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H. B. Hammel (SSI)
Recent Triton occultation results indicate that an increase in temperature ("global warming") may have occurred in the atmosphere of this satellite of Neptune during the past eight years (Elliot et al. 1998, Nature 393, 765). The atmosphere is thought to be in vapor pressure equilibrium with the surface frosts, hence changes in frost coverage can have significant implications for atmospheric stability. I have a long-term set of multiwavelength Triton data spanning more than a decade (the images were obtained for Neptune observations, but Triton is visible in most of the images). Over that time, the data were obtained with nearly identical filters. Changes in Triton's albedo may be detectable if they are large enough. I am producing a comprehensive and self-consistent analysis of the complete Triton data set to supplement the one year's worth of one wavelength that has been published already (Lark et al. 1989, Icarus 79, 15). These data will provide constraints for models which are being invoked to explain the occultation results. The work is funded by NASA Planetary Atmospheres Grant NAG5-8695.