Changes in Pluto's atmosphere



New findings that Pluto's atmosphere has changed dramatically over the past 14 years make a stronger case for exploring the planet, according to Marc Buie of the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Data from a recent Pluto occultation indicate that the planet's atmosphere has cooled by 20–55°F since an earlier observed occultation in 1988, Buie and James Elliot of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge announced on 14 August.