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Sample records for project pluto ground

  1. Project Cerberus: Flyby Mission to Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sivier, K.; Koepke, A.; Humphrey, Theodore W.; Elbel, Jeffrey P.; Hackett, Bruce E.; Kennedy, Ralph G.; Leo, Donald J.; Zimmerman, Shery A.

    1990-01-01

    The goal of the Cerberus Project was to design a feasible and cost-effective unmanned flyby mission to Pluto. The requirements in the request for proposal for an unmanned probe to Pluto are presented and were met. The design stresses proven technology that will avoid show stoppers which could halt mission progress. Cerberus also utilizes the latest advances in the spacecraft industry to meet the stringent demands of the mission. The topics covered include: (1) mission management, planning, and costing; (2) structures; (3) power and propulsion; (4) attitude, articulation, and control; (5) command, control, and communication; and (6) scientific instrumentation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

  4. Pluto

    SciTech Connect

    Binzel, R.P. )

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Coordinated Ground-Based Observations and the New Horizons Fly-by of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Eliot; Young, Leslie; Parker, Joel; Binzel, Richard

    2015-04-01

    The New Horizons (NH) spacecraft is scheduled to make its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015. NH carries seven scientific instruments, including separate UV and Visible-IR spectrographs, a long-focal-length imager, two plasma-sensing instruments and a dust counter. There are three arenas in particular in which ground-based observations should augment the NH instrument suite in synergistic ways: IR spectra at wavelengths longer than 2.5 µm (i.e., longer than the NH Ralph spectrograph), stellar occultation observations near the time of the fly-by, and thermal surface maps and atmospheric CO abundances based on ALMA observations - we discuss the first two of these. IR spectra in the 3 - 5 µm range cover the CH4 absorption band near 3.3 µm. This band can be an important constraint on the state and areal extent of nitrogen frost on Pluto's surface. If this band depth is close to zero (as was observed by Olkin et al. 2007), it limits the area of nitrogen frost, which is bright at that wavelength. Combined with the NH observations of nitrogen frost at 2.15 µm, the ground-based spectra will determine how much nitrogen frost is diluted with methane, which is a basic constraint on the seasonal cycle of sublimation and condensation that takes place on Pluto (and similar objects like Triton and Eris). There is a fortuitous stellar occultation by Pluto on 29-JUN-2015, only two weeks before the NH closest approach. The occulted star will be the brightest ever observed in a Pluto event, about 2 magnitudes brighter than Pluto itself. The track of the event is predicted to cover parts of Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to HST and ground based campaigns to find a TNO target reachable by NH, the position of the shadow path will be known at the +/-100 km level, allowing SOFIA and mobile ground-based observers to reliably cover the central flash region. Ground-based & SOFIA observations in visible and IR wavelengths will characterize the haze opacity and vertical

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 < 30 km), and the mesospheric zone (altitudes between 30 and 260 km). Possible biases will be discussed.Additionally, we use a central flash event observed in New Zealand on June 29, 2015 (close to the NH flyby) to provide an upper limit of Pluto's atmospheric oblateness near 4 km altitude. We will also explore the possibility that small deviations in the observed flash (compared to the model) are caused by the local 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").

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

    SciTech Connect

    Person, M. J.; Bosh, A. S.; Levine, S. E.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Zangari, A. M.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Sallum, S.; Dunham, E. W.; Collins, P.; Bida, T.; Bright, L.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Pandey, S.; Amrhein, D.; Tholen, D. J.; Taylor, B.; Wolf, J.; Pfueller, E.; Meyer, A.; 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 should

  9. An analysis of AMTEC, multi-cell ground-demo for the Pluto/Express mission

    SciTech Connect

    Tournier, J.M.; El-Genk, M.S.

    1998-07-01

    Results of recent tests of an 8-cell, AMTEC ground-demo are analyzed and the performance of individual cells compared. The ground-demo produced a peak electric power of 27 W{sub e} at an output voltage of 16 V, when tested at hot and cold side temperatures of 1123 K and 553 K. The electric power output and terminal voltage of the individual cells, however, differed by as much as 25%, from 2.94 to 3.76 W{sub e}, and 1.73 to 2.21 V, respectively. These variations were attributed to differences in: (a) contact resistance between electrode / BASE / current collector; (b) current (or electrons) leakage between anode and cathode electrodes through the metal-ceramic braze joint between BASE tubes and support plate; and (c) the charge-exchange polarization losses. Model's predictions compared very well with measured voltage and electric power output of individual cells and of the ground-demo. At the operating conditions for the Pluto/Express spacecraft (T{sub hot} {approximately} 1200 K, T{sub cd} {approximately} 573 K), the best performing ground-demo cell would have delivered 5 W{sub e} at an output voltage of 3 V. These values, however, are still significantly lower than those needed to meet the Pluto/Express mission power requirements (8.2 W{sub e} at 3.5 V, per cell).

  10. Korea's School Grounds Projects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Joohun

    2003-01-01

    This article describes two projects which Korea has undertaken to improve its school grounds: (1) the Green School Project; and (2) the School Forest Pilot Project. The Korean Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MOE&HRI) recently launched the Green School Project centred on existing urban schools with poor outdoor environments.…

  11. Pluto's Atmosphere from the 2015 June 29 Ground-based Stellar Occultation at the Time of the New Horizons Flyby

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sicardy, B.; Talbot, J.; 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.; Gomes-Júnior, A. R.; Vieira-Martins, R.; Bérard, D.; Kervella, P.; Lecacheux, J.; Lellouch, E.; Beisker, W.; Dunham, D.; Jelínek, M.; Duffard, R.; Ortiz, J. L.; Castro-Tirado, A. J.; Cunniffe, R.; Querel, R.; Yock, P. C.; 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.

    2016-03-01

    We present results from a multi-chord Pluto stellar occultation observed on 2015 June 29 from New Zealand and Australia. This occurred only two weeks before the NASA New Horizons flyby of the Pluto 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-1 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 that block the stellar light. Finally, using two possible temperature profiles, and extrapolating our pressure profile from our deepest accessible level down to the surface, we obtain a possible range of 11.9-13.7 μbar for the surface pressure. Partly based on observations made with the ESO WFI camera at the 2.2 m Telescope (La Silla), under program ID 079.A-9202(A) within the agreement between the ON/MCTI and the Max Planck Society, with the ESO camera NACO at the Very Large Telescope (Paranal), under program ID 089.C-0314(C), and at the Pico dos Dias Observatory/LNA, Brazil.

  12. New Horizons at Pluto: Asking the right questions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. Pluto: Dwarf planet 134340

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ksanfomality, L. V.

    2016-01-01

    In recent decades, investigations of Pluto with up-to-date astronomical instruments yielded results that have been generally confirmed by the New Horizons mission. In 2006, in Prague, the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified Pluto as a member of the dwarf planet category according to the criteria defined by the IAU for the term "planet". At the same time, interest in studies of Pluto was increasing, while the space investigations of Pluto were delayed. In 2006, the New Horizons Pluto spacecraft started its journey to Pluto. On July 14, 2015, the spacecraft, being in fly-by mode, made its closest approach to Pluto. The heterogeneities and properties of the surface and rarified atmosphere were investigated thoroughly. Due to the extreme remoteness of the spacecraft and the energy limitations, it will take 18 months to transmit the whole data volume. Along with the preliminary results of the New Horizons Pluto mission, this paper reviews the basics on Pluto and its moons acquired from the ground-based observations and with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). There are only a few meteorite craters on the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, which distinctly marks them apart from such satellites of the giant planets as Ganymede and Callisto. The explanation is that the surface of Pluto is young: its age is estimated at less than 100 Myr. Ice glaciers of apparently a nitrogen nature were found. Nitrogen is also the main component of the atmosphere of Pluto. The planet demonstrates the signs of strong geologic activity, though the energy sources of these processes are unknown.

  14. Pluto Time

    NASA Video Gallery

    If you stood on Pluto at noon and looked around, the landscape would be illuminated about as brightly as on Earth soon after sunset. The team for NASA's New Horizons mission dubbed this "Pluto Time...

  15. Pluto's Nonvolatile Chemical Compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grundy, William M.; Binzel, Richard; Cook, Jason C.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Dalle Ore, Cristina M.; Earle, Alissa M.; Ennico, Kimberly; Jennings, Donald; Howett, Carly; Kaiser, Ralf-Ingo; Linscott, Ivan; Lunsford, A. W.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Parker, Alex Harrison; Parker, Joel Wm.; Philippe, Sylvain; Protopapa, Silvia; Quirico, Eric; Reuter, D. C.; Schmitt, Bernard; Singer, Kelsi N.; Spencer, John R.; Stansberry, John A.; Stern, S. Alan; Tsang, Constantine; Verbiscer, Anne J.; Weaver, Harold A.; Weigle, G. E.; Young, Leslie

    2016-10-01

    Despite the migration of Pluto's volatile ices (N2, CO, and CH4) around the surface on seasonal timescales, the planet's non-volatile materials are not completely hidden from view. They occur in a variety of provinces formed over a wide range of timescales, including rugged mountains and chasms, the floors of mid-latitude craters, and an equatorial belt of especially dark and reddish material typified by the informally named Cthulhu Regio. NASA's New Horizons probe observed several of these regions at spatial resolutions as fine as 3 km/pixel with its LEISA imaging spectrometer, covering wavelengths from 1.25 to 2.5 microns. Various compounds that are much lighter than the tholin-like macromolecules responsible for the reddish coloration, but that are not volatile at Pluto surface temperatures such as methanol (CH3OH) and ethane (C2H6) have characteristic absorption bands within LEISA's wavelength range. This presentation will describe their geographic distributions and attempt to constrain their origins. Possibilities include an inheritance from Pluto's primordial composition (the likely source of H2O ice seen on Pluto's surface) or ongoing production from volatile precursors through photochemistry in Pluto's atmosphere or through radiolysis on Pluto's surface. New laboratory data inform the analysis.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  16. Pluto Express: Mission to Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giuliano, J. A.

    1996-01-01

    Pluto is the smallest, outermost and last-discovered planet in the Solar System and the only one that has never been visited by a spacecraft from Earth. Pluto and its relatively large satellite Charon are the destinations of a proposed spacecraft mission for the next decade, being developed for NASA by scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

  17. Seasonal Nitrogen Cycles on Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, Candice J.; Paige, David A.

    1996-01-01

    A thermal model, developed to predict seasonal nitrogen cycles on Triton, has been modified and applied to Pluto. The model was used to calculate the partitioning of nitrogen between surface frost deposits and the atmosphere, as a function of time for various sets of input parameters. Volatile transport was confirmed to have a significant effect on Pluto's climate as nitrogen moved around on a seasonal time scale between hemispheres, and sublimed into and condensed out of the atmosphere. Pluto's high obliquity was found to have a significant effect on the distribution of frost on its surface. Conditions that would lead to permanent polar caps on Triton were found to lead to permanent zonal frost bands on Pluto. In some instances, frost sublimed from the middle of a seasonal cap outward, resulting in a "polar bald spot". Frost which was darker than the substrate did not satisfy observables on Pluto, in contrast to our findings for Triton. Bright frost (brighter than the substrate) came closer to matching observables. Atmospheric pressure varied seasonally. The amplitudes, and to a lesser extent the phase, of the variation depended significantly on frost and substrate properties. Atmospheric pressure was found to be determined both by Pluto's distance from the sun and by the subsolar latitude. In most cases two peaks in atmospheric pressure were observed annually: a greater one associated with the sublimation of the north polar cap just as Pluto receded from perihelion, and a lesser one associated with the sublimation of the south polar cap as Pluto approached perihelion. Our model predicted frost-free dark substrate surface temperatures in the 50 to 60 K range, while frost temperatures typically ranged between 30 to 40 K. Temporal changes in frost coverage illustrated by our results, and changes in the viewing geometry of Pluto from the Earth, may be important for interpretation of ground-based measurements of Pluto's thermal emission.

  18. Pluto and Charon Color Light Curves from New Horizons on Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    On approach to the Pluto system, New Horizons’ Ralph Instrument’s Multicolor Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) observed Pluto and Charon, spatially separated, between April 9 and June 23, 2015. In this period, Pluto and Charon were observed to transition from unresolved objects to resolved and their integrated disk intensities were measured in four MVIC filters: blue (400-550 nm), red (540-700 nm), near-infrared (780-975 nm), and methane (860-910 nm). The measurement suite sampled the bodies over all longitudes. We will present the color rotational light curves for Pluto and Charon and compare them to previous (Buie, M. et al. 2010 AJ 139, 1117; Buratti, B.J. et al 2015 ApJ 804, L6) and concurrent ground-based BVR monitoring. We will also compare these data to color images of the encounter hemisphere taken during New Horizons’ July 14, 2015 Pluto and Charon flyby, as this data set provides a unique bridge between Pluto & Charon as viewed as astronomical targets versus the complex worlds that early data from New Horizons has revealed them to be. This work was supported by NASA’s New Horizons project.

  19. The Moons of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

  20. Detailed Astrometric Analysis of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    ROSSI, GUSTAVO B.; Vieira-Martins, R.; Camargo, J. I.; Assafin, M.

    2013-05-01

    Abstract (2,250 Maximum Characters): Pluto is the main representant of the transneptunian objects (TNO's), presenting some peculiarities such as an atmosphere and a satellite system with 5 known moons: Charon, discovered in 1978, Nix and Hydra, in 2006, P4 in 2011 and P5 in 2012. Until the arrival of the New Horizons spacecraft to this system (july 2015), stellar occultations are the most efficient method, from the ground, to know physical and dinamical properties of this system. In 2010, it was evident a drift in declinations (about 20 mas/year) comparing to the ephemerides. This fact motivated us to remake the reductions and analysis of a great set of our observations at OPD/LNA, in a total of 15 years. The ephemerides and occultations results was then compared with the astrometric and photometric reductions of CCD images of Pluto (around 6500 images). Two corrections were used for a refinement of the data set: diferential chromatic refraction and photocenter. The first is due to the mean color of background stars beeing redder than the color of Pluto, resulting in a slightly different path of light through the atmosphere (that may cause a difference in position of 0.1”). It became more evident because Pluto is crossing the region of the galactic plane. The photocenter correction is based on two gaussians curves overlapped, with different hights and non-coincident centers, corresponding to Pluto and Charon (since they have less than 1” of angular separation). The objective is to separate these two gaussian curves from the observed one and find the right position of Pluto. The method is strongly dependent of the hight of each of the gaussian curves, related to the respective albedos of charon and Pluto. A detailed analysis of the astrometric results, as well a comparison with occultation results was made. Since Pluto has an orbital period of 248,9 years and our interval of observation is about 15 years, we have around 12% of its observed orbit and also, our

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. Kuiper Belt Objects Along the Pluto Express Path

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1999-01-01

    The objective of this proposal was to mount a ground-based search for Kuiper Belt objects near the trajectory of the NASA Pluto Express spacecraft. The high density of Kuiper Belt objects established from work on Mauna Kea makes it probable that one or more bodies can be visited by Pluto Express after its encounter with Pluto. The work was funded during its first year through NASA HQ. The second year was funded through Goddard. The third year was never funded.

  3. Possible occultation by Pluto from US East Coast

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waagen, Elizabeth O.

    2012-06-01

    We have been asked to help disseminate the news of a possible occultation by Pluto visible to observers on the US East coast. Although the AAVSO does not ordinarily issue announcements of upcoming occultations, in this case the object is Pluto and the NASA New Horizons mission (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/newhorizons/main/index.html) will be visiting Pluto in 2015. The information below has been supplied by Dr. Leslie Young (Southwest Research Institute), who is coordinating this observing campaign on Pluto. Dr. Young is also Deputy Project Scientist for the New Horizons mission. ALERT: Possible Pluto occultation Wednesday night (2012/06/14 03:28 UT) from US East coast. CONTACT: Leslie Young (layoung@boulder.swri.edu; work: 303-546-6057; skype: drpluto). Also see our planning pages in progress at http://wiki.boulder.swri.edu/mediawiki/index.php/2012-06-14_Pluto_occultation. Pluto's thin, nitrogen atmosphere is in vapor-pressure equilibrium with the surface ice, and changes seasonally. We've seen it double since 1988, and now we measure its pressure once or twice a year. The technique we use is stellar occultation, when a star passes behind Pluto's atmosphere. The atmosphere defocuses the starlight. By the timing of the fading of the star, we measure the pressure and temperature in Pluto's atmosphere at ~10 km resolution. MORE INFORMATION: See http://wiki.boulder.swri.edu/mediawiki/index.php/2012-06-14_Pluto_occultation.

  4. Configuration of Pluto's Volatile Ices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    We report on near-infrared remote sensing by New Horizons' Ralph instrument (Reuter et al. 2008, Space Sci. Rev. 140, 129-154) of Pluto's N2, CO, and CH4 ices. These especially volatile ices are mobile even at Pluto's cryogenic surface temperatures. Sunlight reflected from these ices becomes imprinted with their characteristic spectral absorption bands. The detailed appearance of these absorption features depends on many aspects of local composition, thermodynamic state, and texture. Multiple-scattering radiative transfer models are used to retrieve quantitative information about these properties and to map how they vary across Pluto's surface. Using parameter maps derived from New Horizons observations, we investigate the striking regional differences in the abundances and scattering properties of Pluto's volatile ices. Comparing these spatial patterns with the underlying geology provides valuable constraints on processes actively modifying the planet's surface, over a variety of spatial scales ranging from global latitudinal patterns to more regional and local processes within and around the feature informally known as Sputnik Planum. This work was supported by the NASA New Horizons Project.

  5. The Search for Pluto Water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Jason C.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Dalle Ore, Cristina M.; Ennico, Kimberly; Grundy, William M.; Olkin, Cathy B.; Protopapa, Silvia; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie A.

    2015-11-01

    On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto at about ~12,000 km from Pluto's surface. The LEISA (Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array) component of the Ralph instrument (Reuter, D.C., Stern, S.A., Scherrer, J., et al. 2008, Space Sci. Rev. 140, 129) obtained spatially resolved near infrared spectra at scales as small as 3 km/pix. LEISA covers the wavelength range 1.25 to 2.5 μm at a spectral resolution (λ/Δλ) of 240, and the 2.1 to 2.25 μm range at a resolution of 560. The observations from this instrument are being used to map the distribution of Pluto's known ices such as N2, CH4, CO and C2H6 as well as search for H2O-ice. To date, H2O-ice has evaded detection from Earth bound observatories. Observations based on LORRI, the LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager, suggest H2O-ice is a major component of several mountain ranges around the western perimeter of the landmass informally named Tombaugh Regio. If true, H2O-ice may be found in small isolated regions around Pluto. We will present our analysis of all LESIA data of Pluto in hand to search for and understand the distribution of H2O-ice. If found, we will also discuss limits on crystalline vs. amorphous H2O-ice and temperature measurements based on the 1.65 µm crystalline H2O-ice feature. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  6. Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance Prognostics Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perotti, Jose M.

    2015-01-01

    The project implements prognostics capabilities to predict when a component system or subsystem will no longer meet desired functional or performance criteria, called the end of life. The capability also provides an assessment of the remaining useful life of a hardware component. The project enables the delivery of system health advisories to ground system operators. This project will use modeling techniques and algorithms to assess components' health andpredict remaining life for such components. The prognostics capability being developed will beused:during the design phase and during pre/post operations to conduct planning and analysis ofsystem design, maintenance & logistics plans, and system/mission operations plansduring real-time operations to monitor changes to components' health and assess their impacton operations.This capability will be interfaced to Ground Operations' command and control system as a part ofthe AGSM project to help assure system availability and mission success. The initial modelingeffort for this capability will be developed for Liquid Oxygen ground loading applications.

  7. Automated Ground Umbilical Systems (AGUS) Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gosselin, Armand M.

    2007-01-01

    All space vehicles require ground umbilical systems for servicing. Servicing requirements can include, but are not limited to, electrical power and control, propellant loading and venting, pneumatic system supply, hazard gas detection and purging as well as systems checkout capabilities. Of the various types of umbilicals, all require several common subsystems. These typically include an alignment system, mating and locking system, fluid connectors, electrical connectors and control !checkout systems. These systems have been designed to various levels of detail based on the needs for manual and/or automation requirements. The Automated Ground Umbilical Systems (AGUS) project is a multi-phase initiative to develop design performance requirements and concepts for launch system umbilicals. The automation aspect minimizes operational time and labor in ground umbilical processing while maintaining reliability. This current phase of the project reviews the design, development, testing and operations of ground umbilicals built for the Saturn, Shuttle, X-33 and Atlas V programs. Based on the design and operations lessons learned from these systems, umbilicals can be optimized for specific applications. The product of this study is a document containing details of existing systems and requirements for future automated umbilical systems with emphasis on design-for-operations (DFO).

  8. The Size of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tholen, David J.

    2014-11-01

    The presence of a thin atmosphere around Pluto prevents the stellar occultation method from probing all the way down to the surface of Pluto. As such, the most accurate method for measuring the size of Pluto is fitting the mutual event photometry from 1985 to 1990. Previous fits solved for not only the size of Pluto, but also the size and orbit of Charon. Since that era, the size and orbit of Charon have been determined independently and more accurately via other means. Stellar occultation measurements have established the diameter of Charon as 1212 km, while the orbit of Charon has been determined via direct images obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope over a period of two decades. By imposing the known values for the size and orbit of Charon on the fits to the mutual event photometry, a new size for Pluto can be derived with considerably fewer free parameters. To perform this fit, the extensive set of mutual event photometry acquired at Mauna Kea Observatory was utilized. A fit to all the data yields a diameter for Pluto of 2317 km. To avoid the question of limb darkening on Pluto and the effect of albedo variation over the surface of Pluto, even fewer free parameters can be solved for by restricting attention to just the superior mutual events, during which Charon was behind Pluto. In this case the diameter of Pluto increases to 2379 km. Work is currently being done to determine how weighting of the data affects the result. The true value will become known in a few months when New Horizons flies past Pluto. These fits also show that there is still room for improvement in the orbit of Charon.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farquhar, Robert; Stern, S. Alan

    1990-01-01

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Farquhar, R.; Stern, S.A. Colorado Univ., Boulder )

    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.

  11. Dynamics of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.

    1989-01-01

    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 escaped satellite of Neptune.

  12. Pluto's atmosphere near perihelion

    SciTech Connect

    Trafton, L.M. )

    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.

  13. Clues From Pluto's Ions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  14. The Orbits and Masses of Pluto's Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozovic, Marina; Jacobson, R. A.

    2013-05-01

    Abstract (2,250 Maximum Characters): We report on the numerically integrated orbital fits of Pluto's satellites, Charon, Nix, Hydra, and S/2011 (134340) 1, to an extensive set of astrometric, mutual event, and stellar occultation observations over the time interval April 1965 to July 2011. The observations of Charon relative to Pluto have been corrected for the Pluto center-of-figure center-of-light (COF) offset due to the Pluto albedo variations. The most recently discovered satellite S/2012 (134340) 1 is fit with a precessing ellipse because its observation set is insufficient to constrain a numerically integrated orbit. The Pluto system mass is well determined with the current data. However, the Charon’s mass still carries a considerable amount of the uncertainty due to the fact that the primary source of information for the Charon mass is a small quantity of absolute position measurements that are sensitive to the independent motions of Pluto and Charon about the system barycenter. We used bounded-least squares algorithm to try to constrain the masses of Nix, Hydra, and S/2011 (134340) 1, but the current dataset appears to be too sparse for mass determination. The long-term dynamical interaction among the satellites does yield a weak determination of Hydra's mass. We investigated the effect of more astrometry of S/2012 (134340) 1 on the mass determination of the other satellites and found no improvement with the additional data. We have delivered ephemerides based on our integrated orbits to the New Horizons project along with their expected uncertainties at the time of the spacecraft encounter with the Pluto system. Acknowledgments: The research described in this paper was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  15. New Horizons at Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    Artist's concept of the New Horizons spacecraft as it approaches Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, in July 2015. The craft's miniature cameras, radio science experiment, ultraviolet and infrared spectrometers and space plasma experiments will characterize the global geology and geomorphology of Pluto and Charon, map their surface compositions and temperatures, and examine Pluto's atmosphere in detail. The spacecraft's most prominent design feature is a nearly 7-foot (2.1-meter) dish antenna, through which it will communicate with Earth from as far as 4.7 billion miles (7.5 billion kilometers) away.

  16. A Pluto thermal model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, C. J.; Paige, D. A.

    1993-01-01

    The recent discovery of nitrogen on Pluto suggests that Pluto's volatile cycles may be similar to those on Neptune's moon Triton. Here, we report the first results of our efforts to apply a thermal model that we developed to study the seasonal nitrogen cycle on Triton to the case of Pluto. The model predicts volatile behavior as a function of time to calculate frost deposit depth, polar cap boundaries, temperature of the frost and substrate, and atmospheric pressure, assuming nitrogen frost deposits in solid-vapor equilibrium with nitrogen in the atmosphere.

  17. The lower atmosphere of Pluto revealed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-03-01

    Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have gained valuable new insights about the atmosphere of the dwarf planet Pluto. The scientists found unexpectedly large amounts of methane in the atmosphere, and also discovered that the atmosphere is hotter than the surface by about 40 degrees, although it still only reaches a frigid minus 180 degrees Celsius. These properties of Pluto's atmosphere may be due to the presence of pure methane patches or of a methane-rich layer covering the dwarf planet's surface. ESO PR Photo 08a/09 Pluto (Artist's Impression) "With lots of methane in the atmosphere, it becomes clear why Pluto's atmosphere is so warm," says Emmanuel Lellouch, lead author of the paper reporting the results. Pluto, which is about a fifth the size of Earth, is composed primarily of rock and ice. As it is about 40 times further from the Sun than the Earth on average, it is a very cold world with a surface temperature of about minus 220 degrees Celsius! It has been known since the 1980s that Pluto also has a tenuous atmosphere [1], which consists of a thin envelope of mostly nitrogen, with traces of methane and probably carbon monoxide. As Pluto moves away from the Sun, during its 248 year-long orbit, its atmosphere gradually freezes and falls to the ground. In periods when it is closer to the Sun -- as it is now -- the temperature of Pluto's solid surface increases, causing the ice to sublimate into gas. Until recently, only the upper parts of the atmosphere of Pluto could be studied. By observing stellar occultations (ESO 21/02), a phenomenon that occurs when a Solar System body blocks the light from a background star, astronomers were able to demonstrate that Pluto's upper atmosphere was some 50 degrees warmer than the surface, or minus 170 degrees Celsius. These observations couldn't shed any light on the atmospheric temperature and pressure near Pluto's surface. But unique, new observations made with the CRyogenic InfraRed Echelle Spectrograph (CRIRES

  18. Hemispherical Pluto and Charon Color Composition From New Horizons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, L. A.

    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.

  19. Mk12A/W78 ground test project (u)

    SciTech Connect

    Stokes, Kyle R

    2010-12-01

    The slides present the scope, objectives and status of the Mk12A1W78 Ground Test Project for the purpose of updating the ICBM Project Officers Group. In addition, project constraints and risks are discussed.

  20. Pluto's Putative Cryovolcanic Constructs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singer, K. N.; White, O. L.; Schenk, P. M.; Moore, J. M.; Spencer, J. R.; McKinnon, W. B.; Howard, A. D.; Stern, A. S.; Cook, J. C.; Grundy, W. M.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Beyer, R. A.; Umurhan, O.; Howett, C. J. A.; Parker, A. H.; Protopapa, S.; Lauer, T. R.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, L. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Ennico, K.

    2016-06-01

    New Horizons imaged two large mounds with deep central depressions on Pluto. Both features appear constructional, and have relatively young surfaces. This mapping is part of effort to characterize and assess the age and origin of the mounds.

  1. Pluto's Spinning Moons

    NASA Video Gallery

    Most inner moons in the solar system keep one face pointed toward their central planet; this animation shows that certainly isn’t the case with the small moons of Pluto, which behave like spinning ...

  2. Heat from Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewitt, D. C.

    1994-01-01

    Submillimeter photometry from the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Mauna Kea is used to study thermal emission from Pluto. The brightness temperatures at 800 and 1300 microns are TB = 42 +/- 5 K and TB = 35 +/- 9 K, respectively, essentially confirming a prior measurement of TB = 39 +/- 3 K at 1200 microns by Altenhoff et al. (1988). These are substantially smaller than brightness temperatures obtained previously at 60 and 100 microns (Aumann & Walker, (1987); Sykes et al., (1987)), showing that the surface of Pluto is nonisothermal, nongrey, or both. The data are incompatible with nitrogen-covered, isothermal T about 35 K Pluto models (Owen et al., (1993)). We suggest that the surface may be divided into cold regions coated by nitrogen ice plus warmer regions devoid of nitrogen, and we tentatively identify the latter with optically dark patches on Pluto's surface.

  3. Mountains on Pluto

    NASA Video Gallery

    This movie zooms into the base of the heart-shaped feature on Pluto to highlight a new image captured by NASA's New Horizons. The new image, seen in black and white against a previously released co...

  4. New Horizons at Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenk, Paul; Nimmo, Francis

    2016-06-01

    The New Horizons mission has revealed Pluto and its moon Charon to be geologically active worlds. The familiar, yet exotic, landforms suggest that geologic processes operate similarly across the Solar System, even in its cold outer reaches.

  5. Pluto System Surface Composition Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    This talk will present an overview of surface composition discoveries from New Horizons' exploration of the Pluto system. The emphasis will be on results that could only have been obtained thanks to the uniquely high spatial resolution provided by a spacecraft visit. The Ralph instrument is New Horizons' primary tool for investigating surface compositions in the Pluto system. Ralph consists of a near-infrared spectral imager sharing a 75 mm aperture telescope assembly with a color CCD camera system. The Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA) component of Ralph provides spectral coverage from 1.25 - 2.5 µm, at a resolving power (λ/Δλ) of 240. Ices such as CH4, N2, CO, CO2, C2H6, NH3, and H2O have uniquely diagnostic absorption bands in this wavelength region. The Multi-spectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) has 7 CCD arrays of which 4 have interference filters affixed directly on the focal plane. The filters pass wavelengths ranging from 400 through 975 nm, sensitive to coloration by tholin-type materials as well as a weak CH4 ice absorption band at 890 nm. Both Ralph components are usually operated in a scanning mode, rotating the spacecraft about its Z axis to sweep Ralph's field of view across the scene such that each point in the scene is eventually imaged at each wavelength. The width of the scanned region is 0.9 degrees divided into 256 spatial pixels for LEISA and 5.7 degrees spanned by 5000 pixels for MVIC. Over the course of the summer 2015 flyby, numerous Ralph observations targeted the various bodies in the Pluto system. As of late 2015, transmission of the data to Earth continues, but already a number of spectacular data sets are available for analysis, including LEISA scans of Pluto at 6 to 7 km/pixel and of Charon at 3 km/pixel, as well as MVIC scans of Pluto at 700 m/pixel and of Charon at 5 km/pixel. This work was supported by the NASA New Horizons Project.

  6. Mass of pluto.

    PubMed

    Duncombe, R L; Klepczynski, W J; Seidelmann, P K

    1968-11-15

    Analysis of the observations of Neptune indicates a reciprocal mass of Pluto of 1,812,000 (0.18 Earth masses). If the density is the same as that of Earth, the diameter would be 7200 kilometers. If 6400 kilometers is accepted (from other sources) as the upper limit of the diameter, then Pluto must be at least 1.4 times as dense as Earth.

  7. Improved ephemerides of Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Standish, E. M.

    1994-01-01

    The history of the Pluto ephemerides created at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is given. The uncertainties of present and possible future ephemerides are illustrated, and it is shown how rapidly the error grows for any present-day ephemeris of Pluto which is extrapolated into the future--tens of thousands of kilometers after only a decade. Continuing the observations into the future not only will reduce the extrapolation time but will provide a substantial improvement to the ephemeris itself.

  8. Discovering Pluto's atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  9. Pluto's Extended Atmosphere: New Horizons Alice Lyman-α Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Retherford, Kurt D.; Gladstone, G. Randall; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie A.; Ennico, Kimberly A.; Olkin, Cathy B.; Cheng, Andy F.; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Hinson, David P.; Kammer, Joshua A.; Linscott, Ivan R.; Parker, Alex H.; Parker, Joel Wm.; Pryor, Wayne R.; Schindhelm, Eric; Singer, Kelsi N.; Steffl, Andrew J.; Strobel, Darrell F.; Summers, Michael E.; Tsang, Constantine C. C.; Tyler, G. Len; Versteeg, Maarten H.; Woods, William W.; Cunningham, Nathaniel J.; Curdt, Werner

    2015-11-01

    Pluto's upper atmosphere is expected to extend several planetary radii, proportionally more so than for any planet in our solar system. Atomic hydrogen is readily produced at lower altitudes due to photolysis of methane and transported upward to become an important constituent. The Interplanetary Medium (IPM) provides a natural light source with which to study Pluto's atomic hydrogen atmosphere. While direct solar Lyman-α emissions dominate the signal at 121.6 nm at classical solar system distances, the contribution of diffuse illumination by IPM Lyman-α sky-glow is roughly on par at Pluto (Gladstone et al., Icarus, 2015). Hydrogen atoms in Pluto's upper atmosphere scatter these bright Lyα emission lines, and detailed simulations of the radiative transfer for these photons indicate that Pluto would appear dark against the IPM Lyα background. The Pluto-Alice UV imaging spectrograph on New Horizons conducted several observations of Pluto during the encounter to search for airglow emissions, characterize its UV reflectance spectra, and to measure the radial distribution of IPM Lyα near the disk. Our early results suggest that these model predictions for the darkening of IPM Lyα with decreasing altitude being measureable by Pluto-Alice were correct. We'll report our progress toward extracting H and CH4 density profiles in Pluto's upper atmosphere through comparisons of these data with detailed radiative transfer modeling. These New Horizons findings will have important implications for determining the extent of Pluto's atmosphere and related constraints to high-altitude vertical temperature structure and atmospheric escape.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  10. Dynamics of Pluto and Charon

    SciTech Connect

    Dobrovolskis, A.R. )

    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.

  11. Libration of Pluto-Neptune.

    PubMed

    Cohen, C J; Hubbard, E C

    1964-09-18

    Numerical integration of the orbits of the five outer planets over 120,000 years reveals that the distance between Pluto and Neptune at the closest approaches oscillates within a narrow range. The distance is never much less than the aphelion distance of Pluto from the orbit of Neptune. The near commensurability in the periods of Pluto and Neptune and the eccentricity of Pluto's orbit are responsible for the libratory motion.

  12. Pluto: The Farthest Planet (Usually).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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)

  13. Improved astrometric analysis of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benedetti-Rossi, G.; Vieira-Martins, R.; Camargo, J.; Assafin, M.; Braga-Ribas, F.

    2014-07-01

    Pluto is the main representantive body of the transneptunian objects (TNOs). It presents an atmosphere and a satellite system with 5 known moons (three of them discovered less than 10 years ago). To learn about the physical and dynamical properties of this system, the most efficient method from the ground --- in spite of its rarity --- are stellar occultations, which showed an evident drift of about 20 milli-arcsecond (mas) in the declination when comparing to the ephemerides [1]. This fact was a great motivation to repeat the reductions and analyses for a large set of our observations. Around 6500 CCD images of Pluto were obtained over 174 nights using 3 telescopes at Pico dos Dias Observatory (OPD/LNA) in Brazil, covering a time span from 1995 to 2013, and another 12 nights in 2007 and 2009 using the ESO/MPG 2.2-m telescope equipped with the Wide Field Imager (WFI). The astrometric positions were reduced using PRAIA (Platform for Reduction of Astronomical Images Automatically) [2] using UCAC4 as the reference catalog. Also, they were corrected for differential chromatic refraction and later the (x,y) center of Pluto was determined from corrections to the measured photocenter, contaminated by Charon. Both corrections were obtained with the original procedures. The final astrometric positions were then compared to the planetary ephemerides (DE421+plu021) and occultation results. We obtained the mean values of 7 mas and 36 mas for the right ascension and declination, respectively, and the standard deviations of σ_α = 45 mas and σ_δ = 49 mas for the offsets in the sense of ''observed minus ephemerides position''. Moreover, we obtained the same behavior for the declination as obtained from stellar occultations, with a drift of around 100 mas since 2005. With the imminent arrival of the New Horizons spacecraft to this system (scheduled for July 2015), new ephemerides may be corrected so that they do not present systematic drifts near the time interval that contains

  14. IRAS Serendipitous Survey Observations of Pluto and Charon.

    PubMed

    Sykes, M V; Cutri, R M; Lebofsky, L A; Binzel, R P

    1987-09-11

    On 16 August 1983 the Infrared Astronomical Satellite made two separate pointed observations of Pluto and its moon Charon. Because of the small angular displacement of the system between the times of measurement, the Pluto-Charon system was identified as a source in the Serendipitous Survey (SSC 14029+0518). Detections were made at 60 and 100 micrometers with color-corrected flux densities of 581 +/- 58 and 721 +/- 123 millijanskys, respectively. Pluto is best described as having a dark equatorial band, and brighter polar caps of methane ice extending to +/-45 degrees latitude, at most. An upper limit of approximately 9 meter-amagats is placed on the column abundance of a methane atmosphere on Pluto, which is comparable to recent upper limits based on independent ground-based spectroscopy.

  15. IRAS serendipitous survey observations of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Cutri, Roc M.; Lebofsky, Larry A.; Binzel, Richard P.

    1987-01-01

    On Aug. 16, 1983, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite made two separate pointed observations of Pluto and its moon Charon. Because of the small angular displacement of the system between the times of measurement, the Pluto-Charon system was identified as a source in the Serendipitous Survey (SSC 14029+0518). Detections were made at 60 and 100 micrometers with color-corrected flux densities of 581 + or - 58 and 721 + or - 123 millijanskys, respectively. Pluto is best described as having a dark equatorial band, and brighter polar caps of methane ice extending to + or - 45 deg latitude, at most. An upper limit of approximately 9 meter-amagats is placed on the column abundance of a methane atmosphere on Pluto, which is comparable to recent upper limits based on independent ground-based spectroscopy.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26989258

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. The atmosphere of Pluto as observed by New Horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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; Bagenal, F.; Grundy, W. M.; McKinnon, W. B.; Moore, J. M.; Spencer, J. R.; 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.; 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.; 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.; Holdridge, M. E.; Horanyi, M.; Howard, A. D.; Howett, C. J. A.; Jackman, C.; Jacobson, R. A.; Jennings, D. E.; Kang, H. K.; Kaufmann, D. E.; Kollmann, P.; Krimigis, S. M.; Kusnierkiewicz, D.; Lauer, T. R.; 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.; Nimmo, F.; Nunez, J. I.; Ocampo, A.; Owen, W. M.; Paetzold, M.; Page, B.; 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.; Ryschkewitsch, M. G.; Schenk, P.; Sepan, B.; Showalter, M. R.; Soluri, M.; Stanbridge, D.; Stryk, T.; Szalay, J. R.; Tapley, M.; Taylor, A.; Taylor, H.; 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.; Zangari, A. M.; Zirnstein, E.

    2016-03-01

    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.

  19. Triton, Pluto and Charon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, D. P.

    1990-01-01

    On the eve of the Voyager encounter with Neptune and Triton, the knowledge of the surface and atmosphere of the satellite has made some progress. Methane, and perhaps molecular nitrogen, appears to dominate the surface and atmospheric chemistry. Sketchy evidence suggests changes in the disposition and state of the volatile materials on this body in the past few years, perhaps in response to the extreme seasons. Pluto and its satellite Charon are at last revealed in some detail, chiefly resulting from observations of the mutual transits and occultations of 1985-1990. A stellar occultation by Pluto in 1988 has given the first detailed information on the planet's atmosphere. The density of the Pluto-Charon system indicates a bulk composition consisting of silicates and water ice, suggesting formation directly from the solar nebula.

  20. Nonisothermal Pluto atmosphere models

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbard, W.B.; Yelle, R.V.; Lunine, J.I. )

    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.

  1. Visual and infrared studies of asteroids and the Pluto-Charon system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  2. The Phoenix Pluto Probe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gunning, George R.; Spapperi, Jeff; Wilkinson, Jeffrey P.; Eldred, Jim; Labij, Dennis; Strinni, Meredith

    1990-01-01

    A design proposal for an unmanned probe to Pluto is presented. The topics covered include: (1) scientific instrumentation; (2) mission management, planning, and costing; (3) power and propulsion system; (4) structural subsystem; (5) command, control, and communication; and (6) attitude and articulation control.

  3. Pluto or Bust!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  4. Pluto's Intriguing Moons

    NASA Video Gallery

    We talk a lot about Charon, Pluto's largest moon that's about half the size of its host planet. But what about Pluto’s other moons? They're strange, to say the least. Pluto’s four smaller moons —...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinson, D. P.; Linscott, I.; Tyler, G. L.; Bird, M. K.; Paetzold, M.; Strobel, D. F.; Summers, M. E.; Woods, W. W.; Stern, A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Olkin, C.; Young, L. A.; Ennico Smith, K.; Gladstone, R.; Greathouse, T.; Kammer, J.; Parker, A. H.; Parker, J. W.; Retherford, K. D.; Schindhelm, E.; Singer, K. N.; Steffl, A.; Tsang, C.; Versteeg, M.

    2015-12-01

    The reconnaissance of the Pluto System by New Horizons included radio occultations at both Pluto and Charon. This talk will present the latest results from the Pluto occultation. The REX instrument onboard New Horizons received and recorded uplink signals from two 70-m antennas and two 34-m antennas of the NASA Deep Space Network - each transmitting 20 kW at 4.2-cm wavelength - during a diametric occultation by Pluto. At the time this was written only a short segment of data at occultation entry (193°E, 17°S) was available for analysis. The REX measurements extend unequivocally to the surface, providing the first direct measure of the surface pressure and the temperature structure in Pluto's lower atmosphere. Preliminary analysis yields a surface pressure of about 10 microbars, smaller than expected. Data from occultation exit (16°E, 15°N) are scheduled to arrive on the ground in late August 2015. Those observations will yield an improved estimate of the surface pressure, a second temperature profile, and a measure of the diameter of Pluto with a precision of a few hundred meters.

  6. The Atmosphere of Pluto as Observed by New Horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  7. Photochemistry of Pluto's Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krasnopolsky, Vladimir A.

    1999-01-01

    This work include studies of two problems: (1) Modeling thermal balance, structure. and escape processes in Pluto's upper atmosphere. This study has been completed in full. A new method, of analytic solution for the equation of hydrodynamic flow from in atmosphere been developed. It was found that the ultraviolet absorption by methane which was previously ignored is even more important in Pluto's thermal balance than the extreme ultraviolet absorption by nitrogen. Two basic models of the lower atmosphere have been suggested, with a tropopause and a planetary surface at the bottom of the stellar occultation lightcurve, respectively, Vertical profiles, of temperature, density, gas velocity, and the CH4 mixing ratio have been calculated for these two models at low, mean, and high solar activity (six models). We prove that Pluto' " s atmosphere is restricted to 3060-4500 km, which makes possible a close flyby of future spacecraft. Implication for Pluto's evolution have also been discussed. and (2) Modeling of Pluto's photochemistry. Based on the results of (1), we have made some changes in the basic continuity equation and in the boundary conditions which reflect a unique can of hydrodynamic escape and therefore have not been used in modeling of other planetary atmospheres. We model photochemistry of 44 neutral and 23 ion species. This work required solution of a set of 67 second-order nonlinear ordinary differential equations. Two models have been developed. Each model consists of the vertical profiles for 67 species, their escape and precipitation rates. These models predict the chemical structure and basic chemical processes in the current atmosphere and possible implication of these processes for evolution. This study has also been completed in full.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  9. Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance Enterprise Architecture Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perotti, Jose M. (Compiler)

    2015-01-01

    The project implements an architecture for delivery of integrated health management capabilities for the 21st Century launch complex. The delivered capabilities include anomaly detection, fault isolation, prognostics and physics based diagnostics.

  10. Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance Enterprise Architecture Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harp, Janicce Leshay

    2014-01-01

    The project implements an architecture for delivery of integrated health management capabilities for the 21st Century launch complex. Capabilities include anomaly detection, fault isolation, prognostics and physics-based diagnostics.

  11. Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance Physics Models for Diagnostics Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harp, Janicce Leshay

    2014-01-01

    The project will use high-fidelity physics models and simulations to simulate real-time operations of cryogenic and systems and calculate the status/health of the systems. The project enables the delivery of system health advisories to ground system operators. The capability will also be used to conduct planning and analysis of cryogenic system operations.

  12. Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance Prognostics Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harp, Janicce Leshay

    2014-01-01

    The project implements prognostics capabilities to predict when a component, system or subsystem will no longer meet desired functional or performance criteria, called the "end of life." The capability also provides an assessment of the "remaining useful life" of a hardware component.

  13. Astrometrical observations of Pluto-Charon system with the automated telescopes of Pulkovo observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slesarenko, V. Yu.; Bashakova, E. A.; Devyatkin, A. V.

    2016-03-01

    The space probe "New Horizons" was launched on 19th of January 2006 in order to study Pluto and its moons. Spacecraft performed close fly-by to Pluto on 14th of July 2015 and obtained the most detailed images of Pluto and its moon until this moment. At the same time, observation obtained by the ground-based telescopes may also be helpful for the research of such distant system. Thereby, the Laboratory of observational astrometry of Pulkovo Observatory of RAS made a decision to reprocess observations obtained during last decade. More than 350 positional observations of Pluto-Charon system were carried out with the mirror astrograph ZA-320M at Pulkovo and Maksutov telescope MTM-500M near Kislovodsk. These observations were processed by means of software system APEX-II developed in Pulkovo observatory and numerical simulations were performed to calculate the differences between positions of photocenter and barycenter of Pluto-Charon system.

  14. Discovery of Hazes in Pluto's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Andrew F.; Gladstone, Randy; Summers, Michael; Parker, Alex; Spencer, John; Young, Leslie; Weaver, Hal; Ennico, Kim; Olkin, Cathy; Stern, Alan

    2015-11-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft made the first reconnaissance of the Pluto-Charon system on Jul 14, 2015. The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons obtained images of Pluto and Charon on approach, near closest approach, and on departure. The departure images, obtained at high solar phase angles , unexpectedly revealed that Pluto’s atmosphere is hazy. The haze in Pluto’s atmosphere was detected in each of five images obtained in two separate observations on Jul 14 and on Jul 26, at solar phase angles of 167° and 165° respectively. The haze extends to altitudes of at least 150 km above Pluto’s surface, with evidence for layering and/or gravity waves. We will present the haze observations and discuss derived physical properties and implications for the atmosphere and its interactions with the surface, including estimates for the rate of deposition of haze particles on the surface of Pluto.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons Project.

  15. Pluto's moons named

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2013-07-01

    In the end, it did not matter that the name Vulcan came in first place by a landslide in a nonbinding public vote to suggest names for the fourth and fifth known moons of Pluto. Despite the independent vote conducted by the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., on behalf of the team that discovered the moons, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) did not select the name for a Plutonian moon. The decision came much to the dismay of actor William Shatner (who played Captain Kirk in Star Trek). Shatner had pushed for the name Vulcan to honor the home planet of Star Trek character Dr. Spock.

  16. PLUTO first report.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:20946516

  17. PLUTO first report.

    PubMed

    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.

  18. First Results on Pluto's Energetic Particle Environment from the PEPSSI Instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto in July 2015 and passed through the wakes of Pluto and its largest moon Charon. Pluto interacts with the solar wind via the magnetic fields created by currents in its ionosphere and the pick-up of charge-exchange ions escaping from its atmosphere. The PEPSSI instrument (Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation) passed through this interaction region. Closest approach distance to Pluto was 11 Pluto radii, inside the orbit of Charon. PEPSSI measures intensities of keV to MeV ions and can distinguish ions in the solar wind from ions originating from Pluto. Pluto’s energetic particle environment clearly stands out compared to the surrounding solar wind at these heliospheric distances. Electrons in the same energy range as the ions do not show a distinct signature throughout the flyby. There is no indication in the particle observations for an intrinsic magnetic field of Pluto. We will present an analysis of the data that is downlinked throughout August and set them into context with measurements taken by PEPSSI in Jupiter’s magnetotail in 2007. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  19. Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance Physics Models For Diagnostics Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perotti, Jose M.

    2015-01-01

    The project will use high-fidelity physics models and simulations to simulate real-time operations of cryogenic and systems and calculate the status/health of the systems. The project enables the delivery of system health advisories to ground system operators. The capability will also be used to conduct planning and analysis of cryogenic system operations. This project will develop and implement high-fidelity physics-based modeling techniques tosimulate the real-time operation of cryogenics and other fluids systems and, when compared to thereal-time operation of the actual systems, provide assessment of their state. Physics-modelcalculated measurements (called “pseudo-sensors”) will be compared to the system real-timedata. Comparison results will be utilized to provide systems operators with enhanced monitoring ofsystems' health and status, identify off-nominal trends and diagnose system/component failures.This capability can also be used to conduct planning and analysis of cryogenics and other fluidsystems designs. This capability will be interfaced with the ground operations command andcontrol system as a part of the Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance (AGSM) project to helpassure system availability and mission success. The initial capability will be developed for theLiquid Oxygen (LO2) ground loading systems.

  20. Simulating Space Weather at Pluto

    NASA Video Gallery

    This video shows a simulation of the space environment all the way out to Pluto in the months surrounding New Horizons’ July 2015 flyby. At the time, scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Cente...

  1. Planetary science: Pluto's polygons explained

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dombard, Andrew J.; O'Hara, Sean

    2016-06-01

    The Sputnik Planum basin of Pluto contains a sheet of nitrogen ice, the surface of which is divided into irregular polygons tens of kilometres across. Two studies reveal that vigorous convection causes these polygons. See Letters p.79 & 82

  2. Intrepid: A Mission to Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behling, Michael; Buchman, Donald; Marcus, Andres; Procopis, Stephanie; Wassgren, Carl; Ziemer, Sarah

    1990-01-01

    A proposal for an exploratory spacecraft mission to Pluto/Charon system was written in response to the request for proposal for an unmannned probe to pluto (RFP). The design requirements of the RFP are presented and under the guidance of these requirements, the spacecraft Intrepid was designed. The RPF requirement that was of primary importance is the minimization of cost. Also, the reduction of flight time was of extreme importance because the atmosphere of Pluto is expected to collapse close to the Year 2020. If intrepid should arrive after the collapse, the mission would be a failure; for Pluto would be only a solid rock of ice. The topics presented include: (1) scientific instrumentation; (2) mission management, planning, and costing; (3) power and propulsion subsystem; (4) structural subsystem; (5) command, control, and communications; and (6) attitude and articulation control.

  3. Pluto is the new Mars!

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  4. Pluto: evidence for methane frost.

    PubMed

    1976-11-19

    Infrared photometry (1.2 to 2.2 micrometers) of Pluto provides evidence for frozen methane on the surface of the planet. This appears to be the first observational indication of this ice in the solar system. Its presence on Pluto suggests that the planet's albedo (reflectance) may be >/= 0.4 and that its diameter may be less than that of the moon.

  5. Global distribution of Pluto's atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  6. North Village Ground Source Heat Pump Demonstration Project

    SciTech Connect

    Redderson, Jeff

    2015-08-03

    This project demonstrated the feasibility of converting from a traditional direct exchange system to a ground source heat pump system on a large scale, multiple building apartment complex on a university campus. A total of ten apartment buildings were converted using vertical well fields and a ground source loop that connected the 24 apartments in each building into a common system. The system has yielded significant operational savings in both energy and maintenance and transformed the living environments of these residential buildings for our students.

  7. Escape of Pluto's Atmosphere: In Situ Measurements from the Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) instrument on New Horizons and Remote Observations from the Chandra X-ray observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McNutt, Ralph L.; Hill, Matthew E.; Lisse, Carey M.; Kollmann, Peter; Bagenal, Fran; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; McComas, David J.; Elliott, Heather A.; Wolk, Scott J.; Strobel, Darrell F.; Zhu, Xun; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, L. A.; Ennico, K.; Olkin, C. B.

    2015-11-01

    The escape rate of Pluto's atmosphere is of significant scientific interest. The Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) is a compact, energy by time-of-flight (TOF) instrument developed to help address this science goal. Pluto is known to have an atmosphere, and pre-encounter models have postulated a majority N2 composition with free escape of up to ~1028 molecules/sec. 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 can 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, could 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. Observations of such solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) X-rays have been made in the past of the Earth's geocorona and Mars's extended atmosphere. The award of almost 40 hours of Director's Discretionary Time (DDT) for observing Pluto with the Chandra X-ray observatory near the period of closest approach of New Horizons to Pluto potentially enabled a remote determination of Pluto's global outgassing rate using the local solar wind flux as measured by the SWAP instrument. Preliminary anaysis of data returned from these observations reveal a definite interaction of Pluto with the solar wind, but at a lower strength than had been predicted. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  8. The State of Pluto's Bulk Atmosphere at the Time of the New Horizons Encounter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    On 29-JUL-2015, our team - plus many critical amateur astronomers - observed a stellar occultation by Pluto from sites in Australia and New Zealand. This event was remarkable for two reasons: it preceded the New Horizons flyby of Pluto by just two weeks, and the occulted star was about 10x brighter than Pluto itself, by far the brightest Pluto occultation event observed to date. The separation of ground sites spanned nearly 900 km with respect to the central chord, allowing a good geometric solution for the shadow path. The lightcurves show some inflection points and broad "fangs" that are characteristic of perturbations in the temperature profile. Preliminary fits show that the temperature profile derived from a 2006 occultation (Young et al. 2008) reproduces the 29-JUN-2015 lightcurves well. Assuming a surface radius of 1187 km for Pluto, we find that the surface pressure is 18 +/- 3 µbar. This pressure indicates that Pluto's surface has not yet started to cool down, despite a decrease in absorbed solar flux of more than 17% since perihelion in 1988. A surface pressure of 18 µbar would correspond to a nitrogen ice surface temperature of 38.0 K.References:Young, E.F., et al. "Vertical Structure in Pluto's Atmosphere from the 2006 June 12 Stellar Occultation," AJ 136 1757-1769 (2008)

  9. The visible spectrum of Pluto: secular and longitudinal variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorenzi, Vania; Pinilla-Alonso, Noemí; Emery, Joshua P.; Licandro, Javier; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Grundy, Will; Binzel, Richard P.

    2015-11-01

    Continuous near-infrared spectroscopic observations during the last 30 years enabled the characterization of the Pluto's surface and the study of its variability. Nevertheless, only few data are available in the visible range, where the nature of the complex-organics can be studied.For this reason, we started an observational campaign to obtain the Pluto's relative reflectance in the visible range, with the aim of characterizing the different components of its surface, and providing ground based observations in support of the New Horizons mission. We observed Pluto on six nights in 2014, with the imager/spectrograph ACAM@WHT (La Palma, Spain). We obtained six spectra in the 0.40 - 0.93 µm range, that covered a whole Pluto's rotational period (6.4 days).To study longitudinal variations, we computed for all the spectra the spectral slope, and the position and the depth of the methane ice absorption bands. Also, to search for secular or seasonal variations we compared our data with previously published results.All the spectra present a red slope, indicating the presence of complex organics on Pluto's surface, and show the methane ice absorption bands between 0.73 and 0.90 μm. We also report the detection of the CH4 absorption band at 0.62 μm, already detected in the spectra of Makemake and Eris. The measurement of the band depth at 0.62 μm in the new spectra of Pluto, and in the spectra of Makemake and Eris, permits us to estimate the Lambert coefficient, not measured yet at this wavelength, at a temperature of 30 K and 40 K.We find that all the CH4 bands present a blue shift. This shift is minimum at the Charon-facing hemisphere, where the CH4 is also more abundant, indicating a higher degree of saturation of CH4 in the CH4:N2 dilution at this hemisphere.Comparing with data in the literature, we found that the longitudinal and secular variations of the parameters measured in our spectra are in accordance with previous results and with the distribution of the dark

  10. ISTAR: Project Status and Ground Test Engine Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quinn, Jason Eugene

    2003-01-01

    Review of the current technical and programmatic status of the Integrated System Test of an Airbreathing Rocket (ISTAR) project. November 2002 completed Phase 1 of this project: which worked the conceptual design of the X-43B demonstrator vehicle and Flight Test Engine (FTE) order to develop realistic requirements for the Ground Test Engine (GTE). The latest conceptual FTE and X-43B configuration is briefly reviewed. The project plan is to reduce risk to the GTE and FTE concepts through several tests: thruster, fuel endothermic characterization, engine structure/heat exchanger, injection characterization rig, and full scale direct connect combustion rig. Each of these will be discussed along with the project schedule. This discussion is limited due to ITAR restrictions on open literature papers.

  11. High Resolution HST Images of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1994-05-01

    planet Pluto and its moon, Charon, as revealed by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The image was taken by the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera on February 21, 1994, when the planet was 4,400 million kilometres from the Earth; or nearly 30 times the separation between the Earth and the Sun. The HST corrected optics show the two objects as clearly separate and sharp disks. This now allows astronomers to measure directly (to within about 1 percent) Pluto's diameter of 2320 kilometres and Charon's diameter of 1270 kilometres. The HST observations show that Charon is bluer than Pluto. This means that the worlds have different surface composition and structure. A bright highlight on Pluto indicates that it may have a smoothly reflecting surface layer. A detailed analysis of the HST image also suggests that there is a bright area parallel to the equator of Pluto. However, subsequent observations are needed to confirm is this feature is real. Though Pluto was discovered in 1930, Charon was not detected until 1978. This is because this moon is so close to Pluto that the two world's are typically blurred together when viewed through ground-based telescopes. The new HST image was taken when Charon was near its maximum elongation from Pluto (0.9 arcseconds). The two worlds are 19,640 kilometres apart. This photo accompanies ESO PR 09/94. It is available from ESO as ESO PR Photo 09/94-1 and from the Space Telescope Science Institute (Baltimore, USA) as STSci-PR94-17. Reproductions should be credited to NASA, ESA and ESO. How to obtain ESO Press Information ESO Press Information is made available on the World-Wide Web (URL: http://www.eso.org../). ESO Press Photos may be reproduced, if credit is given to the European Southern Observatory.

  12. UMTRA Ground Water Project management action process document

    SciTech Connect

    1996-03-01

    A critical U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) mission is to plan, implement, and complete DOE Environmental Restoration (ER) programs at facilities that were operated by or in support of the former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). These facilities include the 24 inactive processing sites the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) (42 USC Section 7901 et seq.) identified as Title I sites, which had operated from the late 1940s through the 1970s. In UMTRCA, Congress acknowledged the potentially harmful health effects associated with uranium mill tailings and directed the DOE to stabilize, dispose of, and control the tailings in a safe and environmentally sound manner. The UMTRA Surface Project deals with buildings, tailings, and contaminated soils at the processing sites and any associated vicinity properties (VP). Surface remediation at the processing sites will be completed in 1997 when the Naturita, Colorado, site is scheduled to be finished. The UMTRA Ground Water Project was authorized in an amendment to the UMTRCA (42 USC Section 7922(a)), when Congress directed DOE to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards. The UMTRA Ground Water Project addresses any contamination derived from the milling operation that is determined to be present at levels above the EPA standards.

  13. Detection of Atmospheric CO on Pluto with ALMA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurwell, Mark; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Butler, Bryan; Moullet, Arielle; Moreno, Raphael; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Biver, Nicolas; Fouchet, Thierry; Lis, Darek; Stern, Alan; Young, Leslie; Young, Eliot; Weaver, Hal; Boissier, Jeremie; Stansberry, John

    2015-11-01

    We observed Pluto and Charon using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) interferometer in Northern Chile on June 12.2 and June 13.15, 2015, just one month prior to the New Horizons flyby of the system. The configuration of ALMA at the time provided ~0.3" resolution, allowing separation of emission from Pluto and Charon. This project targeted multiple science goals, including a search for HCN in Pluto's atmosphere [1] and high precision measurements of the individual brightness temperatures of Pluto and Charon [2], also presented at this meeting. Here we report the high SNR detection of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of Pluto. The CO(3-2) rotational line, at 345.796 GHz (867 μm), was observed with 117 kHz spectral resolution for 45 min (on-source) on each date, providing ~3.5mJy/channel RMS. CO emission was clearly detected on both days, with a contrast of ~65 mJy above the Pluto continuum, and ~1.8 MHz FWHM linewidth, with the combined integrated line SNR >50. The presence of CO in Pluto's atmosphere is expected due to it's presence as ice on the surface in vapor pressure equilibrium with the atmosphere (e.g. [3],[4]), and it was previously detected at modest SNR in the near-IR using the VLT [5]. A preliminary assessment based upon the CO line wings shows the fractional abundance of CO is 500-750 ppm, consistent with that found in [5]. Further, the shape of the line core emission (assuming a constant CO mixing ratio), suggests that the atmospheric temperature rises quickly from the surface to ~100-110 K in the altitude range 20-70 km but decreases above that, falling to about 70 K by 200 km altitude. A detailed line inversion analysis will be performed and results presented.[1] Lellouch et al, this meeting. [2] Butler et al., this meeting. [3] Owen et al (1993), Science, 261, pp. 745-748. [4] Spencer et al (1993), In Pluto and Charon, pp. 435-473. Univ. of Arizona Press, Tucson. [5] Lellouch et al (2011), A&A, 530, L4.

  14. Photometry of Pluto-Charon mutual events and Hirayama family asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Binzel, Richard P.

    1991-01-01

    During 1985 to 1990, nature provided earth bound astronomers with a once-per-century opportunity to observe occultation and transit phenomena between Pluto and its satellite, Charon. Ground based observations of these events are now being used to derive physical parameters for the Pluto-Charon system to a precision that is unlikely to be improved upon until in situ spacecraft observations are obtained. This program supports analysis of photometry observations from McDonald Observatory, a critical location in the International Pluto Campaign network. Knowledge of the diameters, masses, densities, and compositions derived from these observations will augment the understanding of Pluto's origin and its context within the problem of solar system formation.

  15. Volatile Transport Implications from the New Horizons Flyby of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Leslie; Grundy, William M.; Binzel, RIchard P.; Earle, Alissa M.; Linscott, Ivan R.; Hinson, David P.; Zangari, Amanda M.; McKinnon, William B.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Gladstone, G. Randall; Summers, Michael E.; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Spencer, John R.

    2015-11-01

    The New Horizons flyby of Pluto has revealed a striking range of terrains, from the very bright region informally named Sputnik Planum, to very dark regions such as the informally named Cthulhu Regio. Such a variety was beyond the scope of recent models of Pluto's seasonal volatile cycle (Young 2013, ApJL 766, L22; Hansen, Paige and Young 2015, Icarus 246, 183), which assumed globally uniform substrate albedos. The "Exchange with Pressure Plateau (EPP)" class of models in Young (2013) and the favored runs from Hansen et al (2015) had long periods of exchange of volatiles between northern and southern hemispheres. In these models, the equators were largely devoid of volatiles; even though the equatorial latitudes received less insolation than the poles over a Pluto year, they were never the coldest place on the icy world. New models that include a variety of substrate albedos can investigate questions such as whether Sputnik Planum has an albedo that is high enough to act as a local cold trap for much of Pluto's year. We will present the implications of this and other assumption-busting revelations from the New Horizons flyby. This work was supported by NASA’s New Horizons project.

  16. Geology of Pluto and Charon Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  17. Processes Modifying Cratered Terrains on Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  18. Bantam System Technology Project Ground System Requirements Document

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moon, J. M.; Beveridge, J. R.

    1997-01-01

    The Low Cost Booster Project (LCBP), also known as Bantam, is an element of the Advanced Space Transportation Program focused on Low Cost Booster Technologies. During FY 99 flight demonstrations are planned to demonstrate the feasibility of producing a booster capable of inserting a 150 kg payload into low earth orbit. The ground support system is an element of the full launch system. The ground support system provides for integration of the payload with the launch vehicle, preparation of the vehicle for launch (including maintenance, integration and test of the vehicle flight software), monitor and control of the launch sequence, range safety during launch, and collection of telemetry during the flight up to payload release. The ground support system is intended to make the maximum possible use of Government Off-the-Shelf (GOTS) or Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) hardware and software to obtain the best value in terms of development operations support and ultimate life cycle cost for the launch system.

  19. Our new view of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olkin, Cathy

    2016-07-01

    NASA's New Horizons mission has transformed our pixelated view of Pluto – the tiny object lying on the fringes of the solar system. As Cathy Olkin explains, we can now see ancient craters, young glacial plains and layers of haze stretching up to 200 km from the surface

  20. Seasonal Nitrogen Cycles on Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hansen, C. J.; Paige, D. A.

    1994-01-01

    A thermal model, developed to predict seasonal nitrogen cycles on Triton, has been modified and applied to Pluto. The model is used to calculate the partitioning of nitrogen between surface frost deposits and the atmosphere, as a function of time for various sets of input parameters.

  1. New Horizons Mission to Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  2. Our new view of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olkin, Cathy

    2016-07-01

    NASA's New Horizons mission has transformed our pixelated view of Pluto - the tiny object lying on the fringes of the solar system. As Cathy Olkin explains, we can now see ancient craters, young glacial plains and layers of haze stretching up to 200 km from the surface

  3. Methods & Strategies: Poor, Poor Pluto

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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…

  4. An unmanned probe to Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Now that Voyager II has completed its grand tour of the solar system, all the planets in the solar system, with the exception of Pluto, have been studied. Even now, missions to return to Mercury, Venus, Mars Jupiter, and Saturn are currently flying or are planned. However, a mission to explore Pluto is not, at the present time, being considered seriously. The design problem presented to the students was very general, i.e., design an unmanned mission to Pluto with a launch window constraint of the years 2000 to 2010. All other characteristics of the mission, such as mission type (flyby, orbiter, lander, penetrator), scientific objectives and payload, and the propulsion system were to be determined by the design teams. The design studies exposed several general problems to be solved. Due to the extreme distance to Pluto (and a corresponding travel time in the range of 10 to 25 years), the spacecraft had to be lighter and more robust than current spacecraft designs. In addition, advanced propulsion concepts had to be considered. These included the new generation of launch vehicles and upper stages and nuclear electric propulsion. The probe design offered an abundance of synthesis and analysis problems. These included sizing trade studies, selection of subsystem components, analysis of spacecraft dynamics, stability and control, structural design and material selection, trajectory design, and selection of scientific equipment. Since the characteristics of the mission, excluding the launch window, were to be determined by the design teams, the solutions varied widely.

  5. Project management for complex ground-based instruments: MEGARA plan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Vargas, María. Luisa; Pérez-Calpena, Ana; Gil de Paz, Armando; Gallego, Jesús; Carrasco, Esperanza; Cedazo, Raquel; Iglesias, Jorge

    2014-08-01

    The project management of complex instruments for ground-based large telescopes is a challenge itself. A good management is a clue for project success in terms of performance, schedule and budget. Being on time has become a strict requirement for two reasons: to assure the arrival at the telescope due to the pressure on demanding new instrumentation for this first world-class telescopes and to not fall in over-costs. The budget and cash-flow is not always the expected one and has to be properly handled from different administrative departments at the funding centers worldwide distributed. The complexity of the organizations, the technological and scientific return to the Consortium partners and the participation in the project of all kind of professional centers working in astronomical instrumentation: universities, research centers, small and large private companies, workshops and providers, etc. make the project management strategy, and the tools and procedures tuned to the project needs, crucial for success. MEGARA (Multi-Espectrógrafo en GTC de Alta Resolución para Astronomía) is a facility instrument of the 10.4m GTC (La Palma, Spain) working at optical wavelengths that provides both Integral-Field Unit (IFU) and Multi-Object Spectrograph (MOS) capabilities at resolutions in the range R=6,000-20,000. The project is an initiative led by Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) in collaboration with INAOE (Mexico), IAA-CSIC (Spain) and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain). MEGARA is being developed under contract with GRANTECAN.

  6. U.S. Department of Energy Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Ground Water Project: Project plan

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-09-01

    The scope of the Project is to develop and implement a ground water compliance strategy for all 24 UMTRA Project processing sites. The compliance strategy for the processing sites must satisfy the proposed EPA ground water cleanup standards in 40 CFR Part 192, Subparts B and C (1987). This scope of work will entail the following activities on a site-specific basis: Develop a compliance strategy based on modification of the UMTRA Surface Project RAPs or develop Ground Water Project RAPs with NRC concurrence on the RAP and full participation of the affected states and tribes. Implement the RAP to include institutional controls, where appropriate, as an interim measure until compliance with the standards is achieved. Institute long-term verification monitoring for transfer to a separate long-term surveillance program on or before the Project end date. Prepare certification or confirmation reports and modify the long-term surveillance plan (LTSP), where needed, on those sites completed prior to the Project end date.

  7. Managing a big ground-based astronomy project: the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanders, Gary H.

    2008-07-01

    TMT is a big science project and its scale is greater than previous ground-based optical/infrared telescope projects. This paper will describe the ideal "linear" project and how the TMT project departs from that ideal. The paper will describe the needed adaptations to successfully manage real world complexities. The progression from science requirements to a reference design, the development of a product-oriented Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and an organization that parallels the WBS, the implementation of system engineering, requirements definition and the progression through Conceptual Design to Preliminary Design will be summarized. The development of a detailed cost estimate structured by the WBS, and the methodology of risk analysis to estimate contingency fund requirements will be summarized. Designing the project schedule defines the construction plan and, together with the cost model, provides the basis for executing the project guided by an earned value performance measurement system.

  8. Hemispherical color differences on Pluto and Charon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Binzel, Richard P.

    1988-01-01

    Time-resolved multicolor photometric observations of Pluto-Charon mutual events have been used to derive individual colors for these two bodies and to investigate the degree of color differences between their synchronous facing and opposite hemispheres. Pluto is significantly redder than Charon, where direct measurements of the anti-Charon hemisphere of Pluto and the Pluto-facing hemisphere of Charon yield B-V magnitudes of 0.867 + or - 0.008 and 0.700 + or - 0.010, respectively. Both Pluto and Charon are found to have relatively uniform longitudinal color distributions with 1-sigma upper limits of 2 percent and 5 percent, respectively, for any large-scale hemispherical color asymmetries. Thus, a previous suspicion of a significant color asymmetry on Charon is not confirmed. Instead the data may be attributed to a direct detection of polar caps on Pluto.

  9. Hemispherical color differences on pluto and charon.

    PubMed

    Binzel, R P

    1988-08-26

    Time-resolved multicolor photometric observations of Pluto-Charon mutual events have been used to derive individual colors for these two bodies and to investigate the degree of color differences between their synchronous facing and opposite hemispheres. Pluto is significantly redder than Charon, where direct measurements of the anti-Charon hemisphere of Pluto and the Pluto-facing hemisphere of Charon yield B-V magnitudes of 0.867 +/- 0.008 and 0.700 +/- 0.010, respectively. Both Pluto and Charon are found to have relatively uniform longitudinal color distributions with lsigma upper limits of 2% and 5%, respectively, for any large-scale hemispherical color asymmetries. Thus, a previous suspicion of a significant color asymmetry on Charon is not confirmed. Instead the data may be attributed to a direct detection of polar caps on Pluto.

  10. Ground-water resources of Riverton irrigation project area, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morris, Donald Arthur; Hackett, O.M.; Vanlier, K.E.; Moulder, E.A.; Durum, W.H.

    1959-01-01

    The Riverton irrigation project area is in the northwestern part of the Wind River basin in west-central Wyoming. Because the annual precipitation is only about 9 inches, agriculture, which is the principal occupation in the area, is dependent upon irrigation. Irrigation by surface-water diversion was begum is 1906; water is now supplied to 77,716 acres and irrigation has been proposed for an additional 31,344 acres. This study of the geology and ground-water resources of the Riverton irrigation project, of adjacent irrigated land, and of nearby land proposed for irrigation was begun during the summer of 1948 and was completed in 1951. The purpose of the investigation was to evaluate the ground-water resources of the area and to study the factors that should be considered in the solution of drainage and erosional problems within the area. The Riverton irrigation project area is characterized by flat to gently sloping stream terraces, which are flanked by a combination of badlands, pediment slopes, and broad valleys. These features were formed by long-continued erosion in an arid climate of the essentially horizontal, poorly consolidated beds of the Wind River formation. The principal streams of the area flow south-eastward. Wind River and Fivemile Creek are perennial streams and the others are intermittent. Ground-water discharge and irrigation return flow have created a major problem in erosion control along Fivemile Creek. Similar conditions might develop along Muddy and lower Cottonwood Creeks when land in their drainage basins is irrigated. The bedrock exposed in the area ranges in age from Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary (middle Eocene). The Wind River formation of early and middle Eocene age forms the uppermost bedrock formation in the greater part of the area. Unconsolidated deposits of Quaternary age, which consist of terrace gravel, colluvium, eolian sand and silt. and alluvium, mantle the Wind River formation in much of the area. In the irrigated parts

  11. Studies of Triton and the Pluto-Charon system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.

    1991-01-01

    The project is designed to take advantage of the six-year-long series of mutual occultation and eclipse events involving Pluto and its satellite Charon during one of its rare edge-on orbital alignments. High-precision, high-time-resolution photometry of these events can be utilized to extract several important physical parameters. An important derived parameter is the mean density of the system, which constrains the bulk composition of two bodies.

  12. Ground-water resources of Riverton irrigation project area, Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morris, Donald Arthur; Hackett, O.M.; Vanlier, K.E.; Moulder, E.A.; Durum, W.H.

    1959-01-01

    The Riverton irrigation project area is in the northwestern part of the Wind River basin in west-central Wyoming. Because the annual precipitation is only about 9 inches, agriculture, which is the principal occupation in the area, is dependent upon irrigation. Irrigation by surface-water diversion was begum is 1906; water is now supplied to 77,716 acres and irrigation has been proposed for an additional 31,344 acres. This study of the geology and ground-water resources of the Riverton irrigation project, of adjacent irrigated land, and of nearby land proposed for irrigation was begun during the summer of 1948 and was completed in 1951. The purpose of the investigation was to evaluate the ground-water resources of the area and to study the factors that should be considered in the solution of drainage and erosional problems within the area. The Riverton irrigation project area is characterized by flat to gently sloping stream terraces, which are flanked by a combination of badlands, pediment slopes, and broad valleys. These features were formed by long-continued erosion in an arid climate of the essentially horizontal, poorly consolidated beds of the Wind River formation. The principal streams of the area flow south-eastward. Wind River and Fivemile Creek are perennial streams and the others are intermittent. Ground-water discharge and irrigation return flow have created a major problem in erosion control along Fivemile Creek. Similar conditions might develop along Muddy and lower Cottonwood Creeks when land in their drainage basins is irrigated. The bedrock exposed in the area ranges in age from Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary (middle Eocene). The Wind River formation of early and middle Eocene age forms the uppermost bedrock formation in the greater part of the area. Unconsolidated deposits of Quaternary age, which consist of terrace gravel, colluvium, eolian sand and silt. and alluvium, mantle the Wind River formation in much of the area. In the irrigated parts

  13. Mapping the stability region of the 3:2 Neptune-Pluto resonance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levison, H. F.; Stern, S. A.

    1993-01-01

    Pluto and Charon are most likely the remnants of a large number of objects that existed in the Uranus-Neptune region at early epochs of the solar system. Numerical integrations have shown that, in general, such objects were ejected from the planetary region on timescales of approximately 10(exp 7) years after Neptune and Uranus reached their current masses. It is thought that the Pluto-Charon system survived to current times without being dynamically removed in this way because it is trapped in a set of secular and mean motion resonances with Neptune. The best-known Pluto-Neptune orbit coupling is the 3:2 mean motion resonance discovered almost 30 years ago by C. Cohen and E. Hubbard. These workers showed that the resonance angle, delta is equivalent to 3(lambda(sub P)) - 2(lambda(sub N)) - omega-bar(sub P) where omega-bar(sub P) is the longitude of perihelion of the Pluto-Charon system, and lambda(sub N) and lambda(sub P) are the mean longitude of Neptune and Pluto-Charon respectively, librates about 180 deg with an amplitude, A(sub delta), of 76 deg. A numerical simulation project to map out the stability region of the 3:2 resonance is reported. The results of these simulations are important to understanding whether Pluto's long-term heliocentric stability requires only the 3:2 resonance, or whether it instead requires one or more of the other Pluto-Neptune resonances. Our study also has another important application. By investigating stability timescales as a function of orbital elements, we gain insight into the fraction of orbital phase space which the stable 3:2 resonance occupies. This fraction is directly related to the probability that the Pluto-Charon system (and possibly other small bodies) could have been captured into this resonance.

  14. Pluto: Planet or "Dwarf Planet"?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  16. Pluto-charon mutual events

    SciTech Connect

    Binzel, R.P. )

    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.

  17. Dust Ablation in Pluto's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horanyi, M.; Poppe, A. R.; Sternovsky, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Based on measurements by in situ dust detectors onboard the Pioneer and New Horizon spacecraft the total production rate of dust particles born in the Kuiper belt can be estimated to be on the order of 5 x 10 ^3 kg/s in the approximate size range of 1 - 10 micron. These particles slowly migrate inward due to Poynting - Robertson drag and their spatial distribution is shaped by mean motion resonances with the gas giant planets in the outer solar system. The expected mass influx into Pluto's atmosphere is on the order of 50 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, if the particles are rich in volatiles, they can fully sublimate due to drag heating and deposit their mass in a narrow layer. 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, as well as on our newly developed models of Pluto's atmosphere that can be learned by matching the altitude where haze layers could be formed.

  18. Evolution of the JPSS Ground Project Calibration and Validation System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chander, G.; Jain, P.

    2014-12-01

    The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) next-generation operational Earth observation Program that acquires and distributes global environmental data from multiple polar-orbiting satellites. The JPSS Program plays a critical role to NOAA's mission to understand and predict changes in weather, climate, oceans, and coasts environments, which supports the nation's economy and protects lives and property. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is acquiring and implementing the JPSS, comprised of flight and ground systems on behalf of NOAA. The JPSS satellites are planned to fly in afternoon orbit and will provide operational continuity of satellite-based observations and products for NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite. Government Resource for Algorithm Verification, Independent Test, and Evaluation (GRAVITE) system is a NOAA system developed and deployed by JPSS Ground Project to support Calibration and Validation (Cal/Val), Algorithm Integration, Investigation, and Tuning, and Data Quality Monitoring. It is a mature, deployed system that supports SNPP mission and has been in operations since SNPP launch. This paper discusses the major re-architecture for Block 2.0 that incorporates SNPP lessons learned, architecture of the system, and demonstrates how GRAVITE has evolved as a system with increased performance. It is a robust, reliable, maintainable, scalable, and secure system that supports development, test, and production strings, replaces proprietary and custom software, uses open source software, and is compliant with NASA and NOAA standards. "[Pending NASA Goddard Applied Engineering & Technology Directorate (AETD) Approval]"

  19. A 3D model of Pluto's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vangvichith, M.; Forget, F.; Wordsworth, R.

    2011-10-01

    For the first time, we have built a GCM of Pluto's atmosphere, adapted from the model of Triton's, recently developed[9] . In fact, Pluto and Triton have a lot of similarities (atmospheric, orbital). This GCM will allow to better understand the complex mechanism of the planet and to study the variation of the thermal profile during time.

  20. New Horizons Investigation of Pluto's Small Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weaver, H. A., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Pluto has four small moons: Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra, in orderof their distance from Pluto. All were discovered using theHubble Space Telescope (HST): Nix and Hydra in 2005 (1), Kerberos in2011 (2), and Styx in 2012 (3). The New Horizons (NH) mission has provided the first opportunity toperform spatially resolved imaging and spectroscopic measurements ofPluto's small moons, thereby giving direct measurements of theirsizes, shapes, surface albedo and color variations, surface composition,and snapshots of their rotational states. In addition, an extensive andsystematic set of unresolved panchromatic brightness measurements of thesmall moons over a six month period (January-July 2015) was obtained byNH, which provides additional information on their shapes and more preciseinformation on their rotational states. Here we review the results obtained to date by NH on the propertiesof Pluto's small moons. We compare those results to the propertiesof other small bodies in the solar system, and we address how thenew NH results bear on the origin and evolution of the Pluto system. (1) H. A. Weaver et al., Discovery of two new satellites of Pluto Nature 439, 943 (2006).(2) M. R. Showalter et al., New satellite of (134340) Pluto: S/2011 (134340), IAU Circ. 9221 (2011).(3) M. R. Showalter et al., New satellite of (134340) Pluto: S/2011 (134340), IAU Circ. 9253 (2012).

  1. Pluto's Atmosphere from the July 2010 Stellar Occultation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Discovery of Haze in Pluto's Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, A. F.

    2015-12-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft made the first reconnaissance of the Pluto-Charon system on Jul 14, 2015. The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons obtained images of Pluto and Charon on approach, near closest approach, and on departure. The departure images, obtained at high solar phase angles, unexpectedly revealed that Pluto's atmosphere is hazy. The haze in Pluto's atmosphere was detected in each of five images obtained in two separate observations on Jul 14 and on Jul 16, at solar phase angles of 167° and 165° respectively. The haze extends to altitudes of 150 km above Pluto's surface, with evidence for layering and/or gravity waves. We will present the haze observations and discuss derived physical properties and implications for the atmosphere and its interactions with the surface.

  3. Photometry of Pluto 2008–2014: Evidence of Ongoing Seasonal Volatile Transport and Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buratti, B. J.; Hicks, M. D.; Dalba, P. A.; Chu, Devin; O’Neill, Ariel; Hillier, J. K.; Masiero, J.; Banholzer, Sophianna; Rhoades, H.

    2015-05-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft will encounter Pluto in 2015 July. As this fast flyby will yield a picture of Pluto frozen in time, ground-based observations are key to understanding this dwarf ice planet, especially with regard to the seasonal transport of surface volatiles. This paper reports on changes in Pluto's rotational light curve as evidence for this transport. Historical observations are consistent with a stable frost pattern, but since 2002, changes began to appear in both light curves and Hubble Space Telescope maps. Our BVR observations at Table Mountain Observatory from 2008 to 2014 show evidence for sustained and continued albedo and color changes on Pluto. The B and V albedos are stable, but Pluto is becoming redder in color, particularly on its low-albedo side. This view is consistent with the transport of a bright volatile (nitrogen) with the uncovering of a substrate of red material such as photolyzed methane. As Buie et al. reported a B – V of 0.96 in 2002–2003, and our B – V was higher in 2008–2012, Pluto may have experienced a transient reddening in the 1999–2012 period. We also discovered an opposition supersurge in all three colors at very small solar phase angles (∼0.°10). Explosive geysers have been observed on Triton and Mars, the two other celestial bodies with receding polar caps. Because the physical conditions existing on Pluto are similar to those on Triton, we predict that plume deposits and possibly active plumes will be found on its surface.

  4. Photometry of Pluto 2008-2014: Evidence of Ongoing Seasonal Volatile Transport and Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buratti, B. J.; Hicks, M. D.; Dalba, P. A.; Chu, Devin; O'Neill, Ariel; Hillier, J. K.; Masiero, J.; Banholzer, Sophianna; Rhoades, H.

    2015-05-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft will encounter Pluto in 2015 July. As this fast flyby will yield a picture of Pluto frozen in time, ground-based observations are key to understanding this dwarf ice planet, especially with regard to the seasonal transport of surface volatiles. This paper reports on changes in Pluto's rotational light curve as evidence for this transport. Historical observations are consistent with a stable frost pattern, but since 2002, changes began to appear in both light curves and Hubble Space Telescope maps. Our BVR observations at Table Mountain Observatory from 2008 to 2014 show evidence for sustained and continued albedo and color changes on Pluto. The B and V albedos are stable, but Pluto is becoming redder in color, particularly on its low-albedo side. This view is consistent with the transport of a bright volatile (nitrogen) with the uncovering of a substrate of red material such as photolyzed methane. As Buie et al. reported a B - V of 0.96 in 2002-2003, and our B - V was higher in 2008-2012, Pluto may have experienced a transient reddening in the 1999-2012 period. We also discovered an opposition supersurge in all three colors at very small solar phase angles (˜0.°10). Explosive geysers have been observed on Triton and Mars, the two other celestial bodies with receding polar caps. Because the physical conditions existing on Pluto are similar to those on Triton, we predict that plume deposits and possibly active plumes will be found on its surface.

  5. Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) Project: Developing a COTS-Intensive Ground System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saylor, Richard; Esker, Linda; Herman, Frank; Jacobsohn, Jeremy; Saylor, Rick; Hoffman, Constance

    2013-01-01

    Purpose of the Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) is to implement a new modern ground segment that will enable the NASA Space Network (SN) to deliver high quality services to the SN community for the future The key SGSS Goals: (1) Re-engineer the SN ground segment (2) Enable cost efficiencies in the operability and maintainability of the broader SN.

  6. Geophysical survey of 105-DR Pluto Crib, 116-DR-4, 100-D Area

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  7. Resolved photometry and a solar phase curve for Pluto and Charon from New Horizons LORRI.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zangari, Amanda M.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie A.; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Catherine B.; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Binzel, Richard P.; Buie, Marc W.; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Cheng, Andrew F.; Linscott, Ivan R.; McKinnon, William B.; Reitsema, Harold J.; Schenk, Paul; Showalter, Mark R.; Spencer, John R.; Tyler, G. L.; Bray, Veronica J.; Momary, Thomas W.; Nimmo, Francis; Singer, Kelsi N.

    2014-11-01

    During its eighth annual checkout, the New Horizons spacecraft's LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI, Cheng, A. F. et al. (2008) Space Sci Rev, 140, 189-215, DOI: 10.1007/s11214-007-9271-6) snapped 15 series of five optical navigation images of Pluto and Charon. These images, taken over the course of a single 6.38-day revolution/rotation of the system between 2014-07-19 and 2014-07-26 represent a continuation and expansion of last year's campaign to provide the first Pluto and Charon solar phase curves beyond the ground-based limit of 2 degrees (Zangari et al 2013, DPS 45, # 303.08). Since July 2013, Pluto and Charon have become brighter and more-clearly separated as the Pluto-spacecraft distance has halved from 5.9 AU to 2.8 AU, and the solar phase angle has increased from 10.9 to 13.0 degrees. We will present individual light curves and solar phase curves as well as comparisons to previous measurements. Follow-up observations will be continued in January 2015.This work has been funded by NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto.

  8. Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance Functional Fault Models For Fault Isolation Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perotti, Jose M. (Compiler)

    2014-01-01

    This project implements functional fault models (FFM) to automate the isolation of failures during ground systems operations. FFMs will also be used to recommend sensor placement to improve fault isolation capabilities. The project enables the delivery of system health advisories to ground system operators.

  9. Pluto Express power system architecture

    SciTech Connect

    Carr, G.A.

    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.

  10. An Overview of the JPSS Ground Project Algorithm Integration Process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vicente, G. A.; Williams, R.; Dorman, T. J.; Williamson, R. C.; Shaw, F. J.; Thomas, W. M.; Hung, L.; Griffin, A.; Meade, P.; Steadley, R. S.; Cember, R. P.

    2015-12-01

    The smooth transition, implementation and operationalization of scientific software's from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) development teams to the Join Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Ground Segment requires a variety of experiences and expertise. This task has been accomplished by a dedicated group of scientist and engineers working in close collaboration with the NOAA Satellite and Information Services (NESDIS) Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR) science teams for the JPSS/Suomi-NPOES Preparatory Project (S-NPP) Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS), Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS), Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) and Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite (OMPS) instruments. The presentation purpose is to describe the JPSS project process for algorithm implementation from the very early delivering stages by the science teams to the full operationalization into the Interface Processing Segment (IDPS), the processing system that provides Environmental Data Records (EDR's) to NOAA. Special focus is given to the NASA Data Products Engineering and Services (DPES) Algorithm Integration Team (AIT) functional and regression test activities. In the functional testing phase, the AIT uses one or a few specific chunks of data (granules) selected by the NOAA STAR Calibration and Validation (cal/val) Teams to demonstrate that a small change in the code performs properly and does not disrupt the rest of the algorithm chain. In the regression testing phase, the modified code is placed into to the Government Resources for Algorithm Verification, Integration, Test and Evaluation (GRAVITE) Algorithm Development Area (ADA), a simulated and smaller version of the operational IDPS. Baseline files are swapped out, not edited and the whole code package runs in one full orbit of Science Data Records (SDR's) using Calibration Look Up Tables (Cal LUT's) for the time of the orbit. The purpose of the regression test is to

  11. Masses and densities of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Null, G. W.; Owen, W. M., Jr.; Synnott, S. P.

    1993-01-01

    We have analyzed HST Wide Field Camera CCD images of Pluto, Charon, and a background star to observe Pluto's barycentric motion and to determine the individual masses and bulk densities of Pluto and Charon. The most fundamental new result was an accurate solution for a previously undetermined parameter, the Charon/Pluto mass ratio q; the new solution is q = 0.0837 +/- 0.0147. Significant accuracy improvements by almost a factor of two were obtained for Charon's orbital semimajor axis, a = 19,405 +/- 86 km and the Pluto system mass of 1.401 +/- 0.019 x 10 exp 8 inverse solar masses. The Pluto and Charon masses were (13.10 +/- 0.24) x 10 exp 24 g and (1.10 +/- 0.18) x 10 exp 24 g, respectively. Computed densities depend strongly on the assumed radius values. The density of Pluto is 2.13 +/- 0.04 g/cu cm and that of Charon is 1.30 +/- 0.23 g/cu cm.

  12. Masses and densities of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Null, G. W.; Owen, W. M.; Synnott, S. P.

    1993-06-01

    We have analyzed HST Wide Field Camera CCD images of Pluto, Charon, and a background star to observe Pluto's barycentric motion and to determine the individual masses and bulk densities of Pluto and Charon. The most fundamental new result was an accurate solution for a previously undetermined parameter, the Charon/Pluto mass ratio q; the new solution is q = 0.0837 +/- 0.0147. Significant accuracy improvements by almost a factor of two were obtained for Charon's orbital semimajor axis, a = 19,405 +/- 86 km and the Pluto system mass of 1.401 +/- 0.019 x 10 exp 8 inverse solar masses. The Pluto and Charon masses were (13.10 +/- 0.24) x 10 exp 24 g and (1.10 +/- 0.18) x 10 exp 24 g, respectively. Computed densities depend strongly on the assumed radius values. The density of Pluto is 2.13 +/- 0.04 g/cu cm and that of Charon is 1.30 +/- 0.23 g/cu cm.

  13. Mirages and the nature of Pluto's atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stansberry, J. A.; Lunine, J. I.; Hubbard, W. B.; Yelle, R. V.; Hunten, D. M.

    1994-01-01

    We present model occultation lightcurves demonstrating that a strong thermal inversion layer at the base of Pluto's stratosphere can reproduce the minimum flux measured by the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) during the 1988 occultation of a star by Pluto. The inversion layer also forms the occultation equivalent of a mirage at a radius of 1198 km, which is capable of hiding tropospheres of significant depth. Pluto's surface lies below 1198 km, its radius depending on the depth of the troposphere. We begin by computing plausible temperature structures for Pluto's lower atmosphere, constrained by a calculation of the temperature of the atmosphere near the surface. We then trace rays from the occulted star through the model atmosphere, computing the resultant bending of the ray. Model light curves are obtained by summing the contribution of individual rays within the shadow of Pluto on Earth. We find that we can reproduce the KAO lightcurve using model atmospheres with a temperature inversion and no haze. We have explored models with tropospheres as deep as 40 km (implying a Pluto radius of 1158 km) that reproduce the suite of occultation data. Deeper tropospheres can be fitted to the data, but the mutual event radius of 1150 km probably provides a lower bound. If Pluto has a shallow or nonexistent troposphere, its density is consistent with formation in the solar nebula with modest water loss due to impact ejection. If the troposhere is relatively deep, implying a smaller radius and larger density, significant amounts of water loss are required.

  14. Pluto and Charon - the dance goes on

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  15. Volatile Transport in Pluto's Super Seasons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Earle, Alissa M.; Binzel, Richard; Young, Leslie; Stern, S. Alan; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Weaver, Harold A.; NASA New Horizons Composition Team, The NASA New Horizons GGI Team

    2016-10-01

    The data returned from NASA's New Horizons' reconnaissance of the Pluto system shows striking albedo variations from polar to equatorial latitudes as well as sharp boundaries for longitudinal variations. Pluto has a high obliquity (currently around 119 degrees) which varies by more than 23 degrees (between roughly 103 and 127 degrees) over a period of less than 3 million years. These obliquity properties, combined with Pluto's orbital regression in longitude of perihelion (360 degrees over 3.7 million years), create epochs of "Super Seasons" on Pluto. A "Super Season" occurs, for example, when Pluto happens to be pole-on towards the Sun at the same time as perihelion. In such a case, one pole experiences a short, intense summer (relative to its long-term average) followed by a longer than average period of winter darkness. By complement, the other pole experiences a much longer, but less intense summer and short winter season. We explore the relationship between albedo variations and volatile transport for the current epoch as well as historical epochs during which Pluto experienced these "Super Seasons". Our investigation suggests Pluto's orbit creates the potential for runaway albedo variations, particularly in the equatorial region, which would create and support stark longitudinal contrasts like the ones we see between the informally named Tombaugh and Cthulhu Regios.This work was supported by the NASA New Horizons mission.

  16. Spectroscopy of Pluto's Small Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  17. The Icy Cold Heart of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, Douglas P.

    2015-11-01

    The locations of large deposits of frozen volatiles on planetary surfaces are largely coincident with areas receiving the minimum annual influx of solar energy; familiar examples include the polar caps of Earth and Mars. For planets tilted by more than 45 degrees, however, the poles actually receive more energy than some other latitudes. Pluto, with its current obliquity of 119 degrees, has minima in its average annual insolation at +/- 27 degrees latitude, with ~1.5% more energy flux going to the equator and ~15% more to the poles. Remarkably, the fraction of annual solar energy incident on different latitudes depends only on the obliquity of the planet and not on any of its orbital parameters.Over millions of years, Pluto's obliquity varies sinusoidally from 102-126 degrees, significantly affecting the latitudinal profile of solar energy deposition. Roughly 1Myr ago, the poles received 15% more energy that today while the equator received 13% less. The energy flux to latitudes between 25-35 degrees is far more stable, remaining low over the presumably billions of years since Pluto acquired its current spin properties. Like the poles at Earth, these mid latitudes on Pluto should be favored for the long-term deposition of volatile ices. This is, indeed, the location of the bright icy heart of Pluto, Sputnik Planum.Reflected light and emitted thermal radiation from Charon increases annual insolation to one side of Pluto by of order 0.02%. Although small, the bulk of the energy is delivered at night to Pluto's cold equatorial regions. Furthermore, Charon's thermal infrared radiation is easily absorbed by icy deposits on Pluto, slowing deposition and facilitating sublimation of volatiles. We argue that the slight but persistent preference for ices to form and survive in the anti-Charon Pluto's heart.

  18. Solar wind interaction with Pluto's escaping atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, F.

    2015-12-01

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft carries two instruments, SWAP and PEPSSI, that measure low and high energy particles respectively. These particle instruments have been measuring the conditions in the solar wind for most of the trajectory from Earth to Pluto. The Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter measured impacts from micron-sixed dust particles. These particle instruments also made observations during the flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015. We report on New Horizons measurements of the interaction of the solar wind interaction with Pluto's extended atmosphere and discuss comparisons with theoretical expectations.

  19. Does Pluto have a substantial atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Trafton, L.

    1980-01-01

    The presence of CH4 ice on Pluto implies that Pluto may have a substantial atmosphere consisting of heavy gases. Without such an atmosphere, sublimation of the CH4 ice would be so rapid on a cosmogonic time scale that either such an atmosphere would soon develop through the exposure of gases trapped in the CH4 ice or else the surface CH4 ice would soon be all sublimated away as other, more stable, ices became exposed. If such stable ices were present from the beginning, the existence of CH4 frosts would also imply that Pluto's present atmosphere contains a remnant of its primordial atmosphere.

  20. Pluto, Near and Far: PEPSSI Measurements of Energetic Particles During the New Horizons Flyby and Investigating a Pluto Torus of Circumsolar Neutral Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Matthew Eric; Kollmann, Peter; McNutt, Ralph L.; Smith, H. Todd; Bagenal, Fran; Brown, Lawrence E.; Elliott, Heather A.; Haggerty, Dennis K.; Horanyi, Mihaly; Krimigis, Stamatios M.; Kusterer, Martha; Lisse, Carey M.; McComas, David J.; Piquette, Marcus; Strobel, Darrell; Szalay, Jamey; Vandegriff, Jon; Zirnstein, Eric; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Cathy B.; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie A.; Stern, S. A.

    2015-11-01

    The energetic particle environment at Pluto has been unknown, and little modeled, until this year’s historic encounter by the New Horizon (NH) spacecraft on 14 July 2015. The first energetic particle observations, made with the Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) instrument, were downlinked in August 2015. There are variations in the intensities of suprathermal (~3-30 keV/nucleon) ions that are associated with a combination of the position of the spacecraft relative to Pluto, the look direction of PEPSSI, and (potentially) temporal evolution in the system. We present the results of the near encounter with Pluto, to as close as ~11.6 Rp (1 Rp = 1187 km), which, early analysis shows, include large intensity variations associated with Pluto. We also present the concept of a neutral gas torus surrounding the Sun, aligned with Pluto’s orbit, and place observational constraints on it based primarily on comparison of 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, could result from neutral N2 escaping from Pluto’s exosphere. Unlike other more massive planets, gaseous neutrals escape Pluto readily via Jeans escape (i.e., owing to the high thermal speed relative to the escape velocity). These neutrals are not directly observable by NH but, once ionized to N2+ or N+ via photolysis or charge exchange, are picked up by the solar wind, ultimately reaching ~50 keV or more, making these pickup ions detectable by PEPSSI. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  1. Dust ablation in Pluto's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. Ground-water sample collection and analysis plan for the ground-water surveillance project

    SciTech Connect

    Bryce, R.W.; Evans, J.C.; Olsen, K.B.

    1991-12-01

    The Pacific Northwest Laboratory performs ground-water sampling activities at the US Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Hanford Site in support of DOE`s environmental surveillance responsibilities. The purpose of this document is to translate DOE`s General Environmental Protection Program (DOE Order 5400.1) into a comprehensive ground-water sample collection and analysis plan for the Hanford Site. This sample collection and analysis plan sets forth the environmental surveillance objectives applicable to ground water, identifies the strategy for selecting sample collection locations, and lists the analyses to be performed to meet those objectives.

  3. Ground-water sample collection and analysis plan for the ground-water surveillance project

    SciTech Connect

    Bryce, R.W.; Evans, J.C.; Olsen, K.B.

    1991-12-01

    The Pacific Northwest Laboratory performs ground-water sampling activities at the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hanford Site in support of DOE's environmental surveillance responsibilities. The purpose of this document is to translate DOE's General Environmental Protection Program (DOE Order 5400.1) into a comprehensive ground-water sample collection and analysis plan for the Hanford Site. This sample collection and analysis plan sets forth the environmental surveillance objectives applicable to ground water, identifies the strategy for selecting sample collection locations, and lists the analyses to be performed to meet those objectives.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. Pluto: Distribution of ices and coloring agents from New Horizons LEISA observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.; Grundy, William M.; Stern, S. Alan; Olkin, Catherine B.; Cook, Jason C.; Dalle Ore, Cristina M.; Binzel, Richard P.; Earle, Alissa M.; Ennico, Kimberly; Jennings, Donald E.; Howett, Carly J. A.; Linscott, Ivan R.; Lunsford, Allen W.; Parker, Alex H.; Parker, Joel W.; Protopapa, Silvia; Reuter, Dennis C.; Singer, Kelsi N.; Spencer, John R.; Tsang, Constantine C. C.; Verbiscer, Anne J.; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie A.

    2015-11-01

    Pluto was observed at high spatial resolution (maximum ~3 km/px) by the New Horizons LEISA imaging spectrometer. LEISA is a component of the Ralph instrument (Reuter, D.C., Stern, S.A., Scherrer, J., et al. 2008, Space Sci. Rev. 140, 129) and affords a spectral resolving power of 240 in the wavelength range 1.25-2.5 µm, and 560 in the range 2.1-2.25 µm. Spatially resolved spectra with LEISA are used to map the distributions of the known ices on Pluto (N2, CH4, CO) and to search for other surface components. The spatial distribution of volatile ices is compared with the distribution of the coloring agent(s) on Pluto's surface. The correlation of ice abundance and the degree of color (ranging from yellow to orange to dark red) is consistent with the presence of tholins, which are refractory organic solids of complex structure and high molecular weight, with colors consistent with those observed on Pluto. Tholins are readily synthesized in the laboratory by energetic processing of mixtures of the ices (N2, CH4, CO) known on Pluto's surface. We present results returned from the spacecraft to date obtained from the analysis of the high spatial resolution dataset obtained near the time of closest approach to the planet. Supported by NASA’s New Horizons project.

  6. New Horizons: Imagining a Landing on Pluto

    NASA Video Gallery

    Imagine a future spacecraft following New Horizons’ trailblazing path to Pluto, but instead of flying past its target, the next visitor touches down in the midst of tall mountains on the icy plains...

  7. Surface compositions across Pluto and Charon.

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26989260

  8. Surface compositions across Pluto and Charon.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. Prior Clues of Internal Activity on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-08-01

    New Horizons scientists Kelsi Singer and Alan Stern predicted that Pluto may have subsurface activity, in this study published even before New Horizon's recent observations of Pluto's strangely uncratered surface areas. Where Does the Nitrogen Come From? Pluto's surface and atmosphere contain a significant amount of nitrogen, but the gas leaks out of Pluto's atmosphere at an tremendous rate -- estimated at about 1.5 × 1012-13 grams per year (roughly 200-2000 tons/hr!). But if the nitrogen has been escaping at this rate since the solar system was formed, the entire atmospheric reservoir of would have been lost long before now. So what is resupplying Pluto's nitrogen? Singer and Stern explore several possible sources: Delivery by comet impact: The authors calculate that over the 4-billion-year span since Pluto's formation, it has been impacted by a total of 600 million comets of varying sizes, all likely containing nitrogen. But their estimates show that the amount of nitrogen this would supply falls several orders of magnitude shy of explaining the escape rate. Excavation by cratering: Could comet impacts simply expose nitrogen buried in reservoirs just beneath Pluto's surface? That method, too, falls short of resupplying atmospheric nitrogen escape by at least an order of magnitude, even using the most generous estimates. Internal activity: Unless the believed atmospheric loss rate of Pluto is overestimated, the authors conclude that Pluto must experience some sort of internal activity such as cryovolcanism that brings nitrogen from below its surface up and into the atmosphere. The Study in Context of Current Events. Singer and Stern wrote and submitted this paper before the New Horizons spacecraft's recent flyby of Pluto. Data from this mission has recently provided surprise after surprise -- from images of smooth, crater-free regions on Pluto's surface to evidence of sheets of carbon monoxide, methane, and nitrogen ices flowing like glaciers. These clues support

  10. Ground water in the North Side Pumping Division, Minidoka Project, Minidoka County, Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crosthwaite, Emerson G.; Scott, R.C.

    1956-01-01

    nearby is being developed by private capital. Completion of the Federal reclamation project will more than double the irrigated acreage in the North Side Division of the Minidoka Project. The area to be irrigated with ground water is at the south-central edge of the Snake River Plain adjacent to project lands that have been irrigated for many years with Snake River water.

  11. Craters on Pluto and Charon: Characteristics and Impactor Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singer, Kelsi N.; Schenk, Paul M.; Robbins, Stuart J.; Bray, Veronica J.; McKinnon, William B.; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Spencer, John R.; Stern, S. A.; Grundy, W. M.; Howett, Carly J. A.; Dalle Ore, Cristina M.; Beyer, Ross; Parker, Alex H.; Porter, Simon B.; Zangari, Amanda M.; Young, Leslie A.; Olkin, Cathy B.; Ennico, Kimberly

    2015-11-01

    Although both Pluto and Charon have a surprising number of young-looking surfaces, there are still plenty of craters for impact-phenomenon enthusiasts. We will present size, morphology, ejecta, and albedo pattern statistics, in addition to correlations with color/composition where possible. We use images and topography from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI; Cheng et al., 2008, SSR 140, 189-215) and data from the Ralph (Reuter et al., 2008, SSR 140, 129-154) color/composition instruments.Impactor sizes will be estimated from relevant scaling laws for cold water ice (see details in Singer and Stern, 2015, ApJL 808, L50). For Pluto, an image strip at 125 m px-1 includes some cratered terrains, and much of the encounter hemisphere (the anti-Charon hemisphere) will be covered at ~400 m px-1. The ~smallest craters observable at these pixel scales (using a 5 pixel limit) would be ~0.63 km, and ~2 km in diameter, respectively, with impactor diameters estimated at ~50 m, and ~200 m. However, it is likely that degradation processes may obscure small craters, thus this lower observation limit will depend on terrain type. Additionally, lighting and observation geometries vary across the disk, which may make crater detection difficult in some areas. All of the illuminated portions of Pluto (during its 6.4 day rotation period) were imaged at ~20 km px-1 or better during the encounter. The highest resolution images of Pluto (at ~80 m px-1) occur in a narrow strip and are not scheduled for downlink before the DPS.The highest resolution Charon coverage (a strip at ~160 m px-1), a broader swath at 400 m px-1, and the entire encounter hemisphere (the sub-Pluto hemisphere) at ~890 m px-1 may yield craters as small as 0.8, 2, and 4.5 km in diameter, respectively. The inferred impactor sizes for these craters would be ~50 m, 160 m, and 440 m.Although the dataset is limited, we will discuss what constraints can be put on the impactor population. This work was supported by the

  12. The Cold and Icy Heart of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamilton, D. P.

    2015-12-01

    The locations of large deposits of frozen volatiles on planetary surfaces are largely coincident with areas receiving the minimum annual influx of solar energy. Thus we have the familiar polar caps of Earth and Mars, but cold equatorial regions for planets with obliquities between 54 and 126 degrees. Furthermore, for tilts between 45-66 degrees and 114-135 degrees the minimum incident energy occurs neither at the pole nor the equator. We find that the annual average insolation is always symmetric about Pluto's equator and is fully independent of the relative locations of the planet's pericenter and equinoxes. Remarkably, this symmetry holds for arbitrary orbital eccentricities and obliquities, and so we provide a short proof in the margin of this abstract. The current obliquity of Pluto is 119 degrees, giving it minima in average annual insolation at +/- 27 degrees latitude, with ~1.5% more flux to the equator and ~15% more to the poles. But the obliquity of Pluto also varies sinusoidally from 102-126 degrees and so, over the past million years, Pluto's annual equatorial and polar fluxes have changed by +15% and -13%, respectively. Interestingly, the energy flux received by latitudes between 25-35 degrees remains nearly constant over the presumably billions of years since Pluto acquired its current orbit and spin properties. Thus these latitudes are continuously cold and should be favored for the long-term deposition of volatile ices; the bright heart of Pluto, Sputnik Planum, extends not coincidentally across these latitudes. Reflected light and emitted thermal radiation from Charon increases annual insolation to one side of Pluto by of order 0.02%. Although small, the bulk of the energy is delivered at night to Pluto's cold equatorial regions. Furthermore, Charon's thermal IR is delivered very efficiently to icy deposits. Over billions of years, ices have preferentially formed and survived in the anti-Charon hemisphere.

  13. Pluto Express - Out of the Darkness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herman, M.

    1995-01-01

    Pluto, discovered in 1930, is the largest of a class of primordial bodies at the edge of our solar system that have comet-like properties and remain relatively unmodified by warming from the sun. It is the only planet in the solar system not explored via robotic spacecraft. This lecture discusses the status of the Pluto Express preproject (science objectives, etc.), and its telecommunication subsystem.

  14. (abstract) Student Involvement in the Pluto Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinstein, Stacy

    1994-01-01

    The Pluto Fast Flyby mission development baseline consists of 2 identical spacecraft (120 - 165 kg) to be launched to Pluto/ Charon in the late 1990s. These spacecraft are intended to fly by Pluto and Charon in order to perform various remote-sensing scientific investigations and have a mission development cost less than $400M (FY92$) through launch plus 30 days. The Pluto team is committed to involving students in all areas of mission development and operations. In November 1992, the Pluto team sent a request for information to industry and universities looking for ways to lower the mass and cost of the mission. A number of universities responded with creative and promising technological developments. In addition to contracts with industry and other federal labs, contracts were signed with schools which allowed students to apply their research, enabling the Pluto team to use valuable resources on a variety of advanced technology endeavors. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of these investigations was that the deliverables that the students produced were not just final reports, but actual prototype hardware complete with write-ups on lessons learned in machining, programming, and design. Another exciting development was a prototype adapter competition in which 7 universities competed to design, build, and test their idea of a lightweight spacecraft-propulsion stack adapter. Georgia Tech won with an innovative dodecahedron composite lattice cone. Other students from other universities were involved as well. All in all, over 40 students from 20 different colleges made significant contributions to the Pluto Fast Flyby mission development through their efforts. This paper will give an overview of Pluto student involvement, the technologies which they examined, and useful results for the mission.

  15. US Department of Energy Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action ground water Project. Revision 1, Version 1: Final project plan

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-12-21

    The scope of the Project is to develop and implement a ground water compliance strategy for all 24 UMTRA processing sites. The compliance strategy for the processing sites must satisfy requirements of the proposed EPA ground water cleanup standards in 40 CFR Part 192, Subparts B and C (1988). This scope of work will entail the following activities, on a site-specific basis: Development of a compliance strategy based upon modification of the UMTRA Surface Project remedial action plans (RAP) or development of Ground Water Project RAPs with NRC and state or tribal concurrence on the RAP; implementation of the RAP to include establishment of institutional controls, where appropriate; institution of long-term verification monitoring for transfer to a separate DOE program on or before the Project end date; and preparation of completion reports and final licensing on those sites that will be completed prior to the Project end date.

  16. Changes in Pluto's Atmosphere Revealed by Occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sicardy, Bruno; Widemann, Thomas; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Veillet, Christian; Colas, Francois; Roques, Francoise; Beisker, Wolfgang; Kretlow, Mike; Cuillandre, Jean-Charles; Hainaut, Olivier

    After the discovery and study of Pluto's tenuous atmosphere in 1985 and 1988 with stellar occultations 14 years were necessary before two other occultations by the planet could be observed on 20 July 2002 and 21 August 2002 from Northern Chile with a portable telescope and from CFHT in Hawaii respectively. These occultations reveal drastric changes in Pluto's nitrogen atmosphere whose pressure increased by a factor two or more since 1988. In spite of an increasing distance to the Sun (and a correlated decrease of solar energy input at Pluto) this increase can be explained by the fact that Pluto's south pole went from permanent darkness to permanent illumination between 1988 and 2002. This might cause the sublimation of the south polar cap and the increase of pressure which could go on till 2015 according to current nitrogen cycle models. Furthermore we detect temperature contrasts between the polar and the equatorial regions probed on Pluto possibly caused by different diurnally averaged insolations at those locations. Finally spikes observed in the light curves reveal a dynamical activity in Pluto's atmosphere.

  17. Discovery of two new satellites of Pluto.

    PubMed

    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).

  18. The subsurface of Pluto from submillimetre observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  19. The Pluto System As Seen By New Horizons Spacecraft

    NASA Video Gallery

    The Pluto system as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft saw it in July 2015. This animation, made with real images taken by New Horizons, begins with Pluto flying in for its close-up on July 14; we then...

  20. How is Pluto Classified as a Rocky World?

    NASA Video Gallery

    When it comes to Pluto, classification is tricky, but it’s unquestioningly a rocky body. This is Pluto in a Minute. The bodies in our solar system fall more or less into set categories like gas g...

  1. Geology Before Pluto: Pre-encounter Considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. M.

    2014-12-01

    Pluto, its large satellite Charon, and its four small 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 significant 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, these 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 observation. 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 the New Horizons cameras that will bear most directly on geological interpretability. Then I will broadly review major geological processes that could potentially operate on 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 the

  2. Geology Before Pluto: Pre-Encounter Considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  3. What We Know Now: Synthesis for Understanding the Origin of the Pluto System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, William B.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Spencer, J. R.; Nimmo, F.; Lisse, C. M.; Umurhan, O. M.; Moore, J. M.; Buie, M. W.; Porter, S. B.; Olkin, C. B.; Young, L. A.; Ennico, K.

    2015-11-01

    The July 2015 New Horizons flyby has removed a long-standing obstacle to understanding the cosmogony of the Pluto-Charon system: the uncertain radius of Pluto. Combined with precise astrometric fits to the barycenter of the Pluto-Charon binary from HST observations of the more distant, small satellites (Brozovic et al., Icarus 246, 317-329, 2015), the densities of both Pluto and Charon are now known. At the 10% level, these densities are rather similar, as opposed to the more divergent density estimates of years past in which Charon was thought to be substantially icier. In the context of a “giant impact” origin, a rock-rich Charon implies that the precursor impacting bodies were at most only partially differentiated — possessing relatively thin ice shells (Canup, Astron. J. 141, 35, 2011). This suggests some combination of relatively slow and/or late accretion in the ancestral Kuiper belt. New Horizons has also shown that Nix and Hydra possess high albedos, consistent with ice-dominated compositions. Such compositions are consistent with a giant impact origin in which one or both precursor impacting bodies were partially differentiated, so that the small satellites ultimately formed from material ejected from ice-dominated surface layers (Peale and Canup, Treatise on Geophysics, 2nd Ed., chapter 10.17, 2015). We examine whether Pluto and Charon could actually possess the same bulk rock/ice ratio and whether this would allow for an alternate, non-giant-impact origin for the Pluto system.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  4. 2 kWe Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Project. Volume 3; Fabrication and Test Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alexander, Dennis

    1997-01-01

    The Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration (SDGTD) project has successfully designed and fabricated a complete solar-powered closed Brayton electrical power generation system and tested it in a relevant thermal vacuum facility at NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC). In addition to completing technical objectives, the project was completed 3-l/2 months early, and under budget.

  5. Pluto's solar wind interaction: Collisional effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cravens, T. E.; Strobel, D. F.

    2015-01-01

    Exospheric neutral atoms and molecules (primarily N2, with trace amounts of CH4 and CO according to our current understanding of Pluto's atmosphere) escape from Pluto and travel into interplanetary space for millions of kilometers. Eventually, the neutrals are ionized by solar EUV photons and/or by collisions with solar wind electrons. The mass-loading associated with this ion pick-up is thought to produce a comet-like interaction of the solar wind with Pluto. Within a few thousand kilometers of Pluto the solar wind interaction should lead to a magnetic field pile-up and draping, as it does around other "non-magnetic" bodies such as Venus and comets. The structure of plasma regions and boundaries will be greatly affected by large gyroradii effects and the extensive exosphere. Energetic plasma should disappear from the flow within radial distances of a few thousand kilometers due to charge exchange collisions. An ionosphere should be present close to Pluto with a composition that is determined both by the primary ion production and ion-neutral chemistry. One question discussed in the paper is whether or not the ionosphere has a Venus-like sharply defined ionopause boundary or a diamagnetic cavity such as that found around comet Halley. Simple physical estimates of plasma processes and structures in the collision-dominated region are made in this paper and predictions are made for the New Horizons mission.

  6. Photometry of Pluto-Charon mutual events and Hirayama family asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Binzel, Richard P.

    1988-01-01

    Once every 124 years, nature provides earth-bound astronomers with the opportunity to observe occultation and transit phenomena between Pluto and its satellite, Charon. Ground-based observations of these events will allow precise physical parameters for the Pluto-Charon system to be derived which are unlikely to be improved upon until in situ spacecraft observations are obtained. The proposed program will continue to support photometry observations from McDonald Observatory, a critical location in an international Pluto Campaign network. Knowledge of the diameters, masses, densities, and compositions derived from these observations will augment our understanding of Pluto's origin and its context within the problem of solar system formation. A second task will continue to research the evolutionary processes which have occurred in the asteroid belt by measuring the physical properties of specific Hirayama family members. Photoelectric lightcurve observations of Koronis and Themis family members will be used to investigate the individual catastrophic collision events which formed each family. By comparing these properties with results of laboratory and numerical experiments, the outcomes of catastrophic disruptions and collisional evolution may be more precisely determined.

  7. New rotationally resolved spectra of Pluto-Charon from 350 - 900 nm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Throop, Henry B.; Grundy, Will; Olkin, Cathy B.; Young, Leslie A.; Sickafoose, Amanda A.

    2015-11-01

    We are using the 11-meter Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) to acquire high-resolution rotationally resolved visible spectra of Pluto-Charon. We use the Robert Stobie Spectrograph (RSS) to observe Pluto-Charon from 350 nm to 900 nm. At 500 nm, resolution is 0.05 nm (R ~ 10,0000) and SNR per spectral resolution element is ~ 500.We planned observations for 13 dates during June-September 2014, and 13 more dates during June-September 2015. The observations for each season were spaced so as to equally sample Pluto's 6.5-day rotational period. As of the abstract submission, we have data from 11 nights (2014) and 9 nights (2015) in hand. Most of the observations were taken with observations of solar-type star HD 146233 to determine the surface reflectivity.Our results will provide constraint on the composition and spatial distribution of material on Pluto's surface, enabling comparison to previous epochs and near-infrared results, and giving a ground-truth for New Horizons' July 2015 flyby. In addition, our data will allow us to search for new spectral features in the range 350 nm to 600 nm, at a sensitivity substantially higher than previously published searches.

  8. Advanced radioisotope power source options for Pluto Express

    SciTech Connect

    Underwood, M.L.

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  10. Small spacecraft conceptual design for a Fast Pluto Flyby mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salvo, Christopher G.

    1993-01-01

    The main objective of the Pluto Fast Flyby mission is to conduct first reconnaissance level science at Pluto before its atmospheric collapse in the next two to three decades. The design approach is driven by the consideration of cost (with the objective to deliver two 164-kg spacecraft to Pluto for less than 400 million dollars development cost). The paper describes the mission-design approach and the Pluto Fast Flyby conceptual flight system 1992 baseline. Attention is also given to the design history of the spacecraft concept and the current and future activity of the Pluto Fast Flyby team.

  11. Detection of HCN in Pluto's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lellouch, Emmanuel; Gurwell, Mark; Butler, Bryan; Moullet, Arielle; Moreno, Raphael; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Biver, Nicolas; Fouchet, Thierry; Lis, Darek; Stern, Alan; Young, Leslie; Young, Eliot; Weaver, Hal; Boissier, Jeremie; Stansberry, John

    2015-11-01

    We report on the first detection of hydrogen cyanide in Pluto's atmosphere, obtained with the ALMA interferometer. ALMA observations of the HCN(4-3) line at 354.505 GHz were conducted on June 12.2 and June 13.15, 2015 at ~0.3" spatial resolution, separating Pluto from Charon, with a 234 kHz spectral sampling. The HCN line was detected on both dates, with a ~100 mJy contrast and a ~0.75 MHz FWHM linewidth. The narrow linewidth and the absence of Lorentzian wings indicate that most of the HCN resides in Pluto's upper atmosphere. As on Titan, HCN is an expected photochemical product in a N2-CH4 atmosphere. Data interpretation in terms of the HCN abundance/vertical distribution and comparison with photochemical models will be presented.

  12. The Atmospheres of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gladstone, R.; Summers, M. E.; Stern, A.; Ennico Smith, K.; Olkin, C.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Young, L. A.; Strobel, D. F.; Hinson, D. P.; Kammer, J.; Parker, A. H.; Steffl, A.; Linscott, I.; Parker, J. W.; Cheng, A. F.; Versteeg, M. H.; Greathouse, T.; Retherford, K. D.; Throop, H.; Woods, W. W.; Singer, K. N.; Tsang, C.; Schindhelm, E.; Wong, M. L.; Yung, Y. L.; Zhu, X.; Curdt, W.; Lavvas, P.; Young, E. F.; Tyler, G. L.

    2015-12-01

    Major goals of the New Horizons (NH) mission are to explore and characterize the structure and composition of Pluto's atmosphere, and to determine whether Charon has a measurable atmosphere of its own. Several instruments onboard NH contribute 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 imager, through high-phase-angle imaging. The associated datasets were obtained following closest approach of NH to Pluto. Pressure and temperature profiles of the lower atmosphere are derived from the REX data, the composition and structure of the extended atmosphere are derived from the Alice data (supported by approach observations of reflected ultraviolet sunlight), and the distribution and properties of Pluto's hazes are derived from the LORRI data. In this talk an overview of the early atmosphere science results will be presented.

  13. Resolved CCD Photometry of Pluto and Charon

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  14. Intra-day Investigation of Pluto's Atmosphere with Stellar Occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Person, Michael J.; Bosh, Amanda S.; Levine, Stephen

    2014-02-01

    To monitor Pluto's evolving atmosphere, and search for atmospheric variations on timescales shorter than one Pluto day, we propose to observe four Pluto stellar occultations all occurring in the last eight days of July. Two of the events are visible from Australia on the night of 23 July 2014 UT, and two are visible from Chile on 27 July and 31 July 2014. The coincidence of these occultations in time provides a rare opportunity to search for short-timescale changes in Pluto's atmosphere, in addition to allowing us to continue our annual monitoring of Pluto's atmospheric evolution. Recent transport models (Young 2013) have brought long-standing assertions about Pluto's atmospheric evolution into question, implying the possibility that Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse for much of each revolution as previously thought (Hansen and Paige 1996). The current epoch is when these competing models begin to diverge and continuing data collection is necessary to distinguish among the various models.

  15. Does Pluto Have a Haze Layer?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliot, James L.

    1997-01-01

    The goal of this research was to determine whether Pluto has a haze layer through observations (with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory) of a stellar occultation by Pluto that was originally predicted to occur on 1993 October 3. As described in the attached material, our extensive astrometric measurements determined that this occultation would not be visible from Earth, and we canceled plans to observe it with the KAO. Efforts were then directed toward improving our astrometric techniques so that we could find future occultations with which we could satisfy the original goals of the research proposed for this grant.

  16. The Pluto System At Small Phase Angles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbiscer, Anne J.; Buie, Marc W.; Binzel, Richard; Ennico, Kimberly; Grundy, William M.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Showalter, Mark Robert; Spencer, John R.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie; New Horizons Science Team

    2016-10-01

    Hubble Space Telescope observations of the Pluto system acquired during the New Horizons encounter epoch (HST Program 13667, M. Buie, PI) span the phase angle range from 0.06 to 1.7 degrees, enabling the measurement and characterization of the opposition effect for Pluto and its satellites at 0.58 microns using HST WFC3/UVIS with the F350LP filter, which has a broadband response and a pivot wavelength of 0.58 microns. At these small phase angles, differences in the opposition effect width and amplitude appear. The small satellites Nix and Hydra both exhibit a very narrow opposition surge, while the considerably larger moon Charon has a broader opposition surge. Microtextural surface properties derived from the shape and magnitude of the opposition surge of each surface contain a record of the collisional history of the system. We combine these small phase angle observations with those made at larger phase angles by the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), which also has a broadband response with a pivot wavelength of 0.61 microns, to produce the most complete disk-integrated solar phase curves that we will have for decades to come. Modeling these disk-integrated phase curves generates sets of photometric parameters that will inform spectral modeling of the satellite surfaces as well as terrains on Pluto from spatially resolved New Horizons Ralph Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA) data from 1.2 to 2.5 microns. Rotationally resolved phase curves of Pluto reveal opposition effects that only appear at phase angles less than 0.1 degree and have widths and amplitudes that are highly dependent on longitude and therefore on Pluto's diverse terrains. The high albedo region informally known as Sputnik Planum dominates the disk-integrated reflectance of Pluto on the New Horizons encounter hemisphere. These results lay the groundwork for observations at true opposition in 2018, when the Pluto system will be observable at phase angles so small that

  17. Detection of Gaseous Methane on Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Leslie; Tokunaga, Alan; Elliot, J.; deBergh, Catherine; Owen, Tobias; Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    We obtained Pluto's spectrum using the CSHELL echelle spectrograph at NASA's IRTF on Mauna Kea, on 25-26 May 1992, with a spectral resolution of 13,300. The spectral range (5998 - 6018 per centimeter, or 1661.8 - 1666.9 nm) includes the R(0) and the Q(1) - Q(9) lines of the 2v3 band of methane. The resulting spectrum shows the first detection of gaseous methane on Pluto, with a column height of 1.20 (sup +3.15) (sub -0.87) cm-A (3.22 (sup +8.46) (sub -2.34) x 10(exp 19) molecule per square centimeter)).

  18. Ground-water monitoring compliance projects for Hanford Site facilities: Annual progress report for 1987

    SciTech Connect

    Hall, S.H.

    1988-09-01

    This report describes progress during 1987 of five Hanford Site ground water monitoring projects. Four of these projects are being conducted according to regulations based on the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 and the state Hazardous Waste Management Act. The fifth project is being conducted according to regulations based on the state Solid Waste Management Act. The five projects discussed herein are: 300 Area Process Trenches; 183-H Solar Evaporation Basins; 200 Areas Low-Level Burial Grounds; Nonradioactive Dangerous Waste Landfill; Solid Waste Landfill. For each of the projects, there are included, as applicable, discussions of monitoring well installations, water-table measurements, background and/or downgradient water quality and results of chemical analysis, and extent and rate of movement of contaminant plumes. 14 refs., 30 figs., 13 tabs.

  19. The Atmospheric Structure of Triton and Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliot, James L.

    1998-01-01

    The goal of this research was to better determine the atmospheric structures of Triton and Pluto through further analysis of three occultation data sets obtained with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO.) As the research progressed, we concentrated our efforts on the Triton data, as this appeared to be the most fruitful. Three papers have been prepared as a result of this research. The first paper presents new results about Triton's atmospheric structure from the analysis of all ground-based stellar occultation data recorded to date, including one single-chord occultation recorded on 1993 July 10 and nine occultation lightcurves from the double-star event on 1995 August 14. These stellar occultation observations made both in the visible and in the infrared have good spatial coverage of Triton, including the first Triton central-flash observations, and are the first data to probe the altitude level 20-100 km on Triton. The small-planet lightcurve model of J. L. Elliot and L. A. Young was generalized to include stellar flux refracted by the far limb, and then fitted to the data. Values of the pressure, derived from separate immersion and emersion chords, show no significant trends with latitude, indicating that Triton's atmosphere is spherically symmetric at approximately 50 km altitude to within the error of the measurements; however, asymmetry observed in the central flash indicates the atmosphere is not homogenous at the lowest levels probed (approximately 20 km altitude). From the average of the 1995 occultation data, the equivalent isothermal temperature of the atmosphere is 47 plus or minus 1 K and the atmospheric pressure at 1400 km radius (approximately 50 km altitude) is 1.4 plus or minus 0.1 microbar. Both of these are not consistent with a model based on Voyager UVS and RSS observations in 1989. The atmospheric temperature from the occultation is 5 K colder than that predicted by the model and the observed pressure is a factor of 1.8 greater than the

  20. Evolution of the JPSS Ground Project Calibration and Validation System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Purcell, Patrick; Chander, Gyanesh; Jain, Peyush

    2016-01-01

    The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) next-generation operational Earth observation Program that acquires and distributes global environmental data from multiple polar-orbiting satellites. The JPSS Program plays a critical role to NOAA's mission to understand and predict changes in weather, climate, oceans, coasts, and space environments, which supports the Nation's economy and protection of lives and property. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is acquiring and implementing the JPSS, comprised of flight and ground systems, on behalf of NOAA. The JPSS satellites are planned to fly in the afternoon orbit and will provide operational continuity of satellite-based observations and products for NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite. To support the JPSS Calibration and Validation (CalVal) node Government Resource for Algorithm Verification, Independent Test, and Evaluation (GRAVITE) services facilitate: Algorithm Integration and Checkout, Algorithm and Product Operational Tuning, Instrument Calibration, Product Validation, Algorithm Investigation, and Data Quality Support and Monitoring. GRAVITE is a mature, deployed system that currently supports the SNPP Mission and has been in operations since SNPP launch. This paper discusses the major re-architecture for Block 2.0 that incorporates SNPP lessons learned, architecture of the system, and demonstrates how GRAVITE has evolved as a system with increased performance. It is now a robust, stable, reliable, maintainable, scalable, and secure system that supports development, test, and production strings, replaces proprietary and custom software, uses open source software, and is compliant with NASA and NOAA standards.

  1. Evolution of the JPSS Ground Project Calibration and Validation System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chander, Gyanesh; Jain, Peyush

    2014-01-01

    The Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) next-generation operational Earth observation Program that acquires and distributes global environmental data from multiple polar-orbiting satellites. The JPSS Program plays a critical role to NOAAs mission to understand and predict changes in weather, climate, oceans, coasts, and space environments, which supports the Nation’s economy and protection of lives and property. The National Aerospace and Atmospheric Administration (NASA) is acquiring and implementing the JPSS, comprised of flight and ground systems on behalf of NOAA. The JPSS satellites are planned to fly in the afternoon orbit and will provide operational continuity of satellite-based observations and products for NOAA Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) and the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite. To support the JPSS Calibration and Validation (CalVal) node Government Resource for Algorithm Verification, Independent Test, and Evaluation (GRAVITE) services facilitate: Algorithm Integration and Checkout, Algorithm and Product Operational Tuning, Instrument Calibration, Product Validation, Algorithm Investigation, and Data Quality Support and Monitoring. GRAVITE is a mature, deployed system that currently supports the SNPP Mission and has been in operations since SNPP launch. This paper discusses the major re-architecture for Block 2.0 that incorporates SNPP lessons learned, architecture of the system, and demonstrates how GRAVITE has evolved as a system with increased performance. It is now a robust, stable, reliable, maintainable, scalable, and secure system that supports development, test, and production strings, replaces proprietary and custom software, uses open source software, and is compliant with NASA and NOAA standards.

  2. Digital-model study of ground-water hydrology, Columbia Basin Irrigation Project Area, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tanaka, H.H.; Hansen, A.J., Jr.; Skrivan, J.A.

    1974-01-01

    Since 1952 water diverted from the Columbia River at Grand Coulee Dam has been used to irrigate parts of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project area in eastern Washington, and as a result ground-water levels generally have risen in the area. The rapid increases in ground-water inflow, outflow, and storage from irrigation have created a need for a better understanding of the ground-water system before and after the start of irrigation to establish guidelines necessary for management of the area's ground-water resource. Data and information from previous geologic and hydrologic studies were used as a basis for quantitative analyses of ground-water inflow and outflow by means of digital computer models representing three major areas--Quincy Basin, Pasco Basin, and Royal Slope.

  3. Spectrophotometry of pluto-charon mutual events: individual spectra of pluto and charon.

    PubMed

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

    1987-12-11

    Time-resolved spectra of the 3 March and 4 April 1987 mutual events of Pluto and its satellite Charon were obtained with spectral coverage from 5,500 to 10,000 angstroms with 25 angstrom spectral resolution. Since both events were total occultations of Charon by Pluto, spectra were obtained of the anti-Charon-facing hemisphere of Pluto, with no contribution from Charon during totality. On 4 April, a combined spectrum of Pluto and Charon immediately before first contact was also obtained. The spectrum of the Pluto-facing hemisphere of Charon was extracted by differencing the pre-event and totality spectra. The spectra were reduced to reflectances by ratioing them to spectra of solar analog stars. 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 approximately 0.37 at 6000 angstroms. The Pluto reflectance spectrum displays methane absorption bands at 7300, 7900, 8400, 8600, and 8900 angstroms and is red in color, with a geometric albedo of approximately 0.56 at 6000 angstroms. The signal-to-noise ratios of the eclipse spectra were not high enough to unambiguously identify the weaker methane band at 6200 angstroms.

  4. Orbital and Rotational Dynamics of Pluto's Small Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showalter, Mark R.; Weaver, Harold A.; Spencer, John R.; Porter, Simon; Hamilton, Douglas P.; Binzel, Richard P.; Buie, Marc W.; Grundy, William M.; Nimmo, Francis; Jacobson, Robert A.; Brozovic, Marina; Throop, Henry B.; Stern, S. A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Young, Leslie; Ennico, Kimberly; The New Horizons Science Team

    2016-05-01

    Four small moons, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra, orbit the central binary planet comprising Pluto and Charon. Showalter and Hamilton (Nature 522, 45-49, 2015) analyzed Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data from 2010-2012 to explore some of the dynamical consequences of orbiting a binary planet. They noted evidence for a chaotic rotation of Nix and Hydra, and identified a possible three-body resonance between Styx, Nix and Hydra. We revisit the dynamics of the outer moons based on the data from the New Horizons flyby of July 2015, combined with three more years of HST data. As New Horizons was approaching Pluto, the LORRI camera regularly imaged the moons over a period of approximately 100 days. It also resolved the moons in closeup images, revealing details about the moons' sizes, shapes and surface properties. The LORRI data set has made it possible to derive light curves, rotation rates and pole orientations unambiguously. The moons rotate much faster than they orbit and have high obliquities, suggesting that tidal de-spinning has not played the dominant role in their rotational evolution; impacts may also have played an important role. We will discuss the latest conclusions from a joint analysis of the LORRI and HST data sets, combined with new dynamical simulations. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project and by Space Telescope Science Institute.

  5. Orbital and Rotational Dynamics of Pluto's Small Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showalter, Mark; Weaver, Harold; Spencer, John; Porter, Simon; Hamilton, Douglas; Binzel, Richard; Buie, Marc; Grundy, William; Nimmo, Francis; Jacobson, Robert; Brozovic, Marina; Stern, S. Alan; Olkin, Cathy; Young, Leslie; Ennico, Kimberly

    2016-04-01

    Four small moons, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra, orbit the central binary planet comprising Pluto and Charon. Showalter and Hamilton (Nature 522, 45-49, 2015) analyzed Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data from 2010-2012 to explore some of the dynamical consequences of orbiting a binary planet. They noted evidence for a chaotic rotation of Nix and Hydra, and identified a possible three-body resonance between Styx, Nix and Hydra. We revisit the dynamics of the outer moons based on the data from the New Horizons flyby of July 2015, combined with three more years of HST data. As New Horizons was approaching Pluto, the LORRI camera regularly imaged the moons over a period of ~100 days. It also resolved the moons in closeup images, revealing details about the moons' sizes, shapes and surface properties. The LORRI data set has made it possible to derive light curves, rotation rates and pole orientations unambiguously. The moons rotate much faster than they orbit and have high obliquities, suggesting that tidal de-spinning has not played a dominant role in their rotational evolution. We will discuss the latest conclusions from a joint analysis of the LORRI and HST data sets, combined with new dynamical simulations. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project and by Space Telescope Science Institute.

  6. Energetic Particles in the far and near Environment of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft was launched in 2006, passed Jupiter and its magnetotail, took continuous measurements in the solar wind throughout the recent years, and flew by Pluto in July 2015. The onboard PEPSSI instrument measures ion and electron intensities, masses, and energies in the keV to MeV range. The closest approach distance to Pluto was 11 Pluto radii, inside the orbit of Charon. Data taken near Pluto is downlinked throughout August. We will present analysis of this data and set it into context with previous measurements. We expect a number of interesting particle structures around Pluto. Parts of Pluto's molecular nitrogen atmosphere is escaping and will co-orbit with Pluto, potentially forming a partial gas torus. This torus can be additionally sourced by other Kuiper belt objects. The neutrals are eventually ionized and pick-up by the solar wind brings them into the PEPSSI energy range. The measured ion densities can be used to constrain the Pluto torus. Pluto is not expected to have an intrinsic magnetic field, but the energetic particle data can be used to infer its properties, if any. Pluto interacts instead with the solar wind via the pick-up of its ions and the magnetic fields created by currents in its ionosphere. The relative role of these mechanisms can be revealed by the flyby data and directly compared to data that was taken at Jupiter with identical instrumentation.

  7. The planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (1971)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palluconi, F. D.

    1972-01-01

    Design criteria relating to spacecraft intended to investigate the planets of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are presented. Assessments were made of the potential effects of environmental properties on vehicle performance. Pertinent data on the mass, radius, shape, mean density, rotational pole location, and mean orbital elements for the three planets are given in graphs and tables.

  8. Pluto results on jets and QCD

    SciTech Connect

    Pluto collaboration

    1981-02-01

    Results obtained with the PLUTO detector at PETRA are presented. Multihadron final states have been analysed with respect to clustering, energy-energy correlations and transverse momenta in jets. QCD predictions for hard gluon emission and soft gluon-quark cascades are discussed. Results on ..cap alpha../sub s/ and the gluon spin are given.

  9. Landslides on Charon and not on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. Geology Before Pluto: Pre-encounter Considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Jeffrey

    2014-05-01

    Jeffrey M. Moore (NASA Ames) and the New Horizons Science Team Pluto, its large satellite Charon, and its four small 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 significant 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, these 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 observation. 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 the New Horizons cameras that will bear most directly on geological interpretability. Then I will broadly review major geological processes that could potentially operate on 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

  11. Exploring potential Pluto-generated neutral tori

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  12. Satellite Cloud Data Validation through MAGIC Ground Observation and the S'COOL Project: Scientific Benefits grounded in Citizen Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crecelius, S.; Chambers, L. H.; Lewis, P. M.; Rogerson, T.

    2013-12-01

    The Students' Cloud Observation On-Line (S'COOL) Project was launched in 1997 as the Formal Education and Public Outreach arm of the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Mission. ROVER, the Citizen Scientist area of S'COOL, started in 2007 and allows participants to make 'roving' observations from any location as opposed to a fixed, registered classroom. The S'COOL Project aids the CERES Mission in trying to answer the research question: 'What is the Effect of Clouds on the Earth's Climate'. Participants from all 50 states, most U.S. Territories, and 63 countries have reported more than 100,500 observations to the S'COOL Project over the past 16 years. The Project is supported by an intuitive website that provides curriculum support and guidance through the observation steps; 1) Request satellite overpass schedule, 2) Observe clouds, and 3) Report cloud observations. The S'COOL Website also hosts a robust database housing all participants' observations as well as the matching satellite data. While the S'COOL observation parameters are based on the data collected by 5 satellite missions, ground observations provide a unique perspective to data validation. Specifically, low to mid level clouds can be obscured by overcast high-level clouds, or difficult to observe from a satellite's perspective due to surface cover or albedo. In these cases, ground observations play an important role in filling the data gaps and providing a better, global picture of our atmosphere and clouds. S'COOL participants, operating within the boundary layer, have an advantage when observing low-level clouds that affect the area we live in, regional weather patterns, and climate change. S'COOL's long-term data set provides a valuable resource to the scientific community in improving the "poorly characterized and poorly represented [clouds] in climate and weather prediction models'. The MAGIC Team contacted S'COOL in early 2012 about making cloud observations as part of the MAGIC

  13. Preliminary report on ground water in the Michaud Flats Project, Power County, Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, J.W.; Nace, Raymond L.; Deutsch, Morris

    1952-01-01

    The Michaud Flats Project area, as here described, includes about 65 square miles in central Power County, south of the Snake River in the southeastern Snake River Plain of Idaho. The principal town and commercial center of the area is American Falls. The immediate purpose of work in the area by the U.S. Geological Survey was to investigate the possibility of developing substantial quantities of ground water for irrigating high and outlying lands in the proposed Michaud Flats Project area of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Initial findings are sufficiently favorable to warrant comprehensive further investigation. Advanced study would assist proper utilization of ground-water resources and would aid ultimate evaluation of total water resources available in the area. About 10,000 acres of low-lying lands in the Michaud Flats project could be irrigated with water from the Snake River under a low-line distribution system involving a maximum pumping lift of about 200 feet above the river. An additional larger area of high and outlying lands is suitable for irrigation with water pumped from wells. If sufficient ground water is economically available, the expense of constructing and operating a costly highline distribution system for surface water could be saved. Reconnaissance of the ground-water geology of the area disclosed surface outcrops of late Cenozoic sedimentary, pyroclastic, and volcanic rocks. Well logs and test borings show that similar materials are present beneath the land surface in the zone of saturation. Ground water occurs under perched, unconfined, and confined (artesian) conditions, but the aquifers have not been adequately explored. Existing irrigation wells, 300 feet or less in depth, yield several hundred to 1,400 gallons of water a minute, with pumping drawdowns of 6 to 50 feet, and perhaps more. A few wells have been pumped out at rates of less than 800 gallons a minute. Scientific well-construction and development methods would lead to more

  14. Advanced Ground Systems Maintenance Cryogenics Test Lab Control System Upgrade Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harp, Janice Leshay

    2014-01-01

    This project will outfit the Simulated Propellant Loading System (SPLS) at KSC's Cryogenics Test Laboratory with a new programmable logic control system. The control system upgrade enables the Advanced Ground Systems Maintenace Element Integration Team and other users of the SPLS to conduct testing in a controls environment similar to that used at the launch pad.

  15. De-mystifying earned value management for ground based astronomy projects, large and small

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norton, Timothy; Brennan, Patricia; Mueller, Mark

    2014-08-01

    The scale and complexity of today's ground based astronomy projects have justifiably required Principal Investigator's and their project teams to adopt more disciplined management processes and tools in order to achieve timely and accurate quantification of the progress and relative health of their projects. Earned Value Management (EVM) is one such tool. Developed decades ago and used extensively in the defense and construction industries, and now a requirement of NASA projects greater than $20M; EVM has gained a foothold in ground-based astronomy projects. The intent of this paper is to de-mystify EVM by discussing the fundamentals of project management, explaining how EVM fits with existing principles, and describing key concepts every project can use to implement their own EVM system. This paper also discusses pitfalls to avoid during implementation and obstacles to its success. The authors report on their organization's most recent experience implementing EVM for the GMT-Consortium Large Earth Finder (G-CLEF) project. G-CLEF is a fiber-fed, optical echelle spectrograph that has been selected as a first light instrument for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), planned for construction at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile's Atacama Desert region.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Ground-water contribution to dose from past Hanford Operations. Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction Project

    SciTech Connect

    Freshley, M.D.; Thorne, P.D.

    1992-08-01

    The Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction (HEDR) Project is being conducted to estimate radiation doses that populations and individuals could have received from Hanford Site operations from 1944 to the present. Four possible pathways by which radionuclides migrating in ground water on the Hanford Site could have reached the public have been identified: (1) through contaminated ground water migrating to the Columbia River; (2) through wells on or adjacent to the Hanford Site; (3) through wells next to the Columbia River downstream of Hanford that draw some or all of their water from the river (riparian wells); and (4) through atmospheric deposition resulting in contamination of a small watershed that, in turn, results in contamination of a shallow well or spring by transport in the ground water. These four pathways make up the ``ground-water pathway,`` which is the subject of this study. Assessment of the ground-water pathway was performed by (1) reviewing the existing extensive literature on ground water and ground-water monitoring at Hanford and (2) performing calculations to estimate radionuclide concentrations where no monitoring data were collected. Radiation doses that would result from exposure to these radionuclides were calculated.

  18. The albedos of Pluto and Charon - Wavelength dependence

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marcialis, Robert L.; Lebofsky, Larry A.; Disanti, Michael A.; Fink, Uwe; Tedesco, Edward F.; Africano, John

    1992-01-01

    The March 3, 1987 occultation of Charon by Pluto was monitored simultaneously with three telescopes. Each site covered a distinct wavelength interval with the total range spanning 0.44-2.4 microns. Observing the same event ensures an identical sun-Pluto-earth geometry for all three sites, and minimizes the assumptions which must be made to combine results. This spectrophotometry is used to derive the individual geometric albedos of Pluto and Charon over a factor of at least 5 in wavelength. Combining the results with those of Binzel (1988) improved (B - V) color estimates (on the 'Johnson Pluto' system) are obtained for the components of the system at rotational phase 0.75: (Pluto + Charon) = 0.843 +/- 0.006; Pluto alone = 0.866 +/- 0.007; and Charon alone = 0.702 +/- 0.010.

  19. The Exploration of the Pluto System by New Horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, S. Alan; NASA New Horizons Team

    2016-01-01

    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 (Gyr) 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. In this talk I will summarize the objectives of the New Horizons mission, its scientific payload, and survey key results obtained to date about Pluto and its system of moons.

  20. The ground track oblique Cassini projection used for producing VIIRS mapped imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mills, Stephen

    2014-10-01

    The Suomi-NPP Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) radiance is mapped to make image products using the ground-track Mercator (GTM) algorithm developed at Raytheon. This algorithm defines a process for transforming gridded map (x/y) coordinates of the image into Earth coordinates (longitude/latitude). The y-axis reference is the satellite ground track, which is mapped with an even scale. Great circles placed orthogonally with respect to the ground track define the x-axis. In its current state the algorithm is only defined for the Map-to-Earth (MtE) transformation, but the Earth-to-Map (EtM) transformation has no mathematical algorithm, and instead must use a slow search algorithm for every point. Because of this, the GTM is not a true map projection. This paper remedies this by describing an EtM transformation algorithm using a Ground Track Oblique Cassini (GTOC) projection. This is in somewhat similar to the Space Oblique Mercator (SOM) Projection developed for Landsat. However, Landsat has a very narrow swath, and the GTOC projection better preserves scale across a wider swath, making it more suited for sensors such as VIIRS. Also, unlike the SOM, it keeps the ground-track centered, which is a more efficient use of screen area when it is viewed. This paper describes details of the algorithm, including adjustments necessary for an elliptical orbit and an ellipsoidal Earth. It evaluates Map parameters including conformality and scale preservation, comparing this with other projections, including the SOM. It also evaluates improvements in efficiency relative to a search algorithm.

  1. The Surfaces of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.; Roush, Ted L.; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Sykes, Mark V.; Owen, Tobias C.; Bartholomew, Mary Jane; Brown, Robert H.; Tryka, Kimberly A.

    1996-07-01

    Much of the surface of Pluto consists of high-albedo regions covered to an unknown depth by Beta-N2, contaminated with CH4, CO, and other molecules. A portion of the exposed surface appears to consist of solid H2O. The remainder is covered by lower albedo material of unknown composition. The N2 ice may occur as polar caps of large extent, leaving ices and other solids of lower volatility in the equatorial regions. The low-albedo material found primarily in the equatorial regions may consist in part of solid hydrocarbons and nitriles produced from N2 and CH4 in the atmosphere or in the surface ices. Alternatively, it may arise from deposition from impacting bodies and/or the chemistry of the impact process itself. Charon's surface is probably more compositionally uniform than that of Pluto, and is covered by H2O ice with possible contaminants or exposures of other materials that are as yet unidentified. The molecular ices discovered on Pluto and Charon have been identified from near-infrared spectra obtained with Earth-based telescopes. The quantitative interpretation of those data has been achieved through the computation of synthetic spectra using the Hapke scattering theory and the optical constants of various ices observed in the laboratory. Despite limitations imposed by the availability of laboratory data on ices in various mixtures, certain specific results have been obtained. It appears that CH4 and CO are trace constituents, and that some fraction of the CH4 (and probably the CO) on Pluto is dissolved in the matrix of solid N2. Pure CH4 probably also occurs on Pluto's surface, allowing direct access to the atmosphere. Study of the nitrogen absorption band at 2.148 micrometers shows that the temperature of the N2 in the present epoch is 40 +/-2 K. The global temperature regime of Pluto can be modeled from observations of the thermal flux at far-infrared and millimeter wavelengths. The low-albedo equatorial regions must be significantly warmer than the polar

  2. The "Geology" of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. M.; Schenk, P. M.; Pappalardo, R. T.; McKinnon, W. B.

    2003-04-01

    To speculate about the geology of Pluto and Charon with currently available data is very risky. It is important to remember that we would anticipate that Ganymede and Callisto might have very similar geologies, given the same level of understanding, as we presently possess for the Pluto system. What little we do know with regards to Pluto and Charon's composition, surface albedo variations, and in combination with a post-Voyager and Galileo appreciation of other outer solar system icy objects, at least establishes a criteria for identifying geological questions we wish to address with the upcoming New Horizons mission to that system. Here we give a few examples. Tectonics: Pluto and Charon's geologic history may have involved periods of internal expansion and/or contraction, perhaps due to a build-up of heat from radiogenic sources, the freeze-expansion of a large internal H2O layer, or changes in ice phases. Global internal expansion would manifest itself of the surfaces of these objects in the form of normal faulting and graben formation causing the surface to split into scarp or graben-bounded polygons. Global compression would form a network of thrust fault ridges. Orbital evolution also may have left tectonic imprints. Volcanics : The Voyager survey of the outer solar system has revealed an astonishing variety of endogenic landforms on the surfaces of icy satellites. If Pluto or Charon exhibit evidence of volcanic activity, such observations can be used to constrain composition and thermal evolutions. On Triton, a possible form of active outgassing, whether from deep or shallow sources is a matter of controversy, was observed in the form of narrow plumes. Alternative models for Tritonian plume genesis can be tested by their occurrence on Pluto. Cratering: The presumed absence of any additional heating other than radiogenic may have resulted in the preservation of older (hence more cratered) terrains on Pluto and Charon than on Triton, which would be a boon to

  3. The Surfaces of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.; Roush, Ted L.; Moore, Jeffrey M.; Sykes, Mark V.; Owen, Tobias C.; Bartholomew, Mary Jane; Brown, Robert H.; Tryka, Kimberly A.

    1996-01-01

    Much of the surface of Pluto consists of high-albedo regions covered to an unknown depth by Beta-N2, contaminated with CH4, CO, and other molecules. A portion of the exposed surface appears to consist of solid H2O. The remainder is covered by lower albedo material of unknown composition. The N2 ice may occur as polar caps of large extent, leaving ices and other solids of lower volatility in the equatorial regions. The low-albedo material found primarily in the equatorial regions may consist in part of solid hydrocarbons and nitriles produced from N2 and CH4 in the atmosphere or in the surface ices. Alternatively, it may arise from deposition from impacting bodies and/or the chemistry of the impact process itself. Charon's surface is probably more compositionally uniform than that of Pluto, and is covered by H2O ice with possible contaminants or exposures of other materials that are as yet unidentified. The molecular ices discovered on Pluto and Charon have been identified from near-infrared spectra obtained with Earth-based telescopes. The quantitative interpretation of those data has been achieved through the computation of synthetic spectra using the Hapke scattering theory and the optical constants of various ices observed in the laboratory. Despite limitations imposed by the availability of laboratory data on ices in various mixtures, certain specific results have been obtained. It appears that CH4 and CO are trace constituents, and that some fraction of the CH4 (and probably the CO) on Pluto is dissolved in the matrix of solid N2. Pure CH4 probably also occurs on Pluto's surface, allowing direct access to the atmosphere. Study of the nitrogen absorption band at 2.148 micrometers shows that the temperature of the N2 in the present epoch is 40 +/-2 K. The global temperature regime of Pluto can be modeled from observations of the thermal flux at far-infrared and millimeter wavelengths. The low-albedo equatorial regions must be significantly warmer than the polar

  4. Impact and cratering rates onto Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 < 42AU hot and stirred main classicals, the classical outers, and the plutinos) dominate Pluto's impact flux, each providing ≈ 15-25 % of the total rate. Due to the uncertainty in how the well-characterized size distribution for Kuiper belt objects (with impactor diameter d > 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Stern, S.A. )

    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.

  6. Ground-water quality assessment of the central Oklahoma Aquifer, Oklahoma; project description

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christenson, S.C.; Parkhurst, D.L.

    1987-01-01

    In April 1986, the U.S. Geological Survey began a pilot program to assess the quality of the Nation's surface-water and ground-water resources. The program, known as the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program, is designed to acquire and interpret information about a variety of water-quality issues. The Central Oklahoma aquifer project is one of three ground-water pilot projects that have been started. The NAWQA program also incudes four surface-water pilot projects. The Central Oklahoma aquifer project, as part of the pilot NAWQA program, will develop and test methods for performing assessments of ground-water quality. The objectives of the Central Oklahoma aquifer assessment are: (1) To investigate regional ground-water quality throughout the aquifer in the manner consistent with the other pilot ground-water projects, emphasizing the occurrence and distribution of potentially toxic substances in ground water, including trace elements, organic compounds, and radioactive constituents; (2) to describe relations between ground-water quality, land use, hydrogeology, and other pertinent factors; and (3) to provide a general description of the location, nature, and possible causes of selected prevalent water-quality problems within the study unit; and (4) to describe the potential for water-quality degradation of ground-water zones within the study unit. The Central Oklahoma aquifer, which includes in descending order the Garber Sandstone and Wellington Formation, the Chase Group, the Council Grove Group, the Admire Group, and overlying alluvium and terrace deposits, underlies about 3,000 square miles of central Oklahoma and is used extensively for municipal, industrial, commercial, and domestic water supplies. The aquifer was selected for study by the NAWQA program because it is a major source for water supplies in central Oklahoma and because it has several known or suspected water-quality problems. Known problems include concentrations of arsenic, chromium

  7. Occultations by Pluto and Charon - 1990-1999

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mink, Douglas J.; Klemola, Arnold R.; Buie, Marc W.

    1991-01-01

    The results of a photographic plate search for stars as faint as V = 16 which may be occulted by Pluto or Charon between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 1999 are presented. Circumstances for the closest approach of Pluto to 32 stars and Charon to 28 stars are presented. Photometric information is given for some of the brightest stars found in a search of the Space Telescope Guide Star Catalog for Pluto occultations. Finding charts from Space Telescope Guide Star plates are provided for some of the best events. The brightest star (V = 12.7) may be occulted by both Pluto and Charon on September 26, 1999.

  8. New constraints on the surface of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merlin, F.

    2015-10-01

    Aims: Spectroscopic investigation of the surface of Pluto allows us to constrain the chemical properties of the volatile species of the solar system reservoir. This permits us to obtain the relative abundances of various molecules, their physical properties, as well as their spatial and temporal variation. This also could tell us about the origin of various minor chemical compounds formed during the solar system formation or generated later on by space weathering. This will give us critical information about the evolution processes that may occur in the entire trans-Neptunian objects population, and in particular the biggest objects, which could retain tenuous atmospheres. Methods: New observations of the surface of Pluto have been carried out along with reanalyses of older observations carried out with the ESO-VLT telescopes and the SINFONI instrument at a mean spectral resolution of 1500. We present three new near-infrared spectra of Pluto observed at different epochs, and covering the H and K spectral bands showing absorption features of methane, nitrogen, and carbon monoxide ices. We ran different spectral models, based on Hapke theory, to constrain the physical and chemical properties of different sides of Pluto. Results: We have confirmed the spatial and secular variation of the spectral properties of the surface of Pluto. The abundances, sizes, and temperatures of different ices, such as CH4, CO, and N2 have been constrained for different parts of the surface of Pluto. The results suggest a temperature probably just above the alpha-beta transition phase of N2 (close to 36.5 K), and a probable stratification of the dilution state of CO and CH4. The presence of minor chemical compounds, such as C2H6, has been confirmed too, and for data obtained at several sub-Earth east longitudes. Solid C2H4 is suggested by the spectral modeling with abundance variation following that of solid C2H6 and solid CH4. Based on observations made with ESO telescopes at the Paranal

  9. Tholins as Coloring Agents on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. Guidelines of the Design of Electropyrotechnic Firing Circuit for Unmanned Flight and Ground Test Projects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzalez, Guillermo A.; Lucy, Melvin H.; Massie, Jeffrey J.

    2013-01-01

    The NASA Langley Research Center, Engineering Directorate, Electronic System Branch, is responsible for providing pyrotechnic support capabilities to Langley Research Center unmanned flight and ground test projects. These capabilities include device selection, procurement, testing, problem solving, firing system design, fabrication and testing; ground support equipment design, fabrication and testing; checkout procedures and procedure?s training to pyro technicians. This technical memorandum will serve as a guideline for the design, fabrication and testing of electropyrotechnic firing systems. The guidelines will discuss the entire process beginning with requirements definition and ending with development and execution.

  11. The surface compositions of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruikshank, D. P.; Grundy, W. M.; DeMeo, F. E.; Buie, M. W.; Binzel, R. P.; Jennings, D. E.; Olkin, C. B.; Parker, J. W.; Reuter, D. C.; Spencer, J. R.; Stern, S. A.; Young, L. A.; Weaver, H. A.

    2015-01-01

    The surface of Pluto as it is understood on the eve of the encounter of the New Horizons spacecraft (mid-2015) consists of a spatially heterogeneous mix of solid N2, CH4, CO, C2H6, and an additional component that imparts color, and may not be an ice. The known molecular ices are detected by near-infrared spectroscopy. The N2 ice occurs in the hexagonal crystalline β-phase, stable at T > 35.6 K. Spectroscopic evidence for wavelength shifts in the CH4 bands attests to the complex mixing of CH4 and N2 in the solid state, in accordance with the phase diagram for N2 + CH4. Spectra obtained at several aspects of Pluto's surface as the planet rotates over its 6.4-day period show variability in the distribution of CH4 and N2 ices, with stronger CH4 absorption bands associated with regions of higher albedo, in correlation with the visible rotational light curve. CO and N2 ice absorptions are also strongly modulated by the rotation period; the bands are strongest on the anti-Charon hemisphere of Pluto. Longer term changes in the strengths of Pluto's absorption bands occur as the viewing geometry changes on seasonal time-scales, although a complete cycle has not been observed. The non-ice component of Pluto's surface may be a relatively refractory material produced by the UV and cosmic-ray irradiation of the surface ices and gases in the atmosphere, although UV does not generally penetrate the atmospheric CH4 to interact with the surface. Laboratory simulations indicate that a rich chemistry ensues by the irradiation of mixtures of the ices known to occur on Pluto, but specific compounds have not yet been identified in spectra of the planet. Charon's surface is characterized by spectral bands of crystalline H2O ice, and a band attributed to one or more hydrates of NH3. Amorphous H2O ice may also be present; the balance between the amorphization and crystallization processes on Charon remains to be clarified. The albedo of Charon and its generally spatially uniform neutral

  12. Pluto Fast Flyby Mission and Science Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, A.

    1993-01-01

    Planning for the Pluto Fast Flyby (PFF) mission centers on the launch of two small (110-160 kg) spacecraft late in the 1990s on fast, 6-8-year trajectories that do not require Jupiter flybys. The cost target of the two-spaceraft PFF mission is $400 million. Scientific payload definition by NASA's Outer Planets Science Working Group (OPSWG) and JPL design studies for the Pluto flyby spacecraft are now being completed, and the program is in Phase A development. Selection of a set of lightweight, low-power instrument demonstrations is planned for May 1993. According to plan, the completion of Phase A and then detailed Phase B spacecraft and payload design work will occur in FY94. The release of an instrument payload AO, followed by the selection of the flight payload, is also scheduled for FY94.

  13. Pluto's interaction with the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McComas, D. J.; Elliott, H. A.; Weidner, S.; Valek, P.; Zirnstein, E. J.; Bagenal, F.; Delamere, P. A.; Ebert, R. W.; Funsten, H. O.; Horanyi, M.; McNutt, R. L.; Moser, C.; Schwadron, N. A.; Strobel, D. F.; Young, L. A.; Ennico, K.; Olkin, C. B.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.

    2016-05-01

    This study provides the first observations of Plutogenic ions and their unique interaction with the solar wind. We find ~20% solar wind slowing that maps to a point only ~4.5 RP upstream of Pluto and a bow shock most likely produced by comet-like mass loading. The Pluto obstacle is a region of dense heavy ions bounded by a "Plutopause" where the solar wind is largely excluded and which extends back >100 RP into a heavy ion tail. The upstream standoff distance is at only ~2.5 RP. The heavy ion tail contains considerable structure, may still be partially threaded by the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF), and is surrounded by a light ion sheath. The heavy ions (presumably CH4+) have average speed, density, and temperature of ~90 km s-1, ~0.009 cm-3, and ~7 × 105 K, with significant variability, slightly increasing speed/temperature with distance, and are N-S asymmetric. Density and temperature are roughly anticorrelated yielding a pressure ~2 × 10-2 pPa, roughly in balance with the interstellar pickup ions at ~33 AU. We set an upper bound of <30 nT surface field at Pluto and argue that the obstacle is largely produced by atmospheric thermal pressure like Venus and Mars; we also show that the loss rate down the tail (~5 × 1023 s-1) is only ~1% of the expected total CH4 loss rate from Pluto. Finally, we observe a burst of heavy ions upstream from the bow shock as they are becoming picked up and tentatively identify an IMF outward sector at the time of the NH flyby.

  14. New Horizons Pluto Flyby Guest Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. The 22 May 2011 Pluto occultation - observed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, J. M.; Souza, S. P.; Babcock, B. A.; Pandey, S.; Hosek, M. W.; Person, M. J.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Bosh, A. S.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Ryan, E. V.; Ryan, W. H.; Briggs, J. W.; Winkler, P. F.; Hoette, V.; Haislip, J.

    2011-10-01

    Based on a prediction from MIT with astrometric observations from the USNO and Lowell Observatory, we observed the 22 May 2011 UT 06:22 occultation of a star by Pluto (www.stellaroccultations.info and occult.mit.edu), predicted time. The star occulted was UCAC2 magnitude 15.3, and the event's geocentric velocity was 18.2 km s-1. We used the 0.6-m telescope of Williams College's Hopkins Observatory in Williamstown, MA, and one of our Portable Occultation, Eclipse, and Transit System (POETS) CCD/GPS. The centerline of the predicted path was just above the north pole, with the southern limit passing through the U.S. mid-Atlantic, so telescopes in the northeast were potentially in the path, though at high air mass. An occultation of approximately 100 s was clearly detected after calibrating on a nearby comparison star (and barely visible on the CCD monitoring screen in real time), given the relatively cloudy and variable nature of the observing conditions. We used the observation to refine the prediction model that is crucial for the 23/27 June occultations of Pluto-Charon/Pluto-Hydra, respectively. Observations in clear conditions with the Magdalena Ridge Observatory's 2.4-m telescope in New Mexico and another of our POETS did not show an occultation to better than 1%. This nondetection provides a constraint for a Pluto atmospheric graze or the potential shift of the path of Charon sufficiently far north to that site from the predicted path in northernmost South America.

  16. Pluto and Charon: A Case of Precession-Orbit Resonance?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, David Parry; Smith, David E. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Pluto may be the only known case of precession-orbit resonance in the solar system. The Pluto-Charon system orbits the Sun with a period of 1 Plutonian year, which is 250.8 Earth years. The observed parameters of the system are such that Charon may cause Pluto to precess with a period near 250.8 Earth years. This gives rise to two possible resonances, heretofore unrecognized. The first is due to Pluto's orbit being highly eccentric, giving solar torques on Charon with a period of 1 Plutonian year. Charon in turn drives Pluto near its precession period. Volatiles, which are expected to shuttle across Pluto's surface between equator and pole as Pluto's obliquity oscillates, might change the planet's dynamical flattening enough so that Pluto crosses the nearby resonance, forcing the planet's equatorial plane to depart from Charon's orbital plane. The mutual tilt can reach as much as 2 deg after integrating over 5.6 x 10(exp 6) years, depending upon how close Pluto is to the resonance and the supply of volatiles. The second resonance is due to the Sun's traveling above and below Charon's orbital plane; it has a period half that of the eccentricity resonance. Reaching this half-Plutonian year resonance requires a much larger but still theoretically possible amount of volatiles. In this case the departure of Charon from an equatorial orbit is about 1 deg after integrating for 5.6 x 10(exp 6) years. The calculations ignore libration and tidal friction. It is not presently known how large the mutual tilt can grow over the age of the solar system, but if it remains only a few degrees, then observing such small angles from a Pluto flyby mission would be difficult. It is not clear why the parameters of the Pluto-Charon system are so close to the eccentricity resonance.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  18. Pluto's Atmosphere from the 29 June 2015 Occultation: SOFIA Airborne Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Person, Michael J.; MIT-Williams Occulation Group (MIT/Williams College/Lowell Observatory/SAAO), HIPO Instrument Group (Lowell Observatory/MIT), FLITECAM Instrument Group (UCLA), FPI+ Instrument Group (DSI/U. Stuttgart), SOFIA Operations Group (NASA/USRA/DSI)

    2016-01-01

    After an extensive prediction effort, the 29 June 2015 occultation by Pluto was observed from both airborne (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy - SOFIA) and numerous ground-based telescopes (Bosh et al. 2015, in prep.). Real-time prediction updates allowed placement of the SOFIA telescope with its four detectors deep within the central-flash region of the atmospheric occultation. Fortuitously, the Mount John University Observatory (Lake Tekapo, New Zealand) was also within the central-flash region. This happenstance allowed for direct mutual calibration of the SOFIA data with the ground-based data in multiple central-flash detections in several colors from each facility resulting in a full maping of the central-flash evolute.Combining all of the data allows for a precise measurement of the SOFIA flight path through the shadow, and direct measurement of Pluto's atmospheric shadow size.We will examine and discuss the central-flash signatures from the deepest pass yet recorded through a Pluto central flash. The relative orientations and asymmetries in the various central flash data allow us to use them to tightly constrain the lower atmospheric ellipticity and orientation of likely winds with respect to Pluto's figure. The ratio of the two separate central flashes (airborne and ground-based) is also a strong constraint on the geometric solution for the full occultation data set, and the absolute height of the central flashes with respect to those expected for a clear isothermal atmosphere places constraints on haze densities and thermal gradients in Pluto's lower atmosphere. We can also compare the central-flash signatures in several colors to establish bounds on haze-particle sizes in the lower atmosphere.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

  19. Pluto's atmosphere-plasma interaction: Hybrid simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delamere, P. A.; Bagenal, F.; Strobel, D. F.; Barnes, N. P.; McComas, D. J.; Elliott, H. A.; Hill, M. E.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.

    2015-12-01

    Pluto's low gravity implies that the atmosphere is only weakly bound. The escaping neutrals are photoionized and the heavy ions (N2+) move away from Pluto in the direction perpendicular to the solar wind flow (i.e., nearly unmagnetized relative to the length scales of the plasma interaction region). The turning distance of the solar wind protons at the magnetic pileup boundary is large compared to the interaction region. As a result, large ion gyroradius effects determine Pluto's highly asymmetric interaction with the solar wind. We use a three-dimensional hybrid code (fluid electrons, kinetic ions) to investigate the geometry of the interaction region using recent atmospheric models for hybrid simulation input. We will present initial results, showing the sensitivity of bow shock location to variations in the model atmosphere as well as variations in the solar wind conditions. Synthetic energy spectrograms taken from the simluations could be directly compared with the New Horizons plasma data to further constrain model input parameters. Initial results indicate that a full bow shock could form with possible structuring in the wake region due to bi-ion waves and Kelvin-Helmholtz waves.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Young, L. A.

    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.

  1. Comparative Planetary Atmospheres of Pluto and Triton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strobel, D. F.; Zhu, X.

    2015-10-01

    Both atmospheres of Pluto and Neptune's largest satellite Triton have cold surfaces with similar surface gravities and atmospheric surface pressures. We have updated the Zhu et al.Icarus 228 , 301, 2014) model for Pluto's atmosphere by adopting Voigt line profiles in the radiation code with the latest spectral database and extended the model to Triton's atmosphere by including additional parameterized heating due to the magnetospheric electron energy deposition. Numerical experiments show that the escape rate of an atmosphere for an icy planetary body similar to Pluto or Triton is quite sensitive to the methane abundance and planetary surface gravity. Together this leads to a cumulative effect on the density variation with the altitude that significantly changes the atmospheric scale height at the exobase together with the exobase altitude. The atmospheric thermal structure near the exobase is sensitive to the atmospheric escape rate only when it is significantly greater than 10 26 molecules s-1 above which an enhanced escape rate corresponds to a stronger radial velocity that adiabatically cools the atmosphere to a lower temperature.

  2. Speckle Camera Imaging of the Planet Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howell, Steve B.; Horch, Elliott P.; Everett, Mark E.; Ciardi, David R.

    2012-10-01

    We have obtained optical wavelength (692 nm and 880 nm) speckle imaging of the planet Pluto and its largest moon Charon. Using our DSSI speckle camera attached to the Gemini North 8 m telescope, we collected high resolution imaging with an angular resolution of ~20 mas, a value at the Gemini-N telescope diffraction limit. We have produced for this binary system the first speckle reconstructed images, from which we can measure not only the orbital separation and position angle for Charon, but also the diameters of the two bodies. Our measurements of these parameters agree, within the uncertainties, with the current best values for Pluto and Charon. The Gemini-N speckle observations of Pluto are presented to illustrate the capabilities of our instrument and the robust production of high accuracy, high spatial resolution reconstructed images. We hope our results will suggest additional applications of high resolution speckle imaging for other objects within our solar system and beyond. Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (Brazil) and Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva (Argentina).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  4. Common ground: the HealthWeb project as a model for Internet collaboration.

    PubMed Central

    Redman, P M; Kelly, J A; Albright, E D; Anderson, P F; Mulder, C; Schnell, E H

    1997-01-01

    The establishment of the HealthWeb project by twelve health sciences libraries provides a collaborative means of organizing and enhancing access to Internet resources for the international health sciences community. The project is based on the idea that the Internet is common ground for all libraries and that through collaboration a more comprehensive, robust, and long-lasting information product can be maintained. The participants include more than seventy librarians from the health sciences libraries of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), an academic consortium of twelve major research universities. The Greater Midwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine serves as a cosponsor. HealthWeb is an information resource that provides access to evaluated, annotated Internet resources via the World Wide Web. The project vision as well as the progress reported on its implementation may serve as a model for other collaborative Internet projects. PMID:9431420

  5. Common ground: the HealthWeb project as a model for Internet collaboration.

    PubMed

    Redman, P M; Kelly, J A; Albright, E D; Anderson, P F; Mulder, C; Schnell, E H

    1997-10-01

    The establishment of the HealthWeb project by twelve health sciences libraries provides a collaborative means of organizing and enhancing access to Internet resources for the international health sciences community. The project is based on the idea that the Internet is common ground for all libraries and that through collaboration a more comprehensive, robust, and long-lasting information product can be maintained. The participants include more than seventy librarians from the health sciences libraries of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), an academic consortium of twelve major research universities. The Greater Midwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine serves as a cosponsor. HealthWeb is an information resource that provides access to evaluated, annotated Internet resources via the World Wide Web. The project vision as well as the progress reported on its implementation may serve as a model for other collaborative Internet projects. PMID:9431420

  6. Status of the ground water flow model for the UMTRA Project, Shiprock, New Mexico, site

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1995-01-01

    A two-dimensional numerical model was constructed for the alluvial aquifer in the area of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project Shiprock, New Mexico, site. This model was used to investigate the effects of various hydrologic parameters on the evolution of the ground water flow field. Results of the model are useful for defining uncertainties in the site conceptual model and suggesting data collection efforts to reduce these uncertainties. The computer code MODFLOW was used to simulate the two-dimensional flow of ground water in the alluvium. The escarpment was represented as a no-flow boundary. The San Juan River was represented with the MODFLOW river package. A uniform hydraulic conductivity distribution with the value estimated by the UMTRA Project Technical Assistance Contractor (TAC) and a uniform recharge distribution was used. Infiltration from the flowing artesian well was represented using the well package. The ground water flow model was calibrated to ground water levels observed in April 1993. Inspection of hydrographs shows that these levels are representative of typical conditions at the site.

  7. A projection gradient method for computing ground state of spin-2 Bose–Einstein condensates

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Hanquan

    2014-10-01

    In this paper, a projection gradient method is presented for computing ground state of spin-2 Bose–Einstein condensates (BEC). We first propose the general projection gradient method for solving energy functional minimization problem under multiple constraints, in which the energy functional takes real functions as independent variables. We next extend the method to solve a similar problem, where the energy functional now takes complex functions as independent variables. We finally employ the method into finding the ground state of spin-2 BEC. The key of our method is: by constructing continuous gradient flows (CGFs), the ground state of spin-2 BEC can be computed as the steady state solution of such CGFs. We discretized the CGFs by a conservative finite difference method along with a proper way to deal with the nonlinear terms. We show that the numerical discretization is normalization and magnetization conservative and energy diminishing. Numerical results of the ground state and their energy of spin-2 BEC are reported to demonstrate the effectiveness of the numerical method.

  8. The TERESA project: from space research to ground tele-echography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vieyres, Pierre; Poisson, Gerard; Courreges, Fabien; Merigeaux, Olivier; Arbeille, Philippe

    2003-01-01

    Ultrasound examinations represent one of the major diagnostic modalities of future healthcare. They are currently used to support medical space research but require a high skilled operator for both probe positioning on the patient's skin and image interpretation. TERESA is a tele-echography project that proposes a solution to bring astronauts and remotely located patients on ground quality ultrasound examinations despite the lack of a specialist at the location of the wanted medical act.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. IRAS constraints on the sizes of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tedesco, Edward F.; Veeder, Glenn J., Jr.; Dunbar, R. Scott; Lebofsky, Larry A.

    1987-01-01

    Thermal emission models indicate that Charon contributes a significant amount of the infrared radiation detected by IRAS during the observation of mutual eclipse events. The IRAS observations also show that the most probable diameters for Pluto and Charon are 2200 and 1300 (+ or - 150) km. These results are consistent with there being some atmosphere on Pluto.

  11. Tectonic activity on Pluto after the Charon-forming impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barr, Amy C.; Collins, Geoffrey C.

    2015-01-01

    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 Ti > 200K , 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 tidally-driven tectonic activity on either body, the most likely explanation is that Pluto had an internal ocean during Charon's orbital evolution.

  12. Pluto's atmosphere in 2015 from high-resolution spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roe, Henry G.; Cook, Jason C.; Mace, Gregory N.; Holler, Bryan J.; Young, Leslie A.; McLane, Jacob N.; Jaffe, Daniel T.

    2015-11-01

    Pluto's thin N2/CH4 atmosphere is in vapor-pressure equilibrium with ices on its surface. The atmosphere evolves seasonally with the varying insolation pattern on Pluto's heterogenous surface, perhaps even largely freezing out to the surface during the coldest portion of Pluto's year. We use high-resolution (R≈25,000-50,000) near-infrared spectroscopy to resolve atmospheric methane absorption lines from Pluto's continuum spectra, as well as separate Pluto's atmospheric lines from the telluric spectrum. In addition to measuring the abundance and temperature of Pluto's atmospheric CH4, with broad wavelength coverage we are able to search for the inevitable products of N2/CH4 photochemistry. In 2015 we are undertaking an intensive campaign using NIRSPEC at Keck Observatory and IGRINS (Immersion Grating INfrared Spectrometer) at McDonald Observatory to coincide with the New Horizons Pluto encounter. We will report initial results from this 2015 campaign and compare the state of Pluto's atmosphere at the time of the New Horizons encounter with earlier years.

  13. Miniatue Propulsion Components for the Pluto Fast Flyby Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morash, D. H.; Strand, L.

    1994-01-01

    Pluto is the only planet in our solar system not yet visited by our spacecraft. Recent observations through the Hubble Space Telescope have given us a glimpse of Pluto and it's moon Charon, but their small size and immense distance from earth have preserved their mystery.

  14. Circumstances for Pluto-Charon mutual events in 1987

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.; Buie, Marc W.; Swift, Catherine E.

    1987-01-01

    Circumstances are tabulated for 88 Pluto-Charon mutual events occurring during the 1987 opposition. Charon is predicted to be completely obscured either by Pluto or Pluto's shadow during each passage behind Pluto during this opposition, providing several opportunities to study Pluto uncontaminated by the light of Charon. The duration of these total events is predicted to be from 32 to 79 min. The mutual-event season is now expected to conclude during the 1990 opposition. Two new stars have been selected as comparison stars for events occurring prior to opposition in 1987. Standardization of the primary comparison stars used in 1985 and 1986 has yielded the following magnitudes: B = 12.6044 + or - 0.0015 and V = 11.7956 + or - 0.0017 (1985 Primary); B = 13.1238 + or 0.0008 and V = 12.3885 + or - 0.0014 (1986 Primary).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smullen, Rachel; Kratter, Kaitlin M.

    2016-05-01

    Pluto has recently been thrust into the spotlight with the fly-by of New Horizons. This dwarf planet and its moons provide an opportunity to study circumbinary dynamics close to home. We perform N-body simulations of a test-particle disk around the Pluto-Charon binary to study the fate of debris that should result from the formation of the Pluto-Charon binary. We not only investigate the stability and time evolution of debris within the Pluto system, but also track ejected debris to see where it may collect in the solar system. By studying the dynamics of the Pluto-Charon system, we may be able to place constraints on the cratering rates from its natal disk and identify tracers of the formation of this system.

  16. Photometric Properties of Pluto and Charon: Comparison to Other Bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buratti, B. J.; Stern, A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Young, L. A.; Ennico Smith, K.; Momary, T.; Zangari, A. M.; Binzel, R. P.

    2015-12-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft provided the first detailed views of the photometric properties of Pluto and Charon, and how these properties relate to geophysical processes. Among the first results are the distribution of albedo on the surfaces of both bodies, and the surface phase function for both high- and low-albedo regions of Pluto, which yields information on macroscopic roughness and particle properties. The highest albedos on Pluto are similar to those of the bright icy moons of Saturn and Jupiter. The range of albedos on Pluto is surprisingly large, surpassed only by Saturn's moon Iapetus. Charon has a more limited range, with a bifurcated distribution. The disk-integrated phase function of Pluto is similar to those of the icy moons of Saturn. The geologic implications of these results will be discussed. Funded by NASA

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

    SciTech Connect

    Simonelli, D.P. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY ); Reynolds, R.T. )

    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.

  18. Convection in Solid Nitrogen and Other Supervolatile Ices on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, W. B.; Nimmo, F.; Umurhan, O. M.; Wong, T.; Roberts, J. H.; Stern, A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Spencer, J. R.; Moore, J. M.; Schenk, P.; Olkin, C.; Young, L. A.; Ennico Smith, K.

    2015-12-01

    N2, CO, and CH4 ices are all very weak, van der Waals bonded molecular solids. As such they are not expected to be able to support appreciable surface topography over any great length of geologic time, even at the surface conditions of bodies such as Pluto or Triton (J.M. Moore et al., Geology before Pluto: Pre-encounter considerations, Icarus 246, 65-81, 2015). Nitrogen ice, the most volatile of these, is the volumetrically dominant ice in the optically active surface of Pluto and may exist in more substantive, massive accumulations as well. We examine the possibility of convective overturn in surface layers of nitrogen and other "supervolatile" ices on Pluto, based on the best available rheologies. The characteristics of such convection may differ from those observed or expected on the terrestrial planets and icy satellites. We will discuss whether these characteristics possess any explanatory power for Pluto.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    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.…

  1. The Development and Implementation of Ground Safety Requirements for Project Orion Abort Flight Testing - A Case Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, Paul D.; Williams, Jeffrey G.; Condzella, Bill R.

    2008-01-01

    A rigorous set of detailed ground safety requirements is required to make sure that ground support equipment (GSE) and associated planned ground operations are conducted safely. Detailed ground safety requirements supplement the GSE requirements already called out in NASA-STD-5005. This paper will describe the initial genesis of these ground safety requirements, the establishment and approval process and finally the implementation process for Project Orion. The future of the requirements will also be described. Problems and issues encountered and overcame will be discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalucha, A. M.; Gulbis, A.

    2011-12-01

    A variety of methods have been used to derive Pluto's atmospheric temperature, composition, and surface pressure from spectra and stellar occultation data, while wind is less easily determined. Gravity wave dissipation has been investigated [1] in the 18 March 2007 stellar occultation dataset [2], demonstrating that wind is occurring in the form of perturbations about a mean. Rossby waves have also been proposed [2] as an explanation to the 2007 dataset; however the method was used incorrectly. General circulation models (GCMs) are a ubiquitous tool in the field of planetary atmospheres to solve for the global state of the atmosphere in a physically consistent manner, but only recently have they began to be developed for Pluto. We use a Pluto version of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) GCM to solve for the first time for wind, temperature, and surface pressure globally in Pluto's atmosphere. The Pluto version of the MIT GCM (PGCM) uses the MIT GCM dynamical core [3] with a radiative-conductive model [4]. It includes vertical thermal conduction and non-local thermodynamic equilibrium heating and cooling by methane at 3.3 um and 7.6 um, respectively. We perform a parameter sweep with methane volume mixing ratios of 0.2, 0.6, and 1% and initial global mean surface pressures of 6-26 ubar. We ran the model from rest starting in the model year 1973. We compared the PGCM results with occultation data from the years 1988, 2002, 2006, and 2007. Model light curves were calculated from the PGCM temperature output (averaged at 90 day intervals) at the corresponding date and Pluto latitudes of each occultation. The match between data and PGCM is better than between data and the radiative-conductive equilibrium solution (i.e. no wind), but the PGCM light curves contain wave-like features while the data do not. We do not believe that this feature represents an atmospheric wave; rather, it is numerical noise known to occur in 2D GCMs. The PGCM-predicted zonal

  3. Seasonal variations in Pluto's atmospheric tides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    French, Richard G.; Toigo, Anthony D.; Gierasch, Peter J.; Hansen, Candice J.; Young, Leslie A.; Sicardy, Bruno; Dias-Oliveira, Alex; Guzewich, Scott D.

    2015-01-01

    Pluto's tenuous atmosphere exhibits remarkable seasonal change as a result of the planet's substantial obliquity and highly eccentric orbit. Over the past two decades, occultations have revealed that the atmospheric pressure on Pluto has increased substantially, perhaps by a factor as large as 2 to 4, as the planet has moved from equinox towards solstice conditions. These data have also shown variations in the strength of the dynamical activity in the atmosphere, as revealed by the varying abundance and amplitude of spikes in the occultation light curves resulting from refractive focussing by atmospheric waves. Toigo et al. (Toigo et al. [2010]. Icarus, 208, 402-411) explored the possibility that these waves are caused by solar-induced sublimation and diurnal deposition from N2 frost patches, driven by weak vertical winds resulting from the rising and sinking gas as it is released from or deposited onto the surface. Here, we extend this model to account explicitly for seasonal variations in average insolation and for the significant damping of vertical wave propagation by kinematic viscosity and thermal diffusivity (Hubbard et al. [2009]. Icarus, 204, 284-289). Damping is extremely effective in suppressing vertical propagation of waves with vertical wavelengths of a few kilometers or less, and the dominant surviving tidal modes have characteristic vertical wavelengths λ ∼ 10-13 km . We estimate the expected strength and regional characteristics of atmospheric tides over the course of Pluto's orbit for a variety of assumed spatial distributions of surface frost and atmospheric surface pressure. We compute the predicted strength of tide-induced wave activity based on the actual frost distribution observed on Pluto from Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations (Stern et al. [1997]. Astron. J., 113, 827; Buie et al. [2010]. Astron. J., 139, 1128-1143), and compare the results to calculations for volatile transport models of Young (Young [2013]. Astrophys. J., 766

  4. New Horizons disk-integrated approach photometry of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zangari, Amanda M.; Buie, Marc W.; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Verbiscer, Anne J.; Howett, C. J. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly; Young, Leslie A.; Stern, S. A.

    2015-11-01

    Approach and cruise observations of Pluto and Charon by NASA's New Horizons LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager ("LORRI") allow monitoring of Pluto not only at phase angles beyond Earth's 2 degree limit, but present a near constant sub-observer latitude of 43 degrees. However, the creation of light curves and solar phase curves of the pair prove to be an interesting challenge. Early images of the pair from July 2013 are barely resolved and have low signal, while later images show the pair clearly resolved and at sufficient resolution. Just at the Pluto approaches the signal level and image quality of prior HST images, surface features become resolved, rendering disk integrated photometry increasingly difficult and inaccurate, with the largest discrepancies found at longitudes which show the intersection of features informally named Tombaugh Regio ("the heart") and Cthulhu Macula ("the whale"). Now, post flyby, accurate knowledge of the radius and the shapes of surface features and their patterns of dark and light, allow for the creation of custom PSFs created from flyby maps. Using these maps, we present disk-integrated approach photometry, a solar phase curve and estimate Hapke parameters, taking into account the sub-observer position.This work was supported by the NASA New Horizons Project.

  5. The Radii and Oblateness of Pluto and Charon: Preliminary Results from the 2015 New Horizons Flyby

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lisse, Carey M.; Nimmo, Francis; McKinnon, William B.; Umurhan, Orkan M.; Buie, Marc W.; Lauer, Tod R.; Roberts, James H.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Hal A.; Young, Leslie A.; Ennico-Smith, Kimberly; Olkin, Cathy B.

    2015-11-01

    We present preliminary results for the radii and oblateness of Pluto and Charon. Accurate determinations of the mean radii of Pluto and Charon are important for establishing their densities and bulk composition. A fossil bulge, if present, would place constraints on the thermal and orbital evolution of these bodies [1,2]. The New Horizons LORRI imaging system [3] has provided global images of Pluto and Charon, with best resolutions of 3.8 and 2.3 km/pix, respectively. Three separate approaches have been used to determine mean radii and oblateness from the images, two using a threshold DN value [4,5] and one using a maximum gradient method. These approaches were validated using synthetic images having a range of photometric functions. Tradeoffs between the limb center location and the derived shape in individual images can be reduced by combining limb pixel locations obtained from different imaged rotational phases.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.[1] Robuchon & Nimmo, Icarus 216, 426, 2011. [2] McKinnon & Singer, DPS 46, abs. no. 419.07, 2014. [3] Cheng et al., SSR 140, 189, 2008. [4] Dermott & Thomas, Icarus 73, 25, 1988. [5] Thomason & Nimmo, LPSC 46, abs. no. 1462, 2015.

  6. The temperature of nitrogen on Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tryka, K. A.; Brown, R. H.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Owen, T. C.

    1994-01-01

    With Hapke scattering theory and absorption coefficients derived from our laboratory measurements of solid N2 we have modeled the spectrum of Triton. By comparing a Hapke scattering model to the measured spectrum from Triton, we determined the temperature of the N2 on the satellite's surface to be 38 (+2, -1) K which is in accord with the measurements of Voyager 2. Applying this technique to Pluto we find that the temperature of N2 on that body is 40 +/- 2 K. Other aspects of this investigation are discussed.

  7. Seasonal Variations in Pluto's Atmospheric Tides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    French, R. G.; Toigo, A. D.; Sicardy, B.; Guzewich, S.; Gierasch, P. J.; Richardson, M. I.

    2013-12-01

    Pluto's tenuous atmosphere exhibits remarkable dynamical activity and seasonal change as a result of the substantial tilt of its rotational axis and its highly elliptical orbit. Early discovery observations by stellar occultation (Elliot et al. 1989 Icarus 77, 148) revealed a relatively symmetrical atmosphere of very low density, with evidence of either a near-surface haze layer or a very cold near-surface layer. Later occultation and spectroscopic measurements showed that the dominant constituent of the atmosphere is nitrogen, with lower abundances of CH4 and other trace amounts of greenhouse gases that control the thermal structure of the middle atmosphere. Over the past two decades, occultations have convincingly demonstrated that the atmospheric pressure on Pluto has increased substantially, perhaps by a factor of 2 to 4, as the planet has moved from equinox towards solstice conditions. These data have also shown an interesting change in dynamical activity in the atmosphere, as revealed by "spikes" in the occultation light curves resulting from refractive focussing by atmospheric waves. In the past two years, a conspicuous asymmetry in wavelike activity has become evident, being much stronger in the winter hemisphere than in the summer. Toigo et al. (2010, Icarus 208, 402) explored the possibility that these waves are caused by solar-induced sublimation and diurnal freezing from N2 frost patches -- weak vertical winds are induced by the rising and sinking gas as it is release from or condenses on the surface. Using a variant of this tidal model, we explore the expected strength and regional characteristics of tides over the course of Pluto's orbit, accounting for changes in insolation and distance from the sun, for a variety of assumed spatial distributions of surface frost. Using a 3-D time-dependent ray-tracing code we compute model light curves for the actual circumstances of several recent occultations, and compare the character of the scintillations in the

  8. The Laplace Planes of Uranus and Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.

    1993-01-01

    Satellite orbits close to an oblate planet precess about its equatorial plane, while distant satellites precess around the plane of the planet's heliocentric orbit. In between, satellites in nearly circular orbits precess about a warped intermediate surface called the Laplace 'plane.' Herein we derive general formulas for locating the Laplace plane. Because Uranus and Pluto have high obliquities, their Laplace planes are severely warped. We present maps of these Laplace planes, of interest in telescopic searches for new satellites. The Laplace plane of the Solar System as a whole is similarly distorted, but comets in the inner Oort cloud precess too slowly to sense the Laplace plane.

  9. An experimental low-cost ground station for the small satellite project bird.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kayal, Hakan

    2000-03-01

    An experimental ground station (EGS) for the earth observing small satellite project BIRD of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), is developed. The German Space Operations Center (GSOC) has the main responsibility for BIRD operations, while data reception is done by the receiving station in Neustrelitz. The objective of the EGS is to investigate and demonstrate direct user reception of regional data from earth observing satellites with a "low-cost" ground station as well as to analyze autonomous activity capabilities and experimental tests for mission operations. For this purpose, a small ground station with data reception and commanding capabilities is built. The station is located in Berlin on the top of the institute building. Many local authorities, such as agriculture or fire combat departments for example, needs only regional limited data to do a more efficient work in their region. The basic idea of the EGS is therefore, to analyze the capabilities and limits of a low-cost ground station, which gives the end-user, only the data which is needed by the local end-user. The antenna size of such a Station can be small, which is one of the important cost drivers. This paper shows the characteristics of such a station, which is developed for the BIRD satellite. Although the development work is still ongoing, it can be seen, that using a smaller coverage and COTS (Commercial of the Shelf) components (such as standard PC's), it is possible to develop a lowcost ground station, which meets the requirements for the described objectives.

  10. Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the Naturita, Colorado, UMTRA Project Site

    SciTech Connect

    2003-04-23

    This Environmental Assessment addresses the environmental effects of a proposed action and the no action alternative to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards at the Naturita, Colorado, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project site. In 1998, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) completed surface cleanup at the site and encapsulated the tailings in a disposal cell 15 miles northwest near the former town of Uravan, Colorado. Ground water contaminants of potential concern at the Naturita site are uranium and vanadium. Uranium concentrations exceed the maximum concentration limit (MCL) of 0.044 milligram per liter (mg/L). Vanadium has no MCL; however, vanadium concentrations exceed the EPA Region III residential risk-based concentration of 0.33 mg/L (EPA 2002). The proposed compliance strategy for uranium and vanadium at the Naturita site is no further remediation in conjunction with the application of alternate concentration limits. Institutional controls with ground water and surface water monitoring will be implemented for these constituents as part of the compliance strategy. This compliance strategy will be protective of human health and the environment. The proposed monitoring program will begin upon regulatory concurrence with the Ground Water Compliance Action Plan (DOE 2002a). Monitoring will consist of verifying that institutional controls remain in place, collecting ground water samples to verify that concentrations of uranium and vanadium are decreasing, and collecting surface water samples to verify that contaminant concentrations do not exceed a regulatory limit or risk-based concentration. If these criteria are not met, DOE would reevaluate the proposed action and determine the need for further National Environmental Policy Act documentation. No comments were received from the public during the public comment period. Two public meetings were held during this period. Minutes of these meetings are included as

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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)

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  15. Advanced Air Transportation Technologies (AATT) Project: Distributed Air-Ground Traffic Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mogford, Richard; Green, Steve; Ballin, Mark

    2002-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation provides an overview of active Distributed Air Ground Traffic Management (DAG-TM) work and reported on its overall progress to date. It does not include details on the concept elements (CEs).The DAG-TM research project is defined as a concept development and definition project and no tools will be delivered. Of the 14 CEs, three are being explored actively: CE-5, CE-6, and CE-11. Overviews of CE-5 (Free Maneuvering for User-Preferred Separation Assurance and Local TFM Conformance), CE-6 (En Route and Transition Trajectory Negotiation for User-Preferred Separation and Local TFM Conformance) and CE-11 (Self-Spacing for Merging and In-Trail Separation) are presented.

  16. SAFE Project: An integrated system of earthquake physics study from ground and space observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Santis, Angelo; De Franceschi, Giorgiana; Di Giovambattista, Rita; Perrone, Loredana; Alfonsi, Lucilla; Cianchini, Gianfranco; Pavón-Carrasco, Javier F.; Cesaroni, Claudio; Spogli, Luca; Piscini, Alessandro; De Santis, Anna; D'Angelo, Giulia; Musicò, Elvira; Malagnini, Andrea; Amoruso, Leonardo; Carbone, Marianna; Abbattista, Cristoforo; Drimaco, Daniela

    2016-04-01

    The Swarm satellite mission by ESA has the primary goal to measure the magnetic signals from the Earth to get new insights of the geomagnetic field and its sources. The SAFE ("Swarm for Earthquake study") project (funded by ESA in the framework "STSE Swarm+lnnovation", 2014) aims at applying the new approach of geosystemics to the analysis of Swarm satellite electromagnetic data for investigating the preparatory phase of earthquakes. The main objective of this project is to explore the possible link between magnetic ionospheric anomalies and large earthquakes analysing Swarm as well as ground based data (seismic, magnetic, GNSS, etc.). This work will show the state of the art in the study of lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere coupling (LAIC) together with some recent case studies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Forced resonant migration of Pluto's outer satellites by Charon.

    PubMed

    Ward, William R; Canup, Robin M

    2006-08-25

    Two small moons of Pluto have been discovered in low-eccentricity orbits exterior to Pluto's large satellite, Charon. All three satellite orbits are nearly coplanar, implying a common origin. It has been argued that Charon formed as a result of a giant impact with primordial Pluto. The orbital periods of the two new moons are nearly integer multiples of Charon's period, suggesting that they were driven outward by resonant interactions with Charon during its tidal orbital expansion. This could have been accomplished if Charon's orbit was eccentric during most of this orbital evolution, with the small moons originating as debris from the collision that produced Charon.

  19. The impactor flux in the Pluto-Charon system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.; Stern, S. Alan

    1994-01-01

    Current impact rates of comets on Pluto and Charon are estimated. It is shown that the dominant sources of impactors are comets from the Kuiper belt and the inner Oort cloud, each of whose perihelion distribution extends across Pluto's orbit. In contrast, long-period comets from the outer Oort cloud are a negligible source of impactors. The total predicted number of craters is not sufficient to saturate the surface areas of either Pluto of Charon over the age of the Solar System. However, heavy cratering may have occurred early in the Solar System's history during clearing of planetesimals from the outer planets' zone.

  20. Kuiper Belt Objects Along the Pluto-Express Path

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David (Principal Investigator)

    1997-01-01

    The science objective of this work is to identify objects in the Kuiper Belt which will, in the 5 years following Pluto encounter, be close to the flight path of NASA's Pluto Express. Our hope is that we will find a Kuiper Belt object or objects close enough that a spacecraft flyby will be possible. If we find a suitable object, the science yield of Pluto Express will be substantially enhanced. The density of objects in the Kuiper Belt is such that we are reasonably likely to find an object close enough to the flight path that on-board gas thrusters can effect a close encounter.

  1. A giant impact origin of Pluto-Charon.

    PubMed

    Canup, Robin M

    2005-01-28

    Pluto and its moon, Charon, are the most prominent members of the Kuiper belt, and their existence holds clues to outer solar system formation processes. Here, hydrodynamic simulations are used to demonstrate that the formation of Pluto-Charon by means of a large collision is quite plausible. I show that such an impact probably produced an intact Charon, although it is possible that a disk of material orbited Pluto from which Charon later accumulated. These findings suggest that collisions between 1000-kilometer-class objects occurred in the early inner Kuiper belt.

  2. Kuiper Belt Objects Along the Pluto Express Path

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David C.

    1998-01-01

    The science objective of this work was to identify objects in the Kuiper Belt which will, in the 5 years following Pluto encounter, be close to the flight path of NASA's Pluto-Kuiper Express. Currently, launch is scheduled for 2004 with a flight time of about 1 decade. Early identification of post-Pluto targets is important for mission design and orbit refinement. An object or objects close enough to the flight path can be visited and studied at high resolution, using only residual gas in the thrusters to affect a close encounter.

  3. Results from PIXON-Processed HRC Images of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  4. A giant impact origin of Pluto-Charon.

    PubMed

    Canup, Robin M

    2005-01-28

    Pluto and its moon, Charon, are the most prominent members of the Kuiper belt, and their existence holds clues to outer solar system formation processes. Here, hydrodynamic simulations are used to demonstrate that the formation of Pluto-Charon by means of a large collision is quite plausible. I show that such an impact probably produced an intact Charon, although it is possible that a disk of material orbited Pluto from which Charon later accumulated. These findings suggest that collisions between 1000-kilometer-class objects occurred in the early inner Kuiper belt. PMID:15681378

  5. Sfm_georef: Automating image measurement of ground control points for SfM-based projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, Mike R.

    2016-04-01

    Deriving accurate DEM and orthomosaic image products from UAV surveys generally involves the use of multiple ground control points (GCPs). Here, we demonstrate the automated collection of GCP image measurements for SfM-MVS processed projects, using sfm_georef software (James & Robson, 2012; http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/staff/jamesm/software/sfm_georef.htm). Sfm_georef was originally written to provide geo-referencing procedures for SfM-MVS projects. It has now been upgraded with a 3-D patch-based matching routine suitable for automating GCP image measurement in both aerial and ground-based (oblique) projects, with the aim of reducing the time required for accurate geo-referencing. Sfm_georef is compatible with a range of SfM-MVS software and imports the relevant files that describe the image network, including camera models and tie points. 3-D survey measurements of ground control are then provided, either for natural features or artificial targets distributed over the project area. Automated GCP image measurement is manually initiated through identifying a GCP position in an image by mouse click; the GCP is then represented by a square planar patch in 3-D, textured from the image and oriented parallel to the local topographic surface (as defined by the 3-D positions of nearby tie points). Other images are then automatically examined by projecting the patch into the images (to account for differences in viewing geometry) and carrying out a sub-pixel normalised cross-correlation search in the local area. With two or more observations of a GCP, its 3-D co-ordinates are then derived by ray intersection. With the 3-D positions of three or more GCPs identified, an initial geo-referencing transform can be derived to relate the SfM-MVS co-ordinate system to that of the GCPs. Then, if GCPs are symmetric and identical, image texture from one representative GCP can be used to search automatically for all others throughout the image set. Finally, the GCP observations can be

  6. Interplanetary Magnetic Field Sector from Solar Wind around Pluto (SWAP) Measurements of Heavy Ion Pickup near Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zirnstein, E. J.; McComas, D. J.; Elliott, H. A.; Weidner, S.; Valek, P. W.; Bagenal, F.; Stern, S. A.; Ennico, K.; Olkin, C. B.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, L. A.

    2016-06-01

    On 2015 July 14, the New Horizons spacecraft flew by the Pluto system. The Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument on board New Horizons, which detects ions in the energy per charge range ˜0.035 to 7.5 keV/q, measured the unique interaction between the solar wind and Pluto's atmosphere. Immediately after the closest approach, SWAP detected a burst of heavy ion counts when the instrument's field of view (FOV) was aligned north and south of the Sun-Pluto line and approximately normal to the solar wind flow direction, suggesting their origin as heavy neutral atoms from Pluto that were ionized and being picked up by the solar wind. The trajectories of heavy pickup ions depend on the interplanetary magnetic field (IMF). New Horizons is not equipped with a magnetometer, and we cannot directly measure the IMF. However, we can utilize SWAP's measurements and instrument FOV during this brief period of time to determine the most likely sector of the IMF that could reproduce SWAP's observations of heavy ion pickup. We find that the IMF was most likely in an outward sector, or retrograde to the planets’ motion, during the Pluto encounter, and that the heavy ions detected by SWAP are more likely {{{CH}}4}+ than {{{{N}}}2}+. This supports the existence of a methane exosphere at Pluto.

  7. Mass loss from the atmosphere of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Mao-Chang; Yen, Chien-Chang; Taam, Ronald

    2015-11-01

    Molecules can escape readily from the atmosphere of Pluto. Hydrodynamic escape is a process that drives large scale escape. The process was generally believed to produce rather small isotopic fractionation. Here, we show that the escape highly fractionates the isotopic composition of nitrogen. The process preferentially selects lighter species, with an escape probability ~30% higher for the lighter isotopologue. This fractionation factor is higher than the fractionations occurring in most of known processes in modifying the distributions of molecules in the planetary atmospheres. The validity of the model can be tested against the upcoming data, mainly nitrogen abundance in the outer atmosphere of Pluto, from the New Horizons. The property of the selection can significantly modify the isotopic composition of the atmosphere, leaving the present-day atmosphere isotopically heavier than the ancient one. This also impacts the current view of the evolution of planetary atmospheres. Venus, for example, may not need that much mass loss, in order to explain the current D/H ratio.

  8. The Evolution of the Pluto System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peale, S. J.; Cheng, W. H.; Lee, M. H.

    2011-10-01

    A giant impact origin of Pluto's large satellite Charon leaves Pluto initially spinning rapidly and Charon in a close, eccentric orbit[1]. With coefficients J2 and C22 in the gravitational fields of both bodies included, we follow the evolution of the system with tidal models that demonstrate spin-orbit resonance capture and escape and damped librations while conserving angular momentum. We use these tidal evolution models to investigate the conjecture that the small satellites, Nix and Hydra, were formed simultaneously with Charon and were pushed to their current positions while locked in 4:1 and 6:1 mean motion resonances with Charon. We demonstrate that a new phenomenon of simultaneous capture of a test particle into several resonances at each of the 5:1, 6:1 and 7:1 commensurabilities allows the stable expansion of the test particle orbits but not at the 4:1. This latter failure and the fact that conditions necessary for simultaneous captures will not prevail destroys this means of stable orbit expansion. With plausible values of J2, C22 and finite masses for Nix and Hydra, there were no stable expansions for more than a million sets of initial conditions. Nix and Hydra cannot have their orbits expanded through resonant transport. The New Horizons mission may constrain an alternative origin.

  9. Geology of Pluto and Charon Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. M.; Stern, A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Young, L. A.; Ennico Smith, K.; Olkin, C.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  10. Final programmatic environmental impact statement for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Ground Water Project. Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    1996-04-01

    The first step in the UMTRA Ground Water Project is the preparation of this programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS). This document analyzes the potential impacts of four alternatives for conducting the Ground Water Project. One of these alternatives is the proposed action. These alternatives do not address site-specific ground water compliance strategies because the PEIS is a planning document only. It assesses the potential programmatic impacts of conducting the Ground Water Project, provides a method for determining the site-specific ground water compliance strategies, and provides data and information that can be used to prepare site-specific environmental impacts analyses more efficiently. This PEIS differs substantially from a site-specific environmental impact statement because multiple ground water compliance strategies, each with its own set of potential impacts, could be used to implement all the alternatives except the no action alternative. In a traditional environmental impact statement, an impacts analysis leads directly to the defined alternatives. The impacts analysis for implementing alternatives in this PEIS first involves evaluating a ground water compliance strategy or strategies, the use of which will result in site-specific impacts. This PEIS impacts analysis assesses only the potential impacts of the various ground water compliance strategies, then relates them to the alternatives to provide a comparison of impacts.

  11. The Solar Wind Interaction with Pluto: Part 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, H. A.; McComas, D. J.; Valek, P. W.; Weidner, S.; Bagenal, F.; Delamere, P. A.; Stern, A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Young, L. A.; Ennico Smith, K.; Olkin, C.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Hill, M. E.; Nicolaou, G.

    2015-12-01

    On 14 July 2015 the New Horizons (NH) spacecraft flew past Pluto and the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument recorded the its remarkable interaction with the impinging solar wind. The interaction is unique in the solar system, in some ways intermediate between the mass loading interactions of comets and ionospheric interactions of massive planets, and in other ways different from both of these more common extremes. Little mass loading was observed until quite close to Pluto and the solar wind was excluded from a region filled with heavy ions from Pluto's escaping atmosphere that extended well behind it. At the time this abstract was due, only small snippets of SWAP data had been telemetered to Earth, but by the AGU meeting, plasma data from the entire flyby with have been received and initially analyzed. This talk is given on behalf of the SWAP and NH teams.

  12. The Solar Wind Interaction with Pluto: Part 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McComas, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    On 14 July 2015 the New Horizons (NH) spacecraft flew past Pluto and the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument recorded its remarkable interaction with the impinging solar wind. The interaction is unique in the solar system, in some ways intermediate between the mass loading interactions of comets and ionospheric interactions of massive planets, and in other ways different from both of these more common extremes. Little mass loading was observed until quite close to Pluto and the solar wind was excluded from a region filled with heavy ions from Pluto's escaping atmosphere that extended well behind it. At the time this abstract was due, only small snippets of SWAP data had been telemetered to Earth, but by the AGU meeting, plasma data from the entire flyby will have been received and initially analyzed. This talk is given on behalf of the SWAP and NH teams.

  13. Geological Mapping of the Encounter Hemisphere on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, O. L.; Moore, J. M.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Ennico, K.; Young, L. A.; Cheng, A. F.; New Horizons GGI Theme Team

    2016-06-01

    We present mapping of Pluto's encounter hemisphere performed to date (focusing on Sputnik Planum and the immediately surrounding area) and offer preliminary descriptions of terrains further afield that will be the subject of future mapping.

  14. Astronomy: Pluto leads the way in planet formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenyon, Scott J.

    2015-06-01

    Images from the Hubble Space Telescope cast new light on the orbits, shapes and sizes of Pluto's small satellites. The analysis comes just before a planned reconnaissance by the first spacecraft to visit them. See Article p.45

  15. The interiors of Pluto and Charon - Structure, composition, and implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simonelli, Damon P.; Reynolds, Ray T.

    1989-01-01

    Recent models of the internal structure of Pluto and Charon, made possible by analysis of the Pluto/Charon mutual events are reviewed. At a mean density of just over 2 g/cu cm 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.

  16. Triton, Pluto, and the origin of the solar system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunine, J. I.

    1993-08-01

    Planets may represent a commmon by-product of star formation, and thus may be a source of physical and chemical clues to the origin of the solar system. This paper discusses the molecular composition of Triton and Pluto, two of the most distant objects of the solar system. Particular consideration is given to the new findings (Cruikshank et al., 1993; Owen et al., 1993) of methane ice in concentrations from 0.05 percent (Triton) to 1.5 percent (Pluto) and carbon monoxide ice in concentrations from 0.1 percent (Triton) to 0.5 percent (Pluton), relative to nitrogen ice. The high abundance of nitrogen suggests a scenario of early outgassing of both Triton and Pluto, followed by substantial loss of CO. The nitrogen seen today on the two bodies must have been produced later in the histories of Pluto and Triton from a nitrogen-bearing molecule much less volatile than molecular nitrogen.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  18. City of Flagstaff Project: Ground Water Resource Evaluation, Remote Sensing Component

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chavez, Pat S.; Velasco, Miguel G.; Bowell, Jo-Ann; Sides, Stuart C.; Gonzalez, Rosendo R.; Soltesz, Deborah L.

    1996-01-01

    Many regions, cities, and towns in the Western United States need new or expanded water resources because of both population growth and increased development. Any tools or data that can help in the evaluation of an area's potential water resources must be considered for this increasingly critical need. Remotely sensed satellite images and subsequent digital image processing have been under-utilized in ground water resource evaluation and exploration. Satellite images can be helpful in detecting and mapping an area's regional structural patterns, including major fracture and fault systems, two important geologic settings for an area's surface to ground water relations. Within the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Flagstaff Field Center, expertise and capabilities in remote sensing and digital image processing have been developed over the past 25 years through various programs. For the City of Flagstaff project, this expertise and these capabilities were combined with traditional geologic field mapping to help evaluate ground water resources in the Flagstaff area. Various enhancement and manipulation procedures were applied to the digital satellite images; the results, in both digital and hardcopy format, were used for field mapping and analyzing the regional structure. Relative to surface sampling, remotely sensed satellite and airborne images have improved spatial coverage that can help study, map, and monitor the earth surface at local and/or regional scales. Advantages offered by remotely sensed satellite image data include: 1. a synoptic/regional view compared to both aerial photographs and ground sampling, 2. cost effectiveness, 3. high spatial resolution and coverage compared to ground sampling, and 4. relatively high temporal coverage on a long term basis. Remotely sensed images contain both spectral and spatial information. The spectral information provides various properties and characteristics about the surface cover at a given location or pixel

  19. The Exploration of the Pluto System by New Horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  20. Ground-water hydrology and projected effects of ground-water withdrawals in the Sevier Desert, Utah

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Holmes, Walter F.

    1984-01-01

    The principal ground-water reservoir in the Sevier Desert is the unconsolidated basin fill. The fill has been divided generally into aquifers and confining beds, although there are no clearcut boundaries between these units--the primary aquifers are the shallow and deep artesian aquifers. Recharge to the ground-water reservoir is by infiltration of precipitation; seepage from streams, canals, reservoirs, and unconsumed irrigation water; and subsurface inflow from consolidated rocks in mountain areas and from adjoining areas. Discharge is by wells, springs, seepage to the Sevier River, evapotranspiration, and subsurface outflow to adjoining areas.

  1. Impact and Cratering History of the Pluto System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    The observational opportunity of the New Horizons spacecraft fly-through of the Pluto system in July 2015 requires a current understanding of the Kuiper belt dynamical sub-populations to accurately interpret the cratering history of the surfaces of Pluto and its satellites. We use an Opik-style collision probability code to compute impact rates and impact velocity distributions onto Pluto and its binary companion Charon from the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS) model of classical and resonant Kuiper belt populations (Petit et al., 2011; Gladman et al., 2012) and the scattering model of Kaib et al. (2011) calibrated to Shankman et al. (2013). Due to the uncertainty in how the well-characterized size distribution for Kuiper belt objects (with diameter d>100 km) connects to smaller objects, we compute cratering rates using three simple impactor size distribution extrapolations (a single power-law, a power-law with a knee, and a power-law with a divot) as well as the "curvy" impactor size distributions from Minton et al. (2012) and Schlichting et al. (2013). Current size distribution uncertainties cause absolute ages computed for Pluto surfaces to be entirely dependent on the extrapolation to small sizes and thus uncertain to a factor of approximately 6. We illustrate the relative importance of each Kuiper belt sub-population to Pluto's cratering rate, both now and integrated into the past, and provide crater retention ages for several cases. We find there is only a small chance a crater with diameter D>200 km has been created on Pluto in the past 4 Gyr. The 2015 New Horizons fly-through coupled with telescope surveys that cover objects with diameters d=10-100 km should eventually drop current crater retention age uncertainties on Pluto to <30%. In addition, we compute the "disruption timescale" (to a factor of three accuracy) for Pluto's smaller satellites: Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra.

  2. The floating ices on the surface of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  3. The separate spectra of Pluto and its satellite Charon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fink, Uwe; Disanti, Michael 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.

  4. Albedo maps of Pluto and Charon - Initial mutual event results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buie, Marc W.; Tholen, David J.; Horne, Keith

    1992-01-01

    By applying the technique of maximum entropy image reconstruction to invert observed lightcurves, surface maps of single-scattering albedo are obtained for the surfaces of Pluto and Charon from 1954 to 1986. The albedo features of the surface of Pluto are similar to those of the Buie and Tholen (1989) spot model maps; a south polar cap is evident. The map of Charon is somewhat darker, with single-scattering albedos as low as 0.03.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Separate spectra of Pluto and its satellite Charon

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  7. Optical Navigation Preparations for New Horizons Pluto Flyby

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  8. Multi-component symmetry-projected approach for molecular ground state correlations

    SciTech Connect

    Jiménez-Hoyos, Carlos A.; Rodríguez-Guzmán, R.; Scuseria, Gustavo E.

    2013-11-28

    The symmetry-projected Hartree–Fock ansatz for the electronic structure problem can efficiently account for static correlation in molecules, yet it is often unable to describe dynamic correlation in a balanced manner. Here, we consider a multi-component, systematically improvable approach, that accounts for all ground state correlations. Our approach is based on linear combinations of symmetry-projected configurations built out of a set of non-orthogonal, variationally optimized determinants. The resulting wavefunction preserves the symmetries of the original Hamiltonian even though it is written as a superposition of deformed (broken-symmetry) determinants. We show how short expansions of this kind can provide a very accurate description of the electronic structure of simple chemical systems such as the nitrogen and the water molecules, along the entire dissociation profile. In addition, we apply this multi-component symmetry-projected approach to provide an accurate interconversion profile among the peroxo and bis(μ-oxo) forms of [Cu{sub 2}O{sub 2}]{sup 2+}, comparable to other state-of-the-art quantum chemical methods.

  9. The improvement of the Pluto orbit using additional new data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girdiuk, A.

    2015-08-01

    Observational series of the Pluto dwarf planet have started since 1913. At this moment observations have covered only a third of the Pluto orbit, therefore, the Pluto orbital elements are defined with insufficient accuracy. A growing number of observations leads to the improvement of the accuracy of the orbit determination. The database of the Pluto's observations was expanded with the help of about 350 observations during 1930-1996 obtained at the Pulkovo Observatory, and about 5500 observations (1995-2013) including occultation data from Brazilian colleagues obtained at the European Southern Observatory and the Pico dos Dias Observatory, and the new analyzed 469 historical photographic observations archived at Lowell Observatory. The new cross-platform software ERA-8 has been developed in IAA RAS and has been used for implementation of all mathematical procedures for constructing Pluto orbit. The modern ephemerides (EPM2011, EPM2013, DE430, DE432, INPOP13c) are chosen for comparison of the ephemeris positions: equatorial coordinates and heliocentric distance. The main result of the work - construction of ephemerides EPM2014a is a significant improvement of the Pluto's orbit using additional observations.

  10. Charon's Impact on the Pluto-Solar Wind Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    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 and each other. Specifically, it investigates the magnetospheric dynamics of a two body system in which either one or both bodies posses an ionosphere. In order to more accurately capture the behavior of the Pluto-Charon system, ion-neutral interactions, including source and loss processes, have been incorporated into the model. Ion-neutral interactions are important due to the highly extended atmosphere in the system, with pick up ions having been detected several million kilometers upstream of the system by the PEPSSI instrument aboard New Horizons. In order to more fully characterize the system, simulations with various system geometries have been performed, in which Charon's position relative to Pluto varies. In addition to the New Horizons system encounter geometry, simulations in which Charon is directly upstream and directly downstream of Pluto are considered. Depending on the bow shock stand-off distance upstream of Pluto, Charon could periodically pass outside of the shock. 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.

  11. Ground-water investigations of the Project Gnome area, Eddy and Lea Counties, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooper, J.B.

    1962-01-01

    The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, through the Office of Test Operations, Albuquerque Operations Office, plans to detonate a nuclear device in a massive salt bed 1,200 feet beneath the land surface. The project, known as Project Gnome, is an element of the Plowshare program--a study of peacetime applications of nuclear fission. The location of the proposed underground shot is in a sparsely-populated area in southeastern Eddy County, N. Mex., east of the Pecos River and about 25 miles southeast of the city of Carlsbad. The area is arid to Semiarid and ground water is a vital factor in the economic utilization of the land, which is primarily used for stock raising. An investigation of the Project Gnome site and surrounding area for the purposes of evaluating the ground-water resources and the possible effect upon them from the detonation of the nuclear shot was desired by the Commission. This report describes work done by the U.S. Geological Survey on behalf of the Commission and presents results of the investigation of the ground-water resources and geology of the area. The most intensive investigations were made within a 15-mile radius of the site of Project Gnome and mainly on the east side of the Pecos River. The total area of study of over 1,200 square miles includes parts of Eddy and Lea Counties, N. Mex. The Project Gnome site is in the sedimentary Delaware Basin. It is underlain by about 18,000 feet of sedimentary rocks ranging in age from Ordovician to Recent. Upper Permian evaporitic rocks, which contain the principal source of potash available in the United States, are worked in nearby mines. The potash minerals are found in a massive salt bed about 1,400 feet thick in the Salado Formation of Permian age. The land surface of the area is covered mostly by a wind-blown sand and caliche; however, rocks of the Rustler Formation of Permian age and younger rocks of Permian, Triassic, Pleistocene(?) and Recent age crop out at several localities. Solution by

  12. S2-Project: Near-fault earthquake ground motion simulation in the Sulmona alluvial basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faccioli, E.; Stupazzini, M.; Galadini, F.; Gori, S.

    2008-12-01

    Recently the Italian Department of Civil Protection (DPC), in cooperation with Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) has promoted the 'S2' research project (http://nuovoprogettoesse2.stru.polimi.it/) aimed at the design, testing and application of an open-source code for seismic hazard assessment (SHA). The tool envisaged will likely differ in several important respects from an existing international initiative (Open SHA, Field et al., 2003). In particular, while "the OpenSHA collaboration model envisions scientists developing their own attenuation relationships and earthquake rupture forecasts, which they will deploy and maintain in their own systems" , the main purpose of S2 project is to provide a flexible computational tool for SHA, primarily suited for the needs of DPC, which not necessarily are scientific needs. Within S2, a crucial issue is to make alternative approaches available to quantify the ground motion, with emphasis on the near field region. The SHA architecture envisaged will allow for the use of ground motion descriptions other than those yielded by empirical attenuation equations, for instance user generated motions provided by deterministic source and wave propagation simulations. In this contribution, after a brief presentation of Project S2, we intend to illustrate some preliminary 3D scenario simulations performed in the alluvial basin of Sulmona (Central Italy), as an example of the type of descriptions that can be handled in the future SHA architecture. In detail, we selected some seismogenic sources (from the DISS database), believed to be responsible for a number of destructive historical earthquakes, and derive from them a family of simplified geometrical and mechanical source models spanning across a reasonable range of parameters, so that the extent of the main uncertainties can be covered. Then, purely deterministic (for frequencies < 2Hz) and hybrid deterministic- stochastic source and propagation simulations are

  13. Potential effects of the Hawaii geothermal project on ground-water resources on the Island of Hawaii

    SciTech Connect

    Sorey, M.L.; Colvard, E.M.

    1994-07-01

    This report provides data and information on the quantity and quality of ground-water resources in and adjacent to proposed geothermal development areas on the Island of Hawaii Geothermal project for the development of as much as 500 MW of electric power from the geothermal system in the East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano. Data presented for about 31 wells and 8 springs describe the chemical, thermal, and hydraulic properties of the ground-water system in and adjacent to the East Rift Zone. On the basis of this information, potential effects of this geothermal development on drawdown of ground-water levels and contamination of ground-water resources are discussed. Significant differences in ground-water levels and in the salinity and temperature of ground water within the study area appear to be related to mixing of waters from different sources and varying degrees of ground-water impoundment by volcanic dikes. Near Pahoa and to the east, the ground-water system within the rift is highly transmissive and receives abundant recharge from precipitation; therefore, the relatively modest requirements for fresh water to support geothermal development in that part of the east rift zone would result in minimal effects on ground-water levels in and adjacent to the rift. To the southwest of Pahoa, dike impoundment reduces the transmissivity of the ground-water system to such an extent that wells might not be capable of supplying fresh water at rates sufficient to support geothermal operations. Water would have to be transported to such developments from supply systems located outside the rift or farther downrift. Contaminant migration resulting from well accidents could be rapid because of relatively high ground-water velocities in parts of the region. Hydrologic monitoring of observation wells needs to be continued throughout development of geothermal resources for the Hawaii Geothermal Project to enable the early detection of leakage and migration of geothermal fluids.

  14. Surface compositions across Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

    2016-03-01

    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.

  15. Pluto's lightcurve: Results from four oppositions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.; Tedesco, Edward F.

    1994-01-01

    The rotational lightcurve, phase function, and orbital lightcurve of the Pluto-Charon system were measured in blue light over four consecutive oppositions spanning 1980 to 1983. Compared with observations made in the three previous decades, our lightcurve shows a higher amplitude of 0.29 mag, as well as a fainter rotationally averaged brightness, which provide constraints on the surface albedo distribution of the two bodies. The synodic rotational period of 6.38726 +/- 0.00007 days is consistent with the orbital period of Charon, which provides evidence for a completely tidally evolved system. The phase coefficient is 0.0372 +/- 0.0016 mag/deg, indicating a very shallow opposition surge compared with asteroids, but consistent with a high albedo surface. The orbital lightcurve shows substantially less fading than the earlier observations, which suggests that there is not a gross difference in average albedo between the southern and northern hemispheres.

  16. Pluto Stellar Occultation on 2008 Aug 25

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buie, Marc W.; Young, L. A.; Young, E. F.; Olkin, C. B.; Terrell, D.; Parker, J. W.; Durda, D.; Stansberry, J. A.; Reitsema, H.; French, R. G.; Shoemaker, K.; Brown, M. E.; Schaller, E. L.; Bauer, J. M.; Young, J. W.; Wasserman, L. H.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Lust, N.; Fernandez, Y. R.; Dellinger, J. A.; Garossino, P. G. A.; Grigsby, B.; Stone, R. P. S.; Dillon, W. G.; Mezzalira, F.; Ryan, E. V.; Ryan, W.; Souza, S. P.; Williams, R.; Sexton, C.

    2009-01-01

    We report on a successful occultation of a star by Pluto that was observable over much of the south and western United States. The centerline was close to WIRO. We will present seven complete lightcurves from Crossley/Lick, WIRO, SBO/CU, Palomar, JPL/TMO, Sierra Stars Obs., and Magdalena Ridge Observatory. We have 2 partial lightcurves from Lowell Obs. and McDonald Obs. where data loss was caused by clouds. There were attempts at the Steward 90", George Observatory, and New Mexico Skies that were clouded out. The UCF station near Orlando was clearly an appulse. A number of other amateurs also succeeded in collecting data. Our presentation will provide a final geometric solution for the event as well as baseline fits to the atmospheric structure. This work was supported by NASA Planetary Astronomy grants NNX08AO626 and NNX08AO50G.

  17. The Difficult Birth of NASA's Pluto Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Pluto Through Stained Glass: A Movie from the Edge of the Solar System

    NASA Video Gallery

    This colorful movie drifting across Pluto by was recorded by New Horizons' LEISA infrared imaging spectrometer during the July 14 closest approach. The discovery of water ice on Pluto was made usin...

  19. Dynamical and observational constraints on satellites in the inner Pluto-Charon system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan; Parker, Joel William; Duncan, Martin J.; Snowdall, J. Clark, Jr.; Levison, Harold F.

    1994-01-01

    It is not known if Pluto has other satellites besides its massive partner Charon. In the past, searches for additional satellites in the Pluto-Charon system have extended from the solar-tidal stability boundary (approximately 90 arcsec from Pluto) inward to about 1 arcsec from Pluto. Here we further explore the inner (i.e., less than 10 arcsec) region of the Pluto-Charon system to determine where additional satellites might lie. In particular, we report on (1) dynamical simulations to delineate the region where unstable orbits lie around Charon, (2) dynamical simulations which use the low orbital eccentricity of Charon to constrain the mass of any third body near Pluto, and (3) analysis of Hubble Space Telescope (HST) archival images to search for satellites in the inner Pluto-Charon system. Although no objects were found, significant new constraints on bodies orbiting in the inner Pluto-Charon system were obtained.

  20. Potential effects of the Hawaii Geothermal Project on ground-water resources on the island of Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sorey, M.L.; Colvard, E.M.

    1994-01-01

    In 1990, the State of Hawaii proposed the Hawaii Geothermal Project for the development of as much as 500 MW of electric power from the geothermal system in the East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano. This report uses data from 31 wells and 8 springs to describe the properties of the ground-water system in and adjacent to the East Rift Zone. Potential effects of this project on ground-water resources are also discussed. Data show differences in ground-water chemistry and heads within the study area that appear to be related to mixing of waters of different origins and ground-water impoundment by volcanic dikes. East of Pahoa, the ground-water system within the rift is highly transmissive and receives abundant recharge from precipitation; therefore, the pumping of freshwater to support geothermal development in that part of the rift zone would have a minimal effect on ground-water levels. To the southwest of Pahoa, dike impoundment reduces the transmissivity of the ground-water system to such an extent that wells might not be capable of supplying sufficient fresh water to support geothermal operations. Contamination of ground-water resources by accidental release of geothermal fluids into shallow aquifers is possible because of corrosive conditions in the geothermal wells, potential well blowouts, and high ground-water velocities in parts of the region. Hydrologic monitoring of water level, temperature, and chemistry in observation wells should continue throughout development of geothermal resources for the Hawaii Geothermal Project for early detection of leakage and migration of geothermal fluids within the groundwater system.

  1. Implementation plan for the programmatic environmental impact statement for the Department of Energy UMTRA Ground Water Project

    SciTech Connect

    1994-04-01

    Under the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is cleaning up contamination to protect human health and the environment at 24 inactive uranium processing sites located in 10 states. Five of the sites are either on or near Native American lands. The UMTRA Project is divided into two projects: Surface and Ground Water. On November 18, 1992, the DOE issued a notice of intent (57 FR 54374, 1992) to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for the UMTRA Ground Water Project. The PEIS will result in a record of decision that will determine how the UMTRA Ground Water Project will address ground water contamination resulting from milling operations at the UMTRA Project processing sites. DOE regulations (10 CFR {section} 1021.312) require that an implementation plan be prepared to provide guidance for preparing a PEIS and to record the results of the scoping process. This implementation plan describes and records the results of the PEIS scoping process; summarizes comments received and their disposition; describes the purpose of and need for agency action, the proposed action, and alternatives; lists alternatives considered and eliminated from review; identifies cooperating agencies, their roles, and responsibilities; provides a draft PEIS outline, which includes the planned PEIS scope and content (Attachment A); and provides a schedule for the PEIS process. This plan will be placed in the UMTRA Project libraries listed in Attachment B. The PEIS will identify and evaluate the potential impacts associated with alternatives for conducting the UMTRA Ground Water Project. The PEIS will not assess site-specific impacts; site-specific impacts must be analyzed in separate National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents that will tier off the PEIS. This tiering process will streamline the preparation of site-specific NEPA documents.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  3. Feasibility of ground-water features of the alternate plan for the Mountain Home project, Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nace, Raymond L.; West, S.W.; Mowder, R.W.

    1957-01-01

    An early plan of the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation proposed to irrigate 183,000 acres on the arid Snake River Plain south of Boise, Idaho (Mountain Home project) with Boise River water. That water would have been replaced to the Boise Valley with water imported from the Payette River. An alternate plan, proposed in 1953, would divert water from the Boise River to the plain; part of the water would be replaced by pumping ground water in the Boise valley and by importing water from the Snake River. Pumping of ground water in the Boise Valley also would help to drain waterlogged land. The present report evaluates the feasibility of the alternate plan in relation to geology and the occurrence and quality of ground water. The mean annual temperature at Boise is 50.8 ? F and there is an average of 172 days between killing frosts. The annual evaporation rate from open-water surfaces in the area is about 33 inches. Runoff in the Boise River is chiefly from precipitation on mountain slopes at altitudes above 3,000 feet, east of Boise Diversion Dam. The surface-water supply of the Boise Valley is more Than ample for the valley, owing to large upstream storage and regulatory dams and reservoirs. The valley also contains a large volume of ground water in storage, and the perennial rate of recharge is large. The computed consumptive depletion of surface water in the valley is nearly 600,000 acre-feet a year. Apparent depletion, computed from adjusted runoff at Notus, is 1,070,000 acre-feet. The difference of 470,000 acre-feet represents ground-water underflow and ungaged surface outflow from the area east of Notus. After the beginning of irrigation, around the turn of the century, the water table in the Boise Valley rose steadily; the amount of rise at some places was as much as 140 feet. Shallow perched zones of saturation were created locally. More than 100,000 acres of Boise Valley land now is waterlogged or threatened with waterlogging, despite the presence of more than 325

  4. Electric Ground Support Equipment Advanced Battery Technology Demonstration Project at the Ontario Airport

    SciTech Connect

    Tyler Gray; Jeremy Diez; Jeffrey Wishart; James Francfort

    2013-07-01

    The intent of the electric Ground Support Equipment (eGSE) demonstration is to evaluate the day-to-day vehicle performance of electric baggage tractors using two advanced battery technologies to demonstrate possible replacements for the flooded lead-acid (FLA) batteries utilized throughout the industry. These advanced battery technologies have the potential to resolve barriers to the widespread adoption of eGSE deployment. Validation testing had not previously been performed within fleet operations to determine if the performance of current advanced batteries is sufficient to withstand the duty cycle of electric baggage tractors. This report summarizes the work performed and data accumulated during this demonstration in an effort to validate the capabilities of advanced battery technologies. This report summarizes the work performed and data accumulated during this demonstration in an effort to validate the capabilities of advanced battery technologies. The demonstration project also grew the relationship with Southwest Airlines (SWA), our demonstration partner at Ontario International Airport (ONT), located in Ontario, California. The results of this study have encouraged a proposal for a future demonstration project with SWA.

  5. 2 kWe Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Project. Volume 1; Executive Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alexander, Dennis

    1997-01-01

    The Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration (SDGTD) successfully demonstrated a solar-powered closed Brayton cycle system in a relevant space thermal environment. In addition to meeting technical requirements the project was completed 4 months ahead of schedule and under budget. The following conclusions can be supported: 1. The component technology for solar dynamic closed Brayton cycle technology has clearly been demonstrated. 2. The thermal, optical, control, and electrical integration aspects of systems integration have also been successfully demonstrated. Physical integration aspects were not attempted as these tend to be driven primarily by mission-specific requirements. 3. System efficiency of greater than 15 percent (all losses fully accounted for) was demonstrated using equipment and designs which were not optimized. Some preexisting hardware was used to minimize cost and schedule. 4. Power generation of 2 kWe. 5. A NASA/industry team was developed that successfully worked together to accomplish project goals. The material presented in this report will show that the technology necessary to design and fabricate solar dynamic electrical power systems for space has been successfully developed and demonstrated. The data will further show that achieved results compare well with pretest predictions. The next step in the development of solar dynamic space power will be a flight test.

  6. DAZZLE project: UAV to ground communication system using a laser and a modulated retro-reflector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thueux, Yoann; Avlonitis, Nicholas; Erry, Gavin

    2014-10-01

    The advent of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has generated the need for reduced size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements for communications systems with a high data rate, enhanced security and quality of service. This paper presents the current results of the DAZZLE project run by Airbus Group Innovations. The specifications, integration steps and initial performance of a UAV to ground communication system using a laser and a modulated retro-reflector are detailed. The laser operates at the wavelength of 1550nm and at power levels that keep it eye safe. It is directed using a FLIR pan and tilt unit driven by an image processing-based system that tracks the UAV in flight at a range of a few kilometers. The modulated retro-reflector is capable of a data rate of 20Mbps over short distances, using 200mW of electrical power. The communication system was tested at the Pershore Laser Range in July 2014. Video data from a flying Octocopter was successfully transmitted over 1200m. During the next phase of the DAZZLE project, the team will attempt to produce a modulated retro-reflector capable of 1Gbps in partnership with the research institute Acreo1 based in Sweden. A high speed laser beam steering capability based on a Spatial Light Modulator will also be added to the system to improve beam pointing accuracy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Andrew F.; Summers, Michael; Gladstone, Randy; Strobel, Darrell F.; Young, Leslie; Lavvas, Panayotis; Kammer, Joshua A.; Lisse, Casey M.; Parker, Alex Harrison; Young, Eliot F.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Ennico, Kimberly

    2016-10-01

    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 is found at altitudes where direct condensation is not possible, but the 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. Test holes drilled in support of ground-water investigations, Project Gnome, Eddy County, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cooper, J.B.

    1962-01-01

    Project Gnome is a proposed underground nuclear shot to be detonated within a massive salt bed in Eddy County, N. Mex. Potable and neat potable ground water is present in rocks above the salt and is being studied in relation to this nuclear event. This report presents details of two test holes which were drilled to determine ground-water conditions in the near vicinity of the shot point. A well-defined aquifer is present at the site of USGS test hole 1, about 1,000 feet south of the access shaft to the underground shot point. Water with 75 feet of artesian pressure head is contained in the Culebra dolomite member of the Rustler formation. The dolomite aquifer is 32 feet thick and its top lies at a depth of 517 feet below land surface. The aquifer yielded 100 gpm (gallons per minute) with a drawdown of 40 feet during a pumping period of 24 hours. Water was not found in rocks above or below the Culebra dolomite. At the site of USGS test hole 2, about 2 miles southwest of the access shaft no distinctive aquifer exists. About one-half gpm was yielded to the well from the rocks between the Culebra dolomite and the top of the salt. Water could not be detected in the Culebra dolomite or overlying rocks. The report contains drawdown and recovery curves of yield tests, drilling-time charts, and electric logs. The data are given in tables; they include summaries of hole construction, sample description logs, water measurements, drilling-time logs, and water analyses.

  10. The Effect of Neptune's Accretion on Pluto and the Plutinos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiegert, Paul; Innanen, Kimmo; Huang, Tian-Yi; Mikkola, Seppo

    2003-09-01

    The peculiar relationship of Pluto to Neptune, its resonances and high eccentricity and inclination, have led to the theory that the relationship arose from the migration of the outer planets, particularly the outward migration of Neptune, during the early solar system. In support of this scenario is the fact that the formation of Neptune at its current location would have been complicated by long dynamical times and low densities in the solar nebula. Here we address the following questions: Though the formation of Neptune at its current location seems unfavorable, are there dynamical obstacles to the capture of Pluto and the Plutinos under this scenario? Or are there features of the Neptune-Pluto system that would allow us to preclude this possibility of Neptune forming near its current orbit? Levison & Stern have examined the effect of the purely gravitational interactions of the giant planets on Pluto and concluded that the most important dynamical aspects of the Neptune-Pluto system could be reproduced. The exception was the amplitude of the 3:2 resonant argument, which was found to be too large in their model. We performed simulations of the outer solar system that included a slowly accreting Neptune and found that the efficiency of capture of dynamically cold particles into the 3:2 resonance was increased by a factor of 3, and that the resonant argument was substantially decreased. However, further dissipation is still required to match all aspects of the Plutino population and to produce truly Pluto-like orbits. Given that cold initial conditions did not reproduce the observations completely, simulations of initially dynamically hot particles near the 3:2 resonance with Neptune were also examined. These results, though resulting from seemingly ad hoc starting conditions, are reported as they produce remarkably good matches with both the Plutino population and Pluto's own orbit, including all three of its known resonances. These simulations reveal that Pluto

  11. The long-wavelength thermal emission of the Pluto-Charon system from Herschel observations. Evidence for emissivity effects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lellouch, E.; Santos-Sanz, P.; Fornasier, S.; Lim, T.; Stansberry, J.; Vilenius, E.; Kiss, Cs.; Müller, T.; Marton, G.; Protopapa, S.; Panuzzo, P.; Moreno, R.

    2016-04-01

    Thermal observations of the Pluto-Charon system acquired by the Herschel Space Observatory in February 2012 are presented. They consist of photometric measurements with the PACS and SPIRE instruments (nine visits to the Pluto system each), covering six wavelengths from 70 to 500 μm altogether. The thermal light curve of Pluto-Charon is observed in all filters, albeit more marginally at 160 and especially 500 μm. Putting these data into the context of older ISO, Spitzer and ground-based observations indicates that the brightness temperature (TB) of the system (rescaled to a common heliocentric distance) drastically decreases with increasing wavelength, from ~53 K at 20 μm to ~35 K at 500 μm, and perhaps ever less at longer wavelengths. Considering a variety of diurnal and/or seasonal thermophysical models, we show that TB values of 35 K are lower than any expected temperature for the dayside surface or subsurface of Pluto and Charon, implying a low surface emissivity. Based on multiterrain modeling, we infer a spectral emissivity that decreases steadily from 1 at 20-25 μm to ~0.7 at 500 μm. This kind of behavior is usually not observed in asteroids (when proper allowance is made for subsurface sounding), but is found in several icy surfaces of the solar system. We tentatively identify that a combination of a strong dielectric constant and a considerable surface material transparency (typical penetration depth ~1 cm) is responsible for the effect. Our results have implications for the interpretation of the temperature measurements by REX/New Horizons at 4.2 cm wavelength. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.

  12. IRAS observations of the Pluto-Charon system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

    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.

  13. IRAS observations of the Pluto-Charon system

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  14. The Surface Compositions of Triton, Pluto, and Charon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.; Roush, Ted L.; Owen, Tobias C.; Quirico, Eric; DeBergh, Catherine

    1995-01-01

    Neptune's satellite Triton, and the planet-satellite binary Pluto and Charon, are the most distant planetary bodies on which ices have been directly detected. Triton and Pluto have very similar dimensions and mean densities, suggesting a similar or common origin. Through earth-based spectroscopic observations in the near-infrared, solid N2, CH4, and CO have been found on both bodies, with the additional molecule C02 on Triton. N2 dominates both surfaces, although the coverage is not spatially uniform. On Triton, the CH4 and CO are mostly or entirely frozen in the N2 matrix, while CO2 may be spatially segregated. On Pluto, some CH4 and the CO are frozen in the N2 matrix, but there is evidence for additional CH4 in a pure state, perhaps lying as a lag deposit on a subsurface layer of N2. Despite their compositional and dimensional similarities, Pluto and Triton are quite different from one another in detail. Additional hydrocarbons and other volatile ices have been sought spectroscopically but not yet have been detected. The only molecule identified on Pluto's satellite Charon is solid H2O, but the spectroscopic data are of low precision and admit the presence of other ices such as CH4.

  15. Comparative Planetary Nitrogen Atmospheres: Titan, Triton and Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strobel, Darrell F.; Zhu, Xun

    2016-06-01

    Titan has a massive atmosphere in comparison to Triton and Pluto which are widely regarded as the largest endmembers of Kuiper-Belt objects and as 'twins' with thin buffered N2 atmospheres controlled by interactions with surface ices, primarily N2 and CH4 frost. But one can compare them with Titan's upper atmosphere by noting that 14 microbars on Titan is at an altitude of approximately 400 km. At this level Titan has haze layers as Pluto does and less so on Triton. The talk will emphasize the fundamental role that CH4 plays in controlling the thermal structure of these atmospheres and is one of the principal reasons for the differences in the thermal structure of Pluto's and Triton's atmospheres. Titan and Pluto have in common photochemical production of nitriles at detectable abundances, whereas Triton does not. The cold upper atmosphere of Pluto remains a mystery as the reported abundances of HCN are insufficient to cool the atmosphere in contrast to Titan's thermosphere.

  16. Pluto's Global Color Variability as Seen by the New Horizons Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binzel, R. P.; Stern, A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Young, L. A.; Olkin, C.; Grundy, W. M.; Earle, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    While variability in Pluto's albedo, color, and methane distribution had been previously discerned from ground-based and Hubble Space Telescope observations [e.g. 1,2], the sharp juxtaposition of contrasting units forms one of the greatest surprises returned (to date) from the New Horizons mission. Here we present a global analysis of the color distribution of Pluto's surface factoring in both seasonal and large scale geologic processes. We will also explore the possible role of long-term (million year) precession cycles [3] in shaping the surface morphology and the distribution of volatiles. We utilize data returned by the New Horizons Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) operating as part of the Ralph instrument [4]. MVIC captures images over five wavelength bands from blue to the near-infrared, including a broad panchromatic band and a narrow band centered on the 0.89-micron methane absorption feature. References: [1] Young, E. F., Binzel, R. P., Crane, K. 2001; Astron. J. 121, 552-561. [2] Grundy, W.M., Olkin, C.B., Young, L.A., Buie, M. W., Young, E. F. 2013; Icarus 223, 710-721. [3] Earle, A. M., Binzel, R. P. 2015; Icarus 250, 405-412. [4] Reuter, D.C., Stern, S.A., Scherrer, J., et al. 2008; Space Science Reviews, 140, 129-154.

  17. ALICE: The Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph Aboard the New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, S. Alan; Slater, David C.; Scherrer, John; Stone, John; Dirks, Greg; Versteeg, Maarten; Davis, Michael; Gladstone, G. Randall; Parker, Joel W.; Young, Leslie A.; Siegmund, Oswald H. W.

    2008-10-01

    The ALICE instrument is a lightweight (4.4 kg), low-power (4.4 watt) imaging spectrograph aboard the New Horizons mission to the Pluto system 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 is expected to fly by after Pluto-Charon, and it will make UV surface reflectivity measurements of all of these bodies, as well as of Pluto’s smaller moons Nix and Hydra. The instrument incorporates an off-axis telescope feeding a Rowland-circle spectrograph with a 520-1870 Å spectral passband, a spectral point spread function of 3-6 Å FWHM, and an instantaneous spatial field-of-view that is 6 degrees long. Two 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-blind opaque photocathodes (KBr and CsI) and a focal surface that matches the instrument’s 15-cm diameter Rowland-circle. In this paper, we describe the instrument in greater detail, including descriptions of its ground calibration and initial in flight performance. New Horizons launched on 19 January 2006.

  18. Ground Water Quality and Riparian Enhancement Projects in Sherman County, Oregon; Coordination and Technical Assistance, 2002-2003 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Faucera, Jason

    2003-06-23

    This project was designed to provide project coordination and technical assistance to producers in Sherman County for on the ground water quality enhancement and riparian enhancement projects. This is accomplished utilizing the USDA Conservation Enhancement Reserve Program (CREP) and other grant monies to translate the personnel funds in this project to on the ground projects. Two technicians and one watershed council coordinator are funded, either wholly or in part, by funds from this grant. The project area encompasses the whole of Sherman County which is bordered almost entirely by streams providing habitat or migration corridors for endangered fish species including steelhead and Chinook salmon. Three of those four streams and one other major Sherman County stream are listed on the DEQ 303(d) list of water quality limited streams for exceeding summer temperature limits. Temperature in streams are directly affected by the amount of solar radiation allowed to reach the surface of the water. Practices designed to improve bank-side vegetation, such as the CREP program, will counteract the solar heating of those water quality listed streams, benefiting endangered stocks. CREP and water quality projects are promoted and coordinated with local landowners through locally-led watershed councils. Funding from BPA provides a portion of the salary for a watershed council coordinator who acts to disseminate water quality and USDA program information directly to landowners through watershed council activities. The watershed coordinator acts to educate landowners in water quality and riparian management issues and to secure funds for the implementation of on the ground water quality projects. Actual project implementation is carried out by the two technicians funded by this project. Technicians in Sherman County, in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, assist landowners in developing Resource Management Systems (RMS) that address resource concerns

  19. Ground Water Quality and Riparian Enhancement Projects in Sherman County, Oregon; Coordination and Technical Assistance, 2003-2004 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Faucera, Jason

    2004-05-01

    This project was designed to provide technical assistance and project coordination to producers in Sherman County for on the ground water quality and riparian enhancement projects. This is accomplished utilizing the USDA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in addition to other grant monies to translate the personnel funds in this project to on the ground projects. Two technicians and one watershed council coordinator are funded, either wholly or in part, by funds from this grant. The project area encompasses the whole of Sherman County which is bordered almost entirely by streams providing habitat or migration corridors for endangered fish species including steelhead and Chinook salmon. Of those four streams that comprise Sherman County's boundaries, three are listed on the DEQ 303(d) list of water quality limited streams for exceeding summer temperature limits. Only one stream in the interior of Sherman County is 303(d) listed for temperatures, but is the largest watershed in the County. Temperatures in streams are directly affected by the amount of solar radiation allowed to reach the surface of the water. Practices designed to improve bank-side vegetation, such as the CREP program, will counteract the solar heating of those water quality listed streams, benefiting endangered stocks. CREP and water quality projects are promoted and coordinated with local landowners through locally-led watershed councils. Funding from BPA provides a portion of the salary for a watershed council coordinator who acts to disseminate water quality and USDA program information directly to landowners through watershed council activities. The watershed coordinator acts to educate landowners in water quality and riparian management issues and to secure funds for the implementation of on the ground water quality projects. Actual project implementation is carried out by the two technicians funded by this project. Technicians in Sherman County, in cooperation with the USDA

  20. Ground Water Quality and Riparian Enhancement Projects in Sherman County, Oregon : Coordination and Technical Assistance, 2004-2005 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Faucera, Jason

    2005-06-01

    This project was designed to provide technical assistance and project coordination to producers in Sherman County for on the ground water quality and riparian enhancement projects. This is accomplished utilizing the USDA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in addition to other grant monies to translate the personnel funds in this project to on the ground projects. Two technicians and one watershed council coordinator are funded, either wholly or in part, by funds from this grant. The project area encompasses the whole of Sherman County which is bordered almost entirely by streams providing habitat or migration corridors for endangered fish species including steelhead and Chinook salmon. Of those four streams that comprise Sherman County's boundaries, three are listed on the DEQ 303(d) list of water quality limited streams for exceeding summer temperature limits. Only one stream in the interior of Sherman County is 303(d) listed for temperatures, but is the largest watershed in the County. Temperatures in streams are directly affected by the amount of solar radiation allowed to reach the surface of the water. Practices designed to improve bank-side vegetation, such as the CREP program, will counteract the solar heating of those water quality listed streams, benefiting endangered stocks. CREP and water quality projects are promoted and coordinated with local landowners through locally-led watershed councils. Funding from BPA provides a portion of the salary for a watershed council coordinator who acts to disseminate water quality and USDA program information directly to landowners through watershed council activities. The watershed coordinator acts to educate landowners in water quality and riparian management issues and to secure funds for the implementation of on the ground water quality projects. Actual project implementation is carried out by the two technicians funded by this project. Technicians in Sherman County, in cooperation with the USDA

  1. Ground Deformation Measurement with SAR Interferometry - Exupéry Project WP2 Space Based Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cong, Xiaoying; Eineder, Michael; Minet, Christian

    2010-05-01

    As one of major natural hazards volcanic unrest and volcanic eruption are gaining more attention nowadays. The Exupéry project aimed at setting-up an Early Response System (VFRS) for volcanic activity was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Within Work Package 2 'Space Based Observations' SAR interferometry is used for monitoring the ground deformation. In comparison with conventional monitoring techniques like GPS the surface changes can be directly detected by using 2 SAR images from different acquisition times and an external DEM. Persistent scatterer SAR interferometry (PSI) method is applied by using a stack of interferograms with common master image. Instead of whole SAR scene only the coherent scatterers during whole acquisition duration are selected and its phase measurements are used to estimate modelled parameters such as deformation velocity, DEM error and atmospheric distortions. In mountainous area backscatterers are decorrelated during the time because of vegetation. To ensure the coherence corner reflector (CR) is used to get stable backscattering. To test the whole system a campaign was carried out during April to August 2009. Two CRs were installed for TerraSAR-X satellite on the test site Lagoa do Fogo volcano. During the campaign 11 strip-map scenes were gathered consequently. Post-processed interferograms as well as the coherence maps were delivered to database center in Hannover and would be published in project website. Time series analysis with coherent scatterers from the stacking was applied in order to detect complex deformation from mountainous area. The CRs were successfully detected in SAR image and will be used as reference points in PSI processing. At the end the interferograms computed from different wavelengths will be compared in this area.

  2. Rotationally resolved midultraviolet studies of Triton and the Pluto/Charon system. I - IUE results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. A.; Brosch, Noah; Barker, Edwin S.; Gladstone, G. R.

    1991-01-01

    The present uniform analysis of the full set of IUE spectra of Pluto + Charon and Triton attempts to characterize these objects' UV photometric properties variation with rotational phase, giving attention to the 2550-3200 A range. The visible-UV color differentiation increases as Pluto reaches its maximum bolometric brightness; the IUE data suggests that this could be due to a UV surface absorption feature on Pluto or Charon. Typical UV albedos are found on Triton which agree with Voyager photopolarimeter results; Pluto's albedo is much lower than that of Triton, but the amplitude of the Pluto UV lightcurve is greater than that of Triton.

  3. Ground Water Quality and Riparian Enhancement Projects in Sherman County, Oregon; Coordination and Technical Assistance, 2005-2006 Annual Report.

    SciTech Connect

    Faucera, Jason

    2006-06-01

    This project was designed to provide technical assistance and project coordination to producers in Sherman County for on the ground water quality and riparian enhancement projects. This is accomplished utilizing the USDA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) in addition to other grant monies to translate the personnel funds in this project to on the ground projects. Two technicians and one watershed council coordinator are funded, either wholly or in part, by funds from this grant. The project area encompasses the whole of Sherman County which is bordered almost entirely by streams providing habitat or migration corridors for endangered fish species including steelhead and Chinook salmon. Of those four streams that comprise Sherman County's boundaries, three are listed on the DEQ 303(d) list of water quality limited streams for exceeding summer temperature limits. Only one stream in the interior of Sherman County is 303(d) listed for temperatures, but is the largest watershed in the County. Temperatures in streams are directly affected by the amount of solar radiation allowed to reach the surface of the water. Practices designed to improve bank-side vegetation, such as the CREP program, will counteract the solar heating of those water quality listed streams, benefiting endangered stocks. CREP and water quality projects are promoted and coordinated with local landowners through locally-led watershed councils. Funding from BPA provides a portion of the salary for a watershed council coordinator who acts to disseminate water quality and USDA program information directly to landowners through watershed council activities. The watershed coordinator acts to educate landowners in water quality and riparian management issues and to secure funds for the implementation of on the ground water quality projects. Actual project implementation is carried out by the two technicians funded by this project. Technicians in Sherman County, in cooperation with the USDA

  4. North American Ground Surface Temperature Histories: A Contribution to the PAGES2k North American Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mareschal, J. C.; Jaume Santero, F.; Beltrami, H.

    2015-12-01

    Within the framework of the PAGES NorthAmerica2k project, three hundred and seventy three (373) North American temperature-depth profiles from boreholes deeper than 300 meters were analyzed for recent climate. To facilitate comparisons and examine the same time period, the profiles were truncated at 300 m. The ground surface temperature (GST) histories for the last 500 years were inverted from the subsurface temperature anomalies using singular value decomposition for a model of 10 temperature changes along time-intervals of increasing duration. The inversion retains four singular values and accounts for the data acquisition time difference. The reference surface temperature and geothermal gradient were estimated by linear regression to the deepest 100 meters with a 95% confidence interval. Additionally, a Monte-Carlo method was used to find the range of solutions within a maximum subsurface anomaly error determined by the root mean square between the model and the data. The GST history results for North America, given by the mean and 95% confidence interval, reveal in most cases, a warming up to 1°C - 2.5°C during the last 100-150 years.

  5. Aviation System Capacity Program Terminal Area Productivity Project: Ground and Airborne Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giulianetti, Demo J.

    2001-01-01

    Ground and airborne technologies were developed in the Terminal Area Productivity (TAP) project for increasing throughput at major airports by safely maintaining good-weather operating capacity during bad weather. Methods were demonstrated for accurately predicting vortices to prevent wake-turbulence encounters and to reduce in-trail separation requirements for aircraft approaching the same runway for landing. Technology was demonstrated that safely enabled independent simultaneous approaches in poor weather conditions to parallel runways spaced less than 3,400 ft apart. Guidance, control, and situation-awareness systems were developed to reduce congestion in airport surface operations resulting from the increased throughput, particularly during night and instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). These systems decreased runway occupancy time by safely and smoothly decelerating the aircraft, increasing taxi speed, and safely steering the aircraft off the runway. Simulations were performed in which optimal trajectories were determined by air traffic control (ATC) and communicated to flight crews by means of Center TRACON Automation System/Flight Management System (CTASFMS) automation to reduce flight delays, increase throughput, and ensure flight safety.

  6. The detection of eclipses in the pluto-charon system.

    PubMed

    Binzel, R P; Tholen, D J; Tedesco, E F; Buratti, B J; Nelson, R M

    1985-06-01

    The first eclipses between Pluto and its satellite ("Charon") were detected in January and February 1985, confirming the satellite's existence. Eclipses lasting a few hours will now occur at 3.2-day intervals for the next 5 to 6 years and then will cease for about 120 years. Careful observations of these eclipses will allow greatly improved determinations to be made of several physical parameters for the Pluto-Charon system: the diameters of the planet and satellite, the surface albedo distribution on one hemisphere of the planet, the orbit of the satellite, and the mass of the planet and hence its density. Knowledge of the density will provide a constraint on models of Pluto's bulk composition.

  7. The detection of eclipses in the Pluto-Charon system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Binzel, R. P.; Tholen, D. J.; Tedesco, E. F.; Buratti, B. J.; Nelson, R. M.

    1985-01-01

    The first eclipses between Pluto and its satellite ('Charon') were detected in January and February 1985, confirming the satellite's existence. Eclipses lasting a few hours will now occur at 3.20 day intervals for the next 5 to 6 years and then will cease for about 120 years. Careful observations of these eclipses will allow greatly improved determinations to be made of several physical parameters for the Pluto-Charon system: the diameters of the planet and satellite, the surface albedo distribution on one hemisphere of the planet, the orbit of the satellite, and the mass of the planet and hence its density. Knowledge of the density will provide a constraint on models of Pluto's bulk composition.

  8. On the origin of the Pluto-Charon binary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mckinnon, William B.

    1989-01-01

    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.

  9. The detection of eclipses in the pluto-charon system.

    PubMed

    Binzel, R P; Tholen, D J; Tedesco, E F; Buratti, B J; Nelson, R M

    1985-06-01

    The first eclipses between Pluto and its satellite ("Charon") were detected in January and February 1985, confirming the satellite's existence. Eclipses lasting a few hours will now occur at 3.2-day intervals for the next 5 to 6 years and then will cease for about 120 years. Careful observations of these eclipses will allow greatly improved determinations to be made of several physical parameters for the Pluto-Charon system: the diameters of the planet and satellite, the surface albedo distribution on one hemisphere of the planet, the orbit of the satellite, and the mass of the planet and hence its density. Knowledge of the density will provide a constraint on models of Pluto's bulk composition. PMID:17735339

  10. The small satellites of Pluto as observed by New Horizons.

    PubMed

    Weaver, H A; Buie, M W; 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; Dalle Ore, C M; 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

    2016-03-18

    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 ~40 kilometers for Nix and Hydra and ~10 kilometers for Styx and Kerberos. They are also highly elongated, with maximum to minimum axis ratios of ~2. All four moons have high albedos (~50 to 90%) suggestive of a water-ice surface composition. Crater densities on Nix and Hydra imply surface ages of at least 4 billion years. 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. PMID:26989256

  11. To Pluto by way of a postage stamp

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Staehle, Robert L.; Terrile, Richard J.; Weinstein, Stacy S.

    1994-01-01

    In this time of constrained budgets, the primary question facing planetary explorers is not 'Can we do it?' but 'Can we do it cheaply?' Taunted by words on a postage stamp, a group of mission designers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is struggling to find a cheap way to go to Pluto. Three primary goals were set by the science community: (1) imaging of Pluto and Charon, (2) mapping their surface composition, and (3) characterizing Pluto's atmosphere. The spacecraft will be designed around these primary goals. With the help of the Advanced Technology Insertion (ATI) process $5 million was alloted for two years to shop for lightweight components and subsystems using new technology never tried on a planetary mission. The process for this search and development is described.

  12. The small satellites of Pluto as observed by New Horizons.

    PubMed

    Weaver, H A; Buie, M W; 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; Dalle Ore, C M; 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

    2016-03-18

    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 ~40 kilometers for Nix and Hydra and ~10 kilometers for Styx and Kerberos. They are also highly elongated, with maximum to minimum axis ratios of ~2. All four moons have high albedos (~50 to 90%) suggestive of a water-ice surface composition. Crater densities on Nix and Hydra imply surface ages of at least 4 billion years. 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. On the origin of the Pluto-Charon binary

    SciTech Connect

    Mckinnon, W.B. )

    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.

  14. Search for Short-term temporal evolution of Pluto's surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanez, Maya Danielle; Holler, Bryan J.; Young, Leslie; Chanover, Nancy J.; Olkin, Catherine B.

    2016-10-01

    Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) outnumber other bodies within our Solar System; however, studies of KBO temporal evolution are limited. At present, Pluto is moving farther away from the Sun and the sub-observer latitude is increasing quickly, therefore we might expect to see ongoing changes in the atmosphere and on its surface. In order to search for these changes and minimize the effects of rotational phase and viewing geometry, we observed Pluto at approximately the same sub-observer latitude and longitude between June 2014 and August 2016 with the TripleSpec spectrograph at the Apache Point Observatory. These "matched pairs" correspond to the June observations in one year and the August observations of the following year and allow us to search for purely temporal changes. We investigated how absorption features of the volatile ices changed over the course of one Earth-year and place constraints on the timescale for observable surface-atmosphere interactions of these ices on Pluto.

  15. The Charon-Pluto mass ratio from MKO astrometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, L. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Elliot, J. L.; Tholen, D. J.; Buie, M. W.

    1994-01-01

    Using the University of Hawaii (UH) 2.2-m telescope, we obtained charge coupled device (CCD) images of Pluto as it passed through a single field of 10 stars during 6 nights of Charon's 6.4-day orbital period. From these data, Charon's orbital semimajor axis is found to be 19,460 +/- 58 km, which is consistent with the recent measurement by Null et al. (1993), of 19,405 +/- 86 km. Our semimajor axis implies a system mass of (14.32 +/- 0.13) x 10(exp 24) g. From the motions of Pluto and Charon around their barycenter, we find that the ratio of Charon's mass to Pluto's is 0.1566 +/- 0.0035, indicating that the bodies both have densities near 2 g/cc. Our ratio is nearly twice that of Null et al., who find a ratio of 0.0837 +/- 0.0147. Possible reasons for the large discrepancy are discussed.

  16. Understanding Pluto's Surface: Correlations between Geology and Composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    New Horizons has revealed that Pluto's surface is composed of a remarkable variety of terrains that differ strikingly in their landforms, color, and near-infrared spectral characteristics. Strong correlations are seen between the morphology revealed by high-resolution imaging from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), and the surface composition inferred from the spacecraft's color camera and near-infrared spectrometer, which are both included in the Ralph instrument. These correlations provide the potential for a much deeper understanding of the processes that have shaped Pluto's complex surface that was possible for Pluto's sibling Triton, for which Voyager did not provide compositional maps. We will discuss how the full suite of New Horizons remote sensing instruments reveal a surface modified by the interplay of insolation variations, meteorology, and endogenic processes.

  17. RTGs Options for Pluto Fast Flyby Mission

    SciTech Connect

    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

  18. Observations of the Pluto-Charon System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.

    2004-01-01

    We are continuing the analysis of adaptive optics observations of the Pluto-Charon system, with the goal of confirming the orbital eccentricity reported by Tholen and Bule (1997). Previous work on these data, obtained with the Hokupa's adaptive optics system and Gemini North and reported by Tholea (2002), utilized only a portion of the full set of 348 images taken on 8 nights between 2001 and 2002, and was based on a preliminary calibration of the image scale and position angle of the detector. For each of the three observing runs, independent calibrations were performed using the motion of an asteroid past a fixed stellar source to remove any minor differences in the way the instrument was mounted on the telescope for each run. The image scales determined for each run are good to better than 1 part in 1000, while the individual position angle determinations are good at least 0.1 deg. The preliminary analysis reported at last year's DPS meeting indicated consistency with the orbit determined from the HST observations acquired a decade ago, however, a more careful analysis yields a longitude of periapsis of 132.2 degrees plus or minus 9.3 degrees, disagreeing with the HST results: Finally, possible explanation for the differences in orbital solutions are considered.

  19. Observations of Pluto-Charon mutual events

    SciTech Connect

    Blanco, C.; Di Martino, M.; Ferreri, W.; Osservatorio Astronomico, Turin )

    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.

  20. A new determination of radii and limb parameters for Pluto and Charon from mutual event lightcurves

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, Eliot F.; Binzel, Richard P.

    1994-01-01

    Over the past several years Pluto-Charon mutual events have yielded progressively more accurate estimates of Charon's orbital elements and the radii of Pluto and Charon (e.g., Buie, Tholen, and Horne, 1992). Analysis of the 1988 stellar occultation by Pluto indicates a radius for Pluto that is about 4%, or 50 km, larger than the mutual event radius of 1151 km. One possible explanation for the discrepancy is that the mutual event modeling treats Pluto and Charon as uniformly bright disks. If they are limb-darkened, the mutual event fits could underestimate their radii. In this paper we use an independent mutual event data set (Young and Binzel, 1992) to fit for Pluto and Charon's radii in a manner independent of either object's limb profile or albedo distribution. Our least-squares solution indicates that Pluto's radius is 1164 +/- 22.9 km and Charon's radius is 621 +/- 20.6 km.

  1. Methane and Nitrogen Abundances on Pluto and Eris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    We present spectra of Eris from the MMT 6.5 m Telescope and Red Channel Spectrograph (5700-9800 Å, 5 Å pixel-1) on Mt. Hopkins, AZ, and of Pluto from the Steward Observatory 2.3 m Telescope and Boller and Chivens Spectrograph (7100-9400 Å, 2 Å pixel-1) 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 & Yantsevich, 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 ~10% and ~90% and Pluto's bulk methane and nitrogen abundances are ~3% and ~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 volatile composition of Pluto. Both objects appear to be dominated by nitrogen ice. Our analysis also suggests, unlike previous work reported in the literature, that the methane and nitrogen stoichiometry is constant with depth into the surface of Eris. Finally, we point out that our Eris spectrum is also consistent with a laboratory ice mixture consisting of 40% methane and 60% argon. Although we cannot rule out an argon-rich surface, it seems more likely that nitrogen is the dominant species on Eris because the nitrogen ice 2.15 μm band is seen in spectra of Pluto and Triton.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  3. METHANE AND NITROGEN ABUNDANCES ON PLUTO AND ERIS

    SciTech Connect

    Tegler, S. C.; Cornelison, D. M.; Abernathy, M. R.; Bovyn, M. J.; Burt, J. A.; Evans, D. E.; Maleszewski, C. K.; Thompson, Z.; Grundy, W. M.; Romanishin, W.; Vilas, F. E-mail: David.Cornelison@nau.ed E-mail: wjr@nhn.ou.ed

    2010-12-10

    We present spectra of Eris from the MMT 6.5 m Telescope and Red Channel Spectrograph (5700-9800 A, 5 A pixel{sup -1}) on Mt. Hopkins, AZ, and of Pluto from the Steward Observatory 2.3 m Telescope and Boller and Chivens Spectrograph (7100-9400 A, 2 A pixel{sup -1}) 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, 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 {approx}10% and {approx}90% and Pluto's bulk methane and nitrogen abundances are {approx}3% and {approx}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 volatile composition of Pluto. Both objects appear to be dominated by nitrogen ice. Our analysis also suggests, unlike previous work reported in the literature, that the methane and nitrogen stoichiometry is constant with depth into the surface of Eris. Finally, we point out that our Eris spectrum is also consistent with a laboratory ice mixture consisting of 40% methane and 60% argon. Although we cannot rule out an argon-rich surface, it seems more likely that nitrogen is the dominant species on Eris because the nitrogen ice 2.15 {mu}m band is seen in spectra of Pluto and Triton.

  4. Pluto's Photochemical Haze and Comparison to that of Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yung, Yuk; Gao, Peter; Fan, Siteng; Wong, Michael; Kammer, Joshua A.; Summers, Michael; Gladstone, Randy; Young, Leslie

    2016-10-01

    The New Horizons flyby of Pluto confirmed the existence of hazes in its atmosphere. The observations 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 distributions of both worlds using the Community Aerosol and Radiation Model for Atmospheres assuming that the distribution is shaped by transport and aggregation of particles originating from photochemistry. The results of our models are compared to solar occultation observations taken by New Horizons for Pluto, and Cassini for Titan. For Pluto, satisfactory agreement with observations is obtained when the aggregate monomer size is 10 nm and the downward mass flux of photochemical products is equal to the column-integrated methane destruction rate. The effective particle radius is ~0.1-0.2 μm near Pluto's surface, consistent with forward scattering measurements. We also consider the effect of condensation of HCN, C2H2, C2H4, and C2H6 on the haze particles, which may play an important effect in shaping their altitude and size distributions. An alternative spherical particle case requires a downward mass flux 2-3 times larger, and resulted in particles 4 times smaller near the surface. For Titan, satisfactory agreement with data is found with comparatively smaller monomers and a downward mass flux of photochemical products much less than Titan's column-integrated methane destruction rate, though degeneracy between these two parameters may affect our results.

  5. An accurate representation of the motion of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goffin, E.; Meeus, J.; Steyaert, C.

    1986-02-01

    Three series of periodic terms are presented which make it possible to calculate the heliocentric coordinates of Pluto (longitude, latitude, radius vector) during a time interval of more than two centuries. The terms and coefficients have been derived indirectly by least-square approximation of a numerical integration of the motion of Pluto. For the years 1885 to 2099, the maximum error is 0.5 arcsec in longitude, 0.1 arcsec in latitude, and 0.00002 AU in radius vector as compared to the numerical integration.

  6. Surface ices and the atmospheric composition of pluto.

    PubMed

    Owen, T C; Roush, T L; Cruikshank, D P; Elliot, J L; Young, L A; de Bergh, C; Schmitt, B; Geballe, T R; Brown, R H; Bartholomew, M J

    1993-08-01

    Observations of the 1.4- to 2.4-micrometer spectrum of Pluto reveal absorptions of carbon monoxide and nitrogen ices and confirm the presence of solid methane. Frozen nitrogen is more abundant than the other two ices by a factor of about 50; gaseous nitrogen must therefore be the major atmospheric constituent. The absence of carbon dioxide absorptions is one of several differences between the spectra of Pluto and Triton in this region. Both worlds carry information about the composition of the solar nebula and the processes by which icy planetesimals formed.

  7. Modeling Low Velocity Impacts: Predicting Crater Depth on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bray, V. J.; Schenk, P.

    2014-12-01

    The New Horizons mission is due to fly-by the Pluto system in Summer 2015 and provides the first opportunity to image the Pluto surface in detail, allowing both the appearance and number of its crater population to be studied for the first time. Bray and Schenk (2014) combined previous cratering studies and numerical modeling of the impact process to predict crater morphology on Pluto based on current understanding of Pluto's composition, structure and surrounding impactor population. Predictions of how the low mean impact velocity (~2km/s) of the Pluto system will influence crater formation is a complex issue. Observations of secondary cratering (low velocity, high angle) and laboratory experiments of impact at low velocity are at odds regarding how velocity controls depth-diameter ratios: Observations of secondary craters show that these low velocity craters are shallower than would be expected for a hyper-velocity primary. Conversely, gas gun work has shown that relative crater depth increases as impact velocity decreases. We have investigated the influence of impact velocity further with iSALE hydrocode modeling of comet impact into Pluto. With increasing impact velocity, a projectile will produce wider and deeper craters. The depth-diameter ratio (d/D) however has a more complex progression with increasing impact velocity: impacts faster than 2km/s lead to smaller d/D ratios as impact velocity increases, in agreement with gas-gun studies. However, decreasing impact velocity from 2km/s to 300 m/s produced smaller d/D as impact velocity was decreased. This suggests that on Pluto the deepest craters would be produced by ~ 2km/s impacts, with shallower craters produced by velocities either side of this critical point. Further simulations to investigate whether this effect is connected to the sound speed of the target material are ongoing. The complex relationship between impact velocity and crater depth for impacts occurring between 300m/s and 10 km/s suggests

  8. Surface ices and the atmospheric composition of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owen, T. C.; Roush, T. L.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Elliot, J. L.; Young, L. A.; de Bergh, C.; Schmitt, B.; Geballe, T. R.; Brown, R. H.; Bartholomew, M. J.

    1993-08-01

    Observations of the 1.4- to 2.4-micrometer spectrum of Pluto reveal absorptions of carbon monoxide and nitrogen ices and confirm the presence of solid methane. Frozen nitrogen is more abundant than the other two ices by a factor of about 50; gaseous nitrogen must therefore be the major atmospheric constituent. The absence of carbon dioxide absorptions is one of several differences between the spectra of Pluto and Triton in this region. Both worlds carry information about the composition of the solar nebula and the processes by which icy planetesimals formed.

  9. Detection of a CH/sub 4/ atmosphere on Pluto

    SciTech Connect

    Fink, U.; Smith, B.A.; Johnson, J.R.

    1980-01-01

    A ratio spectrum of Pluto shows methane absorption bands at 6200, 7200, 7900, 8400, 8600, 8900, and 10,000 A. The heavy saturation of the 8900 band as compared to the other bands indicates a gaseous origin for the observed absorptions. A total methane abundance of 80 + or - 20 m-am is derived, and an upper limit to the total pressure of approximately .05 atm is set. The methane atmosphere would be stable if the mass of Pluto is increased 50% over its present value and its radius is 1400 km. A heavier gas mixed with the methane atmosphere would also aid its stability.

  10. Surface ices and the atmospheric composition of Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, Tobias C.; Roush, Ted L.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Elliot, James L.; Young, Leslie A.; De Bergh, Catherine; Schmitt, Bernard; Geballe, Thomas R.; Brown, Robert H.; Bartholomew, Mary J.

    1993-01-01

    Observations of the 1.4- to 2.4-micrometer spectrum of Pluto reveal absorptions of carbon monoxide and nitrogen ices and confirm the presence of solid methane. Frozen nitrogen is more abundant than the other two ices by a factor of about 50; gaseous nitrogen must therefore be the major atmospheric constituent. The absence of carbon dioxide absorptions is one of several differences between the spectra of Pluto and Triton in this region. Both worlds carry information about the composition of the solar nebula and the processes by which icy planetesimals formed.

  11. Observational constraint on Pluto's atmospheric CO with ASTE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iino, Takahiro; Hirahara, Yasuhiro; Hidemori, Takehiro; Tsukagoshi, Takashi; Nakajima, Taku; Nakamoto, Satoru; Kato, Chihaya

    2016-02-01

    To confirm the previous observational results of Pluto's atmospheric CO in the J = 2-1 rotational transition, we conducted a new observation of CO (J = 3-2) in Pluto's atmosphere in 2014 August with the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment 10 m single-dish telescope. In contrast to the previous observational result obtained with the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in 2009 and 2010 by using the J = 2-1 transition, no emission structure was observed near the rest frequency in our attempt. Possible explanations for the nondetection result of the J = 3-2 transition are discussed.

  12. Pluto's Insolation History: Latitudinal Variations and Effects on Atmospheric Pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Earle, Alissa M.; Binzel, Richard P.

    2014-11-01

    Since previous insolation modeling in the early 1990’s, new atmospheric pressure data, increased computational power, and the upcoming flyby of the Pluto system by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft have generated new motivation and increased capabilities for the study of Pluto’s complex long-term (million-years) insolation history. The two primary topics of interest in studying Pluto’s insolation history are the variations in insolation patterns when integrated over different intervals and the evolution of diurnal insolation patterns over the last several decades. We find latitudinal dichotomies when comparing average insolation over timescales of days, decades, centuries, and millennia. Depending on the timescales of volatile migration, some consequences of these insolation patterns may be manifested in the surface features revealed by New Horizons. For any single rotation of Pluto there is a latitude that receives more insolation relative to the others. Often this is the sub-subsolar latitude but it can also be an arctic circle latitude when near-polar regions of Pluto experience the "midnight sun". We define the amount of that greatest insolation value over the course of one rotation as the "maximum diurnal insolation" (MDI). We find that MDI is driven to its highest values when Pluto’s obliquity creates a long arctic summer (or “midnight sun”) beginning just after perihelion. Pluto’s atmospheric pressure, as measured through stellar occultation observations during the past three decades, appears to correlate with Pluto's currently occurring midnight sun as quantified by the MDI parameter. If insolation (as parameterized by the MDI value) is the single dominant factor driving Pluto's atmospheric pressure, this “Midnight Sun Model” predicts that Pluto's maximum atmospheric pressure will be reached in 2017 followed by a steady decline. Pluto's maximum diurnal insolation value begins dropping after 2017 due to two factors: Pluto’s sub-solar point

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  14. PFERD Mission: Pluto Flyby Exploration/Research Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  15. Simulation of ground-water flow in the Albuquerque Basin, central New Mexico, 1901-95, with projections to 2020

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kernodle, J.M.

    1998-01-01

    The ground-water-flow model of the Albuquerque Basin (Kernodle, J.M., McAda, D.P., and Thorn, C.R., 1995, Simulation of ground-water flow in the Albuquerque Basin, central New Mexico, with projections to 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4251, 114 p.) was updated to include new information on the hydrogeologic framework (Hawley, J.W., Haase, C.S., and Lozinsky, R.P., 1995, An underground view of the Albuquerque Basin: Proceedings of the 39th Annual New Mexico Water Conference, November 3-4, 1994, p. 37-55). An additional year of ground-water-withdrawal data was appended to the simulation of the historical period and incorporated into the base for future projections to the year 2020. The revised model projects the simulated ground-water levels associated with an aerally enlarged occurrence of the relatively high hydraulic conductivity in the upper part of the Santa Fe Group east and west of the Rio Grande in the Albuquerque area and north to Bernalillo. Although the differences between the two model versions are substantial, the revised model does not contradict any previous conclusions about the effect of City of Albuquerque ground-water withdrawals on flow in the Rio Grande or the net benefits of an effort to conserve ground water. Recent revisions to the hydrogeologic model (Hawley, J.W., Haneberg, W.C., and Whitworth, P.M., in press, Hydrogeologic investigations in the Albuquerque Basin, central New Mexico, 1992-1995: Socorro, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources Open- File Report 402) of the Albuquerque Basin eventually will require that this model version also be revised and updated.

  16. Resource conservation and recovery act ground-water monitoring projects for Hanford facilities: Progress report, January 1--March 31, 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, R.M.; Bates, D.J.; Lundgren, R.E.

    1989-06-01

    This document describes the progress of 13 Hanford Site ground-water monitoring projects for the period January 1 to March 31, 1989. The work described in this document is conducted by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory under the management of Westinghouse Hanford Company for the US Department of Energy. Concentrations of ground-water constituents are compared to federal drinking water standards throughout this document for reference purposes. All drinking water supplied from the sampled aquifer meets regulatory standards for drinking water quality. 32 refs., 30 figs., 103 tabs.

  17. PLUTO AND CHARON WITH THE HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE. II. RESOLVING CHANGES ON PLUTO'S SURFACE AND A MAP FOR CHARON

    SciTech Connect

    Buie, Marc W.; Young, Eliot F.; Young, Leslie A.; Stern, S. Alan; Grundy, William M. E-mail: efy@boulder.swri.edu E-mail: alan@boulder.swri.edu

    2010-03-15

    We present new imaging of the surface of Pluto and Charon obtained during 2002-2003 with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) instrument. Using these data, we construct two-color albedo maps for the surfaces of both Pluto and Charon. Similar mapping techniques are used to re-process HST/Faint Object Camera (FOC) images taken in 1994. The FOC data provide information in the ultraviolet and blue wavelengths that show a marked trend of UV-bright material toward the sunlit pole. The ACS data are taken at two optical wavelengths and show widespread albedo and color variegation on the surface of Pluto and hint at a latitudinal albedo trend on Charon. The ACS data also provide evidence for a decreasing albedo for Pluto at blue (435 nm) wavelengths, while the green (555 nm) data are consistent with a static surface over the one-year period of data collection. We use the two maps to synthesize a true visual color map of Pluto's surface and investigate trends in color. The mid- to high-latitude region on the sunlit pole is, on average, more neutral in color and generally higher albedo than the rest of the surface. Brighter surfaces also tend to be more neutral in color and show minimal color variations. The darker regions show considerable color diversity arguing that there must be a range of compositional units in the dark regions. Color variations are weak when sorted by longitude. These data are also used to constrain astrometric corrections that enable more accurate orbit fitting, both for the heliocentric orbit of the barycenter and the orbit of Pluto and Charon about their barycenter.

  18. The Color and Surface Composition of Mountains on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    The New Horizons mission revealed that there are mountains along the western edge of the large glacier that dominates Pluto's anti-Charon hemisphere. This talk will focus on the color and surface composition of the four large mountainous regions named Al Idrisi Montes, Bare Montes, Hillary Montes and Norgay Montes (all feature names are informal).The Al Idrisi Montes are large blocks up to 40 km across and 5 km high that appear to be broken off of the ice crust and transported into Sputnik Planum (Moore et al. 2016). The color of this region as a function of latitude will be presented as well as the color differences between the blocks and the interstitial material between the blocks. Moving south along the edge of Sputnik Planum, the next mountainous region is Bare Montes. Part of the Bare Montes resembles Al Idrisi Montes with its chaotic blocky structure, but there is a significant difference in color between these regions. The Bare Montes are more red than Al Idrisi Montes and this region's color more closely matches the nearby terrain of Cthulhu Regio. Continuing south, to the Hillary and Norgay Montes regions these topographic features become less red with both red and neutral colors on their slopes. The Hillary Montes show both red and neutral colors in the ices surrounding the peaks.This work will provide a quantitative comparison of the color and composition across these 4 mountainous regions using data from the Ralph instrument. Ralph has 4 color filters: blue (400-550 nm), red (540-700 nm), near IR (780-975) and methane filter (860-910 nm) and collects infrared imaging spectrometric data (from 1.25-2.5 microns).This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  19. ESO Signs Largest-Ever European Industrial Contract For Ground-Based Astronomy Project ALMA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-12-01

    ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, announced today that it has signed a contract with the consortium led by Alcatel Alenia Space and composed also of European Industrial Engineering (Italy) and MT Aerospace (Germany), to supply 25 antennas for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) project, along with an option for another seven antennas. The contract, worth 147 million euros, covers the design, manufacture, transport and on-site integration of the antennas. It is the largest contract ever signed in ground-based astronomy in Europe. The ALMA antennas present difficult technical challenges, since the antenna surface accuracy must be within 25 microns, the pointing accuracy within 0.6 arc seconds, and the antennas must be able to be moved between various stations on the ALMA site. This is especially remarkable since the antennas will be located outdoor in all weather conditions, without any protection. Moreover, the ALMA antennas can be pointed directly at the Sun. ALMA will have a collecting area of more than 5,600 square meters, allowing for unprecedented measurements of extremely faint objects. The signing ceremony took place on December 6, 2005 at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany. "This contract represents a major milestone. It allows us to move forward, together with our American and Japanese colleagues, in this very ambitious and unique project," said ESO's Director General, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky. "By building ALMA, we are giving European astronomers access to the world's leading submillimetre facility at the beginning of the next decade, thereby fulfilling Europe's desire to play a major role in this field of fundamental research." Pascale Sourisse, Chairman and CEO of Alcatel Alenia Space, said: "We would like to thank ESO for trusting us to take on this new challenge. We are bringing to the table not only our recognized expertise in antenna development, but also our long-standing experience in

  20. Ground-based remote sensing of tropospheric water vapour isotopologues within the project MUSICA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, M.; Barthlott, S.; Hase, F.; González, Y.; Yoshimura, K.; García, O. E.; Sepúlveda, E.; Gomez-Pelaez, A.; Gisi, M.; Kohlhepp, R.; Dohe, S.; Blumenstock, T.; Wiegele, A.; Christner, E.; Strong, K.; Weaver, D.; Palm, M.; Deutscher, N. M.; Warneke, T.; Notholt, J.; Lejeune, B.; Demoulin, P.; Jones, N.; Griffith, D. W. T.; Smale, D.; Robinson, J.

    2012-12-01

    Within the project MUSICA (MUlti-platform remote Sensing of Isotopologues for investigating the Cycle of Atmospheric water), long-term tropospheric water vapour isotopologue data records are provided for ten globally distributed ground-based mid-infrared remote sensing stations of the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change). We present a new method allowing for an extensive and straightforward characterisation of the complex nature of such isotopologue remote sensing datasets. We demonstrate that the MUSICA humidity profiles are representative for most of the troposphere with a vertical resolution ranging from about 2 km (in the lower troposphere) to 8 km (in the upper troposphere) and with an estimated precision of better than 10%. We find that the sensitivity with respect to the isotopologue composition is limited to the lower and middle troposphere, whereby we estimate a precision of about 30‰ for the ratio between the two isotopologues HD16O and H216O. The measurement noise, the applied atmospheric temperature profiles, the uncertainty in the spectral baseline, and the cross-dependence on humidity are the leading error sources. We introduce an a posteriori correction method of the cross-dependence on humidity, and we recommend applying it to isotopologue ratio remote sensing datasets in general. In addition, we present mid-infrared CO2 retrievals and use them for demonstrating the MUSICA network-wide data consistency. In order to indicate the potential of long-term isotopologue remote sensing data if provided with a well-documented quality, we present a climatology and compare it to simulations of an isotope incorporated AGCM (Atmospheric General Circulation Model). We identify differences in the multi-year mean and seasonal cycles that significantly exceed the estimated errors, thereby indicating deficits in the modeled atmospheric water cycle.

  1. Ground-based remote sensing of tropospheric water vapour isotopologues within the project MUSICA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, M.; Barthlott, S.; Hase, F.; González, Y.; Yoshimura, K.; García, O. E.; Sepúlveda, E.; Gomez-Pelaez, A.; Gisi, M.; Kohlhepp, R.; Dohe, S.; Blumenstock, T.; Strong, K.; Weaver, D.; Palm, M.; Deutscher, N. M.; Warneke, T.; Notholt, J.; Lejeune, B.; Demoulin, P.; Jones, N.; Griffith, D. W. T.; Smale, D.; Robinson, J.

    2012-08-01

    Within the project MUSICA (MUlti-platform remote Sensing of Isotopologues for investigating the Cycle of Atmospheric water), long-term tropospheric water vapour isotopologues data records are provided for ten globally distributed ground-based mid-infrared remote sensing stations of the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change). We present a new method allowing for an extensive and straightforward characterisation of the complex nature of such isotopologue remote sensing datasets. We demonstrate that the MUSICA humidity profiles are representative for most of the troposphere with a vertical resolution ranging from about 2 km (in the lower troposphere) to 8 km (in the upper troposphere) and with an estimated precision of better than 10%. We find that the sensitivity with respect to the isotopologue composition is limited to the lower and middle troposphere, whereby we estimate a precision of about 30‰ for the ratio between the two isotopologues HD16O and H216O. The measurement noise, the applied atmospheric temperature profiles, the uncertainty in the spectral baseline, and interferences from humidity are the leading error sources. We introduce an a posteriori correction method of the humidity interference error and we recommend applying it for isotopologue ratio remote sensing datasets in general. In addition, we present mid-infrared CO2 retrievals and use them for demonstrating the MUSICA network-wide data consistency. In order to indicate the potential of long-term isotopologue remote sensing data if provided with a well-documented quality, we present a climatology and compare it to simulations of an isotope incorporated AGCM (Atmospheric General Circulation Model). We identify differences in the multi-year mean and seasonal cycles that significantly exceed the estimated errors, thereby indicating deficits in the modeled atmospheric water cycle.

  2. Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Logistics Reduction and Repurposing Project: Advanced Clothing Ground Study Final Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byrne, Vicky; Orndoff, Evelyne; Poritz, Darwin; Schlesinger, Thilini

    2013-01-01

    All human space missions require significant logistical mass and volume that will become an excessive burden for long duration missions beyond low Earth orbit. The goal of the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Logistics Reduction & Repurposing (LRR) project is to bring new ideas and technologies that will enable human presence in farther regions of space. The LRR project has five tasks: 1) Advanced Clothing System (ACS) to reduce clothing mass and volume, 2) Logistics to Living (L2L) to repurpose existing cargo, 3) Heat Melt Compactor (HMC) to reprocess materials in space, 4) Trash to Gas (TTG) to extract useful gases from trash, and 5) Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I) to integrate these logistical components. The current International Space Station (ISS) crew wardrobe has already evolved not only to reduce some of the logistical burden but also to address crew preference. The ACS task is to find ways to further reduce this logistical burden while examining human response to different types of clothes. The ACS task has been broken into a series of studies on length of wear of various garments: 1) three small studies conducted through other NASA projects (MMSEV, DSH, HI-SEAS) focusing on length of wear of garments treated with an antimicrobial finish; 2) a ground study, which is the subject of this report, addressing both length of wear and subject perception of various types of garments worn during aerobic exercise; and 3) an ISS study replicating the ground study, and including every day clothing to collect information on perception in reduced gravity in which humans experience physiological changes. The goal of the ground study is first to measure how long people can wear the same exercise garment, depending on the type of fabric and the presence of antimicrobial treatment, and second to learn why. Human factors considerations included in the study consist of the Institutional Review Board approval, test protocol and participants' training, and a web

  3. Final programmatic environmental impact statement for the uranium mill tailings remedial action ground water project. Volume I

    SciTech Connect

    1996-10-01

    This programmatic environmental impact statement (PElS) was prepared for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Ground Water Project to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This PElS provides an analysis of the potential impacts of the alternatives and ground water compliance strategies as well as potential cumulative impacts. On November 8, 1978, Congress enacted the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, Public Law, codified at 42 USC §7901 et seq. Congress found that uranium mill tailings " ... may pose a potential and significant radiation health hazard to the public, and that every reasonable effort should be made to provide for stabilization, disposal, and control in a safe, and environmentally sound manner of such tailings in order to prevent or minimize other environmental hazards from such tailings." Congress authorized the Secretary of Energy to designate inactive uranium processing sites for remedial action by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Congress also directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set the standards to be followed by the DOE for this process of stabilization, disposal, and control. On January 5, 1983, EPA published standards (40 CFR Part 192) for the disposal and cleanup of residual radioactive materials. On September 3, 1985, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit set aside and remanded to EPA the ground water provisions of the standards. The EPA proposed new standards to replace remanded sections and changed other sections of 40 CFR Part 192. These proposed standards were published in the Federal Register on September 24, 1987 (52 FR 36000). Section 108 of the UMTRCA requires that DOE comply with EPA's proposed standards in the absence of final standards. The Ground Water Project was planned under the proposed standards. On January 11, 1995, EPA published the final rule, with which the DOE must now comply. The PElS and the Ground Water Project are in

  4. The UV spectrum of Pluto-Charon - IUE observations from 2600 to 3100 A

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan; Skinner, T. E.; Brosch, N.; Van Santvoort, J.; Trafton, L. M.

    1989-01-01

    Observations of the UV spectra of the Pluto-Charon system were obtained between 1987 and 1988 using the large aperture of the IUE long-wavelength prime spectrograph. At the resolution and SNR of the data, no gas-phase spectral identifications were made. The present data indicate a geometric albedo of 0.35 + or - 0.05. Curve fitting the geometric albedo from 2600-3100 A, a blue slope is found which corresponds to a decrease of about 12 percent per 1000 A. An albedo reversal or trough between about 3000 A and the shortest ground-based data (at about 3500 A) is noted which may be due to a spectral absorption feature on the surface.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kenyon, Scott J.; Bromley, Benjamin C. E-mail: bromley@physics.utah.edu

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  7. Circumstances for Pluto-Charon mutual events in 1989

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.; Buie, Marc W.

    1988-01-01

    Circumstances for 90 Pluto-Charon mutual events occurring during the 1989 opposition are presented. It is found that the deepest and longest events will occur near postopposition quadrature in early August. Two new stars are selected as comparison stars for events occurring before opposition in 1989, and it is noted that the 1988 comparison stars should be used for events occurring after opposition.

  8. No effect of diffraction on Pluto-Charon mutual events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, D. J.; Hubbard, W. B.

    1988-01-01

    Mulholland and Gustafson (1987) made the interesting suggestion that observations of Pluto-Charon mutual events might show significant dependence on both wavelength and telescope aperture because of diffraction effects. In this letter, observations are presented that show the predicted effects to be absent and demonstrate that the parameters of the system are such that the events can be accurately analyzed with geometrical optics.

  9. Numerical evidence that the motion of pluto is chaotic.

    PubMed

    Sussman, G J; Wisdom, J

    1988-07-22

    The Digital Orrery has been used to perform an integration of the motion of the outer planets for 845 million years. This integration indicates that the long-term motion of the planet Pluto is chaotic. Nearby trajectories diverge exponentially with an e-folding time of only about 20 million years.

  10. Numerical evidence that the motion of Pluto is chaotic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sussman, Gerald Jay; Wisdom, Jack

    1988-01-01

    The Digital Orrery has been used to perform an integration of the motion of the outer planets for 845 million years. This integration indicates that the long-term motion of the planet Pluto is chaotic. Nearby trajectories diverge exponentially with an e-folding time of only about 20 million years.

  11. Pluto As Seen by the LEISA Spectrometer on New Horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    After its 3463-day journey, the New Horizons spacecraft flew by the Pluto-Charon system at ~12,000 km from Pluto's surface on 14 July 2015. Images from the New Horizons spacecraft reveal an icy surface with terrains of widely different ages and a significant degree of localized coloration. Pluto was observed at high spatial resolution (~6 km/px) by the LEISA imaging spectrometer. LEISA is a component of the Ralph instrument (Reuter, D.C., Stern, S.A., Scherrer, J., et al. 2008, Space Sci. Rev. 140, 129) and affords a spectral resolving power of 240 in the wavelength range 1.25-2.5 μm, and 560 in the range 2.1-2.25 μm. Spatially resolved spectra with LEISA are used to map the distributions of the known ices on Pluto (N2, CH4, CO, C2H6) and to search for other surface components. We present results obtained from the analysis of the high spatial resolution dataset obtained close to flyby.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  13. Architecture Of A Sciencecraft To Fly Past Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, Humphrey W.; Staehle, Robert L.; Alkalaj, Leon; Terrile, Richard J.; Miyake, Robert N.

    1995-01-01

    Two reports discuss architecture of proposed small sciencecraft carrying scientific instruments on trajectory passing near Pluto and continuing into interstellar space. Emphasizes those aspects of design pertaining to compactness, efficiency, and small mass (dry mass less than 100 kg). System block diagram of sciencecraft divided into blocks for sensors, integrated microelectronics, and motive effectors.

  14. A Search for Temporal Changes on Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hofgartner, Jason Daniel; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Devins, Spencer; Beyer, Ross A.; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Catherine B.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie; New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Science Theme Team

    2016-10-01

    A search for short-term temporal changes on Pluto and Charon was conducted using the highest resolution New Horizons encounter images. To accomplish this, different images of the same region were overlaid and blinked; at least two researchers searched each image set for evidence of temporal changes. The images included all of the New Horizons LORRI observations between about 3.6 hours prior to closest approach and closest approach; the longest change detection search interval for both Pluto and Charon was about 3.2 hours. Each image was compared to all lower resolution images of the same region, for a total of more than 100 image sets. The resolution of the images searched varied from about 80 m to 880 m. Variability between the images was observed, but is attributed to the variable image resolutions, photometric angles, and instrument artifacts. No definitive variability that is indicative of a temporal change on either Pluto or Charon was found. In contrast, plumes on Triton were observed to be variable in images of similar resolution over intervals of less than 45 minutes (L. Soderblom et al., Science 250, 410, (1990)). This search for temporal changes will be extended to include lower-resolution, full-disk images such that all illuminated regions of both Pluto and Charon will be investigated. NASA funding for this research is gratefully acknowledged.

  15. Upper limits of possible photochemical hazes on Pluto

    SciTech Connect

    Stansberry, J.A.; Lunine, J.I.; Tomasko, M.G. )

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Grazing Occultation reveals Gravity Wave Breaking in Pluto's High Atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kern, Susan D.; McCarthy, D. W.; Kulesa, C. A.; Hubbard, W. B.; Person, M. J.; Elliot, J. L.; Gulbis, A. A.

    2007-10-01

    Occultation observations of the star P445.3 (2UCAC 25823784; McDonald & Elliot 2000, AJ 120, 1599) by (134340) Pluto on 2007 March 18.453 UT were simultaneously collected in visible and H-band wavelengths from the 6.5-m MMT (Mt. Hopkins) in Arizona. The event was grazing and slow (6.77 km/s), lasting 4 minutes. These conditions facilitated the detection of large-scale, nearly limb-aligned features in Pluto's atmosphere over a pressure range of 0.1-0.7 μbar (0.01-0.07 Pa; radius range of 1500-1350 km). The data are high signal-to-noise and show these features to be fully resolved and achromatic. The scintillation increases with depth in Pluto's atmosphere and indicates a high-frequency cutoff operating on a broad-band spectrum of gravity waves generated deeper in Pluto's atmosphere. The data are in excellent agreement with atmospheric gravity wave theory (Fritts 1984, RGSP 22, 275). Observations reported here were obtained at the MMT Observatory, a joint facility of The University of Arizona and the Smithsonian Institution. The integration and alignment of both cameras was funded by the Astronomy Camp science education program. We also acknowledge support from NASA's Planetary Astronomy Program via grants NNG04GE48G and NNG04GF25G.

  18. Pluto: improved astrometry from 19 years of observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benedetti-Rossi, G.; Vieira Martins, R.; Camargo, J. I. B.; Assafin, M.; Braga-Ribas, F.

    2014-10-01

    Context. We present astrometric positions of Pluto, consistent with the International Celestial Reference System, from 4412 CCD frames observed over 120 nights with three telescopes at the Observatório do Pico dos Dias in Brazil, covering a time span from 1995 to 2013, and also 145 frames observed over 11 nights in 2007 and 2009 with the ESO/MPG 2.2m telescope equipped with the Wide Field Imager (WFI). Aims: Our aim is to contribute to the study and improvement of the orbit of Pluto with new astrometric methods and positions. Methods: All astrometric positions of Pluto were reduced with the Platform for Reduction of Astronomical Images Automatically (PRAIA), using the USNO CCD Astrograph Catalogue 4 (UCAC4) as the reference catalog. We also used the planetary ephemeris DE421+plu021 for comparisons. The positions were corrected for differential chromatic refraction. The (x, y) center of Pluto was determined from corrections to the measured photocenter, which was contaminated by Charon. The corrections were obtained with an original procedure based on analytical expressions derived from a two-dimensional Gaussian function i.e. the point spread function PSF fitted to the images to derive the (x, y) measurements. Results: We obtained mean values of 4 mas and 37 mas for right ascension and declination, and standard deviations of σα = 45 mas and σδ = 49 mas, for the offsets in the sense observed minus ephemeris position, after the corrections. We confirm the presence of a linear drift in the ephemeris declinations from 2005 on, also obtained from stellar occultations. Conclusions: We present astrometric positions of Pluto for 19 years of observations in Brazil. The positions, corrected for differential chromatic refraction and Pluto/Charon photocenter effects, presented the same behavior as obtained from stellar occultations, with a drift in declinations of about 100 mas since 2005. The results indicate that the DE421 Pluto ephemeris used in this work need to be

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 <100 meters and on 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 (<< 2km/s) might produce shallower craters, complicating the issue further. Whether such differences are real and are significant enough to be detected in our anticipated topographic data sets is unclear. Any viscous relaxation

  1. Summary of ground motion prediction results for Nevada Test Site underground nuclear explosions related to the Yucca Mountain project

    SciTech Connect

    Walck, M.C.

    1996-10-01

    This report summarizes available data on ground motions from underground nuclear explosions recorded on and near the Nevada Test Site, with emphasis on the ground motions recorded at stations on Yucca Mountain, the site of a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Sandia National Laboratories, through the Weapons Test Seismic Investigations project, collected and analyzed ground motion data from NTS explosions over a 14-year period, from 1977 through 1990. By combining these data with available data from earlier, larger explosions, prediction equations for several ground motion parameters have been developed for the Test Site area for underground nuclear explosion sources. Also presented are available analyses of the relationship between surface and downhole motions and spectra and relevant crustal velocity structure information for Yucca Mountain derived from the explosion data. The data and associated analyses demonstrate that ground motions at Yucca Mountain from nuclear tests have been at levels lower than would be expected from moderate to large earthquakes in the region; thus nuclear explosions, while located relatively close, would not control seismic design criteria for the potential repository.

  2. (abstract) Follow-on Missions for the Pluto Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinstein, Stacy; Salvo, Chris; Stern, Alan

    1994-01-01

    The Pluto Fast Flyby mission development baseline consists of 2 identical spacecraft (120 - 165 kg) to be launched to Pluto/Charon in the late 1990s. These spacecraft are intended to fly by Pluto and Charon in order to perform various remote-sensing scientific investigations and have a mission development cost less than $400M (FY92$) through launch plus 30 days. The long-life (6 - 10 years) mission duration and lightweight design make the Pluto spacecraft a good candidate for a number of other flyby missions to objects in the outer Solar System, and some of these were investigated by JPL in cooperation with NASA Code SL's (Solar System Exploration) Outer Planets Science Working Group (OPSWG) in 1993. The JPL team looked at what it would mean to fly one of these missions (if a third spacecraft were available) in terms of flight time, spacecraft modifications, and science payload resources; the OPSWG recommended science investigation modifications for the different targets based on the available resources. The missions could, in many cases, utilize less capable launch vehicles, thereby reducing life-cycle cost of the mission. Examples of the sort of targets which were investigated and looked attractive in terms of flight time are: Uranus, Neptune, Uranus/Neptune dual-mission, Trojan asteroids (624 Hektor, 617 Patroclus, others), 5145 Pholus (the reddest object known in the solar system), and Kuiper Belt objects (i.e., 1992 QB1) . This paper will present the results of this investigation in terms of potential science return, performance, and the potential for life-cycle cost reductions through inheritance from Pluto Fast Flyby .

  3. Geomorphological Mapping of Sputnik Planum on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. Simulation of the Ground-Water Flow System in 1992, and Simulated Effects of Projected Ground-Water Withdrawals in 2020 in the New Jersey Coastal Plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gordon, Alison D.

    2003-01-01

    In 1992, ground-water withdrawals from the unconfined and confined aquifers in the New Jersey Coastal Plain totaled about 300 million gallons per day, and about 70 percent (200 million galllons per day) of this water was pumped from confined aquifers. The withdrawals have created large cones of depression in several Coastal Plain aquifers near populated areas, particularly in Camden and Ocean Counties. The continued decline of water levels in confined aquifers could cause saltwater intrusion, reduction of stream discharge near the outcrop areas of these aquifers, and depletion of the ground-water supply. Because of this, withdrawals from wells located within these critical areas have been reduced in the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer system, the Englishtown aquifer system, and the Wenonah-Mount Laurel aquifer. A computer-based model that simulates freshwater and saltwater flow was used to simulate transient ground-water flow conditions and the location of the freshwater-saltwater interface during 1989-92 in the New Jersey Coastal Plain. This simulation was used as the baseline for comparison of water levels and flow budgets. Four hypothetical withdrawal scenarios were simulated in which ground-water withdrawals were either increased or decreased. In scenario 1, withdrawals from wells located within critical area 2 in the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer system were reduced by amounts ranging from 0 to 35 percent of withdrawals prior to 1992. Critical area 2 is mainly located in Camden County, and most of Burlington and Gloucester Counties. With the reductions, water levels recovered about 30 feet in the regional cone of depression centered in Camden County in the Upper Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer and by 20 ft in the Lower and Middle Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifers. In scenarios 2 to 4, withdrawals projected for 2020 were input to the model. In scenario 2, withdrawal restrictions within the critical areas were imposed in the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer

  6. Pluto and Charon Seen with the New Horizons Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  7. 12 years of Pluto surface's evolution investigated with radiative transfer modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philippe, Sylvain; Schmitt, Bernard; Grundy, William; Protopapa, Silvia; Olkin, Cathy

    2015-11-01

    The evolution of Pluto’s surface through time, due to surface - atmosphere interactions, remains unknown. New Horizons will provide very high spatial resolution data of its surface state but only as a snapshot. Furthermore, this evolution during the last decades is supposed to be fast due to the recent passage of Pluto through its perihelion (1989). Ground based survey data over a long period of time are thus crucial to understand the long-term evolution of the dwarf planet surface.IRTF/SpeX reflectance spectra of Pluto have been acquired during 13 years (2001-2013) between 0.8-2.4 μm (Grundy et al., 2013; Grundy et al., 2014). This set of data present the opportunity to monitor possible changes of the surface in terms of geographical distribution and segregation between different chemical species that are known to be present at the surface in an icy state (N2, CH4 and CO, Owen et al., 1993, Douté et al., 1999). These variations are recorded through changes in the infrared absorption bands of the different ices. A study based on band criteria variation (Grundy et al., 2013) showed that CH4 absorption bands are increasing through time, whereas N2 and CO absorptions bands are decreasing (Grundy et al. 2014). However, quantitative interpretation of these data needs further investigation and detailed radiative transfer modeling.We used the bidirectional reflectance model of Douté & Schmitt (1998) to fit the IRTF/SpeX spectral data. This model takes into account a possible stratification of chemical species, a phenomenon that is likely to occur on Pluto where CH4 is supposed to accumulate on a sublimating molecular mixture of N2-CH4-CO (Douté et al., 1999). Different modelings take into account pure CH4 ice, a molecular mixture of N2-CH4-CO, tholins and water ice. We modeled the grand average spectra and then allowed the parameters to vary around the average values to model individual spectra and get quantitative variations of the different species

  8. A giant impact origin for Pluto's small moons and satellite multiplicity in the Kuiper belt.

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-23

    The two newly discovered satellites of Pluto (P1 and P2) have masses that are small compared to both Pluto and Charon-that is, between 5 x 10(-4) and 1 x 10(-5) of Pluto's mass, and between 5 x 10(-3) and 1 x 10(-4) of Charon's mass. This discovery, combined with the constraints on the absence of more distant satellites of Pluto, reveal that Pluto and its moons comprise an unusual, highly compact, quadruple system. These facts naturally raise the question of how this puzzling satellite system came to be. Here we show that P1 and P2's proximity to Pluto and Charon, the fact that P1 and P2 are on near-circular orbits in the same plane as Pluto's large satellite Charon, along with their apparent locations in or near high-order mean-motion resonances, all probably result from their being constructed from collisional ejecta that originated from the Pluto-Charon formation event. We also argue that dust-ice rings of variable optical depths form sporadically in the Pluto system, and that rich satellite systems may be found--perhaps frequently--around other large Kuiper belt objects. PMID:16495992

  9. A giant impact origin for Pluto's small moons and satellite multiplicity in the Kuiper belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-02-01

    The two newly discovered satellites of Pluto (P1 and P2) have masses that are small compared to both Pluto and Charon-that is, between 5 × 10-4 and 1 × 10-5 of Pluto's mass, and between 5 × 10-3 and 1 × 10-4 of Charon's mass. This discovery, combined with the constraints on the absence of more distant satellites of Pluto, reveal that Pluto and its moons comprise an unusual, highly compact, quadruple system. These facts naturally raise the question of how this puzzling satellite system came to be. Here we show that P1 and P2's proximity to Pluto and Charon, the fact that P1 and P2 are on near-circular orbits in the same plane as Pluto's large satellite Charon, along with their apparent locations in or near high-order mean-motion resonances, all probably result from their being constructed from collisional ejecta that originated from the Pluto-Charon formation event. We also argue that dust-ice rings of variable optical depths form sporadically in the Pluto system, and that rich satellite systems may be found-perhaps frequently-around other large Kuiper belt objects.

  10. Solar Wind at 33 AU: Setting Bounds on the Pluto Interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagenal, F.; Delamere, P. A.; Elliott, H. A.; Hill, M. E.; Lisse, C. M.; McComas, D. J.; McNutt, R. L., Jr.; Richardson, J. D.; Smith, C. W.; Strobel, D. F.

    2015-12-01

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft carries two instruments that detect charged particles. Pluto has a tenuous, extended atmosphere that is escaping the planet's weak gravity. The interaction of the solar wind with Pluto's escaping atmosphere depends on solar wind conditions as well as the vertical structure of Pluto's atmosphere. We have analyzed Voyager 2 particles and fields measurements between 25 and 39 AU and present their statistical variations. We have adjusted these predictions to allow for the Sun's declining activity and solar wind output. We summarize the range of SW conditions that likely experienced by Pluto at 33 AU.

  11. A giant impact origin for Pluto's small moons and satellite multiplicity in the Kuiper belt.

    PubMed

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

    2006-02-23

    The two newly discovered satellites of Pluto (P1 and P2) have masses that are small compared to both Pluto and Charon-that is, between 5 x 10(-4) and 1 x 10(-5) of Pluto's mass, and between 5 x 10(-3) and 1 x 10(-4) of Charon's mass. This discovery, combined with the constraints on the absence of more distant satellites of Pluto, reveal that Pluto and its moons comprise an unusual, highly compact, quadruple system. These facts naturally raise the question of how this puzzling satellite system came to be. Here we show that P1 and P2's proximity to Pluto and Charon, the fact that P1 and P2 are on near-circular orbits in the same plane as Pluto's large satellite Charon, along with their apparent locations in or near high-order mean-motion resonances, all probably result from their being constructed from collisional ejecta that originated from the Pluto-Charon formation event. We also argue that dust-ice rings of variable optical depths form sporadically in the Pluto system, and that rich satellite systems may be found--perhaps frequently--around other large Kuiper belt objects.

  12. Overview of Key Results from the Exploration of the Pluto System by New Horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Young, L. A.; Olkin, C.; Ennico Smith, K.; Moore, J. M.; Spencer, J. R.; McKinnon, W. B.; Grundy, W. M.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Bagenal, F.; Gladstone, R.; Summers, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Pluto and its satellites were explored by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in 2015, with closest approach to Pluto on 14 July 2015. Pluto's surface is found to be remarkably diverse in terms of its range of landforms, terrain ages, and albedo, color, and composition gradients. Strong evidence was found for geologically young surface units, a water-ice crust, ice convection, and glacial flow. Pluto's wide range of surface expressions and long term activity raise fundamental questions about how small planets can have active processes billions of years after their formation. Pluto's atmosphere was found to be more extended than anticipated, to have an extensive global haze layer, several new trace species, and a low surface pressure of ~10 microbars. Pluto's large satellite Charon's surface geology is also diverse, displaying tectonics and evidence for a heterogeneous crustal composition; Charon's north pole displays puzzling dark terrain; no evidence for a Charon atmosphere has been found. Sizes and reflectivities for all four of Pluto's small satellites will be reported. Despite much improved diameter limits, no new satellites of Pluto were detected by New Horizons. In this review talk I will summarize these and other findings about the Pluto system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  14. Voyager IRIS Measurements of Triton's Thermal Emission: Impllications for Pluto?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stansberry, John A.; Spencer, John; Linscott, Ivan

    2015-11-01

    The New Horizons Pluto encounter data set includes unique observations obtained using the Radio Science experiment to measure the night-side thermal emission at centimeter wavelengths, well beyond the emission peak (in the 70 to 100 micron range). 26 years ago the Voyager 2 Infrared Interferometer Spectrometer (IRIS) obtained spectra in the 30 - 50 micron wavelength range to try and detect thermal emission from Pluto's sibling, Triton. Conrath etal. (1989) analyzed 16 of the IRIS spectra of Triton's dayside and derived a weak limit of 36 K - 41 K. We have analysed those, and an additional 75 spectra, to refine the limits on the temperature of Triton's surface, and to explore diurnal differences in the thermal emission. Triton results from other Voyager instruments provide important constraints on our interpretation of the IRIS data, as do Spitzer measurements of Pluto's thermal emission.For unit-emissivity, average temperature is 34 K, inconsistent with the pressure of Triton's atmosphere (13 - 19 microbar), the presence of beta-phase nitrogen ice on the surface, and the likely presence ofwarm regions on the surface. The atmospheric pressure requires nitrogen ice temperatures of 37.4 K - 38.1 K, which in turn requires emissivity of 0.31--0.53. Such a low emissivity in this spectral region might be expected if the surface is dominated by nitrogen or methane ice. Averages of data subsets show evidence for brightness temperature variations across Triton's surface. Surprisingly, the data seem to indicate that Triton's nightside equatorial region was warmer than on the dayside.These Voyager results for Triton provide a useful context for interpreting New Horizons and ALMA observations of emission from Pluto in the sub-millimeter and centimeter region. JWST will be capable of detecting Triton's and Pluto's 10 - 28 micron thermal emission, although scattered light from Neptune may be an issue for the Triton. Combined with new capabilities of ALMA to measure the sub

  15. A scientific operations plan for the NASA space telescope. [ground support systems, project planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    West, D. K.; Costa, S. R.

    1975-01-01

    A ground system is described which is compatible with the operational requirements of the space telescope. The goal of the ground system is to minimize the cost of post launch operations without seriously compromising the quality and total throughput of space telescope science, or jeopardizing the safety of the space telescope in orbit. The resulting system is able to accomplish this goal through optimum use of existing and planned resources and institutional facilities. Cost is also reduced and efficiency in operation increased by drawing on existing experience in interfacing guest astronomers with spacecraft as well as mission control experience obtained in the operation of present astronomical spacecraft.

  16. Cosmogonic constraints from densities in the Pluto system and rotational and tidal figures of equilibrium for Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinnon, W.; Buie, M.; Moore, J.; Linscott, I.; Hinson, D.; Tyler, G.; Singer, K.; Stern, S.; New Horizons Team

    2014-07-01

    A byproduct of the discovery of Nix, Hydra, Styx, and Kerberos, and the detailed study of their orbits, has been a relatively precise determination of the system barycenter, and thus the Pluto/Charon mass ratio [1]. Coupled with precise determinations of Charon's size by multiple stellar occultations [2,3], Charon's mean density is now relatively well-determined (1.72 ± 0.02 g cm^{-3}), both in an absolute sense and with respect to that of Pluto (1.89 ± 0.06 g cm^{-3}) [1]. The latter's precise size remains uncertain due to the effects of its atmosphere on stellar occultations [e.g., 4] and of limb darkening on mutual events [5]. Both Pluto and Charon are relatively rock-rich, but Charon is somewhat icier, which is consistent with impact origin scenarios in which one or both precursor bodies were at least partially differentiated (rock separated from ice under the action of gravity) [6,7]. Ice-rich ejecta is also the preferred route for forming a particle disk outside of Charon's initial post-giant-impact orbit, such as would lead to accretion of the small satellites [8]. In this regard, the upper limits on the densities of the brightest and presumably largest of the small satellites (Nix and Hydra) are - even at the 3σ level -- consistent with very icy and porous bodies. Icy rubble-pile bodies are predicted by the initial conditions of the giant impact as presently understood (conditions necessary to give an icier Charon). The small satellites will thus offer an interesting cosmogonical test during the 14 July 2015 New Horizons encounter, as good constraints will be placed on satellite volumes from imaging and improved satellite masses should result from optical navigation and orbital simulations. The fly-through of the Pluto-Charon system by New Horizons also offers the first opportunity to determine both the total system mass and the individual masses of Pluto and Charon by direct Doppler tracking (although the spacecraft will not pass close enough to any of

  17. Individual Response to Organizational Change: A Grounded Model. Training and Development Research Center Project Number Fifty.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johansen, Barry-Craig Paul

    Twenty-nine members of a manufacturing organization were interviewed to learn how they identified, evaluated, and responded to what they perceived as significant changes in their organization. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze the interview transcripts. A model of the process of organizational change was constructed from emergent…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  19. Ground Rules in Team Projects: Findings from a Prototype System to Support Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whatley, Janice

    2009-01-01

    Student team project work in higher education is one of the best ways to develop team working skills at the same time as learning about the subject matter. As today's students require the freedom to learn at times and places that better match their lifestyles, there is a need for any support for team project work to be also available online. Team…

  20. Geomorphological Mapping of Sputnik Planum and Surrounding Terrain on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, Oliver; Stern, Alan; Weaver, Hal; Olkin, Cathy; Ennico, Kimberly; Young, Leslie; Moore, Jeff

    2015-11-01

    The New Horizons flyby of Pluto in July 2015 has provided the first few close-up images of the Kuiper belt object, which reveal it to have a highly diverse range of terrains, implying a complex geological history. The highest resolution images that have yet been returned are seven lossy 400 m/pixel frames that cover the majority of the prominent Plutonian feature informally named Sputnik Planum (all feature names are currently informal), and its surroundings. This resolution is sufficient to allow detailed geomorphological mapping of this area to commence. Lossless versions of all 15 frames that make up the mosaic will be returned in September 2015, and the map presented at DPS will incorporate the total area covered by these frames.Sputnik Planum, with an area of ~650,000 km2, is notable for its smooth appearance and apparent total lack of impact craters at 400 m/pixel resolution. The Planum actually displays a wide variety of textures across its expanse, which includes smooth and pitted plains to the south, polygonal terrain at its center (the polygons can reach tens of kilometers in size and are bounded by troughs that sometimes feature central ridges), and, to the north, darker polygonal terrain displaying patterns indicative of glacial flow. Within these plains there exist several well-defined outcrops of a mottled, light/dark unit that reach from several to tens of kilometers across. Separating Sputnik Planum from the dark, cratered equatorial terrain of Cthulhu Regio on its south-western margin is a unit of chaotically arranged mountains (Hillary Montes); similar mountainous units exist on the south and western margins. The northern margin is bounded by rugged, hilly, cratered terrain (Cousteau Rupes) into which ice of Sputnik Planum appears to be intruding in places. Terrain of similar relief exists to the east, but is much brighter than that to the north. The southernmost extent of the mosaic features a unit of rough, undulating terrain (Pandemonium Dorsa

  1. Projected Distributions and Diversity of Flightless Ground Beetles within the Australian Wet Tropics and Their Environmental Correlates

    PubMed Central

    Staunton, Kyran M.; Robson, Simon K. A.; Burwell, Chris J.; Reside, April E.; Williams, Stephen E.

    2014-01-01

    With the impending threat of climate change, greater understanding of patterns of species distributions and richness and the environmental factors driving them are required for effective conservation efforts. Species distribution models enable us to not only estimate geographic extents of species and subsequent patterns of species richness, but also generate hypotheses regarding environmental factors determining these spatial patterns. Projected changes in climate can then be used to predict future patterns of species distributions and richness. We created distribution models for most of the flightless ground beetles (Carabidae) within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area of Australia, a major component of regionally endemic invertebrates. Forty-three species were modelled and the environmental correlates of these distributions and resultant patterns of species richness were examined. Flightless ground beetles generally inhabit upland areas characterised by stable, cool and wet environmental conditions. These distribution and richness patterns are best explained using the time-stability hypothesis as this group’s primary habitat, upland rainforest, is considered to be the most stable regional habitat. Projected changes in distributions indicate that as upward shifts in distributions occur, species currently confined to lower and drier mountain ranges will be more vulnerable to climate change impacts than those restricted to the highest and wettest mountains. Distribution models under projected future climate change suggest that there will be reductions in range size, population size and species richness under all emission scenarios. Eighty-eight per cent of species modelled are predicted to decline in population size by over 80%, for the most severe emission scenario by the year 2080. These results suggest that flightless ground beetles are among the most vulnerable taxa to climate change impacts so far investigated in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. These

  2. Resonant interactions and chaotic rotation of Pluto's small moons.

    PubMed

    Showalter, M R; Hamilton, D P

    2015-06-01

    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.

  3. Resonant interactions and chaotic rotation of Pluto's small moons.

    PubMed

    Showalter, M R; Hamilton, D P

    2015-06-01

    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. PMID:26040889

  4. The small satellites of Pluto as observed by New Horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weaver, H. A.; Buie, M. W.; 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.; Dalle Ore, C. M.; 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.

    2016-03-01

    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 ~40 kilometers for Nix and Hydra and ~10 kilometers for Styx and Kerberos. They are also highly elongated, with maximum to minimum axis ratios of ~2. All four moons have high albedos (~50 to 90%) suggestive of a water-ice surface composition. Crater densities on Nix and Hydra imply surface ages of at least 4 billion years. 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.

  5. Shapes and Rotations of the Small Satellites of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, S.; Showalter, M.; Spencer, J. R.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Binzel, R. P.; Hamilton, D. P.; Stern, S. A.; Olkin, C.; Young, L. A.; Ennico Smith, K.

    2015-12-01

    Pluto-Charon is a binary dwarf planet surrounded by four much smaller satellites: Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra (in order of increasing distance from the barycenter). These satellites were discovered with the Hubble Space Telescope, which also showed that their orbits are nearly circular around the system barycenter and coplanar to the central binary. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew through the Pluto system on July 14, 2015, and obtained the first resolved images of all four small satellites. We will present initial models for the shapes and sizes of the small satellites determined from both those resolved images and earlier unresolved high-cadence images. We will also explore the implications of these shapes on the formation and rotational evolution of the satellites.

  6. Power system comparison for the Pluto Express mission

    SciTech Connect

    Harty, R.B.

    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.

  7. AMTEC radioisotope power system for the Pluto Express mission

    SciTech Connect

    Ivanenok, J.F. III; Sievers, R.K.

    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.

  8. Sublimation as a Landform-Shaping Process on Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.; Young, L. A.; Weaver, H.; Olkin, C. B.; Ennico, K.

    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.

  9. Acousto-optic infrared spectral imager for Pluto fast flyby

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glenar, D. A.; Hillman, J. J.

    1993-01-01

    Acousto-optic tunable filters (AOTF's) enable the design of compact, two-dimensional imaging spectrometers with high spectral and spatial resolution and with no moving parts. Tellurium dioxide AOTF's operate from about 400 nm to nearly 5 microns, and a single device will tune continuously over one octave by changing the RF acoustic frequency applied to the device. An infrared (1.2-2.5 micron) Acousto-Optic Imaging Spectrometer (AImS) was designed that closely conforms to the surface composition mapping objectives of the Pluto Fast Flyby. It features a 75-cm focal length telescope, infrared AOTF, and 256 x 256 NICMOS-3 focal plane array for acquiring narrowband images with a spectral resolving power (lambda/delta(lambda)) exceeding 250. We summarize the instrument design features and its expected performance at the Pluto-Charon encounter.

  10. The spectrum of Pluto, 0.40-0.93 μm. I. Secular and longitudinal distribution of ices and complex organics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Context. During the past 30 years the surface of Pluto has been characterized and its variability monitored through continuous near-infrared spectroscopic observations. But in the visible range only a few data are available. Aims: The aim of this work is to define 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 μm. To search for shifts in the center of the methane bands, which are associated with dilution of CH4 in N2, we compared the bands with reflectances of pure methane ice. Results: All the new spectra show the methane ice absorption bands between 0.62 and 0.90 μm. Computation of the depth of the band at 0.62 μm in the new spectra of Pluto and in the spectra of Makemake and Eris from the literature, allowed us to estimate the Lambert coefficient at this wavelength at temperatures of 30 K and 40 K, which has never been measured before. All the detected bands are blueshifted with respect to the position for pure methane ice, with minimum shifts correlated to the regions where the abundance of methane is higher. This could be indicative of a dilution of CH4:N2 that is more saturated in CH4. The longitudinal and secular variations in the parameters measured in the spectra are in accordance with results previously reported in the literature and with the distribution of the dark and bright materials that show the Pluto's color maps from New Horizons.

  11. Pluto-Charon mutual event predictions for 1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, D. J.

    1985-01-01

    Circumstances are tabulated for 81-Pluto-Charon mutual events occurring during the 1986 opposition. The deepest and longest events will occur in February and reach a depth of about 0.15 mag. Observations of these events will lead to an accurate determination of the satellite's orbit, the diameters of the two bodies, the mean density of the system, and crude albedo maps of one hemisphere on each object.

  12. Methane and Nitrogen Abundances on Eris and Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tegler, Stephen C.; Cornelison, D. M.; Grundy, W. M.; Romanishin, W.; Abernathy, M.; Bovyn, M.; Burt, J.; Evans, D.; Maleszewski, C.; Thompson, Z.; Vilas, F.

    2010-10-01

    We present spectra of Eris from the MMT 6.5 meter telescope and Red Channel Spectrograph (5700 - 9800 angstroms; 5 angstroms per pixel) on Mt. Hopkins, AZ, and Pluto from the Steward Observatory 2.3 meter telescope and Boller and Chivens spectrograph (7100 - 9400 angstroms; 2 angstroms per pixel) on Kitt Peak, AZ. In addition, we present laboratory transmission spectra of methane-nitrogen and methane-argon ice mixtures. By anchoring our analysis with the methane-nitrogen phase diagram of Prokhvatilov and Yantsevich (1983), and comparing methane bands in our Eris spectrum and methane bands in our laboratory spectra, we are able to make a quantitative estimate of Eris' methane and nitrogen abundances. Our analysis suggests the surface ice consists of about 10% methane and about 90% nitrogen. By using the same analysis techniques on our Pluto spectrum, we find the anti-Charon facing hemisphere of Pluto has a methane abundance of about 3% and a nitrogen abundance of about 97%. Such abundances are consistent with values reported in the literature. It appears that the bulk volatile composition of Eris is similar to the bulk volatile composition of Pluto. Both objects appear to be dominated by nitrogen ice. Our analysis also suggests, unlike previous work reported in the literature, that the methane and nitrogen stoichiometry is constant with depth into the surface of Eris. Finally, we point out that our Eris spectrum is also consistent with an ice consisting of 40% methane and 60% argon. So, until someone detects an absorption attributable to nitrogen ice in the spectrum of Eris, it would be prudent to keep an open mind about the identity of ice components on Eris. We gratefully acknowledge support from NASA Planetary Astronomy and NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics. We thank Steward Observatory for the consistent allocation of telescope time.

  13. Effect of irradiation on the surface of Pluto

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, R.E. )

    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.

  14. Melting and Tectonics from Coupled Orbital and Thermal Evolution of the Pluto-Charon System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, G. C.; Barr, A. C.

    2015-12-01

    As New Horizons data is returned, we should consider the possibility that Pluto and Charon went through an intense period of activity following the Charon-forming impact. Our prior work (Barr and Collins 2015) shows that if the deep layer of Pluto's ice shell is initially warmer than ~200 K after the impact, energy dissipation within Pluto can lead to melting and rapid thinning of the ice shell and tidal stresses can drive tectonics on both bodies. Here, we build upon our prior work to simulate the coupled thermal and orbital evolution of the Pluto/Charon system after the Charon-forming impact, taking into account the growth/freezing of an ocean, the onset/cessation of solid-state ice shell convection, and how the changing interior state of Pluto changes the magnitude of tidal deformation and dissipation. We track the heat flow in Pluto as a function of time for a variety of starting conditions after Charon is formed. We find that if Pluto has even a small ocean after Charon forms, the system can readily evolve to its present dual synchronous state. A feedback mechanism exists in which tidal dissipation in the basal ice above the ocean increases its temperature, which in turn leads to faster tidal dissipation. This feedback leads to a heat pulse within Pluto and rapid buildup of tectonic stresses on Pluto and Charon. If Pluto never had any liquid at the base of its ice shell, the tidal dissipation is too small to keep Pluto's interior warm. Without a starting ocean, it is difficult to start the thermal-orbital feedback process, and difficult for Charon to evolve to its presently observed orbital state within the timespan of solar system history.

  15. Geological Mapping of Pluto and Charon Using New Horizons Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. M.; Spencer, J. R.; McKinnon, W. B.; Howard, A. D.; White, O. M.; Umurhan, O. M.; Schenk, P. M.; Beyer, R. A.; 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

    Pluto and Charon exhibit strikingly different surface appearances, despite their similar densities and presumed bulk compositions. Systematic mapping has revealed that much of Pluto's surface can be attributed to surface-atmosphere interactions and the mobilization of volatile ices by insolation. Many mapped valley systems appear to be the consequence of glaciation involving nitrogen ice. Other geological activity requires or required internal heating. The convection and advection of volatile ices in Sputnik Planum can be powered by present-day radiogenic heat loss. On the other hand, the prominent mountains at the western margin of Sputnik Planum, and the strange, multi-km-high mound features to the south, probably composed of H2O, are young geologically as inferred by light cratering and superposition relationships. Their origin, and what drove their formation so late in Solar System history, is under investigation. The dynamic remolding of landscapes by volatile transport seen on Pluto is not unambiguously evident in the mapping of Charon. Charon does, however, display a large resurfaced plain and globally engirdling extensional tectonic network attesting to its early endogenic vigor.

  16. The state of Pluto's atmosphere in 2012-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosh, A. S.; Person, M. J.; Levine, S. E.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Zangari, A. M.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Schaefer, G. H.; Dunham, E. W.; Babcock, B. A.; Davis, A. B.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Rojo, P.; Servajean, E.; Förster, F.; Oswalt, T.; Batcheldor, D.; Bell, D.; Bird, P.; Fey, D.; Fulwider, T.; Geisert, E.; Hastings, D.; Keuhler, C.; Mizusawa, T.; Solenski, P.; Watson, B.

    2015-01-01

    We observed two stellar occultations on UT 4 May 2013 and UT 9 September 2012, with the aim of measuring Pluto's atmospheric parameters. Both of these events were observed by world-wide collaborations of many observers, and both occurred within 1 month of Pluto's stationary points. The PC20120909 event was observed at the McDonald Observatory (MONET 1.2-m), and Olin Observatory (the Ortega 0.8-m); the P20130504 event was observed at the Las Campanas Observatory (du Pont 2.5-m), the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (SMARTS 1-m), and the Cerro Calán National Astronomical Observatory (Goto 0.45-m). Analysis of the data indicates an atmospheric state similar to that in June 2011. The shadow radius for the event is unchanged from recent events, indicating an atmosphere that is holding stable and not in the midst of global collapse. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of comparing various atmospheric parameters across events (the shadow radius vs. the pressure at a particular radius). These analyses suggest that Pluto will still have an atmosphere when the New Horizons spacecraft arrives in July 2015.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  19. Hydrologic data through 1993 for the Huron Project of the High Plains Ground-Water Demonstration Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carter, Janet M.

    1995-01-01

    This report presents data on precipitation, geologic logs, water levels, and water quality that have been collected or compiled, through water year 1993, for the Huron Project of the High Plains Ground-Water Demonstration Program, under the guidance of the Bureau of Reclamation. The purpose of the Huron Project is to demonstrate the artificial recharge potential of glacial aquifers in eastern South Dakota. High flows from the James River during spring runoff are used as a source of supplemental recharge for the Warren aquifer, which is a buried, glacial aquifer. Prior to the injection of recharge water, which began in April 1994, many sites were monitored to obtain background information. This report presents data that were collected prior to the initiation of recharge. Precipitation data are collected at two sites within the study area. A site description and daily precipitation for water years 1991-93 are presented for one precipitation site. In 1990, 76 test holes were drilled and observation wells were installed at 70 sites. Well information and geologic logs collected during the drilling program for the Huron Project are presented. In addition to the 70 new Huron Project wells, 15 existing observation wells owned by the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources were incorporated into the study. Water- level hydrographs are presented for the 85 observation wells. The period of record shown for the hydrographs is from the earliest available record through September 1993. Water-quality data were collected from both screening and detailed sampling programs. Screening water-quality data for 32 observation wells are presented. These data include primarily field parameters and common ions. The eight detailed sampling sites represent the quality of untreated water, treated water, an intermittent stream, and ground water from the Warren aquifer. Data presented for the detailed sampling program include field parameters, bacteria counts, and

  20. Ground-water monitoring compliance projects for Hanford Site facilities: Volume 1, The report and Appendix A, Progress report for the period October 1 to December 31, 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-02-01

    This report documents recent progress on ground-water monitoring projects for four Hanford Site facilities: the 300 Area Process Trenches, the 183-H Solar Evaporation Basins, the 200 Area Low-Level Burial Grounds, and the Nonradioactive Dangerous Waste (NRDW) Landfill. The existing ground-water monitoring projects for the first two facilities named in the paragraph above are currently being expanded by adding new wells to the networks. During the reporting period, sampling of the existing wells continued on a monthly basis, and the analytical results for samples collected from September through November 1986 are included and discussed in this document. 8 refs., 41 figs., 7 tabs.

  1. Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact: Ground Water Compliance at the Slick Rock, Colorado, UMTRA Project Site

    SciTech Connect

    N /A

    2003-03-13

    This environmental assessment addresses the environmental effects of a proposed action and the no action alternative to comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards at the Slick Rock, Colorado, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project sites. The sites consist of two areas designated as the North Continent (NC) site and the Union Carbide (UC) site. In 1996, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) completed surface cleanup at both sites and encapsulated the tailings in a disposal cell 5 miles east of the original sites. Maximum concentration limits (MCLs) referred to in this environmental assessment are the standards established in Title 40 ''Code of Federal Regulations'' Part 192 (40 CFR 192) unless noted otherwise. Ground water contaminants of potential concern at the NC site are uranium and selenium. Uranium is more prevalent, and concentrations in the majority of alluvial wells at the NC site exceed the MCL of 0.044 milligram per liter (mg/L). Selenium contamination is less prevalent; samples from only one well had concentrations exceeding the MCL of 0.01 mg/L. To achieve compliance with Subpart B of 40 CFR 192 at the NC site, DOE is proposing the strategy of natural flushing in conjunction with institutional controls and continued monitoring. Ground water flow and transport modeling has predicted that concentrations of uranium and selenium in the alluvial aquifer will decrease to levels below their respective MCLs within 50 years.

  2. Surface Ice Spectroscopy of Pluto and Charon Resolved

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Protopapa, Silvia; Boehnhardt, H.; Herbst, T.; Merlin, F.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Grundy, W. M.

    2007-10-01

    We present results of 1-5μm spectroscopy of the Pluto-Charon dwarf planet system. The observations were performed in August 2005 with the NACO instrument at the 8.2m-VLT telescope Yepun of the European Southern Observatory in Paranal/Chile. NACO's adaptive optics facility allowed to resolve easily this binary system, this way enabling spectroscopy of the two objects separately. These spectroscopic observations are complemented by a model interpretation of the surface ice composition of Pluto and Charon. For Pluto, it is the first time that the complete L band is measured without unresolved contamination by light from Charon, while its M band spectrum was never measured before. Using Hapke modeling of the spectrum, we find that a geographic mixture of pure methane ice, methane diluted in nitrogen and tholin fits Pluto's spectrum from 1 to 4μm, although not in all details. Our data suggest the presence of further so far unknown and thus unidentified absorption bands centered around 4.0μm and 4.6μm. The latter absorption could be related to the presence of nitriles, arising from C and N connected with a triple bond and possibly CO ice. The difficulty in the modeling is due to the fact that the nitrile band is highly variable in position as a result of variations in its chemical environment. Charon's spectrum is measured in the wavelength range (1-4)μm, for the first time simultaneously with, but isolated from that of Pluto. It was previously studied in some detail in the JHK wavelength region, but was never measured beyond 2.5μm. Since the JHK region of Charon's spectrum is dominated by water ice absorption, it came not unexpectedly that very deep and broad water ice signatures are found in the L band part of Charon's surface spectrum. We model Charon's spectrum with pure H2O ice darkened by a spectrally neutral continuum absorber.

  3. Pluto's Polygonal Terrain Places Lower Limit on Planetary Heat Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trowbridge, A.; Steckloff, J. K.; Melosh, H., IV; Freed, A. M.

    2015-12-01

    During its recent flyby of Pluto, New Horizons imaged an icy plains region (Sputnik Planum) whose surface is divided into polygonal blocks, ca. 20-30 km across, bordered by what appear to be shallow troughs. The lack of craters within these plains suggests they are relatively young, implying that the underlying material is recently active. The scale of these features argues against an origin by cooling and contraction. Here we investigate the alternative scenario that they are the surface manifestation of shallow convection in a thick layer of nitrogen ice. Typical Rayleigh-Bernard convective cells are approximately three times wider than the depth of the convecting layer, implying a layer depth of ca. 7-10 km. Our convection hypothesis requires that the Rayleigh number exceed a minimum of about 1000 in the nitrogen ice layer. We coupled a parameterized convection model with a temperature dependent rheology of nitrogen ice (Yamashita, 2008), finding a Rayleigh number 1500 to 7500 times critical for a plausible range of heat flows for Pluto's interior. The computed range of heat flow (3.5-5.2 mW/m2) is consistent with the radiogenic heat generated by a carbonaceous chondrite (CC) core implied by Pluto's bulk density. The minimum heat flow at the critical Rayleigh number is 0.13 mW/m2. Our model implies a core temperature of 44 K in the interior of the convecting layer. This is very close to the exothermic β-α phase transition in nitrogen ice at 35.6 K (for pure N2 ice; dissolved CO can increase this, depending on its concentration), suggesting that the warm cores of the rising convective cells may be β phase, whereas the cooler sinking limbs may be α phase. This transition may thus be observable due to the large difference in their spectral signature. Further applying our model to Pluto's putative water ice mantle, the heat flow from CC is consistent with convection in Pluto's mantle and the activity observed on its surface.

  4. Spectroscopy of Pluto at six longitudes, 380-930 nm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.; Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi; Lorenzi, Vania; Grundy, Will M.; Licandro, Javier; Binzel, Richard P.

    2014-11-01

    We have obtained spectra of the Pluto-Charon pair (unresolved) in the wavelength range 380-930 nm with resolution ~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 pathlength 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 µm) 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 pathlength through the N2 crystals must be on the order of several cm to produce the N2 band observed at 2.15 µm. 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.

  5. Remedial investigation sampling and analysis plan for J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland: Volume 2, Quality Assurance Project Plan

    SciTech Connect

    Prasad, S.; Martino, L.; Patton, T.

    1995-03-01

    J-Field encompasses about 460 acres at the southern end of the Gunpowder Neck Peninsula in the Edgewood Area of APG (Figure 2.1). Since World War II, the Edgewood Area of APG has been used to develop, manufacture, test, and destroy chemical agents and munitions. These materials were destroyed at J-Field by open burning and open detonation (OB/OD). For the purposes of this project, J-Field has been divided into eight geographic areas or facilities that are designated as areas of concern (AOCs): the Toxic Burning Pits (TBP), the White Phosphorus Burning Pits (WPP), the Riot Control Burning Pit (RCP), the Robins Point Demolition Ground (RPDG), the Robins Point Tower Site (RPTS), the South Beach Demolition Ground (SBDG), the South Beach Trench (SBT), and the Prototype Building (PB). The scope of this project is to conduct a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) and ecological risk assessment to evaluate the impacts of past disposal activities at the J-Field site. Sampling for the RI will be carried out in three stages (I, II, and III) as detailed in the FSP. A phased approach will be used for the J-Field ecological risk assessment (ERA).

  6. Projected effects of proposed chloride-control projects on shallow ground water; preliminary results for the Wichita River basin, Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garza, Sergio

    1983-01-01

    Two-dimensional mathematical computer models were developed for aquifer simulation of: (1) Steady-state conditions in a fresh-water system and (2) transient conditions in a brine- fresh-water system where the density effects of the brine are considered. The main results 'of projecting the effects of the proposed Truscott Brine Lake on the fresh-water aquifer are: (1) Hydraulic head rises of 5 to 40 feet would be confined to areas near the proposed dam and along the lake shoreline, and (2) migration of salt water downstream from the dam generally would be limited to less than 1 mile and apparently would not reach equilibrium during the 100-year duration of the project. The modeling efforts did not include possible effects related to hydrodynamic dispersion in the brine- fresh-water system. Possible changes in the hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer, due to physical and chemical interactions in the brine and fresh-water environments, also were not considered.

  7. Multireference symmetry-projected variational approximation for the ground state of the doped one-dimensional Hubbard model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Guzmán, R.; Jiménez-Hoyos, Carlos A.; Scuseria, Gustavo E.

    2014-05-01

    The few determinant (FED) approximation introduced in our previous work [Phys. Rev. B 87, 235129 (2013)], 10.1103/PhysRevB.87.235129 is used to describe the ground state, characterized by well-defined spin and space group symmetry quantum numbers as well as doping fractions Ne/Nsites, of one-dimensional Hubbard lattices with nearest-neighbor hopping and periodic boundary conditions. Within this multireference scheme, each ground state is expanded in a given number of nonorthogonal and variationally determined symmetry-projected configurations. The results obtained for the ground-state and correlation energies of half-filled and doped lattices with 30, 34, and 50 sites compare well with the exact Lieb-Wu solutions as well as with those obtained with other state-of-the-art approximations. The structure of the intrinsic symmetry-broken determinants resulting from the variational procedure is interpreted in terms of solitons whose translational and breathing motions can be regarded as basic units of quantum fluctuations. It is also shown that in the case of doped one-dimensional lattices, a part of such fluctuations can also be interpreted in terms of polarons. In addition to momentum distributions, both spin-spin and density-density correlation functions are studied as functions of doping. The spectral functions and density of states, computed with an ansatz whose quality can be well controlled by the number of symmetry-projected configurations used to approximate the Ne±1 electron systems, display features beyond a simple quasiparticle distribution, as well as spin-charge separation trends.

  8. Initial results from the Solar Dynamic (SD) Ground Test Demonstration (GTD) project at NASA Lewis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaltens, Richard K.; Boyle, Robert V.

    1995-01-01

    A government/industry team designed, built, and tested a 2 kWe solar dynamic space power system in a large thermal/vacuum facility with a simulated sun at the NASA Lewis Research Center. The Lewis facility provides an accurate simulation of temperatures, high vacuum, and solar flux as encountered in low earth orbit. This paper reviews the goals and status of the Solar Dynamic (SD) Ground Test Demonstration (GTD) program and describes the initial testing, including both operational and performance data. This SD technology has the potential as a future power source for the International Space Station Alpha.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26472913

  10. Improved orbital and physical parameters for the Pluto-Charon system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.; Buie, Marc W.; Binzel, Richard P.; Frueh, Marian L.

    1987-01-01

    Analysis of the observations of several Pluto-Charon occultation and transit events in 1985 and 1986 has provided a more detailed knowledge of the system. The sum of the radii of Pluto and Charon is 1786 + or - 19 kilometers, but the individual radii are somewhat more poorly determined; Pluto is 1145 + or - 46 kilometers in radius, and Charon is 642 + or - 34 kilometers in radius. The mean density of the system is 1.84 + or - 0.19 grams/cu cm, implying that more than half of the mass is due to rock. Charon appears to have hemispheres of two different colors, the Pluto-facing side being neutral in color and the opposite hemisphere being a reddish color similar to Pluto.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Tackling five main problem areas found in science (ground segment) project developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lock, T.; Pérez-López, F.

    2014-08-01

    Science projects which require a large software development may use many scientists alongside a few professional software engineers. Such projects tend to show extreme cases of the general problems associated with software developments. After introducing an example of a large software development in a science project, the importance of a development management plan will be emphasised and sections of the plan highlighted and it is explained how these sections address and prepare for the expected problems throughout the life of the project. A positive, strongly proactive quality assurance, QA, approach is the common theme throughout. The role of QA is, therefore, more to guide, support and advise all members of the team rather than only to detect and react to problems. The top five problem areas addressed are: 1. Vague, late and missing requirements. 2. Few professional software engineers in a large software development. 3. A lack of testers with an appropriate test mentality. 4. Quality Assurance people cannot be everywhere, nor have in-depth skills in every subject. 5. Scientists will want to start coding and see writing documents as a waste of their time.

  13. The Italian Project S2 - Task 4:Near-fault earthquake ground motion simulation in the Sulmona alluvial basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stupazzini, M.; Smerzini, C.; Cauzzi, C.; Faccioli, E.; Galadini, F.; Gori, S.

    2009-04-01

    Recently the Italian Department of Civil Protection (DPC), in cooperation with Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) has promoted the 'S2' research project (http://nuovoprogettoesse2.stru.polimi.it/) aimed at the design, testing and application of an open-source code for seismic hazard assessment (SHA). The tool envisaged will likely differ in several important respects from an existing international initiative (Open SHA, Field et al., 2003). In particular, while "the OpenSHA collaboration model envisions scientists developing their own attenuation relationships and earthquake rupture forecasts, which they will deploy and maintain in their own systems", the main purpose of S2 project is to provide a flexible computational tool for SHA, primarily suited for the needs of DPC, which not necessarily are scientific needs. Within S2, a crucial issue is to make alternative approaches available to quantify the ground motion, with emphasis on the near field region. The SHA architecture envisaged will allow for the use of ground motion descriptions other than those yielded by empirical attenuation equations, for instance user generated motions provided by deterministic source and wave propagation simulations. In this contribution, after a brief presentation of Project S2, we intend to illustrate some preliminary 3D scenario simulations performed in the alluvial basin of Sulmona (Central Italy), as an example of the type of descriptions that can be handled in the future SHA architecture. In detail, we selected some seismogenic sources (from the DISS database), believed to be responsible for a number of destructive historical earthquakes, and derive from them a family of simplified geometrical and mechanical source models spanning across a reasonable range of parameters, so that the extent of the main uncertainties can be covered. Then, purely deterministic (for frequencies < 2Hz) and hybrid deterministic- stochastic source and propagation simulations are

  14. Analysis of the Origin and Evolution of the Small Satellites of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pires Dos Santos, Pryscilla Maria; Morbidelli, A.; Nesvorny, D.; Giuliatti Winter, S. M.

    2012-10-01

    At this time the origin of the small satellites of Pluto remains elusive. In this work we envisioned an alternative scenario. Pluto-Charon was already formed and embedded into a massive planetesimal disk, then planetesimals got captured by Pluto-Charon binary from the heliocentric disk. For a dynamically "cold" disk, temporary capture in the Pluto-Charon system can occur with non-negligible probability. We conjecture that if the captured planetesimals got disrupted during their Pluto-bound phase by a collision with other planetesimals of the disk, then these events could have generated a debris disk. This disk damped under internal collisional evolution, until turning itself into an accretional disk that could form small satellites on circular orbits, co-planar with Charon. Objects large enough to carry a sufficient amount of mass to generate the small satellites of Pluto have collisional lifetimes orders of magnitude longer than the typical capture time ( 100 years). Thus, this scenario, although add new arguments to an unsolved problem, cannot also explain the origin of the small satellites of Pluto, which remains elusive. Additionality, we will also present some preliminary results on the analysis of the evolution of the Pluto system in the framework of the "new" Nice model (see, e.g. Levison et al, 2008). Their results explain very well the distribution of Plutinos, bodies trapped in 2:3 mean motion resonance with Neptune. By assuming that the bodies observed today in the Pluto system were put together before the Late Heavy Bombardment period (Gomes et al, 2005), through encounter histories of Pluto and its members during the dynamical evolution of the giant planets, we analyse if this multiple system is destroyed by such interactions. In fact, understanding the evolution of the plutinos provides hints to the understanding of the history of the outer Solar system.

  15. New Horizons approach photometry of Pluto and Charon: light curves and Solar phase curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zangari, A. M.; Buie, M. W.; Buratti, B. J.; Verbiscer, A.; Howett, C.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Olkin, C.; Ennico Smith, K.; Young, L. A.; Stern, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    While the most captivating images of Pluto and Charon were shot by NASA's New Horizons probe on July 14, 2015, the spacecraft also imaged Pluto with its LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager ("LORRI") during its Annual Checkouts and Approach Phases, with campaigns in July 2013, July 2014, January 2015, March 2015, April 2015, May 2015 and June 2015. All but the first campaign provided full coverage of Pluto's 6.4 day rotation. Even though many of these images were taken when surface features on Pluto and Charon were unresolved, these data provide a unique opportunity to study Pluto over a timescale of several months. Earth-based data from an entire apparition must be combined to create a single light curve, as Pluto is never otherwise continuously available for observing due to daylight, weather and scheduling. From the spacecraft, Pluto's sub-observer latitude remained constant to within 0.05 degrees of 43.15 degrees, comparable to a week's worth of change as seen from Earth near opposition. During the July 2013 to June 2015 period, Pluto's solar phase curve increased from 11 degrees to 15 degrees, a small range, but large compared to Earth's 2 degree limit. The slope of the solar phase curve hints at properties such as surface roughness. Using PSF photometry that takes into account the ever-increasing sizes of Pluto and Charon as seen from New Horizons, as well as surface features discovered at closest approach, we present rotational light curves and solar phase curves of Pluto and Charon. We will connect these observations to previous measurements of the system from Earth.

  16. The ground truth analysis of rain gauge data for the TRMM project. [Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kowalewsky, Karen J.; Thiele, Otto

    1989-01-01

    As a part of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Missioin (TRMM) ground truth program to determine the diurnal variability of the area wide rain rates, the rain rate PDFs, and their effect on the area integral algorithm, rain rate data have been collected from a network of gages located in the area near the Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center, in the period beginning in September 1987. In the preliminary statistical analysis, based on the rain rates derived from the eleven gages, the seasonal diurnal rainfall and network averaged rain rates are determined. The analysis was performed in two steps: determination of the hourly and daily rain accumulations and rain rates; and computation of the fraction of hourly and daily rain rates that exceed a particular threshold, and analysis of the hourly and daily rain rate PDFs for the network. The results indicate that there are diurnal and seasonal variations in the components which determine the network rain rate PDFs.

  17. Experimental investigation of the ground transportation systems (GTS) project for heavy vehicle drag reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Croll, R.H.; Gutierrez, W.T.; Hassan, B.; Suazo, J.E.; Riggins, A.J.

    1995-12-31

    A wind tunnel experimental research program was conducted on a heavily instrumented Ground Transportation System (GTS) vehicle. The GTS baseline model represented a generic 1:8 scale Class-8 van-type tractor trailer geometry. Five base drag reduction add-on devices, instrumented with surface pressure ports, were also tested. These add-on devices included two ogive boattail shapes and three slant geometry devices. Six component force and moment data, surface pressure contours, and wake velocity surveys are presented for each configuration along with qualitative insights gained from flow visualization. This wind tunnel program was designed to complement a parallel research effort in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) which modeled many of these same vehicle geometries. The wind tunnel data are documented and archived in ASCII format on floppy discs and available to researchers interested in further analysis or comparison to other CFD solutions.

  18. A Strategy for Autogeneration of Space Shuttle Ground Processing Simulation Models for Project Makespan Estimations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Madden, Michael G.; Wyrick, Roberta; O'Neill, Dale E.

    2005-01-01

    Space Shuttle Processing is a complicated and highly variable project. The planning and scheduling problem, categorized as a Resource Constrained - Stochastic Project Scheduling Problem (RC-SPSP), has a great deal of variability in the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) process flow from one flight to the next. Simulation Modeling is a useful tool in estimation of the makespan of the overall process. However, simulation requires a model to be developed, which itself is a labor and time consuming effort. With such a dynamic process, often the model would potentially be out of synchronization with the actual process, limiting the applicability of the simulation answers in solving the actual estimation problem. Integration of TEAMS model enabling software with our existing schedule program software is the basis of our solution. This paper explains the approach used to develop an auto-generated simulation model from planning and schedule efforts and available data.

  19. Ground-water-quality assessment of the Delmarva Peninsula, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia; project description

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bachman, L.J.; Shedlock, R.J.; Phillips, P.J.

    1987-01-01

    In April 1986, the U.S. Geological Survey began a pilot program to assess the quality of the Nation 's surface water and groundwater resources. This National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program is designed to acquire and interpret information about a wide range of water quality issues. Three groundwater pilot projects have been started, including the project on the Delmarva Peninsula, which covers eastern Maryland and Virginia and most of Delaware. The objectives of the Delmarva project are to: (1) investigate regional groundwater quality on the Delmarva Peninsula, emphasizing a description of the occurrence of trace elements and manmade organic compounds; (2) relate groundwater quality to land use and geohydrologic conditions; and (3) provide a general description of the location, nature, and possible causes of selected water quality problems prevalent in the study area. The shallow aquifer system and the deeper aquifers used for public water supply will be addressed. The shallow aquifer system in the Delmarva Peninsula consists of permeable unconsolidated sand and gravel. Flow systems are localized and small-scale. Farming is common on the peninsula, and the migration of agricultural chemicals to the groundwater system is a local water quality concern. To assess the water quality of the groundwater resources, a regional survey for a wide range of constituents will be conducted in all of the pilot projects to provide a representative sample of groundwater analyses for a national assessment of groundwater quality. Results of this survey may be used as a baseline to monitor future water quality trends. (Lantz-PTT)

  20. A Ground Testbed to Advance US Capability in Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Souza, Chris

    2014-01-01

    This project will advance the Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking (AR&D) GNC system by testing it on hardware, particularly in a flight processor, with a goal of testing it in IPAS with the Waypoint L2 AR&D scenario. The entire Agency supports development of a Commodity for Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking (CARD) as outlined in the Agency-wide Community of Practice whitepaper entitled: "A Strategy for the U.S. to Develop and Maintain a Mainstream Capability for Automated/Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking in Low Earth Orbit and Beyond". The whitepaper establishes that 1) the US is in a continual state of AR&D point-designs and therefore there is no US "off-the-shelf" AR&D capability in existence today, 2) the US has fallen behind our foreign counterparts particularly in the autonomy of AR&D systems, 3) development of an AR&D commodity is a national need that would benefit NASA, our commercial partners, and DoD, and 4) an initial estimate indicates that the development of a standardized AR&D capability could save the US approximately $60M for each AR&D project and cut each project's AR&D flight system implementation time in half.

  1. 2 kWe Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstration Project. Volume 2; Design Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alexander, Dennis

    1997-01-01

    Critical Design Reviews (CDR's) were held on the Solar Dynamic Ground Test Demonstrator (SDGTD). This CDR summary report will provide the following information for each of the system components and the system integration: (1) A bibliography of design/design review documentation; (2) A summary of the major discussion issues from issues from each design review; (3) A definition of the component and system detail designs along with the bottom line from the supporting analysis; (4) Status and key results from pertinent development activities on-going in the CDR time period; (5) A brief description of planned testing; and (6) A discussion of issues stiff open at the completion of CDR. Appendix 1 to this report contains a listing and status (as of 28 June 1993) of all the action items generated during all SDGTD CDRs. The reader should remember that the SDGTD program is being conducted in an open communication forum, and program participants are encouraged to ask questions or request information. Team members are allowed and encouraged to participate in the reviews on an equal basis. No request for information, as long as it is within the work scope, is refused, so many action items are generated.

  2. Project ORION: Orbital Debris Removal Using Ground-Based Sensors and Lasers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, J. W.

    1996-01-01

    About 100,000 pieces of 1 to 10-cm debris in low-Earth orbit are too small to track reliably but large enough to cripple or destroy spacecraft. The ORION team studied the feasibility of removing the debris with ground-based laser impulses. Photoablation experiments were surveyed and applied to likely debris materials. Laser intensities needed for debris orbit modification call for pulses on the order of lOkJ or continuous wave lasers on the order of 1 MW. Adaptive optics are necessary to correct for atmospheric turbulence. Wavelength and pulse duration windows were found that limit beam degradation due to nonlinear atmospheric processes. Debris can be detected and located to within about 10 microrads with existing radar and passive optical technology. Fine targeting would be accomplished with laser illumination, which might also be used for detection. Bistatic detection with communications satellites may also be possible. We recommend that existing technology be used to demonstrate the concept at a loss of about $20 million. We calculate that an installation to clear altitudes up to 800 km of 1 to 10-cm debris over 2 years of operation would cost about $80 million. Clearing altitudes up to 1,500 km would take about 3 years and cost about $160 million.

  3. Minnesota GPR Project 1998: testing ground penetrating radar technology on Minnesota roads and highways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saarenketo, Timo; van Deusen, David; Maijala, Pekka

    2000-04-01

    During May 1998, Roadscanners Oy together with the Office of Minnesota Road Research performed a series of GPR tests in Minnesota, in order to determine the level of accuracy of the GPR technology in pavement and subgrade soil testing. The project involved a total of 195 km of GPR surveys carried out in different locations throughout Minnesota. The test sections represented a range of pavement materials, structures and soils found in the state. A number of GPR tests were performed to evaluate different types of pavement defect and ascertain their causes. The results of the Minnesota GPR Project 1998 clearly show the potential benefits that GPR techniques could offer the Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT). The results of the Mn/ROAD tests show that GPR can be applied in measuring the layer thickness of various pavement structures. The surface reflection technique can be used to determine the signal velocity of both asphalt and concrete pavement structures. Mn/ROAD surveys also revealed evidence of some previously unknown defects in test cells, e.g. stripping, voids and moisture anomalies. A good example of the benefits the GPR technique can offer in detecting stripping is the T.H. 23, T.H. 71 Willmar case, where reference data, drill cores and FWD data matched almost perfectly with the GPR data. Another notable case presented in the paper is U.S. 52, Oronoco, where defects due to differential frost heave were located.

  4. GPS monitoring of vertical ground motion in northern Ardenne Eifel: five campaigns (1999 2003) of the HARD project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demoulin, A.; Campbell, J.; Wulf, A. De.; Muls, A.; Arnould, R.; Görres, B.; Fischer, D.; Kötter, T.; Brondeel, M.; Damme, D. Van.; Jacqmotte, J. M.

    2005-09-01

    We present the HARD project of GPS monitoring of vertical ground motion in NE Ardenne and Eifel (western Europe). Its main purposes are to get a better insight into the present-day rates of vertical ground motion in intraplate settings and to identify the various causes of these motions. Since 1999, we have carried out yearly campaigns of simultaneous GPS measurements at 12 sites situated so as to sample the different tectonic subunits of the study area and especially to record potential displacements across the seismogenic Hockai fault zone. Five campaigns (1999 2003) have been processed currently. Key issues of the data processing with the Gamit software are discussed and first results are presented. Though temporally consistent in many cases, the obtained vertical motion rates are spatially highly variable. They are also much too high (several mm/year) to support a tectonic interpretation, and a long-term influence of groundwater level variations is proposed to account for the observed motions. This influence should be distinguished from seasonal variations and from inter-survey variations linked to the varying degree of soil and subsoil drying off during the successive spring surveys.

  5. Mapping Pluto's Temperature Distribution Through Twenty Years of Stellar Occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zangari, Amanda; Binzel, R. P.; Person, M. J.

    2012-10-01

    Multi-chord, high signal-to-noise Pluto occultations have been observed several times over the past two decades, including events in 1988, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011 (Elliot et al. 1989, 2003, 2007; Person et al. 2008, 2010, 2011). We fit separate immersion and emersion occultation light-curve models to each of the individual light curves obtained from these efforts. Asymmetries in the light curves result in the half-light temperatures for opposite sides of a single chord to differ by up to 20 Kelvin in the largest case. The temperature difference for each chord is consistent using both isothermal (b=0) and non-isothermal (e.g. b=-2.2) models based on the methodology described by Elliot & Young (1992). We examine the relationship between the location of immersion and emersion points on Pluto and these temperatures at the half-light radius and will present results for correlations between these location/temperature data and surface composition maps, Pluto geometry, and accumulated insolation patterns. This work was supported by NASA Planetary Astronomy Grant to MIT (NNX10AB27G), and NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Grant to MIT (0707609). The authors would like to acknowledge the late Professor James L. Elliot for his efforts in beginning this work. References: Elliot, J. L., Dunham, E. W., Bosh, A. S., et al. 1989, Icarus, 77,148 Elliot, J. L., Ates, A., Babcock, B. A., et al. 2003, Nature, 424,165 Elliot, J. L., Person, M. J., Gulbis, A. A. S., et al. 2007, AJ, 134, 1 Elliot, J. L., & Young, L. A. 1992, AJ, 103, 991. Person, M. J., Elliot, J. L., Gulbis, A. A. S., et al. 2008, AJ, 136, 1510 Person, M. J., Elliot, J. L., Bosh, A. S., et al. 2010, Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 42, 983 Person, M. J., Dunham, E. W., Bida, T., et al. 2011, EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011, 1374.

  6. Standards and Specifications for Ground Processing of Space Vehicles: From an Aviation-Based Shuttle Project to Global Application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingalls, John; Cipolletti, John

    2011-01-01

    and methods are incongruent. Some processing products are still done on paper, some electronic, and many being converted in between. Business systems then are not fully compatible, and paper as well as electronic conversions are time-consuming and costly. NASA and its Shuttle contractors setup rules and systems to handle what has produced over 130 RLV launches, but they have had many challenges. Attempts have been made to apply aviation industry specifications to make the Shuttle more efficient with its ground processing. One efficiency project example was to make a Shuttle Maintenance Manual (SMM) based on the commercial ATA (Air Transport Association of America) Spec 100 for technical publications. This industry standard, along with others, has been a foundation for efficient global MRO of commercial airlines for years. A modified version was also made for some military aircraft. The SMM project found many similarities in Spec 100 which apply to the Shuttle, and room for expansion for space systems/structures not in aircraft. The SMM project team met with the ATA and representatives from NASA's X-33 and X-34 programs to discuss collaboration on a national space standard based on Spec 100. A pilot project was enabled for a subset of Shuttle systems. Full implementation was not yet achieved, X-33 and X-34 were cancelled, and the Shuttles were then designated for retirement. Nonetheless, we can learn from this project how to expand this concept to all space vehicle products. Since then, ATA has joined with ASD (AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe) and AIA (Aerospace Industries Association) to form a much-enhanced and expanded international specification: Sl000D, International Specification for Technical Publications. It includes air, land, and sea vehicles, missiles, support equipment, ordnance, and communications. It is used by a growing number of countries for commercial and government products. Its modular design is supported by a Common Source

  7. Circumstances for Pluto-Charon mutual events in 1988

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.; Buie, Marc W.; Swift, Catherine E.

    1987-01-01

    Physical parameters are tabulated for 89 Pluto-Charon mutual events occurring during the 1988 opposition. A primary star and a check star have been selected as comparison stars for events occurring prior to the 1988 opposition. Standardization of the comparison star 1987 Primary has provided a B magnitude of 12.3093 + or - 0.0013 and a V magnitude of 11.4215 + or - 0.0013. The designations, positions, and preliminary magnitudes and colors are also given for two transformation stars selected in order to aid in determination of the color terms necessary to convert the instrumental magnitudes of observers to the standard system.

  8. Polar Wander on Triton and Pluto Due to Volatile Migration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, David Parry

    2002-01-01

    Polar wander may occur on Triton and Pluto because of volatile migration. Triton, with its low obliquity, can theoretically sublimate volatiles (mostly nitrogen) at the rate of approximately 10(exp 14) kilograms per year from the equatorial regions and deposit them at the poles. Assuming Triton to be rigid on the sublimation timescale, after approximately 10(exp 5) years the polar caps would become large enough to cancel the rotational flattening, with a total mass equivalent to a global layer approximately 120-250 m in depth. At this point the pole wanders about the tidal bulge axis, which is the line joining Triton and Neptune. Rotation about the bulge axis might be expected to disturb the leading side/trailing side cratering statistics. Because no such disturbance is observed, it may be that Triton's mantle viscosity is too high but its surface volatile inventory is too low to permit wander. On the other hand, its mantle viscosity might be low, so that any uncompensated cap load might be expected to wander toward the tidal bulge axis. In this case, the axis of wander passes through the equator from the leading side to the trailing side; rotation about this wander axis would not disturb the cratering statistics. Low-viscosity polar wander may explain the bright southern hemisphere: this is the pole which is wandering toward the equator. In any case the permanent polar caps may be geologically very young. Polar wander may possibly take place on Pluto, due to its obliquity oscillations and perihelion-pole geometry. However, Pluto is probably not experiencing any wander at present. The Sun has been shining strongly on the poles over the last half of the obliquity cycle, so that volatiles should migrate to the equator, stabilizing the planet against wander. Spacecraft missions to Triton and Pluto which measure the dynamical flattening could give information about the accumulation of volatiles at the poles. Such information is best obtained by measuring gravity and

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  10. Pluto-Charon system - the escape of Charon's primordial atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Trafton, L.; Stern, S.A.; Gladstone, G.R.

    1988-04-01

    Although Charon seems to have lost its atmosphere and surface volatiles, a lack of heating that would be sufficient to generate melting and consequent separation of the lighter and heavier nonvolatiles has probably resulted in the outer layers' retention of the primordial mix of nonvolatiles. Spectroscopically-determined relative abundances for the Charon surface should accordingly be representative of its entire mass, and thereby constitutes the basis of an understanding of Charon's origin. The study of Charon's exposed nonvolatile ices may ascertain whether the Pluto-Charon system condensed out of the solar nebula directly or from a protoplanetary nebula. 46 references.

  11. 1988 CELLO, JADE, and PLUTO contributions to ''exotic'' meson spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Feindt, M.

    1989-04-25

    This article reviews selected recent results on resonance formation in ..gamma gamma.. reactions obtained with the CELLO, JADE, and PLUTO spectrometers at the /ital e//sup +//ital e/minus// storage ring PETRA. New stringent limits on the ..gamma gamma.. coupling of glueball candidates as well as new results on tensor and scalar mesons are presented. The recent observation of ..pi../sub 2/(1680) formation is confirmed by the CELLO group. Finally the two spin 1 states observed in ..gamma gamma../sup */ interactions, in particular the parity of the /ital X//sub 1/(1420) and the model dependence of present analyses are discussed.

  12. Evidence for Methane Segregation at the Surface of Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doute, S.; Schmitt, B.; Quirico, E.; Owen, T. C.; Cruikshank, Dale P.; deBergh, C.; Geballe, T. R.; Roush, T. L.

    1999-01-01

    In May 1995, a set of spectrophotometric curves of the system Pluto-Charon was recorded with the UKIRT telescope equipped with the spectrometer CGS4. As for the previous observations, the spectra cover a part of the near infrared range, between 1.4 and 2.55 micrometers, but with a higher resolution of approximately 700. In both the 1992 and 1995 data, the existence of solid methane is confirmed by numerous absorption bands, and the carbon monoxide and the nitrogen ices are identified by their respective signatures at 2.35 and 2.15 um. The solid nitrogen seems to be the principal icy component and forms a matrix in which the CH4 and CO molecules are diluted. However a spectroscopic analysis of the 1995 observations indicates that pure methane may coexist with its diluted phase in N2. In order to derive the horizontal and vertical distribution of these different species and to obtain some quantitative information about their characteristics, we have modeled the spectrum of May 15 that corresponds to the maximum of Pluto's visible light curve. This was achieved by means of a radiative transfer algorithm dealing with compact and stratified media. Among the various representations we have tested to describe the surface of Pluto, only a geographical mixture of three distinct units explains all the significant structures of the analyzed spectrum. The first unit is a thin granular layer of pure CH4 covering a compact polycrystalline substratum of N2-CH4-CO, which are in a molecular mixture (concentrations of and CO of the order of 0.45%, 0.1-0.2% respectively). It covers about 70% of the observed area and corresponds to volatile deposits that are sublimating under solar illumination. The second unit is either (a) a single thick layer of pure granular methane or (b) a unit similar to the first unit but with the two components inverted (i.e. with CH4 forming a substratum and the N2-CH4-CO mixture a superficial layer of fine grains). Covering 20% of the surface, it represents

  13. A deer study at Aberdeen Proving Ground: Project planning, data assimilation, and risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Whaley, J.; Leach, G.; Lee, R.

    1995-12-31

    For more than 75 years, Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) has been in the business of research, development, and testing of munitions and military vehicles for the US Army. Currently, APG is on the National Priorities List and an installation wide human health risk assessment is underway. Like many Department of the Army facilities, APG has an active hunting program. Hunters harvest approximately 800 whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginanus) from APG annually. To assure public safety, the authors completed a study during the 1993 hunting season to identify any potential human health hazards associated with consumption of venison from APG. This paper will discuss the unique strategy behind the experimental design, the actual assimilation of the data, and the results of the human health risk assessment to establish an appropriate contaminant levels in APG deer. Also, based on information in the literature, the authors considered gender, age, and season in the study design. The list of chemicals for residue analysis included explosives, PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, and metals (As, Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg). Of the 150 deer sampled, metals were the only chemicals detected. The authors compared these data to metal levels in deer collected from an off post background site. Metal levels did not differ significantly between APG deer and off post deer. Finally, the authors completed a health risk assessment of eating deer harvested from both APG and off post. From a survey distributed to the hunters, they incorporated actual consumption data into the exposure assessment. Their findings concluded that the risk of eating APG deer was no higher than eating off post deer; however, total arsenic levels in muscle did appear to elevate the risk.

  14. An Arduino project to record ground motion and to learn on earthquake hazard at high school

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saraò, Angela; Barnaba, Carla; Clocchiatti, Marco; Zuliani, David

    2015-04-01

    Through a multidisciplinary work that integrates Technology education with Earth Sciences, we implemented an educational program to raise the students' awareness of seismic hazard and to disseminate good practices of earthquake safety. Using free software and low-cost open hardware, the students of a senior class of the high school Liceo Paschini in Tolmezzo (NE Italy) implemented a seismograph using the Arduino open-source electronics platform and the ADXL345 sensors to emulate a low cost seismometer (e.g. O-NAVI sensor of the Quake-Catcher Network, http://qcn.stanford.edu). To accomplish their task the students were addressed to use the web resources for technical support and troubleshooting. Shell scripts, running on local computers under Linux OS, controlled the process of recording and display data. The main part of the experiment was documented using the DokuWiki style. Some propaedeutic lessons in computer sciences and electronics were needed to build up the necessary skills of the students and to fill in the gap of their background knowledge. In addition lectures by seismologists and laboratory activity allowed the class to exploit different aspects of the physics of the earthquake and particularly of the seismic waves, and to become familiar with the topics of seismic hazard through an inquiry-based learning. The Arduino seismograph achieved can be used for educational purposes and it can display tremors on the local network of the school. For sure it can record the ground motion due to a seismic event that can occur in the area, but further improvements are necessary for a quantitative analysis of the recorded signals.

  15. Common Ground - Kansas Climate and Energy Project connects with the Heartland.

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

    n 2010, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) electricity-market, policy and consumer behavior expert Merrian Fuller singled out a small environmental organization in Kansas-- the Climate and Energy Project (CEP)-- as an outstanding example of how you change behavior on energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions through an apolitical emphasis on heartland values. In the summer of 2011, a team from LBNL, seeking to capture what Fuller had featured in her report "Driving Demand for Home Energy Improvement," visited Kansas. Speaking with CEP's Nancy Jackson and Dorothy Barnett, as well as farmers, small business owners, politicians and others, the team produced this video, which shows how and why CEP has become an inspiration to other environmental organizations that are seeking to change behavior where climate-change skepticism abounds.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26989259

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.; Gladstone, G. R.; Grundy, W. M.; McKinnon, W. B.; Moore, J. M.; Spencer, J. R.; 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.; 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.; Hinson, D. P.; Holdridge, M. E.; Howard, A. D.; Howett, C. J. A.; Jackman, C.; Jacobson, R. A.; Jennings, D. E.; Kammer, J. A.; Kang, H. K.; Kaufmann, D. E.; Kusnierkiewicz, D.; Lauer, T. R.; Lee, J. E.; Lindstrom, K. L.; Linscott, I. R.; Lunsford, A. W.; Mallder, V. A.; Martin, N.; 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.; 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.; Stryk, T.; Summers, M. E.; 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.; Weigle, G. E.; White, O. L.; Whittenburg, K.; Williams, B. G.; Williams, K.; Williams, S.; Woods, W. W.; Zangari, A. M.

    2016-03-01

    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.

  20. A Critical Evaluation of Ground-Penetrating Radar Methodology on the Kalavasos and Maroni Built Environments (KAMBE) Project, Cyprus (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leon, J.; Urban, T.; Gerard-Little, P.; Kearns, C.; Manning, S. W.; Fisher, K.; Rogers, M.

    2013-12-01

    at these settlements. Having just completed this first phase of the project, we report on the results of large-scale geophysical survey, including the identification of at least two previously unknown building complexes (one at each site). Here we focus particularly on ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data and survey methodology, in an effort to critically examine the range of approaches applied throughout the project (e.g. various antennae frequencies, data-collection densities, soil moisture/seasonality of survey, and post-collection data processing [2]), and to identify the most effective parameters for archaeological geophysical survey in the region. This paper also advocates for the role of geophysical survey within a multi-component archaeological project, not simply as a prospection tool but as an archaeological data collection method in its own right. 1]Fisher, K. D., J. Leon, S. Manning, M. Rogers, and D. Sewell. In Press. 2011-2012. 'The Kalavasos and Maroni Built Environments Project: Introduction and preliminary report on the 2008 and 2010 seasons. Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus. 2] e.g. Rogers, M., J. F. Leon, K. D. Fisher, S. W. Manning and D. Sewell. 2012. 'Comparing similar ground-penetrating radar surveys under different soil moisture conditions at Kalavasos-Ayios Dhimitrios, Cyprus.' Archaeological Prospection 19 (4): 297-305.

  1. Determination of the Charon/Pluto Mass Ratio from Center-of-Light Astrometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Foust, Jeffrey A.; Elliot, J. L.; Olkin, Catherine B.; McDonald, Stephen W.; Dunham, Edward W.; Stone, Remington P. S.; McDonald, John S.; Stone, Ronald C.

    1997-01-01

    The Charon/Pluto mass ratio is a fundamental but poorly known parameter of the two-body system. Previous values for the mass ratio have ranged from 0.0837 plus or minus 0.0147 (Null et al., 1993, Astron. J. 105, 2319-2335) to 0.1566 plus or minus 0.0035 (Young et al., 1994, Icarus 108,186-199). We report here a new determination of the Charon/Pluto mass ratio, using five sets of groundbased images taken at four sites in support of Pluto occultation predictions. Unlike the Null et al. and Young et A determinations, where the centers of light for Pluto and Charon could be determined separately, this technique examines the motion of the center of light of the blended Pluto-Charon image. We compute the offsets of the observed center-of-light position of Pluto-Charon from the ephemeris position of the system and fit these offsets to a model of the Pluto-Charon system. The least-squares fits to the five data sets agree within their errors, and the weighted mean mass ratio is 0.117 plus or minus 0.006. The effects of errors in the Charon light fraction, semimajor axis, and ephemeris have been examined and are equal to only a small fraction of the formal error from the fit. This result is intermediate between those of Null et al., and Young et al. and matches a new value of 0.124 plus or minus 0.008 by Null and Owen (1996, Astron. J. 111, 1368-1381). The mass ratio and resulting individual masses and densities of Pluto and Charon are consistent with a collisional origin for the Pluto-Charon system.

  2. Simulation of ground-water flow in the Albuquerque Basin, central New Mexico, 1901-1994, with projections to 2020

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kernodle, J.M.; McAda, D.P.; Thorn, C.R.

    1995-01-01

    This report describes a three-dimensional finite-difference ground-water-flow model of the Santa Fe Group aquifer system in the Albuquerque Basin, which comprises the Santa Fe Group (late Oligocene to middle Pleistocene age) and overlying valley and basin-fill deposits (Pleistocene to Holocene age). The model is designed to be flexible and adaptive to new geologic and hydrologic information as it becomes available by using a geographic information system as a data-base manager to interface with the model. The aquifer system was defined and quantified in the model consistent with the current (July 1994) understanding of the structural and geohydrologic framework of the basin. Rather than putting the model through a rigorous calibration process, dis- crepancies between simulated and measured responses in hydraulic head were taken to indicate that the understanding of a local part of the aquifer system was incomplete or incorrect. The model simulates ground-water flow over an area of about 2,400 square miles to a depth of 1,730 to about 2,020 feet below the water table with 244 rows, 178 columns, and 11 layers. Of the 477,752 cells in the model, 310,376 are active. The top four model layers approximate the 80-foot thickness of alluvium in the incised and refilled valley of the Rio Grande to provide detail of the effect of ground-water withdrawals on the surface- water system. Away from the valley these four layers represent the interval within the Santa Fe Group aquifer system between the com- puted predevelopment water table and a level 80 feet below the grade of the Rio Grande. The simulations include initial condi- tions (steady-state), the 1901-1994 historical period, and four possible ground-water withdrawal scenarios from 1994 to 2020. The model indicates that for the year ending in March 1994, net surface-water loss in the basin resulting from the City of Albuquerque's ground-water withdrawal totaled about 53,000 acre- feet. The balance of the about 123

  3. Metadata database and data analysis software for the ground-based upper atmospheric data developed by the IUGONET project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, H.; Tanaka, Y.; Hori, T.; Koyama, Y.; Shinbori, A.; Abe, S.; Kagitani, M.; Kouno, T.; Yoshida, D.; Ueno, S.; Kaneda, N.; Yoneda, M.; Tadokoro, H.; Motoba, T.; Umemura, N.; Iugonet Project Team

    2011-12-01

    The Inter-university Upper atmosphere Global Observation NETwork (IUGONET) is a Japanese inter-university project by the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR), Tohoku University, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, and Kyushu University to build a database of metadata for ground-based observations of the upper atmosphere. The IUGONET institutes/universities have been collecting various types of data by radars, magnetometers, photometers, radio telescopes, helioscopes, etc. at various locations all over the world and at various altitude layers from the Earth's surface to the Sun. The metadata database will be of great help to researchers in efficiently finding and obtaining these observational data spread over the institutes/universities. This should also facilitate synthetic analysis of multi-disciplinary data, which will lead to new types of research in the upper atmosphere. The project has also been developing a software to help researchers download, visualize, and analyze the data provided from the IUGONET institutes/universities. The metadata database system is built on the platform of DSpace, which is an open source software for digital repositories. The data analysis software is written in the IDL language with the TDAS (THEMIS Data Analysis Software suite) library. These products have been just released for beta-testing.

  4. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act ground-water monitoring projects for Hanford facilities: Progress report for the period October 1 to December 31, 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, R.M.; Bates, D.J.; Lundgren, R.E.

    1990-03-01

    This is Volume 1 of a two-volume document that describes the progress of 15 Hanford Site ground-water monitoring projects for the period October 1 to December 31, 1989. This volume discusses the projects. The work described in this document is conducted by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory under the management of Westinghouse Hanford Company for the US Department of Energy. Concentrations of ground-water constituents are compared to federal drinking water standards throughout this document for reference purposes. All drinking water supplied from the samples aquifer meets regulatory standards for drinking water quality. 51 refs., 35 figs., 86 tabs.

  5. Evaluation of the cover cracking potential due to ground subsidence at UMTRA Project disposal cells

    SciTech Connect

    Claire, R.F.; Kuo, J.C.; Wanket, D.R.

    1994-03-01

    The US Department of Energy`s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project requires that mill tailings, containing low-level radioactive uranium mill tailings and other waste, be stabilized and controlled by placement in an encapsulated disposal cell. The cover of the cell is a multi-layer system which includes a low-permeability earthen radon/infiltration barrier, a bedding layer, and a erosion protection layer. The radon/infiltration barrier is designed to limit the radon flux and reduce water infiltration. The performance criteria established by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 40 CFR 192 require the cover to be effective for up to 1000 years to the extent reasonably achievable, and in any case, for at least 200 years. One concern that would affect the integrity of the radon/infiltration barrier is the potential for cracking due to the post-construction settlement of underlying compressible materials. To investigate the potential of cover cracking for UMTRA disposal cells, a simplified beam analysis is used to determine the horizontal movements and strains due to the differential settlements at the top surface of a relatively incompressible layer (e.g. radon/infiltration barrier and compacted tailings). The potential of cover cracking is then evaluated by comparing the calculated horizontal tensile strains with the strains that will cause cracking of the cover for a given material.

  6. Data for ground-water test hole near Nicolaus, Central Valley aquifer project, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, James J.; Page, R.W.; Bertoldi, Gilbert L.

    1983-01-01

    Preliminary data are provided for the third of seven test holes drilled as a part of the Central Valley Aquifer Project which is part of the National Regional Aquifer Systems Analysis Program. The test hole was drilled in the SW 1/4 NE 1/4 sec. 2, T.12N., R.3E., Sutter County, California, about 1 1/2 miles northwest of the town of Nicolaus. Drilled to a depth of 1,150 feet below land surface, the hole is cased to a depth of 100 feet and equipped with three piezometer tubes to depths of 311, 711, and 1,071 feet. A 5-foot well screen is set in sand at the bottom of each piezometer. Each screened interval has a cement plug above and below it to isolate it from other parts of the aquifer, and the well bore is filled between the plugs with sediment. Thirty-one cores and 34 sidewall cores were recovered. Laboratory tests were made for minerology, consolidation, grain-size distribution, Atterberg limits, X-ray diffraction, thermal conductivity, and chemical analysis of water. Geophysical and thermal gradient logs were made. The hole is sampled periodically for chemical analysis of the three tapped zones and measured for water level. This report presents methods used to obtain field samples, laboratory procedures, and the data obtained. (USGS)

  7. Data for ground-water test hole near Butte City, Central Valley aquifer project, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, James J.; Page, R.W.; Bertoldi, G.L.

    1983-01-01

    This report provides preliminary data for the third of seven test holes drilled as part of the Central Valley Aquifer Project which is part of the National Regional Aquifer Systems Analysis Program. The test hole was drilled in the SW 1/4 NE 1/4 sec. 32, T. 19 N., R. 1 W., Glenn County, California, about one-half mile south of the town of Butte City. Drilled to a depth of 1,432 feet below land surface, the hole is cased to a depth of 82 feet and equipped with three piezometer tubes to depths of 592 feet, 968 feet, and 1,330 feet. A 5-foot well screen is at the bottom of each piezometer. Each screened interval has a cement plug above and below it to isolate it from other parts of the aquifer , and the well bore is filled between the plugs with sediment. Nine cores and 49 sidewall cores were recovered. Laboratory tests were made for mineralogy, hydraulic conductivity, porosity , consolidation, grain-size distribution, Atterberg limits, X-ray diffraction, and chemical quality of water. Geophysical and thermal gradient logs were made. The hole is sampled periodically for chemical analysis and measured for water level in the three tapped zones. This report presents methods used to obtain field samples, laboratory procedures, and the data obtained. (USGS)

  8. Data for ground-water test hole near Zamora, Central Valley Aquifer Project, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    French, J.J.; Page, R.W.; Bertoldi, G.L.

    1982-01-01

    Preliminary data are presented for the first of seven test holes drilled as a part of the Central Valley Aquifer Project which is part of the National Regional Aquifer Systems Analysis Program. The test hole was drilled in the SW 1/4 SE 1/4 sec. 34, T. 12 N. , R. 1 E., Yolo County, California, about 3 miles northeast of the town of Zamora. Drilled to a depth of 2,500 feet below land surface, the hole is cased to a depth of 190 feet and equipped with three piezometer tubes to depths of 947, 1,401, and 2,125 feet. A 5-foot well screen is at the bottom of each piezometer. Eighteen cores and 68 sidewall cores were recovered. Laboratory tests were made for mineralogy, hydraulic conductivity, porosity , consolidation, grain-size distribution, Atterberg limits, X-ray diffraction, diatom identification, thermal conductivity, and chemical analysis of water. Geophysical and thermal gradient logs were made. The hole is sampled periodically for chemical analysis and measured for water level in the three tapped zones. This report presents methods used to obtain field samples, laboratory procedures, and the data obtained. (USGS)

  9. CVF spectrophotometry of Pluto - Correlation of composition with albedo. [Circularly variable filter

    SciTech Connect

    Marcialis, R.L.; Lebofsky, L.A. Arizona Univ., Tucson )

    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.

  10. Rotationally Resolved Study Of The Surface Of Pluto In Support Of NASA New Horizons Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinilla-Alonso, Noemi; Bauer, James; Buratti, Bonnie; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Grundy, Will M.; Emery, Joshua P.; Fernandez, Yan; Lisse, Casey M.; Stansberry, John

    2013-10-01

    We propose Warm Spitzer/IRAC GO observations of the Pluto system, as part of a worldwide observing campaign in support of the NASA New Horizons. The aim of this proposal is to characterize the surface heterogeneity of Pluto through photometric observations at the 3.6 and 4.5 ?m IRAC channels. We ask for observations at 18 longitudes (~ each 20 o). The surface of Pluto is formed by patches of CH4, N2 and CO. The differences in the visible albedo on the surface of Pluto pretty much span the range from the darkest to the brightest stuff in the solar system. Near-infrared and visible observations, performed over the last 30 years, show a dynamic and variable system, with a timescale on the order of months to years. Pluto is currently moving away from the sun and entering northern summer. Despite many model predictions that the atmosphere will collapse, it has significantly increased in density over the last ~20 years. Spitzer holds a unique place in the solar system to observe Pluto, above the Earth?s atmosphere in a stable Earth-trailing environment. By 2014 Pluto will be leaving the galactic background, allowing for better measurements than have been possible in the last 5 years. Relative differences in the albedo of Pluto in ch1 and ch2 is an effective tool to study the different mixing ratios of the materials on the surface. Both channels are sensitive to different ices. This is also promising for the search of other materials expected to be on the surface of Pluto but have not been identified in the vis/NIR, e.g CO2 that has its fundamental absorption band in the wavelength range of ch2. Finally these observations will also be used to check for secular differences on the surface by comparing those Spitzer observations of Pluto made in 2004 and the ones obtained through this program. The combination of these datasets with observations done at other wavelengths will place strong constraints on Pluto?s surface albedo, and shed some light on the local interaction

  11. CVF spectrophotometry of Pluto - Correlation of composition with albedo. [circularly variable filter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  13. Hydrologic data for 1994-96 for the Huron Project of the High Plains Ground-Water Demonstration Program

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carter, J.M.

    1996-01-01

    This report presents data on precipitation, water levels, and water quality that have been collected or compiled for water years 1994 through 1996 for the Huron Project of the High Plains Ground-Water Demonstration Program, under the guidance of the Bureau of Reclamation. This is the second report for the project. The first report (Carter, 1995) presented data collected through water year 1993. The purpose of the Huron Project is to demonstrate the artificial recharge potential of glacial aquifers in eastern South Dakota. High flows from the James River during spring runoff were used as a source of supplemental recharge for the Warren aquifer, which is a buried, glacial aquifer. In 1990, 70 observation wells were installed by the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) specifically for this study, and 15 existing DENR observation wells were incorporated into the study. In 1993, the recharge well was installed. After a trial injection of recharge water in April 1994, continuous injection began in June 1994. Many sites were monitored to obtain information before, during, and after recharging the aquifer. This report presents data that were collected during the three phases of recharge. Precipitation data are collected at two sites within the study area. A site description and daily precipitation for water years 1994-95 are presented for one precipitation site. Water-level hydrographs are presented for the 85 observation wells and the recharge well. Hydrographs are shown for the period from October 1, 1993, through November 29, 1995. Recharge water was injected from June 2, 1994, through July 29, 1994, and from June 14, 1995, through September 13, 1995. The cumulative volume of injected water and the injection rates into the aquifer are presented for the periods of recharge. Water-quality data were collected from screening, detailed, and plume-monitoring sampling programs. Screening water-quality data for six observation wells are presented

  14. Common Mountain-Building Processes on Ceres and Pluto?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Bland, Michael; Buczkowski, Debra L.; Feldman, William; Hoffmann, Martin; Hughson, Kynan; Jaumann, Ralf; King, Scott; LeCorre, Lucille; Li, Jian-Yang; Mest, Scott; Natheus, Andreas; O'Brien, David; Platz, Thomas; Prettyman, Thomas; Raymond, Carol; Reddy, Vishnu; Reusch, Ottaviano; Russell, Christopher T.; Schenk, Paul; Sizemore, Hanna; Schmidt, Britney; Travis, Bryan

    2015-11-01

    The Dawn Framing Camera has revealed a unique feature on the surface of Ceres, popularly referred to as the “pyramid.” It is a roughly conical and flat-topped feature with an elevation of ~5 km and base diameter of ~20 km. The side slopes are roughly consistent with an angle of repose one expects of particulate material on Earth (which may change with gravity). The pyramid is also notable for its striations down its side over half of its circumference. These striations sharply terminate at the base of the cone without a distinctive talus deposit, including an adjacent crater. Recently released images of Norgay Montes and a second mountain chain in Tombaugh Regio on Pluto by the New Horizons mission reveal mountains with strikingly similar morphologies with the Ceres pyramid. They are of similar size to within a factor of a few. We investigate the hypothesis that there may be a common mechanism giving rise to these features on the two dwarf planets. Given their significantly different heliocentric distances, the remarkable ongoing widespread processing of the surface of Pluto and increasing evidence of relatively recent activity in some areas of Ceres, interior processes such as plume activity or tectonics may be responsible. A comparative study of uplift morphology on the two dwarf planets may also lend insights into heat production and retention on such bodies throughout the solar system.

  15. Vigorous convection as the explanation for Pluto's polygonal terrain.

    PubMed

    Trowbridge, A J; Melosh, H J; Steckloff, J K; Freed, A M

    2016-06-01

    Pluto's surface is surprisingly young and geologically active. One of its youngest terrains is the near-equatorial region informally named Sputnik Planum, which is a topographic basin filled by nitrogen (N2) ice mixed with minor amounts of CH4 and CO ices. Nearly the entire surface of the region is divided into irregular polygons about 20-30 kilometres in diameter, whose centres rise tens of metres above their sides. The edges of this region exhibit bulk flow features without polygons. Both thermal contraction and convection have been proposed to explain this terrain, but polygons formed from thermal contraction (analogous to ice-wedges or mud-crack networks) of N2 are inconsistent with the observations on Pluto of non-brittle deformation within the N2-ice sheet. Here we report a parameterized convection model to compute the Rayleigh number of the N2 ice and show that it is vigorously convecting, making Rayleigh-Bénard convection the most likely explanation for these polygons. The diameter of Sputnik Planum's polygons and the dimensions of the 'floating mountains' (the hills of of water ice along the edges of the polygons) suggest that its N2 ice is about ten kilometres thick. The estimated convection velocity of 1.5 centimetres a year indicates a surface age of only around a million years. PMID:27251278

  16. Dust inventory through the Solar System: From Earth to Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piquette, M. R.; Horanyi, M.; Stern, A.; Bagenal, F.; Szalay, J.; Poppe, A. R.; Weaver, H. A., Jr.; Young, L. A.; Olkin, C.; Ennico Smith, K.

    2015-12-01

    The Student Dust Counter (SDC) is an impact dust detector onboard the New Horizons spacecraft, observing the dust density distribution since April 2006 across the Solar System. SDC measures the mass of dust grains in the range of 10-12 < m < 10-9 g, covering an approximate size range of 0.5-10 um in particle radius. The measurements can be compared to model predictions following the orbital evolution of dust grains originating from the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt and migrating inward due to Poynting-Robertson drag. SDC's results, as well as data taken by the Pioneer 10 dust detector, are compared to model predictions to estimate the mass production rate and the ejecta size distribution power law exponent. On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft passed through the Pluto system and is now continuing to take measurements in the solar system's third zone, the Kuiper Belt. The measurements SDC has taken throughout the solar system, including in the Pluto-Charon system, will be discussed in this presentation, as well as predictions for the dust distribution it will measure as it explores the Kuiper Belt.

  17. Pluto and Triton: Interactions Between Volatiles and Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, D. P.

    2001-01-01

    Volatiles moving across the surfaces of Pluto and Triton can give rise to interesting dynamical consequences. Conversely, measurement of dynamical states can help constrain the movement of volatiles and interior structure of both bodies. Polar wander may theoretically occur on both Triton and Pluto. Triton's obliquity is low, so that the equatorial regions receive more insolation than the poles. Hence there is a tendency for nitrogen ice to sublime at the equator and condense at the poles, creating polar caps. If the nitrogen supply is large enough, then these caps could move in approximately 10(exp 5) years the global equivalent of 200 m of ice to the poles. At this point the equatorial moment of inertia becomes larger than the moment of inertia measured about the rotation axis, so that Triton overbalances and becomes dynamically unstable. The satellite then undergoes polar wander, restoring stability when the new equator contains the excess matter. Hence the pole may be continually wandering. Neptune raises a permanent tidal bulge on Triton, so that the satellite's surface is elongated like a football, with the long axis pointing at Neptune. This is expected to be the axis about which the pole wanders. Volatile migration would resurface the satellite to some depth and wandering would disturb leading side/trailing side crater statistics. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  18. Vigorous convection as the explanation for Pluto's polygonal terrain.

    PubMed

    Trowbridge, A J; Melosh, H J; Steckloff, J K; Freed, A M

    2016-06-01

    Pluto's surface is surprisingly young and geologically active. One of its youngest terrains is the near-equatorial region informally named Sputnik Planum, which is a topographic basin filled by nitrogen (N2) ice mixed with minor amounts of CH4 and CO ices. Nearly the entire surface of the region is divided into irregular polygons about 20-30 kilometres in diameter, whose centres rise tens of metres above their sides. The edges of this region exhibit bulk flow features without polygons. Both thermal contraction and convection have been proposed to explain this terrain, but polygons formed from thermal contraction (analogous to ice-wedges or mud-crack networks) of N2 are inconsistent with the observations on Pluto of non-brittle deformation within the N2-ice sheet. Here we report a parameterized convection model to compute the Rayleigh number of the N2 ice and show that it is vigorously convecting, making Rayleigh-Bénard convection the most likely explanation for these polygons. The diameter of Sputnik Planum's polygons and the dimensions of the 'floating mountains' (the hills of of water ice along the edges of the polygons) suggest that its N2 ice is about ten kilometres thick. The estimated convection velocity of 1.5 centimetres a year indicates a surface age of only around a million years.

  19. Pluto and Triton: Interactions Between Volatiles and Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubincam, D. P.

    2001-01-01

    Volatiles moving across the surfaces of Pluto and Triton can give rise to interesting dynamical consequences. Conversely, measurement of dynamical states can help constrain the movement of volatiles and interior structure of both bodies. Polar wander may theoretically occur on both Triton and Pluto. Triton's obliquity is low, so that the equatorial regions receive more insolation than the poles. Hence there is a tendency for nitrogen ice to sublime at the equator and condense at the poles, creating polar caps. If the nitrogen supply is large enough, then these caps could move in approximately 105 years the global equivalent of 200 m of ice to the poles. At this point the equatorial moment of inertia becomes larger than the moment of inertia measured about the rotation axis, so that Triton overbalances and becomes dynamically unstable. The satellite then undergoes polar wander, restoring stability when the new equator contains the excess matter. Hence the pole may be continually wandering. Neptune raises a permanent tidal bulge on Triton, so that the satellite's surface is elongated like a football, with the long axis pointing at Neptune. This is expected to be the axis about which the pole wanders. Volatile migration would resurface the satellite to some depth and wandering would disturb leading side/trailing side crater statistics. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  20. Ground-water monitoring compliance projects for Hanford Site Facilities: Progress report for the period April 1--June 30, 1988: Volume 1, Text

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1988-09-01

    This is Volume 1 of a two-volume set of documents that describes the progress of 10 Hanford Site ground-water monitoring projects for the period April 1 to June 30, 1988. This volume discusses the projects; Volume 2 provides as-built diagrams, drilling logs, and geophysical logs for wells drilled during this period in the 100-N Area and near the 216-A-36B Crib.

  1. RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976) ground-water monitoring projects for Hanford facilities: Progress report, October 1--December 31, 1988: Volume 1, Text

    SciTech Connect

    Fruland, R.M.; Bates, D.J.; Lundgren, R.E.

    1989-04-01

    This report describes the progress of 13 Hanford ground-water monitoring projects for the period October 1 to December 31, 1988. There are 16 individual hazardous waste facilities covered by the 13 ground-water monitoring projects. The Grout Treatment Facility is included in this series of quarterly reports for the first time. The 13 projects discussed in this report were designed according to applicable interim-status ground-water monitoring requirements specified in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA). During this quarter, field activities primarily consisted of sampling and analyses, and water-level monitoring. The 200 Areas Low-Level Burial Grounds section includes sediment analyses in addition to ground-water monitoring results. Twelve new wells were installed during the previous quarter: two at the 216-A-29 Ditch, six at the 216-A-10 Crib, and four at the 216-B-3 Pond. Preliminary characterization data for these new wells include drillers' logs and other drilling and site characterization data, and are provided in Volume 2 or on microfiche in the back of Volume 1. 26 refs., 28 figs., 74 tabs.

  2. Microtremor Array Measurement Survey and Strong Ground Motion observation activities of The SATREPS, MarDiM project -Part 2-

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Citak, Seckin; Karagoz, Ozlem; Chimoto, Kosuke; Ozel, Oguz; Yamanaka, Hiroaki; Arslan, Safa; Aksahin, Bengi; Hatayama, Ken; Ohori, Michihiro; Hori, Muneo

    2016-04-01

    Since 1939, devastating earthquakes with magnitude greater than seven ruptured North Anatolian Fault (NAF) westward, starting from 1939 Erzincan (Ms=7.9) at the eastern Turkey and including the latest 1999 Izmit-Golcuk (Ms=7.4) and the Duzce (Ms=7.2) earthquakes in the eastern Marmara region, Turkey. On the other hand, the west of the Sea of Marmara an Mw7.4 earthquake ruptured the NAF' s Ganos segment in 1912. The only un-ruptured segments of the NAF in the last century are within the Sea of Marmara, and are identified as a "seismic gap" zone that its rupture may cause a devastating earthquake. In order to unravel the seismic risks of the Marmara region a comprehensive multidisciplinary research project The MarDiM project "Earthquake And Tsunami Disaster Mitigation in The Marmara Region and Disaster Education in Turkey", has already been started since 2003. The project is conducted in the framework of "Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development (SATREPS)" sponsored by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). One of the main research field of the project is "Seismic characterization and damage prediction" which aims to improve the prediction accuracy of the estimation of the damages induced by strong ground motions and tsunamis based on reliable source parameters, detailed deep and shallow velocity structure and building data. As for detailed deep and shallow velocity structure microtremor array measurement surveys were conducted in Zeytinburnu district of Istanbul, Tekirdag, Canakkale and Edirne provinces at about 109 sites on October 2013, September 2014 and 2015. Also in September 2014, 11 accelerometer units were installed mainly in public buildings in both Zeytinburnu and Tekirdag area and are currently in operation. Each accelerometer unit compose of a Network Sensor (CV-374A) by Tokyo Sokushin, post processing PC for data storage and power supply unit. The Network Sensor (CV-374

  3. Geology of Pluto and Charon Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Jeffrey M.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Young, Leslie A.; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Cathy B.

    2015-11-01

    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. The Surface Composition Investigation for Pluto and Its Moons from the New Horizons Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

    One of the main scientific goals of the New Horizons mission is to map the surface composition of Pluto and Charon. The mission will also investigate the composition of Pluto's smaller moons: Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and Styx. These objectives will primarily be accomplished using the Ralph instrument (Reuter et al. 2008) using the MVIC color channels (Red, Blue, Methane and Near-Infrared) and the LEISA infrared spectral imager. The planned compositional observations of Pluto, Charon and the small satellites will be described and compared to the current knowledge from Earth-based observations. Reuter, D. C., et al., 2008. Ralph: A Visible/Infrared Imager for the New Horizons Pluto/Kuiper Belt Mission. Space Science Reviews. 140, 129-154.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  6. Improved orbital and physical parameters for the pluto-charon system.

    PubMed

    Tholen, D J; Buie, M W; Binzel, R P; Frueh, M L

    1987-07-31

    Analysis of the observations of several Pluto-Charon occultation and transit events in 1985 and 1986 has provided a more detailed knowledge of the system. The sum of the radii of Pluto and Charon is 1786 +/- 19 kilometers, but the individual radii are somewhat more poorly determined; Pluto is 1145 +/- 46 kilometers in radius and Charon is 642 +/- 34 kilometers in radius. The mean density of the system is 1.84 +/- 0.19 grams per cubic centimeter, implying that more than half of the mass is due to rock. Charon appears to have hemispheres of two different colors, the Plutofacing side being neutral in color and the opposite hemisphere being a reddish color similar to Pluto.

  7. The year 1990 marks end of Pluto-Charon mutual event season

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, David J.

    1991-01-01

    From late 1984 until late 1990, the orbit of Pluto's satellite Charon was sufficiently close to an edge-on configuration, as seen from Earth, to produce transit, occultation, and eclipse events involving the two objects. The systematic observation of these events, each of which offers a unique geometry of Pluto, Charon and shadow, has been used to directly measure several parameters of the system. With data now available from the entire mutual event season, reliable values for the radii of Pluto and Charon can be derived. Pluto's radius is 0.05860 plus or minus 0.00031, in units of Chiron's mean orbital radius, and Charon's radius is 0.03019 plus or minus 0.00066, in the same units.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:26790001

  9. Evidence for a low surface temperature on pluto from millimeter-wave thermal emission measurements.

    PubMed

    Stern, S A; Weintraub, D A; Festou, M C

    1993-09-24

    Thermal continuum emission from the Pluto-Charon system has been detected at wavelents of 800 and 1300 micrometers, and significant upper limits have been obtained at 450 and 1100 micrometers. After the subtraction of emission from Charon, the deduced surface temperature of much of Pluto is between 30 and 44 kein, probably near 35 to 37 kelvin. This range is significantly cooler than what radiative equilibrium models have suged and cooler than the surface temperature derived by the Infrared Astronomy Satellite. The low temperature indicates that methane cannot be present at the microbar pressure levels indicated by the 1988 stellar occultation measurements and that the methane features in Pluto's spectrum are from solid, not gas-phase, absorptions. This result is evidence that Pluto's atmosphere is dominated by nitrogen or carbon monoxide rather than methane.

  10. June 30, 2015, View of Pluto and Charon from New Horizons

    NASA Video Gallery

    This movie, from New Horizons’ highest-resolution imager, shows Pluto and Charon as the spacecraft closes in. In the annotated version, Pluto’s prime meridian (the region of the planet that faces C...

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  13. Vertical Structure in Pluto's Atmosphere from the 2006 June 12 Stellar Occultation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, E. F.; French, R. G.; Young, L. A.; Ruhland, C. R.; Buie, M. W.; Olkin, C. B.; Regester, J.; Shoemaker, K.; Blow, G.; Broughton, J.; Christie, G.; Gault, D.; Lade, B.; Natusch, T.

    2008-11-01

    Pluto occultations are historically rare events, having been observed in 1988, 2002, 2006, and, as Pluto moves into the crowded Galactic plane, on several occasions in 2007. Here we present six results from our observations of the 2006 June 12 event from several sites in Australia and New Zealand. First, we show that Pluto's 2006 bulk atmospheric column abundance, as in 2002, is over twice the value measured in 1988, implying that nitrogen frost on Pluto's surface is 1.2-1.7 K warmer in 2006 than 1988 despite a 9% drop in incident solar flux. We measure a half-light shadow radius of 1216 ± 8.6 km in 2006, nominally larger than published values of 1213 ± 16 km measured in 2002. Given the current error bars, this latest half-light radius cannot discriminate between continued atmospheric growth or shrinkage, but it rules out several of the volatile transport scenarios modeled by Hansen & Paige. Second, we resolve spikes in the occultation light curve that are similar to those seen in 2002 and model the vertical temperature fluctuations that cause them. Third, we show that Pluto's upper atmosphere appears to hold a steady temperature of ~100 K, as predicted from the methane thermostat model, even at latitudes where the methane thermostat is inoperative. This implies that energy transport rates are faster than radiational cooling rates. Fourth, this occultation has provided the first significant detection of a non-isothermal temperature gradient in Pluto's upper atmosphere also reported by Elliot et al., possibly the result of CO gas in Pluto's upper atmosphere. Fifth, we show that a haze-only explanation for Pluto's light curve is extremely unlikely; a thermal inversion is necessary to explain the observed light curve. And sixth, we derive an upper limit for the haze optical depth of 0.0023 in the zenith direction at average CCD wavelengths.

  14. The Pluto-Charon system as revealed during the mutual events

    SciTech Connect

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Solid methane on Triton and Pluto - 3- to 4-micron spectrophotometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  17. A search for ethane on Pluto and Triton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMeo, Francesca E.; Dumas, Christophe; de Bergh, Catherine; Protopapa, Silvia; Cruikshank, Dale P.; Geballe, Thomas R.; Alvarez-Candal, Alvaro; Merlin, Frédéric; Barucci, Maria A.

    2010-07-01

    We present here a search for solid ethane, C 2H 6, on the surfaces of Pluto and Triton, based on near-infrared spectral observations in the H and K bands (1.4-2.45 μm) using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT). We model each surface using a radiative transfer model based on Hapke theory (Hapke, B. [1993]. Theory of Reflectance and Emittance Spectroscopy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK) with three basic models: without ethane, with pure ethane, and with ethane diluted in nitrogen. On Pluto we detect weak features near 2.27, 2.405, 2.457, and 2.461 μm that match the strongest features of pure ethane. An additional feature seen at 2.317 μm is shifted to longer wavelengths than ethane by at least 0.002 μm. The strength of the features seen in the models suggests that pure ethane is limited to no more than a few percent of the surface of Pluto. On Triton, features in the H band could potentially be explained by ethane diluted in N, however, the lack of corresponding features in the K band makes this unlikely (also noted by Quirico et al. (Quirico, E., Doute, S., Schmitt, B., de Bergh, C., Cruikshank, D.P., Owen, T.C., Geballe, T.R., Roush, T.L. [1999]. Icarus 139, 159-178)). While Cruikshank et al. (Cruikshank, D.P., Mason, R.E., Dalle Ore, C.M., Bernstein, M.P., Quirico, E., Mastrapa, R.M., Emery, J.P., Owen, T.C. [2006]. Bull. Am. Astron. Soc. 38, 518) find that the 2.406-μm feature on Triton could not be completely due to 13CO, our models show that it could not be accounted for entirely by ethane either. The multiple origin of this feature complicates constraints on the contribution of ethane for both bodies.

  18. Interpreting the Shifted CH4 Spectra of Pluto and Triton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trafton, Laurence M.

    2013-10-01

    It is known that the concentration of methane in Pluto’s atmosphere and surface ice is significantly greater than for Triton. The spectra of both bodies show methane lines shifted in wavelength relative to the laboratory spectrum by an amount that is characteristic of a solid solution of methane dissolved in nitrogen. In addition, Pluto shows an unshifted methane spectrum that is not seen for Triton. Moreover, the relative amounts of CH4, N2, and CO have been reported to vary with longitude for Pluto. The lack of a wavelength shift and the continent-sized variations have sometimes been interpreted to mean that the pure species exist and can relocate separately. This view simplifies the interpretation of the vapor pressure of each ice component because the vapor pressure is then assumed to be simply a function of the temperature. However, because the interaction between the atmosphere and volatile ice tends to move towards a dynamic equilibrium, it is likely that each pair of these species exits in both phases of a binary solid solution. At low temperature, the phase diagram of a solid solution of CH4 and N2 shows that saturation occurs at relatively dilute concentrations, about 3.5% and 5%, respectively, at 38 K. Therefore, N2 dissolved in CH4 should coexist with CH4 dissolved in N2 while exhibiting an essentially unshifted CH4 spectrum owing to the dominance of CH4 in this phase. Thus, the presence of both shifted and unshifted CH4 lines in Pluto’s spectrum suggests that there is more than enough CH4 to saturate N2 ice so that the leftover CH4 forms a saturated CH4-rich phase. In thermal equilibrium, both phases are saturated and no other phase exists. In Triton’s case, the ice CH4 inventory is not high enough to result in detectable unshifted CH4 lines in Triton’s spectrum. Raoult’s law does not apply near saturation, where activity matters. Laboratory experiments are needed for the vapor pressures in saturated solid solution mixtures to understand the

  19. Astrometry of Pluto from 1930-1951 Observations: the Lampland Plate Collection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buie, Marc W.; Folkner, William M.

    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.

  20. Color and Composition of Pluto and Its Moons from the New Horizons Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    NASA's New Horizons mission has goals of providing maps of the color and composition of Pluto and its largest moon Charon. When the small moons of Pluto were discovered, the New Horizons science team added investigations on the color and composition of Nix and Hydra and also color of Styx and Kerberos and near-infrared spectra of Kerberos. Color observations taken by Ralph/MVIC, the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera have revealed diverse terrain units across Pluto. By constructing an enhanced color composite image of Pluto from the Blue, Red and NIR filter images of Pluto, we can see that the informally named, Tombaugh Regio (the large heart-shaped region on Pluto), is clearly two different colors with a clear demarcation down the center of Tombaugh Regio. From infrared spectroscopic data taken by Ralph/LEISA, Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array, early analysis has shown that in the less blue region of Tombaugh Regio there is a concentration of CO ice. This paper will present selected highlights of results from the color and composition investigations of the New Horizons mission.