Emissivity and the fate of Pluto's atmosphere

J. A. Stansberry, Roger Yelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a simplified model for seasonal changes in Pluto's surface-atmosphere system. The model demonstrates the potential importance of the solid-state phase transition between α-N2 and β-N2, and the accompanying change in emissivity, for predicting the seasonal bulk of Pluto's (and Triton's) atmosphere. Specifically, the model shows that under simplified but not unreasonable assumptions Pluto may have nearly the same atmospheric pressure at aphelion as it does now, near perihelion. The emissivity change which accompanies the α-β phase change should be included in the next generation of Pluto and Triton seasonal models for the purposes of understanding the evolution of their atmospheres over seasonal and climatic timescales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages8
JournalIcarus
Volume141
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pluto atmosphere
Pluto (planet)
Pluto
emissivity
atmosphere
atmospheres
phase transition
atmospheric pressure
solid state
timescale

Keywords

  • Atmospheres, evolution
  • Pluto
  • Pluto, atmosphere
  • Pluto, surface
  • Triton

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Emissivity and the fate of Pluto's atmosphere. / Stansberry, J. A.; Yelle, Roger.

In: Icarus, Vol. 141, No. 2, 10.1999, p. 299-306.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Stansberry, J. A. ; Yelle, Roger. / Emissivity and the fate of Pluto's atmosphere. In: Icarus. 1999 ; Vol. 141, No. 2. pp. 299-306.
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