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Investigating Photochemical Hazes on Pluto with a Photochemical-Microphysical Model

Presentation #114.04 in the session “Pluto System”.

Published onOct 03, 2021
Investigating Photochemical Hazes on Pluto with a Photochemical-Microphysical Model

The existence of haze layers has been confirmed with New Horizons flyby; they exert strong influences on Pluto’s atmosphere through condensation of gaseous species (Wong et al. 2017) and altering the energy budgets (Zhang et al. 2017). Hence, it is important to understand the particle size distribution, which has been shown to be bimodal according to Fan et al. (2021). Chen et al. (2021) examined the global distribution of different sizes of hazes with the global climate model (Bertrand et al. 2020) and found that distribution of hazes has a profound influence on the strength of the central flash in the occultation lightcurves. Fan et al. (2021) also suggests that the inclusion of small-size particles may alter the radiation pathway proposed by Zhang et al. (2017).

Gao et al. (2017) studied the microphysics of the aerosols, including size, shape, and effects of condensation, by considering the condensation of C2 hydrocarbons and HCN. Sticking of gaseous species on to haze particles is suggested to be significant (Luspay-Kuti et al. 2017). Krasnopolsky (2020) investigated the photochemistry on Pluto with a model including C3 and C4 hydrocarbons, which are expected to influence the production of the photochemical hazes.

In this work, we reconstruct these reactions with the 1-dimensional Caltech/JPL chemistry-transport model KINETICS, and use the Community Aerosol Radiation Model for Atmospheres (CARMA) to obtain an improved understanding of the hazes in Pluto’s atmosphere.

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