Pluto and Charon

Front Cover
Alan Stern, David James Tholen
University of Arizona Press, 1997 - Science - 728 pages
For five decades after its discovery in 1930, the planet Pluto remained an enigma. However, several events during the last two decades have helped to lift the veil of mystery surrounding the ninth planet. The discovery of its satellite, Charon, in 1978 permitted occultation observations that allowed scientists to determine the size of both bodies. Astronomers also detected the presence of an atmosphere, and the Hubble Space Telescope provided views in unprecedented detail. In addition to these two fortuitous events, advances in telescopic instrumentation and computational methods led to exciting observational and theoretical discoveries. This new Space Sciences Series volume focuses on the scientific issues associated with Pluto and Charon. Fifty collaborating authors here review the latest research on the Pluto-Charon binary, from bulk properties, surfaces and interiors to atmospheric structure, composition, and dynamics. They also provide historical perspectives on Pluto-Charon research and discuss the population of the trans-Neptunian region and the origin of the Pluto-Charon binary. Also included are prefatory remarks by Pluto's and Charon's discoverers, Clyde Tombaugh and James Christy. This volume offers the most comprehensive available compendium of research work for understanding these far off members of our solar system, just at a time following dramatic developments in our knowledge but before that knowledge can be advanced by spacecraft missions.
 

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Contents

THE PREDICTION AND DISCOVERIES OF PLUTO
3
THE FIRST 50 YEARS OF PLUTOCHARON RESEARCH
27
MUTUAL EVENTS AND STELLAR OCCULTATIONS
85
SPACECRAFT MISSIONS TO PLUTO AND CHARON
103
PLUTOS HELIOCENTRIC ORBIT
127
DYNAMICS OF THE PLUTOCHARON BINARY
159
BULK PROPERTIES OF PLUTO AND CHARON
193
THE SURFACES OF PLUTO AND CHARON
221
COMPOSITION INTERNAL STRUCTURE AND THERMAL
295
PLUTO
347
CHEMICAL MODELS OF PLUTOS ATMOSPHERE
391
VOLATILE TRANSPORT SEASONAL CYCLES
435
ESCAPE PROCESSES AT PLUTO AND CHARON
475
PLUTOS INTERACTION WITH THE SOLAR WIND
523
ON THE ORIGIN OF PLUTO CHARON AND
605
PLUBIB A PLUTOCHARON BIBLIOGRAPHY
667

SURFACE APPEARANCE OF PLUTO AND CHARON
269

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