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Paper: A Study of the Seasonal Variation of the Sublimation Rate of the Sputnik Planum Ice Sheet on Pluto
Volume: 513, Serendipities in the Solar System and Beyond
Page: 275
Authors: Shi, H.-S.; Ip, W.-H.
Abstract: The Sputnik Planum(SP) of Pluto is one of the most important discoveries of the New Horizons spacecraft at its flyby observations of the Pluto-Charon system in July 2015. SP is located at the northern mid-latitude hemisphere in the antipodal position to Charon on the opposite side. It contains a large quantity of the nitrogen ice on Pluto and the content of Pluto's atmosphere is likely controlled by the variable sublimation rate of the SP ice. With a large inclination, the surface occurs a big diurnal variation and seasonal changes of the temperature on Pluto. The temperature changes will cause the nitrogen ice sublimate into nitrogen gas from SP, where contains a large quantity of the nitrogen ice and likely controls the composition of Pluto's atmosphere. This set of model calculations will allow us to explore the range of Pluto's atmospheric content and the corresponding escape dynamics.
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