Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 March 2016
Pluto’s tenuous nitrogen atmosphere was detected by stellar occultations in 1985 and 1988. This atmosphere is poorly known, however, due to the rarity of these events. We report here the first Pluto occultations observed since 1988, on 20 July and 21 August 2002. Our analysis reveals drastic changes undergone by the atmosphere since 1988, namely a two-fold pressure increase, the probable effect of seasonal changes on Pluto over this fourteen year interval.