The atmosphere of Pluto as observed by New Horizons Journal Article uri icon



  • New Horizons unveils the Pluto system; ; In July 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft flew through the Pluto system at high speed, humanity's first close look at this enigmatic system on the outskirts of our solar system. In a series of papers, the New Horizons team present their analysis of the encounter data downloaded so far: Moore; et al.; present the complex surface features and geology of Pluto and its large moon Charon, including evidence of tectonics, glacial flow, and possible cryovolcanoes. Grundy; et al.; analyzed the colors and chemical compositions of their surfaces, with ices of H; 2; O, CH; 4; , CO, N; 2; , and NH; 3; and a reddish material which may be tholins. Gladstone; et al.; investigated the atmosphere of Pluto, which is colder and more compact than expected and hosts numerous extensive layers of haze. Weaver; et al.; examined the small moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra, which are irregularly shaped, fast-rotating, and have bright surfaces. Bagenal; et al.; report how Pluto modifies its space environment, including interactions with the solar wind and a lack of dust in the system. Together, these findings massively increase our understanding of the bodies in the outer solar system. They will underpin the analysis of New Horizons data, which will continue for years to come.; ; ; Science; , this issue pp.; 1284; ,; 10.1126/science.aad9189; ,; 10.1126/science.aad8866; ,; 10.1126/science.aae0030; , &; 10.1126/science.aad9045;

publication date

  • March 18, 2016

has restriction

  • green

Date in CU Experts

  • February 2, 2017 7:09 AM

Full Author List

  • Gladstone GR; Stern SA; Ennico K; Olkin CB; Weaver HA; Young LA; Summers ME; Strobel DF; Hinson DP; Kammer JA

author count

  • 160

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1095-9203

Additional Document Info


  • 351


  • 6279