in the 4:1 resonance if its argument of pericenter or longitude of node falls in a certain range. Recently we improved our model to the general four-body problem, which can provide more accurate information about the stability, motion and possible resonances between the moons and Charon, which is relevant, since the 'New Horizons' mission will reach and study the system in 2015.

  9. Pluto's Global Surface Composition Through Pixel-by-Pixel Hapke Modeling of New Horizons Ralph LEISA Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protopapa, S.; Grundy, W. M.; Reuter, D. C.; Hamilton, D. P.; Dalle Ore, C. M.; Cook, J. C.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Schmitt, B.; Philippe, S.; Quirico, E.; hide

    2016-01-01

    On July 14th 2015, NASA's New Horizons mission gave us an unprecedented detailed view of the Pluto system. The complex compositional diversity of Pluto's encounter hemisphere was revealed by the Ralph/LEISA infrared spectrometer on board of New Horizons. We present compositional maps of Pluto defining the spatial distribution of the abundance and textural properties of the volatiles methane and nitrogen ices and non-volatiles water ice and tholin. These results are obtained by applying a pixel-by-pixel Hapke radiative transfer model to the LEISA scans. Our analysis focuses mainly on the large scale latitudinal variations of methane and nitrogen ices and aims at setting observational constraints to volatile transport models. Specifically, we find three latitudinal bands: the first, enriched in methane, extends from the pole to 55degN, the second dominated by nitrogen, continues south to 35 degN, and the third, com- posed again mainly of methane, reaches 20 degN. We demonstrate that the distribution of volatiles across these surface units can be explained by differences in insolation over the past few decades. The latitudinal pattern is broken by Sputnik Planitia, a large reservoir of volatiles, with nitrogen playing the most important role. The physical properties of methane and nitrogen in this region are suggestive of the presence of a cold trap or possible volatile stratification. Furthermore our modeling results point to a possible sublimation transport of nitrogen from the northwest edge of Sputnik Planitia toward the south.

  10. Pluto's global surface composition through pixel-by-pixel Hapke modeling of New Horizons Ralph/LEISA data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protopapa, S.; Grundy, W. M.; Reuter, D. C.; Hamilton, D. P.; Dalle Ore, C. M.; Cook, J. C.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Schmitt, B.; Philippe, S.; Quirico, E.; Binzel, R. P.; Earle, A. M.; Ennico, K.; Howett, C. J. A.; Lunsford, A. W.; Olkin, C. B.; Parker, A.; Singer, K. N.; Stern, A.; Verbiscer, A. J.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, L. A.

    2017-05-01

    On July 14th 2015, NASA's New Horizons mission gave us an unprecedented detailed view of the Pluto system. The complex compositional diversity of Pluto's encounter hemisphere was revealed by the Ralph/LEISA infrared spectrometer on board of New Horizons. We present compositional maps of Pluto defining the spatial distribution of the abundance and textural properties of the volatiles methane and nitrogen ices and non-volatiles water ice and tholin. These results are obtained by applying a pixel-by-pixel Hapke radiative transfer model to the LEISA scans. Our analysis focuses mainly on the large scale latitudinal variations of methane and nitrogen ices and aims at setting observational constraints to volatile transport models. Specifically, we find three latitudinal bands: the first, enriched in methane, extends from the pole to 55°N, the second dominated by nitrogen, continues south to 35°N, and the third, composed again mainly of methane, reaches 20°N. We demonstrate that the distribution of volatiles across these surface units can be explained by differences in insolation over the past few decades. The latitudinal pattern is broken by Sputnik Planitia, a large reservoir of volatiles, with nitrogen playing the most important role. The physical properties of methane and nitrogen in this region are suggestive of the presence of a cold trap or possible volatile stratification. Furthermore our modeling results point to a possible sublimation transport of nitrogen from the northwest edge of Sputnik Planitia toward the south.

  11. Geology Before Pluto: Pre-Encounter Considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.

    2014-01-01

    Pluto, its large satellite Charon, and its four known satellites represent the first trans-Neptunian Kuiper Belt objects populating the outer-most solar system beyond the gas giant planets to be studied in detail from a spacecraft (New Horizons). A complete picture of the solar nebula, and solar system formation cannot be confidently formulated until representatives of this group of bodies at the edge of solar space have been examined. The Pluto system is composed of unique lunar- and intermediate-sized objects that can tell us much about how objects with volatile icy compositions evolve. Modeling of the interior suggests that geologic activity may have been to some degree, and observations of frost on the surface could imply the need for a geologic reservoir for the replenishment of these phases. However, the putative indicators of Pluto's geologic history are inconclusive and unspecific. Detailed examination of Pluto's geologic record is the only plausible means of bridging the gap between theory and observations. In this talk I will examine the potential importance of these tentative indications of geologic activity and how specific spacecraft observations have been designed and used to constrain the Pluto system's geologic history. The cameras of New Horizons will provide robust data sets that should be immanently amenable to geological analysis of the Pluto System's landscapes. In this talk, we begin with a brief discussion of the planned observations by New Horizons' cameras that will bear most directly on geological interpretability. Then I will broadly review major geological processes that could potentially operate of the surfaces of Pluto and its moons. I will first survey exogenic processes (i.e., those for which energy for surface modification is supplied externally to the planetary surface): impact cratering, sedimentary processes (including volatile migration) and the work of wind. I will conclude with an assessment of prospects for endogenic activity

  12. A Central Flash at an Occultation of a Bright Star by Pluto Soon Before New Horizons' Flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Babcock, Bryce A.; Durst, Rebecca F.; Seeger, Christina H.; Levine, Stephen E.; Bosh, Amanda S.; Sickafoose, Amanda A.; Person, Michael J.; Abe, Fumio; Suzuki, Daisuke; Nagakane, Masayuki; Tristam, Paul J.

    2015-11-01

    From the Mt. John Observatory, New Zealand, we were so close to the center of the occultation path on 29 June 2015 UTC that we observed a modest central flash from the focusing of starlight from a 12th-magnitude star. The star was one of the brightest ever in our years of continual monitoring that started in 2002. At the time of Pluto's perihelion in 1989, it was feared from models that Pluto's atmosphere might collapse by now, a motivation for the timely launch of New Horizons; some models now allow Pluto to retain its atmosphere throughout its orbit.We used our frame-transfer CCD at 10 Hz with GPS timing on the 1-m McLellan telescope of Canterbury U. We also observed with a Lowell Obs. infrared camera on the "AAVSO" 0.6-m Optical Craftsman telescope; and obtained 3-color photometry at a slower cadence on a second 0.6-m telescope. We coordinated with the overflight of SOFIA and its 2.5-m telescope, which benefited from last-minute astrometry, and the Auckland Observatory's and other ground-based telescopes.Our light curves show a modest central flash; our tentative geometrical solution shows that we were only about 50 km from the occultation path's centerline. The flash is from rays lower than otherwise accessible in Pluto's atmosphere. Our light curves, at such high cadence that we see spikes caused by atmospheric effects that we had not seen so well since our 2002 Mauna Kea occultation observations, show that Pluto's atmosphere had not changed drastically since our previous year's observations. Our data provide a long-term context for New Horizon's highly-detailed observations of Pluto's atmosphere in addition to providing a chord for the geometrical solution that includes SOFIA's observations.Our observations were supported by NASA Planetary Astronomy grants NNX12AJ29G to Williams College, NNX15AJ82G to Lowell Observatory, and NNX10AB27G to MIT, and by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. We are grateful to Alan Gilmore, Pam Kilmartin, Robert Lucas

  13. An atmospheric general circulation model for Pluto with predictions for New Horizons temperature profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalucha, Angela M.

    2016-06-01

    Results are presented from a 3D Pluto general circulation model (GCM) that includes conductive heating and cooling, non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) heating by methane at 2.3 and 3.3 μm, non-LTE cooling by cooling by methane at 7.6 μm, and LTE CO rotational line cooling. The GCM also includes a treatment of the subsurface temperature and surface-atmosphere mass exchange. An initially 1 m thick layer of surface nitrogen frost was assumed such that it was large enough to act as a large heat sink (compared with the solar heating term) but small enough that the water ice subsurface properties were also significant. Structure was found in all three directions of the 3D wind field (with a maximum magnitude of the order of 10 m s-1 in the horizontal directions and 10-5 microbar s-1 in the vertical direction). Prograde jets were found at several altitudes. The direction of flow over the poles was found to very with altitude. Broad regions of up-welling and down-welling were also found. Predictions of vertical temperature profiles are provided for the Alice and Radio science Experiment instruments on New Horizons, while predictions of light curves are provided for ground-based stellar occultation observations. With this model methane concentrations of 0.2 per cent and 1.0 per cent and 8 and 24 microbar surface pressures are distinguishable. For ground-based stellar occultations, a detectable difference exists between light curves with the different methane concentrations, but not for different initial global mean surface pressures.

  14. The New Horizons Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) Observations of the Solar Wind from 11-33 au

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, H. A.; McComas, D. J.; Valek, P.; Nicolaou, G.; Weidner, S.; Livadiotis, G.

    2016-04-01

    The Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument on National Aeronautics and Space Administration's New Horizons Pluto mission has collected solar wind observations en route from Earth to Pluto, and these observations continue beyond Pluto. Few missions have explored the solar wind in the outer heliosphere making this dataset a critical addition to the field. We created a forward model of SWAP count rates, which includes a comprehensive instrument response function based on laboratory and flight calibrations. By fitting the count rates with this model, the proton density (n), speed (V), and temperature (T) parameters are determined. Comparisons between SWAP parameters and both propagated 1 au observations and prior Voyager 2 observations indicate consistency in both the range and mean wind values. These comparisons as well as our additional findings confirm that small and midsized solar wind structures are worn down with increasing distance due to dynamic interaction of parcels of wind with different speed. For instance, the T-V relationship steepens, as the range in V is limited more than the range in T with distance. At times the T-V correlation clearly breaks down beyond 20 au, which may indicate wind currently expanding and cooling may have an elevated T reflecting prior heating and compression in the inner heliosphere. The power of wind parameters at shorter periodicities decreases with distance as the longer periodicities strengthen. The solar rotation periodicity is present in temperature beyond 20 au indicating the observed parcel temperature may reflect not only current heating or cooling, but also heating occurring closer to the Sun.

  15. THE NEW HORIZONS SOLAR WIND AROUND PLUTO (SWAP) OBSERVATIONS OF THE SOLAR WIND FROM 11–33 au

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, H. A.; McComas, D. J.; Valek, P.; Weidner, S.; Livadiotis, G. [Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238 (United States); Nicolaou, G., E-mail: helliott@swri.edu [Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Box 812, SE-98128, Kiruna (Sweden)

    2016-04-15

    The Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument on National Aeronautics and Space Administration's New Horizons Pluto mission has collected solar wind observations en route from Earth to Pluto, and these observations continue beyond Pluto. Few missions have explored the solar wind in the outer heliosphere making this dataset a critical addition to the field. We created a forward model of SWAP count rates, which includes a comprehensive instrument response function based on laboratory and flight calibrations. By fitting the count rates with this model, the proton density (n), speed (V), and temperature (T) parameters are determined. Comparisons between SWAP parameters and both propagated 1 au observations and prior Voyager 2 observations indicate consistency in both the range and mean wind values. These comparisons as well as our additional findings confirm that small and midsized solar wind structures are worn down with increasing distance due to dynamic interaction of parcels of wind with different speed. For instance, the T–V relationship steepens, as the range in V is limited more than the range in T with distance. At times the T–V correlation clearly breaks down beyond 20 au, which may indicate wind currently expanding and cooling may have an elevated T reflecting prior heating and compression in the inner heliosphere. The power of wind parameters at shorter periodicities decreases with distance as the longer periodicities strengthen. The solar rotation periodicity is present in temperature beyond 20 au indicating the observed parcel temperature may reflect not only current heating or cooling, but also heating occurring closer to the Sun.

  16. Craters of the Pluto-Charon system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Stuart J.; Singer, Kelsi N.; Bray, Veronica J.; Schenk, Paul; Lauer, Tod R.; Weaver, Harold A.; Runyon, Kirby; McKinnon, William B.; Beyer, Ross A.; Porter, Simon; White, Oliver L.; Hofgartner, Jason D.; Zangari, Amanda M.; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Young, Leslie A.; Spencer, John R.; Binzel, Richard P.; Buie, Marc W.; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Cheng, Andrew F.; Grundy, William M.; Linscott, Ivan R.; Reitsema, Harold J.; Reuter, Dennis C.; Showalter, Mark R.; Tyler, G. Len; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly S.; Stern, S. Alan; New Horizons Lorri, Mvic Instrument Teams

    2017-05-01

    NASA's New Horizons flyby mission of the Pluto-Charon binary system and its four moons provided humanity with its first spacecraft-based look at a large Kuiper Belt Object beyond Triton. Excluding this system, multiple Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) have been observed for only 20 years from Earth, and the KBO size distribution is unconstrained except among the largest objects. Because small KBOs will remain beyond the capabilities of ground-based observatories for the foreseeable future, one of the best ways to constrain the small KBO population is to examine the craters they have made on the Pluto-Charon system. The first step to understanding the crater population is to map it. In this work, we describe the steps undertaken to produce a robust crater database of impact features on Pluto, Charon, and their two largest moons, Nix and Hydra. These include an examination of different types of images and image processing, and we present an analysis of variability among the crater mapping team, where crater diameters were found to average ± 10% uncertainty across all sizes measured (∼0.5-300 km). We also present a few basic analyses of the crater databases, finding that Pluto's craters' differential size-frequency distribution across the encounter hemisphere has a power-law slope of approximately -3.1 ± 0.1 over diameters D ≈ 15-200 km, and Charon's has a slope of -3.0 ± 0.2 over diameters D ≈ 10-120 km; it is significantly shallower on both bodies at smaller diameters. We also better quantify evidence of resurfacing evidenced by Pluto's craters in contrast with Charon's. With this work, we are also releasing our database of potential and probable impact craters: 5287 on Pluto, 2287 on Charon, 35 on Nix, and 6 on Hydra.

  17. Craters of the Pluto-Charon System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Stuart J.; Singer, Kelsi N.; Bray, Veronica J.; Schenk, Paul; Lauer, Todd R.; Weaver, Harold A.; Runyon, Kirby; Mckinnon, William B.; Beyer, Ross A.; Porter, Simon; hide

    2016-01-01

    NASA's New Horizons flyby mission of the Pluto-Charon binary system and its four moons provided humanity with its first spacecraft-based look at a large Kuiper Belt Object beyond Triton. Excluding this system, multiple Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) have been observed for only 20 years from Earth, and the KBO size distribution is unconstrained except among the largest objects. Because small KBOs will remain beyond the capabilities of ground-based observatories for the foreseeable future, one of the best ways to constrain the small KBO population is to examine the craters they have made on the Pluto-Charon system. The first step to understanding the crater population is to map it. In this work, we describe the steps undertaken to produce a robust crater database of impact features on Pluto, Charon, and their two largest moons, Nix and Hydra. These include an examination of different types of images and image processing, and we present an analysis of variability among the crater mapping team, where crater diameters were found to average +/-10% uncertainty across all sizes measured (approx.0.5-300 km). We also present a few basic analyses of the crater databases, finding that Pluto's craters' differential size-frequency distribution across the encounter hemisphere has a power-law slope of approximately -3.1 +/- 0.1 over diameters D approx. = 15-200 km, and Charon's has a slope of -3.0 +/- 0.2 over diameters D approx. = 10-120 km; it is significantly shallower on both bodies at smaller diameters. We also better quantify evidence of resurfacing evidenced by Pluto's craters in contrast with Charon's. With this work, we are also releasing our database of potential and probable impact craters: 5287 on Pluto, 2287 on Charon, 35 on Nix, and 6 on Hydra.

  18. A post-new horizons global climate model of Pluto including the N2, CH4 and CO cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forget, F.; Bertrand, T.; Vangvichith, M.; Leconte, J.; Millour, E.; Lellouch, E.

    2017-05-01

    We have built a new 3D Global Climate Model (GCM) to simulate Pluto as observed by New Horizons in 2015. All key processes are parametrized on the basis of theoretical equations, including atmospheric dynamics and transport, turbulence, radiative transfer, molecular conduction, as well as phases changes for N2, CH2 and CO. Pluto's climate and ice cycles are found to be very sensitive to model parameters and initial states. Nevertheless, a reference simulation is designed by running a fast, reduced version of the GCM with simplified atmospheric transport for 40,000 Earth years to initialize the surface ice distribution and sub-surface temperatures, from which a 28-Earth-year full GCM simulation is performed. Assuming a topographic depression in a Sputnik-planum (SP)-like crater on the anti-Charon hemisphere, a realistic Pluto is obtained, with most N2 and CO ices accumulated in the crater, methane frost covering both hemispheres except for the equatorial regions, and a surface pressure near 1.1 Pa in 2015 with an increase between 1988 and 2015, as reported from stellar occultations. Temperature profiles are in qualitative agreement with the observations. In particular, a cold atmospheric layer is obtained in the lowest kilometers above Sputnik Planum, as observed by New Horizons's REX experiment. It is shown to result from the combined effect of the topographic depression and N2 daytime sublimation. In the reference simulation with surface N2 ice exclusively present in Sputnik Planum, the global circulation is only forced by radiative heating gradients and remains relatively weak. Surface winds are locally induced by topography slopes and by N2 condensation and sublimation around Sputnik Planum. However, the circulation can be more intense depending on the exact distribution of surface N2 frost. This is illustrated in an alternative simulation with N2 condensing in the South Polar regions and N2 frost covering latitudes between 35°N and 48°N. A global condensation

  19. Charon's light curves, as observed by New Horizons' Ralph color camera (MVIC) on approach to the Pluto system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howett, C. J. A.; Ennico, K.; Olkin, C. B.; Buie, M. W.; Verbiscer, A. J.; Zangari, A. M.; Parker, A. H.; Reuter, D. C.; Grundy, W. M.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, L. A.; Stern, S. A.

    2017-05-01

    Light curves produced from color observations taken during New Horizons' approach to the Pluto-system by its Multi-spectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC, part of the Ralph instrument) are analyzed. Fifty seven observations were analyzed, they were obtained between 9th April and 3rd July 2015, at a phase angle of 14.5° to 15.1°, sub-observer latitude of 51.2 °N to 51.5 °N, and a sub-solar latitude of 41.2°N. MVIC has four color channels; all are discussed for completeness but only two were found to produce reliable light curves: Blue (400-550 nm) and Red (540-700 nm). The other two channels, Near Infrared (780-975 nm) and Methane-Band (860-910 nm), were found to be potentially erroneous and too noisy respectively. The Blue and Red light curves show that Charon's surface is neutral in color, but slightly brighter on its Pluto-facing hemisphere. This is consistent with previous studies made with the Johnson B and V bands, which are at shorter wavelengths than that of the MVIC Blue and Red channel respectively.

  20. Occultation Evidence for Haze in Pluto's Atmosphere in 2015 at the New Horizons Encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosh, A. S.; Person, M. J.; Zuluaga, C.; Sickafoose, A. A.; Levine, S. E.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Dunham, E. W.; McLean, I.; Wolf, J.; Abe, F.; Becklin, E.; Bida, T. A.; Bright, L. P.; Brothers, T.; Christie, G.; Collins, P. L.; Durst, R. F.; Gilmore, A. C.; Hamilton, R.; Harris, H. C.; Johnson, C.; Kilmartin, P. M.; Kosiarek, M. R.; Leppik, K.; Logsdon, S.; Lucas, R.; Mathers, S.; Morley, C. J. K.; Natusch, T.; Nelson, P.; Ngan, H.; Pfüller, E.; Röser, H. P.; Sallum, S.; Savage, M.; Seeger, C. H.; Siu, H.; Stockdale, C.; Suzuki, D.; Thanathibodee, T.; Tilleman, T.; Tristram, P. J.; Van Cleve, J.; Varughese, C.; Weisenbach, L. W.; Widen, E.; Wiedemann, M.

    2015-12-01

    On UT 29 June 2015, the occultation by Pluto of a bright star (r'=11.9) was observed from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) as well as several ground-based stations in New Zealand and Australia. Pre-event astrometry allowed for an in-flight update to the SOFIA team with the result that SOFIA was deep within the central flash zone. Combined analysis of the data sets leads to the result that Pluto's middle atmosphere is essentially unchanged from 2011 and 2013 (Person et al. 2013; Bosh et al. 2015); there has been no significant expansion or contraction of the atmosphere. Additionally, we find that a haze component in the atmosphere is required to reproduce the light curves obtained. This haze scenario has implications for understanding the photochemistry of Pluto's atmosphere. This work was supported by NASA grants NNX15AJ82G (Lowell Observatory), NNX10AB27G (MIT), and NNX12AJ29G (Williams), and by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. Co-authors were visiting observers on SOFIA, at the Keck Observatory, the Magellan Observatory, the SARA-CT Observatory, the Mt. John University Observatory, and the Auckland Observatory.

  1. The Surface Age of Sputnik Planum, Pluto, Must Be Less than 10 Million Years.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David E Trilling

    Full Text Available Data from the New Horizons mission to Pluto show no craters on Sputnik Planum down to the detection limit (2 km for low resolution data, 625 m for high resolution data. The number of small Kuiper Belt Objects that should be impacting Pluto is known to some degree from various astronomical surveys. We combine these geological and telescopic observations to make an order of magnitude estimate that the surface age of Sputnik Planum must be less than 10 million years. This maximum surface age is surprisingly young and implies that this area of Pluto must be undergoing active resurfacing, presumably through some cryo-geophysical process. We discuss three possible resurfacing mechanisms and the implications of each one for Pluto's physical properties.

  2. The surface age of Sputnik Planum, Pluto, must be less than 10 million years

    CERN Document Server

    Trilling, David E

    2016-01-01

    Data from the New Horizons mission to Pluto show no craters on Sputnik Planum down to the detection limit (2 km for low resolution data, 625 m for high resolution data). The number of small Kuiper Belt Objects that should be impacting Pluto is known to some degree from various astronomical surveys. We combine these geological and telescopic observations to make an order of magnitude estimate that the surface age of Sputnik Planum must be less than 10 million years. This maximum surface age is surprisingly young and implies that this area of Pluto must be undergoing active resurfacing, presumably through some cryo-geophysical process. We discuss three possible resurfacing mechanisms and the implications of each one for Pluto's physical properties.

  3. Physical state and distribution of materials at the surface of Pluto from New Horizons LEISA imaging spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, B.; Philippe, S.; Grundy, W. M.; Reuter, D. C.; Côte, R.; Quirico, E.; Protopapa, S.; Young, L. A.; Binzel, R. P.; Cook, J. C.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Dalle Ore, C. M.; Earle, A. M.; Ennico, K.; Howett, C. J. A.; Jennings, D. E.; Linscott, I. R.; Lunsford, A. W.; Olkin, C. B.; Parker, A. H.; Parker, J. Wm.; Singer, K. N.; Spencer, J. R.; Stansberry, J. A.; Stern, S. A.; Tsang, C. C. C.; Verbiscer, A. J.; Weaver, H. A.

    2017-05-01

    From Earth based observations Pluto is known to be the host of N2, CH4 and CO ices and also a dark red material. Very limited spatial distribution information is available from rotational visible and near-infrared spectral curves obtained from hemispheric measurements. In July 2015 the New Horizons spacecraft reached Pluto and its satellite system and recorded a large set of data. The LEISA spectro-imager of the RALPH instruments are dedicated to the study of the composition and physical state of the materials composing the surface. In this paper we report a study of the distribution and physical state of the ices and non-ice materials on Pluto's illuminated surface and their mode and degree of mixing. Principal Component analysis as well as various specific spectral indicators and correlation plots are used on the first set of 2 high resolution spectro-images from the LEISA instrument covering the whole illuminated face of Pluto at the time of the New Horizons encounter. Qualitative distribution maps have been obtained for the 4 main condensed molecules, N2, CH4, CO, H2O as well as for the visible-dark red material. Based on specific spectral indicators, using either the strength or the position of absorption bands, these 4 molecules are found to indicate the presence of 3 different types of ices: N2-rich:CH4:CO ices, CH4-rich(:CO:N2?) ices and H2O ice. The mixing lines between these ices and with the dark red material are studied using scatter plots between the various spectral indicators. CH4 is mixed at the molecular level with N2, most probably also with CO, thus forming a ternary molecular mixture that follows its phase diagram with low solubility limits. The occurrence of a N2-rich - CH4-rich ices mixing line associated with a progressive decrease of the CO/CH4 ratio tells us that a fractionation sublimation sequence transforms one type of ice to the other forming either a N2-rich - CH4-rich binary mixture at the surface or an upper CH4-rich ice crust that

  4. Dust ablation in Pluto's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horanyi, Mihaly; Poppe, Andrew; Sternovsky, Zoltan

    2016-04-01

    Based on measurements by dust detectors onboard the Pioneer 10/11 and New Horizons spacecraft the total production rate of dust particles born in the Edgeworth Kuiper Belt (EKB) has been be estimated to be on the order of 5 ṡ 103 kg/s in the approximate size range of 1 - 10 μm. Dust particles are produced by collisions between EKB objects and their bombardment by both interplanetary and interstellar dust particles. Dust particles of EKB origin, in general, migrate towards the Sun due to Poynting-Robertson drag but their distributions are further sculpted by mean-motion resonances as they first approach the orbit of Neptune and later the other planets, as well as mutual collisions. Subsequently, Jupiter will eject the vast majority of them before they reach the inner solar system. The expected mass influx into Pluto atmosphere is on the order of 200 kg/day, and the arrival speed of the incoming particles is on the order of 3 - 4 km/s. We have followed the ablation history as function of speed and size of dust particles in Pluto's atmosphere, and found that volatile rich particles can fully sublimate due to drag heating and deposit their mass in narrow layers. This deposition might promote the formation of the haze layers observed by the New Horizons spacecraft. This talk will explore the constraints on the composition of the dust particles by comparing the altitude of the deposition layers to the observed haze layers.

  5. Nitrogen fractionation in the atmospheres of Pluto and Titan - implications for the origin of nitrogen in KBOs and comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandt, Kathleen; Luspay-Kuti, Adrienn; Jessup, Kandis Lea; Hue, Vincent; Kammer, Josh; Filwett, Rachael

    2017-04-01

    Recent observations of the composition of Pluto's atmosphere made by the Alice Ultraviolet Spectrometer on New Horizons and by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) have shown that Pluto's nitrogen chemistry differs significantly from that observed in Titan's upper atmosphere. The isotope ratios, 14N/15N, in N2 and HCN in Titan's atmosphere are 167.6 and 68, respectively. They differ by more than a factor of two because photodissociation of molecular nitrogen in Titan's atmosphere leads to a significant enrichment of the heavy nitrogen isotope, 15N, in HCN. However, ALMA observations were not able to detect HC15N in Pluto's atmosphere, setting a lower limit of 125 for 14N/15N in HCN. We have applied our model for simulating nitrogen isotope chemistry in Titan's atmosphere to Pluto, constrained by New Horizons observations, and explore possible explanations of the lower limit provided by ALMA. These results have implications for the origin of nitrogen on Pluto, other Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), and for comets like the Rosetta mission target 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which is thought to originate in the Kuiper Belt.

  6. On the Roles of Escape Erosion and the Relaxation of Craters on Pluto

    CERN Document Server

    Stern, S Alan; Zangari, Amanda

    2014-01-01

    Pluto and its satellites will be the most distant objects ever reconnoitered when NASA's New Horizons spacecraft conducts its intensive flyby of this system in 2015. The size-frequency distribution (SFD) of craters on the surfaces in the Pluto system have long been expected to provide a useful measure of the size distribution of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) down to much smaller size scales than presently observed. However, currently predicted escape rates of Pluto's atmosphere suggest that of order one-half to several kilometers of nitrogen ice has been removed from Pluto's surface over geologic time. Because this range of depths is comparable to or greater than most expected crater depths on Pluto, one might expect that many craters on Pluto's surface may have been removed or degraded by this process, biasing the observed crater SFD relative to the production-function crater SFD. Further, if Pluto's surface volatile layer is comparable to or deeper than crater depths, and if the viscosity of this layer surface...

  7. The Impact Crater Size-Frequency Distribution on Pluto Follows a Truncated Pareto Distribution: Results from a First Data Set Based on the Recent New Horizons' Flyby

    CERN Document Server

    Zaninetti, L

    2015-01-01

    Recently it could be shown ( that the impact crater size-frequency distribution of Pluto (based on an analysis of first images obtained by the recent New Horizons flyby) follows a power law alpha = 2.4926 in the interval of diameter (D) values ranging from 3.75 km to the largest determined value of 37.77 km. A reanalysis of this data set revealed that the whole crater SFD (i.e., with values in the interval of 1.2-37.7 km) can be described by a truncated Pareto distribution.

  8. Impact and cratering rates onto Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenstreet, Sarah; Gladman, Brett; McKinnon, William B.

    2015-09-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft fly-through of the Pluto system in July 2015 will provide humanity's first data for the crater populations on Pluto and its binary companion, Charon. In principle, these surfaces could be dated in an absolute sense, using the observed surface crater density (# craters/km2 larger than some threshold crater diameter D). Success, however, requires an understanding of both the cratering physics and absolute impactor flux. The Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS) L7 synthetic model of classical and resonant Kuiper belt populations (Petit, J.M. et al. [2011]. Astron. J. 142, 131-155; Gladman, B. et al. [2012]. Astron. J. 144, 23-47) and the scattering object model of Kaib et al. (Kaib, N., Roškar, R., Quinn, T. [2011]. Icarus 215, 491-507) calibrated by Shankman et al. (Shankman, C. et al. [2013]. Astrophys. J. 764, L2-L5) provide such impact fluxes and thus current primary cratering rates for each dynamical sub-population. We find that four sub-populations (the q 100km) connects to smaller projectiles, we compute cratering rates using five model impactor size distributions: a single power-law, a power-law with a knee, a power-law with a divot, as well as the "wavy" size distributions described in Minton et al. (Minton, D.A. et al. [2012]. Asteroids Comets Meteors Conf. 1667, 6348) and Schlichting et al. (Schlichting, H.E., Fuentes, C.I., Trilling, D.E. [2013]. Astron. J. 146, 36-42). We find that there is only a small chance that Pluto has been hit in the past 4 Gyr by even one impactor with a diameter larger than the known break in the projectile size distribution (d ≈ 100km) which would create a basin on Pluto (D ⩾ 400km in diameter). We show that due to present uncertainties in the impactor size distribution between d = 1- 100km , computing absolute ages for the surface of Pluto is entirely dependent on the extrapolation to small sizes and thus fraught with uncertainty. We show, however, what the ages would be for several cases

  9. Reflections of ions in electrostatic analyzers: a case study with New Horizons/Solar Wind Around Pluto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randol, B M; Ebert, R W; Allegrini, F; McComas, D J; Schwadron, N A

    2010-11-01

    Electrostatic analyzers (ESAs), in various forms, are used to measure plasma in a range of applications. In this article, we describe how ions reflect from the interior surfaces of an ESA, the detection of which constitutes a fundamentally nonideal response of ESAs. We demonstrate this effect by comparing laboratory data from a real ESA-based space instrument, the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument, aboard the NASA New Horizons spacecraft, to results from a model based on quantum mechanical simulations of particles reflected from the instrument's surfaces combined with simulations of particle trajectories through the instrument's applied electrostatic fields. Thus, we show, for the first time, how reflected ions in ESAs lead to nonideal effects that have important implications for understanding the data returned by these instruments, as well as for designing new low-background ESA-based instruments. Specifically, we show that the response of SWAP widens considerably below a level of 10(-3) of the peak response. Thus, a direct measurement of a plasma distribution with SWAP will have an energy-dependent background on the order of ≤10(-3) of the peak of the signal due to that distribution. We predict that this order of magnitude estimate for the background applies to a large number of ESA-based instruments because ESAs operate using a common principle. However, the exact shape of the energy-dependent response will be different for different instruments. The principle of operation is that ions outside the ideal range of energy-per-charge are deflected into the walls of the ESA. Therefore, we propose that a new design paradigm is necessary to mitigate the effect of ion reflections and thus accurately and directly measure the energy spectrum of a plasma using ESAs. In this article, we build a framework for minimizing the effect of ion reflections in the design of new ESAs. Through the use of existing computer simulation software, a design team can use our method

  10. Reflections of ions in electrostatic analyzers: A case study with New Horizons/Solar Wind Around Pluto

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Randol, B. M.; Ebert, R. W. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229 (United States); Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas 78228 (United States); Allegrini, F.; McComas, D. J. [Space Science and Engineering Division, Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas 78228 (United States); Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas 78229 (United States); Schwadron, N. A. [Department of Astronomy, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215 (United States)

    2010-11-15

    Electrostatic analyzers (ESAs), in various forms, are used to measure plasma in a range of applications. In this article, we describe how ions reflect from the interior surfaces of an ESA, the detection of which constitutes a fundamentally nonideal response of ESAs. We demonstrate this effect by comparing laboratory data from a real ESA-based space instrument, the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument, aboard the NASA New Horizons spacecraft, to results from a model based on quantum mechanical simulations of particles reflected from the instrument's surfaces combined with simulations of particle trajectories through the instrument's applied electrostatic fields. Thus, we show, for the first time, how reflected ions in ESAs lead to nonideal effects that have important implications for understanding the data returned by these instruments, as well as for designing new low-background ESA-based instruments. Specifically, we show that the response of SWAP widens considerably below a level of 10{sup -3} of the peak response. Thus, a direct measurement of a plasma distribution with SWAP will have an energy-dependent background on the order of {<=}10{sup -3} of the peak of the signal due to that distribution. We predict that this order of magnitude estimate for the background applies to a large number of ESA-based instruments because ESAs operate using a common principle. However, the exact shape of the energy-dependent response will be different for different instruments. The principle of operation is that ions outside the ideal range of energy-per-charge are deflected into the walls of the ESA. Therefore, we propose that a new design paradigm is necessary to mitigate the effect of ion reflections and thus accurately and directly measure the energy spectrum of a plasma using ESAs. In this article, we build a framework for minimizing the effect of ion reflections in the design of new ESAs. Through the use of existing computer simulation software, a design team

  11. Clues From Pluto's Ions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    Nearly a year ago, in July 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft passed by the Pluto system. The wealth of data amassed from that flyby is still being analyzed including data from the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument. Recent examination of this data has revealedinteresting new information about Plutos atmosphere and how the solar wind interacts with it.A Heavy Ion TailThe solar wind is a constant stream of charged particles released by the Sun at speeds of around 400 km/s (thats 1 million mph!). This wind travels out to the far reaches of the solar system, interacting with the bodies it encounters along the way.By modeling the SWAP detections, the authors determine the directions of the IMF that could produce the heavy ions detected. Red pixels represent IMF directions permitted. No possible IMF could reproduce the detections if the ions are nitrogen (bottom panels), and only retrograde IMF directions can produce the detections if the ions are methane. [Adapted from Zirnstein et al. 2016]New Horizons data has revealed that Plutos atmosphere leaks neutral nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide molecules that sometimes escape its weak gravitational pull. These molecules become ionized and are subsequently picked up by the passing solar wind, forming a tail of heavy ions behind Pluto. The details of the geometry and composition of this tail, however, had not yet been determined.Escaping MethaneIn a recent study led by Eric Zirnstein (Southwest Research Institute), the latest analysis of data from the SWAP instrument on board New Horizons is reported. The team used SWAPs ion detections from just after New Horizons closest approach to Pluto to better understand how the heavy ions around Pluto behave, and how the solar wind interacts with Plutos atmosphere.In the process of analyzing the SWAP data, Zirnstein and collaborators first establish what the majority of the heavy ions picked up by the solar wind are. Models of the SWAP detections indicate they are unlikely

  12. Power-Law Scaling of the Impact Crater Size-Frequency Distribution on Pluto: A Preliminary Analysis Based on First Images from New Horizons' Flyby

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scholkmann F.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The recent (14 th July 2015 flyby of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft of the dwarf planet Pluto resulted in the first high-resolution images of the geological surface- features of Pluto. Since previous studies showed that the impact crater size-frequency distribution (SFD of different celestial objects of our solar system follows power-laws, the aim of the present analysis was to determine, for the first time, the power-law scaling behavior for Pluto’s crater SFD based on the first images available in mid-September 2015. The analysis was based on a high-resolution image covering parts of Pluto’s re- gions Sputnik Planum , Al-Idrisi Montes and Voyager Terra . 83 impact craters could be identified in these regions and their diameter ( D was determined. The analysis re- vealed that the crater diameter SFD shows a statistically significant power-law scaling ( α = 2.4926±0.3309 in the interval of D values ranging from 3.75±1.14 km to the largest determined D value in this data set of 37.77 km. The value obtained for the scaling coefficient α is similar to the coefficient determined for the power-law scaling of the crater SFDs from the other celestial objects in our solar system. Further analysis of Pluto’s crater SFD is warranted as soon as new images are received from the spacecraft.

  13. Climate zones on Pluto and Charon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binzel, Richard P.; Earle, Alissa M.; Buie, Marc W.; Young, Leslie A.; Stern, S. Alan; Olkin, Cathy B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Grundy, Will; Weaver, Harold A.; Lisse, Carey M.; Lauer, Tod R.

    2017-05-01

    We give an explanatory description of the unusual ;climate zones; on Pluto that arise from its high obliquity (mean 115°) and high amplitude (±12°) of obliquity oscillation over a 2.8 million year period. The zones we describe have astronomically defined boundaries and do not incorporate atmospheric circulation. For such a high mean obliquity, the lines of tropics (greatest latitudes where the Sun can be overhead) cycle closer to each pole than does each arctic circle, which in turn cycle nearly to the equator. As a consequence in an astronomical context, Pluto is more predominantly ;tropical; than ;arctic.; Up to 97% of Pluto's surface area can experience overhead Sun when the obliquity cycle is at its minimum of 103°. At this same obliquity phase (most recently occurring 0.8 Myr ago), 78% of Pluto's surface experienced prolonged intervals without sunlight or ;arctic winter; (and corresponding ;arctic summer;). The intersection of these climate zones implies that a very broad range of Pluto's latitudes (spanning 13-77° in each hemisphere; 75% of the total surface area) are both tropical and arctic. While some possible correlations to these climate zones are suggested by comparison with published maps of Pluto and Charon yielded by the New Horizons mission, in this work we present a non-physical descriptive analysis only. For example, the planet-wide dark equatorial band presented by Stern et al. (2015; Science, 350, 292-299) corresponds to Pluto's permanent ;diurnal zone.; In this zone spanning latitudes within ±13° of the equator, day-night cycles occur each Pluto rotation (6.4 days) such that neither ;arctic winter; nor ;arctic summer; has been experienced in this zone for at least 20 million years. The stability of this and other climate zones may extend over several Gyr. Temperature modeling shows that the continuity of diurnal cycles in this region may be the key factor enabling a long-term stability for the high albedo contrast between Tombaugh Regio

  14. 2011 HM{sub 102}: DISCOVERY OF A HIGH-INCLINATION L5 NEPTUNE TROJAN IN THE SEARCH FOR A POST-PLUTO NEW HORIZONS TARGET

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parker, Alex H.; Holman, Matthew J.; McLeod, Brian A. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Buie, Marc W.; Borncamp, David M.; Spencer, John R.; Stern, S. Alan [Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238 (United States); Osip, David J. [Carnegie Observatories, Las Campanas Observatory, Casilla 601, La Serena (Chile); Gwyn, Stephen D. J.; Fabbro, Sebastian; Kavelaars, J. J. [Canadian Astronomy Data Centre, National Research Council of Canada, 5071 W. Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7 (Canada); Benecchi, Susan D.; Sheppard, Scott S. [Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institute of Washington, 5251 Broad Branch Road NW, Washington, DC 20015 (United States); Binzel, Richard P.; DeMeo, Francesca E. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States); Fuentes, Cesar I.; Trilling, David E. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northern Arizona University, S San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86011 (United States); Gay, Pamela L. [Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research, Education, and Outreach, Southern Illinois University, 1220 Lincoln Dr, Carbondale, IL 62901 (United States); Petit, Jean-Marc [CNRS, UTINAM, Universite de Franche Comte, Route de Gray, F-25030 Besancon Cedex, (France); Tholen, David J., E-mail: aparker@cfa.harvard.edu [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Dr, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); and others

    2013-04-15

    We present the discovery of a long-term stable L5 (trailing) Neptune Trojan in data acquired to search for candidate trans-Neptunian objects for the New Horizons spacecraft to fly by during an extended post-Pluto mission. This Neptune Trojan, 2011 HM{sub 102}, has the highest inclination (29. Degree-Sign 4) of any known member of this population. It is intrinsically brighter than any single L5 Jupiter Trojan at H{sub V} {approx} 8.18. We have determined its gri colors (a first for any L5 Neptune Trojan), which we find to be similar to the moderately red colors of the L4 Neptune Trojans, suggesting similar surface properties for members of both Trojan clouds. We also present colors derived from archival data for two L4 Neptune Trojans (2006 RJ{sub 103} and 2007 VL{sub 305}), better refining the overall color distribution of the population. In this document we describe the discovery circumstances, our physical characterization of 2011 HM{sub 102}, and this object's implications for the Neptune Trojan population overall. Finally, we discuss the prospects for detecting 2011 HM{sub 102} from the New Horizons spacecraft during its close approach in mid- to late-2013.

  15. Pluto's elongated dark regions formed by the Charon-forming giant impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genda, Hidenori; Sekine, Yusuhito; Kamata, Shunichi; Funatsu, Taro

    2017-04-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft has found elongated dark areas in the equatorial region of Pluto, which were informally called "the Whale" or Cthulhu Region (Stern et al. 2015). Here we examine the possibility that the dark areas on Pluto were formed by thermal alterations and polymerization of interstellar volatiles caused by a Charon-forming giant impact. Pluto is one of the largest Kuiper belt objects, which is highly likely to contain various interstellar volatiles, including aldehyde and ammonia. The previous study (Cordy et al. 2011) shows that these interstellar volatiles are thermally polymerized in solutions at high temperatures, forming complex insoluble organic solids. Given the satellite-to-planet mass ratio, the Pluto-Charon system is suggested to be of a giant impact origin (Canup 2005). Impact-induced heating on Pluto could have converted these volatile into complex organic matter in solution near the surface, which may explain the presence of dark areas in the equatorial region of Pluto. Here, we produce complex organic matter for various temperatures by thermal polymerization of formaldehyde and ammonia in solutions. By measuring the UV-VIS absorption spectra of the produced organic matter, we found that the color of the solution changes to be dark if the temerature is above 50 degree C for months or more. This duration corresponds to the cooling timescale of a water pond with 500-km thickness. By using SPH code (Genda et al. 2015), we carried out many simulations of a giant impact, and we found that a molten hot pond with > 500-km thickness is formed around the equatorial region of Pluto by a Charon-forming giant impact, if the water/rock mixing mass ratio is less than 1 or if the pre-impact interior temperature is 150 K. Both the dark equatorial region and a Charon-sized moon are formed when the pre-impact Pluto is undifferentiated. To keep a rock-rich Pluto undifferentiated at time of the giant impact, Pluto may have been formed >100 Myrs after CAIs

  16. Discovering Pluto's atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beatty, J.K.; Killian, A.

    1988-12-01

    Observations of the occultation of an obscure 12th-magnitude star in eastern Virgo by Pluto on June 9, 1988 are discussed. The occultation was observed by astronomers aboard NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory flying over the Pacific. The prediction of the occultation and the results of the observations are examined. The study demonstrated that Pluto has a thin atmosphere and that its diameter is about two-thirds that of the moon.

  17. The Fate of Debris in the Pluto-Charon System

    CERN Document Server

    Smullen, Rachel A

    2016-01-01

    The Pluto-Charon system has come into sharper focus following the fly by of New Horizons. We use N-body simulations to probe the unique dynamical history of this binary dwarf planet system. We follow the evolution of the debris disc that might have formed during the Charon-forming giant impact. First, we note that in-situ formation of the four circumbinary moons is extremely difficult if Charon undergoes eccentric tidal evolution. We track collisions of disc debris with Charon, estimating that hundreds to hundreds of thousands of visible craters might arise from 0.3-5 km radius bodies. New Horizons data suggesting a dearth of these small craters may place constraints on the disc properties. While tidal heating will erase some of the cratering history, both tidal and radiogenic heating may also make it possible to differentiate disc debris craters from Kuiper belt object craters. We also track the debris ejected from the Pluto-Charon system into the Solar System; while most of this debris is ultimately lost fr...

  18. The Wind, Temperature, and Surface Pressure on Pluto from a Pluto General Circulation Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zalucha, A. M.; Gulbis, A.

    2011-12-01

    (longitudinal) winds are easterly everywhere (prograde with Pluto's rotation) and characterized by two high-speed, high-latitude jets in gradient wind balance. Meridional (latitudinal) and vertical winds do not show any large-scale structure in the latitude-height plane such as a Hadley cell or other thermally direct circulation. The lack of Hadley cells is due to the low-altitude temperature inversion (temperature increasing with height). Such a temperature structure is quite stable and inhibits vertical motions. The fractional variation of surface pressure with latitude is much less than inter-annual variations from previous studies. Pluto's atmosphere is not quiescent and contains large-scale structure. Our model, the first for Pluto, is easily adaptable to other small bodies of similar composition such as Triton and other large Kuiper Belt Objects. The model can play a critical role for NASA's New Horizons mission, which arrives at Pluto in 2015. [1] Hubbard, W. B., et al., 2009. Icarus 204, 284-289. [2] Person, M. J., et al., 2008. Astron. J. 136, 1510-1518. [3] Marshall, J., et al., 1997. J. Geophys. Res. 102, 5753-5766. [4] Yelle, R. V. and Lunine, J. I., 1989. Nature 339, 288-290.

  19. 2011 HM102: Discovery of a High-Inclination L5 Neptune Trojan in the Search for a post-Pluto New Horizons Target

    CERN Document Server

    Parker, Alex H; Osip, David J; Gwyn, Stephen D J; Holman, Matthew J; Borncamp, David M; Spencer, John R; Benecchi, Susan D; Binzel, Richard P; DeMeo, Francesca E; Fabbro, Sebastian; Fuentes, Cesar I; Gay, Pamela L; Kavelaars, J J; McLeod, Brian A; Petit, Jean-Marc; Sheppard, Scott S; Stern, S Alan; Tholen, David J; Trilling, David E; Ragozzine, Darin A; Wasserman, Lawrence H; Hunters, the Ice

    2012-01-01

    We present the discovery of a long-term stable L5 (trailing) Neptune Trojan in data acquired to search for candidate Trans-Neptunian objects for the New Horizons spacecraft to fly by during an extended post-Pluto mission. This Neptune Trojan, 2011 HM102, has the highest inclination (29.4 degrees) of any known member of this population. It is intrinsically brighter than any single L5 Jupiter Trojan at H_V ~ 8.18. We have determined its gri colors (a first for any L5 Neptune Trojan), which we find to be similar to the moderately red colors of the L4 Neptune Trojans, indicating similar surface properties for members of both Trojan clouds. We also present colors derived from archival data for two L4 Neptune Trojans (2006 RJ103 and 2007 VL305), better refining the overall color distribution of the population. In this document we describe the discovery circumstances, our physical characterization of 2011 HM102, and this object's implications for the Neptune Trojan population overall. Finally, we discuss the prospec...

  20. Horizons

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The JPL HORIZONS on-line solar system data and ephemeris computation service provides access to key solar system data and flexible production of highly accurate...

  1. The Fate of Debris in the Pluto-Charon System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smullen, Rachel A.; Kratter, Kaitlin M.

    2017-01-01

    The Pluto-Charon system has come into sharper focus following the fly by of New Horizons. We use N-body simulations to probe the unique dynamical history of this binary dwarf planet system. We follow the evolution of the debris disc that might have formed during the Charon-forming giant impact. First, we note that in-situ formation of the four circumbinary moons is extremely difficult if Charon undergoes eccentric tidal evolution. We track collisions of disc debris with Charon, estimating that hundreds to hundreds of thousands of visible craters might arise from 0.3-5 km radius bodies. New Horizons data suggesting a dearth of these small craters may place constraints on the disc properties. While tidal heating will erase some of the cratering history, both tidal and radiogenic heating may also make it possible to differentiate disc debris craters from Kuiper belt object craters. We also track the debris ejected from the Pluto-Charon system into the Solar System; while most of this debris is ultimately lost from the Solar System, a few tens of 10-30 km radius bodies could survive as a Pluto-Charon collisional family. Most are plutinos in the 3:2 resonance with Neptune, while a small number populate nearby resonances. We show that migration of the giant planets early in the Solar System's history would not destroy this collisional family. Finally, we suggest that identification of such a family would likely need to be based on composition as they show minimal clustering in relevant orbital parameters.

  2. The fate of debris in the Pluto-Charon system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smullen, Rachel A.; Kratter, Kaitlin M.

    2017-04-01

    The Pluto-Charon system has come into sharper focus following the flyby of New Horizons. We use N-body simulations to probe the unique dynamical history of this binary dwarf planet system. We follow the evolution of the debris disc that might have formed during the Charon-forming giant impact. First, we note that in situ formation of the four circumbinary moons is extremely difficult if Charon undergoes eccentric tidal evolution. We track collisions of disc debris with Charon, estimating that hundreds to hundreds of thousands of visible craters might arise from 0.3-5 km radius bodies. New Horizons data suggesting a dearth of these small craters may place constraints on the disc properties. While tidal heating will erase some of the cratering history, both tidal and radiogenic heating may also make it possible to differentiate disc debris craters from Kuiper belt object craters. We also track the debris ejected from the Pluto-Charon system into the Solar system; while most of this debris is ultimately lost from the Solar system, a few tens of 10-30 km radius bodies could survive as a Pluto-Charon collisional family. Most are plutinos in the 3:2 resonance with Neptune, while a small number populate nearby resonances. We show that migration of the giant planets early in the Solar system's history would not destroy this collisional family. Finally, we suggest that identification of such a family would likely need to be based on composition as they show minimal clustering in relevant orbital parameters.

  3. MegaPipe astrometry for the New Horizons spacecraft

    CERN Document Server

    Gwyn, Stephen D J

    2014-01-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft, launched by NASA in 2006, will arrive in the Pluto-Charon system on July 14, 2015. There, it will spend a few hours imaging Pluto and its moons. It will then have a small amount of reserve propellant which will be used to direct the probe on to a second, yet to be discovered object in the Kuiper Belt. Data from the MegaPrime camera on CFHT was used to build a precise, high density astrometric reference frame for both the final approach into the Pluto system and the search for the secondary target. Pluto currently lies in the galactic plane. This is a hindrance in that there are potential problems with confusion. However, it is also a benefit, since it allows the use of the UCAC4 astrometric reference catalog, which is normally too sparse for use with MegaCam images. The astrometric accuracy of the final catalogs, as measured by the residuals, is 0.02 arcseconds.

  4. Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Hooft, G

    2004-01-01

    The gravitational force harbours a fundamental instability against collapse. In standard General Relativity without Quantum Mechanics, this implies the existence of black holes as natural, stable solutions of Einstein's equations. If one attempts to quantize the gravitational force, one should also consider the question how Quantum Mechanics affects the behaviour of black holes. In this lecture, we concentrate on the horizon. One would have expected that its properties could be derived from general coordinate transformations out of a vacuum state. In contrast, it appears that much new physics is needed. Much of that is still poorly understood, but one may speculate on the way information is organized at a horizon, and how refined versions of Quantum Theory may lead to answers.

  5. Beyond the Kuiper Belt Edge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheppard, Scott

    2013-01-01

    Of the thousands of known objects beyond Neptune, only one has a perihelion significantly beyond 50 AU, Sedna at 75 AU. Most Kuiper Belt surveys to date either did not go faint enough, did not have the required long cadence to detect very slow moving objects or covered too small of an area of sky to efficiently detect objects beyond 50 AU. The dynamical and physical properties of objects in this region offer key constraints on the formation and evolution of our solar system. In order to probe the Sedna like population of objects with moderate radii (100 km) we are conducting a deep wide-field outer solar system survey. This survey will allow us to determine if the objects beyond 50 AU are fainter than expected, if there is truly a dearth of objects, or if the Kuiper Belt continues again after some sizable gap possibly caused by a planet sized object. We will be able to examine the origin of Sedna and determine if it is unique (as once believed for Pluto) or one of a new class of object. We request one night in 2013B to recover a very interesting object that we discovered at Subaru in July 2012 and complete the sky coverage needed to constrain the Sedna-like population. This one night was awarded to us in 2012B but lost because of instrument problems.

  6. Detection of methane on Kuiper Belt Object (50000) Quaoar

    CERN Document Server

    Schaller, E L

    2007-01-01

    The near-infrared spectrum of (50000) Quaoar obtained at the Keck Observatory shows distinct absorption features of crystalline water ice, solid methane and ethane, and possibly other higher order hydrocarbons. Quaoar is only the fifth Kuiper belt object on which volatile ices have been detected. The small amount of methane on an otherwise water ice dominated surface suggests that Quaoar is a transition object between the dominant volatile-poor small Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) and the few volatile-rich large KBOs such as Pluto and Eris.

  7. Kuiper Binary Object Formation

    OpenAIRE

    Nazzario, R. C.; Orr, K.; Covington, C.; Kagan, D.; Hyde, T. W.

    2005-01-01

    It has been observed that binary Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) exist contrary to theoretical expectations. Their creation presents problems to most current models. However, the inclusion of a third body (for example, one of the outer planets) may provide the conditions necessary for the formation of these objects. The presence of a third massive body not only helps to clear the primordial Kuiper Belt but can also result in long lived binary Kuiper belt objects. The gravitational interaction betw...

  8. Haze in Pluto's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A. F.; Summers, M. E.; Gladstone, G. R.; Strobel, D. F.; Young, L. A.; Lavvas, P.; Kammer, J. A.; Lisse, C. M.; Parker, A. H.; Young, E. F.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Ennico, K.

    2017-07-01

    Haze in Pluto's atmosphere was detected in images by both the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) on New Horizons. LORRI observed haze up to altitudes of at least 200 km above Pluto's surface at solar phase angles from ∼20° to ∼169°. The haze is structured with about ∼20 layers, and the extinction due to haze is greater in the northern hemisphere than at equatorial or southern latitudes. However, more haze layers are discerned at equatorial latitudes. A search for temporal variations found no evidence for motions of haze layers (temporal changes in layer altitudes) on time scales of 2 to 5 hours, but did find evidence of changes in haze scale height above 100 km altitude. An ultraviolet extinction attributable to the atmospheric haze was also detected by the ALICE ultraviolet spectrograph on New Horizons. The haze particles are strongly forward-scattering in the visible, and a microphysical model of haze is presented which reproduces the visible phase function just above the surface with 0.5 μm spherical particles, but also invokes fractal aggregate particles to fit the visible phase function at 45 km altitude and account for UV extinction. A model of haze layer generation by orographic excitation of gravity waves is presented. This model accounts for the observed layer thickness and distribution with altitude. Haze particles settle out of the atmosphere and onto Pluto's surface, at a rate sufficient to alter surface optical properties on seasonal time scales. Pluto's regional scale albedo contrasts may be preserved in the face of the haze deposition by atmospheric collapse.

  9. Kuiper Binary Object Formation

    CERN Document Server

    Nazzario, R C; Covington, C; Kagan, D; Hyde, T W

    2005-01-01

    It has been observed that binary Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) exist contrary to theoretical expectations. Their creation presents problems to most current models. However, the inclusion of a third body (for example, one of the outer planets) may provide the conditions necessary for the formation of these objects. The presence of a third massive body not only helps to clear the primordial Kuiper Belt but can also result in long lived binary Kuiper belt objects. The gravitational interaction between the KBOs and the third body causes one of four effects; scattering into the Oort cloud, collisions with the growing protoplanets, formation of binary pairs, or creation of a single Kuiper belt object. Additionally, the initial location of the progenitors of the Kuiper belt objects also has a significant effect on binary formation.

  10. New Horizons and the onset of the Pioneer anomaly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nieto, Michael Martin

    2008-01-01

    Analysis of the radio tracking data from the Pioneer 10/11 spacecraft at distances between about 20 70 AU from the Sun has indicated the presence of an unmodeled, small, constant, Doppler blue shift which can be interpreted as a constant acceleration of a=(8.74±1.33)×10 cm/s directed approximately towards the Sun. In addition, there is early (roughly modeled) data from as close in as 5 AU which indicates there may have been an onset of the anomaly near Saturn. We observe that the data now arriving from the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt could allow a relatively easy, direct experimental test of whether this onset is associated with distance from the Sun (being, for example, an effect of drag on dark matter). We strongly urge that this test be done.

  11. New Horizons and the Onset of the Pioneer Anomaly

    CERN Document Server

    Nieto, Michael Martin

    2008-01-01

    Analysis of the radio tracking data from the Pioneer 10/11 spacecraft at distances between about 20 - 70 AU from the Sun has indicated the presence of an unmodeled, small, constant, Doppler blue shift which can be interpreted as a constant acceleration of a_P= (8.74 \\pm 1.33) \\times 10^{-8} cm/s^2 directed approximately {\\it towards} the Sun. In addition, there is early (roughly modeled) data from as close in as 5 AU which indicates there may have been an onset of the anomaly near Saturn. We observe that the data now arriving from the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt could allow a relatively easy, direct experimental test of whether this onset is associated with distance from the Sun (being, for example, an effect of drag on dark matter). We strongly urge that this test be done.

  12. Discovery of two new satellites of Pluto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, H A; Stern, S A; Mutchler, M J; Steffl, A J; Buie, M W; Merline, W J; Spencer, J R; Young, E F; Young, L A

    2006-02-23

    Pluto's first known satellite, Charon, was discovered in 1978. It has a diameter (approximately 1,200 km) about half that of Pluto, which makes it larger, relative to its primary, than any other moon in the Solar System. Previous searches for other satellites around Pluto have been unsuccessful, but they were not sensitive to objects less, similar150 km in diameter and there are no fundamental reasons why Pluto should not have more satellites. Here we report the discovery of two additional moons around Pluto, provisionally designated S/2005 P 1 (hereafter P1) and S/2005 P 2 (hereafter P2), which makes Pluto the first Kuiper belt object known to have multiple satellites. These new satellites are much smaller than Charon, with estimates of P1's diameter ranging from 60 km to 165 km, depending on the surface reflectivity; P2 is about 20 per cent smaller than P1. Although definitive orbits cannot be derived, both new satellites appear to be moving in circular orbits in the same orbital plane as Charon, with orbital periods of approximately 38 days (P1) and approximately 25 days (P2).

  13. Pluto is the new Mars!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.; Mckinnon, William B.; Spencer, John R.; Howard, Alan D.; Grundy, William M.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie A.; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Cathy

    2016-01-01

    Data from NASA's New Horizons encounter with Pluto in July 2015 revealed an astoundingly complex world. The surface seen on the encounter hemisphere ranged in age from ancient to recent. A vast craterless plain of slowly convecting solid nitrogen resides in a deep primordial impact basin, reminiscent of young enigmatic deposits in Mars' Hellas basin. Like Mars, regions of Pluto are dominated by valleys, though the Pluto valleys are thought to be carved by nitrogen glaciers. Pluto has fretted terrain and halo craters. Pluto is cut by tectonics of several different ages. Like Mars, vast tracts on Pluto are mantled by dust and volatiles. Just as on Mars, Pluto has landscapes that systematically vary with latitude due to past and present seasonal (and mega-seasonal) effects on two major volatiles. On Mars, those volatiles are H2O and CO2; on Pluto they are CH4 and N2. Like Mars, some landscapes on Pluto defy easy explanation. In the Plutonian arctic there is a region of large (approx. 40 km across) deep (approx. 3-4 km) pits that probably could not be formed by sublimation, or any other single process, alone. Equally bizarre is the Bladed terrain, which is composed of fields of often roughly aligned blade-like ridges covering the flanks and crests of broad regional swells. Topping the unexpected are two large mounds approximately150 km across, approx. 5-6 km high, with great central depressions at their summits. The central depressions are almost as deep as the mounds are tall. These mounds have many of the characteristics of volcanic mountains seen on Mars and elsewhere in the inner solar system. Hypotheses for the formation of these Plutonian mounds so far all have challenges, principally revolving around the need for H2O ice to support their relief and the difficulty imagining mechanisms that would mobilize H2O. From the perspective of one year after the encounter, our appreciation of the extent of Pluto's diversity and complexity is quite reminiscent of the

  14. Differentiation and cryovolcanism on Charon: A view before and after New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desch, S. J.; Neveu, M.

    2017-05-01

    Before the arrival of the New Horizons probe at the Pluto-Charon system, we developed a series of models that predicted that Kuiper Belt Objects, even as small and as cold as Charon, have experienced internal ice-rock differentiation and possibly cryovolcanism. Confronting these predictions is a wide array of spectroscopy, imagery, and other data from New Horizons. In this article we compare the predictions against the new observations, and find that they largely support the expected history of the Pluto system and the evolution of Charon. Following the collision of two partially differentiated impactors with radii ≈1000 km, a disk of material formed around Pluto, from which Charon and Pluto's other moons formed. Because the impactors did not completely differentiate, the disk contained rocky material from their crusts, explaining the moons' different densities and compositions. Long-lived radionuclides in Charon, assisted by ammonia antifreeze in the ice, melted ice and created a subsurface ocean that eventually refroze ≈ 1.7 - 2.5 Gyr ago. The freezing of this ocean would have created extensional stresses that possibly created Serenity Chasma, and could have led to widespread resurfacing, explaining the apparently younger age of Vulcan Planum. Buildup of radiogenic heat then created a second, smaller ocean that refroze 0.5-1.7 Gyr ago. As it froze, cryovolcanism would have been enabled, possibly creating Kubrick Mons. Charon's ;moated mountains; such as Kubrick Mons have a natural explanation as cryovolcanoes depressing a thin lithosphere over a cryomagma chamber. We offer further predictions about other aspects of Charon's surface. Our previous predictions that Charon is a world shaped by geological activity have been largely borne out by New Horizons observations.

  15. Hybrid Simulations of Pluto's Plasma Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feyerabend, M.; Simon, S.; Motschmann, U.; Liuzzo, L.

    2016-12-01

    We study the interaction between Pluto and the solar wind at the time of the New Horizons (NH) flyby by applying a hybrid (kinetic ions, fluid electrons) simulation model. The use of a hybrid model is necessary since the gyroradii of the involved ion species are more than an order of magnitude larger than the obstacle to the solar wind and thus, Pluto's interaction region displays considerable asymmetries. We investigate the three-dimensional structure and extension of the various plasma signatures seen along the NH trajectory. Especially, we will constrain possible asymmetries in the shape of Pluto's bow shock, plasma tail and Plutopause (i.e., the boundary between the solar wind and the population of plutogenic ions) which may arise from the large ion gyroradii. Starting from the upstream solar wind parameters measured by NH, we investigate the dependency of these plasma signatures on the density of Pluto's ionosphere and on the solar wind ram pressure. We also include Pluto's largest moon Charon into the simulation model and study the simultaneous interaction between both bodies and the solar wind. Data from NH suggest that Charon mainly acts as a plasma absorber without an appreciable atmosphere. For various relative positions of Pluto and Charon, we investigate the deformation of Charon's wake when exposed to the inhomogeneous plasma flow in the Pluto interaction region, as well as a possible feedback of Charon on the structure of Pluto's induced magnetosphere.

  16. The Binary Fission Model for the Formation of the Pluto system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prentice, Andrew

    2016-10-01

    The ratio F of the mass of Pluto (P) to Charon (C), viz. F ≈ 8:1, is the largest ratio of any planet-satellite pair in the solar system. Another measure of the PC binary is its normalized angular momentum density J (see McKinnon 1989). Analysis of astrometric data (Brozovic et al 2015) acquired before the New Horizons (NH) arrival at Pluto and new measurements made by NH (Stern et al 2015) show that J = 0.39. Yet these F & J values are ones expected if the PC binary had formed by the rotational fission of a single liquid mass (Darwin 1902; Lyttleton 1953). At first glance, therefore, the fission model seems to be a viable model for the formation of the Pluto system. In fact, Prentice (1993 Aust J Astron 5 111) had used this model to successfully predict the existence of several moons orbiting beyond Charon, before their discovery in 2005-2012. The main problem with the fission model is that the observed mean density of Charon, namely 1.70 g/cm3, greatly exceeds that of water ice. Charon thus could not have once been a globe of pure water. Here I review the fission model within the framework of the modern Laplacian theory of solar system origin (Prentice 1978 Moon Planets 19 341; 2006 PASA 23 1) and the NH results. I assume that Pluto and Charon were initially a single object (proto-Pluto [p-P]) which had condensed within the same gas ring shed by the proto-solar cloud at orbital distance ~43 AU, where the Kuiper belt was born. The temperature of this gas ring is 26 K and the mean orbit pressure is 1.3 × 10-9 bar. After the gas ring is shed, chemical condensation takes place. The bulk chemical composition of the condensate is anhydrous rock (mass fraction 0.5255), graphite (0.0163), water ice (0.1858), CO2 ice (0.2211) and methane ice (0.0513). Next I assume that melting of the ices in p-P takes place through the decay of short-lived radioactive nuclides, thus causing internal segregation of the rock & graphite. Settling of heavy grains to the centre lowers the

  17. The Impact Crater Size-Frequency Distribution on Pluto Follows a Truncated Pareto Distribution: Results from a First Data Set Based on the Recent New Horizons' Flyby

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaninetti L.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently it could be shown (Scholkmann, Prog. in Phys. , 2016, v. 12(1, 26-29 that the impact crater size-frequency distribution of Pluto (based on an analysis of first images obtained by the recent New Horizons’ flyby follows a power law (α =2.4926±0.3309 in the interval of diameter ( D values ranging from 3.75±1.14 km to the largest deter- mined value of 37.77 km. A reanalysis of this data set revealed that the whole crater SFD (i.e., with values in the interval of 1.2–37.7 km can be described by a truncated Pareto distribution.

  18. Atmospheres on Volatile-Bearing Kuiper Belt Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Leslie; McKinnon, W. B.

    2013-10-01

    Seven large bodies in the outer solar system have volatiles ices detected or inferred on their surfaces (Pluto, Triton, Eris, Makemake, 2007 OR10, Quaoar, and Sedna; Brown et al. 2011, ApJ 738, L26), which may lead to atmospheres over some or most of their orbits (Stern & Trafton 2008, Sol. Sys. Beyond Neptune, 365-380). We have investigated the role of internal heat (e.g., McKinnon et al. 1997, Pluto and Charon, 295-343) and thermal inertia on the seasonally varying surface temperatures and atmospheres. We quantify when atmospheres are global (Pluto-like, with similar pressures over the surface), local but collisional (Io-like, with large pressure gradients), or non-collisional. We conclude that four bodies (Pluto, Triton, Eris and Quaoar) should be global over some or all of their orbits, and that 2007 OR10 should be global near perihelion only for low thermal inertia. Five bodies (Pluto, Triton, Eris, Makemake and Quaoar) should be global or local-collisional over their entire orbits. 2007 OR10 reaches non-collisional pressures at aphelion for low thermal inertia. Sedna is non-collisional for most of its orbit, but may be collisional near perihelion for low thermal inertia. Long-lived radiogenic heat can be important for the atmospheres of larger and/or more distant Kuiper belt objects.

  19. Surface compositions across Pluto and Charon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundy, W M; Binzel, R P; Buratti, B J; Cook, J C; Cruikshank, D P; Dalle Ore, C M; Earle, A M; Ennico, K; Howett, C J A; Lunsford, A W; Olkin, C B; Parker, A H; Philippe, S; Protopapa, S; Quirico, E; Reuter, D C; Schmitt, B; Singer, K N; Verbiscer, A J; Beyer, R A; Buie, M W; Cheng, A F; Jennings, D E; Linscott, I R; Parker, J Wm; Schenk, P M; Spencer, J R; Stansberry, J A; Stern, S A; Throop, H B; Tsang, C C C; Weaver, H A; Weigle, G E; Young, L A

    2016-03-18

    The New Horizons spacecraft mapped colors and infrared spectra across the encounter hemispheres of Pluto and Charon. The volatile methane, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen ices that dominate Pluto's surface have complicated spatial distributions resulting from sublimation, condensation, and glacial flow acting over seasonal and geological time scales. Pluto's water ice "bedrock" was also mapped, with isolated outcrops occurring in a variety of settings. Pluto's surface exhibits complex regional color diversity associated with its distinct provinces. Charon's color pattern is simpler, dominated by neutral low latitudes and a reddish northern polar region. Charon's near-infrared spectra reveal highly localized areas with strong ammonia absorption tied to small craters with relatively fresh-appearing impact ejecta. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  20. Surface Compositions Across Pluto and Charon

    CERN Document Server

    Grundy, W M; Buratti, B J; Cook, J C; Cruikshank, D P; Ore, C M Dalle; Earle, A M; Ennico, K; Howett, C J A; Lunsford, A W; Olkin, C B; Parker, A H; Philippe, S; Protopapa, S; Quirico, E; Reuter, D C; Schmitt, B; Singer, K N; Verbiscer, A J; Beyer, R A; Buie, M W; Cheng, A F; Jennings, D E; Linscott, I R; Parker, J Wm; Schenk, P M; Spencer, J R; Stansberry, J A; Stern, S A; Throop, H B; Tsang, C C C; Weaver, H A; Weigle, G E; Young, L A

    2016-01-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft mapped colors and infrared spectra across the encounter hemispheres of Pluto and Charon. The volatile ices CH$_4$, CO, and N$_2$, that dominate Pluto's surface, have complicated spatial distributions resulting from sublimation, condensation, and glacial flow acting over seasonal and geological timescales. Pluto's H$_2$O ice "bedrock" is also mapped, with isolated outcrops occurring in a variety of settings. Pluto's surface exhibits complex regional color diversity associated with its distinct provinces. Charon's color pattern is simpler, dominated by neutral low latitudes and a reddish northern polar region. Charon near infrared spectra reveal highly localized areas with strong NH$_3$ absorption tied to small craters with relatively fresh-appearing impact ejecta.

  1. Accretion in the Early Kuiper Belt; 2, Fragmentation

    CERN Document Server

    Kenyon, S J; Kenyon, Scott J.; Luu, Jane X.

    1999-01-01

    We describe new planetesimal accretion calculations in the Kuiper Belt that include fragmentation and velocity evolution. All models produce two power law cumulative size distributions, N_C propto r^{-q}, with q = 2.5 for radii less than 0.3-3 km and q = 3 for radii exceeding 1-3 km. The power law indices are nearly independent of the initial mass in the annulus, the initial eccentricity of the planetesimal swarm, and the initial size distribution of the planetesimal swarm. The transition between the two power laws moves to larger radii as the initial eccentricity increases. The maximum size of objects depends on their intrinsic tensile strength; Pluto formation requires a strength exceeding 300 erg per gram. Our models yield formation timescales for Pluto-sized objects of 30-40 Myr for a minimum mass solar nebula. The production of several `Plutos' and more than 10^5 50 km radius Kuiper Belt objects leaves most of the initial mass in 0.1-10 km radius objects that can be collisionally depleted over the age of...

  2. Ejecta Exchange, Color Evolution in the Pluto System, and Implications for KBOs and Asteroids with Satellites

    CERN Document Server

    Stern, S A

    2008-01-01

    We examine the ability of impacts by Kuiper Belt debris to cause regolith exchange between objects in the Pluto system. We find that ejecta velocities from KB impacts are too low to escape from Pluto and Charon. However, ejecta can escape Nix and Hydra, and is capable of covering one another to depths as high as 10s of meters, and Charon and Pluto, perhaps to depths up to several 10s of cm. Although Pluto's annual atmospheric frost deposition cycle will cover such imported debris on timescales faster than it is emplaced, no such masking mechanism is available on Hydra, Nix, and Charon. As a result, ejecta exchange between these bodies is expected to evolve their colors, albedos, and other photometric properties to be similar. We examined the ability of ejecta exchange to work for other Kuiper Belt binaries and found the process can be effective in many cases. This process may also operate in asteroid binary systems.

  3. Past epochs of significantly higher pressure atmospheres on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, S. A.; Binzel, R. P.; Earle, A. M.; Singer, K. N.; Young, L. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Ennico, K.; Moore, J. M.; McKinnon, W. B.; Spencer, J. R.; New Horizons Geology; Geophysics; Atmospheres Teams

    2017-05-01

    Pluto is known to have undergone thousands of cycles of obliquity change and polar precession. These variations have a large and corresponding impact on the total average solar insolation reaching various places on Pluto's surface as a function of time. Such changes could produce dramatic increases in surface pressure and may explain certain features observed by New Horizons on Pluto's surface, including some that indicate the possibility of surface paleo-liquids. This paper is the first to discuss multiple lines of geomorphological evidence consistent with higher pressure epochs in Pluto's geologic past, and it also the first to provide a mechanism for potentially producing the requisite high pressure conditions needed for an environment that could support liquids on Pluto. The presence of such liquids and such conditions, if borne out by future work, would fundamentally affect our view of Pluto's past climate, volatile transport, and geological evolution. This paper motivates future, more detailed climate modeling and geologic interpretation efforts in this area.

  4. Environmental Impact Specification for Direct Space Weathering of Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, John F.

    2010-01-01

    The Direct Space Weathering Project of NASA's Outer Planets Research Program addresses specification of the plasma and energetic particle environments for irradiation and surface chemical processing of icy bodies in the outer solar system and the local interstellar medium. Knowledge of the radiation environments is being expanded by ongoing penetration of the twin Voyager spacecraft into the heliosheath boundary region of the outer heliosphere and expected emergence within the next decade into the very local interstellar medium. The Voyager measurements are being supplemented by remote sensing from Earth orbit of energetic neutral atom emission from this boundary region by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX). Although the Voyagers long ago passed the region of the Classical Kuiper Belt, the New Horizons spacecraft will encounter Pluto in 2015 and thereafter explore one or more KBOs, meanwhile providing updated measurements of the heliospheric radiation environment in this region. Modeling of ion transport within the heliosphere allows specification of time-integrated irradiation effects while the combination of Voyager and IBEX data supports projection of the in-situ measurements into interstellar space beyond the heliosheath. Transformation of model ion flux distributions into surface sputtering and volume ionization profiles provides a multi-layer perspective for space weathering impact on the affected icy bodies and may account for some aspects of color and compositional diversity. Other important related factors may include surface erosion and gardening by meteoritic impacts and surface renewal by cryovolcanism. Chemical products of space weathering may contribute to energy resources for the latter.

  5. Distribution of dust from Kuiper belt objects

    CERN Document Server

    Gorkavyi, N N; Taidakova, T; Mather, J C; Gorkavyi, Nick N.; Ozernoy, Leonid M.; Taidakova, Tanya; Mather, John C.

    2000-01-01

    (Abridged) Using an efficient computational approach, we have reconstructed the structure of the dust cloud in the Solar system between 0.5 and 100 AU produced by the Kuiper belt objects. Our simulations offer a 3-D physical model of the `kuiperoidal' dust cloud based on the distribution of 280 dust particle trajectories produced by 100 known Kuiper belt objects ; the resulting 3-D grid consists of $1.9\\times 10^6$ cells containing $1.2\\times 10^{11}$ particle positions. The following processes that influence the dust particle dynamics are taken into account: 1) gravitational scattering on the eight planets (neglecting Pluto); 2) planetary resonances; 3) radiation pressure; and 4) the Poynting-Robertson (P-R) and solar wind drags. We find the dust distribution highly non-uniform: there is a minimum in the kuiperoidal dust between Mars and Jupiter, after which both the column and number densities of kuiperoidal dust sharply increase with heliocentric distance between 5 and 10 AU, and then form a plateau betwee...

  6. Chaotic Diffusion of Resonant Kuiper Belt Objects

    CERN Document Server

    Tiscareno, Matthew S

    2008-01-01

    We carried out extensive numerical orbit integrations to probe the long-term chaotic dynamics of the two strongest mean motion resonances of Neptune in the Kuiper belt, the 3:2 (Plutinos) and 2:1 (Twotinos). Our primary results include a computation of the relative volumes of phase space characterized by large- and small-resonance libration amplitudes, and maps of resonance stability measured by mean chaotic diffusion rate. We find that Neptune's 2:1 resonance has weaker overall long-term stability than the 3:2 -- only 15% of Twotinos are projected to survive for 4 Gyr, compared to 28% of Plutinos. We find that Pluto has only a modest effect, causing a ~4% decrease in the Plutino population that survives to 4 Gyr. Given current observational estimates, we conclude that the primordial populations of Plutinos and Twotinos formerly made up more than half the population of the classical and resonant Kuiper Belt. We also conclude that Twotinos were originally nearly as numerous as Plutinos, consistent with models ...

  7. Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and the outer solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

    2010-01-01

    Unlike all the planets closer to the Sun, known since antiquity, the farthest reaches are the discoveries of the modern world. Uranus was discovered in 1781, Neptune in 1846, Pluto in 1930, the Kuiper belt group of objects in 1992, and though the Oort cloud has been theorized since 1950, its first member was found in 2004. The discovery of the outer planets made such an impression on the minds of mankind that they were immortalized in the names of the newly discovered elements: uranium, neptunium, and plutonium, an astonishingly deadly constituent of atomic bombs. Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and t

  8. The subsurface of Pluto from submillimetre observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greaves, J. S.; Whitelaw, A. C. M.; Bendo, G. J.

    2015-04-01

    Surface areas on Pluto change in brightness and colour, at optical to infrared wavelengths, over time-scales as short as years. The subsurface contains a reservoir of frozen volatiles, but little is known about it because Pluto is out of reach for cm-radar. Here we present a 0.85 mm wavelength light curve of the Pluto system, from archival data taken in 1997 August with the SCUBA (Submillimetre Common-User Bolometer Array) camera on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). This wavelength probes for the first time to just below the skin depth of thermal changes over Pluto's day. The light curve differs significantly from counterparts in the mid- to far-infrared, in a longitude range that is optically dark on Pluto's surface. An estimate from Herschel of the 0.5 mm flux in 2012 is comparable to the mean 0.45 mm flux from SCUBA in 1997, suggesting that layers centimetres below the surface have not undergone any gross temperature change. The longitudes that are relatively submillimetre-faint could have a different emissivity, perhaps with a subsurface layer richer in nitrogen or methane ices than at the surface. The Radio Science Experiment (REX) instrument on New Horizons may be able to constrain physical properties deeper down, as it looks back on Pluto's nightside after the 2015 July flyby.

  9. Pluto in Hi-Def Note: There is debate within the science community as to whether Pluto should be

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image demonstrates the first detection of Pluto using the high-resolution mode on the New Horizons Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). The mode provides a clear separation between Pluto and numerous nearby background stars. When the image was taken on October 6, 2007, Pluto was located in the constellation Serpens, in a region of the sky dense with background stars. Typically, LORRI's exposure time in hi-res mode is limited to approximately 0.1 seconds, but by using a special pointing mode that allowed an increase in the exposure time to 0.967 seconds, scientists were able to spot Pluto, which is approximately 15,000 times fainter than human eyes can detect. New Horizons was still too far from Pluto (3.6 billion kilometers, or 2.2 billion miles) for LORRI to resolve any details on Pluto's surface that won't happen until summer 2014, approximately one year before closest approach. For now the entire Pluto system remains a bright dot to the spacecraft's telescopic camera, though LORRI is expected to start resolving Charon from Pluto seeing them as separate objects in summer 2010.

  10. Pluto in Hi-Def Note: There is debate within the science community as to whether Pluto should be

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image demonstrates the first detection of Pluto using the high-resolution mode on the New Horizons Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). The mode provides a clear separation between Pluto and numerous nearby background stars. When the image was taken on October 6, 2007, Pluto was located in the constellation Serpens, in a region of the sky dense with background stars. Typically, LORRI's exposure time in hi-res mode is limited to approximately 0.1 seconds, but by using a special pointing mode that allowed an increase in the exposure time to 0.967 seconds, scientists were able to spot Pluto, which is approximately 15,000 times fainter than human eyes can detect. New Horizons was still too far from Pluto (3.6 billion kilometers, or 2.2 billion miles) for LORRI to resolve any details on Pluto's surface that won't happen until summer 2014, approximately one year before closest approach. For now the entire Pluto system remains a bright dot to the spacecraft's telescopic camera, though LORRI is expected to start resolving Charon from Pluto seeing them as separate objects in summer 2010.

  11. Kuiper Belt Occultation Predictions

    CERN Document Server

    Fraser, Wesley C; Trujillo, Chad; Stephens, Andrew W; Kavelaars, JJ; Brown, Michael E; Bianco, Federica B; Boyle, Richard P; Brucker, Melissa J; Hetherington, Nathan; Joner, Michael; Keel, William C; Langill, Phil P; Lister, Tim; McMillan, Russet J; Young, Leslie

    2013-01-01

    Here we present observations of 7 large Kuiper Belt Objects. From these observations, we extract a point source catalog with $\\sim0.01"$ precision, and astrometry of our target Kuiper Belt Objects with $0.04-0.08"$ precision within that catalog. We have developed a new technique to predict the future occurrence of stellar occultations by Kuiper Belt Objects. The technique makes use of a maximum likelihood approach which determines the best-fit adjustment to cataloged orbital elements of an object. Using simulations of a theoretical object, we discuss the merits and weaknesses of this technique compared to the commonly adopted ephemeris offset approach. We demonstrate that both methods suffer from separate weaknesses, and thus, together provide a fair assessment of the true uncertainty in a particular prediction. We present occultation predictions made by both methods for the 7 tracked objects, with dates as late as 2015. Finally, we discuss observations of three separate close passages of Quaoar to field star...

  12. Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager on New Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Cheng, A F; Conard, S J; Morgan, M F; Barnouin-Jha, O; Boldt, J D; Cooper, K A; Darlington, E H; Grey, M P; Hayes, J R; Kosakowski, K E; Magee, T; Rossano, E; Sampath, D; Schlemm, C; Taylor, H W

    2007-01-01

    The LOng-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) is the high resolution imaging instrument for the New Horizons mission to Pluto, its giant satellite Charon, its small moons Nix and Hydra, and the Kuiper Belt, which is the vast region of icy bodies extending roughly from Neptune's orbit out to 50 astronomical units (AU). New Horizons launched on January 19, 2006 as the inaugural mission in NASA's New Frontiers program. LORRI is a narrow angle (field of view=0.29 deg), high resolution (4.95 microrad pixels), Ritchey-Chretien telescope with a 20.8 cm diameter primary mirror, a focal length of 263 cm, and a three lens field-flattening assembly. A 1024 x 1024 pixel (optically active region), thinned, backside-illuminated charge-coupled device (CCD) detector is used in the focal plane unit and is operated in frame transfer mode. LORRI provides panchromatic imaging over a bandpass that extends approximately from 350 nm to 850 nm. LORRI operates in an extreme thermal environment, situated inside the warm spacecraft with...

  13. THE 2011 JUNE 23 STELLAR OCCULTATION BY PLUTO: AIRBORNE AND GROUND OBSERVATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Person, M. J.; Bosh, A. S.; Levine, S. E.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Zangari, A. M.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Sallum, S. [Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA 02139-4307 (United States); Dunham, E. W.; Collins, P.; Bida, T.; Bright, L. [Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ (United States); Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Pandey, S.; Amrhein, D. [Williams College-Hopkins Observatory, Williamstown, MA (United States); Tholen, D. J. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Manoa, HI (United States); Taylor, B. [Boston University, Boston, MA (United States); Wolf, J.; Pfueller, E. [Deutsches SOFIA Institut, Universitaet Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 29, D-70569 Stuttgart (Germany); Meyer, A., E-mail: mjperson@mit.edu [SOFIA Science Center, NASA Ames Research Center, MS 211-1, Moffett Field, CA 94035 (United States); and others

    2013-10-01

    On 2011 June 23, stellar occultations by both Pluto (this work) and Charon (future analysis) were observed from numerous ground stations as well as the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). This first airborne occultation observation since 1995 with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory resulted in the best occultation chords recorded for the event, in three visible wavelength bands. The data obtained from SOFIA are combined with chords obtained from the ground at the IRTF, the U.S. Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station, and Leeward Community College to give the detailed state of the Pluto-Charon system at the time of the event with a focus on Pluto's atmosphere. The data show a return to the distinct upper and lower atmospheric regions with a knee or kink in the light curve separating them as was observed in 1988, rather than the smoothly transitioning bowl-shaped light curves of recent years. The upper atmosphere is analyzed by fitting a model to all of the light curves, resulting in a half-light radius of 1288 {+-} 1 km. The lower atmosphere is analyzed using two different methods to provide results under the differing assumptions of particulate haze and a strong thermal gradient as causes for the lower atmospheric diminution of flux. These results are compared with those from past occultations to provide a picture of Pluto's evolving atmosphere. Regardless of which lower atmospheric structure is assumed, results indicate that this part of the atmosphere evolves on short timescales with results changing the light curve structures between 1988 and 2006, and then reverting these changes in 2011 though at significantly higher pressures. Throughout these changes, the upper atmosphere remains remarkably stable in structure, again except for the overall pressure changes. No evidence of onset of atmospheric collapse predicted by frost migration models is seen, and the atmosphere appears to be remaining at a stable pressure level, suggesting it

  14. From Density Contrast to Compositional Difference on Pluto and Charon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierson, C. J.; Nimmo, F.; McKinnon, W. B.

    2016-12-01

    Leading up to the New Horizons encounter, modeling work suggested that if Pluto and Charon formed in a giant impact Charon would be more ice rich than Pluto [1,2]. Conversely, if Pluto and Charon both formed in-situ they should have the same bulk composition. New Horizons has confirmed that Pluto and Charon have distinct bulk densities, 1854 ± 11 kg m-3 and 1701 ± 33 kg m-3 respectively [3]. The question is whether this density contrast necessarily implies a compositional difference. We investigate if differences in the porous structure of Pluto and Charon could explain this observed density contrast. We couple a thermal model [4] with a model of viscous pore closure [5]. We include both the temperature dependence and the effect of porosity on thermal conductivity of the ice mantle. Due to the both lower gravity and lower heat flux, Charon can maintain a thicker porous layer over the age of the solar system. This effect however, only produces a bulk density contrast between Pluto and Charon of 60 kg m-3 , compared with the observed density contrast of 153±44 kg m-3. Other factors such as a modern ocean on Pluto, larger compression in Pluto's interior, and chemical water-rock interactions are also considered. None of these processes, even when combined, can explain the observed density contrast. From this we conclude that Pluto and Charon must be compositionally distinct. We will discuss the implications this compositional difference has for the formation and evolution of the Pluto-Charon system. References: [1] Canup, Science (2005). [2] Canup, The Astronomical Journal (2010). [3] Nimmo et al. arXiv preprint (2016). [4] Robuchon and Nimmo. Icarus (2011) [5] Besserer et al. JGR: Planets (2013)

  15. Features of surface topography and the geological activity of Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2016-05-01

    According to the data "New Horizons" of the spacecraft, researchers were able to specify the diameter of Pluto-2374 km. Its surface temperature in the equatorial region varies from 33 to 55 K over the planet's orbital period around the Sun in ~248 years. Presumably the surface of Pluto has a rocky base covered with a mantle of water ice, of frozen methane, nitrogen, ammonia and CO. Due to the large eccentricity of the orbit of Pluto, as it approaches the Sun, the ice melts, and the atmosphere is formed mainly of nitrogen and methane; while removing of the planet from the Sun - the atmosphere freezes out again.

  16. Pluto followed its heart: reorientation and faulting of Pluto due to volatile loading in Sputnik Planum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuttle Keane, James; Matsuyama, Isamu; Kamata, Shunichi; Steckloff, Jordan

    2016-10-01

    The New Horizons flyby of Pluto revealed the dwarf planet to be a strikingly diverse, geologically active world. Perhaps the most intriguing feature on the New Horizons encounter hemisphere is Sputnik Planum—a 1000 km diameter, probable impact basin, filled with several kilometers of actively convecting volatile ices (N2, CH4, CO). One salient characteristic of Sputnik Planum is its curious alignment with the Pluto-Charon tidal axis. The alignment of large geologic features with principal axis of inertia (such as the tidal axis) is the hallmark of global reorientation, i.e. true polar wander. Here we show that the present location of Sputnik Planum is a natural consequence of loading of 1-2 km of volatile ices within the Sputnik Planum basin. Larger volatile ice thicknesses (like those inferred from studies of ice convection within Sputnik Planum) betray an underlying negative gravity anomaly associated with the basin. As Pluto reoriented in response to the loading of volatile ices within Sputnik Planum, stresses accumulated within the lithosphere (as each geographic location experiences a change in tidal/rotational potential). These reorientation stresses, coupled with loading stresses, and stresses from the freezing of a subsurface ocean resulted in the fracturing of Pluto's lithosphere in a characteristic, global pattern of extensional faults. Our predicted pattern of extensional faults due to this reorientation closely replicates the observed distribution of faults on Pluto (more so than global expansion, orbit migration, de-spinning, or loading alone). Sputnik Planum likely formed ~60° northwest of its present location, and was loaded with volatile ices over millions of years due to seasonal volatile transport cycles. This result places Pluto in a truly unique category of planetary bodies where volatiles are not only controlling surface geology and atmospheric processes, but they are also directly controlling the orientation of the entire dwarf planet

  17. New Horizons Upper Limits on O2 in Pluto’s Present Day Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kammer, J. A.; Stern, S. A.; Young, L. A.; Steffl, A. J.; Gladstone, G. R.; Olkin, C. B.; Weaver, H. A.; Ennico, K.; New Horizons Atmospheres, The; Alice UV Spectrograph Teams

    2017-08-01

    The surprising discovery by the Rosetta spacecraft of molecular oxygen (O2) in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko challenged our understanding of the inventory of this volatile species on and inside bodies from the Kuiper Belt. That discovery motivated our search for oxygen in the atmosphere of Kuiper Belt planet Pluto, because O2 is volatile even at Pluto’s surface temperatures. During the New Horizons flyby of Pluto in 2015 July, the spacecraft probed the composition of Pluto’s atmosphere using a variety of observations, including an ultraviolet solar occultation observed by the Alice UV spectrograph. As described in these reports, absorption by molecular species in Pluto’s atmosphere yielded detections of N2, as well as hydrocarbon species such as CH4, C2H2, C2H4, and C2H6. Our work here further examines this data to search for UV absorption from molecular oxygen (O2), which has a significant cross-section in the Alice spectrograph bandpass. We find no evidence for O2 absorption and place an upper limit on the total amount of O2 in Pluto’s atmosphere as a function of tangent height up to 700 km. In most of the atmosphere, this upper limit in line-of-sight abundance units is ˜3 × 1015 cm-2, which, depending on tangent height, corresponds to a mixing ratio of 10-6 to 10-4, far lower than in comet 67P/CG.

  18. Kepler K2 Precision Lightcurve Observations of Pluto: Preliminary Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, Casey M.; Benecchi, Susan D.; Binzel, Richard; Schwamb, Megan Elizabeth; New Horizons Science Team

    2016-10-01

    Pluto is a key object in the third zone of our Solar System and provides important insight into formation and collisional processes that were at work in the early solar system. In July 2015 the New Horizons spacecraft successfully obtained high resolution fly-by clear filter imaging observations of the Pluto system. We report on our continued monitoring of the Pluto system from October-December 2015 using the Kepler spacecraft's imaging photometer during Campaign 7 of the K2 extended mission (Howell et al. 2014). We obtained an unprecedented 83-day nearly continuous lightcurve with measurements every 30 minutes using Kepler's long cadence sampling. The result was 3,980 discrete, unresolved measurements of the combined Pluto system. The 3-month baseline allowed us to sample rotational variations and solar phase angles ranging from 1.1°-1.7° during the period of observation. This dataset is a key baseline for advancing the study of Pluto's actively evolving surface-atmosphere interaction as revealed by the surface geomorphology discovered by New Horizons. Our challenge is to gain an understanding of the ways in which Pluto's surface can be evolving as it recedes from the Sun, and of the influence of Pluto and Charon on each other. In this paper, we present our preliminary results from our K2 dataset. We describe the challenges in reducing the K2 lightcurve data for a target moving across the K2 FOV, and our progress in understanding the lightcurve's variability, which in our current reduction is due to a combination of systematics in the K2 dataset and inherent characteristics of the Pluto system's rotation and changing orbital geometry wrt the Sun and the Earth.This work was supported by NASA's K2 and New Horizons missions.

  19. Constraints on Pluto's Hazes from 2-Color Occultation Lightcurves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartig, Kara; Barry, T.; Carriazo, C. Y.; Cole, A.; Gault, D.; Giles, B.; Giles, D.; Hill, K. M.; Howell, R. R.; Hudson, G.; Loader, B.; Mackie, J. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Rannou, P.; Regester, J.; Resnick, A.; Rodgers, T.; Sicardy, B.; Skrutskie, M. F.; Verbiscer, A. J.; Wasserman, L. H.; Watson, C. R.; Young, E. F.; Young, L. A.; Buie, M. W.; Nelson, M.

    2015-11-01

    The controversial question of aerosols in Pluto's atmosphere first arose in 1988, when features in a Pluto occultation lightcurve were alternately attributed to haze opacity (Elliot et al. 1989) or a thermal inversion (Eshleman 1989). A stellar occultation by Pluto in 2002 was observed from several telescopes on Mauna Kea in wavelengths ranging from R- to K-bands (Elliot et al. 2003). This event provided compelling evidence for haze on Pluto, since the mid-event baseline levels were systematically higher at longer wavelengths (as expected if there were an opacity source that scattered more effectively at shorter wavelengths). However, subsequent occultations in 2007 and 2011 showed no significant differences between visible and IR lightcurves (Young et al. 2011).The question of haze on Pluto was definitively answered by direct imaging of forward-scattering aerosols by the New Horizons spacecraft on 14-JUL-2015. We report on results of a bright stellar occultation which we observed on 29-JUN-2015 in B- and H-bands from both grazing and central sites. As in 2007 and 2011, we see no evidence for wavelength-dependent extinction. We will present an analysis of haze parameters (particle sizes, number density profiles, and fractal aggregations), constraining models of haze distribution to those consistent with and to those ruled out by the occultation lightcurves and the New Horizons imaging.References:Elliot, J.L., et al., "Pluto's Atmosphere." Icarus 77, 148-170 (1989)Eshleman, V.R., "Pluto's Atmosphere: Models based on refraction, inversion, and vapor pressure equilibrium." Icarus 80 439-443 (1989)Elliot, J.L., et al., "The recent expansion of Pluto's atmosphere." Nature 424 165-168 (2003)Young, E.F., et al., "Search for Pluto's aerosols: simultaneous IR and visible stellar occultation observations." EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011, held 2-7 October 2011 in Nantes, France (2011)

  20. Tectonic Activity on Pluto After the Charon-Forming Impact

    CERN Document Server

    Barr, Amy C

    2014-01-01

    The Pluto-Charon system, likely formed from an impact, has reached the endpoint of its tidal evolution. During its evolution into the dual-synchronous state, the equilibrium tidal figures of Pluto and Charon would have also evolved as angular momentum was transferred from Pluto's spin to Charon's orbit. The rate of tidal evolution is controlled by Pluto's interior physical and thermal state. We examine three interior models for Pluto: an undifferentiated rock/ice mixture, differentiated with ice above rock, and differentiated with an ocean. For the undifferentiated case without an ocean, the Pluto-Charon binary does not evolve to its current state unless its internal temperature $T_i>200$ K, which would likely lead to strong tidal heating, melting, and differentiation. Without an ocean, Pluto's interior temperature must be higher than 240 K for Charon to evolve on a time scale less than the age of the solar system. Further tidal heating would likely create an ocean. If New Horizons finds evidence of ancient t...

  1. TRIBUTE TO JOHANNES KUIPERS

    CERN Document Server

    2002-01-01

    Jos kept the following citation on his desk: Je vous laisse la paix, je vous donne ma paix. Que votre coeur cesse d'avoir peur ! (Jn 14,27)   Johannes Kuipers died on March 7 in his 45th year, of major injuries sustained while leaving CERN three weeks earlier. Jos held a degree in applied physics and was employed by ETH to provide the computing support of the CMS Engineering and Integration Center at Cern and of the High Energy Physics Laboratory at ETH; his contribution to the CMS and AMS projects was well recognized and appreciated. Jos was a quiet, likeable person of highest integrity with a great sense of humor. He was a hard working collaborator who enjoyed his work and who was always helpful when the vagaries of modern technique required an expert. We will remember him as the extremely helpful and very competent key person in the CMS Engineering & Integration center, in the ETH group and far beyond. He did not only keep our computer systems running but was always available to help others and par...

  2. The far ultraviolet spectrum of Pluto and the discovery of its ionosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffl, A.; Stern, A.; Gladstone, R.; Parker, J. W.; Greathouse, T. K.; Retherford, K. D.; Young, L. A.; Schindhelm, E.; Kammer, J.; Strobel, D. F.; Summers, M. E.; Versteeg, M.; Olkin, C.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Hinson, D. P.; Linscott, I.

    2016-12-01

    During the New Horizons spacecraft's encounter with Pluto in July 2015, the Alice far ultraviolet spectrograph made numerous observations of Pluto and its atmosphere. We present here the far ultraviolet spectrum of Pluto. We observe faint emission ( 34.7 eV; wavelength < 36nm). Notably absent from Pluto's spectrum are emission lines from argon at 104.8 and 106.7 nm. We place upper limits on the amount of argon in Pluto's atmosphere above the tau=1 level (observed to be at 750km tangent altitude) that are significantly lower than previous models. We also identify and derive column densities for various hydrocarbon species such as C2H4 through their absorption of sunlight reflected from Pluto's surface.

  3. Condensation of Pluto's Minor Atmospheric Constituents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barth, Erika L.

    2017-04-01

    The New Horizons missions has brought us many new insights into conditions in Pluto's atmosphere. Trace species such as C2H6, C2H2, C2H4 and HCN have been confirmed. Given the entry and exit temperature profiles measured by the spacecraft as well as the abundances of these species, each (along with CH4) will be highly supersaturated near Pluto's surface. A Pluto version of CARMA (Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres) has been constructed to model the ices formed when these species condense onto haze particles present in the atmosphere. All of the above listed species will nucleate onto the haze particles for the entry temperature profile, whereas only C2H6, C2H2, and HCN nucleate using the higher surface temperature exit profile. HCN ices form at the highest altitudes 15 km above the surface. C2H6 and C2H2 ices form at similar altitudes, 8-10 km at the entry site and below 5 km at the exit site. CH4 and C2H4 ices only form near the surface at the entry site. The cold temperatures near Pluto's surface play an important role in the efficiency of the nucleation and subsequent condensation processes, controlling the number and size of the ice particles.

  4. Pluto and Charon: Surface Colors and Compositions - A Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruikshank, D. P.

    2016-01-01

    The surface of Pluto displays an array of colors ranging from yellow to red to brown, while the surface of Charon is largely gray with a north polar zone of red color similar to regions on Pluto. Pluto's surface shows layers of intensely colored material in tilted and transported blocks, and fractured geo-graphical units. This arrangement suggests episodes of formation or deposition of that material interspersed with episodes of emplacement of ices having little or no color. The ices identified on the surfaces of these two bodies (N2, CH4, CO, C2H6, H2O on Pluto, and H2O and NH3 on Charon) are colorless, as are nearly all ices in a powdery state. The colors on Pluto probably arise from the in situ formation of a macro-molecular carbonaceous material generated by energetic processing of the ices on the surface. Laboratory experiments producing refractory tholins particularly relevant to Pluto explored the chemistry of both UV and low-energy electron bombardment of a mix of Pluto ices (N2:CH4:CO = 100:1:1). We can term this Pluto ice tholin PIT. Water ice in the crystalline state characterizes Charon's surface, and while most of Charon's surface is neutral in color, with geometric albedo approximately 0.38, the polar zone and a light cover of fainter but similar reddish color over some surface regions suggest a common origin with the colored material on Pluto. NH3 or NH3 x nH2O was identified from disk-integrated Earth-based spectra, and a few concentrated NH3 exposures have been found in the New Horizons spectral images.

  5. The Charon-forming giant impact as a source of Pluto's dark equatorial regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekine, Yasuhito; Genda, Hidenori; Kamata, Shunichi; Funatsu, Taro

    2017-01-01

    Pluto exhibits complex regional diversity in its surface materials 1,2 . One of the most striking features is the dark reddish material, possibly organic matter, along Pluto's equator coexisting with the H2O-rich crust 2 . Little is known, however, about the surface process responsible for the dark equatorial regions. Here, we propose that Pluto's dark regions were formed through reactions in elongated pools of liquid water near the equator, generated by the giant impact that formed Charon 3-5 . Our laboratory experiments show that dark reddish organic matter, comparable to Pluto's dark materials, is produced through polymerization of simple organic compounds 6,7 that would have been present in proto-Pluto (for example, formaldehyde) by prolonged heating at temperatures ≥50 °C. Through hydrodynamic impact simulations, we demonstrate that an impactor, one-third the mass of Pluto, colliding with proto-Pluto—with an interior potential temperature of 150-200 K—could have generated both a Charon-sized satellite and high-temperature regions around Pluto's equator. We also propose that high-velocity giant impacts result in global or hemispherical darkening and reddening, suggesting that the colour variety of large Kuiper belt objects 8-12 could have been caused by frequent, stochastic giant impacts in a massive outer protoplanetary disk in the early Solar System 13-16 .

  6. Pluto Revealed: First Results from the Historic 1st Fly-By Space Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kimberly Ennico

    2015-01-01

    On July 14, 2015, after a 9.5 year trek across the solar system, NASAs New Horizons spacecraft successfully flew by the dwarf planet Pluto and its system of moons, taking imagery, spectra and in-situ particle data. Data obtained by New Horizons will address numerous outstanding questions on the geology and composition of Pluto and Charon, plus measurements of Plutos atmosphere, and provide revised understanding of the formation and evolution of Pluto and Charon and its smaller moons. This data set is an invaluable glimpse into the outer Third Zone of the Solar System. Data from the intense July 14th fly-by sequence will be downlinked to Earth over a period of 16 months, the duration set by the large data set (over 60 GBits), tempered by limited transmission bandwidth rates (1-2 kbps) and sharing the three 70m DSN assets. This presentation summarizes the New Horizons mission and early science results.

  7. The New Horizons Spacecraft

    CERN Document Server

    Fountain, Glen H; Hersman, Christopher B; Herder, Timothy S; Coughlin, Thomas B; Gibson, William C; Clancy, Deborah A; DeBoy, Christopher C; Hill, T Adrian; Kinnison, James D; Mehoke, Douglas S; Ottman, Geffrey K; Rogers, Gabe D; Stern, S Alan; Stratton, James M; Vernon, Steven R; Williams, Stephen P

    2007-01-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft was launched on 19 January 2006. The spacecraft was designed to provide a platform for seven instruments that will collect and return data from Pluto in 2015. The design drew on heritage from previous missions developed at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and other missions such as Ulysses. The trajectory design imposed constraints on mass and structural strength to meet the high launch acceleration needed to reach the Pluto system prior to the year 2020. The spacecraft subsystems were designed to meet tight mass and power allocations, yet provide the necessary control and data handling finesse to support data collection and return when the one-way light time during the Pluto flyby is 4.5 hours. Missions to the outer solar system require a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to supply electrical power, and a single RTG is used by New Horizons. To accommodate this constraint, the spacecraft electronics were designed to operate on less than 200 W....

  8. The Difficult Birth of NASA's Pluto Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neufeld, Michael J.

    2016-10-01

    The complex and contested origins of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, launched by NASA in 2006, provides a window on how space science policy has been formulated in the United States before and after the turn of the twenty-first century, and how the shifting network of institutions that support and shape space science have changed since 1989. Those decades that have so far been little studied except by policy scholars seeking lessons from the NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin's attempt to force a small-spacecraft technological revolution on space science in the 1990s. The New Horizons case study reveals a shift in the balance of power around 2000 among the important players in the field, increasing the influence of non-NASA actors—notably Congress, science groups and planetary-exploration lobbies. In addition, the origins of New Horizons reveals how contingent the emergence of a particular space science mission can be.

  9. Exploring potential Pluto-generated neutral tori

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Howard T.; Hill, Matthew; KollMann, Peter; McHutt, Ralph

    2015-11-01

    The NASA New Horizons mission to Pluto is providing unprecedented insight into this mysterious outer solar system body. Escaping molecular nitrogen is of particular interest and possibly analogous to similar features observed at moons of Saturn and Jupiter. Such escaping N2 has the potential of creating molecular nitrogen and N (as a result of molecular dissociation) tori or partial toroidal extended particle distributions. The presence of these features would present the first confirmation of an extended toroidal neutral feature on a planetary scale in our solar system. While escape velocities are anticipated to be lower than those at Enceladus, Io or even Europa, particle lifetimes are much longer in Pluto’s orbit because as a result of much weaker solar interaction processes along Pluto’s orbit (on the order of tens of years). Thus, with a ~248 year orbit, Pluto may in fact be generating an extended toroidal feature along it orbit.For this work, we modify and apply our 3-D Monte Carlo neutral torus model (previously used at Saturn, Jupiter and Mercury) to study/analyze the theoretical possibility and scope of potential Pluto-generated neutral tori. Our model injects weighted particles and tracks their trajectories under the influence of all gravitational fields with interactions with other particles, solar photons and Pluto collisions. We present anticipated N2 and N tori based on current estimates of source characterization and environmental conditions. We also present an analysis of sensitivity to assumed initial conditions. Such results can provide insight into the Pluto system as well as valuable interpretation of New Horizon’s observational data.

  10. Volatile Loss and Classification of Kuiper Belt Objects

    CERN Document Server

    Johnson, R E; Young, L A; Volkov, A N; Schmidt, C

    2015-01-01

    Observations indicate that some of the largest Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) have retained volatiles in the gas phase, which implies the presence of an atmosphere that can affect their reflectance spectra and thermal balance. Volatile escape rates driven by solar heating of the surface were estimated by Schaller and Brown (2007) (SB) and Levi and Podolak (2009)(LP) using Jeans escape from the surface and a hydrodynamic model respectively. Based on recent molecular kinetic simulations these rates can be hugely in error (e.g., a factor of $\\sim 10^{16}$ for the SB estimate for Pluto). In this paper we estimate the loss of primordial N$_2$ for several large KBOs guided by recent molecular kinetic simulations of escape due to solar heating of the surface and due to UV/EUV heating of the upper atmosphere. For the latter we extrapolate simulations of escape from Pluto (Erwin et al. 2013) using the energy limited escape model recently validated for the KBOs of interest by molecular kinetic simulations (Johnson et al. 2...

  11. The New Horizons Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fountain, Glen H.; Kusnierkiewicz, David Y.; Hersman, Christopher B.; Herder, Timothy S.; Coughlin, Thomas B.; Gibson, William C.; Clancy, Deborah A.; Deboy, Christopher C.; Hill, T. Adrian; Kinnison, James D.; Mehoke, Douglas S.; Ottman, Geffrey K.; Rogers, Gabe D.; Stern, S. Alan; Stratton, James M.; Vernon, Steven R.; Williams, Stephen P.

    2008-10-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft was launched on 19 January 2006. The spacecraft was designed to provide a platform for seven instruments designated by the science team to collect and return data from Pluto in 2015. The design meets the requirements established by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Announcement of Opportunity AO-OSS-01. The design drew on heritage from previous missions developed at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and other missions such as Ulysses. The trajectory design imposed constraints on mass and structural strength to meet the high launch acceleration consistent with meeting the AO requirement of returning data prior to the year 2020. The spacecraft subsystems were designed to meet tight resource allocations (mass and power) yet provide the necessary control and data handling finesse to support data collection and return when the one-way light time during the Pluto fly-by is 4.5 hours. Missions to the outer regions of the solar system (where the solar irradiance is 1/1000 of the level near the Earth) require a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) to supply electrical power. One RTG was available for use by New Horizons. To accommodate this constraint, the spacecraft electronics were designed to operate on approximately 200 W. The travel time to Pluto put additional demands on system reliability. Only after a flight time of approximately 10 years would the desired data be collected and returned to Earth. This represents the longest flight duration prior to the return of primary science data for any mission by NASA. The spacecraft system architecture provides sufficient redundancy to meet this requirement with a probability of mission success of greater than 0.85. The spacecraft is now on its way to Pluto, with an arrival date of 14 July 2015. Initial in-flight tests have verified that the spacecraft will meet the design requirements.

  12. Haze in Pluto's atmosphere: Results from SOFIA and ground-based observations of the 2015 June 29 Pluto occultation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosh, A. S.; Person, M. J.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Sickafoose, A. A.; Levine, S. E.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Dunham, E. W.; McLean, I.; Wolf, J.; Abe, F.; Becklin, E.; Bida, T. A.; Bright, L. P.; Brothers, T.; Christie, G.; Collins, P. L.; Durst, R. F.; Gilmore, A. C.; Hamilton, R.; Harris, H. C.; Johnson, C.; Kilmartin, P. M.; Kosiarek, M. R.; Leppik, K.; Logsdon, S. E.; Lucas, R.; Mathers, S.; Morley, C. J. K.; Nelson, P.; Ngan, H.; Pfüller, E.; Natusch, T.; Röser, H.-P.; Sallum, S.; Savage, M.; Seeger, C. H.; Siu, H.; Stockdale, C.; Suzuki, D.; Thanathibodee, T.; Tilleman, T.; Tristram, P. J.; Van Cleve, J.; Varughese, C.; Weisenbach, L. W.; Widen, E.; Wiedemann, M.

    2015-11-01

    We observed the 29 June 2015 occultation by Pluto from SOFIA and several ground-based sites in New Zealand. Pre-event astrometry (described in Zuluaga et al., this conference) allowed us to navigate SOFIA into Pluto's central flash (Person et al., this conference). Fortuitously, the central flash also fell over the Mt. John University Observatory (Pasachoff et al., this conference). We combine all of our airborne and ground-based data to produce a geometric solution for the occultation and to investigate the state of Pluto's atmosphere just two weeks before the New Horizons spacecraft's close encounter with Pluto. We find that the atmosphere parameters at half-light are unchanged from our observations in 2011 (Person et al. 2013) and 2013 (Bosh et al. 2015). By combining our light-curve inversion with recent radius measurements from New Horizons, we find strong evidence for an extended haze layer in Pluto's atmosphere. See also Sickafoose et al. (this conference) for an evaluation of the particle sizes and properties.SOFIA is jointly operated by the Universities Space Research Association, Inc. (USRA), under NASA contract NAS2-97001, and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut (DSI) under DLR contract 50 OK 0901 to the University of Stuttgart. Support for this work was provided by NASA SSO grants NNX15AJ82G (Lowell Observatory), NNX10AB27G (MIT), and NNX12AJ29G (Williams College), and by the National Research Foundation of South Africa.

  13. Processes Modifying Cratered Terrains on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J. M.

    2015-01-01

    The July encounter with Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft permitted imaging of its cratered terrains with scales as high as approximately 100 m/pixel, and in stereo. In the initial download of images, acquired at 2.2 km/pixel, widely distributed impact craters up to 260 km diameter are seen in the near-encounter hemisphere. Many of the craters appear to be significantly degraded or infilled. Some craters appear partially destroyed, perhaps by erosion such as associated with the retreat of scarps. Bright ice-rich deposits highlight some crater rims and/or floors. While the cratered terrains identified in the initial downloaded images are generally seen on high-to-intermediate albedo surfaces, the dark equatorial terrain informally known as Cthulhu Regio is also densely cratered. We will explore the range of possible processes that might have operated (or still be operating) to modify the landscape from that of an ancient pristinely cratered state to the present terrains revealed in New Horizons images. The sequence, intensity, and type of processes that have modified ancient landscapes are, among other things, the record of climate and volatile evolution throughout much of the Pluto's existence. The deciphering of this record will be discussed. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  14. Dynamics of Pluto and Charon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dobrovolskis, A.R. (NASA Ames Research Center, IA (USA))

    1989-11-01

    The dynamics of the Pluto-Charon system are reviewed from a historical perspective. Although Pluto's orbit crosses Neptune's, an intricate system of nested resonances keeps these planets apart. Pluto's orbit is apparently chaotic as well. Pluto always keeps the same face turned toward Charon, and vice versa. Tides also damp Charon's orbital eccentricity and inclination. Precession of Pluto's orbital plane causes Pluto's obliquity to vary periodically from formally prograde to retrograde. Pluto is probably an original member of the Solar system, but not an escape satellite of Neptune. The Voyager II encounter with Neptune, the final Pluto-Charon mutual events, and the next generation of telescopes are bound to reveal some surprises.

  15. Pluto: The Farthest Planet (Usually).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Universe in the Classroom, 1988

    1988-01-01

    Provides background information about the planet Pluto. Includes the history of Pluto and discusses some of the common misconceptions about the planets. Addresses some of the recent discoveries about Pluto and contains a resource list of books, articles, and a videotape. (TW)

  16. Kuiper Belts Around Nearby Stars

    CERN Document Server

    Nilsson, R; Brandeker, A; Olofsson, G; Pilbratt, G L; Risacher, C; Rodmann, J; Augereau, J -C; Bergman, P; Eiroa, C; Fridlund, M; Thébault, P; White, G J

    2010-01-01

    In order to detect and characterise cold extended circumstellar dust originating from collisions of planetesimal bodies in disks, belts, or rings at Kuiper-Belt distances (30--50\\,AU or beyond) sensitive submillimetre observations are essential. Measurements of the flux densities at these wavelengths will extend existing IR photometry and permit more detailed modelling of the Rayleigh-Jeans tail of the disks spectral energy distribution (SED), effectively constraining dust properties and disk extensions. By observing stars spanning from a few up to several hundred Myr, the evolution of debris disks during crucial phases of planet formation can be studied. // We have performed 870\\,$\\mu$m observations of 22 exo-Kuiper-Belt candidates, as part of a Large Programme with the LABOCA bolometer at the APEX telescope. Dust masses (or upper limits) were calculated from integrated 870\\,$\\mu$m fluxes, and fits to the SED of detected sources revealed the fractional dust luminosities $f_{\\mathrm{dust}}$, dust temperatures...

  17. Tholins as Coloring Agents on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruikshank, D. P.; Materese, C. K.; Imanaka, H.; Dalle Ore, C.; Sandford, S. A.; Nuevo, M.

    2015-12-01

    The shape of the reflectance spectrum of Pluto recorded with telescopes, 0.3-1.0 μm, shows the planet's yellow-red color (1). Additionally, multi-filter images of Pluto with the MVIC camera on the New Horizons spacecraft report concentrations of the coloring agent(s) in some regions of the surface, and apparent near absence in other regions. Tholins are refractory organic solids of complex structure and high molecular weight, with a wide range of color ranging from yellow and orange to dark red, and through tan to black. They are readily synthesized in the laboratory by energetic processing of mixtures of the ices (N2, CH4, CO) known on Pluto's surface (2), or the same molecules in the gas phase (3). Energy in the form of UV light, electrons, protons, or coronal discharge are all effective to one degree or another in producing various types of tholins; details of the composition and yield vary with experimental conditions. Chemical analysis of ice tholins shows carboxylic acids, urea, and HCN and other nitriles. Aromatic/olefinic, amide, and other functional groups are identified in XANES analysis (4). The ice tholins produce by e- irradiation have a higher concentration of N than UV ice tholins, with N/C ~0.9 (versus ~0.5 for UV tholins) and O/C~0.2. EUV photolysis of Pluto atmosphere analog yields pale yellow solids relatively transparent in the visual, and with aliphatic CH bonds prominent in IR spectra. This material may be responsible for Pluto's hazes (5). Various tholins are the principal coloring agents on Pluto's surface, probably Charon's colored region, and on numerous other outer Solar System bodies (6). Refs: 1. Cruikshank, D. P. et al. 2014 DPS abstract #419.04; 2. Cruikshank et al. 2015 Icarus 246, 82; 3. Krasnopolsky & Cruikshank 1999 JGR 104 E9, 21,979; 4. Materese, C. K. et al. 2014 Ap.J. 788:111, June 20; 5. Imanaka, H. et al. 2014 DPS abstract #419.10; 6. Cruikshank, D. P. et al. 2005 Adv. Space Res. 36, 178.

  18. Barchan dunes on Pluto?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parteli, Eric J. R.; Pöschel, Thorsten

    2017-06-01

    We show that the orientation and morphology of bedforms occurring on top of Pluto's smooth ice coats are consistent with an aeolian origin under conditions of unidirectional flow. From scaling relations for dune size as a function of attributes of atmosphere and sediments, we find that the average diameter of the granular particles constituting such bedforms — assuming an aeolian origin — lies within the range 600 μm< d < 750 μm. Our findings show that, owing to the effect of hysteresis in the minimal threshold wind velocity for saltation, dune migration on Pluto can occur under wind speeds that are common to Earth and Mars.

  19. Nonisothermal Pluto atmosphere models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hubbard, W.B.; Yelle, R.V.; Lunine, J.I. (Arizona Univ., Tucson (USA))

    1990-03-01

    The present thermal profile calculation for a Pluto atmosphere model characterized by a high number fraction of CH4 molecules encompasses atmospheric heating by solar UV flux absorption and conductive transport cooling to the surface of Pluto. The stellar occultation curve predicted for an atmosphere of several-microbar surface pressures (which entail the existence of a substantial temperature gradient close to the surface) agrees with observations and implies that the normal and tangential optical depth of the atmosphere is almost negligible. The minimum period for atmospheric methane depletion is calculated to be 30 years. 29 refs.

  20. The Puzzling Detection of X-rays From Pluto by Chandra

    CERN Document Server

    Lisse, C M; Wolk, S J; Bagenal, F; Stern, S A; Gladstone, G R; Cravens, T E; Hill, M E; Kollmann, P; Weaver, H A; Strobel, D F; Elliott, H A; McComas, D J; Binzel, R P; Snios, B T; Bhardwaj, A; Chutjian, A; Young, L A; Olkin, C B; Ennico, K A

    2016-01-01

    Using Chandra ACIS-S, we have obtained imaging Xray spectrophotometry of the Pluto system in support of the New Horizons flyby on 14 July 2015. 174 ksec of observations were obtained on 4 visits in Feb 2014 to Aug 2015. We measured a net signal of 6.8 counts and a noise level of 1.2 counts in a comoving 11 x 11 pixel box (100 x 100 R_Pluto) in the 0.31 to 0.60 keV passband for a detection at > 99.95 C.L. The Pluto photons do not match the background spectrum, are coincident with a 90% flux aperture comoving with Pluto, and are not sky source confused. The mean 0.31 to 0.60 keV Xray power from Pluto is 200 MW, in the midrange of Xray power levels seen for known solar system emission sources: auroral precipitation, solar Xray scattering, and charge exchange (CXE) between solar wind (SW) ions & atmospheric neutrals. We eliminate auroral effects as a source, as Pluto has no known magnetic field & the New Horizons Alice UV spectrometer detected no airglow from Pluto during the flyby. Nano-scale atmospheric...

  1. Pluto's interaction with its space environment: Solar wind, energetic particles, and dust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagenal, F; Horányi, M; McComas, D J; McNutt, R L; Elliott, H A; Hill, M E; Brown, L E; Delamere, P A; Kollmann, P; Krimigis, S M; Kusterer, M; Lisse, C M; Mitchell, D G; Piquette, M; Poppe, A R; Strobel, D F; Szalay, J R; Valek, P; Vandegriff, J; Weidner, S; Zirnstein, E J; Stern, S A; Ennico, K; Olkin, C B; Weaver, H A; Young, L A

    2016-03-18

    The New Horizons spacecraft carried three instruments that measured the space environment near Pluto as it flew by on 14 July 2015. The Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument revealed an interaction region confined sunward of Pluto to within about 6 Pluto radii. The region's surprisingly small size is consistent with a reduced atmospheric escape rate, as well as a particularly high solar wind flux. Observations from the Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) instrument suggest that ions are accelerated and/or deflected around Pluto. In the wake of the interaction region, PEPSSI observed suprathermal particle fluxes equal to about 1/10 of the flux in the interplanetary medium and increasing with distance downstream. The Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter, which measures grains with radii larger than 1.4 micrometers, detected one candidate impact in ±5 days around New Horizons' closest approach, indicating an upper limit of <4.6 kilometers(-3) for the dust density in the Pluto system.

  2. An investigation of Haze Heating and Cooling in Pluto's Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, X.; Strobel, D. F.; Imanaka, H.

    2016-12-01

    During the Pluto flyby, an ultraviolet imaging spectrometer ALICE onboard New Horizon spacecraft revealed an unexpected cold atmosphere on Pluto (Gladstone et al., 2016, Science, 351.6279). The missing cooling agent is still a mystery. The required abundance of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) to explain the thermal profile are not consistent with the recent ALMA observations (Lellouch et al. 2016, Arxiv:1606.03293v1). Here we investigate another possible candidate: haze particles. Haze particles are likely formed via hydrocarbon and nitrile chemistry in Pluto's atmosphere. Numerous global haze layers have been discovered in the New Horizons images (Gladstone et al. 2016, Science, 351.6279). Based on the LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) observations, Gladstone et al. (2016) gave the line-of-sight optical depth of the haze particles of 0.16 at wavelength of 0.6 microns for 0.2 micron particles with scale height of 50 km. The FUV solar occultation by ALICE reveals that the line-of-sight haze opacity reaches unity at 75 km above surface (Gao et al. 2016, submitted; Young et al. 2016, in prep). Pluto's hazes might radiatively heat and cool the atmosphere and alter the temperature profile, as previously suggested on Jupiter's middle atmosphere (Zhang et al. 2015, Nature Communications, 6, doi: 10.1038/ncomms10231). Based on the vertical profile of haze opacity derived from ALICE observations (Gao et al. 2016, submitted; Young et al. 2016, in prep), we calculate the UV and visible heating and infrared cooling rates on Pluto. We tested different refractive indices of haze particles based on Titan- and Saturn-like hazes and a recent laboratory study in Pluto-like environment (Imanaka et al. 2015, AAS/DPS Meeting). We found that the haze heating and cooling effects could be potentially large compared with the heating from methane and cooling from CO, HCN and C2 hydrocarbons. Possible non-thermodynamic equilibrium between gas and particles is also discussed.

  3. Long-term surface temperature modeling of Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Earle, Alissa M.; Binzel, Richard P.; Young, Leslie A.; Stern, S. A.; Ennico, K.; Grundy, W.; Olkin, C. B.; Weaver, H. A.

    2017-05-01

    NASA's New Horizons' reconnaissance of the Pluto system has revealed at high resolution the striking albedo contrasts from polar to equatorial latitudes on Pluto, as well as the sharpness of boundaries for longitudinal variations. These contrasts suggest that Pluto must undergo dynamic evolution that drives the redistribution of volatiles. Using the New Horizons results as a template, we explore the surface temperature variations driven seasonally on Pluto considering multiple timescales. These timescales include the current orbit (248 years) as well as the timescales for obliquity precession (peak-to-peak amplitude of 23° over 3 million years) and regression of the orbital longitude of perihelion (3.7 million years). These orbital variations create epochs of ;Extreme Seasons; where one pole receives a short, relatively warm summer and long winter, while the other receives a much longer, but less intense summer and short winter. We use thermal modeling to build upon the long-term insolation history model described by Earle and Binzel (2015) and investigate how these seasons couple with Pluto's albedo contrasts to create temperature effects. From this study we find that a bright region at the equator, once established, can become a site for net deposition. We see the region informally known as Sputnik Planitia as an example of this, and find it will be able to perpetuate itself as an ;always available; cold trap, thus having the potential to survive on million year or substantially longer timescales. Meanwhile darker, low-albedo, regions near the equator will remain relative warm and generally not attract volatile deposition. We argue that the equatorial region is a ;preservation zone; for whatever albedo is seeded there. This offers insight as to why the equatorial band of Pluto displays the planet's greatest albedo contrasts.

  4. Pluto's Haze from 2002 - 2015: Correlation with the Solar Cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Eliot; Klein, Viliam; Hartig, Kara; Resnick, Aaron; Mackie, Jason; Carriazo, Carolina; Watson, Charles; Skrutskie, Michael; Verbiscer, Anne; Nelson, Matthew; Howell, Robert; Wasserman, Lawrence; Hudson, Gordon; Gault, David; Barry, Tony; Sicardy, Bruno; Cole, Andrew; Giles, Barry; Hill, Kym

    2017-04-01

    Occultations by Pluto were observed 2002, 2007, 2011 and 2015, with each event observed simultaneously in two or more wavelengths. Separate wavelengths allow us to discriminate between haze opacity and refractive effects due to an atmosphere's thermal profile - these two effects are notoriously hard to separate if only single-wavelength lightcurves are available. Of those four occultations, the amount of haze in Pluto's atmosphere was highest in 2002 (Elliot et al. 2003 report an optical depth of 0.11 at 0.73 µm in the zenith direction), but undetectable in the 2007 and 2011 events (we find optical depth upper limits of 0.012 and 0.010 at 0.6 µm). Cheng et al. (2016) report a zenith optical depth of 0.018 at 0.6 µm from the haze profiles seen in New Horizons images. These four data points are correlated with the solar cycle. The 2002 haze detection occurred just after the peak of solar cycle 23, the 2007 and 2011 non-detections occurred during the solar minimum between peaks 23 and 24, and the New Horizons flyby took place just after the peak of solar cycle 24. This suggests that haze production on Pluto (a) is driven by solar UV photons or charged particles, (b) that sources and sinks on Pluto have timescales shorter than a few Earth years, and (c) the haze precursors on Pluto are not produced by Lyman-alpha radiation, because Lyman-alpha output only decreased by about one third in between the cycle 23 and 24 peaks, much less than the observed change in Pluto's haze abundances. References: Elliot, J.L. et al. (2003) Nature, Volume 424, Issue 6945, pp. 165-168.

  5. The Chemistry of Pluto and its Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.

    2017-01-01

    Pluto's bulk composition and the composition of the surface layers hold clues to the origin and evolution of a number of other Solar System bodies of comparable size in the region beyond Neptune. The July 14, 2015 flyby of the Pluto system with the New Horizons spacecraft afforded the opportunity to corroborate and greatly improve discoveries about the planet and its satellites derived Earth-based studies. It also revealed extraordinary details of the surface and atmosphere of Pluto, as well as the geology and composition of Charon and two smaller satellites. With a mean density of 1.86 g/sq cm, the bulk composition of Pluto is about two-thirds anhydrous solar composition rocky material and one-third volatiles (primarily H2O in liquid and solid states) by mass, the surface is a veneer of ices dominated by N2, with smaller amounts of CH4 and CO, as well as limited exposures of H2O ice (considered to be "bedrock"). N2, CH4, and CO occur as solid solutions at temperature-dependent mutual concentrations, each component being soluble in the others. Frozen C2H6 as a minor component has also been identified. Sublimation and recondensation of N2, CH4, and CO over seasonal (248 y) and Milankovich-type megaseasons (approx. 3 My) result in the redistribution of these ices over time and with latitude control. Solid N2 is found in glaciers originating in higher elevations and flowing at the present time into a basin structure larger than the State of Texas, forming a convecting lens of N2 that overturns on a timescale of order 10 My. The varied colors of Pluto's landscape arise from the energetic processing of the surface ices in processes that break the simple molecules and reassemble complex organic structures consisting of groups of aromatic rings connected by aliphatic chains. When synthesized in the laboratory by UV or electron irradiation of a Pluto mix of ice, this material, called tholin, has colors closely similar to Pluto. The Pluto ice tholin analog contains

  6. Astrometry of Pluto from 1930-1951 observations: The Lampland plate collection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buie, Marc W. [Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut St., Suite 300, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States); Folkner, William M., E-mail: buie@boulder.swri.edu, E-mail: william.m.folkner@jpl.nasa.gov [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena, CA 91109-8099 (United States)

    2015-01-01

    We present a new analysis of 843 photographic plates of Pluto taken by Carl Lampland at Lowell Observatory from 1930–1951. This large collection of plates contains useful astrometric information that improves our knowledge of Pluto's orbit. This improvement provides critical support to the impending flyby of Pluto by New Horizons. New Horizons can do inbound navigation of the system to improve its targeting. This navigation is capable of nearly eliminating the sky-plane errors but can do little to constrain the time of closest approach. Thus the focus on this work was to better determine Pluto's heliocentric distance and to determine the uncertainty on that distance with a particular eye to eliminating systematic errors that might have been previously unrecognized. This work adds 596 new astrometric measurements based on the USNO CCD Astrograph Catalog 4. With the addition of these data the uncertainty of the estimated heliocentric position of Pluto in Developmental Ephemerides 432 (DE432) is at the level of 1000 km. This new analysis gives us more confidence that these estimations are accurate and are sufficient to support a successful flyby of Pluto by New Horizons.

  7. Observational Constraints on a Pluto Torus of Circumsolar Neutral Gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, M. E.; Kollmann, P.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Smith, H. T.; Bagenal, F.; Brown, L. E.; Elliott, H. A.; Haggerty, D. K.; Horanyi, M.; Krimigis, S. M.; Kusterer, M. B.; Lisse, C. M.; McComas, D. J.; Piquette, M. R.; Sidrow, E. J.; Strobel, D. F.; Szalay, J.; Vandegriff, J. D.; Zirnstein, E.; Ennico Smith, K.; Olkin, C.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Young, L. A.; Stern, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    We present the concept of a neutral gas torus surrounding the Sun, aligned with Pluto's orbit, and place observational constraints based primarily on comparison of New Horizons (NH) measurements with a 3-D Monte Carlo model adapted from analogous satellite tori surrounding Saturn and Jupiter. Such a torus, or perhaps partial torus, should result from neutral N2 escaping from Pluto's exosphere. Unlike other more massive planets closer to the Sun, neutrals escape Pluto readily owing, e.g., to the high thermal speed relative to the escape velocity. Importantly, escaped neutrals have a long lifetime due to the great distance from the Sun, ~100 years for photoionization of N2 and ~180 years for photoionization of N, which results from disassociated N2. Despite the lengthy 248-year orbit, these long e-folding lifetimes may allow an enhanced neutral population to form an extended gas cloud that modifies the N2 spatial profile near Pluto. These neutrals are not directly observable by NH but once ionized N2+ or N+ are picked up by the solar wind, reaching ~50 keV, making these pickup ions (PUIs) detectable by NH's Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) instrument. PEPSSI observations analyzed to date may constrain the N2 density; the remaining ~95% of the encounter data, scheduled for downlink in August along with similarly anticipated data from the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) experiment, should help determine the Pluto outgassing rates. Measurements from SWAP include the solar wind speed, a quantity that greatly enhances PUI studies by enabling us to directly account for the PUI distribution's sensitive dependence on plasma speed. Note that anomalous cosmic ray Si observed at Voyager is overabundant by a factor of ~3000 relative to interstellar composition. This might be related to "outer source" PUIs, but the fact that N2 and Si are indistinguishable in many instruments could mean that N2 is actually driving this apparent Si discrepancy.

  8. Haze in Pluto's Atmosphere: Implications for Processes and Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, A. F.; Summers, M. E.; Gladstone, R.; Strobel, D. F.; Young, L. A.; Lavvas, P.; Kammer, J.; Lisse, C. M.; Parker, A. H.; Young, E. F.; Stern, A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Olkin, C.; Ennico Smith, K.

    2016-12-01

    Haze in Pluto's atmosphere was detected by New Horizons imaging to altitudes above 200 km at solar phase angles from 20° to 169°, and it was detected by the UV solar occultation up to 300 km altitude. The haze is strongly forward scattering in the visible, and a microphysical model of haze reproduces the visible phase function just above the surface with 0.5 µm spherical particles, but also invokes fractal aggregate particles to fit the visible phase function at 45 km altitude and to account for UV extinction. The visible phase function at the bottom of the atmosphere has a back scatter lobe which is absent from the phase function measured 45 km above the surface, making the latter phase function similar to that for haze in Titan's upper atmosphere. Pluto's haze may form by similar processes to those responsible for the detached haze layer in the upper atmosphere of Titan. It is suggested that haze particles form fractal aggregates which grow larger and more spherical as they settle downwards through the bottom 15 km of the atmosphere. Haze particles settle onto Pluto's surface, at a rate sufficient to alter surface optical properties on seasonal (hundred-year) time scales. However, if this picture applies to Pluto's atmosphere throughout the Pluto year, then haze particles would rapidly accumulate to an optically thick surface layer within thousands of years. These particles would not be processed into tholins except by cosmic rays, and the striking albedo contrasts on Pluto, with very bright and dark regions, would be difficult to understand. Pluto's regional scale albedo contrasts may be preserved by atmospheric collapse.

  9. On the Provenance of Pluto's Nitrogen (N2)

    CERN Document Server

    Singer, Kelsi N

    2015-01-01

    N2 is abundant in Pluto's atmosphere and on its surface, but the supply is depleted by prodigious atmospheric escape. We demonstrate that cometary impacts could not have delivered enough N2 mass to resupply Pluto's atmospheric escape over time; thus Pluto's N2 is likely endogenous, and therefore was either acquired early in its history or created by chemistry inside/on Pluto. We find that cratering could excavate a considerable amount of N2 to resupply the atmosphere against escape if the near-surface N2 reservoir is deep. However, we find that this process likely falls short of that necessary to resupply the atmosphere against escape by at least an order of magnitude. We conclude that either the escape of N2 from Pluto's atmosphere was on average much lower than the predictions for the current epoch, or that internal activity could be necessary to bring N2 to the surface and resupply escape losses. Observations made by the New Horizons spacecraft in mid-2015 will yield further constraints on the provenance a...

  10. The Pluto++ Event Generator

    CERN Document Server

    Fröhlich, I; Galatyuk, T; Hejny, V; Holzmann, R; Kagarlis, M; Kühn, W; Messchendorp, J G; Metag, V; Pleier, M -A; Przygoda, W; Ramstein, B; Ritman, J; Salabura, P; Stroth, J; Sudol, M

    2007-01-01

    Pluto is a Monte-Carlo event generator designed for hadronic interactions from Pion production threshold to intermediate energies of a few GeV per nucleon, as well as for studies of heavy ion reactions. This report gives an overview of the design of the package, the included models and the user interface.

  11. World beyond Pluto

    CERN Document Server

    Marlowe, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    What happens when a hardened criminal on the run for his life gets mixed up with an all-girl symphony traveling between lesser-populated planets in a futile attempt to bring culture to their rowdy inhabitants? Well, to put it mildly, hijinks ensue. Read Stephen Marlowe's thoroughly entertaining World Beyond Pluto to find out the rest.

  12. Quick Trip to Pluto

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘新

    1994-01-01

    At a current distance of 4. 5 billion kilometers from the sun, Pluto isthe only planet in our solar system not yet visited by a spacecraft. Mostmission plans call for a long and expensive journey to the faraway planet.But a recent proposal by scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)

  13. Formation of Kuiper Belt Binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Goldreich, P; Sari, R; Goldreich, Peter; Lithwick, Yoram; Sari, Re'em

    2002-01-01

    It appears that at least several percent of large Kuiper belt objects are members of wide binaries. Physical collisions are too infrequent to account for their formation. Collisionless gravitational interactions are more promising. These provide two channels for binary formation. In each, the initial step is the formation of a transient binary when two large bodies penetrate each other's Hill spheres. Stabilization of a transient binary requires that it lose energy. Either dynamical friction due to small bodies or the scattering of a third large body can be responsible. Our estimates favor the former, albeit by a small margin. We predict that most objects of size comparable to those currently observed in the Kuiper belt are members of multiple systems. More specifically, we derive the probability that a large body is a member of a binary with semi-major axis of order a. The probability depends upon sigma, the total surface density, Sigma, the surface density of large bodies having radius R, and theta=10^-4, t...

  14. Overview of the New Horizons Science Payload

    CERN Document Server

    Weaver, H A; Tapley, M B; Young, L A; Stern, S A

    2007-01-01

    The New Horizons mission was launched on 2006 January 19, and the spacecraft is heading for a flyby encounter with the Pluto system in the summer of 2015. The challenges associated with sending a spacecraft to Pluto in less than 10 years and performing an ambitious suite of scientific investigations at such large heliocentric distances (> 32 AU) are formidable and required the development of lightweight, low power, and highly sensitive instruments. This paper provides an overview of the New Horizons science payload, which is comprised of seven instruments. Alice provides spatially resolved ultraviolet spectroscopy. The Ralph instrument has two components: the Multicolor Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC), which performs panchromatic and color imaging, and the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA), which provides near-infrared spectroscopic mapping capabilities. The Radio Experiment (REX) is a component of the New Horizons telecommunications system that provides both occultation and radiometry capabilities. ...

  15. Gerard Kuiper and the Infrared Detector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, Derek

    2013-10-01

    The life and contributions of Gerard Kuiper have been documented by Dale Cruikshank in his National Academy of Sciences biography. I will argue that particularly important in this eventful life was Kuiper's war time experiences. Kuiper's wartime role evolved as the war unfolded, but towards the end he was charged by the US military with reporting German progress with war-related technologies and the activities of scientists under Nazi control. He interviewed a great many scientists, including his own PhD mentor (Ejnar Hertzsprung), and when Kuiper was the only person available, he interviewed concentration-camp victims. He carried briefing sheets that identified the technologies being sought by the allies and the major fraction of these involved infrared equipment. He sent back to the USA boxes of documents, and large amounts of equipment, and he stressed to the military his interest in these for his own research. It seems very likely that in this way an effective PbS infrared detector, so critical to Kuiper's career and the future of planetary science, came to the USA and to Robert Cashman's laboratory at Northwestern University. As the war was winding down, Cashman and Kuiper worked together to develop a practical infrared spectrometer for astronomical use. Within months, Kuiper discovered the C02 atmospheres on Mars and Venus.

  16. Multi-fluid MHD study of the solar wind interaction with Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, C.; Ma, Y.; McComas, D. J.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Zirnstein, E.; Toth, G.; Luhmann, J. G.; Wang, L.

    2016-12-01

    The study of the solar wind interaction with Pluto's upper atmosphere has triggered a great of interest in recent years. The Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument onboard New Horizon (NH) spacecraft has provided a wealth of detailed and quantitative information about Pluto and its interaction with the tenuous solar wind out at 33 AU. The SWAP data reveals Pluto's unique interaction with the solar wind as a hybrid of comet-like and the Venus/Mars-like interactions. While SWAP data has provided many of the key results, a lot of details are still missing merely based on NH flyby observations. In order to further investigate the solar wind-Pluto interaction from a global point of view, we develop a 3-D multi-fluid MHD (MF-MHD) model. The MF-MHD model solves separate continuity, momentum and energy equations for each ion species. We adopt the 1-D modeled neutral atmosphere, which is based on NH observations, as the MF-MHD input. Photoionization, charge exchange and electron impact ionization are all included in the MF-MHD model. We will study the ion escape rate, and Pluto's magnetosphere and heavy ion tail structure. We will also do some data-model comparisons. This work has the potential to improve our understanding of present day Pluto's unique solar wind interaction and thus enhance the science returned from the NH mission.

  17. Isotopic constraints on the source of Pluto's nitrogen and the history of atmospheric escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandt, Kathleen E.; Mousis, Olivier; Luspay-Kuti, Adrienn

    2016-10-01

    The origin and evolution of nitrogen in solar system bodies is an important question for understanding processes that took place during the formation of the planets and solar system bodies. Pluto has an atmosphere that is 99% molecular nitrogen, but it is unclear if this nitrogen is primordial or derived from ammonia in the protosolar nebula. The nitrogen isotope ratio is an important tracer of the origin of nitrogen on solar system bodies, and can be used at Pluto to determine the origin of its nitrogen. After evaluating the potential impact of escape and photochemistry on Pluto's nitrogen isotope ratio (14N/15N), we find that if Pluto's nitrogen originated as N2 the current ratio in Pluto's atmosphere would be greater than 324 while it would be less than 157 if the source of Pluto's nitrogen were NH3. The New Horizons spacecraft successfully visited the Pluto system in July 2015 providing a potential opportunity to measure 14N/15N in N2.

  18. The puzzling detection of x-rays from Pluto by Chandra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, C. M.; McNutt, R. L.; Wolk, S. J.; Bagenal, F.; Stern, S. A.; Gladstone, G. R.; Cravens, T. E.; Hill, M. E.; Kollmann, P.; Weaver, H. A.; Strobel, D. F.; Elliott, H. A.; McComas, D. J.; Binzel, R. P.; Snios, B. T.; Bhardwaj, A.; Chutjian, A.; Young, L. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Ennico, K. A.

    2017-05-01

    Using Chandra ACIS-S, we have obtained low-resolution imaging X-ray spectrophotometry of the Pluto system in support of the New Horizons flyby on 14 July 2015. Observations were obtained in a trial ;seed; campaign conducted in one visit on 24 Feb 2014, and a follow-up campaign conducted soon after the New Horizons flyby that consisted of 3 visits spanning 26 Jul to 03 Aug 2015. In a total of 174 ksec of on-target time, in the 0.31 to 0.60 keV passband, we measured 8 total photons in a co-moving 11 × 11 pixel2 box (the 90% flux aperture determined by observations of fixed background sources in the field) measuring ∼121,000 × 121,000 km2 (or ∼100 × 100 RPluto) at Pluto. No photons were detected from 0.60 to 1.0 keV in this box during the same exposures. Allowing for background, we find a net signal of 6.8 counts and a statistical noise level of 1.2 counts, for a detection of Pluto in this passband at > 99.95% confidence. The Pluto photons do not have the spectral shape of the background, are coincident with a 90% flux aperture co-moving with Pluto, and are not confused with any background source, so we consider them as sourced from the Pluto system. The mean 0.31 - 0.60 keV X-ray power from Pluto is 200 +200/-100 MW, in the middle range of X-ray power levels seen for other known Solar System emission sources: auroral precipitation, solar X-ray scattering, and charge exchange (CXE) between solar wind (SW) ions and atmospheric neutrals. We eliminate auroral effects as a source, as Pluto has no known magnetic field and the New Horizons Alice UV spectrometer detected no airglow from Pluto during the flyby. Nano-scale atmospheric haze particles could lead to enhanced resonant scattering of solar X-rays from Pluto, but the energy signature of the detected photons does not match the solar spectrum and estimates of Pluto's scattered X-ray emission are 2 to 3 orders of magnitude below the 3.9 ± 0.7 × 10-5cps found in our observations. Charge-exchange-driven emission

  19. Perspectives on effectively constraining the location of a massive trans-Plutonian obejct with the New Horizons spacecraft: a sensitivity analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Iorio, Lorenzo

    2013-01-01

    The radio tracking apparatus of the New Horizons spacecraft, currently traveling to the Pluto system where its arrival is scheduled for July 2015, should be able to reach an accuracy of 10 m (range) and 0.1 mm s^-1 (range-rate) over distances up to 50 au. This should allow to effectively constrain the location of a putative trans-Plutonian massive object, dubbed Planet X (PX) hereafter, whose existence has recently been postulated for a variety of reasons connected with, e.g., the architecture of the Kuiper belt and the cometary flux from the Oort cloud. Traditional scenarios involve a rock-ice planetoid with mX = 0.7mE at some 100 - 200 au, or a Jovian body with mX = 5mJ at about 10,000 - 20,000 au; as a result of our preliminary sensitivity analysis, they should be detectable by New Horizons since they would impact its range at a km level or so over a time span six years long. Conversely, range residuals statistically compatible with zero having an amplitude of 10 m would imply that PX, if it exists, could ...

  20. Interpreting the Densities of the Kuiper Belt's Dwarf Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Barr, Amy C

    2016-01-01

    Kuiper Belt objects with absolute magnitude less than 3 (radius $\\gtrsim$500 km), the dwarf planets, have a range of different ice/rock ratios, and are more rock-rich than their smaller counterparts. Many of these objects have moons, which suggests that collisions may have played a role in modifying their compositions. We show that the dwarf planets fall into two categories when analysed by their mean densities and satellite-to-primary size ratio. Systems with large moons, such as Pluto/Charon and Orcus/Vanth, can form in low-velocity grazing collisions in which both bodies retain their compositions. We propose that these systems retain a primordial composition, with a density of about 1.8 g/cm$^3$. Triton, thought to be a captured KBO, could have lost enough ice during its early orbital evolution to explain its rock-enrichment relative to the primordial material. Systems with small moons, Eris, Haumea, and Quaoar, formed from a different type of collision in which icy material, perhaps a few tens of percent ...

  1. Spectroscopy of Pluto's Small Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Jason C.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Dalle Ore, Cristina M.; Ennico, Kimberly; Grundy, William M.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Philippe, Sylvain; Protopapa, Silvia; Schmitt, Bernard; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie; New Horizons Surface Composition Theme Team

    2016-10-01

    On July 14, 2015, New Horizons made its closest approach to the Pluto system. Among its many tasks were spectroscopic observations of Nix, Hydra and Kerberos using LEISA (Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array), the near infrared imaging spectrograph, and component of the Ralph instrument (Reuter, D.C., Stern, S.A., Scherrer, J., et al. 2008, Space Sci. Rev. 140, 129). Shapes and composition inferred from images were discussed in Weaver et al. (2016, Science, 351). Styx was not observed with LEISA because it was too distant and faint.Observations of Nix were made at 60,000 and 162,000 km from New Horizons. At best, Nix filled ˜130 LEISA pixels. At the continuum level, the disk integrated spectrum has an I/F˜0.4 and a blue slope. Evident in the spectrum are deep bands at 1.5, 1.65 and 2.0 μm, indicating crystalline H2O-ice. At band minimum, the I/F˜0.1 and 0.05 for the 1.5 and 2.0 μm bands, respectively. These nearly saturated bands suggest that H2O-ice is either large grained or very pure. We also see an absorption band at 2.21 μm that well matches NH3-hydrate.Observations of Hydra were made at 240,000 and 370,000 km from New Horizons. Hydra was barely resolved and covered ˜3-5 LEISA pixels. Hydra's spectrum has a continuum I/F˜0.35, a blue slope weaker than Nix's, crystalline H2O-ice and the 1.5 and 2.0 μm bands have minimum I/F˜0.12 and 0.07, respectively. Since the bands on Hydra are slightly weaker, the H2O-ice grains are either smaller or contaminated by a greater fraction of dark material. Hydra's spectrum also shows the NH3-hydrate absorption at 2.21 μm, but like the H2O-ice bands, it too appears weaker on Hydra than Nix.Finally, New Horizons made a LEISA observation of Kerberos at 394,000 km distance. At a scale of 24 km/pix, Kerberos fills ˜40% of a LEISA pixel. The signal-to-noise of the data is low. Nonetheless, we attempt to extract the spectrum.At DPS, we will present spectra of all three objects, examine the disk resolved spectra of Nix

  2. On the Origin of Pluto's Minor Moons, Nix and Hydra

    CERN Document Server

    Lithwick, Yoram

    2008-01-01

    How did Pluto's recently discovered minor moons form? Ward and Canup propose an elegant solution in which Nix and Hydra formed in the collision that produced Charon, then were caught into corotation resonances with Charon, and finally were transported to their current location as Charon migrated outwards. We show with numerical integrations that, if Charon's eccentricity is judiciously chosen, this scenario works beautifully for either Nix or Hydra. However, it cannot work for both Nix and Hydra simultaneously. To transport Nix, Charon's eccentricity must satisfy e_C 0.7 R_p/a_C > 0.04; otherwise migration would be faster than libration, and Hydra would slip out of resonance. These two restrictions conflict. Having ruled out this scenario, we suggest an alternative: that many small bodies were captured from the nebular disk, and they were responsible for forming, migrating and damping Nix and Hydra. If this is true, small moons could be common around large Kuiper belt objects.

  3. Geology of Pluto and Charon Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey Morgan

    2015-01-01

    Pluto's surface was found to be remarkably diverse in terms of its range of landforms, terrain ages, and inferred geological processes. There is a latitudinal zonation of albedo. The conspicuous bright albedo heart-shaped feature informally named Tombaugh Regio is comprised of several terrain types. Most striking is Texas-sized Sputnik Planum, which is apparently level, has no observable craters, and is divided by polygons and ovoids bounded by shallow troughs. Small smooth hills are seen in some of the polygon-bounding troughs. These hills could either be extruded or exposed by erosion. Sputnik Planum polygon/ovoid formation hypotheses range from convection to contraction, but convection is currently favored. There is evidence of flow of plains material around obstacles. Mountains, especially those seen south of Sputnik Planum, exhibit too much relief to be made of CH4, CO, or N2, and thus are probably composed of H2O-ice basement material. The north contact of Sputnik Planum abuts a scarp, above which is heavily modified cratered terrain. Pluto's large moon Charon is generally heavily to moderately cratered. There is a mysterious structure in the arctic. Charon's surface is crossed by an extensive system of rift faults and graben. Some regions are smoother and less cratered, reminiscent of lunar maria. On such a plain are large isolated block mountains surrounded by moats. At this conference we will present highlights of the latest observations and analysis. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project

  4. Internal structure of Pluto and Charon with an iron core

    CERN Document Server

    Aitta, A

    2015-01-01

    Pluto has been observed by the New Horizons space probe to have some relatively fresh ice on the old ices covering most of the surface. Pluto was thought to consist of only a rocky core below the ice. Here I show that Pluto can have an iron core, as can also its companion Charon, which has recently been modelled to have one. The presence of an iron core means the giant impact origin calculations should be redone to include iron and thus higher temperatures. An iron core leads to the possibility of a different geology. An originally molten core becomes solid later, with contraction and a release of latent heat. The space vacated allows the upper rock layers to flow downwards at some locations at the surface of the core, and some of the ice above the rock to descend, filling the spaces left by the rock motion downwards. These phenomena can lead to the forces recently deforming the icy surface of Pluto, and in a lesser way, of Charon.

  5. Detection of CO and HCN in Pluto's atmosphere with ALMA

    CERN Document Server

    Lellouch, E; Butler, B; Fouchet, T; Lavvas, P; Strobel, D F; Sicardy, B; Moullet, A; Moreno, R; Bockelée-Morvan, D; Biver, N; Young, L; Lis, D; Stansberry, J; Stern, A; Weaver, H; Young, E; Zhu, X; Boissier, J

    2016-01-01

    Observations of the Pluto-Charon system, acquired with the ALMA interferometer on June 12-13, 2015, have yielded a detection of the CO(3-2) and HCN(4-3) rotational transitions from Pluto, providing a strong confirmation of the presence of CO, and the first observation of HCN, in Pluto's atmosphere. The CO and HCN lines probe Pluto's atmosphere up to ~450 km and ~900 km altitude, respectively. The CO detection yields (i) a much improved determination of the CO mole fraction, as 515+/-40 ppm for a 12 ubar surface pressure (ii) clear evidence for a well-marked temperature decrease (i.e., mesosphere) above the 30-50 km stratopause and a best-determined temperature of 70+/-2 K at 300 km, in agreement with recent inferences from New Horizons / Alice solar occultation data. The HCN line shape implies a high abundance of this species in the upper atmosphere, with a mole fraction >1.5x10-5 above 450 km and a value of 4x10-5 near 800 km. The large HCN abundance and the cold upper atmosphere imply supersaturation of HCN...

  6. Map of the Pluto System - Children's Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargitai, H. I.

    2016-12-01

    Cartography is a powerful tool in the scientific visualization and communication of spatial data. Cartographic visualization for children requires special methods. Although almost all known solid surface bodies in the Solar System have been mapped in detail during the last more than 5 decades, books and publications that target children, tweens and teens never include any of the cartographic results of these missions. We have developed a series of large size planetary maps with the collaboration of planetary scientists, cartographers and graphic artists. The maps are based on photomosaics and DTMs that were redrawn as artwork. This process necessarily involved generalization, interpretation and transformation into the visual language that can be understood by children. In the first project we selected six planetary bodies (Venus, the Moon, Mars, Io, Europa and Titan) and invited six illustrators of childrens'books. Although the overall structure of the maps look similar, the visual approach was significantly different. An important addition was that the maps contained a narrative: different characters - astronauts or "alien-like lifeforms" - interacted with the surface. The map contents were translated into 11 languages and published online at https://childrensmaps.wordpress.com.We report here on the new map of the series. Following the New Horizons' Pluto flyby we have started working on a map that, unlike the others, depicts a planetary system, not only one body. Since only one hemisphere was imaged in high resolution, this map is showing the encounter hemispheres of Pluto and Charon. Projected high resolution image mosaics with informal nomenclature were provided by the New Horizons Team. The graphic artist is Adrienn Gyöngyösi. Our future plan is to produce a book format Children's Atlas of Solar System bodies that makes planetary cartographic and astrogeologic results more accessible for children, and the next generation of planetary scientists among them.

  7. PLUTO first report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otte, Jean-Bernard; Meyers, Rebecka

    2010-11-01

    The PLUTO is a registry developed by an international collaboration of the Liver Tumors Strategy Group (SIOPEL) of the SIOP. Although the number of patients collected in PLUTO to date is too small to add any analytic power to the existing literature, this new registry has great promise. It has been created to clarify issues regarding the role of liver transplantation in the treatment of children with unresectable liver tumors. By reviewing the results to date, we hope we can motivate more centers to participate, enroll patients, complete data entry, and boost the potential impact of the collaborative effort. To achieve this goal, a large number of patients are needed, which requires an intensified international collaboration. Pediatric oncologists, pediatric surgical oncologists, and pediatric liver transplant surgeons are all encouraged to participate and contribute. This is a preliminary glimpse of what we hope to be a series of interim reports over the next decade from the steering committee to help guide therapy in this very challenging group of children. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  8. Origin of Triton and Pluto

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKinnon, W.B. (Washington Univ., St. Louis, MO (USA). Nuclear Medicine Div.)

    1984-09-27

    A simple hypothesis on the origin of Triton and Pluto is that Triton and Pluto are independent representatives of large outer Solar System planetesimals. Triton is simply captured, with potentially spectacular consequences that include runaway melting of interior ices and release to the surface of clathrated CH/sub 4/, CO and N/sub 2/. Condensed remnants of this proto-atmosphere could account for features in Triton's unique spectrum.

  9. Diameters of Triton and Pluto

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrison, D.; Cruikshank, D.P. (Hawaii Univ., Honolulu (USA). Inst. for Astronomy); Brown, R.H. (Hawaii Univ., Honolulu (USA). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy; Hawaii Univ., Honolulu (USA). Hawaii Inst. of Geophysics)

    1982-12-02

    Upper limits are reported to the thermal IR emission from Triton, the major satellite of Neptune, and Pluto, the outermost planet, that permit significant upper limits to be set on their diameters and also demonstrate that both are high albedo objects. These results exclude the possibility that Triton is the largest planetary satellite and are consistent with the small size of Pluto deduced from other data.

  10. Observations of Mutual Eclipses by the Binary Kuiper Belt Object Manwe-Thorondor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabinowitz, David L.; Benecchi, Susan D.; Grundy, William M.; Thirouin, Audrey; Verbiscer, Anne J.

    2016-10-01

    The binary Kuiper Belt Object (385446) Manwe-Thorondor (aka 2003 QW111) is currently undergoing mutual events whereby the two ~100-km bodies alternately eclipse and occult each other as seen from Earth [1]. Such events are extremely rare among KBOs (Pluto-Charon and Sila-Nunam being notable exceptions). For Manwe-Thorondor, the events occur over ~0.5-d periods 4 to 5 times per year until the end of 2019. Here we report the results of observations to be made with the Soar 4m telescope at Cerro Pachon, Chile on 2016 Aug 25 and 26 UT, covering one of the deepest predicted eclipses. We use these observations to constrain the rotational variability of the two bodies, determine their physical properties (size, shape, albedo, density), and set limits on the presence of any prominent surface features.[1] Grundy, W. et al. 2012, Icarus, 220, 74

  11. How Surface Ice and Topography Affects the Atmospheric Circulation on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soto, A.; Rafkin, S. C.; Michaels, T. I.

    2016-12-01

    We developed a new general circulation model (GCM) for Pluto in order to investigate how the heterogeneous distribution of nitrogen surface ice and large-scale topography affects Pluto's atmospheric circulation. Our Pluto GCM is built on the GFDL Flexible Modeling System finite volume dynamical core. The GCM physics routines include a gray model radiative-conductive scheme, a subsurface conduction scheme, and a nitrogen volatile cycle. The radiative-conductive scheme accounts for the CH4 and CO absorption bands at 2.3, 3.3, and 7.8 microns, including non-local thermodynamic equilibrium effects. The nitrogen volatile cycle assumes vapor pressure equilibrium between the atmosphere and the surface. Images from the New Horizon mission to Pluto showed an extremely complex, heterogeneous distribution of surface ice, some of which was draped over substantial and variable topography. To produce such a complicated ice distribution, the atmospheric dynamics and the volatile transport must be more complex than expected prior to the New Horizons fly-by of Pluto. We use simulations where topography and surface ice distributions were added individually and in various combinations to individually quantify the contribution of topography, volatile cycle, and surface ice distributions to Pluto's atmospheric circulation. We show that even regional patches of ice or large craters can have global impacts on the atmospheric circulation, the volatile cycle, and the distribution of surface ice. As well, we demonstrate that explaining the expression of Pluto's volatile cycle on the surface ice distribution requires the consideration of atmospheric processes beyond the simple vapor pressure equilibrium arguments.

  12. Barchan dunes on Pluto?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Parteli Eric J. R.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We show that the orientation and morphology of bedforms occurring on top of Pluto’s smooth ice coats are consistent with an aeolian origin under conditions of unidirectional flow. From scaling relations for dune size as a function of attributes of atmosphere and sediments, we find that the average diameter of the granular particles constituting such bedforms — assuming an aeolian origin — lies within the range 600 μm< d < 750 μm. Our findings show that, owing to the effect of hysteresis in the minimal threshold wind velocity for saltation, dune migration on Pluto can occur under wind speeds that are common to Earth and Mars.

  13. Spectroscopy of Pluto, 380-930 Nm at Six Longitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruikshank, D. P.; Pinilla-Alonso, N.; Lorenzi, V.; Grundy, William; Licandro, J.; Binzel, R. P.

    2014-01-01

    We have obtained spectra of the Pluto-Charon pair (unresolved) in the wavelength range 380-930 nm with resolution approx..450 at six roughly equally spaced longitudes. The data were taken in May and June, 2014, with the 4.2-m Isaac Newton Telescope at Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory in the Canary Islands, using the ACAM (auxiliary-port camera) in spectrometer mode, and using two solar analog stars. The new spectra clearly show absorption bands of solid CH4 at 620, 728, and 850-910 nm, which were known from earlier work. The 620-nm CH4 band is intrinsically very weak, and its appearance indicates a long optical path-length through the ice. This is especially true if it arises from CH4 dissolved in N2 ice. Earlier work (Owen et al. Science 261, 745, 1993) on the near-infrared spectrum of Pluto (1-2.5 microns) has shown that the CH4 bands are shifted to shorter wavelengths because the CH4 occurs as a solute in beta-phase crystalline N2. The optical path-length through the N2 crystals must be on the order of several cm to produce the N2 band observed at 2.15 microns. The new spectra exhibit a pronounced red slope across the entire wavelength range; the slope is variable with longitude, and differs in a small but significant way from that measured at comparable longitudes by Grundy & Fink (Icarus 124, 329, 1996) in their 15-year study of Pluto's spectrum (500-1000 nm). The new spectra will provide an independent means for calibrating the color filter bands on the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) (Reuter et al. Space Sci. Rev. 140, 129, 2008) on the New Horizons spacecraft, which will encounter the Pluto-Charon system in mid-2015. They will also form the basis of modeling the spectrum of Pluto at different longitudes to help establish the nature of the non-ice component(s) of Pluto's surface. It is presumed that the non-ice component is the source of the yellow-red coloration of Pluto, which is known to be variable across the surface.

  14. Where is the Geophysical Evidence for the Giant Impact Origin of the Pluto System?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, W. B.; Singer, K. N.; Nimmo, F.; Spencer, J. R.; Young, L. A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Stern, S. A.

    2016-12-01

    Prior to the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system, it was anticipated that both Pluto and Charon might show geological or geophysical evidence of the giant impact thought responsible for the formation of Charon and the smaller satellites. Although dynamical and compositional evidence still supports the giant impact model (McKinnon et al., submitted to Icarus), the question remains as to whether the geology of Pluto or Charon records evidence of this cataclysm. The collision speed and energy were most likely not large enough to melt all the ices in the precursor bodies, so surviving geological evidence is not out of the question. Specifically, Pluto post-impact should have been rapidly rotating (with a period as short as 5-6 hr) and highly distorted; Charon under most circumstances would have rapidly despun but have been a highly distorted triaxial body. The tidal evolution end state for both is close to spherical, but fossil figures were anticipated, which in addition to providing direct evidence for post-impact tidal evolution, would provide important clues to thermal and structural evolution. For Pluto, McKinnon and Singer (DPS 2014, abs. 419.07) predicted a flattening >1% (radii differences >10 km) for a strengthless icy lithosphere and an unrelaxed rock core. For a fully relaxed core, they predicted a >2-3 km fossil bulge supported by icy lithospheric strength (corresponding to a minimum past lithosphere thickness of 50 km). New Horizons image analyses have limited any oblateness for Pluto to 0.6% (Nimmo et al., Icarus, in press), which corresponds to <7 km flattening. So Pluto may yet possess a geophysically meaningful oblateness, only one not yet directly detectable (moreover, in order to be consistent with the observations, Pluto's rock core either completed its formation post-spindown, or was too weak to support much non-hydrostatic topography). Such an equator-to-pole surface elevation difference, even a subtle one, could express itself through control

  15. Interpreting the densities of the Kuiper belt's dwarf planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Amy C.; Schwamb, Megan E.

    2016-08-01

    Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) with absolute magnitude less than 3 (radius ≳500 km), the dwarf planets, have a range of different ice/rock ratios, and are more rock-rich than their smaller counterparts. Many of these objects have moons, which suggests that collisions may have played a role in modifying their compositions. We show that the dwarf planets fall into two categories when analysed by their mean densities and satellite-to-primary size ratio. Systems with large moons, such as Pluto/Charon and Orcus/Vanth, can form in low-velocity grazing collisions in which both bodies retain their compositions. We propose that these systems retain a primordial composition, with a density of about 1.8 g cm-3. Triton, thought to be a captured KBO, could have lost enough ice during its early orbital evolution to explain its rock-enrichment relative to the primordial material. Systems with small moons, Eris, Haumea, and Quaoar, formed from a different type of collision in which icy material, perhaps a few tens of percent of the total colliding mass, is lost. The fragments would not remain in physical or dynamical proximity to the parent body. The ice loss process has not yet been demonstrated numerically, which could be due to the paucity of KBO origin simulations, or missing physical processes in the impact models. If our hypothesis is correct, we predict that large KBOs with small moons should be denser than the primordial material, and that the mean density of Orcus should be close to the primordial value.

  16. Structure and Evolution of Kuiper Belt Objects and Dwarf Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, W. B.; Prialnik, D.; Stern, S. A.; Coradini, A.

    the melting-point depression afforded by the presence of salts, ammonia, etc. (we review the case for Charon in particular). The surface color and compositional classes of KBOs are usually discussed in terms of "nature vs. nurture," i.e., a generic primordial composition vs. surface processing, but the true nature of KBOs also depends on how they have evolved. The broad range of albedos now found in the Kuiper belt, deep water-ice absorptions on some objects, evidence for differentiation of Pluto and 2003 EL61, and a range of densities incompatible with a single, primordial composition and variable porosity strongly imply significant, intrinsic compositional differences among KBOs. The interplay of formation zone (accretion rate), body size, and dynamical (collisional) history may yield KBO compositional classes (and their spectral correlates) that recall the different classes of asteroids in the inner solar system, but whose members are broadly distributed among the KBO dynamical subpopulations.

  17. Obliquity evolution of the minor satellites of Pluto and Charon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quillen, Alice C.; Nichols-Fleming, Fiona; Chen, Yuan-Yuan; Noyelles, Benoît

    2017-09-01

    New Horizons mission observations show that the small satellites Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra, of the Pluto-Charon system, have not tidally spun-down to near synchronous spin states and have high obliquities with respect to their orbit about the Pluto-Charon binary (Weaver, 2016). We use a damped mass-spring model within an N-body simulation to study spin and obliquity evolution for single spinning non-round bodies in circumbinary orbit. Simulations with tidal dissipation alone do not show strong obliquity variations from tidally induced spin-orbit resonance crossing and this we attribute to the high satellite spin rates and low orbital eccentricities. However, a tidally evolving Styx exhibits intermittent obliquity variations and episodes of tumbling. During a previous epoch where Charon migrated away from Pluto, the minor satellites could have been trapped in orbital mean motion inclination resonances. An outward migrating Charon induces large variations in Nix and Styx's obliquities. The cause is a commensurability between the mean motion resonance frequency and the spin precession rate of the spinning body. As the minor satellites are near mean motion resonances, this mechanism could have lifted the obliquities of all four minor satellites. The high obliquities need not be primordial if the minor satellites were at one time captured into mean motion resonances.

  18. The Pluto event generator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Froehlich, Ingo [Institut fuer Kernphysik, 60438 Frankfurt am Main (Germany); Holzmann, Romain [Gesellschaft fuer Schwerionenphysik, 64291 Darmstadt (Germany)

    2008-07-01

    Pluto is a Monte-Carlo event generator designed for hadronic interactions from close-to-threshold to intermediate energies, as well as for studies of heavy ion reactions. The package is entirely based on Root, without the need of additional packages, and uses the embedded C++ interpreter of root to control the event production. The package includes realistic models of resonance production by using mass-dependent Breit-Wigner sampling. The calculation of partial and total widths for resonances is taken into account. Particular attention is paid to the electromagnetic decays, motivated by the physics program of HADES. For elementary reactions, angular distributions (e.g. for the primary meson emission) can be attached by the user in a very simple way as well as multi-particle correlations. Hand-made models (which may change all decay parameters) can be included by the user without recompilation using the CINT interpreter. This contribution gives an overview of the technical implementation of the framework and presents examples of the included physics.

  19. Recent Tectonic Activity on Pluto Driven by Phase Changes in the Ice Shell

    CERN Document Server

    Hammond, Noah P; Parmentier, Edgar M

    2016-01-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft has found evidence for geologic activity on the surface of Pluto, including extensional tectonic deformation of its water ice bedrock (see Moore et al., 2016). One mechanism that could drive extensional tectonic activity is global surface expansion due to the partial freezing of an ocean. We use updated physical properties for Pluto and simulate its thermal evolution to understand the survival of a possible subsurface ocean. For thermal conductivities of rock less than 3 W m$^{-1}$ K$^{-1}$, an ocean forms and at least partially freezes, leading to recent extensional stresses in the ice shell. In scenarios where the ocean freezes and the ice shell is thicker than $260$ km, ice II forms and causes global volume contraction. Since there is no evidence for recent compressional tectonic features, we argue that ice II has not formed and that Pluto's ocean has likely survived to present day.

  20. Update on Pluto and Its 5 Moons Obeying the Quantization of Angular Momentum per Unit Mass Constraint of Quantum Celestial Mechanics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Potter F.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In July, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft passing by Pluto did not discover any more moons. Therefore, we know the Pluto system total angular momentum to within 2.4%, more accurately than any other system with more than two orbiting bodies. We there- fore update our previous analysis to determine whether a definitive test of the quantum celestial mechanics (QCM angular momentum constraint can now be achieved.

  1. 3D modeling of organic haze in Pluto's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertrand, Tanguy; Forget, François

    2017-05-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft, which flew by Pluto on July 14, 2015, revealed the presence of haze in Pluto's atmosphere that were formed by CH4/N2 photochemistry at high altitudes in Pluto's atmosphere, as on Titan and Triton. In order to help the analysis of the observations and further investigate the formation of organic haze and its evolution at global scales, we have implemented a simple parameterization of the formation of organic haze in our Pluto General Circulation Model. The production of haze in our model is based on the different steps of aerosol formation as understood on Titan and Triton: photolysis of CH4 in the upper atmosphere by Lyman-α UV radiation, production of various gaseous species, and conversion into solid particles through accumulation and aggregation processes. The simulations use properties of aerosols similar to those observed in the detached haze layer on Titan. We compared two reference simulations ran with a particle radius of 50 nm: with, and without South Pole N2 condensation. We discuss the impact of the particle radius and the lifetime of the precursors on the haze distribution. We simulate CH4 photolysis and the haze formation up to 600 km above the surface. Results show that CH4 photolysis in Pluto's atmosphere in 2015 occurred mostly in the sunlit summer hemisphere with a peak at an altitude of 250 km, though the interplanetary source of Lyman-α flux can induce some photolysis even in the Winter hemisphere. We obtained an extensive haze up to altitudes comparable with the observations, and with non-negligible densities up to 500 km altitude. In both reference simulations, the haze density is not strongly impacted by the meridional circulation. With No South Pole N2 condensation, the maximum nadir opacity and haze extent is obtained at the North Pole. With South Pole N2 condensation, the descending parcel of air above the South Pole leads to a latitudinally more homogeneous haze density with a slight density peak at the South

  2. Probing Pluto's Atmosphere Using Ground-Based Stellar Occultations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sicardy, Bruno; Rio de Janeiro Occultation Team, Granada Team, International Occultation and Timing Association, Royal Astronomical Society New Zealand Occultation Section, Lucky Star associated Teams

    2016-10-01

    Over the last three decades, some twenty stellar occultations by Pluto have been monitored from Earth. They occur when the dwarf planet blocks the light from a star for a few minutes as it moves on the sky. Such events led to the hint of a Pluto's atmosphere in 1985, that was fully confirmed during another occultation in 1988, but it was only in 2002 that a new occultation could be recorded. From then on, the dwarf planet started to move in front of the galactic center, which amplified by a large factor the number of events observable per year.Pluto occultations are essentially refractive events during which the stellar rays are bent by the tenuous atmosphere, causing a gradual dimming of the star. This provides the density, pressure and temperature profiles of the atmosphere from a few kilometers above the surface up to about 250 km altitude, corresponding respectively to pressure levels of about 10 and 0.1 μbar. Moreover, the extremely fine spatial resolution (a few km) obtained through this technique allows the detection of atmospheric gravity waves, and permits in principle the detection of hazes, if present.Several aspects make Pluto stellar occultations quite special: first, they are the only way to probe Pluto's atmosphere in detail, as the dwarf planet is far too small on the sky and the atmosphere is far too tenuous to be directly imaged from Earth. Second, they are an excellent example of participative science, as many amateurs have been able to record those events worldwide with valuable scientific returns, in collaboration with professional astronomers. Third, they reveal Pluto's climatic changes on decade-scales and constrain the various seasonal models currently explored.Finally, those observations are fully complementary to space exploration, in particular with the New Horizons (NH) mission. I will show how ground-based occultations helped to better calibrate some NH profiles, and conversely, how NH results provide some key boundary conditions

  3. Pluto and other dwarf planets

    CERN Document Server

    Saxena, Shalini

    2017-01-01

    The reclassification of Pluto in 2006 not only decreased the number of planets in our solar system by one but also introduced the new category of dwarf planet. Readers will come to understand what separates a dwarf planet from a planet-or for that matter from any of the other bodies found within the solar system. They'll learn about Pluto itself, as well as its fellow dwarf planets, Ceres, Makemake, Haumea, and Eris. Full of recent information, this title is sure to inspire an interest in space science among young readers.

  4. Hydrocarbon and HCN Condensation in the Atmosphere of Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, S.; Gao, P.; Limpasuvan, D. L.; Willacy, K.; Yung, Y. L.

    2016-12-01

    Observations by the New Horizons spacecraft revealed the presence of haze in the Pluto atmosphere, which have been shown by microphysical models to be likely composed of fractal aggregates originating from CH4 photolysis and subsequent polymerization of higher hydrocarbons. However, temperatures in the Pluto atmosphere are such that higher hydrocarbons, such as C2H2, C2H4, C2H6, as we well as HCN, should condense, possibly onto the fractal aggregate haze particles. This process can change their shape, as well as their optical properties. We use a modified microphysical model to investigate the characteristics of haze particles as C2 hydrocarbons and HCN condense on them during their sedimentation through the atmosphere. The composition of the particles as a function of altitude can in turn inform the interpretation of New Horizons observations. In addition, we use the condensation rates from the microphysics model to augment the photochemical model that calculates the concentrations of C2 hydrocarbons and HCN to ensure self-consistency.

  5. Implications of the Central Flash Analysis from the 2015 Pluto Stellar Occultation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Person, Michael J.; Bosh, Amanda S.; Sickafoose, Amanda A.; Zuluaga, Carlos; Levine, Stephen; Pasachoff, Jay M.; Babcock, Bryce A.; Dunham, Edward W.; McLean, Ian S.; Wolf, Juergen; Abe, F.; Becklin, Eric E.; Bida, Thomas A.; Bright, Leonard P.; Brothers, Tim; Christie, Grant; Collins, Peter; Durst, Rebecca; Gilmore, Alan; Hamilton, Ryan T.; Harris, Hugh C.; Johnson, Christian I.; Kilmartin, Pam; Kosiarek, Molly; Leppik, Karina; Logsdon, Sarah E.; Lucas, Robert; Mathers, Shevill; Morley, Caroline; Natusch, T.; Nelson, P.; Ngan, H.; Pfueller, E.; Roeser, H.-P.; Sallum, Stephanie; Savage, Maureen L.; Seeger, Christina; Chit Siu, Ho; Stockdale, Christopher; Suzuki, D.; Thanathibodee, T.; Tilleman, T.; Tristam, P. J.; Van Cleve, Jeffrey E.; Varughese, C.; Weisenbach, Luke; Widen, E.; Wiedemann, M.

    2016-10-01

    Two weeks before the historic New Horizons flyby of Pluto, a stellar occultation was observed from Australia and New Zealand (Bosh et al., 2016, Pasachoff et al., 2016, Sicardy et al., 2016). Prior to these observations, an extensive astrometric campaign (Bosh et al., this meeting) was conducted to carefully place the SOFIA aircraft within the central flash region of the occultation shadow. Multiple central flash chords were obtained and initial analysis indicated global asymmetry of Pluto's atmosphere (Person et al., 2015).Further analysis of these chords reveals asymmetries in Pluto's atmosphere stronger than those previously observed by either central flash measurements or occultation shadow fitting (Person et al., 2006, Olkin et al., 2014). Here we will discuss this revealed atmospheric asymmetry in terms of the bulk atmospheric movements necessary to cause distortions of this order, given the extreme surface sphericity seen by New Horizons (Nimmo et al., 2016), and its implications for surface ice transport scenarios (Hansen et al., 2015), and Pluto's seasonal evolution (Earle et al., 2015).

  6. Methods & Strategies: Poor, Poor Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Lori; West, Courtney; Jones, Lindsay

    2013-01-01

    Just as students never stop learning, neither do librarians and teachers. Learning is a process that is facilitated by interest and applicability. Therefore, it is imperative to develop instructional activities that students deem important and relevant. "Why is Pluto no longer a planet?" is a question whose answer many people, young and…

  7. Planetary science: Pluto's telltale heart

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Amy C.

    2016-12-01

    Studies of a large frost-filled basin on Pluto show that this feature altered the dwarf planet's spin axis, driving tectonic activity on its surface, and hint at the presence of a subsurface ocean. See Letters p.86, p.90, p.94 & p.97

  8. Longitudinal and temporal variability of Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protopapa, S.; Boehnhardt, H.; Barrera, L.; Grundy, W. M.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Sunshine, J. M.; Feaga, L. M.; A'Hearn, M. F.

    2011-10-01

    In particular, we present low dispersion L band spectroscopy together with high dispersion spectroscopy in H and K bands of Pluto acquired with the NACO instrument at the ESO VLT on 27 June 2008. The nature and properties of the compounds present on the surface of Pluto are investigated by applying a Hapke radiative transfer model to the measured spectra. The 2008 observations are compared with 2005 measurements obtained with the same instrument and spectroscopic mode, covering similar sub-earth longitudes. A systematic study of Pluto's surface composition is presented in order to characterize the spatial and temporal distribution of Pluto's surface ices. The spectra of Pluto obtained at different sub-earth longitudes do not show any significant difference in the wavelength range between 2.9 and 3.7μm. No changes in the ratio between pure and diluted methane ice are observed from 2005 to 2008, indicating that Pluto's resurfacing process has slowed down or stopped.

  9. Escape and Stand of the Pluto Atmosphere

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAO Chong-Yi

    2002-01-01

    Molar mass μmin of the lightest gas, which will exist "forever" in the atmosphere at the planet surface,can be evaluated by Jeans rule. The μmin of Pluto is 17.3 g@ mol-1. It is evident that both N2 and CO can be major atmospheric composition at the Pluto surface, and will exist "forever". CH4 can only be escaping slowly from Pluto atmosphere, and still holds quite a proportion in current Pluto atmosphere. However, it will not escape from Titan (or Jupiter, Saturn) atmosphere largely, and will exist "forever". Given the quantitylevelof partial pressure of CH4 in Pluto and Titan (or Jupiter, Saturn) original atmosphere is the same, it will be clear that the current partial pressure of CH4 in Pluto surface atmosphere is 10-3 Pa.

  10. Horizon measures

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Eugene

    2016-11-28

    In this paper we seek to answer the following question: where do contour lines and visible contour lines (silhouette) tend to occur in a 3D surface. Our study leads to two novel shape descriptors, the horizon measure and the visible horizon measure, which we apply to the visualization of 3D shapes including archeological artifacts. In addition to introducing the shape descriptors, we also provide a closed-form formula for the horizon measure based on classical spherical geometry. To compute the visible horizon measure, which depends on the exact computation of the surface visibility function, we instead of provide an image-based approach which can process a model with high complexity within a few minutes.

  11. NEP for a Kuiper Belt Object Rendezvous Mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    HOUTS,MICHAEL G.; LENARD,ROGER X.; LIPINSKI,RONALD J.; PATTON,BRUCE; POSTON,DAVID I.; WRIGHT,STEVEN A.

    1999-11-03

    Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are a recently-discovered set of solar system bodies which lie at about the orbit of Pluto (40 AU) out to about 100 astronomical units (AU). There are estimated to be about 100,000 KBOS with a diameter greater than 100 km. KBOS are postulated to be composed of the pristine material which formed our solar system and may even have organic materials in them. A detailed study of KBO size, orbit distribution, structure, and surface composition could shed light on the origins of the solar system and perhaps even on the origin of life in our solar system. A rendezvous mission including a lander would be needed to perform chemical analysis of the surface and sub-surface composition of KBOS. These requirements set the size of the science probe at around a ton. Mission analyses show that a fission-powered system with an electric thruster could rendezvous at 40 AU in about 13.0 years with a total {Delta}V of 46 krnk. It would deliver a 1000-kg science payload while providing ample onboard power for relaying data back to earth. The launch mass of the entire system (power, thrusters, propellant, navigation, communication, structure, science payload, etc.) would be 7984 kg if it were placed into an earth-escape trajectory (C=O). Alternatively, the system could be placed into a 700-km earth orbit with more propellant,yielding a total mass in LEO of 8618 kg, and then spiral out of earth orbit to arrive at the KBO in 14.3 years. To achieve this performance, a fission power system with 100 kW of electrical power and a total mass (reactor, shield, conversion, and radiator) of about 2350 kg. Three possible configurations are proposed: (1) a UZrH-fueled, NaK-cooled reactor with a steam Rankine conversion system, (2) a UN-fueled gas-cooled reactor with a recuperated Brayton conversion system, and (3) a UN-fueled heatpipe-cooled reactor with a recuperated Brayton conversion system. (Boiling and condensation in the Rankine system is a technical risk at present

  12. The Colors of Pluto: Clues to its Geological Evolution and Surface/Atmospheric Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, J. R.; Stern, A.; Olkin, C.; Grundy, W. M.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Binzel, R. P.; Young, L. A.; Ennico Smith, K.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.

    2016-12-01

    New Horizons images of Pluto reveal a remarkably colorful world. In many places color corresponds closely with geology, while elsewhere there is little correlation, suggesting the colors result from a superficial coating. Color/color plots show that some parts of the surface are colored by simple linear mixtures of two components, while more complex mixing of multiple components is required elsewhere. Color shows striking correlation with latitude, though there are equally striking exceptions to that rule. Taken together with other New Horizons data sets, the color images paint a picture (literally) of the complex interplay of geology and insolation-driven atmospheric processes.

  13. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voelzke, M. R.; de Araújo, M. S. T.

    2010-09-01

    In August 2006 during the XXVI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), taken place in Prague, Czech Republic, new parameters to define a planet were established. According to this new definition Pluto will be no more the ninth planet of the Solar System but it will be changed to be a "dwarf planet". This reclassification of Pluto by the academic community clearly illustrates how dynamic science is and how knowledge of different areas can be changed and evolves through the time, allowing to perceive Science as a human construction in a constant transformation, subject to political, social and historical contexts. These epistemological characteristics of Science and, in this case, of Astronomy, constitute important elements to be discussed in the lessons, so that this work contributes to enable Science and Physics teachers who perform a basic education to be always up to date on this important astronomical fact and, thereby, carry useful information to their teaching.

  14. Pluto-charon mutual events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Binzel, R.P. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (USA))

    1989-11-01

    Since 1985, planetary astronomers have been working to take advantage of a once-per-century apparent alignment between Pluto and its satellite, Charon, which has allowed mutual occultation and transit events to be observed. There events, which will cease in 1990, have permitted the first precise determinations of their individual radii, densities, and surface compositions. In addition, information on their surface albedo distributions can be obtained.

  15. Occultation of UCAC4 345-180315 by Pluto on the 19th of July 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beisker, W.

    2017-07-01

    The 14th mag star UCAC4 345-180315 was occulted by Pluto on the evening of the 19th of July, 2016. The event could be observed from large parts of Europe, middle east and northern Africa as well. A campaign had been organized with many observers and observatories throughout Europe and other countries. The scientific goal was the ongoing monitoring of Pluto's atmosphere as well as the improvement of Pluto's astrometry. Because of the increasing distance of Pluto from the sun, scientists are waiting for a possible shrinking of its atmospheric pressure. The astrometric predictions were largely done by the RIO team and Bruno Sicardy's team. A fainter star was occulted by Pluto 5 days before (14th of July). This was successfully observed and used as a "pathfinder" for the main occultation on the 19th. In a very helpful decision, the GAIA team released the star position of the target star 2 months before the GAIA DR1 catalogue was released. Together with a new ephemeris of the New Horizons team the occultation track for the 19th could be determined by this with very high precision (pre- versus post occultation calculation only differed in less than 100 km). Because of good weather conditions for the event in large parts of Europe, observations of about 30 stations could be recorded and analyzed. This report will describe the observations of about 20 stations and their lightcurve analysis. In a further report the atmospheric properties in the year after the New Horizons flyby on will be discussed.

  16. Modelling Cryovolcanism Due to Subsurface Ocean Freezing on Pluto and Charon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrad, J. W.; Nimmo, F.; Singer, K. N.

    2016-12-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft identified various possible cryovolcanic features on the surfaces of both Pluto and Charon [1]. However, there are major differences between the cryovolcanism on Pluto and Charon. Pluto has two mound-flanked depressions which are possibly cryovolcanic [2], while Charon's putative cryovolcanism is more widespread within its smooth southern plains. If Pluto or Charon have (or had) subsurface oceans, slow refreezing of these oceans would lead to extensional surface tectonics [3,4] and pressurization of the ocean [5]. Sufficiently large pressurization can overcome the overburden pressure and cause an eruption. We applied thermal evolution models based on [3] to determine likely freezing scenarios. Eruptions on Charon are possible under most conditions, and occur after tens of kilometers of freezing of an ice shell initially 100 km thick. This would produce an areal extensional strain of 1%. The implied globally-averaged thickness of erupted material is a few hundred meters and the critical crack width for propagation through the entire ice shell [6] is about half a meter for all eruption scenarios. Eruptions on Pluto require probably unrealistic freezing scenarios, because of the larger body size and higher overburden pressure. We conclude that ocean freezing is a possible source of cryovolcanism on Charon and may explain the smooth plains in its southern hemisphere [1]. Pluto, on the other hand, requires more complex models to explain the putative cryovolcanic features on its surface. [1] Moore et al., Science 351 (2016): 1284-1293. [2] Singer et al., LPSC 47 (2016): 2276 [3] Robuchon and Nimmo, Icarus 216 (2011): 426-439. [4] Hammond et al., GRL 43 (2016). [5] Manga and Wang, GRL 34 (2007). [6] Porco et al., The Astronomical Journal 148 (2014): 45.

  17. Stringy horizons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giveon, Amit [Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University,Jerusalem 91904 (Israel); Itzhaki, Nissan [Physics Department, Tel-Aviv University,Ramat-Aviv, 69978 (Israel); Kutasov, David [EFI and Department of Physics, University of Chicago,5640 S. Ellis Av., Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2015-06-11

    We argue that classical (α{sup ′}) effects qualitatively modify the structure of Euclidean black hole horizons in string theory. While low energy modes experience the geometry familiar from general relativity, high energy ones see a rather different geometry, in which the Euclidean horizon can be penetrated by an amount that grows with the radial momentum of the probe. We discuss this in the exactly solvable SL(2,ℝ)/U(1) black hole, where it is a manifestation of the black hole/Sine-Liouville duality.

  18. Structure and Evolution of Kuiper Belt Objects: The Case for Compositional Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinnon, William B.; Prialnik, D.; Stern, S. A.

    2007-10-01

    Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) accreted from a mélange of ices, carbonaceous matter, and rock of mixed interstellar and solar nebular provenance. The transneptunian region, where this accretion took place, was likely more radially compact than today. This and the influence of gas drag during the solar nebula epoch argue for more rapid KBO accretion than usually considered. Early evolution of KBOs was largely the result of radiogenic heating, with both short-term and long-term contributions being potentially important. Depending on rock content and porous conductivity, KBO interiors may have reached relatively high temperatures. Models suggest that KBOs likely lost very volatile ices during early evolution, whereas less volatile ices should be retained in cold, less altered subsurface layers; initially amorphous ice may have crystallized in the interior as well, releasing trapped volatiles. Generally, KBOs should be stratified in terms of composition and porosity, albeit subject to impact disruption and collisional stripping. KBOs are thus unlikely to be "the most pristine objects in the Solar System.” Large (dwarf planet) KBOs may be fully differentiated. KBO surface color and compositional classes are usually discussed in terms of "nature vs. nurture,” i.e., a generic primordial composition vs. surface processing, but the true nature of KBOs also depends on how they have evolved. The broad range of albedos now found in the Kuiper belt, deep water-ice absorptions on some objects, evidence for differentiation of Pluto and 2003 EL61, and a range of densities incompatible with a single, primordial composition and variable porosity strongly imply significant, intrinsic compositional differences among KBOs. The interplay of formation zone (accretion rate), body size, and dynamical (collisional) history may yield KBO compositional classes (and their spectral correlates) that recall the different classes of asteroids in the inner Solar System, but whose members are

  19. Detection of CO and HCN in Pluto's atmosphere with ALMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lellouch, E.; Gurwell, M.; Butler, B.; Fouchet, T.; Lavvas, P.; Strobel, D. F.; Sicardy, B.; Moullet, A.; Moreno, R.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Biver, N.; Young, L.; Lis, D.; Stansberry, J.; Stern, A.; Weaver, H.; Young, E.; Zhu, X.; Boissier, J.

    2017-04-01

    Observations of the Pluto-Charon system, acquired with the ALMA interferometer on June 12-13, 2015, have led to the detection of the CO(3-2) and HCN(4-3) rotational transitions from Pluto (including the hyperfine structure of HCN), providing a strong confirmation of the presence of CO, and the first observation of HCN in Pluto's atmosphere. The CO and HCN lines probe Pluto's atmosphere up to ∼450 km and ∼900 km altitude, respectively, with a large contribution due to limb emission. The CO detection yields (i) a much improved determination of the CO mole fraction, as 515 ± 40 ppm for a 12 μbar surface pressure (ii) strong constraints on Pluto's mean atmospheric dayside temperature profile over ∼50-400 km, with clear evidence for a well-marked temperature decrease (i.e., mesosphere) above the 30-50 km stratopause and a best-determined temperature of 70 ± 2 K at 300 km, somewhat lower than previously estimated from stellar occultations (81 ± 6 K), and in agreement with recent inferences from New Horizons / Alice solar occultation data. The HCN line shape implies a high abundance of this species in the upper atmosphere, with a mole fraction >1.5 × 10-5 above 450 km and a value of 4 × 10-5 near 800 km. Assuming HCN at saturation, this would require a warm (>92 K) upper atmosphere layer; while this is not ruled out by the CO emission, it is inconsistent with the Alice-measured CH4 and N2 line-of-sight column densities. Taken together, the large HCN abundance and the cold upper atmosphere imply supersaturation of HCN to a degree (7-8 orders of magnitude) hitherto unseen in planetary atmospheres, probably due to a lack of condensation nuclei above the haze region and the slow kinetics of condensation at the low pressure and temperature conditions of Pluto's upper atmosphere. HCN is also present in the bottom ∼100 km of the atmosphere, with a 10-8-10-7 mole fraction; this implies either HCN saturation or undersaturation there, depending on the precise

  20. Pluto's atmosphere near perihelion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trafton, L.M. (Univ. of Texas, Austin (USA))

    1989-11-01

    A recent stellar occultation has confirmed predictions that Pluto has an atmosphere which is sufficiently thick to uniformly envelope the planet and to extend far above the surface. Pluto's atmosphere consists of methane and perhaps other volatile gases at temperatures below their freezing points; it should regulate the surface temperature of its volatile ices to a globally uniform value. As Pluto approaches and passes through perihelion, a seasonal maximum in the atmospheric bulk and a corresponding minimum in the exposed volatile ice abundance is expected to occur. The lag in maximum atmospheric bulk relative to perihelion will be diagnostic of the surface thermal properties. An estimate of Pluto's atmospheric bulk may result if a global darkening (resulting from the disappearance of the seasonally deposited frosts) occurs before the time of maximum atmospheric bulk. The ice deposited shortly after perihelion may be diagnostic of the composition of Pluto's volatile reservoir.

  1. The evolution of a Pluto-like system during the migration of the ice giants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pires, Pryscilla; Giuliatti Winter, Silvia M.; Gomes, Rodney S.

    2015-01-01

    The planetary migration of the Solar System giant planets in the framework of the Nice model (Tsiganis, K., Gomes, R., Morbidelli, A., Levison, H.F. [2005]. Nature 435,459-461; Morbidelli, A., Levison, H.F., Tsiganis, K., Gomes, R. [2005]. Nature 435, 462-465; Gomes, R., Levison, H.F., Tsiganis, K., Morbidelli, A. [2005]. Nature 435, 466-469) creates a dynamical mechanism which can be used to explain the distribution of objects currently observed in the Kuiper belt (e.g., Levison, H.F., Morbidelli, A., Vanlaerhoven, C., Gomes, R., Tsiganis, K. [2008]. Icarus 196, 258-273). Through this mechanism the planetesimals within the disk, heliocentric distance ranging from beyond Neptune's orbit to approximately 34 AU, are delivered to the belt after a temporary eccentric phase of Uranus and Neptune's orbits. We reproduced the mechanism proposed by Levison et al. to implant bodies into the Kuiper belt. The capture of Pluto into the external 3:2 mean motion resonance with Neptune is associated with this gravitational scattering model. We verified the existence of several close encounters between the ice giants and the planetesimals during their outward radial migration, then we believe that the analysis of the dynamical history of the plutonian satellites during this kind of migration is important, and would provide some constrains about their place of formation - within the primordial planetesimal disk or in situ. We performed N-body simulations and recorded the trajectories of the planetesimals during close approaches with Uranus and Neptune. Close encounters with Neptune are the most common, reaching approximately 1200 in total. A Pluto similarly sized body assumed the hyperbolic trajectories of the former primordial planetesimal with respect to those giant planets. We assumed the current mutual orbital configuration and sizes for Pluto's satellites, then we found that the rate of destruction of systems similar to that of Pluto with closest approaches to Uranus or Neptune

  2. HORIZON SENSING

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Larry G. Stolarczyk

    2003-03-18

    With the aid of a DOE grant (No. DE-FC26-01NT41050), Stolar Research Corporation (Stolar) developed the Horizon Sensor (HS) to distinguish between the different layers of a coal seam. Mounted on mining machine cutter drums, HS units can detect or sense the horizon between the coal seam and the roof and floor rock, providing the opportunity to accurately mine the section of the seam most desired. HS also enables accurate cutting of minimum height if that is the operator's objective. Often when cutting is done out-of-seam, the head-positioning function facilitates a fixed mining height to minimize dilution. With this technology, miners can still be at a remote location, yet cut only the clean coal, resulting in a much more efficient overall process. The objectives of this project were to demonstrate the feasibility of horizon sensing on mining machines and demonstrate that Horizon Sensing can allow coal to be cut cleaner and more efficiently. Stolar's primary goal was to develop the Horizon Sensor (HS) into an enabling technology for full or partial automation or ''agile mining''. This technical innovation (R&D 100 Award Winner) is quickly demonstrating improvements in productivity and miner safety at several prominent coal mines in the United States. In addition, the HS system can enable the cutting of cleaner coal. Stolar has driven the HS program on the philosophy that cutting cleaner coal means burning cleaner coal. The sensor, located inches from the cutting bits, is based upon the physics principles of a Resonant Microstrip Patch Antenna (RMPA). When it is in proximity of the rock-coal interface, the RMPA impedance varies depending on the thickness of uncut coal. The impedance is measured by the computer-controlled electronics and then sent by radio waves to the mining machine. The worker at the machine can read the data via a Graphical User Interface, displaying a color-coded image of the coal being cut, and direct the machine

  3. Killing Horizons Kill Horizon Degrees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergamin, L.; Grumiller, D.

    Frequently, it is argued that the microstates responsible for the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy should arise from some physical degrees of freedom located near or on the black hole horizon. In this essay, we elucidate that instead entropy may emerge from the conversion of physical degrees of freedom, attached to a generic boundary, into unobservable gauge degrees of freedom attached to the horizon. By constructing the reduced phase space, it can be demonstrated that such a transmutation indeed takes place for a large class of black holes, including Schwarzschild.

  4. Killing horizons kill horizon degrees

    CERN Document Server

    Bergamin, L

    2006-01-01

    Frequently it is argued that the microstates responsible for the Bekenstein-Hawking entropy should arise from some physical degrees of freedom located near or on the black hole horizon. In this Essay we elucidate that instead entropy may emerge from the conversion of physical degrees of freedom, attached to a generic boundary, into unobservable gauge degrees of freedom attached to the horizon. By constructing the reduced phase space it can be demonstrated that such a transmutation indeed takes place for a large class of black holes, including Schwarzschild.

  5. The formation of Pluto's low-mass satellites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kenyon, Scott J. [Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Bromley, Benjamin C., E-mail: skenyon@cfa.harvard.edu, E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu [Department of Physics, University of Utah, 201 JFB, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Motivated by the New Horizons mission, we consider how Pluto's small satellites—currently Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra—grow in debris from the giant impact that forms the Pluto-Charon binary. After the impact, Pluto and Charon accrete some of the debris and eject the rest from the binary orbit. During the ejection, high-velocity collisions among debris particles produce a collisional cascade, leading to the ejection of some debris from the system and enabling the remaining debris particles to find stable orbits around the binary. Our numerical simulations of coagulation and migration show that collisional evolution within a ring or a disk of debris leads to a few small satellites orbiting Pluto-Charon. These simulations are the first to demonstrate migration-induced mergers within a particle disk. The final satellite masses correlate with the initial disk mass. More massive disks tend to produce fewer satellites. For the current properties of the satellites, our results strongly favor initial debris masses of 3-10 × 10{sup 19} g and current satellite albedos A ≈ 0.4-1. We also predict an ensemble of smaller satellites, R ≲ 1-3 km, and very small particles, R ≈ 1-100 cm and optical depth τ ≲ 10{sup –10}. These objects should have semimajor axes outside the current orbit of Hydra.

  6. Implications of the Detection of X-rays From Pluto by Chandra for Its Solar Wind - Neutral Atmosphere Interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, C. M.

    2016-12-01

    Using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, we have obtained low-resolution imaging X-ray spectrophotometry of the Pluto system in support of the New Horizons (NH) flyby. In a total of 174 ksec of on-target time, we measured 8 photons from 0.31 to 0.60 keV in a co-moving 11 x 11 pixel2 box (the 90% flux aperture for fixed background sources in the field) measuring 121,000 x 121,000 km2 (or 100 x 100 RPluto) at Pluto. The Pluto photons do not have the spectral shape of the background, are coincident with a 90% flux aperture co-moving with Pluto, and are not confused with any background source, so we consider them as sourced from the Pluto system. Allowing for background, we find a net signal of 6.8 counts and a statistical noise level of 1.2 counts, for a detection of Pluto at > 99.95%. The mean 0.31 - 0.60 keV X-ray power from Pluto is 200 +200/-100 MW, in the middle range of X-ray power levels seen for other known solar system emission sources: auroral precipitation, solar X-ray scattering, and charge exchange (CXE) between solar wind (SW) ions and atmospheric neutrals. We eliminate auroral effects as a source, as Pluto has no known magnetic field and the NH/Alice UV spectrometer detected no airglow from Pluto during the flyby. Atmospheric haze particles could produce resonant scattering of solar X-rays from Pluto, but the energy signature of the detected photons does not match the solar spectrum and estimates of Pluto's scattered X-ray emission are 2 to 3 orders of magnitude lower than seen in our observations. CXE-driven emission from hydrogenic and heliogenic SW carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen ions can produce the energy signature seen, and the 6 x 1025 neutral gas escape rate from Pluto deduced from NH data (Gladstone et al. 2016) can support the 3.0 +3.0/-1.5 x 1024 X-ray photons/s emission rate required by our observations. Using the SW proton density and speed measured by the NH/SWAP instrument in the vicinity of Pluto at the time of the photon emissions, we find a

  7. Rarefied gas dynamic simulation of transfer and escape in the Pluto-Charon system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoey, William A.; Yeoh, Seng Keat; Trafton, Laurence M.; Goldstein, David B.; Varghese, Philip L.

    2017-05-01

    We apply the direct simulation Monte Carlo rarefied gas dynamic technique to simulations of Pluto's rarefied upper atmosphere motivated by the need to better understand New Horizons (NH) data. We present a novel three-dimensional DSMC model of the atmosphere that spans from several hundred km below the exobase - where continuum flow transitions to the rarefied regime - to fully free-molecular flow hundreds of thousands of km from Pluto's center. We find molecular collisions in Pluto's upper atmosphere to be significant in shaping the flowfield, both by promoting flux from the plutonian exobase to Charon and by increasing the proportion of that flux generated on the exobase's anti-Charon hemisphere. Our model accounts for the gravitational fields of both Pluto and Charon, the centripetal and Coriolis forces due to the rotation of Pluto in our reference frame, and the presence of Charon as a temporary sink for impacting particles. Using this model, we analyze the escape processes of N2 and CH4 from Pluto across different solar heating conditions, and evaluate the three-dimensional structure of the upper plutonian atmosphere, including gas transfer to and deposition on Charon. We find results consistent with the NH-determined escape rate, upper atmospheric temperature, and lack of a detectable Charon atmosphere. Gas-transfer structures are noted in a binary atmospheric configuration, including preferential deposition of material from Pluto's escaping atmosphere onto Charon's leading hemisphere that peaks at 315° E on the equator. As the moon gravitationally focuses incident flow, a high density structure forms in its wake. If molecules are permitted to escape from Charon in diffuse reflections from its surface, a returning flux forms to Pluto's exobase, preferentially directed toward its trailing hemisphere. Charon is capable of supporting a thin atmosphere at column densities as high as 1.5 × 1017 m-2 in simulations with a plutonian exobase condition similar to the

  8. Pluto Express power system architecture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carr, G.A. [California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.

    1996-12-31

    The Pluto Express power system must answer the challenge of the next generation spacecraft by reducing its power, mass and volume envelopes. Technology developed by the New Millennium Program will enable the power system to meet the stringent requirements for the Pluto Express mission without exceeding the spacecraft mass and volume budgets. Traditionally, there has been an increasing trend of the percentage of mass of the power system electronics with respect to the total spacecraft mass. With all of the previous technology focus on high density digital packaging, the power system electronics have not been keeping pace forcing the spacecraft to absorb a relative increase in the power system mass. The increasing trend can be reversed by using mixed signal ASICs and high density multi-chip-module (MCM) packaging techniques validated by the New Millennium Program. As the size of the spacecraft shrinks, the power system electronics must become tightly integrated with the spacecraft loads. The power system architecture needs the flexibility to accommodate the specific load requirements without sacrificing the capability for growth or reduction as the spacecraft requirements change throughout the development. Modularity is a key requirement that will reduce the overall power system cost. Although the focus has been on shrinking the power system volume and mass, the efficiency and functionality cannot be ignored. Increased efficiency and functionality will only enhance the power systems capability to reduce spacecraft power requirements. The combination of the New Millennium packaging technologies with the Pluto Express power system architecture will produce a product with the capability to meet a wide range of mission profiles while reducing system development costs.

  9. Modeling glacial flow on and onto Pluto's Sputnik Planum

    CERN Document Server

    Umurhan, O M; Moore, J M; Earle, A M; Binzel, R P; Stern, S A; Schenk, P M; Beyer, R A; White, O L; NImmo, F; McKinnon, W B; Ennico, K; Olkin, C B; Weaver, H A; Young, L A

    2016-01-01

    Observations of Pluto's surface made by the New Horizons spacecraft indicates present-day nitrogen ice glaciation in and around the basin known as Sputnik Planum. Motivated by these observations, we have developed an evolutionary glacial flow model of solid nitrogen ice taking into account its published thermophysical and rheologies properties. This model assumes that glacial ice layers flow laminarly and have low aspect ratios which permits a vertically integrated mathematical formulation. We assess the conditions for the validity of laminar nitrogen ice motion by revisiting the problem of the onset of solid-state buoyant convection of nitrogen ice for a variety of bottom thermal boundary conditions. Subject to uncertainties in nitrogen ice rheology, nitrogen ice layers are estimated to flow laminarly for thicknesses less than 400-1000 meters. The resulting mass-flux formulation for when the nitrogen ice flows as a laminar dry glacier is characterized by an Arrhenius-Glen functional form. The flow model deve...

  10. Pluto's atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliot, J.L.; Dunham, E.W.; Bosh, A.S.; Slivan, S.M.; Young, L.A.

    1989-01-01

    Airborne CCD photometer observations of Pluto's June 9, 1988 stellar occultation have yielded an occultation lightcurve, probing two regions on the sunrise limb 2000 km apart, which reveals an upper atmosphere overlying an extinction layer with an abrupt upper boundary. The extinction layer may surround the entire planet. Attention is given to a model atmosphere whose occultation lightcurve closely duplicates observations; fits of the model to the immersion and emersion lightcurves exhibit no significant derived atmosphere-structure differences. Assuming a pure methane atmosphere, surface pressures of the order of 3 microbars are consistent with the occultation data. 43 references.

  11. Pluto and Charon - the dance goes on

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beatty, J.K.

    1987-09-01

    Various methods for estimating the diameters of Pluto and Charon are discussed. The application of speckle interferometry, the timing of occultations, and the monitoring of Charon and Pluto rotations to calculate the diameter of the planet and its satellite are described. Walker (1980) estimated Charon's diameter as greater than 1200 km using the occultated star method; the speckle interferometry estimates of Baier and Weigelt (1983) are between 2710-3460 km for Pluto and between 1050-1520 km for Charon; and using the mutual events method Dunbar and Tedesco (1986) estimated the diameter of Pluto as 2300 + or - 100 km and of Charon as 1500 + or - 100 km. The use of IRAS data combined with visual brightness to estimate planet and satellite diameters is examined; Tedesco et al. (1987) estimated Pluto's diameter as 2200 + or - 150 km and Charon's as 1300 + or - 150 km, and Aumann and Walker (1987) obtained estimates of 2360 km for Pluto and 1534 km for Charon. The compositions of Pluto's and Charon's atmospheres are analyzed.

  12. Pluto-Charon solar wind interaction dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, J. P. M.; Paty, C. S.

    2017-05-01

    This work studies Charon's effects on the Pluto-solar wind interaction using a multifluid MHD model which simulates the interactions of Pluto and Charon with the solar wind as well as with each other. Specifically, it investigates the ionospheric dynamics of a two body system in which either one or both bodies possess an ionosphere. Configurations in which Charon is directly upstream and directly downstream of Pluto are considered. Depending on ionospheric and solar wind conditions, Charon could periodically pass into the solar wind flow upstream of Pluto. The results of this study demonstrate that in these circumstances Charon modifies the upstream flow, both in the case in which Charon possesses an ionosphere, and in the case in which Charon is without an ionosphere. This modification amounts to a change in the gross structure of the interaction region when Charon possesses an ionosphere but is more localized when Charon lacks an ionosphere. Furthermore, evidence is shown that supports Charon acting to partially shield Pluto from the solar wind when it is upstream of Pluto, resulting in a decrease in ionospheric loss by Pluto.

  13. Discovery of the candidate Kuiper belt object 1992 QB1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jewitt, D.; Luu, J.

    1993-04-01

    The discovery of a new faint object in the outer solar system, 1992 QB1, moving beyond the orbit of Neptune is reported. It is suggested that the 1992 QB1 may represent the first detection of a member of the Kuiper belt (Edgworth, 1949; Kuiper, 1951), the hypothesized population of objects beyond Neptune and a possible source of the short-period comets, as suggested by Whipple (1964), Fernandez (1980), and Duncan et al. (1988).

  14. The Moons of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert Hamilton; Cruikshank, Dale P.

    1985-01-01

    In preparation for the Voyager flybys in 1989, the pace of ground-based investigations of the moons of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto has quickened considerably. Information derived from these investigations is presented. (JN)

  15. Geochemistry of Soils from the PLUTO Database

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Geochemical data for soils collected in the United States and analyzed by the USGS. The data were originally entered into the in-house PLUTO database. This is a...

  16. Results from PLUTO at PETRA

    CERN Document Server

    Blobel, Volker

    1979-01-01

    Results obtained at the e/sup +/e/sup -/ storage ring PETRA by the PLUTO collaboration at c.m. energies of 13, 17 and 27.4 GeV are presented. New limits on QED cut-off parameters are determined from Bhabha scattering; at 27.4 GeV the limits are Lambda /sub +/>38 GeV and Lambda /sub -/>60 GeV. The measured values of the total hadronic cross section, and the study of the jet character of the hadronic events are well consistent with the expected production of b mesons (with q/sub b/=1/3), but do not require additional new quarks with charge 2/3. Hadronic events from two-photon exchange processes are observed with comparable rates as events from one-photon exchange. First results on the hadronic cross section in gamma gamma collisions are given. (8 refs).

  17. Comparative planetary nitrogen atmospheres: Density and thermal structures of Pluto and Triton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strobel, Darrell F.; Zhu, Xun

    2017-07-01

    cools the atmosphere to a lower temperature. Finally we suggest that Pluto's thermosphere is a cold ∼ 70 K due to ablation of H2O molecules from the influx of dust grains detected by New Horizons Student Dust Counter.

  18. The Edgeworth-Kuiper debris disk

    CERN Document Server

    Vitense, Christian; Löhne, Torsten

    2010-01-01

    (Abridged) The Edgeworth-Kuiper belt with its presumed dusty debris is a natural reference for extrsolar debris disks. We employ a new algorithm to eliminate the inclination and the distance selection effects in the known TNO populations to derive expected parameters of the "true" EKB. Its estimated mass is M_EKB=0.12 M_earth, which is by a factor of \\sim 15 larger than the mass of the EKB objects detected so far. About a half of the total EKB mass is in classical and resonant objects and another half is in scattered ones. Treating the debiased populations of EKB objects as dust parent bodies, we then "generate" their dust disk with our collisional code. Apart from accurate handling of collisions and direct radiation pressure, we include the Poynting-Robertson (P-R) drag, which cannot be ignored for the EKB dust disk. Outside the classical EKB, the radial profile of the optical depth approximately follows tau \\sim r^-2 which is roughly intermediate between the slope predicted analytically for collision-domina...

  19. Geomorphological Mapping of Sputnik Planum on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Oliver; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Young, Leslie; Cheng, Andrew F.; New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Theme Team, New Horizons Composition Theme Team

    2016-10-01

    The New Horizons flyby of Pluto in July 2015 provided extensive high-resolution coverage of its encounter hemisphere. The most prominent surface feature in this hemisphere is the high albedo region informally named Tombaugh Regio, the western portion of which is represented by the expansive nitrogen ice plains informally named Sputnik Planum. A large fraction of Sputnik Planum displays a distinct cellular pattern, with individual cells typically displaying ovoid planforms and shallow pitting on a scale of a few hundred meters. Troughs with medial ridges define the boundaries between cells. Prior studies have argued that this pattern is indicative of solid-state convection occurring within the nitrogen ice. The southern non-cellular plains are either featureless or display dense fields of often elongate and aligned pits typically reaching a few km across, which are interpreted to have formed via sublimation.The mapping that will be presented at DPS focuses on identifying the different plains units that compose Sputnik Planum and defining the boundaries between them, which aids in assessing their time sequencing and correlation to one another. The cellular plains are divided into bright and dark units; the nature of the contact between the two indicates that ice of the bright plains, interpreted to have been recently emplaced via glacial flow from the highlands to the east of Sputnik Planum, is overlying ice of the dark plains, interpreted to be an older ice mass with a higher abundance of entrained dark material. Reconciling the seemingly contradictory models of a layered and also convecting Sputnik Planum requires consideration of the timescale of lateral flow of the bright plains ice relative to the timescale of convective overturn. The non-cellular plains are universally bright and display evidence for southwards flow of the ice, based on the orientations of elongate sublimation pits as well as the presence of 'extinct cells' that appear to have migrated away

  20. Formation and evolution of Pluto's small satellites

    CERN Document Server

    Walsh, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Pluto's system of 5 known satellites are in a puzzling orbital configuration. Each of the four small satellites are on low-eccentricity and low-inclination orbits situated near a mean motion resonance with the largest satellite Charon. The Pluto-Charon binary likely formed as a result of a giant impact and so the simplest explanation for the small satellites is that they accreted from debris of that collision. The Pluto-Charon binary has evolved outward since its formation due to tidal forces, which drove them into their current doubly synchronous state. Meanwhile, leftover debris from the formation of Charon was not initially distant enough from Pluto-Charon to explain the orbits of the current small satellites. The outstanding problems of the system are the movement of debris outward and the small satellites location near mean motion resonances with Charon. This work explores the dynamical behavior of collisionally interacting debris orbiting the Pluto-Charon system. While this work specifically tests initi...

  1. Penitentes as the origin of the bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa on Pluto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moores, John E; Smith, Christina L; Toigo, Anthony D; Guzewich, Scott D

    2017-01-12

    Penitentes are snow and ice features formed by erosion that, on Earth, are characterized by bowl-shaped depressions several tens of centimetres across, whose edges grade into spires up to several metres tall. Penitentes have been suggested as an explanation for anomalous radar data on Europa, but until now no penitentes have been identified conclusively on planetary bodies other than Earth. Regular ridges with spacings of 3,000 to 5,000 metres and depths of about 500 metres with morphologies that resemble penitentes have been observed by the New Horizons spacecraft in the Tartarus Dorsa region of Pluto (220°-250° E, 0°-20° N). Here we report simulations, based upon a recent model representing conditions on Pluto, in which deepening penitentes reproduce both the tri-modal (north-south, east-west and northeast-southwest) orientation and the spacing of the ridges of this bladed terrain. At present, these penitentes deepen by approximately one centimetre per orbital cycle and grow only during periods of relatively high atmospheric pressure, suggesting a formation timescale of several tens of millions of years, consistent with crater ages. This timescale implies that the penitentes formed from initial topographic variations of no more than a few tens of metres, consistent with Pluto's youngest terrains.

  2. Penitentes as the Origin of the Bladed Terrain of Tartarus Dorsa on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moores, John E.; Smith, Christina L.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Guzewich, Scott D.

    2017-01-01

    Penitentes are snow and ice features formed by erosion that, on Earth, are characterized by bowl-shaped depressions several tens of centimetres across, whose edges grade into spires up to several metres tall. Penitentes have been suggested as an explanation for anomalous radar data on Europa, but until now no penitentes have been identified conclusively on planetary bodies other than Earth. Regular ridges with spacings of 3,000 to 5,000 metres and depths of about 500 metres with morphologies that resemble penitentes have been observed by the New Horizons spacecraft in the Tartarus Dorsa region of Pluto (220 deg -250 deg E, 0 deg -20 deg N). Here we report simulations, based upon a recent model representing conditions on Pluto in which deepening penitentes reproduce both the tri-modal (north-south, east-west and northeast-southwest) orientation and the spacing of the ridges of this bladed terrain. At present, these penitentes deepen by approximately one centimetre per orbital cycle and grow only during periods of relatively high atmospheric pressure, suggesting a formation timescale of several tens of millions of years, consistent with crater ages. This timescale implies that the penitentes formed from initial topographic variations of no more than a few tens of metres, consistent with Plutos youngest terrains.

  3. Modeling Pluto's Ice-Rich Surface and Its Interaction with Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Q.; Hu, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Recent discoveries made available through NASA's New Horizon mission revealed a new world on Pluto with a plateau of "young" surface, the Sputnik Planum. It is a gigantic reservoir of volatile ice on top of an impact basin. The reason of such a high level of concentration of volatile ice is yet unknown. We are actively looking into explanations through atmospheric models and ice sheet models. Apart from the quantity of ice on SP, its surface age constrained by impact flux models to under 10Myr is significantly different from other parts of Pluto. Convection of solid nitrogen ice has been proposed as a viable cause. We endeavor to explore other possibilities that may have jointly contributed to this phenomena, including atmospheric condensation, ice sheet evolution, etc. Unique rheological properties of nitrogen ice, which is thought to dominate the Sputnik Planum, may hold the key to answering our questions. They are soft and easy to deform under its own weight even at Pluto's surface temperature of around 40K. Based on our initial simulations with numerical ice sheet models, we propose that once a crater is created on the Sputnik Planum, deformation under internal stress kicks in as a primary mechanism to flatten out craters. This could be done in a time scale of 100,000 years, significantly shorter than the maximum surface age contrained by crater densitiess models. As the surface arpproaches a flat state, such mechanism becomes weaker. The surface feature is then dominated by convection.

  4. Structure and evolution of Pluto's Atmosphere from ground-based stellar occultations between 2002 and 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meza, Erick; Sicardy, Bruno; Rio de Janeiro occultation team, Granada occultation team, International Occultation and Timing Association

    2016-10-01

    Ground-Based stellar occultations probe Pluto's atmosphere from about 3 km altitude (~ 10 μbar pressure level) up to 260 km altitude (~0.1 μbar). Our main goal is to derive Pluto's atmosphere evolution using thirteen ground-based occultations observed between 2002 and 2015 (plus 2016, if available). We consistently analyze the light curves using the Dias et al. (ApJ 811, 53, 2015) model, and confirm the general pressure increase by a factor of about 1.5 between 2002 and 2015 and a factor of almost three between 1988 and 2015. Implications for Pluto's seasonal evolution will be briefly discussed in the context of the New Horizons (NH) findings.Ground-based-derived temperature profiles will be compared with NH's results, where we use new temperature boundary conditions in our inversion procedures, as given by NH near 260 km altitude. Although the profiles reasonably agree, significant discrepancies are observed both in the deeper stratospheric zone (altitude topographic features revealed by NH.Finally, possible correlations between spike activity in the occultation light-curves and local underlying presence of free nitrogen ice terrains will be investigated.Part of the research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Community's H2020 (2014-2020/ ERC Grant Agreement n 669416 "LUCKY STAR").

  5. Resolved CCD Photometry of Pluto and Charon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, J.H.; Waddell, P.; Christian, C.A.

    1988-04-01

    Highly resolved CCD images of Pluto and Charon near maximum separation are measured with point spread function fitting techniques to determine independent magnitudes and an accurate separation for Pluto and Charon. A measured separation of 0.923 + or - 0.005 arcsec at a position angle of 173.3 + or - 0.3 deg on June 18, 1987 UT produced a value of 19558.0 + or - 153.0 km for the radius of Charon's orbit. An apparent B magnitude of 14.877 + or - 0.009 and (B-I) color of 1.770 + or - 0.015 are determined for Pluto, while Charon is fainter with B = 18.826 + or - 0.011 and slightly bluer with (B-I) = 1.632 + or - 0.018. 18 references.

  6. TPCI: The PLUTO-CLOUDY Interface

    CERN Document Server

    Salz, M; Mignone, A; Schneider, P C; Czesla, S; Schmitt, J H M M

    2015-01-01

    We present an interface between the (magneto-) hydrodynamics code PLUTO and the plasma simulation and spectral synthesis code CLOUDY. By combining these codes, we constructed a new photoionization hydrodynamics solver: The PLUTO-CLOUDY Interface (TPCI), which is well suited to simulate photoevaporative flows under strong irradiation. The code includes the electromagnetic spectrum from X-rays to the radio range and solves the photoionization and chemical network of the 30 lightest elements. TPCI follows an iterative numerical scheme: First, the equilibrium state of the medium is solved for a given radiation field by CLOUDY, resulting in a net radiative heating or cooling. In the second step, the latter influences the (magneto-) hydrodynamic evolution calculated by PLUTO. Here, we validated the one-dimensional version of the code on the basis of four test problems: Photoevaporation of a cool hydrogen cloud, cooling of coronal plasma, formation of a Stroemgren sphere, and the evaporating atmosphere of a hot Jupi...

  7. Spectrophotometry of Kuiper Belt Objects and Centaurs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, S. M.; Vilas, F.

    2002-09-01

    We present an ongoing study of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and Centaurs. We acquired broadband (UBVRI) and medium band photometry with the 4m Mayall telescope at Kitt Peak and the 1.8m Perkins telescope at Lowell Observatory. We present broadband colors of these objects and discuss the results of our search for absorption bands in the visible spectral region. Vilas (Icarus, 111) demonstrated that the existence of the 0.7um absorption feature in asteroids with solar-like colors was strongly correlated with the presence of the 3.0um water of hydration feature. The broad 0.7um absorption band is attributed to a charge-transfer in Fe-bearing hydrated silicates (phyllosilicates), which are a product of aqueous alteration. For aqueous alteration to take place, one must have water ice present in an object, and an energy source to heat the water ice to a liquid water phase. Water ice has already been discovered in some Centaurs (Luu et al. ApJ, 531; Brown AJ, 119), and Durda and Stern (Icarus, 145) estimate that KBOs experience collisional processing regularly throughout their lifetimes. The estimated impact energies are high enough to induce aqueous alteration. We undertook this study to search for evidence of the 0.7um feature in KBOs and Centaurs. We employed medium band Windhorst filters, located at 0.527, 0.666, 0.705, 0.755 and 0.848 um in conjunction with the Mosaic CCD to search for this absorption band, which extends from 0.57-0.83um. Initial analysis suggests that an absorption feature exists near 0.7um in the greyer objects but not the redder objects, following the correlations observed in asteroids. These data are consistent with the absorption band detected near 0.7um by de Bergh et al. (ACM 2002, Berlin) in visible spectra of 2000 EB173 and 2000 GN171. However, further analysis is required to confirm whether the absorption we see is due to phyllosilicates or another source. We will present the results from this analysis. This research was supported through the

  8. Spectroscopy of Pluto and Charon with HST during the encounter year

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oszkiewicz, Dagmara Anna; Grundy, Will; Buie, Marc W.; Binzel, Richard; Weaver, Harold A.; Spencer, John R.; Stern, S. Alan

    2016-10-01

    Pluto is the largest of the handful of transneptunian bodies massive enough to retain, over the age of the solar system, an abundant inventory of volatiles including N2, CH4, and CO (Schaller et al. 2007). Sublimation and condensation act in concert with wind to efficiently transport heat (as well as the ices themselves) in response to diurnally and seasonally changing patterns of insolation (Spencer et al. 1997, Trafton et al. 1998). Recent indications suggest that observable changes could occur from one Earth year to the next (Grundy et al. 2014) and observations of Triton, with a similar inventory of volatile ices suggest that dramatic changes could occur on relatively short timescale (Hicks et al. 2000). The goal of this study is therefore to bridge the gap between sparse, multi-year spectral monitoring of Pluto and the brief, but extremely detailed snapshot provided by New Horizons spacecraft.We obtained high S/N spectra of Pluto and Charon separately with the HST's WFC3/IR grism G141. Altogether, we have collected data from ten visits at various sub-HST longitudes centered on the New Horizons encounter hemisphere. During each visit we obtained 8 dithered spectral images and 4 direct images in the F139M filter. The spectral reduction followed the recipe outlined in the WFC3 IR Grism Data Reduction Cookbook. The final spectra were combined to achieve spectral uncertainty at the level of around 0.2\\% (that is five times betterthan in our previous studies). The combined spectra were then explored for sub-latitude, sub-longitude, and phase angle dependences.

  9. The structure and temperature of Pluto's Sputnik Planum using 4.2 cm radiometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linscott, Ivan; Protopapa, Silvia; Hinson, David P.; Bird, Mike; Tyler, G. Leonard; Grundy, William M.; McKinnon, William B.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Stern, S. Alan; Stansberry, John A.; Weaver, Harold A.; Pluto Composition Team, Pluto Geophysics and Geology Team, Pluto Atmospheres Team

    2016-10-01

    New Horizons measured the radiometric brightness temperature of Pluto at 4.2 cm, during the encounter with two scans of the spacecraft's high gain antenna shortly after closest approach. The Pluto mid-section scan included the region informally known as Sputnik Planum, now understood to be filled with nitrogen ice. The mean radiometric brightness temperature at 4.2 cm, obtained in this region is 25 K, for both Right Circular Polarization (RCP) and Left Circular Polarization (LCP), well below the sublimation temperature for nitrogen ice. Sputnik Planum was near the limb and the termination of the radiometric scan. Consequently, the thermal emission was measured obliquely over a wide range of emission angles. This geometry affords detailed modeling of the angular dependence of the thermal radiation, incorporating surface and subsurface electromagnetic scattering models as well as emissivity models of the nitrogen ice. In addition, a bistatic radar measurement detected the scattering of a 4.2 cm uplink transmitted from Earth. The bistatic specular point was within Sputnik Planum and the measurements are useful for constraining the dielectric constant as well as the surface and subsurface scattering functions of the nitrogen ice. The combination of the thermal emission's angular dependence, RCP and LCP polarization dependence, and the bistatic scattering, yields estimates of the radiometric thermal emissivity, nitrogen ice temperature and spatial correlation scales.This work is supported by the NASA New Horizons Mission.

  10. On the Dynamics of Resonant Kuiper Belt Objects

    CERN Document Server

    Jiang, I G; Jiang, Ing-Guey; Yeh, Li-Chin

    2007-01-01

    We propose a new mechanism of drag-induced resonant capture, which can explain the resonant Kuiper Belt Objects in a natural way. A review and comparison with the traditional mechanism of sweeping capture by the migrating Neptune will be given.

  11. Exploring the kuiper belt with the magellan telescopes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. L. Elliot

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Desde 2001 hemos realizado observaciones astrom etricas y fotom etricas de objetos del cintur on de Kuiper con los telescopios Magallanes en el Observatorio de Las Camapanas. Describimos algunos de nuestro princi- pales resultados de clasi caciones din amicas, descubrimiento de binarias, correlaci on de colores y ocultaciones estelares.

  12. Landslides on Charon and not on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Ross A.; Singer, Kelsi N.; Nimmo, Francis; Moore, Jeffrey M.; McKinnon, William B.; Schenk, Paul M.; Spencer, John R.; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Young, Leslie; Ennico, Kimberly; Stern, S. Alan; New Horizons Science Team

    2016-10-01

    Landslide features are observed on Charon but not on Pluto. This observation is another that reinforces the different strength regime of surface materials on the two bodies. Pluto's surface, although underlain by strong water ice, is primarily mantled with a variety of geologically weak ice species. Observations of these features indicate that they flow and move, but do so in a manner similar to glacial flow, and the strength and steepening required to precipitate a landslide simply isn't present in these materials under the pressure and temperature conditions on Pluto's surface. There are certainly areas of local mass-wasting, but no substantial landslide deposits. There are some locations on Pluto, notably along the fossae walls, and perhaps on the steeper montes surfaces that could have fostered landslides, but no landslide deposits have been observed nor are there obvious landslide alcoves that would have sourced them. The resolution of observations along the fossae may prevent identification there, and the toes of the steeper montes are embayed by geologically recent plains material which could be overlaying any landslide deposits.Charon, however, has a water-ice surface which exhibits many strength-dominated geologic features, and also exhibits landslide deposits. There are not many of these features and they are confined to the informally named Serenity Chasma, which has relatively steep, tall slopes, perfect for landslide initiation. We will discuss the physical characteristics of these landslide deposits and their context amongst other landslide features in the solar system.

  13. A Database of Optical Constants for Ices and Non-Ices Expected on Pluto and its Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olkin, Jake

    2013-10-01

    The New Horizons mission will reach Pluto in 2015. In anticipation of this, the project wanted a single site to manage the optical constants needed in the analysis of the flight data. This poster presents a web-based tool that provides access to optical constants for species expected on Pluto or its satellites. The laboratory data comes from public sources and personal communication. The publically available web page allows for easy searching and data retrieval of optical constants as a function of wavelength. The database contains information on pure ice species, tholins, binary mixtures and others. This poster will present the link for the web page, a description of the search parameters, sample search results, and a summary of available optical constants.

  14. Estimating the thermally induced acceleration of the New Horizons spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerra, André G. C.; Francisco, Frederico; Gil, Paulo J. S.; Bertolami, Orfeu

    2017-06-01

    Residual accelerations due to thermal effects are estimated through a model of the New Horizons spacecraft and a Monte Carlo simulation. We also discuss and estimate the thermal effects on the attitude of the spacecraft. The work is based on a method previously used for the Pioneer and Cassini probes, which solve the Pioneer anomaly problem. The results indicate that after the encounter with Pluto there is a residual acceleration of the order of 10-9 m/s 2 , and that rotational effects should be difficult, although not impossible, to detect.

  15. CRYOCHEM calculation: Minor components influence solid solutions in nitrogen-methane atmospheres - ethane on Titan and carbon monoxide on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, S. P.; Kargel, J. S.; Adidharma, H.; Marion, G. M.

    2016-12-01

    In the extremely cold conditions on Triton, Pluto and other Kuiper Belt Objects, and Titan's tropopause and lower stratosphere, the atmospheres as a whole, not components individually, are subject to freeze into solid phases as solutions, notpure ices. This is in contrast to water ice in Earth's atmosphere, where the atmosphere stays in gaseous phase when water freezes into a solid phase of presumably pure water due to the much higher temperatures involved. A molecular-based thermodynamic model for cryogenic chemical systems, referred to as CRYOCHEM, has been developed to include the phase equilibria involving multi-component solid solutions. Calculations using CRYOCHEM, therefore, can provide us with compositions of solid solutions that are in equilibrium with the gaseous atmosphere. There is no longer a need to assume pure solids conventionally used in modeling, or even as binary (two-component) mixtures, which commonly consider only nitrogen and methane. Two examples will be discussed: (1) on Titan where ethane plays a significant role in precipitation of high-altitude solid aerosols; and (2) on Pluto where carbon monoxide may also play some important role in the sublimation/condensation cycle at the surface and shallow subsurface, e.g., zone of solid-state greenhouse heating. The presence of these third components essentially affects the solid-gas phase equilibria of nitrogen-methane binary system at their respective conditions on Titan and Pluto, the information of which is useful for future modeling, including those on other bodies in the outer Solar System and comets that share similar volatiles.

  16. Revisiting Vaidya Horizons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex B. Nielsen

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we located and compared different types of horizons in the spherically symmetric Vaidya solution. The horizons we found were trapping horizons, which can be null, timelike, or spacelike, null surfaces with constant area change and also conformal Killing horizons. The conformal Killing horizons only exist for certain choices of the mass function. Under a conformal transformation, the conformal Killing horizons can be mapped into true Killing horizons. This allows conclusions drawn in the dynamical Vaidya spacetime to be related to known properties of static spacetimes. We found the conformal factor that performs this transformation and wrote the new metric in explicitly static coordinates. Using this construction we found that the tunneling argument for Hawking radiation does not umabiguously support Hawking radiation being associated with the trapping horizon. We also used this transformation to derive the form of the surface gravity for a class of physical observers in Vaidya spacetimes.

  17. Pluto - comments on crustal composition, evidence for global differentiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stern, S.A. (Colorado Univ., Boulder (USA))

    1989-09-01

    Evidence is presented in support of the hypothesis that the crust of Pluto consists of nearly pure volatiles and that Pluto has differentiated. The evidence includes the rapid atmospheric escape rate and the presence of methane frost on Pluto. Consideration is given to the implications of the hypothesis, including atmospheric and surface composition, topography, and the implications for Charon and other bodies. The possibility of conducting observations to test the theory is discussed. 33 refs.

  18. Complexity Near Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Halyo, Edi

    2015-01-01

    We generalize the concept of complexity near horizons to all nondegenerate black holes. For Schwarzschild black holes, we show that Rindler observers see a complexity change of $S$ during proper time $1/\\kappa$ which corresponds to the creation of a causal patch with proper length $1/\\kappa$ inside the horizon. We attempt to describe complexity in the horizon CFT and the Euclidean picture.

  19. "Nowhere" differentiable horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Chrúsciel, P T

    1996-01-01

    It is folklore knowledge amongst general relativists that horizons are well behaved, continuously differentiable hypersurfaces except perhaps on a negligible subset one needs not to bother with. We show that this is not the case, by constructing a Cauchy horizon, as well as a black hole event horizon, which contain no open subset on which they are differentiable.

  20. The Effect of Surface Ice and Topography on the Atmospheric Circulation and Distribution of Nitrogen Ice on Pluto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafkin, Scot; Soto, Alejandro; Michaels, Timothy

    2016-04-01

    A newly developed general circulation model (GCM) for Pluto is used to investigate the unexpected and highly heterogeneous distribution of nitrogen surface ice imaged by the New Horizons spacecraft on the surface of Pluto. The GCM is based on the GFDL Flexible Modeling System (FMS) dynamical core, solved on a discretized latitude/longitude horizontal grid and a pressure-based hybrid vertical coordinate. Model physics include a 3-band radiative scheme, molecular thermal conduction within the atmosphere, subsurface thermal conduction, and a nitrogen volatile cycle. The radiative-conductive model takes into account the 2.3, 3.3 and 7.8 μm bands of CH4, including non-local thermodynamic equilibrium effects. The subsurface conduction model assumes a water ice regolith. In the case of nitrogen surface ice deposition, additional super-surface layers are added above the water ice regolith to properly account for conductive energy flow through the nitrogen ice. The nitrogen volatile cycle is based on a vapor pressure equilibrium assumption between the atmosphere and surface. Prior to the arrival of the New Horizons spacecraft, the expectation was that the volatile surface ice distribution on the surface of Pluto would be strongly controlled by the latitudinal temperature gradient resulting primarily from the slow seasonal variations of radiative-conductive equilibrium. If this were the case, then Pluto would have broad latitudinal bands of both ice covered surface and ice free surface, as dictated by the season. Furthermore, the circulation, and thus the transport of volatiles, was thought to be driven almost exclusively by sublimation and deposition flows (so-called "condensation flows") associated with the volatile cycle. In contrast to expectations, images from New Horizon showed an extremely complex, heterogeneous distribution of surface ices draped over topography of substantial geologic diversity. To maintain such an ice distribution, the atmospheric circulation and

  1. Laboratory Investigations of the Complex Refractory Organic Material Produced from Irradiation of Pluto Ice Analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Materese, Christopher K.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Sanford, Scott A.; Imanaka, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    Much of Pluto's surface consists of N2 ice with smaller amounts of CH4 and CO ices. Despite the low temperature (approximately 45K), chemistry can be driven in the surface ices by radiation processing such as cosmic ray bombardment. When cosmic rays strike the surface, much of their energy is dispersed in the form of secondary electrons, which in turn drive much of the resulting chemical reactions. Laboratory experiments designed to simulate the conditions on these icy bodies may provide insight into this chemistry. Significant progress has been made in the laboratory toward understanding the smaller, simple compounds produced in the solid phase by radiation processing of (N2, CH4, CO) ices (Bohn et al. 1994; Moore & Hudson 2003; Hodyss et al. 2011; Kim and Kaiser 2012). Recently Materese et al. (2014) used a variety of techniques to better characterize the refractory materials produced from the UV photo-irradiation of N2:CH4:CO ices. However, because Pluto's atmosphere is optically thick to Lyman-alpha UV radiation it is important to re-examine the results using an alternate radiation source. Our latest work has consisted of the analysis of refractory materials produced from the electron bombardment of low temperature N2(-), CH4(-), and CO(-)containing ices (100:1:1). The ice mixture was chosen to be analogous to the known surface ices on Pluto and the radiation source was chosen to mimic the secondary electrons produced by cosmic rays bombardment. The residues were studied using multiple chemical techniques including, infrared (IR) spectroscopy, X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The organic residues produced in these experiments can be seen as an analog for the refractory component of the surface of Pluto, and are compared with the residues previously obtained from UV photo-irradiation. UV and near- IR spectroscopy of the surfaces of Pluto and Charon during the encounter with

  2. Probing Pluto's Underworld : Predicted Ice Temperatures from Microwave Radiometry Decoupled from Surface Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Gall, Alice; Lorenz, Ralph; Leyrat, Cedric

    2015-11-01

    The Pluto dwarf planet has been successfully observed in July 2015 by the New Horizons spacecraft (NASA) during a close-targeted flyby which reavealed surprising and fascinating landscapes. While data are still being downlinked on the ground, we propose to present a prediction of the observation of the Radio Science Experiment experiment (REX) that occured on July 14, 2015 and aimed at measuring the microwave brightness temperature of Pluto’s night side.Present models admit a wide range of 2015 surface conditions at Pluto and Charon, where the atmospheric pressure may undergo dramatic seasonal variation and for which measurements have been performed by the New Horizons mission. One anticipated observation is the microwave brightness temperature, heretofore anticipated as indicating surface conditions relevant to surface-atmosphere equilibrium. However, drawing on recent experience with Cassini observations at Iapetus and Titan, we call attention to the large electrical skin depth of outer solar system materials such as methane, nitrogen or water ice, such that this observation may indicate temperatures averaged over depths of several or tens of meters beneath the surface.Using a seasonally-forced thermal model to determine microwave emission we predict that the southern hemisphere observations (in the polar night in July 2015) of New Horizons should display relatively warm effective temperatures of about 40 K. This would reflect the deep heat buried over the last century of summer, even if the atmospheric pressure suggests that the surface nitrogen frost point may be much lower. We will present our predictions and discuss their impact for the interpretation of the REX measurements.

  3. Design of the Pluto Event Generator

    CERN Document Server

    Fröhlich, I; Holzmann, R; Markert, J; Ramstein, B; Salabura, P; Stroth, J

    2009-01-01

    We present the design of the simulation package Pluto, aimed at the study of hadronic interactions at SIS and FAIR energies. Its main mission is to offer a modular framework with an object-oriented structure, thereby making additions such as new particles, decays of resonances, new models up to modules for entire changes easily applicable. Overall consistency is ensured by a plugin- and distribution manager. Particular features are the support of a modular structure for physics process descriptions, and the possibility to access the particle stream for on-line modifications. Additional configuration and self-made classes can be attached by the user without re-compiling the package, which makes Pluto extremely configurable.

  4. Geological mapping of Sputnik Planitia on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Oliver L.; Moore, Jeffrey M.; McKinnon, William B.; Spencer, John R.; Howard, Alan D.; Schenk, Paul M.; Beyer, Ross A.; Nimmo, Francis; Singer, Kelsi N.; Umurhan, Orkan M.; Stern, S. Alan; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Cathy B.; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie A.; Cheng, Andrew F.; Bertrand, Tanguy; Binzel, Richard P.; Earle, Alissa M.; Grundy, Will M.; Lauer, Tod R.; Protopapa, Silvia; Robbins, Stuart J.; Schmitt, Bernard

    2017-05-01

    The geology and stratigraphy of the feature on Pluto informally named Sputnik Planitia is documented through geologic mapping at 1:2,000,000 scale. All units that have been mapped are presently being affected to some degree by the action of flowing N2 ice. The N2 ice plains of Sputnik Planitia display no impact craters, and are undergoing constant resurfacing via convection, glacial flow and sublimation. Condensation of atmospheric N2 onto the surface to form a bright mantle has occurred across broad swathes of Sputnik Planitia, and appears to be partly controlled by Pluto's obliquity cycles. The action of N2 ice has been instrumental in affecting uplands terrain surrounding Sputnik Planitia, and has played a key role in the disruption of Sputnik Planitia's western margin to form chains of blocky mountain ranges, as well in the extensive erosion by glacial flow of the uplands to the east of Sputnik Planitia.

  5. Design of the pluto event generator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Froehlich, I; Galatyuk, T; Markert, J; Stroth, J [Institut fuer Kernphysik, Goethe-Universitaet, 60438 Frankfurt (Germany); Holzmann, R; Salabura, P [GSI Helmholtzzentrum fuer Schwerionenforschung GmbH, 64291 Darmstadt (Germany); Ramstein, B, E-mail: Froehlich@physik.uni-frankfurt.d [Institut de Physique Nucleaire d' Orsay, CNRS/IN2P3, 91406 Orsay Cedex (France)

    2010-04-01

    We present the design of the simulation package Pluto, aimed at the study of hadronic interactions at SIS and FAIR energies. Its main mission is to offer a modular framework with an object-oriented structure, thereby making additions such as new particles, decays of resonances, new models up to modules for entire changes easily applicable. Overall consistency is ensured by a plugin- and distribution manager. Particular features are the support of a modular structure for physics process descriptions, and the possibility to access the particle stream for on-line modifications. Additional configuration and self-made classes can be attached by the user without re-compiling the package, which makes Pluto extremely configurable.

  6. Coralling a distant planet with extreme resonant Kuiper belt objects

    CERN Document Server

    Malhotra, Renu; Wang, Xianyu

    2016-01-01

    The four longest period Kuiper belt objects have orbital periods close to small integer ratios with each other. A hypothetical planet with orbital period $\\sim$17,117 years, semimajor axis $\\sim$665 AU, would have N/1 and N/2 period ratios with these four objects. The orbital geometries and dynamics of resonant orbits constrain the orbital plane, the orbital eccentricity and the mass of such a planet, as well as its current location in its orbital path.

  7. Pluto's Light Curve in 1933-1934

    CERN Document Server

    Schaefer, Bradley E; Smith, Luke Timothy

    2008-01-01

    We are reporting on a new accurate photographic light curve of Pluto for 1933-1934 when the heliocentric distance was 40 AU. We used 43 B-band and V-band images of Pluto on 32 plates taken on 15 nights from 19 March 1933 to 10 March 1934. Most of these plates were taken with the Mount Wilson 60" and 100" telescopes, but 7 of the plates (now at the Harvard College Observatory) were taken with the 12" and 16" Metcalf doublets at Oak Ridge. The plates were measured with an iris diaphragm photometer, which has an average one-sigma photometric error on these plates of 0.08 mag as measured by the repeatability of constant comparison stars. The modern B and V magnitudes for the comparison stars were measured with the Lowell Observatory Hall 1.1-m telescope. The magnitudes in the plate's photographic system were converted to the Johnson B- and V-system after correction with color terms, even though they are small in size. We find that the average B-band mean opposition magnitude of Pluto in 1933-1934 was 15.73 +- 0.0...

  8. Collisional Grooming Models of the Kuiper Belt Dust Cloud

    CERN Document Server

    Kuchner, Marc J

    2010-01-01

    We modeled the 3-D structure of the Kuiper Belt dust cloud at four different dust production rates, incorporating both planet-dust interactions and grain-grain collisions using the collisional grooming algorithm. Simulated images of a model with a face-on optical depth of ~10^-4 primarily show an azimuthally-symmetric ring at 40-47 AU in submillimeter and infrared wavelengths; this ring is associated with the cold classical Kuiper Belt. For models with lower optical depths (10^-6 and 10^-7), synthetic infrared images show that the ring widens and a gap opens in the ring at the location of of Neptune; this feature is caused by trapping of dust grains in Neptune's mean motion resonances. At low optical depths, a secondary ring also appears associated with the hole cleared in the center of the disk by Saturn. Our simulations, which incorporate 25 different grain sizes, illustrate that grain-grain collisions are important in sculpting today's Kuiper Belt dust, and probably other aspects of the Solar System dust c...

  9. Detection of Small Kuiper Belt Objects by Stellar Occultations

    CERN Document Server

    Stevenson, R

    2007-01-01

    Knowledge of the Kuiper Belt is currently limited to those objects that can be detected directly. Objects with diameters less than $\\sim$10km reflect too little light to be detected. These smaller bodies could contain most of the mass in the Kuiper Belt while the abundance of these bodies may constrain the distribution of mass. The overall size distribution of bodies within the Kuiper Belt can also be inferred from the relative abundances of sub-km and larger bodies. Stellar occultations are already used to study dark objects in the Solar System, such as asteroids or planetary rings. Occultation by a KBO of a size comparable to, or larger than, that of the Fresnel Scale will result in Fresnel diffraction. Detection of diffraction effects requires fast multiple-star photometry, which will be conducted in July 2007 using the Orthogonal Parallel Transfer Imaging Camera (OPTIC) mounted on the University of Hawaii 2.2m telescope on Mauna Kea. This paper details how knowledge of the mass and structure of the outer ...

  10. Pluto confidential an insider account of the ongoing battles over the status of Pluto

    CERN Document Server

    Maran, Stephen P

    2009-01-01

    When the International Astronomical Union (IAU) adopted a new definition of a ""planet"" in August 2006, Pluto became a dwarf planet, drawing a divisive line in science and public opinions. The controversy of whether Pluto is a planet continues years later, and passion about the decision remains, pitting scientist against scientist and invoking sentiments and nostalgia from the rest of the world.With the IAU definition, the future of space objects is forever changed. Learn how this resolution came to be and what it means for astronomy, who implemented it and who is against it, and

  11. Spectrophotometry of Pluto-Charon mutual events - Individual spectra of Pluto and Charon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, S. R.; Barker, E. S.; Cochran, A. L.; Cochran, W. D.

    1987-01-01

    Time-resolved spectra of the March 3 and April 4, 1987 mutual events of Pluto and Charon, obtained with spectral coverage from 5500 to 10,000 A with 25-A spectral resolution, are discussed. Charon has a featureless reflectance spectrum, with no evidence of methane absorption. Charon's reflectance appears neutral in color and corresponds to a geometric albedo of about 0.37 at 6000 A. The Pluto reflectance spectrum displays methane absorption bands at 7300, 7900, 8400, 8600, and 8900 A and is red in color, with a geometric albedo of about 0.56 at 6000 A.

  12. On the Existence of Regular and Irregular Outer Moons Orbiting the Pluto-Charon System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaely, Erez; Perets, Hagai B.; Grishin, Evgeni

    2017-02-01

    The dwarf planet Pluto is known to host an extended system of five co-planar satellites. Previous studies have explored the formation and evolution of the system in isolation, neglecting perturbative effects by the Sun. Here we show that secular evolution due to the Sun can strongly affect the evolution of outer satellites and rings in the system, if such exist. Although precession due to extended gravitational potential from the inner Pluto-Charon binary quench such secular evolution up to a crit ˜ 0.0035 au (˜0.09 R Hill the Hill radius; including all of the currently known satellites), outer orbits can be significantly altered. In particular, we find that co-planar rings and satellites should not exist beyond a crit; rather, satellites and dust particles in these regions secularly evolve on timescales ranging between 104 and 106 years, and quasi-periodically change their inclinations and eccentricities through secular evolution (Lidov-Kozai oscillations). Such oscillations can lead to high inclinations and eccentricities, constraining the range where such satellites (and dust particles) can exist without crossing the orbits of the inner satellites or crossing the outer Hill stability range. Outer satellites, if such exist are therefore likely to be irregular satellites, with orbits limited to be non-circular and/or highly inclined. Current observations, including the recent data from the New-Horizons mission explored only inner regions (<0.0012 au) and excluded the existence of additional satellites; however, the irregular satellites discussed here should reside farther, in the yet uncharted regions around Pluto.

  13. The interiors of Pluto and Charon: Structure, composition, and implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simonelli, D.P. (NASA Ames Research Center, IA (USA) Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (USA)); Reynolds, R.T. (NASA Ames Research Center, IA (USA))

    1989-11-01

    The authors review recent models of the internal structure of Pluto and Charon made possible by analysis of the Pluto/Charon mutual events. At a mean density of just over 2 g cm{sup {minus}3} and a predicted rock mass fraction of roughly 0.7, the Pluto/Charon system is significantly rockier than the icy satellites of the giant planets, a contrast which may reflect its formation in a CO-rich outer solar nebula rather than a circumplanetary nebula. Pluto and Charon may in fact be so rocky that they lost volatiles early in their history (possibly during a Charon-forming impact event), although this is still an open issue. Finally, they review the outlook for future study of the Pluto and Charon interiors.

  14. Methane on Triton and Pluto - New CCD spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apt, J.; Carleton, N. P.; Mackay, C. D.

    1983-01-01

    Spectra of Triton and of Pluto from 4553-9558 A at 25 A resolution are presented. Both spectra show the methane absorption near 8900 A; its equivalent width was 16 times greater on Pluto than on Triton at the time of the observations. This is the first published observation of the 8900 A feature in Triton's spectrum. The previously reported 27 m-amagat abundance of the Pluto atmosphere ignored contributions due to methane ice and should therefore be regarded as an upper limit. The observations of the Pluto spectrum discussed here show sharp structure in the 8900 and 8600 A bands; the case for an atmosphere on Pluto may turn on whether new laboratory measurements show that such structure is present in methane ice.

  15. "Pluto Has Been a Planet My Whole Life!" Emotions, Attitudes, and Conceptual Change in Elementary Students' Learning about Pluto's Reclassification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broughton, Suzanne H.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Nussbaum, E. Michael

    2013-01-01

    Learning about certain scientific topics has potential to spark strong emotions among students. We investigated whether emotions predicted students' attitudes after engaging in independent rereading and/or rereading plus discussion about Pluto's reclassification. Fifth and sixth grade students read a refutation text on Pluto's reclassification.…

  16. Entropy of Causal Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Howard, Eric M

    2016-01-01

    We analyze spacetimes with horizons and study the thermodynamic aspects of causal horizons, suggesting that the resemblance between gravitational and thermodynamic systems has a deeper quantum mechanical origin. We find that the observer dependence of such horizons is a direct consequence of associating a temperature and entropy to a spacetime. The geometrical picture of a horizon acting as a one-way membrane for information flow can be accepted as a natural interpretation of assigning a quantum field theory to a spacetime with boundary, ultimately leading to a close connection with thermodynamics.

  17. The Effect of Surface Ice and Topography on the Atmospheric Circulation and Distribution of Nitrogen Ice on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafkin, Scot C. R.; Soto, Alejandro; Michaels, Timothy I.

    2016-10-01

    A newly developed general circulation model (GCM) for Pluto is used to investigate the impact of a heterogeneous distribution of nitrogen surface ice and large scale topography on Pluto's atmospheric circulation. The GCM is based on the GFDL Flexible Modeling System (FSM). Physics include a gray model radiative-conductive scheme, subsurface conduction, and a nitrogen volatile cycle. The radiative-conductive model takes into account the 2.3, 3.3 and 7.8 μm bands of CH4 and CO, including non-local thermodynamic equilibrium effects. including non-local thermodynamic equilibrium effects. The nitrogen volatile cycle is based on a vapor pressure equilibrium assumption between the atmosphere and surface. Prior to the arrival of the New Horizons spacecraft, the expectation was that the volatile ice distribution on the surface of Pluto would be strongly controlled by the latitudinal temperature gradient. If this were the case, then Pluto would have broad latitudinal bands of both ice covered surface and ice free surface, as dictated by the season. Further, the circulation, and the thus the transport of volatiles, was thought to be driven almost exclusively by sublimation and deposition flows associated with the volatile cycle. In contrast to expectations, images from New Horizon showed an extremely complex, heterogeneous distribution of surface ices draped over substantial and variable topography. To produce such an ice distribution, the atmospheric circulation and volatile transport must be more complex than previously envisioned. Simulations where topography, surface ice distributions, and volatile cycle physics are added individually and in various combinations are used to individually quantify the importance of the general circulation, topography, surface ice distributions, and condensation flows. It is shown that even regional patches of ice or large craters can have global impacts on the atmospheric circulation, the volatile cycle, and hence, the distribution of

  18. Penitentes as the origin of the bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moores, John E.; Smith, Christina L.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Guzewich, Scott D.

    2017-01-01

    Penitentes are snow and ice features formed by erosion that, on Earth, are characterized by bowl-shaped depressions several tens of centimetres across, whose edges grade into spires up to several metres tall. Penitentes have been suggested as an explanation for anomalous radar data on Europa, but until now no penitentes have been identified conclusively on planetary bodies other than Earth. Regular ridges with spacings of 3,000 to 5,000 metres and depths of about 500 metres with morphologies that resemble penitentes have been observed by the New Horizons spacecraft in the Tartarus Dorsa region of Pluto (220°-250° E, 0°-20° N). Here we report simulations, based upon a recent model representing conditions on Pluto, in which deepening penitentes reproduce both the tri-modal (north-south, east-west and northeast-southwest) orientation and the spacing of the ridges of this bladed terrain. At present, these penitentes deepen by approximately one centimetre per orbital cycle and grow only during periods of relatively high atmospheric pressure, suggesting a formation timescale of several tens of millions of years, consistent with crater ages. This timescale implies that the penitentes formed from initial topographic variations of no more than a few tens of metres, consistent with Pluto’s youngest terrains.

  19. The Spectrum of Pluto, 0.40 - 0.93 $\\mu$m I. Secular and longitudinal distribution of ices and complex organics

    CERN Document Server

    Lorenzi, V; Licandro, J; Cruikshank, D P; Grundy, W M; Binzel, R P; Emery, J P

    2016-01-01

    Context. During the last 30 years the surface of Pluto has been characterized, and its variability has been monitored, through continuous near-infrared spectroscopic observations. But in the visible range only few data are available. Aims. The aim of this work is to define the Pluto's relative reflectance in the visible range to characterize the different components of its surface, and to provide ground based observations in support of the New Horizons mission. Methods. We observed Pluto on six nights between May and July 2014, with the imager/spectrograph ACAM at the William Herschel Telescope (La Palma, Spain). The six spectra obtained cover a whole rotation of Pluto (Prot = 6.4 days). For all the spectra we computed the spectral slope and the depth of the absorption bands of methane ice between 0.62 and 0.90 $\\mu$m. To search for shifts of the center of the methane bands, associated with dilution of CH4 in N2, we compared the bands with reflectances of pure methane ice. Results. All the new spectra show th...

  20. Modeling glacial flow on and onto Pluto's Sputnik Planitia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umurhan, O. M.; Howard, A. D.; Moore, J. M.; Earle, A. M.; White, O. L.; Schenk, P. M.; Binzel, R. P.; Stern, S. A.; Beyer, R. A.; Nimmo, F.; McKinnon, W. B.; Ennico, K.; Olkin, C. B.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, L. A.

    2017-05-01

    Observations of Pluto's surface made by the New Horizons spacecraft indicate present-day N2 ice glaciation in and around the basin informally known as Sputnik Planitia. Motivated by these observations, we have developed an evolutionary glacial flow model of solid N2 ice that takes into account its published thermophysical and rheological properties. This model assumes that glacial ice flows laminarly and has a low aspect ratio which permits a vertically integrated mathematical formulation. We assess the conditions for the validity of laminar N2 ice motion by revisiting the problem of the onset of solid-state buoyant convection of N2 ice for a variety of bottom thermal boundary conditions. Subject to uncertainties in N2 ice rheology, N2 ice layers are estimated to flow laminarly for thicknesses less than 400-1000 m. The resulting mass-flux formulation for when the N2 ice flows as a laminar dry glacier is characterized by an Arrhenius-Glen functional form. The flow model developed is used here to qualitatively answer some questions motivated by features we interpret to be a result of glacial flow found on Sputnik Planitia. We find that the wavy transverse dark features found along the northern shoreline of Sputnik Planitia may be a transitory imprint of shallow topography just beneath the ice surface suggesting the possibility that a major shoreward flow event happened relatively recently, within the last few hundred years. Model results also support the interpretation that the prominent darkened features resembling flow lobes observed along the eastern shoreline of the Sputnik Planitia basin may be the result of a basally wet N2 glacier flowing into the basin from the pitted highlands of eastern Tombaugh Regio.

  1. Radiation hydrodynamics integrated in the PLUTO code

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Stefan M.; Stute, Matthias; Kley, Wilhelm; Mignone, Andrea

    2013-11-01

    Aims: The transport of energy through radiation is very important in many astrophysical phenomena. In dynamical problems the time-dependent equations of radiation hydrodynamics have to be solved. We present a newly developed radiation-hydrodynamics module specifically designed for the versatile magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code PLUTO. Methods: The solver is based on the flux-limited diffusion approximation in the two-temperature approach. All equations are solved in the co-moving frame in the frequency-independent (gray) approximation. The hydrodynamics is solved by the different Godunov schemes implemented in PLUTO, and for the radiation transport we use a fully implicit scheme. The resulting system of linear equations is solved either using the successive over-relaxation (SOR) method (for testing purposes) or using matrix solvers that are available in the PETSc library. We state in detail the methodology and describe several test cases to verify the correctness of our implementation. The solver works in standard coordinate systems, such as Cartesian, cylindrical, and spherical, and also for non-equidistant grids. Results: We present a new radiation-hydrodynamics solver coupled to the MHD-code PLUTO that is a modern, versatile, and efficient new module for treating complex radiation hydrodynamical problems in astrophysics. As test cases, either purely radiative situations, or full radiation-hydrodynamical setups (including radiative shocks and convection in accretion disks) were successfully studied. The new module scales very well on parallel computers using MPI. For problems in star or planet formation, we added the possibility of irradiation by a central source.

  2. The absolute magnitude distribution of cold classical Kuiper belt objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petit, Jean-Marc; Bannister, Michele T.; Alexandersen, Mike; Chen, Ying-Tung; Gladman, Brett; Gwyn, Stephen; Kavelaars, JJ; Volk, Kathryn

    2016-10-01

    We report measurements of the low inclination component of the main Kuiper Belt showing a size freqency distribution very steep for sizes larger than H_r ~ 6.5-7.0 and then a flattening to shallower slope that is still steeper than the collisional equilibrium slope.The Outer Solar System Origins Survey (OSSOS) is ongoing and is expected to detect over 500 TNOs in a precisely calibrated and characterized survey. Combining our current sample with CFEPS and the Alexandersen et al. (2015) survey, we analyse a sample of ~180 low inclination main classical (cold) TNOs, with absolute magnitude H_r (SDSS r' like flter) in the range 5 to 8.8. We confirm that the H_r distribution can be approximated by an exponential with a very steep slope (>1) at the bright end of the distribution, as has been recognized long ago. A transition to a shallower slope occurs around H_r ~ 6.5 - 7.0, an H_r mag identified by Fraster et al (2014). Faintward of this transition, we find a second exponential to be a good approximation at least until H_r ~ 8.5, but with a slope significantly steeper than the one proposed by Fraser et al. (2014) or even the collisional equilibrium value of 0.5.The transition in the cold TNO H_r distribution thus appears to occur at larger sizes than is observed in the high inclination main classical (hot) belt, an important indicator of a different cosmogony for these two sub-components of the main classical Kuiper belt. Given the largish slope faintward of the transition, the cold population with ~100 km diameter may dominate the mass of the Kuiper belt in the 40 AU < a < 47 au region.

  3. Geological mapping of the Kuiper quadrangle (H06) of Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomini, Lorenza; Massironi, Matteo; Galluzzi, Valentina

    2017-04-01

    Kuiper quadrangle (H06) is located at the equatorial zone of Mercury and encompasses the area between longitudes 288°E - 360°E and latitudes 22.5°N - 22.5°S. The quadrangle was previously mapped for its most part by De Hon et al. (1981) that, using Mariner10 data, produced a final 1:5M scale map of the area. In this work we present the preliminary results of a more detailed geological map (1:3M scale) of the Kuiper quadrangle that we compiled using the higher resolution of MESSENGER data. The main basemap used for the mapping is the MDIS (Mercury Dual Imaging System) 166 m/pixel BDR (map-projected Basemap reduced Data Record) mosaic. Additional datasets were also taken into account, such as DLR stereo-DEM of the region (Preusker et al., 2016), global mosaics with high-incidence illumination from the east and west (Chabot et al., 2016) and MDIS global color mosaic (Denevi et al., 2016). The preliminary geological map shows that the western part of the quadrangle is characterized by a prevalence of crater materials (i.e. crater floor, crater ejecta) which were distinguished into three classes on the basis of their degradation degree (Galluzzi et al., 2016). Different plain units were also identified and classified as: (i) intercrater plains, represented by densely cratered terrains, (ii) intermediate plains, which are terrains with a moderate density of superposed craters, and (iii) smooth plains, which are poorly cratered volcanic deposits emplaced mainly on the larger crater floors. Finally, several structures were mapped all over the quadrangle. Most of these features are represented by thrusts, some of which appear to form systematic alignments. In particular, two main thrust systems have been identified: i) the "Thakur" system, a 1500 km-long system including several scarps with a NNE-SSW orientation, located at the edge between the Kuiper and Beethoven (H07) quadrangles; ii) the "Santa Maria" system, located at the centre of the quadrangle. It is a 1700 km

  4. VMware horizon view essentials

    CERN Document Server

    von Oven, Peter

    2014-01-01

    If you are a desktop administrator or an end user of a computing project team looking to speed up to the latest VMware Horizon View solution, then this book is perfect for you. It is your ideal companion to deploy a solution to centrally manage and virtualize your desktop estate using Horizon View 6.0.

  5. Fuzziness at the horizon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Batic, Davide, E-mail: dbatic@uniandes.edu.c [Departamento de Matematica, Universidad de los Andes, Cra 1E, No. 18A-10, Bogota, Colombia Department of Mathematics, University of West Indies, Kingston (Jamaica); Nicolini, Piero, E-mail: nicolini@th.physik.uni-frankfurt.d [Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS), Institut fuer Theoretische Physik, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universitaet, Ruth-Moufang-Strasse 1, 60438 Frankfurt am Main (Germany)

    2010-08-16

    We study the stability of the noncommutative Schwarzschild black hole interior by analysing the propagation of a massless scalar field between the two horizons. We show that the spacetime fuzziness triggered by the field higher momenta can cure the classical exponential blue-shift divergence, suppressing the emergence of infinite energy density in a region nearby the Cauchy horizon.

  6. C0-Sufficiency, Kuiper-Kuo and Thom Conditions for Non-isolated Singularity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xu XU

    2007-01-01

    In this paper, a criterion on the C0-sufficiency for a function germ with non-isolated singularity is obtained analogously to that of Kuiper-Kuo for the case of isolated singularities. Moreover,the Kuiper-Kuo condition and the Thom condition for an analytic function germ with non-isolated singularity are proved to be equivalent.

  7. Anomaly corrected heterotic horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontanella, A.; Gutowski, J. B.; Papadopoulos, G.

    2016-10-01

    We consider supersymmetric near-horizon geometries in heterotic supergravity up to two loop order in sigma model perturbation theory. We identify the conditions for the horizons to admit enhancement of supersymmetry. We show that solutions which undergo supersymmetry enhancement exhibit an {s}{l}(2,{R}) symmetry, and we describe the geometry of their horizon sections. We also prove a modified Lichnerowicz type theorem, incorporating α' corrections, which relates Killing spinors to zero modes of near-horizon Dirac operators. Furthermore, we demonstrate that there are no AdS2 solutions in heterotic supergravity up to second order in α' for which the fields are smooth and the internal space is smooth and compact without boundary. We investigate a class of nearly supersymmetric horizons, for which the gravitino Killing spinor equation is satisfied on the spatial cross sections but not the dilatino one, and present a description of their geometry.

  8. Anomaly Corrected Heterotic Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Fontanella, A; Papadopoulos, G

    2016-01-01

    We consider supersymmetric near-horizon geometries in heterotic supergravity up to two loop order in sigma model perturbation theory. We identify the conditions for the horizons to admit enhancement of supersymmetry. We show that solutions which undergo supersymmetry enhancement exhibit an sl(2,R) symmetry, and we describe the geometry of their horizon sections. We also prove a modified Lichnerowicz type theorem, incorporating $\\alpha'$ corrections, which relates Killing spinors to zero modes of near-horizon Dirac operators. Furthermore, we demonstrate that there are no AdS2 solutions in heterotic supergravity up to second order in $\\alpha'$ for which the fields are smooth and the internal space is smooth and compact without boundary. We investigate a class of nearly supersymmetric horizons, for which the gravitino Killing spinor equation is satisfied on the spatial cross sections but not the dilatino one, and present a description of their geometry.

  9. Results from PIXON-Processed HRC Images of Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, E. F.; Buie, M. W.; Young, L. A.

    2005-08-01

    We examine the 384 dithered images of Pluto and Charon taken with the Hubble Space Telescope's High Resolution Camera (HRC) under program GO-9391. We have deconvolved the individual images with synthetic point spread functions (PSF) generated with TinyTim v6.3 using PIXON processing (Puetter and Yahil 1999). We reconstruct a surface albedo map of Pluto using a backprojection algorithm. At present, this algorithm does not include Hapke phase function or backscattering parameters. We compare this albedo map to earlier maps based on HST and mutual event observations (e.g., Stern et al. 1997, Young et al. 2001), looking for changes in albedo distribution and B-V color distribution. Pluto's volatile surface ices are closely tied to its atmospheric column abundance, which has doubled in the interval between 1989 and 2002 (Sicardy et al. 2003, Elliot et al. 2003). A slight rise (1.5 K) in the temperature of nitrogen ice would support the thicker atmosphere. We examine the albedo distribution in the context of Pluto's changing atmosphere. Finally, a side effect of the PIXON processing is that we are better able to search for additional satellites in the Pluto-Charon system. We find no satellites within a 12 arcsec radius of Pluto brighter than a 5-sigma upper limit of B=25.9. In between Pluto and Charon this upper limit is degraded to B=22.8 within one Rp of Pluto's surface, improving to B=25.1 at 10 Rp (Charon's semimajor axis). This research was supported by a grant from NASA's Planetary Astronomy Program (NAG5-12516) and STScI grant GO-9391. Elliot, J.L., and 28 co-authors (2003), ``The recent expansion of Pluto's atmosphere," Nature 424, 165-168. R. C. Puetter and A. Yahil (1999), ``The Pixon Method of Image Reconstruction" in Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems VIII, D. M. Mehringer, R. L. Plante & D. A. Roberts, eds., ASP Conference Series, 172, pp. 307-316. Sicardy, B. and 40 co-authors (2003), ``Large changes in Pluto's atmosphere as revealed by recent

  10. Chaos in Mean Motion Resonances of the Kuiper Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Franklin, Fred

    2014-01-01

    In this paper on mean motion resonances in the Kuiper belt we consider effects on resonant bodies captured in an earlier migration by determining levels of chaos as a function of eccentricity, e, at the most stable orbital configuration. We find the the maximum observed e's at resonance very closely correspond to orbits with Lyapunov times ~ 1000 orbital periods of Neptune--much the same number as applies in the asteroid belt with Neptune's period replaced by Jupiter's. The fact that this number caps the e's of markedly chaotic but still existing bodies, implies that the great majority of escapes at equal and larger e's have already occurred. Yet escapes must continue at some level if the small population in the outermost belt is to be maintained because typical lifetimes of bodies there are only ~ 1/10 of the solar system's age. A study of stability at resonance also reinforces the claim that the post-migration boundary of the inner Kuiper belt lies near 34 AU and that the primordial, or pre-migration, outer...

  11. JOS KUIPERS 30-04-1956 07-03-2002

    CERN Multimedia

    2002-01-01

    The tree that has been plantedin the memory of Jos near building 892 in Prévessin. We are missing our colleague and friend. We are grateful for all your help, support, messages and presence at the ceremony for Jos in Geneva. This has brought consolation to our family. The Kuipers Family   Many of you contributed to the Turkana Education Fund in memory of Jos. Here is an excerpt of the message we received from the coordinator of the fund: The Turkana area, in the north of Kenya in a region where people are Essentially nomads and pastoralists, recurrently suffering from severe drought conditions. The locals cannot afford the fees for education at the secondary level. One of the main supporters of the fund was Jos Kuipers. His words to me were, 'if you have any unfilled sponsorships or if people have left without finishing their sponsorships, then call on me and I'll fill the gap.' This he has done since I took over the administration 4 years ago, and in addition in 2001 he donated 4000CHF...

  12. Forming the Cold Classical Kuiper Belt in a light Disk

    CERN Document Server

    Shannon, Andrew; Lithwick, Yoram

    2015-01-01

    Large Kuiper Belt Objects are conventionally thought to have formed out of a massive planetesimal belt that is a few thousand times its current mass. Such a picture, however, is incompatible with multiple lines of evidence. Here, we present a new model for the conglomeration of Cold Classical Kuiper belt objects, out of a solid belt only a few times its current mass, or a few percent of the solid density in a Minimum Mass Solar Nebula. This is made possible by depositing most of the primordial mass in grains of size centimetre or smaller. These grains collide frequently and maintain a dynamically cold belt out of which large bodies grow efficiently: an order-unity fraction of the solid mass can be converted into large bodies, in contrast to the ~0.1% efficiency in conventional models. Such a light belt may represent the true outer edge of the Solar system, and it may have effectively halted the outward migration of Neptune. In addition to the high efficiency, our model can also produce a mass spectrum that pe...

  13. The Collisional Divot in the Kuiper belt Size Distribution

    CERN Document Server

    Fraser, Wesley C

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents the results of collisional evolution calculations for the Kuiper belt starting from an initial size distribution similar to that produced by accretion simulations of that region - a steep power-law large object size distribution that breaks to a shallower slope at r ~1-2 km, with collisional equilibrium achieved for objects r ~0.5 km. We find that the break from the steep large object power-law causes a divot, or depletion of objects at r ~10-20 km, which in-turn greatly reduces the disruption rate of objects with r> 25-50 km, preserving the steep power-law behavior for objects at this size. Our calculations demonstrate that the roll-over observed in the Kuiper belt size distribution is naturally explained as an edge of a divot in the size distribution; the radius at which the size distribution transitions away from the power-law, and the shape of the divot from our simulations are consistent with the size of the observed roll-over, and size distribution for smaller bodies. Both the kink r...

  14. Pluto behaving badly: false beliefs and their consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkowitz, Shari R; Laney, Cara; Morris, Erin K; Garry, Maryanne; Loftus, Elizabeth F

    2008-01-01

    We exposed college students to suggestive materials in order to lead them to believe that, as children, they had a negative experience at Disneyland involving the Pluto character. A sizable minority of subjects developed a false belief or memory that Pluto had uncomfortably licked their ear. Suggestions about a positive experience with Pluto led to even greater acceptance of a lovable ear-licking episode. False beliefs and memories had repercussions; those seduced by the bad suggestions were not willing to pay as much for a Pluto souvenir. These findings are among the first to demonstrate that false beliefs can have repercussions for people, meaning that they can influence their later thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors.

  15. Pluto Moons exhibit Orbital Angular Momentum Quantization per Mass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Potter F.

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The Pluto satellite system of the planet plus five moons is shown to obey the quan- tum celestial mechanics (QCM angular momentum per mass quantization condition predicted for any gravitationally bound system.

  16. CRYOCHEM, Thermodynamic Model for Cryogenic Chemical Systems: Solid-Vapor and Solid-Liquid-Vapor Phase Equilibria Toward Applications on Titan and Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, S. P.; Kargel, J. S.; Adidharma, H.; Marion, G. M.

    2014-12-01

    Until in-situ measurements can be made regularly on extraterrestrial bodies, thermodynamic models are the only tools to investigate the properties and behavior of chemical systems on those bodies. The resulting findings are often critical in describing physicochemical processes in the atmosphere, surface, and subsurface in planetary geochemistry and climate studies. The extremely cold conditions on Triton, Pluto and other Kuiper Belt Objects, and Titan introduce huge non-ideality that prevents conventional models from performing adequately. At such conditions, atmospheres as a whole—not components individually—are subject to phase equilibria with their equilibrium solid phases or liquid phases or both. A molecular-based thermodynamic model for cryogenic chemical systems, referred to as CRYOCHEM, the development of which is still in progress, was shown to reproduce the vertical composition profile of Titan's atmospheric methane measured by the Huygens probe (Tan et al., Icarus 2013, 222, 53). Recently, the model was also used to describe Titan's global circulation where the calculated composition of liquid in Ligeia Mare is consistent with the bathymetry and microwave absorption analysis of T91 Cassini fly-by data (Tan et al., 2014, submitted). Its capability to deal with equilibria involving solid phases has also been demonstrated (Tan et al., Fluid Phase Equilib. 2013, 360, 320). With all those previous works done, our attention is now shifting to the lower temperatures in Titan's tropopause and on Pluto's surface, where much technical development remains for CRYOCHEM to assure adequate performance at low temperatures. In these conditions, solid-vapor equilibrium (SVE) is the dominant phase behavior that determines the composition of the atmosphere and the existing ices. Another potential application is for the subsurface phase equilibrium, which also involves liquid, thus three-phase equilibrium: solid-liquid-vapor (SLV). This presentation will discuss the

  17. Deepwater Horizon - Baseline Dataset

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico and the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) was initiated to determine the extent of...

  18. The floating ices on the surface of Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2016-05-01

    The average temperature of of Pluto surface is about 40 K. Because of the substantial eccentricity of the orbit of Pluto when approaching the Sun - the ice melts on its surface, and this leads to the formation of an atmosphere consisting mainly of nitrogen and methane sublimated. Water ice is not only deep, but there is also on the surface of the planet, forming a mountain range up to 3-4 km altitude, and small unique icebergs.

  19. Separate spectra of Pluto and its satellite Charon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fink, U.; Disanti, M.A.

    1988-01-01

    The March 3, 1987 occultation of Charon by Pluto was observed spectroscopically from 5400 to 10,200 A at a resolution of 12 A. The midpoint of the event occurred at 11:06 UT; the depth of the event at 6800 A was 0.162 mag. The spectrum of Charon is completely featureless and almost perfectly flat; the red slope and the CH4 absorption features can be attributed solely to Pluto. 17 references.

  20. Global distribution of Pluto's atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trafton, L.; Stern, S.A.

    1983-04-15

    Pluto's volatile atmosphere currently extends essentially uniformly around the globe and has nearly uniform thickness, discounting topographic elevation differences and tidal effects. Although in equilibrium with the surface ice, the atmosphere does not noticeably freeze out on the night side, during eclipses of the Sun by Charon, or at the poles during Pluto's present season near perihelion. The bulk thermal tide is negligible. The rotational and tidal deformations of the atmosphere affect the atmospheric thickness of 0.6--2% for a pure CH/sub 4/ atmosphere, depending on the unknown mass of Charon, and up to 15% for an atmosphere with high mean molecular weight. An important consequence of the global uniformity of Pluto's atmosphere and the observed CH/sub 4/ column abundance of 27 +- 7 m--Am is that Pluto's surface is close to 58 K over the entire globe. This compares with the value approx.43 K expected on the basis of insolation and blackbody radiation. We suggest that the explanation for Pluto's elevated surface temperature is the low thermal emissivity of solid CH/sub 4/, expected on the basis of the absence of a rotational spectrum in the gas. Solid CH/sub 4/, which covers an appreciable portion of Pluto's surface, can absorb sunlight in the visible and near-infrared bands but lacks opacity at thermal wavelengths to radiate the absorbed energy efficiently.

  1. Fusion-Enabled Pluto Orbiter and Lander

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Stephanie

    2017-01-01

    The Pluto orbiter mission proposed here is credible and exciting. The benefits to this and all outer-planet and interstellar-probe missions are difficult to overstate. The enabling technology, Direct Fusion Drive, is a unique fusion engine concept based on the Princeton Field-Reversed Configuration (PFRC) fusion reactor under development at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. The truly game-changing levels of thrust and power in a modestly sized package could integrate with our current launch infrastructure while radically expanding the science capability of these missions. During this Phase I effort, we made great strides in modeling the engine efficiency, thrust, and specific impulse and analyzing feasible trajectories. Based on 2D fluid modeling of the fusion reactors outer stratum, its scrape-off-layer (SOL), we estimate achieving 2.5 to 5 N of thrust for each megawatt of fusion power, reaching a specific impulse, Isp, of about 10,000 s. Supporting this model are particle-in-cell calculations of energy transfer from the fusion products to the SOL electrons. Subsequently, this energy is transferred to the ions as they expand through the magnetic nozzle and beyond. Our point solution for the Pluto mission now delivers 1000 kg of payload to Pluto orbit in 3.75 years using 7.5 N constant thrust. This could potentially be achieved with a single 1 MW engine. The departure spiral from Earth orbit and insertion spiral to Pluto orbit require only a small portion of the total delta-V. Departing from low Earth orbit reduces mission cost while increasing available mission mass. The payload includes a lander, which utilizes a standard green propellant engine for the landing sequence. The lander has about 4 square meters of solar panels mounted on a gimbal that allows it to track the orbiter, which beams 30 to 50 kW of power using a 1080 nm laser. Optical communication provides dramatically high data rates back to Earth. Our mass modeling investigations revealed that if

  2. Simulating a Thin Accretion Disk Using PLUTO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillipson, Rebecca; Vogeley, Michael S.; Boyd, Patricia T.

    2017-08-01

    Accreting black hole systems such as X-ray binaries and active galactic nuclei exhibit variability in their luminosity on many timescales ranging from milliseconds to tens of days, and even hundreds of days. The mechanism(s) driving this variability and the relationship between short- and long-term variability is poorly understood. Current studies on accretion disks seek to determine how the changes in black hole mass, the rate at which mass accretes onto the central black hole, and the external environment affect the variability on scales ranging from stellar-mass black holes to supermassive black holes. Traditionally, the fluid mechanics equations governing accretion disks have been simplified by considering only the kinematics of the disk, and perhaps magnetic fields, in order for their phenomenological behavior to be predicted analytically. We seek to employ numerical techniques to study accretion disks including more complicated physics traditionally ignored in order to more accurately understand their behavior over time. We present a proof-of-concept three dimensional, global simulation using the astrophysical hydrodynamic code PLUTO of a simplified thin disk model about a central black hole which will serve as the basis for development of more complicated models including external effects such as radiation and magnetic fields. We also develop a tool to generate a synthetic light curve that displays the variability in luminosity of the simulation over time. The preliminary simulation and accompanying synthetic light curve demonstrate that PLUTO is a reliable code to perform sophisticated simulations of accretion disk systems which can then be compared to observational results.

  3. The Drag Induced Resonant Capture for Kuiper Belt Objects

    CERN Document Server

    Jiang, I G; Jiang, Ing-Guey; Yeh, Li-Chin

    2004-01-01

    It has been an interesting question that why there are one-third of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) trapped into the 3:2 resonance but, in contrast, only several KBOs are claimed to be associated with the 2:1 resonance. In a model proposed by Zhou et al. (2002), the stochastic outward migration of the Neptune could reduce the number of particles in the 2:1 resonance and thus the objects in the 3:2 resonance become more distinct. As a complementary study, we investigate the effect of proto-stellar discs on the resonance capture. Our results show that the gaseous drag of a proto-stellar disc can trap KBOs into the 3:2 resonance rather easily. In addition, no objects are captured into the 2:1 resonance in our simulation.

  4. Microlensing by Kuiper, Oort, and Free-Floating Planets

    CERN Document Server

    Gould, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Microlensing is generally thought to probe planetary systems only out to a few Einstein radii. Microlensing events generated by bound planets beyond about 10 Einstein radii generally do not yield any trace of their hosts, and so would be classified as free floating planets (FFPs). I show that it is already possible, using adaptive optics (AO), to constrain the presence of potential hosts to FFP candidates at separations comparable to the Oort Cloud. With next-generation telescopes, planets at Kuiper-Belt separations can be probed. Next generation telescopes will also permit routine vetting for all FFP candidates, simply by obtaining second epochs 4-8 years after the event. At present, the search for such hosts is restricted to within the "confusion limit" of theta_confus ~ 250 mas, but future WFIRST observations will allow one to probe beyond this confusion limit as well.

  5. Probing Pluto's underworld: Ice temperatures from microwave radiometry decoupled from surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leyrat, Cedric; Lorenz, Ralph D.; Le Gall, Alice

    2016-04-01

    Present models admit a wide range of 2015 surface conditions at Pluto and Charon, where the atmospheric pressure may undergo dramatic seasonal variation and for which measurements are imminent from the New Horizons mission. One anticipated observation is the microwave brightness temperature, heretofore anticipated as indicating surface conditions relevant to surface-atmosphere equilibrium. However, drawing on recent experience with Cassini observations at Iapetus and Titan, we call attention to the large electrical skin depth of outer Solar System materials such as methane, nitrogen or water ice, such that this observation may indicate temperatures averaged over depths of several or tens of meters beneath the surface. Using a seasonally-forced thermal model to determine microwave emission we predict that the southern hemisphere observations (in polar night) of New Horizons in July 2015 will suggest effective temperatures of ∼40 K, reflecting deep heat buried over the last century of summer, even if the atmospheric pressure suggests that the surface nitrogen frost point may be much lower.

  6. Trio of Stellar Occultations by Pluto One Year Prior to New Horizons’ Arrival

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-02

    fainter. A radius of 1400 km was assumed. Figure 2. Light curves from the two observing sequences that detected occultations of the six observing runs...15th magnitude star well separated by the 12th-magnitude star at left-center. The sharp white dots are cosmic -ray hits on the detector. 4 The...atmospheric pressure and radius have remained relatively stable over the past half-decade, and predict that a substantial atmosphere will be present

  7. Mass-radius relationships and constraints on the composition of Pluto. II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupo, M. J.; Lewis, J. S.

    1980-01-01

    A model of Pluto's interior is presented based on new estimates of its mass within the range of possible masses. The model is consistent with the most recent observations by Arnold et al., and calls for a silicate-poor, H2O ice-rock bulk composition of Pluto. The results of the Charon-Pluto eclipses will lead to a more conclusive constraint to Pluto's bulk composition.

  8. Dual-horizon Peridynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Ren, Huilong; Cai, Yongchang; Rabczuk, Timon

    2015-01-01

    In this paper we develop a new Peridynamic approach that naturally includes varying horizon sizes and completely solves the "ghost force" issue. Therefore, the concept of dual-horizon is introduced to consider the unbalanced interactions between the particles with different horizon sizes. The present formulation is proved to fulfill both the balances of linear momentum and angular momentum. Neither the "partial stress tensor" nor the "`slice" technique are needed to ameliorate the ghost force issue in \\cite{Silling2014}. The consistency of reaction forces is naturally fulfilled by a unified simple formulation. The method can be easily implemented to any existing peridynamics code with minimal changes. A simple adaptive refinement procedure is proposed minimizing the computational cost. The method is applied here to the three Peridynamic formulations, namely bond based, ordinary state based and non-ordinary state based Peridynamics. Both two- and three- dimensional examples including the Kalthof-Winkler experi...

  9. Evolving Horava Cosmological Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Fathi, Mohsen

    2016-01-01

    Several sets of radially propagating null congruence generators are exploited in order to form 3-dimensional marginally trapped surfaces, referred to as black hole and cosmological apparent horizons in a Horava universe. Based on this method, we deal with the characteristics of the 2-dimensional space-like spheres of symmetry and the peculiarities of having trapping horizons. Moreover, we apply this method in standard expanding and contracting FLRW cosmological models of a Horava universe to investigate the conditions under which the extra parameters of the theory may lead to trapped/anti-trapped surfaces both in the future and in the past. We also include the cases of negative time, referred to as the finite past, and discuss the formation of anti-trapped surfaces inside the cosmological apparent horizons.

  10. VMware Horizon Workspace essentials

    CERN Document Server

    von Oven, Peter; Lindberg, Joel

    2014-01-01

    This book uses a step-by-step approach to teach you how to design, deploy, and manage a Horizon Workspace based on real world experience. Written in an easy-to-follow style, this book explains the terminology in a clear and concise manner. Each feature is explained starting at a high level and then drilling down into the technical detail, using diagrams and screenshots.This book is perfect for IT administrators who want to deploy a solution to centrally manage access to corporate applications, data, and virtual desktops using Horizon Workspace. You need to have some experience in delivering BY

  11. Bootstrap, universality and horizons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chang, Chi-Ming [Center for Theoretical Physics and Department of Physics,University of California, Berkeley, CA 94704 (United States); Lin, Ying-Hsuan [Jefferson Physical Laboratory, Harvard University,Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2016-10-13

    We present a closed form expression for the semiclassical OPE coefficients that are universal for all 2D CFTs with a “weak” light spectrum, by taking the semiclassical limit of the fusion kernel. We match this with a properly regularized and normalized bulk action evaluated on a geometry with three conical defects, analytically continued in the deficit angles beyond the range for which a metric with positive signature exists. The analytically continued geometry has a codimension-one coordinate singularity surrounding the heaviest conical defect. This singularity becomes a horizon after Wick rotating to Lorentzian signature, suggesting a connection between universality and the existence of a horizon.

  12. Mastering VMware Horizon 6

    CERN Document Server

    Oven, Peter von

    2015-01-01

    If you are working as a desktop admin, part of a EUC team, an architect, or a consultant on a desktop virtualization project and you are looking to use VMware's Horizon solution, this book is for you. This book will demonstrate the new capabilities of Horizon 6. You should have experience in desktop management using Windows and Microsoft Office, and be familiar with Active Directory, SQL, Windows Remote Desktop Session Hosting, and VMware vSphere infrastructure (ESXi and vCenter Server) technology.

  13. The rapid formation of Sputnik Planitia early in Pluto's history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Douglas P.; Stern, S. A.; Moore, J. M.; Young, L. A.; Binzel, R. P.; Buie, M. W.; Buratti, B. J.; Cheng, A. F.; Ennico, K.; Grundy, W. M.; Linscott, I. R.; McKinnon, W. B.; Olkin, C. B.; Reitsema, H. J.; Reuter, D. C.; Schenk, P.; Showalter, M. R.; Spencer, J. R.; Tyler, G. L.; Weaver, H. A.

    2016-12-01

    Pluto's Sputnik Planitia is a bright, roughly circular feature that resembles a polar ice cap. It is approximately 1,000 kilometres across and is centred on a latitude of 25 degrees north and a longitude of 175 degrees, almost directly opposite the side of Pluto that always faces Charon as a result of tidal locking. One explanation for its location includes the formation of a basin in a giant impact, with subsequent upwelling of a dense interior ocean. Once the basin was established, ice would naturally have accumulated there. Then, provided that the basin was a positive gravity anomaly (with or without the ocean), true polar wander could have moved the feature towards the Pluto-Charon tidal axis, on the far side of Pluto from Charon. Here we report modelling that shows that ice quickly accumulates on Pluto near latitudes of 30 degrees north and south, even in the absence of a basin, because, averaged over its orbital period, those are Pluto's coldest regions. Within a million years of Charon's formation, ice deposits on Pluto concentrate into a single cap centred near a latitude of 30 degrees, owing to the runaway albedo effect. This accumulation of ice causes a positive gravity signature that locks, as Pluto's rotation slows, to a longitude directly opposite Charon. Once locked, Charon raises a permanent tidal bulge on Pluto, which greatly enhances the gravity signature of the ice cap. Meanwhile, the weight of the ice in Sputnik Planitia causes the crust under it to slump, creating its own basin (as has happened on Earth in Greenland). Even if the feature is now a modest negative gravity anomaly, it remains locked in place because of the permanent tidal bulge raised by Charon. Any movement of the feature away from 30 degrees latitude is countered by the preferential recondensation of ices near the coldest extremities of the cap. Therefore, our modelling suggests that Sputnik Planitia formed shortly after Charon did and has been stable, albeit gradually losing

  14. The rapid formation of Sputnik Planitia early in Pluto's history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Douglas P; Stern, S A; Moore, J M; Young, L A

    2016-11-30

    Pluto's Sputnik Planitia is a bright, roughly circular feature that resembles a polar ice cap. It is approximately 1,000 kilometres across and is centred on a latitude of 25 degrees north and a longitude of 175 degrees, almost directly opposite the side of Pluto that always faces Charon as a result of tidal locking. One explanation for its location includes the formation of a basin in a giant impact, with subsequent upwelling of a dense interior ocean. Once the basin was established, ice would naturally have accumulated there. Then, provided that the basin was a positive gravity anomaly (with or without the ocean), true polar wander could have moved the feature towards the Pluto-Charon tidal axis, on the far side of Pluto from Charon. Here we report modelling that shows that ice quickly accumulates on Pluto near latitudes of 30 degrees north and south, even in the absence of a basin, because, averaged over its orbital period, those are Pluto's coldest regions. Within a million years of Charon's formation, ice deposits on Pluto concentrate into a single cap centred near a latitude of 30 degrees, owing to the runaway albedo effect. This accumulation of ice causes a positive gravity signature that locks, as Pluto's rotation slows, to a longitude directly opposite Charon. Once locked, Charon raises a permanent tidal bulge on Pluto, which greatly enhances the gravity signature of the ice cap. Meanwhile, the weight of the ice in Sputnik Planitia causes the crust under it to slump, creating its own basin (as has happened on Earth in Greenland). Even if the feature is now a modest negative gravity anomaly, it remains locked in place because of the permanent tidal bulge raised by Charon. Any movement of the feature away from 30 degrees latitude is countered by the preferential recondensation of ices near the coldest extremities of the cap. Therefore, our modelling suggests that Sputnik Planitia formed shortly after Charon did and has been stable, albeit gradually losing

  15. Heterogeneous and Evolving Distributions of Pluto's Volatile Surface Ices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundy, William M.; Olkin, C. B.; Young, L. A.; Buie, M. W.; Young, E. F.

    2013-10-01

    We report observations of Pluto's 0.8 to 2.4 µm reflectance spectrum with IRTF/SpeX on 70 nights over the 13 years from 2001 to 2013. The spectra show numerous vibrational absorption features of simple molecules CH4, CO, and N2 condensed as ices on Pluto's surface. These absorptions are modulated by the planet's 6.39 day rotation period, enabling us to constrain the longitudinal distributions of the three ices. Absorptions of CO and N2 are concentrated on Pluto's anti-Charon hemisphere, unlike absorptions of less volatile CH4 ice that are offset by roughly 90° from the longitude of maximum CO and N2 absorption. In addition to the diurnal/longitudinal variations, the spectra show longer term trends. On decadal timescales, Pluto's stronger CH4 absorption bands have deepened, while the amplitude of their diurnal variation has diminished, consistent with additional CH4 absorption by high northern latitude regions rotating into view as the sub-Earth latitude moves north (as defined by the system's angular momentum vector). Unlike the CH4 absorptions, Pluto's CO and N2 absorptions are declining over time, suggesting more equatorial or southerly distributions of those species. The authors gratefully thank the staff of IRTF for their tremendous assistance over the dozen+ years of this project. The work was funded in part by NSF grants AST-0407214 and AST-0085614 and NASA grants NAG5-4210 and NAG5-12516.

  16. On the Origin of Pluto's Small Satellites by Resonant Transport

    CERN Document Server

    Cheng, W H; Lee, Man Hoi

    2014-01-01

    The orbits of Pluto's four small satellites (Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra) are nearly circular and coplanar with the orbit of the large satellite Charon, with orbital periods nearly in the ratios 3:1, 4:1, 5:1, and 6:1 with Charon's orbital period. These properties suggest that the small satellites were created during the same impact event that placed Charon in orbit and had been pushed to their current positions by being locked in mean-motion resonances with Charon as Charon's orbit was expanded by tidal interactions with Pluto. Using the Pluto-Charon tidal evolution models developed by Cheng et al. (2014), we show that stable capture and transport of a test particle in multiple resonances at the same mean-motion commensurability is possible at the 5:1, 6:1, and 7:1 commensurabilities, if Pluto's zonal harmonic $J_{2P} = 0$. However, the test particle has significant orbital eccentricity at the end of the tidal evolution of Pluto-Charon in almost all cases, and there are no stable captures and transports a...

  17. IRAS observations of the Pluto-Charon system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aumann, H.H.; Walker, R.G.

    1987-10-01

    High-signal-to-noise-ratio observations of the Pluto-Charon system at 25, 60, and 100 microns using IRAS are combined with visual-magnitude and mutual-eclipse constraints to evaluate thermal models of Pluto and Charon. These models are consistent with eclipse observation by Dunbar and Tedesco (1986) but not with Reinsch and Pakull (1987). The most likely model for Charon is the standard asteroid model, typical for the icy Galilean and Saturnian satellites. Charon models with a significant atmosphere can be ruled out. Based on currently available radius and albedo constraints, no significant numerical distinction is possible between Pluto models ranging from isothermal spheres with surface emissivity between 0.4 and 0.9. Concerns regarding the viability of an emissivity as low as 0.4 favor the higher-emissivity models. The globally uniform surface temperature of Pluto may thus at present be as low as 45 K, with a methane column abundance of 6.7 cm atm. The most likely models are centered on radii of 1180 and 747 km and albedos of 0.47 and 0.26 for Pluto and Charon, respectively. 21 references.

  18. Mechanics of universal horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Berglund, Per; Mattingly, David

    2012-01-01

    Modified gravity models such as Ho\\v{r}ava-Lifshitz gravity or Einstein-{\\ae}ther theory violate local Lorentz invariance and therefore destroy the notion of a universal light cone. Despite this, in the infrared limit both models above possess static, spherically symmetric solutions with "universal horizons" - hypersurfaces that are causal boundaries between an interior region and asymptotic spatial infinity. In other words, there still exist black hole solutions. We construct a Smarr formula (the relationship between the total energy of the spacetime and the area of the horizon) for such a horizon in Einstein-{\\ae}ther theory. We further show that a slightly modified first law of black hole mechanics still holds with the relevant area now a cross-section of the universal horizon. We construct new analytic solutions for certain Einstein-{\\ae}ther Lagrangians and illustrate how our results work in these exact cases. Our results suggest that holography may be extended to these theories despite the very differen...

  19. The reliability horizon

    CERN Document Server

    Visser, M

    1997-01-01

    The ``reliability horizon'' for semi-classical quantum gravity quantifies the extent to which we should trust semi-classical quantum gravity, and gives a handle on just where the ``Planck regime'' resides. The key obstruction to pushing semi-classical quantum gravity into the Planck regime is often the existence of large metric fluctuations, rather than a large back-reaction.

  20. Instability of enclosed horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kay, Bernard S.

    2015-03-01

    We point out that there are solutions to the scalar wave equation on dimensional Minkowski space with finite energy tails which, if they reflect off a uniformly accelerated mirror due to (say) Dirichlet boundary conditions on it, develop an infinite stress-energy tensor on the mirror's Rindler horizon. We also show that, in the presence of an image mirror in the opposite Rindler wedge, suitable compactly supported arbitrarily small initial data on a suitable initial surface will develop an arbitrarily large stress-energy scalar near where the two horizons cross. Also, while there is a regular Hartle-Hawking-Israel-like state for the quantum theory between these two mirrors, there are coherent states built on it for which there are similar singularities in the expectation value of the renormalized stress-energy tensor. We conjecture that in other situations with analogous enclosed horizons such as a (maximally extended) Schwarzschild black hole in equilibrium in a (stationary spherical) box or the (maximally extended) Schwarzschild-AdS spacetime, there will be similar stress-energy singularities and almost-singularities—leading to instability of the horizons when gravity is switched on and matter and gravity perturbations are allowed for. All this suggests it is incorrect to picture a black hole in equilibrium in a box or a Schwarzschild-AdS black hole as extending beyond the past and future horizons of a single Schwarzschild (/Schwarzschild-AdS) wedge. It would thus provide new evidence for 't Hooft's brick wall model while seeming to invalidate the picture in Maldacena's ` Eternal black holes in AdS'. It would thereby also support the validity of the author's matter-gravity entanglement hypothesis and of the paper ` Brick walls and AdS/CFT' by the author and Ortíz.

  1. Horizon as critical phenomenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sung-Sik

    2016-09-01

    We show that renormalization group flow can be viewed as a gradual wave function collapse, where a quantum state associated with the action of field theory evolves toward a final state that describes an IR fixed point. The process of collapse is described by the radial evolution in the dual holographic theory. If the theory is in the same phase as the assumed IR fixed point, the initial state is smoothly projected to the final state. If in a different phase, the initial state undergoes a phase transition which in turn gives rise to a horizon in the bulk geometry. We demonstrate the connection between critical behavior and horizon in an example, by deriving the bulk metrics that emerge in various phases of the U( N ) vector model in the large N limit based on the holographic dual constructed from quantum renormalization group. The gapped phase exhibits a geometry that smoothly ends at a finite proper distance in the radial direction. The geometric distance in the radial direction measures a complexity: the depth of renormalization group transformation that is needed to project the generally entangled UV state to a direct product state in the IR. For gapless states, entanglement persistently spreads out to larger length scales, and the initial state can not be projected to the direct product state. The obstruction to smooth projection at charge neutral point manifests itself as the long throat in the anti-de Sitter space. The Poincare horizon at infinity marks the critical point which exhibits a divergent length scale in the spread of entanglement. For the gapless states with non-zero chemical potential, the bulk space becomes the Lifshitz geometry with the dynamical critical exponent two. The identification of horizon as critical point may provide an explanation for the universality of horizon. We also discuss the structure of the bulk tensor network that emerges from the quantum renormalization group.

  2. Observations of Pluto-Charon mutual events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blanco, C.; Di Martino, M.; Ferreri, W. (Catania Universita (Italy); Osservatorio Astronomico, Turin (Italy))

    1989-07-01

    As part of the planned 'Pluto-Charon Mutual Eclipse Season Campaign', one mutual event was observed at the ESO Observatory on July 10, 1986 and seven mutual events were observed at the Serra La Nave stellar station of Catania Astrophysical Observatory from April 29 to July 21, 1987. At ESO the measurements were performed at the 61-cm Bochum telescope equipped with a photon-counting system and U, B, V, filters; at Serra La Nave the Cassegrain focus of the 91-cm reflector was equipped with a photon-counting system and B and V filters. The observed light losses and contact times do not show relevant systematic deviations from the predicted ones. An examination of the behavior of the B and V light curves gives slight indications of a different slope of the B and V light loss of the same event for a superior or an inferior event, and shows that the superior events are shallower at wavelengths longer than B. 6 refs.

  3. High Resolution HST Images of Pluto and Charon

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-05-01

    At the Edge of the Solar System Click here to jump to photo. The remote planet Pluto and its moon Charon orbit the Sun at a mean distance of almost 6,000 million kilometres, or nearly fourty times farther out than the Earth. During a recent investigation by an international group of astronomers [1], the best picture ever of Pluto and Charon [2] was secured with the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera at the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). It shows the two objects as individual disks, and it is likely that further image enhancement will allow us to see surface features on Pluto. A Very Special Pair of Celestial Objects Almost all the known facts about these two bodies show that they are quite unusual: Pluto's orbit around the Sun is much more elongated and more inclined to the main plane of the Solar System than that of any other major planet; Charon's orbit around Pluto is nearly perpendicular to this plane; their mutual distance is amazingly small when compared to their size; Charon is half the size of Pluto and the ratio of their masses is much closer to unity than is the case for all other planets and their moons. Moreover, both are small and solid bodies, in contrast to the other, large and gaseous planets in the outer Solar System. We do not know why this is so. But there is another important aspect which makes Pluto and Charon even more interesting: at this very large distance from the Sun, any evolutionary changes happen very slowly. It is therefore likely that Pluto and Charon hold important clues to the conditions that prevailed in the early Solar System and thus to the origin and the evolution of the Solar System as a whole. Long and Difficult Analysis Ahead The present image shows that the overall quality of the new data obtained with the ESA Faint Object Camera on the refurbished Hubble Space Telescope is extremely good. However, such an image represents only the first step of a subsequent, detailed analysis with the ultimate goal of determining

  4. Pushing back the frontier - A mission to the Pluto-Charon system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farquhar, R.; Stern, S.A. (NASA, Washington, DC (USA) Colorado Univ., Boulder (USA))

    1990-08-01

    A flyby mission to Pluto is proposed. The size, orbit, atmosphere, and surface of Pluto, and the Pluto-Charon system are described. The benefits of a planetary flyby compared to ground observations are discussed in terms of imaging capabilities. Planned payloads include a plasma science package, a UV spectrometer, and a thermal mapper. The advantages of a dual launch to Mars and the need for a Jupiter-Pluto transfer are considered. A diagram of a spacecraft for a flyby study of Pluto is provided.

  5. On the origin of the Pluto-Charon binary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mckinnon, W.B. (Washington Univ., Saint Louis, MO (USA))

    1989-09-01

    The normalized angular momentum density of Pluto-Charon (0.45) exceeds the critical value of 0.39 above which no stably rotating single object exists, suggesting a collisional origin for this binary. The effects of viscosity on Pluto's rotational stability and on the density of Charon are considered. Both a more or less dense Charon would be consistent with a collisional origin if one (the least massive) or both protoobjects were differentiated. It is noted that the angular momentum of the system requires the protoobjects to be comparably (if not equally) sized if off-center impact velocities vary between escape (about 1.3 km/s) and somewhat greater values (about 2.5 km/s) appropriate to Pluto's eccentric and inclined solar orbit. 30 refs.

  6. Pluto's plasma wake oriented away from the ecliptic plane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-de-Tejada, H.; Durand-Manterola, H.; Reyes-Ruiz, M.; Lundin, R.

    2015-01-01

    Conditions similar to those observed in the solar wind interaction with Venus and Mars where there is a planetary atmosphere in the absence of a global intrinsic magnetic field may also be applicable to Pluto. With up to 24 μbars inferred for the Pluto atmosphere it is possible that the feeble solar photon radiation flux that reaches by its orbit, equivalent to ∼10-3 that at Earth, is sufficient to produce an ionization component that can be eroded by the solar wind. In view of the reduced solar wind density (∼10-3 with respect to that at 1 AU) that should be available by Pluto its total kinetic energy will be significantly smaller than that at Earth. However, the parameter values that are implied for the interaction process between the solar wind and the local upper ionosphere are sufficient to produce a plasma wake that should extend downstream from Pluto. In view of its low gravity force the plasma wake should have a wider cross-section than that in the Venus and Mars plasma environment. Since Pluto rotates with the axis tilted ∼30° away from the ecliptic plane the plasma wake will be influenced by a Magnus force that has a large component is the north-south solar polar direction. That force will be responsible for propelling the plasma wake with a component that can be directed away from that plane. It is estimated that transport of solar wind momentum to the upper Pluto's ionosphere implies rotation periods smaller than that of the solid body, and thus large values of the Magnus force that can increase the orientation of the plasma wake away from the ecliptic plane.

  7. Did the Kozai Resonance Help Form Pluto's Small Moons?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuk, Matija; (Luke) Dones, Henry C.; Nesvorny, David; Walsh, Kevin J.

    2016-05-01

    The origin of the small moons of Pluto is currently poorly understood. They most likely originated from debris ejected from Pluto and Charon during their formation in the giant impact. However, the moons' large separation from Pluto and massive past tidal evolution of Charon make it very hard to emplace collisional fragments on circular orbits in the 40-60 Pluto radii zone where the four small moons are found. Here we propose that the Pluto system has a parallel in the triple Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) 1999 TC36. Both systems have large obliquities, and have additional components outside the inner binary that probably formed in a giant impact and has likely gone through a rapid tidal evolution immediately following formation. Our hypothesis is that loosely bound ejecta from giant impacts can experience strong perturbations from the Sun (the ``Kozai resonance") as long as major axes of their elongated orbits are perpendicular to the binary's heliocentric orbit. This process could decouple the debris from the inner boundary long enough for the inner binary to evolve tidally and prevent further Kozai oscillations through its quadrupole moment. If the debris is dominated by one large fragment, a triple can form (as in the case of 1999 TC36), while a large population of fragments would experience collisions and make a disk surrounding the inner binary (as in the case of Pluto). At the meeting we will present numerical simulations of this process using numerical integrator COMPLEX which includes both tides and solar perturbations, and can integrate dynamics of satellites on crossing orbits.

  8. The Absolute Magnitude Distribution of Kuiper Belt Objects

    CERN Document Server

    Fraser, Wesley C; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Parker, Alex; Batygin, Konstantin

    2014-01-01

    Here we measure the absolute magnitude distributions (H-distribution) of the dynamically excited and quiescent (hot and cold) Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), and test if they share the same H-distribution as the Jupiter Trojans. From a compilation of all useable ecliptic surveys, we find that the KBO H-distributions are well described by broken power-laws. The cold population has a bright-end slope, $\\alpha_{\\textrm{1}}=1.5_{-0.2}^{+0.4}$, and break magnitude, $H_{\\textrm{B}}=6.9_{-0.2}^{+0.1}$ (r'-band). The hot population has a shallower bright-end slope of, $\\alpha_{\\textrm{1}}=0.87_{-0.2}^{+0.07}$, and break magnitude $H_{\\textrm{B}}=7.7_{-0.5}^{+1.0}$. Both populations share similar faint end slopes of $\\alpha_2\\sim0.2$. We estimate the masses of the hot and cold populations are $\\sim0.01$ and $\\sim3\\times10^{-4} \\mbox{ M$_{\\bigoplus}$}$. The broken power-law fit to the Trojan H-distribution has $\\alpha_\\textrm{1}=1.0\\pm0.2$, $\\alpha_\\textrm{2}=0.36\\pm0.01$, and $H_{\\textrm{B}}=8.3$. The KS test reveals that...

  9. Planar resonant periodic orbits in Kuiper belt dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Voyatzis, G; Voyatzis, George; Kotoulas, Thomas

    2005-01-01

    In the framework of the planar restricted three body problem we study a considerable number of resonances associated to the Kuiper Belt dynamics and located between 30 and 48 a.u. Our study is based on the computation of resonant periodic orbits and their stability. Stable periodic orbits are surrounded by regular librations in phase space and in such domains the capture of trans-Neptunian object is possible. All the periodic orbits found are symmetric and there is evidence for the existence of asymmetric ones only in few cases. In the present work first, second and third order resonances are under consideration. In the planar circular case we found that most of the periodic orbits are stable. The families of periodic orbits are temporarily interrupted by collisions but they continue up to relatively large values of the Jacobi constant and highly eccentric regular motion exists for all cases. In the elliptic problem and for a particular eccentricity value of the primary bodies the periodic orbits are isolated...

  10. Two Color Populations of Kuiper Belt and Centaur Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tegler, Stephen C.; Romanishin, William; Consolmagno, Guy

    2016-10-01

    We present new optical colors for 64 Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) and Centaur objects measured with the 1.8-meter Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) and the 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT). By combining these new colors with our previously published colors, we increase the sample size of our survey to 154 objects. Our survey is unique in that the uncertainties in our color measurements are less than half the uncertainties in the color measurements reported by other researchers in the literature. Small uncertainties are essential for discerning between a unimodal and a bimodal distribution of colors for these objects as well as detecting correlations between colors and orbital elements. From our survey, it appears red Centaurs have a broader color distribution than grey Centaurs. We find red Centaurs have a smaller orbital inclination angle distribution than grey Centaurs at the 99.3% confidence level. Furthermore, we find that our entire sample of KBOs and Centaurs exhibits bimodal colors at the 99.4% confidence level. KBOs and Centaurs with HV > 7.0 have bimodal colors at the 99.96% confidence level and KBOs with HV < 6.0 have bimodal colors at the 96.3% confidence level.We are grateful to the NASA Solar System Observations Program for support, NAU for joining the Discovery Channel Telescope Partnership, and the Vatican Observatory for the consistent allocation of telescope time over the last 12 years of this project.

  11. Dynamical implantation of objects in the Kuiper Belt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brasil, P. I. O. [Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), ETE/DMC, Av. dos Astronautas, 1758, São José dos Campos (Brazil); Nesvorný, D.; Gomes, R. S., E-mail: pedro_brasil87@hotmail.com, E-mail: davidn@boulder.swri.edu, E-mail: rodney@on.br [Department of Space Studies, Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Several models have been suggested in the past to describe the dynamical formation of hot Kuiper Belt objects (hereafter Hot Classicals or HCs for short). Here, we discuss a dynamical mechanism that allows orbits to evolve from the primordial planetesimal disk at ≲ 35 AU to reach the orbital region now occupied by HCs. We performed three different sets of numerical simulations to illustrate this mechanism. Two of these simulations were based on modern theories for the early evolution of the solar system (the Nice and jumping-Jupiter models). The third simulation was performed with the purpose of increasing the resolution at 41-46 AU. The common aspect of these simulations is that Neptune scatters planetesimals from ≲ 35 AU to >40 AU and then undergoes a long phase of slow residual migration. Our results show that to reach an HC orbit, a scattered planetesimal needs to be captured in a mean motion resonance (MMR) with Neptune where the perihelion distance rises due to the Kozai resonance (which occurs in MMRs even for moderate inclinations). Finally, while Neptune is still migrating, the planetesimal is released from the MMR on a stable HC orbit. We show that the orbital distribution of HCs expected from this process provides a reasonable match to observations. The capture efficiency and the mass deposited into the HC region appears to be sensitive to the maximum eccentricity reached by Neptune during the planetary instability phase. Additional work will be needed to resolve this dependency in detail.

  12. The Unusual Kuiper Belt Object 2003 SQ317

    CERN Document Server

    Lacerda, Pedro; Peixinho, Nuno

    2013-01-01

    We report photometric observations of Kuiper belt object 2013 SQ317 obtained between 2011 August 21 and 2011 November 1 at the 3.58 m New Technology Telescope, La Silla. We obtained a rotational lightcurve for 2013 SQ317 with a large peak-to-peak photometric range 0.85+/-0.05 mag, and a periodicity, P=7.210+/-0.001 hr. We also measure a nearly neutral broadband colour B-R=1.05+/-0.18 mag and a phase function with slope beta=0.95+/-0.41 mag/deg. The large lightcurve range implies an extremely elongated shape for 2013 SQ317, possibly as a single elongated object but most simply explained as a compact binary. If modelled as a compact binary near hydrostatic equilibrium, the bulk density of 2013 SQ317 is near 2670 kg m^(-3). If 2003 SQ317 is instead a single, elongated object, then its equilibrium density is about 860 kg m^(-3). These density estimates become uncertain at the 30% level if we relax the hydrostatic assumption and account for solid, "rubble pile"-type configurations. 2013 SQ317 has been associated w...

  13. Quasilocal rotating conformal Killing horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Chatterjee, Ayan

    2015-01-01

    The formulation of quasi-local conformal Killling horizons(CKH) is extended to include rotation. This necessitates that the horizon be foliated by 2-spheres which may be distorted. Matter degrees of freedom which fall through the horizon is taken to be a real scalar field. We show that these rotating CKHs also admit a first law in differential form.

  14. Mass-radius relationships and constraints on the composition of Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupo, M. J.; Lewis, J. S.

    1980-01-01

    With the new upper limit of Pluto's mass, an upper limit for Pluto's density of 1.74 g/cu cm has been found. Assuming Pluto to be 100% methane, available methane density data can be used to set a lower limit of 0.53 g/cu cm on Pluto's density, thus placing an absolute upper limit of 1909 km on the radius and a lower limit of 0.32 on the albedo. The results of 280 computer models covering a wide range of composition ratios of rock, water ice, and methane ice are reported. Limits are placed on Pluto's silicate content, and a simple spacecraft method for determining Pluto's water content from its density and moment of inertia is given. The low thermal conductivity and strength of solid methane suggest rapid solid-state convection in Pluto's methane layer.

  15. PFERD Mission: Pluto Flyby Exploration/Research Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemke, Gary; Zayed, Husni; Herring, Jason; Fuehne, Doug; Sutton, Kevin; Sharkey, Mike

    1990-01-01

    The Pluto Flyby Exploration/Research Design (PFERD) mission will consist of a flyby spacecraft to Pluto and its satellite, Charon. The mission lifetime is expected to be 18 years. The Titan 4 with a Centaur upper stage will be utilized to launch the craft into the transfer orbit. The proposal was divided into six main subsystems: (1) scientific instrumentation; (2) command, communications, and control: (3) altitude and articulation control; (4) power and propulsion; (5) structures and thermal control; and (6) mission management and costing. Tradeoff studies were performed to optimize all factors of design, including survivability, performance, cost, and weight. Problems encountered in the design are also presented.

  16. Basic Design of a LWR Fuel Compatibility Test Facility (PLUTO)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shin, Chang Hwan; Chun, Se Young; Kim, Bok Deuk; Park, Jong Kuk; Chun, Tae Hyun; Kim, Hyoung Kyu; Oh, Dong Seok

    2009-04-15

    KAERI is performing a project for developing a compatibility test facility and the relevant technology for an LWR fuel assembly. It includes the compatibility test and the long term wear test for dual fuel assemblies, and the pressure drop test, uplift force test, flow-induced vibration test, damping test, and the debris filtering capability test for a single fuel assembly. This compatibility test facility of the fuel assemblies is named PLUTO from Performance Test Facility for Fuel Assembly Hydraulics and Vibrations. The PLUTO will be basically constructed for a PWR fuel assembly, and it will be considered to test for the fuel assemblies of other reactors.

  17. Horizon Scanning for Pharmaceuticals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lepage-Nefkens, Isabelle; Douw, Karla; Mantjes, GertJan

    will collect country-specific information, liaise between the central HS unit and country-specific clinical and other experts, coordinate the national prioritization process (to select products for early assessment), and communicate the output of the HSS to national decision makers.  The outputs of the joint...... for a joint horizon scanning system (HSS).  We propose to create a central “horizon scanning unit” to perform the joint HS activities (a newly established unit, an existing HS unit, or a third party commissioned and financed by the collaborating countries). The unit will be responsible for the identification...... and filtration of new and emerging pharmaceutical products. It will maintain and update the HS database, organise company pipeline meetings, and disseminate the HSS’s outputs.  The HS unit works closely together with the designated national HS experts in each collaborating country. The national HS experts...

  18. Behind the geon horizon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guica, Monica; Ross, Simon F.

    2015-03-01

    We explore the Papadodimas-Raju prescription for reconstructing the region behind the horizon of one-sided black holes in AdS/CFT in the case of the {R}{{P}2} geon—a simple, analytic example of a single-sided, asymptotically AdS3 black hole, which corresponds to a pure CFT state that thermalizes at late times. We show that in this specific example, the mirror operators involved in the reconstruction of the interior have a particularly simple form: the mirror of a single trace operator at late times is just the corresponding single trace operator at early times. We use some explicit examples to explore how changes in the state modify the geometry inside the horizon.

  19. Behind the geon horizon

    CERN Document Server

    Guica, Monica

    2014-01-01

    We explore the Papadodimas-Raju prescription for reconstructing the region behind the horizon of one-sided black holes in AdS/CFT in the case of the RP^2 geon - a simple, analytic example of a single-sided, asymptotically AdS_3 black hole, which corresponds to a pure CFT state that thermalises at late times. We show that in this specific example, the mirror operators involved in the reconstruction of the interior have a particularly simple form: the mirror of a single trace operator at late times is just the corresponding single trace operator at early times. We use some explicit examples to explore how changes in the state modify the geometry inside the horizon.

  20. Divergence on the Horizon

    CERN Document Server

    Kupferman, Judy

    2010-01-01

    Black hole entropy has been shown by t'Hooft to diverge at the horizon, whereas entanglement entropy in general does not. We show that because the region near the horizon is a thermal state, entropy is linear to energy, and energy at a barrier is inversely proportional to barrier slope, and diverges at an infinitely sharp barrier as a result of position/momentum uncertainty. We show that t'Hooft's divergence at the black hole is also an example of momentum/position uncertainty, as seen by the fact that the "brick wall" which corrects it in fact smooths the sharp boundary into a more gradual slope. This removes a major obstacle to identification of black hole entropy with entanglement entropy.

  1. Refraction near the horizon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaefer, Bradley E.; Liller, William

    1990-01-01

    Variations in astronomical refraction near the horizon are examined. Sunset timings, a sextant mounted on a tripod, and a temperature profile are utilized to derive the variations in refraction data, collected from 7 locations. It is determined that the refraction ranges from 0.234 to 1.678 deg with an rms deviation of 0.16, and it is observed that the variation is larger than previously supposed. Some applications for the variation of refraction value are discussed.

  2. Horizons of cybernetical physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fradkov, Alexander L.

    2017-03-01

    The subject and main areas of a new research field-cybernetical physics-are discussed. A brief history of cybernetical physics is outlined. The main areas of activity in cybernetical physics are briefly surveyed, such as control of oscillatory and chaotic behaviour, control of resonance and synchronization, control in thermodynamics, control of distributed systems and networks, quantum control. This article is part of the themed issue 'Horizons of cybernetical physics'.

  3. Acceleration without Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Doria, Alaric

    2015-01-01

    We derive the metric of an accelerating observer moving with non-constant proper acceleration in flat spacetime. With the exception of a limiting case representing a Rindler observer, there are no horizons. In our solution, observers can accelerate to any desired terminal speed $v_{\\infty} < c$. The motion of the accelerating observer is completely determined by the distance of closest approach and terminal velocity or, equivalently, by an acceleration parameter and terminal velocity.

  4. Horizons of cybernetical physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    The subject and main areas of a new research field—cybernetical physics—are discussed. A brief history of cybernetical physics is outlined. The main areas of activity in cybernetical physics are briefly surveyed, such as control of oscillatory and chaotic behaviour, control of resonance and synchronization, control in thermodynamics, control of distributed systems and networks, quantum control. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Horizons of cybernetical physics’. PMID:28115620

  5. Horizon 2020 in sight

    CERN Multimedia

    Joannah Caborn Wengler

    2012-01-01

    Every tenth member of the CERN personnel participates in an EU-funded project – a strong indication of CERN’s successful relations with the European Commission (EC), coordinated by the CERN EU projects office. The EC director in charge of preparing “Horizon 2020”, the new EU funding programme for research and innovation (2014-2020), will be giving a presentation at CERN on 8 May. He will reveal more about what the new programme has in store.   “It’s a very interesting time in the development of Horizon 2020, which is focusing the attention of all research communities in Europe,” explains Svetlomir Stavrev, head of the EU projects office. “After a long public consultation and drafting process, the Horizon 2020 proposal documents are now being reviewed by the European Parliament and Council.” CERN already participated in the consultation, making good use of the opportunity to contribute to the shaping of wh...

  6. Geometry of isolated horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Flandera, Aleš

    2016-01-01

    While the formalism of isolated horizons is known for some time, only quite recently the near horizon solution of Einstein's equations has been found in the Bondi-like coordinates by Krishnan in 2012. In this framework, the space-time is regarded as the characteristic initial value problem with the initial data given on the horizon and another null hypersurface. It is not clear, however, what initial data reproduce the simplest physically relevant black hole solution, namely that of Kerr-Newman which describes stationary, axisymmetric black hole with charge. Moreover, Krishnan's construction employs the non-twisting null geodesic congruence and the tetrad which is parallelly propagated along this congruence. While the existence of such tetrad can be easily established in general, its explicit form can be very difficult to find and, in fact it has not been provided for the Kerr-Newman metric. The goal of this thesis was to fill this gap and provide a full description of the Kerr-Newman metric in the framework ...

  7. RTGs Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred

    1993-10-01

    A small spacecraft design for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) Mission is under study by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), for a possible launch as early as 1998. JPL's 1992 baseline design calls for a power source able to furnish an energy output of 3963 kWh and a power output of 69 watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. Satisfying those demands is made difficult because NASA management has set a goal of reducing the spacecraft mass from a baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for the power source. To support the ongoing NASA/JPL studies, the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications (DOE/OSA) commissioned Fairchild Space to prepare and analyze conceptual designs of radioisotope power systems for the PFF mission. Thus far, a total of eight options employing essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules were designed and subjected to thermal, electrical, structural, and mass analyses by Fairchild. Five of these - employing thermoelectric converters - are described in the present paper, and three - employing free-piston Stirling converters - are described in the companion paper presented next. The system masses of the thermoelectric options ranged from 19.3 kg to 10.2 kg. In general, the options requiring least development are the heaviest, and the lighter options require more development with greater programmatic risk. There are four duplicate copies

  8. CIRCUMBINARY CHAOS: USING PLUTO'S NEWEST MOON TO CONSTRAIN THE MASSES OF NIX AND HYDRA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Youdin, Andrew N.; Kratter, Kaitlin M.; Kenyon, Scott J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2012-08-10

    The Pluto system provides a unique local laboratory for the study of binaries with multiple low-mass companions. In this paper, we study the orbital stability of P4, the most recently discovered moon in the Pluto system. This newfound companion orbits near the plane of the Pluto-Charon (PC) binary, roughly halfway between the two minor moons Nix and Hydra. We use a suite of few body integrations to constrain the masses of Nix and Hydra, and the orbital parameters of P4. For the system to remain stable over the age of the solar system, the masses of Nix and Hydra likely do not exceed 5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 16} kg and 9 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 16} kg, respectively. These upper limits assume a fixed mass ratio between Nix and Hydra at the value implied by their median optical brightness. Our study finds that stability is more sensitive to their total mass and that a downward revision of Charon's eccentricity (from our adopted value of 0.0035) is unlikely to significantly affect our conclusions. Our upper limits are an order of magnitude below existing astrometric limits on the masses of Nix and Hydra. For a density at least that of ice, the albedos of Nix and Hydra would exceed 0.3. This constraint implies they are icy, as predicted by giant impact models. Even with these low masses, P4 only remains stable if its eccentricity e {approx}< 0.02. The 5:1 commensurability with Charon is particularly unstable, combining stability constraints with the observed mean motion places the preferred orbit for P4 just exterior to the 5:1 resonance. These predictions will be tested when the New Horizons satellite visits Pluto. Based on the results for the PC system, we expect that circumbinary, multi-planet systems will be more widely spaced than their singleton counterparts. Further, circumbinary exoplanets close to the three-body stability boundary, such as those found by Kepler, are less likely to have other companions nearby.

  9. New Horizons Constraints on Charon's Present Day Atmosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Stern, S A; Gladstone, G R; Steffl, A J; Cheng, A F; Young, L A; Weaver, H A; Olkin, C B; Ennico, K; Parker, J W; Parker, A H; Lauer, T R; Zangari, A; Summers, M

    2016-01-01

    We report on a variety of standard techniques used by New Horizons including a solar ultraviolet occultation, ultraviolet airglow observations, and high-phase look-back particulate search imaging to search for an atmosphere around Pluto's large moon Charon during its flyby in July 2015. Analyzing these datasets, no evidence for a present day atmosphere has been found for 14 potential atomic and molecular species, all of which are now constrained to have pressures below 0.3 nanobar, as we describe below, these are much more stringent upper limits than the previously available 15-110 nanobar constraints (e.g., Sicardy et al. 2006); for example, we find a 3$\\sigma$ upper limit for an N$_2$ atmosphere on Charon is 4.2 picobars and a 3$\\sigma$ upper limit for the brightness of any atmospheric haze on Charon of I/F=2.6x10$^{-5}$. A radio occultation search for an atmosphere around Charon was also conducted by New Horizons but will be published separately by other authors.

  10. Further development of the 'Pluto'-burner; Weiterentwicklung des Pluto-Brenners (Simulationsunterstuetzung)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baykal, S.; Gass, J.

    2004-07-01

    This well-illustrated final report for the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) made by the Laboratory for Thermodynamics at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich presents the measurements made and the results obtained from tests made on the 'Pluto' burner. This burner is a low-power oil-evaporation burner with a power of 5 - 15 kW with a high potential for use as an atomizer burner in well-insulated single-family homes. The report presents a multitude of results in graphical form. The simulations carried out at the laboratory investigated the use of the burner in a condensing heating unit with top-to-bottom airflow and provided the basis for optimisation of the burner's performance and manufacturing costs.

  11. Upper limits of possible photochemical hazes on Pluto

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stansberry, J.A.; Lunine, J.I.; Tomasko, M.G. (Univ. of Arizona, Tucson (USA))

    1989-11-01

    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 were that it achieve unity tangential optical depth at a radius of 1174 km and be essentially transparent above 1189 km. The authors explore here the possibility that aerosols generated through methane photolysis could be responsible for such a haze layer. A comprehensive model of aerosol production, particle growth, sedimentation and condensation is applied to the atmosphere of Pluto using pressures, temperatures and composition derived from the stellar occultation and other data. They test two atmosphere models proposed in the literature, one from Elliot et al. (1989), and one from Hubbard et al. (1989), as well as a range of optical properties for the particles. In order to produce a haze with unity tangential optical depth at 1174 km, they had to use an aerosol mass production rate equal to twice the total methane dissociation rate due to solar UV expected for Pluto and assume that the particles produced were 10 times more absorbing than those in other hazes in the outer solar system. The possibility of condensation in the atmosphere was considered but did not result in distinctly different haze optical depths. If a photochemical haze on Pluto was responsible for the occultation lightcurve measured by Elliot et al., operation of a photochemical system different from those on Titan, Uranus or Neptune is indicated.

  12. Methane and Nitrogen Abundances On Pluto and Eris

    CERN Document Server

    Tegler, S C; Grundy, W M; Romanishin, W; Abernathy, M R; Bovyn, M J; Burt, J A; Evans, D E; Maleszewski, C K; Thompson, Z; Vilas, F

    2010-01-01

    We present spectra of Eris from the MMT 6.5 meter telescope and Red Channel Spectrograph (5700-9800 angstroms; 5 angstroms per pix) on Mt. Hopkins, AZ, and of Pluto from the Steward Observatory 2.3 meter telescope and Boller and Chivens spectrograph (7100-9400 angstroms; 2 angstroms per pix) on Kitt Peak, AZ. In addition, we present laboratory transmission spectra of methane-nitrogen and methane-argon ice mixtures. By anchoring our analysis in methane and nitrogen solubilities in one another as expressed in the phase diagram of Prokhvatilov and Yantsevich (1983), and comparing methane bands in our Eris and Pluto spectra and methane bands in our laboratory spectra of methane and nitrogen ice mixtures, we find Eris' bulk methane and nitrogen abundances are about 10% and about 90%, and Pluto's bulk methane and nitrogen abundances are about 3% and about 97%. Such abundances for Pluto are consistent with values reported in the literature. It appears that the bulk volatile composition of Eris is similar to the bulk...

  13. Atmospheres and surfaces of small bodies and dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schaller E.L.

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs are icy relics orbiting the sun beyond Neptune left over from the planetary accretion disk. These bodies act as unique tracers of the chemical, thermal, and dynamical history of our solar system. Over 1000 Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs and centaurs (objects with perihelia between the giant planets have been discovered over the past two decades. While the vast majority of these objects are small ( 6-meter telescopes, have allowed for the first detailed studies of their surfaces and atmospheres. Visible and near-infrared spectroscopy of KBOs and centaurs has revealed a great diversity of surface compositions. Only the largest and coldest objects are capable of retaining volatile ices and atmospheres. Knowledge of the dynamics, physical properties, and collisional history of objects in the Kuiper belt is important for understanding solar system formation and evolution.

  14. Analysis of classical Kuiper-belt objects and Haumea collisional family from the Herschel and Spitzer observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vilenius, E.; Stansberry, J.; Müller, T.; Kiss, C.; Mommert, M.; Mueller, M.; Santos-Sanz, P.; Thirouin, A.; Lellouch, E.; Pal, A.; Peixinho, N.; Fornasier, S.

    2014-01-01

    We have analyzed space-based data at far-IR wavelengths in order to determine physical properties of Kuiper-belt objects (KBOs), also known as transneptunian objects (TNO), in the dynamical class of classical Kuiper-belt objects (CKBO). This dynamical class also contains most of the Haumea family me

  15. VMware Horizon Mirage essentials

    CERN Document Server

    Von Oven, Peter

    2013-01-01

    This book provides a practical, step-by-step approach to teach you how to build a successful infrastructure.This book is perfect for desktop administrators who want to deploy a solution to centrally manage their endpoint images across their entire estate using VMware Horizon Mirage. You need to have some experience in desktop image management using Microsoft Windows operating systems and Windows applications, as well as be familiar with Active Directory, SQL, IIS, and general server infrastructure relating to supporting end users.

  16. Expanding Your Horizon 2015

    CERN Multimedia

    Kaltenhauser, Kristin

    2015-01-01

    Expanding your horizons is a bi-annual “Science Day” for girls aged 11 to 14, held at the University of Geneva on 14 November. The girls had the opportunity to take part in hands-on workshops held by local professional women in the field of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. For the fourth time, CERN was part of this event, offering three workshops as well as a booth at the Discovery Fair, including Higgnite, an interactive visualization of the Higgs Field.

  17. Horizons of cosmology

    CERN Document Server

    Silk, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    Horizons of Cosmology: Exploring Worlds Seen and Unseen is the fourth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, highly esteemed astrophysicist Joseph Silk explores the vast mysteries and speculations of the field of cosmology in a way that balances an accessible style for the general reader and enough technical detail for advanced students and professionals. Indeed, while the p

  18. Entropy of Isolated Horizons revisited

    CERN Document Server

    Basu, Rudranil; Majumdar, Parthasarathi

    2009-01-01

    The decade-old formulation of the isolated horizon classically and within loop quantum gravity, and the extraction of the microcanonical entropy of such a horizon from this formulation, is reviewed, in view of recent renewed interest. There are two main approaches to this problem: one employs an SU(2) Chern-Simons theory describing the isolated horizon degrees of freedom, while the other uses a reduced U(1) Chern-Simons theory obtained from the SU(2) theory, with appropriate constraints imposed on the spectrum of boundary states `living' on the horizon. It is shown that both these ways lead to the same infinite series asymptotic in horizon area for the microcanonical entropy of an isolated horizon. The leading area term is followed by an unambiguous correction term logarithmic in area with a coefficient $-\\frac32$, with subleading corrections dropping off as inverse powers of the area.

  19. Instability of enclosed horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Kay, Bernard S

    2013-01-01

    We study the classical massless scalar wave equation on the region of 1+1-dimensional Minkowski space between the two branches of the hyperbola $x^2-t^2=1$ with vanishing boundary conditions on it. We point out that there are initially finite-energy initially, say, right-going waves for which the stress-energy tensor becomes singular on the null-line $t+x=0$. We also construct the quantum theory of this system and show that, while there is a regular Hartle-Hawking-Israel-like state, there are coherent states built on this for which there is a similar singularity in the expectation value of the renormalized stress-energy tensor. We conjecture that in 1+3-dimensional situations with 'enclosed horizons' such as a (maximally extended) Schwarzschild black hole in equilibrium in a stationary box or the (maximally extended) Schwarzschild-AdS spacetime, there will be a similar singularity at the horizon and that would signal an instability when matter perturbations and/or gravity are switched on. Such an instability ...

  20. Stringy horizons II

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giveon, Amit [Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University,Jerusalem 91904 (Israel); Itzhaki, Nissan [Physics Department, Tel-Aviv University,Ramat-Aviv, 69978 (Israel); Kutasov, David [EFI and Department of Physics, University of Chicago,5640 S. Ellis Av., Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

    2016-10-28

    We show that the spectrum of normalizable states on a Euclidean SL(2, R)/U(1) black hole exhibits a duality between oscillator states and wound strings. This duality generalizes the identification between a normalizable mode of dilaton gravity on the cigar and a mode of the tachyon with winding number one around the Euclidean time circle, which plays an important role in the FZZ correspondence. It implies that normalizable states on a large Euclidean black hole have support at widely separated scales. In particular, localized states that are extended over the cap of the cigar (the Euclidian analog of the black hole atmosphere) have a component that is localized near the tip of the cigar (the analog of the stretched horizon). As a consequence of this duality, the states exhibit a transition as a function of radial excitation level. From the perspective of a low energy probe, low lying states are naturally thought of as oscillator states in the black hole atmosphere, while at large excitation level they are naturally described as wound strings. As the excitation level increases, the size of the states first decreases and then increases. This behavior is expected to be a general feature of black hole horizons in string theory.

  1. Horizon as Critical Phenomenon

    CERN Document Server

    Lee, Sung-Sik

    2016-01-01

    We show that renormalization group(RG) flow can be viewed as a gradual wave function collapse, where a quantum state associated with the action of field theory evolves toward a final state that describes an IR fixed point. The process of collapse is described by the radial evolution in the dual holographic theory. If the theory is in the same phase as the assumed IR fixed point, the initial state is smoothly projected to the final state. If in a different phase, the initial state undergoes a phase transition which in turn gives rise to a horizon in the bulk geometry. We demonstrate the connection between critical behavior and horizon in an example, by deriving the bulk metrics that emerge in various phases of the U(N) vector model in the large N limit based on the holographic dual constructed from quantum RG. The gapped phase exhibits a geometry that smoothly ends at a finite proper distance in the radial direction. The geometric distance in the radial direction measures a complexity : the depth of RG transfo...

  2. Stringy horizons II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giveon, Amit; Itzhaki, Nissan; Kutasov, David

    2016-10-01

    We show that the spectrum of normalizable states on a Euclidean SL(2, R)/U(1) black hole exhibits a duality between oscillator states and wound strings. This duality generalizes the identification between a normalizable mode of dilaton gravity on the cigar and a mode of the tachyon with winding number one around the Euclidean time circle, which plays an important role in the FZZ correspondence. It implies that normalizable states on a large Euclidean black hole have support at widely separated scales. In particular, localized states that are extended over the cap of the cigar (the Euclidian analog of the black hole atmosphere) have a component that is localized near the tip of the cigar (the analog of the stretched horizon). As a consequence of this duality, the states exhibit a transition as a function of radial excitation level. From the perspective of a low energy probe, low lying states are naturally thought of as oscillator states in the black hole atmosphere, while at large excitation level they are naturally described as wound strings. As the excitation level increases, the size of the states first decreases and then increases. This behavior is expected to be a general feature of black hole horizons in string theory.

  3. What happens at the horizon?

    CERN Document Server

    Mathur, Samir D

    2013-01-01

    The Schwarzschild metric has an apparent singularity at the horizon r=2M. What really happens there? If physics at the horizon is 'normal' laboratory physics, then we run into Hawking's information paradox. If we want nontrivial structure at the horizon, then we need a mechanism to generate this structure that evades the 'no hair' conjectures of the past. Further, if we have such structure, then what would the role of the traditional black hole metric which continues smoothly past the horizon? Recent work has provided an answer to these questions, and in the process revealed a beautiful tie-up between gravity, string theory and thermodynamics.

  4. What Happens at the Horizon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathur, Samir D.

    2013-07-01

    The Schwarzschild metric has an apparent singularity at the horizon r = 2M. What really happens there? If physics at the horizon is "normal" laboratory physics, then we run into Hawking's information paradox. If we want nontrivial structure at the horizon, then we need a mechanism to generate this structure that evades the "no hair" conjectures of the past. Further, if we have such structure, then what would be the role of the traditional black hole metric which continues smoothly past the horizon? Recent work has provided an answer to these questions, and in the process revealed a beautiful tie-up between gravity, string theory and thermodynamics.

  5. Changing Horizons in Geography Education

    OpenAIRE

    2005-01-01

    Changing Horizons in Geography Education considers and develops aspects of the Bologna Process through the three pillars of operation. These were Europeanisation, Professional Development and Exciting Geography.

  6. The absolute magnitude distribution of Kuiper Belt objects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fraser, Wesley C. [Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, 5071 West Saanich Road, Victoria, BC V9E 2E7 (Canada); Brown, Michael E. [Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1200 East California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Morbidelli, Alessandro [Laboratoire Lagrange, UMR7293, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Côte d' Azur, BP 4229, F-06304 Nice (France); Parker, Alex [Department of Astronomy, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Batygin, Konstantin, E-mail: wesley.fraser@nrc.ca [Institute for Theory and Computation, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS 51, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2014-02-20

    Here we measure the absolute magnitude distributions (H-distribution) of the dynamically excited and quiescent (hot and cold) Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), and test if they share the same H-distribution as the Jupiter Trojans. From a compilation of all useable ecliptic surveys, we find that the KBO H-distributions are well described by broken power laws. The cold population has a bright-end slope, α{sub 1}=1.5{sub −0.2}{sup +0.4}, and break magnitude, H{sub B}=6.9{sub −0.2}{sup +0.1} (r'-band). The hot population has a shallower bright-end slope of, α{sub 1}=0.87{sub −0.2}{sup +0.07}, and break magnitude H{sub B}=7.7{sub −0.5}{sup +1.0}. Both populations share similar faint-end slopes of α{sub 2} ∼ 0.2. We estimate the masses of the hot and cold populations are ∼0.01 and ∼3 × 10{sup –4} M {sub ⊕}. The broken power-law fit to the Trojan H-distribution has α{sub 1} = 1.0 ± 0.2, α{sub 2} = 0.36 ± 0.01, and H {sub B} = 8.3. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test reveals that the probability that the Trojans and cold KBOs share the same parent H-distribution is less than 1 in 1000. When the bimodal albedo distribution of the hot objects is accounted for, there is no evidence that the H-distributions of the Trojans and hot KBOs differ. Our findings are in agreement with the predictions of the Nice model in terms of both mass and H-distribution of the hot and Trojan populations. Wide-field survey data suggest that the brightest few hot objects, with H{sub r{sup ′}}≲3, do not fall on the steep power-law slope of fainter hot objects. Under the standard hierarchical model of planetesimal formation, it is difficult to account for the similar break diameters of the hot and cold populations given the low mass of the cold belt.

  7. Near horizon structure of extremal vanishing horizon black holes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sadeghian

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available We study the near horizon structure of Extremal Vanishing Horizon (EVH black holes, extremal black holes with vanishing horizon area with a vanishing one-cycle on the horizon. We construct the most general near horizon EVH and near-EVH ansatz for the metric and other fields, like dilaton and gauge fields which may be present in the theory. We prove that (1 the near horizon EVH geometry for generic gravity theory in generic dimension has a three dimensional maximally symmetric subspace; (2 if the matter fields of the theory satisfy strong energy condition either this 3d part is AdS3, or the solution is a direct product of a locally 3d flat space and a d−3 dimensional part; (3 these results extend to the near horizon geometry of near-EVH black holes, for which the AdS3 part is replaced with BTZ geometry. We present some specific near horizon EVH geometries in 3, 4 and 5 dimensions for which there is a classification. We also briefly discuss implications of these generic results for generic (gauged supergravity theories and also for the thermodynamics of near-EVH black holes and the EVH/CFT proposal.

  8. Visual and infrared studies of asteroids and the Pluto-Charon system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesco, Edward F.

    1991-01-01

    The strategy of the project was to: (1) analyze light curves of Pluto-Charon mutual eclipse event light curves to derive models of the Pluto-Charon system; (2) use these results in planning and reducing HST observations tentatively scheduled to be obtained in Aug. 1991 to determine Pluto-Charon mass ratio; and (3) obtain visual and IR photometry of selected asteroids to help determine their albedos, sizes, shapes, pole orientations, taxonomic classes, and phase functions.

  9. Resolving Lifshitz Horizons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrison, Sarah; Kachru, Shamit; Wang, Huajia; /Stanford U., ITP /Stanford U., Phys. Dept. /SLAC

    2012-04-24

    Via the AdS/CFT correspondence, ground states of field theories at finite charge density are mapped to extremal black brane solutions. Studies of simple gravity + matter systems in this context have uncovered wide new classes of extremal geometries. The Lifshitz metrics characterizing field theories with non-trivial dynamical critical exponent z {ne} 1 emerge as one common endpoint in doped holographic toy models. However, the Lifshitz horizon exhibits mildly singular behaviour - while curvature invariants are finite, there are diverging tidal forces. Here we show that in some of the simplest contexts where Lifshitz metrics emerge, Einstein-Maxwell-dilaton theories, generic corrections lead to a replacement of the Lifshitz metric, in the deep infrared, by a re-emergent AdS{sub 2} x R{sup 2} geometry. Thus, at least in these cases, the Lifshitz scaling characterizes the physics over a wide range of energy scales, but the mild singularity is cured by quantum or stringy effects.

  10. TNOs are Cool: Analysis of Classical Kuiper Belt Objects from Herschel Space Observatory Data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vilenius, Esa; Kiss, C.; Mommert, M.; Muller, T.; Santos-Sanz, P.; Pal, A.; Stansberry, J.; Mueller, M.; Peixinho, N.; Fornasier, S.; Lellouch, E.; Delsanti, A.; Thirouin, A.; Duffard, R.; Ortiz, J.

    2012-01-01

    We present results from the sample analysis of classical Kuiper belt objects (CKBO) observed within the open time key program "TNOs are Cool" [Muller et al. 2009, Earth, Moon, Planets 105] of Herschel Space Observatory. About half of this sample was published in Vilenius et al. (2012, A&A 541) and t

  11. DIRECT IMAGING AND SPECTROSCOPY OF A YOUNG EXTRASOLAR KUIPER BELT IN THE NEAREST OB ASSOCIATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Currie, Thayne [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Subaru Telescope, Hilo, HI (United States); Lisse, Carey M. [Applied Physics Laboratory, The Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, MD (United States); Kuchner, Marc [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States); Madhusudhan, Nikku [Institute for Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (United Kingdom); Kenyon, Scott J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA (United States); Thalmann, Christian [ETH-Zurich, Zurich (Switzerland); Carson, Joseph [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The College of Charleston, Charleston, SC (United States); Debes, John [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD (United States)

    2015-07-01

    We describe the discovery of a bright, young Kuiper belt–like debris disk around HD 115600, a ∼1.4–1.5 M{sub ⊙}, ∼15 Myr old member of the Sco–Cen OB Association. Our H-band coronagraphy/integral field spectroscopy from the Gemini Planet Imager shows the ring has a (luminosity-scaled) semimajor axis of (∼22 AU) ∼ 48 AU, similar to the current Kuiper belt. The disk appears to have neutral-scattering dust, is eccentric (e ∼ 0.1–0.2), and could be sculpted by analogs to the outer solar system planets. Spectroscopy of the disk ansae reveal a slightly blue to gray disk color, consistent with major Kuiper belt chemical constituents, where water ice is a very plausible dominant constituent. Besides being the first object discovered with the next generation of extreme adaptive optics systems (i.e., SCExAO, GPI, SPHERE), HD 115600's debris ring and planetary system provide a key reference point for the early evolution of the solar system, the structure, and composition of the Kuiper belt and the interaction between debris disks and planets.

  12. The secular evolution of the Kuiper belt after a close stellar encounter

    CERN Document Server

    Punzo, D; Zwart, S Portegies

    2014-01-01

    We show the effects of the perturbation caused by a passing by star on the Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) of our Solar System. The Kuiper belt is sampled using up to 131,072 bodies on nearly circular orbits distributed in a ring of surface density $\\Sigma \\sim r^{-2}$. The dynamics of the KB is followed by direct $N$- body simulations. The growth of a dynamically hot population as well as the population in resonance orbits with the planets, depends on the distribution of individual masses of Kuiper belt objects, the total mass and its radial extent, as well as on the mass and the orbit of the passing by star. The Kuiper belt is rather fragile for an encounter with a passing star, and the cross section threshold above which a recognizable structure is left are quite small. We chose for the encountering star a mass 0.5 MSun, to 2 MSun, with an impact parameter of 170 AU (for a 0.5 MSun star) to 220 AU (for 2 MSun) and an inclination angle ($\\theta$) of $60^\\circ$ (for 0.5 MSun) to $120^\\circ$ (for 2 MSun). This res...

  13. Dynamical evaporation of quantum horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Pranzetti, Daniele

    2013-01-01

    We describe the black hole evaporation process driven by the dynamical evolution of the quantum gravitational degrees of freedom resident at the horizon, as identified by the Loop Quantum Gravity kinematics. Using a parallel with the Brownian motion, we interpret the first law of quantum dynamical horizon in terms of a fluctuation-dissipation relation applied to this fundamental discrete structure. In this way, the horizon evolution is described in terms of relaxation to an equilibrium state balanced by the excitation of Planck scale constituents of the horizon. We investigate the final stage of the evaporation process and show how, from this setting, the emergence of several conservative scenarios for the information paradox can be microscopically derived. Namely, the leakage of part of the horizon quantum geometry information prior to the Planckian phase and the stabilization of the hole surface shrinkage forming a massive remnant, which can eventually decay, are described.

  14. PLUTO code for computational Astrophysics: News and Developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzeferacos, P.; Mignone, A.

    2012-01-01

    We present an overview on recent developments and functionalities available with the PLUTO code for astrophysical fluid dynamics. The recent extension of the code to a conservative finite difference formulation and high order spatial discretization of the compressible equations of magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD), complementary to its finite volume approach, allows for a highly accurate treatment of smooth flows, while avoiding loss of accuracy near smooth extrema and providing sharp non-oscillatory transitions at discontinuities. Among the novel features, we present alternative, fully explicit treatments to include non-ideal dissipative processes (namely viscosity, resistivity and anisotropic thermal conduction), that do not suffer from the usual timestep limitation of explicit time stepping. These methods, offsprings of the multistep Runge-Kutta family that use a Chebyshev polynomial recursion, are competitive substitutes of computationally expensive implicit schemes that involve sparse matrix inversion. Several multi-dimensional benchmarks and appli-cations assess the potential of PLUTO to efficiently handle many astrophysical problems.

  15. Sublimation as a Landform-Shaping Process on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J. M.; Howard, A. D.; White, O. L.; Umurhan, O. M.; Schenk, P. M.; Beyer, R. A.; McKinnon, W. B.; Singer, K. N.; Spencer, J. R.; Stern, S. A.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Several icy-world surfaces in the solar system exhibit sublimation-driven landform modification erosion, condensation, and mass wasting [1]. In addition to the obvious role of gravity, mass wasting can work in conjunction with internal disaggregation of a landform's relief-supporting material through the loss (or deteriorating alteration) of its cohesive matrix. To give a conspicuous example, Callisto's landscape exhibits widespread erosion from sublimation erosion of slopes, which results in smooth, undulating, low albedo plains composed of lag deposits, with isolated high albedo pinnacles perched on remnants of crater rims due to the re-precipitation of ice on local cold traps [2, 3, 4]. Sublimation-driven mass wasting was anticipated on Pluto prior to the encounter (see refs in [5]). Here we report on several landscapes on Pluto we interpret to be formed, or at least heavily modified, by sublimation erosion.

  16. AMTEC radioisotope power system for the Pluto Express mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ivanenok, J.F. III; Sievers, R.K. [Advanced Modular Power Systems, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI (United States)

    1995-12-31

    The Alkali Metal Thermal to Electric Converter (AMTEC) technology has made substantial advances in the last 3 years through design improvements and technical innovations. In 1993 programs began to produce an AMTEC cell specifically for the NASA Pluto Express Mission. A set of efficiency goals was established for this series of cells to be developed. According to this plan, cell {number_sign}8 would be 17% efficient but was actually 18% efficient. Achieving this goal, as well as design advances that allow the cell to be compact, has resulted in pushing the cell from an unexciting 2 W/kg and 2% efficiency to very attractive 40 W/kg and 18% measured efficiency. This paper will describe the design and predict the performance of a radioisotope powered AMTEC system for the Pluto Express mission.

  17. Pluto's interaction with the solar wind

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bagenal, F. (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder (USA)); McNutt, R.L. Jr. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (USA))

    1989-11-01

    If Pluto's atmospheric escape rate is significantly greater than 1.5 x 10{sup 27} molecules s{sup {minus}1} then the interaction with the tenuous solar wind at 30 A.U. will be like that of a comet: there will be extensive ion pick-up upstream and the size of the interaction region will vary directly with variations in the solar wind flux. If the escape flux is much less, then one expects that the solar wind will be deflected around Pluto's ionosphere in a Venus-like interaction. In either case, the weak interplanetary magnetic field at 30 A.U. results in very large gyroradii for the picked up ions and a thick bow shock, necessitating a kinetic treatment of the interaction. Strong variations in the size of the interaction region are expected on time scales of days due to changes in the solar wind.

  18. Power system comparison for the Pluto Express mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harty, R.B. [Rockwell Aerospace, Canoga Park, CA (United States). Rocketdyne Div.

    1995-12-31

    This paper presents a comparison of three advanced radioisotope power systems, along with a down sized RTG for the Pluto Express mission. These three advanced radioisotope power systems were the Radioisotope Alkali Metal Thermal--to-Electric Converter (RAMTEC), Radioisotope Stirling, and Radioisotope Thermophotovoltaic (RTPV). For the Pluto Express mission, the power requirement at the end of the 10-y mission is 74 We. It was found that all three advanced power systems could meet the required end of mission power with two General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules. The RTG required six modules to meet the power requirement. Only the RAMTEC and RTPV met the mass goal of 9.5 kg. The AMTEC has a radiator area more than a factor of 10 lower than the Stirling and RTPV power systems, which simplifies spacecraft integration.

  19. Resonant interactions and chaotic rotation of Pluto's small moons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showalter, M R; Hamilton, D P

    2015-06-04

    Four small moons--Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra--follow near-circular, near-equatorial orbits around the central 'binary planet' comprising Pluto and its large moon, Charon. New observational details of the system have emerged following the discoveries of Kerberos and Styx. Here we report that Styx, Nix and Hydra are tied together by a three-body resonance, which is reminiscent of the Laplace resonance linking Jupiter's moons Io, Europa and Ganymede. Perturbations by the other bodies, however, inject chaos into this otherwise stable configuration. Nix and Hydra have bright surfaces similar to that of Charon. Kerberos may be much darker, raising questions about how a heterogeneous satellite system might have formed. Nix and Hydra rotate chaotically, driven by the large torques of the Pluto-Charon binary.

  20. Effect of irradiation on the surface of Pluto

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, R.E. (Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville (USA))

    1989-11-01

    The surface of Pluto is exposed to cosmic ray particles which slowly alter the reflectance of the condensed methane and the UV absorbed in the atmosphere may produce precipitates. Depending on the rates of the competing regolith processes and the rate of replenishment of the methane the surface can appear bright, red, or dark. Here the relevant laboratory data show that, in the absence of any local particle precipitation, the amount of darkening occurring in one orbit is small.

  1. Pluto's Atmosphere from the July 2010 Stellar Occultation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Person, Michael J.; Elliot, J. L.; Bosh, A. S.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Jensen-Clem, R.; Lockhart, M. F.; Zangari, A. M.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Levine, S. E.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Souza, S. P.; Lu, M.; Malamut, C.; Rojo, P.; Bailyn, C. D.; MacDonald, R. K. D.; Ivarsen, K. M.; Reichart, D. E.; LaCluyze, A. P.; Nysewander, M. C.; Haislip, J. B.

    2010-10-01

    We have observed the 4 July 2010 stellar occultation by Pluto as part of our program of monitoring Pluto's atmospheric changes over the last decade. Successful observations were obtained from three sites: Cerro Calan and Cerro Tololo, Chile, as well as the HESS-project site (High Energy Stereoscopic System) in southwestern Namibia. Successful telescope apertures ranged from 0.45 m to 1.0 m and resulted in seven occultation light curves for the event from among the three sites. Simultaneous analysis of the seven light curves indicates that Pluto's atmosphere continues to be stable, as the calculated atmospheric radii are consistent with those detected in 2006 (Elliot et al., AJ 134, 1, 2007) and 2007 (Person et al., AJ 136, 1510, 2008), continuing the stability that followed the large pressure increase detected between 1988 (Millis et al., Icarus 105, 282, 1993) and 2002 (Elliot et al., Nature 424, 165, 2003). We will present the overall astrometric solution as well as current profiles for Pluto's upper atmospheric temperature and pressure obtained from inversion of the light curves (Elliot, Person, and Qu, AJ 126, 1041, 2003). This work was supported, in part, by grants NNX10AB27G to MIT, NNX08AO50G to Williams College, and NNH08AI17I to the USNO from NASA's Planetary Astronomy Division. The 0.75-m ATOM (Automatic Telescope for Optical Monitoring) light curve was obtained with the generous assistance of the HESS-project staff, arranged by Stefan Wagner and Marcus Hauser of the University of Heidelberg. The 0.45-m Goto telescope at Cerro Calán National Astronomical Observatory, Universidad de Chile, was donated by the Government of Japan. PROMPT (Panchromatic Robotic Optical Monitoring and Polarimetry Telescopes) observations at Cerro Tololo were made possible by the Robert Martin Ayers Science Fund. Student participation was supported in part by NSF's REU program and NASA's Massachusetts Space Grant.

  2. Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia implies a subsurface ocean on Pluto.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, F; Hamilton, D P; McKinnon, W B; Schenk, P M; Binzel, R P; Bierson, C J; Beyer, R A; Moore, J M; Stern, S A; Weaver, H A; Olkin, C B; Young, L A; Smith, K E

    2016-12-01

    The deep nitrogen-covered basin on Pluto, informally named Sputnik Planitia, is located very close to the longitude of Pluto's tidal axis and may be an impact feature, by analogy with other large basins in the Solar System. Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia arising from tidal and rotational torques can explain the basin's present-day location, but requires the feature to be a positive gravity anomaly, despite its negative topography. Here we argue that if Sputnik Planitia did indeed form as a result of an impact and if Pluto possesses a subsurface ocean, the required positive gravity anomaly would naturally result because of shell thinning and ocean uplift, followed by later modest nitrogen deposition. Without a subsurface ocean, a positive gravity anomaly requires an implausibly thick nitrogen layer (exceeding 40 kilometres). To prolong the lifetime of such a subsurface ocean to the present day and to maintain ocean uplift, a rigid, conductive water-ice shell is required. Because nitrogen deposition is latitude-dependent, nitrogen loading and reorientation may have exhibited complex feedbacks.

  3. Sublimation as a landform-shaping process on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.; Howard, Alan D.; Umurhan, Orkan M.; White, Oliver L.; Schenk, Paul M.; Beyer, Ross A.; McKinnon, William B.; Spencer, John R.; Grundy, Will M.; Lauer, Tod R.; Nimmo, Francis; Young, Leslie A.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Cathy B.; Ennico, Kimberly

    2017-05-01

    Fields of pits, both large and small, in Tombaugh Regio (Sputnik Planitia, and the Pitted Uplands to the east), and along the scarp of Piri Rupes, are examples of landscapes on Pluto where we conclude that sublimation drives their formation and evolution. Our heuristic modeling closely mimics the form, spacing, and arrangement of a variety of Tombaugh Regio's pits. Pluto's sublimation modified landforms appear to require a significant role for (diffusive) mass wasting as suggested by our modeling. In our models, the temporal evolution of pitted surfaces is such that initially lots of time passes with little happening, then eventually, very rapid development of relief and rapid sublimation. Small pits on Sputnik Planitia are consistent with their formation in N2-dominated materials. As N2-ice readily flows, some other ``stiffer'' volatile ice may play a role in supporting the relief of sublimation degraded landforms that exhibit several hundred meters of relief. A strong candidate is CH4, which is spectroscopically observed to be associated with these features, but the current state of rheological knowledge for CH4 ice at Pluto conditions is insufficient for a firm assessment.

  4. Social Pharmacology: Expanding horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiti, Rituparna; Alloza, José Luis

    2014-01-01

    In the current modern and global society, social changes are in constant evolution due to scientific progress (technology, culture, customs, and hygiene) and produce the freedom in individuals to take decisions by themselves or with their doctors toward drug consumption. In the arena of marketed drug products which includes society, individual, administration, and pharmaceutical industry, the young discipline emerged is social pharmacology or sociopharmacology. This science arises from clinical pharmacology, and deals with different parameters, which are important in creating knowledge on marketed drugs. However, the scope of “social pharmacology” is not covered by the so-called “Phase IV” alone, but it is the science that handles the postmarketing knowledge of drugs. The social pharmacology studies the “life cycle” of any marketed pharmaceutical product in the social terrain, and evaluates the effects of the real environment under circumstances totally different in the drug development process. Therefore, there are far-reaching horizons, plural, and shared predictions among health professionals and other, for beneficial use of a drug, toward maximizing the benefits of therapy, while minimizing negative social consequences. PMID:24987168

  5. Social pharmacology: expanding horizons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maiti, Rituparna; Alloza, José Luis

    2014-01-01

    In the current modern and global society, social changes are in constant evolution due to scientific progress (technology, culture, customs, and hygiene) and produce the freedom in individuals to take decisions by themselves or with their doctors toward drug consumption. In the arena of marketed drug products which includes society, individual, administration, and pharmaceutical industry, the young discipline emerged is social pharmacology or sociopharmacology. This science arises from clinical pharmacology, and deals with different parameters, which are important in creating knowledge on marketed drugs. However, the scope of "social pharmacology" is not covered by the so-called "Phase IV" alone, but it is the science that handles the postmarketing knowledge of drugs. The social pharmacology studies the "life cycle" of any marketed pharmaceutical product in the social terrain, and evaluates the effects of the real environment under circumstances totally different in the drug development process. Therefore, there are far-reaching horizons, plural, and shared predictions among health professionals and other, for beneficial use of a drug, toward maximizing the benefits of therapy, while minimizing negative social consequences.

  6. Social Pharmacology: Expanding horizons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rituparna Maiti

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available In the current modern and global society, social changes are in constant evolution due to scientific progress (technology, culture, customs, and hygiene and produce the freedom in individuals to take decisions by themselves or with their doctors toward drug consumption. In the arena of marketed drug products which includes society, individual, administration, and pharmaceutical industry, the young discipline emerged is social pharmacology or sociopharmacology. This science arises from clinical pharmacology, and deals with different parameters, which are important in creating knowledge on marketed drugs. However, the scope of "social pharmacology" is not covered by the so-called "Phase IV" alone, but it is the science that handles the postmarketing knowledge of drugs. The social pharmacology studies the "life cycle" of any marketed pharmaceutical product in the social terrain, and evaluates the effects of the real environment under circumstances totally different in the drug development process. Therefore, there are far-reaching horizons, plural, and shared predictions among health professionals and other, for beneficial use of a drug, toward maximizing the benefits of therapy, while minimizing negative social consequences.

  7. Resolving Lifshitz horizons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrison, Sarah; Kachru, Shamit; Wang, Huajia [Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics, Department of Physics, Stanford University,Stanford, CA 94305 (United States); Theory Group, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory,Menlo Park, CA 94309 (United States)

    2014-02-20

    Via the AdS/CFT correspondence, ground states of field theories at finite charge density are mapped to extremal black brane solutions. Studies of simple gravity + matter systems in this context have uncovered wide new classes of extremal geometries. The Lifshitz metrics characterising field theories with non-trivial dynamical critical exponent z≠1 emerge as one common endpoint in doped holographic toy models. However, the Lifshitz horizon exhibits mildly singular behaviour - while curvature invariants are finite, there are diverging tidal forces. Here we show that in some of the simplest contexts where Lifshitz metrics emerge, Einstein-Maxwell-dilaton theories, toy models of generic corrections can lead (presumably as one possibility among many) to a replacement of the Lifshitz metric, in the deep infrared, by a re-emergent AdS{sub 2}×R{sup 2} geometry. Thus, at least in these cases, the Lifshitz scaling characterises the physics over a wide range of energy scales, but the mild singularity is cured by quantum or stringy effects.

  8. Stringy Horizons II

    CERN Document Server

    Giveon, Amit; Kutasov, David

    2016-01-01

    We show that the spectrum of normalizable states on a Euclidean SL(2,R)/U(1) black hole exhibits a duality between oscillator states and wound strings. This duality generalizes the FZZ correspondence, which can be thought of as an identification between a normalizable mode of dilaton gravity and a mode of the tachyon with winding number one around the Euclidean time circle. It implies that normalizable states on a large Euclidean black hole have support at widely separated scales. In particular, localized states that are extended over the cap of the cigar (the Euclidian analog of the black hole atmosphere) have a component that is localized near the tip of the cigar (the analog of the stretched horizon). As a consequence of this duality, the states exhibit a transition as a function of radial excitation level. From the perspective of a low energy probe, low lying states are naturally thought of as oscillator states in the black hole atmosphere, while at large excitation level they are naturally described as w...

  9. Reorientation and faulting of Pluto due to volatile loading within Sputnik Planitia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, James T; Matsuyama, Isamu; Kamata, Shunichi; Steckloff, Jordan K

    2016-12-01

    Pluto is an astoundingly diverse, geologically dynamic world. The dominant feature is Sputnik Planitia-a tear-drop-shaped topographic depression approximately 1,000 kilometres in diameter possibly representing an ancient impact basin. The interior of Sputnik Planitia is characterized by a smooth, craterless plain three to four kilometres beneath the surrounding rugged uplands, and represents the surface of a massive unit of actively convecting volatile ices (N2, CH4 and CO) several kilometres thick. This large feature is very near the Pluto-Charon tidal axis. Here we report that the location of Sputnik Planitia is the natural consequence of the sequestration of volatile ices within the basin and the resulting reorientation (true polar wander) of Pluto. Loading of volatile ices within a basin the size of Sputnik Planitia can substantially alter Pluto's inertia tensor, resulting in a reorientation of the dwarf planet of around 60 degrees with respect to the rotational and tidal axes. The combination of this reorientation, loading and global expansion due to the freezing of a possible subsurface ocean generates stresses within the planet's lithosphere, resulting in a global network of extensional faults that closely replicate the observed fault networks on Pluto. Sputnik Planitia probably formed northwest of its present location, and was loaded with volatiles over million-year timescales as a result of volatile transport cycles on Pluto. Pluto's past, present and future orientation is controlled by feedbacks between volatile sublimation and condensation, changing insolation conditions and Pluto's interior structure.

  10. Photometric study of Pluto near perihelion. Pt. 2. Refined rotation period. Color indices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lyutyj, V.M.; Tarashchuk, V.P. (Moskovskij Gosudarstvennyj Univ. (USSR). Gosudarstvennyj Astronomicheskij Inst. ' ' GAISh' ' ; Kievskij Gosudarstvennyj Univ. (Ukrainian SSR))

    1984-07-01

    Results of UBV photometry of Pluto during 1982-1983 are reported. Using all photoelectric observations of 1953-1983 a more accurate period is calculated. The significant reddening at maximum light (phases 0.6-0.7) is revealed. The secular variations of the mean brightness of Pluto does not contradict a 124-year periodicity.

  11. Three theorems on near horizon extremal vanishing horizon geometries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Sadeghian

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available EVH black holes are Extremal black holes with Vanishing Horizon area, where vanishing of horizon area is a result of having a vanishing one-cycle on the horizon. We prove three theorems regarding near horizon geometry of EVH black hole solutions to generic Einstein gravity theories in diverse dimensions. These generic gravity theories are Einstein–Maxwell-dilaton-Λ theories, and gauged or ungauged supergravity theories with U(1 Maxwell fields. Our three theorems are: (1 The near horizon geometry of any EVH black hole has a three dimensional maximally symmetric subspace. (2 If the energy momentum tensor of the theory satisfies strong energy condition either this 3d part is an AdS3, or the solution is a direct product of a locally 3d flat space and a d−3 dimensional part. (3 These results extend to the near horizon geometry of near-EVH black holes, for which the AdS3 part is replaced with BTZ geometry.

  12. Gravitational Global Monopoles with Horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Maison, D

    1999-01-01

    We give arguments for the existence of ``radial excitations'' of gravitational global monopoles with any number of zeros of the Higgs field and present numerical results for solutions with up to two zeros. All these solutions possess a de Sitter like cosmological horizon, outside of which they become singular. In addition we study corresponding static ``hairy'' black hole solutions, representing black holes sitting inside a global monopole core. In particular, we determine their existence domains as a function of their horizon radius rh.

  13. Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Sources and Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Dankanich, John; Colozza, Anthony; Schmitz, Paul; Khan, Omair; Drexler, Jon; Fittje, James

    2011-01-01

    A joint NASA GRC/JPL design study was performed for the NASA Radioisotope Power Systems Office to explore the use of radioisotope electric propulsion for flagship class missions. The Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter is a flagship class mission concept projected for launch in the 2030 timeframe. Due to the large size of a flagship class science mission larger radioisotope power system building blocks were conceptualized to provide the roughly 4 kW of power needed by the NEXT ion propulsion system and the spacecraft. Using REP the spacecraft is able to rendezvous with and orbit a Kuiper Belt object in 16 years using either eleven (no spare) 420 W advanced RTGs or nine (with a spare) 550 W advanced Stirling Radioisotope systems. The design study evaluated integrating either system and estimated impacts on cost as well as required General Purpose Heat Source requirements.

  14. Long-Term Dynamics and the Orbital Inclinations of the Classical Kuiper Belt Objects

    CERN Document Server

    Kuchner, M J; Holman, M; Kuchner, Marc J.; Brown, Michael E.; Holman, Matthew

    2002-01-01

    We numerically integrated the orbits of 1458 particles in the region of the classical Kuiper Belt (41 AU < a < 47 AU) to explore the role of dynamical instabilities in sculpting the inclination distribution of the classical Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). We find that the selective removal of low-inclination objects by overlapping secular resonances (nu_17 and nu_18) acts to raise the mean inclination of the surviving population of particles over 4 billion years of interactions with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, though these long-term dynamical effects do not themselves appear to explain the discovery of KBOs with inclinations near 30 degrees. Our integrations also imply that after 3 billion years of interaction with the massive planets, high inclination KBOs more efficiently supply Neptune-encountering objects, the likely progenitors of short-period comets, Centaurs, and scattered KBOs. The secular resonances at low inclinations may indirectly cause this effect by weeding out objects unprotected by ...

  15. Implications Regarding the Energetics Of the Collisional Formation of Kuiper Belt Satellites

    CERN Document Server

    Stern, S A

    2002-01-01

    Recently, it has been discovered that at least 1% of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) are accompanied by large satellites. Here we examine the energetics of KBO satellite formation via collisions, finding collisions require a dynamically excited Kuiper Belt. Further, even under optimistic assumptions (including perfect accretion of the satellites), we find that collisional processes cannot make KBO satellites at the observed frequency of occurrence unless KBO projectiles large enough to generate the observed satellites were \\~40 times more numerous in the ancient past, resulting in an increased collision rate with sufficiently large projectiles, or unless the fraction of impact energy estimated to be imparted to ejecta is of order unity. Neither alternative is very palatable. However, an easier to accept alternative also exists: KBO primary and/or KBO satellite surface albedos presently be underestimated by making the canonical assumption of 4% surface albedos; specifically, surface albedos of KBO primaries and/or ...

  16. Far-Infrared Polarimetry of Galactic Clouds from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotson, Jessie L.; Davidson, Jacqueline; Dowell, C. Darren; Schleuning, David A.; Hildebrand, Roger H.

    1999-01-01

    In this paper we present a complete summary of the data obtained with the far-infrared polarimeter, Stokes, in flights of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. We have observed 12 Galactic clouds and have made over 1100 individual measurements at 100 micrometer and 60 micrometer. The median P for all of the 60 micrometer and 100 micrometer measurements is 3.6% and 2.6% respectively. We also present flux maps obtained simultaneously with the polarimetry.

  17. Extreme Kuiper Belt Object 2001 QG298 and the Fraction of Contact Binaries

    CERN Document Server

    Sheppard, S S; Sheppard, Scott S.; Jewitt, David

    2004-01-01

    Extensive time-resolved observations of Kuiper Belt object 2001 QG298 show a lightcurve with a peak-to-peak variation of 1.14 +-0.04 magnitudes and single-peaked period of 6.8872 +- 0.0002 hr. The mean absolute magnitude is 6.85 magnitudes which corresponds to a mean effective radius of 122 (77) km if an albedo of 0.04 (0.10) is assumed. This is the first known Kuiper Belt object and only the third minor planet with a radius > 25 km to display a lightcurve with a range in excess of 1 magnitude. We find the colors to be typical for a Kuiper Belt object (B-V = 1.00 +- 0.04, V-R = 0.60 +- 0.02) with no variation in color between minimum and maximum light. The large light variation, relatively long double-peaked period and absence of rotational color change argue against explanations due to albedo markings or elongation due to high angular momentum. Instead, we suggest that 2001 QG298 may be a very close or contact binary similar in structure to what has been independently proposed for the Trojan asteroid 624 Hek...

  18. Direct Imaging and Spectroscopy of a Young Extrasolar Kuiper Belt in the Nearest OB Association

    CERN Document Server

    Currie, Thayne; Kuchner, Marc J; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Kenyon, Scott J; Thalmann, Christian; Carson, Joseph; Debes, John H

    2015-01-01

    We describe the discovery of a bright, young Kuiper belt-like debris disk around HD 115600, a $\\sim$ 1.4--1.5 M$_\\mathrm{\\odot}$, $\\sim$ 15 Myr old member of the Sco-Cen OB Association. Our H-band coronagraphy/integral field spectroscopy from the \\textit{Gemini Planet Imager} shows the ring has a (luminosity scaled) semi major axis of ($\\sim$ 22 AU) $\\sim$ 48 AU, similar to the current Kuiper belt. The disk appears to have neutral scattering dust, is eccentric (e $\\sim$ 0.1--0.2), and could be sculpted by analogues to the outer solar system planets. Spectroscopy of the disk ansae reveal a slightly blue to gray disk color, consistent with major Kuiper belt chemical constituents, where water-ice is a very plausible dominant constituent. Besides being the first object discovered with the next generation of extreme adaptive optics systems (i.e. SCExAO, GPI, SPHERE), HD 115600's debris ring and planetary system provides a key reference point for the early evolution of the solar system, the structure and compositio...

  19. International Workshop on First Decadal Review Of The Edgeworth-kuiper-belt : Towards New Frontiers

    CERN Document Server

    Barrera, Luis; Towards New Frontiers

    2004-01-01

    A decade after the confirmation of the Kuiper Belt's existence, 80 of the world's experts gathered in Chile to review what has been learned since 1992. This record of the meeting is enhanced by several specially solicited papers covering additional material not presented at the conference. The volume includes papers on the dynamics of the trans-Neptunian region, the results of deep surveys for the new objects and the evidence for an outer Edge to the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt. Physical observations of many objects are described and attempts are made to bring these data into some coherent picture of the distant solar system. The interior physics of these distant, icy objects, and the link between the Kuiper Belt and dust disks around other stars are also considered. Of particular interest is a set of papers on how the surfaces of distant asteroids are affected by various types of radiation, an area crucial to the interpretation of data being collected by large ground based telescopes. Suitable for professi...

  20. Accretion in the Early Kuiper Belt; 1, Coagulation and Velocity Evolution

    CERN Document Server

    Kenyon, S J; Kenyon, Scott J.; Luu, Jane X.

    1998-01-01

    We describe planetesimal accretion calculations in the Kuiper Belt. Our evolution code simulates planetesimal growth in a single annulus and includes velocity evolution but not fragmentation. Test results match analytic solutions and duplicate previous simulations at 1 AU. In the Kuiper Belt, simulations without velocity evolution produce a single runaway body with a radius of 1000 km on a time scale inversely proportional to the initial mass in the annulus. Runaway growth occurs in 100 Myr for 10 earth masses and an initial eccentricity of 0.001 in a 6 AU annulus centered at 35 AU. This mass is close to the amount of dusty material expected in a minimum mass solar nebula extrapolated into the Kuiper Belt. Simulations with velocity evolution produce runaway growth on a wide range of time scales. Dynamical friction and viscous stirring increase particle velocities in models with large (8 km radius) initial bodies. This velocity increase delays runaway growth by a factor of two compared to models without veloci...

  1. A Possible Divot in the Size Distribution of the Kuiper Belt's Scattering Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankman, C.; Gladman, B. J.; Kaib, N.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Petit, J. M.

    2013-02-01

    Via joint analysis of a calibrated telescopic survey, which found scattering Kuiper Belt objects, and models of their expected orbital distribution, we explore the scattering-object (SO) size distribution. Although for D > 100 km the number of objects quickly rise as diameters decrease, we find a relative lack of smaller objects, ruling out a single power law at greater than 99% confidence. After studying traditional "knees" in the size distribution, we explore other formulations and find that, surprisingly, our analysis is consistent with a very sudden decrease (a divot) in the number distribution as diameters decrease below 100 km, which then rises again as a power law. Motivated by other dynamically hot populations and the Centaurs, we argue for a divot size distribution where the number of smaller objects rises again as expected via collisional equilibrium. Extrapolation yields enough kilometer-scale SOs to supply the nearby Jupiter-family comets. Our interpretation is that this divot feature is a preserved relic of the size distribution made by planetesimal formation, now "frozen in" to portions of the Kuiper Belt sharing a "hot" orbital inclination distribution, explaining several puzzles in Kuiper Belt science. Additionally, we show that to match today's SO inclination distribution, the supply source that was scattered outward must have already been vertically heated to the of order 10°.

  2. Numerical simulations of thin accretion discs with PLUTO

    CERN Document Server

    Parthasarathy, Varadarajan

    2014-01-01

    Our goal is to perform global simulations of thin accretion discs around compact bodies like neutron stars with dipolar magnetic profile and black holes by exploiting the facilities provided by state-of-the-art grid-based, high resolution shock capturing (HRSC) and finite volume codes. We have used the Godunov-type code PLUTO to simulate a thin disc around a compact object prescribed with a pseudo-Newtonian potential in a purely hydrodynamical (HD) regime, with numerical viscosity as a first step towards achieving our goal as mentioned above.

  3. Is Pluto a planet? A historical journey through the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Weintraub, David A

    2007-01-01

    A Note from the Author: On August 24, 2006, at the 26th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Prague, by a majority vote of only the 424 members present, the IAU (an organization of over 10,000 members) passed a resolution defining planet in such a way as to exclude Pluto and established a new class of objects in the solar system to be called ""dwarf planets,"" which was deliberately designed to include Pluto. With the discovery of Eris (2003 UB313)--an outer solar system object thought to be both slightly larger than Pluto and twice as far from the Sun--astrono

  4. CVF spectrophotometry of Pluto - Correlation of composition with albedo. [Circularly variable filter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marcialis, R.L.; Lebofsky, L.A. (JPL, Pasadena, CA (USA) Arizona Univ., Tucson (USA))

    1991-02-01

    The present time-resolved, 0.96-2.65-micron spectrophotometry for the Pluto-Charon system indicates night-to-night variations in the depths of the methane absorptions such that the bands' equivalent width is near minimum light. The interpretation of these data in terms of a depletion of methane in dark regions of the planet, relative to bright ones, is consistent with the Buie and Fink (1987) observations. The near-IR spectrum of Pluto seems to be dominated by surface frost. It is suggested that the dark equatorial regions of Pluto are redder than those of moderate albedo. 28 refs.

  5. CVF spectrophotometry of Pluto - Correlation of composition with albedo. [circularly variable filter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcialis, Robert L.; Lebofsky, Larry A.

    1991-01-01

    The present time-resolved, 0.96-2.65-micron spectrophotometry for the Pluto-Charon system indicates night-to-night variations in the depths of the methane absorptions such that the bands' equivalent width is near minimum light. The interpretation of these data in terms of a depletion of methane in dark regions of the planet, relative to bright ones, is consistent with the Buie and Fink (1987) observations. The near-IR spectrum of Pluto seems to be dominated by surface frost. It is suggested that the dark equatorial regions of Pluto are redder than those of moderate albedo.

  6. Discovery of carbon monoxide in the upper atmosphere of Pluto

    CERN Document Server

    Greaves, J S; Friberg, P

    2011-01-01

    Pluto's icy surface has changed colour and its atmosphere has swelled since its last closest approach to the Sun in 1989. The thin atmosphere is produced by evaporating ices, and so can also change rapidly, and in particular carbon monoxide should be present as an active thermostat. Here we report the discovery of gaseous CO via the 1.3mm wavelength J=2-1 rotational transition, and find that the line-centre signal is more than twice as bright as a tentative result obtained by Bockelee-Morvan et al. in 2000. Greater surface-ice evaporation over the last decade could explain this, or increased pressure could have caused the atmosphere to expand. The gas must be cold, with a narrow line-width consistent with temperatures around 50 K, as predicted for the very high atmosphere, and the line brightness implies that CO molecules extend up to approximately 3 Pluto radii above the surface. The upper atmosphere must have changed markedly over only a decade since the prior search, and more alterations could occur by the...

  7. Advanced radioisotope power source options for Pluto Express

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Underwood, M.L. [California Inst. of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States). Jet Propulsion Lab.

    1995-12-31

    In the drive to reduce mass and cost, Pluto Express is investigating using an advanced power conversion technology in a small Radioisotope Power Source (RPS) to deliver the required mission power of 74 W(electric) at end of mission. Until this year the baseline power source under consideration has been a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG). This RTG would be a scaled down GPHS RTG with an inventory of 6 General Purpose Heat Sources (GPHS) and a mass of 17.8 kg. High efficiency, advanced technology conversion options are being examined to lower the power source mass and to reduce the amount of radioisotope needed. Three technologies are being considered as the advanced converter technology: the Alkali Metal Thermal-to-Electric Converter (AMTEC), Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) converters, and Stirling Engines. Conceptual designs for each of these options have been prepared. Each converter would require only 2 GPHSs to provide the mission power and would have a mass of 6.1, 7.2, and 12.4 kg for AMTEC, TPV, and Stirling Engines respectively. This paper reviews the status of each technology and the projected performance of an advanced RPS based on each technology. Based on the projected performance and spacecraft integration issues, Pluto Express would prefer to use the AMTEC based RPS. However, in addition to technical performance, selection of a power technology will be based on many other factors.

  8. Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia implies a subsurface ocean on Pluto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, F.; Hamilton, D. P.; McKinnon, W. B.; Schenk, P. M.; Binzel, R. P.; Bierson, C. J.; Beyer, R. A.; Moore, J. M.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Young, L. A.; Smith, K. E.; Moore, J. M.; McKinnon, W. B.; Spencer, J. R.; Beyer, R.; Binzel, R. P.; Buie, M.; Buratti, B.; Cheng, A.; Cruikshank, D.; Ore, C. Dalle; Earle, A.; Gladstone, R.; Grundy, W.; Howard, A. D.; Lauer, T.; Linscott, I.; Nimmo, F.; Parker, J.; Porter, S.; Reitsema, H.; Reuter, D.; Roberts, J. H.; Robbins, S.; Schenk, P. M.; Showalter, M.; Singer, K.; Strobel, D.; Summers, M.; Tyler, L.; White, O. L.; Umurhan, O. M.; Banks, M.; Barnouin, O.; Bray, V.; Carcich, B.; Chaikin, A.; Chavez, C.; Conrad, C.; Hamilton, D. P.; Howett, C.; Hofgartner, J.; Kammer, J.; Lisse, C.; Marcotte, A.; Parker, A.; Retherford, K.; Saina, M.; Runyon, K.; Schindhelm, E.; Stansberry, J.; Steffl, A.; Stryk, T.; Throop, H.; Tsang, C.; Verbiscer, A.; Winters, H.; Zangari, A.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Young, L. A.; Smith, K. E.

    2016-12-01

    The deep nitrogen-covered basin on Pluto, informally named Sputnik Planitia, is located very close to the longitude of Pluto’s tidal axis and may be an impact feature, by analogy with other large basins in the Solar System. Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia arising from tidal and rotational torques can explain the basin’s present-day location, but requires the feature to be a positive gravity anomaly, despite its negative topography. Here we argue that if Sputnik Planitia did indeed form as a result of an impact and if Pluto possesses a subsurface ocean, the required positive gravity anomaly would naturally result because of shell thinning and ocean uplift, followed by later modest nitrogen deposition. Without a subsurface ocean, a positive gravity anomaly requires an implausibly thick nitrogen layer (exceeding 40 kilometres). To prolong the lifetime of such a subsurface ocean to the present day and to maintain ocean uplift, a rigid, conductive water-ice shell is required. Because nitrogen deposition is latitude-dependent, nitrogen loading and reorientation may have exhibited complex feedbacks.

  9. Pluto's atmosphere from stellar occultations in 2012 and 2013

    CERN Document Server

    Dias-Oliveira, A; Lellouch, E; Vieira-Martins, R; Assafin, M; Camargo, J I B; Braga-Ribas, F; Gomes-Júnior, A R; Benedetti-Rossi, G; Colas, F; Decock, A; Doressoundiram, A; Dumas, C; Emilio, M; Polleri, J Fabrega; Gil-Hutton, R; Gillon, M; Girard, J; Hau, G; Ivanov, V D; Jehin, E; Lecacheux, J; Leiva, R; Lopez-Sisterna, C; Mancini, L; Maury, A; Meza, E; Morales, N; Nagy, L; Opitom, C; Ortiz, J L; Pollock, J; Roques, F; Snodgrass, C; Soulier, J F; Thirouin, A; Vanzi, L; Widemann, T; Reichart, D E; LaCluyze, A P; Haislip, J B; Ivarsen, K M; Dominik, M; Jørgensen, U; Skottfelt, J

    2015-01-01

    We analyze two multi-chord stellar occultations by Pluto observed on July 18th, 2012 and May 4th, 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites. They provide a total of fifteen light-curves, twelve of them being used for a simultaneous fit that uses a unique temperature profile, assuming a clear (no-haze) and pure N_2 atmosphere, but allowing for a possible pressure variation between the two dates. We find a solution that fits satisfactorily (i.e. within the noise level) all the twelve light-curves, providing atmospheric constraints between ~1,190 km (pressure ~ 11 \\mubar) and ~ 1,450 km (pressure ~0.1 \\mubar) from Pluto's center. Our main results are: (1) the best-fitting temperature profile shows a stratosphere with strong positive gradient between 1,190 km (at 36 K, 11 \\mubar) and r = 1,215 km (6.0 \\mubar), where a temperature maximum of 110 K is reached; above it is a mesosphere with negative thermal gradient of -0.2 K/km up to ~ 1,390 km (0.25 \\mubar), where, the mesosphere connects itself to ...

  10. Butterflies on the Stretched Horizon

    CERN Document Server

    Susskind, Leonard

    2013-01-01

    In this paper I return to the question of what kind of perturbations on Alice's side of an Einstein-Rosen bridge can send messages to Bob as he enters the horizon at the other end. By definition "easy" operators do not activate messages and "hard" operators do, but there are no clear criteria to identify the difference between easy and hard. In this paper I argue that the difference is related to the time evolution of a certain measure of computational complexity, associated with the stretched horizon of Alice's black hole. The arguments suggest that the AMPSS commutator argument is more connected with butterflies than with firewalls.

  11. Pluto's structure and composition suggest origin in the solar, not a planetary, nebula

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKinnon, W.B.; Mueller, S.

    1988-09-15

    The mean density of the Pluto-Charon system is now accurately known at 1.99 +- 0.09 g cm/sup -3/, through observations of total occultations and transits. Pluto is thus very rock-rich, with a rock/(rock + H/sub 2/O-ice) mass ratio of approx. 0.68-0.80. Of four explanations for Pluto's large rock/ice ratio -formation in the inner Solar System, volatile loss during accretion, volatile loss during the large-body impact that created Charon, and formation as a large, ice-poor outer Solar System planetesimal - we show that only the last two are feasible, and that the depletion of water ice in Pluto is so severe that both explanations may be necessary.

  12. Hawking radiation from quasilocal dynamical horizons

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ayan Chatterjee

    2016-02-01

    In completely local settings, we establish that a dynamically evolving spherically symmetric black hole horizon can be assigned a Hawking temperature and with the emission of flux, radius of the horizon shrinks.

  13. Modifying horizon thermodynamics by surface tensions

    CERN Document Server

    Chen, Deyou

    2016-01-01

    The modified first laws of thermodynamics at the black hole horizon and the cosmological horizon of the Schwarzschild de Sitter black hole and the apparent horizon of the Friedmann-Robertson-Walker cosmology are derived by the surface tensions, respectively. The corresponding Smarr relations are obeyed. For the black hole, the cosmological constant is first treated as a fixed constant, and then as a variable associated to the pressure. The law at the apparent horizon takes the same form as that at the cosmological horizon, but is different from that at the black hole horizon. The positive temperatures guarantee the appearance of the worked terms in the modified laws at the cosmological and apparent horizons. While they can disappear at the black hole horizon.

  14. The Pluto-Charon system as revealed during the mutual events

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marcialis, R.L.

    1990-01-01

    This year is the last of a five-year interval when the Earth passes through the orbital plane of Pluto and its satellite Charon, causing alternate transits and occultations of the satellite as seen from Earth. Spectrophotometric observations of the system made both in and out of eclipse were obtained in the visual and near-infrared. The Pluto-Charon system is found to be compositionally diverse, a result unanticipated before the mutual events. Water frost was identified and is ubiquitous on Charon's surface, while Pluto has a methane veneer. The spectral activity of Pluto's methane is seen to vary with rotational phase. On Pluto, surface albedo appears to be correlated with composition. Dark regions tend to be redder and depleted in methane relative to bright regions. Dependence of geometric albedo with wavelength were calculated for both bodies, from 0.4 to 2.4 microns. The albedo model of Marcialis (1983, 1988) has emerged favorably after several severe tests. Accurate radii and system bulk density derived from the mutual events were used to construct models of phenomena unanticipated a decade ago. Recent interior models are used to show that viscous relaxation of topography is expected to be significant on Pluto but not on Charon. Horizontal topographic features on the primary probably are limited in extent to less than a few tens of kilometers. Globally, Pluto's figure is essentially hydrostatic. Astrometric observations of the system are presented, as evidence that the discovery of Charon just seven years before the initial mutual events was not fortuitous, but most probable. The astrometry will help to refine Pluto's orbit, making prediction of future stellar occultations by the system more reliable.

  15. Solid methane on Triton and Pluto - 3- to 4-micron spectrophotometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spencer, John R.; Buie, Marc W.; Bjoraker, Gordon L.

    1990-01-01

    Methane has been identified in the Pluto/Charon system on the basis of absorption features in the reflectance spectrum at 1.5 and 2.3 microns; attention is presently given to observations of a 3.25 micron-centered deep absorption feature in Triton and Pluto/Charon system reflectance spectra. This absorption may indicate the presence of solid methane, constituting either the dominant surface species or a mixture with a highly transparent substance, such as N2 frost.

  16. Cold Disks around Nearby Stars. A Search for Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt Analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eiroa, Carlos

    DUNES (DUst disks around NEarby Stars) is a sensitivity-limited survey programme taking advantage of the unique capabilities of Herschel to detect and characterize with cold disks as faint as Ldust/Lstar 10-6 and temperatures of the order of 30 - 40K, i.e., faint exo-solar analogues to the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt. DUNES will observe a statistically significant, volume limit 20pc)sample, only constrained by background confusion, of 133 FGK nearby stars. No further biases limit the planets and/or Spitzer-discovered faint debris disks up to larger distances, d < 25pc, are also included in the sample.

  17. Models of Pluto's upper atmosphere

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McNutt, R.L. Jr. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (USA))

    1989-11-01

    Best guesses as to the thermal structure and composition of Pluto's atmosphere have led to speculations of substantial loss rates ({approximately}10{sup 28} s{sup {minus}1}) of methane from the planet over cosmogonic time scales. Results from recent stellar occultation measurements, and using a Parker-type hydrodynamic calculation, show that the loss rates may actually be lower by as much as a factor {approximately}5, depending upon the efficiency of heating of the atmosphere via the absorption of solar EUV and upon the true atmospheric composition, if the thermal structure of the upper atmosphere is properly taken into account. The loss rate may even be less (by another factor {approximately}10) if there is minimal heating of the upper atmosphere.

  18. Methane absorption variations in the spectrum of Pluto

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buie, M.W.; Fink, U.

    1987-06-01

    The lightcurve phases of 0.18, 0.35, 0.49, and 0.98 covered by 5600-10,500 A absolute spectrophotometry of Pluto during four nights include minimum (0.98) light and one near-maximum (0.49) light. The spectra are noted to exhibit significant methane band absorption depth variations at 6200, 7200, 7900, 8400, 8600, 8900, and 10,000 A, with the minimum absorption occurring at minimum light and thereby indicating a 30-percent change in the methane column abundance in the course of three days. An attempt is made to model this absorption strength variation with rotational phase terms of an isotropic surface distribution of methane frost and a clear layer of CH4 gas. 34 references.

  19. Moving Horizon Estimation and Control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, John Bagterp

    problems. Chapter 1 motivates moving horizon estimation and control as a paradigm for control of industrial processes. It introduces the extended linear quadratic control problem and discusses its central role in moving horizon estimation and control. Introduction, application and efficient solution...... control problem is motivated and justified. Chapter 3. A primal active set, a dual active set, and an interior point algorithm for solution of the constrained linear quadratic optimal control problem are outlined. The major computational effort in all these algorithms reduces to solution of certain...... programs arise in sequential quadratic programming algorithms. Appendix B uses a control vector parameterization approach to express various extended constrained linear quadratic optimal control problems as standard quadratic programs. Appendix C discuss construction of maximal output admissible sets...

  20. Horizon Thermodynamics and Gravitational Tension

    CERN Document Server

    Widom, A; Srivastava, Y N

    2016-01-01

    We consider the thermodynamics of a horizon surface from the viewpoint of the vacuum tension $\\tau =(c^4/4G )$. Numerically, $\\tau \\approx 3.026\\times 10^{43}$ Newton. In order of magnitude, this is the tension that has been proposed for microscopic string models of gravity. However, after decades of hard work on string theory models of gravity, there is no firm scientific evidence that such models of gravity apply empirically. Our purpose is thereby to discuss the gravitational tension in terms of the conventional Einstein general theory of relativity that apparently does explain much and maybe all of presently known experimental gravity data. The central result is that matter on the horizon surface is bound by the entropy-area law by tension in the closely analogous sense that the Wilson action-area law also describes a surface confinement.

  1. Formation of the Kuiper Belt by Long Time-Scale Migration of Jovian Planets

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jian Li; Li-Yong Zhou; Yi-Sui Sun

    2006-01-01

    The orbital migration of Jovian planets is believed to have played an important role in shaping the Kuiper Belt. We investigate the effects of the long time-scale (2 × 107 yr) migration of Jovian planets on the orbital evolution of massless test particles that are initially located beyond 28 AU. Because of the slowness of the migration, Neptune's mean motion resonances capture test particles very efficiently. Taking into account the stochastic behavior during the planetary migration and for proper parameter values, the resulting concentration of objects in the 3:2 resonance is prominent, while very few objects enter the 2:1 resonance,thus matching the observed Kuiper Belt objects very well. We also find that such a long time-scale migration is favorable for exciting the inclinations of the test particles, because it makes the secular resonance possible to operate during the migration. Our analyses show that the v8 secular resonance excites the eccentricities of some test particles, so decreasing their perihelion distances, leading to close encounters with Neptune, which can then pump the inclinations up to 20°.

  2. Toroidal horizons in binary black hole mergers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohn, Andy; Kidder, Lawrence E.; Teukolsky, Saul A.

    2016-09-01

    We find the first binary black hole event horizon with a toroidal topology. It has been predicted that generically the event horizons of merging black holes should briefly have a toroidal topology. However, such a phase has never been seen in numerical simulations. Instead, in all previous simulations, the topology of the event horizon transitions directly from two spheres during the inspiral to a single sphere as the black holes merge. We find a coordinate transformation to a foliation of spacelike hypersurfaces that "cut a hole" through the event horizon surface, resulting in a toroidal event horizon, thus reconciling the numerical work with theoretical expectations. The demonstration requires extremely high numerical precision, which is made possible by a new event horizon code described in a companion paper. A torus could potentially provide a mechanism for violating topological censorship. However, these toroidal event horizons satisfy topological censorship by construction, because we can always trivially apply the inverse coordinate transformation to remove the topological feature.

  3. The density of mid-sized Kuiper belt object 2002 UX25 and the formation of the dwarf planets

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, Michael E

    2013-01-01

    The formation of the largest objects in the Kuiper belt, with measured densities of ~1.5 g cm-3 and higher, from the coagulation of small bodies, with measured densities below 1 g cm-3 is difficult to explain without invoking significant porosity in the smallest objects. If such porosity does occur, measured densities should begin to increase at the size at which significant porosity is no longer supported. Among the asteroids, this transition occurs for diameters larger than ~350 km. In the Kuiper belt, no density measurements have been made between ~350 km and ~850 km, the diameter range where porosities might first begin to drop. Objects in this range could provide key tests of the rock fraction of small Kuiper belt objects. Here we report the orbital characterization, mass, and density determination of the 2002 UX25 system in the Kuiper belt. For this object, with a diameter of ~650 km, we find a density of 0.82+/-0.11 g cm-3, making it the largest solid known object in the solar system with a measured de...

  4. Disordered quivers and cold horizons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anninos, Dionysios [School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study,Princeton, NJ, 08540 (United States); Anous, Tarek [Center for Theoretical Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139 (United States); Denef, Frederik [Department of Physics, Columbia University,538 West 120th Street, New York, New York, 10027 (United States)

    2016-12-15

    We analyze the low temperature structure of a supersymmetric quiver quantum mechanics with randomized superpotential coefficients, treating them as quenched disorder. These theories describe features of the low energy dynamics of wrapped branes, which in large number backreact into extremal black holes. We show that the low temperature theory, in the limit of a large number of bifundamentals, exhibits a time reparametrization symmetry as well as a specific heat linear in the temperature. Both these features resemble the behavior of black hole horizons in the zero temperature limit. We demonstrate similarities between the low temperature physics of the random quiver model and a theory of large N free fermions with random masses.

  5. Exploring the spatial, temporal, and vertical distribution of methane in Pluto's atmosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Lellouch, E; Sicardy, B; Forget, F; Vangvichith, M; Käufl, H -U

    2014-01-01

    High-resolution spectra of Pluto in the 1.66 um region, recorded with the VLT/CRIRES instrument in 2008 (2 spectra) and 2012 (5 spectra), are analyzed to constrain the spatial and vertical distribution of methane in Pluto's atmosphere and to search for mid-term (4 year) variability. A sensitivity study to model assumptions (temperature structure, surface pressure, Pluto's radius) is performed. Results indicate that (i) no variation of the CH4 atmospheric content (column-density or mixing ratio) with Pluto rotational phase is present in excess of 20 % (ii) CH4 column densities show at most marginal variations between 2008 and 2012, with a best guess estimate of a ~20 % decrease over this time frame. As stellar occultations indicate that Pluto's surface pressure has continued to increase over this period, this implies a concomitant decrease of the methane mixing ratio (iii) the data do not show evidence for an altitude-varying methane distribution; in particular, they imply a roughly uniform mixing ratio in at ...

  6. Variable horizon in a peridynamic medium.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silling, Stewart Andrew; Littlewood, David John; Seleson, Pablo

    2014-10-01

    A notion of material homogeneity is proposed for peridynamic bodies with vari- able horizon but constant bulk properties. A relation is derived that scales the force state according to the position-dependent horizon while keeping the bulk properties un- changed. Using this scaling relation, if the horizon depends on position, artifacts called ghost forces may arise in a body under homogeneous deformation. These artifacts de- pend on the second derivative of horizon and can be reduced by use of a modified equilibrium equation using a new quantity called the partial stress . Bodies with piece- wise constant horizon can be modeled without ghost forces by using a technique called a splice between the regions. As a limiting case of zero horizon, both partial stress and splice techniques can be used to achieve local-nonlocal coupling. Computational examples, including dynamic fracture in a one-dimensional model with local-nonlocal coupling, illustrate the methods.

  7. Toroidal Horizons in Binary Black Hole Mergers

    CERN Document Server

    Bohn, Andy; Teukolsky, Saul A

    2016-01-01

    We find the first binary black hole event horizon with a toroidal topology. It had been predicted that generically the event horizons of merging black holes should briefly have a toroidal topology, but such a phase has never been seen prior to this work. In all previous binary black hole simulations, in the coordinate slicing used to evolve the black holes, the topology of the event horizon transitions directly from two spheres during the inspiral to a single sphere as the black holes merge. We present a coordinate transformation to a foliation of spacelike hypersurfaces that "cut a hole" through the event horizon surface, resulting in a toroidal event horizon. A torus could potentially provide a mechanism for violating topological censorship. However, these toroidal event horizons satisfy topological censorship by construction, because we can always trivially apply the inverse coordinate transformation to remove the topological feature.

  8. Hall Scrambling on Black Hole Horizon

    CERN Document Server

    Fischler, Willy

    2015-01-01

    We explore the effect of the electrodynamics $\\theta$-angle on the macroscopic properties of black hole horizons. Using only classical Einstein-Maxwell-Chern-Simons theory in (3+1)-dimensions, in the form of the membrane paradigm, we show that in the presence of the $\\theta$-term, a black hole horizon behaves as a Hall conductor, for an observer hovering outside. We study how localized perturbations created on the stretched horizon scramble on the horizon by dropping a charged particle. We show that the $\\theta$-angle affects the way perturbations scramble on the horizon, in particular, it introduces vortices without changing the scrambling time. This Hall scrambling of information is also expected to occur on cosmological horizons.

  9. Unexpectedly Large Surface Gravities for Acoustic Horizons?

    CERN Document Server

    Liberati, S; Visser, M; Liberati, Stefano; Sonego, Sebastiano; Visser, Matt

    2000-01-01

    Acoustic black holes are fluid dynamic analogs of general relativistic black holes, wherein the behaviour of sound waves in a moving fluid acts as an analog for scalar fields propagating in a gravitational background. Acoustic horizons possess many of the properties more normally associated with the event horizons of general relativity, up to and including Hawking radiation. They have received much attention because it would seem to be much easier to experimentally create an acoustic horizon than to create an event horizon. We wish to point out some potential difficulties (and opportunities) in actually setting up an experiment that possesses an acoustic horizon. We show that in zero-viscosity, stationary fluid flow with generic boundary conditions, the creation of an acoustic horizon is accompanied by a formally infinite ``surface gravity'', and a formally infinite Hawking flux. Only by applying a suitable non-constant external body force, and for very specific boundary conditions on the flow, can these quan...

  10. Horizon Thermodynamics from Einstein's Equation of State

    CERN Document Server

    Hansen, Devin; Mann, Robert

    2016-01-01

    By regarding the Einstein equations as equation(s) of state, we demonstrate that a full cohomogeneity horizon first law can be derived in horizon thermodynamics. In this approach both the entropy and the free energy are derived concepts, while the standard (degenerate) horizon first law is recovered by a Legendre projection from the more general one we derive. These results readily generalize to higher curvature gravities and establish a way of how to formulate consistent black hole thermodynamics without conserved charges.

  11. Smooth horizons and quantum ripples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Golovnev, Alexey [Saint Petersburg State University, High Energy Physics Department, Saint-Petersburg (Russian Federation)

    2015-05-15

    Black holes are unique objects which allow for meaningful theoretical studies of strong gravity and even quantum gravity effects. An infalling and a distant observer would have very different views on the structure of the world. However, a careful analysis has shown that it entails no genuine contradictions for physics, and the paradigm of observer complementarity has been coined. Recently this picture was put into doubt. In particular, it was argued that in old black holes a firewall must form in order to protect the basic principles of quantum mechanics. This AMPS paradox has already been discussed in a vast number of papers with different attitudes and conclusions. Here we want to argue that a possible source of confusion is the neglect of quantum gravity effects. Contrary to widespread perception, it does not necessarily mean that effective field theory is inapplicable in rather smooth neighbourhoods of large black hole horizons. The real offender might be an attempt to consistently use it over the huge distances from the near-horizon zone of old black holes to the early radiation. We give simple estimates to support this viewpoint and show how the Page time and (somewhat more speculative) scrambling time do appear. (orig.)

  12. Noncommutativity in near horizon symmetries in gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majhi, Bibhas Ranjan

    2017-02-01

    We have a new observation that near horizon symmetry generators, corresponding to diffeomorphisms which leave the horizon structure invariant, satisfy noncommutative Heisenberg algebra. The results are valid for any null surfaces (which have Rindler structure in the near null surface limit) and in any spacetime dimensions. Using the Sugawara construction technique the central charge is identified. It is shown that the horizon entropy is consistent with the standard form of the Cardy formula. Therefore we feel that the noncommutative algebra might lead to quantum mechanics of horizon and also can probe into the microscopic description of entropy.

  13. Statistical Methods for Detecting Stellar Occultations by Kuiper Belt Objects the Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey

    CERN Document Server

    Liang, C L; De Pater, I; Alcock, C B; Axelrod, T; Wang, A; Liang, Chyng-Lan; Rice, John A.; Pater, Imke de; Alcock, Charles; Axelrod, Tim; Wang, Andrew

    2002-01-01

    The Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS) will detect objects in the Kuiper Belt, by measuring the rate of occultations of stars by these objects, using an array of three to four 50cm wide-field robotic telescopes. Thousands of stars will be monitored, resulting in hundreds of millions of photometric measurements per night. To optimize the success of TAOS, we have investigated various methods of gathering and processing the data and developed statistical methods for detecting occultations. In this paper we discuss these methods. The resulting estimated detection efficiencies will be used to guide the choice of various operational parameters determining the mode of actual observation when the telescopes come on line and begin routine observations. In particular we show how real-time detection algorithms may be constructed, taking advantage of having multiple telescopes. We also discuss a retrospective method for estimating the rate at which occultations occur.

  14. The moon of the large Kuiper-belt object 2007 OR 10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marton, Gabor; Kiss, Csaba; Mueller, Thomas G.

    2016-10-01

    We have identified a candidate satellite of the large Kuiper-belt object 2007 OR10. The moon has clearly been observed in one set of images and we obtained a tentative detection in a previous epoch. The moon orbits the central body at a distance of at least 15 000 km. Apart from this satellite no sign of binarity was observed, i.e. 2007 OR10 is likely a single large body. The low brightness of the moon also indicates that it cannot contribute notably to the total thermal emission of the system, i.e. 2007 OR10 has a size of ~1535 km obtained previously from Herschel and K2 data.

  15. Real Time Data/Video/Voice Uplink and Downlink for Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Doyal A.

    1997-01-01

    LFS was an educational outreach adventure which brought the excitement of astronomical exploration on NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) to a nationwide audience of children, parents and children through live, interactive television, broadcast from the KAO at an altitude of 41,000 feet during an actual scientific observing mission. The project encompassed three KAO flights during the fall of 1995, including a short practice mission, a daytime observing flight between Moffett Field, California to Houston, Texas, and a nighttime mission from Houston back to Moffett Field. The University of Chicago infrared research team participated in planning the program, developing auxiliary materials including background information and lesson plans, developing software which allowed students on the ground to control the telescope and on-board cameras via the Internet from the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, and acting as on-camera correspondents to explain and answer questions about the scientific research conducted during the flights.

  16. DUst around NEarby Stars (DUNES): searching for Kuiper-belt analogues around solar-type stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesinos, B.; Dunes Consortium

    2011-11-01

    In this paper we summarize some of the results of the Herschel Open Time Key Programme DUNES (DUst around NEarby Stars). This project aims at detecting and studying cold dust discs, i.e. Edgeworth-Kuiper-belt analogues, around FGK stars of the solar neighbourhood, in a volume-limited sample. The sensitivity and wavelengths of the two instruments used, namely PACS (70, 100 and 160 micron) and SPIRE (250, 350 and 500 micron) are the appropriate ones for these tasks. Despite of the fact that, at the time of writing these proceedings, only about half of the sample has been observed, new results and increased statistics with respect to previous surveys and observations have emerged. Some new, unexpected results, in the form of very cold discs, pose some challenges to the current modelling paradigms. Note that at the time this paper is published, the results given and some of the conclusions will be obviously out of date.

  17. Herschel's DEBRIS - An Update on the Search for Kuiper Belts Around the Nearest Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butner, Harold M.; Matthews, B.; DEBRIS Survey Team

    2011-01-01

    DEBRIS (Disk Emission via a Bias-free Reconnaissance in the Infrared/Submillimetre) is an open time key project on Herschel that aims to conduct an unbiased statistical survey for debris disks around the nearest stars. The goal is to achieve flux-limited observations at 100 and 160 microns - and thereby reach unprecedented debris disk mass limits. The sample includes 446 primaries, 348 of which are observed by the DEBRIS team and 98 which are covered by another project (DUNES - DUst disks around NEarby Stars). The sample covers spectral types from A0 through M7, and is designed to allow the detection of dust masses similar to those of our own Kuiper belt. The superior resolution of Herschel combined with the fact that our sample are all nearby stars will provide resolved disks for many of the detected disks. We will discuss the status of ongoing Herschel observations for this unique unbiased survey of debris disk candidates.

  18. On a Possible Size/Color Relationship in the Kuiper Belt

    CERN Document Server

    Pike, R E

    2013-01-01

    Color measurements and albedo distributions introduce non-intuitive observational biases in size-color relationships among Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that cannot be disentangled without a well characterized sample population with systematic photometry. Peixinho et al. report that the form of the KBO color distribution varies with absolute magnitude, H. However, Tegler et al. find that KBO color distributions are a property of object classification. We construct synthetic models of observed KBO colors based on two B-R color distribution scenarios: color distribution dependent on H magnitude (H-Model) and color distribution based on object classification (Class-Model). These synthetic B-R color distributions were modified to account for observational flux biases. We compare our synthetic B-R distributions to the observed 'Hot' and 'Cold' detected objects from the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey and the Meudon Multicolor Survey. For both surveys, the Hot population color distribution rejects the H-Model, but...

  19. Growth of asteroids, planetary embryos and Kuiper belt objects by chondrule accretion

    CERN Document Server

    Johansen, Anders; Lacerda, Pedro; Bizzarro, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Chondrules are millimeter-sized spherules that dominate primitive meteorites (chondrites) originating from the asteroid belt. The incorporation of chondrules into asteroidal bodies must be an important step in planet formation, but the mechanism is not understood. We show that the main growth of asteroids can result from gas-drag-assisted accretion of chondrules. The largest planetesimals of a population with a characteristic radius of 100 km undergo run-away accretion of chondrules within ~3 Myr, forming planetary embryos up to Mars sizes along with smaller asteroids whose size distribution matches that of main belt asteroids. The aerodynamical accretion leads to size-sorting of chondrules consistent with chondrites. Accretion of mm-sized chondrules and ice particles drives the growth of planetesimals beyond the ice line as well, but the growth time increases above the disk life time outside of 25 AU. The contribution of direct planetesimal accretion to the growth of both asteroids and Kuiper belt objects is...

  20. Orbit classification in the planar circular Pluto-Charon system

    CERN Document Server

    Zotos, Euaggelos E

    2015-01-01

    We numerically investigate the orbital dynamics of a spacecraft, or a comet, or an asteroid in the Pluto-Charon system in a scattering region around Charon using the planar circular restricted three-body problem. The test particle can move in bounded orbits around Charon or escape through the necks around the Lagrangian points $L_1$ and $L_2$ or even collide with the surface of Charon. We explore four of the five possible Hill's regions configurations depending on the value of the Jacobi constant which is of course related with the total orbital energy. We conduct a thorough numerical analysis on the phase space mixing by classifying initial conditions of orbits and distinguishing between three types of motion: (i) bounded, (ii) escaping and (iii) collisional. In particular, we locate the different basins and we relate them with the corresponding spatial distributions of the escape and collision times. Our results reveal the high complexity of this planetary system. Furthermore, the numerical analysis shows a...

  1. Performance analysis of Pluto/Express, multitube AMTEC cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tournier, J.-M.; El-Genk, M.S. [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States). Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies

    1999-10-01

    An AMTEC performance and evaluation analysis model (APEAM) was developed to predict the performance of next-generation Pluto/Express, multitube, vapor-anode alkali-metal thermal-to-electric conversion (AMTEC) cells. The model results compared well with the experimental data of PX-4C, PX-5A and PX-3A cells, tested at the Air Force Research Laboratory. The effects of various design changes on the performance of the cells were investigated. These changes were: (1) using a Creare condenser; (b) changing the number of BASE tubes and the electrode length; (c) using other electrode materials; (d) using molybdenum (Mo) structure on the hot side of the cell: and (e) using reflective rhodium coatings in the low vapor pressure cavity of the cell. The results showed that a stainless steel (SS) structure cell with improved electrodes (50% lower contact resistance than TiN, and an exchange current coefficient = 200 A.K{sup 1/2}/Pa.m{sup 2}) could deliver 7.1 We at 3.5 V and an efficiency of 19.5%. When Mo was substituted for the SS on the hot side of the cell, the electrical power output increased to 8.8 We, and the cell efficiency increased to 20.2%. Using rhodium coatings in the Mo/SS cell increased the electrical power output to 9.7 We and the conversion efficiency to 22.5%. (author)

  2. Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schock, Alfred

    1994-07-01

    A small spacecraft design for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission is under study by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (PL) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), for a possible launch as early as 1998. JPL's 1992 baseline design calls for a power source able to furnish an energy output of 3963 kWh and a power output of 69 Watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. Satisfying those demands is made difficult because NASA management has set a goal of reducing the spacecraft mass from a baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for the power source. To support the ongoing NASA/JPL studies, the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications (DOE/OSA) commissioned Fairchild Space to prepare and analyze conceptual designs of radioisotope power systems for the PFF mission. Thus far, a total of eight options employing essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules were designed and subjected to thermal, electrical, structural, and mass analyses by Fairchild. Five of these - employing thermoelectric converters - are described in the present paper, and three - employing free-piston Stirling converters - are described in the companion paper presented next. The system masses of the thermoelectric options ranged from 19.3 kg to 10.2 kg. In general, the options requiring least development are the heaviest, and the lighter options require more development with greater programmatic risk.

  3. Pluto and the platypus: An odd ball and an odd duck - On classificatory norms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Matthew H

    2017-02-01

    Many astronomers seem to believe that we have discovered that Pluto is not a planet. I contest this assessment. Recent discoveries of trans-Neptunian Pluto-sized objects do not militate for Pluto's expulsion from the planets unless we have prior reason for not simply counting these newly-discovered objects among the planets. I argue that this classificatory controversy - which I compare to the controversy about the classification of the platypus - illustrates how our classificatory practices are laden with normative commitments of a distinctive kind. I conclude with a discussion of the relevance of such "norm-ladenness" to other controversies in the metaphysics of classification, such as the monism/pluralism debate. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  4. Formation of the Sputnik Planum basin and the thickness of Pluto's subsurface ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brandon C.; Bowling, Timothy J.; Trowbridge, Alexander J.; Freed, Andrew M.

    2016-10-01

    We simulate the formation of the large elliptical impact basin associated with Pluto's Sputnik Planum (SP; informal name). The location of SP suggests that it represents a large positive mass anomaly. To find the conditions necessary for SP to have a positive mass anomaly, we consider impacts into targets with a range of thermal states and ocean thicknesses. Assuming the basin evolves to its current-day configuration, we calculate the mass and gravity anomalies associated with SP. We find that SP can only achieve a large positive mass anomaly if Pluto has a more than 100 km thick salty ocean. This conclusion may help us better understand the composition and thermal evolution of Pluto. Furthermore, our work supports the hypothesis that SP basin has an impact origin.

  5. Cratering rate on Pluto produced by the inner trans-Neptunian population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calandra, M. F.; Gil-Hutton, R.

    2017-05-01

    Aims: The aim of this work is to obtain the cratering rate on Pluto and to estimate the size distribution of the population in the inner trans-Neptunian region. Methods: We find the intrinsic collisional probability and the mean collision velocity for the interaction between Pluto and the projectile population crossing its orbit, using the L7 Synthetic Model from the CFEPS Project. The size distribution of this population is found using the smallest satellite of Pluto, Styx, as a constraint, because it survives the collisional process for the solar system age. Results: We find that the mean intrinsic collisional probability and mean collision velocity between Pluto and the projectile population are ⟨ Pi ⟩ = 1.3098 × 10-22 km-2 yr-1 and ⟨ Vcol ⟩ = 2.005 ± 0.822 km s-1. If the projectile sample is separated between Plutinos and non-Plutinos and the intrinsic collisional probability of these sub-populations are taken into account, we find a ratio of approximately 20:1 in favor of non-Plutinos resulting in the greatest contribution to the cratering rate on Pluto. The projectile population for the inner trans-Neptunian belt is characterized using a double power-law mean-size distribution with exponents qA = 3.5 and qB = 5.14 for the small and large size end of the population, respectively, and break radius at rb = 11.86 km or 7.25 km for mean densities of the projectiles ρ1 = 1.85 g cm-3 and ρ2 = 1 g cm-3. With this mean-size distribution we find that an object with radius of 28 km produces a crater in Pluto with a diameter of 250 km in a time larger than the solar system age, indicating that this kind of large structure has a very low probability of occurrence.

  6. Charon's, Hydra's, and Nix's near IR spectra as seen by New Horizons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalle Ore, Cristina M.; Cook, Jason C.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Protopapa, Silvia; Grundy, William M.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie; New Horizons Surface Composition Theme Team

    2016-10-01

    Charon, Pluto's largest satellite, is a predominantly grey-color icy world covered mostly in H2O ice, with spectral evidence for NH3 and/or its hydrates, as previously reported (Cook et al. 2007, ApJ. 663, 1406; Verbiscer et al. 2007, LPSC 38, 2318; Merlin et al. 2010, Icarus, 210, 930; Cook et al. 2014, AAS/DPS Abstracts, 46, #401.04; Holler et al. 2016, submitted, arXiv:1606.05695). In their 2010 work, Merlin et al. reported the presence of ammonia species along with H2O ice both in crystalline and amorphous phase. They introduced a blue component to model the slope present in their near-IR observations, which could not be otherwise reproduced without the adoption of an ad hoc component. The presence of ammonia and H2O in its crystalline form prompted Cook et al. (2007) to suggest cryovolcanism as a favored mechanism of resurfacing although the geological evidence for volcanism reported from New Horizons imaging observations does not appear to be recent (Moore et al. Science, 351, 1284).We analyze one of New Horizons' observations of Charon taken with the LEISA imaging spectrometer from a distance of ~82,000 km at high spatial resolution (4.9 km/pixel). Images from the New Horizons spacecraft reveal a surface with terrains of seemingly different ages and a moderate degree of localized coloration.Hydra was observed by New Horizons at a distance 240,000 and 370,000 hardly resolving its disk. Nix on the other hand was observed from a much more favorable distance of 60,000 and 162,000 km revealing a nearly uniform surface coloration and structure.Although Hydra could hardly be resolved at the flyby distance we have obtained its spectral signature and we compare it with those of Charon and Nix. A feature at ~2.2 µm, corresponding to the NH3 and/or NH3 hydrates, is visible subtly on Charon and clearly on Hydra and Nix hinting at the possibility that NH3 might be less volatile than previously thought and making the need for recent cryovolcanism less crucial

  7. Solid methane on Triton and Pluto - 3- to 4-micron spectrophotometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spencer, J.R.; Buie, M.W.; Bjoraker, G.L. (Hawaii Univ., Honolulu (USA) Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD (USA) NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (USA))

    1990-12-01

    Methane has been identified in the Pluto/Charon system on the basis of absorption features in the reflectance spectrum at 1.5 and 2.3 microns; attention is presently given to observations of a 3.25 micron-centered deep absorption feature in Triton and Pluto/Charon system reflectance spectra. This absorption may indicate the presence of solid methane, constituting either the dominant surface species or a mixture with a highly transparent substance, such as N2 frost. 35 refs.

  8. Horizon Report: 2009 Economic Development Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, L.; Levine, A.; Scott, C.; Smith, R.; Stone, S.

    2009-01-01

    The New Media Consortium's Horizon Project is an ongoing research project that seeks to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have a large impact in education and other industries around the world over a five-year time period. The chief products of the project are the "Horizon Reports", an annual series of publications that…

  9. No horizons in pp-waves

    CERN Document Server

    Hubeny, V E; Hubeny, Veronika E; Rangamani, Mukund

    2002-01-01

    We argue that pp-wave backgrounds can not admit event horizons. We also comment on pp-wave generalizations which would admit horizons and show that there exists a black string solution which asymptotes to a five dimensional plane wave background.

  10. Competition, Time Horizon and Corporate Social Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Graafland, J.J.; Smid, H.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract: This paper develops and tests a conceptual framework on the relationships between competition, time horizon and corporate social performance (CSP). We hypothesize that more intense competition discourages CSP by lowering the time horizon of companies. We test the hypothesis on a sample of

  11. Production and decay of evolving horizons

    CERN Document Server

    Visser, M; Nielsen, Alex; Visser, Matt

    2006-01-01

    We consider a simple physical model for an evolving horizon that is strongly interacting with its environment, exchanging arbitrarily large quantities of matter with its environment in the form of both infalling material and outgoing Hawking radiation. We permit fluxes of both lightlike and timelike particles to cross the horizon, and ask how the horizon grows and shrinks in response to such flows. We place a premium on providing a clear and straightforward exposition with simple formulae. To be able to handle such a highly dynamical situation in a simple manner we make one significant physical restriction, that of spherical symmetry, and two technical mathematical restrictions: (1) We choose to slice the spacetime in such a way that the space-time foliations (and hence the horizons) are always spherically symmetric. (2) Furthermore we adopt Painleve-Gullstrand coordinates (which are well suited to the problem because they are nonsingular at the horizon) in order to simplify the relevant calculations. We find...

  12. Topological interpretation of the horizon temperature

    CERN Document Server

    Padmanabhan, T

    2003-01-01

    A class of metrics $g_{ab}(x^i)$ describing spacetimes with horizons (and associated thermodynamics) can be thought of as a limiting case of a family of metrics $g_{ab}(x^i;\\lambda)$ {\\it without horizons} when $\\lambda\\to 0$. I construct specific examples in which the curvature corresponding $g_{ab}(x^i;\\lambda)$ becomes a Dirac delta function and gets concentrated on the horizon when the limit $\\lambda\\to 0$ is taken, but the action remains finite. When the horizon is interpreted in this manner, one needs to remove the corresponding surface from the Euclidean sector, leading to winding numbers and thermal behaviour. In particular, the Rindler spacetime can be thought of as the limiting case of (horizon-free) metrics of the form [$g_{00}=\\epsilon^2+a^2x^2; g_{\\mu\

  13. Bladed Terrain on Pluto: Possible Origins and Evolutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.; Howard, Alan D.; Umurhan, Orkan M.; White, Oliver L.; Schenk, Paul; Beyer, Ross A.; McKinnon, William B.; Spencer, John R.; Singer, Kelsi N.; Grundy, William N.; hide

    2016-01-01

    Pluto's Bladed Terrain (centered roughly 20 deg N, 225 deg E) covers the flanks and crests of the informally named Tartarus Dorsa with numerous roughly aligned blade-like ridges oriented approx. North-South; it may also stretch considerably farther east onto the non-close approach hemisphere but that inference is tentative. Individual ridges are typically several hundred meters high, and are spaced 5 to 10 km crest to crest, separated by V-shaped valleys. Many ridges merge at acute angles to form Y-shape junctions in plan view. The principle composition of the blades themselves we suspect is methane or a methane-rich mixture. (Methane is spectroscopically strongly observed on the optical surfaces of blades.) Nitrogen ice is very probably too soft to support their topography. Cemented mixtures of volatile and non-volatile ices may also provide a degradable but relief supporting "bedrock" for the blades, perhaps analogous to Callisto. Currently we are considering several hypotheses for the origins of the deposit from which Bladed Terrain has evolved, including aeolian disposition, atmospheric condensation, updoming and exhumation, volcanic intrusions or extrusions, crystal growth, among others. We are reviewing several processes as candidate creators or sculptors of the blades. Perhaps they are primary depositional patterns such as dunes, or differential condensation patterns (like on Callisto), or fissure extrusions. Or alternatively perhaps they are the consequence of differential erosion (such as sublimation erosion widening and deepening along cracks), variations in substrate properties, mass wasting into the subsurface, or sculpted by a combination of directional winds and solar isolation orientation. We will consider the roles of the long-term increasing solar flux and short periods of warm thick atmospheres. Hypotheses will be ordered based on observational constrains and modeling to be presented at the conference.

  14. Radioisotope Stirling Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred

    2012-01-19

    The preceding paper described conceptual designs and analytical results for five Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) options for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission, and the present paper describes three Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) options for the same mission. The RSG options are based on essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules used in previously flown RTGs and on designs and analyses of a 75-watt free-piston Stirling engine produced by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) for NASA's Lewis Research Center. The integrated system design options presented were generated in a Fairchild Space study sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of ongoing PFF mission and spacecraft studies that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is conducting for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That study's NASA-directed goal is to reduce the spacecraft mass from its baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for a power source able to deliver 69 watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. In general, the Stirling options were found to be lighter than the thermoelectric options described in the preceding paper. But they are less mature, requiring more development, and entailing greater programmatic risk. The Stirling power system mass ranged from 7.3 kg (well below the 10-kg goal) for a non-redundant system to 11.3 kg for a redundant system able to maintain full power if one of its engines fails. In fact, the latter system could deliver as much as 115 watts(e) if desired by the mission planners. There are 2 copies in the file.

  15. Bladed Terrain on Pluto: Possible Origins and Evolutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, J. M.; Howard, A. D.; Umurhan, O. M.; White, O. L.; Schenk, P.; Beyer, R. A.; McKinnon, W. B.; Spencer, J. R.; Singer, K. N.; Grundy, W. M.; Nimmo, F.; Young, L. A.; Stern, A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Olkin, C.; Ennico Smith, K.; Collins, G. C.

    2016-12-01

    Pluto's Bladed Terrain (centered roughly 20°N, 225°E) covers the flanks and crests of the informally named Tartarus Dorsa with numerous roughly aligned blade-like ridges oriented North-South; it may also stretch considerably farther east onto the non-close approach hemisphere but that inference is tentative. Individual ridges are typically several hundred meters high, and are spaced 5 to 10 km crest to crest, separated by V-shaped valleys. Many ridges merge at acute angles to form Y-shape junctions in plan view. The principle composition of the blades themselves we suspect is methane or a methane-rich mixture. (Methane is spectroscopically strongly observed on the optical surfaces of blades.) Nitrogen ice is very probably too soft to support their topography. Cemented mixtures of volatile and non-volatile ices may also provide a degradable but relief supporting "bedrock" for the blades, perhaps analogous to Callisto. Currently we are considering several hypotheses for the origins of the deposit from which Bladed Terrain has evolved, including aeolian disposition, atmospheric condensation, updoming and exhumation, volcanic intrusions or extrusions, crystal growth, among others. We are reviewing several processes as candidate creators or sculptors of the blades. Perhaps they are primary depositional patterns such as dunes, or differential condensation patterns (like on Callisto), or fissure extrusions. Or alternatively perhaps they are the consequence of differential erosion (such as sublimation erosion widening and deepening along cracks), variations in substrate properties, mass wasting into the subsurface, or sculpted by a combination of directional winds and solar isolation orientation. We will consider the roles of the long-term increasing solar flux and short periods of warm thick atmospheres. Hypotheses will be ordered based on observational constrains and modeling to be presented at the conference.

  16. Radioisotope Stirling Generator Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred

    1993-10-01

    The preceding paper described conceptual designs and analytical results for five Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) options for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission, and the present paper describes three Radioisotope Stirling Generator (RSG) options for the same mission. The RSG options are based on essentially the same radioisotope heat source modules used in previously flown RTGs and on designs and analyses of a 75-watt free-piston Stirling engine produced by Mechanical Technology Incorporated (MTI) for NASA's Lewis Research Center. The integrated system design options presented were generated in a Fairchild Space study sponsored by the Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of ongoing PFF mission and spacecraft studies that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is conducting for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). That study's NASA-directed goal is to reduce the spacecraft mass from its baseline value of 166 kg to ~110 kg, which implies a mass goal of less than 10 kg for a power source able to deliver 69 watts(e) at the end of the 9.2-year mission. In general, the Stirling options were found to be lighter than the thermoelectric options described in the preceding paper. But they are less mature, requiring more development, and entailing greater programmatic risk. The Stirling power system mass ranged from 7.3 kg (well below the 10-kg goal) for a non-redundant system to 11.3 kg for a redundant system able to maintain full power if one of its engines fails. In fact, the latter system could deliver as much as 115 watts(e) if desired by the mission planners. There are 5 copies in the file.

  17. Bladed Terrain on Pluto: Possible Origins and Evolutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.; Howard, Alan D.; Umurhan, Orkan M.; White, Oliver; Schenk, Paul M.; Beyer, Ross A.; McKinnon, William B.; Spencer, John R.; Singer, Kelsi N.; Grundy, William M.; Nimmo, Francis; Young, Leslie; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Collins, Geoffrey; New Horizons Science Team

    2016-10-01

    Pluto's Bladed Terrain (centered roughly 20°N, 225°E) covers the flanks and crests of the informally named Tartarus Dorsa with numerous roughly aligned blade-like ridges oriented ~North-South; it may also stretch considerably farther east onto the non-close approach hemisphere but that inference is tentative. Individual ridges are typically several hundred meters high, and are spaced 5 to 10 km crest to crest, separated by V-shaped valleys. Many ridges merge at acute angles to form Y-shape junctions in plan view. The principle composition of the blades themselves we suspect is methane or a methane-rich mixture. (Methane is spectroscopically strongly observed on the optical surfaces of blades.) Nitrogen ice is very probably too soft to support their topography. Cemented mixtures of volatile and non-volatile ices may also provide a degradable but relief supporting "bedrock" for the blades, perhaps analogous to Callisto. Currently we are considering several hypotheses for the origins of the deposit from which Bladed Terrain has evolved, including aeolian disposition, atmospheric condensation, updoming and exhumation, volcanic intrusions or extrusions, crystal growth, among others. We are reviewing several processes as candidate creators or sculptors of the blades. Perhaps they are primary depositional patterns such as dunes, or differential condensation patterns (like on Callisto), or fissure extrusions. Or alternatively perhaps they are the consequence of differential erosion (such as sublimation erosion widening and deepening along cracks), variations in substrate properties, mass wasting into the subsurface, or sculpted by a combination of directional winds and solar isolation orientation. We will consider the roles of the long-term increasing solar flux and short periods of warm thick atmospheres. Hypotheses will be ordered based on observational constrains and modeling to be presented at the conference.

  18. Coupling dynamical and collisional evolution of small bodies II Forming the Kuiper Belt, the Scattered Disk and the Oort Cloud

    CERN Document Server

    Morbidelli, S C A

    2006-01-01

    The Oort Cloud, the Kuiper Belt and the Scattered Disk are dynamically distinct populations of small bodies evolving in the outer regions of the Solar System. Whereas their collisional activity is now quiet, gravitational interactions with giant planets may have shaped these populations both dynamically and collisionally during their formation. Using a hybrid approach (Charnoz & Morbidelli 2003), the present paper tries to couple the primordial collisional and dynamical evolution of these three populations in a self-consistent way. A critical parameter is the primordial size-distribution. We show that the initial planetesimal size distribution that allows an effective mass depletion of the Kuiper belt by collisional grinding, would decimate also the population of comet-size bodies that end in the Oort Cloud and, in particular, in the Scattered Disk. As a consequence, the Scattered Disk and the Oort Cloud would be too anemic, by a factor 20 to 100, relative to the estimates achieved from the observation of...

  19. Structure of the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt (EKB) Dust Disk and Implications for Extrasolar Planet(s) epsilon Eridani

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liou, J. -C.; Zook, H. A.; Greaves, J. S.; Holland, W. S.; Boehnhardt, H.; Hahn, J. M.

    2000-01-01

    Numerical simulations of the orbital evolution of dust particles from Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt (EKB) objects show that the three giant planets, Neptune, Jupiter, and Saturn impose distinct and dramatic signatures on the overall distribution of EKB dust particles. The features are very similar to those observed in the dust disk around the nearby star Eridani. Numerical simulations of dust particles in the epsilon Eridani system show that planetary perturbations may be responsible for the observed features

  20. Measurement of characteristics and phase modulation accuracy increase of LC SLM "HoloEye PLUTO VIS"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondareva, A. P.; Cheremkhin, P. A.; Evtikhiev, N. N.; Krasnov, V. V.; Starikov, R. S.; Starikov, S. N.

    2014-09-01

    Phase liquid crystal spatial light modulators (LC SLM) are actively integrated in various optical systems for dynamic diffractive optical elements imaging. To achieve the best performance, high stability and linearity of phase modulation is required. This article presents results of measurement of characteristics and phase modulation accuracy increase of state of the art LC SLM with HD resolution "HoloEye PLUTO VIS".

  1. The Effect of Charon's Tidal Damping on the Orbits of Pluto's Three Moons

    CERN Document Server

    Lithwick, Yoram

    2008-01-01

    Pluto's recently discovered minor moons, Nix and Hydra, have almost circular orbits, and are nearly coplanar with Charon, Pluto's major moon. This is surprising because tidal interactions with Pluto are too weak to damp their eccentricities. We consider an alternative possibility: that Nix and Hydra circularize their orbits by exciting Charon's eccentricity via secular interactions, and Charon in turn damps its own eccentricity by tidal interaction with Pluto. The timescale for this process can be less than the age of the Solar System, for plausible tidal parameters and moon masses. However, as we show numerically and analytically, the effects of the 2:1 and 3:1 resonant forcing terms between Nix and Charon complicate this picture. In the presence of Charon's tidal damping, the 2:1 term forces Nix to migrate outward and the 3:1 term changes the eccentricity damping rate, sometimes leading to eccentricity growth. We conclude that this mechanism probably does not explain Nix and Hydra's current orbits. Instead,...

  2. Ice Mineralogy Across and Into the Surfaces of Pluto, Triton, and Eris

    CERN Document Server

    Tegler, S C; Olkin, C B; Young, L A; Romanishin, W; Cornelison, D M; Khodadadkouchaki, R

    2012-01-01

    We present three near-infrared spectra of Pluto taken with the IRTF and SpeX, an optical spectrum of Triton taken with the MMT and the Red Channel Spectrograph, and previously published spectra of Pluto, Triton, and Eris. We combine these observations with a two-phase Hapke model, and gain insight into the ice mineralogy on Pluto, Triton, and Eris. Specifically, we measure the methane-nitrogen mixing ratio across and into the surfaces of these icy dwarf planets. In addition, we present a laboratory experiment that demonstrates it is essential to model methane bands in spectra of icy dwarf planets with two methane phases - one highly-diluted by nitrogen and the other rich in methane. For Pluto, we find bulk, hemisphere-averaged, methane abundances of 9.1 \\pm 0.5%, 7.1 \\pm 0.4%, and 8.2 \\pm 0.3% for sub-Earth longitudes of 10\\degree, 125\\degree, and 257\\degree. Application of the Wilcoxon rank sum test to our measurements finds these small differences are statistically significant. For Triton, we find bulk, hem...

  3. End of the line for Harwell's Dido and Pluto research reactors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Tom; Nicholson, K.

    1990-04-01

    After 34 years of continuous operation the Dido and Pluto research reactors were shutdown for the last time on the 31 March 1990. The history of their development and contributions to the UK nuclear programme, isotope production, support to industry and basic scientific research are described. (author).

  4. Geophysical survey of 105-DR Pluto Crib, 116-DR-4, 100-D Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergstrom, K.A.

    1993-10-01

    The objective of this Geophysical Survey was to verify the location of the 105-DR Pluto Crib, 116-DR-4. A surface monument currently marks its location. The crib is 10 feet by 10 feet and 15 feet deep. Ground-Penetrating Radar was the geophysical method selected to conduct the investigation.

  5. 冥王星失去行星地位%Pluto Loses Planet Status

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jenny Hogan; 李同良

    2006-01-01

    @@ Pluto has been kicked out of our Sun's planetary family by astronomers who voted on Aug. 24, 2006to define a planet by three criteria2. It failed on one of them. Astronomers have been battling over3 the concept of what defines a planet all week at the general assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)4 in Prague5.

  6. Inner and outer horizons of time experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wackermann, Jirí

    2007-05-01

    Human experience of temporal durations exhibits a multi-regional structure, with more or less distinct boundaries, or horizons, on the scale of physical duration. The inner horizons are imposed by perceptual thresholds for simultaneity (approximately equal to 3 ms) and temporal order (approximatly equal to 30 ms), and are determined by the dynamical properties of the neural substrate integrating sensory information. Related to the inner horizon of experienced time are perceptual or cognitive "moments." Comparative data on autokinetic times suggest that these moments may be relatively invariant (approximately equal to 10(2) ms) across a wide range of species. Extension of the "sensible present" (approximately equal to 3 s) defines an intermediate horizon, beyond which the generic experience of duration develops. The domain of immediate duration experience is delimited by the ultimate outer horizon at about = 10(2) s, as evidenced by analysis of duration reproduction experiments (reproducibility horizon), probably determined by relaxation times of "neural accumulators." Beyond these phenomenal horizons, time is merely cognitively (re)constructed, not actually experienced or "perceived," a fact that is frequently ignored by contemporary time perception research. The nyocentric organization of time experience shows an interesting analogy with the egocentric organization of space, suggesting that structures of subjective space and time are derived from active motion as a common experiential basis.

  7. Ring formation around giant planets by tidal disruption of a single passing large Kuiper belt object

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyodo, Ryuki; Charnoz, Sébastien; Ohtsuki, Keiji; Genda, Hidenori

    2017-01-01

    The origin of rings around giant planets remains elusive. Saturn's rings are massive and made of 90-95% of water ice with a mass of ∼1019 kg. In contrast, the much less massive rings of Uranus and Neptune are dark and likely to have higher rock fraction. According to the so-called "Nice model", at the time of the Late Heavy Bombardment, giant planets could have experienced a significant number of close encounters with bodies scattered from the primordial Kuiper Belt. This belt could have been massive in the past and may have contained a larger number of big objects (Mbody =1022 kg) than what is currently observed in the Kuiper Belt. Here we investigate, for the first time, the tidal disruption of a passing object, including the subsequent formation of planetary rings. First, we perform SPH simulations of the tidal destruction of big differentiated objects (Mbody =1021 and 1023 kg) that experience close encounters with Saturn or Uranus. We find that about 0.1-10% of the mass of the passing body is gravitationally captured around the planet. However, these fragments are initially big chunks and have highly eccentric orbits around the planet. In order to see their long-term evolution, we perform N-body simulations including the planet's oblateness up to J4 starting with data obtained from the SPH simulations. Our N-body simulations show that the chunks are tidally destroyed during their next several orbits and become collections of smaller particles. Their individual orbits then start to precess incoherently around the planet's equator, which enhances their encounter velocities on longer-term evolution, resulting in more destructive impacts. These collisions would damp their eccentricities resulting in a progressive collapse of the debris cloud into a thin equatorial and low-eccentricity ring. These high energy impacts are expected to be catastrophic enough to produce small particles. Our numerical results also show that the mass of formed rings is large enough to

  8. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Astrometry of Pluto and trans-Neptunian objects (Holman+, 2016)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holman, M. J.; Payne, M. J.

    2017-04-01

    We decided to build upon the carefully selected data of Buie & Folkner 2015 (Cat. J/AJ/149/22) for our analysis of Pluto. We use the Minor Planet Center (MPC) astrometry for Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) only. For Pluto, we include the astrometry from the remeasured Lampland plates (Buie & Folkner 2015, Cat. J/AJ/149/22); that from a selection of photographic plates from Pulkovo Observatory that were also remeasured with modern stellar catalogs (Rylkov et al. 1995A&AT....6..265R); Pluto or Charon positions from recent occultation measurements of Pluto and Charon (Assafin et al. 2010, Cat. J/A+A/515/A32 ; Benedetti-Rossi et al. 2014, Cat. J/A+A/570/A86); and CCD observations from Pico dos Dias Observatory (Benedetti-Rossi et al. 2014, Cat. J/A+A/570/A86), the USNO's Flagstaff Station (Stone et al. 2003AJ....126.2060S), and JPL's Table Mountain Observatory (described in Buie & Folkner 2015, Cat. J/AJ/149/22). We adopt the uncertainties of Buie & Folkner 2015 (Cat. J/AJ/149/22) for the Pluto astrometry from Lowell and Pulkovo Observatory. However, we used significantly smaller astrometric uncertainties for the Pico do Dias data. We also used somewhat smaller astrometric uncertainties for the remaining data sets. For the USNO astrometry, we adopt 0.09'' for both R.A. and decl. For the Table Mountain Observatory astrometry, we adopt 0.07'' and 0.05'' for the R.A. and decl., respectively. For the occultation data we adopt 0.05'' and 0.03'' for the R.A. and decl., respectively. The astrometric uncertainties we adopted result in a {chi}2 per degree of freedom=1 for the unperturbed Pluto orbit fits. We included all TNOs, including Scattered-Disk Objects (SDOs), with semimajor axes a>~30au for which we could fit reliable orbits. For these objects, we adopt a fixed astrometric uncertainty of 0.27'', which results in {chi}2 per degree of freedom=1 for the ensemble of TNOs. We include a total of 6677 observations for Pluto, plus 35646 observations of other TNOs. (1 data file).

  9. Smooth horizons and quantum ripples

    CERN Document Server

    Golovnev, Alexey

    2014-01-01

    Black Holes are unique objects which allow for meaningful theoretical studies of strong gravity and even quantum gravity effects. An infalling and a distant observer would have very different views on the structure of the world. However, a careful analysis has shown that it entails no genuine contradictions for physics, and the paradigm of observer complementarity has been coined. Recently this picture was put into doubt. In particular, it was argued that in old Black Holes a firewall must form in order to protect the basic principles of quantum mechanics. This AMPS paradox has already been discussed in a vast number of papers with different attitudes and conclusions. Here we want to argue that a possible source of confusion is neglection of quantum gravity effects. Contrary to widespread perception, it does not necessarily mean that effective field theory is inapplicable in rather smooth neighbourhoods of large Black Hole horizons. The real offender might be an attempt to consistently use it over the huge di...

  10. Stretched horizons, quasiparticles and quasinormal modes

    CERN Document Server

    Iizuka, N; Lifschytz, G; Lowe, D A; Iizuka, Norihiro; Kabat, Daniel; Lifschytz, Gilad; Lowe, David A.

    2003-01-01

    We propose that stretched horizons can be described in terms of a gas of non-interacting quasiparticles. The quasiparticles are unstable, with a lifetime set by the imaginary part of the lowest quasinormal mode frequency. If the horizon arises from an AdS/CFT style duality the quasiparticles are also the effective low-energy degrees of freedom of the finite-temperature CFT. We analyze a large class of models including Schwarzschild black holes, non-extremal Dp-branes, the rotating BTZ black hole and de Sitter space, and we comment on degenerate horizons. The quasiparticle description makes manifest the relationship between entropy and area.

  11. Horizon thermodynamics from Einstein's equation of state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Devin; Kubizňák, David; Mann, Robert B.

    2017-08-01

    By regarding the Einstein equations as equation(s) of state, we demonstrate that a full cohomogeneity horizon first law can be derived in horizon thermodynamics. In this approach both the entropy and the free energy are derived concepts, while the standard (degenerate) horizon first law is recovered by a Legendre projection from the more general one we derive. These results readily generalize to higher curvature gravities where they naturally reproduce a formula for the entropy without introducing Noether charges. Our results thus establish a way of how to formulate consistent black hole thermodynamics without conserved charges.

  12. Meeting of Horizons of Expectation: Hawthorne Stories

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    谢丽湘

    2014-01-01

    Horizons of expectation is a reader’s expectations about what will or may or should happen next,which is an important term in reader-response criticism.These horizons of expectation change frequently,for at the center of all stories is conflict or dramatic tension,often resulting in sudden loss,pain,unexpected joy or fear,and at times great fulfillment.Such changes will cause a reader to modify his horizons of expectation to fit the story’s particular situation.

  13. Horizon quantum mechanics of rotating black holes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casadio, Roberto [Universita di Bologna, Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Bologna (Italy); I.N.F.N., Sezione di Bologna, I.S. FLAG, Bologna (Italy); Giugno, Andrea [Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet, Arnold Sommerfeld Center, Munich (Germany); Giusti, Andrea [Universita di Bologna, Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Bologna (Italy); I.N.F.N., Sezione di Bologna, I.S. FLAG, Bologna (Italy); Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet, Arnold Sommerfeld Center, Munich (Germany); Micu, Octavian [Institute of Space Science, Bucharest, P.O. Box MG-23, Bucharest-Magurele (Romania)

    2017-05-15

    The horizon quantum mechanics is an approach that was previously introduced in order to analyze the gravitational radius of spherically symmetric systems and compute the probability that a given quantum state is a black hole. In this work, we first extend the formalism to general space-times with asymptotic (ADM) mass and angular momentum. We then apply the extended horizon quantum mechanics to a harmonic model of rotating corpuscular black holes. We find that simple configurations of this model naturally suppress the appearance of the inner horizon and seem to disfavor extremal (macroscopic) geometries. (orig.)

  14. Tropospheric radiowave propagation beyond the horizon

    CERN Document Server

    Du Castel, François

    1966-01-01

    Tropospheric Radiowave Propagation Beyond the Horizon deals with developments concerning the tropospheric propagation of ultra-short radio waves beyond the horizon, with emphasis on the relationship between the theoretical and the experimental. Topics covered include the general conditions of propagation in the troposphere; general characteristics of propagation beyond the horizon; and attenuation in propagation. This volume is comprised of six chapters and begins with a brief historical look at the various stages that have brought the technique of transhorizon links to its state of developmen

  15. Implementing VMware Horizon View 5.2

    CERN Document Server

    Ventresco, Jason

    2013-01-01

    A step-by-step tutorial covering all components of the View Horizon suite in detail, to ensure that you can utilize all features of the platform, and discover all of the possible ways that it can be used within your own environment.If you are a newcomer in system administration, and you wish to implement a small to midsized Horizon View environment, then this book is for you. It will also benefit individuals who wish to administrate and manage Horizon View more efficiently or are studying for the VCP5-DT.

  16. Friedmann equations and thermodynamics of apparent horizons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Yungui; Wang, Anzhong

    2007-11-23

    With the help of a masslike function which has a dimension of energy and is equal to the Misner-Sharp mass at the apparent horizon, we show that the first law of thermodynamics of the apparent horizon dE=T(A)dS(A) can be derived from the Friedmann equation in various theories of gravity, including the Einstein, Lovelock, nonlinear, and scalar-tensor theories. This result strongly suggests that the relationship between the first law of thermodynamics of the apparent horizon and the Friedmann equation is not just a simple coincidence, but rather a more profound physical connection.

  17. Horizon Supertranslation and Degenerate Black Hole Solution

    CERN Document Server

    Cai, Rong-Gen; Zhang, Yun-Long

    2016-01-01

    In this note we first review the degenerate vacua arising from the BMS symmetries. According to the discussion in [1] one can define BMS-analogous supertranslation and superrotation for spacetime with black hole in Gaussian null coordinates. In the leading and subleading orders of near horizon approximation, the infinitely degenerate black hole solutions are derived by considering Einstein equations with or without cosmological constant, and they are related to each other by the diffeomorphism generated by horizon supertranslation. Higher order results and degenerate Rindler horizon solutions also are given in appendices.

  18. Ice Mineralogy across and into the Surfaces of Pluto, Triton, and Eris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tegler, S. C.; Grundy, W. M.; Olkin, C. B.; Young, L. A.; Romanishin, W.; Cornelison, D. M.; Khodadadkouchaki, R.

    2012-05-01

    We present three near-infrared spectra of Pluto taken with the Infrared Telescope Facility and SpeX, an optical spectrum of Triton taken with the MMT and the Red Channel Spectrograph, and previously published spectra of Pluto, Triton, and Eris. We combine these observations with a two-phase Hapke model and gain insight into the ice mineralogy on Pluto, Triton, and Eris. Specifically, we measure the methane-nitrogen mixing ratio across and into the surfaces of these icy dwarf planets. In addition, we present a laboratory experiment that demonstrates it is essential to model methane bands in spectra of icy dwarf planets with two methane phases—one highly diluted by nitrogen and the other rich in methane. For Pluto, we find bulk, hemisphere-averaged, methane abundances of 9.1% ± 0.5%, 7.1% ± 0.4%, and 8.2% ± 0.3% for sub-Earth longitudes of 10°, 125°, and 257°. Application of the Wilcoxon rank sum test to our measurements finds these small differences are statistically significant. For Triton, we find bulk, hemisphere-averaged, methane abundances of 5.0% ± 0.1% and 5.3% ± 0.4% for sub-Earth longitudes of 138° and 314°. Application of the Wilcoxon rank sum test to our measurements finds the differences are not statistically significant. For Eris, we find a bulk, hemisphere-averaged, methane abundance of 10% ± 2%. Pluto, Triton, and Eris do not exhibit a trend in methane-nitrogen mixing ratio with depth into their surfaces over the few centimeter range probed by these observations. This result is contrary to the expectation that since visible light penetrates deeper into a nitrogen-rich surface than the depths from which thermal emission emerges, net radiative heating at depth would drive preferential sublimation of nitrogen leading to an increase in the methane abundance with depth.

  19. Reorientation and faulting of Pluto due to volatile loading within Sputnik Planitia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, James T.; Matsuyama, Isamu; Kamata, Shunichi; Steckloff, Jordan K.

    2016-12-01

    Pluto is an astoundingly diverse, geologically dynamic world. The dominant feature is Sputnik Planitia—a tear-drop-shaped topographic depression approximately 1,000 kilometres in diameter possibly representing an ancient impact basin. The interior of Sputnik Planitia is characterized by a smooth, craterless plain three to four kilometres beneath the surrounding rugged uplands, and represents the surface of a massive unit of actively convecting volatile ices (N2, CH4 and CO) several kilometres thick. This large feature is very near the Pluto-Charon tidal axis. Here we report that the location of Sputnik Planitia is the natural consequence of the sequestration of volatile ices within the basin and the resulting reorientation (true polar wander) of Pluto. Loading of volatile ices within a basin the size of Sputnik Planitia can substantially alter Pluto’s inertia tensor, resulting in a reorientation of the dwarf planet of around 60 degrees with respect to the rotational and tidal axes. The combination of this reorientation, loading and global expansion due to the freezing of a possible subsurface ocean generates stresses within the planet’s lithosphere, resulting in a global network of extensional faults that closely replicate the observed fault networks on Pluto. Sputnik Planitia probably formed northwest of its present location, and was loaded with volatiles over million-year timescales as a result of volatile transport cycles on Pluto. Pluto’s past, present and future orientation is controlled by feedbacks between volatile sublimation and condensation, changing insolation conditions and Pluto’s interior structure.

  20. The PLUTO experiment at DORIS (DESY) and the discovery of the gluon (A recollection)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stella, Bruno R. [Rome-3 Univ. (Italy). Dipt. di Fisica; Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Rome (Italy); Meyer, Hans-Juergen

    2010-08-15

    With the aim of determining the contribution of the PLUTO experiment at the DORIS e{sup +}e{sup -} storage ring to the discovery of the gluon, as members of this former collaboration we have reconsidered all the scientific material produced by PLUTO in 1978 and the first half of 1979. It is clear that the experiment demonstrated the main decay of the Y(9.46 GeV) resonance to be mediated by 3 gluons, by providing evidence for the agreement of this hypothesis with average values and differential distributions of all possible experimental variables and by excluding all other possible alternative models. Moreover PLUTO measured in June 1979 the matrix element of the 3-gluon decay to be quantitatively as expected by QCD (even after hadronization) and, having checked the possibility to correctly trace the gluons' directions, demonstrated the spin 1 nature of the gluon by excluding spin 0 and spin 1/2. The hadronization of the gluon like a quark jet, hypothesized in the 3-gluon jet Monte Carlo simulation, was compatible with the topological data at this energy and was shown to be an approximation at 10% level for the multiplicity ({approx} < p {sub vertical} {sub stroke} {sub vertical} {sub stroke} {sub >}{sup -1}); the right expected gluon fragmentation was needed for the inclusive distributions; this was the first experimental study of (identified) gluon jets. In the following measurements at the PETRA storage ring, these results were confirmed by PLUTO and by three contemporaneous experiments by evidencing at higher energies the gluon radiation (''bremsstrahlung''), the softer one, by jet broadening, and the hard one, by the emission of (now clearly visible) gluon jets by quarks. The gluon's spin 1 particle nature was also confirmed. The PLUTO results on Y decays had been confirmed both by contemporaneous experiments at DORIS (partially) and later (also partially) were confirmed by more sophisticated detectors. (orig.)