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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. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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").

  9. 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

  10. The 2011 June 23 Stellar Occultation by Pluto: Airborne and Ground Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Person, M. J.; Dunham, E. W.; Bosh, A. S.; Levine, S. E.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Zangari, A. M.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Pandey, S.; Amrhein, D.; Sallum, S.; Tholen, D. J.; Collins, P.; Bida, T.; Taylor, B.; Bright, L.; Wolf, J.; Meyer, A.; Pfueller, E.; Wiedemann, M.; Roeser, H.-P.; Lucas, R.; Kakkala, M.; Ciotti, J.; Plunkett, S.; Hiraoka, N.; Best, W.; Pilger, E. J.; Micheli, M.; Springmann, A.; Hicks, M.; Thackeray, B.; Emery, J. P.; Tilleman, T.; Harris, H.; Sheppard, S.; Rapoport, S.; Ritchie, I.; Pearson, M.; Mattingly, A.; Brimacombe, J.; Gault, D.; Jones, R.; Nolthenius, R.; Broughton, J.; Barry, T.

    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 persist

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  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. Pluto flight considered

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1995-05-01

    The U.S. and the Russian Federation are considering launching joint missions to Pluto and to the Sun. This article outlines the tradeoffs to be resolved concerning costs, launch vehicle, mission senarios, and instrument packages for the Pluto mission.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. Pluto system for digitized images of photoplates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shatohina, S.; Kazantzeva, L.; Andruk, V.; Protziuk, Ju.

    2016-06-01

    Pluto's planetary system, because of its remoteness, the recent discovery of components and lack of observational data remains understudied. Modern approach to re-processing early observations of Pluto with new technologies and measurements can be an effective treatment for building models of planetary systems and the theory of motion. As a result of combining the efforts of three Ukrainian observatories – the project participants UkrVO - collected, digitized and processed observations of Pluto during 1961–1990 included in the Joint Digital Archive of UkrVO. Using common techniques astronomy negative digitization and further processing for observations obtained 5 telescopes catalogue positions and magnitudes of Pluto. An analysis of the (O-C) in the position and magnitude relative to the current standard ephemeris motion of the planet and comparison with the results of other authors treatments.

  7. 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.

  8. A Keck Search for Faint Satellites of Pluto in Support of New Horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merline, William J.; Weaver, H. A.; Tamblyn, P. M.; Neyman, C.; Stern, S. A.; Carry, B.; Spencer, J. R.; Conrad, A. R.; Showalter, M. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Steffl, A. J.; Sheppard, S. S.; Buie, M. W.; Enke, B. L.

    2012-10-01

    We report on our efforts to search for faint satellites of Pluto using Keck 2 adaptive optics (AO). Last year, using HST, Showalter et al. 2011 (IAUC 9221) discovered a new, faint satellite ("P4") around Pluto, demonstrating that Pluto is even richer with orbiting material than was thought previously. That discovery led to speculations that these small satellites could be a source of debris (from random impacts) that could pose a hazard to the New Horizons (NH) spacecraft during its 2015 Pluto flyby. The ejecta would form a cloud around Pluto. The NH project began an aggressive program of HST- and ground-based studies to identify additional as-yet-unseen satellites or debris rings in the system. Only several days into their campaign, a 5th satellite "P5" was discovered with HST (Showalter et al. 2012, IAUC 9253). The output of these studies will be used to plan a contingency ("safe-haven") trajectory through the system. The Keck observations support and complement the new HST observations. Real objects in the HST images may be hidden by bad pixels or diffraction spikes, and Keck may have advantages in some regions of parameter space, such as interior to Charon. r Observing in a near-IR band, the Keck imaging provides additional constraints on the objects, but this makes the observations particularly challenging because of the sky brightness. We have made an effort to optimize the Keck AO observations. Near-IR imaging requires tradeoffs between sky brightness and post-correction Strehl. Expectations and our early results favor H-band in typical conditions. Contrary to prior experience with V 14 targets, we find Laser-Guide-Star AO correction to be far more effective than using Pluto as the wavefront source (NGS). We have achieved imaging that could detect satellites smaller than Nix at good S/N, even in a relatively short (15 min) span.

  9. The obliquity of Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dobrovolskis, A. R.; Harris, A. W.

    1983-01-01

    Pluto's obliquity (the angle between its spin axis and orbit normal) varies between 102 and 126 deg over a period of about 3 million years. These oscillations are nearly sinusoidal and quite stable, leading to only modest changes in the insolation regime. Thus, Pluto's rotation has been slightly retrograde ever since its current orbit and rotation rate were established.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Ly α @Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Randall Gladstone, G.; Pryor, Wayne R.; Alan Stern, S.

    2015-01-01

    The Alice instrument on New Horizons will perform several observations of Pluto's far-ultraviolet (FUV) airglow emissions during its July 2015 flyby. While Pluto's atmosphere is dominated by N2, simulations suggest that the brightest airglow signal at Pluto will actually be due to Lyman alpha (Ly α) emissions of atomic hydrogen. This is because H atoms, produced at lower altitudes due to the photolysis of CH4 and other hydrocarbons, rise up above the homopause to become an important constituent of the atmosphere at high altitudes, and are able to scatter the very bright Ly α lines from the Sun and the interplanetary medium (IPM). The IPM Ly α signal at Earth is very much less than direct solar Ly α , but IPM Ly α falls off much more slowly than r-2 , so that at Pluto's distance from the Sun the two sources are of comparable strength. Detailed simulations of its Ly α emissions indicate that Pluto will appear dark against the IPM background, but that enough contrast exists for the useful extraction of H densities from the Alice observations. As viewed on approach (or from the inner solar system), the Ly α brightness of the disk of Pluto is expected to be ∼30 R, against an IPM background of ∼90 R.

  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. Photometry of Pluto during the 1982 opposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binzel, R. P.; Mulholland, J. D.

    1983-02-01

    Observations of Pluto's brightness were obtained by two-channel photometry on 18 nights during the 1982 opposition, using the 2.1-m and 91-cm reflectors at Mt. Locke. The resulting light curve suggests that the 'secular' decrease in intrinsic brightness is flattening, qualitatively consistent with a latitude dependence of the surface albedo distribution. Speculations are projected for the long-term behavior of the apparent light curve. Understanding of the current rotational brightness variation is important to the maximum utilization of photometric observations obtained during the imminent series of mutual eclipses between Pluto and its satellite.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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 —...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Correlating Pluto's Albedo Distribution to Long Term Insolation Patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Earle, Alissa M.; Binzel, Richard P.; Stern, S. Alan; Young, Leslie A.; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Ennico, Kimberly; Grundy, Will M.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Spencer, John R.; Weaver, Hal A.

    2015-11-01

    NASA's New Horizons' reconnaissance of the Pluto system has revealed striking albedo contrasts from polar to equatorial latitudes on Pluto, as well as sharp boundaries for longitudinal variations. These contrasts suggest Pluto undergoes dynamic evolution that drives the redistribution of volatiles. Using the New Horizons results as a template, in this talk we will explore the volatile migration process driven seasonally on Pluto considering multiple timescales. These timescales include the current orbit (248 years) as well as the timescales for obliquity precession (amplitude of 23 degrees over 3 Myrs) and regression of the orbital longitude of perihelion (3.7 Myrs). We will build upon the long-term insolation history model described by Earle and Binzel (2015, Icarus 250, 405-412) with the goal of identifying the most critical timescales that drive the features observed in Pluto’s current post-perihelion epoch. This work was supported by the NASA New Horizons Project.

  4. 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.

  5. Examining Pluto's atmosphere with SOFIA through stellar occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Person, Michael

    2012-10-01

    We propose to use SOFIA with HIPO, FLITECAM (subject to availability), and the FDC to observe two pairs of Pluto stellar occultations (four total), attempting in each case to observe from the center of Pluto's shadow path. Only an airborne platform such as SOFIA can allow us to directly place the telescope in the shadow paths of these brief events while mitigating the possibility of missing time-sensitive observations due to unfortunate weather systems. Occultation predictions will be updated throughout the period preceding the observations with the goal of achieving sufficient prediction accuracy at the event time to place SOFIA directly in the path of Pluto's central flash. Successful central flash observations will give us unprecedented information regarding Pluto's lower atmospheric structure and global sphericity. The combination of HIPO, FLITECAM, and the FDC will allow us to make simultaneous visible and IR measurements of the occultation light curves in several wavelengths, which are needed to differentiate between two currently competing explanations for the deficiency in the observed light refracted from Pluto's lower atmosphere (strong thermal gradients versus variable particulate extinction). Finally, we propose for two pairs of events in order to investigate the temporal variability of Pluto's atmosphere on several timescales to measure its ongoing evolution due to Pluto's rotation, changing seasonal obliquity (and resulting ice migration), and recession from the sun. These SOFIA observations will all be combined with our ground-based observing program to provide calibrating geometric information to the SOFIA occultation chords, allowing us to precisely pinpoint the actual passage of SOFIA through the occultation shadow path. Given the upcoming New Horizons encounter with the Pluto system in 2015, now is a critical time to provide context and supporting atmospheric information to this NASA mission.

  6. The Development of Project Orion Ground Safety Requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kirkpatrick, Paul; Condzella, Bill; Williams, Jeff

    2011-01-01

    In spite of a very compressed schedule, Project Orion's AFT safety team was able to pull together a comprehensive set of ground safety requirements using existing requirements and subject matter experts. These requirements will serve as the basis for the design of GSE and ground operations. Using the above lessons as a roadmap, new Projects can produce the same results. A rigorous set of ground safety requirements is required to assure ground support equipment (GSE) and associated flight hardware ground operations are conducted safety

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Pluto's atmospheric bulk near perihelion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trafton, L.

    1981-01-01

    The detection of CH4 frost on Pluto's surface implies a significant atmosphere for Pluto. Although Pluto's mass is small, about 7% of Triton's mass, the rapid escape ('blowoff') of gaseous CH4 can be prevented by the presence of a heavy gas mixed with the CH4. The resulting slow escape ('Jeans escape') of CH4 can be accommodated by sublimation of the surface CH4 frost so that an atmosphere exists in the steady state. A heavier gas must exist, otherwise the CH4 frost would have sublimated away long ago because of solar heat and rapid blowoff of gaseous CH4. Pluto is currently near perihelion where the CH4 component of the atmosphere may be 500 times denser than at apehelion. Significant seasonal changes in the atmospheric bulk are therefore possible.

  17. The orbit of Pluto's satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tholen, D. J.

    1985-01-01

    Nineteen speckle interferometric observations of the Pluto system have been used to improve the determination of the orbital elements for Pluto's satellite. Calibration uncertainties appear to be the dominant source of error, but the observation of a partial occultation of the satellite by Pluto has been used to constrain the orbit solution. The orbital period is found to be in excellent agreement with the rotational period of the planet, reinforcing the belief that the system is completely tidally evolved. The orbital radius and period imply a total mass for the system of 6.8 + or - 0.5 x 10 to the -9th solar masses. Density constraints place an upper limit of 3615 + or - 90 km on the diameter of Pluto, while observations of the first mutual events establish a crude lower limit of about 2800 km.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Shapes and Poles of the Small Satellites of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, Simon B.; Showalter, Mark R.; Spencer, John R.; Weaver, H. A.; Binzel, Richard P.; Hamilton, Douglas P.; Stern, S. A.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Young, Leslie A.; Ennico, Kimberly

    2015-11-01

    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 densities of the small satellites determined from both those resolved images and earlier unresolved images, as well as measurements of the rotational poles of small satellites at the time of the Pluto encounter. This work was supported by the NASA New Horizons Project.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. The GROUnd-based Secondary Eclipse project - GROUSE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Mooij, Ernst; de Kok, Remco; Nefs, Bas; Brogi, Matteo; Snellen, Ignas

    2011-11-01

    Secondary eclipse observations of exoplanets at near-infrared wavelengths are important to constrain the energy budgets of hot-Jupiters, since they probe the radiation from the planet's atmosphere at the peak of the spectral energy distribution. Since this wavelength range is accesible from the ground, we have started the GROUnd-based Secondary Eclipse (GROUSE) project. As part of the GROUSE project, we target a sample of hot-Jupiters at near-infrared and optical wavelengths. Planets include TrES-3b, HAT-P-1, WASP-18b and WASP-33b.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Eliot F.

    2017-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Planetary science: Pluto's telltale heart

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barr, Amy C.

    2016-12-01

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

  17. Revisiting the 1988 Pluto Occultation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosh, Amanda S.; Dunham, Edward W.; Young, Leslie A.; Slivan, Steve; Barba née Cordella, Linda L.; Millis, Robert L.; Wasserman, Lawrence H.; Nye, Ralph

    2015-11-01

    In 1988, Pluto's atmosphere was surmised to exist because of the surface ices that had been detected through spectroscopy, but it had not yet been directly detected in a definitive manner. The key to making such a detection was the stellar occultation method, used so successfully for the discovery of the Uranian rings in 1977 (Elliot et al. 1989; Millis et al. 1993) and before that for studies of the atmospheres of other planets.On 9 June 1988, Pluto occulted a star, with its shadow falling over the South Pacific Ocean region. One team of observers recorded this event from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, while other teams captured the event from various locations in Australia and New Zealand. Preceding this event, extensive astrometric observations of Pluto and the star were collected in order to refine the prediction.We will recount the investigations that led up to this important Pluto occultation, discuss the unexpected atmospheric results, and compare the 1988 event to the recent 2015 event whose shadow followed a similar track through New Zealand and Australia.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The satellite of Pluto. III

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrington, R. S.; Christy, J. W.

    1981-03-01

    Speckle observations of the satellite of Pluto are used to determine the orbital radius and mass of the Pluto-satellite system. Resolved images of the planet and its satellite were obtained by the speckle interferometer on the 3.6-m Mauna Kea reflector. From position angles obtained from elongated images taken over the last 15 years, two speckle measures and the separation obtained with the USNO electrographic cameras, a circular satellite orbit with a radius of 19,700 + or - 300 km is obtained, with a period of 6.3871 + or - 0.0002 days, inclination of 94 + or - 3 deg, node on the equator of 221 + or - 3 deg and true anomaly on January 31, 1982 of 75 + or - 8 deg. Results lead to an inverse mass of the system of 1.34 + or - 0.07 x 10 to the 8th.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-05-01

    from hydrogenic and heliogenic SW carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen (CNO) ions can produce the energy signature seen, and the 6 × 1025 neutral gas escape rate from Pluto deduced from New Horizons' data (Gladstone et al. 2016) can support the ∼3.0 +3.0/-1.5 × 1024 X-ray photons/s emission rate required by our observations. Using the solar wind proton density and speed measured by the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument in the vicinity of Pluto at the time of the photon emissions, we find a factor of 40 +40/-20 lower SW minor ions flowing planarly into an 11 × 11 pixel2, 90% flux box centered on Pluto than are needed to support the observed emission rate. Hence, the SW must be somehow significantly focused and enhanced within 60,000 km (projected) of Pluto for this mechanism to work.

  9. Pluto's atmosphere from stellar occultations in 2012 and 2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dias-Oliveira, Alex; Sicardy, Bruno; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Vieira-Martins, Roberto; Assafin, Marcelo; Ignácio Bueno Camargo, Júlio; Braga-Ribas, Felipe; Gomes-Júnior, Altair; Bendetti-Rossi, Gustavo; Colas, François; Decock, Alice; Doressoundiram, Alain; Dumas, Christophe; Emílio, Marcelo; Fabrega Polleri, Joaquin; Gil-Hutton, Ricardo; Gillon, Michael; Girard, Julien; Hau, George; Ivanov, Valentin; Jehin, Emmanuel; Lecacheux, Jean; Leiva, Rodrigo; Lopez-Sisterna, Cecília; Mancini, Luigi; Manfroid, Jean; Maury, Alain; Meza, Erick; Morales, Nicolas; Nagy, Leslie; Opitom, Cyrielle; Ortiz, José Luiz; Pollock, Joe; Roques, Françoise; Snodgrass, Colin; François Soulier, Jean; Thirouin, Audrey; Vanzi, Leonardo; Widemann, Thomas; Reichart, Daniel; LaCluyze, Aaron; Haislip, Joshua B.; Ivarsen, Kevin; Dominik, Martin; Jørgensen, Uffe; Skottfelt, Jesper

    2015-11-01

    We present results from two Pluto stellar occultations observed on 18 July 2012 and 04 May 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites in South America. Both campaigns involved large telescopes (including the 8.2-m VLT at ESO/Paranal). The high SNR ratios and multi-chord coverage provide amoung the best Pluto atmospheric profiles ever obtained from the ground.We show that a spherically symmetric, clear (no-haze) and pure N2 atmosphere with a unique temperature profile satisfactorily fits the twelve lightcurves provided by the two events. We find, however, a small but significant increase of pressure of 6% (6-sigma level) between the two dates, with values of 2.16 ± 0.2 and 2.30 ± 0.01 μbar at the reference radius 1275 km, respectively.We provide atmospheric constrains between 1190 km and 1450 km from Pluto's center, and we determine the temperature profile with accuracy of a few km in vertical scale. Our model shows a stratosphere with strong positive gradient between 1190 km (at 36 K, 11 μbar) and r =1215 km (6.0 μbar), where a temperature maximum of 110 K is reached. Above it is a mesosphere with negative thermal gradient of -0.2 K/km up to 1,390 km (0.25 μbar), at which point, the mesosphere connects itself to a more isothermal upper branch at 81 K. This profile provides (assuming no troposphere) a Pluto surface radius of 1190 ± 5 km, consistent with preliminary values obtained by New Horizons. Currently measured CO abundances are too low to explain the negative mesospheric thermal gradient. We explore the possibility of an HCN (recently detected by ALMA) cooling. This model, however, requires largely supersaturated HCN. Zonal winds and vertical compositional variations of the atmosphere are also unable to explain the observed mesospheric trend.These events are the last useful ground-based occultations recorded before the 29 June 2015 occultation observed from Australia and New Zealand, and before the NASA's New Horizons flyby of July 2015

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Update on Pluto's Tiniest Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showalter, Mark; Weaver, Harold; Buie, Marc; Merline, Douglas; Mutchler, Max; Soummer, Remi; Steffl, Andrew; Stern, S. Alan; Throop, Henry; Young, Leslie

    2013-04-01

    We report on the discovery and subsequent analysis of "P5", Pluto¹s fifth known moon (officially designated S/2012 (134340) 1), and also provide an update on the latest results for "P4" (S/2012 (134340) 1). P5 was discovered in Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images from June and July 2012, and has since been recovered in HST images from 2011. P4, discovered in 2011, was imaged extensively by HST in 2012, and has also been recovered from archival images as far back as 2005. Preliminary orbital elements for P5 are: semimajor axis a = 42579 km; mean motion n = 17.8560 degrees/day; eccentricity e = 0.0048; inclination i = 0.88 degrees. For P4, these values are : a = 57711 km; n = 11.1910 degrees/day; e = 0.0029; i = 0.34 degrees. These values place the moons near, but not in, the 1:3 and 1:5 mean motion resonances with Charon, just as Nix and Hydra fall near the 1:4 and 1:6 resonances. While these associations are too close to have arisen by chance, the role of the near-resonances in the orbital history of the Pluto system is unknown. Photometry indicates that P5 is half as bright as P4 and ~ 5% is bright as Nix. This implies a diameter ~ 10 km if P5's albedo is 0.35, comparable to that of Charon. Searches for additional moons have been negative so far, suggesting that Pluto has no additional moons more than half as bright as P5 orbiting exterior to Charon. However, scattered light in the HST images prevents us from setting such a strict upper limit for any unseen moons interior to Charon's orbit.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showalter, Mark R.; Spencer, John R.; Porter, Simon B.; Hamilton, Douglas P.; Binzel, Richard P.; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold A.; Olkin, Cathy B.; Young, Leslie A.; Ennico, Kimberly

    2015-11-01

    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 latest data from the New Horizons flyby. As the spacecraft approached Pluto, the LORRI camera regularly imaged the moons over a period of ~100 days. This data set will make it possible to derive light curves and rotation rates unambiguously, something that has not been possible from the sparsely sampled HST data. It also extends the time baseline of the orbit determinations by several years, providing a more precise test of the proposed orbital resonances. We will discuss the latest measurements and their dynamical implications for the evolution of the Pluto system. This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  19. 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.

  20. High Resolution Mapping of Pluto's Albedo Distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, S.

    1994-01-01

    This proposal requests time to map Pluto's albedo distribution, using the highest possible resolution of the CYCLE 4 HST. Maps will be made in several key UV and visible bandpasses. Our scientific objectives are to (a) study the distribution of light and dark areas, (b) make the first disk-resolved estimates of Pluto's limb darkening, and (c) compositional discriminate pure from contaminated frost regions. These objectives have not been previously achievable, but are essential to understanding the surface morphology, volatile transport, and the root cause of Pluto's secular lightcurve variations. It may also be possible to detect evidence of the reported limb haze layer(s) in Pluto's atmosphere. These maps will also provide the first direct check on Pluto maps made through indirect techniques. Owing to Pluto's elliptic orbit, we expect the distribution of albedo to change (on a years-to-decade timescale) as Pluto draws away from perihelion and volatile transport proceeds. The proposed observations will document the albedo state at three rotational epochs near the time of perihelion. These maps will be obtained in two colors, by the FOC. No other astronomical instrument has sufficient resolution to accomplish these important scientific objectives.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Seasonal Volatile Transport on Pluto: New Results from the 2013 Observing Season and Preparation for the New Horizons Encounter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buratti, Bonnie; Dalba, Paul; Hicks, Michael; Chu, Devin; O'Neill, Ariel

    2014-05-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft will encounter Pluto in July 2015 for a fast flyby and close investigation of the dwarf planet and its five known moons. With a time-constrained mission it is essential to acquire ground-based observations for context and for a longer temporal excursion. An observing program at JPL's Table Mountain Observatory (TMO) has been in operation during the past decade and a half, with a goal of seeking temporal changes on Pluto's surface. This program, which has been largely implemented by undergraduate students, seeks changes in the color and albedo of Pluto. Seasonal transport of volatiles is predicted to occur on Pluto, and this transport should be detectable through changes in its rotational light curve as well as in color and albedo, once all variations due to viewing geometry have been accounted for. Occultation studies have shown that there has been a steady increase in Pluto's atmospheric pressure over the past two decades, so concomitant sublimation and recondensation of frost has likely occurred, as predicted by volatile transport models. Rotational light curves of Pluto through time have been created for static frost models based on images from the Hubble Space Telescope. These models, which account for changes in viewing geometry, have been compared with observed light curves obtained between 1950 and 2013. No evidence for transport was evident prior to 2000. However, starting in the early part of the millennium, evidence from new observations by HST (Buie et al., 2010, Astron. J. 139, 1128) and rotational light curves obtained in 2007-2008 (Hicks et al. 2008, B.A.A.S. 40, 460) suggest changes in the frost pattern on Pluto's surface. An extensive and dedicated observing program at TMO was conducted over a period of five months in 2013 during Pluto's opposition. New observations of Pluto's light curve from the 2013 show continued volatile transport, but the most striking change is in Pluto's color. As the New Horizons encounter

  8. Pluto's Far Ultraviolet Spectrum and Airglow Emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    The Alice far ultraviolet spectrograph on the New Horizons spacecraft is the second in a family of six instruments in flight on, or under development for, NASA and ESA missions. Here, we present initial results from the Alice observations of Pluto during the historic flyby. Pluto's far ultraviolet spectrum is dominated by sunlight reflected from the surface with absorption by atmospehric constituents. We tentatively identify C2H2 and C2H4 in Pluto's atmosphere. We also present evidence for weak airglow emissions.

  9. 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.

  10. Tracking Seasonal Volatile Transport on Triton and Pluto through the Decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buratti, B. J.; Hicks, M. D.; Bauer, J. M.; Hillier, J.; Banholzer, S.

    2012-12-01

    Because of their substantial obliquity, Pluto and the moons of the outer planets should exhibit seasonal volatile transport on their surfaces. The transport of nitrogen and other gasses can be detected by measuring changes in atmospheric pressure with stellar occultations, by monitoring the rotational light curve, or by direct imaging with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) or adaptive optics. Pluto and Triton have tenuous atmospheres, and the transport of volatiles is associated with both the sublimation of gasses into these atmospheres, and with the changing patterns of frost at the polar caps and elsewhere. The rotational light curve can serve as an approximate description of the distribution of volatiles on a planetary surface, and for Pluto and Triton it can be easily measured with a moderately-sized telescope. Changes in the amplitude or shape of the light curve could indicate volatile transport on these bodies, after all the effects of viewing geometry have been taken into account. Light curves of these two bodies in the absence of any volatile transport can be derived from Voyager images (Triton) or HST images (Pluto) which have been projected to the correct viewing geometry for each epoch. During the past two decades we have been gathering light curves for Triton and Pluto with the 24-inch telescope at Table Mountain Observatory. We have augmented our data with historical measurements that stretch back for several more decades, to cover a substantial fraction of one Plutonian or Neptunian year. The light curve of Triton shows definite intrinsic changes that have been confirmed by HST images (J. Bauer et al., Ap. J. Lett. 723, 2010), while Pluto shows evidence for changes that have also been seen in HST data (M. Buie et al., Astron. J. 139, 2010) Voyager images of Triton show what appears to be a sublimating southern polar cap. In July 2015 the New Horizon Spacecraft will encounter the dwarf planet Pluto to reveal its surface for the first time. Funded by

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. A Colorful ‘Landing’ on Pluto

    NASA Video Gallery

    What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 20...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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]"

  17. 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.

  18. (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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Pluto's light curve in 1933 1934

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaefer, Bradley E.; Buie, Marc W.; Smith, Luke Timothy

    2008-10-01

    The Pluto-Charon system has complex photometric variations on all time scales; due to rotational modulations of dark markings across the surface, the changing orientation of the system as viewed from Earth, occultations and eclipses between Pluto and Charon, as well as the sublimation and condensation of frosts on the surface. The earliest useable light curve for Pluto is from 1953 to 1955 when Pluto was 35 AU from the Sun. Earlier data on Pluto has the potential to reveal properties of the surface at a greater heliocentric distance with nearly identical illumination and viewing geometry. We are reporting on a new accurate photographic light curve of Pluto for 1933-1934 when the heliocentric distance was 40 AU. We used 43 B-band and V-band images of Pluto on 32 plates taken on 15 nights from 19 March 1933 to 10 March 1934. Most of these plates were taken with the Mount Wilson 60″ and 100″ telescopes, but 7 of the plates (now at the Harvard College Observatory) were taken with the 12″ and 16″ Metcalf doublets at Oak Ridge. The plates were measured with an iris diaphragm photometer, which has an average one-sigma photometric error on these plates of 0.08 mag as measured by the repeatability of constant comparison stars. The modern B and V magnitudes for the comparison stars were measured with the Lowell Observatory Hall 1.1-m telescope. The magnitudes in the plate's photographic system were converted to the Johnson B- and V-system after correction with color terms, even though they are small in size. We find that the average B-band mean opposition magnitude of Pluto in 1933-1934 was 15.73±0.01, and we see a roughly sinusoidal modulation on the rotational period (6.38 days) with a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.11±0.03 mag. With this, we show that Pluto darkened by 5% from 1933-1934 to 1953-1955. This darkening from 1933-1934 to 1953-1955 cannot be due to changing viewing geometry (as both epochs had identical sub-Earth latitudes), so our observations must

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Pick-up ions at Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kecskemety, K.; Cravens, T. E.

    1993-04-01

    Methane molecules escaping from Pluto's atmosphere are ionized, and the resulting ions are picked up by the solar wind. The mass loading associated with this ion pick-up can produce a cometlike interaction of the solar wind with Pluto. Heavy ion gyroradii are as large as a half million km in the weak interplanetary magnetic field that exists at 30 AU, which is about an order of magnitude larger than the size of the 'interaction region'. We have calculated velocity space distributions of pick-up ions using numerically determined ion trajectories. The predicted pick-up ion fluxes are high enough to be detectable by standard charged particle detectors as far upstream of Pluto as 10 exp 6 km.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)).

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. ISOPHOT observations of the Pluto-Charon system: Pluto's thermal lightcurve

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lellouch, E.; Laureijs, R.; Schmitt, B.; Quirico, E.; de Bergh, C.; Crovisier, J.; Coustenis, A.

    1998-09-01

    The Pluto-Charon system has been observed by the Imaging Photopolarimeter of the Infrared Space Observatory (ISOPHOT) in four filters at 60, 100 150 and 200 microns. In an attempt to determine the surface temperature distribution of Pluto, observations were performed in February, March and August 1997, covering in total 5 to 8 (depending on the filter) rotational phases of the Pluto-Charon system. The main results are the following: (i) the system is clearly detected at all four wavelengths (ii) the flux levels at 60 and 100 mu m are somewhat below those determined from IRAS (Sykes et al., Science, 237, 1336, 1987) but confirm that the brightness temperature is higher in the far-IR than at mm/submm wavelengths, (iii) the data indicate a rotational lightcurve, unambiguously at 60 mu m and more marginally at 100 mu m, providing a direct proof that Pluto's surface is not isothermal. With a maximum near an east longitude L=75(deg) and a minimum near L=200(deg) , this thermal lightcurve is roughly, but not exactly anticorrelated with Pluto's visible lightcurve, which has a mininum near L=100(deg) and a maximum near L=220(deg) (Buie et al. Icarus, 125, 233, 1997). In accordance with the visible lightcurve and HST imaging, the data can be modelled in terms of three different surface units (Charon, Pluto ``bright and cold" regions -- tentatively identified as N_2 ice at ~ 40 K -- and Pluto ``dark and warm" regions). The ``dark and warm" regions are found to have a dayside temperature of at least 50-60 K and a thermal inertia of ~ 2x10(4) erg cm(-2) s(-1/2) K(-1) . The low thermal inertia may contribute to the decrease of brightness temperatures towards longer wavelengths. Possible implications on the nature of Pluto's ``dark" terrains will be discussed.

  6. Effects of present and projected ground-water withdrawals on the Twin Cities aquifer system, Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schoenberg, Michael

    1990-01-01

    Projected changes in population and industrial development suggest that future ground-water withdrawals may increase from those for the 1970's. Steady-state model results indicate that the potentiometric surface of the Mount Simon-Hinckley aquifer would be lowered as much as 400 feet if pumpage from that aquifer were increased by 125 percent above 1980 ground-water withdrawal rates of about 200 million gallons per day. The potentiometric surface of the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer also would be lowered as much as 400 feet if pumpage from that aquifer were increased by 200 percent above 1980 ground-water withdrawals of 160 million gallons per day. Given the projected distribution of future ground-water development, and the limitations inherent in simulating ground-water flow, the model results indicate that an approximate limit of ground-water availability in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, Minnesota, is from about 500 to 800 million gallons per day.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Pluto's implications for a Snowball Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wong, Michael L.; Yung, Yuk L.; Randall Gladstone, G.

    2015-01-01

    The current Cassini-Huygens Mission to the Saturn system provides compelling evidence that the present state of Titan's dense atmosphere is unsustainable over the age of the Solar System. Instead, for most of its existence, Titan's atmosphere might have been in a Snowball state, characterized by a colder surface and a smaller amount of atmospheric CH4, similar to that of Pluto or Triton. We run a 1-D chemical transport model and show that the rates of organic synthesis on a Snowball Titan are significantly slower than those on present-day Titan. The primary method of methane destruction-photosensitized dissociation in the stratosphere-is greatly dampened on Snowball Titan. The downward flux of higher-order molecules through the troposphere is dominated not by hydrocarbons such as ethane, as is the case on Titan today, but by nitriles. This result presents a testable observation that could confirm the Snowball Titan hypothesis. Because Pluto's atmosphere is similar to Titan's in composition, it serves as a basis for comparison. Future observations of Pluto by the New Horizons Mission will inform photochemical models of Pluto's atmosphere and can help us understand the photochemical nature of paleo-Titan's atmosphere.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Operation JANGLE. Project 1(9)a. Ground Acceleration, Ground and Air Pressures for Underground Test

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1952-04-01

    Salmon 0, April .1952 -0o So 0 * per telecon w/Betty Fox ( DNA Tech Libr, Chief), the classified references contained herein may remain. 6-Z I- 7...73 693 Earth Pr.essure . 77 6.4 Damage Criteria - Surface Stracture .... 78 6.5 D-miage Criteria - Underground Targets ... 8...ground pressures, and air pressures produced by a buried shallow) nuclear explosive. AU2 of these physical quantities are functions of at least two

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. Image Analysis of the 2012 Pluto (Near) Occultation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-01

    Image Analysis of the 2012 Pluto (Near) Occultation Keith T. Knox Air Force Research Laboratory ABSTRACT Imagery was gathered at the AMOS...observatory on the 3.6-meter telescope for the expected occultation of a star by the dwarf planet, Pluto , on 29 June 2012. The imagery was taken at...5 Hz for 40 minutes before and after the expected time of occultation. The initial analysis of the photometry indicated that Pluto did not occult

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The moons of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, R. H.; Cruikshank, D. P.

    1985-01-01

    Voyager 2, launched in August 1977, will fly by Uranus in January, 1986, passing within 29,000 km of that planet's innermost moon, Miranda. It will subsequently encounter Neptune in August 1989, flying within 10,000 km of its inner satellite, Triton; images made of this moon by a high resolution camera are expected to reveal surface features as small as a few hundred meters in diameter. The composition of the Uranian moons will br inferred from their near-IR reflectance spectra and mean densities. While the spacecraft will not fly by Pluto, it is expected that the lessons learned from the Voyager encounters with Neptune and Uranus will expand current understanding of Pluto and its moon, Charon.

  11. An Impact Formation of Pluto-Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canup, R. M.

    2004-05-01

    The angular momentum of Pluto-Charon, LPC, is estimated to be between about 5.6 and 7 x 1037 g-cm2/sec (e.g., Olkin et al. 2003), likely exceeding the critical angular momentum for rotational stability for a single body containing the same total mass. An impact-triggered formation is favored (e.g. Stern, McKinnon & Lunine 1997), although unlike the relatively well-constrained situation for the formation of the Earth's Moon, key properties of Pluto and Charon - their mass ratio, rock/ice fractions, and densities - are still somewhat uncertain. However, a primary challenge to the impact hypothesis is obtaining sufficient material in bound orbit: Charon contains ˜ 10% of Pluto's mass, whereas the Moon has only ˜ 1% of the Earth's mass. Here I report results from a suite of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations of potential Pluto-Charon forming impacts considering various impact angles, velocities, impactor sizes and pre-impact spin states. The most successful impacts involve an oblique, low velocity collision between two similarly sized objects. In the final stages of the collision, the rapidly rotating merged objects deform into a bar-like structure, angular momentum is redistributed as the cores of the objects merge and a 2-arm spiral structure emanates from the ends of the bar, leaving an ellipsoidal central planet and a circumplanetary disk. This evolution shares some commonalities with that seen in simulations of rapidly rotating protostellar clouds cores (e.g., Durisen et al. 1986; review by Tohline 2002). The results here display a relationship between the angular momentum of the post-impact planet-disk system and the disk mass, such that impacts capable of producing a planet-disk system with a L ˜ LPC also typically leave disks containing ˜ 8 to 13% of the central planet's mass. Support from the National Science Foundation's Planetary Astronomy program is gratefully acknowledged.

  12. Pluto's Lower Atmosphere from Stellar Occultations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Leslie; Buie, M. W.; Olkin, C. B.; Young, E. F.; French, R. G.; Howell, R. R.

    2008-09-01

    Ever since the Pluto occultation of 1988, the nature of Pluto's lower atmosphere has been a mystery: the lightcurve shows a difference between the upper and lower atmosphere, but it has been unclear whether this is due to hazes, a steep thermal gradient, or a combination of the two (Elliot & Young, 1992 AJ 103, 991; Hubbard et al. 1990, Icarus, 84, 1) Recent high-quality lightcurves allow us to place limits on the haze in Pluto's atmosphere. Especially important is the dual-wavelength (0.5 and 0.8 micron) occultation observed from Mount John Observatory in New Zealand on 2007 July 31. This site was 60 ± 4 km from the central track of the shadow, and the lightcurves clearly show a central flash, or a brightening due to strong lateral refocusing and the convergence of multiple images around the limb of an elliptical atmosphere. These lightcurves constrain the structure of the lower atmosphere in three ways. First, the surface-grazing ray must have a large enough bending angle to reach the center of the shadow. Second, haze of sufficient optical depth to affect the main drop in the lightcurve will also decrease the height of the central flash. The height and location of the central flash can be well modeled with a clear atmosphere. Third, hazes of the size expected at Pluto will have a wavelength-dependent absorption, but the red and blue channels of the Mount John lightcurves show no variation with wavelength. We will discuss limits on the hazes, and place these limits in the context of Triton hazes, heating by dust, and New Horizons detection limits.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 134340 Pluto: nine years of CCD observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veiga, C. H.

    2008-08-01

    Aims: The purpose of this article is to present the new accurate astrometric CCD positions of Pluto, now designated as the minor planet 134340 Pluto and member of the Trans-Neptunian population. These positions were obtained from 1108 frames taken during 49 nights. The observations were distributed in 17 continuous missions between the years of 1995 and 2004. Methods: The USNO-A2.0 star catalog, locally corrected by UCAC2 catalog, was used for the astrometric calibration. All positions were compared with those calculated by the PLU017 ephemeris. Results: In this work precise positions of 134340 Pluto are presented. The residues, observed minus calculated positions, have mean and standard deviation smaller than 0.05 arcsec, in the right ascension and declination coordinates' directions. Based on observations made at the Laboratório Nacional de Astrofísica/MCT-Itajubá-Brazil. Full Table [see full text] is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/486/613

  16. 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).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. PLUTO 3-D Grid Generator (User’s Manual)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-06-01

    PLUTO (Poisson Laplace U TFI Orthogonal), is a three dimensional gridding and smoothing program developed in-house at WL/FIMM. Its purpose is to: (1...spacing, smoothness and orthogonality, and (4) output grids in user selected ascii or binary formats. Initial grids are established by PLUTO with a three

  5. 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.

  6. The New Horizons Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weaver, Harold; Grundy, William; Stern, Alan; Young, Leslie; Bagenal, Fran; Binzel, Richard; Buratti, Bonnie; Cheng, A.; Cruikshan, Dale; Gladstone, Randy; Hinson, David; Horanyi, Mihaly; Jennings, Don; Linscott, Ivan; McComas, Dave; McKinnon, William; McNutt, R.; Moore, Jeffrey; Murchie, S.; Olkin, Cathy; Porco, Carolyn; Reitsema, Harold; Reuter, Dennis; Slater, Dave; Spencer, John; Strobel, Darrell; Summers, Michael; Tyler, Len

    New Horizons (NH) is a NASA mission that will provide the first in situ reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons Charon, Nix, and Hydra. The NH spacecraft was launched on 2006 January 19, received a gravity assist from Jupiter during closest approach on 2007 February 28 at a distance of ˜32 RJ, and is currently heading for a flyby encounter with the Pluto system. 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, the first close-up view of the Little Red Spot (LRS), the discovery of polar lightning, and the first 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 on 2014 July 14. Planning is presently underway for the Pluto encounter with special emphasis on long-identified 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 investigations will also be performed of the smaller 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. If approved for an extended mission phase after the Pluto encounter, NH will continue on to a flyby encounter with one or more Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). The NH spacecraft and its instruments have continued to perform nominally, as verified by annual checkout (ACO) activities conducted each year. Serendipitously, NH the spacecraft will be occulted by Earth's Moon four different times during 2011-2012, allowing for an in-flight test of the radio uplink occultation technique that will be

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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).

  10. Methane on Triton and Pluto - New CCD spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-07-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Pluto's Atmosphere and Surface Ices as Simulated by the PlutoWRF GCM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    The PlutoWRF general circulation model (GCM) was built to examine the large-scale structure and dynamics of the atmosphere, the nature and propagation of waves within the atmosphere, and the exchanges of volatiles between the atmosphere and the surface. We seek to provide an comprehensive framework for the study of the increasingly rich observational data sets (including stellar occultations of the atmosphere) and to provide context and analysis of observations from the New Horizons mission. The PlutoWRF GCM is based on the planetary adaptation of the NCAR Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. It is a compressible, nonhydrostatic model where we have added physics to treat radiative transfer following Zhu et al. (2013), a bulk nitrogen cycle including condensation of surface ice, and cycles of additional trace volatile species. Existing subsurface heat diffusion, surface layer exchange and boundary layer mixing schemes have been adapted to Pluto. Boundary conditions for initial ice distribution and surface pressure are taken from energy balance and non-GCM volatile transport models constrained by observations. In this work we focus on the performance of the PlutoWRF GCM compared with our linear tidal model (Toigo et al., 2010), and will examine the generation and propagation of large-scale gravity waves associated with diurnal sublimation and condensation.

  15. 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.

  16. Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the Durango, Colorado, UMTRA Project Site

    SciTech Connect

    N /A

    2002-11-29

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing a ground water compliance strategy for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project site near Durango, Colorado. DOE has prepared this environmental assessment to provide the public with information concerning the potential effects of this proposed strategy.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  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 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

  2. Environmental Assessment of Ground Water Compliance at the Gunnison, Colorado, UMTRA Project Site

    SciTech Connect

    N /A

    2002-08-13

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is in the process of selecting a ground water compliance strategy for the Gunnison, Colorado, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project site. This Environmental Assessment (EA) discusses two alternatives and the effects associated with each. The two alternatives are (1) natural flushing coupled with institutional controls and continued monitoring and (2) no action. The compliance strategy must meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards defined in Title 40 ''Code of Federal Regulations'' Part 192, Subpart B, in areas where ground water beneath and around the site is contaminated as a result of past milling operations. It has been determined that contamination in the ground water at the Gunnison site consists of soluble residual radioactive material (RRM) as defined in the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA).

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Occultation evidence for an atmosphere on Pluto

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hubbard, W. B.; Hunten, D. M.; Dieters, S. W.; Hill, K. M.; Watson, R. D.

    1988-01-01

    Observations from different sources of Pluto occulting a 12th-magnitude star indicate an extended atmosphere around the planet. Here, data obtained from the 1 m telescope at the University of Tasmania, Hobart are interpreted in terms of a theory for occultation by an atmosphere whose thickness is comparable to the planetary radius. The data can be satisfactorily fitted with a methane atmosphere at plausible pressures and temperatures. The surface pressures inferred from this single chord are uncertain by an order of magnitude, but are consistent with spectroscopic constraints.

  6. Great debate probes Pluto's planetary credentials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gwynne, Peter

    2008-09-01

    It had all the trappings of an Olympic boxing final: two fiery competitors, a partisan crowd and the attention of the global press. But no individual gold medalist emerged from the Great Planet Debate held last month in Baltimore to discuss what type of astronomical object Pluto really is. Rather, the contest between Neil de-Grasse Tyson, director of New York's Hayden Planetarium, and Mark Sykes of the University of Arizona's Planetary Science Institute provided a view of how science deals with controversial issues of definition.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Projected shell model study of ground state bands in 171-175Tm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slathia, B.; Devi, R.; Khosa, S. K.

    2016-10-01

    The ground state bands of thulium isotopes with mass numbers (A), ranging from 171 to 175, have been investigated in the framework of the projected shell model. The theoretical results for the energy levels of ground state bands were found to be in reasonable agreement with the observed values. Predictably, E2 transition probabilities have got predicted vis-a-vis transitions with non-availability of experimental values. The E2 transition probability values have been observed to follow the same trend as seen in 171Tm.

  11. 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.

  12. Hail prevention by ground-based silver iodide generators: Results of historical and modern field projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dessens, J.; Sánchez, J. L.; Berthet, C.; Hermida, L.; Merino, A.

    2016-03-01

    The science of hail suppression by silver iodide (AgI) cloud seeding was developed during the second half of the 20th century in laboratory and tested in several research or operational projects using three delivery methods for the ice forming particles: ground generators, aircraft, and rockets. The randomization process for the seeding was often considered as the imperative method for a better evaluation but failed to give firm results, mostly because the projects did not last long enough considering the hazardous occurrence of severe hailfalls, and also probably due to the use of improper hail parameters. At the same time and until now, a continuous long-term research and operational field project (1952-2015) using ground generator networks has been conducted in France under the leadership of the Association Nationale d'Etude et de Lutte contre les Fléaux Atmosphériques (ANELFA), with a control initially based on annual insurance loss-to-risk ratios, then on hailpad data. More recently (2000-2009), a companion ground seeding project was developed in the north of Spain, with control mostly based on microphysical and hailpad data. The present paper, which focuses on hail suppression by ground seeding, reviews the production of the AgI nuclei, their dispersion and measurement in the atmosphere, as well as their observed or simulated effects in clouds. The paper summarizes the results of the main historical projects in Switzerland, Argentina, and North America, and finally concentrates on the current French and Spanish projects, with a review of already published results, complemented by new ones recently collected in Spain. The conclusion, at least for France and Spain, is that if ground seeding is performed starting 3 hours before the hail falls at the ground with a 10-km mesh AgI generator network located in the developing hailstorm areas, each generator burning about 9 g of AgI per hour, the hailfall energy of the most severe hail days is decreased by about 50%.

  13. 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.

  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. 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)

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  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. Surface Ice Spectroscopy of Pluto, Charon and Triton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Protopapa, Silvia; Herbst, Tom; Böhnhardt, Hermann

    2007-09-01

    We present new reflectance spectra of Pluto and Triton taken with the ESO adaptive optics instrument NACO at the VLT and covering the wavelength range 1 5 µm. Apart from known and expected absorption bands from methane ice, our data reveal new absorption bands centred around 4.0 µm and 4.6 µm never detected before. The latter absorption could be related to the presence of CO ice at the body surfaces. Charon's spectrum is also measured in the wavelength range 1 4 µm, for the first time simultaneously with, but isolated from, that of Pluto. The non-detection of Pluto's moonlets (unknown at the time of observation) in acquisition images of Pluto-Charon provides a lower limit of 18.8 mag for the K-band brightness of Hydra and Nix.

  10. 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.

  11. The Pluto Case and the Nature of Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nóbrega de Albuquerque, Vanessa; Leite, Cristina

    2016-08-01

    Pluto had its classification changed in 2006, from planet to “dwarf planet”. This change had great impact in the media. Pluto returned to the news due to the arrival of New Horizons probe to Pluto in July 2015. Whereas the understanding of the complexity involved in the definition of celestial bodies could help us to show science as a historic, social, collective, non-linear and non-neutral process, it is presented a historical survey of the episodes involving the various definitions for planet, since the first observations of the sky made by our ancestors until the resolutions that defined which are the attributes of a "planet " made at the 26th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, meeting at which it was decided to reclassify Pluto. In order contribute to help perform discussions about the nature of science involving Astronomy themes, it is explained which features of scientific knowledge become evident during the study of the mentioned episodes.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The Orbits and Masses of Pluto's Satellites after New Horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, Robert A.; Brozovic, Marina; Buie, Marc; Porter, Simon; Showalter, Mark; Spencer, John; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold; Young, Leslie; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Cathy

    2015-11-01

    Brozović et al. (2015 Icarus 246, 317) reported on Pluto's mass and the masses and numerically integrated orbits of Pluto's satellites, Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx. These were determined via a fit to an extensive set of astrometric, mutual event, and stellar occultation observations over the time interval April 1965 to July 2012. The data set contained the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations of Charon relative to Pluto that were corrected for the Pluto center-of-figure center-of-light offset due to the Pluto albedo variations (Buie et al. 2012 AJ 144, 15). Also included were all of the available HST observations of Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx. For the New Horizons encounter with the Pluto system, the initial satellite ephemerides (PLU043) and the initial planet and satellite masses were taken from the Brozović et al. analysis. During the New Horizons approach, the ephemerides and masses were periodically updated along with the spacecraft trajectory by the New Horizons navigation team using imaging of the planet and satellites against the stellar background. In this work, we report on our post-flyby analysis of the masses and satellite orbits derived from a combination of the original PLU043 data set, the New Horizions imaging data, and HST observations acquired after 2012.

  2. 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.

  3. Characterizing Pluto's plasma environment through multifluid MHD modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    We will report on preliminary results from simulations of the Hadean magnetosphere using a refined version of the global multifluid MHD model which has been successfully used to simulate numerous planetary systems, including Ganymede [Paty et al., 2008], Pluto [Harnett et al., 2005], Saturn [Kidder at al., 2012], and Titan [Snowden et al., 2011a,b], among others. This initial study focuses on exploring the exospheric and solar wind parameter space local to Pluto. We explore multiple system geometries including a simulation in which Pluto has no ionosphere, as appears to be the case due to freezing when Pluto resides at apoapsis, as well as several scenarios with different ionospheric and exospheric densities. Ionospheric densities are based on chemical modeling reported in Krasnopolsky and Cruikshank [1999] and solar wind conditions are based on system geometry at periapsis, apoapsis, and at the time of the New Horizons system flyby. We examine the role of the ionosphere and exosphere in determining the location and structure of the bow shock, as well as characterizing the impact of the variability of solar wind pressure and magnetic field throughout Pluto's orbit. This work supports the characterization of the magnetospheric environment of the Pluto system in preparation for the New Horizons encounter in 2015.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Pluto loses its status as a planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zielinski, Sarah; Kumar, Mohi

    2006-08-01

    Astronomers nave accepted a definition for 'planet' that excludes Pluto, instead relegating that object and at least two others to the status of 'dwarf planet,' in a series of votes taken on 24 August at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) 2006 General Assembly in Prague, Czech Republic.Michael Brown, the California Institute of Technology astronomer who discovered the newly classified dwarf planet 2003 UB313, said, "If you started from scratch, and you looked at the solar system as you were flying in from outer space, you would very quickly realize that there are eight really large objects in the solar system and you would put those into one category and use one word to describe them…All of the other objects in the solar system are much smaller, and they belong to these vast populations of other objects."

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. New Horizons Observations of the Atmospheres of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    Major goals of the New Horizons (NH) mission are to explore and characterize the structure and composition of Pluto’s atmosphere, and to establish whether Charon has a measurable atmosphere of its own. The primary instruments onboard NH which contribute to these goals are the REX instrument, through uplink X-band radio occultations, the Alice instrument, through extreme- and far-ultraviolet solar occultations, and 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.This work was supported by NASA's New Horizons project.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Space debris removal by ground-based lasers: main conclusions of the European project CLEANSPACE.

    PubMed

    Esmiller, Bruno; Jacquelard, Christophe; Eckel, Hans-Albert; Wnuk, Edwin

    2014-11-01

    Studies show that the number of debris in low Earth orbit is exponentially growing despite future debris release mitigation measures considered. Specifically, the already existing population of small and medium debris (between 1 cm and several dozens of cm) is today a concrete threat to operational satellites. A ground-based laser solution which can remove, at low expense and in a nondestructive way, hazardous debris around selected space assets appears as a highly promising answer. This solution is studied within the framework of the CLEANSPACE project which is part of the FP7 space program. The overall CLEANSPACE objective is: to propose an efficient and affordable global system architecture, to tackle safety regulation aspects, political implications and future collaborations, to develop affordable technological bricks, and to establish a roadmap for the development and the future implantation of a fully functional laser protection system. This paper will present the main conclusions of the CLEANSPACE project.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Impactor flux and cratering on the Pluto-Charon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Elía, G. C.; di Sisto, R. P.; Brunini, A.

    2010-10-01

    Aims: We study the impactor flux and cratering on Pluto and Charon caused by the collisional evolution of Plutinos. Plutinos are trans-Neptunian objects located at ~39.5 AU, in the 3:2 mean motion resonance with Neptune. Methods: We develop a statistical code that includes catastrophic collisions and cratering events, and takes into account the stability and instability zones of the 3:2 mean motion resonance with Neptune. Our numerical algorithm proposes different initial populations that account for the uncertainty in the size distribution of Plutinos at small sizes. Results: Depending on the initial population, our results indicate the following. The number of D > 1 km Plutinos streaking Pluto over 3.5 Gyr is between 1271 and 5552. For Charon, the number of D > 1 km Plutino impactors is between 354 and 1545. The number of D > 1 km craters on Pluto produced by Plutinos in the past 3.5 Gyr is between 43 076 and 113 879. For Charon, the number of D > 1 km craters is between 20 351 and 50 688. On the other hand, the largest Plutino impactor onto Pluto has a diameter of between ~17 and 23 km, which produces a crater with a diameter of ~31-39 km. In the same way, the largest Plutino impactor onto Charon has a diameter of between ~10 and 15 km, which produces a crater with a diameter of ~24-33 km. Finally, we test the dependence of results on the number of Pluto-sized objects in the Plutino population. If two Pluto-sized objects are assumed in the 3:2 Neptune resonance, the total number of Plutino impactors onto both Pluto and Charon with diameters D > 1 km is a factor of ~1.6-1.8 larger than that obtained considering only one Pluto-sized object in this resonant region. Conclusions: Given the structure of the trans-Neptunian region, with its dynamically different populations, it is necessary to study in detail the contribution of all the potential sources of impactors onto the Pluto-Charon system, to determine the main contributor and the whole production of craters

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-30

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Surface ice spectroscopy of Pluto, Charon and Triton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Protopapa, S.; Herbst, T.; Boehnhardt, H.

    2007-08-01

    New reflectance spectra of Pluto and Triton taken with ESO adaptive optics instrument NACO at the VLT in the wavelength range (1-5)μm are presented. For Pluto, it is the first time that the L band is measured without contamination by light from Charon, and for both objects M band spectra were never measured before. Apart from known and expected absorption bands from methane ice, our data reveal new absorption bands centered around 4.0μm and 4.6μm never detected before. The latter absorption could be related to the presence of CO ice at the body surfaces. Charon's spectrum is also measured in the wavelength range (1-4)μm, for the first time simultaneously with, but isolated from that of Pluto. Charon's spectrum has previously been studied in some detail in the JHK wavelength region but was never measured above 2.5μm. As expected, our Charon spectrum is dominated by the absorption bands of water ice but a narrow absorption band, unidentified still, is found around 3.7 μm. The nondetection of the - at that time - unknown Pluto moonlets in our short exposures for slit acquisition of Pluto-Charon allows to put a lower limit of 18.8mag for the K band brightness of Hydra and Nix.

  9. 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.

  10. Interplanetary dust influx to the Pluto-Charon system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poppe, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    The influx of interplanetary dust grains (IDPs) to the Pluto-Charon system is expected to drive several physical processes, including the formation of tenuous dusty rings and/or exospheres, the deposition of neutral material in Pluto's atmosphere through ablation, the annealing of surface ices, and the exchange of ejecta between Pluto and its satellites. The characteristics of these physical mechanisms are dependent on the total incoming mass, velocity, variability, and composition of interplanetary dust grains; however, our knowledge of the IDP environment in the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt has, until recently, remained rather limited. Newly-reported measurements by the New Horizons Student Dust Counter combined with previous Pioneer 10 meteoroid measurements and a dynamical IDP tracing model have improved the characterization of the IDP environment in the outer Solar System, including at Pluto-Charon. Here we report on this modeling and data comparison effort, including a discussion of the IDP influx to Pluto and its moons, and the implications thereof.

  11. Projections of grounding line retreat in West Antarctica carried out with an adaptive mesh model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornford, Stephen; Payne, Antony; Martin, Daniel; Le Brocq, Anne

    2013-04-01

    Present and future sea level rise associated with mass loss from West Antarctica is typically attributed to marine glaciers retreating in response to a warming ocean. Warmer waters melt the floating ice shelves that restrain some, if not all, marine glaciers, and the glaciers themselves respond by speeding up. That leads to thinning and in turn grounding line retreat. Satellite observations indicate that Amundsen Sea Embayment and, in particular, Pine Island Glacier, are undergoing this kind of dynamic change today. Numerical models, however, struggle to reproduce the observed behavior because either high resolution or some other kind special treatment is required at the grounding line. We present 200-year projections of three major glacier systems of West Antarctica: those that drain into the Amundsen Sea , the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf and the Ross Ice shelf. We do so using the newly developed BISICLES ice­ sheet model, which employs adaptive ­mesh refinement to maintain sub-kilometer resolution close to the grounding line and coarser resolution elsewhere. Ice accumulation and ice­ shelf melt-rate are derived from a range of models of the Antarctic atmosphere and ocean forced by the SRES A1B and E1 scenarios. We find that a substantial proportion of the grounding line in West Antarctica retreats, however the total sea level rise is less than 50 mm by 2100, and less than 100 mm by 2200. The lion's share of the mass loss is attributed to Pine Island Glacier, while its immediate neighbor Thwaites Glacier does not retreat until the end of the simulations.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Projective virtual reality in space applications: a telerobotic ground station for a space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freund, Eckhard; Rossmann, Juergen; Schluse, Michael

    2000-10-01

    Commanding complex robotic systems over long distances in an intuitive manner requires new techniques of man-machine- interaction. A first disadvantage of conventional approaches is that the user has to be a robotic expert because he directly has to command the robots. He often is part of the real-time control loop while moving the robot and thus has to cope with long delays. Experience with space robot missions showed that it is very difficult to control a robot just by camera images. At the IRF, a new approach to overcome such problems was developed. By means of Projective Virtual Reality, we introduce a new, intuitive way of man-machine communication based on a combination of action planning and Virtual Reality methods. Using data-helmet and data-glove the user can immerse into the virtual world and interact with the virtual objects as he would do in reality. The Virtual Reality System derives the user's intention from his actions and then projects the tasks in to the physical world by means of robots. The robots carry out the action physically that is equivalent to the user's action in the virtual world. The developed Projective Virtual Reality System is of especially great use for space applications. During the joint project GETEX (German ETS-VII Experiment), the IRF realized the telerobotic ground station for the free flying robot ERA on board the Japanese satellite ETS-VII. During the mission in April 1999 the Virtual Reality based command interface turned out to be an ideally suited platform for the intuitive commanding and supervision of the robot in space. During the mission, it first had to be verified that the system is fully operational, but then out Japanese colleagues allowed to take the full control over the real robot by the Projective Virtual Reality System. The final paper will describe key issues of this approach and the results and experiences gained during the GETEX mission.

  18. Escape erosion and relaxation of craters on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porter, S.; Zangari, A.; Stern, A.

    2014-07-01

    Pluto and its major satellite Charon will be the most distant objects ever visited when NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flies past them in mid-2015. Both bodies should have suffered impacts from other transneptunian objects, though those impacts are of much lower velocity than typical on giant-planet satellites. New Horizons will image the illuminated hemispheres of Pluto and Charon seen at closest approach at better than 0.5 km/pix and 1.0 km/pix, respectively. We compare new different predictions of the impactor population on Pluto and Charon, including the effects of escape erosion from Pluto, and examine the crater size distributions those impactors would produce over the range observable to the imagers on New Horizons. The impact distribution models diverge the most for craters smaller than 10 km. We expect the crater size distribution on Charon to be determined by the impactor distribution and the rheology of the surface. Inverting the Charon size distribution seen by New Horizons will then constrain the overall size frequency distribution in the Kuiper belt, and the location of any break in that size frequency distribution. However, owing to escape erosion, craters on Pluto may be much more modified than on Charon. To constrain this modification, we present a range of possible Pluto crater distributions, as a function of impactor distribution, atmospheric escape rate, and surface ice viscosity. Pluto's atmosphere is primarily made of molecular nitrogen and is currently escaping at between 10^{27} and 10^{28} N_2/s according to model estimates. To sustain these escape rates for 3.5 billion years, a global layer of N_2 ice 0.3 to 3 km thick would need to have sublimated from the surface. We show that this gradual mass loss could have erased many of the smaller craters on Pluto, especially craters with diameters smaller than 10 km. This sublimation erosion process does not occur on Charon, which has a water ice surface and no observed atmosphere. We also show

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    1985-06-07

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

    2016-01-01

    The New Horizons mission has provided resolved measurements of Pluto's moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. All four are small, with equivalent spherical diameters of approx.40 kilometers for Nix and Hydra and approx. 10 kilometers for Styx and Kerberos. They are also highly elongated, with maximum to minimum axis ratios of approx. 2. All four moons have high albedos (approx.50 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-11-01

    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 [Cu2O2]2+, comparable to other state-of-the-art quantum chemical methods.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Pluto's Plasma Wake Oriented Away from the Ecliptic Plane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perez De Tejada, H. A.; Durand-Manterola, H.; Lundin, R. N.; Reyes-Ruiz, M.

    2013-12-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Into the Kuiper Belt: New Horizons Post-Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison Parker, Alex; Spencer, John; Benecchi, Susan; Binzel, Richard; Borncamp, David; Buie, Marc; Fuentes, Cesar; Gwyn, Stephen; Kavelaars, JJ; Noll, Keith; Petit, Jean-Marc; Porter, Simon; Showalter, Mark; Stern, S. Alan; Sterner, Ray; Tholen, David; Verbiscer, Anne; Weaver, Hal; Zangari, Amanda

    2015-11-01

    New Horizons is now beyond Pluto and flying deeper into the Kuiper Belt. In the summer of 2014, a Hubble Space Telescope Large Program identified two candidate Cold Classical Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) that were within reach of New Horizons' remaining fuel budget. Here we present the selection of the Kuiper Belt flyby target for New Horizons' post-Pluto mission, our state of knowledge regarding this target and the potential 2019 flyby, the status of New Horizons' targeting maneuver, and prospects for near-future long-range observations of other KBOs.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Pluto and Charon's Visible Spectrum (3500-9000 Å)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, J. C.; Wyckoff, S.

    2003-05-01

    Uncertainty in the chemical composition of Pluto's atmosphere severely limits our understanding of its physical properties. The only atmospheric gas identified spectroscopically to date has been CH4 (Young et al., 1997), while an upper limit has been set for CO gas (Young et al., 2001). Infrared detection of surface N2 ice (Owen et al., 1993) together with models based on occultation data (Elliot and Young, 1992) indicate that Pluto's atmosphere is probably dominated by CO and/or N2 (Yelle and Lunine, 1989; Hubbard et al., 1990; Stansberry et al., 1994). If the atmosphere is in vapor pressure equilibrium with the surface ice, then N2 gas would dominate the atmosphere with abundances ≳ 90% (Owen et al., 1993). Here we report on a search to identify atmospheric spectral features using data collected with the Steward Observatory 90'' Bok Telescope and the B & C Spectrograph. Pluto-Charon spectra were obtained on five nights in May and June 2003 using 300 l/mm grating blazed in the blue and red spectral regions. We present spectra covering the visible range from 3500 to 9000 Å : (λ /Δ λ ˜ 750 at 6000 Å), and discuss limits set on gases in the atmosphere and extended exosphere of the Pluto-Charon system. J. C. Cook would like to acknowledge support from NASA Space Grant Fellowship.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-10-01

    The New Horizons spacecraft will achieve a wide range of measurement objectives at the Pluto system, including color and panchromatic maps, 1.25 2.50 micron spectral images for studying surface compositions, and measurements of Pluto’s atmosphere (temperatures, composition, hazes, and the escape rate). Additional measurement objectives include topography, surface temperatures, and the solar wind interaction. The fulfillment of these measurement objectives will broaden our understanding of the Pluto system, such as the origin of the Pluto system, the processes operating on the surface, the volatile transport cycle, and the energetics and chemistry of the atmosphere. The mission, payload, and strawman observing sequences have been designed to achieve the NASA-specified measurement objectives and maximize the science return. The planned observations at the Pluto system will extend our knowledge of other objects formed by giant impact (such as the Earth moon), other objects formed in the outer solar system (such as comets and other icy dwarf planets), other bodies with surfaces in vapor-pressure equilibrium (such as Triton and Mars), and other bodies with N2:CH4 atmospheres (such as Titan, Triton, and the early Earth).

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) ground-water monitoring projects for Hanford facilities: Annual progress report for 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Fruland, R.M.; Lundgren, R.E.

    1989-04-01

    This report describes the progress during 1988 of 14 Hanford Site ground-water monitoring projects covering 16 hazardous waste facilities and 1 nonhazardous waste facility (the Solid Waste Landfill). Each of the projects is being conducted according to federal regulations based on the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) of 1976 and the State of Washington Administrative Code. 21 refs., 23 figs., 8 tabs.

  10. Preliminary Model for the Solar Wind Interaction with Pluto's Extended Plasma Tail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sillanpää, I.; Ebert, R.; Elliott, H.; Kallio, E.

    2012-04-01

    We are developing a hybrid model of the Pluto plasma environment (HYB-Pluto) to study the solar wind interaction with Pluto's plasma tail to distances of 1000 Pluto radii (RP) while still resolving the shock and/or wave features upstream of Pluto with good resolution. The HYB-Pluto model features an extended domain and adaptable grid structure along with important processes such as ion-neutral interactions. We present results from our first simulations with the HYB-Pluto model that used realistic values for the solar wind bulk properties and included He++ ions. The results show the formation of a bow shock upstream of Pluto as well as asymmetries of ion density and bow shock in the direction of the convection electric field. This model, along with other current models [1], will provide tools to interpret and understand the plasma observations obtained during expected encounter of the New Horizons spacecraft with the Pluto system in July 2015. [1] P.A. Delamere, Hybrid Code Simulations of the Solar Wind Interaction with Pluto, J. Geophys. Res., 114, A03220, doi:10.1029/2008JA013756, 2009.

  11. (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 .

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. The orbits and masses of satellites of Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brozović, Marina; Showalter, Mark R.; Jacobson, Robert A.; Buie, Marc W.

    2015-01-01

    We present the numerically integrated orbits of Pluto's satellites. The orbits have been fit to a data set that includes Earth-based and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) astrometry of Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx, as well as the lightcurves from the Pluto-Charon mutual events. We also report new, 2010-2012 HST astrometry of all satellites including recently discovered Styx plus a pre-discovery detection of Kerberos in 2006. Pluto-relative data sets have been corrected for the center-of-light vs. center-of-mass offsets with the Pluto albedo model. The results are summarized in terms of the postfit residuals, state vectors, and mean orbital elements. Orbits of Charon, Styx, Nix, and Kerberos are nearly circular, while Hydra's shows a small eccentricity. All satellites are in near-resonance conditions, but we did not uncover any resonant arguments. Our model yields 975.5 ± 1.5 km3 s-2, 869.6 ± 1.8 km3 s-2, and 105.9 ± 1.0 km3 s-2 for the system's, Pluto's, and Charon's GM values. The uncertainties reflect both systematic and random measurement errors. The GM values imply a bulk density of 1.89 ± 0.06 g cm-3 for Pluto and 1.72 ± 0.02 g cm-3 for Charon. We also obtain GMNix = 0.0030 ± 0.0027 km3 s-2 GMHydra = 0.0032 ± 0.0028 km3 s-2, GMKerberos = 0.0011 ± 0.0006 km3 s-2, and an upper bound on Styx's GM of 0.0010 km3 s-2. The 1σ errors are based on the formal covariance from the fit and they reflect only measurement errors. In-orbit (or along the track), radial, and out-of-plane orbital uncertainties at the time of New Horizons encounter are on the order of few tens of km or less for Charon, Nix, and Hydra. Kerberos and Styx have their largest uncertainty component of ∼140 km and ∼500 km respectively in the in-orbit direction.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Photos from Inside Pluto: Historic Images from the New Horizons Encounter with Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Throop, Henry B.; Spencer, John; Robbins, Stuart J.; Tsang, Constantine; Cruikshank, Dale; Stern, S. Alan; Weaver, Harold; Bedini, Peter; Calloway, Andrew

    2015-11-01

    NASA's New Horizons mission flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015. In the months and weeks leading up to the encounter, over 200 mission personnel were located at JHU APL and directly involved in the planning and operations of the flyby. Several members of the team were given special permission to document photographically this historic event. These photos have been collected into a public archive which allows the general public to see the intimate and normally hidden 'behind the scenes' views of an operating spacecraft team, through times of elation, times of stress, public celebrations, and private moments.We present here a variety of these photos spanning May (the beginning of detailed hazards searches) through the end of July. The entire archive will be available online and accessible to the public.We thank JHU-APL for arranging special permission for the photographers (HBT, CSS, JS, SJR, DC). All photos are used courtesy NASA/SwRI/JHUAPL and the individual photographers.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Showalter, M R; Hamilton, D P

    2015-06-04

    Four small moons--Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra--follow near-circular, near-equatorial orbits around the central 'binary planet' comprising Pluto and its large moon, Charon. New observational details of the system have emerged following the discoveries of Kerberos and Styx. Here we report that Styx, Nix and Hydra are tied together by a three-body resonance, which is reminiscent of the Laplace resonance linking Jupiter's moons Io, Europa and Ganymede. Perturbations by the other bodies, however, inject chaos into this otherwise stable configuration. Nix and Hydra have bright surfaces similar to that of Charon. Kerberos may be much darker, raising questions about how a heterogeneous satellite system might have formed. Nix and Hydra rotate chaotically, driven by the large torques of the Pluto-Charon binary.

  16. On the escape of CH4 from Pluto's atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koskinen, T. T.; Erwin, J. T.; Yelle, R. V.

    2015-09-01

    We adapted a multispecies escape model, developed for close-in extrasolar planets, to calculate the escape rates of CH4 and N2 from Pluto. In the absence of escape, CH4 should overtake N2 as the dominant species below the exobase. The CH4 profile depends strongly on the escape rate, however, and the typical escape rates predicted for Pluto lead to a nearly constant mixing ratio of less than 1% below the exobase. In this case the CH4 escape rate is only 5-10% of the N2 escape rate. Observations of the CH4 profile by the New Horizons/ALICE spectrograph can constrain the CH4 escape rate and provide a unique test for escape models.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. A Search for Ethane on Pluto and Triton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMeo, Francesca E.; Dumas, C.; de Bergh, C.; Protopapa, S.; Cruikshank, D. P.; Geballe, T. R.; Alvarez-Candal, A.; Merlin, F.; Barucci, M. A.

    2009-09-01

    We present near-infrared spectral observations in the H and K bands (1.4-2.45 microns) of Pluto over four regions of the surface and Triton for one observation using the VLT and UKIRT. On both Pluto and Triton, a weak 2.405-micron feature is present in our spectra, which was previously detected on Pluto by Cruikshank et al. (DPS meeting abstract, 38, 21.03, 2006) and Verbiscer et al. (Lunar and Planetary Science Abstract XXXVIII - 2007) and on Triton by Cruikshank et al. (Science, 261, 742-745, 1993), Quirico et al. (Icarus, 139, 159-178, 1999) and Cruikshank et al. (Icarus, 147, 309-316, 2000). On Triton, the depth and position of this feature varies but is seen in all high-resolution, published spectra. Both ethane (C2H6) and 13CO display features at this wavelength. To assess whether unexplained absorption bands such as the 2.405 micron feature could be due to ethane, we interpret the spectral behavior if each surface using a modeling algorithm (Protopapa et al., A&A, 490, 365-375, 2008) based on the radiative transfer model of Hapke (Hapke, 1993) with three basic models: a general model without ethane, with ethane, and with ethane diluted in nitrogen. While ethane diluted in nitrogen could potentially explain the 1.69- and 1.75-micron features on Triton and pure ethane could explain the 2.405-micron feature seen on Pluto, the lack of features in the 2.27- to 2.32-micron region limits the abundance of ethane to only a few percent on each body. It is likely that 13CO contributes significantly to the 2.405-micron band, which explains why this band is stronger in spectra of both bodies than other characteristic ethane features.

  20. 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.

  1. Pluto: Modeling of 3-D Atmosphere-Surface Interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaels, Timothy I.

    2015-11-01

    Atmosphere-surface interactions on Pluto are of great importance to creating and maintaining the atmospheric variations and heterogeneous surface that have been observed by New Horizons and two decades' prior work. Publicly released images/data from New Horizons contain numerous fascinating surface features and constrasts. Insights into their origin, maintenance, and/or evolution may be gleaned through multidisciplinary climate modeling. Some results from such modeling will be presented, with an emphasis on shorter-timescale interactions.

  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. 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.

  4. Evolution of a Ring around the Pluto-Charon Binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bromley, Benjamin C.; Kenyon, Scott J.

    2015-08-01

    We consider the formation of satellites around the Pluto-Charon binary. An early collision between the two partners likely produced the binary and a narrow ring of debris, out of which arose the moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. How the satellites emerged from the compact ring is uncertain. Here we show that a particle ring spreads from physical collisions and collective gravitational scattering, similar to migration. Around a binary, these processes take place in the reference frames of “most circular” orbits, akin to circular ones in a Keplerian potential. Ring particles damp to these orbits and avoid destructive collisions. Damping and diffusion also help particles survive dynamical instabilities driven by resonances with the binary. In some situations, particles become trapped near resonances that sweep outward with the tidal evolution of the Pluto-Charon binary. With simple models and numerical experiments, we show how the Pluto-Charon impact ring may have expanded into a broad disk, out of which grew the circumbinary moons. In some scenarios, the ring can spread well beyond the orbit of Hydra, the most distant moon, to form a handful of smaller satellites. If these small moons exist, New Horizons will find them.

  5. Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia implies a subsurface ocean on Pluto.

    PubMed

    Nimmo, F; Hamilton, D P; McKinnon, W B; Schenk, P M; Binzel, R P; Bierson, C J; Beyer, R A; Moore, J M; Stern, S A; Weaver, H A; Olkin, C B; Young, L A; Smith, K E

    2016-12-01

    The deep nitrogen-covered basin on Pluto, informally named Sputnik Planitia, is located very close to the longitude of Pluto's tidal axis and may be an impact feature, by analogy with other large basins in the Solar System. Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia arising from tidal and rotational torques can explain the basin's present-day location, but requires the feature to be a positive gravity anomaly, despite its negative topography. Here we argue that if Sputnik Planitia did indeed form as a result of an impact and if Pluto possesses a subsurface ocean, the required positive gravity anomaly would naturally result because of shell thinning and ocean uplift, followed by later modest nitrogen deposition. Without a subsurface ocean, a positive gravity anomaly requires an implausibly thick nitrogen layer (exceeding 40 kilometres). To prolong the lifetime of such a subsurface ocean to the present day and to maintain ocean uplift, a rigid, conductive water-ice shell is required. Because nitrogen deposition is latitude-dependent, nitrogen loading and reorientation may have exhibited complex feedbacks.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naga Parameswara Gupta, Satyavarapu

    2012-07-01

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

  16. Reorientation and faulting of Pluto due to volatile loading within Sputnik Planitia.

    PubMed

    Keane, James T; Matsuyama, Isamu; Kamata, Shunichi; Steckloff, Jordan K

    2016-12-01

    Pluto is an astoundingly diverse, geologically dynamic world. The dominant feature is Sputnik Planitia-a tear-drop-shaped topographic depression approximately 1,000 kilometres in diameter possibly representing an ancient impact basin. The interior of Sputnik Planitia is characterized by a smooth, craterless plain three to four kilometres beneath the surrounding rugged uplands, and represents the surface of a massive unit of actively convecting volatile ices (N2, CH4 and CO) several kilometres thick. This large feature is very near the Pluto-Charon tidal axis. Here we report that the location of Sputnik Planitia is the natural consequence of the sequestration of volatile ices within the basin and the resulting reorientation (true polar wander) of Pluto. Loading of volatile ices within a basin the size of Sputnik Planitia can substantially alter Pluto's inertia tensor, resulting in a reorientation of the dwarf planet of around 60 degrees with respect to the rotational and tidal axes. The combination of this reorientation, loading and global expansion due to the freezing of a possible subsurface ocean generates stresses within the planet's lithosphere, resulting in a global network of extensional faults that closely replicate the observed fault networks on Pluto. Sputnik Planitia probably formed northwest of its present location, and was loaded with volatiles over million-year timescales as a result of volatile transport cycles on Pluto. Pluto's past, present and future orientation is controlled by feedbacks between volatile sublimation and condensation, changing insolation conditions and Pluto's interior structure.

  17. Small Satellites and Dust in the Pluto System: Upper Limits and Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, John R.; Showalter, Mark R.; Stern, S. Alan; Brozovic, Marina; Buie, Marc W.; Hamilton, Douglas P.; Jacobson, Robert A.; Kaufmann, David E.; Lauer, Tod R.; Parker, Alex H.; Porter, Simon B.; Throop, Henry B.; Verbiscer, Anne J.; Weaver, Harold A.; Young, Leslie A.; Ennico, Kimberly; Olkin, Catherine B.

    2015-11-01

    To help ensure safe passage of the New Horizons (NH) spacecraft as it flew through the Pluto system, we took a series of deep images with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) to search for previously undetected satellites or rings. We obtained a total of 1100 10-second exposures, spread over 20 epochs between May 11 and July 1 2015. HST observations had previously set an upper limit to the brightness of undetected moons of about half Styx's brightness (i.e., a diameter of ~5 km for an a Charon-like albedo of 0.38). The final NH observations in early July could have detected objects down to ~1.5 km in diameter in the Charon - Hydra region, and ~2 km between Charon's orbit and ~5000 km above Pluto's surface. Despite the sensitivity of the searches, no additional moons were found. The lower limit on the brightness ratio between Styx and any undiscovered fainter satellites, ~20, is comparable to the brightness ratio between Nix and Kerberos (~16), and a power-law satellite size distribution, analogous to that seen in the Saturn system, cannot be ruled out. Implications of the satellite size distribution for the origin of the satellite system will be discussed. The data also place an upper limit of ~1 x 10-7 on the I/F of any dust rings in the vicinity of the known small satellites, a factor of several improvement over previous HST limits. This work was supported by NASA’s New Horizons project.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Stability of coorbital objects around the Pluto-Charon binary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amarante Luiz, Andre; Hamilton, Douglas P.

    2015-11-01

    The Pluto-Charon binary system is dynamical interesting with its unusual retinue of four small moons. The system is relatively full with few remaining stable locations for additional moons on uninclined, circular orbits; most of these are Trojan (Tadpole/Horseshoe) orbits (Pires et al. 2011; Porter and Stern 2015).In this work, we study the coorbital region of each moon with long time integrations taking into account the gravitational effects of the satellites Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra. We numerically simulate a sample of 10,000 test particles initially located randomly around each moon's orbit. All test particles start on nearly circular and uninclined orbits and are followed for 5,000 years. The results of our numerical simulations show stable coorbital objects - both Tadpoles and Horseshoes - for each of the small moons. Horseshoe orbits are most common at all moons, although Hydra also has a sizeable population of Tadpole orbits. We also find interesting cases where the orbits switch from L4 Tadpoles to Horseshoes and even to L5 Tadpoles. These transitioning orbits comprise less than 1% of coorbital objects at all moons, and are most common at Styx. We have also tested two different models for the system: i) Pluto and Charon as independent bodies. ii) A single central body with the combined mass of Pluto-Charon and an effective J2 coefficient. Preliminary results show only minor differences between the two models indicating that the binary does not have a strong effect on coorbital motion. We have also investigated eccentric and inclined orbits and will report on our findings.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smullen, Rachel A.; Kratter, Kaitlin M.

    2017-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. The Uranus, Neptune and Pluto apparitions in 2001

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmude, Richard W., Jr.

    2002-09-01

    The selected V(1,0) values for Uranus, Neptune and (Pluto + Charon) are: -7.13+/-0.01, -7.01+/-0.02 and -0.93+/-0.10, respectively. Photoelectric magnitudes made since 1927 suggest that the southern hemisphere of Uranus is darker than the northern hemisphere; furthermore, the record shows that Uranus dimmed after its solstices in 1946 and 1985. Based on the 8 Sep 2001 Titania occultation event, an upper limit of 1.0 microbar is selected for the surface atmospheric pressure of that moon.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. Quality assurance project plan for ground water monitoring activities managed by Westinghouse Hanford Company. Revision 3

    SciTech Connect

    Stauffer, M.

    1995-11-01

    This quality assurance project plan (QAPP) applies specifically to the field activities and laboratory analysis performed for all RCRA groundwater projects conducted by Hanford Technical Services. This QAPP is generic in approach and shall be implemented in conjunction with the specific requirements of individual groundwater monitoring plans.

  13. 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…

  14. 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

  15. Projected distributions and diversity of flightless ground beetles within the Australian Wet Tropics and their environmental correlates.

    PubMed

    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

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  20. Pluto's Atmospheric Figure from the P131.1 Stellar Occultation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Person, M. J.; Elliot, J. L.; Clancy, K. B.; Kern, S. D.; Salyk, C. V.; Tholen, D. J.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Souza, S. P.; Ticehurst, D. R.; Hall, D.; Roberts, L. C., Jr.; Bosh, A. S.; Buie, M. W.; Dunham, E. W.; Olkin, C. B.; Taylor, B.; Levine, S. E.; Eikenberry, S. S.; Moon, D.-S.; Osip, D. J.

    2003-05-01

    The stellar occultation by Pluto of the 15th magnitude star designated P131.1 (McDonald and Elliot, AJ, 119, 1999) on 2002 August 21 (UT) provided the first significant chance to compare Pluto's atmospheric structure to that determined from the 1988 occultation of P8 (Millis, et al., Icarus, 105, 282). The P131.1 occultation was observed from several stations in Hawaii and the western United States (Elliot et al., Nature, in press, 2003). Numerous occultation chords were obtained enabling us to examine Pluto's atmospheric figure. The light curves from the observations were analyzed together in the occultation coordinate system of Elliot et al., (AJ, 106, 2544). The Mauna Kea and Lick datasets straddle the center of Pluto's figure, providing strong constraints on model fits to cross sections of the atmospheric shape. In 1988, Millis (et al., Icarus, 105, 282) did not report any deviation from sphericity in Pluto's atmospheric figure. From the 2002 data, Pluto;s isobars at the radii probed by the occultation ( 1250 km) appear to be distorted from a circular cross-section. Least-squares fits to this cross-section by elliptical models reveal ellipticities in the range 0.05-0.08 although the shape may be more complex than ellipsoidal. The orientation of the distortion appears uncorrelated with Pluto;s rotational axis. Taken at face value, this ellipticity could imply wind speeds of up to twice the sonic speed ( 200 m/s), which would be difficult to explain. Similar distortions have been reported for Triton's atmosphere (Elliot, J. L., et al., Icarus 148, 347). This work has been supported in part by Research Corporation, the Air Force Research Laboratory, NSF, and NASA.

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Vigorous convection as the explanation for Pluto's polygonal terrain.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-02

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia implies a subsurface ocean on Pluto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nimmo, F.; Hamilton, D. P.; McKinnon, W. B.; Schenk, P. M.; Binzel, R. P.; Bierson, C. J.; Beyer, R. A.; Moore, J. M.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Young, L. A.; Smith, K. E.; Moore, J. M.; McKinnon, W. B.; Spencer, J. R.; Beyer, R.; Binzel, R. P.; Buie, M.; Buratti, B.; Cheng, A.; Cruikshank, D.; Ore, C. Dalle; Earle, A.; Gladstone, R.; Grundy, W.; Howard, A. D.; Lauer, T.; Linscott, I.; Nimmo, F.; Parker, J.; Porter, S.; Reitsema, H.; Reuter, D.; Roberts, J. H.; Robbins, S.; Schenk, P. M.; Showalter, M.; Singer, K.; Strobel, D.; Summers, M.; Tyler, L.; White, O. L.; Umurhan, O. M.; Banks, M.; Barnouin, O.; Bray, V.; Carcich, B.; Chaikin, A.; Chavez, C.; Conrad, C.; Hamilton, D. P.; Howett, C.; Hofgartner, J.; Kammer, J.; Lisse, C.; Marcotte, A.; Parker, A.; Retherford, K.; Saina, M.; Runyon, K.; Schindhelm, E.; Stansberry, J.; Steffl, A.; Stryk, T.; Throop, H.; Tsang, C.; Verbiscer, A.; Winters, H.; Zangari, A.; Stern, S. A.; Weaver, H. A.; Olkin, C. B.; Young, L. A.; Smith, K. E.

    2016-12-01

    The deep nitrogen-covered basin on Pluto, informally named Sputnik Planitia, is located very close to the longitude of Pluto’s tidal axis and may be an impact feature, by analogy with other large basins in the Solar System. Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia arising from tidal and rotational torques can explain the basin’s present-day location, but requires the feature to be a positive gravity anomaly, despite its negative topography. Here we argue that if Sputnik Planitia did indeed form as a result of an impact and if Pluto possesses a subsurface ocean, the required positive gravity anomaly would naturally result because of shell thinning and ocean uplift, followed by later modest nitrogen deposition. Without a subsurface ocean, a positive gravity anomaly requires an implausibly thick nitrogen layer (exceeding 40 kilometres). To prolong the lifetime of such a subsurface ocean to the present day and to maintain ocean uplift, a rigid, conductive water-ice shell is required. Because nitrogen deposition is latitude-dependent, nitrogen loading and reorientation may have exhibited complex feedbacks.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Planet X and the stability of resonances in the Neptune-Pluto system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jackson, A. A.; Killen, R. M.

    1988-01-01

    Four test orbits of a trans-Plutonian planet have been integrated forward for four million years in order to determine the effects of such a body on the stability of the Neptune-Pluto 3:2 resonance. Planets beyond Pluto with masses of 0.1 M and 1.0 Earth masses in orbits at 48.3 and 75.5 AU, respectively, do not disturb the 3:2 resonance. Test planets of 5 Earth masses with semimajor axes of 52.5 and 62.5 AU disrupt the four million year libration of Pluto's argument of perihelion.

  11. 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.

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. The ENIGMA project: a ground-based magnetic array for space research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daglis, I. A.; Balasis, G.; Anastasiadis, A.; Ganas, A.; Melis, N.; Baumjohann, W.; Magnes, W.; Mandea, M.; Lesur, V.; Korte, M.

    2010-05-01

    National Observatory of Athens (NOA) currently operates ENIGMA (HellENIc GeoMagnetic Array), an array of 4 ground-based magnetometer stations in the area of south-eastern Europe (central and southern Greece). The current stations are latitudinally equi-spaced between 30° and 33° corrected geomagnetic latitude. In the near future another station will be installed in Macedonia or Thrace, and there are plans for the installation of an additional station in Crete by mid-2010. One of the primary research objectives assigned to ENIGMA is the study of geomagnetic field line resonances (FLRs). The latter is a well-established phenomenon taking place in the Earth's magnetosphere. It can be pictured as the formation of standing magnetohydrodynamic waves on magnetic field lines with fixed ends at the conjugate ionospheres. An interesting option in this field of research would be to compare ultra-low-frequency (ULF) wave observations in space made by ESA's Cluster mission and on the ground acquired by these mid-to-low-latitude ground-based observation sites of the Earth's magnetic field. Cluster has a high inclination orbit; insofar studies at high latitudes are more justified for direct interactions along the magnetic field lines. So, for a Cluster-ENIGMA study one has to expect some indirect, somehow related reactions with propagations perpendicular to the B-field. The Cluster-ENIGMA study can serve as a pilot-study for the upcoming Swarm mission of ESA. The Swarm constellation of spacecraft will allow, for the first time, the unique determination of the near-Earth field aligned currents, which connect various regions of the magnetosphere with the ionosphere and can be regarded as a complement to the Cluster mission.

  18. A Detailed Look at a Pluto Central Flash Occultation: Limits on Pluto's Haze Opacity, Oblateness and Surface Frost Pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Eliot F.; Olkin, Catherine B.; Young, Leslie A.; Howell, Robert R.; French, Richard G.

    2014-11-01

    We report a new analysis of occultation lightcurves observed in 2007 (from Mt John Observatory) and 2011 (from San Pedro Martir Observatory). In both cases, lightcurves were observed simultaneously in two wavelengths, and in the 2007 case, a double-peaked central flash was observed. In contrast to the wavelength-dependent opacities reported by Elliot et al. (Nature 2003; 424:165) in 2002, we see no evidence for an opacity source in Pluto's atmosphere that has greater extinction at shorter wavelengths. From the separation of the peaks in the 2007 central flash lightcurves, we find the oblateness of Pluto's atmosphere (equatorial vs. polar radii of pressure contours near R = 1215 km) of 1.03 ± 0.002. If this oblateness were caused solely by zonal winds, the wind speed at the equator would have to be 206 km/s; an alternative explanation is that the equatorial bulge is caused by warmer temperatures above the equator than the poles. Finally, the amplitudes of the central flash peaks are very sensitive to the surface pressure. If that pressure is driven by the vapor pressure of nitrogen ice, then the ice temperature of 42 ± 2 K reported by Tryka et al. (Icarus 1994; 212:513) is too high and produces central flash amplitudes that are much too bright. We find that the observed central flash peak amplitudes are consistent with nitrogen ice temperatures near 37 K, closer to the alpha-beta transition temperature (35.6 K) of nitrogen ice.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. NASA Computational Case Study SAR Data Processing: Ground-Range Projection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Memarsadeghi, Nargess; Rincon, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    Radar technology is used extensively by NASA for remote sensing of the Earth and other Planetary bodies. In this case study, we learn about different computational concepts for processing radar data. In particular, we learn how to correct a slanted radar image by projecting it on the surface that was sensed by a radar instrument.

  2. Investigation of particle sizes in Pluto's atmosphere from the 29 June 2015 occultation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sickafoose, Amanda A.; Bosh, A. S.; Person, M. J.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Levine, S. E.; Pasachoff, J. M.; Babcock, B. A.; Dunham, E. W.; McLean, I.; Wolf, J.; Abe, F.; 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.; de, H.-P.; Sallum, S.; Savage, M.; Seeger, C. H.; Siu, H.; Stockdale, C.; Suzuki, D.; Thanathibodee, T.; Tilleman, T.; Tristam, P. J.; Van Cleve, J.; Varughese, C.; Weisenbach, L. W.; Widen, E.; Wiedemann, M.

    2015-11-01

    The 29 June 2015 observations of a stellar occultation by Pluto, from SOFIA and ground-based sites in New Zealand, indicate that haze was present in the lower atmosphere (Bosh et al., this conference). Previously, slope changes in the occultation light curve profile of Pluto’s lower atmosphere have been attributed to haze, a steep thermal gradient, and/or a combination of the two. The most useful diagnostic for differentiating between these effects has been observing occultations over a range of wavelengths: haze scattering and absorption are functions of particle size and are wavelength dependent, whereas effects due to a temperature gradient should be largely independent of observational wavelength. The SOFIA and Mt. John data from this event exhibit obvious central flashes, from multiple telescopes observing over a range of wavelengths at each site (Person et al. and Pasachoff et al., this conference). SOFIA data include Red and Blue observations from the High-speed Imaging Photometer for Occultations (HIPO, at ~ 500 and 850 nm), First Light Infrared Test Camera (FLITECAM, at ~1800 nm), and the Focal Plan Imager (FPI+, at ~ 600 nm). Mt. John data include open filter, g', r', i', and near infrared. Here, we analyze the flux at the bottom of the light curves versus observed wavelength. We find that there is a distinct trend in flux versus wavelength, and we discuss applicable Mie scattering models for different particle size distributions and compositions (as were used to characterize haze in Pluto's lower atmosphere in Gulbis et al. 2015).SOFIA is jointly operated by the Universities Space Research Association, Inc. (USRA), under NASA contract NAS2-97001, and the Deutsches SOFIA Institut (DSI) under DLR contract 50 OK 0901 to the University of Stuttgart. Support for this work was provided by the National Research Foundation of South Africa, NASA SSO grants NNX15AJ82G (Lowell Observatory), PA NNX10AB27G (MIT), and PA NNX12AJ29G (Williams College), and the NASA

  3. 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

  4. Despinning and Tidally Driven Tectonics in the Pluto-Charon Binary System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    When the New Horizons spacecraft reaches Pluto, we will have a fresh opportunity to study the effects of the tidal evolution of a binary planetary system. The Pluto-Charon system is thought to have formed from an impact between two like-sized precursor objects (Canup 2005; Canup 2011). Although each member is small, it is truly a binary system: Charon is about 1/10th the mass of Pluto and orbits at 16 Pluto radii (our moon is 1/100th the mass of the Earth and orbits at ~60 Earth radii.) The system is unique among major bodies in the solar system because it has reached the natural endpoint of its dynamical evolution: the 'dual synchronous' state in which Charon's orbital period, spin period, and Pluto's rotation period are equal. After the Charon-forming impact, tidal torques acting on each body cause the secondary to evolve rapidly to a synchronous rotation state, in which its spin and orbital period are equal. The system then evolves to the dual synchronous state over a longer time scale, lasting perhaps millions of years (Dobrovolskis et al., 1997). We use a simple model of orbital and interior evolution to show that evolution of the system into the dual-synchronous state likely created and/or maintained an ocean within Pluto, leaving behind a pattern of tectonic features on its surface consistent with de-spinning stresses. At the same time, high stresses leading to possible tectonic activity would have been created on Charon due to the collapse of its tidal and rotational bulges. Unlike prior studies of the system evolution that assume a nominal, constant Love number, we calculate frequency- and structure-dependent tidal Love numbers to estimate the magnitude of stress on Pluto and Charon, and the amount of tidal heat dissipated within Pluto. We show that the time scale for the overall evolution of the system is strongly dependent on the interior state of the primary after the satellite-forming impact. For Charon to evolve to its present-day location on a time

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Observational Results from the 2007 March 18 Pluto Stellar Occultation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Babcock, B. A.; Souza, S. P.; McKay, A. J.; Person, M. J.; Elliot, J. L.; Gulbis, A. A.; Zuluaga, C. A.; Hill, J. M.; Ryan, E. V.; Ryan, W. H.

    2007-10-01

    Our consortium observed the 5-minute occultation by Pluto of the star we call P445.3 (2UCAC 25823784, UCAC magnitude 15.3; McDonald and Elliot, 2000, AJ 120, 1599) from sites in the American southwest on 2007 March 17/18 (18 March, UT). Shadow velocity was 6.8 km/s. The 2007 occultation grazed the atmosphere. We were able to use one of the 8.4-m mirrors of the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory, still in its engineering stage, though only with its facility guide camera and not with our Portable Occultation, Eclipse, and Transit System (POETS) CCD/GPS/computer instruments (Souza et al., 2006, PASP 118, 1550). Because of the accurate GPS timing, we were able to align the light curve obtained, which included only the second half of the occultation, with results from other telescopes, including the visible, beamsplit light curve obtained by our group with the 6.5-m MMT (Person et al., 2007, this meeting). We also used, with POETS, the 2.4-m Magdalena Ridge Observatory near Socorro, New Mexico; a partial light curve was obtained despite variable cloudiness throughout the 80 min observation. The location of this telescope was the farthest into the occultation path, and thus led to the deepest incursion into Pluto's atmosphere of the starlight of the major telescopes we used. Light curves were generated by frame-by-frame synthetic-aperture photometry. The large increase in atmospheric pressure we had earlier measured at the 2002 occultation compared with measurements at the first successful Pluto occultation, in 1988, has ceased, as shown by both the 2006 and the current, 2007 measurements. Acknowledgments: We thank Richard Green for granting Director's Discretionary time for the LBT observations. This work was partially funded by NASA Planetary Astronomy grants NNG05GG75G, NNG04GE48G, NNG04GF25G, and NNH04ZSS001N to Williams College and to MIT.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. New Insights into the Structure, Origin, and Evolution of Pluto and Charon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    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 (M. Brozović et al., Icarus 246, 317-329, 2015), the densities of both Pluto and Charon are now known. At the 10% level, the densities of Pluto and Charon 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 for binaries, a rock-poor Charon corresponds to an iron-poor Moon in the terrestrial case, with differentiated precursors being implied in both cases. A rock-rich Charon, however, implies that the precursor impacting bodies were at most only partially differentiated — possessing relatively thin ice shells (R.M. Canup, Astron. J. 141, 35, 2011). This suggests some combination of relatively slow and/or late accretion in the ancestral Kuiper belt. A more rock-rich Charon also implies a more vigorous geological history, all other things being equal. For Pluto, the evolution to the surface of a substantial mass of supervolatile ices increases the likelihood that internal volatiles such as ammonia and methanol have been sequestered in an internal, aqueous layer (or ocean).

  1. The trans-neptunian object UB313 is larger than Pluto.

    PubMed

    Bertoldi, F; Altenhoff, W; Weiss, A; Menten, K M; Thum, C

    2006-02-02

    The most distant known object in the Solar System, 2003 UB313 (97 au from the Sun), was recently discovered near its aphelion. Its high eccentricity and inclination to the ecliptic plane, along with its perihelion near the orbit of Neptune, identify it as a member of the 'scattered disk'. This disk of bodies probably originates in the Kuiper belt objects, which orbit near the ecliptic plane in circular orbits between 30 and 50 au, and may include Pluto as a member. The optical brightness of 2003 UB313, if adjusted to Pluto's distance, is greater than that of Pluto, which suggested that it might be larger than Pluto. The actual size, however, could not be determined from the optical measurements because the surface reflectivity (albedo) was unknown. Here we report observations of the thermal emission of 2003 UB313 at a wavelength of 1.2 mm, which in combination with the measured optical brightness leads to a diameter of 3,000 +/- 300 +/- 100 km. Here the first error reflects measurement uncertainties, while the second derives from the unknown object orientation. This makes 2003 UB313 the largest known trans-neptunian object, even larger than Pluto (2,300 km). The albedo is 0.60 +/- 0.10 +/- 0.05, which is strikingly similar to that of Pluto, suggesting that the methane seen in the optical spectrum causes a highly reflective icy surface.

  2. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Buie, Marc W.; Folkner, William M. E-mail: william.m.folkner@jpl.nasa.gov

    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.

  4. Formation of Pluto's moons: the fission hypothesis revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prentice, A. J.

    2015-12-01

    I re-examine the fission hypothesis for the formation of Pluto's moons within the framework of a gas ring model for the origin of the solar system (Prentice 1978 Moon Planets 19 341; 2015 LPSC, abs. 2664). It is supposed that the planetary system condensed from a concentric family of orbiting gas rings. These were cast off by the proto-solar cloud (PSC) as a means for disposing of excess spin angular momentum during gravitational contraction. If contraction is homologous, the mean orbital radii R(n) (n = 0,1,2,3,..) of the rings form a nearly geometric sequence. The temperatures T(n) of the rings scale roughly as T(n) = A/R(n) and the gas pressures p(n) on the gas ring mean orbits scale as p(n) = B/R(n)^4. The constants A & B are chosen so that (1) the geometric mean of the ratio R(n+1)/R(n) of successive gas ring radii from Jupiter to Mercury matches the observed mean ratio of planetary distances and (2) that the metal mass fraction at Mercury's orbit, namely 0.70, yields a planet whose mean density equals the observed value (Prentice 2008, LPSC abs. 1945.pdf). I assume that proto-Pluto (PPO) condensed within the n = 0 gas ring shed by the PSC at the orbit of Quaoar (43.2 AU). Here T(0) = 26.3 K and p(0) = 1.3 x 10^(-9) bar. The condensate consists of anhydrous rock (mass fraction 0.5255), graphite (0.0163), water ice (0.1858), dry ice (0.2211), and methane ice (0.0513). The RTP rock density is 3.662 g/cc. I assume that melting of the ices in the PPO took place through the decay of short-lived radioactive nuclides, causing internal segregation of rock & graphite. If rotational fission did occur and Pluto's moons formed from ejected liquid water and CO2, we get a Charon mean density of 1.24 g/cc. This is much lower than the observed value. Perhaps some of the rock and graphite became entrained in the fissioned liquid, so yielding a dense core for Charon of mass fraction ~0.4? In any event, the surfaces of all of the moons should have initially been football

  5. Pluto/Kuiper Missions with Advanced Electric Propulsion and Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, S. R.; Patterson, M. J.; Schrieber, J.; Gefert, L. P.

    2001-01-01

    In response to a request by NASA Code SD Deep Space Exploration Technology Program, NASA Glenn Research center performed a study to identify advanced technology options to perform a Pluto/Kuiper mission without depending on a 2004 Jupiter Gravity Assist, but still arriving before 2020. A concept using a direct trajectory with small, sub-kilowatt ion thrusters and Stirling radioisotope power system was shown to allow the same or smaller launch vehicle class (EELV) as the chemical 2004 baseline and allow launch in any year and arrival in the 2014 to 2020 timeframe. With the nearly constant power available from the radioisotope power source such small ion propelled spacecraft could explore many of the outer planetary targets. Such studies are already underway. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  6. Methane absorption variations in the spectrum of Pluto

    SciTech Connect

    Buie, M.W.; Fink, U.

    1987-06-01

    The lightcurve phases of 0.18, 0.35, 0.49, and 0.98 covered by 5600-10,500 A absolute spectrophotometry of Pluto during four nights include minimum (0.98) light and one near-maximum (0.49) light. The spectra are noted to exhibit significant methane band absorption depth variations at 6200, 7200, 7900, 8400, 8600, 8900, and 10,000 A, with the minimum absorption occurring at minimum light and thereby indicating a 30-percent change in the methane column abundance in the course of three days. An attempt is made to model this absorption strength variation with rotational phase terms of an isotropic surface distribution of methane frost and a clear layer of CH4 gas. 34 references.

  7. Developing a project-based computational physics course grounded in expert practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burke, Christopher J.; Atherton, Timothy J.

    2017-04-01

    We describe a project-based computational physics course developed using a backwards course design approach. From an initial competency-based model of problem solving in computational physics, we interviewed faculty who use these tools in their own research to determine indicators of expert practice. From these, a rubric was formulated that enabled us to design a course intended to allow students to learn these skills. We also report an initial implementation of the course and, by having the interviewees regrade student work, show that students acquired many of the expert practices identified.

  8. Objectives and Progress on Ground Vibration Testing for the Ares Projects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tuma, Margaret L.; Chenevert, Donald J.

    2010-01-01

    Integrated vehicle ground vibration testing (IVGVT) will be a vital component for ensuring the safety of NASA s next generation of exploration vehicles to send human beings to the Moon and beyond. A ground vibration test (GVT) measures the fundamental dynamic characteristics of launch vehicles during various phases of flight. The Ares Flight & Integrated Test Office (FITO) will be conducting the IVGVT for the Ares I crew launch vehicle at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) from 2012 to 2014 using Test Stand (TS) 4550. MSFC conducted similar GVT for the Saturn V and Space Shuttle vehicles. FITO will perform the IVGVT on the Ares I crew launch vehicle, which will lift the Orion crew exploration vehicle to low Earth orbit, and the Ares V cargo launch vehicle, which can launch the lunar lander into orbit and send the combined Orion/lander vehicles toward the Moon. Ares V consists of a six-engine core stage with two solid rocket boosters and an Earth departure stage (EDS). The same engine will power the EDS and the Ares I second stage. The current plan is to test six configurations in three unique test positions inside TS 4550. Four Ares I second stage test configurations will be tested in Position 3, consisting of the Upper Stage and Orion crew module in four nominal conditions: J-2X engine ignition, post Launch Abort System (LAS) jettison, critical slosh mass, and J-2X burn-out. Position 2 consists of the entire launch stack at first stage burn-out (using empty first stage segments). Position 1 represents the entire launch stack at lift-off (using inert first stage segments). Because of long disuse, TS 4550 is being repaired and modified for reactivation to conduct the Ares I IVGVT. The Shuttle-era platforms have been removed and are being replaced with mast climbers that provide ready access to the test articles and can be moved easily to support different positions within the test stand. Two new cranes will help move test articles at the test stand and at the

  9. Nonuniform fast Fourier transform-based fast back-projection algorithm for stepped frequency continuous wave ground penetrating radar imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qu, Lele; Yin, Yuqing

    2016-10-01

    Stepped frequency continuous wave ground penetrating radar (SFCW-GPR) systems are becoming increasingly popular in the GPR community due to the wider dynamic range and higher immunity to radio interference. The traditional back-projection (BP) algorithm is preferable for SFCW-GPR imaging in layered mediums scenarios for its convenience and robustness. However, the existing BP imaging algorithms are usually very computationally intensive, which limits their practical applications to SFCW-GPR imaging. To solve the above problem, a fast SFCW-GPR BP imaging algorithm based on nonuniform fast Fourier transform (NUFFT) technique is proposed in this paper. By reformulating the traditional BP imaging algorithm into the evaluations of NUFFT, the computational efficiency of NUFFT is exploited to reduce the computational complexity of the imaging reconstruction. Both simulation and experimental results have verified the effectiveness and improvement of computational efficiency of the proposed imaging method.

  10. Assessing the capability of numerical methods to predict earthquake ground motion: the Euroseistest verification and validation project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaljub, E. O.; Bard, P.; Tsuno, S.; Kristek, J.; Moczo, P.; Franek, P.; Hollender, F.; Manakou, M.; Raptakis, D.; Pitilakis, K.

    2009-12-01

    During the last decades, an important effort has been dedicated to develop accurate and computationally efficient numerical methods to predict earthquake ground motion in heterogeneous 3D media. The progress in methods and increasing capability of computers have made it technically feasible to calculate realistic seismograms for frequencies of interest in seismic design applications. In order to foster the use of numerical simulation in practical prediction, it is important to (1) evaluate the accuracy of current numerical methods when applied to realistic 3D applications where no reference solution exists (verification) and (2) quantify the agreement between recorded and numerically simulated earthquake ground motion (validation). Here we report the results of the Euroseistest verification and validation project - an ongoing international collaborative work organized jointly by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, the Cashima research project (supported by the French nuclear agency, CEA, and the Laue-Langevin institute, ILL, Grenoble), and the Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France. The project involves more than 10 international teams from Europe, Japan and USA. The teams employ the Finite Difference Method (FDM), the Finite Element Method (FEM), the Global Pseudospectral Method (GPSM), the Spectral Element Method (SEM) and the Discrete Element Method (DEM). The project makes use of a new detailed 3D model of the Mygdonian basin (about 5 km wide, 15 km long, sediments reach about 400 m depth, surface S-wave velocity is 200 m/s). The prime target is to simulate 8 local earthquakes with magnitude from 3 to 5. In the verification, numerical predictions for frequencies up to 4 Hz for a series of models with increasing structural and rheological complexity are analyzed and compared using quantitative time-frequency goodness-of-fit criteria. Predictions obtained by one FDM team and the SEM team are close and different from other predictions

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The 3/4 July 2010 Pluto Stellar-Occultation Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Elliot, J. L.; Souza, S. P.; Person, M. J.; Zuluaga, C.; Bosh, A. S.; Zangari, A. M.; Jensen-Clem, R.; Lockhart, M.; Gulbis, A. A. S.; Rojo, P.; Lu, M.; Malamut, C.; Levine, S. E.; Ivarsen, K. M.; Reichart, D. E.; LaCluyze, A. P.; Nysewander, M. C.; Haislip, J. B.; MacDonald, R. K. D.; Bailyn, C. D.; Emilio, M.; Jehin, E.; Gillon, M.; Manfroid, J.; Chantry, V.; Magain, P.; Hutsemekers, D.; Queloz, D.

    2010-10-01

    Continuing our monitoring of Pluto's atmospheric temperature and pressure, previously shown by us to be increasing (Elliot et al., Nature 424, 165, 2003; Pasachoff et al., AJ 129, 1718, 2005) and subsequently found by us to be leveling off (Elliot et al., AJ 134, 1, 2007), we report on a stellar occultation by Pluto of UCAC2 mag=15.3, observed from South America and Africa on 4 July 2010 UT. Success was achieved with a 0.45 m at Cerro Calan using one of our POETS (Portable Occultation, Eclipse, and Transit System; Souza et al. PASP 118, 1550, 2006), a 1.0 SMARTS (Small and Medium Aperture Research Telescope System) at Cerro Tololo, four 0.6 m telescopes of PROMPT (Panchromatic Robotic Optical Monitoring and Polarimetry Telescopes) on Cerro Tololo, and TRAPPIST's (TRansiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope) 0.6-m telescope on La Silla in Chile; the 0.35 m telescope of U. Ponta Grossa, Brazil; and the 0.75-m ATOM (Automatic Telescope for Optical Monitoring), Namibia, using POETS. Winds prevented opening the 6.5 m Magellan/Clay telescope on Las Campanas, Chile, with its own frame-transfer camera, and clouds obscured the 1.9 m telescope at Sutherland, South Africa, which had POETS. With shadow velocity 23.6 km/s, it was a rapid event: maximum occultation <2 minutes. The observations were supported in part by grants NNX08AO50G to Williams College and NNX10AB27G to MIT from NASA's Planetary Astronomy Division, and NNH08AI17I to USNO for astrometry. Student participation was supported in part by NASA's Massachusetts Space Grant and NSF's REU. Japan's government donated U. Chile's Cerro Calan Goto telescope. PROMPT observations were made possible by the Robert Martin Ayers Science Fund. TRAPPIST is a project driven by the University of Liège, in close collaboration with the Observatory of Geneva, supported by the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research and the Swiss National Science Foundation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalucha, Angela M.

    2016-06-01

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

  17. New Horizons Sees Pluto (Sept. 21) Note: There is debate within the science community as to whether

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    A white arrow marks Pluto in this New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) picture taken Sept. 21, 2006. Seen at a distance of about 4.2 billion kilometers (2.6 billion miles) from the spacecraft, Pluto is little more than a faint point of light among a dense field of stars. Mission scientists knew they had Pluto in their sights when LORRI detected an unresolved 'point' in Pluto's predicted position, moving at the planet's expected motion across the constellation of Sagittarius near the plane of the Milky Way galaxy.

  18. New Horizons Sees Pluto (Sept. 24) Note: There is debate within the science community as to whether

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    A white arrow marks Pluto in this New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) picture taken Sept. 21, 2006. Seen at a distance of about 4.2 billion kilometers (2.6 billion miles) from the spacecraft, Pluto is little more than a faint point of light among a dense field of stars. Mission scientists knew they had Pluto in their sights when LORRI detected an unresolved 'point' in Pluto's predicted position, moving at the planet's expected motion across the constellation of Sagittarius near the plane of the Milky Way galaxy.

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

    SciTech Connect

    2011-01-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The Pluto System: Initial Results from the Exploration by New Horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, S. A.; Weaver, Harold; Young, Leslie; Olkin, Catherine; Ennico, Kimberly; Moore, Jeff; Grundy, Will; Gladstone, Randall; Bagenal, Fran

    2015-11-01

    The Pluto system was recently explored by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, which made closest approach on 14 July 2015. Pluto’s surface is found to be remarkably diverse in landforms, terrain ages, and albedo, color, and composition gradients. Strong evidence is found for a water-ice crust, geologically young surface units, ice convection, wind streaks, and glacial flow. Pluto’s atmosphere is found to be very extended, and contains newly discovered trace hydrocarbons, has an extensive global haze layer, and a surprisingly low surface pressure of ~10 microbars. Pluto’s wide range of surface expressions and long term activity raises fundamental questions about how small planets can have active processes billions of years after their formation. The geology of Pluto’s large moon Charon’s is also surprisingly diverse, displaying tectonics and evidence for a heterogeneous crustal composition; the north pole displays puzzling dark terrain. No evidence for a Charon atmosphere is found. Pluto’s small satellites Hydra and Nix are small, elongated objects with higher albedos than expected. Surprisingly, despite much improved diameter limits, no new satellites are found. We will present an overview of the New Horizons flyby, payload, and results. This work was supported by the NASA New Horizons project.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Ground-water resources of the Paintrock irrigation project, Wyoming, with a section on the quality of the water

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Swenson, Frank Albert; Bach, W. Kenneth; Swenson, Herbert A.

    1951-01-01

    The ground-water conditions of the area covered by the Paintrock irrigation project, in north-central Wyoming, were investigated during the summer of 1947. The purpose of the study was to obtain a general evaluation of ground-water recharge, discharge, and storage in the area now irrigated and in the adjacent areas where additional lands are to be irrigated.Much of the area covered by this report consists of flat to gently sloping stream terraces and alluvial-bottoms along Nowood, Paintrock, and Medicine Lodge Creeks. The stream-terrace materials consist of fluviatile sand, clay, and gravel. The alluvium is very fine grained and in general has low permeability. The materials underlying the stream terraces and the bottomlands became progressively finer grained and less permeable downstream.The bedrock formations underlying the area studied range from the Madison limestone of Mississippian age to the Fort Union formation of Paleocene age. Beds have been folded into several prominent structures which trend northwest-southeast across the area. Several of the formations exposed in the area serve as aquifers and yield water to domestic and stock wells. The most important bedrock aquifers are the Fort Union, Lance, Meeteetee, Mesaverde, Frontier, Cloverly and Morrison formations , the Tensleep sandstone, the Amsden formation, and the Madison limestone. More than 7,000 feet of strata are exposed in the area, the older beds being exposed on the western flank of the Big Horn Range near the eastern end of the area.The quality of the water in the project ranges within wide limits. The concentration of dissolved solids in seven samples of ground water ranges from 279 parts per million for a water in the Tensleep sandstone to 4,590 parts per million for a water in the Morrison formation. The hardness as calcium carbonate (CaCO3) ranges from 13 to 1,680 parts per million. Limited data on the quality of water in Nowood and Paintrock Creeks indicate that these waters are suitable

  6. Ground-based & satellite DOAS measurements integration for air quality evaluation/forecast management in the frame of QUITSAT Project.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostadinov, Ivan; Petritoli, Andrea; Giovanelli, Giorgio; Masieri, Samuele; Premuda, Margarita; Bortoli, Daniele; Ravegnani, Fabrizio; Palazzi, Elisa

    The observations of the Earth's atmosphere from space provide excellent opportunities for the exploration of the sophisticated physical-chemical processes on both global and regional scales. The major interest during the last three decades was focused mainly on the stratosphere and the ozone depletion. More recently the continuous improvements of satellite sensors have revealed new opportunities for larger applications of space observations, attracting scientific interest to the lower troposphere and air quality issues. The air quality depends strongly on the anthropogenic activity and therefore regional environmental agencies along with policy makers are in need of appropriate means for its continuous monitoring and control to ensure the adoption of the most appropriate actions. The goal of the pilot project QUITSAT, funded by the Italian Space Agency, is to develop algorithms and procedures for the evaluation and prediction of the air quality in Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna regions (Italy) by means of integrating satellite observations with ground-based in-situ and remote sensing measurements. This work presents dedicated Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) measurements performed during the summer of 2007 and the winter of 2008. One of the DOAS instruments operate at Mt.Cimone station (2165m a.s.l) and the other two instruments conducted measurements in/near Bologna (90 m. a.s.l). Different observational geometry was adopted (zenith-sky, multi-axis and long-path) aimed to provide tropospheric NO2 columns and O3, SO2 and HCHO concentrations at ground level as an input data for QUITSAT procedures. Details of the instruments, the radiative transfer model used and the algorithms for retrieving and calculation of the target gases concentrations are presented. The obtained experimental results are correlated with the corresponding ones retrieved from SCIAMACHY /ENVISAT observations during the overpasses above the ground-based instruments. The analysis

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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. Geophysi