Fluid/Kinetic Hybrid Simulation of Atmospheric Escape: Pluto


A hybrid fluid/molecular kinetic model was developed to describe the escape of molecules from the gravitational well of a planet's atmosphere. This model was applied to a one dimensional, radial description of molecular escape from the atmosphere of Pluto and compared to purely fluid dynamic simulations of escape for two solar heating cases. The hybrid simulations show that the atmospheric temperature vs. altitude and the escape rates can differ significantly from those obtained using only a fluid description of the atmosphere.

Jeans escape, Slow Hydrodynamic, Pluto, Thermal escape, atmospheric properties, solar system dwarf planets, planetary atmospheres, atmospheric escape
Tucker, O., Erwin, J., Johnson, R., Volkov, A., Cassidy, T. (2011): Fluid/Kinetic Hybrid Simulation of Atmospheric Escape: Pluto. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1333(1). DOI: 10.1063/1.3562798