-Catching The Shadow of a Neptunian Moon

-Tumblr of SOFIA Chasing Triton

-Astronomy From 14,000 Meters (45,000 feet)

-The Triton stellar occultation of 2017 October 05

-An Eclipse by Any Other Name: Doing Science with Transits and Occultations

-NASA's flying observatory expanding new frontiers in the solar system and beyond

-Triton Occultation Info from MIT





From Harvard.edu on Triton Occultation: "When it was first examined with stellar occultations in the 1990s, Triton's atmosphere was seen to undergo global expansion during the period from 1993 to 1997. This expansion was confirmed as a continuing phenomenon with a stellar occultation observation in 2001 . Unfortunately, as Triton started to pass through a fairly sparse star field, occultation observations have been much more difficult to make. There have been no published occultation data on Triton's atmosphere since the 2001 event, and reported observations in early 2007 had too low of a signal-to-noise ratio to say anything about the atmospheric profile. Thus, it has been over 15 years since the last direct measurement of Triton's expanding atmosphere was made, leaving wide open the question of Triton's current atmospheric state. Is the atmosphere still expanding or is it now collapsing? Are the haze layers seen by Voyager still present? Are the variations seen in the 1990s seasonal or cyclic on shorter time scales due to Triton surface processes? The observation of stellar occultations remains the only way to gain current data on Triton's atmosphere from Earth, and SOFIA's unique ability to be reliably placed in the central flash region of occultation events where the richest dataset is available, and its immunity to low-level weather disturbances make it the ideal platform for updating our knowledge on Triton and beginning to answer these many outstanding questions. We therefore propose to use SOFIA with HIPO, FLITECAM (FLIPO), and the FPI+ to measure temperature, pressure, and particulate haze radial profiles of Triton's atmosphere by observing a stellar occultation which will be visible over the eastern portion of North America in October of 2017. We expect to use FLITECAM/HIPO (FLIPO) Guaranteed Time Observing (GTO) hours for the included observations with the agreement of the FLITECAM and HIPO instrument teams."

-Flight Plan for September 25/26

-SOFIA Schedule for Triton