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Global climate model occultation lightcurves tested by August 2018 ground-based stellar occultation

Chen, Sihe and Young, Eliot F. and Young, Leslie A. and Bertrand, Tanguy and Forget, François and Yung, Yuk L. (2021) Global climate model occultation lightcurves tested by August 2018 ground-based stellar occultation. Icarus, 356 . Art. No. 113976. ISSN 0019-1035. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2020.113976.

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Pluto's atmospheric profiles (temperature and pressure) have been studied for decades from stellar occultation lightcurves. In this paper, we look at recent Pluto Global Climate Model (GCM) results (3D temperature, pressure, and density fields) from Bertrand et al. (2020) and use the results to generate model observer's plane intensity fields (OPIF) and lightcurves by using a Fourier optics scheme to model light passing through Pluto's atmosphere (Young, 2012). This approach can accommodate arbitrary atmospheric structures and 3D distributions of haze. We compared the GCM model lightcurves with the lightcurves observed during the 15-AUG-2018 Pluto stellar occultation. We find that the climate scenario which best reproduces the observed data includes a N2 ice mid latitude band in the southern hemisphere. We have also studied different haze and P/T ratio profiles: the haze effectively reduces the central flash strength, and a lower P/T ratio both reduces the central flash strength and incurs anomalies in the shoulders of the central flash.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Young, Eliot F.0000-0001-8242-1076
Young, Leslie A.0000-0002-7547-3967
Bertrand, Tanguy0000-0002-2302-9776
Forget, François0000-0002-3262-4366
Yung, Yuk L.0000-0002-4263-2562
Additional Information:© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Received 21 December 2019, Revised 29 June 2020, Accepted 9 July 2020, Available online 19 July 2020. This work is supported in part by NASA 000329-P2232440 to Caltech, and by NSF 1616115 and NASA SSO 80NSSC19K0824 to SwRI. The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Pluto; Pluto, atmosphere; Occultations
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200720-130843170
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Official Citation:Sihe Chen, Eliot F. Young, Leslie A. Young, Tanguy Bertrand, François Forget, Yuk L. Yung, Global climate model occultation lightcurves tested by August 2018 ground-based stellar occultation, Icarus, Volume 356, 2021, 113976, ISSN 0019-1035, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:104455
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Jul 2020 21:05
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:31

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