The surface albedo distribution of Pluto.

M. W. Buie and D. J. Tholen. Icarus 79, 23-27 (1989). .


Two distinct configurations have been established for the surface albedo distribution of Pluto on the basis of a model fitting absolute photometry data obtained over the 1954-1986 period. The two sets of model parameters primarily differ in the equatorial spots; these generate the rotational lightcurve, while the polar caps yield the orbital lightcurve. While the two models predict similar event lightcurves through the end of 1987, they begin to markedly differ in 1988. Mutual event observations made on January 13, 1988 exhibit agreement with only one of the equatorial spot configurations, having one bright and one dark spot.

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