A Pluto-like radius and a high albedo for the dwarf planet Eris from an occultation
Sicardy, B. and Ortiz, J.L. and Assafin, M. and Jehin, E. and Maury, A. and Lellouch, E. and Gil Hutton, R. and Braga-Ribas, F. and Colas, F. and Herstroffer, D. and Lecacheux, J. and Roques, F. and Santos-Sanz, P. and Widemann, T. and Morales, N. and Duffard, R. and Thirouin, A. and Castro-Tirado, A.J. and Jelınek, M. and Kubanek, P. and Sota, A. and Sanchez-Ramirez, R. and Andrei, A.H. and Camargo, J.I.B. and da Silva Neto, D.N. and Ramos Gomes Jr., A. and Vieira Martins, R. and Gillon, M. and Manfroid, J. and Tozzi, G.P. and Harlingten, C. and Saravia, S. and Behrend, R. and Mottola, S. and Garcia Melendo, E. and Peris, V. and Fabregat, J. and Madiedo, J.M. and Cuesta, L. and Eibe, M.T. and Ullan, A. and Organero, F. and Pastor, S. and de los Reyes, J.A. and Pedraz, S. and Castro, A. and de la Cueva, I. and Muler, G. and Steele, I.A. and Cebrian, M. and Montanes-Rodriguez, P. and Oscoz, A. and Weaver, D. and Jacques, C. and Corradi, W.J.B. and Santos, F.P. and Reis, W. and Milone, A. and Emilio, M. and Gutierrez, L. and Vazquez, R. and Hernandez-Toledo, H. (2011) A Pluto-like radius and a high albedo for the dwarf planet Eris from an occultation. Nature, 478, pp. 493-496. Macmillan Publishers. DOI: 10.1038/nature10550.
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Official URL: http://www.nature.com/nature/index.html
The dwarf planet Eris is a trans-Neptunian object with an orbital eccentricity of 0.44, an inclination of 44 degrees and a surface composition very similar to that of Pluto. It resides at present at 95.7 astronomical units (1 AU is the Earth-Sun distance) from Earth, near its aphelion and more than three times farther than Pluto. Owing to this great distance, measuring its size or detecting a putative atmosphere is difficult. Here we report the observation of a multi-chord stellar occultation by Eris on 6 November 2010 UT. The event is consistent with a spherical shape for Eris, with radius 1,163 ± 66 kilometres, density 2.52 ± 0.05 grams per cm3 and a high visible geometric albedo, pV=0.96 (+0.09; -0.04). No nitrogen, argon or methane atmospheres are detected with surface pressure larger than 1 nanobar, about 10,000 times more tenuous than Pluto’s present atmosphere. As Pluto’s radius is estimated to be between 1,150 and 1,200 kilometres, Eris appears as a Pluto twin, with a bright surface possibly caused by a collapsed atmosphere, owing to its cold environment. We anticipate that this atmosphere may periodically sublimate as Eris approaches its perihelion, at 37.8 astronomical units from the Sun.
|Title:||A Pluto-like radius and a high albedo for the dwarf planet Eris from an occultation|
|Date:||27 October 2011|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Nature|
|In Open Access:||No|
|In ISI Web of Science:||Yes|
|Page Range:||pp. 493-496|
|Keywords:||Eris, Pluto, dwarf planet, albedo|
|HGF - Research field:||Aeronautics, Space and Transport|
|HGF - Program:||Space|
|HGF - Program Themes:||W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums|
|DLR - Research area:||Space|
|DLR - Program:||W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums|
|DLR - Research theme (Project):||W - Vorhaben Exploration des Sonnensystems (old)|
|Institutes and Institutions:||Institute of Planetary Research > Asteroids and Comets|
|Deposited By:||Dr.phys. Stefano Mottola|
|Deposited On:||17 Nov 2011 13:00|
|Last Modified:||26 Mar 2013 13:32|
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