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Sample records for main belt comets

  1. Puzzling Snowballs: Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Bin; Meech, Karen

    2015-03-01

    Main belt comets (MBCs) are a class of newly discovered objects that exhibit comet-like appearances and yet are dynamically indistinguishable from ordinary main belt asteroids. The measured size and albedo of MBCs are similar to those of classical comets. At present, six MBCs have been discovered, namely 133P/Elst-Pizarro, 176P/LINEAR, 238P/Read, P/2008 R1, P/La Sagra and P/2006 VW139. The total number of active MBCs is estimated to be at the level of a few hundreds (Hsieh & Jewitt, 2006). Several explanations for the activity of MBCs have been suggested. These include impact ejection, sublimation and rotational instability. However, since renewed activity has been observed in 133P and 238P at successive perihelion passages, the most likely explanation may be a thermally-driven process - e.g sublimation of exposed surface ice. Although the proximity of MBCs to the Sun (r ~ 3 AU) makes the survival of surface ice improbable, thermal models have shown that water ice is thermally stable under a regolith layer a few meters thick. The study of MBCs has recently been complicated by the discoveries of two asteroid collisional events (P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) and (596) Scheila) in 2010, where comet-like dust coma/tail have been attributed to recent impacts. If MBCs are indeed icy, they represent the closest and the third established reservoir of comets (after the Oort cloud and the Kuiper belt). As such, they may have been an important source of water for the Earth's oceans. I will review the current state of MBC studies, present the latest observational results and discuss possible mechanisms that could produce the observed activity. I will also talk about current and future space missions that are dedicated or closely related to MBC studies.

  2. A population of comets in the main asteroid belt.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Henry H; Jewitt, David

    2006-04-28

    Comets are icy bodies that sublimate and become active when close to the Sun. They are believed to originate in two cold reservoirs beyond the orbit of Neptune: the Kuiper Belt (equilibrium temperatures of approximately 40 kelvin) and the Oort Cloud (approximately 10 kelvin). We present optical data showing the existence of a population of comets originating in a third reservoir: the main asteroid belt. The main-belt comets are unlike the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud comets in that they likely formed where they currently reside and may be collisionally activated. The existence of the main-belt comets lends new support to the idea that main-belt objects could be a major source of terrestrial water.

  3. A population of comets in the main asteroid belt.

    PubMed

    Hsieh, Henry H; Jewitt, David

    2006-04-28

    Comets are icy bodies that sublimate and become active when close to the Sun. They are believed to originate in two cold reservoirs beyond the orbit of Neptune: the Kuiper Belt (equilibrium temperatures of approximately 40 kelvin) and the Oort Cloud (approximately 10 kelvin). We present optical data showing the existence of a population of comets originating in a third reservoir: the main asteroid belt. The main-belt comets are unlike the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud comets in that they likely formed where they currently reside and may be collisionally activated. The existence of the main-belt comets lends new support to the idea that main-belt objects could be a major source of terrestrial water. PMID:16556801

  4. Activating main belt comets by collisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maindl, T. I.; Haghighipour, N.; Schäfer, C.; Speith, R.

    2016-02-01

    Since their identification as a new class of bodies by Hsieh and Jewitt in 2006 active asteroids (or Main Belt Comets, MBCs) have attracted a great deal of interest. Given that sublimation of volatile material (presumably water-ice) drives MBC activity, these bodies are probable candidates for delivering a significant amount of Earth's water. Dynamical studies suggest in-situ formation of MBCs as the remnants of the break-up of large icy asteroids. Also, collisions between MBCs and small objects might have exposed sub-surface water-ice triggering the cometary activity of these bodies. In order to advance the effort of understanding the nature of MBC activation, we have investigated these collision processes by simulating the impacts in detail using a smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) approach that includes material strength and fracture models. Our simulations cover a range of impact velocities (between 0.5 km/s and 5.3 km/s) and angles, allowing m-sized impactors to erode enough of an MBC's surface to expose volatiles and trigger its activation. We also varied the material strength of the active asteroid's surface to study its influence on crater depths and shapes. As expected, depending on the impact energy, impact angle, and MBC's material strength we observe different crater depths. Across all scenarios however, our results show that the crater depths do not exceed a few meters. This implies that if the activity of MBCs is due to sublimating water-ice, ice has to exist in no deeper than a few meters from the surface.

  5. Triggering Comet-Like Activity of Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Maindl, Thomas I.; Schaefer, Christoph; Speith, Roland; Dvorak, Rudolf

    2016-10-01

    Main-belt comets (MBCs) have attracted a great deal of interest since their identification as activated asteroids by Hsieh and Jewitt in 2006. It has been suggested that the comet-like activity of these objects are due to the sublimation of sub-surface water-ice that has been exposed as a result of their surfaces being impacted by small (e.g, m-sized) bodies. We have examined the viability of this scenario by simulating impacts between m-sized impactors and km-sized targets using a smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) approach. We have carried out simulations for a range of impact velocities and angles, material type and strength, and water content of the target allowing m-sized impactors to erode enough of an MBC's surface to trigger its activation. Results indicate that for the range of impact velocities corresponding to those in the asteroid belt, the depth of an impact crater is slightly larger than 10 m suggesting that if the activation of MBCs is due to the sublimation of sub-surface water-ice, this ice has to exist no deeper than a few meters from the surface. Our simulations point to a clearly notable spread in the aggregated crater depths due to different impact energy, impact angles, and MBC's water contents showing deeper craters due to less overall material strength. Results also show that ice-exposure occurs in the bottom and on the interior surface of impact craters as well as the surface of the target where some of the ejected icy inclusions are re-accreted. Our results, in addition to demonstrating that the impact scenario is indeed a viable mechanism to expose ice and trigger the activity of MBCs, indicate that the activity of the current MBCs is likely due to ice sublimation from multiple impact sites and/or the water contents of these objects (and other asteroids in the outer asteroid belt) is larger than the 5% that is traditionally considered in models of terrestrial planet formation. We present details of our simulations and discuss their

  6. Cosmic Roulette: Comets In The Main Belt Asteroid Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beech, Martin; Gauer, Kai

    2002-08-01

    We have produced top ten ranked lists of impact velocity, mainbelt asteroid region dwell times and impact probabilities for a selection of short period comets. The comet with the combined highest ranking with respect to impact probability and impact velocity is Comet C/1766 G1 Helfenzrieder. Since it is not clear that this comet still exists, the highest ranked, presently active, comet with respect to the likelihood of suffering impacts from meter-sized objects while in the main belt asteroid region is Comet 28P/Neujmin 1. We find no evidence to support the existence of a distinctive sub-set of the short period comets liable to show repeated outburst or splitting behavioursdue to small body, meter-sized, asteroid impacts.

  7. Triggering Comet-Like Activity of Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.; Maindl, T. I.; Schäfer, C.; Speith, R.; Dvorak, R.

    2016-01-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) have attracted a great deal of interest since their identification as a new class of bodies by Hsieh and Jewitt in 2006. Much of this interest is due to the implication that MBC activity is driven by the sublimation of volatile material (presumed to be water-ice) presenting these bodies as probable candidates for the delivery of a significant fraction of Earth's water. Results of the studies of the dynamics of MBCs suggest that these objects might have formed in-situ as the remnants of the break-up of large icy asteroids. Simulations also show that collisions among MBCs and small objects could have played an important role in triggering the cometary activity of these bodies. Such collisions might have exposed sub-surface water-ice which sublimated and created thin atmospheres and tails around MBCs. In order to drive the effort of understanding the nature of the activation of MBCs, we have investigated these collision processes by simulating the impacts in detail using a smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) approach that includes material strength and fracture models. We have carried out simulations for a range of impact velocities and angles, allowing m-sized impactors to erode enough of an MBC's surface to expose volatiles and trigger its activation. Impact velocities were varied between 0.5 km/s and 5.3 km/s, and the projectile radius was chosen to be 1 m. As expected, we observe significantly different crater depths depending on the impact energy, impact angle, and MBC's material strength. Results show that for all values of impact velocity and angle, crater depths are only a few meters, implying that if the activity of MBCs is due to the sublimation of water-ice, ice has to exist in no deeper than a few meters from the surface. We present details of our simulations and discuss the implications of their results.

  8. Asteroid Family Associations of Main-Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Novakovic, Bojan; Kim, Yoonyoung; Brasser, Ramon

    2016-10-01

    We present a population-level analysis of the asteroid family associations of known main-belt comets or main-belt comet candidates (which, to date, have largely just been analyzed on individual bases as they have been discovered). In addition to family associations that have already been reported in the literature, we have identified dynamical relationships between 324P/La Sagra and the Alauda family, P/2015 X6 (PANSTARRS) and the Aeolia family, and P/2016 G1 (PANSTARRS) and the Adeona family. We will discuss the overall implications of these family associations, particularly as they pertain to the hypothesis that members of primitive asteroid family members may be more susceptible to producing observable sublimation-driven dust emission activity, and thus becoming main-belt comets. We will also discuss the significance of other dynamical and physical properties of a family or sub-family as they relate to the likelihood of that family containing one or more currently active main-belt comets.

  9. MAIN-BELT COMET P/2008 R1 (GARRADD)

    SciTech Connect

    Jewitt, David; Yang Bin; Haghighipour, Nader E-mail: yangbin@ifa.hawaii.edu

    2009-05-15

    We present a study of the newly discovered main-belt comet P/2008 R1 (Garradd), an object with the dynamical characteristics of an asteroid and the physical characteristics of a comet. Photometry sets a limit to the effective radius of the nucleus at r{sub e} < 0.7 km (red geometric albedo 0.05 assumed). The coma shows a secular fading in our data caused by the escape of dust particles from the near-nucleus environment. The optical reflection spectrum is a nearly neutral continuum devoid of gaseous emission lines, from which we derive a limit to the cyanide (CN) radical production rate of Q {sub CN}< 1.4 x 10{sup 23} s{sup -1} and infer a mass-loss rate <1.5 kg s{sup -1} at the time of our observations. Unlike the first-reported main-belt comets, P/2008 R1 is not dynamically stable. The nearby 8:3 mean-motion resonance with Jupiter induces dynamical instability on timescales 20-30 Myr. Hence, we conclude that P/2008 R1 has recently arrived from a more stable source elsewhere. The high Tisserand parameter of the orbit (in fact, with T{sub J} = 3.216 it is the highest of any comet) points to a source in the asteroid belt itself, instead of in the Kuiper belt (putative source of the Jupiter family comets). We infer that P/2008 R1 is an icy body from the outer asteroid belt in which sublimation has been triggered by rising temperatures resulting from a decreasing perihelion distance.

  10. MAIN-BELT COMET 238P/READ REVISITED

    SciTech Connect

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Meech, Karen J.; Pittichova, Jana E-mail: meech@ifa.hawaii.edu

    2011-07-20

    We present a series of observations of the return of activity in main-belt comet (MBC) 238P/Read. Using data obtained in 2010 July and August when 238P appeared to be largely inactive, we find best-fit IAU phase function parameters of H = 19.05 {+-} 0.05 mag, corresponding to a nucleus radius of r{sub n} {approx} 0.4 km (assuming an albedo of p{sub R} = 0.05), and G = -0.03 {+-} 0.05. Observations from 2010 September onward show a clear rise in activity, causing both a notable change in visible morphology and increasing photometric excesses beyond what would be expected based on bare nucleus observations. By the end of the observing period reported on here, the dust mass in the coma shows indications of reaching a level comparable to that observed in 2005, but further observations are highly encouraged once 238P again becomes observable from Earth in mid-2011 to confirm whether this level of activity is achieved, or if the comet shows a noticeable drop in activity strength compared with 2005. Comet 238P is now the second MBC (after 133P/Elst-Pizarro) observed to exhibit recurrent activity, providing strong corroboration for the conclusion that it is a true comet whose active episodes are driven by sublimation of volatile ice.

  11. Triggering Sublimation-driven Activity of Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.; Maindl, T. I.; Schäfer, C.; Speith, R.; Dvorak, R.

    2016-10-01

    It has been suggested that the comet-like activity of main belt comets (MBCs) is due to the sublimation of sub-surface water–ice that has been exposed as a result of their surfaces being impacted by meter-sized bodies. We have examined the viability of this scenario by simulating impacts between meter-sized and kilometer-sized objects using a smooth particle hydrodynamics approach. Simulations have been carried out for different values of the impact velocity and impact angle, as well as different target material and water-mass fractions. Results indicate that for the range of impact velocities corresponding to those in the asteroid belt, the depth of an impact crater is slightly larger than 10 m, suggesting that if the activation of MBCs is due to the sublimation of sub-surface water–ice, this ice has to exist no deeper than a few meters from the surface. Results also show that ice exposure occurs in the bottom and on the interior surface of impact craters, as well as on the surface of the target where some of the ejected icy inclusions are re-accreted. While our results demonstrate that the impact scenario is indeed a viable mechanism to expose ice and trigger the activity of MBCs, they also indicate that the activity of the current MBCs is likely due to ice sublimation from multiple impact sites and/or the water contents of these objects (and other asteroids in the outer asteroid belt) is larger than the 5% that is traditionally considered in models of terrestrial planet formation, providing more ice for sublimation. We present the details of our simulations and discuss their results and implications.

  12. Main-belt comets: sublimation-driven activity in the asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.

    2016-01-01

    Our knowledge of main-belt comets (MBCs), which exhibit comet-like activity likely due to the sublimation of volatile ices, yet orbit in the main asteroid belt, has increased greatly since the discovery of the first known MBC, 133P/Elst-Pizarro, in 1996, and their recognition as a new class of solar system objects after the discovery of two more MBCs in 2005. I review work that has been done over the last 10 years to improve our understanding of these enigmatic objects, including the development of systematic discovery methods and diagnostics for distinguishing MBCs from disrupted asteroids (which exhibit comet-like activity due to physical disruptions such as impacts or rotational destabilization). I also discuss efforts to understand the dynamical and thermal properties of these objects.

  13. MAIN-BELT COMET P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS)

    SciTech Connect

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Kaluna, Heather M.; Yang Bin; Haghighipour, Nader; Micheli, Marco; Denneau, Larry; Jedicke, Robert; Kleyna, Jan; Veres, Peter; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Ansdell, Megan; Elliott, Garrett T.; Keane, Jacqueline V.; Meech, Karen J.; Riesen, Timm E.; Sonnett, Sarah; Novakovic, Bojan; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Moskovitz, Nicholas A.; Sheppard, Scott S.; and others

    2013-07-01

    We present initial results from observations and numerical analyses aimed at characterizing the main-belt comet P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS). Optical monitoring observations were made between 2012 October and 2013 February using the University of Hawaii 2.2 m telescope, the Keck I telescope, the Baade and Clay Magellan telescopes, Faulkes Telescope South, the Perkins Telescope at Lowell Observatory, and the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope. The object's intrinsic brightness approximately doubles from the time of its discovery in early October until mid-November and then decreases by {approx}60% between late December and early February, similar to photometric behavior exhibited by several other main-belt comets and unlike that exhibited by disrupted asteroid (596) Scheila. We also used Keck to conduct spectroscopic searches for CN emission as well as absorption at 0.7 {mu}m that could indicate the presence of hydrated minerals, finding an upper limit CN production rate of Q{sub CN} < 1.5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 23} mol s{sup -1}, from which we infer a water production rate of Q{sub H{sub 2O}}<5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 25} mol s{sup -1}, and no evidence of the presence of hydrated minerals. Numerical simulations indicate that P/2012 T1 is largely dynamically stable for >100 Myr and is unlikely to be a recently implanted interloper from the outer solar system, while a search for potential asteroid family associations reveals that it is dynamically linked to the {approx}155 Myr old Lixiaohua asteroid family.

  14. Limits on the number distribution of Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnett, S.; Kleyna, J.; Jedicke, R.; Masiero, J.

    2011-10-01

    We searched the Thousand Asteroid Light Curve Survey (TALCS, [1]) data for new Main Belt Comet (MBC) candidates in the most sensitive MBC survey effort to date, extending the search to objects as small as absolute magnitude H ∼ 21 (corresponding to diameters of about 150 m). We identified zero MBC candidates but found evidence that about 5% of all asteroids show low level activity in the form of a directionalized excess flux in the point spread function (PSF). To measure the fractional contribution of the coma to the total surface brightness we fit each of the 924 TALCS objects to a PSF model that incorporated both coma and nuclear components. We determined the significance of the coma detection using the same algorithm on a sample of null detections of comparable magnitude and rate of motion. We did not identify any MBC candidates with this technique to a sensitivity limit on the order of typical cometary mass loss rates of about 0.1 kg/s. Our tail detection algorithm relied on identifying statistically significant flux in a segmented annulus around the candidate object (see Figure 1). We show that the technique can detect tail activity throughout the asteroid belt to the level of the currently known MBCs. Although we did not identify any MBC candidates with this technique we found a statistically significant detection of faint activity in the entire ensemble of TALCS asteroids. This suggests that about 5% of main belt asteroids are active at very low levels. Our null detection of MBCs allows us to set 90% upper confidence limits on the number distribution of MBCs as a function of absolute magnitude, semimajor axis, eccentricity, and inclination. There are <400,000 MBCs in the main belt brighter than HV = 21 (∼ 150 m in diameter) and the MBC:MBA ratio is <1:400. We further comment on the ability of observations to meaningfully constrain the snow line's location. Under some reasonable and simple assumptions we claim 85% confidence that the contemporary snow

  15. Main-belt Comet P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Kaluna, Heather M.; Novaković, Bojan; Yang, Bin; Haghighipour, Nader; Micheli, Marco; Denneau, Larry; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Jedicke, Robert; Kleyna, Jan; Vereš, Peter; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Ansdell, Megan; Elliott, Garrett T.; Keane, Jacqueline V.; Meech, Karen J.; Moskovitz, Nicholas A.; Riesen, Timm E.; Sheppard, Scott S.; Sonnett, Sarah; Tholen, David J.; Urban, Laurie; Kaiser, Nick; Chambers, K. C.; Burgett, William S.; Magnier, Eugene A.; Morgan, Jeffrey S.; Price, Paul A.

    2013-07-01

    We present initial results from observations and numerical analyses aimed at characterizing the main-belt comet P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS). Optical monitoring observations were made between 2012 October and 2013 February using the University of Hawaii 2.2 m telescope, the Keck I telescope, the Baade and Clay Magellan telescopes, Faulkes Telescope South, the Perkins Telescope at Lowell Observatory, and the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope. The object's intrinsic brightness approximately doubles from the time of its discovery in early October until mid-November and then decreases by ~60% between late December and early February, similar to photometric behavior exhibited by several other main-belt comets and unlike that exhibited by disrupted asteroid (596) Scheila. We also used Keck to conduct spectroscopic searches for CN emission as well as absorption at 0.7 μm that could indicate the presence of hydrated minerals, finding an upper limit CN production rate of Q CN < 1.5 × 1023 mol s-1, from which we infer a water production rate of Q_H_2O<5\\times 10^{25} mol s-1, and no evidence of the presence of hydrated minerals. Numerical simulations indicate that P/2012 T1 is largely dynamically stable for >100 Myr and is unlikely to be a recently implanted interloper from the outer solar system, while a search for potential asteroid family associations reveals that it is dynamically linked to the ~155 Myr old Lixiaohua asteroid family. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation, the Magellan Telescopes located at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile, and the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope, which is a joint project of the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, e Inova

  16. Castalia - A Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, G. H.; Snodgrass, C.

    2015-10-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs), or Active Asteroids, constitute a newly identified class of solar system objects. They have stable, asteroid-like orbits and some exhibit a recurrent comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solarsystem in a dormant state and that their current ice sublimation driven activity only began recently. Buried water ice is the only volatile expected to survive under an insulating surface. Excavation by an impact can expose the ice and trigger the start of MBC activity. We present the case for a mission to one of these objects. The specific science goals of the Castalia mission are: 1. Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation 2. Understand the physics of activity on MBCs 3. Directly sample water in the asteroid belt and test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth's water 4. Use the observed structure of an MBC as a tracer of planetary system formation and evolution. These goals can be achieved by a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with and orbit an MBC for a time interval of some months, arriving before the active period for mapping and then sampling the gas and dust released during the active phase. Given the low level of activity of MBCs, and the expectation that their activity comes from only a localized patch on the surface, the orbiting spacecraft will have to be able to maintain a very close orbit over extended periods - the Castalia plan envisages an orbiter capable of 'hovering' autonomously at distances of only a few km from the surface of the MBC. The strawman payload comprises a Visible and near-infrared spectral imager, Thermal infrared imager, Radio science,Subsurface radar, Dust impact detector, Dust composition analyser, Neutral/ion mass spectrometer, Magnetometer, and Plasma package. In addition to this, a surface science package is being considered. At the moment, MBC 133P/Elst Pizarro is the bestknown target for such a mission. A design study for the Castalia mission

  17. Castalia - A Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, G. H.

    2014-12-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs), or Active Asteroids, constitute a newly identified class of solar system objects. They have stable, asteroid-like orbits and some exhibit a recurrent comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their current ice sublimation driven activity only began recently. Buried water ice is the only volatile expected to survive under an insulating surface. Excavation by an impact can expose the ice and trigger the start of MBC activity. We present the case for a mission to one of these objects, to be submitted to the European Space Agency's current call for an M-class mission. The specific science goals of the Castalia mission are: 1. Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation 2. Understand the physics of activity on MBCs 3. Directly sample water in the asteroid belt and test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth's water 4. Use the observed structure of an MBC as a tracer of planetary system formation and evolution. These goals can be achieved by a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with and orbit an MBC for a time interval of some months, arriving before the active period for mapping and then sampling the gas and dust released during the active phase. Given the low level of activity of MBCs, and the expectation that their activity comes from only a localized patch on the surface, the orbiting spacecraft will have to be able to maintain a very close orbit over extended periods - the Castalia plan envisages an orbiter capable of 'hovering' autonomously at distances of only a few km from the surface of the MBC. The strawman payload comprises a Visible and near-infrared spectral imager, Thermal infrared imager, Radio science, Subsurface radar, Dust impact detector, Dust composition analyser, Neutral/ion mass spectrometer, Magnetometer, and Plasma package. In addition to this, a surface science package is being considered. At the moment, MBC 133P

  18. Castalia --- a European Mission to a main-belt comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boehnhardt, H.; Castalia Study Science Team

    2014-07-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a new solar system population with stable asteroid-like orbits and a comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their activity occurred only recently. Buried water ice is the only volatile expected to survive under an insulating surface. Excavation by an impact might expose the ice and trigger the start of MBC activity. Castalia is a science mission to an MBC with the goal to illuminate their mysteries, to decipher the messages of MBCs from the formation period of the planetary system and to explore their possible links to Earth. The specific science goals of the mission are: (1) Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation (2) Understand the physics of activity on MBCs (3) Directly sample primordial water in the asteroid belt (4) Test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth's water (5) Use MBCs as tracers of planetary system formation and evolution. Mission profile: These goals can be achieved by a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with an MBC and orbit it for a time interval of some months to a year, arriving before the active period for mapping and then directly sampling the gas and dust released during the active phase. Given the low level of activity of MBCs, and the expectation that their activity comes from only a localized patch on the surface, the orbiting spacecraft will have to be able to maintain a very close orbit over extended periods - the Castalia plan envisages an orbiter capable of ''hovering'' autonomously at distances of only a few km from the surface of the MBC. Scientific payload: The strawman instrument payload is made up of: Visible and near-infrared spectral imager; Thermal infrared imager; Radars for deep and shallow penetration depths; Radio science; Dust impact detector; Dust composition analyzer; Neutral/ion mass spectrometer; Magnetometer; Plasma package. In addition to this, the option of a surface science

  19. Castalia - A European Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilchenbach, Martin

    2014-05-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a recently identified new solar system population with stable asteroid-like orbits and a comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their activity occurred only recently. Buried water ice is the only volatile expected to survive under an insulating surface. Excavation by an impact might expose the ice and trigger the start of MBC activity. Mission goals: Castalia is a science mission to an MBC with the goal to illuminate their mysteries (namely the activity), to decipher the messages of MBCs from the formation period of the planetary system and to explore possible their links to Earth. The specific science goals of the mission are: (1) Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation (2) Understand the physics of activity on MBCs (3) Directly detect water in the asteroid belt (4) Test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth's water (5)Use MBCs as tracers of planetary system formation and evolution Mission profile: These goals can be achieved by a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with and orbit an MBC for a time interval of some months to a year, arriving before the active period for mapping and then directly sampling the gas and dust released during the active phase. Given the low level of activity of MBCs, and the expectation that their activity comes from only a localized patch on the surface, the orbiting spacecraft will have to be able to maintain a very close orbit over extended periods - the Castalia plan envisages an orbiter capable of 'hovering' autonomously at distances of only a few km from the surface of the MBC. Scientific payload: The strawman instrument payload is made up of: - Visible and near-infrared spectral imager - Thermal infrared imager - Radars for deep and shallow penetration depths - Radio science - Dust impact detector - Dust composition analyzer - Neutral/ion mass spectrometer - Magnetometer - Plasma package. In

  20. Main-Belt Comets: Sublimation-Driven Activity in the Asteroid Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry

    2015-08-01

    Our knowledge of main-belt comets (MBCs), which exhibit comet-like activity likely due to the sublimation of volatile ices, yet orbit in the main asteroid belt, has increased greatly since the discovery of the first known MBC, 133P/Elst-Pizarro, in 1996, and their recognition as a new class of solar system objects after the discovery of two more MBCs in 2005. I will review work that has been done over the last 10 years to improve our understanding of these enigmatic objects, including the development of systematic discovery methods and diagnostics for distinguishing MBCs from disrupted asteroids (which exhibit comet-like activity due to physical disruptions such as impacts or rotational destabilization), and observational characterization of both individual objects and the MBC population as a whole. I will also discuss efforts to understand the dynamical origins and present-day characteristics of these objects, as well as how objects in the asteroid belt might be able to preserve ice over the age of the solar system while still retaining sufficient near-surface volatility to drive observable present-day cometary activity.

  1. Potential Jupiter-Family comet contamination of the main asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Haghighipour, Nader

    2016-10-01

    We present the results of "snapshot" numerical integrations of test particles representing comet-like and asteroid-like objects in the inner Solar System aimed at investigating the short-term dynamical evolution of objects close to the dynamical boundary between asteroids and comets as defined by the Tisserand parameter with respect to Jupiter, TJ (i.e., TJ = 3). As expected, we find that TJ for individual test particles is not always a reliable indicator of initial orbit types. Furthermore, we find that a few percent of test particles with comet-like starting elements (i.e., similar to those of Jupiter-family comets) reach main-belt-like orbits (at least temporarily) during our 2 Myr integrations, even without the inclusion of non-gravitational forces, apparently via a combination of gravitational interactions with the terrestrial planets and temporary trapping by mean-motion resonances with Jupiter. We estimate that the fraction of real Jupiter-family comets occasionally reaching main-belt-like orbits on Myr timescales could be on the order of ∼ 0.1-1%, although the fraction that remain on such orbits for appreciable lengths of time is certainly far lower. For this reason, the number of JFC-like interlopers in the main-belt population at any given time is likely to be small, but still non-zero, a finding with significant implications for efforts to use apparently icy yet dynamically asteroidal main-belt comets as tracers of the primordial distribution of volatile material in the inner Solar System. The test particles with comet-like starting orbital elements that transition onto main-belt-like orbits in our integrations appear to be largely prevented from reaching low eccentricity, low inclination orbits, suggesting that the real-world population of main-belt objects with both low eccentricities and inclinations may be largely free of this potential occasional Jupiter-family comet contamination. We therefore find that low-eccentricity, low-inclination main-belt

  2. The Reactivation of Main-Belt Comet 324P/La Sagra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, H. H.

    2015-12-01

    We present observations using the Baade Magellan and Canada-France-Hawaii telescopes showing that main-belt comet 324P/La Sagra, also known as P/2010 R2, has become active again for the first time since originally observed to be active in 2010-2011. The object appears point-source-like in March and April 2015 as it approached perihelion (true anomaly of ν~300 deg), but was ~0.8-1.1 mag brighter than expected if inactive, suggesting the presence of unresolved dust emission. Activity was confirmed by observations of a cometary dust tail in May and June 2015. We find an apparent net dust production rate of M_d ~ 0.2 kg/s during these observations. 324P is now the fourth main-belt comet confirmed to be recurrently active, a strong indication that its activity is driven by sublimation. It now has the largest confirmed active range of all likely main-belt comets, and also the most distant confirmed inbound activation point at R~2.8 AU. We will also discuss the implications of the growing number of main-belt comets with confirmed recurrent activity and opportunities for confirming recurrent activity in other suspected main-belt comets.

  3. The Effect of the Heat of Impact on the Activation of Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, J.; Maindl, T. I.; Haghighipour, N.; Schäfer, C.; Speith, R.; Kley, W.

    2016-08-01

    Main Belt Comets' activity is assumed to be driven by the sublimation of volatiles, making them candidates for the delivery of a part of Earth's water. We simulate impacts of smaller objects that could have played a major role in activating them.

  4. THE NUCLEUS OF MAIN-BELT COMET 259P/GARRADD

    SciTech Connect

    MacLennan, Eric M.; Hsieh, Henry H. E-mail: emaclenn@utk.edu

    2012-10-10

    We present observations of the main-belt comet 259P/Garradd, previously known as P/2008 R1 (Garradd), obtained in 2011 and 2012 using the Gemini North Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii and the SOAR telescope at Cerro Pachon in Chile, with the goal of computing the object's phase function and nucleus size. We find an absolute magnitude of H{sub R} = 19.71 {+-} 0.05 mag and slope parameter of G{sub R} = -0.08 {+-} 0.05 for the inactive nucleus, corresponding to an effective nucleus radius of r{sub e} = 0.30 {+-} 0.02 km, assuming an R-band albedo of p{sub R} = 0.05. We also revisit observations reported for 259P while it was active in 2008 to quantify the dust mass loss and compare the object with other known main-belt comets.

  5. The Reactivation of Main-Belt Comet 324P/La Sagra (P/2010 R2)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Sheppard, Scott

    2015-11-01

    We present observations using the Baade Magellan and Canada-France-Hawaii telescopes showing that main-belt comet 324P/La Sagra, formerly known as P/2010 R2, has become active again for the first time since originally observed to be active in 2010-2011. The object appears point-source-like in March and April 2015 as it approached perihelion (true anomaly of ν~300 deg), but was ~1 mag brighter than expected if inactive, suggesting the presence of unresolved dust emission. Activity was confirmed by observations of a cometary dust tail in May and June 2015. We find an apparent net dust production rate of <0.1 kg/s during these observations. 324P is now the fourth main-belt comet confirmed to be recurrently active, a strong indication that its activity is driven by sublimation. It now has the largest confirmed active range of all likely main-belt comets, and also the most distant confirmed inbound activation point at R~2.8 AU. Further observations during the current active period will allow direct comparisons of activity strength with 324P’s 2010 activity.

  6. The reactivation of main-belt Comet 324P/La Sagra (P/2010 R2)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, H. H.; Sheppard, S. S.

    2015-11-01

    We present observations using the Baade Magellan and Canada-France-Hawaii telescopes showing that main-belt comet 324P/La Sagra, formerly known as P/2010 R2, has become active again for the first time since originally observed to be active in 2010-2011. The object appears point-source-like in 2015 March and April as it approached perihelion (true anomaly of ν ˜ 300°), but was ˜1 mag brighter than expected if inactive, suggesting the presence of unresolved dust emission. Activity was confirmed by observations of a cometary dust tail in 2015 May and June. We find an apparent net dust production rate of {dot{M}_d}≲ 0.1 kg s-1 during these observations. 324P is now the fourth main-belt comet confirmed to be recurrently active, a strong indication that its activity is driven by sublimation. It now has the largest confirmed active range of all likely main-belt comets, and also the most distant confirmed inbound activation point at R ˜ 2.8 au. Further observations during the current active period will allow direct comparisons of activity strength with 324P's 2010 activity.

  7. The main-belt comets: The Pan-STARRS1 perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Denneau, Larry; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Schörghofer, Norbert; Bolin, Bryce; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Jedicke, Robert; Kleyna, Jan; Micheli, Marco; Vereš, Peter; Kaiser, Nicholas; Chambers, Kenneth C.; Burgett, William S.; Flewelling, Heather; Hodapp, Klaus W.; Magnier, Eugene A.; Morgan, Jeffrey S.; Price, Paul A.; Tonry, John L.; Waters, Christopher

    2015-03-01

    We analyze a set of 760 475 observations of 333 026 unique main-belt objects obtained by the Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) survey telescope between 2012 May 20 and 2013 November 9, a period during which PS1 discovered two main-belt comets, P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS) and P/2013 R3 (Catalina-PANSTARRS). PS1 comet detection procedures currently consist of the comparison of the point spread functions (PSFs) of moving objects to those of reference stars, and the flagging of objects that show anomalously large radial PSF widths for human evaluation and possible observational follow-up. Based on the number of missed discovery opportunities among comets discovered by other observers, we estimate an upper limit comet discovery efficiency rate of ∼70% for PS1. Additional analyses that could improve comet discovery yields in future surveys include linear PSF analysis, modeling of trailed stellar PSFs for comparison to trailed moving object PSFs, searches for azimuthally localized activity, comparison of point-source-optimized photometry to extended-source-optimized photometry, searches for photometric excesses in objects with known absolute magnitudes, and crowd-sourcing. Analysis of the discovery statistics of the PS1 survey indicates an expected fraction of 59 MBCs per 106 outer main-belt asteroids (corresponding to a total expected population of ∼140 MBCs among the outer main-belt asteroid population with absolute magnitudes of 12 main-belt asteroids (corresponding to a total of ∼230 MBCs), assuming a detection efficiency of 50%. We note however that significantly more sensitive future surveys (particularly those utilizing larger aperture telescopes) could detect many more MBCs than estimated here. Examination of the orbital element distribution of all known MBCs reveals an excess of high eccentricities (0.1 < e < 0.3) relative to the background asteroid population. Theoretical calculations show that, given these

  8. 176P/LINEAR: A Slow-Rotating, Highly Elongated Main-Belt Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Lacerda, P.

    2010-10-01

    Discovered in 2005 as part of the Hawaii Trails Project survey, Comet 176P/LINEAR is the third-known main-belt comet (MBC). MBCs are a newly-discovered class of small solar system bodies that are dynamically indistinguishable from main-belt asteroids (and are likely native to the main belt), yet exhibit cometary mass loss driven by the sublimation of volatile ice. The present-day existence of ice in main-belt objects is surprising given their close proximity to the Sun, and presents intriguing opportunities for, among other things, constraining the temperature and compositional structure of our protoplanetary disk, better understanding the preservation of volatile material in asteroids, and characterizing a likely significant primordial source of Earth's water. Here, we present results from an analysis of rotational lightcurve data for 176P from its active phase in 2005 and an inactive period in 2007. Data from 2007 indicate that 176P has a likely rotation period of P = 22.23+/-0.01 hr, with a peak-to-trough photometric range of 0.7 mag, indicating significant elongation (a/b > 1.9). Data from 2005 are less well-sampled than those from 2007, and also suffer from non-negligible coma contamination. Nonetheless, we find that data from 2005 are consistent with the slow rotation period found from 2007 data, though we also find evidence for a significantly smaller photometric range than in 2007. We will discuss the implications of these results with regard to 176P's likely physical nature.

  9. The search for main-belt comets: The Pan-STARRS1 perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, H.; Denneau, L.; Wainscoat, R.; Jedicke, R.; Schorghofer, N.; Micheli, M.; Veres, P.; Kleyna, J.; Bolin, B.

    2014-07-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of objects have been discovered in the main asteroid belt that exhibit comet-like activity. Some instances of activity are believed to result from sublimation of volatile sub-surface ice, and the objects exhibiting this type of activity have come to be known as main-belt comets (MBCs; Hsieh & Jewitt 2006). For most MBCs, the presence of gas is only inferred from visible dust emission, although water vapor outgassing has recently been directly detected from (1) Ceres (Kuppers et al. 2014), indicating that water sublimation on MBCs could also be possible. In other instances, comet-like dust emission has been found to result from impacts onto otherwise inert objects, rotational disruption, or a combination of effects (cf., Jewitt 2012). In these cases, the objects can be referred to as disrupted asteroids. Collectively, MBCs and disrupted asteroids are known as active asteroids. MBCs have attracted interest in astrobiology due to theoretical studies indicating that material from the asteroid belt region could have been a significant primordial source of the water and other volatiles on the Earth. Icy asteroids also contain some of the least altered material from the inner protosolar disk still in existence today, presenting us with opportunities to learn about the earliest stages of our solar system's formation. The added bonus of the MBCs' relatively close proximity in the asteroid belt means that in situ spacecraft studies are entirely feasible using present-day technology. Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) is a wide-field synoptic survey telescope located on Halekala in Hawaii. It employs a 3.2×3.2 deg 1.4 gigapixel camera and uses an SDSS-like filter system. As of 2014 March 31, the Pan-STARRS1 survey has discovered three MBCs --- P/2006 VW139, P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS), and P/2013 R3 (Catalina-PANSTARRS) --- as well as one disrupted asteroid (P/2013 P5 (PANSTARRS)), two active Centaurs, 33 Jupiter-family comets, and 17 long-period comets. For

  10. The Hawaii trails project: comet-hunting in the main asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, H. H.

    2009-10-01

    Context: The mysterious solar system object 133P/(7968) Elst-Pizarro is dynamically asteroidal, yet displays recurrent comet-like dust emission. Two scenarios were hypothesized to explain this unusual behavior: 1) 133P is a classical comet from the outer solar system that has evolved onto a main-belt orbit or 2) 133P is a dynamically ordinary main-belt asteroid on which subsurface ice has recently been exposed. If 1) is correct, the expected rarity of a dynamical transition onto an asteroidal orbit implies that 133P could be alone in the main belt. In contrast, if 2) is correct, other icy main-belt objects should exist and could also exhibit cometary activity. Aims: Believing 133P to be a dynamically ordinary, yet icy main-belt asteroid, I set out to test the primary prediction of the hypothesis: that 133P-like objects should be common and could be found by an appropriately designed observational survey. Methods: I conducted just such a survey - the Hawaii Trails Project - of selected main-belt asteroids in a search for objects displaying cometary activity. Optical observations were made of targets selected from among the Themis, Koronis, and Veritas asteroid families, the Karin asteroid cluster, and low-inclination, kilometer-scale outer-belt asteroids, using the Lulin 1.0 m, small and moderate aperture research telescope system (SMARTS) 1.0 m, University of Hawaii 2.2 m, southern astrophysical research (SOAR) 4.1 m, Gemini North 8.1 m, Subaru 8.2 m, and Keck I 10 m telescopes. Results: I made 657 observations of 599 asteroids, discovering one active object now known as 176P/LINEAR, leading to the identification of the new cometary class of main-belt comets (MBCs). These results suggest that there could be ~100 currently active MBCs among low-inclination, kilometer-scale outer-belt asteroids. Physically and statistically, MBC activity is consistent with initiation by meter-sized impactors. The estimated rate of impacts and sizes of resulting active sites, however

  11. THE EXTRAORDINARY MULTI-TAILED MAIN-BELT COMET P/2013 P5

    SciTech Connect

    Jewitt, David; Agarwal, Jessica; Weaver, Harold; Mutchler, Max; Larson, Stephen

    2013-11-20

    Hubble Space Telescope observations of main-belt comet P/2013 P5 reveal an extraordinary system of six dust tails that distinguish this object from any other. Observations two weeks apart show dramatic morphological change in the tails while providing no evidence for secular fading of the object as a whole. Each tail is associated with a unique ejection date, revealing continued, episodic mass loss from the 0.24 ± 0.04 km radius nucleus over the last five months. As an inner-belt asteroid and probable Flora family member, the object is likely to be highly metamorphosed and unlikely to contain ice. The protracted period of dust release appears inconsistent with an impact origin, but may be compatible with a body that is losing mass through a rotational instability. We suggest that P/2013 P5 has been accelerated to breakup speed by radiation torques.

  12. The Nucleus of Main-belt Comet 259P/Garradd

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacLennan, Eric M.; Hsieh, Henry H.

    2012-10-01

    We present observations of the main-belt comet 259P/Garradd, previously known as P/2008 R1 (Garradd), obtained in 2011 and 2012 using the Gemini North Telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii and the SOAR telescope at Cerro Pachon in Chile, with the goal of computing the object's phase function and nucleus size. We find an absolute magnitude of HR = 19.71 ± 0.05 mag and slope parameter of GR = -0.08 ± 0.05 for the inactive nucleus, corresponding to an effective nucleus radius of re = 0.30 ± 0.02 km, assuming an R-band albedo of pR = 0.05. We also revisit observations reported for 259P while it was active in 2008 to quantify the dust mass loss and compare the object with other known main-belt comets. Based on observations obtained at the Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope, which is a joint project of the Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, e Inovação (MCTI) da República Federativa do Brasil, the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and Michigan State University (MSU).

  13. SUBLIMATION-DRIVEN ACTIVITY IN MAIN-BELT COMET 313P/GIBBS

    SciTech Connect

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Hainaut, Olivier; Novaković, Bojan; Bolin, Bryce; Denneau, Larry; Haghighipour, Nader; Kleyna, Jan; Meech, Karen J.; Schunova, Eva; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Kokotanekova, Rosita; Snodgrass, Colin; Lacerda, Pedro; Micheli, Marco; Moskovitz, Nick; Wasserman, Lawrence; Waszczak, Adam

    2015-02-10

    We present an observational and dynamical study of newly discovered main-belt comet 313P/Gibbs. We find that the object is clearly active both in observations obtained in 2014 and in precovery observations obtained in 2003 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, strongly suggesting that its activity is sublimation-driven. This conclusion is supported by a photometric analysis showing an increase in the total brightness of the comet over the 2014 observing period, and dust modeling results showing that the dust emission persists over at least three months during both active periods, where we find start dates for emission no later than 2003 July 24 ± 10 for the 2003 active period and 2014 July 28 ± 10 for the 2014 active period. From serendipitous observations by the Subaru Telescope in 2004 when the object was apparently inactive, we estimate that the nucleus has an absolute R-band magnitude of H{sub R} = 17.1 ± 0.3, corresponding to an effective nucleus radius of r{sub e} ∼ 1.00 ± 0.15 km. The object’s faintness at that time means we cannot rule out the presence of activity, and so this computed radius should be considered an upper limit. We find that 313P’s orbit is intrinsically chaotic, having a Lyapunov time of T{sub l} = 12,000 yr and being located near two three-body mean-motion resonances with Jupiter and Saturn, 11J-1S-5A and 10J+12S-7A, yet appears stable over >50 Myr in an apparent example of stable chaos. We furthermore find that 313P is the second main-belt comet, after P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS), to belong to the ∼155 Myr old Lixiaohua asteroid family.

  14. Sublimation-Driven Activity in Main-Belt Comet 313p/Gibbs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Hainaut, Olivier; Novaković, Bojan; Bolin, Bryce; Denneau, Larry; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Haghighipour, Nader; Kleyna, Jan; Kokotanekova, Rosita; Lacerda, Pedro; Meech, Karen J.; Micheli, Marco; Moskovitz, Nick; Schunova, Eva; Snodgrass, Colin; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Wasserman, Lawrence; Waszczak, Adam

    2015-02-01

    We present an observational and dynamical study of newly discovered main-belt comet 313P/Gibbs. We find that the object is clearly active both in observations obtained in 2014 and in precovery observations obtained in 2003 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, strongly suggesting that its activity is sublimation-driven. This conclusion is supported by a photometric analysis showing an increase in the total brightness of the comet over the 2014 observing period, and dust modeling results showing that the dust emission persists over at least three months during both active periods, where we find start dates for emission no later than 2003 July 24 ± 10 for the 2003 active period and 2014 July 28 ± 10 for the 2014 active period. From serendipitous observations by the Subaru Telescope in 2004 when the object was apparently inactive, we estimate that the nucleus has an absolute R-band magnitude of HR = 17.1 ± 0.3, corresponding to an effective nucleus radius of re ∼ 1.00 ± 0.15 km. The object’s faintness at that time means we cannot rule out the presence of activity, and so this computed radius should be considered an upper limit. We find that 313P’s orbit is intrinsically chaotic, having a Lyapunov time of Tl = 12,000 yr and being located near two three-body mean-motion resonances with Jupiter and Saturn, 11J-1S-5A and 10J+12S-7A, yet appears stable over >50 Myr in an apparent example of stable chaos. We furthermore find that 313P is the second main-belt comet, after P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS), to belong to the ∼155 Myr old Lixiaohua asteroid family.

  15. Limits on the size and orbit distribution of main belt comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnett, Sarah; Kleyna, Jan; Jedicke, Robert; Masiero, Joseph

    2011-10-01

    The first of a new class of objects now known as main belt comets (MBCs) or "activated asteroids" was identified in 1996. The seven known members of this class have orbital characteristics of main belt asteroids yet exhibit dust ejection like comets. In order to constrain their physical and orbital properties we searched the Thousand Asteroid Light Curve Survey (TALCS; Masiero, J.R., Jedicke, R., Durech, J., Gwyn, S., Denneau, L., Larsen, J. [2009]. Icarus 204, 145-171) for additional candidates using two diagnostics: tail and coma detection. This was the most sensitive MBC survey effort to date, extending the search from MBCs with H ˜ 18 ( D ˜ 1 km) to MBCs as small as H ˜ 21 ( D ˜ 150 m). We fit each of the 924 objects detected by TALCS to a PSF model incorporating both a coma and nuclear component to measure the fractional contribution of the coma to the total surface brightness. We determined the significance of the coma detection using the same algorithm on a sample of null detections of comparable magnitude and rate of motion. We did not identify any MBC candidates with this technique to a sensitivity limit on the order of cometary mass loss rate of about 0.1 kg/s. Our tail detection algorithm relied on identifying statistically significant flux in a segmented annulus around the candidate object. We show that the technique can detect tail activity throughout the asteroid belt to the level of the currently known MBCs. Although we did not identify any MBC candidates with this technique, we find a statistically significant detection of faint activity in the entire ensemble of TALCS asteroids. This suggests that many main belt asteroids are active at very low levels. Our null detection of MBCs allows us to set 90% upper confidence limits on the number distribution of MBCs as a function of absolute magnitude, semi-major axis, eccentricity, and inclination. There are ≲400,000 MBCs in the main belt brighter than HV = 21 (˜150-m in diameter) and the MBC

  16. OBSERVATIONAL AND DYNAMICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF MAIN-BELT COMET P/2010 R2 (La Sagra)

    SciTech Connect

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Yang Bin; Haghighipour, Nader; Jedicke, Robert; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Denneau, Larry; Kaluna, Heather M.; Kleyna, Jan; Novakovic, Bojan; Abe, Shinsuke; Chen Wenping; Ip, Wing; Kinoshita, Daisuke; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Lacerda, Pedro; Granvik, Mikael; Grav, Tommy; Knight, Matthew M.; Lisse, Carey M.; Maclennan, Eric; and others

    2012-05-15

    We present observations of the recently discovered comet-like main-belt object P/2010 R2 (La Sagra) obtained by Pan-STARRS1 and the Faulkes Telescope-North on Haleakala in Hawaii, the University of Hawaii 2.2 m, Gemini-North, and Keck I telescopes on Mauna Kea, the Danish 1.54 m telescope (operated by the MiNDSTEp consortium) at La Silla, and the Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma. An antisolar dust tail is observed to be present from 2010 August through 2011 February, while a dust trail aligned with the object's orbit plane is also observed from 2010 December through 2011 August. Assuming typical phase darkening behavior, P/La Sagra is seen to increase in brightness by >1 mag between 2010 August and December, suggesting that dust production is ongoing over this period. These results strongly suggest that the observed activity is cometary in nature (i.e., driven by the sublimation of volatile material), and that P/La Sagra is therefore the most recent main-belt comet to be discovered. We find an approximate absolute magnitude for the nucleus of H{sub R} = 17.9 {+-} 0.2 mag, corresponding to a nucleus radius of {approx}0.7 km, assuming an albedo of p = 0.05. Comparing the observed scattering surface areas of the dust coma to that of the nucleus when P/La Sagra was active, we find dust-to-nucleus area ratios of A{sub d} /A{sub N} = 30-60, comparable to those computed for fellow main-belt comets 238P/Read and P/2008 R1 (Garradd), and one to two orders of magnitude larger than for two other main-belt comets (133P/Elst-Pizarro and 176P/LINEAR). Using optical spectroscopy to search for CN emission, we do not detect any conclusive evidence of sublimation products (i.e., gas emission), finding an upper limit CN production rate of Q{sub CN} < 6 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 23} mol s{sup -1}, from which we infer an H{sub 2}O production rate of Q{sub H{sub 2O}} < 10{sup 26} mol s{sup -1}. Numerical simulations indicate that P/La Sagra is dynamically stable for >100 Myr

  17. Observational and Dynamical Characterization of Main-belt Comet P/2010 R2 (La Sagra)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Yang, Bin; Haghighipour, Nader; Novaković, Bojan; Jedicke, Robert; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Denneau, Larry; Abe, Shinsuke; Chen, Wen-Ping; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Granvik, Mikael; Grav, Tommy; Ip, Wing; Kaluna, Heather M.; Kinoshita, Daisuke; Kleyna, Jan; Knight, Matthew M.; Lacerda, Pedro; Lisse, Carey M.; Maclennan, Eric; Meech, Karen J.; Micheli, Marco; Milani, Andrea; Pittichová, Jana; Schunova, Eva; Tholen, David J.; Wasserman, Lawrence H.; Burgett, William S.; Chambers, K. C.; Heasley, Jim N.; Kaiser, Nick; Magnier, Eugene A.; Morgan, Jeffrey S.; Price, Paul A.; Jørgensen, Uffe G.; Dominik, Martin; Hinse, Tobias; Sahu, Kailash; Snodgrass, Colin

    2012-05-01

    We present observations of the recently discovered comet-like main-belt object P/2010 R2 (La Sagra) obtained by Pan-STARRS1 and the Faulkes Telescope-North on Haleakala in Hawaii, the University of Hawaii 2.2 m, Gemini-North, and Keck I telescopes on Mauna Kea, the Danish 1.54 m telescope (operated by the MiNDSTEp consortium) at La Silla, and the Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma. An antisolar dust tail is observed to be present from 2010 August through 2011 February, while a dust trail aligned with the object's orbit plane is also observed from 2010 December through 2011 August. Assuming typical phase darkening behavior, P/La Sagra is seen to increase in brightness by >1 mag between 2010 August and December, suggesting that dust production is ongoing over this period. These results strongly suggest that the observed activity is cometary in nature (i.e., driven by the sublimation of volatile material), and that P/La Sagra is therefore the most recent main-belt comet to be discovered. We find an approximate absolute magnitude for the nucleus of HR = 17.9 ± 0.2 mag, corresponding to a nucleus radius of ~0.7 km, assuming an albedo of p = 0.05. Comparing the observed scattering surface areas of the dust coma to that of the nucleus when P/La Sagra was active, we find dust-to-nucleus area ratios of Ad /AN = 30-60, comparable to those computed for fellow main-belt comets 238P/Read and P/2008 R1 (Garradd), and one to two orders of magnitude larger than for two other main-belt comets (133P/Elst-Pizarro and 176P/LINEAR). Using optical spectroscopy to search for CN emission, we do not detect any conclusive evidence of sublimation products (i.e., gas emission), finding an upper limit CN production rate of Q CN < 6 × 1023 mol s-1, from which we infer an H2O production rate of Q_H_2O\\,{<}\\,10^{26} mol s-1. Numerical simulations indicate that P/La Sagra is dynamically stable for >100 Myr, suggesting that it is likely native to its current location and that its composition is

  18. Comet Hunters: A Citizen Science Project to Search for Comets in the Main Asteroid Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Schwamb, Megan Elizabeth; Zhang, Zhi-Wei; Chen, Ying-Tung; Wang, Shiang-Yu; Lintott, Chris

    2016-10-01

    Fully automated detection of comets in wide-field surveys remains a challenge, as even highly successful comet-finding surveys like Pan-STARRS rely on a combination of both automated flagging algorithms and vetting by human eyes. To take advantage of the long-noted superiority of the human eye over computer algorithms in certain types of pattern recognition, particularly when dealing with a range of target morphologies of interest, we have created a citizen science website with the aim of allowing the general public to aid in the search for active asteroids, which are objects that occupy dynamically asteroidal orbits yet exhibit comet-like dust emission due to sublimation, impact disruption, rotational destabilization, or other effects. Located at comethunters.org, the Comet Hunters website was built using the Zooniverse Project Builder (https://www.zooniverse.org/lab), and displays images of known asteroids obtained either from archival data obtained between 1999 and 2014 by the Suprime-Cam wide-field imager mounted on the 8-m Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawaii, or more contemporary data obtained by the Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) wide-field imager also on the Subaru Telescope as part of the ongoing HSC Subaru Strategic Program (SSP) survey. By using observations from such a large-aperture telescope, most of which have never been searched for solar system objects, much less cometary ones, we expect that volunteers should be able to make genuinely scientifically significant discoveries, and also provide valuable insights into the potential and challenges of searching for comets in the LSST era. To date, over 13,000 registered volunteers have contributed 350,000 classifications. We will discuss the design and construction of the Comet Hunters website, and also discuss early results from the project.This work uses data generated via the Zooniverse.org platform, development of which was supported by a Global Impact Award from Google, and by the Alfred P. Sloan

  19. WATER-ICE-DRIVEN ACTIVITY ON MAIN-BELT COMET P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)?

    SciTech Connect

    Moreno, F.; Ortiz, J. L.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; Augusteijn, T.; Liimets, T.; Lindberg, J. E.; Pursimo, T.; RodrIguez-Gil, P.; Vaduvescu, O.

    2010-08-01

    The dust ejecta of Main-Belt Comet P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) have been observed with several telescopes at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on La Palma, Spain. Application of an inverse dust tail Monte Carlo method to the images of the dust ejecta from the object indicates that a sustained, likely water-ice-driven, activity over some eight months is the mechanism responsible for the formation of the observed tail. The total amount of the dust released is estimated to be 5 x 10{sup 7} kg, which represents about 0.3% of the nucleus mass. While the event could have been triggered by a collision, this cannot be determined from the currently available data.

  20. OPTICAL AND DYNAMICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF COMET-LIKE MAIN-BELT ASTEROID (596) SCHEILA

    SciTech Connect

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Yang Bin; Haghighipour, Nader E-mail: yangbin@ifa.hawaii.edu

    2012-01-01

    We present observations and a dynamical analysis of the comet-like main-belt object, (596) Scheila. V-band photometry obtained on UT 2010 December 12 indicates that Scheila's dust cloud has a scattering cross-section {approx}1.4 times larger than that of the nucleus, corresponding to a dust mass of M{sub d} {approx} 3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 7} kg. V-R color measurements indicate that both the nucleus and dust are redder than the Sun, with no significant color differences between the dust cloud's northern and southern plumes. We also undertake an ultimately unsuccessful search for CN emission, where we find CN and H{sub 2}O production rates of Q{sub CN} < 9 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 23} s{sup -1} and Q{sub H{sub 2O}}<10{sup 27} s{sup -1}. Numerical simulations indicate that Scheila is dynamically stable for >100 Myr, suggesting that it is likely native to its current location. We also find that it does not belong to a dynamical asteroid family of any significance. We consider sublimation-driven scenarios that could produce the appearance of multiple plumes of dust emission, but reject them as being physically implausible. Instead, we concur with previous studies that the unusual morphology of Scheila's dust cloud is most simply explained by a single oblique impact, meaning that this object is likely not a main-belt comet but is instead the second disrupted asteroid after P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) to be discovered.

  1. ON THE DUST ENVIRONMENT OF MAIN-BELT COMET 313 P/Gibbs

    SciTech Connect

    Pozuelos, F. J.; Moreno, F.

    2015-06-10

    We present observations carried out using the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias and an interpretative model of the dust environment of activated asteroid 313 P/Gibbs. We discuss three different models relating to different values of the dust parameters, i.e., dust loss rate, maximum and minimum sizes of particles, power index of the size distribution, and emission pattern. The best model corresponds to an isotropic emission of particles which started on August 1. The sizes of grains were in the range of 0.1−2000 μm, with velocities for 100 μm particles between 0.4−1.9 m s{sup −1}, with a dust production rate in the range of 0.2−0.8 kg s{sup −1}. The dust tails’ brightnesses and morphologies are best interpreted in terms of a model of sustained and low dust emission driven by water-ice sublimation, spanning since 2014 August 1, and triggered by a short impulsive event. This event produced an emission of small particles of about 0.1 μm with velocities of ∼4 m s{sup −1}. From our model we deduce that the activity of this main-belt comet continued for at least four months since activation.

  2. THE DUST ENVIRONMENT OF MAIN-BELT COMET P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS)

    SciTech Connect

    Moreno, F.; Pozuelos, F.

    2013-06-20

    The Main-Belt Comet P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS) has been imaged using the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias and the 4.2 m William Herschel Telescope at six epochs in the period from 2012 November to 2013 February, with the aim of monitoring its dust environment. The dust tails' brightness and morphology are best interpreted in terms of a model of sustained dust emission spanning four to six months. The total dust mass ejected is estimated at {approx}6-25 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 6} kg. We assume a time-independent power-law size distribution function, with particles in the micrometer to centimeter size range. Based on the quality of the fits to the isophote fields, an anisotropic emission pattern is favored against an isotropic one, in which the particle ejection is concentrated toward high latitudes ({+-}45 Degree-Sign to {+-}90 Degree-Sign ) in a high-obliquity object (I = 80 Degree-Sign ). This seasonally driven ejection behavior, along with the modeled particle ejection velocities, are in remarkable agreement to those we found for P/2010 R2 (La Sagra).

  3. Hubble space telescope investigation of main-belt comet 133P/Elst-Pizarro

    SciTech Connect

    Jewitt, David; Ishiguro, Masateru; Weaver, Harold; Agarwal, Jessica; Mutchler, Max; Larson, Steven

    2014-05-01

    We report new observations of the prototype main-belt comet (active asteroid) 133P/Elst-Pizarro taken at high angular resolution using the Hubble Space Telescope. The object has three main components: (1) a point-like nucleus; (2) a long, narrow antisolar dust tail; and (3) a short, sunward anti-tail. There is no resolved coma. The nucleus has a mean absolute magnitude H{sub V} = 15.70 ± 0.10 and a light curve range ΔV = 0.42 mag, the latter corresponding to projected dimensions 3.6 × 5.4 km (axis ratio 1.5:1) at the previously measured geometric albedo of 0.05 ± 0.02. We explored a range of continuous and impulsive emission models to simultaneously fit the measured surface brightness profile, width, and position angle of the antisolar tail. Preferred fits invoke protracted emission, over a period of 150 days or less, of dust grains following a differential power-law size distribution with index 3.25 ≤q ≤ 3.5 and with a wide range of sizes. Ultra-low surface brightness dust projected in the sunward direction is a remnant from emission activity occurring in previous orbits, and consists of the largest (≥cm-sized) particles. Ejection velocities of one-micron-sized particles are comparable to the ∼1.8 m s{sup –1} gravitational escape speed of the nucleus, while larger particles are released at speeds less than the gravitational escape velocity. The observations are consistent with, but do not prove, a hybrid hypothesis in which mass loss is driven by gas drag from the sublimation of near-surface water ice, but escape is aided by centripetal acceleration from the rotation of the elongated nucleus. No plausible alternative hypothesis has been identified.

  4. Physical Properties of Main-Belt Comet P/2005 U1 (Read)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Jewitt, David; Ishiguro, Masateru

    2009-01-01

    The main-belt comets occupy dynamically asteroidal orbits in the main asteroid belt. Here we present physical observations of the second-known member of this population, P/2005 U1 (Read), which showed vigorous cometary activity from 2005 October 24 to 2005 December 27. Monte Carlo numerical simulations of P/Read's dust emission indicate that the coma and tail are optically dominated by dust particles larger than 10 μm in size with terminal ejection velocities of 0.2-3 m s-1. We estimate P/Read's mass-loss rate during this period to be approximately 0.2 kg s-1, roughly an order of magnitude larger than that calculated for 133P/Elst-Pizarro. We also find that emission likely began at least 2 months prior to P/Read's discovery, though we note this is a lower limit and that earlier start times are possible. Optical colors measured for P/Read while it was active are approximately solar (B - V = 0.63 ± 0.05, V - R = 0.37 ± 0.04, R - I = 0.39 ± 0.04) but are likely to be dominated by coma particles. Observations of P/Read in 2007 when it appears largely inactive show an extremely small nucleus with an absolute magnitude of HR ~ 20.1 ± 0.4, corresponding to an effective radius of re ~ 0.3 km. P/Read's activity is consistent with sublimation-driven dust emission and inconsistent with dust emission due to an impact, though the unusual strength of the 2005 outburst suggests the possibility that it could have been due to the sublimation of a freshly exposed reservoir of volatile material. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. Additionally, some data were obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in

  5. PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF MAIN-BELT COMET 176P/LINEAR

    SciTech Connect

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Ishiguro, Masateru; Lacerda, Pedro; Jewitt, David E-mail: p.lacerda@qub.ac.uk E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu

    2011-07-15

    We present a physical characterization of comet 176P/LINEAR, the third discovered member of the new class of main-belt comets, which exhibit cometary activity but are dynamically indistinguishable from main-belt asteroids. Observations show the object exhibiting a fan-shaped tail for at least one month in late 2005, but then becoming inactive in early 2006. During this active period, we measure broadband colors of B - V = 0.63 {+-} 0.02, V - R = 0.35 {+-} 0.02, and R - I = 0.31 {+-} 0.04. Using data from when the object was observed to be inactive, we derive best-fit IAU phase function parameters of H = 15.10 {+-} 0.05 mag and G = 0.15 {+-} 0.10, and best-fit linear phase function parameters of m(1, 1, 0) = 15.35 {+-} 0.05 mag and {beta} = 0.038 {+-} 0.005 mag deg{sup -1}. From this baseline phase function, we find that 176P exhibits a mean photometric excess of {approx}30% during its active period, implying an approximate total coma dust mass of M{sub d} {approx} (7.2 {+-} 3.6) x 10{sup 4} kg. From inactive data obtained in early 2007, we find a rotation period of P{sub rot} = 22.23 {+-} 0.01 hr and a peak-to-trough photometric range of {Delta}m {approx} 0.7 mag. Phasing our photometric data from 176P's 2005 active period to this rotation period, we find that the nucleus exhibits a significantly smaller photometric range than in 2007 that cannot be accounted for by coma damping effects, and as such, are attributed by us to viewing geometry effects. A detailed analysis of these geometric effects showed that 176P is likely to be a highly elongated object with an axis ratio of 1.8 < b/a < 2.1, an orbital obliquity of {epsilon} {approx} 60{sup 0}, and a solstice position at a true anomaly of {nu}{sub o} = 20{sup 0} {+-} 20{sup 0}. Numerical modeling of 176P's dust emission found that its activity can only be reproduced by asymmetric dust emission, such as a cometary jet. We find plausible fits to our observations using models assuming {approx}10 {mu}m dust particles

  6. Physical Properties of Main-belt Comet 176P/LINEAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Ishiguro, Masateru; Lacerda, Pedro; Jewitt, David

    2011-07-01

    We present a physical characterization of comet 176P/LINEAR, the third discovered member of the new class of main-belt comets, which exhibit cometary activity but are dynamically indistinguishable from main-belt asteroids. Observations show the object exhibiting a fan-shaped tail for at least one month in late 2005, but then becoming inactive in early 2006. During this active period, we measure broadband colors of B - V = 0.63 ± 0.02, V - R = 0.35 ± 0.02, and R - I = 0.31 ± 0.04. Using data from when the object was observed to be inactive, we derive best-fit IAU phase function parameters of H = 15.10 ± 0.05 mag and G = 0.15 ± 0.10, and best-fit linear phase function parameters of m(1, 1, 0) = 15.35 ± 0.05 mag and β = 0.038 ± 0.005 mag deg-1. From this baseline phase function, we find that 176P exhibits a mean photometric excess of ~30% during its active period, implying an approximate total coma dust mass of Md ~ (7.2 ± 3.6) × 104 kg. From inactive data obtained in early 2007, we find a rotation period of P rot = 22.23 ± 0.01 hr and a peak-to-trough photometric range of Δm ~ 0.7 mag. Phasing our photometric data from 176P's 2005 active period to this rotation period, we find that the nucleus exhibits a significantly smaller photometric range than in 2007 that cannot be accounted for by coma damping effects, and as such, are attributed by us to viewing geometry effects. A detailed analysis of these geometric effects showed that 176P is likely to be a highly elongated object with an axis ratio of 1.8 < b/a < 2.1, an orbital obliquity of ɛ ~ 60°, and a solstice position at a true anomaly of ν o = 20° ± 20°. Numerical modeling of 176P's dust emission found that its activity can only be reproduced by asymmetric dust emission, such as a cometary jet. We find plausible fits to our observations using models assuming ~10 μm dust particles continuously emitted over the period during which 176P was observed to be active, and a jet direction of 180° <~

  7. Origin of the Main-Belt Comets: Formed In-Situ or Interlopers from the Outer Solar System?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Haghighipour, Nader

    2014-11-01

    Since the discovery of the first main-belt comet (MBC), 133P/Elst-Pizarro, the dynamical origin of cometary objects in the asteroid belt has been the subject of great interest. The comet-like activity of MBCs appears to be driven by the sublimation of water ice, which is intriguing given studies showing that icy objects from the asteroid belt region could have been a significant primordial source of terrestrial water. However, while dynamical modeling of the first three known MBCs (Haghighipour, 2009, M&PS, 44, 1863-1869) favored in-situ formation as the most probable scenario for the origin of these objects, the possibility that MBCs could be interlopers from the outer solar system has never been definitively ruled out. The Tisserand parameter with respect to Jupiter, T_J, is commonly used to characterize the dynamical origin of a small solar system object. Asteroids believed to have formed in situ in the asteroid belt generally have T_J>3 and comets which are presumed to have formed in the outer solar system generally have T_J<3. All of the known MBCs have T_J>3, suggesting that they formed in situ, but we are interested in investigating whether objects with T_J<3 can in fact evolve onto stable main-belt orbits with T_J>3. We have studied this issue by integrating the orbits of a large number of test particles with T_J values close to 3 (2.8 < T_J < 3.2) in order to observe what happens to particles close to the canonical T_J=3 boundary between asteroids and comets. We confirm that T_J=3 is not a hard boundary, as we find objects with T_J < 3 that are dynamically stable over timescales longer than typical cometary dynamical lifetimes, as well as objects with T_J > 3 that are dynamically unstable over typical cometary dynamical lifetimes. Intriguingly, we also find that a small fraction of particles with T_J < 3 do in fact evolve onto orbits similar to those of certain known MBCs, specifically those with large eccentricities or inclinations. This suggests that an

  8. DISCOVERY OF MAIN-BELT COMET P/2006 VW{sub 139} BY Pan-STARRS1

    SciTech Connect

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Yang Bin; Haghighipour, Nader; Kaluna, Heather M.; Denneau, Larry; Jedicke, Robert; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Armstrong, James D.; Micheli, Marco; Keane, Jacqueline V.; Urban, Laurie; Riesen, Timm; Meech, Karen J.; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Novakovic, Bojan; Duddy, Samuel R.; Lowry, Stephen C.; Trujillo, Chadwick A.; Abe, Shinsuke; Cheng, Yu-Chi; and others

    2012-03-20

    The main-belt asteroid (300163) 2006 VW{sub 139} (later designated P/2006 VW{sub 139}) was discovered to exhibit comet-like activity by the Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) survey telescope using automated point-spread-function analyses performed by PS1's Moving Object Processing System. Deep follow-up observations show both a short ({approx}10'') antisolar dust tail and a longer ({approx}60'') dust trail aligned with the object's orbit plane, similar to the morphology observed for another main-belt comet (MBC), P/2010 R2 (La Sagra), and other well-established comets, implying the action of a long-lived, sublimation-driven emission event. Photometry showing the brightness of the near-nucleus coma remaining constant over {approx}30 days provides further evidence for this object's cometary nature, suggesting it is in fact an MBC, and not a disrupted asteroid. A spectroscopic search for CN emission was unsuccessful, though we find an upper limit CN production rate of Q{sub CN} < 1.3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 24} mol s{sup -1}, from which we infer a water production rate of Q{sub H{sub 2O}}<10{sup 26} mol s{sup -1}. We also find an approximately linear optical spectral slope of 7.2%/1000 A, similar to other cometary dust comae. Numerical simulations indicate that P/2006 VW{sub 139} is dynamically stable for >100 Myr, while a search for a potential asteroid family around the object reveals a cluster of 24 asteroids within a cutoff distance of 68 m s{sup -1}. At 70 m s{sup -1}, this cluster merges with the Themis family, suggesting that it could be similar to the Beagle family to which another MBC, 133P/Elst-Pizarro, belongs.

  9. DETERMINATION OF AN UPPER LIMIT FOR THE WATER OUTGASSING RATE OF MAIN-BELT COMET P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS)

    SciTech Connect

    O'Rourke, L.; Teyssier, D.; Kueppers, M.; Snodgrass, C.; De Val-Borro, M.; Hartogh, P.; Biver, N.; Bockelee-Morvan, D.; Hsieh, H.; Micheli, M.; Fernandez, Y.

    2013-09-01

    A new Main-Belt Comet (MBC) P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS) was discovered on 2012 October 6, approximately one month after its perihelion, by the Pan-STARRS1 survey based in Hawaii. It displayed cometary activity upon its discovery with one hypothesis being that the activity was driven by sublimation of ices; as a result, we searched for emission assumed to be driven by the sublimation of subsurface ices. Our search was of the H{sub 2}O 1{sub 10}-1{sub 01} ground state rotational line at 557 GHz from P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS) with the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared on board the Herschel Space Observatory on 2013 January 16, when the object was at a heliocentric distance of 2.504 AU and a geocentric distance of 2.064 AU. Perihelion was in early 2012 September at a distance of 2.411 AU. While no H{sub 2}O line emission was detected in our observations, we were able to derive sensitive 3{sigma} upper limits for the water production rate and column density of <7.63 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 25} molecules s{sup -1} and of <1.61 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 11} cm{sup -2}, respectively. An observation taken on 2013 January 15 using the Very Large Telescope found the MBC to be active during the Herschel observation, suggesting that any ongoing sublimation due to subsurface ice was lower than our upper limit.

  10. CONSTRAINTS ON THE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF MAIN BELT COMET P/2013 R3 FROM ITS BREAKUP EVENT

    SciTech Connect

    Hirabayashi, Masatoshi; Sánchez, Diego Paul; Gabriel, Travis; Scheeres, Daniel J.

    2014-07-01

    Jewitt et al. recently reported that main belt comet P/2013 R3 experienced a breakup, probably due to rotational disruption, with its components separating on mutually hyperbolic orbits. We propose a technique for constraining physical properties of the proto-body, especially the initial spin period and cohesive strength, as a function of the body's estimated size and density. The breakup conditions are developed by combining mutual orbit dynamics of the smaller components and the failure condition of the proto-body. Given a proto-body with a bulk density ranging from 1000 kg m{sup –3} to 1500 kg m{sup –3} (a typical range of the bulk density of C-type asteroids), we obtain possible values of the cohesive strength (40-210 Pa) and the initial spin state (0.48-1.9 hr). From this result, we conclude that although the proto-body could have been a rubble pile, it was likely spinning beyond its gravitational binding limit and would have needed cohesive strength to hold itself together. Additional observations of P/2013 R3 will enable stronger constraints on this event, and the present technique will be able to give more precise estimates of its internal structure.

  11. The contribution of comets in Near-Earth Object and Main Belt populations and the role of collisions in the physical properties of members of these populations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, P.

    2008-09-01

    The population of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) is composed of small bodies of various origins. Groundbased observational programs have been developed to perform their inventory and to determine their physical properties. However, these observations contain many biases and the total population of NEOs with diameters down to a few hundreds of meters has not been identified yet. In recent years, the main sources of NEOs have been characterized [1]. Most of these bodies come from the asteroid main belt and the Jupiter-family comets and their source regions are linked to transport mechanisms (mean motion and secular resonances, slow diffusion mechanisms) to the NEO-space. It has then been possible to construct a complete model of the steady-state orbital, size and albedo distribution of NEOs and to determine the level of contribution of each of their sources, including the contribution of Jupiter-family comets. However, nothing is known regarding the contribution of longperiod comets. Physical observations have been conducted in order to identify potential dormant or extinct comets among small bodies in the NEO population and to determine the fraction of "comet candidates within the total NEO population. Combining the results of these observations with our model of NEO population to evaluate source region probabilities [1], it was found that 8 +/- 5% of the total asteroid-like NEO population may have originated as comets from the outer Solar System [2]. In the population of Main Belt (MB) asteroids, three members are known to display transient comet-like physical characteristics, including prolonged periods of dust emission leading to the formation of radiation pressure-swept tails [3]. These physical properties are most naturally explained as the result of sub-limation of near-surface ice from what are, dynamically, mainbelt asteroids (hence the name "main-belt comets" (MBCs) or, equivalently "icy asteroids"). No pausible dynamical path to the asteroid belt from the

  12. A SHORT-DURATION EVENT AS THE CAUSE OF DUST EJECTION FROM MAIN-BELT COMET P/2012 F5 (GIBBS)

    SciTech Connect

    Moreno, F.

    2012-12-10

    We present observations and an interpretative model of the dust environment of the Main-Belt Comet P/2010 F5 (Gibbs). The narrow dust trails observed can be interpreted unequivocally as an impulsive event that took place around 2011 July 1 with an uncertainty of {+-}10 days, and a duration of less than a day, possibly of the order of a few hours. The best Monte Carlo dust model fits to the observed trail brightness imply ejection velocities in the range 8-10 cm s{sup -1} for particle sizes between 30 cm and 130 {mu}m. This weak dependence of velocity on size contrasts with that expected from ice sublimation and agrees with that found recently for (596) Scheila, a likely impacted asteroid. The particles seen in the trail are found to follow a power-law size distribution of index Almost-Equal-To -3.7. Assuming that the slowest particles were ejected at the escape velocity of the nucleus, its size is constrained to about 200-300 m in diameter. The total ejected dust mass is {approx}> 5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} kg, which represents approximately 4%-20% of the nucleus mass.

  13. Super-Comet or Big Asteroid Belt?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1: Spectrograph of HD 69830

    This graph of data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope demonstrates that the dust around a nearby star called HD 69830 (upper line) has a very similar composition to that of Comet Hale-Bopp. Spitzer spotted large amounts of this dust in the inner portion of the HD 69830 system.

    The bumps and dips seen in these data, or spectra, represent the 'fingerprints' of various minerals. Spectra are created when an instrument called a spectrograph spreads light out into its basic parts, like a prism turning sunlight into a rainbow. These particular spectra reveal the presence of the silicate mineral called olivine, and more specifically, a type of olivine called forsterite, which is pictured in the inset box. Forsterite is a bright-green gem found on Earth, on the 'Green Sand Beach' of Hawaii among other places; and in space, in comets and asteroids.

    Because the dust around HD 69830 has a very similar make-up to that of Comet Hale-Bopp, astronomers speculate that it might be coming from a giant comet nearly the size of Pluto. Such a comet may have been knocked into the inner solar system of HD 69830, where it is now leaving in its wake a trail of evaporated dust.

    Nonetheless, astronomers say the odds that Spitzer has caught a 'super-comet' spiraling in toward its star - an unusual and relatively short-lived event - are slim. Instead, they favor the theory that the observed dust is actually the result of asteroids banging together in a massive asteroid belt.

    The data of HD 69830's dust were taken by Spitzer's infrared spectrograph. The data of Comet Hale-Bopp were taken by the European Space Agency's Infrared Observatory Satellite. The picture of forsterite comes courtesy of Dr. George Rossman, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena.

  14. OORT-Cloud and Kuiper-Belt Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whipple, Fred L.

    1998-01-01

    This paper follows the broadly accepted theory that Oort-Cloud Comets originated in the Solar Nebula in the general region where the major planets, Jupiter and Saturn, were formed while the Kuiper-Belt Comets originated farther out where the temperatures were lower. The Oort-Cloud Comets are identified orbitally by long periods and random inclinations and, including the Halley-type comets, comets with a Tisserand Criterion less than 2.0. Kuiper-Belt comets are identified by short periods, usually much less than 200 years, and small inclinations to the ecliptic. Here two criteria for comet activity are found to separate the two classes of comets. These quantities NG1 and NG2, were intended to measure theoretical nongravitaional effects on comet orbits. They are only, mildly successful in correlations with observed cases of measured non-gravitational forces. But, in fact, their variations with perihelion distance separate the two classes of comets. The results are consistent with the theory that the activity or intrinsic brightness of Oort-Cloud Comets fall off faster with increasing perihelion distance that does the intrinsic brightness of short-period Kuiper-Belt Comets.

  15. The Kuiper belt and the solar system's comet disk.

    PubMed

    Gladman, Brett

    2005-01-01

    Our planetary system is embedded in a small-body disk of asteroids and comets, vestigial remnants of the original planetesimal population that formed the planets. Once formed, those planets dispersed most of the remaining small bodies. Outside of Neptune, this process has left our Kuiper belt and built the Oort cloud, as well as emplacing comets into several other identifiable structures. The orbits in these structures indicate that our outer solar system's comet disk was shaped by a variety of different physical processes, which teach us about how the giant planets formed. Recent work has shown that the scattered disk is the most likely source of short-period comets. Moreover, a growing body of evidence indicates that the sculpting of the Kuiper belt region may have involved large-scale planetary migration, the presence of other rogue planetary objects in the disk, and/or the close passage of other stars in the Sun's birth cluster.

  16. The Kuiper belt and the solar system's comet disk.

    PubMed

    Gladman, Brett

    2005-01-01

    Our planetary system is embedded in a small-body disk of asteroids and comets, vestigial remnants of the original planetesimal population that formed the planets. Once formed, those planets dispersed most of the remaining small bodies. Outside of Neptune, this process has left our Kuiper belt and built the Oort cloud, as well as emplacing comets into several other identifiable structures. The orbits in these structures indicate that our outer solar system's comet disk was shaped by a variety of different physical processes, which teach us about how the giant planets formed. Recent work has shown that the scattered disk is the most likely source of short-period comets. Moreover, a growing body of evidence indicates that the sculpting of the Kuiper belt region may have involved large-scale planetary migration, the presence of other rogue planetary objects in the disk, and/or the close passage of other stars in the Sun's birth cluster. PMID:15637267

  17. How to install main belts efficiently

    SciTech Connect

    Ketz, J.

    1985-03-01

    Belt conveyors and mine cars form an integral part of the connecting link between an underground working area and the preparation plant. Problems in the link are sometimes neglected while attention is centered on the face. Eventually the neglect may cause the mine to shut down because its operating costs are too high. Mine operators can reduce the chances of such a calamity by correctly installing one of those key links, the main haulage belt conveyors. The following recommendations are based on the author's engineering experience in deep mines. The drive is the heart of the belt conveyor. Five components must be installed properly so that the mechanics can fine tune the belt conveyor drive. A concrete base is essential for a main haulage conveyor projected to be in service for more than 10 years. Beams with 6-in.-wide flanges should be welded to rails embedded in the concrete base. The drive is welded to the 6-in. beams for a permanent installation, and the beams allow dust to be cleaned from under the drive.

  18. Debiasing the Main-Belt Asteroid Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spahr, Timothy Bruce

    1998-12-01

    We present here two general techniques to remove observational selection effects from asteroid surveys. When applied to two specific asteroid surveys, these methods have allowed the first computation of the debiased distribution of asteroidal orbital elements and sizes for the first time. The first survey was conducted in 1960. Advances in computing have allowed the data to be re-analyzed using an existing computer program and given a much more rigorous statistical treatment. The survey was confined to the near-ecliptic at opposition, therefore its usefulness is limited with regard to highly inclined orbits. To compensate for this limitation, we conducted our own survey aimed specifically at high-inclination objects. Since these orbits are, in general, distributed differently than lower-inclination orbits, removing observational selection effects required creating a statistical technique using Monte-Carlo type simulations. The results of this work show no evidence for differing slopes of the size-frequency distribution throughout the asteroid belt, from the highly inclined Hungaria-type asteroids in the inner edge of the belt (1.8-2.0 AU), to the outer belt (3-3.5 AU). The slopes of the absolute-magnitude frequency distributions, being less than 0.5, show that the asteroidal size distribution is somewhat shallower than what would be predicted assuming the asteroids to be a collisionally evolved population of bodies with size-independent impact strengths. Also determined are rough numbers of asteroids in the main dynamical families of Eos, Maria, Themis, and Koronis, which comprise a significant fraction of the total number of objects in the main belt. This work has also resulted in the discovery of a new asteroid dynamical family, and possibly two new asteroid groups.

  19. Period Determination of Six Main Belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrero, Andrea

    2014-07-01

    Observations of six main-belt asteroids (MBA) produced lightcurve parameters of: 487 Venetia, P = 13.34 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.20 mag; 684 Hildburg, P = 15.89 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.22 mag; 772 Tanete, P = 8.629 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.18 mag.; 1181 Lilith, P = 15.04 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.11 mag.; 1246 Chaka, P = 25.44 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.25 mag.; and 2834 Christy Carol, P = 12.79 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.39 mag.

  20. Detecting Mass Loss in Main Belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandberg, Erik; Rajagopal, Jayadev; Ridgway, Susan E.; Kotulla, Ralf C.; Valdes, Francisco; Allen, Lori

    2016-01-01

    Sandberg, E., Rajagopal, J., Ridgway, S.E, Kotulla, R., Valdes, F., Allen, L.The Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the 4m Blanco telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) is being used for a survey of Near Earth Objects (NEOs). Here we attempt to identify mass loss in main belt asteroids (MBAs) from these data. A primary motivation is to understand the role that asteroids may play in supplying dust and gas for debris disks. This work focuses on finding methods to automatically pick out asteroids that have qualities indicating possible mass loss. Two methods were chosen: looking for flux above a certain threshold in the asteroid's radial profile, and comparing its PSF to that of a point source. After sifting through 490 asteroids, several have passed these tests and should be followed up with a more rigorous analysis.Sandberg was supported by the NOAO/KPNO Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program which is funded by the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program (AST-1262829)

  1. On future opportunities to observe gravitational scattering of main belt asteroids into NEO source regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivantsov, A.; Eggl, S.; Hestroffer, D.; Thuillot, W.

    2014-12-01

    Physical and orbital properties of the current NEO population can be explained when one assumes that their primary origin lies in the asteroid main-belt and Jupiter-family comet (P<20 years) regions (Bottke et al. 2000a, 2002; Greenstreet et al. 2012; Mainzer et al. 2012). Orbital resonances with the Gas Giants within the main-belt which cause strong eccentricity-pumping are transport mechanisms that can carry main belt asteroids into the inner Solar System. Two well known resonances in this respect are the 2:1 and 3:1 mean-motion resonance with Jupiter as well as the nu 5 and nu 6 secular resonances. Since the average life-time of asteroids in resonances is much shorter than the age of the Solar System, a constant flux of asteroids into resonant regions is necessary in order to sustain the observed NEO population (Morbidelli et al. 2002).

  2. Search for Water in Outer Main Belt Based on AKARI Asteroid Catalog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Usui, Fumihiko

    2012-06-01

    We propose a program to search water ice on the surface of asteroids in the outer main belt regions, which have high albedo measured with AKARI. The distribution of water in the main belt provides important information to understanding of the formation and evolution of the solar system, because water is a good indicator of temperature in the early solar nebula. The existence of water ice is a hot topic in the solar system studies today. Water ice is recently found in the outer region of the main asteroid belt and some of them are linked to the main belt comets. Brand-new albedo data brought by AKARI opens the possibility of detection of water ice on the C-type asteroids. Here we propose to make the spectroscopic observations with the Subaru telescope in the near-infrared wavelengths to detect water ice on these high-albedo C-type asteroids. Thanks to a large aperture of Subaru telescope and a high altitude of Mauna Kea, it can be only possible to observe a weak signal of the existence of water on the surface of asteroids with a certain S/N. In addition, using the imaging data taken prior to IRCS spectroscopic mode, we intend to seek any comet-like activities by investigating diffuseness of the asteroids, which can be detected by comparing the observed point-spread functions with those of field stars.

  3. Aqueous alteration on main-belt asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fornasier, S.; Lantz, C.; Barucci, M.; Lazzarin, M.

    2014-07-01

    The study of aqueous alteration is particularly important for unraveling the processes occurring during the earliest times in Solar System history, as it can give information both on the thermal processes and on the localization of water sources in the asteroid belt, and for the associated astrobiological implications. The aqueous alteration process produces the low temperature (< 320 K) chemical alteration of materials by liquid water which acts as a solvent and produces materials like phyllosilicates, sulphates, oxides, carbonates, and hydroxides. This means that liquid water was present in the primordial asteroids, produced by the melting of water ice by heating sources, very probably by ^{26}Al decay. Hydrated minerals have been found mainly on Mars surface, on primitive main-belt asteroids (C, G, B, F, and P-type, following the classification scheme by Tholen, 1984) and possibly also on few transneptunian objects. Reflectance spectroscopy of aqueous altered asteroids shows absorption features in the 0.6-0.9 and 2.5-3.5-micron regions, which are diagnostic of, or associated with, hydrated minerals. In this work, we investigate the aqueous alteration process on a large sample of 600 visible spectra of C-complex asteroids available in the literature. We analyzed all these spectra in a similar way to characterize the absorption-band parameters (band center, depth, and width) and spectral slope, and to look for possible correlations between the aqueous alteration process and the asteroids taxonomic classes, orbital elements, heliocentric distances, albedo, and sizes. We find that 4.6 % of P, 7.7 % of F, 9.8 % of B, 50.5 % of C, and 100 % of the G-type asteroids have absorption bands in the visible region due to hydrated silicates. Our analysis shows that the aqueous alteration sequence starts from the P-type objects, practically unaltered, and increases through the P → F → B → C → G asteroids, these last being widely aqueously altered, strengthening thus

  4. The Fossilized Size Distribution of the Main Asteroid Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottke, W. F.; Durda, D.; Nesvorny, D.; Jedicke, R.; Morbidelli, A.

    2004-05-01

    The main asteroid belt evolved into its current state via two processes: dynamical depletion and collisional evolution. During the planet formation epoch, the primordial main belt (PMB) contained several Earth masses of material, enough to allow the asteroids to accrete on relatively short timescales (e.g., Weidenschilling 1977). The present-day main belt, however, only contains 5e-4 Earth masses of material (Petit et al. 2002). To explain this mass loss, we suggest the PMB evolved in the following manner: Planetesimals and planetary embryos accreted (and differentiated) in the PMB during the first few Myr of the solar system. Gravitational perturbations from these embryos dynamically stirred the main belt, enough to initiate fragmentation. When Jupiter reached its full size, some 10 Myr after the solar system's birth, its perturbations, together with those of the embryos, dynamically depleted the main belt region of > 99% of its bodies. Much of this material was sent to high (e,i) orbits, where it continued to pummel the surviving main belt bodies at high impact velocities for more than 100 Myr. While some differentiated bodies in the PMB were disrupted, most were instead scattered; only small fragments from this population remain. This period of comminution and dynamical evolution in the PMB created, among other things, the main belt's wavy size-frequency distribution, such that it can be considered a "fossil" from this violent early epoch. From this time forward, however, relatively little collisional evolution has taken place in the main belt, consistent with the surprising paucity of prominent asteroid families. We will show that the constraints provided by asteroid families and the shape of the main belt size distribution are essential to obtaining a unique solution from our model's initial conditions. We also use our model results to solve for the asteroid disruption scaling law Q*D, a critical function needed in all planet formation codes that include

  5. The evolution of comets in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt.

    PubMed

    Alan Stern, S

    2003-08-01

    Comets are remnants from the time when the outer planets formed, approximately 4-4.5 billion years ago. They have been in storage since then in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt-distant regions that are so cold and sparsely populated that it was long thought that comets approaching the Sun were pristine samples from the time of Solar System formation. It is now recognized, however, that a variety of subtle but important evolutionary mechanisms operate on comets during their long storage, so they can no longer be regarded as wholly pristine.

  6. The evolution of comets in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt.

    PubMed

    Alan Stern, S

    2003-08-01

    Comets are remnants from the time when the outer planets formed, approximately 4-4.5 billion years ago. They have been in storage since then in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt-distant regions that are so cold and sparsely populated that it was long thought that comets approaching the Sun were pristine samples from the time of Solar System formation. It is now recognized, however, that a variety of subtle but important evolutionary mechanisms operate on comets during their long storage, so they can no longer be regarded as wholly pristine. PMID:12904784

  7. Migration of Matter from the Edgeworth-Kuiper and Main Asteroid Belts to the Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ipatov. S. I.; Oegerle, William (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The main asteroid belt (MAB), the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt (EKB), and comets belong to the main sources of dust in the Solar System. Most of Jupiter-family comets came from the EKB. Comets can be distracted due to close encounters with planets and the Sun, collisions with small bodies, a nd internal forces. We support the Eneev's idea that the largest objects in the ELB and MAB could be formed directly by the compression of rarefied dust condensations of the protoplanetary cloud but not by the accretion of small (for example, 1-km) planetesimals. The total mass of planetesimals that entered the EKB from the feeding zone of the giant planets during their accumulation could exceed tens of Earth's masses. These planetesimals increased eccentricities of 'local' trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) and swept most of these TNOs. A small portion of such planetesimals could left beyond Neptune's orbit in highly eccentric orbits. The results of previous investigations of migration and collisional evolution of minor bodies were summarized. Mainly our recent results are presented.

  8. 32. photographer unknown undated AGGREGATE PLANT SHOWING MAIN BELT CONVEYOR ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    32. photographer unknown undated AGGREGATE PLANT SHOWING MAIN BELT CONVEYOR UNITS AND STORAGE UNIT. - Bonneville Project, Columbia River, 1 mile Northeast of Exit 40, off Interstate 84, Bonneville, Multnomah County, OR

  9. Lightcurve Analysis of Ten Main-belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fauerbach, Michael; Marks, Scott A.; Lucas, Michael P.

    2008-06-01

    We report lightcurve periods for ten main-belt asteroids observed at the Evelyn L. Egan Observatory: 26 Proserpina, 78 Diana, 242 Kriemhild, 287 Nephthys, 348 May, 368 Haidea, 446 Aeternitas, 872 Holda, 905 Universitas, and 1013 Tombecka.

  10. The Collisional Evolution of the Main Asteroid Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottke, W. F.; Brož, M.; O'Brien, D. P.; Campo Bagatin, A.; Morbidelli, A.; Marchi, S.

    Collisional and dynamical models of the main asteroid belt allow us to glean insights into planetesimal- and planet-formation scenarios as well as how the main belt reached its current state. Here we discuss many of the processes affecting asteroidal evolution and the constraints that can be used to test collisional model results. We argue the main belt's wavy size-frequency distribution for diameter D < 100-km asteroids is increasingly a byproduct of comminution as one goes to smaller sizes, with its shape a fossil-like remnant of a violent early epoch. Most D > 100-km asteroids, however, are primordial, with their physical properties set by planetesimal formation and accretion processes. The main-belt size distribution as a whole has evolved into a collisional steady state, and it has possibly been in that state for billions of years. Asteroid families provide a critical historical record of main-belt collisions. The heavily depleted and largely dispersed "ghost families," however, may hold the key to understanding what happened in the primordial days of the main belt. New asteroidal fragments are steadily created by both collisions and mass shedding events via YORP spinup processes. A fraction of this population, in the form of D < 30 km fragments, go on to escape the main belt via the Yarkovsky/YORP effects and gravitational resonances, thereby creating a quasi-steady-state population of planet-crossing and near-Earth asteroids. These populations go on to bombard all inner solar system worlds. By carefully interpreting the cratering records they produce, it is possible to constrain how portions of the main-belt population have evolved with time.

  11. Dynamical studies of Centaurs and their sources: interactions with the Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galiazzo, Mattia; Carruba, Valerio; Wiegert, Paul

    2015-08-01

    Centaurs are objects whose orbits are found between those of the giant planets. Their main source is presumed to be the Trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), and they are among the sources of Near-Earth Objects. Their dynamical evolution is heavily influenced by close encounters with giant planets and some of them were most likely scattered into their current orbits. After experiencing close encounters with the giant planets, Centaurs may have their eccentricity increased to values large enough to reach the main belt (a<3.8 au) and even the region of the Near-Earth asteroids, with a perihelion, (q<1.3 au). Some may become short-period comets and a fraction falls into the Sun or become sun-grazers. In this work we propose to investigate the interactions of dynamically evolving Centaurs and other members of the outer Solar System (i.e. Plutinos and Trans-Neptunian objects which cross the orbit of Neptune) with main belt asteroids to determine if chaotic scattering caused by close encounters and impacts may have played (and/or still play) a role in the dynamical evolution of the main belt. Preliminary results show already that TNOs (larger than 100 km size) are capable of reaching the inner solar system and may cross the main belt several times during an interval of time at least of ~10 kyrs. Centaurs such as 1995 S1 can generate significant deflections to the orbits of main belt asteroids after close encounters. In particular, we plan to investigate if close encounters with large (diameters larger than 100 km) outer Solar System bodies could have been responsible for the scattering of V-type asteroids from the Vesta family beyond the 3J:1 mean motion resonance, into the central and outer main belt.

  12. The Fossilized Size Distribution of the Main Asteroid Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottke, W. F.; Durda, D.; Nesvorny, D.; Jedicke, R.; Morbidelli, A.

    2003-05-01

    At present, we do not understand how the main asteroid belt evolved into its current state. During the planet formation epoch, the primordial main belt (PMB) contained several Earth masses of material, enough to allow the asteroids to accrete on relatively short timescales (e.g., Weidenschilling 1977). The present-day main belt, however, only contains 5e-4 Earth masses of material (Petit et al. 2002). Constraints on this evolution come from (i) the observed fragments of differentiated asteroids, (ii) meteorites collected from numerous differentiated parent bodies, (iii) the presence of ˜ 10 prominent asteroid families, (iv) the "wavy" size-frequency distribution of the main belt, which has been shown to be a by-product of substantial collisional evolution (e.g., Durda et al. 1997), and (v) the still-intact crust of (4) Vesta. To explain the contradictions in the above constraints, we suggest the PMB evolved in this fashion: Planetesimals and planetary embryos accreted (and differentiated) in the PMB during the first few Myr of the solar system. Gravitational perturbations from these embryos dynamically stirred the main belt, enough to initiate fragmentation. When Jupiter reached its full size, some 10 Myr after the solar system's birth, its perturbations, together with those of the embryos, dynamically depleted the main belt region of ˜ 99% of its bodies. Much of this material was sent to high (e,i) orbits, where it continued to pummel the surviving main belt bodies at high impact velocities for more than 100 Myr. While some differentiated bodies in the PMB were disrupted, most were instead scattered; only small fragments from this population remain. This period of comminution and dynamical evolution in the PMB created, among other things, the main belt's wavy size distribution, such that it can be considered a "fossil" from this violent early epoch. From this time forward, however, relatively little collisional evolution has taken place in the main belt

  13. A Search for 23rd Magnitude Kuiper Belt Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luu, Jane

    1997-01-01

    The goal of the project was to identify a statistically significant sample of large (200 km-sized) Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), by covering 10 sq. degrees of the sky to a red limiting magnitude m(sub R) = 23. This work differs from, but builds on, previous surveys of the outer solar system in that it will cover a large area to a limiting magnitude that is deep enough to guarantee positive results. The proposed work should provide us with a significant number of 200 km-size KBOs (approx. 20 are expected) for subsequent studies. Such a sample is crucial if we are to investigate the statistical properties of the Belt and its members. It was modified the original research strategy to accommodate unanticipated problems such as the urgent need for follow-up observations,the original goal was still reached: we have substantially increased the number of Kuiper Belt Objects brighter than 23rd mag.

  14. The fossilized size distribution of the main asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottke, William F.; Durda, Daniel D.; Nesvorný, David; Jedicke, Robert; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Vokrouhlický, David; Levison, Hal

    2005-05-01

    Planet formation models suggest the primordial main belt experienced a short but intense period of collisional evolution shortly after the formation of planetary embryos. This period is believed to have lasted until Jupiter reached its full size, when dynamical processes (e.g., sweeping resonances, excitation via planetary embryos) ejected most planetesimals from the main belt zone. The few planetesimals left behind continued to undergo comminution at a reduced rate until the present day. We investigated how this scenario affects the main belt size distribution over Solar System history using a collisional evolution model (CoEM) that accounts for these events. CoEM does not explicitly include results from dynamical models, but instead treats the unknown size of the primordial main belt and the nature/timing of its dynamical depletion using innovative but approximate methods. Model constraints were provided by the observed size frequency distribution of the asteroid belt, the observed population of asteroid families, the cratered surface of differentiated Asteroid (4) Vesta, and the relatively constant crater production rate of the Earth and Moon over the last 3 Gyr. Using CoEM, we solved for both the shape of the initial main belt size distribution after accretion and the asteroid disruption scaling law QD∗. In contrast to previous efforts, we find our derived QD∗ function is very similar to results produced by numerical hydrocode simulations of asteroid impacts. Our best fit results suggest the asteroid belt experienced as much comminution over its early history as it has since it reached its low-mass state approximately 3.9-4.5 Ga. These results suggest the main belt's wavy-shaped size-frequency distribution is a "fossil" from this violent early epoch. We find that most diameter D≳120 km asteroids are primordial, with their physical properties likely determined during the accretion epoch. Conversely, most smaller asteroids are byproducts of fragmentation

  15. 32. DETAIL OF MAIN DRIVE WHEELS AND BELT TENSIONING DEVICE ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    32. DETAIL OF MAIN DRIVE WHEELS AND BELT TENSIONING DEVICE OF MAIN POWER TRAIN, LOOKING SOUTHEAST, LOOKING FORM BEHIND THE CLASSIFIER. THESE WHEELS DROVE THE BULL WHEELS ON THE STAMP BATTERIES ABOVE. THE TENSIONING DEVICE AT CENTER RIGHT CONTROLLED THE SPEED OF THE STAMPS. - Skidoo Mine, Park Route 38 (Skidoo Road), Death Valley Junction, Inyo County, CA

  16. Photometry and Lightcurve Analysis of 7 Main-Belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Violante, R.; Leake, M. A.

    2012-12-01

    We report the synodic periods and lightcurves for three main-belt asteroids and provide lightcurves for four other main-belt asteroids. 676 Melitta has a period of 8.35 ± 0.05 hours, with an amplitude of 0.056 ± 0.026 magnitude; 688 Melanie has a period of 16.10 ± 0.05 hours, and an amplitude of 0.091 ± 0.019 magnitude; 1677 Tycho Brahe has a period of 3.89 ± 0.06 hours, and an amplitude of 0.564 ± 0.011 magnitude.

  17. Photometry and Lightcurve Analysis of 7 Main-Belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Violante, Renata; Leake, M. A.

    2013-01-01

    We report the synodic periods and lightcurves for three main-belt asteroids and provide lightcurves for four other main-belt asteroids. 676 Melitta has a period of 8.35 ± 0.05 hours, with an amplitude of 0.056 ± 0.026 magnitude; 688 Melanie has a period of 16.10 ± 0.05 hours, and an amplitude of 0.091 ± 0.019 magnitude; 1677 Tycho Brahe has a period of 3.89 ± 0.06 hours, and an amplitude of 0.564 ± 0.011 magnitude.

  18. The Size Frequency Distribution of Small Main-Belt Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burt, Brian J.; Trilling, David E.; Hines, Dean C.; Stapelfeldt, Karl R.; Rebull, Luisa M.; Fuentes, Cesar I.; Hulsebus, Alan

    2012-01-01

    The asteroid size distribution informs us about the formation and composition of the Solar System. We build on our previous work in which we harvest serendipitously observed data of the Taurus region and measure the brightness and size distributions of Main-belt asteroids. This is accomplished with the highly sensitive MIPS 24 micron channel. We expect to catalog 104 asteroids, giving us a statistically significant data set. Results from this investigation will allow us to characterize the total population of small, Main-belt asteroids. Here we will present new results on the completeness of our study; on the presence of size distribution variations with inclination and radial distance in the belt; and early result on other archival fields.

  19. 5m Main Belt Asteroid Population Estimation Using Vesta Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rynders, Michael; Trilling, David E.

    2016-10-01

    The Main Belt is the largest source of Near-Earth asteroids, but objects <~3 km in diametercannot be reliably detected through conventional means and their number and distribution must be extrapolated. However, craters as small as 50 meters can be seen in the Dawn Framing Camera images from the 2012 mission to Vesta. Since craters of this size are formed by ~5 meter asteroids, counting craters on Vesta allows us to measure the size distribution of asteroids down to sizes that have previously been inaccessible by several orders of magnitude. In the imagery 50m craters were ~2 pixels wide and presented a challenge to reliably count. To validate and calibrate the efficiency and accuracy of counting craters only pixels wide, an experiment was carried out by counting large craters at artificially degraded resolutions. This produced an efficiency curve that was combined with the census of craters >2 pixels in diameter that were counted in a 33km 2 region to give a crater density. By knowing the crater density and making some reasonable assumptions about the orbital distribution of asteroids and the age of Vesta's surface, an estimate of the population of small asteroids in the inner main belt was made. It was found that the inner region of the main asteroid belt contains approximately 20 billion asteroids larger than 5 m. These results agree well with the measured inner Main Belt Size distribution derived by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, WISE (Masiero et al. 2011).

  20. Lightcurve Analysis for Seven Main-belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casalnuovo, Giovanni Battitsa

    2015-04-01

    Photometric observations of seven main-belt asteroids were made at the Eurac Observatory (C62 in Bolzano- Italy) in 2014: 1983 Bok, 2634 James Bradley, 4252 Godwin, 5116 Korsor, 10597 (1996 TR10), 52505 (1996 FD4), and 53247 (1999 DE2).

  1. Phyllosilicate absorption features in main-belt and outer-belt asteroid reflectance spectra.

    PubMed

    Vilas, F; Gaffey, M J

    1989-11-10

    Absorption features having depths up to 5% are identified in high-quality, high-resolution reflectance spectra of 16 dark asteroids in the main belt and in the Cybele and Hilda groups. Analogs among the CM2 carbonaceous chondrite meteorites exist for some of these asteroids, suggesting that these absorptions are due to iron oxides in phyllosilicates formed on the asteroidal surfaces by aqueous alteration processes. Spectra of ten additional asteroids, located beyond the outer edge of the main belt, show no discernible absorption features, suggesting that aqueous alteration did not always operate at these heliocentric distances.

  2. Near-infrared spectra of high-albedo outer main-belt asteroids

    SciTech Connect

    Kasuga, Toshihiro; Shirahata, Mai; Usui, Fumihiko; Kuroda, Daisuke; Ootsubo, Takafumi; Okamura, Natsuko; Hasegawa, Sunao

    2015-02-01

    Most outer main-belt asteroids have low albedos because of their carbonaceouslike bodies. However, infrared satellite surveys have revealed that some asteroids have high albedos, which may suggest the presence of unusual surface minerals for those primitive objects. We present new near-infrared (1.1–2.5 μm) spectra of four outer main-belt asteroids with albedos ≥ 0.1. The C-complex asteroids (555) Norma and (2542) Calpurnia are featureless and have (50%–60%) amorphous Mg pyroxenes that might explain the high albedos. Asteroids (701) Oriola (which is a C-complex asteroid) and (2670) Chuvashia (a D/T-type or M-type asteroid) show possible broad absorption bands (1.5–2.1 μm). The feature can be reproduced by either Mg-rich amorphous pyroxene (with 50%–60% and 80%–95% Mg, respectively) or orthopyroxene (crystalline silicate), which might be responsible for the high albedos. No absorption features of water ice (near 1.5 and 2.0 μm) are detected in the objects. We discuss the origin of high albedo components in the outer main-belt asteroids and their physical relations to comets.

  3. WISE/NEOWISE OBSERVATIONS OF ACTIVE BODIES IN THE MAIN BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Bauer, James M.; Mainzer, A. K.; Masiero, Joseph R.; Blauvelt, Erin K.; Cherry, De'Andre; Grav, Tommy; Walker, Russell G.; McMillan, Robert S.; Scotti, James V.; Fernandez, Yan R.; Kramer, Emily; Meech, Karen J.; Tholen, David J.; Riesen, Timm; Urban, Laurie; Khayat, Alain; Lisse, Carey M.; Cutri, Roc M.; Dailey, John W.; Pearman, George; Collaboration: WISE Team; and others

    2012-03-01

    We report results based on mid-infrared photometry of five active main belt objects (AMBOs) detected by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft. Four of these bodies, P/2010 R2 (La Sagra), 133P/Elst-Pizarro, (596) Scheila, and 176P/LINEAR, showed no signs of activity at the time of the observations, allowing the WISE detections to place firm constraints on their diameters and albedos. Geometric albedos were in the range of a few percent, and on the order of other measured comet nuclei. P/2010 A2 was observed on 2010 April 2-3, three months after its peak activity. Photometry of the coma at 12 and 22 {mu}m combined with ground-based visible-wavelength measurements provides constraints on the dust particle mass distribution (PMD), dlog n/dlog m, yielding power-law slope values of {alpha} = -0.5 {+-} 0.1. This PMD is considerably more shallow than that found for other comets, in particular inbound particle fluence during the Stardust encounter of comet 81P/Wild 2. It is similar to the PMD seen for 9P/Tempel 1 in the immediate aftermath of the Deep Impact experiment. Upper limits for CO{sub 2} and CO production are also provided for each AMBO and compared with revised production numbers for WISE observations of 103P/Hartley 2.

  4. Jupiter family comets in near-Earth orbits: Are some of them interlopers from the asteroid belt?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Sosa, Andrea

    2015-12-01

    We analyze a sample of 58 Jupiter family comets (JFCs) in near-Earth orbits, defined as those whose perihelion distances at the time of discovery were qdisc < 1.3 au. In our definition JFCs have Tisserand parameters 2 < T < 3 and orbital periods P < 20 yr. We integrated the orbits of these objects, plus 50 clones for each one of them, for 104 yr in the past and in the future. We find that most of them move on highly unstable orbits, having fallen in their current near-Earth orbits in the recent past, going from less than one hundred years to a few thousands years. They experience frequent close encounters with Jupiter down to distances ≲ 0.1 au. This is the expected behavior for comets whose limited physical lifetimes in the near-Earth region make them unlikely to survive there for more than about a few hundred revolutions. In this sense the orbits of most JFCs are typically "cometary", and they should be regarded as newcomers in the near-Earth region. Yet, a minor fraction of JFCs (less than about one third) are found to move on stable orbits for the past ∼ 104 yr, and in some cases are found to continue to be stable at 5 × 104 yr in the past. They also avoid very close encounters with Jupiter. Their orbital behavior is very similar to that of NEAs in cometary orbits. While "typical" JFCs in unstable orbits probably come from the trans-Neptunian region, the minor group of JFCs in asteroidal orbits may come from the main asteroid belt, like the NEAs. The asteroidal JFCs may have a more consolidated structure and a higher mineral content than that of comets coming from the trans-Neptunian belt or the Oort cloud, which could explain their much longer physical lifetimes in the near-Earth region. In particular, we mention comets 66P/du Toit, 162P/Siding Spring, 169P/NEAT, 182P/LONEOS, 189P/NEAT, 249P/LINEAR, 300P/Catalina, and P/2003 T12 (SOHO) as the most likely candidates to have an origin in the main asteroid belt. Another interesting case is 207P/NEAT, which

  5. A record of planet migration in the main asteroid belt.

    PubMed

    Minton, David A; Malhotra, Renu

    2009-02-26

    The main asteroid belt lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, but the region is not uniformly filled with asteroids. There are gaps, known as the Kirkwood gaps, in distinct locations that are associated with orbital resonances with the giant planets; asteroids placed in these locations will follow chaotic orbits and be removed. Here we show that the observed distribution of main belt asteroids does not fill uniformly even those regions that are dynamically stable over the age of the Solar System. We find a pattern of excess depletion of asteroids, particularly just outward of the Kirkwood gaps associated with the 5:2, the 7:3 and the 2:1 Jovian resonances. These features are not accounted for by planetary perturbations in the current structure of the Solar System, but are consistent with dynamical ejection of asteroids by the sweeping of gravitational resonances during the migration of Jupiter and Saturn approximately 4 Gyr ago. PMID:19242470

  6. Rotation Period Determination of Four Main-belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrero, Andrea

    2016-10-01

    Observations of four main-belt asteroids (MBA) revealed the following rotation periods and lightcurve amplitudes: 3861 Lorenz, P = 11.91 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.28 mag; 6173 Jimwestphal P = 2.908 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.41 mag; 10259 Osipovyurij, P = 6.356 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.30 mag; 29470 Higgs, P = 36.31 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.48 mag.

  7. A photoelectric lightcurve survey of small main belt asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Binzel, R. P.; Mulholland, J. D.

    1983-01-01

    A survey to obtain photoelectric lightcurves of small main-belt asteroids was conducted from November 1981 to April 1982 using the 0.91- and 2.1-m telescopes at the University of Texas McDonald Observatory. A total of 18 main-belt asteroids having estimated dimaters under 30 km were observed with over half of these being smaller than 15 km. Rotational periods were determined or estimated from multiple nights of observation for nearly all of these yielding a sample of 17 small main-belt asteroids which is believed to be free of observational selection effects. All but two of these objects were investigated for very short periods in the range of 1 min to 2 hr using power spectrum analysis of a continuous set of integrations. No evidence for such short periods was seen in this sample. Rotationally averaged B(1,0) magnitudes were determined for most of the surveyed asteroids, allowing diameter estimates to be made. Imposing the suspected selection effects of photogaphic photometry on the results of this survey gives excellent agreement with the results from that technique. This shows that the inability of photographic photometry to obtain results for many asteroids is indeed due to the rotational parameter of those asteroids.

  8. Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownlee, D. E.

    2003-12-01

    Comets are surviving members of a formerly vast distribution of solid bodies that formed in the cold regions of the solar nebula. Cometary bodies escaped incorporation into planets and ejection from the solar system and they have been stored in two distant reservoirs, the Oort cloud and the Kuiper Belt, for most of the age of the solar system. Observed comets appear to have formed between 5 AU and 55 AU. From a cosmochemical viewpoint, comets are particularly interesting bodies because they are preserved samples of the solar nebula's cold ice-bearing regions that occupied 99% of the areal extent of the solar nebula disk. All comets formed beyond the "snow line" of the nebula, where the conditions were cold enough for water ice to condense, but they formed from environments that significantly differed in temperature. Some formed in the comparatively "warm" regions near Jupiter where the nebular temperature may have been greater than 120 K and others clearly formed beyond Neptune where temperatures may have been less than 30 K (Bell et al., 1997). Although comets are the best-preserved materials from the early solar system, they should be a mix of nebular and presolar materials that accreted over a vast range of distances from the Sun in environments that differed in temperature, pressure, and accretional conditions such as impact speed.Comets, by conventional definition, are unstable near the Sun; they contain highly volatile ices that vigorously sublime within 2-3 AU of the Sun. When heated, they release gas and solids due to "cometary activity," a series of processes usually detected from afar by the presence of a coma of gas and dust surrounding the cometary nucleus and or elongated tails composed of dust and gas. Active comets clearly have not been severely modified by the moderate to extreme heating that has affected all other solar system materials, including planets, moons, and even the asteroids that produced the most primitive meteorites. Comets have been

  9. Non-Vestoid candidates in the inner Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moskovitz, Nicholas; Oszkiewicz, Dagmara; Skiff, Brian; Kankiewicz, Pawel; Licandro, Javier; Galiazzo, Mattia; Zeilinger, Werner

    2016-10-01

    Most Howardite-Eucrite-Diogenite (HED) meteorites (analogues to V-type asteroids) are thought to originate from asteroid (4) Vesta. However some HEDs show distinct oxygen isotope ratios and therefore are thought to originate from other asteroids. In this study we try to identify asteroids that may represent parent bodies of those mismatching HEDs. In particular the origin of the anomalous Bunburra Rockhole meteorite was traced back to the inner main asteroid belt, showing that there might be asteroids that are not genetically linked to the asteroid (4) Vesta (the main source of V-type asteroids and HED meteorites) in the inner main belt. In this work we identify V-type asteroids outside the dynamical Vesta family whose rotational properties (retrograde vs prograde rotation) suggest the direction of Yarkovsky drift that sets them apart from typical Vestoids and Vesta fugitives. Specificly Nesvorny et al. 2008 simulated escapes paths from the Vesta family and showed that typical Vesta fugitives in the inner main asteroid belt at semi-major axis a < 2.3 AU have to have retrograde rotations and physical and thermal parameters that maximize the Yarkovsky force in order to evolve to scattered orbits within 1-2 Gys (age of the Vesta collisional family). Therefore large asteroids outside the Vesta family and with a < 2.3 AU and having thermal and rotational properties minimizing the Yarkovsky drift or showing Yarkovsky drift direction towards (4) Vesta are the best candidates for non-Vestoidal V-type asteroids and therefore parent bodies of anomalous HED. In this study we have performed accurate photometric observations and determined sense of rotation for several asteroids testing their links to Vesta and anomalous HED. We have found several potential non-Vestoid candidates. Those objects have to be studied in more detail to fully confirm their link to anomalous HEDs.

  10. Evolution of planet crossing asteroids in the inner Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribeiro, A. O.; Roig, F.

    2011-03-01

    We studied the dynamical evolution of asteroids in terrestrial planet crossing orbits, located between 2.1 and 2.5 AU. The evolution is analyzed by direct numerical integration of massless particles under the gravitational influence of all planets from Venus to Neptune. The simulations include the Yarkovsky effect, introduced as a non conservative force that produces a slow variation of the average orbital semimajor axis. Our analysis focuses on the test particles that can reach the middle and outer regions of the Main Belt (semimajor axis > 2.5 AU) during their evolution, since these may be relevant for understanding the transport mechanisms of asteroids from the inner Belt. These mechanisms could help to explain, for example, the existence of basaltic asteroids beyond 2.5 AU assuming that these bodies originate in the Vesta family, located at ~ 2.3 AU. We found that, although some orbits that reach the middle and outer regions of the Belt can become temporarily detached from the planet crossing regime, and may have their orbital eccentricities damped due to capture at some mean motion resonances, such orbits survive for only a few hundred thousand years and, ultimately, the test particles return to the planet crossing regime being eventually discarded by close encounters with the planets. These results seem to indicate that a transport mechanism based only on planetary encounters and resonant capture might not be efficient enough to justify the presence of basaltic asteroids beyond 2.5 AU.

  11. Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feldman, P. D.

    2006-01-01

    Spectroscopy of comets, in the X-ray and far-ultraviolet from space, and in the near infrared and millimeter from the ground, have revealed a wealth of new information, particularly about the molecular constituents that make up the volatile fraction of the comet s nucleus. Interpretation of these data requires not only proper wavelengths for identification but also information about the photolytic and excitation processes at temperatures typical of the inner coma (70-100 K) that lead to the observed spectral signatures. Several examples, mainly from Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer and Hubble Space Telescope spectra of comets observed during the last few years, will be given to illustrate some of the current issues.

  12. Hundred lightcurves of sub-km main-belt asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, F.; Souami, D.; Bouquillon, S.; Nakamura, T.; Dermawan, B.; Yagi, M.; Souchay, J.

    2014-07-01

    We observed a single sky field near opposition and near the ecliptic plane using the Subaru telescope equipped with the Suprime-Cam. Taking advantage of the wide field of view (FOV) for the Suprime-Cam, the plan was to obtain 100 lightcurves of asteroids at the same time. The total observing time interval was about 8 hours on September 2, 2002, with 2-min exposures. We detected 147 moving objects in the single FOV (34'×27') on the Suprime-Cam (see Figure). Of those, 112 detections corresponded to different objects. We used the R filter during almost the entire observing run, but we took a few images with the B filter at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the run. We classified main-belt asteroids into S- and C-complexes with the B-R color of the object (Yoshida & Nakamura 2007). Although we carefully avoided regions of bright stars, the sky in the images taken by Suprime-Cam were actually crowded with faint objects. Therefore, the asteroids overlapped with background stars very often. Thus, it was very difficult to get lightcurves with high accuracy. We modified the GAIA-GBOT (Ground Based Optical Tracking) PIPELINE to measure the position and brightness of each object (Bouquillon et al. 2012). Once the objects were identified and their positions measured in pixel coordinates, the pipeline proceeded to the astrometric calibration and then to the photometric calibrations with the Guide Star Catalog II (Lasker et al. 2008). The pipeline produced time series of photometry for each object. The average brightness of each lightcurve ranged between 19--24 mag. We then estimated the rotational period from the lightcurve of each object. In our presentation, we will show the spin-period distribution of sub- km main-belt asteroids and compare it with that of large main-belt asteroids obtained from the lightcurve catalogue.

  13. On the oldest asteroid families in the main belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carruba, V.; Nesvorný, D.; Aljbaae, S.; Domingos, R. C.; Huaman, M.

    2016-06-01

    Asteroid families are groups of minor bodies produced by high-velocity collisions. After the initial dispersions of the parent bodies fragments, their orbits evolve because of several gravitational and non-gravitational effects, such as diffusion in mean-motion resonances, Yarkovsky and Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack (YORP) effects, close encounters of collisions, etc. The subsequent dynamical evolution of asteroid family members may cause some of the original fragments to travel beyond the conventional limits of the asteroid family. Eventually, the whole family will dynamically disperse and no longer be recognizable. A natural question that may arise concerns the time-scales for dispersion of large families. In particular, what is the oldest still recognizable family in the main belt? Are there any families that may date from the late stages of the late heavy bombardment and that could provide clues on our understanding of the primitive Solar system? In this work, we investigate the dynamical stability of seven of the allegedly oldest families in the asteroid main belt. Our results show that none of the seven studied families has a nominally mean estimated age older than 2.7 Gyr, assuming standard values for the parameters describing the strength of the Yarkovsky force. Most `paleo-families' that formed between 2.7 and 3.8 Gyr would be characterized by a very shallow size-frequency distribution, and could be recognizable only if located in a dynamically less active region (such as that of the Koronis family). V-type asteroids in the central main belt could be compatible with a formation from a paleo-Eunomia family.

  14. Constraints on impact rates in the Pluto-Charon system and the population of the Kuiper comet belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.; Dobrovolskis, Anthony R.; Stern, S. Alan

    1989-01-01

    Impact rates in the Pluto-Charon system are dominated by comets from the proposed Kuiper Belt, 30 to 50 AU from the sun. Such collisions excite the eccentricity of Charon's orbit, which then decays due to tidal dissipation. Charon's eccentricity approaches a quasi-steady state, which can be used to constrain the total number and mass of comets in the Kuiper Belt. Unfortunately, the current upper limit on Charon's orbital eccentricity must be reduced by more than a factor of ten before useful constraints can be set.

  15. Constraints on impact rates in the pluto-charon system and the population of the Kuiper comet belt

    SciTech Connect

    Weissman, P.R. ); Dobrovolskis, A.R. ); Stern, S.A. )

    1989-11-01

    Impact rates in the Pluto-Charon system are dominated by comets from the proposed Kuiper Belt, 30 to 50 AU from the Sun. Such collisions excite the eccentricity of Charon's orbit, which then decays due to tidal dissipation. Charon's eccentricity approaches a quasi-steady state, which can be used to constrain the total number and mass of comets in the Kuiper Belt. Unfortunately, the current upper limit on Charon's orbital eccentricity must be reduced by more than a factor of ten before useful constraints can be set.

  16. Subaru Main Belt Asteroid Survey (SMBAS)—Size and color distributions of small main-belt asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, F.; Nakamura, T.

    2007-06-01

    Since February, 2001, we have been conducting a series of survey observations to investigate the physical property of very small Main Belt Asteroids (sub-km MBAs) using the Subaru prime-focus camera (Suprime-Cam) attached to the 8.2 m Subaru telescope. We call our surveys "SMBAS: Subaru Main-Belt Asteroids Survey". This paper presents the results of the second SMBAS (SMBAS-II) which was performed in October 2001. In SMBAS-II, a˜4.0deg2 sky area near the opposition and near the ecliptic was surveyed with the R- and B-bands. We detected 1838 moving objects up to R˜25mag. In SMBAS-II, we could not determine the exact orbits of the objects, because of the short observational arc of only ˜40min. Instead, we statistically estimated the semi-major axis ( a) of each moving object from its apparent sky-motion vector assuming its circular orbit and then, we used the a's to select MBAs and to estimate their absolute magnitudes ( H). The limiting magnitude of SMBAS-II for MBAs was R˜24.2 mag. It corresponds to H˜20 mag at the outer edge of main belt. Thus, assuming their mean albedos, down to D˜0.3 km of S-type asteroids and 0.6 km of C-type asteroids were detected in SMBAS-II. We found that the slopes ( b) of the cumulative size distribution (CSD) (i.e. N(>D)∝D, D: diameter) for sub-km MBAs ranging from 0.6 to 1 km in diameter is 1.29±0.02. Our b value (1.29) is much shallower than those ( ˜ 1.8) of the Palomer Leiden Survey (PLS) [van Houten, C.J., van Houten, G.I., Herget, P., Gehrels, T., 1970. The Palomar-Leiden survey of faint minor planets. Astr. Astrophys. Suppl. 2, 339-448] and Spacewatch surveys [Jedicke, R., Metcalfe, T.S., 1998. The orbital and absolute magnitude distributions of main belt asteroids. Icarus 131, 245-260.] for larger asteroids ( D>5 km) and almost consistent with that (1.3) of SDSS [Ivezić, Ž., Tabachnik, S., Rafikov, R., Lupton, R.H., Quinn, T., Hammergren, M., Eyer, L., Chu, J., Armstrong, J.C., Fan, X., Finlator, K., Geballe, T

  17. Recent Arecibo Radar Observations of Main-Belt Asteroids.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shepard, Michael K.; Howell, Ellen; Nolan, Michael; Taylor, Patrick; Springmann, Alessondra; Giorgini, Jon; Benner, Lance; Magri, Christopher

    2014-11-01

    We recently observed main-belt asteroids 12 Victoria (Tholen S-class, Bus L-class), 246 Asporina (A-class), and 2035 Stearns with the S-band (12 cm) Arecibo radar. Signal-to-noise ratios for Asporina and Stearns were only strong enough for continuous-wave (CW) analysis. Signal-to-noise ratios for Victoria were high enough for delay-Doppler imaging. Stearns exhibited a high radar polarization ratio of unity, higher than any other main-belt E-class, but similar to near-Earth E-class asteroids [Benner et al. Icarus 198, 294-304, 2008; Shepard et al. Icarus 215, 547-551, 2011]. The A-class asteroids show spectral absorption features consistent with olivine and have been suggested as the source of pallasite meteorites or the rare brachinites [Cruikshank and Hartmann, Science 223, 281-283, 1984]. The radar cross-section measured for Asporina leads to a radar albedo estimate of 0.11, suggesting a low near-surface bulk density, and by inference, a low metal content. This suggests that the brachinites are a better analog for Asporina than the iron-rich pallasites. Victoria has been observed by radar in the past and the continuous-wave echoes suggest it has a large concavity or is a contact binary [Mitchell et al. Icarus 118, 105-131, 1995]. Our new imaging observations should determine which is more likely.

  18. The distribution of mantle material among main-belt asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMeo, Francesca E.; Carry, Benoit; Binzel, Richard P.; Moskovitz, Nicholas; Polishook, David; Burt, Brian J.

    2014-06-01

    We expect there to have been many bodies in the Main Asteroid Belt (MB) sufficiently heated at the time of solar system formation to allow their interiors to differentiate into an iron core and silicate-rich crust and mantle. Evidence for early solar system differentiation includes the diversity of iron meteorites that imply the existence of over 60 distinct parent bodies (Mittlefehldt et al. 2006). Searches have been performed to identify silicate-rich basaltic crust material (spectral V-type asteroids) in the outer MB have been successful (e.g., Roig et al. 2006, Masi et al. 2008, Moskovitz et al. 2008, Solontoi et al. 2012). The olivine-rich mantles of differentiated asteroids should have produced substantially greater volumes (and therefore substantially greater numbers) of remnant asteroids compared with basaltic and iron samples. Yet olivine-rich asteroids (A-types) are one of the rarest asteroid types (Bus & Binzel 2002, DeMeo et al. 2009). An alternative way to search for differentiated bodies that have been heavily or completely disrupted is to identify these spectral A-type asteroids, characterized by a very wide and deep 1 micron absorption indicative of large amounts (> 80%) of olivine. Burbine et al. (1996) proposed that these asteroids are only found among the largest because most were “battered to bits” due to collisions, so smaller A-types were below our detection limit. Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Moving Object Catalog to select A-type asteroid candidates, we have conducted a near-infrared spectral survey of asteroids over 12 nights in the near-infrared in an effort to determine the distribution and abundance of crustal and mantle material across the Main Asteroid Belt (MB). From three decades of asteroid spectral observations only ~10 A-type asteroids have been discovered. In our survey we have detected >20 A-type asteroids thus far throughout the belt, tripling the number of known A-types. We present these spectra and their

  19. Photometry of Main Belt and Trojan asteroids with K2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szabó, Gyula; Kiss, Csaba; Pal, Andras; Szabo, Robert

    2016-10-01

    Due to the failure of the second reaction wheel, a new mission was conceived for the otherwise healthy Kepler space telescope. In the course of the K2 Mission, the telescope is staring at the plane of the Ecliptic, hence thousands of Solar System bodies cross the K2 fields, usually causing extra noise in the highly accurate photometric data.We could measure the first continuous asteroid light curves, covering several days wthout interruption, that has been unprecedented to date. We studied the K2 superstamps covering the M35 and Neptune/Nereid fields observed in the long cadence (29.4-min sampling) mode. Asteroid light curves are generated by applying elongated apertures. We investigated the photometric precision that the K2 Mission can deliver on moving Solar System bodies, and determined the first uninterrupted optical light curves of main-belt and Trojan asteroids. We use thed Lomb-Scargle method to find periodicities due to rotation.We derived K2 light curves of 924 main-belt asteroids in the M35 field, and 96 in the path of Neptune and Nereid. Due to the faintness of the asteroids and the high density of stars in the M35 field, 4.0% of the asteroids with at least 12 data points show clear periodicities or trend signalling a long rotational period, as opposed to 15.9% in the less crowded Neptune field. We found that the duty cycle of the observations had to reach ˜ 60% in order to successfully recover rotational periods.The derived period-amplitude diagram is consistent to the known distribution of Main Belt asteroids. For Trojan asteroids, the contribution of our 56 objects with newly determined precise period and amplitude is in the order of all previously known asteroids. The comparison with earth-based determinations showed a previous bias toward short periods and has also proven that asteroid periods >20 hour can be unreliable in a few cases because of daylight time and diurnal calibrations. These biases are avoided from the space. We present an unbiased

  20. HIGH ECLIPTIC LATITUDE SURVEY FOR SMALL MAIN-BELT ASTEROIDS

    SciTech Connect

    Terai, Tsuyoshi; Takahashi, Jun; Itoh, Yoichi

    2013-11-01

    Main-belt asteroids have been continuously colliding with one another since they were formed. Their size distribution is primarily determined by the size dependence of asteroid strength against catastrophic impacts. The strength scaling law as a function of body size could depend on collision velocity, but the relationship remains unknown, especially under hypervelocity collisions comparable to 10 km s{sup –1}. We present a wide-field imaging survey at an ecliptic latitude of about 25° for investigating the size distribution of small main-belt asteroids that have highly inclined orbits. The analysis technique allowing for efficient asteroid detections and high-accuracy photometric measurements provides sufficient sample data to estimate the size distribution of sub-kilometer asteroids with inclinations larger than 14°. The best-fit power-law slopes of the cumulative size distribution are 1.25 ± 0.03 in the diameter range of 0.6-1.0 km and 1.84 ± 0.27 in 1.0-3.0 km. We provide a simple size distribution model that takes into consideration the oscillations of the power-law slope due to the transition from the gravity-scaled regime to the strength-scaled regime. We find that the high-inclination population has a shallow slope of the primary components of the size distribution compared to the low-inclination populations. The asteroid population exposed to hypervelocity impacts undergoes collisional processes where large bodies have a higher disruptive strength and longer lifespan relative to tiny bodies than the ecliptic asteroids.

  1. Comet-like mineralogy of olivine crystals in an extrasolar proto-Kuiper belt.

    PubMed

    de Vries, B L; Acke, B; Blommaert, J A D L; Waelkens, C; Waters, L B F M; Vandenbussche, B; Min, M; Olofsson, G; Dominik, C; Decin, L; Barlow, M J; Brandeker, A; Di Francesco, J; Glauser, A M; Greaves, J; Harvey, P M; Holland, W S; Ivison, R J; Liseau, R; Pantin, E E; Pilbratt, G L; Royer, P; Sibthorpe, B

    2012-10-01

    Some planetary systems harbour debris disks containing planetesimals such as asteroids and comets. Collisions between such bodies produce small dust particles, the spectral features of which reveal their composition and, hence, that of their parent bodies. A measurement of the composition of olivine crystals (Mg(2-2x)Fe(2x)SiO(4)) has been done for the protoplanetary disk HD 100546 (refs 3, 4) and for olivine crystals in the warm inner parts of planetary systems. The latter compares well with the iron-rich olivine in asteroids (x ≈ 0.29). In the cold outskirts of the β Pictoris system, an analogue to the young Solar System, olivine crystals were detected but their composition remained undetermined, leaving unknown how the composition of the bulk of Solar System cometary olivine grains compares with that of extrasolar comets. Here we report the detection of the 69-micrometre-wavelength band of olivine crystals in the spectrum of β Pictoris. Because the disk is optically thin, we can associate the crystals with an extrasolar proto-Kuiper belt a distance of 15-45 astronomical units from the star (one astronomical unit is the Sun-Earth distance), determine their magnesium-rich composition (x = 0.01 ± 0.001) and show that they make up 3.6 ± 1.0 per cent of the total dust mass. These values are strikingly similar to those for the dust emitted by the most primitive comets in the Solar System, even though β Pictoris is more massive and more luminous and has a different planetary system architecture. PMID:23038467

  2. New insights into main belt asteroid collisional lifetimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henych, Tomas; Holsapple, Keith

    2016-10-01

    We are developing a new Monte Carlo code to study the collisional and spin evolution of main belt asteroids. A byproduct is information on asteroid lifetimes. We find new interpretations and values of those lifetimes.In the conventional approach, the "collisional lifetime" is measured by the time when an asteroid is struck by an impactor large enough to remove one-half of the target's mass. That event is called a catastrophic disruption (CD). From an assumed population of impactors and Poisson statistics, one can estimate the largest expected impactor to impact in a given time interval to get its expected collisional lifetime. However, our Monte Carlo simulations give lifetimes that are distinctly shorter. That raises questions about the basic definition of catastrophic disruption.During its presence in the main belt, many other asteroids of all sizes continually strike a target asteroid. Before the CD one happens, there are many small impacts, and a few less than but not equal to the CD one. Each impact erodes the target asteroid. Very commonly, it is eroded to a much smaller mass before some CD event. We will present examples.So what shall we define as its collisional lifetime? Should it be the time for which its mass is reduced to one-half of its original mass, irrespective of how that happened, perhaps from many impacts? Or when any single impact reduces its mass to one-half of its original mass? Or when a single impact reduces it to one-half of its current mass?We propose that collisional lifetime is defined as the time at which it reaches 50% of its original mass, from any combination of small and/or large events. We use cratering and ejecta scaling formulas (e.g. Holsapple, 1993, Housen and Holsapple, 2011) to calculate the eroded mass history of the target for a history of impactors and calculate the outcome of any impact using the current size. In the gravity regime, the eroded body is easier to disrupt. We will present our lifetime estimates and those of

  3. Olivine-rich asteroids in the main asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMeo, Francesca E.; Polishook, David; Carry, Benoit; Moskovitz, Nick; Burt, Brian; Binzel, Rick

    2015-11-01

    Olivine-dominated asteroids, classified as A-types with near-infrared spectral measurements are largely thought to be the mantle remnants of disrupted differentiated small bodies. These A-type asteroids hold clues to asteroid differentiation and to the collisional history of those differentiated bodies. Preliminary studies of the abundance and distribution of A-type asteroids were performed by Carvano et al. (2010) and DeMeo & Carry (2013, 2014) using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). To confidently identify these olivine-dominated A-type asteroids, however, near-infrared spectral measurements are needed to identify the distinct broad and deep 1-micron olivine absorption feature. Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Moving Object Catalog to select A-type asteroid candidates, we have performed a near-infrared spectral survey of over 70 asteroids with SpeX on the IRTF. We present the abundance and distribution of A-type asteroids throughout the main asteroid belt and compare these results with similar surveys for basalt-rich V-type asteroids (e.g. Moskovitz et al. 2008). This work is supported by NASA under grant number NNX12AL26G issued through the Planetary Astronomy Program.

  4. The Main Asteroid Belt: The Crossroads of the Solar System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Patrick

    2015-08-01

    Orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, main belt asteroids are leftover planetary building blocks that never accreted enough material to become planets. They are therefore keys to understanding how the Solar System formed and evolved. They may also provide clues to the origin of life, as similar bodies may have delivered organics and water to the early Earth.Strong associations between asteroids and meteorites emerged thanks to multi-technique observations, modeling, in situ and sample return analyses. Spacecraft images revolutionized our knowledge of these small worlds. Asteroids are stunning in their diversity in terms of physical properties. Their gravity varies by more orders of magnitude than its variation among the terrestrial planets, including the Moon. Each rendezvous with an asteroid thus turned our geological understanding on its head as each asteroid is affected in different ways by a variety of processes such as landslides, faulting, and impact cratering. Composition also varies, from ice-rich to lunar-like to chondritic.Nearly every asteroid we see today, whether of primitive or evolved compositions, is the product of a complex history involving accretion and one or more episodes of catastrophic disruption that sometimes resulted in families of smaller asteroids that have distinct and indicative petrogenic relationships. These families provide the best data to study the impact disruption process at scales far larger than those accessible in laboratory. Tens, perhaps hundreds, of early asteroids grew large enough to thermally differentiate. Their traces are scattered pieces of their metal-rich cores and, more rarely, their mantles and crusts.Asteroids represent stages on the rocky road to planet formation. They have great stories to tell about the formation and evolution of our Solar System as well as other planetary systems: asteroid belts seem common around Sun-like stars. We will review our current knowledge on their properties, their link to

  5. A late Miocene dust shower from the break-up of an asteroid in the main belt.

    PubMed

    Farley, Kenneth A; Vokrouhlický, David; Bottke, William F; Nesvorný, David

    2006-01-19

    Throughout the history of the Solar System, Earth has been bombarded by interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), which are asteroid and comet fragments of diameter approximately 1-1,000 microm. The IDP flux is believed to be in quasi-steady state: particles created by episodic main belt collisions or cometary fragmentation replace those removed by comminution, dynamical ejection, and planetary or solar impact. Because IDPs are rich in 3He, seafloor sediment 3He concentrations provide a unique means of probing the major events that have affected the IDP flux and its source bodies over geological timescales. Here we report that collisional disruption of the >150-km-diameter asteroid that created the Veritas family 8.3 +/- 0.5 Myr ago also produced a transient increase in the flux of interplanetary dust-derived 3He. The increase began at 8.2 +/- 0.1 Myr ago, reached a maximum of approximately 4 times pre-event levels, and dissipated over approximately 1.5 Myr. The terrestrial IDP accretion rate was overwhelmingly dominated by Veritas family fragments during the late Miocene. No other event of this magnitude over the past approximately 10(8) yr has been deduced from main belt asteroid orbits. One remarkably similar event is present in the 3He record 35 Myr ago, but its origin by comet shower or asteroid collision remains uncertain. PMID:16421563

  6. Main characteristics of the COMET/COMRADE experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borg, J.; Bibring, J.-P.; Maag, Carl R.

    1994-01-01

    Both the COMET (Collection en Orbite de Matiere Extra Terrestre) and the COMRADE (Collection of Micrometeorites, Residue and Debris Ejecta) programs are developed to the collection and analysis of the particles of various origins orbiting around the Earth at low altitudes (between approx. 300 and approx. 500 km). The COMET experiment is more specifically designed to be flown for a short period of time (a few days), in concordance with a meteor stream crossing the Earth. Thus, it results in a considerable enrichment in the collection of grains related to a given comet. The COMRADE experiment has been selected as a proposal for long-duration flights (a few months), in order to gain information on all sizes of particles present on low Earth orbits, including submicrometer grains. It has been accepted by ESA authorities for use on the EURECA 2 platform. The objectives of these studies are multiple. The use of passive detectors gives access to the chemical and isotopical properties of the grains in the micrometer size range, by analyzing either the particle remnant mixed with the target material, or the intact particle captured in a specific low-density material. The particle remnants of the micrometer-sized extraterrestrial grains, having impacted on purposely designed metallic collectors, are identified for complete and detailed chemical, isotopic, and organic analysis, thereby determining grain composition as well as the existence of organic and inorganic molecules, to be related with the possible cometary origin of the grains. Micrometer/submicrometer dust grains are also captured in a manner that ensures minimal particle degradation. The captured intact particles are returned to Earth for complete and detailed chemical, isotopic, spectral, mineralogical, and organic analysis.

  7. Size Distribution of Main-Belt Asteroids with High Inclination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terai, Tsuyoshi; Itoh, Yoichi

    2011-04-01

    We investigated the size distribution of high-inclination main-belt asteroids (MBAs) so as to explore asteroid collisional evolution under hypervelocity collisions of around 10 km s-1. We performed a wide-field survey for high-inclination sub-km MBAs using the 8.2-m Subaru Telescope with the Subaru Prime Focus Camera (Suprime-Cam). Suprime-Cam archival data were also used. A total of 616 MBA candidates were detected in an area of 9.0 deg² with a limiting magnitude of 24.0 mag in the SDSS r filter. Most of the candidate diameters were estimated to be smaller than 1 km. We found a scarcity of sub-km MBAs with high inclination. Cumulative size distributions (CSDs) were constructed using Subaru data and published asteroid catalogs. The power-law indexes of the CSDs were 2.17±0.02 for low-inclination (<15°) MBAs and 2.02±0.03 for high-inclination (>15°) MBAs in the 0.7-50 km diameter range. The high-inclination MBAs had a shallower CSD. We also found that the CSD of S-like MBAs had a small slope with high inclination, whereas the slope did not vary with the inclination in the C-like group. The most probable cause of the shallow CSD of the high-inclination S-like MBAs is the large power-law index in the diameter-impact strength curve in hypervelocity collisions. The collisional evolution of MBAs may have advanced with oligopolistic survival during the dynamical excitation phase in the final stage of planet formation.

  8. ORBITS, MASSES, AND EVOLUTION OF MAIN BELT TRIPLE (87) SYLVIA

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, Julia; Margot, Jean-Luc; Rojo, Patricio

    2012-08-15

    Sylvia is a triple asteroid system located in the main belt. We report new adaptive optics observations of this system that extend the baseline of existing astrometric observations to a decade. We present the first fully dynamical three-body model for this system by fitting to all available astrometric measurements. This model simultaneously fits for individual masses, orbits, and primary oblateness. We find that Sylvia is composed of a dominant central mass surrounded by two satellites orbiting at 706.5 {+-} 2.5 km and 1357 {+-} 4.0 km, i.e., about 5 and nearly 10 primary radii. We derive individual masses of 1.484{sup +0.016}{sub -0.014} Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 19} kg for the primary (corresponding to a density of 1.29 {+-} 0.39 g cm{sup -3}), 7.33{sup +4.7}{sub -2.3} Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 14} kg for the inner satellite, and 9.32{sup +20.7}{sub -8.3} Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 14} kg for the outer satellite. The oblateness of the primary induces substantial precession and the J{sub 2} value can be constrained to the range of 0.0985-0.1. The orbits of the satellites are relatively circular with eccentricities less than 0.04. The spin axis of the primary body and the orbital poles of both satellites are all aligned within about 2 deg of each other, indicating a nearly coplanar configuration and suggestive of satellite formation in or near the equatorial plane of the primary. We also investigate the past orbital evolution of the system by simulating the effects of a recent passage through 3:1 mean-motion eccentricity-type resonances. In some scenarios this allow us to place constraints on interior structure and past eccentricities.

  9. Main-Belt Source Regions for Potentially Hazardous Near-Earth Asteroids and Sample Return Targets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binzel, Richard P.; DeMeo, F. E.; Burt, B. J.; Polishook, D.; Burbine, T. H.; Moskovitz, N.; Bus, S. J.; Tokunaga, A.; Birlan, M.

    2015-11-01

    Spectroscopic and taxonomic information is now available for more than 1000 near-Earth objects (NEOs), thanks in large measure to the NASA IRTF long-term NEO spectral reconnaissance program we call the MIT-Hawaii Near-Earth Object Spectroscopic Survey (MITHNEOS) [1]. This sample comprises about 10% of the total NEO population, including Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs), and finds that all defined main-belt asteroid classes are also present within the near-Earth population. Using this largest available NEO dataset and dynamic source region models (such as [2]) we will present new results on the provenance of PHAs, source regions for each of the asteroid taxonomic classes, and pinpoint sources for major meteorite classes such as H, L, and LL ordinary chondrites. In finding these correlations, we find that source region signatures for B-, C-, and Cg-type NEOs include Jupiter family comets, further adding interest to the sampling of these classes by impending missions [3, 4]. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation Grant 0907766 and NASA Grant NNX10AG27G.[1] Tokunaga, A. et al. (2006) BAAS 38, 59.07. [2] Bottke, W.F. et al. (2002), Icarus 156, 399. [3] Lauretta, D. S. et al. (2015), MAPS 50, 834. [4] Abe, M. et al. (2012) 39th COSPAR, Abstract H0.2-7-12.

  10. Discovery and characteristics of the rapidly rotating active asteroid (62412) 2000 SY178 in the main belt

    SciTech Connect

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Trujillo, Chadwick

    2015-02-01

    We report a new active asteroid in the main belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. Object (62412) 2000 SY178 exhibited a tail in images collected during our survey for objects beyond the Kuiper Belt using the Dark Energy Camera on the CTIO 4 m telescope. We obtained broadband colors of 62412 at the Magellan Telescope, which, along with 62412's low albedo, suggests it is a C-type asteroid. 62412's orbital dynamics and color strongly correlate with the Hygiea family in the outer main belt, making it the first active asteroid known in this heavily populated family. We also find 62412 to have a very short rotation period of 3.33 ± 0.01 hours from a double-peaked light curve with a maximum peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.45 ± 0.01 mag. We identify 62412 as the fastest known rotator of the Hygiea family and the nearby Themis family of similar composition, which contains several known main belt comets. The activity on 62412 was seen over one year after perihelion passage in its 5.6 year orbit. 62412 has the highest perihelion and one of the most circular orbits known for any active asteroid. The observed activity is probably linked to 62412's rapid rotation, which is near the critical period for break-up. The fast spin rate may also change the shape and shift material around 62412's surface, possibly exposing buried ice. Assuming 62412 is a strengthless rubble pile, we find the density of 62412 to be around 1500 kg m{sup −3}.

  11. Discovery and Characteristics of the Rapidly Rotating Active Asteroid (62412) 2000 SY178 in the Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Trujillo, Chadwick

    2015-02-01

    We report a new active asteroid in the main belt of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. Object (62412) 2000 SY178 exhibited a tail in images collected during our survey for objects beyond the Kuiper Belt using the Dark Energy Camera on the CTIO 4 m telescope. We obtained broadband colors of 62412 at the Magellan Telescope, which, along with 62412's low albedo, suggests it is a C-type asteroid. 62412's orbital dynamics and color strongly correlate with the Hygiea family in the outer main belt, making it the first active asteroid known in this heavily populated family. We also find 62412 to have a very short rotation period of 3.33 ± 0.01 hours from a double-peaked light curve with a maximum peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.45 ± 0.01 mag. We identify 62412 as the fastest known rotator of the Hygiea family and the nearby Themis family of similar composition, which contains several known main belt comets. The activity on 62412 was seen over one year after perihelion passage in its 5.6 year orbit. 62412 has the highest perihelion and one of the most circular orbits known for any active asteroid. The observed activity is probably linked to 62412's rapid rotation, which is near the critical period for break-up. The fast spin rate may also change the shape and shift material around 62412's surface, possibly exposing buried ice. Assuming 62412 is a strengthless rubble pile, we find the density of 62412 to be around 1500 kg m-3.

  12. Albedo distribution of main-belt asteroids based on IRAS, AKARI, and WISE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Usui, F.; Hasegawa, S.; Ishiguro, M.; Mueller, T.; Ootsubo, T.

    2014-07-01

    Presently, the number of asteroids is known to be more than 630,000, and more than 90 % of asteroids with known orbital elements are classified as main-belt asteroids (MBAs). The spatial distribution of compositions among MBAs is of particular interest, because the main belt is the largest reservoir of asteroids in the solar system. Asteroids are thought to be the remnants of planetesimals formed in the early solar system, and allow us to study the formation and evolution of asteroids, origin of meteoroids and the near-Earth asteroids, as well as the formation of the solar system. Size and albedo are one of the most basic physical quantities of asteroid. Knowledge of size and albedo is essential in many aspects of asteroid research, such as the chemical composition and mineralogy, the size-frequency distribution of dynamical families and populations of asteroids, and the relationship between small bodies in the outer solar system and comets. Several techniques have been developed to determine the size of asteroids; by direct imaging with the Hubble Space Telescope or large ground-based telescopes with adaptive optics, radar observations, speckle interferometry, stellar occultation combined with lightcurve inversion techniques, and spacecraft flyby / rendezvous / sample return. One of the most effective methods for measuring asteroid size and albedo indirectly is through the use of radiometry, which combines information of the thermal emission (infrared flux) and the reflected sunlight (absolute magnitude). This method can provide unique data for asteroid size and albedo. Using radiometric measurements, a large number of objects can be observed in a short period of time, providing coherent data for large populations of asteroids within the asteroid belt. Infrared observations can be made still better under ideal circumstances, from space. The first space-borne infrared telescope is the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS; [1]), launched in 1983 and performed a

  13. Response of Jupiter's Electron Belt to a Comet-like Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santos-Costa, D.; Bolton, S. J.; Sault, R. J.; Thorne, R. M.; Levin, S.

    2010-12-01

    Jupiter's strong magnetic field contributes to populate the Jovian magnetosphere with very energetic electrons in its innermost region, resulting in an observed synchrotron radio emission above the galactic noise level. With the little amount of existing in-situ data for the radiation zones, radio measurements provide the only method for currently investigating Jupiter's relativistic electron distribution, constraining theoretical models of processes responsible for particle distributions and the origins of their dynamics. In the present paper, the contribution of a comet-like impact to observed variations of Jupiter’s radiation-belt emission on time-scales of days to weeks with the VLA in 2009 is discussed. During the third week of July, ground-based measurements at different radio bands confirmed that a large projectile had struck Jupiter’s atmosphere. Our VLA data analysis of synchrotron emission shows that a steep enhancement of the brightness distributions was observed during the same period. The increase in the synchrotron emission actually went on for a couple of weeks before gradually fading in August. The intensity variations of the radio emission during the weeks that followed the July 2009 impact are first interpreted by the longitudinal expansion of the impact-related synchrotron hot spot originally located at the Jupiter System III longitude of 305 degrees. We then demonstrate that the combining effect of adiabatic transport with the occurrence of energy resonance near the moon Amalthea is a comprehensive explanation for understanding why the radiation at L_rad ~ 1.4 Rj is responding to the dynamics of ~ 10-MeV energy electrons trapped at L_impact ~ 3.3 Rj. By considering different origins of adiabatic radial transport, we further show that particles transport from L_impact to L_rad can take a few days to a couple of weeks. The travel time depends on which source of fluctuations was the most effective during the middle of 2009. A period of temporal

  14. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Asteroids, Meteors, Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session Asteroids, Meteors, Comets includes the following topics: 1) Where Some Asteroid Parent Bodies; 2) The Collisional Evolution of the Main Belt Population; 3) On Origin of Ecliptic Families of Periodic Comets; 4) Mineralogy and Petrology of Laser Irradiated Carbonaceous Chondrite Mighei; and 5) Interaction of the Gould Belt and the Earth.

  15. P/2010 A2 LINEAR. I. An impact in the asteroid main belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hainaut, O. R.; Kleyna, J.; Sarid, G.; Hermalyn, B.; Zenn, A.; Meech, K. J.; Schultz, P. H.; Hsieh, H.; Trancho, G.; Pittichová, J.; Yang, B.

    2012-01-01

    Comet P/2010 A2 LINEAR is an object on an asteroidal orbit within the inner main belt, therefore a good candidate for membership with the main belt comet family. It was observed with several telescopes (ESO New Technology Telescope, La Silla, Chile; Gemini North, Mauna Kea, Hawaii; University of Hawaii 2.2 m, Mauna Kea, Hawaii) from 14 Jan. until 19 Feb. 2010 in order to characterize and monitor it and its very unusual dust tail, which appears almost fully detached from the nucleus; the head of the tail includes two narrow arcs forming a cross. No evolution was observed during the span of the observations. Observations obtained during the Earth orbital plane crossing allowed an examination of the out-of-plane 3D structure of the tail. The immediate surroundings of the nucleus were found dust-free, which allowed an estimate of the nucleus radius of 80-90 m, assuming an albedo p = 0.11 and a phase correction with G = 0.15 (values typical for S-type asteroids). A model of the thermal evolution indicates that such a small nucleus could not maintain any ice content for more than a few million years on its current orbit, ruling out ice sublimation dust ejection mechanism. Rotational spin-up and electrostatic dust levitations were also rejected, leaving an impact with a smaller body as the favoured hypothesis. This is further supported by the analysis of the tail structure. Finston-Probstein dynamical dust modelling indicates the tail was produced by a single burst of dust emission. More advanced models (described in detail in a companion paper), independently indicate that this burst populated a hollow cone with a half-opening angle α ~ 40° and with an ejection velocity vmax ~ 0.2 m s-1, where the small dust grains fill the observed tail, while the arcs are foreshortened sections of the burst cone. The dust grains in the tail are measured to have radii between a = 1-20 mm, with a differential size distribution proportional to a-3.44 ± 0.08. The dust contained in the

  16. Comets

    NASA Video Gallery

    Did you know that comets seen streaking across the night sky may have brought the building blocks of life to our planet billions of years ago? Join NASA in learning more about these fascinating obj...

  17. Two new basaltic objects in the Outer Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duffard, R.; Roig, F.; Gil-Hutton, R.; Moskovitz, N. A.

    2007-08-01

    The existence of basalt on the surface of asteroids provides information about their thermal history that is likely related to their formation and collisional evolution. Basaltic materials on the surface of an asteroid are indicators of past partial melting, a phenomenon that occurs due to the complicated interplay of heating and cooling processes within the interior of rocky bodies. Until recently, most of the known basaltic asteroids, taxonomically classified as V-type, were members of the Vesta dynamical family. Currently, several V-type asteroids are know to reside outside the Vesta family (e.g. [3][8]), and several NEAs with basaltic mineralogical surface composition have been recognized (e.g. [5] [1][6]). The asteroid (1459) Magnya, a basaltic object in the outer asteroid belt [10], is sufficiently distant from the Vesta family so that its probability of origin from this family is very low [11]. [12] presented the possibility of searching yet unknown V-type asteroids using photometric data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). A sub-product of this survey is the Moving Objects Catalog (MOC), which in its third release provides five band photometry for 43424 asteroids [7][9]. [12] introduced a systematic method to identify possible candidate V-type asteroids from the SDSS-MOC, applying the Principal Components Analysis to the data. They found 263 V-type candidates that are not members of the Vesta dynamical family. The most interesting result is the presence of 8 V-type candidates in the middle/outer asteroid belt, i.e. with a > 2.5 AU: (7472), (10537), (21238), (40521), (44496), (55613), (66905) and (105041). These asteroids are quite isolated in proper elements space and do not belong to any of the major dynamical families. They are not close in proper elements space to (1459) Magnya either. In a recent study, [2] analyzed the spectra of (21238) in the near infrared (NIR) and confirmed its basaltic nature. In this work we present low resolution spectra

  18. Reconstructing the spin distributions of main-belt asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holsapple, K.

    2014-07-01

    INTRODUCTION: We now have spin data for almost six thousand asteroids, each value being a result of that asteroid's history. Some features of that distribution are now evident. The gravity spin limit at the period of about 2.3 h for asteroids with a diameter greater than a few kilometers is well established (Harris 1996, Pravec and Harris 2000, Holsapple 2001, and others). The strength of smaller asteroids as inferred from the ''fast spinners'' has been presented by Holsapple (2007), Sanchez and Scheeres (2014), and others. Several statistical analyses of the database have been presented (e.g., Pravec and Harris 2002). Here that database is used as a means of investigating the prior history of the asteroid belt. THEORETICAL APPROACHES: A way to understand the data is to attempt to reproduce it using theoretical models and numerical simulations of the physics of the processes that created it. Such studies have evolved since McAdoo and Burns (1973) first suggested collisions as a source of the spins; they include Davis et al. (1979), Dobrovolskis and Burns (1984), Harris (1979), Davis et al. (1989), Farinella et al. (1992), Henych and Pravec (2013), and others. These analyses are based upon averaging the effects of a number of individual impacts into a given target asteroid. I retrace the path and analyses of those authors in this work, but make important modifications and updates. The primary elements introduced in those prior studies include: 1) a population of asteroids in a given space; 2) a distribution of impact velocities and angles; 3) the efficiency of angular-momentum transfer in an impact; 4) the loss or gain of mass and angular inertia; 5) the amount, direction, and speed of the cratering ejecta. The characteristics of the ejecta are especially important: they determine the ''angular-momentum drain'' first identified by Dobrovolskis and Burns (1984). It is caused by the preferential escape of ejecta in the downrange spin direction. Here I revisit, update

  19. Reconstructing the spin distributions of main-belt asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holsapple, K.

    2014-07-01

    INTRODUCTION: We now have spin data for almost six thousand asteroids, each value being a result of that asteroid's history. Some features of that distribution are now evident. The gravity spin limit at the period of about 2.3 h for asteroids with a diameter greater than a few kilometers is well established (Harris 1996, Pravec and Harris 2000, Holsapple 2001, and others). The strength of smaller asteroids as inferred from the ''fast spinners'' has been presented by Holsapple (2007), Sanchez and Scheeres (2014), and others. Several statistical analyses of the database have been presented (e.g., Pravec and Harris 2002). Here that database is used as a means of investigating the prior history of the asteroid belt. THEORETICAL APPROACHES: A way to understand the data is to attempt to reproduce it using theoretical models and numerical simulations of the physics of the processes that created it. Such studies have evolved since McAdoo and Burns (1973) first suggested collisions as a source of the spins; they include Davis et al. (1979), Dobrovolskis and Burns (1984), Harris (1979), Davis et al. (1989), Farinella et al. (1992), Henych and Pravec (2013), and others. These analyses are based upon averaging the effects of a number of individual impacts into a given target asteroid. I retrace the path and analyses of those authors in this work, but make important modifications and updates. The primary elements introduced in those prior studies include: 1) a population of asteroids in a given space; 2) a distribution of impact velocities and angles; 3) the efficiency of angular-momentum transfer in an impact; 4) the loss or gain of mass and angular inertia; 5) the amount, direction, and speed of the cratering ejecta. The characteristics of the ejecta are especially important: they determine the ''angular-momentum drain'' first identified by Dobrovolskis and Burns (1984). It is caused by the preferential escape of ejecta in the downrange spin direction. Here I revisit, update

  20. MAIN BELT ASTEROIDS WITH WISE/NEOWISE. I. PRELIMINARY ALBEDOS AND DIAMETERS

    SciTech Connect

    Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Bauer, J. M.; Eisenhardt, P. R. M.; DeBaun, E.; Elsbury, D.; Gautier, T. IV; Gomillion, S.; Wilkins, A.; Cutri, R. M.; Dailey, J.; McMillan, R. S.; Spahr, T. B.; Skrutskie, M. F.; Tholen, D.; Walker, R. G.; Wright, E. L.

    2011-11-10

    We present initial results from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), a four-band all-sky thermal infrared survey that produces data well suited for measuring the physical properties of asteroids, and the NEOWISE enhancement to the WISE mission allowing for detailed study of solar system objects. Using a NEATM thermal model fitting routine, we compute diameters for over 100,000 Main Belt asteroids from their IR thermal flux, with errors better than 10%. We then incorporate literature values of visible measurements (in the form of the H absolute magnitude) to determine albedos. Using these data we investigate the albedo and diameter distributions of the Main Belt. As observed previously, we find a change in the average albedo when comparing the inner, middle, and outer portions of the Main Belt. We also confirm that the albedo distribution of each region is strongly bimodal. We observe groupings of objects with similar albedos in regions of the Main Belt associated with dynamical breakup families. Asteroid families typically show a characteristic albedo for all members, but there are notable exceptions to this. This paper is the first look at the Main Belt asteroids in the WISE data, and only represents the preliminary, observed raw size, and albedo distributions for the populations considered. These distributions are subject to survey biases inherent to the NEOWISE data set and cannot yet be interpreted as describing the true populations; the debiased size and albedo distributions will be the subject of the next paper in this series.

  1. Albedo Properties of Small (0.5 to 20 km) Main Belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, Erin L.; Woodward, C. E.

    2010-01-01

    Serendipitous observations of main belt asteroids by the Spitzer Space Telescope have enabled determination of main belt asteroid albedos and diameters for targets as small as 0.5 km (eg., Ryan et al. 2009, AJ, 137, 5134). We have used multi-epoch data at 5.8, 8.0 and 24 microns from the MIPSGAL and Taurus Legacy Surveys to obtain diameters and albedos for a sample of approximately 2000 main belt asteroids. Using STM and NEATM, we have obtained diameters ranging from 0.5 to 30 km and albedos ranging from 0.02 to 0.5. Results of this program reveal an albedo distribution that is more diverse in range than the albedo distribution seen in the IRAS and MSX surveys. This diversity may reflect effects of space weathering reddening which is selectively reddening larger asteroids. This reddening effect may reinforce the findings from accretion models that indicate that asteroids in the early solar system were 100 km and larger (Morbidelli et al., 2009, Icarus, in press), by suggesting that the larger asteroids are indeed the oldest members of the main belt. We will present results on the albedo distribution as a function of semi-major axis and new analysis of the mean albedo of dynamical families within the main belt. Support for this work provided in part by a National Science Foundation grant AST-0706980 to the University of Minnesota.

  2. Evolution and detectability of comet clouds during post-main-sequence stellar evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, S. Alan; Brandt, John C.; Shull, J. Michael

    1990-01-01

    The destruction of volatile-rich comet disks and Oort-type clouds around luminous post-main-sequence stars is modeled. The models are in agreement with several aspects of existing observations of water and complex molecules in the envelopes of giant and supergiant stars. If confirmed, these results would establish the common existence of Oort-type clouds around other stars and would constitute indirect evidence for sites of past planetary formation.

  3. Thermophysical modeling of main-belt asteroids from WISE data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanuš, J.; Delbó, M.; Durech, J.; Alí-Lagoa, V.

    2014-07-01

    We determine asteroid physical parameters such as size, surface roughness, albedo, and thermal inertia by applying the implementation of the thermophysical model (TPM) of Lagerros (1996; 1997; 1998) to the thermal data obtained by the NASA WISE satellite. We present thermophysical parameters for ˜150 asteroids, which gives us so far the largest sample of asteroids with determined values of thermal inertia. On several individual cases, we discuss the reliability of our determinations and limitations of the TPM method we use. As initial shapes, we adopt convex shape models from the DAMIT database (Durech et al., 2010) and present new determinations based on combined dense and sparse-in-time disk-integrated photometry and the lightcurve inversion method (Kaasalainen & Torppa 2001; Kaasalainen et al., 2001). We use thermal data from the WISE filters W3 and W4, as well as the data observed by the IRAS satellite. However, due to the intriguing accuracy of the fluxes and larger amount of measurements, the WISE data are significantly more important and dominate the modeling. The WISE data are processed the same way as in Alí-Lagoa et al. (2014) for asteroid (341 843) 2008 EV_5. We show the main results of the study of derived thermophysical parameters within the whole population of MBAs and within several asteroid families with the main focus on the thermal inertia. The thermal inertia increases with decreasing size (as previously shown by Delbó et al., 2007), but a large range of thermal inertia values is observed within the similar size ranges between D˜10-100 km. Surprisingly, we derived very low (<10 J m^{-2} s^{-1/2} K^{-1}) thermal inertias for many asteroids (˜20) with various sizes. The range of thermal inertia values is large even within a few asteroid families.

  4. COLOR DEPENDENCE IN THE SIZE DISTRIBUTION OF MAIN BELT ASTEROIDS REVISITED

    SciTech Connect

    August, Tyler M.; Wiegert, Paul A.

    2013-06-15

    The size distribution of the asteroid belt is examined with 16956 main belt asteroids detected in data taken from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey in two filters (g' and r'). The cumulative H (absolute magnitude) distribution is examined in both filters, and both match well to simple power laws down to H = 17, with slopes in rough agreement with those reported the literature. This implies that disruptive collisions between asteroids are gravitationally dominated down to at least this size, and probably sub-kilometer scales. The slopes of these distributions appear shallower in the outer belt than the inner belt, and the g' distributions appear slightly steeper than the r'. The slope shallowing in the outer belt may reflect a real compositional difference: the inner asteroid belt has been suggested to consist mostly of stony and/or metallic S-type asteroids, whereas carbonaceous C-types are thought to be more prevalent further from the Sun. No waves are seen in the size distribution above H = 15. Since waves are expected to be produced at the transition from gravitationally-dominated to internal strength-dominated collisions, their absence here may imply that the transition occurs at sub-kilometer scales, much smaller than the H = 17 (diameter {approx} 1.6 km) cutoff of this study.

  5. Some results of exploration of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - the main target of the Rosetta space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churyumov, K. I.

    The short period comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from the Jupiter comet family is selected as main target of the European space mission Rosetta. In September 1969 the three collaborators of expedition of Kyiv Shevchenko University went to the Alma-Ata Astrophysical Institute to conduct a survey of short period and new comets. The main result of the expedition was the discovery of the new short period comet 67P on Oct. 22 ,1969 on the five plates obtained by Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko Sept. 9, 11 and 21, 1969 with the help of 50-cm f/2.4 Maksutov telescope in Alam-Ata. The astronomer Nikolay Belyaev from Saint-Petersbourg showed the comet followed an elliptical orbit. The fact that the comet had a close encounter with Jupiter in 1959 very important because only after this encounter comet 67P could be discovered in 1969 with the help of terrestrial telescopes. The comparison of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's light curve in its 1982-1983 apparition and the curve of the solar activity indices changes that are reduced to the comet`s center shows that the variations of the comet's brightness rather well correlate with the changes of the solar indices. On the basis of photometric processing of the two photographic images of comet 67P obtained in Nizhny Arkhyz with the help of the 6- BTA reflector of SAO of RAS some physical parameters of the comet plasma tail (coefficients of diffusion D?? , Dbot and induction of magnetic field B) were determined. (Jan. 12.105, 1983 UT: D??=5.07× 1014div 1.21× 1015 cm2/s, Dbot =5.73× 1013div 1.37× 1014 cm2/s, B=46div 111 nT; Jan. 13.124, 1983 UT: D??=4.67× 1014div 1.14× 1015 cm2/s, Dbot =4.30× 1013div 1.05× 1014 cm2/s, B=55div 134 nT). The obtained upper estimates of induction of the magnetic field B≅ 111 nT for Jan. 12,1983 and B≅ 134 nT for Jan. 13,1983 probably surpass real values of B in the cometary plasma tail. I think that this peculiarity of magnetic fields in plasma tail of comet 67P is tight connected

  6. STIS CORONAGRAPHIC IMAGING OF FOMALHAUT: MAIN BELT STRUCTURE AND THE ORBIT OF FOMALHAUT b

    SciTech Connect

    Kalas, Paul; Graham, James R.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Clampin, Mark

    2013-09-20

    We present new optical coronagraphic data of Fomalhaut obtained with HST/STIS in 2010 and 2012. Fomalhaut b is recovered at both epochs to high significance. The observations include the discoveries of tenuous nebulosity beyond the main dust belt detected to at least 209 AU projected radius, and a ∼50 AU wide azimuthal gap in the belt northward of Fomalhaut b. The two epochs of Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) photometry exclude optical variability greater than 35%. A Markov chain Monte Carlo analysis demonstrates that the orbit of Fomalhaut b is highly eccentric, with e = 0.8 ± 0.1, a = 177 ± 68 AU, and q = 32 ± 24 AU. Fomalhaut b is apsidally aligned with the belt and 90% of allowed orbits have mutual inclination ≤36°. Fomalhaut b's orbit is belt crossing in the sky plane projection, but only 12% of possible orbits have ascending or descending nodes within a 25 AU wide belt annulus. The high eccentricity invokes a dynamical history where Fomalhaut b may have experienced a significant dynamical interaction with a hypothetical planet Fomalhaut c, and the current orbital configuration may be relatively short-lived. The Tisserand parameter with respect to a hypothetical Fomalhaut planet at 30 AU or 120 AU lies in the range 2-3, similar to highly eccentric dwarf planets in our solar system. We argue that Fomalhaut b's minimum mass is that of a dwarf planet in order for a circumplanetary satellite system to remain bound to a sufficient radius from the planet to be consistent with the dust scattered light hypothesis. In the coplanar case, Fomalhaut b will collide with the main belt around 2032, and the subsequent emergent phenomena may help determine its physical nature.

  7. STIS Coronagraphic Imaging of Fomalhaut: Main Belt Structure and the Orbit of Fomalhaut b

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kalas, Paul; Graham, James R.; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Clampin, Mark

    2013-01-01

    We present new optical coronagraphic data of Fomalhaut obtained with HST/STIS in 2010 and 2012. Fomalhaut b is recovered at both epochs to high significance. The observations include the discoveries of tenuous nebulosity beyond the main dust belt detected to at least 209AU projected radius, and a approx. 50AU wide azimuthal gap in the belt northward of Fomalhaut b. The two epochs of Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) photometry exclude optical variability greater than 35%. A Markov chain Monte Carlo analysis demonstrates that the orbit of Fomalhaut b is highly eccentric, with e = 0.8 +/- 0.1, a = 177 +/- 68AU, and q = 32 +/- 24AU. Fomalhaut b is apsidally aligned with the belt and 90% of allowed orbits have mutual inclination <=36 deg. Fomalhaut b's orbit is belt crossing in the sky plane projection, but only 12% of possible orbits have ascending or descending nodes within a 25AU wide belt annulus. The high eccentricity invokes a dynamical history where Fomalhaut b may have experienced a significant dynamical interaction with a hypothetical planet Fomalhaut c, and the current orbital configuration may be relatively short-lived. The Tisserand parameter with respect to a hypothetical Fomalhaut planet at 30AU or 120AU lies in the range 2-3, similar to highly eccentric dwarf planets in our solar system. We argue that Fomalhaut b's minimum mass is that of a dwarf planet in order for a circumplanetary satellite system to remain bound to a sufficient radius from the planet to be consistent with the dust scattered light hypothesis. In the coplanar case, Fomalhaut b will collide with the main belt around 2032, and the subsequent emergent phenomena may help determine its physical nature.

  8. Re-examining the main asteroid belt as the primary source of ancient lunar craters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minton, David A.; Richardson, James E.; Fassett, Caleb I.

    2015-02-01

    It has been hypothesized that the impactors that created the majority of the observable craters on the ancient lunar highlands were derived from the main asteroid belt in such a way that preserved their size-frequency distribution (Strom, R.G., Malhotra, R., Ito, T., Yoshida, F., Kring, D.A. [2005]. Science 309, 1847-1850). A more limited version of this hypothesis, dubbed the E-belt hypothesis, postulates that a destabilized contiguous inner extension of the main asteroid belt produced a bombardment limited to those craters younger than Nectaris basin (Bottke, W.F., Vokrouhlický, D., Minton, D., Nesvorný, D., Morbidelli, A., Brasser, R., Simonson, B., Levison, H.F. [2012]. Nature 485, 78-81). We investigate these hypotheses with a Monte Carlo code called the Cratered Terrain Evolution Model (CTEM), which models the topography of a terrain that has experienced bombardment due to an input impactor population. We detail our effort to calibrate the code with a human crater counter. We also take advantage of recent advances in understanding the scaling relationships between impactor size (Di ) and final crater size (Dc ) for basin-sized impact craters (Dc>300km ) in order to use large impact basins as a constraint on the ancient impactor population of the Moon. We find that matching the observed number of lunar highlands craters with Dc≃100km requires that the total number of impacting asteroids with Di>10km be no fewer than 4×10-6km-2 . However, this required mass of impactors has <1% chance of producing only a single basin larger than the ∼1200 km Imbrium basin; instead, these simulations are likely to produce more large basins than are observed on the Moon. This difficulty in reproducing the lunar highlands cratering record with a main asteroid belt SFD arises because the main belt is relatively abundant in the objects that produce these "megabasins" that are larger than Imbrium. We also find that the main asteroid belt SFD has <16% chance of producing

  9. Imaging polarimetry of comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 main fragments during its 2006 apparition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadamcik, E.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.

    2016-04-01

    We have observed the dust ejected by parts of the nucleus (so-called fragments or components) of comet 73 P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 during seven consecutive nights from 2006, April 27 to May 3 by imaging polarimetry using the 0.8 m telescope at OHP (Observatoire de Haute-Provence, France). Three fragments were observed, B and C main fragments on all nights and G fragment on two nights at 24 h interval. Fragment C, which almost behaves as a normal comet, presents some night-to-night evolution on polarization maps together with some sunward-jets morphology. Fragment B, as noticed by numerous observers, continues to fragment, with clues to the presence of large secondary fragments, tailward on the intensity images; an increase of activity is noticed on May 2. Jets and fans are observed sunward, with a larger extension in fragment C than in B. Fragment G is fainter and, as fragment B, it continues to fragment. A short sunward jet is detected on the rotational gradient image together with an important tailward structure. The integrated polarization for the two main fragments is typical of polarization of high-Pmax comets. An important evolution is observed from night-to-night on the polarization maps. Fragment C presents, in two nights at 48 h interval, a lower polarization in the inner coma, neither observed in the intermediate night nor later. A high polarization is also observed on the two sides of the lower polarization regions. In fragment B, the regions around the secondary fragments have a higher polarization than the surrounding coma, They are easily detected in the treated intensity images. As usually, the polarization increases when the phase angle increases. Numerous observers have found similar chemical compositions for the two main fragments together with differences in their optical properties, suggesting heterogeneities in the physical properties during the aggregation of the original nucleus and/or changes after the ejection of dust particles.

  10. APIES: A mission for the exploration of the main asteroid belt using a swarm of microsatellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Arrigo, P.; Santandrea, S.

    2006-10-01

    APIES (Asteroid Population Investigation and Exploration Swarm) is a mission developed by EADS Astrium in response to a European Space Agency (ESA) Call for Ideas for "swarm" missions, based on the utilization of a large number of spacecraft working cooperatively to achieve the mission objectives. The APIES baseline concept is centred on a "swarm" of 19 BElt Explorer (BEE) identical microsatellites, weighing less than 45 kg each, including their scientific payload, visiting over 100 Main Belt asteroids in multiple flybys. The BEEs are carried to the asteroid belt by a Hub and Interplanetary VEhicle (HIVE), a conventional spacecraft launched with a Soyuz-Fregat rocket, using solar electric propulsion for the transfer to the asteroid belt and acting as communication hub and control centre for the mission after the swarm deployment. Using the latest advances in systems miniaturization, propulsion, onboard autonomy and communications, the APIES mission can achieve its ambitious goal within the framework of a standard ESA mission, representing a novel mission concept example, whose feasibility is essentially linked to the use of microsatellite technology, enabling the achievement of science objectives unattainable with conventional spacecraft.

  11. Origins and Asteroid Main-Belt Stratigraphy for H-, L-, LL-Chondrite Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binzel, Richard; DeMeo, Francesca; Burbine, Thomas; Polishook, David; Birlan, Mirel

    2016-10-01

    We trace the origins of ordinary chondrite meteorites to their main-belt sources using their (presumably) larger counterparts observable as near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). We find the ordinary chondrite stratigraphy in the main belt to be LL, H, L (increasing distance from the Sun). We derive this result using spectral information from more than 1000 near-Earth asteroids [1]. Our methodology is to correlate each NEA's main-belt source region [2] with its modeled mineralogy [3]. We find LL chondrites predominantly originate from the inner edge of the asteroid belt (nu6 region at 2.1 AU), H chondrites from the 3:1 resonance region (2.5 AU), and the L chondrites from the outer belt 5:2 resonance region (2.8 AU). Each of these source regions has been cited by previous researchers [e.g. 4, 5, 6], but this work uses an independent methodology that simultaneously solves for the LL, H, L stratigraphy. We seek feedback from the planetary origins and meteoritical communities on the viability or implications of this stratrigraphy.Methodology: Spectroscopic and taxonomic data are from the NASA IRTF MIT-Hawaii Near-Earth Object Spectroscopic Survey (MITHNEOS) [1]. For each near-Earth asteroid, we use the Bottke source model [2] to assign a probability that the object is derived from five different main-belt source regions. For each spectrum, we apply the Shkuratov model [3] for radiative transfer within compositional mixing to derive estimates for the ol / (ol+px) ratio (and its uncertainty). The Bottke source region model [2] and the Shkuratov mineralogic model [3] each deliver a probability distribution. For each NEA, we convolve its source region probability distribution with its meteorite class distribution to yield a likelihood for where that class originates. Acknowledgements: This work supported by the National Science Foundation Grant 0907766 and NASA Grant NNX10AG27G.References: [1] Binzel et al. (2005), LPSC XXXVI, 36.1817. [2] Bottke et al. (2002). Icarus 156, 399. [3

  12. Period Determination of Four Main-belt Asteroids in Mid-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrero, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    Observations of four main-belt asteroids (MBA) produced lightcurve parameters of: 1030 Vitja, P = 6.332 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.21 mag; 1058 Grubba, P = 46.30 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.24 mag; 1486 Marilyn, P = 4.568 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.42 mag.; and 3255 Tholen, P = 2.947 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.11 mag.

  13. Radar Observations of Near-Earth and Main-Belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benner, L. A. M.; Busch, M. W.; Giorgini, J. D.; Taylor, P. A.; Margot, J.-L.

    Radar is a very powerful technique for characterizing near-Earth and main-belt asteroids and for improving their orbits. This results from radar's ability to spatially resolve objects that often cannot be resolved at comparable resolutions by other groundbased techniques. Radar has revealed binary and contact binary objects, at least two triple systems, non-principal-axis rotators, objects whose radar reflectivity and circular polarization ratio have longitudinal variation, irregularly shaped near-Earth asteroids, objects with metallic compositions, objects with rubble-pile structures, and detailed radar images of main-belt asteroids that reveal complicated surfaces and substantial topographic relief. This chapter concentrates on the most significant advances in the field since publication of the radar chapter by Ostro et al. (2002) in Asteroids III. Detailed descriptions of asteroid radar observing techniques and terminology have appeared in Ostro (1993) and Ostro et al. (2002) (Asteroids III), so we refer readers to those papers for background information. This chapter emphasizes the first ground-truth tests of asteroid shape models by spacecraft encounters, population trends among near-Earth and main-belt asteroids, results for selected objects, new observing techniques, improved capabilities at radar telescopes, and improvements in three-dimensional shape modeling. We conclude with a discussion of future prospects.

  14. Effect of rotational disruption on the size-frequency distribution of the Main Belt asteroid population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Marzari, Francesco; Rossi, Alessandro; Scheeres, Daniel J.; Davis, Donald R.

    2014-03-01

    The size distribution of small asteroids in the Main Belt is assumed to be determined by an equilibrium between the creation of new bodies out of the impact debris of larger asteroids and the destruction of small asteroids by collisions with smaller projectiles. However, for a diameter less than 6 km, we find that YORP-induced rotational disruption significantly contributes to the erosion even exceeding the effects of collisional fragmentation. Including this additional grinding mechanism in a collision evolution model for the asteroid belt, we generate size-frequency distributions from either an accretional or an `Asteroids were born big' initial size-frequency distribution that are consistent with observations reported in Gladman et al. Rotational disruption is a new mechanism that must be included in all future collisional evolution models of asteroids.

  15. Transpression as the main deformational event in an Archaean greenstone belt, northeastern Minnesota

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudleston, P. J.; Schultz-Ela, D.; Bauer, R. L.; Southwick, D. L.

    1986-01-01

    Deformed and metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Vermilion district constitute an Archean greenstone belt trending east-west between higher grade rocks of the Vermilion Granitic Complex to the north and the Giants Range batholith to the south. Metamorphic grade is low throughout, being lowest in the center of the belt (chlorite zone of the greenschist facies). All the measured strain, a cleavage or schistosity, and a mineral lineation in this belt are attributed to the main phase of deformation D sub 2 that followed an earlier nappe-forming event D sub 1, which left little evidence of penetrative fabric. Previous work assumed that the D sub 2 deformation resulted from north-south compression across the district. It is now believed that a significant component of this deformation resulted from dextral shear across the whole region. Thus the Vermilion fault, a late-state largely strike-slip structure that bounds the Vermilion district to the north, may simply be the latest, most brittle expression of a shear regime that was much more widespread in space and time. Features that are indicative of shear include ductile shear zones with sigmoidal foliation patterns, highly schistose zones with the development of shear bands, feldspar clasts or pyrite cubes with asymmetric pressure shadows, and the fact that the asymmetry of the F sub 2 folds is predominantly Z for at least 15 km south of the Vermilion fault.

  16. SECULAR RESONANCE SWEEPING OF THE MAIN ASTEROID BELT DURING PLANET MIGRATION

    SciTech Connect

    Minton, David A.; Malhotra, Renu E-mail: renu@lpl.arizona.edu

    2011-05-01

    We calculate the eccentricity excitation of asteroids produced by the sweeping {nu}{sub 6} secular resonance during the epoch of planetesimal-driven giant planet migration in the early history of the solar system. We derive analytical expressions for the magnitude of the eccentricity change and its dependence on the sweep rate and on planetary parameters; the {nu}{sub 6} sweeping leads to either an increase or a decrease of eccentricity depending on an asteroid's initial orbit. Based on the slowest rate of {nu}{sub 6} sweeping that allows a remnant asteroid belt to survive, we derive a lower limit on Saturn's migration speed of {approx}0.15 AU Myr{sup -1} during the era that the {nu}{sub 6} resonance swept through the inner asteroid belt (semimajor axis range 2.1-2.8 AU). This rate limit is for Saturn's current eccentricity and scales with the square of its eccentricity; the limit on Saturn's migration rate could be lower if its eccentricity were lower during its migration. Applied to an ensemble of fictitious asteroids, our calculations show that a prior single-peaked distribution of asteroid eccentricities would be transformed into a double-peaked distribution due to the sweeping of the {nu}{sub 6} resonance. Examination of the orbital data of main belt asteroids reveals that the proper eccentricities of the known bright (H {<=} 10.8) asteroids may be consistent with a double-peaked distribution. If so, our theoretical analysis then yields two possible solutions for the migration rate of Saturn and for the dynamical states of the pre-migration asteroid belt: a dynamically cold state (single-peaked eccentricity distribution with mean of {approx}0.05) linked with Saturn's migration speed {approx}4 AU Myr{sup -1} or a dynamically hot state (single-peaked eccentricity distribution with mean of {approx}0.3) linked with Saturn's migration speed {approx}0.8 AU Myr{sup -1}.

  17. Early Evolution of the Main Belt Informed by the Compositional Diversity of Basaltic Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leith, Thomas; Moskovitz, Nicholas; Mayne, Rhiannon; DeMeo, Francesca; Takir, Driss

    2015-11-01

    We present near-infrared (0.78-2.45 micron) reflectance spectra for eight outer main belt (a > 2.5 AU) asteroids that have been taxonomically classified as V-types based on visible wavelength data. Three of these objects are spectrally distinct from all classifications in the Bus-DeMeo spectral catalogue, and thus could represent either spectral end members of the V-type taxonomic class or a small population of a new spectral type. The remainder of the sample are classified as V- or R-type. All of these asteroids are dynamically distinct from the Vestoid family, implying that they originated from differentiated planetesimals which have since been destroyed or ejected from the solar system. The 1- and 2-μm band centers of all objects, determined using Modified Gaussian Model fits, were compared to those of 47 Vestoids and fifteen HED meteorites of known composition. Formulas relating Band 1 and Band 2 centers to the pyroxene mineralogies of these asteroids were derived from the sample of HED meteorites and used to determine the Fs numbers of all asteroids. The Fs numbers of the five outer belt V- and R-type asteroids are, on average, between five and ten molar percent lower than those of the Vestoids, implying that these objects formed in a more reducing environment than Vesta. Given the complex evolution of oxygen fugacity in the solar nebula, these compositional results suggest that these outer belt basaltic asteroids formed either interior to Vesta and were later scattered to the outer belt or formed at a later epoch than Vesta.

  18. Investigating The Spectral Diversity Of V-type Asteroids In The Inner Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moskovitz, Nicholas; Burbine, T. H.; Mayne, R.; Bus, S. J.; Willman, M.; Jedicke, R.; Gaidos, E.

    2008-09-01

    Spectroscopic (Binzel & Xu, 1993), dynamical (Zappala et al., 1990) and morphological (Thomas et al., 1997) evidence suggests that the Vestoids are a population of basaltic asteroids that were ejected from the surface of Vesta as a consequence of a large family-forming impact. Over time these fragments have migrated via the Yarkovsky effect (Bottke et al., 2001) and interaction with secular resonances (Carruba et al., 2005) to large orbital distances from Vesta. However, Nesvorny et al. (2008) suggest that regions of high (i > 9 deg.) and low inclination (i < 4 deg.) in the inner Main Belt cannot be populated by a significant number of Vestoids. Thus, the recent identification of numerous V-type asteroids in these regions (Moskovitz et al., 2008; Roig & Gil-Hutton, 2006) raises two interesting possibilities: (1) they originated from a differentiated parent body other than Vesta, or (2) they originated from Vesta before the primary family forming impact and before the Late Heavy Bombardment when resonance sweeping dynamically excited the Main Belt. The possibility of a unique parent body or an older surface implies that the surface mineralogy of these objects may be distinct from that of "ordinary” Vestoids. In consideration of these issues we present new spectra and analysis for a variety of V-type asteroids throughout the inner Main Belt (a < 2.5 AU) with a particular focus on objects that have large values of delta-v (Zappala et al., 1996) relative to Vesta. Our analysis includes a search for trends in the spectral properties of these objects as a function of orbital distance from Vesta and an attempt to link these spectral properties to the petrology of meteorite samples using both band analysis techniques (Burbine et al., 2007) and MGM analysis (Sunshine et al., 1990). This work is supported by a NASA GSRP fellowship.

  19. CHARACTERIZATION OF ACTIVE MAIN BELT OBJECT P/2012 F5 (GIBBS): A POSSIBLE IMPACTED ASTEROID

    SciTech Connect

    Stevenson, R.; Kramer, E. A.; Bauer, J. M.; Masiero, J. R.; Mainzer, A. K.

    2012-11-10

    In this work, we characterize the recently discovered active main belt object P/2012 F5 (Gibbs), which was discovered with a dust trail >7' in length in the outer main belt, 7 months prior to aphelion. We use optical imaging obtained on UT 2012 March 27 to analyze the central condensation and the long trail. We find B-band and R-band apparent magnitudes of 20.96 {+-} 0.04 mag and 19.93 {+-} 0.02 mag, respectively, which give an upper limit on the radius of the nucleus of 2.1 km. The geometric scattering cross-section of material in the trail was {approx}4 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 8} m{sup 2}, corresponding to a mass of {approx}5 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 7} kg. Analysis of infrared images taken by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer in 2010 September reveals that the object was below the detection limit, suggesting that it was less active than it was during 2012, or possibly inactive, just six months after it passed through perihelion. We set a 1{sigma} upper limit on its radius during this time of 2.9 km. P/2012 F5 (Gibbs) is dynamically stable in the outer main belt on timescales of {approx}1 Gyr, pointing toward an asteroidal origin. We find that the morphology of the ejected dust is consistent with it being produced by a single event that occurred on UT 2011 July 7 {+-} 20 days, possibly as the result of a collision with a small impactor.

  20. Dynamics of Main Belt Comets: Implications for Their Origin and Formation Mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.; Hsieh, H. H.

    2012-05-01

    To determine the origin of MBCs P/2006 VW139 and P/2010 R2 we have carried out an extensive study of the dynamical evolution of these bodies and a large number of their clones. Results suggest that these objects are native to their current locations.

  1. HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE OBSERVATIONS OF MAIN-BELT COMET (596) SCHEILA

    SciTech Connect

    Jewitt, David; Weaver, Harold; Mutchler, Max; Larson, Stephen; Agarwal, Jessica

    2011-05-20

    We present Hubble Space Telescope Observations of (596) Scheila during its recent dust outburst. The nucleus remained point-like with absolute magnitude H{sub V} = 8.85 {+-} 0.02 in our data, equal to the pre-outburst value, with no secondary fragments of diameter {>=}100 m (for assumed albedos 0.04). We find a coma having a peak scattering cross section {approx}2.2x10{sup 4} km{sup 2}, corresponding to a mass in micron-sized particles of {approx}4x10{sup 7} kg. The particles are deflected by solar radiation pressure on projected spatial scales {approx}2x10{sup 4} km, in the sunward direction, and swept from the vicinity of the nucleus on timescales of weeks. The coma fades by {approx}30% between observations on UT 2010 December 27 and 2011 January 4. The observed mass loss is inconsistent with an origin either by rotational instability of the nucleus or by electrostatic ejection of regolith charged by sunlight. Dust ejection could be caused by the sudden but unexplained exposure of buried ice. However, the data are most simply explained by the impact, at {approx}5 km s{sup -1}, of a previously unknown asteroid {approx}35 m in diameter.

  2. TAOS: Taiwan-American Occultation Survey of Comet-Sized Objects in the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lissauer, Jack; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Several dozen minor planets with radii greater than 100 km have been detected beyond Neptune using large telescopes. The TAOS project is to measure directly the number of these KBOs (Kuiper Belt Objects) down to the typical size of cometary nuclei (a few km) and out as far as approximately 100 AU from the Sun. Because of their large distance, small sizes and presumed low albedos, these target objects are extremely faint. Three 50 cm wide field robotic telescopes with 2048 x 2048 CCD cameras will be deployed along a 7 km east-west baseline in or near Jade Mountain National Park in Taiwan. They will monitor approximately 3000 stars for occultations by KBOs in a coincidence mode, so that the sequence and timing of the three separate blinkings can be used to distinguish real events from false alarms. Follow-up imaging observations using large telescopes will yield albedos and orbits for some of the larger objects detected by TAOS. A fourth telescope on a north-south spur to refine the size information on occulting GABON is also being contemplated.

  3. Capture of Trans-Neptunian Planetesimals in the Main Asteroid Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vokrouhlický, David; Bottke, William F.; Nesvorný, David

    2016-08-01

    The orbital evolution of the giant planets after nebular gas was eliminated from the Solar System but before the planets reached their final configuration was driven by interactions with a vast sea of leftover planetesimals. Several variants of planetary migration with this kind of system architecture have been proposed. Here, we focus on a highly successful case, which assumes that there were once five planets in the outer Solar System in a stable configuration: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and a Neptune-like body. Beyond these planets existed a primordial disk containing thousands of Pluto-sized bodies, ˜50 million D > 100 km bodies, and a multitude of smaller bodies. This system eventually went through a dynamical instability that scattered the planetesimals and allowed the planets to encounter one another. The extra Neptune-like body was ejected via a Jupiter encounter, but not before it helped to populate stable niches with disk planetesimals across the Solar System. Here, we investigate how interactions between the fifth giant planet, Jupiter, and disk planetesimals helped to capture disk planetesimals into both the asteroid belt and first-order mean-motion resonances with Jupiter. Using numerical simulations, we find that our model produces the right proportion of P- and D-type asteroids in the inner, central, and outer main belt, while also populating the Hilda and Thule regions in Jupiter’s 3/2 and 4/3 resonances. Moreover, the largest observed P/D types in each sub-population are an excellent fit to our captured population results (within uncertainties). The model produces a factor of ˜10 overabundance of diameter D > 10 km P/D types in the main belt, but this mismatch can likely be explained by various removal mechanisms (e.g., collision evolution over 4 Gyr, dynamical losses via Yarkovsky thermal forces over 4 Gyr, thermal destruction of the planetesimals en route to the inner solar system). Overall, our instability model provides a more

  4. Main-belt asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE: Near-infrared albedos

    SciTech Connect

    Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Nugent, C. R.; Bauer, J. M.; Stevenson, R.; Sonnett, S.

    2014-08-20

    We present revised near-infrared albedo fits of 2835 main-belt asteroids observed by WISE/NEOWISE over the course of its fully cryogenic survey in 2010. These fits are derived from reflected-light near-infrared images taken simultaneously with thermal emission measurements, allowing for more accurate measurements of the near-infrared albedos than is possible for visible albedo measurements. Because our sample requires reflected light measurements, it undersamples small, low-albedo asteroids, as well as those with blue spectral slopes across the wavelengths investigated. We find that the main belt separates into three distinct groups of 6%, 16%, and 40% reflectance at 3.4 μm. Conversely, the 4.6 μm albedo distribution spans the full range of possible values with no clear grouping. Asteroid families show a narrow distribution of 3.4 μm albedos within each family that map to one of the three observed groupings, with the (221) Eos family being the sole family associated with the 16% reflectance 3.4 μm albedo group. We show that near-infrared albedos derived from simultaneous thermal emission and reflected light measurements are important indicators of asteroid taxonomy and can identify interesting targets for spectroscopic follow-up.

  5. MAIN-BELT ASTEROIDS IN THE K2 ENGINEERING FIELD OF VIEW

    SciTech Connect

    Szabó, R.; Sárneczky, K.; Szabó, Gy. M.; Pál, A.; Kiss, Cs. P.; Kiss, L. L.; Csák, B.; Illés, L.; Rácz, G.

    2015-03-15

    Unlike NASA’s original Kepler Discovery Mission, the renewed K2 Mission will target the plane of the Ecliptic, observing each field for approximately 75 days. This will bring new opportunities and challenges, in particular the presence of a large number of main-belt asteroids that will contaminate the photometry. The large pixel size makes K2 data susceptible to the effects of apparent minor planet encounters. Here, we investigate the effects of asteroid encounters on photometric precision using a subsample of the K2 engineering data taken in 2014 February. We show examples of asteroid contamination to facilitate their recognition and distinguish these events from other error sources. We conclude that main-belt asteroids will have considerable effects on K2 photometry of a large number of photometric targets during the Mission that will have to be taken into account. These results will be readily applicable for future space photometric missions applying large-format CCDs, such as TESS and PLATO.

  6. MARS Gravity-Assist to Improve Missions towards Main-Belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casalino, Lorenzo; Colasurdo, Guido

    fain-belt asteroids are one of the keys to the investigation of the processes that lead to the solar electric propulsion (SEP) with ion thrusters is a mature technology for the exploration of the bolar system. NASA is currently planning the DAWN mission towards two asteroids of the main s with Vesta in 2010 and Ceres in 2014. A mission to an asteroid of the main belt requires a large velocity increment (V) and the use of high-specific-impulse thrusters, such as ion thrusters, p m ovides a large improvement of the payload and, consequently, of the scientific return of the of this kind of trajectory is a non-trivial task, since many local optima exist and performance can be improved by increasing the trip-time and the number of revolutions around the sun, in order to use t the propellant only in the most favorable positions (namely, perihelia, aphelia and nodes) along the Mars is midway between the Earth and the main belt; even though its gravity is quite small, a gravity assist from Mars can remarkably improve the trajectory performance and is considered in this paper. p he authors use an indirect optimization procedure based on the theory of optimal control. The Mars) spheres of influence is neglected; the equations of motion are therefore integrated only in the heliocentric reference frame, whereas the flyby is treated as a discontinuity of the spacecraft's velocity. The paper analyzes trajectories, which exploit chemical propulsion to escape from the E variable-power, constant-specific-impulse propulsion system is assumed. The optimization procedure provides departure, flyby and arrival dates, the hyperbolic excess velocity on leaving the t arth's sphere of influence, which must be provided by the chemical propulsion system, and the E e ass at rendezvous, when the trip time is assigned. As far as the thrust magnitude is concerned, m either full-thrust arcs or coast arcs are required, and the procedure provides the times to switch the g low and the spacecraft

  7. Aqueous alteration on main belt primitive asteroids: Results from visible spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fornasier, S.; Lantz, C.; Barucci, M. A.; Lazzarin, M.

    2014-05-01

    This work focuses on the study of the aqueous alteration process which acted in the main belt and produced hydrated minerals on the altered asteroids. Hydrated minerals have been found mainly on Mars surface, on main belt primitive asteroids and possibly also on few TNOs. These materials have been produced by hydration of pristine anhydrous silicates during the aqueous alteration process, that, to be active, needed the presence of liquid water under low temperature conditions (below 320 K) to chemically alter the minerals. The aqueous alteration is particularly important for unraveling the processes occurring during the earliest times of the Solar System history, as it can give information both on the asteroids thermal evolution and on the localization of water sources in the asteroid belt. To investigate this process, we present reflected light spectral observations in the visible region (0.4-0.94 μm) of 80 asteroids belonging to the primitive classes C (prevalently), G, F, B and P, following the Tholen (Tholen, D.J. [1984]. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Arizona, Tucson). classification scheme. We find that about 65% of the C-type and all the G-type asteroids investigated reveal features suggesting the presence of hydrous materials, mainly a band centered around 0.7 μm, while we do not find evidence of hydrated materials in the other low albedo asteroids (B, F, and P) investigated. We combine the present observations with the visible spectra of asteroids available in the literature for a total of 600 primitive main belt asteroids. We analyze all these spectra in a similar way to characterize the absorption band parameters (band center, depth and width) and spectral slope, and to look for possible correlations between the aqueous alteration process and the asteroids taxonomic classes, orbital elements, heliocentric distances, albedo and sizes. Our analysis shows that the aqueous alteration sequence starts from the P-type objects, practically unaltered, and

  8. Rotational properties of ten main belt asteroids - Analysis of the results obtained by photoelectric photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barucci, M. A.; Fulchignoni, M.; Burchi, R.; D'Ambrosio, V.

    1985-01-01

    The results of photoelectric light curve observations of 10 asteroids are reported. The observations were carried out using the 50-cm telescope of the Teramo Astronomical Observatory (TAO) and the 91-cm telescope of the Catania Astronomical Observatory during the 1983-1984 oppositions. The reduced data indicate the following main belt asteroids: 11 Partenope; 129 Antigone; and 20 Massalia. The asteroids 41 Daphne, 344 Desiderata, and 31 Euphrosyne were also identified. The rotation period of 11 Partenope was P = 7.83 hours, and that of 34 Desiderata P = 10,53 hours. The shape and the pole coordinates of 20 Massalia, 31 Euphrosyne, and 29 Antigone were derived, and those of 41 Daphne were confirmed. The lightcurves of the remaining asteroids are given, and some of their rotational properties and morphological features are discussed.

  9. First known terrestrial impact of a binary asteroid from a main belt breakup event.

    PubMed

    Ormö, Jens; Sturkell, Erik; Alwmark, Carl; Melosh, Jay

    2014-01-01

    Approximately 470 million years ago one of the largest cosmic catastrophes occurred in our solar system since the accretion of the planets. A 200-km large asteroid was disrupted by a collision in the Main Asteroid Belt, which spawned fragments into Earth crossing orbits. This had tremendous consequences for the meteorite production and cratering rate during several millions of years following the event. The 7.5-km wide Lockne crater, central Sweden, is known to be a member of this family. We here provide evidence that Lockne and its nearby companion, the 0.7-km diameter, contemporaneous, Målingen crater, formed by the impact of a binary, presumably 'rubble pile' asteroid. This newly discovered crater doublet provides a unique reference for impacts by combined, and poorly consolidated projectiles, as well as for the development of binary asteroids. PMID:25340551

  10. First known terrestrial impact of a binary asteroid from a main belt breakup event.

    PubMed

    Ormö, Jens; Sturkell, Erik; Alwmark, Carl; Melosh, Jay

    2014-10-23

    Approximately 470 million years ago one of the largest cosmic catastrophes occurred in our solar system since the accretion of the planets. A 200-km large asteroid was disrupted by a collision in the Main Asteroid Belt, which spawned fragments into Earth crossing orbits. This had tremendous consequences for the meteorite production and cratering rate during several millions of years following the event. The 7.5-km wide Lockne crater, central Sweden, is known to be a member of this family. We here provide evidence that Lockne and its nearby companion, the 0.7-km diameter, contemporaneous, Målingen crater, formed by the impact of a binary, presumably 'rubble pile' asteroid. This newly discovered crater doublet provides a unique reference for impacts by combined, and poorly consolidated projectiles, as well as for the development of binary asteroids.

  11. Rotation Periods for Small Main-Belt Asteroids From CCD Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angeli, C. A.; Guimarães, T. A.; Lazzaro, D.; Duffard, R.; Fernández, S.; Florczak, M.; Mothé-Diniz, T.; Carvano, J. M.; Betzler, A. S.

    2001-04-01

    We report the results of new photometric observations of 19 main-belt asteroids, most of them of small size, i.e., D<~50 km. The observations were carried out at the Observatório do Pico dos Dias (Brazil) and at the Estación Astrofísica de Bosque Alegre (Argentina), providing more than 50 single- night light curves. The obtained rotation periods, ranging from 3.2 to 11.5 hr, are presented along with the corresponding composite light curves. Observations carried out at the Observatório do Pico dos Dias, operated by the Laboratório Nacional de Astrofísica (Brazil), and at the Estación Astrofísica de Bosque Alegre (Argentina).

  12. The Main-belt Asteroid and NEO Tour with Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivkin, A.; Cohen, B. A.; Barnouin, O. S.; Chabot, N. L.; Ernst, C. M.; Klima, R. L.; Helbert, J.; Sternovsky, Z.

    2015-12-01

    The asteroids preserve information from the earliest times in solar system history, with compositions in the population reflecting the material in the solar nebula and experiencing a wide range of temperatures. Today they experience ongoing processes, some of which are shared with larger bodies but some of which are unique to their size regime. They are critical to humanity's future as potential threats, resource sites, and targets for human visitation. However, over twenty years since the first spacecraft encounters with asteroids, they remain poorly understood. The mission we propose here, the Main-belt Asteroid and NEO Tour with Imaging and Spectroscopy (MANTIS), explores the diversity of asteroids to understand our solar system's past history, its present processes, and future opportunities and hazards. MANTIS addresses many of NASA's highest priorities as laid out in its 2014 Science Plan and provides additional benefit to the Planetary Defense and Human Exploration communities via a low-risk, cost-effective tour of the near-Earth and inner asteroid belt. MANTIS visits the materials that witnessed solar system formation and its earliest history, addressing the NASA goal of exploring and observing the objects in the solar system to understand how they formed and evolve. MANTIS measures OH, water, and organic materials via several complementary techniques, visiting and sampling objects known to have hydrated minerals and addressing the NASA goal of improving our understanding of the origin and evolution of life on Earth. MANTIS studies the geology and geophysics of nine diverse asteroids, with compositions ranging from water-rich to metallic, representatives of both binary and non-binary asteroids, and sizes covering over two orders of magnitude, providing unique information about the chemical and physical processes shaping the asteroids, addressing the NASA goal of advancing the understanding of how the chemical and physical processes in our solar system

  13. Albedo, Size and Taxonomy of the Small Body Populations Outside the Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grav, Tommy; Mainzer, Amy; Bauer, James; Masiero, Joseph R.; Cutri, Roc; Nugent, Carrie; Sonnett, Sarah; Kramer, Emily A.

    2015-11-01

    Using the data from the WISE/NEOWISE mission we have derived albedo and size distributions of ~1200 Cybeles, ~1000 Hildas, ~1700 Jovian Trojans and a dozen irregular satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. These data increases by an order of magnitude our knowledge of the makeup of the small body populations between the Main Belt and Saturn. We find that all these populations are dominated by low albedo objects, with only the Cybeles (with less than 10%) having any significant fraction of possible interloper objects with albedo higher than 15%. Using the near-infrared albedos (in the 3.4 and 4.6μm bands, denoted W1 and W2 respectively) we were able to derive the taxonomic classifications of the largest objects in each population, showing that they are dominated by surfaces that are similar to C-, P- and D-type asteroids. The dominance of these dark, primitive surfaces indicate two possible formation scenarios. These small body populations may have been formed in situ beyond the snow line, potentially serving as bodies that can provide significant insight into the composition of the early Solar Nebula in the region of the current Giant Planets. Alternatively, they may be captured bodies that were perturbed from the region outside the Giant Planets as the planets migrated during the early stages of Solar System formation. This allows for insight into the composition of the Trans-Neptunian population by study of populations that are significantly closer, brighter and more accessible. The low percentages of potentially higher albedo, stony objects common in the Main Asteroid Belt indicates that only a few of these objects have embedded themselves into these populations, potentially imposing significant constraints on the migration of Jupiter inside its current orbit.

  14. A search for subkilometer-sized ordinary chondrite like asteroids in the main-belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, H. W.; Yoshida, Fumi; Chen, Y. T.; Ip, W. H.; Chang, C. K.

    2015-07-01

    The size-dependent effects of asteroids on surface regolith and collisional lifetimes suggest that small asteroids are younger than large asteroids. In this study, we performed multicolor main-belt asteroid (MBA) survey by Subaru telescope/Suprime-Cam to search for subkilometer-sized ordinary chondrite (Q-type) like MBAs. The total survey area was 1.5 deg2 near ecliptic plane and close to the opposition. We detected 150 MBAs with 4 bands (B, V, R, I) in this survey. The range of absolute magnitude of detected asteroids was between 13 and 22 magnitude, which is equivalent to the size range of kilometer to sub-kilometer diameter in MBAs. From this observation, 75 of 150 MBAs with color uncertainty less than 0.1 were used in the spectral type analysis, and two possible Q-type asteroids were detected. This mean that the Q-type to S-type ratio in MBAs is <0.05. Meanwhile, the Q/S ratio in near Earth asteroids (NEAs) has been estimated to be 0.5-2 (Binzel, R.P. et al. [2004]. Icarus 107, 259-224; Dandy, C.L., Fitzsimmins, A., Collander-Brown, S.J. [2003]. Icarus 163, 363-373). Therefore, Q-type NEAs might be delivered from the main belt region with weathered, S-type surface into near Earth region and then obtain their Q-type, non-weathered surface after undergoing re-surfacing process there. The resurfacing mechanisms could be: 1. dispersal of surface material by tidal effect during planetary encounters (Binzel, R.P. et al. [2010]. Nature 463, 331-334; Nesvorný, D. et al. [2010]. Icarus 209, 510-519), 2. the YORP spin-up induced rotational-fission (Polishook, D. et al. [2014]. Icarus 233, 9-26) or surface re-arrangement, or 3. thermal degradation (Delbo, M. et al. [2014]. Nature 508, 233-236).

  15. 30 CFR 75.1101 - Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main and secondary belt-conveyor drives.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main... Fire Protection § 75.1101 Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main and secondary belt-conveyor drives. Deluge-type water sprays or foam generators automatically actuated by rise in temperature,...

  16. 30 CFR 75.1101 - Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main and secondary belt-conveyor drives.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main... Fire Protection § 75.1101 Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main and secondary belt-conveyor drives. Deluge-type water sprays or foam generators automatically actuated by rise in temperature,...

  17. 30 CFR 75.1101 - Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main and secondary belt-conveyor drives.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main... Fire Protection § 75.1101 Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main and secondary belt-conveyor drives. Deluge-type water sprays or foam generators automatically actuated by rise in temperature,...

  18. 30 CFR 75.1101 - Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main and secondary belt-conveyor drives.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main... Fire Protection § 75.1101 Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main and secondary belt-conveyor drives. Deluge-type water sprays or foam generators automatically actuated by rise in temperature,...

  19. 30 CFR 75.1101 - Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main and secondary belt-conveyor drives.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main... Fire Protection § 75.1101 Deluge-type water sprays, foam generators; main and secondary belt-conveyor drives. Deluge-type water sprays or foam generators automatically actuated by rise in temperature,...

  20. Shape, size and multiplicity of main-belt asteroids I. Keck Adaptive Optics survey.

    PubMed

    Marchis, F; Kaasalainen, M; Hom, E F Y; Berthier, J; Enriquez, J; Hestroffer, D; Le Mignant, D; de Pater, I

    2006-11-01

    This paper presents results from a high spatial resolution survey of 33 main-belt asteroids with diameters >40 km using the Keck II Adaptive Optics (AO) facility. Five of these (45 Eugenia, 87 Sylvia, 107 Camilla, 121 Hermione, 130 Elektra) were confirmed to have satellite. Assuming the same albedo as the primary, these moonlets are relatively small (∼5% of the primary size) suggesting that they are fragments captured after a disruptive collision of a parent body or captured ejecta due to an impact. For each asteroid, we have estimated the minimum size of a moonlet that can positively detected within the Hill sphere of the system by estimating and modeling a 2-σ detection profile: in average on the data set, a moonlet located at 2/100 × R(Hill) (1/4 × R(Hill)) with a diameter larger than 6 km (4 km) would have been unambiguously seen. The apparent size and shape of each asteroid was estimated after deconvolution using a new algorithm called AIDA. The mean diameter for the majority of asteroids is in good agreement with IRAS radiometric measurements, though for asteroids with a D < 200 km, it is underestimated on average by 6-8%. Most asteroids had a size ratio that was very close to those determined by lightcurve measurements. One observation of 104 Klymene suggests it has a bifurcated shape. The bi-lobed shape of 121 Hermione described in Marchis et al. [Marchis, F., Hestroffer, D., Descamps, P., Berthier, J., Laver, C., de Pater, I., 2005c. Icarus 178, 450-464] was confirmed after deconvolution. The ratio of contact binaries in our survey, which is limited to asteroids larger than 40 km, is surprisingly high (∼6%), suggesting that a non-single configuration is common in the main-belt. Several asteroids have been analyzed with lightcurve inversions. We compared lightcurve inversion models for plane-of-sky predictions with the observed images (9 Metis, 52 Europa, 87 Sylvia, 130 Elektra, 192 Nausikaa, and 423 Diotima, 511 Davida). The AO images allowed us to

  1. Shape, size and multiplicity of main-belt asteroids I. Keck Adaptive Optics survey

    PubMed Central

    Marchis, F.; Kaasalainen, M.; Hom, E.F.Y.; Berthier, J.; Enriquez, J.; Hestroffer, D.; Le Mignant, D.; de Pater, I.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents results from a high spatial resolution survey of 33 main-belt asteroids with diameters >40 km using the Keck II Adaptive Optics (AO) facility. Five of these (45 Eugenia, 87 Sylvia, 107 Camilla, 121 Hermione, 130 Elektra) were confirmed to have satellite. Assuming the same albedo as the primary, these moonlets are relatively small (∼5% of the primary size) suggesting that they are fragments captured after a disruptive collision of a parent body or captured ejecta due to an impact. For each asteroid, we have estimated the minimum size of a moonlet that can positively detected within the Hill sphere of the system by estimating and modeling a 2-σ detection profile: in average on the data set, a moonlet located at 2/100 × RHill (1/4 × RHill) with a diameter larger than 6 km (4 km) would have been unambiguously seen. The apparent size and shape of each asteroid was estimated after deconvolution using a new algorithm called AIDA. The mean diameter for the majority of asteroids is in good agreement with IRAS radiometric measurements, though for asteroids with a D < 200 km, it is underestimated on average by 6–8%. Most asteroids had a size ratio that was very close to those determined by lightcurve measurements. One observation of 104 Klymene suggests it has a bifurcated shape. The bi-lobed shape of 121 Hermione described in Marchis et al. [Marchis, F., Hestroffer, D., Descamps, P., Berthier, J., Laver, C., de Pater, I., 2005c. Icarus 178, 450–464] was confirmed after deconvolution. The ratio of contact binaries in our survey, which is limited to asteroids larger than 40 km, is surprisingly high (∼6%), suggesting that a non-single configuration is common in the main-belt. Several asteroids have been analyzed with lightcurve inversions. We compared lightcurve inversion models for plane-of-sky predictions with the observed images (9 Metis, 52 Europa, 87 Sylvia, 130 Elektra, 192 Nausikaa, and 423 Diotima, 511 Davida). The AO images allowed us to

  2. Toward an understanding of phyllosilicate mineralogy in the outer main asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takir, Driss; Emery, Joshua P.; McSween, Harry Y.

    2015-09-01

    Proposed mineralogical linkages between CM/CI carbonaceous chondrites and outer Main Belt asteroids remain uncertain due to a dearth of diagnostic absorptions in visible and near-infrared (∼0.4-2.5 μm) spectra of the two sets of objects. Absorptions near 3 μm in both sets hold promise for illuminating the potential linkages. Spectral comparisons of meteorites and asteroids have been challenging because meteorite spectra have usually been acquired in ambient terrestrial environments, and hence were contaminated by atmospheric water. In this study, we compare near-infrared spectra of chondrites measured in the laboratory under asteroid-like conditions (Takir, D. et al. [2013]. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 48, 1618-1637) and spectra of asteroids measured with the long-wavelength cross-dispersed (LXD: 1.9-4.2-μm) mode of the SpeX spectrograph/imager at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) (Takir, D., Emery, J.P. [2012]. Icarus 219, 641-654). Using the 3-μm band shape, we find that spectral Group 2 CM and CI (Ivuna) chondrites are possible meteorite analogs for asteroids with the sharp 3-μm features, which are predominately located in the 2.5 < a < 3.3 AU region. Spectral Group 2 CM chondrites contain phyllosilicate phases intermediate between endmembers Fe-serpentine and Mg-serpentine, with a petrological subtype ranging from 2.2 to 2.1 (Takir, D. et al. [2013]. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 48, 1618-1637). No meteorite match was found for asteroids showing a rounded 3-μm feature, which tend to be located farther from the Sun (3.0 < a < 4.0 AU), or for asteroids with distinctive spectra like 1 Ceres or 52 Europa. The study of the 3-μm band in meteorites and asteroids has implications for the understanding of phyllosilicate mineralogy and its distribution in the outer Main Belt region.

  3. Evidence for a source of H chondrites in the outer main asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nedelcu, D. A.; Birlan, M.; Popescu, M.; Bădescu, O.; Pricopi, D.

    2014-07-01

    Aims: In this paper we report near-infrared spectroscopic observations of one of the largest potentially hazardous asteroids, (214869) 2007 PA8. Mineralogical analysis of this object was followed by the investigation of the dynamical delivery mechanism from its probable source region, based on long-term numerical integrations. Methods: The spectrum of (214869) 2007 PA8 was analysed using the positions of 1 μm and 2 μm bands and by curve-matching with RELAB meteorites spectra. Its dynamical evolution was investigated by means of a 200 000-year numerical integration in the past of 1275 clones followed to the source region. Results: (214869) 2007 PA8 has a very young surface with a composition more akin to H chondrites than to any other type of ordinary chondrite. It arrived from the outer Main Belt in the near-Earth space via the 5:2 mean motion resonance with Jupiter by eccentricity pumping. Identification of its source region far from (6) Hebe raises the possibility of the existence of a second parent body of the H chondrites that has a radically different post-accretion history. Future spectroscopic surveys in the 5:2 resonance region will most likely discover other asteroids with an H chondrite composition. Figure 2 is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

  4. The recent breakup of an asteroid in the main-belt region.

    PubMed

    Nesvorný, David; Bottke, William F; Dones, Luke; Levison, Harold F

    2002-06-13

    The present population of asteroids in the main belt is largely the result of many past collisions. Ideally, the asteroid fragments resulting from each impact event could help us understand the large-scale collisions that shaped the planets during early epochs. Most known asteroid fragment families, however, are very old and have therefore undergone significant collisional and dynamical evolution since their formation. This evolution has masked the properties of the original collisions. Here we report the discovery of a family of asteroids that formed in a disruption event only 5.8 +/- 0.2 million years ago, and which has subsequently undergone little dynamical and collisional evolution. We identified 39 fragments, two of which are large and comparable in size (diameters of approximately 19 and approximately 14 km), with the remainder exhibiting a continuum of sizes in the range 2-7 km. The low measured ejection velocities suggest that gravitational re-accumulation after a collision may be a common feature of asteroid evolution. Moreover, these data can be used to check numerical models of larger-scale collisions. PMID:12066178

  5. Parameters of Rotation and Shapes of Main-belt Asteroids from APT Observatory Group: Second Quarter 2016

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aznar Macias, Amadeo

    2016-10-01

    Using observations made during the second quarter of 2016, the rotation periods and the semi-axis a/b ratio of the projected shape for six main-belt asteroids were determined: 238 Hypatia, 1603 Neva, 1859 Kovalevskaya, 4170 Semmelweis, 3002 Delasalle, and (31013) 1996 DR.

  6. On the current distribution of main belt objects: Constraints for evolutionary models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michtchenko, T. A.; Lazzaro, D.; Carvano, J. M.

    2016-04-01

    Context. It is widely accepted that the current distribution of material in the main asteroidal belt (MB) is a product of the evolutionary history of the solar system during its whole lifetime of ~4.5 billions of years and is, consequently, a major witness of the diverse stages of this evolution. Aims: The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, we study the principal aspects of the distribution of the asteroids in proper element space, mass, and, physical composition for a complete picture of the current MB. Second, we analyze if and how these current distributions can be explained by the long-lasting dynamical effects of the planets on this region of the solar system. Methods: We studied the distribution in the proper element space for the sample that consists of about 350 000 objects whose proper orbital elements are available from the database AstDyS. We studied the distribution in size and physical composition using the most recent and large available datasets. We constructed the dynamical portrait of the MB in form of the dynamical and averaged maps via the spectral analysis method. Results: The main properties of the current distributions of MB objects are identified. A comparison of the distributions of real objects with dynamical maps allows us to detect principal mechanisms of the diffusive transportation of the objects. These mechanisms are related to mean-motion resonances (MMRs) and secular resonances (SRs), overlaying with the slow dissipative Yarkovsky/Yorp drift. Conclusions: We identify the most relevant distributions of the material in the MB and show that many of the current features of the MB can be explained by the interplay of diverse dynamical mechanisms due to the planetary perturbations over 4 Gyr with nongravitational effects, without the need of 'catastrophic' events or 'ad hoc' migration mechanisms during the early stages of the solar system. In this sense, the obtained distributions can provide relevant constraints for modeling the

  7. Precise Distances for Main-belt Asteroids in Only Two Nights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinze, Aren N.; Metchev, Stanimir

    2015-10-01

    We present a method for calculating precise distances to asteroids using only two nights of data from a single location—far too little for an orbit—by exploiting the angular reflex motion of the asteroids due to Earth’s axial rotation. We refer to this as the rotational reflex velocity method. While the concept is simple and well-known, it has not been previously exploited for surveys of main belt asteroids (MBAs). We offer a mathematical development, estimates of the errors of the approximation, and a demonstration using a sample of 197 asteroids observed for two nights with a small, 0.9-m telescope. This demonstration used digital tracking to enhance detection sensitivity for faint asteroids, but our distance determination works with any detection method. Forty-eight asteroids in our sample had known orbits prior to our observations, and for these we demonstrate a mean fractional error of only 1.6% between the distances we calculate and those given in ephemerides from the Minor Planet Center. In contrast to our two-night results, distance determination by fitting approximate orbits requires observations spanning 7–10 nights. Once an asteroid’s distance is known, its absolute magnitude and size (given a statistically estimated albedo) may immediately be calculated. Our method will therefore greatly enhance the efficiency with which 4m and larger telescopes can probe the size distribution of small (e.g., 100 m) MBAs. This distribution remains poorly known, yet encodes information about the collisional evolution of the asteroid belt—and hence the history of the Solar System.

  8. Spectroscopic Differences Between HED Meteorites and V-type Asteroids in the Inner Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moskovitz, Nicholas; Burbine, T.; Bus, B.; Binzel, R.

    2009-09-01

    The majority of V-type asteroids and HED meteorites are thought to be genetically related to one another (Consolmagno & Drake 1977) as collisional fragments from the surface of the large basaltic asteroid 4 Vesta (Binzel & Xu 1993). We have analyzed a statistically significant sample of near-infrared spectra (0.7-2.5 micron) of V-type asteroids and HED meteorites to compare the spectral properties of these two populations. More than 30 V-type asteroids in the inner Main Belt (a < 2.5 AU) were observed with SpeX at NASA's IRTF and spectra of 75 HED meteorites were retrieved from the Brown RELAB database. The centers and areas of the 1- and 2-micron pyroxene-olivine absorption bands (which are characteristic of planetary basalts) were measured for both the asteroidal and meteoritic data sets. These measurements reveal distinct spectroscopic differences between these populations, namely the band area ratios (Cloutis et al. 1986) measured from the asteroidal spectra are significantly larger than those of the meteorites. A variety of phenomena could be responsible for this discrepancy: terrestrial weathering of the meteorites, temperature differences between the asteroids ( 180 K) and the meteorites ( 300 K) at the time of observation, differences in grain size between the asteroid regoliths and meteorite samples, uncorrected systematics related to the telescopic observations, compositional differences, or weathering of the asteroid surfaces due to exposure to the space environment. We will present arguments to suggest that only these last two possibilities are plausible. Understanding the cause of this discrepancy will be important to the interpretation of data from the Visible and Infrared Spectrograph onboard the Dawn spacecraft, which will reach Vesta in the summer of 2011.

  9. Precise Distances for Main-belt Asteroids in Only Two Nights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinze, Aren N.; Metchev, Stanimir

    2015-10-01

    We present a method for calculating precise distances to asteroids using only two nights of data from a single location—far too little for an orbit—by exploiting the angular reflex motion of the asteroids due to Earth’s axial rotation. We refer to this as the rotational reflex velocity method. While the concept is simple and well-known, it has not been previously exploited for surveys of main belt asteroids (MBAs). We offer a mathematical development, estimates of the errors of the approximation, and a demonstration using a sample of 197 asteroids observed for two nights with a small, 0.9-m telescope. This demonstration used digital tracking to enhance detection sensitivity for faint asteroids, but our distance determination works with any detection method. Forty-eight asteroids in our sample had known orbits prior to our observations, and for these we demonstrate a mean fractional error of only 1.6% between the distances we calculate and those given in ephemerides from the Minor Planet Center. In contrast to our two-night results, distance determination by fitting approximate orbits requires observations spanning 7-10 nights. Once an asteroid’s distance is known, its absolute magnitude and size (given a statistically estimated albedo) may immediately be calculated. Our method will therefore greatly enhance the efficiency with which 4m and larger telescopes can probe the size distribution of small (e.g., 100 m) MBAs. This distribution remains poorly known, yet encodes information about the collisional evolution of the asteroid belt—and hence the history of the Solar System.

  10. Polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids⋆. III. Results for 33 X-type objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cañada-Assandri, M.; Gil-Hutton, R.; Benavidez, P.

    2012-06-01

    Aims: We present results of a polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids at Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (Casleo), San Juan, Argentina. The aims of this survey are to increase the database of asteroid polarimetry, to estimate diversity in polarimetric properties of asteroids that belong to different taxonomic classes, and to search for objects that exhibit anomalous polarimetric properties. Methods: The data were obtained with the Torino and CASPROF polarimeters at the 2.15 m telescope. The Torino polarimeter is an instrument that allows the simultaneous measurement of polarization in five different bands, and the CASPROF polarimeter is a two-hole aperture polarimeter with rapid modulation. Results: The survey began in 2003, and up to 2009 data of a sample of more than 170 asteroids were obtained. In this paper the results for 33 X-type objects are presented, several of them are being polarimetrically observed for the first time. Using these data we found polarization curves and polarimetric parameters for different groups among this taxonomic class and that there are objects with very different albedo in the sub-classes of the X taxonomic complex. Based on observations carried out at the Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito, operated under agreement between the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de la República Argentina and the National Universities of La Plata, Córdoba, and San Juan.Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/542/A11

  11. Is the Grand Tack model compatible with the orbital distribution of main belt asteroids?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deienno, Rogerio; Gomes, Rodney S.; Walsh, Kevin J.; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Nesvorný, David

    2016-07-01

    The Asteroid Belt is characterized by the radial mixing of bodies with different physical properties, a very low mass compared to Minimum Mass Solar Nebula expectations and has an excited orbital distribution, with eccentricities and inclinations covering the entire range of values allowed by the constraints of dynamical stability. Models of the evolution of the Asteroid Belt show that the origin of its structure is strongly linked to the process of terrestrial planet formation. The Grand Tack model presents a possible solution to the conundrum of reconciling the small mass of Mars with the properties of the Asteroid Belt, including the mass depletion, radial mixing and orbital excitation. However, while the inclination distribution produced in the Grand Tack model is in good agreement with the one observed, the eccentricity distribution is skewed towards values larger than those found today. Here, we evaluate the evolution of the orbital properties of the Asteroid Belt from the end of the Grand Tack model (at the end of the gas nebula phase when planets emerge from the dispersing gas disk), throughout the subsequent evolution of the Solar System including an instability of the Giant Planets approximately 400 Myr later. Before the instability, the terrestrial planets were modeled on dynamically cold orbits with Jupiter and Saturn locked in a 3:2 mean motion resonance. The model continues for an additional 4.1 Gyr after the giant planet instability. Our results show that the eccentricity distribution obtained in the Grand Tack model evolves towards one very similar to that currently observed, and the semimajor axis distribution does the same. The inclination distribution remains nearly unchanged with a slight preference for depletion at low inclination; this leads to the conclusion that the inclination distribution at the end of the Grand Tack is a bit over-excited. Also, we constrain the primordial eccentricities of Jupiter and Saturn, which have a major influence

  12. A population of Main Belt Asteroids co-orbiting with Ceres and Vesta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christou, Apostolos A.; Wiegert, Paul

    2012-01-01

    We have carried out a search for Main Belt Asteroids (MBAs) co-orbiting with the large MBA Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. Through improving the search criteria used in Christou (Christou, A.A. [2000b]. Astron. Astrophys. 356, L71-L74) and numerical integrations of candidate coorbitals, we have identified approximately 51 (44) objects currently in co-orbital libration with Ceres (Vesta). We show that these form part of a larger population of transient coorbitals; 129 (94) MBAs undergo episodes of co-orbital libration with Ceres (Vesta) within a 2 Myr interval centred on the present. The lifetime in the resonance is typically a few times ˜10 5 yr but can exceed 2 × 10 6 yr. The variational properties of the orbits of several co-orbitals were examined. It was found that their present states with respect to the secondary are well determined but knowledge of it is lost typically after ˜2 × 10 5 yr. Objects initially deeper into the coorbital region maintain their coorbital state for longer. Using the model of Namouni et al. (Namouni, F., Christou, A.A., Murray, C.D. [1999]. Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 2506-2509) we show that their dynamics are similar to those of temporary coorbital NEAs of the Earth and Venus. As in that case, the lifetime of resonant libration is dictated by planetary secular perturbations, the inherent chaoticity of the orbits and close encounters with massive objects other than the secondary. In particular we present evidence that, while in the coorbital state, close encounters with the secondary are generally avoided and that Ceres affects the stability of tadpole librators of Vesta. Finally we demonstrate the existence of Quasi-Satellite orbiters of both Ceres and Vesta and conclude that decametre-sized objects detected in the vicinity of Vesta by the DAWN mission may, in fact, belong to this dynamical class rather than be bona-fide (i.e. Keplerian) satellites of Vesta.

  13. Composition of Chelyabinsk Meteorite: Identifying its Parent Body in the Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddy, Vishnu; Cloutis, E.; Cuddy, M.; Bottke, W.; Sanchez, J.; Mann, P.; Izawa, M.; Fujihara, G.; Gaffey, M.; Le Corre, L.

    2013-10-01

    On February 15, 2013 a colossal fireball was observed over the Chelyabisnk region of Russia, which caused widespread damage across the region (Brown 2013). Subsequently, thousands of stones rained on villages south of Chelyabinsk. Here we report near-IR spectra properties of the Chelyabinsk meteorite samples in an effort to identify its parent body in the main belt. Chelyabinsk is an LL5 ordinary chondrite with olivine and pyroxene as major mineral phases. Our samples also included a dark-colored fine grain impact melt component, which is a significant portion (1/3rd) of the meteorite apart from light-colored lithology typical of ordinary chondrites (2/3rd) (Vernad, 2013). Laboratory measurements suggest an olivine composition of Fa28 (mol. %) and pyroxene composition of Fs23 (mol. %). Spectrally derived olivine and pyroxene composition using equations from Dunn et al. (2010) are Fa25+/-1.3 and Fs21+/-1.4, respectively. While spectrally derived values are lower than those directly measured from the samples (possibly due to compositional heterogeneity), they are consistent with LL chondrites, which have an olivine and pyroxene composition of Fa26-31 and Fs22-26. The impact melt component is spectrally distinct from the light-color lithology with lower albedo 9% vs. 32% at 0.55 microns), weaker absorption band I depth (4% vs. 30%) and steeper spectral slope. Works of Vernazza et al. (2008) and Dunn et al. (2013) have shown that a majority of the NEAs 60%) have an LL chondrite type composition. Dynamical modeling (Bottke et al. 2002) has shown that these LL chondrite NEAs are preferentially derived (83 percent) from the nu6 resonance (Dunn et al. 2013). The Flora family, which lies near the nu6 resonance, is dominated by S-type asteroids and has been hypothesized as the primary source region for LL chondrite meteorites and NEAs. Our spectrally derived olivine and pyroxene composition for Flora (Fa29+/-1.3 and Fs24+/-1.4) is consistent with Chelyabinsk (Fa28 and Fs23

  14. Geochemical Characteristics of Ultramafic Rocks From Main Hole of CCSDP, Sulu UHPM Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, T.; Yang, J.; Xu, Z.; Chen, S.

    2004-12-01

    In the main hole of Chinese Continental Scientific Drilling Project (CCSDP), the ultramafic rocks, hosted by rutile eclogite, occur at the depth between 603.2 ˜.683.5 m. Ultramafic rocks are composed of mainly wehrlite and minor lherzolite. Most of these rocks contain abundant garnet and Ti-clinohumite, but minor rocks have no garnet and Ti-clinohumite. Serpentinization varies in different degrees ,through the depth and minor talc and prehnite, present mainly at the lowermost part of the profile. Besides, there is a 10 m thick layer and many thin lens of rutile phengite eclogite, as well as small blocks of eclogite and thin layers of phlogopite orthopyroxenite and megacrystic amphibolite in the ultramfic sequence. The contacts between the ultramafic rocks and hosting eclogite and lens in them are sharp. The uppermost ultramafic rock possibly has a tectonic contact, with the host eclogite, characterized by mixed agglomerates of them. Major element concentrations of wehrlite and its altered product serpentinite range between SiO2 40.60% ˜.43.42%, TiO2<0.31%, Al2O3 3.16% ˜.8.96%, total FeO 12.27% ˜.16.77%, MnO 0.18% ˜.0.27%, MgO 27.65% ˜.39.20%, CaO 1.02% ˜.5.32%, Na2O 0.01% ˜.0.74%, K2O 0.01% ˜.0.81% and P2O5 0.01% ˜.0.12%. The average fusible compositions are fairly high(TiO2 0.21% Al2O3 5.06% CaO 2.53% and Na2O 0.25%) and closing to or exceeding the corresponding compositions of primary mantle .Representative refractory composition MgO is lower than that of primary mantle. MgO is lower and varies narrowly between 77.26 ˜.85.07. When compared with A type Zhimafang peridotite(Zhang et al, 2000), the wehrlite in borehole has relatively lower SiO2 and MgO and higher TiO2, Al2O3, CaO and total FeO. In a word, wehrlite shows more fertile characteristics. Total REE concentrations range 4.38×10-6 ˜.43.26×10-6, most of which are higher than that of primary mantle(PM, 6.86×10-6). Most of the samples show moderate LREE enriched characteristics with

  15. Main Stages of Geodynamic Evolution of the Caucasian Segment of the Alpine-Mediterranean Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gamkrelidze, Irakli; Shengelia, David; Maisadze, Ferando; Tsutsunava, Tamara; Chichinadze, Giorgi

    2013-04-01

    Within the oceanic area of Tethys, with a typical oceanic crust, in geological past relatively small continental or subcontinental plates (terranes) were situated. The Greater Caucasian, Black Sea - Central Transcaucasian, Baiburt - Sevanian and Iran - Afghanian accretionary terranes, which in geological past represented island arcs or microcontinents, are identified in the Caucasian segment of the Alpine-Mediterranean belt. They are separated by ophiolite sutures (relics of small or large oceanic basins) of different age. During the Late Precambrian, Paleozoic and Early Mesozoic these terranes underwent horizontal displacement in different directions and ultimately they joined the Eurasian continent. New LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon dating along with available geologic, petrologic and geochemical investigations, allow to trace with confidence the main stages of regional metamorphism, granite formation and, consequently, pre-Alpine continental crust making within the Caucasus. At the pre-Grenville stage (1200 Ma and more) between the Baltica and Gondvana ancient continents, on the oceanic crust of Prototethys accumulation mainly of terrigenous sediments and of basic volcanites took place. At the Grenville stage (1000-800 Ma) subcontinental or primitive continental crust (gneiss-migmatite complex and synmetamorphic grenitoids of sodium series) were formed in suprasubduction conditions by both sides of Proto-Paleotethys and along the northern peripheries of comparatively small oceanic basins of the Arkhiz and Southern Slope of the Greater Caucasus. At the Baikalian stage (650-550 Ma) plagiogneissic complex has been cut by Precambrian gabbroids and intruded by large bodies of quartz-diorites. The next, Late Baikalian stage (540-500 Ma) is determined by the intrusion of Cambrian basites and Late Baikalian granitoids and by manifestation of intensive suprasubduction regional metamorphism. Late Baikalian tectogenesis is accompanied by contraction of the small oceanic basin of

  16. Quasi-Static and Dynamic Response Characteristics of F-4 Bias-Ply and Radial-Belted Main Gear Tires

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Pamela A.

    1997-01-01

    An investigation was conducted at Langley Research Center to determine the quasi-static and dynamic response characteristics of F-4 military fighter 30x11.5-14.5/26PR bias-ply and radial-belted main gear tires. Tire properties were measured by the application of vertical, lateral, and fore-and-aft loads. Mass moment-of-inertia data were also obtained. The results of the study include quasi-static load-deflection curves, free-vibration time-history plots, energy loss associated with hysteresis, stiffness and damping characteristics, footprint geometry, and inertia properties of each type of tire. The difference between bias-ply and radial-belted tire construction is given, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each tire design. Three simple damping models representing viscous, structural, and Coulomb friction are presented and compared with the experimental data. The conclusions discussed contain a summary of test observations.

  17. Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann I

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    velocities, they appear to move relative to the comet and background stars, thereby producing a slight elongated appearance. The Spitzer data have allowed astronomers to use thermal measurements, which reduce the uncertainties of visible-light albedo (reflectivity) measurements, to determine their size. With diameters of 1.4 and 3.0 kilometers, these are the smallest main-belt asteroids yet measured by infrared means.

  18. VizieR Online Data Catalog: Spectroscopy of main-belt Ch/Cgh-type asteroids (Vernazza+, 2016)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vernazza, P.; Marsset, M.; Beck, P.; Binzel, R. P.; Birlan, M.; Cloutis, E. A.; DeMeo, F. E.; Dumas, C.; Hiroi, T.

    2016-09-01

    We conducted an extensive spectroscopic survey in the near-infrared range of 70 main-belt Ch/Cgh-type asteroids and 4 Ch/Cgh-type families and combined these measurements with available visible wavelength spectra. New data presented here are near-infrared asteroid spectral measurements for Ch- and Cgh-type asteroids from 0.7-2.5μm obtained using SpeX, the low- to medium-resolution near-IR spectrograph and imager on the 3m NASA InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF) located on Mauna Kea, HI. Observing runs were conducted remotely primarily from the Observatory of Paris-Meudon, France between 2010 April and 2012 January. The spectrograph SpeX, combined with a 0.8*15arcsec slit, was used in the low-resolution prism mode for acquisition of the spectra in the 0.7-2.5μm wavelength range. In order to monitor the high luminosity and variability of the sky in the near-IR, the telescope was moved along the slit during the acquisition of the data so as to obtain a sequence of spectra located at two different positions (A and B) on the array. In addition, we complemented our data set with additional near-infrared spectra retrieved from the Small Main-Belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey (SMASS) database (http://smass.mit.edu/). Combining these near-infrared measurements with available visible wavelength spectra (Bus, 1999PhDT........50B; Lazzaro et al., 2004Icar..172..179L) allows for the first time an extensive visible and near-infrared (VNIR) spectral database of main-belt Ch and Cgh types with D>45km (78% or 49/63 of all Ch and Cgh types listed in SMASS; see Table1). (1 data file).

  19. Photometric geodesy of main-belt asteroids. IV - An updated analysis of lightcurves for poles, periods, and shapes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drummond, J. D.; Weidenschilling, S. J.; Chapman, C. R.; Davis, D. R.

    1991-01-01

    The Drummond et al. (1988) analysis of main-belt asteroids is presently extended, using three independent methods to derive poles, periods, phase functions, and triaxial ellipsoid shapes from lightcurve maxima and minima. This group of 26 asteroids is also reinvestigated with a view to the distributions of triaxial shapes and obliquity distributions. Poles weakly tend to avoid asteroid orbital planes; a rough-smooth dichotomization appears to be justified by the persistence of two solar phase angle-amplitude relations. Seven of the objects may be Jacobi ellipsoids if axial ratios are slightly exaggerated by a systematic effect of the analytical method employed.

  20. Physical parameters and morphology of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - a main target of Rosetta space mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churyumov, Klim; Kleshchonok, Valery; Mozgova, Alyona

    Rosetta, a European space vehicle was head to the icy nucleus of the short period comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 2 March, 2004 from cosmodrome Kouru. On 20 Jan. 2014, Rosetta after 10 years of flight and 31-month sleep has been woke up succesfully and now will approche to the icy nucleus of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko and pass away into orbit around the cometary nucleus. In November 2014 the Philae probe will be sent from Rosetta on the nucleus of comet 67P to study the relict matter of the Solar system. Comet 67P was discovered by the Kyiv astronomers Klim Churyumov and Svitlana Gerasimenko on 22 October 1969 on the five photographic plates exponed with the help of 50-cm Maksutov’s reflector of the Alma-Ata Astrophysical Institute on 9, 11 and 21 Sept. 1969. First 5 exact positions of comet were sent to Dr Brian Marsden. Dr B.Marsden showed it was new comet. The comet had an apparent magnitude of 13 and a faint tail about 1 arcmin in length at position angle 280 degrees. The astronomer Nikolay Belyaev from Saint-Petersbourg calculated that the comet followed an elliptical orbit. In 1982 it had the close encounter with the Earth at 0.3910 A.U. On the basis of the observations of comet 67P obtained in Nizhny Arkhyz with the help of the 6- BTA reflector of SAO of RAS some physical parameters of its comet plasma tail (coefficients of diffusion Dp(parallel) , Ds(perpendicular) and induction of magnetic field B) were determined. Other results of exploration of comet 67P (its polarisation, spectral observations, the light curve and morphology) in different apparitions are discussed.

  1. Nine Galileo Views in Natural Color of Main-Belt Asteroid Ida

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This set of color images of asteroid 243 Ida was taken by the imaging system on the Galileo spacecraft as it approached and raced past the asteroid on August 28, 1993. These images were taken through the 4100-angstrom (violet), 7560-angstrom (infrared) and 9680- angstrom (infrared) filters and have been processed to show Ida as it would appear to the eye in approximately natural color. The stark shadows portray Ida's irregular shape, which changes its silhouetted outline when seen from different angles. More subtle shadings reveal surface topography (such as craters) and differences in the physical state and composition of the soil ('regolith'). Analysis of the images show that Ida is 58 kilometers long and 23 kilometers wide (36 x 14 miles). Ida is the first asteroid discovered to have a natural satellite, Dactyl (not shown here). Both Ida and Dactyl are heavily cratered by impacts with smaller asteroids and comets, including some of the same populations of small objects that bombard Earth. These data, combined with reflectance spectra from Galileo's near-infrared mapping spectrometer, may allow scientists to determine whether Ida is a relatively unaltered primitive object made of material condensed from the primordial Solar Nebula at the origin of the Solar System or whether it has been altered by strong heating--evidence interpreted so far suggests that Ida is a piece of a larger object that has been severely heated. Whereas heating and melting of large planets is well understood, the cause of heating of small asteroids is more enigmatic--it may have involved exotic processes that occurred only for a short time after the birth of the Sun and its planets.

  2. Nine Galileo Views in Exaggerated Color of Main-Belt Asteroid Ida

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This set of color images of asteroid 243 Ida was taken by the imaging system on the Galileo spacecraft as it approached and raced past the asteroid on August 28, 1993. These images were taken through the 4100-angstrom (violet), 7560-angstrom (infrared) and 9680- angstrom (infrared) filters and have been processed to show Ida in exaggerated color to bring out subtle color contrasts caused by small variations in composition and surface microtexture of the asteroid's soil. In natural color Ida appears gray with slight overtones of red or brown. Stark shadows portray Ida's irregular shape, which changes its silhouetted outline when seen from different angles. More subtle shadings reveal surface topography (such as craters) and differences in the physical state and composition of the soil ('regolith'). Note in particular the color differences associated with the rims and floors of certain impact craters, which may have excavated to layers of slightly differing composition or may have ingested material from impactors of different compositions. Analysis of the images show that Ida is 58 kilometers long and 23 kilometers wide (36 x 14 miles). Ida is the first asteroid discovered to have a natural satellite, Dactyl (not shown here). Ida and Dactyl are heavily cratered by impacts with smaller asteroids and comets, including some of the same populations of small objects that bombard Earth. These data, combined with reflectance spectra from Galileo's near-infrared mapping spectrometer, may allow scientists to determine whether Ida is a relatively unaltered primitive object made of material condensed from the primordial Solar Nebula at the origin of the Solar System or whether it has been altered by strong heating--evidence interpreted so far suggests that Ida is a piece of a larger object that has been severely heated. Whereas heating and melting of large planets is well understood, the cause of heating of small asteroids is more enigmatic--it may have involved exotic

  3. Comet Observations with SIRTF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.

    2003-01-01

    Comet observations are included in the programs of the Guaranteed Time Observers (GTO) on the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), scheduled to be in space and operational for five years beginning in late 2003. SIRTF is a cryogenic telescope with three basic instruments for imaging, photometry and spectroscopy from 3.6 m to 160 m. All of these capabilities will be used in studies of comets. The intent is to study the infrared radiation (emission) from comets (and dust tails, where relevant) in all stages of evolution, starting with Kuiper Belt objects and Centaurs (thermal emission at 24,70, and 160 m to derive dimensions and albedos). Active comets will be observed spectroscopically and in deep thermal images. Several known or suspected extinct comets will be observed spectroscopically (5-37 m) for information on their surface compositions. There are opportunities for Guest Observers (GO) to propose additional comet work. .

  4. ALBEDO PROPERTIES OF MAIN BELT ASTEROIDS BASED ON THE ALL-SKY SURVEY OF THE INFRARED ASTRONOMICAL SATELLITE AKARI

    SciTech Connect

    Usui, Fumihiko; Hasegawa, Sunao; Matsuhara, Hideo; Kasuga, Toshihiro; Ishiguro, Masateru; Kuroda, Daisuke; Mueller, Thomas G.; Ootsubo, Takafumi

    2013-01-01

    We present an analysis of the albedo properties of main belt asteroids (MBAs) detected by the All-Sky Survey of the infrared astronomical satellite AKARI. The characteristics of 5120 asteroids detected by the survey, including their sizes and albedos, were cataloged in the Asteroid Catalog Using AKARI (AcuA). Size and albedo measurements were based on the standard thermal model, using inputs of infrared fluxes and absolute magnitudes measured at optical wavelengths. MBAs, which account for 4722 of the 5120 AcuA asteroids, have semimajor axes of 2.06-3.27 AU, except for the near-Earth asteroids. AcuA provides a complete data set of all MBAs brighter than the absolute magnitude of H < 10.3, which corresponds to the diameter of d > 20 km. We confirmed that the albedo distribution of the MBAs is strongly bimodal as was already known from the past observations, and that the bimodal distribution occurs not only in the total population, but also within inner, middle, and outer regions of the main belt. The bimodal distribution in each group consists of low-albedo components in C-type asteroids and high-albedo components in S-type asteroids. We found that the small asteroids have much more variety in albedo than the large asteroids. In spite of the albedo transition process like space weathering, the heliocentric distribution of the mean albedo of asteroids in each taxonomic type is nearly flat. The mean albedo of the total, on the other hand, gradually decreases with an increase in semimajor axis. This can be explained by the compositional ratio of taxonomic types; that is, the proportion of dark asteroids such as C- and D-types increases, while that of bright asteroids such as S-type decreases, with increasing heliocentric distance. The heliocentric distributions of X-subclasses: E-, M-, and P-types, which can be divided based on albedo values, are also examined. P-types, which are the major component in X-types, are distributed throughout the main belt regions, and the

  5. Mapping the Distribution of Taxonomies and Mineralogies in the Asteroid Main Belt Using the SDSS MOC4

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazzaro, Daniela; Carvano, J.; Hasselmann, P. A.; Mothé-Diniz, T.

    2009-09-01

    In the present work we define a taxonomic scheme based on the SDSS colors [1] that seeks to be compatible with previous taxonomic schemes based on spectroscopic data [2,3]. This taxonomy is then applied to the asteroids listed on the forth release of the SDSS Moving Object Catalogue (MOC4) and to meteorite spectra from the RELAB database. These results are then used to analyze the distributions of taxonomies in the Main Asteroid Belt and, based on it, make inferences about the distribution of mineralogies. We also use the large number of asteroids that were observed multiple times in the MOC4 to analyze the issue of taxonomic variations among observations. Since no conclusions about mineralogy can be draw based solely on taxonomy, the ultimate goal here is to identify interesting targets for NIR spectroscopic follow up. [1] Ivezic et al., AJ 122, 2749 (2001) [2] Tholen and Barucci, Asteroids II, (1989) [3] Bus and Binzel, Icarus 158, 146 (2002)

  6. Distant Comets in the Early Solar System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meech, Karen J.

    2000-01-01

    The main goal of this project is to physically characterize the small outer solar system bodies. An understanding of the dynamics and physical properties of the outer solar system small bodies is currently one of planetary science's highest priorities. The measurement of the size distributions of these bodies will help constrain the early mass of the outer solar system as well as lead to an understanding of the collisional and accretional processes. A study of the physical properties of the small outer solar system bodies in comparison with comets in the inner solar system and in the Kuiper Belt will give us information about the nebular volatile distribution and small body surface processing. We will increase the database of comet nucleus sizes making it statistically meaningful (for both Short-Period and Centaur comets) to compare with those of the Trans-Neptunian Objects. In addition, we are proposing to do active ground-based observations in preparation for several upcoming space missions.

  7. Effects of YORP-induced rotational fission on the small size end of the Main Belt asteroid size distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, Alessandro; Jacobson, S.; Marzari, F.; Scheeres, D.; Davis, D. R.

    2013-10-01

    From the results of a comprehensive asteroid population evolution model, we conclude that the YORP-induced rotational fission hypothesis has strong repercussions for the small size end of the Main Belt asteroid size frequency distribution. These results are consistent with observed asteroid population statistics. The foundation of this model is the asteroid rotation model of Marzari et al. (2011), which incorporates both the YORP effect and collisional evolution. This work adds to that model the rotational fission hypothesis (i.e. when the rotation rate exceeds a critical value, erosion and binary formation occur). The YORP effect timescale for large asteroids with diameters D > ~6 km is longer than the collision timescale in the Main Belt, thus the frequency of large asteroids is determined by a collisional equilibrium (e.g. Bottke 2005), but for small asteroids with diameters D < ~6 km, the asteroid population evolution model confirms that YORP-induced rotational fission destroys small asteroids more frequently than collisions. Therefore, the frequency of these small asteroids is determined by an equilibrium between the creation of new asteroids out of the impact debris of larger asteroids and the destruction of these asteroids by YORP-induced rotational fission. By introducing a new source of destruction that varies strongly with size, YORP-induced rotational fission alters the slope of the size frequency distribution. Using the outputs of the asteroid population evolution model and a 1-D collision evolution model, we can generate this new size frequency distribution and it matches the change in slope observed by the SKADS survey (Gladman 2009). This agreement is achieved with both an accretional power-law or a truncated “Asteroids were Born Big” size frequency distribution (Weidenschilling 2010, Morbidelli 2009).

  8. The Near-IR Spectrocopy of Two M-Class Main Belt Asteroids, 418 Alemannia and 504 Cora

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, Chalbeth; Hardersen, P. S.; Gaffey, M. J.

    2007-10-01

    418 Alemannia and 504 Cora are two M-class main belt asteroids (Tholen, 1984, 1989) that were observed as part of a comprehensive NIR spectral survey of the main-belt M-class population. Previous studies of M-class asteroids show that while some are spectrally featureless, most exhibit weak 1- and/or 2-micron absorption features that suggest the presence of mafic silicate or oxides minerals such as pyroxene(s), olivine, or spinels. The presence of NiFe metal is often inferred in addition to silicate minerals. Potential meteorite analogs include pallasites, mesosiderites and CO/CV chondrites, although many M-asteroids do not have clear meteorite analogs. Hardersen et al. (2005, 2006, 2007) has discovered significant spectral, mineralogic, and geologic diversity among 28 of the 40 M-class asteroids studied thus far. NIR spectroscopic observations of 418 Alemannia and 504 Cora were collected using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility / SpeX on Mauna Kea, Hawai'I from January 22-24, 2007 UT. NIR spectra of 418 Alemannia display a weak 0.9 micron absorption feature superimposed on an overall reddish spectrum. The average NIR spectrum of 504 Cora exhibits weak 0.9- and 1.9-micron absorption features, suggestive of the presence of surficial pyroxene. A thorough spectral, mineralogic, and dynamical analysis of these asteroids will be presented along with suggestions of any potential meteorite analog. This research is generously supported by NASA Planetary Astronomy Grant NNG05GH01G.

  9. Distribution of spin axes and shape elongations of main-belt asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cibulkova, Helena; Durech, Josef; Vokrouhlicky, David; Kaasalainen, Mikko; Oszkiewicz, Dagmara Anna

    2016-10-01

    Photometric data that are sparse in time (typically few measurements per night over ~15 years) are a potential source of information about shapes and rotational states of asteroids. However, currently available data are usually not accurate enough to derive a unique sidereal rotation period and corresponding shape model by the lightcurve inversion method. To fully utilize sparse-in-time data, we have developed a new simplified model that provides an approximate solution for the orientation of the spin axis (λ, β) and ratios of axes of the ellipsoid, a/b, b/c (asteroids are modelled as geometrically scattering triaxial ellipsoids). The observed values of mean brightness (over one apparition) and the dispersion of brightness are compared with values computed from the model parameters (λ, β, a, b, setting c=1) which are optimized to get the best agreement. The model was applied on the data from Lowell photometric database. We found that the distribution of pole ecliptic longitude λ is nonuniform and that this nonuniformity is larger for asteroids with low inclination of their orbits. The second main result is that small asteroids (D<25 km) are on average more elongated (a/b ~ 1.6) than the large ones (for D>50 km the mean value of a/b is 1.3).

  10. Thermal Intertias of Main-Belt Asteroids from Wise Thermal Infrared Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanus, Josef; Delbo', Marco; Durech, Josef; Alí-Lagoa, Victor

    2014-11-01

    By means of a modified thermophysical model (TPM) that takes into account asteroid shape and pole uncertainties, we analyze the thermal infrared data acquired by the NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) of about 300 asteroids with derived convex shape models. We adopt convex shape models from the DAMIT database (Durech et al., 2010, A&A 513, A46) and present new determinations based on optical disk-integrated photometry and the lightcurve inversion method (Kaasalainen & Torppa, 2001, Icarus 153, 37). This work more than double the number of asteroids with determined thermophysical properties. We also discuss cases in which shape uncertainties prevent the determination of reliable thermophysical properties. This is per-se a novel result, as the effect of shape has been often neglected in thermophysical modeling of asteroids.We also present the main results of the statistical study of derived thermophysical parameters within the whole population of MBAs and within few asteroid families. The thermal inertia increases with decreasing size, but a large range of thermal inertia values is observed within the similar size ranges between 10-100 km. Surprisingly, we derive low (<20J m^{-2} s^{-1/2} K^{-1}) thermal inertia values for several asteroids with sizes D>10 km, indicating a very fine and mature regolith on these small bodies. The work of JH and MD was carried under the contract 11-BS56-008 (SHOCKS) of the French Agence National de la Recherche (ANR), and JD has been supported by the grant GACR P209/10/0537 of the Czech Science Foundation.

  11. Where Do Comets Come From?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Van Flandern, Tom

    1982-01-01

    Proposes a new origin for comets in the solar system, namely, that comets originated in the breakup of a body orbiting the sun in or near the present location of the asteroid belt in the relatively recent past. Predictions related to the theory are discussed. (Author/JN)

  12. PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS OF WISE/NEOWISE 3-BAND CRYOGENIC AND POST-CRYOGENIC OBSERVATIONS OF MAIN BELT ASTEROIDS

    SciTech Connect

    Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Bauer, J. M.; Cabrera, M. S.; Cutri, R. M.; Nugent, C.

    2012-11-01

    We present preliminary diameters and albedos for 13511 Main Belt asteroids (MBAs) that were observed during the 3-Band Cryo phase of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE; after the outer cryogen tank was exhausted) and as part of the NEOWISE Post-Cryo Survey (after the inner cryogen tank was exhausted). With a reduced or complete loss of sensitivity in the two long wavelength channels of WISE, the uncertainty in our fitted diameters and albedos is increased to {approx}20% for diameter and {approx}40% for albedo. Diameter fits using only the 3.4 and 4.6 {mu}m channels are shown to be dependent on the literature optical H absolute magnitudes. These data allow us to increase the number of size estimates for large MBAs which have been identified as members of dynamical families. We present thermal fits for 14 asteroids previously identified as the parents of a dynamical family that were not observed during the fully cryogenic mission.

  13. Craters on comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Oklay, Nilda; Marchi, Simone; Höfner, Sebastian; Sierks, Holger

    2015-03-01

    This paper reviews the observations of crater-like features on cometary nuclei. We compare potential crater sizes and morphologies, and we discuss the probability of impacts between small asteroids in the Main Belt and a comet crossing this region of the Solar System. Finally, we investigate the fate of the impactor and its chances of survival on the nucleus. We find that comets do undergo impacts although the rapid evolution of the surface erases most of the features and make craters difficult to detect. In the case of a collision between a rocky body and a highly porous cometary nucleus, two specific crater morphologies can be formed: a central pit surrounded by a shallow depression, or a pit, deeper than typical craters observed on rocky surfaces. After the impact, it is likely that a significant fraction of the projectile will remain in the crater. During its two years long escort of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ESA's mission Rosetta should be able to detect specific silicates signatures at the bottom of craters or crater-like features, as evidence of this contamination. For large craters, structural changes in the impacted region, in particular compaction of material, will affect the local activity. The increase of tensile strength can extinct the activity by preventing the gas from lifting up dust grains. On the other hand, material compaction can help the heat flux to travel deeper in the nucleus, potentially reaching unexposed pockets of volatiles, and therefore increasing the activity. Ground truth data from Rosetta will help us infer the relative importance of those two effects.

  14. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, David; Neugebauer, Marcia; Weissman, Paul R.

    1989-01-01

    The Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission is designed to answer the many questions raised by the Halley missions by exploring a cometary nucleus in detail, following it around its orbit and studying its changing activity as it moves closer to and then away from the Sun. In addition, on its way to rendezvous with the comet, CRAF will fly by a large, primitive class main belt asteroid and will return valuable data for comparison with the comet results. The selected asteroid is 449 Hamburga with a diameter of 88 km and a surface composition of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. The expected flyby date is January, 1998. The CRAF spacecraft will continue to make measurements in orbit around the cometary nucleus as they both move closer to the Sun, until the dust and gas hazard becomes unsafe. At that point the spacecraft will move in and out between 50 and 2,500 kilometers to study the inner coma and the cometary ionosphere, and to collect dust and gas samples for onboard analysis. Following perihelion, the spacecraft will make a 50,000 km excursion down the comet's tail, further investigating the solar wind interaction with the cometary atmosphere. The spacecraft will return to the vicinity of the nucleus about four months after perihelion to observe the changes that have taken place. If the spacecraft remains healthy and adequate fuel is still onboard, an extended mission to follow the comet nucleus out to aphelion is anticipated.

  15. About origin of comet 55P

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guliyev, R. A.

    2014-12-01

    55P is a periodic comet with an orbital period of 33 years. It fits the classical definition of a Halley-type comet. The comet is the parent body of the Leonid meteor shower. Orbital simulation of the comet's 55P/Tempel-Tuttle orbit for 5000 years before its discovery by a variety of integrators is provided in this work. In particular the idea of capturing the comet 55P by Uranus from the field of long-period comets during the integration period is checked. The hypothesis about its capture from the Kuiper belt for the study period is checked also. Both ideas have not been confirmed.

  16. Perspectives on Comets, Comet-like Asteroids, and Their Predisposition to Provide an Environment That Is Friendly to Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosiek, Katharina; Hausmann, Michael; Hildenbrand, Georg

    2016-04-01

    In recent years, studies have shown that there are many similarities between comets and asteroids. In some cases, it cannot even be determined to which of these groups an object belongs. This is especially true for objects found beyond the main asteroid belt. Because of the lack of comet fragments, more progress has been made concerning the chemical composition of asteroids. In particular, the SMASSII classification establishes a link between the reflecting spectra and chemical composition of asteroids and meteorites. To find clues for the chemical structure of comets, the parameters of all known asteroids of the SMASSII classification were compared to those of comet groups like the Encke-type comets, the Jupiter-family comets, and the Halley-type comets, as well as comet-like objects like the damocloids and the centaurs. Fifty-six SMASSII objects similar to comets were found and are categorized as comet-like asteroids in this work. Aside from the chemistry, it is assumed that the available energy on these celestial bodies plays an important role concerning habitability. For the determination of the available energy, the effective temperature was calculated. Additionally, the size of these objects was considered in order to evaluate the possibility of a liquid water core, which provides an environment that is more likely to support processes necessary to create the building blocks of life. Further study of such objects could be notable for the period of the Late Heavy Bombardment and could therefore provide important implications for our understanding of the inner workings of the prebiotic evolution within the Solar System since the beginning.

  17. Perspectives on Comets, Comet-like Asteroids, and Their Predisposition to Provide an Environment That Is Friendly to Life.

    PubMed

    Bosiek, Katharina; Hausmann, Michael; Hildenbrand, Georg

    2016-04-01

    In recent years, studies have shown that there are many similarities between comets and asteroids. In some cases, it cannot even be determined to which of these groups an object belongs. This is especially true for objects found beyond the main asteroid belt. Because of the lack of comet fragments, more progress has been made concerning the chemical composition of asteroids. In particular, the SMASSII classification establishes a link between the reflecting spectra and chemical composition of asteroids and meteorites. To find clues for the chemical structure of comets, the parameters of all known asteroids of the SMASSII classification were compared to those of comet groups like the Encke-type comets, the Jupiter-family comets, and the Halley-type comets, as well as comet-like objects like the damocloids and the centaurs. Fifty-six SMASSII objects similar to comets were found and are categorized as comet-like asteroids in this work. Aside from the chemistry, it is assumed that the available energy on these celestial bodies plays an important role concerning habitability. For the determination of the available energy, the effective temperature was calculated. Additionally, the size of these objects was considered in order to evaluate the possibility of a liquid water core, which provides an environment that is more likely to support processes necessary to create the building blocks of life. Further study of such objects could be notable for the period of the Late Heavy Bombardment and could therefore provide important implications for our understanding of the inner workings of the prebiotic evolution within the Solar System since the beginning. PMID:26990270

  18. Perspectives on Comets, Comet-like Asteroids, and Their Predisposition to Provide an Environment That Is Friendly to Life.

    PubMed

    Bosiek, Katharina; Hausmann, Michael; Hildenbrand, Georg

    2016-04-01

    In recent years, studies have shown that there are many similarities between comets and asteroids. In some cases, it cannot even be determined to which of these groups an object belongs. This is especially true for objects found beyond the main asteroid belt. Because of the lack of comet fragments, more progress has been made concerning the chemical composition of asteroids. In particular, the SMASSII classification establishes a link between the reflecting spectra and chemical composition of asteroids and meteorites. To find clues for the chemical structure of comets, the parameters of all known asteroids of the SMASSII classification were compared to those of comet groups like the Encke-type comets, the Jupiter-family comets, and the Halley-type comets, as well as comet-like objects like the damocloids and the centaurs. Fifty-six SMASSII objects similar to comets were found and are categorized as comet-like asteroids in this work. Aside from the chemistry, it is assumed that the available energy on these celestial bodies plays an important role concerning habitability. For the determination of the available energy, the effective temperature was calculated. Additionally, the size of these objects was considered in order to evaluate the possibility of a liquid water core, which provides an environment that is more likely to support processes necessary to create the building blocks of life. Further study of such objects could be notable for the period of the Late Heavy Bombardment and could therefore provide important implications for our understanding of the inner workings of the prebiotic evolution within the Solar System since the beginning.

  19. Polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids. II. Results for 58 B- and C-type objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil-Hutton, R.; Cañada-Assandri, M.

    2012-03-01

    Aims: We present results of a polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids at Complejo Astronómico el Leoncito (CASLEO), San Juan, Argentina. The aims of this survey are to increase the database of asteroid polarimetry, to estimate diversity in polarimetric properties of asteroids that belong to different taxonomic classes, and to search for objects that exhibit anomalous polarimetric properties. Methods: The data were obtained with the Torino and CASPROF polarimeters at the 2.15m telescope. The Torino polarimeter is an instrument that allows simultaneous measurement of polarization in five different bands, and the CASPROF polarimeter is a two-hole aperture polarimeter with rapid modulation. Results: The survey began in 2003, and up to 2009 data on a sample of more than 170 asteroids were obtained. In this paper the results for 58 B- and C-type objects are presented, most of them polarimetrically observed for the first time. Using these data we find phase-polarization curves and polarimetric parameters for these taxonomic classes. Based on observations carried out at the Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito, operated under agreement between the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de la República Argentina and the National Universities of La Plata, Córdoba, and San Juan.Tables 1 and 2 are available in electronic form at CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/539/A115

  20. Polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids. I. Results for fifty seven S-, L-, and K-type objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil-Hutton, R.; Cañada-Assandri, M.

    2011-05-01

    Aims: We present the first results of a polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids at Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (Casleo), San Juan, Argentina. The aims of this survey are to increase the database of asteroid polarimetry, to estimate diversity in polarimetric properties of asteroids that belong to different taxonomic classes, and to search for objects that exhibit anomalous polarimetric properties, similar to those shown by the asteroid (234) Barbara. Methods: The data were obtained with the Torino and CASPROF polarimeters at the 2.15 m telescope. The Torino polarimeter is an instrument that allows the simultaneous measurement of polarization in five different bands, and the CASPROF polarimeter is a two-hole aperture polarimeter with rapid modulation. Results: The survey began in 2003, and up to 2009 data on a sample of more than 170 asteroids were obtained. In this paper the results of 57 S-, L-, and K-type objects are presented, most of them are being polarimetrically observed for the first time. Using these data we find phase-polarization curves and polarimetric parameters for these taxonomic classes. Furthermore, we also find two candidates, (397) Vienna and (458) Hercynia, that could have a phase-polarization curve with a large inversion angle. Based on observations carried out at the Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito, operated under agreement between the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de la República Argentina and the National Universities of La Plata, Córdoba, and San Juan.Tables 1 and 2 are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?j/A+A/529/A86

  1. Polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids. IV. New results from the first epoch of the CASLEO survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil-Hutton, R.; Cellino, A.; Bendjoya, Ph.

    2014-09-01

    Aims: We present results of a polarimetric survey of main-belt asteroids at Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (CASLEO), San Juan, Argentina. The aims of this survey are to increase the database of asteroid polarimetry, to estimate diversity in polarimetric properties of asteroids that belong to different taxonomic classes, and to search for objects that exhibit anomalous polarimetric properties. Methods: The data were obtained using the Torino and CASPROF polarimeters at the 2.15m telescope. The Torino polarimeter is an instrument that allows simultaneous measurement of polarization in five different bands, and the CASPROF polarimeter is a two-hole aperture polarimeter with rapid modulation. Results: The survey began in 1995, and until 2012 data on a large sample of asteroids were obtained. We here present and analyze the unpublished results for 129 asteroids of different taxonomic types, 56 which were polarimetrically observed for the first time. We find that the asteroids (402) Chloe and (729) Watsonia are Barbarians, and asteroid (269) Justitia shows a phase - polarization curve that seems to have a small inversion angle. Data obtained in UBVRI colors allow us to sketch an analysis of the wavelength dependence of the degree of linear polarization for 31 asteroids, in spite of some large error bars in some cases. Based on observations carried out at the Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito, operated under agreement between the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de la República Argentina and the National Universities of La Plata, Córdoba, and San Juan.Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/569/A122

  2. Comets in the near-Earth object population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMeo, Francesca; Binzel, Richard P.

    2008-04-01

    Because the lifespan of near-Earth objects (NEOs) is shorter than the age of the Solar System, these objects originate elsewhere. Their most likely sources are the main asteroid belt and comets. Through physical observations we seek to identify potential dormant or extinct comets among "asteroids" catalogued as NEOs and thereby determine the fraction of "comet candidates" within the total NEO population. Both discovery statistics and dynamical models indicate that candidate cometary objects in near-Earth space are predominantly found among those having a jovian Tisserand parameter T<3. Therefore, we seek to identify comet candidates among asteroid-like NEOs using three criteria: T<3, spectral parameters (C, D, T, or P taxonomic types), and/or low (<0.075) albedos. We present new observations for 20 NEOs having T<3, consisting of visible spectra, near-infrared spectra, and/or albedo measurements obtained using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, the Kitt Peak National Observatory 4 m, and the Magellan Observatory 6.5-m. Four of our "asteroid" targets have been subsequently confirmed as low activity comets. Thus our sample includes spectra of the nuclei of Comets 2002 EX12 = 169P (NEAT), 2001 WF2 = 182P (LONEOS), 2003 WY25 = D/1891 W1 (Blanplain), and Halley Family Comet 2006 HR30 = P/2006 HR30 (Siding Spring). From the available literature, we tabulate physical properties for 55 NEOs having T<3, and after accounting for possible bias effects, we estimate that 54±10% of NEOs in T<3 orbits have "comet-like" spectra or albedos. Bias corrected discovery statistics [Stuart, J.S., Binzel, R.P., 2004. Icarus 170, 295-311] estimate 30±5% of the entire NEO population resides in orbits having T<3. Combining these two factors suggests that 16±5% of the total discovered "asteroid-like" NEO population has "comet-like" dynamical and physical properties. Outer main-belt asteroids typically have similar taxonomic and albedo properties as our "comet candidates." Using the model

  3. Mid-infrared Photometric Analysis of Main Belt Asteroids: A Technique for Color-Color Differentiation from Background Astrophysical Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, B.; Noriega-Crespo, A.; Penprase, B. E.; Meadows, V. S.; Salvato, M.; Aussel, H.; Frayer, D.; Ilbert, O.; Le Floc'h, E.; Looper, D.; Surace, J.; Capak, P.; Giorgini, J. D.; Granvik, M.; Grillmair, C.; Hagen, A.; Helou, G.; Reach, W. T.; Rebull, L. M.; Sanders, D. B.; Scoville, N.; Sheth, K.; Yan, L.

    2010-09-01

    The Spitzer Space Telescope routinely detects asteroids in astrophysical observations near the ecliptic plane. For the galactic or extragalactic astronomer, these solar system bodies can introduce appreciable uncertainty into the source identification process. We discuss an infrared color discrimination tool that may be used to distinguish between solar system objects and extrasolar sources. We employ four Spitzer Legacy data sets, the First Look Survey-Ecliptic Plane Component (FLS-EPC), SCOSMOS, SWIRE, and GOODS. We use the Standard Thermal Model to derive FLS-EPC main belt asteroid (MBA) diameters of 1-4 km for the numbered asteroids in our sample and note that several of our solar system sources may have fainter absolute magnitude values than previously thought. A number of the MBAs are detected at flux densities as low as a few tens of μJy at 3.6 μm. As the FLS-EPC provides the only 3.6-24.0 μm observations of individual asteroids to date, we are able to use this data set to carry out a detailed study of asteroid color in comparison to astrophysical sources observed by SCOSMOS, SWIRE, and GOODS. Both SCOSMOS and SWIRE have identified a significant number of asteroids in their data, and we investigate the effectiveness of using relative color to distinguish between asteroids and background objects. We find a notable difference in color in the IRAC 3.6-8.0 mm and MIPS 24 μm bands between the majority of MBAs, stars, galaxies, and active galactic nuclei, though this variation is less significant when comparing fluxes in individual bands. We find median colors for the FLS-EPC asteroids to be [F(5.8/3.6), F(8.0/4.5), F(24/8)] = (4.9 ± 1.8, 8.9 ± 7.4, 6.4 ± 2.3). Finally, we consider the utility of this technique for other mid-infrared observations that are sensitive to near-Earth objects, MBAs, and trans-Neptunian objects. We consider the potential of using color to differentiate between solar system and background sources for several space

  4. MID-INFRARED PHOTOMETRIC ANALYSIS OF MAIN BELT ASTEROIDS: A TECHNIQUE FOR COLOR-COLOR DIFFERENTIATION FROM BACKGROUND ASTROPHYSICAL SOURCES

    SciTech Connect

    Bhattacharya, B.; Helou, G.; Noriega-Crespo, A.; Surace, J.; Capak, P.; Grillmair, C.; Rebull, L. M.; Penprase, B. E.; Meadows, V. S.; Salvato, M.; Aussel, H.; Ilbert, O.; Le Floc'h, E.; Looper, D.; Granvik, M.; Sanders, D. B.; Giorgini, J. D.; Hagen, A.; Reach, W. T.

    2010-09-01

    The Spitzer Space Telescope routinely detects asteroids in astrophysical observations near the ecliptic plane. For the galactic or extragalactic astronomer, these solar system bodies can introduce appreciable uncertainty into the source identification process. We discuss an infrared color discrimination tool that may be used to distinguish between solar system objects and extrasolar sources. We employ four Spitzer Legacy data sets, the First Look Survey-Ecliptic Plane Component (FLS-EPC), SCOSMOS, SWIRE, and GOODS. We use the Standard Thermal Model to derive FLS-EPC main belt asteroid (MBA) diameters of 1-4 km for the numbered asteroids in our sample and note that several of our solar system sources may have fainter absolute magnitude values than previously thought. A number of the MBAs are detected at flux densities as low as a few tens of {mu}Jy at 3.6 {mu}m. As the FLS-EPC provides the only 3.6-24.0 {mu}m observations of individual asteroids to date, we are able to use this data set to carry out a detailed study of asteroid color in comparison to astrophysical sources observed by SCOSMOS, SWIRE, and GOODS. Both SCOSMOS and SWIRE have identified a significant number of asteroids in their data, and we investigate the effectiveness of using relative color to distinguish between asteroids and background objects. We find a notable difference in color in the IRAC 3.6-8.0 mm and MIPS 24 {mu}m bands between the majority of MBAs, stars, galaxies, and active galactic nuclei, though this variation is less significant when comparing fluxes in individual bands. We find median colors for the FLS-EPC asteroids to be [F(5.8/3.6), F(8.0/4.5), F(24/8)] = (4.9 {+-} 1.8, 8.9 {+-} 7.4, 6.4 {+-} 2.3). Finally, we consider the utility of this technique for other mid-infrared observations that are sensitive to near-Earth objects, MBAs, and trans-Neptunian objects. We consider the potential of using color to differentiate between solar system and background sources for several space

  5. Seat Belt Usage in Injured Car Occupants: Injury Patterns, Severity and Outcome After Two Main Car Accident Mechanisms in Kashan, Iran, 2012

    PubMed Central

    Mohammadzadeh, Mahdi; Paravar, Mohammad; Mirzadeh, Azadeh Sadat; Mohammadzadeh, Javad; Mahdian, Soroush

    2015-01-01

    Background: Road traffic accidents (RTAs) are the main public health problems in Iran. The seat belts, which are vehicle safety devices, are imperative to reduce the risk of severe injuries and mortality. Objectives: The aim of the study was to evaluate injury patterns, severity and outcome among belted and unbelted car occupants who were injured in car accidents. Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional prospective study was performed on all car occupants injured in RTAs (n = 822) who were transported to hospital and hospitalized for more than 24 hours from March 2012 to March 2013. Demographic profile of the patients, including age, gender, position in the vehicle, the use of seat belts, type of car crashes, injured body regions, revised trauma score (RTS), Glasgow coma score (GCS), duration of hospital stay and mortality rate were analyzed by descriptive analysis, chi-square and independent t-test. P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: A total of 560 patients used seat belts (68.1%). The unbelted occupants were younger (28 years vs. 38 years) and had more frequently sustained head, abdomen and multiple injuries (P = 0.01, P = 0.01 and P = 0.009, respectively). Also, these patients had significantly lower GCS and elongated hospitalization and higher death rate (P = 0.001, P = 0.001 and P = 0.05, respectively). Tendency of severe head trauma and low RTS and death were increased in unbelted occupants in car rollover accident mechanisms (P = 0.001, P = 0.01 and P = 0.008, respectively). Conclusions: During car crashes, especially car rollover, unbelted occupants are more likely to sustain multiple severe injuries and death. Law enforcement of the seat belt usage for all occupants (front and rear seat) is obligatory to reduce severe injuries sustained as a result of car accidents, especially in vehicles with low safety. PMID:26064867

  6. High-albedo C-complex Asteroids in the Outer Main Belt: The Near-infrared Spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasuga, Toshihiro; Usui, Fumihiko; Ootsubo, Takafumi; Hasegawa, Sunao; Kuroda, Daisuke

    2013-07-01

    Primitive, outer-belt asteroids are generally of low albedo, reflecting carbonaceous compositions like those of CI and CM meteorites. However, a few outer-belt asteroids having high albedos are known, suggesting the presence of unusually reflective surface minerals or, conceivably, even exposed water ice. Here, we present near-infrared (1.1-2.5 μm) spectra of four outer-belt C-complex asteroids with albedos >=0.1. We find no absorption features characteristic of water ice (near 1.5 and 2.0 μm) in the objects. Intimate mixture models set limits to the water ice by weight <=2%. Asteroids (723) Hammonia and (936) Kunigunde are featureless and have (60%-95%) amorphous Mg pyroxenes that might explain the high albedos. Asteroid (1276) Ucclia also shows a featureless reflection spectrum with (50%-60%) amorphous Mg pyroxenes. Asteroid (1576) Fabiola shows a possible weak, broad absorption band (1.5-2.1 μm). The feature can be reproduced by (80%) amorphous Mg pyroxenes or orthopyroxene (crystalline silicate), either of which is likely to cause its high albedo. We discuss the origin of high-albedo components in primitive asteroids.

  7. HIGH-ALBEDO C-COMPLEX ASTEROIDS IN THE OUTER MAIN BELT: THE NEAR-INFRARED SPECTRA

    SciTech Connect

    Kasuga, Toshihiro; Usui, Fumihiko; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ootsubo, Takafumi; Kuroda, Daisuke

    2013-07-01

    Primitive, outer-belt asteroids are generally of low albedo, reflecting carbonaceous compositions like those of CI and CM meteorites. However, a few outer-belt asteroids having high albedos are known, suggesting the presence of unusually reflective surface minerals or, conceivably, even exposed water ice. Here, we present near-infrared (1.1-2.5 {mu}m) spectra of four outer-belt C-complex asteroids with albedos {>=}0.1. We find no absorption features characteristic of water ice (near 1.5 and 2.0 {mu}m) in the objects. Intimate mixture models set limits to the water ice by weight {<=}2%. Asteroids (723) Hammonia and (936) Kunigunde are featureless and have (60%-95%) amorphous Mg pyroxenes that might explain the high albedos. Asteroid (1276) Ucclia also shows a featureless reflection spectrum with (50%-60%) amorphous Mg pyroxenes. Asteroid (1576) Fabiola shows a possible weak, broad absorption band (1.5-2.1 {mu}m). The feature can be reproduced by (80%) amorphous Mg pyroxenes or orthopyroxene (crystalline silicate), either of which is likely to cause its high albedo. We discuss the origin of high-albedo components in primitive asteroids.

  8. Basalt here, basalt there: Constraining the basaltic nature of eight Vp-type asteroids in the inner and outer main asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardersen, Paul Scott; Reddy, Vishnu

    2016-10-01

    The distribution and abundance of basaltic material in the main asteroid belt has multiple implications that impact our understanding of the physical and thermal conditions that existed in the inner solar system during the formation epoch about 4.6 Gyr ago. Subjects impacted by a more accurate basaltic asteroid inventory include the efficacy of current inner solar system heating model predictions (Al-26 and T Tauri induction heating), the existence of differentiated parent bodies other than (4) Vesta, the dispersion efficiency of Vestoids by YORP forces, and the predictive ability of the V-taxonomy in predicting a basaltic surface composition. This work reports on a continuation of an effort to better constrain the basaltic asteroid population in the main asteroid belt with the goal of observing about 650 Vp-type asteroids. This work focuses on two populations: a) those Vp-classified asteroids (Carvano et al., 2010) in the spatial vicinity of (4) Vesta (candidate Vestoids) in the inner main belt, and b) Vp-classified asteroids in the outer main belt beyond 2.5 AU. Thus far, 23 Vp-type asteroids and candidate Vestoids have been observed and analyzed, which are all strongly suggestive of a basaltic surface composition (Hardersen et al., 2014, 2015, 2016 (in preparation)). However, unpublished work is beginning to show that the Vp taxonomic class is less accurate in its ability to identify basaltic surface compositions in outer-belt Vp-type asteroids. We report here on an additional set of Vp-type asteroids that were observed at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) in December 2015 and January 2016. All observations were obtained with the SpeX spectrograph in prism mode with spectral range from 0.7 to 2.5 microns. They include (4900) Maymelou, (7302) 1993 CQ, (9064) Johndavies, (9531) Jean-Luc, (11341) Babbage, (17480) 1991 PE10, (20171) 1996 WC2, and (25849) 2000 ET107. We present average near-infrared (NIR) reflectance spectra of each asteroid, determine the

  9. Size and Perihelion Distribution of S and Q-type Asteroid Spectral Slopes from the Near Earth Region Through the Main Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graves, Kevin; Minton, David A.; Hirabayashi, Masatoshi; Carry, Benoit; DeMeo, Francesca E.

    2016-10-01

    High resolution spectral observations of small S-type and Q-type Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) have shown two important trends. The spectral slope of these asteroids, which is a good indication of the amount of space weathering the surface has received, has been shown to decrease with decreasing perihelion and size. Specifically, these trends show that there are less weathered surfaces at low perihelion and small sizes. With recent results from all-sky surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's (SDSS) Moving Object Catalog, we have gained an additional data set to test the presence of these trends in the NEAs as well as the Mars Crossers (MCs) and the Main Belt. We use an analog to the spectral slope in the SDSS data which is the slope through the g', r' and i' filters, known as the gri-slope, to investigate the amount of weathering that is present among small asteroids throughout the inner solar system. We find that the trend of the gri-slope decreases with decreasing size at nearly the same rate in the Main Belt as in the MC and NEA regions. We propose that these results suggest a ubiquitous presence of Q-types and S-types with low spectral slopes at small sizes throughout the inner solar system, from the Main Belt to the NEA region. Additionally, we suggest that the trend of decreasing spectral slope with perihelion may only be valid at perihelia of approximately less than 1 AU. These results suggest a change in the interpretation for the formation of Q-type asteroids. Planetary encounters may help to explain the high fraction of Q-types at low perihelia, but another process which is present everywhere must also be refreshing the surfaces of these asteroids. We suggest the Yarkovsky–O'Keefe–Radzievskii–Paddack (YORP) effect as a possible mechanism.

  10. Results of Observations of Occultations of Stars by Main-Belt and Trojan Asteroids, and the Promise of Gaia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunham, David W.; Herald, David Russell; Preston, Steven; Loader, Brian; Bixby Dunham, Joan

    2016-10-01

    objects of the highest scientific interest, including some comets.

  11. YORP and collisional shaping of the sub-populations, rotation rate and size-frequency distributions in the main-belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, A.; Marzari, F.; Scheeres, D.; Jacobson, S.; Davis, D.

    In the last several years a comprehensive asteroid-population-evolution model was developed incorporating both the YORP effect and collisional evolution \\citep{rossi_2009}, \\citep{marz_2011}, \\citep{jac_mnras}. From the results of this model we were able to match the observed main belt rotation rate distribution and to give a first plausible explanation of the observed excess of slow rotators, through a random walk-like evolution of the spin, induced by repeated collisions with small projectiles. Moreover, adding to the model the rotational fission hypothesis (i.e. when the rotation rate exceeds a critical value, erosion and binary formation occur; \\citealt{sch_2007}) and binary-asteroid evolution \\citep{jac_sch}, we first showed that the YORP-induced rotational-fission hypothesis has strong repercussions for the small size end of the main-belt asteroid size-frequency distribution. We also concluded that this hypothesis is consistent with observed asteroid-population statistics and with the observed sub-populations of binary asteroids, asteroid pairs and contact binaries. An overview of the results obtained, the modelling uncertainties and the ongoing work will be given.

  12. Overall hydrochemical characterization of the Iberian Pyrite Belt. Main acid mine drainage-generating sources (Huelva, SW Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grande, J. A.; de la Torre, M. L.; Cerón, J. C.; Beltrán, R.; Gómez, T.

    2010-09-01

    SummaryAMD is an anthropogenic process caused by sulfide mineralization and the increase in the contact surface due to mining activity and grain-size reduction. In Spain, the contamination comes from the metal sulfide mines in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB). Spreading over an area 230 km long and approximately 50 km wide, it is one of the largest metallogenic regions in the world, with massive sulfide reserves of about 1700 Mt. In the present study we will characterize AMD contamination processes in the IPB, especially by As, by identifying the sources responsible for these processes (active mines and effluents from mines and slag heaps) in the basins of the Tinto and Odiel rivers. It is also the aim of this study to discover the mineral associations of the deposits. The study of the AMD process generating source is complemented with hydrochemical characterization of the effluents produced, which will be carried out by means of sample-taking and subsequent chemical analysis and statistical treatment (cluster analysis). Characteristics in common with samples taken in other AMD-affected watercourses are observed in the seven zones defined in the study area. With respect to the samples studied, obvious differences can also be found. These differences are inherent to the mineral associations, watershed and distance to the generating source and, ultimately, to the affected area, and the type, intensity and duration of the mine treatment process developed in the acid-producing area.

  13. Atlas of Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoyan, Ronald; Dunlop, Storm

    2015-01-01

    Foreword; Using this book; Part I. Introduction: Cometary beliefs and fears; Comets in art; Comets in literature and poetry; Comets in science; Cometary science today; Great comets in antiquity; Great comets of the Middle Ages; Part II. The 30 Greatest Comets of Modern Times: The Great Comet of 1471; Comet Halley 1531; The Great Comet of 1556; The Great Comet of 1577; Comet Halley, 1607; The Great Comet of 1618; The Great Comet of 1664; Comet Kirch, 1680; Comet Halley, 1682; The Great Comet of 1744; Comet Halley, 1759; Comet Messier, 1769; Comet Flaugergues, 1811; Comet Halley, 1835; The Great March Comet of 1843; Comet Donati, 1858; Comet Tebbutt, 1861; The Great September Comet of 1882; The Great January Comet of 1910; Comet Halley, 1910; Comet Arend-Roland, 1956; Comet Ikeya-Seki, 1965; Comet Bennett, 1970; Comet Kohoutek, 1973-4; Comet West, 1976; Comet Halley, 1986; Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, 1994; Comet Hyakutake, 1996; Comet Hale-Bopp, 1997; Comet McNaught, 2007; Part III. Appendices; Table of comet data; Glossary; References; Photo credits; Index.

  14. Physical observations of comets: Their composition, origin and evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cochran, Anita L.; Barker, Edwin S.; Cochran, William D.

    1991-01-01

    The composition, origins, and evolution of comets were studied. The composition was studied using spectroscopic observations of primarily brighter comets at moderate and high resolution for the distribution of certain gases in the coma. The origins was addressed through an imaging search for the Kuiper belt of comets. The evolution was addressed by searching for a link between comets and asteroids using an imaging approach to search for an OH coma.

  15. Cometary Volatiles and the Origin of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    A'Hearn, Michael F.; Feaga, Lori M.; Keller, H. Uwe; Kawakita, Hideyo; Hampton, Donald L.; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Meech, Karen J.; Schultz, Peter H.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph; Yeomans, Donald K.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Farnham, Tony L.; Groussin, Olivier; Kelley, Michael S.; Lisse, Carey M.; Merlin, Frederic; Protopapa, Silvia; Wellnitz, Dennis D.

    2012-01-01

    We describe recent results on the CO/C02/H2O composition of comets and compare these with models of the protoplanetary disk. We argue that the cometary observations require reactions on grain surfaces to convert CO to CO2 and also require formation between the CO and CO2 snow lines. This then requires very early mixing of cometesimals in the protoplanetary disk analogous to the mixing described for the asteroid belt by Walsh and Morbidelli. We suggest that most comets formed in the region of the giant planets. the traditional source of the Oort-cloud comets but not of the Jupiter-family comets

  16. Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnham, Robert

    2000-05-01

    Spectacular and mysterious objects that come and go in the night sky, comets have dwelt in our popular culture for untold ages. As remnants from the formation of the Solar system, they are objects of key scientific research and space missions. As one of nature's most potent and dramatic dangers, they pose a threat to our safety--and yet they were the origin of our oceans and perhaps even life itself. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the biggest and most awe-inspiring of all comets: those that have earned the title "Great." Robert Burnham focuses on the Great comets Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997, which gripped attention worldwide because, for many, they were the first comets ever seen. He places these two recent comets in the context of their predecessors from past ages, among them the famous Comet Halley. Great Comets explains the exciting new discoveries that have come from these magnificent objects and profiles the spaceprobes to comets due for launch in the next few years. The book even takes a peek behind Hollywood's science-fiction fantasies to assess the real risks humanity faces from potential impacts of both comets and asteroids. For everyone interested in astronomy, this exciting book reveals the secrets of the Great Comets and provides essential tools for keeping up to date with comet discoveries in the future. Robert Burnham has been an amateur astronomer since the mid-1950s. He has been a senior editor of Astronomy magazine (1986-88) and is the author of many books and CD-ROMS, including Comet Hale-Bopp: Find and Enjoy the Great Comet and Comet Explorer.

  17. Conveyor belt plow for ideal belt cleaning

    SciTech Connect

    Michaelsen, W.J.

    1982-05-01

    The accumulation of excess material around the return drum of a conveyor arises from an inefficient belt plow. The frequency with which this problem occurs would indicate a design problem rather than faulty installation or negligent maintenance. The reasons for the poor operation of the plow become obvious after applying basic physical principles. Simple and cheap improvements can be implemented to improve plow performance. To be effective, a plow should be installed either near the tail end, to protect the return drum, or ahead of the automatic belt tensioning device, to prevent spillage from falling onto the take-up pulley. In order to perform well, the scraping blade of the plow must be in continuous contact with the belt across its full width, having contact pressure as uniform as possible. It has been proven, though, that uniform contact pressure cannot be achieved under operating conditions with the standard arrangement shown in Figure 1. There are two solutions to this problem which can be carried out in most mine workshops and help reduce belt downtime. All too often an ineffective plow allows material to be needlessly trapped against the belt, causing excessive wear and, ultimately, tearing the belt. Even with highly experienced belt crews, a short stoppage in the main belt can have serious effects throughout the mine. An efficient plow means a cleaner running belt.

  18. Comet or Asteroid?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-11-01

    /1996n2pw.html - Are They Comets or Asteroids? (adapted version of article by Stuart J. Goldman in Sky & Telescope, November 1996) * http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/~graff/pressreleases/1996PW.html - Two Unusual Objects: 1996 PW and C/1996 N2 (Press information from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA), Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) * Abstract of research article : Origin and Evolution of the Unusual Object 1996 PW: Asteroids from the Oort Cloud? by Paul R. Weissman and Harold F. Levison * Abstract of research article : The Main Asteroid Belt - Comet Graveyard or Nursery? by Mark Hammergren * Preprint of research article : The Lightcurve and Colours of Unusual Minor Planet 1996 PW by J.K. Davies et al. This Press Release is accompanied by ESO PR Photo 31a/97 [JPG, 120k] , ESO PR Photo 31b/97 [JPG, 45k] and ESO PR Photo 31c/97 [JPG, 52k]. A larger version of ESO PR Photo 31c/97 [JPG, 384k] is also available. They may be reproduced, if credit is given to the European Southern Observatory. How to obtain ESO Press Information ESO Press Information is made available on the World-Wide Web (URL: http://www.eso.org ).

  19. The state of knowledge concerning the Kuiper belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levison, Harold F.

    1992-01-01

    The arguments for and against the idea that most short-period comets originate in the Kuiper belt are discussed. Observational constraints on the distribution of mass in the Kuiper belt are reviewed as well as a model of the physical conditions that now exist. Finally, predictions from this model about the detectability of the Kuiper belt are compared to optical surveys.

  20. COLOR SYSTEMATICS OF COMETS AND RELATED BODIES

    SciTech Connect

    Jewitt, David

    2015-12-15

    Most comets are volatile-rich bodies that have recently entered the inner solar system following long-term storage in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud reservoirs. These reservoirs feed several distinct, short-lived “small body” populations. Here, we present new measurements of the optical colors of cometary and comet-related bodies including long-period (Oort cloud) comets, Damocloids (probable inactive nuclei of long-period comets) and Centaurs (recent escapees from the Kuiper belt and precursors to the Jupiter family comets). We combine the new measurements with published data on short-period comets, Jovian Trojans and Kuiper belt objects to examine the color systematics of the comet-related populations. We find that the mean optical colors of the dust in short-period and long-period comets are identical within the uncertainties of measurement, as are the colors of the dust and of the underlying nuclei. These populations show no evidence for scattering by optically small particles or for compositional gradients, even at the largest distances from the Sun, and no evidence for ultrared matter. Consistent with earlier work, ultrared surfaces are common in the Kuiper belt and on the Centaurs, but not in other small body populations, suggesting that this material is hidden or destroyed upon entry to the inner solar system. The onset of activity in the Centaurs and the disappearance of the ultrared matter in this population begin at about the same perihelion distance (∼10 AU), suggesting that the two are related. Blanketing of primordial surface materials by the fallback of sub-orbital ejecta, for which we calculate a very short timescale, is the likely mechanism. The same process should operate on any mass-losing body, explaining the absence of ultrared surface material in the entire comet population.

  1. Anatomy of a Busted Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Poster Version (Figure 1)

    NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope captured the picture on the left of comet Holmes in March 2008, five months after the comet suddenly erupted and brightened a millionfold overnight. The contrast of the picture has been enhanced on the right to show the anatomy of the comet.

    Every six years, comet 17P/Holmes speeds away from Jupiter and heads inward toward the sun, traveling the same route typically without incident. However, twice in the last 116 years, in November 1892 and October 2007, comet Holmes mysteriously exploded as it approached the asteroid belt. Astronomers still do not know the cause of these eruptions.

    Spitzer's infrared picture at left hand side of figure 1, reveals fine dust particles that make up the outer shell, or coma, of the comet. The nucleus of the comet is within the bright whitish spot in the center, while the yellow area shows solid particles that were blown from the comet in the explosion. The comet is headed away from the sun, which lies beyond the right-hand side of figure 1.

    The contrast-enhanced picture on the right shows the comet's outer shell, and strange filaments, or streamers, of dust. The streamers and shell are a yet another mystery surrounding comet Holmes. Scientists had initially suspected that the streamers were small dust particles ejected from fragments of the nucleus, or from hyerpactive jets on the nucleus, during the October 2007 explosion. If so, both the streamers and the shell should have shifted their orientation as the comet followed its orbit around the sun. Radiation pressure from the sun should have swept the material back and away from it. But pictures of comet Holmes taken by Spitzer over time show the streamers and shell in the same configuration, and not pointing away from the sun. The observations have left astronomers stumped.

    The horizontal line seen in the contrast-enhanced picture is a trail of debris

  2. Gas, Dust, and Nuclei: Cometary Types in the Largest IR Survey of Comets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, James; Kramer, Emily; Mainzer, Amy; Grav, Tommy; Masiero, Joseph; Stevenson, Rachel; Nugent, Carrie; Sonnett, Sarah

    2015-08-01

    Space-based infrared (IR) surveys of objects have the potential to yield rich data sets for any particular class of small body. Thermal IR measurements often yield the most fundamental of astrophysical properties, the object’s size. When these data are synergistically combined with shorter-wavelength observations, the albedos of these bodies can be determined. The interpretation of IR observations of cometary bodies are more complicated, since their activity may obscure the bare surfaces of their nuclei. Yet space-based IR surveys provide the opportunity to observe this emitted dust and gas at wavelengths and sensitivities not possible from the ground.With the 163 comets detected during the WISE prime mission, and the more than 60 comets seen in the first year of data since the NEOWISE reactivated mission, the combined sample represents the largest survey of comets in the mid-IR. These data of over 200 comets provide dust particle size constraints and dust reflectance measurements, as well as nucleus size measurements. They are sensitive to the presence of the rarely observed gas species, CO2, directly detectable only from above the Earth’s atmosphere, and to the presence of CO emission, which is difficult to view from the ground. The data contain large samples of major cometary types (long-period and short-period comets), as well as smaller samples of Halley-type comets, Main Belt comets, and Near Earth comets, observed at multiple epochs, and so provide an unprecedentedly comprehensive view of the different comet populations.

  3. Analysis of pinnate joints in the Mount Desert Island granite: Implications for postintrusion kinematics in the coastal volcanic belt, Maine

    SciTech Connect

    Engelder, T. )

    1989-06-01

    The mount desert Island granite is cut by fractures displaying one of four types of surface morphology: (1) smooth to undulatory; (2) stepped in the form of en echelon cracks; (3) striated with linear fibers; and (4) irregular with cataclastic grains. These surfaces belong to joints, host fractures with pinnate joints, reactivated joints or fractures, and deformation bands (shear fractures), respectively. Pinnate joints, like striations on slickensides, are structures indicative of the orientation of a the slip vector and sense of shear on host fractures. Although fractures in the Mount Desert Island granite cluster into two major sets (N20{degree}W and N45{degree}E), host fractures with pinnate joints and shear fractures favor the N45{degree}E orientation. A kinematic analysis of the pinnate joints indicates a predominantly dextral strike-slip sense of movement on northeast-trending fractures. This result agrees with previous work suggesting that a prominent postintrusion tectonic event in southeast Maine consisted of dextral strike-slip motion on northeast-trending faults.

  4. THERMAL SHADOWS AND COMPOSITIONAL STRUCTURE IN COMET NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurelie; Jewitt, David E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu

    2011-12-10

    We use a fully three-dimensional thermal evolution model to examine the effects of a non-uniform surface albedo on the subsurface thermal structure of comets. Surface albedo markings cast 'thermal shadows' with strong lateral thermal gradients. Corresponding compositional gradients can be strong, especially if the crystallization of amorphous water ice is triggered in the hottest regions. We show that the spatial extent of the structure depends mainly on the obliquity, thermal conductivity, and heliocentric distance. In some circumstances, subsurface structure caused by the thermal shadows of surface features can be maintained for more than 10 Myr, the median transport time from the Kuiper Belt to the inner solar system. Non-uniform compositional structure can be an evolutionary product and does not necessarily imply that comets consist of building blocks accumulated in different regions of the protoplanetary disk.

  5. Statistics of the heights of reflecting points of meteor trails for the faint meteors with the aphelion of orbits in the main asteroid belt in accordance with the KHNURE database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolomiyets, Svitlana

    2015-08-01

    Meteoric matter in the Earth atmosphere is a multi-component according to the source of origin. One possible source of meteoroids can be asteroids of the main belt. There are two approaches to the allocation of these meteoroids. The first approach is based on the orbital characteristics of meteoroids. The second approach involves analyzing the height at which the meteoroid was recorded. This paper examines the heights of reflecting points of meteor trails for the faint radio meteors (recorded in Kharkiv in 1972-1978) depending on the eccentricity of their orbits. We separately analyzed the array of meteor orbits with the aphelion, which lie in the main asteroid belt.

  6. Halley's Comet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, Tom

    1985-01-01

    Provides tips for viewing Comet Halley in the Northeast including best viewing dates from November 1985-January 1986. Discusses going south to view the comet in March-April 1986 and gives specific information about accommodations for the Halley Rally in Everglades National Park, southernmost site in the contiguous 48 states. (JHZ)

  7. Remote sensing of comets and asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFadden, L. A.

    1995-07-01

    In the past Quadrennium, we have observed a fragmented comet collide with Jupiter, and discovered a population of objects of the order of hundreds of kilometers in diameter beyond the orbit of Neptune, a probable source region of short period comets. We are still in the age of discovery as studies of the solar system continue. The discovery of many small asteroids with the same surface composition as the second largest main belt asteroid, 4 Vesta, has opened our eyes to a pathway by which certain meteorites reach earth and by which asteroids collide and their orbits evolve. This evidence for delivery of meteorites was found by pushing existing observing techniques to their limits. An expanded capability for detecting returned radar echoes from asteroids permits the extraction of basic information about their position, shape, spin state, size and surface texture which is equivalent to that acquired from a flyby of a robotic spacecraft. We will never send spacecraft to as many asteroids as can be studied from the ground, so the contributions of ground-based astronomy at all wavelengths provides insights into the chemical and physical diversity of the asteroids and comets. Remote sensing is carried out by ground-based and Earth-orbiting telescopic studies, and robotic spacecraft traveling through the solar system. In the past Quadrennium, we have viewed data returned from two main belt asteroid flybys missions which represent the transition of asteroids as targets of astronomical study t o subjects of geological study. Scientists using the Galileo spacecraft additionally made the serendipitous discovery of Dactyl, a satellite of 243 Ida, the first direct proof that satellites orbit asteroids. The significant advances discussed below have occurred because of 1) chance discovery (the discovery of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 and Dactyl), 2) the interaction between theoretical predictions and observational programs (discovery of trans- Neptunian objects, 3) the use of

  8. Dating slate belts using 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and zircon ages from crosscutting plutons: A case study from east-central Maine, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghanem, Hind; Kunk, Michael; Ludman, Allan; Bish, David; Wintsch, Robert

    2016-04-01

    Determining the tectonic significance of slate belts is a persistent problem in many orogenic belts because of the lack of time constraints on the age of deposition and the age(s) of cleavages. We have solved this problem in east-central Maine where the ages of the regional Acadian cleavage (S1) and local ductile fault zone cleavage (S2) were both constrained using 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and the ages of crosscutting plutons. Applying 40Ar/39Ar geochronology to rocks with multiple generations of muscovite was possible because each cleavage-forming muscovite records a crystallization age rather than a cooling age due to the low grade of regional metamorphism. Evidence for metamorphic crystallization in rocks dominated by regional Acadian cleavage (S1) comes from the truncations of detrital and authigenic muscovite and chlorite grains by new muscovite and chlorite grains that define the S1 foliation. In rocks that display two foliations, the evidence comes from the truncations of chlorite and muscovite grains defining all earlier fabrics by new muscovite grains in the younger folia (S2). Step-heating experiments using the 40Ar/39Ar technique on twelve samples all yielded sigmoidal age spectra. The low-temperature steps produced a hump in the age spectra, indicating 39Ar recoil into adjacent interlayered chlorite grains, the latter interlayering confirmed by back-scattered electron imaging. Continuing steps climbed steadily from those with minimum apparent ages as young as ~381 Ma to steps with maximum ages as old as 466 Ma. The samples with the lowest minimum apparent age steps are those in which the S2 cleavage-forming mica population dominates. In contrast, the oldest apparent age steps are from samples that have the highest modal abundance of detrital micas. The Middle Ordovician age of the maximum age steps is interpreted to be the minimum cooling age of the detrital micas. The minimum 40Ar/39Ar age steps of muscovite in the samples that display only S1 cleavage

  9. The binary Kuiper-belt object 1998 WW31.

    PubMed

    Veillet, Christian; Parker, Joel Wm; Griffin, Ian; Marsden, Brian; Doressoundiram, Alain; Buie, Marc; Tholen, David J; Connelley, Michael; Holman, Matthew J

    2002-04-18

    The recent discovery of a binary asteroid during a spacecraft fly-by generated keen interest, because the orbital parameters of binaries can provide measures of the masses, and mutual eclipses could allow us to determine individual sizes and bulk densities. Several binary near-Earth, main-belt and Trojan asteroids have subsequently been discovered. The Kuiper belt-the region of space extending from Neptune (at 30 astronomical units) to well over 100 AU and believed to be the source of new short-period comets-has become a fascinating new window onto the formation of our Solar System since the first member object, not counting Pluto, was discovered in 1992 (ref. 13). Here we report that the Kuiper-belt object 1998 WW31 is binary with a highly eccentric orbit (eccentricity e approximately 0.8) and a long period (about 570 days), very different from the Pluto/Charon system, which was hitherto the only previously known binary in the Kuiper belt. Assuming a density in the range of 1 to 2 g cm-3, the albedo of the binary components is between 0.05 and 0.08, close to the value of 0.04 generally assumed for Kuiper-belt objects. PMID:11961547

  10. The Lockne - Målingen doublet impacts, the result of a binary asteroid from the 470 Ma Main Asteroid Belt event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturkell, E. C.; Ormo, J.; Alwmark, C.; Melosh, H., IV

    2015-12-01

    Approximately 470 million years ago one of the largest cosmic catastrophes occurred in our solar system since the accretion of the planets. A 200-km large asteroid was disrupted by a collision in the Main Asteroid Belt (MAB), which spawned fragments into Earth crossing orbits. This had tremendous consequences for the meteorite production and cratering rate during several millions of years following the event. The 7.5-km wide Lockne crater, central Sweden, is known to be a member of this family. The 600 m large Lockne asteroid was a binary and had a companion in space by a smaller 150 m satellite. The recent discovery of the nearby, 0.7-km diameter, synchronous Målingen crater suggests it to form a doublet impact structure together with the larger Lockne crater, and as we will show here, most likely by a binary, 'rubble pile' asteroid. Despite observational evidence that about 16% of the Near Earth Asteroids (NEA's) are binary, only a handful of the approximately 188 known craters on Earth have been suggested as potential doublets. The stratigraphic and geographic relationship with Lockne suggests the Lockne and Målingen craters to be the first described doublet impact structure by a binary asteroid into a marine-target setting. In addition, the precise dating of the Lockne-Målingen impact in relation to the MAB breakup event provides a hands-on reference for studies of the formation of binaries from asteroid breakup events.

  11. Ground-Based Centimeter, Millimeter, and Submillimeter Observations of Recent Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milam, S. N.; Chuang, Y.-L.; Charnley, S. B.; Kuan, Y. -J.; Villanueva, G. L.; Coulson, I. M.; Remijan. A. R.

    2012-01-01

    Comets provide important clues to the physical and chemical processes that occurred during the formation and early evolution of the Solar System, and could also have been important for initiating prebiotic chemistry on the early Earth [I]. Comets are comprised of molecular ices, that may be pristine interstellar remnants of Solar System formation, along with high-temperature crystalline silicate dust that is indicative of a more thermally varied history in the protosolar nebula [2]. Comparing abundances of cometary parent volatiles, and isotopic fractionation ratios, to those found in the interstellar medium, in disks around young stars, and between cometary families, is vital to understanding planetary system formation and the processing history experienced by organic matter in the so-called interstellar-comet connection [3]. In the classical picture, the long-period comets probably formed in the nebular disk across the giant planet formation region (5-40 AU) with the majority of them originating from the Uranus-Neptune region. They were subsequently scattered out to the Oort Cloud (OC) by Jupiter. The short-period comets (also known as ecliptic or Jupiter Family Comets - JFC) reside mainly in the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt where they were formed. Given the gradient in physical conditions expected across this region of the nebula, chemical diversity in this comet population is to be expected [4,5]. We have conducted observations of comets I 03P/Hartley 2 (JFC) and C/2009 PI (Garradd) (OC), at primarily millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths, to determine important cosmogonic quantities, such as the ortho:para ratio and isotope ratios, as well as probe the origin of cometary organics and if they vary between the two dynamic reservoirs.

  12. Halley's Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newburn, R. L., Jr.; Yeomans, D. K.

    1982-01-01

    Since 240 B.C., Chinese observers have documented a nearly unbroken record of scientifically useful observations of Periodic Comet Halley (P/Halley). Investigations of the comet's motion by Western astronomers are discussed, taking into account the first successful prediction of a cometary return by Halley (1705), computations conducted by Rosenberger (1830), and studies performed by Cowell and Crommelin (1910). Comet Halley's motion and nongravitational forces are considered along with meteor showers associated with P/Halley. The physical properties of P/Halley are examined, giving attention to the visual observations, the light curve of P/Halley, the coma, the tails, direct photographs, spectrograms, and the emission spectrum of P/Halley. Other subjects explored are related to the cometary nucleus, the mass of P/Halley, the rotation period and axial inclination, the composition, a nominal model of P/Halley's coma, and plans for investigations in connection with the coming apparition of Comet Halley.

  13. Comet culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lusher, Rebekah

    2011-10-01

    Rebekah Lusher describes an exhibition in the new Caroline Lucretia Gallery at the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath: Omens and Inspirations: Ice, Dust and Fire - the Story of the Great Comet of 1811.

  14. A Post-Stardust Mission View of Jupiter Family Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zolensky, M.

    2011-01-01

    Before the Stardust Mission, many persons (including the mission team) believed that comet nuclei would be geologically boring objects. Most believed that comet nucleus mineralogy would be close or identical to the chondritic interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), or perhaps contain mainly amorphous nebular condensates or that comets might even be composed mainly of preserved presolar material [1]. Amazingly, the results for Comet Wild 2 (a Jupiter class comet) were entirely different. Whether this particular comet will ultimately be shown to be typical or atypical will not be known for a rather long time, so we describe our new view of comets from the rather limited perspective of this single mission.

  15. Spectral diversity and photometric behavior of main-belt and near-Earth vestoids and (4) Vesta: A study in preparation for the Dawn encounter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hicks, Michael D.; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Lawrence, Kenneth J.; Hillier, John; Li, Jian-Yang; Reddy, Vishnu; Schröder, Stefan; Nathues, Andreas; Hoffmann, Martin; Corre, Lucille Le; Duffard, Rene; Zhao, Hai-Bin; Raymond, Carol; Russell, Christopher; Roatsch, Thomas; Jaumann, Ralf; Rhoades, Heath; Mayes, Deronda; Barajas, Tzitlaly; Truong, Thien-Tin; Foster, James; McAuley, Amanda

    2014-06-01

    In anticipation of the Dawn Mission to 4 Vesta, we conducted a ground-based campaign of Bessel BVRI filter photometry of five V-type near-Earth asteroids over a wide range of solar phase angles. We also obtained medium-resolution optical spectroscopy (0.38 μm < λ < 0.92 μm; R ˜ 500) of sixteen near-Earth and main-belt V-type asteroids in order to investigate their spectral diversity and to draw connections between spacecraft data of Vesta and V-type asteroids. Our disk-integrated photometry extended the excursion in solar phase angle beyond the maximum of 24° available from Earth for Vesta to 87°, which is more typical of the geometry during the Dawn approach and mapping phases. The majority of our broad-band observations were obtained at the JPL 0.6-m Table Mountain Observatory but multiple nights were also contributed by the Calar Alto 1.2-m and 2.2-m telescopes, as well as by the Purple Mountain 1-m Schmidt. Our results include a determination of rotation periods for 4 asteroids, identification of a binary candidate and four new V-type asteroids, including a confirmation of two main-belt V-type asteroids beyond the Jupiter 1:3 resonance (Cruikshank, D.P., Tholen, D.J., Bell, J.F., Hartmann, W.K., Brown, R.H. [1991]. Icarus 89, 1-13; Lazzaro, D. et al. [2000]. Science 288, 2033-2035; Roig, F., Gil-Hutton, R. [2006]. Icarus 183(2), 411-419; Moskovitz, N.A., Jedicke, R., Gaidos, E., Willman, M., Nesvorný, D., Fevig, R., Ivezić, Ž. [2008]. Icarus 198, 77-90). This latter finding supports the hypothesis that some vestoids may be crustal fragments of a disrupted basaltic parent body compositionally similar to 4 Vesta. We also obtained rotationally resolved medium resolution spectra of Vesta during the Dawn orbit insertion phase, which will be valuable for calibration and comparison of spacecraft data. Modeling of a composite V-type asteroid phase curve yielded a generic photometric model for V asteroids. We also find that a significant amount of the spectral

  16. Both size-frequency distribution and sub-populations of the main-belt asteroid population are consistent with YORP-induced rotational fission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, S.; Scheeres, D.; Rossi, A.; Marzari, F.; Davis, D.

    2014-07-01

    From the results of a comprehensive asteroid-population-evolution model, we conclude that the YORP-induced rotational-fission hypothesis has strong repercussions for the small size end of the main-belt asteroid size-frequency distribution and is consistent with observed asteroid-population statistics and with the observed sub-populations of binary asteroids, asteroid pairs and contact binaries. The foundation of this model is the asteroid-rotation model of Marzari et al. (2011) and Rossi et al. (2009), which incorporates both the YORP effect and collisional evolution. This work adds to that model the rotational fission hypothesis (i.e. when the rotation rate exceeds a critical value, erosion and binary formation occur; Scheeres 2007) and binary-asteroid evolution (Jacobson & Scheeres, 2011). The YORP-effect timescale for large asteroids with diameters D > ˜ 6 km is longer than the collision timescale in the main belt, thus the frequency of large asteroids is determined by a collisional equilibrium (e.g. Bottke 2005), but for small asteroids with diameters D < ˜ 6 km, the asteroid-population evolution model confirms that YORP-induced rotational fission destroys small asteroids more frequently than collisions. Therefore, the frequency of these small asteroids is determined by an equilibrium between the creation of new asteroids out of the impact debris of larger asteroids and the destruction of these asteroids by YORP-induced rotational fission. By introducing a new source of destruction that varies strongly with size, YORP-induced rotational fission alters the slope of the size-frequency distribution. Using the outputs of the asteroid-population evolution model and a 1-D collision evolution model, we can generate this new size-frequency distribution and it matches the change in slope observed by the SKADS survey (Gladman 2009). This agreement is achieved with both an accretional power-law or a truncated ''Asteroids were Born Big'' size-frequency distribution

  17. Belt-driven conveyor belts

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1984-01-01

    An intermediate belt drive system offers a number of advantages over conventional systems, including lower power requirements and the ability to use lower quality, cheaper, conveyor belts. The advantages of a correctly designed belt conveyor with end pulley drives are included.

  18. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission: A status report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.; Neugebauer, Marcia

    1991-01-01

    The Comet Rendezvous Asteroid Flyby (CRAF) mission received a new start in fiscal year 1990. CRAF will match orbits with an active short-period comet and follow it around the Sun, making scientific measurements of the nucleus, coma, and tail. The Imaging system will map the nucleus surface at a resolution of 1 meter/line-pair or better, while Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) and Thermal Infrared Radiometer Experiment (TIREX) will produce spectral and thermal maps of the surface. Onboard instruments will collect cometary dust, ice, and gases and perform elemental and molecular analysis. A suite of fields and particles instruments will observe the solar wind interaction with the cometary atmosphere and tail. Radio tracking of the spacecraft will provide an accurate measure of the nucleus mass and higher harmonics in the comet's gravity field. En route to the comet, the spacecraft will make a close flyby of a large asteroid, preferably a primitive type from the outer main belt. Observations at the asteroid include remote sensing mapping of the surface, detection of any solar wind interaction observable at the flyby distance, and measurement of the asteroid mass to better than 10 percent accuracy. Detailed design of the CRAF spacecraft is currently underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Recent mass growth has necessitated a switch to Venus-Earth gravity assist type trajectories, similar to that used by the Galileo spacecraft. These trajectories require longer flight times from launch to rendezvous with the target comet. The details of the current baseline mission, spacecraft design, and instrument payload will be reviewed.

  19. Ocean-like water in the Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2.

    PubMed

    Hartogh, Paul; Lis, Dariusz C; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; de Val-Borro, Miguel; Biver, Nicolas; Küppers, Michael; Emprechtinger, Martin; Bergin, Edwin A; Crovisier, Jacques; Rengel, Miriam; Moreno, Raphael; Szutowicz, Slawomira; Blake, Geoffrey A

    2011-10-13

    For decades, the source of Earth's volatiles, especially water with a deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio (D/H) of (1.558 ± 0.001) × 10(-4), has been a subject of debate. The similarity of Earth's bulk composition to that of meteorites known as enstatite chondrites suggests a dry proto-Earth with subsequent delivery of volatiles by local accretion or impacts of asteroids or comets. Previous measurements in six comets from the Oort cloud yielded a mean D/H ratio of (2.96 ± 0.25) × 10(-4). The D/H value in carbonaceous chondrites, (1.4 ± 0.1) × 10(-4), together with dynamical simulations, led to models in which asteroids were the main source of Earth's water, with ≤10 per cent being delivered by comets. Here we report that the D/H ratio in the Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2, which originated in the Kuiper belt, is (1.61 ± 0.24) × 10(-4). This result substantially expands the reservoir of Earth ocean-like water to include some comets, and is consistent with the emerging picture of a complex dynamical evolution of the early Solar System.

  20. Ocean-like water in the Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2.

    PubMed

    Hartogh, Paul; Lis, Dariusz C; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; de Val-Borro, Miguel; Biver, Nicolas; Küppers, Michael; Emprechtinger, Martin; Bergin, Edwin A; Crovisier, Jacques; Rengel, Miriam; Moreno, Raphael; Szutowicz, Slawomira; Blake, Geoffrey A

    2011-10-13

    For decades, the source of Earth's volatiles, especially water with a deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio (D/H) of (1.558 ± 0.001) × 10(-4), has been a subject of debate. The similarity of Earth's bulk composition to that of meteorites known as enstatite chondrites suggests a dry proto-Earth with subsequent delivery of volatiles by local accretion or impacts of asteroids or comets. Previous measurements in six comets from the Oort cloud yielded a mean D/H ratio of (2.96 ± 0.25) × 10(-4). The D/H value in carbonaceous chondrites, (1.4 ± 0.1) × 10(-4), together with dynamical simulations, led to models in which asteroids were the main source of Earth's water, with ≤10 per cent being delivered by comets. Here we report that the D/H ratio in the Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2, which originated in the Kuiper belt, is (1.61 ± 0.24) × 10(-4). This result substantially expands the reservoir of Earth ocean-like water to include some comets, and is consistent with the emerging picture of a complex dynamical evolution of the early Solar System. PMID:21976024

  1. NASA returns rocks from a comet.

    PubMed

    Burnett, Don S

    2006-12-15

    Cometary particles returned by the Stardust Discovery Mission are primarily silicate materials of solar system origin. Some of the grains were formed at high temperatures close to the Sun, but then transported far out to the Kuiper belt region of the solar system before being incorporated in the comet. PMID:17170288

  2. The Volatile Fraction of Comets as Quantified at Infrared Wavelengths - An Emerging Taxonomy and Implications for Natal Heritage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mumma, M. J.; DiSanti, M. A.; Bonev, B. P.; Villanueva, G. L.; Magee-Sauer, K.; Gibb, E. L.; Paganini, L.; Radeva, Y. L.; Charnley, S. B.

    2012-01-01

    It is relatively easy to identify the reservoir from which a given comet was ejected. But dynamical models demonstrate that the main cometary reservoirs (Kuiper Belt, Oort Cloud) each contain icy bodies that formed in a range of environments in the protoplanetary disk, and the Oort Cloud may even contain bodies that formed in disks of sibling stars in the Sun s birth cluster. The cometary nucleus contains clues to the formative region(s) of its individual components. The composition of ices and rocky grains reflect a range of processes experienced by material while on the journey from the natal interstellar cloud core to the cometary nucleus. For that reason, emphasis is placed on classifying comets according to their native ices and dust (rather than orbital dynamics). Mumma & Charnley [1] reviewed the current status of taxonomies for comets and relation to their natal heritage.

  3. Chemical diversity in the comet population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biver, Nicolas

    2015-08-01

    For the last 3 decades, infrared and microwave techniques have enabled the detection of up to 25 different parent molecules in the coma of comets. Several molecules have been detected in over 40 different comets. A large diversity of composition is seen in the sample, comprising comets of various dynamical origin. Abundances relative to water for the molecules can vary by a factor 3 to more than 10. The taxonomic study of a sample of comets in which the abundance of several molecules (e.g., HCN, CH3OH, CO, CH4, C2H6, H2S, H2CO, CH3CN, cs,...) has been measured does not show any clear grouping. Except for fragments of a common parent comet, every comet observed shows a different composition. The absence of any clear correlation between the volatile content of the comets and their dynamical origin (Kuiper Belt versus Oort Cloud) suggest that there is no clear dychotomy between two origins for the comets. Their diveristy in composition may also suggest that radial and temporal mixing in the early protoplanetary nebula may have played an important role.

  4. Caroline Lucretia Herschel -- Comet Huntress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, D. W.

    1999-04-01

    Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) was an active astronomer at a time when discovering comets, and calculating their orbits, was one of the main astronomical activities. She discovered eight comets and held the ladies' world record in this field until April 1987 when she was toppled from the podium by Carolyn S. Shoemaker. This paper places the Herschel cometary discoveries into the context of the contemporary cometary astronomy.

  5. Color Systematics of Comets and Related Bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewitt, David

    2015-12-01

    Most comets are volatile-rich bodies that have recently entered the inner solar system following long-term storage in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud reservoirs. These reservoirs feed several distinct, short-lived "small body" populations. Here, we present new measurements of the optical colors of cometary and comet-related bodies including long-period (Oort cloud) comets, Damocloids (probable inactive nuclei of long-period comets) and Centaurs (recent escapees from the Kuiper belt and precursors to the Jupiter family comets). We combine the new measurements with published data on short-period comets, Jovian Trojans and Kuiper belt objects to examine the color systematics of the comet-related populations. We find that the mean optical colors of the dust in short-period and long-period comets are identical within the uncertainties of measurement, as are the colors of the dust and of the underlying nuclei. These populations show no evidence for scattering by optically small particles or for compositional gradients, even at the largest distances from the Sun, and no evidence for ultrared matter. Consistent with earlier work, ultrared surfaces are common in the Kuiper belt and on the Centaurs, but not in other small body populations, suggesting that this material is hidden or destroyed upon entry to the inner solar system. The onset of activity in the Centaurs and the disappearance of the ultrared matter in this population begin at about the same perihelion distance (˜10 AU), suggesting that the two are related. Blanketing of primordial surface materials by the fallback of sub-orbital ejecta, for which we calculate a very short timescale, is the likely mechanism. The same process should operate on any mass-losing body, explaining the absence of ultrared surface material in the entire comet population. The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the

  6. Comet LINEAR Splits Further

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-05-01

    made by Emmanuel Jehin, Andreas Jaunsen, Hermann Boehnhardt, Mario Kiekebusch, Hernan Nunez, Rodrigo Amestica, Christian Herrera, Francisco Delgado, Julio Navarrete (ESO VLT, Chile) and Richard West (ESO Garching, Germany). Technical information about the photos PR Photos 18a-b/01 are based on a 1-min exposure on May 16, 2001 at 23:10 hrs UT through an R-filtre with the VLT Test Camera at the Cassegrain focus (under the main mirror) of the 8.2-m VLT YEPUN (UT4) telescope on Paranal. Although the comet was low in the western sky, the atmospheric conditions were good and the seeing was excellent, 0.6 arcsec. The telescope was set to follow the motion of the comet in the sky. The fields shown measure 17 x 18 arcsec 2 and 27 x 21 arcsec 2 , respectively; 1 pixel = 0.0455 arcsec. North is up and East is left.

  7. Optical Studies of Active Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1998-01-01

    This grant was to support optical studies of comets close enough to the sun to be outgassing. The main focus of the observations was drawn to the two extraordinarily bright comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, but other active comets were also studied in detail during the period of funding. Major findings (all fully published) under this grant include: (1) Combined optical and submillimeter observations of the comet/Centaur P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 were used to study the nature of mass loss from this object. The submillimeter observations show directly that the optically prominent dust coma is ejected by the sublimation of carbon monoxide. Simultaneous optical-submillimeter observations allowed us to test earlier determinations of the dust mass loss rate. (2) We modelled the rotation of cometary nuclei using time-resolved images of dust jets as the primary constraint. (3) We obtained broad-band optical images of several comets for which we subsequently attempted submillimeter observations, in order to test and update the cometary ephemerides. (4) Broad-band continuum images of a set of weakly active comets and, apparently, inactive asteroids were obtained in BVRI using the University of Hawaii 2.2-m telescope. These images were taken in support of a program to test the paradigm that many near-Earth asteroids might be dead or dormant comets. We measured coma vs. nucleus colors in active comets (finding that coma particle scattering is different from, and cannot be simply related to, nucleus color). We obtained spectroscopic observations of weakly active comets and other small bodies using the HIRES spectrograph on the Keck 10-m telescope. These observation place sensitive limits to outgassing from these bodies, aided by the high (40,000) spectral resolution of HIRES.

  8. Rosetta following a living comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accomazzo, Andrea; Ferri, Paolo; Lodiot, Sylvain; Pellon-Bailon, Jose-Luis; Hubault, Armelle; Porta, Roberto; Urbanek, Jakub; Kay, Ritchie; Eiblmaier, Matthias; Francisco, Tiago

    2016-09-01

    The International Rosetta Mission was launched on 2nd March 2004 on its 10 year journey to rendezvous with comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta performed comet orbit insertion on the 6th of August 2014, after which it characterised the nucleus and orbited it at altitudes as low as a few kilometres. In November 2014 Rosetta delivered the lander Philae to perform the first soft landing ever on the surface of a comet. The critical landing operations have been conducted with remarkable accuracy and will constitute one of the most important achievements in the history of spaceflight. After this critical operation, Rosetta began the escort phase of the comet in its journey in the Solar System heading to the perihelion, reached in August 2015. Throughout this period, the comet environment kept changing with increasing gas and dust emissions. A first phase of bound orbits was followed by a sequence of complex flyby segments which allowed the scientific instruments to perform in depth investigation of the comet environment and nucleus. The unpredictable nature of the comet activity forced the mission control team to implement unplanned changes to the flight plan prepared for this mission phase and to plan the whole mission in a more dynamic way than originally conceived. This paper describes the details of the landing operations and of the main comet escort phase. It also includes the mission status as achieved after perihelion and the findings about the evolution of the comet and its environment from a mission operations point of view. The lessons learned from this unique and complex operations phase and the plans for the next mission phases, which include a mission extension into 2016, are also described.

  9. Comet encounters

    SciTech Connect

    Birmingham, T. J.; Dessler, A. J.

    1988-01-01

    Data from spacecraft encounters with comets and the implications of these data for theoretical models are discussed in a collection of reviews and reports (all published after 1985). Topics addressed include mass loading effects in the unshocked solar wind (particles, waves, and fluctuations), boundaries, the shocked solar wind and the ionosphere, tail phenomena, remote observations at encounter, and dust. Extensive diagrams, graphs, and sample images are provided.

  10. Comet formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blum, J.

    2014-07-01

    There has been vast progress in our understanding of planetesimal formation over the past decades, owing to a number of laboratory experiments as well as to refined models of dust and ice agglomeration in protoplanetary disks. Coagulation rapidly forms cm-sized ''pebbles'' by direct sticking in collisions at low velocities (Güttler et al. 2010; Zsom et al. 2010). For the further growth, two model approaches are currently being discussed: (1) Local concentration of pebbles in nebular instabilities until gravitational instability occurs (Johansen et al. 2007). (2) A competition between fragmentation and mass transfer in collisions among the dusty bodies, in which a few ''lucky winners'' make it to planetesimal sizes (Windmark et al. 2012a,b; Garaud et al. 2013). Predictions of the physical properties of the resulting bodies in both models allow a distinction of the two formation scenarios of planetesimals. In particular, the tensile strength (i.e, the inner cohesion) of the planetesimals differ widely between the two models (Skorov & Blum 2012; Blum et al. 2014). While model (1) predicts tensile strengths on the order of ˜ 1 Pa, model (2) results in rather compactified dusty bodies with tensile strengths in the kPa regime. If comets are km-sized survivors of the planetesimal-formation era, they should in principle hold the secret of their formation process. Water ice is the prime volatile responsible for the activity of comets. Thermophysical models of the heat and mass transport close to the comet-nucleus surface predict water-ice sublimation temperatures that relate to maximum sublimation pressures well below the kPa regime predicted for formation scenario (2). Model (1), however, is in agreement with the observed dust and gas activity of comets. Thus, a formation scenario for cometesimals involving gravitational instability is favored (Blum et al. 2014).

  11. Comments on comet shapes and aggregation processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, William K.

    1989-01-01

    An important question for a comet mission is whether comet nuclei preserve information clarifying aggregation processes of planetary matter. New observational evidence shows that Trojan asteroids, as a group, display a higher fraction of highly-elongated objects than the belt. More recently evidence has accumulated that comet nuclei, as a group, also display highly-elongated shapes at macro-scale. This evidence comes from the several comets whose nuclear lightcurves or shapes have been well studied. Trojans and comet nuclei share other properties. Both groups have extremely low albedos and reddish-to neutral-black colors typical of asteroids of spectral class D, P, and C. Both groups may have had relatively low collision frequencies. An important problem to resolve with spacecraft imaging is whether these elongated shapes are primordial, or due to evolution of the objects. Two hypotheses that might be tested by a combination of global-scale and close-up imaging from various directions are: (1) The irregular shapes are primordial and related to the fact that these bodies have had lower collision frequencies than belt asteroids; or (2) The irregular shapes may be due to volatile loss.

  12. Presence and control of evaporite top seals on occurrence and distribution of hydrocarbon traps: main fairway, Central Overthrust belt, Wyoming and Utah

    SciTech Connect

    McIntyre, J.F.

    1988-02-01

    In the Central Overthrust belt fairway, there are 18 known productive formations ranging from Cambrian to Cretaceous in age. Four units - the Ordovician Big Horn formation, Mississippian Mission Canyon formation, Jurassic Nugget formation, and Jurassic Twin Creek Formation - account for 99% of a reported 1.4 billion bbl of oil estimated recoverable reserves discovered to date. A critical factor necessary for significant hydrocarbon accumulations is the presence of effective evaporite seals above these reservoirs. Major accumulations exist in anticlines associated with Paleozoic or Jurassic cutoffs in the hanging wall of the Absaroka thrust with recognized source rocks occurring in the Cretaceous footwall section. Vertical migration is required to source the overlying reservoirs. Migration pathways are via hanging wall cutoffs of these reservoirs or through fractures in the cores of the structures. Hanging wall reservoirs either lacking top seals or having top seals disrupted by extensive fracturing due to folding or faulting, permit vertical migration into higher, more effectively sealed reservoirs. In the Overthrust producing fairway, anhydrites of the Mission Canyon formation and Gypsum Spring Member of the Twin Creek formation as well as the Jurassic Preuss salt are the three effective seal units. Analysis of Overthrust belt traps suggests that the presence and ductile nature of these evaporite seals are important controlling factors for the significant hydrocarbon accumulations in this highly deformed terrain.

  13. New Research by CCD Scanning for Comets and Asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gehrels, Tom

    1997-01-01

    Spacewatch was begun in 1980; its purpose is to explore the various populations of small objects within the solar system. Spacewatch provides data for studies of comets and asteroids, finds potential targets for space missions, and provides information on the environmental problem of possible impacts. Moving objects are discovered by scanning the sky with charge-coupled devices (CCDS) on the 0.9-meter Spacewatch Telescope of the University of Arizona on Kitt Peak. Each Spacewatch scan consists of three drift scan passes over an area of sky using a CCD filtered to a bandpass of 0.5-1.0 pm (approximately V+R+I with peak sensitivity at 0.7 pm). The effective exposure time for each pass is 143 seconds multiplied by the secant of the declination. The area covered by each scan is 32 arcminutes in declination by about 28 minutes of time in right ascension. The image scale is 1.05 arcseconds per pixel. Three passes take about 1.5 hours to complete and show motions of individual objects over a one hour time baseline. The limiting magnitude is about 21.5 in single scans. CCD scanning was developed by Spacewatch in the early 1980s, with improvements still being made - particularly by bringing a new 1.8-m Spacewatch Telescope on line. In the meantime, we have been finding some 30,000 new asteroids per year and applying their statistics to the study of the collisional history of the solar system. Spacewatch had found a total of 150 Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAS) and 8 new comets, and had recovered one lost comet (P/Spitaler in 1993). Spacewatch is also efficient in recovery of known comets and has detected and reported positions for more than 137,000 asteroids, mostly new ones in the main belt, including more than 10,882 asteroids designated by the Minor Planet Center (MPC).

  14. Mission options for the first SEPS application. [rendezvous with near earth asteroids and comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, C.-W. L.

    1981-01-01

    Missions to comets and asteroids are primary candidates for Solar Electric Propulsion System (SEPS) applications. NASA estimates that the first SEPS mission might be launched as early as 1988. This paper presents mission opportunities available for launches between 1988 and early 1991 and discusses the performance capabilities of the current SEPS. Use of a Shuttle Two-Stage IUS and/or a Shuttle Wide Tank Centaur launch vehicle is assumed in the performance assessment. The list of possible first SEPS missions consists of nine missions to comets of primary interest and examples of multiple asteroid rendezvous missions. Both an earth crossing asteroid and a main belt asteroid are considered as first possible targets in the multiple asteroid rendezvous examples. Mission opportunity and performance maps for Eros and Anteros are presented which provide exact performance data and optimal launch and arrival dates for any launch year.

  15. The composition of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feldman, P. D.

    1977-01-01

    Questions concerning the origin of comets are considered. It is pointed out that the molecular composition of a dense interstellar cloud appears to have exactly the composition needed to produce the observed features of the visible cometary spectrum, which consists mainly of emission bands of unstable free radicals. A working model of cometary structure is discussed together with the classical observations which have led to it. The discussed model was originally described by Whipple (1951). It is emphasized that the model can serve only as a rough guide in efforts to interpret the evolution of cometary behavior. A survey is provided of new techniques which have only recently been applied to cometary observations, taking into account the spectrum of a comet, radio observations, and ultraviolet observations.

  16. Life cycle of a comet magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Hans; Stenberg Wieser, Gabriella; Behar, Etienne

    2016-04-01

    Rosetta has followed comet 67P from low activity at more than 3 AU heliocentric distance to high activity at perihelion and then out again. We study the evolution of the dynamic ion environment using the RPC-ICA ion spectrometer. Initially the solar wind permeated the near comet environment. The solar wind was deflected due to mass loading, but not much slowed down. In mid to late April 2015 the solar wind started to disappear from the observation region. This was associated with the solar wind deflection reaching 90°, indicating that the solar wind free region formed due to severe mass loading and associated solar wind deflection. A comet magnetosphere had formed. Accelerated water ions, moving mainly in the anti-sunward direction kept being observed also after the solar wind disappeared from the location of Rosetta. We report how the accelerated water ion environment changed as Rosetta was located relatively deeper in the comet magnetosphere as comet activity increased. Shortly after perihelion, Rosetta made an excursion to 1500 km cometocentric distance, the only data providing a spatial context to the observations made inside the comet magnetosphere once it formed.. We discuss the data from the excursion and what we learn about the scale size of the comet magnetosphere as well as the energy transfer from the solar wind to the comet environment inside the comet magnetosphere. As comet 67P is now moving away from the sun, beginning in late December 2015 the solar wind has started to permeate the comet environment again. We compare this with the early data when comet 67P was approaching the sun, and discuss whether we see any asymmetries between a growing and waning comet magnetosphere.

  17. Helium and Neon in Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1996-01-01

    Two comets were observed with EUVE in late 1994. Both comet Mueller and comet Borrelly are short-period comets having well established orbital elements and accurate ephemerides. Spectra of 40 ksec were taken of each. No evidence for emission lines from either Helium or Neon was detected. We calculated limits on the production rates of these atoms (relative to solar) assuming a standard isotropic outflow model, with a gas streaming speed of 1 km/s. The 3-sigma (99.7% confidence) limits (1/100,000 for He, 0.8 for Ne) are based on a conservative estimate of the noise in the EUVE spectra. They are also weakly dependent on the precise pointing and tracking of the EUVE field of view relative to the comet during the integrations. These limits are consistent with ice formation temperatures T greater than or equal to 30 K, as judged from the gas trapping experiments of Bar-Nun. For comparison, the solar abundances of these elements are He/O = 110, Ne/O = 1/16. Neither limit was as constraining as we had initially hoped, mainly because comets Mueller and Borrelly were intrinsically less active than anticipated.

  18. HUBBLE DETECTION OF COMET NUCLEUS AT FRINGE OF SOLAR SYSTEM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This is sample data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope that illustrates the detection of comets in the Kuiper Belt, a region of space beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune. This pair of images, taken with the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2), shows one of the candidate Kuiper Belt objects found with Hubble. Believed to be an icy comet nucleus several miles across, the object is so distant and faint that Hubble's search is the equivalent of finding the proverbial needle-in-haystack. Each photo is a 5-hour exposure of a piece of sky carefully selected such that it is nearly devoid of background stars and galaxies that could mask the elusive comet. The left image, taken on August 22, 1994, shows the candidate comet object (inside circle) embedded in the background. The right picture, take of the same region one hour forty-five minutes later shows the object has apparently moved in the predicted direction and rate of motion for a kuiper belt member. The dotted line on the images is a possible orbit that this Kuiper belt comet is following. A star (lower right corner) and a galaxy (upper right corner) provide a static background reference. In addition, other objects in the picture have not moved during this time, indicating they are outside our solar system. Through this search technique astronomers have identified 29 candidate comet nuclei belonging to an estimated population of 200 million particles orbiting the edge of our solar system. The Kupier Belt was theorized 40 years ago, and its larger members detected several years ago. However, Hubble has found the underlying population of normal comet-sized bodies. Credit: A. Cochran (University of Texas) and NASA

  19. Hubble Witnesses Comet Crash

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Quick Time Movie for PIA02122 Hubble Witnesses Comet Crash

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1: Hubble Witnesses Comet Crash

    These pictures of comet Tempel 1 were taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. They show the comet before and after it ran over NASA's Deep Impact probe.

  20. ESA Unveils Its New Comet Chaser.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-07-01

    October 2007 before heading away from the Sun towards Comet Wirtanen. As it bounces around the Solar System, Rosetta will also make two excursions into the main asteroid belt, where it will obtain the first close-up images and information on two contrasting objects, 4979 Otawara and 140 Siwa. Scientists believe Otawara is less than 20 km across, whereas Siwa is probably 110 km in diameter, much larger than any asteroid which has so far been visited by spacecraft. Rosetta will fly to within 1,000 km of Otawara in July 2006, followed by a similar rendezvous with Siwa two years later. However, the most difficult phase of the mission will be the final rendezvous with the fast-moving comet (the foreseen date for the rendezvous manoeuvre is 27 November 2011, close approach is set for 20 May 2012 and orbit insertion around the nucleus is set for 28 May 2012). Thus, after a 5.3 billion km space odyssey, Rosetta will make first contact with Wirtanen about 675 million km from the Sun. At this distance, sunlight is 20 times weaker than on Earth, and the comet's nucleus will still be frozen and inactive. Once the navigation team are able to determine the comet's exact location from images returned by the spacecraft camera, a series of braking manoeuvres will allow Rosetta to match speed and direction with its target. After about seven months of edging closer, Rosetta will eventually close to within 2 km of Wirtanen's frozen nucleus. From its close orbit above the tiny nucleus, Rosetta will be able to send back the most detailed images and information ever obtained of a comet. When a suitable landing site has been chosen, about a month after global mapping starts, the orbiter will release a 100 kg lander onto the comet's solid surface. Touchdown must be quite slow - less than one metre per second - to allow for the almost negligible gravitational pull of the tiny nucleus. In order to ensure that the lander does not bounce and disappear into space, an anchoring harpoon will be fired

  1. Activity in distant comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luu, Jane X.

    1992-01-01

    Activity in distant comets remains a mystery in the sense that we still have no complete theory to explain the various types of activity exhibited by different comets at large distances. This paper explores the factors that should play a role in determining activity in a distant comet, especially in the cases of comet P/Tempel 2, comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, and 2060 Chiron.

  2. Rosetta - a comet ride to solve planetary mysteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-01-01

    be kept in hibernation during most of its 8-year trek towards Wirtanen. What makes Rosetta's cruise so long? To reach Comet Wirtanen, the spacecraft needs to go out in deep space as far from the Sun as Jupiter is. No launcher could possibly get Rosetta there directly. ESA's spacecraft will gather speed from gravitational ‘kicks’ provided by three planetary fly-bys: one of Mars in 2005 and two of Earth in 2005 and 2007. During the trip, Rosetta will also visit two asteroids, Otawara (in 2006) and Siwa (in 2008). During these encounters, scientists will switch on Rosetta's instruments for calibration and scientific studies. Long trips in deep space include many hazards, such as extreme changes in temperature. Rosetta will leave the benign environment of near-Earth space to the dark, frigid regions beyond the asteroid belt. To manage these thermal loads, experts have done very tough pre-launch tests to study Rosetta's endurance. For example, they have heated its external surfaces to more than 150°C, then quickly cooled it to -180°C in the next test. The spacecraft will be fully reactivated prior to the comet rendezvous manoeuvre in 2011. Then, Rosetta will orbit the comet - an object only 1.2 km wide - while it cruises through the inner Solar System at 135 000 kilometres per hour. At that time of the rendezvous - around 675 million km from the Sun - Wirtanen will hardly show any surface activity. It means that the carachteristic coma (the comet’s ‘atmosphere’) and the tail will not be formed yet, because of the large distance from the Sun. The comet's tail is in fact made of dust grains and frozen gases from the comet's surface that vapourise because of the Sun's heat. During 6-month, Rosetta will extensively map the comet surface, prior to selecting a landing site. In July 2012, the lander will self-eject from the spacecraft from a height of just one kilometre. Touchdown will take place at walking speed - less than 1 metre per second. Immediately after

  3. Physical and dynamical properties of a quasi-Hilda comet , 212P/2000YN30

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Y.-C.; Ip, W.-H.

    2012-05-01

    We detected an outburst event on comet 212P in the 3:2 MMR belt of Jupiter for only 3 months in 2009. It has a typical color trend as common Jupiter-family Comets. From our clone particle orbital simulation, the half-lifetime is about 0.2 Myrs.

  4. Kuiper Belt Objects (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tegler, S. C.; Romanishin, W.

    1999-09-01

    The Kuiper belt represents an exciting, new frontier in solar system research. About 200 Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) with diameters larger than 100 km are known to exist between 30 and 50 AU from the Sun. Surveys indicate that there may be as many as 100,000 KBOs larger than 100 km and perhaps billions of KBOs larger than 1 km between 30 and 50 AU. Although the total mass in these bodies is perhaps a few tenths of an Earth mass, accretion calculations indicate that the primordial Kuiper belt must have contained 10 to 30 Earth masses of material between 30 and 50 AU in order to explain the growth of large KBOs and the Pluto and Charon system in the 100 million years before the onset of the disruptive influence of Neptune. Once Neptune reached a fraction of its current mass, dynamical studies indicate that a combination of erosional collisions and mean motion and secular resonances sculpted the belt into its present day mass and structure. The influence of the resonances can be seen in the belt today as about one-third of the known KBOs are in a stable 2:3 mean motion resonance with Neptune, i.e. eccentric and inclined orbits, that approach or cross the orbit of Neptune, and semi-major axes, a, about 39.4 AU. Many KBOs with a > 42 AU are sufficiently far from Neptune that they are on stable, low inclination, low eccentricity, non-resonant orbits. A combination of resonances and disruptive collisions continue to deplete the Kuiper belt today as they inject KBOs or collision fragments inward into the solar system as Centaur objects and Jupiter family comets. Physical studies of KBOs are in their infancy. Perhaps one of the most surprising results is the observation that KBO colors and hence their surface compositions divide neatly into a grey and an extraordinarily red population. The red population suggests some surfaces are rich in complex carbon-bearing molecules. The colors exhibit no trend with resonant or non-resonant orbits or object size and suggest that

  5. High Resolution 3D Radar Imaging of Comet Interiors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asphaug, E. I.; Gim, Y.; Belton, M.; Brophy, J.; Weissman, P. R.; Heggy, E.

    2012-12-01

    Knowing the interiors of comets and other primitive bodies is fundamental to our understanding of how planets formed. We have developed a Discovery-class mission formulation, Comet Radar Explorer (CORE), based on the use of previously flown planetary radar sounding techniques, with the goal of obtaining high resolution 3D images of the interior of a small primitive body. We focus on the Jupiter-Family Comets (JFCs) as these are among the most primitive bodies reachable by spacecraft. Scattered in from far beyond Neptune, they are ultimate targets of a cryogenic sample return mission according to the Decadal Survey. Other suitable targets include primitive NEOs, Main Belt Comets, and Jupiter Trojans. The approach is optimal for small icy bodies ~3-20 km diameter with spin periods faster than about 12 hours, since (a) navigation is relatively easy, (b) radar penetration is global for decameter wavelengths, and (c) repeated overlapping ground tracks are obtained. The science mission can be as short as ~1 month for a fast-rotating JFC. Bodies smaller than ~1 km can be globally imaged, but the navigation solutions are less accurate and the relative resolution is coarse. Larger comets are more interesting, but radar signal is unlikely to be reflected from depths greater than ~10 km. So, JFCs are excellent targets for a variety of reasons. We furthermore focus on the use of Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) to rendezvous shortly after the comet's perihelion. This approach leaves us with ample power for science operations under dormant conditions beyond ~2-3 AU. This leads to a natural mission approach of distant observation, followed by closer inspection, terminated by a dedicated radar mapping orbit. Radar reflections are obtained from a polar orbit about the icy nucleus, which spins underneath. Echoes are obtained from a sounder operating at dual frequencies 5 and 15 MHz, with 1 and 10 MHz bandwidths respectively. The dense network of echoes is used to obtain global 3D

  6. Comet of the Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaaf, Fred; Ottewell, G.

    The present century has been a disappointing one for comets, but past centuries often featured spectacular, unforgettable comet shows that dominated the night (and even daytime) sky for months: comets that outshone Venus or even the Moon, whose spectacular tails stretched more than halfway across the sky or were weirdly split, and whose apparition was held responsible for everything from wars to unusually good wine vintages. Published to coincide with the first naked-eye appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp, perhaps our own comet of the century, this book is an irresistible guide to comet facts and lore throughout history.

  7. Is (1) Ceres a Small Planet or a Large Comet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Küppers, M.; O'Rourke, L.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Zakharov, V.; Lee, S.; Von Allmen, P.; Carry, B.; Teyssier, D.; Marston, A.; Müller, T.; Crovisier, J.; Barucci, M. A.; Moreno, R.

    2014-12-01

    The snowline conventionally divides Solar System objects into dry bodies, ranging out to the main asteroid belt, and icy bodies beyond the belt. Recently, the detection of dust emission from "main-belt comets" and of hydration features and possible water ice absorption on some main-belt asteroids together with theories of migration of small bodies in the solar system cast some doubts on the classical picture. Ceres, contributing about 30 % of the mass of the asteroid belt, is thought to be differentiated into an icy core and a silicate mantle and hydrated minerals were found on infrared spectra of its surface. A marginal detection of OH, a photodissociation product of water was reported in 1991, but questioned by later, more sensitive observations.. Observations of Ceres with the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) on the Herschel Space Observatory in the context of the MACH 11 guaranteed time program and with a follow up DDT program detected water vapour from Ceres on 3 occasions in 2012 and 2013. The production rate of water on Ceres is a few times 1026 s-1. The signal from the water vapour from Ceres was found to be linearly polarized during some of the observations, with the absorption being stronger in the horizontal branch. The measured line area ratio of up to 2.5 between H and V polarizations is so far unexplained. The water signal varies on time scales of hours. Those variations are interpreted as localized sources on Ceres surface rotating into and out of the hemisphere visible by Herschel. The time variability is consistent with those sources being dark features known from ground-based adaptive optics observations. The water vapour on Ceres may be either produced by near surface ice heated by sunlight (cometary activity) or by cryovolcanoes or geysers getting their energy from Ceres' interior. In the first case the production rate is expected to peak around perihelion, while for volcanic the time variations are expected to be more

  8. Dust particles from comets and asteroids collected at the Earth's orbit: Parent-daughter relationships

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jackson, A. A.; Zook, H. A.

    1991-01-01

    The relative contributions of comets and asteroids to the reservoir of dust in the interplanetary medium is not well known. There are direct observations of dust released from comets and there is evidence to associate the IRAS dust bands with possible collisions of Asteroids in the main belt. It is believed that one may combine lab analysis of the physics and chemistry of captured particles with orbital data in order to identify comet and asteroid parent bodies. It is possible to use the collected orbits of the dust to connect with its source in two ways. One is to consider the long time orbit evolution of the dust under Poynting-Robertson drag. The other is to look at the prompt orbit change of dust from comets onto trajectories that intersect the earth's orbit. In order to characterize the orbits of dust particles evolved over a long period of time, a study of its orbital evolution was undertaken. Various parameters associated with these dust orbits as they cross the Earth's orbit were considered in order to see if one may discriminate between particles evolved from comets and asteroids. The method was to calculate by a numerical procedure the orbits of dust particles after they left their parent bodies. It appears that as the particles pass the Earth's orbit, asteroidal grains and cometary grains can be differentiated on the basis of their measured orbital eccentricities even after much planetary perturbation. Broad parent daughter associations can be made on this basis from measurement of their trajectories intercepted in earth orbit.

  9. ESA Unveils Its New Comet Chaser.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-07-01

    October 2007 before heading away from the Sun towards Comet Wirtanen. As it bounces around the Solar System, Rosetta will also make two excursions into the main asteroid belt, where it will obtain the first close-up images and information on two contrasting objects, 4979 Otawara and 140 Siwa. Scientists believe Otawara is less than 20 km across, whereas Siwa is probably 110 km in diameter, much larger than any asteroid which has so far been visited by spacecraft. Rosetta will fly to within 1,000 km of Otawara in July 2006, followed by a similar rendezvous with Siwa two years later. However, the most difficult phase of the mission will be the final rendezvous with the fast-moving comet (the foreseen date for the rendezvous manoeuvre is 27 November 2011, close approach is set for 20 May 2012 and orbit insertion around the nucleus is set for 28 May 2012). Thus, after a 5.3 billion km space odyssey, Rosetta will make first contact with Wirtanen about 675 million km from the Sun. At this distance, sunlight is 20 times weaker than on Earth, and the comet's nucleus will still be frozen and inactive. Once the navigation team are able to determine the comet's exact location from images returned by the spacecraft camera, a series of braking manoeuvres will allow Rosetta to match speed and direction with its target. After about seven months of edging closer, Rosetta will eventually close to within 2 km of Wirtanen's frozen nucleus. From its close orbit above the tiny nucleus, Rosetta will be able to send back the most detailed images and information ever obtained of a comet. When a suitable landing site has been chosen, about a month after global mapping starts, the orbiter will release a 100 kg lander onto the comet's solid surface. Touchdown must be quite slow - less than one metre per second - to allow for the almost negligible gravitational pull of the tiny nucleus. In order to ensure that the lander does not bounce and disappear into space, an anchoring harpoon will be fired

  10. Flight of the Comet

    NASA Video Gallery

    This video clip was compiled from images taken by NASA's EPOXI mission spacecraft during its flyby of comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4, 2010. During the encounter, the spacecraft and comet whisked past ea...

  11. Bye, Bye Comet

    NASA Video Gallery

    SOHO watched as a fairly bright comet dove towards the Sun in a white streak and was not seen again after its close encounter (May 10-11, 2011). The comet, probably part of the Kreutz family of com...

  12. A Million Comet Pieces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] A Million Comet Pieces (poster version)

    This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the broken Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3 skimming along a trail of debris left during its multiple trips around the sun. The flame-like objects are the comet's fragments and their tails, while the dusty comet trail is the line bridging the fragments.

    Comet 73P /Schwassman-Wachmann 3 began to splinter apart in 1995 during one of its voyages around the sweltering sun. Since then, the comet has continued to disintegrate into dozens of fragments, at least 36 of which can be seen here. Astronomers believe the icy comet cracked due the thermal stress from the sun.

    The Spitzer image provides the best look yet at the trail of debris left in the comet's wake after its 1995 breakup. The observatory's infrared eyes were able to see the dusty comet bits and pieces, which are warmed by sunlight and glow at infrared wavelengths. This comet debris ranges in size from pebbles to large boulders. When Earth passes near this rocky trail every year, the comet rubble burns up in our atmosphere, lighting up the sky in meteor showers. In 2022, Earth is expected to cross close to the comet's trail, producing a noticeable meteor shower.

    Astronomers are studying the Spitzer image for clues to the comet's composition and how it fell apart. Like NASA's Deep Impact experiment, in which a probe smashed into comet Tempel 1, the cracked Comet 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3 provides a perfect laboratory for studying the pristine interior of a comet.

    This image was taken from May 4 to May 6 by Spitzer's multi-band imaging photometer, using its 24-micron wavelength channel.

  13. Abstracts for the International Conference on Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Topics addressed include: chemical abundances; asteroidal belt evolution; sources of meteors and meteorites; cometary spectroscopy; gas diffusion; mathematical models; cometary nuclei; cratering records; imaging techniques; cometary composition; asteroid classification; radio telescopes and spectroscopy; magnetic fields; cosmogony; IUE observations; orbital distribution of asteroids, comets, and meteors; solar wind effects; computerized simulation; infrared remote sensing; optical properties; and orbital evolution.

  14. THE CANADA-FRANCE ECLIPTIC PLANE SURVEY-L3 DATA RELEASE: THE ORBITAL STRUCTURE OF THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Kavelaars, J. J.; Jones, R. L.; Murray, I.; Gladman, B. J.; Petit, J.-M.; Van Laerhoven, C.; Parker, Joel Wm.; Bieryla, A.; Nicholson, P.; Margot, J. L.; Rousselot, P.; Mousis, O.; Scholl, H.; Marsden, B.; Benavidez, P.; Campo Bagatin, A.; Doressoundiram, A.; Veillet, C.

    2009-06-15

    We report the orbital distribution of the trans-Neptunian comets discovered during the first discovery year of the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey (CFEPS). CFEPS is a Kuiper Belt object survey based on observations acquired by the Very Wide component of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (LS-VW). The first year's detections consist of 73 Kuiper Belt objects, 55 of which have now been tracked for three years or more, providing precise orbits. Although this sample size is small compared to the world-wide inventory, because we have an absolutely calibrated and extremely well-characterized survey (with known pointing history) we are able to de-bias our observed population and make unbiased statements about the intrinsic orbital distribution of the Kuiper Belt. By applying the (publically available) CFEPS Survey Simulator to models of the true orbital distribution and comparing the resulting simulated detections to the actual detections made by the survey, we are able to rule out several hypothesized Kuiper Belt object orbit distributions. We find that the main classical belt's so-called 'cold' component is confined in semimajor axis (a) and eccentricity (e) compared to the more extended 'hot' component; the cold component is confined to lower e and does not stretch all the way out to the 2:1 resonance but rather depletes quickly beyond a = 45 AU. For the cold main classical belt population we find a robust population estimate of N(H{sub g} < 10) = 50 {+-} 5 x 10{sup 3} and find that the hot component of the main classical belt represents {approx}60% of the total population. The inner classical belt (sunward of the 3:2 mean-motion resonance) has a population of roughly 2000 trans-Neptunian objects with absolute magnitudes H{sub g} < 10, and may not share the inclination distribution of the main classical belt. We also find that the plutino population lacks a cold low-inclination component, and so, the population is somewhat larger than recent estimates

  15. Chemical diversity of organic volatiles among comets: An emerging taxonomy and implications for processes in the proto-planetary disk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2008-10-01

    As messengers from the early Solar System, comets contain key information from the time of planet formation and even earlier some may contain material formed in our natal interstellar cloud. Along with water, the cometary nucleus contains ices of natural gases (CH4, C2H6), alcohols (CH3OH), acids (HCOOH), embalming fluid (H2CO), and even anti-freeze (ethylene glycol). Comets today contain some ices that vaporize at temperatures near absolute zero (CO, CH4), demonstrating that their compositions remain largely unchanged after 4.5 billion years. By comparing their chemical diversity, several distinct cometary classes have been identified but their specific relation to chemical gradients in the proto-planetary disk remains murky. How does the compositional diversity of comets relate to nebular processes such as chemical processing, radial migration, and dynamical scattering? No current reservoir holds a unique class, but their fractional abundance can test emerging dynamical models for origins of the scattered Kuiper disk, the Oort cloud, and the (proposed) main-belt comets. I will provide a simplified overview emphasizing what we are learning, current issues, and their relevance to the subject of this Symposium.

  16. Searching for Extreme Kuiper Belt Objects and Inner Oort Cloud Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheppard, Scott S.; Trujillo, Chad; Tholen, Dave

    2015-11-01

    Since late 2012 we have been performing the largest and deepest survey for distant solar system objects. In the nearly one thousand square degrees we have covered so far we have discovered the object with the most distant perihelion known (2012 VP113), several extreme Kuiper Belt objects with moderate perihelia and large eccentricities, one of the top ten intrinsically brightest Trans-Neptunian objects, an ultra-wide Kuiper Belt binary, one of the most distant known active comets and two active asteroids in the main belt of asteroids. The Kuiper Belt population has an outer edge at about 50 AU. Sedna and our recent discovery, 2012 VP113, are the only known objects with perihelia significantly beyond this edge at about 80 AU. These inner Oort cloud objects obtained their orbits when the solar system was vastly different from now. Thus the dynamical and physical properties of objects in this region offer key constraints on the formation and evolution of our solar system. We will discuss the most recent results of our survey.

  17. Systematic conveyor belt cleaning

    SciTech Connect

    Rappen, A.

    1984-01-01

    The currently available conveyor belt cleaning devices are enumerated. Recent investigations have confirmed the belt scraping devices based on intermittent linear contact by means of individually adjustable and spring-loaded scraper blades, usually of metallic construction as the most advanced type of belt cleaner. The system also allows application on reversing belts. Criteria are presented for assessing the performance of a belt cleaner.

  18. Comet Bennett 1969i

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hendrie, M. J.

    1999-02-01

    On 1969 December 28, our member Jack C. Bennett in Pretoria, South Africa, discovered a small, diffuse comet of 8.5 magnitude. The discovery was made during a regular programme of sweeping for new comets he had been carrying out over several years. The comet was in Tucana, declination 65 deg south. Precise positions were soon obtained at the Perth Observatory, Western Australia, by Harris, Candy and Gans. The orbit computed by M. P. Candy, a former Director of the Comet Section, showed the comet to have a perihelion distance of about 0.5AU and an inclination close to 90 deg. Our Comet Section Director and Circulars Editor S. W. Milbourn noted in BAAC 515 that comet Bennett was 'likely to become a bright naked-eye object as it moves quickly north at the end of March.' We were not to be disappointed.

  19. Dynamical evolution of comet pairs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sosa, Andrea; Fernández, Julio A.

    2016-10-01

    Some Jupiter family comets in near-Earth orbits (thereafter NEJFCs) show a remarkable similarity in their present orbits, like for instance 169P/NEAT and P/2003 T12 (SOHO), or 252P/LINEAR and P/2016 BA14 (PANSTARRS). By means of numerical integrations we studied the dynamical evolution of these objects. In particular, for each pair of presumably related objects, we are interested in assessing the stability of the orbital parameters for several thousand years, and to find a minimum of their relative spatial distance, coincident with a low value of their relative velocity. For those cases for which we find a well defined minimum of their relative orbital separation, we are trying to reproduce the actual orbit of the hypothetical fragment by modeling a fragmentation of the parent body. Some model parameters are the relative ejection velocity (a few m/s), the orbital point at which the fragmentation could have happened (e.g. perihelion), and the elapsed time since fragmentation. In addition, some possible fragmentation mechanisms, like thermal stress, rotational instability, or collisions, could be explored. According to Fernández J.A and Sosa A. 2015 (Planetary and Space Science 118,pp.14-24), some NEJFCs might come from the outer asteroid belt, and then they would have a more consolidated structure and a higher mineral content than that of comets coming from the trans-Neptunian belt or the Oort cloud. Therefore, such objects would have a much longer physical lifetime in the near-Earth region, and could become potential candidates to produce visible meteor showers (as for example 169P/NEAT which has been identified as the parent body of the alpha-Capricornid meteoroid stream, according to Jenniskens, P., Vaubaillon, J., 2010 (Astron. J. 139), and Kasuga, T., Balam, D.D., Wiegert, P.A., 2010 (Astron. J. 139).

  20. Cometary dust in the planetary belts of β Pictoris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Vries, B. L.; Acke, B.; Waters, L. B. F. M.; Blommaert, J. A. D. L.; Vandenbussche, B.; Dominik, C.; Waelkens, C.

    2012-03-01

    The discovery of more than 600 exo-planets in the past two decades has shown an amazing diversity in the properties of planetary systems. The origin of this diversity and the way the Solar System fits in must be understood by studying young systems in which planet formation is ongoing, and by comparing the properties of these young systems with the historic records of the formation of the Solar System as recorded in e.g. asteroids and comets. Strong evidence that gas-phase condensation produces Mg2SiO4, comes from observations of crystalline olivine grains in evolved cool red giants. In another study we have detected the 69 μ m crystalline olivine band in several red giants and the wavelength and band shape of the resonance are in agreement with pure Mg2SiO4. In contrast, Solar System comets such as Wild 2 and chondritic meteorites show a small but significant fraction of Fe in the crystalline olivine of ˜1 per cent. β Pictoris is a young (12 Myr) main-sequence star surrounded by at least one planet at a distance of ˜10 AU, and a dusty debris disk created by catastrophic collisions of planetesimals. We have detected the 69 μ m band in a HERSCHEL- PACS Range Scan of β Pictoris. Modeling this band gives an Fe/Mg ratio of 0.01 and constrains the location of the crystalline olivine to 8-16 AU. The crystalline olivine grains are probably produced by collisions between planetesimals in the known belts at 6 and 16 AU. The composition of the crystalline olivine is strikingly similar to that of Solar System bodies like comets, IDPs and meteorites. But an Fe/Mg ratio of 0.01 is not compatible with crystalline olivine grains produced through gas phase condensation, meaning that the crystalline olivine in β Pictoris must come from another source, similar to the one in our Solar System.

  1. The comet assay: a heavenly method!

    PubMed

    Collins, Andrew R

    2015-01-01

    The contributions to this special issue of Mutagenesis have been selected to cover the main research areas served by the comet assay, namely genotoxicology, environmental toxicology, human biomonitoring and fundamental investigations into mechanisms of DNA damage and repair. Innovative methods are described, technical issues are explored, and guidelines are given for venturing into relatively new or unexploited areas of research. The popularity of the comet assay in a historical context is illustrated by a bibliometric survey.

  2. Chemical abundance of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, Susan; Wehinger, Peter

    1988-01-01

    Observations of NH2, (OI) and molecular ion spectra in comets represent virtually all of the volatile fraction of a comet nucleus. Their study leads to the N2, NH3, H2O, CO2, CO content of the nucleus, and thus to important constraints on models of comet formation and chemical processing in the primitive solar nebula. The observations of Comet Halley provide the opportunity for the first comprehensive determination of the abundances in a comet nucleus. The carbon isotope abundance ratio 12 C/13 C = 65 plus or minus 8 has been determined for Comet Halley from resolved rotational line structure in the CN B-X (0,0) band. The ratio is approximately 30 pct lower than the solar system value, 89, indicating either an enhancement of 13CN or a depletion of 12CN in the comet. Scenarios consistent with the observed carbon isotope ratio are: (1) formation of the comet at the periphery of the solar nebula in a fractionation-enriched 13CN region, or hidden from 12CN enrichment sources, and (2) capture of an interestellar comet. Long-slit charge coupled device (CCD) spectra obtained at the time of the spacecraft encounter of Comet Halley have also been analyzed. Scale lengths, production rates and column densities of CH, CN, C2 and NH2 were determined.

  3. COMETARY VOLATILES AND THE ORIGIN OF COMETS

    SciTech Connect

    A'Hearn, Michael F.; Feaga, Lori M.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Farnham, Tony L.; Kelley, Michael S.; Keller, H. Uwe; Kawakita, Hideyo; Hampton, Donald L.; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; Yeomans, Donald K.; Meech, Karen J.; Schultz, Peter H.; Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph; Groussin, Olivier; Lisse, Carey M.; and others

    2012-10-10

    We describe recent results on the CO/CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O composition of comets together with a survey of older literature (primarily for CO/H{sub 2}O) and compare these with models of the protoplanetary disk. Even with the currently small sample, there is a wide dispersion in abundance ratios and little if any systematic difference between Jupiter-family comets (JFCs) and long-period and Halley-type comets (LPCs and HTCs). We argue that the cometary observations require reactions on grain surfaces to convert CO to CO{sub 2} and also require formation of all types of comets in largely, but not entirely, overlapping regions, probably between the CO and CO{sub 2} snow lines. Any difference in the regions of formation is in the opposite direction from the classical picture with the JFCs having formed closer to the Sun than the LPCs. In the classical picture, the LPCs formed in the region of the giant planets and the JFCs formed in the Kuiper Belt. However, these data suggest, consistent with suggestions on dynamical grounds, that the JFCs and LPCs formed in largely overlapping regions where the giant planets are today and with JFCs on average forming slightly closer to the Sun than did the LPCs. Presumably at least the JFCs passed through the scattered disk on their way to their present dynamical family.

  4. Ultraviolet observations of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Code, A. D.; Houck, T. E.; Lillie, C. F.

    1972-01-01

    The first observations of a comet in the vacuum ultraviolet were obtained on January 14, 1970, when OAO-2 recorded the spectrum of the bright comet Tago-Sato-Kosaka (1969g). The observations revealed, among other things, the predicted extensive hydrogen Lyman alpha halo. OAO-2 continued to collect spectrophotometric measurements of this comet throughout January of that year; a photograph of the nucleus in Lyman alpha revealed finer scale structures. In February of 1970, the bright comet Bennet (1969i) became favorable for space observations. On the basis of the OAO discovery, OGO-V made several measurements of comet Bennet with low spatial resolution photometers. Comet Enke was detected by OGO in January of 1971 at a large heliocentric distance from its Lyman alpha emission.

  5. Laterally bendable belt conveyor

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, W.J.

    1982-09-24

    An endless, laterally flexible and bendable belt conveyor particularly adapted for coal mining applications in facilitating the transport of the extracted coal up- or downslope and around corners in a continuous manner is disclosed. The conveying means includes a flat rubber belt reinforced along the middle portion thereof along which the major portion of the belt tension is directed so as to cause rotation of the tubular shaped belt when trammed around lateral turns thus preventing excessive belt bulging distortion between adjacent belt supports which would inhibit belt transport. Pretension induced into the fabric reinforced flat rubber belt by conventional belt take-up means supports the load conveyed when the belt conveyor is making lateral turns. The carrying and return portions of the belt are supported and formed into a tubular shape by a plurality of shapers positioned along its length. Each shaper is supported from above by a monorail and includes clusters of idler rollers which support the belt. Additional cluster rollers in each shaper permit the belt supporting roller clusters to rotate in response to the belt's operating tension imposed upon the cluster rollers by induced lateral belt friction forces. The freely rotating roller clusters thus permit the belt to twist on lateral curves without damage to itself while precluding escape of the conveyed material by effectively enclosing it in the tube-shaped, inner belt transport length.

  6. Laterally bendable belt conveyor

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, W.J.

    1985-07-02

    An endless, laterally flexible and bendable belt conveyor particularly adapted for coal mining applications in facilitating the transport of the extracted coal up- or downslope and around corners in a continuous manner is disclosed. The conveying means includes a flat rubber belt reinforced along the middle portion thereof along which the major portion of the belt tension is directed so as to cause rotation of the tubular shaped belt when trammed around lateral turns thus preventing excessive belt bulging distortion between adjacent belt supports which would inhibit belt transport. Pretension induced into the fabric reinforced flat rubber belt by conventional belt take-up means supports the load conveyed when the belt conveyor is making laterial turns. The carrying and return portions of the belt are supported and formed into a tubular shape by a plurality of shapers positioned along its length. Each shaper is supported from above by a monorail and includes clusters of idler rolles which support the belt. Additional cluster rollers in each shaper permit the belt supporting roller clusters to rotate in response to the belt's operating tension imposed upon the cluster rollers by induced lateral belt friction forces. The freely rotating roller clusters thus permit the belt to twist on lateral curves without damage to itself while precluding escape of the conveyed material by effectively enclosing it in the tube-shaped, inner belt transport length.

  7. Laterally bendable belt conveyor

    DOEpatents

    Peterson, William J.

    1985-01-01

    An endless, laterally flexible and bendable belt conveyor particularly adapted for coal mining applications in facilitating the transport of the extracted coal up- or downslope and around corners in a continuous manner is disclosed. The conveying means includes a flat rubber belt reinforced along the middle portion thereof along which the major portion of the belt tension is directed so as to cause rotation of the tubular shaped belt when trammed around lateral turns thus preventing excessive belt bulging distortion between adjacent belt supports which would inhibit belt transport. Pretension induced into the fabric reinforced flat rubber belt by conventional belt take-up means supports the load conveyed when the belt conveyor is making lateral turns. The carrying and return portions of the belt are supported and formed into a tubular shape by a plurality of shapers positioned along its length. Each shaper is supported from above by a monorail and includes clusters of idler rollers which support the belt. Additional cluster rollers in each shaper permit the belt supporting roller clusters to rotate in response to the belt's operating tension imposed upon the cluster rollers by induced lateral belt friction forces. The freely rotating roller clusters thus permit the belt to twist on lateral curves without damage to itself while precluding escape of the conveyed material by effectively enclosing it in the tube-shaped, inner belt transport length.

  8. Special Report: Chemistry of Comets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    A'Hearn, Michael F.

    1984-01-01

    Discusses the chemistry of comets. How comets provide clues to the birth of the solar system, photolytic reactions on comets involving water, chemical modeling, nuclear chemistry, and research findings are among the areas considered. (JN)

  9. I Spy a Comet!

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    This image shows comet Tempel 1 as seen through the clear filter of the medium resolution imager camera on Deep Impact. It was taken on June 25, 2005, when the spacecraft was 8,007,845.1 kilometers (4,976,075 miles) away from the comet. Ten images were combined to create this picture, and a logarithmic stretch was applied to enhance the coma of the comet.

  10. Infrared emission from comets.

    PubMed

    Krishna-Swamy, K S; Sandford, S A; Allamandola, L J; Witteborn, F C; Bregman, J D

    1989-05-01

    A brief discussion of the infrared observations from 4 to 20 micrometers of seven comets is presented. The observed infrared emission from comets depends primarily on their heliocentric distance. A model based on grain populations composed of a mixture of silicate and amorphous carbon particles in the mass ratio of about 40 to 1, with a power-law size distribution similar to that inferred for comet Halley, is applied to the observations. The model provides a good match to the observed heliocentric variation of both the 10 micrometers feature and the overall thermal emission from comets West and Halley. Matches to the observations of comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock and the antitail of comet Kohoutek require slightly larger grains. While the model does not match the exact profile and position of the 3.4 micrometers feature discovered in comet Halley, it does produce a qualitative fit to the observed variation of the feature's strength as a function of heliocentric distance. The calculations predict that the continuum under the 3.4 micrometers feature is due primarily to thermal emission from the comet dust when the comet is close to the Sun and to scattered solar radiation at large heliocentric distances, as is observed. A brief discussion of the determination of cometary grain temperatures from the observed infrared emission is presented. It is found that the observed shape of the emission curve from about 4 to 8 micrometers provides the best spectral region for estimating the cometary grain temperature distribution.

  11. Belt attachment and system

    DOEpatents

    Schneider, Abraham D.; Davidson, Erick M.

    2016-02-02

    Disclosed herein is a belt assembly including a flexible belt with an improved belt attachment. The belt attachment includes two crossbars spaced along the length of the belt. The crossbars retain bearings that allow predetermined movement in six degrees of freedom. The crossbars are connected by a rigid body that attaches to the bearings. Implements that are attached to the rigid body are simply supported but restrained in pitching rotation.

  12. The evolution of comet orbits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Everhart, E.

    1976-01-01

    The origin of comets and the evolution of their orbits are discussed. Factors considered include: the law of survival of comets against ejection on hyperbolic orbits; short-period comets are not created by single close encounters of near-parabolic comets with Jupiter; observable long-period comets do not evolve into observable short-period comets; unobservable long-period comets with perihelia near Jupiter can evolve into observable short-period comets; long-period comets cannot have been formed or created within the planetary region of the solar system (excluding the effects of stellar perturbations); it is possible that some of the short-period comets could have been formed inside the orbit of Neptune; circularly-restricted three-body problem, and its associated Jacobi integral, are not valid approximations to use in studying origin and evolution of comets.

  13. Meteoroid streams and comet disintegration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guliyev, A.

    2016-01-01

    The results of the statistical analysis of the dynamic parameters of 114 comets that have undergone nuclear splitting are presented in the article. The list of the objects contains: comets that have split in the period of the observation; data of twin-comets; lost comets with designation D; comets with large-scale structure in the coma. We will describe these comets as "splitted". Some aspects of the following hypothesis are studied: disintegration of comet nuclei happens as the result of their collision with meteoroid streams. For the verification of this hypothesis, the position of splitted comet orbits relatively to 125 meteor streams from Kronk's list is analyzed. It was found that the total number of comet orbit nodes located close to the meteor stream planes (for the distances up to 0.1 AU) is N = 1041. It is shown that if these comets are replaced by randomly selected different comets, N will be reduced by a factor of approximately three.

  14. Studying comets with NEOWISE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, R.; Bauer, J.; Kramer, E.; Fernández, Y.; Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.

    2014-07-01

    The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission detected more than 150 comets during its all-sky survey between January 2010 and February 2011. The comets were imaged at 4 infrared wavelengths (3.4, 4.6, 12, and 22 microns). The large sample of both long-period and Jupiter-family comets observed at a range of heliocentric distances allows for systematic comparison of the properties of both dynamical families. Nucleus diameters and albedos, dust comae temperatures, CO and CO_{2} emission rates, and dust tail and trail morphologies are some of the properties studied with the WISE data. This work is being continued by the reactivated NEOWISE mission [1]. In 2013, the WISE spacecraft was brought out of hibernation to resume discovering, tracking, and characterizing small bodies in the Solar System by imaging the sky at solar elongations of ˜90° at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns. Since NEOWISE resumed its all-sky survey on December 23, 2013, 10 comets have been observed, including one previously-unknown long-period comet -- C/2014 C3 (NEOWISE). Of particular interest are the NEOWISE observations of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), which will have a close encounter with Mars in October 2014. NEOWISE observed this comet in January 2014 and will observe it twice more before the comet's close approach to Mars. NEOWISE will continue to operate until early 2017, greatly enhancing our understanding of cometary properties as studied in the infrared.

  15. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harris, Alan W. (Editor); Bowell, Edward (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    Papers from the conference are presented and cover the following topics with respect to asteroids, comets, and/or meteors: interplanetary dust, cometary atmospheres, atmospheric composition, comet tails, astronomical photometry, chemical composition, meteoroid showers, cometary nuclei, orbital resonance, orbital mechanics, emission spectra, radio astronomy, astronomical spectroscopy, photodissociation, micrometeoroids, cosmochemistry, and interstellar chemistry.

  16. Hunting Halley's comet.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celnik, W. E.

    1986-09-01

    Observers of bright comets have always been fascinated by the sight of these rare phenomena. However, it was as late as the 19th century that scientists started to make systematic observations of the appearance of comets and recorded them in the form of drawings and descriptions of comas and tails. Halley's comet in particular was observed intensively because the time of its return was weil known. The first photographic observations of the comet were made during its 1910 perihelion. A large number of photographs were taken using astronomical instruments of all dimensions showing structures within the extended ion tail and the bright coma. Pictures from that time are weil suited to be compared with recently obtained images of the 1986 appearance, although observing conditions were then much less favourable. Just when PI Halley was most active, at its brightest, and thus most interesting, namely during its perihelion passage, it was behind the Sun and unobservable. During the 2,000 years that observations of this comet have been recorded, there was only one appearance where the positions of Sun, Earth and comet were even worse for observations. In addition, the observing conditions in the northern hemisphere were extremely bad because at its best time the comet followed its path through the southern skies. Thus the only way to observe P/ Halley successfully after its perihelion passage was to got to the southern hemisphere. At a latitude of 30 degrees south the comet culminated near the zenith.

  17. Changing Speed of Comets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Follows, Mike

    2003-01-01

    It is shown that highly elliptical orbits, such as those of comets, can be explained well in terms of energy rather than forces. The principle of conservation of energy allows a comet's velocity to be calculated at aphelion and perihelion. An example asks students to calculate whether they can run fast enough to escape from a small asteroid.…

  18. Piece of a Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This image shows a comet particle collected by the Stardust spacecraft. The particle is made up of the silicate mineral forsterite, also known as peridot in its gem form. It is surrounded by a thin rim of melted aerogel, the substance used to collect the comet dust samples. The particle is about 2 micrometers across.

  19. Observations of ammonia in comets with Herschel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biver, N.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Hartogh, P.; Crovisier, J.; de Val-Borro, M.; Kidger, M.; Küppers, M.; Lis, D.; Moreno, R.; Szutowicz, S.; HssO Team

    2014-07-01

    Ammonia is the most abundant nitrogen bearing species in comets. However, it has been scarcely observed in comets due to the weakness of the lines observable from the ground at infrared and centimetre wavelengths. Nevertheless, its main photodissociation product NH_2 has been observed in several comets in the visible. The fundamental rotational J_{K}=(1_0-0_0) transition of NH_3 at 572.5 GHz has been observed in comets since 2004, with the Odin satellite (Biver et al. 2007). In the frame of the Herschel guaranteed time key program ''HssO'' (Hartogh et al. 2009), ammonia was detected with the HIFI instrument in comets 10P/Tempel 2 (Biver et al. 2012), 45P/Honda- Mrkos-Pajdusakova, 103P/Hartley 2, and C/2009 P1 (Garradd). The hyperfine structure of the line is resolved. We have built a complete excitation model to interpret these observations, including the radial distribution in comet 103P. The derived abundances relative to water are on the order of 0.5 %, similar to the values inferred from visible observations of NH_2.

  20. Spectroscopy of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Wehinger, P. A.

    1986-01-01

    Comets constitute the most accessible samples of the outer solar system in its most primitive state. The physical and chemical properties of comet nuclei were determined to infer the conditions and processes related to the origin and evolution of the outer solar system. The procedure is to acquire and analyze digital spectra of a sample of comets covering a large range in heliocentric distance. During 1984 to 1986 the emphasis has been on Comet P/Halley (1982i). Large ground-based telescopes and state-of-the-art detectors were used to observe Comet P/Halley pre- and post-perihelion, covering a heliocentric distance range, 0.9 to 6.1 AU.

  1. Submillimeter Continuum Observations of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1998-01-01

    The aim of this proposal was to study the submillimeter continuum emission from comets. The study was based mainly on the exploitation of the world's leading submillimeter telescope, the JCMT (James Clerk Maxwell Telescope) on Mauna Kea. Submillimeter wavelengths provide a unique view of cometary physics for one main reason. The cometary size distribution is such that the scattering cross-section is dominated by small dust grains, while the mass is dominated by the largest particles. Submillimeter continuum radiation samples cometary particles much larger than those sampled by more common observations at shorter (optical and infrared) wavelengths and therefore provides a nearly direct measure of the cometary dust mass.

  2. The end states of long-period comets and the origin of Halley-type comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, Julio A.; Gallardo, Tabaré; Young, Juan D.

    2016-09-01

    We analyse a sample of 73 old long-period comets (LPCs) (orbital periods 200 < P < 1000 yr) with perihelion distances q < 2.5 au, discovered in the period 1850-2014. We cloned the observed comets and also added fictitious LPCs with perihelia in the Jupiter's zone. We consider both a purely dynamical evolution and a physico-dynamical one with different physical lifetimes. We can fit the computed energy distribution of comets with q < 1.3 au to the observed one only within the energy range 0.01 < x < 0.04 au-1 (or periods 125 < P < 1000 yr), where the `energy' is taken as the inverse of the semimajor axis a, namely x ≡ 1/a. The best results are obtained for physical lifetimes of about 200-300 revolutions (for a comet with a standard q = 1 au). We find that neither a purely dynamical evolution, nor a physico-dynamical one can reproduce the long tail of larger binding energies (x ≳ 0.04 au-1) that correspond to most Halley-type comets (HTCs) and Jupiter-family comets. We conclude that most HTCs are not the end states of the evolution of LPCs, but come from a different source, a flattened one that we identify with the Centaurs that are scattered to the inner planetary region from the trans-Neptunian belt. These results also show that the boundary between LPCs and HTCs should be located at an energy x ˜ 0.04 au-1 (P ˜ 125 yr), rather than the conventional classical boundary at P = 200 yr.

  3. Realm of the comets

    SciTech Connect

    Weissman, P.R.

    1987-03-01

    Studies of Jovian perturbations of the orbits of long-period comets led to the concept of the Oort cloud of 180 billion comets at 50,000-150,000 AU from the sun. Several comets are induced to move toward the sun every million years by the passage of a star at a distance of a few light years. The location of the cloud has since been revised to 20,000-100,000 AU, and comets are now accepted as remnant material fron the proto-solar system epoch. The galactic disk and random, close-passing stars may also cause rare, large perturbations in the orbits of the cloud comets, sending large numbers of comets through the inner solar system. The resulting cometary storm is a candidate cause for the wholesale extinction of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous-Terniary transition due to large number of planetesimals, or one large comet, striking the earth, in a short period of time. The IRAS instruments have detected similar clouds of material around other stars.

  4. Realm of the comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.

    1987-01-01

    Studies of Jovian perturbations of the orbits of long-period comets led to the concept of the Oort cloud of 180 billion comets at 50,000-150,000 AU from the sun. Several comets are induced to move toward the sun every million years by the passage of a star at a distance of a few light years. The location of the cloud has since been revised to 20,000-100,000 AU, and comets are now accepted as remnant material fron the proto-solar system epoch. The galactic disk and random, close-passing stars may also cause rare, large perturbations in the orbits of the cloud comets, sending large numbers of comets through the inner solar system. The resulting cometary storm is a candidate cause for the wholesale extinction of dinosaurs in the Cretaceous-Terniary transition due to large number of planetesimals, or one large comet, striking the earth, in a short period of time. The IRAS instruments have detected similar clouds of material around other stars.

  5. Infrared imaging of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Telesco, Charles M.

    1988-01-01

    Thermal infrared imaging of comets provides fundamental information about the distribution of dust in their comae and tails. The imaging program at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) uses a unique 20-pixel bolometer array that was developed to image comets at 8 to 30 micrometer. These images provide the basis for: (1) characterizing the composition and size distribution of particles, (2) determining the mass-loss rates from cometary nuclei, and (3) describing the dynamics of the interaction between the dust and the solar radiation. Since the array became operational in 1985, researchers have produced a unique series of IR images of comets Giacobini-Zinner (GZ), Halley, and Wilson. That of GZ was the first groundbased thermal image ever made of a comet and was used to construct, with visible observations, an albedo map. Those data and dynamical analyses showed that GZ contained a population of large (approximately 300 micrometer), fluffy dust grains that formed a distinict inner tail. The accumulating body of images of various comets has also provided a basis for fruitfully intercomparing comet properties. Researchers also took advantage of the unique capabilities of the camera to resolve the inner, possible protoplanetary, disk of the star Beta Pictoris, while not a comet research program, that study is a fruitful additional application of the array to solar system astronomy.

  6. The Comet With a Broken Heart

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-04-01

    On the night of April 23 to 24, ESO's Very Large Telescope observed fragment B of the comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 that had split a few days earlier. To their great surprise, the ESO astronomers discovered that the piece just ejected by fragment B was splitting again! Five other mini-comets are also visible on the image. The comet seems thus doomed to disintegrate but the question remains in how much time. Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (SW 3) is a body with a very tormented past. This comet revolves around the Sun in about 5.4 years, in a very elongated orbit that brings it from inwards of the Earth's orbit to the neighbourhood of giant planet Jupiter. In 1995, when it was coming 'close' to the Earth, it underwent a dramatic and completely unexpected, thousand-fold brightening. Observations in 1996, with ESO's New Technology Telescope and 3.6-m telescope, at La Silla, showed that this was due to the fact that the comet had split into three distinct pieces. Later, in December 1996, two more fragments were discovered. At the last comeback, in 2001, of these five fragments only three were still seen, the fragments C (the largest one), B and E. No new fragmentations happened during this approach, apparently. ESO PR Photo 15a/06 ESO PR Photo 15a/06 Fragment B of Comet SW-3 Things were different this time, when the comet moved again towards its closest approach to the Sun - and to the Earth. Early in March, seven fragments were observed, the brightest (fragment C) being of magnitude 12, i.e. 250 fainter than what the unaided can see, while fragment B was 10 times fainter still. In the course of March, 6 new fragments were seen. Early in April, fragment B went into outburst, brightening by a factor 10 and on 7 April, six new fragments were discovered, confirming the high degree of fragmentation of the comet. On 12 April, fragment B was as bright as the main fragment C, with a magnitude around 9 (16 times fainter than what a keen observer can see with unaided eyes

  7. Comet Bursting Through Relaxation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Scheeres, D. J.

    2012-10-01

    Comets may be excited and occupy non-principal axis (complex) rotation states for a large fraction of their lifetimes. Many comet nuclei have been identified or are suspected to occupy non-principal axis (complex) rotation [Belton 2005, etc.] as well as have evolving rotation rates [Belton 2011, etc.]. Comet orbits drive these rotation states through cycles of excitation due to surface jets and relaxation due to time variable internal stresses that dissipate energy in the anelastic comet interior. Furthermore, relaxation from complex rotation can increase the loads along the symmetry axis of prolate comets. These loads stretch the body along the symmetry axis and may be the cause of the characteristic ``bowling pin’’ shape and eventually may lead to failure. This is an alternative model for comet bursting. Each cycle deposits only a small amount of energy and stress along the axis, but this process is repeated every orbit during which jets are activated. Our model for the evolution of comet nuclei includes torques due to a number of discrete jets located on the surface based on Neishtadt et al. [2002]. The model also includes internal dissipation using an approach developed by Sharma et al. [2005] and Vokrouhlicky et al. [2009]. These equations are averaged over the instantaneous spin state and the heliocentric orbit so the long-term evolution of the comet can be determined. We determine that even after the inclusion of internal dissipation there still exist non-principal axis equilibrium states for certain jet geometries. For ranges of dissipation factors and jet geometries, prolate comets are found to occupy states that have time variable internal loads over long time periods. These periodic loadings along the symmetry axis may lead to ``necking’’ as the body extends along the axis to release the stress and eventually disruption.

  8. Dust bands in the asteroid belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Greenberg, Richard; Dermott, Stanley F.; Nicholson, Philip D.; Burns, Joseph A.

    1989-01-01

    This paper describes the original IRAS observations leading to the discovery of the three dust bands in the asteroid belt and the analysis of data. Special attention is given to an analytical model of the dust band torus and to theories concerning the origin of the dust bands, with special attention given to the collisional equilibrium (asteroid family), the nonequilibrium (random collision), and the comet hypotheses of dust-band origin. It is noted that neither the equilibrium nor nonequilibrium models, as currently formulated, present a complete picture of the IRAS dust-band observations.

  9. Spectroscopy of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, Susan

    1991-01-01

    Observations of NH2, OI, CH, CO(+), CO2(+), H2O(+), and N2(+) in optical spectra of comets represent ionization and dissociation product abundances of N2, NH3, H2O, CH4, CO2, and CO. The primary objectives are to determine: (1) accurate production rates for the observed species, and (2) accurate relative abundances of condensates in a sample of comet nuclei. The ultimate goal is to constrain models of comet formation and chemical processing in the outer primordial solar nebula.

  10. A Comet's Missing Light

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    On 28 November 2013, comet C/2012 S1 better known as comet ISON should have passed within two solar radii of the Suns surface as it reached perihelion in its orbit. But instead of shining in extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths as it grazed the solar surface, the comet was never detected by EUV instruments. What happened to comet ISON?Missing EmissionWhen a sungrazing comet passes through the solar corona, it leaves behind a trail of molecules evaporated from its surface. Some of these molecules emit EUV light, which can be detected by instruments on telescopes like the space-based Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO).Comet ISON, a comet that arrived from deep space and was predicted to graze the Suns corona in November 2013, was expected to cause EUV emission during its close passage. But analysis of the data from multiple telescopes that tracked ISON in EUV including SDO reveals no sign of it at perihelion.In a recent study, Paul Bryans and DeanPesnell, scientists from NCARs High Altitude Observatory and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, try to determine why ISON didnt display this expected emission.Comparing ISON and LovejoyIn December 2011, another comet dipped into the Suns corona: comet Lovejoy. This image, showingthe orbit Lovejoy took around the Sun, is a composite of SDO images of the pre- and post-perihelion phases of the orbit. Click for a closer look! The dashed part of the curve represents where Lovejoy passed out of view behind the Sun. [Bryans Pesnell 2016]This is not the first time weve watched a sungrazing comet with EUV-detecting telescopes: Comet Lovejoy passed similarly close to the Sun in December 2011. But when Lovejoy grazed the solar corona, it emitted brightly in EUV. So why didnt ISON? Bryans and Pesnell argue that there are two possibilities:the coronal conditions experienced by the two comets were not similar, orthe two comets themselves were not similar.To establish which factor is the most relevant, the authors first demonstrate that both

  11. Constraining the cometary flux through the asteroid belt during the late heavy bombardment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brož, M.; Morbidelli, A.; Bottke, W. F.; Rozehnal, J.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Nesvorný, D.

    2013-03-01

    In the Nice model, the late heavy bombardment (LHB) is related to an orbital instability of giant planets which causes a fast dynamical dispersion of a trans-Neptunian cometary disk. We study effects produced by these hypothetical cometary projectiles on main belt asteroids. In particular, we want to check whether the observed collisional families provide a lower or an upper limit for the cometary flux during the LHB. We present an updated list of observed asteroid families as identified in the space of synthetic proper elements by the hierarchical clustering method, colour data, albedo data and dynamical considerations and we estimate their physical parameters. We selected 12 families which may be related to the LHB according to their dynamical ages. We then used collisional models and N-body orbital simulations to gain insight into the long-term dynamical evolution of synthetic LHB families over 4 Gyr. We account for the mutual collisions between comets, main belt asteroids, and family members, the physical disruptions of comets, the Yarkovsky/YORP drift in semimajor axis, chaotic diffusion in eccentricity/inclination, or possible perturbations by the giant-planet migration. Assuming a "standard" size-frequency distribution of primordial comets, we predict the number of families with parent-body sizes DPB ≥ 200 km - created during the LHB and subsequent ≃4 Gyr of collisional evolution - which seems consistent with observations. However, more than 100 asteroid families with DPB ≥ 100 km should be created at the same time which are not observed. This discrepancy can be nevertheless explained by the following processes: i) asteroid families are efficiently destroyed by comminution (via collisional cascade), ii) disruptions of comets below some critical perihelion distance (q ≲ 1.5 AU) are common. Given the freedom in the cometary-disruption law, we cannot provide stringent limits on the cometary flux, but we can conclude that the observed distribution of

  12. Space missions to comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neugebauer, M. (Editor); Yeomans, D. K. (Editor); Brandt, J. C. (Editor); Hobbs, R. W. (Editor)

    1979-01-01

    The broad impact of a cometary mission is assessed with particular emphasis on scientific interest in a fly-by mission to Halley's comet and a rendezvous with Tempel 2. Scientific results, speculations, and future plans are discussed.

  13. Comet: A VOEvent broker

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swinbank, J.

    2014-11-01

    The VOEvent standard provides a means of describing transient celestial events in a machine-readable format. This is an essential step towards analysing and, where appropriate, responding to the large volumes of transients which will be detected by future large scale surveys. The VOEvent Transport Protocol (VTP) defines a system by which VOEvents may be disseminated to the community. We describe the design and implementation of Comet, a freely available, open source implementation of VTP. We use Comet as a base to explore the performance characteristics of the VTP system, in particular with reference to meeting the requirements of future survey projects. We describe how, with the aid of simple extensions to VTP, Comet can help users filter high-volume streams of VOEvents to extract only those which are of relevance to particular science cases. Based on these tests and on the experience of developing Comet, we derive a number of recommendations for future refinements of the VTP standard.

  14. Submillimeter Studies of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David; Morgan, Thomas (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This proposal supported observations of comets at submillimeter wavelengths. The prime science objectives were to use rotational transitions in molecules to measure the compositions and outgassing rates of the comets. The second science objectives focussed on the use of the submillimeter continuum radiation to provide a measure of the solid particle content and production rate in the comets. Both quantities provide fundamental constraints on the nature of these primitive bodies. The gas and dust measurements provide context for NASA's on-going and future studies of comets using in-situ spacecraft. Submillimeter continuum data, in particular, samples the largest particles in the cometary dust grain size distribution. These particles contain the bulk of the mass and present potential hazards to spacecraft when inside the dust coma.

  15. Comparing CN Features in Two Comets: 1P/Halley and 103P/Hartley 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samarasinha, Nalin H.; Lejoly, Cassandra; Barrera, Jose; Mueller, Beatrice; Schleicher, David

    2015-11-01

    Comets 1P/Halley and 103P/Hartley 2 show distinct CN features in their respecive comae. Both comets are non-principal-axis rotators. 1P/Halley is the proto-type for Halley-type comets with the Oort Cloud as its possible source region, whereas 103P/Hartley 2 is a Jupiter-Family comet that possibly originated from the Kuiper Belt. Both comets were spacecraft targets and studied widely from both space and from the ground.We will discuss the properties of CN features, and in particular the behavior of the derived outflow velocities based on the CN features present in the groundbased coma images of these two comets. The corresponding heliocentric distances for CN images of comet 1P/Halley range from approximately 0.8 AU to 2.0 AU (during its post-perihelion leg of the 1986 apparition). For CN images of comet 103P/Hartley 2, the corresponding heliocentric distances range from 1.31 AU through the perihelion (at 1.06 AU) to 1.25 AU (during its 2010 apparition).Ultimately, these results will be used to understand the rotational states and the activity behaviors of these two comets.

  16. Collisions with meteoroids as one of possible mechanisms of formation of hyperbolic orbits for comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guliyev, Ayyub; Nabiyev, Shaig

    2016-07-01

    Based on some characteristics of comets having osculating hyperbolic orbits (hereinafter hyperbolic comets) following working hypothesis is proposed: one of the reasons for the increase of the parameter e of comets could be their collision with large meteoroids from meteor streams, asteroids and Kuiper belts, etc. To test this hypothesis motion areas of 128 meteor showers from the Kronks catalogue are analyzed. The purpose of the analysis is to check the excess of nodes of hyperbolic comets in these zones. To solve the task, we suggest the following algorithm of calculations. Number (N) of orbital nodes of hyperbolic comets according to the distances 0.001, 0.005, 0.01, 0.05 i 0.1 a.u. from each stream is calculated. For the determination of the exceed' measure of N the special algorithm is developed. It allows to find the expected value and dispersion for these comet nodes. Comparative analysis of the parameter N in 63 cases displays its excess. It means one of possibility reasons of formation of the e excess is comets collision with meteoroids in the streams. Asteroid and Kuiper belts as potential sources of vast number of sporadic meteoroids are tested similarity. Results of the analysis are satisfactory for the working hypothesis.

  17. Carbon in comet dust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brownlee, D. E.

    1990-01-01

    The association of Halley particle results with data from existing meteoritic materials that can be analyzed in the laboratory is discussed. Comet samples must exist in present collections of meteoritic materials and the Halley results provide clues for identifying them. Although it is not presently possible to positively identify cometary meteorites or cometary interplanetary dust (IDP) samples, it is possible to determine which materials are similar to Halley dust and which ones are distinctly unlike Halley. The properties of these existing Halley-compatible samples provide insight into the possible properties of cometary material. Positive identification of meteoritic comet samples or direct samples returned from a comet nucleus would of course revolutionize our ability to study carbonaceous matter in comets. Modern analytical techniques are very powerful and it is possible to perform elemental, chemical, mineralogical and even limited isotopic analysis on micron-size particles. There is an important synergism between the laboratory studies of collected samples and astronomical data from comets and interstellar grains. To fully interpret results there must be convincing methods for associating a particular class or classes of meteoritic material with comets. Ultimately this will be done by direct comet sample return such as the Rosetta mission under development by ESA. At the present time the only links that can be made involve comparison with sample properties and measurable properties of comets. Unfortunately there is at present no known unique property of cometary dust that allows its absolute identification in the laboratory. The results from Halley encounters and observation do provide much new information on cometary grains. The Halley grain compositions, density, size distribution and scattering properties all provide a basis for future investigations. Other Halley properties such as the presence of polyoxymethylene and the 3.4um emission feature could

  18. SLH Timing Belt Powertrain

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, Abe

    2014-04-09

    The main goal of this proposal was to develop and test a novel powertrain solution for the SLH hydroEngine, a low-cost, efficient low-head hydropower technology. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. renewable electricity is produced by hydropower (EIA 2010). According to the U.S. Department of Energy; this amount could be increased by 50% with small hydropower plants, often using already-existing dams (Hall 2004). There are more than 80,000 existing dams, and of these, less than 4% generate power (Blankinship 2009). In addition, there are over 800 irrigation districts in the U.S., many with multiple, non-power, low-head drops. These existing, non-power dams and irrigation drops could be retrofitted to produce distributed, baseload, renewable energy with appropriate technology. The problem is that most existing dams are low-head, or less than 30 feet in height (Ragon 2009). Only about 2% of the available low-head hydropower resource in the U.S. has been developed, leaving more than 70 GW of annual mean potential low-head capacity untapped (Hall 2004). Natel Energy, Inc. is developing a low-head hydropower turbine that operates efficiently at heads less than 6 meters and is cost-effective for deployment across multiple low-head structures. Because of the unique racetrack-like path taken by the prime-movers in the SLH, a flexible powertrain is required. Historically, the only viable technological solution was roller chain. Despite the having the ability to easily attach blades, roller chain is characterized by significant drawbacks, including high cost, wear, and vibration from chordal action. Advanced carbon- fiber-reinforced timing belts have been recently developed which, coupled with a novel belt attachment system developed by Natel Energy, result in a large reduction in moving parts, reduced mass and cost, and elimination of chordal action for increased fatigue life. The work done in this project affirmatively addressed each of the following 3 major uncertainties concerning

  19. What's Causing the Activity on Comet 67P?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

    self-heating between parts of the surface in contact.Plot of the modeled temperature of two typical surfaces on the comet: one from the neck region (solid line) and one from the head region (dashed line). Unlike the head, the neck displays drastic drops in temperature as a result of shadowing. [Al-Lagoa et al. 2015]Using this model, the authors find that the temperatures behaved as they predicted: the shadows falling on the comets neck causes this region to experience very rapid temperature changes relative to the rest of the body. The authors also found a definite correlation between the regions of most rapid temperature variations and the regions of the comet that show signs of activity in Rosetta images. This provides strong evidence that thermal cracking is indeed taking place in the shadowed regions of the neck, gradually eroding away the surface.Should this model prove correct, its a step toward understanding the evolution of comets like 67P. In addition, the results from this study imply that thermal cracking might happen faster than previously estimated in shadowed regions of other atmosphereless bodies, both near Earth and in the asteroid belt.CitationV. Al-Lagoa et al 2015 ApJ 810 L22. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/810/2/L22

  20. The Comet With a Broken Heart

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-04-01

    On the night of April 23 to 24, ESO's Very Large Telescope observed fragment B of the comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 that had split a few days earlier. To their great surprise, the ESO astronomers discovered that the piece just ejected by fragment B was splitting again! Five other mini-comets are also visible on the image. The comet seems thus doomed to disintegrate but the question remains in how much time. Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (SW 3) is a body with a very tormented past. This comet revolves around the Sun in about 5.4 years, in a very elongated orbit that brings it from inwards of the Earth's orbit to the neighbourhood of giant planet Jupiter. In 1995, when it was coming 'close' to the Earth, it underwent a dramatic and completely unexpected, thousand-fold brightening. Observations in 1996, with ESO's New Technology Telescope and 3.6-m telescope, at La Silla, showed that this was due to the fact that the comet had split into three distinct pieces. Later, in December 1996, two more fragments were discovered. At the last comeback, in 2001, of these five fragments only three were still seen, the fragments C (the largest one), B and E. No new fragmentations happened during this approach, apparently. ESO PR Photo 15a/06 ESO PR Photo 15a/06 Fragment B of Comet SW-3 Things were different this time, when the comet moved again towards its closest approach to the Sun - and to the Earth. Early in March, seven fragments were observed, the brightest (fragment C) being of magnitude 12, i.e. 250 fainter than what the unaided can see, while fragment B was 10 times fainter still. In the course of March, 6 new fragments were seen. Early in April, fragment B went into outburst, brightening by a factor 10 and on 7 April, six new fragments were discovered, confirming the high degree of fragmentation of the comet. On 12 April, fragment B was as bright as the main fragment C, with a magnitude around 9 (16 times fainter than what a keen observer can see with unaided eyes

  1. The study of comets, part 1. [conference on photometry and spectrum analysis of Kohoutek comet and comet tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, B. (Editor); Mumma, M. J. (Editor); Jackson, W. M. (Editor); Ahearn, M. (Editor); Harrington, R. (Editor)

    1976-01-01

    Papers are presented dealing with observations of comets. Topic discussed include: photometry, polarimetry, and astrometry of comets; detection of water and molecular transitions in comets; ion motions in comet tails; determination of comet brightness and luminosity; and evolution of cometary orbits. Emphasis is placed on analysis of observations of comet Kohoutek.

  2. Comets and the Stardust Mission

    SciTech Connect

    LLNL - University of California Television

    2008-05-16

    The occasional appearance of comets has awed humans throughout history. But how much do we really know about comets? Did a comet kill the dinosaurs? And, what can comets tell us about our own ancient history? With comet dust from NASA's Stardust mission, scientists like Hope Ishii, a Research Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, are beginning to answer these questions. She and high school teacher Tom Shefler look at how comets formed, their role in the Earth's history and the clues about what happened over 4 billion years ago. Series: Science on Saturday [5/2008] [Science] [Show ID: 14492

  3. Comets and the Stardust Mission

    ScienceCinema

    LLNL - University of California Television

    2016-07-12

    The occasional appearance of comets has awed humans throughout history. But how much do we really know about comets? Did a comet kill the dinosaurs? And, what can comets tell us about our own ancient history? With comet dust from NASA's Stardust mission, scientists like Hope Ishii, a Research Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, are beginning to answer these questions. She and high school teacher Tom Shefler look at how comets formed, their role in the Earth's history and the clues about what happened over 4 billion years ago. Series: Science on Saturday [5/2008] [Science] [Show ID: 14492

  4. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2011-03-01

    We present 25 accounts of comets from 40 Australian Aboriginal communities, citing both supernatural perceptions of comets and historical accounts of historically bright comets. Historical and ethnographic descriptions include the Great Comets of 1843, 1861, 1901, 1910, and 1927. We describe the perceptions of comets in Aboriginal societies and show that they are typically associated with fear, death, omens, malevolent spirits, and evil magic, consistent with many cultures around the world. We also provide a list of words for comets in 16 different Aboriginal languages.

  5. Sampling the stuff of a comet

    SciTech Connect

    Knacke, R.

    1987-03-01

    The composition of the clouds around Comet Halley during its perihelion passage was examined using intercept spacecraft, IUE, ICE and Pioneer Venus spacecraft, and ground-based instruments. Spectral data showed that the dust emitted in jets was mainly carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen (CHON), with additives of Fe, Si, and Mg. The C abundance is similar to that in the sun and in the galactic stellar abundances, which supports the model of comets as proto-stellar nebula material. The nucleus was observed to shed 16 tons of water per second, a rate which at times may have doubled. Noticeably absent from the spectra were CH/sub 4/ lines, an absence common in interstellar clouds. The possibilities that the comet contains a large deuterium-hydrogen ratio and carbonaceous material are discussed.

  6. Frequency and intensity of comet showers from the Oort cloud

    SciTech Connect

    Heisler, J.; Alcock, C.; Tremaine, S.

    1987-05-01

    The nature of new comets and the frequency and intensity of comet showers are presently studied by means of a simulation in which an ensemble of one million comets is perturbed at random times by the Bahcall-Soneira (1980) Galaxy model's population of main sequence stars and white dwarfs. The time-integrated flux is dominated by the showers for comets whose semimajor axes are less than about 30,000 AU. The inclusion of tidal effects increases the loss rate of comets with semimajor axes between 10,000 and 20,000 AU by a factor of about 4, so that the Galactic tide, rather than individual stellar perturbations, is the dominant Oort cloud evolution-driving mechanism. 44 references.

  7. Discovery of the candidate Kuiper belt object 1992 QB1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David; Luu, Jane

    1993-01-01

    The discovery of a new faint object in the outer solar system, 1992 QB1, moving beyond the orbit of Neptune is reported. It is suggested that the 1992 QB1 may represent the first detection of a member of the Kuiper belt (Edgworth, 1949; Kuiper, 1951), the hypothesized population of objects beyond Neptune and a possible source of the short-period comets, as suggested by Whipple (1964), Fernandez (1980), and Duncan et al. (1988).

  8. Rivet-fastener belt splices reduce conveyor downtime

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-11-01

    At Sahara Coal Co's No. 21 Mine in Illinois some 18 miles of conveyor belting are in underground use bringing coal from the faces to a main haulage conveyor which transports the coal to the surface. The belt material is nylon carcass with rubber cover. Because of relatively low roof clearance, thinner belt than is typically used underground is employed, since a 500 ft roll of thicker belting would be unable to negotiate low-clearance entries. This thinner belt material could not be spliced using conventional fasteners, but solid-plate rivetted splicing has been found to be satisfactory.

  9. Comet disintegration and meteor streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guliyev, Ayyub S.; Poladova, Ulviyya J.

    2013-01-01

    The possibilities for disintegration of a cometary nucleus by collision with meteoroid streams, pre- dicted by one of authors (Guliyev, 2010) are considered in three zones of the Solar System. A list of disintegrating comets consisting of 118 cases has been made by the authors. The list contains data about observed cases of comet splitting, comet twins, and data about disappeared comets. Testing the comet parameters by applying the methods of mathematical statistics confirms the hypothesis underlying this article. The frequency of passing through the three zones where there might be a collapse of a proto-comet is rather high for the proto-comets of the Sun-grazer group. The results of the statistical analysis of comet outbursts yields additional arguments in favor of our hypothesis.

  10. Hubble View of Comet ISON

    NASA Video Gallery

    This time-lapse sequence of images from the Hubble Space Telescope shows comet ISON as it appeared on May 8, 2013. At the time the images were taken, the comet was 403 million miles from the Earth,...

  11. The nature of comet nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Walker, Russell G.

    1992-01-01

    The icy-conglomerate model of comet nuclei has dominated all others since its introduction. It provided a basis for understanding the non-gravitational motions of comets which had perplexed dynamicists up to that time, and provided a focus for understanding cometary composition and origin. The image of comets as dirty snowballs was quickly adopted. Comet nuclei including their trail mass loss rates and refractory to volatile mass ratios are described.

  12. Term Projects on Interstellar Comets

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mack, John E.

    1975-01-01

    Presents two calculations of the probability of detection of an interstellar comet, under the hypothesis that such comets would escape from comet clouds similar to that believed to surround the sun. Proposes three problems, each of which would be a reasonable term project for a motivated undergraduate. (Author/MLH)

  13. Discovering the Nature of Comets.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whipple, Fred L.

    1986-01-01

    "The Mystery of Comets" by Dr. Fred Whipple provides an introduction to the modern picture of comets and his personal reminiscences of how his model of comets came to be. An adaptation of several sections of the book is presented. (JN)

  14. Look--It's a Comet!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berglund, Kay

    1997-01-01

    Describes a classroom lesson on comets that uses modeling and guided imagery to spark students' curiosity. Comet models are built using chunks of rock salt, polystyrene balls, and tinsel. Abstract ideas are made more concrete with a guided imagery story called Comet Ride! Includes an introduction to the use of parallax to measure the distance of…

  15. Astrobiology of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Wickramasinghe, Nalin C.; Wallis, Max K.; Sheldon, Robert B.

    2004-01-01

    We review the current state of knowledge concerning microbial extremophiles and comets and the potential significance of comets to Astrobiology. We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of - IAU. The transfer of incident energy from sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of near surface ices, some under stable porous crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We provide data concerning new evidence for indigenous microfossils in CI meteorites, which may be the remains of extinct cometary cores. We discuss the dominant microbial communities of polar sea-ice, Antarctic ice sheet, and cryoconite environments as possible analogs for microbial ecosystems that may grow in sub-crustal pools or in ice/water films in comets.

  16. IRAS observations of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, R. G.; Matson, D. L.; Veeder, G. J.

    1986-01-01

    The moderate spatial resolution and high sensitivity of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), which surveyed the celestial sphere during 1983 at wavelengths of 12, 25, 60, and 100 microns, were particularly well suited to detecting extended thermal emission from cometary dust. Sources with infrared color temperatures characteristic of solar system bodies, and at the ephemerides position of known comets were selected for analysis by the IRAS Asteroid Data Analysis System (ADAS). The data base is now available for use by researchers. This paper describes the development of the data base, details its entries, and presents a statistical analysis of its contents. The IRAS survey contains multiple observations of many periodic comets. A brief description and analysis is given of the observed infrared and derived physical properties for several comets of special interest.

  17. Comets, meteorites and atmospheres.

    PubMed

    Owen, T; Bar-Nun, A

    1996-01-01

    The relatively low value of Xe/Kr in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars seems to rule out meteorites as the major carriers of noble gases to the inner planets. Laboratory experiments on the trapping of gases in ice forming at low temperatures suggest that comets may be a better choice. It is then possible to develop a model for the origin of inner planet atmospheres based on volatiles delivered by comets added to volatiles originally trapped in planetary rocks. The model will be tested by results from the Galileo Entry Probe.

  18. Comets, meteorites and atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, T.; Bar-Nun, A.

    1996-01-01

    The relatively low value of Xe/Kr in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars seems to rule out meteorites as the major carriers of noble gases to the inner planets. Laboratory experiments on the trapping of gases in ice forming at low temperatures suggest that comets may be a better choice. It is then possible to develop a model for the origin of inner planet atmospheres based on volatiles delivered by comets added to volatiles originally trapped in planetary rocks. The model will be tested by results from the Galileo Entry Probe.

  19. Belt conveyor apparatus

    SciTech Connect

    Oakley, D.J.; Bogart, R.L.

    1987-05-05

    A belt conveyor apparatus is described comprising: means defining a conveyance path including a first pulley and at least a second pulley, an endless belt member adapted for continuous travel about the pulleys defining thereby an upper and lower reach, the endless belt member having a lower portion which engages the pulleys and an integral upper portion adapted to receive objects at a first location on the conveyance path and transport the objects to and then discharge the objects at a second location on the conveyance path; and motive means in communication with the means defining a conveyance path, for effecting the travel of the endless belt member about the conveyance path.

  20. The Compositional Structure of the Asteroid Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMeo, F. E.; Alexander, C. M. O'D.; Walsh, K. J.; Chapman, C. R.; Binzel, R. P.

    The past decade has brought major improvements in large-scale asteroid discovery and characterization, with over half a million known asteroids, more than 100,000 of which have some measurement of physical characterization. This explosion of data has allowed us to create a new global picture of the main asteroid belt. Put in context with meteorite measurements and dynamical models, a new and more complete picture of solar system evolution has emerged. The question has changed from "What was the original compositional gradient of the asteroid belt?" to "What was the original compositional gradient of small bodies across the entire solar system?" No longer is the leading theory that two belts of planetesimals are primordial, but instead those belts were formed and sculpted through evolutionary processes after solar system formation. This chapter reviews the advancements on the fronts of asteroid compositional characterization, meteorite measurements, and dynamical theories in the context of the heliocentric distribution of asteroid compositions seen in the main belt today. This chapter also reviews the major outstanding questions relating to asteroid compositions and distributions and summarizes the progress and current state of understanding of these questions to form the big picture of the formation and evolution of asteroids in the main belt. Finally, we briefly review the relevance of asteroids and their compositions in their greater context within our solar system and beyond.

  1. The Southeast Asian Tin Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, M. O.; Rajah, S. S.; Askury, A. K.; Putthapiban, P.; Djaswadi, S.

    1995-07-01

    The Southeast Asian Tin Belt is a north-south elongate zone 2800 km long and 400 km wide, extending from Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand to Peninsular Malaysia and the Indonesian Tin Islands. Altogether 9.6 million tonnes of tin, equivalent to 54% of the world's tin production is derived from this region. Most of the granitoids in the region can be grouped geographically into elongate provinces or belts, based on petrographic and geochronological features. - The Main Range Granitoid Province in western Peninsular Malaysia, southern Peninsular Thailand and central Thailand is almost entirely made up of biotite granite (184-230 Ma). Tin deposits associated with these granites contributed 55% of the historic tin production of Southeast Asia. - The Northern Granitoid Province in northern Thailand (0.1% of tin production) also has dominant biotite granite (200-269 Ma) but it is distinguished by abundant post-intrusion deformation. - The Eastern Granitoid Province extends from eastern Peninsular Malaysia to eastern Thailand. The Malaysian part is subdivided into the East Coast Belt (220-263 Ma), Boundary Range Belt (197-257 Ma) and Central Belt (79-219 Ma). The granitoids cover a wide compositional range from biotite granite to hornblende-biotite granite/granodiorite and diorite-gabbro. Tin deposits are associated with biotite granite in the East Coast Belt (3% of tin production). The granitoids in the other areas of the Eastern Granitoid Province are barren. - The Western Granitoid Province (22-149 Ma) in northern Peninsular Thailand, western Thailand and Burma has biotite granite and hornblende-biotite granite/granodiorite. Tin deposits are associated with biotite granite, which probably is the dominant phase (14% of tin production). The granitoids of the Indonesian Tin Islands (193-251 Ma) do not permit grouping into geographically distinct units. Main Range-type and Eastern Province-type plutons occur next to each other. Most of the tin deposits are associated with Main

  2. Comets, Asteroids, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the role of comets in the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment has become more widely accepted. However comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are entirely devoid of liquid water and consequently unsuitable for life in any form. Complex organic compounds have been observed comets and on the water rich asteroid 1998 KY26, which has color and radar reflectivity similar to the carbonaceous meteorites. Near infrared observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar with resurfacing that may indicate cryovolcanic outgassing and the Cassini spacecraft has detected water-ice geysers on Saturn s moon Enceladus. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have now firmly established that comets contain a suite of complex organic chemicals; water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx.350-400 K) can be reached on the surface of the very black (albedo-0.03) nuclei when the comets are with 1.5 AU from the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust and episodic outbursts and jets observed on the nuclei of several comets are interpreted as indications that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the crust of some comets. The Deep Impact observations indicate that the temperature on the nucleus of of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from 330K on the sunlit side to a minimum of 280+/-8 K. It is interesting that even the coldest region of the comet surface was slightly above the ice/liquid water phase transition temperature. These results suggest that pools and films of liquid water can exist in a wide

  3. DIRBE Comet Trails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2015-01-01

    Re-examination of the COBE DIRBE data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails.The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported.The known trails of 2P/Encke, and 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 microns surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy/sr, respectively, which is <1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals one additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  4. DRBE comet trails

    SciTech Connect

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2014-12-01

    Re-examination of the Cosmic Background Explorer Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails. The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported. The known trails of 2P/Encke and 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 μm surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy sr{sup −1}, respectively, which is <1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals 1 additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  5. Halley's Comet: A Bibliography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freitag, Ruth S., Comp.

    Included in this bibliography are over 3,200 references to publications on Halley's Comet, its history, orbital motion, and physical characteristics, meteor streams associated with it, preparations for space missions to study it in 1986, and popular reaction to its appearances. Also cited are a few papers that, although they devote little…

  6. Comets and life.

    PubMed

    Oró, J; Berry, J M

    1987-01-01

    Some of the chemical species which have been detected in comets include H2O, HCN, CH3CN, CO, CO2, NH3, CS, C2 and C3. All of these have also been detected in the interstellar medium, indicating a probable relationship between interstellar dust and gas clouds and comets. Laboratory experiments carried out with different mixtures of these molecules give rise to the formation of the biochemical compounds which are necessary for life, such as amino acids, purines, pyrimidines, monosaccharides, etc. However, in spite of suggestions to the contrary, the presence of life in comets is unlikely. On the other hand, the capture of cometary matter by the primitive Earth is considered essential for the development of life on this planet. The amount of cometary carbon-containing matter captured by the Earth, as calculated by different authors, is several times larger than the total amount of organic matter present in the biosphere (10(18)g). The major classes of reactions which were probably involved in the formation of key biochemical compounds are discussed. Our tentative conclusions are that: 1) comets played a predominant role in the emergence of life on our planet, and 2) they are the cosmic connection with extraterrestrial life.

  7. The Composition of Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochran, Anita L.; Levasseur-Regourd, Anny-Chantal; Cordiner, Martin; Hadamcik, Edith; Lasue, Jérémie; Gicquel, Adeline; Schleicher, David G.; Charnley, Steven B.; Mumma, Michael J.; Paganini, Lucas; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Biver, Nicolas; Kuan, Yi-Jehng

    2015-12-01

    This paper is the result of the International Cometary Workshop, held in Toulouse, France in April 2014, where the participants came together to assess our knowledge of comets prior to the ESA Rosetta Mission. In this paper, we look at the composition of the gas and dust from the comae of comets. With the gas, we cover the various taxonomic studies that have broken comets into groups and compare what is seen at all wavelengths. We also discuss what has been learned from mass spectrometers during flybys. A few caveats for our interpretation are discussed. With dust, much of our information comes from flybys. They include in situ analyses as well as samples returned to Earth for laboratory measurements. Remote sensing IR observations and polarimetry are also discussed. For both gas and dust, we discuss what instruments the Rosetta spacecraft and Philae lander will bring to bear to improve our understanding of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as "ground-truth" for our previous comprehensive studies. Finally, we summarize some of the initial Rosetta Mission findings.

  8. Comets in Indian Scriptures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das Gupta, P.

    2016-01-01

    The Indo-Aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times in order to conduct sacrificial rites ordained by the Vedas. Naturally, they would have sighted comets and referred to them in the Vedic texts. In Rigveda (circa 1700-1500 BC) and Atharvaveda (circa 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Rigveda speaks of a fig tree whose aerial roots spread out in the sky (Parpola 2010). Had this imagery been inspired by the resemblance of a comet's tail with long and linear roots of a banyan tree (ficus benghalensis)? Varahamihira (AD 550) and Ballal Sena (circa AD 1100-1200) described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers, such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, and Garga, to name a few. In this article, we propose that an episode in Mahabharata in which a radiant king, Nahusha, who rules the heavens and later turns into a serpent after he kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.

  9. DIRBE Comet Trails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2014-12-01

    Re-examination of the Cosmic Background Explorer Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails. The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported. The known trails of 2P/Encke and 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 μm surface brightnesses of \\lt 0.1 and \\lt 0.15 MJy sr-1, respectively, which is \\lt 1% of the zodiacal light intensity. The trails are very difficult to see in any single daily image of the sky, but are evident as rapidly moving linear features in movies of the DIRBE data. Some trails are clearest when crossing through the orbital plane of the parent comet, but others are best seen at high ecliptic latitudes as the Earth passes over or under the dust trail. All these comets have known associations with meteor showers. This re-examination also reveals 1 additional comet and 13 additional asteroids that had not previously been recognized in the DIRBE data.

  10. Finding Comet Halley.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glenn, William H.

    1985-01-01

    Provides background information and references on Comet Halley (which will be observable by telescope in October 1985 and reach its most brilliant appearance in March and April of 1986). Suggestions for equipment and maps of its path through the sky are included. (DH)

  11. Comet radar explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farnham, Tony; Asphaug, Erik; Barucci, Antonella; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Brownlee, Donald; Capria, Maria Teresa; Carter, Lynn; Chesley, Steve; Farnham, Tony; Gaskell, Robert; Gim, Young; Heggy, Essam; Herique, Alain; Klaasen, Ken; Kofman, Wlodek; Kreslavsky, Misha; Lisse, Casey; Orosei, Roberto; Plaut, Jeff; Scheeres, Dan

    The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) is designed to perform a comprehensive and detailed exploration of the interior, surface, and inner coma structures of a scientifically impor-tant Jupiter family comet. These structures will be used to investigate the origins of cometary nuclei, their physical and geological evolution, and the mechanisms driving their spectacular activity. CORE is a high heritage spacecraft, injected by solar electric propulsion into orbit around a comet. It is capable of coherent deep radar imaging at decameter wavelengths, high resolution stereo color imaging, and near-IR imaging spectroscopy. Its primary objective is to obtain a high-resolution map of the interior structure of a comet nucleus at a resolution of ¿100 elements across the diameter. This structure shall be related to the surface geology and morphology, and to the structural details of the coma proximal to the nucleus. This is an ideal complement to the science from recent comet missions, providing insight into how comets work. Knowing the structure of the interior of a comet-what's inside-and how cometary activity works, is required before we can understand the requirements for a cryogenic sample return mission. But more than that, CORE is fundamental to understanding the origin of comets and their evolution in time. The mission is made feasible at low cost by the use of now-standard MARSIS-SHARAD reflec-tion radar imaging hardware and data processing, together with proven flight heritage of solar electric propulsion. Radar flight heritage has been demonstrated by the MARSIS radar on Mars Express (Picardi et al., Science 2005; Plaut et al., Science 2007), the SHARAD radar onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Seu et al., JGR 2007), and the LRS radar onboard Kaguya (Ono et al, EPS 2007). These instruments have discovered detailed subsurface structure to depths of several kilometers in a variety of terrains on Mars and the Moon. A reflection radar deployed in orbit about a comet

  12. Theories of comets to the age of Laplace

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heidarzadeh, Tofigh

    Although the development of ideas about cometary motion has been investigated in several projects, a comprehensive and detailed survey of physical theories of comets has not been conducted. The available works either illustrate relatively short periods in the history of physical cometology or portray a landscape view without adequate details. The present study is an attempt to depict the details of the major physical theories of comets from Aristotle to the age of Laplace. The basic question from which this project originated was simple: how did natural philosophers and astronomers define the nature and place of a new category of celestial objects--the comets--after Brahe's estimation of cometary distances? However, a study starting merely from Brahe without covering classical and medieval thought about comets would be incomplete. Thus, based on the fundamental physical characteristics attributed to comets, the history of cometology may be divided into three periods: from Aristotle to Brahe, in which comets were assumed to be meteorological phenomena; from Brahe to Newton, when comets were admitted as celestial bodies but with unknown trajectories; and from Newton to Laplace, in which they were treated as members of the solar system having more or less the same properties of the planets. By estimating the mass of comets in the 1800s, Laplace diverted cometology into a different direction wherein they were considered among the smallest bodies in the solar system and deprived of the most important properties that had been used to explain their physical constitution during the previous two millennia. Ideas about the astrological aspects of comets are not considered in this study. Also, topics concerning the motion of comets are explained to the extent that is helpful in illustrating their physical properties. The main objective is to demonstrate the foundations of physical theories of comets, and the interaction between observational and mathematical astronomy, and

  13. Unveiling the formation and evolution of comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasue, J.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Botet, R.; Coradini, A.; Desanctis, M. C.; Kofman, W.

    2007-08-01

    energy of the cometesimals and their probable re-accretion after collision events in the Kuiper Belt can be used to interpret the typical layered structure observed for comet 9P/Tempel 1 [10] and evaluate the tensile strengths inside the nucleus. Thermal evolution models of comet nuclei explain the current comet observations with the presence of primordial volatiles [11]. A quasi-3D approach (for non-spherically shaped comet nuclei) is used to interpret the current activity of comets in terms of initial characteristics, and to predict shape and internal stratification evolution of the nucleus. Tensile strength indications and activity predictions from such simulations will provide vital clues for the international Rosetta mission landing on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. During the Rosetta rendezvous, the CONSERT experiment will investigate the deep interior of the nucleus from measurements of the propagation delay of long wavelength radio waves [12]. The analysis and 3D reconstruction of the waves passing through the nucleus will put constraints on the materials constituting the comet and the inhomogeneities within the nucleus. While it is now established that nuclei have low densities and are significantly fragile, it will then be possible to better constrain their formation process and their evolution. [1] A'Hearn et al., Science 310, 258 (2005) [2] Samarasinha, Icarus 154, 540 (2001) [3] Trigo-Rodriguez and Llorca, Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 372, 655 (2006) [4] A'Hearn and Combi, Icarus 187, 1 (2007) [5] Hanner and Bradley, In: Comets II, Festou, Keller, Weaver (eds), pp 555 (2004) [6] Brownlee et al., Science 314, 1711 (2006) [7] Lasue and Levasseur-Regourd, J. Quant. Spectros. Radiat. Transfer 100, 220-236 (2006) [8]Levasseur-Regourd et al., (2007), Planet Space Sci., doi:10.1016/j.pss.2006.11.014 in press. [9] Hörz et al., Science 314, 1716 (2006) [10] Belton et al., Icarus 187, 332 (2007) [11] DeSanctis et al., Astron. Astrophys. 444, 605 (2005

  14. The ICQ Guide to Observing Comets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, D. W. E.

    1997-01-01

    The following topics were dealt with: basic information (comet names and designation nomenclature, basic anatomy of a comet, composition of comets and techniques for deriving this information, orbital characteristics of comets, the stellar-magnitude scale and general remarks on comet magnitudes, typical comet behaviors, and the role of solar activity, time and its role in observing comets, locating and identifying known comets, what to do if you discover a comet); a historical overview of the observation of comets (perceptions of comets via naked-eye observations prior to Halley, issues regarding the reading and interpretation of historical observations); visual observing (the human eye as a light detector, observing conditions and observing-site selection, instrumentation and observing "assessories", comet hunting, discovery, and follow-up, estimating a comet's total magnitude, estimating the comet's other physical parameters, drawing comets, daytime observations of comets); non-visual optical observations (CCD observations, photography of comets, narrow-band photometry, spectroscopy and spectrophotometry, occultations); observations outside the visual region (ground-based observations at non-optical wavelengths, satellite-based observations of comets); astrometry of comets (astrometric measurement of photographs and CCD frames, general measurement procedures and astrometric reductions, reporting of comet astrometry, radar astrometry, dealing with older astrometry). Appendices (list of numbered periodic comets, star catalogues, atlases, and charts).

  15. Seat belt restraint system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garavaglia, A.; Matsuhiro, D.

    1972-01-01

    Shoulder-harness and lap-belt restraint system was designed to be worn by individuals of widely different sizes and to permit normal body motion except under sudden deceleration. System is divided into two basic assemblies, lap belt and torso or shoulder harness. Inertia-activated reels immediately lock when seat experiences sudden deceleration.

  16. P31comet, a member of the synaptonemal complex, participates in meiotic DSB formation in rice.

    PubMed

    Ji, Jianhui; Tang, Ding; Shen, Yi; Xue, Zhihui; Wang, Hongjun; Shi, Wenqing; Zhang, Chao; Du, Guijie; Li, Yafei; Cheng, Zhukuan

    2016-09-20

    The human mitotic arrest-deficient 2 (Mad2) binding protein p31(comet) participates in the spindle checkpoint and coordinates cell cycle events in mitosis although its function in meiosis remains unknown in all organisms. Here, we reveal P31(comet) as a synaptonemal complex (SC) protein in rice (Oryza sativa L.). In p31(comet), homologous pairing and synapsis are eliminated, leading to the homologous nondisjunction and complete sterility. The failure in loading of histone H2AX phosphorylation (γH2AX) in p31(comet), together with the suppressed chromosome fragmentation in rice completion of meiotic recombination 1 (com1) p31(comet) and radiation sensitive 51c (rad51c) p31(comet) double mutants, indicates that P31(comet) plays an essential role in double-strand break (DSB) formation. Interestingly, the dynamic colocalization pattern between P31(comet) and ZEP1 (a transverse filament protein of SC) by immunostaining, as well as the interaction between P31(comet) and CENTRAL REGION COMPONENT 1 (CRC1) in yeast two-hybrid assays, suggests possible involvement of P31(comet) in SC installation. Together, these data indicate that P31(comet) plays a key role in DSB formation and SC installation, mainly through its cooperation with CRC1. PMID:27601671

  17. P31comet, a member of the synaptonemal complex, participates in meiotic DSB formation in rice

    PubMed Central

    Ji, Jianhui; Tang, Ding; Shen, Yi; Xue, Zhihui; Wang, Hongjun; Shi, Wenqing; Zhang, Chao; Du, Guijie; Li, Yafei; Cheng, Zhukuan

    2016-01-01

    The human mitotic arrest-deficient 2 (Mad2) binding protein p31comet participates in the spindle checkpoint and coordinates cell cycle events in mitosis although its function in meiosis remains unknown in all organisms. Here, we reveal P31comet as a synaptonemal complex (SC) protein in rice (Oryza sativa L.). In p31comet, homologous pairing and synapsis are eliminated, leading to the homologous nondisjunction and complete sterility. The failure in loading of histone H2AX phosphorylation (γH2AX) in p31comet, together with the suppressed chromosome fragmentation in rice completion of meiotic recombination 1 (com1) p31comet and radiation sensitive 51c (rad51c) p31comet double mutants, indicates that P31comet plays an essential role in double-strand break (DSB) formation. Interestingly, the dynamic colocalization pattern between P31comet and ZEP1 (a transverse filament protein of SC) by immunostaining, as well as the interaction between P31comet and CENTRAL REGION COMPONENT 1 (CRC1) in yeast two-hybrid assays, suggests possible involvement of P31comet in SC installation. Together, these data indicate that P31comet plays a key role in DSB formation and SC installation, mainly through its cooperation with CRC1. PMID:27601671

  18. To Belt or Not To Belt?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vail, Kathleen

    1999-01-01

    The National Highway Traffic Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is in the midst of the first school-bus crash tests in more than 10 years. Its report is expected in June 2000, and those on both sides of the seat-belt debate are waiting to see what NHTSA will recommend on passenger restraints in large school buses. A sidebar lists sources…

  19. Submillimeter studies of main-sequence stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zuckerman, B.; Becklin, E. E.

    1993-01-01

    JCMT maps of the 800-micron emission from Vega, Fomalhaut, and Beta Pictoris are interpreted to indicate that they are not ringed by large reservoirs of distant orbiting dust particles that are too cold to have been detected by IRAS. A search for 800-micron emission from stars in the Pleiades and Ursa Majoris open clusters is reported. In comparison with the mass of dust particles near T Tauri and Herbig Ae stars, the JCMT data indicate a decline in dust mass during the initial 3 x 10 exp 8 yr that a star spends on the main sequence that is at least as rapid as (time) exp -2. It is estimated that in the Kuiper belt the ratio of total mass carried by small particles to that carried by comets is orders of magnitude smaller than this ratio is 1 AU from the sun. If 800-micron opacities calculated by Pollack et al. (1993) are correct, then the particles with radii less than 100 microns that dominate the FIR fluxes measured by IRAS cannot entirely account for the measured 800-micron fluxes at Vega, Beta Pic, and Fomalhaut; larger particles must be present as well.

  20. Fluorescent in situ hybridization on comets: FISH comet.

    PubMed

    Shaposhnikov, Sergey; El Yamani, Naouale; Collins, Andrew R

    2015-01-01

    The DNA in eukaryotic cells is organized into loop domains that represent basic structural and functional units of chromatin packaging. The comet assay, a sensitive method for monitoring DNA damage and repair, involves electrophoresis of nucleoids comprising supercoiled DNA attached to the nuclear matrix. Breaks in the DNA relax the supercoiling and allow DNA loops to expand, and on electrophoresis to move towards the anode, giving the appearance of a comet tail. We use fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to investigate the structure of the chromatin within comet preparations and to study specific DNA sequences within comets. In this chapter we describe our FISH comets protocols, deal with some technical questions and outline the theory. FISH with comets should be useful to researchers interested in the structural organization of DNA and chromatin, the localization of DNA damage, and the kinetics of repair of damage. PMID:25827891

  1. Dynamic load sharing for conveyor belts with multiple drive stations

    SciTech Connect

    Churchill, F.T.

    1995-05-01

    The characteristics and limitations of multiple drive station belt conveyors are explored and a computational method is presented as a means of providing drive coordination which can skirt some of the limitations. This paper will describe some of the design parameters of concern for belt conveyors, including belt tension and how it varies with load, how the unpredictably non-uniform loading of the belt affects performance, and will explore the relationship of friction between the belt and a drive pulley and how this limits the amount of horsepower which can be transmitted to the belt. The way in which these parameters change in configurations with multiple drives and multiple drive stations is outlined. The two main means of employing booster drives are presented; tripper booster and linear booster. The tripper booster technology is amenable to tension control, in which the torque provided by each drive station is controlled by the tension in the belt measured immediately downstream of the drive station. This approach has proved successful in belt systems with as many as four booster drive stations, operating at belt loads in excess of 3200 tons per hour over 12,000 ft of belt. The linear booster arrangement does not allow a convenient method of measuring belt tension, thus a computational algorithm was devised to take advantage of the geometry of the belt system to control tension of the belt within certain limits without the use of tension feedback. This approach has proven useful in 10,000 foot belt system which has a single booster drive station, operating at loads up to 4000 tons per hour.

  2. Optical Detection of Anomalous Nitrogen in Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-12-01

    studies will provide crucial information about the detailed composition of a much larger number of comets than hitherto possible and hence, more information about the primordial matter from which the solar system formed. A better understanding of the origins of the cometary material (in particular the HCN and CN molecules [3]) and the connection with heavier organic molecules is highly desirable. This is especially so in view of the probable rôle of comets in bringing to the young Earth materials essential for the subsequent formation of life on our planet . PR Photo 28a/03 : Comet LINEAR (C/2000 WM1) - direct image and UVES slit position. PR Photo 28b/03 : Part of the UVES spectrum of Comet LINEAR (C/2000 WM1) with CN-band. PR Photo 28c/03 : Identification of nitrogen-15 in the spectrum. Cometary material Knowledge of the abundance of the stable isotopes [2] of the light elements in different solar system objects provides critical clues to the origin and early evolution of these objects and of the system as a whole. In order to gain the best possible insight into the origins and formation of the niche in which we live, it is therefore important to determine such isotopic abundance ratios in as many members of the solar family as possible. This is particularly true for comets, believed to be carriers of well-preserved specimens of the pristine material from which the solar system was made, some 4,600 million years ago. However, the detailed study of cometary material is a difficult task. Measurements of isotopic ratios is an especially daunting undertaking, mainly because of the extreme weakness of the spectral signatures (emissions) of the less abundant species like carbon-13, nitrogen-15, etc.. Measurements of microwave emission from those atoms suffer from additional, inherent uncertainties connected to the much stronger emission of the more abundant species. Measurements in the optical spectral region thus take on particular importance in this context. However, it is

  3. Dynamical and collisional evolution of Halley-type comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Helm, E.; Jeffers, S. V.

    2012-03-01

    The number of observed Halley-type comets is hundreds of times less than predicted by models (Levison, H.F., Dones, L., Duncan, M.J. [2001]. Astron. J. 121, 2253-2267). In this paper we investigate the impact of collisions with planetesimals on the evolution of Halley-type comets. First we compute the dynamical evolution of a sub-set of 21 comets using the MERCURY integrator package over 100 Myr. The dynamical lifetime is determined to be of the order of 105-106 years in agreement with previous work. The collisional probability of Halley-type comets colliding with known asteroids, a simulated population of Kuiper-belt objects, and planets, is calculated using a modified, Öpik-based collision code. Our results show that the catastrophic disruption of the cometary nucleus has a very low probability of occurring, and disruption through cumulative minor impacts is concluded to be negligible. The dust mantle formed from ejected material falling back to the comet’s surface is calculated to be less than a few centimeters thick, which is insignificant compared to the mantle formed by volatile depletion, while planetary encounters were found to be a negligible disruption mechanism.

  4. Where are the mini Kreutz-family comets?

    SciTech Connect

    Ye, Quan-Zhi; Wiegert, Paul A.; Hui, Man-To; Kracht, Rainer

    2014-12-01

    The Kreutz family of sungrazing comets contains over 2000 known members, many of which are believed to be under ∼100 m sizes (mini comets) and have only been studied at small heliocentric distances (r {sub H}) with space-based SOHO/STEREO spacecraft. To understand the brightening process of mini Kreutz comets, we conducted a survey using CFHT/MegaCam at moderate r {sub H} guided by SOHO/STEREO observations. We identify two comets that should be in our search area but are not detected, indicating that the comets have either followed a steeper brightening rate within the previously reported rapid brightening stage (the brightening burst), or the brightening burst starts earlier than expected. We present a composite analysis of the pre-perihelion light curves of five Kreutz comets that cover to ∼1 AU. We observe significant diversity in the light curves that can be used to grossly classify them into two types: C/Ikeya-Seki and C/SWAN follow the canonical r{sub H}{sup −4} while the others follow r{sub H}{sup −7}. In particular, C/SWAN seems to have undergone an outburst (Δm > 5 mag) or a rapid brightening (n ≳ 11) between r {sub H} = 1.06 AU and 0.52 AU, and shows hints of structural/compositional differences compared to other bright Kreutz comets. We also find evidence that the Kreutz comets as a population lose their mass less efficiently than the dynamically new comet, C/ISON, and are relatively devoid of species that drive C/ISON's activity at large r {sub H}. Concurrent observations of C/STEREO in different wavelengths also suggest that a blueward species such as CN may be the main driver for brightening bursts, instead of sodium as previously thought.

  5. COLORS OF INNER DISK CLASSICAL KUIPER BELT OBJECTS

    SciTech Connect

    Romanishin, W.; Tegler, S. C.; Consolmagno, G. J. E-mail: Stephen.Tegler@nau.ed

    2010-07-15

    We present new optical broadband colors, obtained with the Keck 1 and Vatican Advanced Technology telescopes, for six objects in the inner classical Kuiper Belt. Objects in the inner classical Kuiper Belt are of interest as they may represent the surviving members of the primordial Kuiper Belt that formed interior to the current position of the 3:2 resonance with Neptune, the current position of the plutinos, or, alternatively, they may be objects formed at a different heliocentric distance that were then moved to their present locations. The six new colors, combined with four previously published, show that the ten inner belt objects with known colors form a neutral clump and a reddish clump in B-R color. Nonparametric statistical tests show no significant difference between the B-R color distribution of the inner disk objects compared to the color distributions of Centaurs, plutinos, or scattered disk objects. However, the B-R color distribution of the inner classical Kuiper Belt Objects does differ significantly from the distribution of colors in the cold (low inclination) main classical Kuiper Belt. The cold main classical objects are predominately red, while the inner classical belt objects are a mixture of neutral and red. The color difference may reveal the existence of a gradient in the composition and/or surface processing history in the primordial Kuiper Belt, or indicate that the inner disk objects are not dynamically analogous to the cold main classical belt objects.

  6. Comets at radio wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crovisier, Jacques; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Colom, Pierre; Biver, Nicolas

    2016-11-01

    Comets are considered as the most primitive objects in the Solar System. Their composition provides information on the composition of the primitive solar nebula, 4.6 Gyr ago. The radio domain is a privileged tool to study the composition of cometary ices. Observations of the OH radical at 18 cm wavelength allow us to measure the water production rate. A wealth of molecules (and some of their isotopologues) coming from the sublimation of ices in the nucleus have been identified by observations in the millimetre and submillimetre domains. We present an historical review on radio observations of comets, focusing on the results from our group, and including recent observations with the Nançay radio telescope, the IRAM antennas, the Odin satellite, the Herschel space observatory, ALMA, and the MIRO instrument aboard the Rosetta space probe. xml:lang="fr"

  7. Diatoms in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, R.; Hoyle, F.; Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    1986-01-01

    The fossil record of the microscopic algae classified as diatoms suggests they were injected to earth at the Cretaceous boundary. Not only could diatoms remain viable in the cometary environment, but also many species might replicate in illuminated surface layers or early interior layers of cometary ice. Presumably they reached the solar system on an interstellar comet as an already-evolved assemblage of organisms. Diatoms might cause color changes to comet nuclei while their outgassing decays and revives around highly elliptical orbits. Just as for interstellar absorption, high-resolution IR observations are capable of distinguishing whether the 10-micron feature arises from siliceous diatom material or mineral silicates. The 10-30-micron band and the UV 220-nm region can also provide evidence of biological material.

  8. Disruptive collisions as the origin of 67P/C-G and small bilobate comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michel, Patrick; Schwartz, Stephen R.; Jutzi, Martin; Marchi, Simone; Richardson, Derek C.; Zhang, Yun

    2016-10-01

    Images of comets sent by spacecraft have shown us that bilobate shapes seem to be common in the cometary population. This has been most recently evidenced by the images of comet 67P/C-G obtained by the ESA Rosetta mission, which show a low-density elongated body interpreted as a contact binary. The origin of such bilobate comets has been thought to be primordial because it requires the slow accretion of two bodies that become the two main components of the final object. However, slow accretion does not only occur during the primordial phase of the Solar System, but also later during the reaccumulation processes immediately following collisional disruptions of larger bodies. We perform numerical simulations of disruptions of large bodies. We demonstrate that during the ensuing gravitational phase, in which the generated fragments interact under their mutual gravity, aggregates with bi-lobed or elongated shapes formed form by reaccumulation at speeds that are at or below the range of those assumed in primordial accretion scenarios [1]. The same scenario has been demonstrated to occur in the asteroid belt to explain the origin of asteroid families [2] and has provided insight into the shapes of thus-far observed asteroids such as 25143 Itokawa [3]. Here we show that it is also a more general outcome that applies to disruption events in the outer Solar System. Moreover, we show that high temperature regions are very localized during the impact process, which solves the problem of the survival of organics and volatiles in the collisional process. The advantage of this scenario for the formation of small bilobate shapes, including 67P/C-G, is that it does not necessitate a primordial origin, as such disruptions can occur at later stages of the Solar System. This demonstrates how such comets can be relatively young, consistent with other studies that show that these shapes are unlikely to be formed early on and survive the entire history of the Solar System [4

  9. Watching out for Halley's comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, David W.

    1985-01-01

    Halley's comet returns to the vicinity of the sun about every 76 years. Between August 1985 and the end of 1986 it is confidently expected that the comet will be brighter than 14th magnitude and thus, under ideal observing conditions, detectable with a telescope smaller than 15 cm objective diameter. The author reviews how one should go about observing Halley's comet using small telescopes, binoculars and the naked eye. Unfortunately, northern hemisphere observers will not be seeing a brilliant comet with a tail stretching from horizon to the zenith. For them, Halley's comet will appear as a silvery grey hazy object, like a small spherical mass of vapour. Southern hemisphere observers will be more fortunate and will, during March and April 1986, see both the head of the comet and a tail stretching about 30 degrees across the sky.

  10. IUE observations of faint comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weaver, H. A.; Feldman, P. D.; Festou, M.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Keller, H. U.

    1981-09-01

    Ultraviolet spectra of seven comets taken with the same instrument are given. The comets P/Encke (1980), P/Tuttle (1980 h), P/Stephan-Oterma (1980 g), and Meier (1980 q) were observed in November and December 1980 with the IUE satellite, and comets P/Borrelly (1980 i) and Panther (1980 u) were observed with the IUE on March 6, 1981. The spectra of these comets are compared with one another, as well as with comet Bradfield (1978 X), which was extensively studied earlier in 1980 with the IUE. To simplify the interpretation of the data and to minimize the dependence upon a specific model, the spectra are compared at approximately the same value of heliocentric distance whenever possible. Effects arising from heliocentric velocity, geocentric distance, and optical depth are also discussed. All of the cometary spectra are found to be remarkably similar, suggesting that these comets may have a common composition and origin.

  11. FROZEN HYDROCARBONS IN COMETS

    SciTech Connect

    Simonia, Irakli

    2011-02-15

    Recent investigations of the luminescence of frozen hydrocarbon particles of icy cometary halos have been carried out. The process of luminescence of organic icy particles in a short-wavelength solar radiation field is considered. A comparative analysis of observed and laboratory data leads to 72 luminescent emission lines in the spectrum of the comet 153P/Ikeya-Zhang. The concept of cometary relict matter is presented, and the creation of a database of unidentified cometary emission lines is proposed.

  12. Current ideas on the nature of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahe, J.

    1984-01-01

    The chemical composition, emission and line spectra, and structure of comet nuclei, cometary atmospheres, and comet tails are discussed. The role of ultraviolet and infrared astronomy in defining comets is examined.

  13. An Introduction to Comets and Their Origin.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Robert D.; Brandt, John C.

    1985-01-01

    Presents excerpts from "The Comet Book," a nontechnical primer on comets. Various topics discusses in these excerpts include such basic information about comets as their components, paths, and origins. (DH)

  14. The structure of comet tails

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Niedner, M. B., Jr.

    1986-01-01

    Present models of the plasma tails of comets are described. The interaction of the solar wind with ions from the cometary atmosphere is discussed, and the phenomenon of magnetic reconnection observed in plasma tails is explained. The accomplishments of the ICE mission to the Comet Giacobini-Zinner are summarized, and the tasks and expected contributions from upcoming Soviet, European, and Japanese missions to Comet Halley are addressed.

  15. Physical aging in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meech, Karen J.

    1991-01-01

    The question of physical aging in cometary nuclei is addressed in order to elucidate the relationship between the past conditions in the protosolar nebula and the present state of the cometary nucleus, and to understand the processes that will physically and chemically alter the nucleus as a function of time. Attention is given to some of the processes that might be responsible for causing aging in comets, namely, radiation damage in the upper layers of the nucleus during the long residences in the Oort cloud, processing from heating and collisions within the Oort cloud, loss of highly volatile species from the nucleus on the first passage through the inner solar system, buildup of a dusty mantle, which can eventually prohibit further sublimation, and a change in the porosity, and hence the thermal properties, of the nucleus. Recent observations suggest that there are distinct differences between 'fresh' Oort cloud comets and thermally processed periodic comets with respect to intrinsic brightness and rate of change of activity as a function of distance.

  16. Physical processes in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newburn, Ray L., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    Post-Halley comets are known to be irregular objects with most nucleus activity very localized and with the dust coma capable of fragmentation and apparently being a source of gas. Older, 1-D strategies which assume steady isotropic outflow of material can give poor time-and-space averaged results, at best. With 2-D data, images through interference filters, it is hoped that: dust structures can be seen that give evidence of the proper geometry for data reduction; gradients along the axes of symmetry and evidence of fragmentation can be studied; and that evidence for gas abundance gradients associated with the dust can be found. High quality data from brighter comets can then be used to suggest improved data reduction procedures for fainter ones. To obtain such data, large image-quality interference filters were procured for use with a charge coupled device (CCD) camera at Lick Observatory, where the scale of the 1 m Nickel reflector is ideal for brighter comets. Whenever possible, data is taken simultaneously with other telescopes and equipment, especially spectroscopy at the Lick 3 m or infrared photometry at the Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea.

  17. Comet Borrelly's Varied Landscape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    In this Deep Space 1 image of comet Borrelly, sunlight illuminates the bowling-pin shaped nucleus from directly below. At this distance, many features are become vivid on the surface of the nucleus, including a jagged line between day and night on the comet, rugged terrain on both ends with dark patches, and smooth, brighter terrain near the center. The smallest discernable features are about 110 meters (120 yards) across.

    Deep Space 1 completed its primary mission testing ion propulsion and 11 other advanced, high-risk technologies in September 1999. NASA extended the mission, taking advantage of the ion propulsion and other systems to undertake this chancy but exciting, and ultimately successful, encounter with the comet. More information can be found on the Deep Space 1 home page at http://nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1/ .

    Deep Space 1 was launched in October 1998 as part of NASA's New Millennium Program, which is managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The California Institute of Technology manages JPL for NASA.

  18. Physics of comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishna Swamy, K. S.

    1. General introduction. 1.1. Historical perspective. 1.2. Discovery. 1.3. Appearance. 1.4. Statistics. 1.5. Importance. 1.6. Brightness. 1.7. Main characteristics. 1.8. Spacecraft encounters with comets. 1.9. An overall view -- 2. Dynamics. 2.1. Orbital elements. 2.2. Orbit in space -- 3. Physical aspects. 3.1. Black body radiation. 3.2. Perfect gas law. 3.3. Dissociative equilibrium. 3.4. Doppler shift. 3.5. Spectroscopy. 3.6. Isotopic effect. 3.7. Franck-Condon factors. 3.8. Intensity of emitted lines. 3.9. Boltzmann distribution. 3.10. [symbol]-doubling. 3.11. Photochemistry of water. 3.12. Silicate. 3.13. Annealing. 3.14. Carbon. 3.15. Solar radiation. 3.16. Solar wind -- 4. Spectra. 4.1. Main characteristics. 4.2. Forbidden transitions. 4.3. Line-to-continuum ratio -- 5. Spectra of coma. 5.1. Fluorescence process. 5.2. Excitation temperature. 5.3. Abundances of heavy elements. 5.4. Isotopic abundances. 5.5. Summary -- 6. Gas production rates in coma. 6.1. Theoretical models. 6.2. Results. 6.3. Analysis of hydrogen observations. 6.4. Related studies. 6.5. Parent molecules. 6.6. Chemical diversity. 6.7. Summary -- 7. Dust tails. 7.1. Dynamics. 7.2. Anti-tail. 7.3. Dust trails. 7.4. Sodium gas tails. 7.5. Dust features -- 8. Light scattering theory. 8.1. Mie scattering theory. 8.2. Approximate expressions. 8.3. Computation of cross sections. 8.4. Results. 8.5. Particles of other types. 8.6. Optical constants -- 9. The nature of dust particles. 9.1. Visible continuum. 9.2. Polarization. 9.3. Grain sizes. 9.4. Infrared measurements. 9.5. Spectral feature. 9.6. Properties derived from direct measurements. 9.7. Radiation pressure effects. 9.8. Summary -- 10. Ion tails. 10.1. Evidence for the solar wind. 10.2. Dynamical aberration. 10.3. Theoretical considerations. 10.4. Instabilities and waves. 10.5. Acceleration of cometary ions. 10.6. Large scale structures. 10.7. X-rays. 10.8. Summary -- 11. Nucleus. 11.1. Morphology. 11.2. Theory of vapourization. 11

  19. Comets, Asteroids, Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment by comets and asteroids has become more widely accepted. Comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are devoid of liquid water and therefore unsuitable for life. Complex organic compounds have been observed in comets and on the water-rich asteroid 1998 KY26 and near IR observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar that has resurfacing suggesting cryovolcanic outgassing. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have shown that comets contain complex organic chemicals; that water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx. 350-400 K) can be reached on the surfae of the very black (albedo approx. 0.03) nuclei of comets when they approach the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust. Episodic outbursts and jets from the nuclei of several comets indicate that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the comet crust. The Deep Impact mission found the temperature of the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from a minimum of 280 plus or minus 8 K the 330K (57 C) on the sunlit side. In this paper it is argued that that pools and films of liquid water exist (within a wide range of temperatures) in cavities and voids just beneath the hot, black crust. The possibility of liquid water existing over a wide range of temperatures significantly enhances the possibility that comets might contain niches suitable for the growth of microbial communities and ecosystems. These regimes would be ideal for the growth of psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic

  20. Lap seat belt injuries.

    PubMed

    Hingston, G R

    1996-08-01

    Over a 4 month period, three patients presented acutely to Whangarei Area Hospital after receiving severe abdominal injuries caused directly by lap seat belts. They were involved in road traffic crashes and were all seated in the middle rear seat of the car. The aim of this paper is to alert people to the injuries that can occur from two point lap belts. To this end, the patients and injuries sustained are described and a review of the literature is presented.

  1. Belt scales user's guide

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenberg, N.I. )

    1993-02-01

    A conveyor-belt scale provides a means of obtaining accurate weights of dry bulk materials without delaying other plant operations. In addition, for many applications a belt scale is the most cost-effective alternative among many choices for a weighing system. But a number of users are not comfortable with the accuracy of their belt scales. In cases of unsatisfactory scale performance, it is often possible to correct problems and achieve the accuracy that was expected. To have a belt scale system that is accurate, precise, and cost effective, practical experience has shown that certain basic requisites must be satisfied. These requisites include matching the scale capability to the needs of the application, selecting durable scale equipment and conveyor idlers, adopting improved conveyor support methods, employing superior scale installation and alignment techniques, and establishing and practicing an effective scale testing and performance monitoring program. The goal of the Belt Scale Users' Guide is to enable utilities to reap the benefits of consistently accurate output from their new or upgraded belt scale installations. Such benefits include eliminating incorrect payments for coal receipts, improving coal pile inventory data, providing better heat rate results to enhance plant efficiency and yield more economical power dispatch, and satisfying regulatory agencies. All these benefits can reduce the cost of power generation.

  2. Belt conveyor apparatus

    DOEpatents

    Oakley, David J.; Bogart, Rex L.

    1987-01-01

    A belt conveyor apparatus according to this invention defines a conveyance path including a first pulley and at least a second pulley. An endless belt member is adapted for continuous travel about the pulleys and comprises a lower portion which engages the pulleys and an integral upper portion adapted to receive objects therein at a first location on said conveyance path and transport the objects to a second location for discharge. The upper belt portion includes an opposed pair of longitudinally disposed crest-like members, biased towards each other in a substantially abutting relationship. The crest-like members define therebetween a continuous, normally biased closed, channel along the upper belt portion. Means are disposed at the first and second locations and operatively associated with the belt member for urging the normally biased together crest-like members apart in order to provide access to the continuous channel whereby objects can be received into, or discharged from the channel. Motors are in communication with the conveyance path for effecting the travel of the endless belt member about the conveyance path. The conveyance path can be configured to include travel through two or more elevations and one or more directional changes in order to convey objects above, below and/or around existing structures.

  3. Comet or asteroid shower in the late Eocene?

    PubMed

    Tagle, Roald; Claeys, Philippe

    2004-07-23

    The passage of a comet shower approximately 35 million years ago is generally advocated to explain the coincidence during Earth's late Eocene of an unusually high flux of interplanetary dust particles and the formation of the two largest craters in the Cenozoic, Popigai and the Chesapeake Bay. However, new platinum-group element analyses indicate that Popigai was formed by the impact of an L-chondrite meteorite. Such an asteroidal projectile is difficult to reconcile with a cometary origin. Perhaps instead the higher delivery rate of extraterrestrial matter, dust, and large objects was caused by a major collision in the asteroid belt. PMID:15273387

  4. Comet or asteroid shower in the late Eocene?

    PubMed

    Tagle, Roald; Claeys, Philippe

    2004-07-23

    The passage of a comet shower approximately 35 million years ago is generally advocated to explain the coincidence during Earth's late Eocene of an unusually high flux of interplanetary dust particles and the formation of the two largest craters in the Cenozoic, Popigai and the Chesapeake Bay. However, new platinum-group element analyses indicate that Popigai was formed by the impact of an L-chondrite meteorite. Such an asteroidal projectile is difficult to reconcile with a cometary origin. Perhaps instead the higher delivery rate of extraterrestrial matter, dust, and large objects was caused by a major collision in the asteroid belt.

  5. New Distant Comet Headed for Bright Encounter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1995-08-01

    of a dense dust cloud around the nucleus. It is in fact likely that most of the light observed from the central condensation in the comet's head is sunlight reflected from the particles in this cloud. The nucleus is probably completely hidden from view inside this cloud and we do not see it at all. When we cannot observe the nucleus of a comet directly, we can only judge its size indirectly from the amount of dust it produces; a larger dust production will normally correspond to a larger nucleus. However, a temporarily high dust production rate during an outburst from the nucleus will lead to an overestimate of its size. In this case, the comet's brightness will begin to fade after a while, as the dust particles ejected during the outburst slowly disperse into space. A main goal of future observations is therefore to decide whether or not Comet Hale-Bopp has just undergone an outburst. For this, the brightness of the central condensation and the size and shape of the dust cloud must be carefully monitored as long as possible. In this connection, the relatively bright pre-discovery images from April 1993 and May 1995 (see above) seem to argue against a recent outburst. How bright will the comet be at perihelion ? The main question now asked from many sides is obviously how bright the comet will be when it passes perihelion in 1997. Will it, as some headlines have already stated, and in view of its current brightness, become the `comet of the century, if not of the millennium' ? From the above, it is clear that no firm prediction can be made before we have learned whether the present brightness is `stable' or whether it undergoes important variations which indicate that there has been a recent outburst. Astronomers are therefore very reluctant to express themselves on this point until further observations become available. However, if the comet did not undergo a recent outburst and the nucleus is indeed as large as the current brightness would appear to indicate, then

  6. On the Evolution of Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Besse, S.; Mousis, O.; Ali-Dib, M.; Höfner, S.; Koschny, D.; Hager, P.

    2015-12-01

    Studying comets is believed to bring invaluable clues on the formation and evolution of our planetary system. In comparison to planets, they have undergone much less alteration, and should have therefore retained a relatively pristine record of the conditions prevailing during the early phases of the solar system. However, comets might not be entirely pristine. As of today, we have not been able to determine which of the observed physical, chemical and orbital characteristics of comets, after they have evolved for more than 4 Gyr in a time-varying radiative and collisional environment, will provide the best clues to their origin. Comet physical characteristics as inherited from their formation stage may be very diverse, both in terms of composition and internal structure. The subsequent evolution of comet nuclei involves some possible processing from radiogenic heating, space weathering and large- and small-scale collisions, which might have modified their primordial structures and compositions with various degrees. When comets enter the inner solar system and become active, they start to lose mass at a very high rate. The effects of activity on comet nuclei involve a layering of the composition, a substantial non-even erosion and modification of their size and shape, and may eventually result in the death of comets. In this review, we present the dominating processes that might affect comet physical and chemical properties at different stages of their evolution. Although the evolutionary track may be specific to each comet, we can focus on long-lasting modifications which might be common to all nuclei after their formation stage, during their storage in reservoirs in the outer solar system, and once comets enter the inner solar system and become active objects.

  7. Collisional Processing of Comet Surfaces: Impact Experiments into Olivine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lederer, S. M.; Jensen, E. A.; Cintala, M. J.; Smith, D. C.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Keller, L. P.; Wooden, D. H.; Fernandez, Y. R.; Zolensky, M. E.

    2011-01-01

    A new paradigm has emerged where 3.9 Ga ago, a violent reshuffling reshaped the placement of small bodies in the solar system (the Nice model). Surface properties of these objects may have been affected by collisions caused by this event, and by collisions with other small bodies since their emplacement. In addition, objects in the Kuiper Belt are believed to undergo extensive collisional processing while in the Kuiper Belt. Physical manifestations of shock effects (e.g., planar dislocations) in minerals typically found in comets will be correlated with spectral changes (e.g. reddening, loss and shift of peaks, new signatures) to allow astronomers to better understand geophysical impact processing that has occurred on small bodies. Targets will include solid and granular olivine (forsterite), impacted over a range of impact speeds with the Experimental Impact Laboratory at NASA JSC. Analyses include quantification of the dependence of the spectral changes with respect to impact speed, texture of the target, and temperature.

  8. Metallic atoms and ions in comets: Comet Halley 1986 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ibadov, S.

    1992-01-01

    The origin of metallic atoms and ions in the cometary comae is investigated theoretically. Two effects are revealed in the comas of bright comets: (1) the Na anomalous type effect is possible within the gas-dust jets of comet P/Halley 1986 3 due to cooling cometary dust by cryogenic gas flow from the nucleus; and (2) the production of ions of refractory elements (Fe(+), Si(+), etc.) at large heliocentric distances is possible in the comas of the Halley type dusty comets due to high-velocity impacts between cometary and zodiacal dust particles. Spectral observations of comets with high sensitivity and spatial resolution are important for studying both comets and interplanetary dust.

  9. Nature and history of the organic compounds in comets - An astrophysical view

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delsemme, A. H.

    1991-01-01

    The chemical similarities between comets, carbonaceous chondrites, and interstellar molecules and grains are reviewed first. The evolution of frosty interstellar grains is then followed during the collapse of a molecular cloud fragment and the subsequent formation of the Solar System. The paradigm clarifies the probable origin of the two populations of comets of different symmetry (the Oort Cloud and the Kuiper Belt) and implies an exogenous origin for all carbon and water on earth. This origin is explained by the orbital diffusion of planetesimals that is required by the growth of protoplanets.

  10. The TRAPPIST comet survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jehin, E.; Opitom, C.; Manfroid, J.; Hutsemékers, D.; Gillon, M.

    2014-07-01

    TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that has been installed in June 2010 at the ESO La Silla Observatory [1]. Operated from Liège (Belgium) it is devoted to the detection and characterisation of exoplanets and to the study of comets and other small bodies in the Solar System. We describe here the hardware and the goals of the project and give an overview of the comet production rates monitoring after three years of operations. The telescope and observatory --- TRAPPIST's optical tube unit is a Ritchey-Chretien 0.6 meter telescope with a focal length of 4.8 meter. It is associated with a German equatorial mount that is, thanks to its direct drive system, extremely fast (up to 50 deg/s), accurate (tracking accuracy without autoguider better than 2'' in 10 min), and free of periodic error. The instrument is a Peltier cooled commercial camera equipped with a Fairchild 3041 back-illuminated 2k×2k chip. The pixel scale is 0.64''/pixel. Three read-out modes are available, the shortest read-out time being 2s. The total field of view of the camera is 22'×22'. It is associated to a custom-made dual filter wheel. One of the filter wheel contains broad band filters (Johnson B, V, R, Cousins Ic, Sloan z, and a special I+z filter), while the other contains the narrow-band NASA HB cometary filters (OH, NH, CN, CO+, C3, and C2 gaseous species; UC, BC, GC and RC solar continuum windows and a NaI D filter) [2]. The telescope is protected by a 5 meter diameter dome that was totally refurbished and automatized. The observatory is fully robotic and equipped with a weather station, an UPS and webcams. The la Silla site is excellent with more than 300 clear nights per year and the telescope has proven to be very reliable with a small amount of technical downtime. Comet monitoring --- For relatively bright comets (V < 12) we measure several times a week the gaseous production rates (using a Haser model) and the spatial

  11. Comet nucleus sample return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    A comet nucleus sample return mission in terms of its relevant science objectives, candidate mission concepts, key design/technology requirements, and programmatic issues is discussed. The primary objective was to collect a sample of undisturbed comet material from beneath the surface of an active comet and to preserve its chemical and, if possible, its physical integrity and return it to Earth in a minimally altered state. The secondary objectives are to: (1) characterize the comet to a level consistent with a rendezvous mission; (2) monitor the comet dynamics through perihelion and aphelion with a long lived lander; and (3) determine the subsurface properties of the nucleus in an area local to the sampled core. A set of candidate comets is discussed. The hazards which the spacecraft would encounter in the vicinity of the comet are also discussed. The encounter strategy, the sampling hardware, the thermal control of the pristine comet material during the return to Earth, and the flight performance of various spacecraft systems and the cost estimates of such a mission are presented.

  12. Detecting active comets with SDSS

    SciTech Connect

    Solontoi, Michael; Ivezic, Zeljko; West, Andrew A.; Claire, Mark; Juric, Mario; Becker, Andrew; Jones, Lynne; Hall, Patrick B.; Kent, Steve; Lupton, Robert H.; Quinn, Tom; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept. /Princeton U. Observ.

    2010-12-01

    Using a sample of serendipitously discovered active comets in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we develop well-controlled selection criteria for greatly increasing the efficiency of comet identification in the SDSS catalogs. After follow-up visual inspection of images to reject remaining false positives, the total sample of SDSS comets presented here contains 19 objects, roughly one comet per 10 million other SDSS objects. The good understanding of selection effects allows a study of the population statistics, and we estimate the apparent magnitude distribution to r {approx} 18, the ecliptic latitude distribution, and the comet distribution in SDSS color space. The most surprising results are the extremely narrow range of colors for comets in our sample (e.g. root-mean-square scatter of only {approx}0.06 mag for the g-r color), and the similarity of comet colors to those of jovian Trojans. We discuss the relevance of our results for upcoming deep multi-epoch optical surveys such as the Dark Energy Survey, Pan-STARRS, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and estimate that LSST may produce a sample of about 10,000 comets over its 10-year lifetime.

  13. Comet Halley and nongravitational forces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeomans, D. K.

    1977-01-01

    The motion of comet Halley is investigated over the 1607-1911 interval. The required nongravitational-force model was found to be most consistent with a rocket-type thrust from the vaporization of water ice in the comet's nucleus. The nongravitational effects are time-independent over the investigated interval.

  14. An Interview with Catherine Comet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scanlan, Mary

    1992-01-01

    Offers an interview with Catherine Comet, music director of the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Symphony. Reviews her childhood and early study in France and her experiences at the Julliard School of Music and on the contest circuit. Explains how she became a professional conductor. Discusses Comet's view of the importance that classical music can have…

  15. Halley's Comet Makes a Comeback.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glenn, William H.

    1984-01-01

    Presents information on Halley's Comet including its discovery, impact on history, planned investigations related to its 1986 return, where and when to make observations, and predicted calendar of events. Gives general information on comets such as physical structure, theoretical origin, and paths and provides an annotated reference list. (JM)

  16. Astrobiology of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.; Pikuta, Elena V.

    2004-01-01

    We model the thermal history of a cometary body, regarded as an assemblage of boulders, dust, ices and organics, as it approaches a perihelion distance of - IAU. The transfer of incident energy h m sunlight into the interior leads to the melting of ices under tens of meters of stable crust, providing possible habitats for a wide range of microorganisms. We consider the icediatoms, snow algae and cyanobacteria, bacteria and yeast of cryoconite communities which are encountered in liquid wafer pools (meltwater) surrounding dark rocks in glaciers and the polar ice sheets as excellent analogs for the microbial ecosystems that might possibly exist on some comets.

  17. Physics of comets

    SciTech Connect

    Swamy, K.S.K.

    1986-01-01

    This book deals systematically with the physics of comets in the light of our present knowledge about various aspects of cometary phenomena and the problems that require further attention. The basic aspects, methods and models that have been used extensively at the present time for the interpretation of cometary observations are fully discussed. Contents: General Introduction; Orbital Dynamics; Atomic Physics; Spectra; Spectra of Coma; Gas Production Rates; Dust Tail; Light Scattering Theory; Nature of the Dust Particle; Ion Tails; Nucleus; Origins; Problems and Prospects.

  18. Comets in Bushman Paintings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fraser, B.

    2007-07-01

    About ten years ago I was asked to give a talk on African astronomical folklore and spent many hours reading up on the subject. My queries eventually led me to Bert Woodhouse, a member of the archaeological society and well-known recorder of Bushman paintings. He has published seven books on Bushman paintings and has a collection of over 30 000 slides covering all aspects of the subject. One section of his collection is labeled "comets" and he kindly made copies of these slides for me to use in that talk. This paper highlights those slides and discusses the objects depicted in the paintings.

  19. Comet 10P/Tempel 2 outgassing observed with Herschel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szutowicz, S.; Biver, N.; Bockelee-Morvan, D.; Crovisier, J.; Moreno, R.; de Val-Borro, M.; Hartogh, P.; Rengel, M.; Lis, D. C.; Küppers, M.; Bergin, E. A.; Blake, G. A.; Vandenbussche, B.; Swinyard, B.

    2011-10-01

    Comet 10P/Tempel 1 was observed with the Herschel Space Observatory, in the framework of the Herschel guaranteed time key project "Water and related chemistry in the Solar System" [3]. One of the main goals of the project is studying water emission and excitation processes in cometary comae The observations of Comet Tempel 2 covered the period from June 15 to July 29, 2010. The comet was at a distance ~1.43 AU from the Sun and at a distance ~1.9 - 1.7 AU from Herschel. Long and short-term monitoring was performed. Herschel/HIFI provided detection of several water transitions: 110-101 (557 GHz), 202-111 (987 GHz), 111-000 (1113 GHz), 212-101 (1669 GHz). In addition, the cometary coma was mapped at 557 and 987 GHz on June 15, July 7, July 19 and July 29. Three OTF maps of water are shown in Fig. 1. The ammonia transition NH3(1-0) was detected for the first time in a Jupiter-Family comet [1]. Water lines were also detected with Herschel/PACS and Herschel/SPIRE. Comet Tempel 2 is a well-known member of the Jupiter-family comets that was observed in many apparitions since its discovery in 1873. It passed last perihelion on July 4.9 UT, 2010 at heliocentric distance of 1.42 AU.

  20. Multiwavelength Observations of Recent Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Milam, Stefanie N.; Charnley, Steven B.; Gicquel, Adeline; Cordiner, Martin; Kuan, Yi-Jehng; Chuang, Yo-Ling; Villanueva, Geronimo; DiSanti, Michael A.; Bonev, Boncho P.; Remijan, Anthony J.; Coulson, Iain

    2013-01-01

    Comets provide important clues to the physical and chemical processes that occurred during the formation and early evolution of the Solar System, and could also have been important for initiating prebiotic chemistry on the early Earth. Comets are comprised of molecular ices, that may be pristine inter-stellar remnants of Solar System formation, along with high-temperature crystalline silicate dust that is indicative of a more thermally varied history in the protosolar nebula. Comparing abundances of cometary parent volatiles, and isotopic fractionation ratios, to those found in the interstellar medium, in disks around young stars, and between cometary families, is vital to understanding planetary system formation and the processing history experienced by organic matter in the so-called interstellar-comet connection. We will present a comparison of molecular abundances in these comets to those observed in others, supporting a long-term effort of building a comet taxonomy based on composition.

  1. Sungrazing Comets: Snowballs in Hell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battams, K.

    2012-12-01

    Experiencing the most extreme environment our solar system has to offer, so-called "Sungrazing" comets approach, penetrate, and on rare occasion survive passage through, the several million degree solar corona on a surprisingly routine basis. Discoveries of such comets occur on average every 3-days in data recorded by the ESA/NASA SOHO and NASA STEREO satellites, with 17-years of near-continuous observations by SOHO having led to the discovery of over 2,300 new comets to date. In this talk I will provide a brief introduction and status update for the "Sungrazing Comets" project that enables the discovery and recording of these objects. I will then present an overview of the instruments that discover these "Sungrazing comets", explaining how their unique design gives us a window into an otherwise unobservable world, and finally will discuss the tremendous scientific value that they bring to both the solar and cometary communities.

  2. Distant Kuiper Belt Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, R. Lynne; Bernstein, Gary; Malhotra, Renu

    2001-02-01

    Kuiper Belt Object surveys indicate a lack of objects with semi- major axis a⪆50 AU in low eccentricity, low inclination orbits. This presents a problem for the simplest theories of Kuiper Belt evolution, which predict a dense, primordial outer Kuiper Belt. A possible solution is that the outer Belt is very dynamically cold, appearing as a razor-thin plane on the sky. If this disk was inclined only 0.5° from the ecliptic, present surveys could fail to detect it since the deep surveys (limiting magnitude R~26) lack sufficient sky coverage and the shallow surveys (limiting mag R~24.4) lack sufficient depth to see small (radius ⪉130 km) objects beyond 50 AU. If this cold, dense disk were to cross a Mosaic field with a limiting magnitude R=25.8, we would expect to see at least 15 distant KBOs. By observing strategically placed large fields we could detect any cold, dense distant disk inclined at up to 0.7° from the invariable plane. This would place a strong constraint on the location of a cold, dense outer Kuiper Belt.

  3. Roasting a Thanksgiving Comet: Piecing Together the Evidence for Comet ISON's Destruction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battams, Karl

    2015-08-01

    In November 2013, the astronomy community was gripped with anticipation as sungrazing comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) made a spectacular and unprecedented close encounter with the Sun. Comet ISON held the potential of being a spectacular nighttime object for terrestrial observers, but its fate hinged on surviving a perilous journey that would take it to within just 1.1-million kilometers of the solar surface. To the great disappointment of a global audience, the comet did not survive, fading rapidly in the hours surrounding perihelion and disappearing from sight soon thereafter. In this talk, I will begin by briefly recapping some of the background regarding ISON, and highlight the main points of interest during its well-observed final year of approach to the Sun. For the majority of the talk I will focus specifically on the final few days and hours of the comet’s passage, during which time it was observed continuously and almost exclusively by a fleet of solar-observing spacecraft. Using these observations and supplemental modeling evidence, I will demonstrate that we are now able to paint a coherent and very compelling picture of how, why, and when, comet ISON was catastrophically destroyed as it approached the Sun on Thanksgiving Day, 2013.

  4. Detection of CO and Ethane in Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner: Evidence for Variable Chemistry in the Outer Solar Nebula.

    PubMed

    Mumma; DiSanti; Dello Russo N; Magee-Sauer; Rettig

    2000-03-10

    Ethane and carbon monoxide were detected in a short-period comet of probable Kuiper Belt origin. Ethane is substantially less abundant compared with Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, two comets from the giant-planet region of the solar nebula, suggesting a heliocentric gradient in ethane in precometary ices. It is argued that processing by X-rays from the young Sun may be responsible.

  5. Detection of CO and Ethane in Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner: Evidence for Variable Chemistry in the Outer Solar Nebula

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mumma, M. J.; DiSanti, M. A.; DelloRusso, N.; Magee-Sauer, K.; Rettig, T. W.

    1999-01-01

    Ethane and carbon monoxide were detected in a short-period comet of probable Kuiper belt origin. Ethane is substantially less abundant compared with Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, two comets from the giant-planets region of the solar nebula, suggesting a heliocentric gradient in ethane in pre-cometary ices. It is argued that processing by X-rays from the young sun may be responsible.

  6. Spectrophotometry of Comet West

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahearn, M. F.; Hanisch, R. J.; Thurber, C. H.

    1980-01-01

    Postperihelion observations of Comet West (1975n = 1976 VI) have been made with a Fourier transform spectrometer at heliocentric distances from 0.57 to 1.68 AU. Measurements were made of the emission bands of C2, CN, C3, CH, and NH2, as well as the emission lines of Na D and forbidden (O I), and the flux in the continuum in nine different bandpasses. Several ratios of the band strengths of CN have been used to determine the two free parameters in the fluorescence equilibrium model of CN of Danks and Arpigny (1973). From the values of the parameters it is inferred that the vibrational transition probability for the ground electronic state is between 0.025 and 0.075 per sec and that the ratio of oscillator strengths between the (0-0) bands of the violet and red systems is between 25 and 30. When corrected for field-of-view effects, NH2 shows no systematic variation in abundance relative to C2 while CH shows a small increase. The cometary continuum is found to be slightly redder than the solar continuum, consistent with results for other bright, dusty comets. The equivalent width of the Delta u = 0 sequence of C2 shows a marked decrease at r(H) = 1.2 AU.

  7. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Granvik, M.; Virkki, A.; Fedorets, G.; Wilkman, O.; Kohout, T.

    2014-08-01

    Asteroids, Comets, Meteors focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies. Small bodies are the key to understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System, carrying signals from pre-solar times. Understanding the evolution of the Solar System helps unveil the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems. Societally, small bodies will be important future resources of minerals. The near-Earth population of small bodies continues to pose an impact hazard, whether it be small pieces of falling meteorites or larger asteroids or cometary nuclei capable of causing global environmental effects. The conference series entitled ''Asteroids, Comets, Meteors'' constitutes the leading international series in the field of small Solar System bodies. The first three conferences took place in Uppsala, Sweden in 1983, 1985, and 1989. The conference is now returning to Nordic countries after a quarter of a century. After the Uppsala conferences, the conference has taken place in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A. in 1991, Belgirate, Italy in 1993, Paris, France in 1996, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. in 1999, in Berlin, Germany in 2002, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in 2008, and in Niigata, Japan in 2012. ACM in Helsinki, Finland in 2014 will be the 12th conference in the series.

  8. Maverick Comet Splits during Dramatic Outburst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-01-01

    this process is almost always accompanied by a significant brightening. For instance, the nucleus of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke up into at least 21 individual pieces when it passed very close to Jupiter on July 8, 1992; this was the reason that it became bright enough to be detected some eight months later. In the case of SW-3, the opening of rifts and the subsequent splitting took place far from any planet and must in some way have been caused by increased solar heating. Nevertheless, it is not yet known exactly which physical and chemical processes are involved. It will now be interesting to continue the observations of the individual nuclei as long as possible. From accurate positional measurements, it may later become possible to perform a backwards extrapolation and determine the exact conditions of the splitting process (time, involved forces) and thereby cast more light on the physical aspects of this event. SW-3: Still a Possible Rosetta Target? The break-up of a solar system object is a dramatic and relatively rare event. We are here directly witnessing the ageing of a comet, perhaps even the prelude to its death. Earlier measurements indicate that the diameter of SW-3's nucleus is smaller than about 3 kilometres, but since we do not know the size of the pieces that broke off (this may be indicated by how long they will remain active), nor their number (we may only see the largest), we cannot yet determine with any certainty the remaining lifetime of the main nucleus. At the first glance, this seems to indicate that SW-3 must be removed from the list of potential targets for the Rosetta mission - we cannot risk that it no longer exists when the space probe arrives ! On the other hand, due to the break-up there is now a lot of ``fresh'' cometary material on the surface of the nucleus and around it, i.e. matter that has remained unchanged since the beginning of the solar system, some 4,500 million years ago. The possibility to gain direct access to a sample of

  9. Inventory of the volatiles on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Rosetta/ROSINA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Roy, Léna; Altwegg, Kathrin; Balsiger, Hans; Berthelier, Jean-Jacques; Bieler, Andre; Briois, Christelle; Calmonte, Ursina; Combi, Michael R.; De Keyser, Johan; Dhooghe, Frederik; Fiethe, Björn; Fuselier, Stephen A.; Gasc, Sébastien; Gombosi, Tamas I.; Hässig, Myrtha; Jäckel, Annette; Rubin, Martin; Tzou, Chia-Yu

    2015-11-01

    Context. The ESA Rosetta spacecraft (S/C) is tracking comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in close vicinity. This prolonged encounter enables studying the evolution of the volatile coma composition. Aims: Our work aims at comparing the diversity of the coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at large heliocentric distance to study the evolution of the comet during its passage around the Sun and at trying to classify it relative to other comets. Methods: We used the Double Focussing Mass Spectrometer (DFMS) of the ROSINA experiment on ESA's Rosetta mission to determine relative abundances of major and minor volatile species. This study is restricted to species that have previously been detected elsewhere. Results: We detect almost all species currently known to be present in cometary coma with ROSINA DFMS. As DFMS measured the composition locally, we cannot derive a global abundance, but we compare measurements from the summer and the winter hemisphere with known abundances from other comets. Differences between relative abundances between summer and winter hemispheres are large, which points to a possible evolution of the cometary surface. This comet appears to be very rich in CO2 and ethane. Heavy oxygenated compounds such as ethylene glycol are underabundant at 3 AU, probably due to their high sublimation temperatures, but nevertheless, their presence proves that Kuiper belt comets also contain complex organic molecules.

  10. A Creaking and Cracking Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faurschou Hviid, Stubbe; Hüttig, Christian; Groussin, Olivier; Mottola, Stefano; Keller, Horst Uwe; OSIRIS Team

    2016-10-01

    Since the middle of 2014 the OSIRIS cameras on the ESA Rosetta mission have been monitoring the evolution of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it passed through perihelion. During the perihelion passage several change events have been observed on the nucleus surface. For example existing large scale cracks have expanded and new large scale cracks have been created. Also several large scale "wave pattern" like change events have been observed in the Imhotep and Hapi regions. These are events not directly correlated with any normal visible cometary activity. One interpretation is that these are events likely caused by "seismic" activity. The seismic activity is created by the self-gravity stress of the non-spherical comet nucleus and stress created by the non-gravitational forces acting on the comet. The non-gravitational forces are changing the rotation period of the comet (~20min/perihelion passage) which induces a changing mechanical stress pattern through the perihelion passage. Also the diurnal cycle with its changing activity pattern is causing a periodic wobble in the stress pattern that can act as a trigger for a comet quake. The stress pattern has been modeled using a finite element model that includes self-gravity, the comet spin and the non-gravitational forces based on a cometary activity model. This paper will discuss what can be learned about the comet nucleus structure and about the cometary material properties from these events and from the FEM model.

  11. The 2009 Apparition of methuselah comet 107P/Wilson-Harrington: A case of comet rejuvenation?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrín, Ignacio; Hamanowa, Hiromi; Hamanowa, Hiroko; Hernández, Jesús; Sira, Eloy; Sánchez, Albert; Zhao, Haibin; Miles, Richard

    2012-09-01

    The 2009 apparition of comet 107P was observed with a variety of instruments from six observatories. The main results of this investigation are: (1) 107P/Wilson-Harrington was found to be active not only in 1949 but also in 1979, 1992, 2005 and 2009. The activity is very weak and produces only a slight brightness increase above the nucleus. (ASEC=VNUC(1,1,0)-m(1,1)<1 mag). Since the amount of solar energy received by the object at perihelion has been monotonically increasing since 1928, we conclude that the comet has been active at all apparitions ever after. The probability that the activity in 1949 or in 2009 was due to a surface impact is very small. (2) The rotational period has been determined. We find PROT=6.093±0.002 h. The amplitude of the rotational light curve (peak to valley) is AROT=0.20±0.01 mag in V. From this data the minimum ratio of semi-axis is (a/b)MIN=1.20±0.02. The rotational light curve is identical to the shape of a saw tooth. The shape of the object must be peculiar and has sharp edges. (3) This is the first time that the phase curve of a comet has been determined in three colors, B, V and R. We find B(1,1,α)=16.88(±0.06)+0.041(±0.001)α, V(1,1,α)=16.31(±0.04)+0.043(±0.001)α, and R(1,1,α)=15.90(±0.04)+0.039(±0.001)α. (4) From the phase curves color indices can be deduced when the comet is not active. We find V-B=0.57±0.07 and V-R=0.41±0.06. (5) Assuming a geometric albedo pV=0.04 and the absolute magnitude from the phase plot, we find an effective diámeter free from rotational modulation DEFFE=3.67±0.06 km. (6) The secular light curves are presented. The comet is slightly active above the nucleus line (ASEC(1,LAG)=0.36±0.10 mag), but did not exhibited a coma. Activity started +26±1 d after perihelion. Using the definition of photometric age, we find T-AGE=4700 (+6000, -1700) cy (comet years), an exceedingly old object, a methuselah comet. (7) In the 2009 apparition no tail and no coma were detected using more sensitive

  12. The Radiation Belt Storm Probes

    NASA Video Gallery

    The Radiation Belt Storm Probe mission (RBSP) will explore the Van Allen Radiation Belts in the Earth's magnetosphere. The charge particles in these regions can be hazardous to both spacecraft and ...

  13. Meteorites, Bolides and Comets: A Tale of Inconsistency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakes, P.; Padevet, V.

    1992-07-01

    -Tuttle, and Leo Minorids to 1739 Zanotti. Geminids were related to asteroid 3200 Phaeton, considered to be an "extinct comet." Spurny [9], using ablation coefficient and penetration depth criteria, found that Geminids (frequently) and Taurids (rarely) contain bolides of types I and II. This may indicate that meteoric showers from "comets" on AAA orbits contain some portion of "rocky" material comparable to chondrites. These observations revive Opik's (1963) idea that comets may be captured in the asteroid belt on AAA orbits and may contain (and supply) chondritic meteorites to the Earth [10]. If the relationship among large solid particles "native to the asteroid belt" and those from the outer solar system can be established, they can be scaled and applied to IDPs. We have studied the records of 292 bolides (Prairie and European networks) with measured terminal velocities. We attempt to use the terminal velocity, calculated density, estimated terminal mass, and mechanical strength to correlate features with the meteorite features. We compare the meteorite fall frequency [11] with the bolide features. Two extreme hypotheses (Table 1) are examined: (A) bolides of types IIIa and IIIb do not have equivalents among the meteorites and (B) all four bolide types have meteoritic equivalents, and only IDPs do not produce bolides (fireballs). If the entry parameters of meteoroids are similar, bodies with lower density should reach terminal velocity at higher altitudes than those with higher density. If it is assumed that fragmentation is the same for dense (I and II) and less dense bodies (IIIa and IIIb), the calculated terminal altitudes show that among the bolides exist materials with lower densities than those of recovered meteorites and that model A of the correlation between meteorite falls and bolide observations is likely [12]. If, however, the less dense bodies were more easily fragmented than denser bodies, the correlation is better for hypothesis B. Table 1, which in the hard

  14. The volatile composition of comets as inferred from gas production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKay, Adam Joseph

    Comets are small (1-10 km in radius) icy objects that orbit the Sun on highly eccentric orbits. The composition of comets has been relatively unalterred since their formation 4.5 billion years ago due to their small size and their cold storage in the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud. This makes comets "fossils" that can be studied in order to understand the physical conditions and composition of our Solar System during its infancy. Specifically, studying the volatile (ice) composition of comets can place constraints on molecule formation during the planetary formation stage and volatile transport to the inner Solar System. However, for most comets we must infer the volatile composition of the nucleus from gas present in the coma. The composition of the coma is alterred by physical and chemical processes, so the composition of the coma does not exactly reflect that of the nucleus. In this thesis we present analysis of observations of comets 103P/Hartley and C/2009 P1 Garradd in an effort to understand the physical and chemical processes operating in cometary comae. We obtained optical and NIR spectra in an effort to understand the gas production of comets Hartley and Garradd. We employed the ARCES instrument mounted on the ARC 3.5-meter telescope at Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, NM to acquire optical spectra, while we used the CSHELL instrument mounted on NASA IRTF on Mauna Kea in Hawaii to acquire NIR spectra. We started our analysis with studies of atomic oxygen using the optical spectra and of CO and H2O using the NIR spectra. Specifically, the 5577 A, 6300, and 6300 A lines can potentially used as a proxy for CO2 in comets, which is very imporant because CO2 cannot be observed from the ground directly. Our analysis of the oxygen lines in several comets confirms that analysis of the oxygen line intensities can be employed to obtain quantitative measurements of CO2 in comets, though the accuracy of this method still needs to be firmly established. We also

  15. Spatial distribution of low energy plasma at comet 67P from Rosetta RPC-LAP measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edberg, Niklas J. T.; Eriksson, Anders I.; Odelstad, Elias; Vigren, Erik; Henri, Pierre; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Mandt, Kathleen; Nilsson, Hans; Carr, Chris; Cupido, Emanuele; Vallat, Claire; Altwegg, Kathrin

    2015-04-01

    We present in situ measurements of the low energy plasma environment around comet 67P from the two Langmuir probes (LAP) on the Rosetta spacecraft, which form part of the Rosetta plasma consortium (RPC). RPC-LAP has operated almost continuously as Rosetta has orbited the comet at close distance (10-30 km) at low velocity (about 1 m/s) since August 2014. Using the RPC-LAP measurements we have produced global maps of the low energy plasma in the vicinity of 67P. Initial estimates indicate that the plasma density has reached values of several 100 cm^-3 and that the electron temperature has typically been in the range 5-10 eV, when the comet was beyond 2.5 AU from the sun. Photoionisation is the dominating process for producing the plasma around the comet while charge-exchange and impact ionisation may also contribute. The plasma environment has been found to be strongly coupled to the local neutral gas density, which in turn is coupled to which area on the comet is facing the sun. The northern summer neck-area of the comet outgasses more than other areas and above this region are the highest densities observed. In the southern winter and above the two main lobes of the comet body, the plasma density is lower. The plasma density is hence not determined by the solar wind, but by the outgassing from the comet. The 12.4-hour rotation period of the comet together with the varying latitude of the slow-moving Rosetta provide strong modulation of the RPC-LAP measurements. Besides orbiting the comet, Rosetta will also perform flybys of the comet in early 2015 when Rosetta will move to distances of several hundred kilometres from the nucleus. These flybys provide a cut-through view of the near-comet plasma environment, which will possibly give some insight to the solar-wind interaction with the cometary coma.

  16. Comets - Chemistry and chemical evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, B.

    1982-01-01

    Research on the chemical composition and conditions in comets and their possible role in the origin of life on earth is surveyed. The inorganic and organic compounds and ions indicated in the ultraviolet and visible spectra of comets are noted, and evidence for the existence of at least a small proportion of complex organic molecules in comets is presented. It is then pointed out that while cometary material could have reached the earth and provided volatile elements from which biochemical compounds could have formed, it is unlikely that a cometary nucleus could have withstood the temperatures and pressures necessary to sustain an environment in which life could have originated.

  17. EPOXI at Comet Hartley 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    A'Hearn, Michael F.; Belton, Michael J. S.; Delamere, W. Alan; Feaga, Lori M.; Hampton, Donald; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; McFadden, Jessica M.; Meech, Karen J.; Melosh, H. Jay; Schultz, Peter H.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Yeomans, Donald K.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Bowling, Timothy J.; Carcish, Brian T.; Collins, Steven M.; Farnham, Tony F.; Groussin, Oliver; Hermalyn, Brendan; Kelley, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how comets work, i,e., what drives their activity, is crucial to using comets to study the early solar system. EPOXI flew past comet 103P/Hartley 2, one with an unusually small but very active nucleus. taking both images and spectra. Unlike large, relatively inactive nuclei, this nncleus is outgassing primarily due to CO2, which drags chnnks of ice out of the nnclens. It also shows significant differences in the relative abundance of volatiles from various parts of the nucleus.

  18. Energy source for comet outbursts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patashnick, H.; Schuerman, D. W.; Rupprecht, G.

    1974-01-01

    Development of a mechanism explaining the internal source of energy of comet outbursts. A mechanism is proposed which automatically provides a source of particulate matter which creates a huge surface area which contains a substantial percentage of amorphous ice, so that the phase transition of the amorphous ice to a cubic structure provides a release of energy which may be responsible for the outbursts observed in many comets. In addition, the volume into which the transition can propagate is estimated for a spherical comet with a radius of 5 km.

  19. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1998-04-01

    Concerning comets: C/1940 R2 (Cunningham), C/1941 B2 (de Kock-Paraskevopoulos), C/1941 K1 (van Gent), C/1942 X1 (Whipple-Fedtke-Tevzadze), C/1946 C1 (Timmers), C/1946 K1 (Pajdušáková-Rotbart-Weber), C/1946 P1 (Jones), C/1946 U1 (Bester), C/1947 S1 (Bester), C/1947 X1 (Southern comet), C/1947 Y1 (Mrkos), C/1948 E1 (Pajdušáková-Mrkos), C/1948 L1 (Honda-Bernasconi), C/1948 V1 (Eclipse comet), C/1949 N1 (Bappu-Bok-Newkirk), C/1950 K1 (Minkowski), C/1951 C1 (Pajdušáková), C/1952 H1 (Mrkos), C/1952 M1 (Peltier), C/1952 Q1 (Harrington), C/1953 G1 (Mrkos-Honda), C/1953 T1 (Abell), C/1954 O1 (Vozárová), C/1955 L1 (Mrkos), C/1955 N1 (Bakharev-Macfarlane-Krienke), C/1955 O1 (Honda), C/1956 E1 (Mrkos), C/1956 R1 (Arend-Roland), C/1957 P1 (Mrkos), C/1957 U1 (Latyshev-Wild-Burnham), C/1959 Q1 (Alcock), C/1959 Q2 (Alcock), C/1959 Y1 (Burnham), C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp), C/1996 J1 (Evans-Drinkwater), C/1996 P2 (Russell-Watson), C/1997 BA6 (Spacewatch), C/1997 D1 (Mueller), C/1997 J1 (Mueller), C/1997 J2 (Meunier-Dupouy), C/1997 N1 (Tabur), C/1997 T1 (Utsunomiya), 10P/Tempel 2, 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, 43P/Wolf-Harrington, 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, 62P/Tsuchinshan 1, 69P/Taylor, 78P/Gehrels 2, 81P/Wild 2, 88P/Howell, 95P/Chiron, 103P/Hartley 2, 104P/Kowal 2, 111P/Helin-Roman-Crockett, 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4, 121P/Shoemaker-Holt 2, 129P/Shoemaker-Levy 3, 134P/Kowal-Vavrova, P/1997 C1 (Gehrels), P/1997 G1 (Montani).

  20. HUBBLE SEES MINI-COMET FRAGMENTS FROM COMET LINEAR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [lower right] In one stunning Hubble picture the fate of the mysteriously vanished solid nucleus of Comet LINEAR has been settled. The Hubble picture shows that the comet nucleus has been reduced to a shower of glowing 'mini-comets' resembling the fiery fragments from an exploding aerial firework. This is the first time astronomers have ever gotten a close-up look at what may be the smallest building blocks of cometary nuclei, the icy solid pieces called 'cometesimals', which are thought to be less than 100 feet across. The farthest fragment to the left, which is now very faint, may be the remains of the parent nucleus that fragmented into the cluster of smaller pieces to the right. The comet broke apart around July 26, when it made its closest approach to the Sun. The picture was taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on August 5, 2000, when the comet was at a distance of 64 million miles (102 million kilometers) from Earth. Credit: NASA, Harold Weaver (the Johns Hopkins University), and the HST Comet LINEAR Investigation Team [upper left] A ground-based telescopic view (2.2-meter telescope) of Comet LINEAR taken on August 5, at nearly the same time as the Hubble observations. The comet appears as a diffuse elongated cloud of debris without any visible nucleus. Based on these images, some astronomers had concluded that the ices in the nucleus had completely vaporized, leaving behind a loose swarm of dust. Hubble's resolution was needed to pinpoint the remaining nuclei (inset box shows HST field of view as shown in lower right). Credit: University of Hawaii

  1. Studies of asteroids, comets, and Jupiter's outer satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowell, Edward

    1988-08-01

    The work comprises observational, theoretical, and computational research on asteroids, together with a smaller effort concerning the astrometry of comets and Jupiter's satellites JVI through JXIII. Two principal areas of research, centering on astrometry and photometry, are interrelated in their aim to study the overall structure of the asteroid belt and the physical and orbital properties of individual asteroids. About 2000 accurate photographic positions of asteroids and comets, including a number from the Lowell, Palomar, and Goethe-Link archival plate collections, the last of which was donated to us last winter by Indiana University were measured and published. Charge coupled device (CCD) astrometry of 36 faint targets was undertaken, including 4 comets; JVI, JVII, JVIII, JLX, JXI, and JXII; and 26 asteroids, most of which are Earth-approachers. A deep, bias-correctable asteroid survey (LUKAS), the aim of which is to determine the true spatial distribution of asteroids down to subkilometer diameters was started. A series of eight plates at the UK Schmidt telescope that contain images of asteroids as faint as V approximately 22 mag was obtained. Analysis of microdensitometric scans of two plates has shown that about 98 percent of the asteroid images could be identified completely automatically.

  2. Studies of asteroids, comets, and Jupiter's outer satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowell, Edward

    1988-01-01

    The work comprises observational, theoretical, and computational research on asteroids, together with a smaller effort concerning the astrometry of comets and Jupiter's satellites JVI through JXIII. Two principal areas of research, centering on astrometry and photometry, are interrelated in their aim to study the overall structure of the asteroid belt and the physical and orbital properties of individual asteroids. About 2000 accurate photographic positions of asteroids and comets, including a number from the Lowell, Palomar, and Goethe-Link archival plate collections, the last of which was donated to us last winter by Indiana University were measured and published. Charge coupled device (CCD) astrometry of 36 faint targets was undertaken, including 4 comets; JVI, JVII, JVIII, JLX, JXI, and JXII; and 26 asteroids, most of which are Earth-approachers. A deep, bias-correctable asteroid survey (LUKAS), the aim of which is to determine the true spatial distribution of asteroids down to subkilometer diameters was started. A series of eight plates at the UK Schmidt telescope that contain images of asteroids as faint as V approximately 22 mag was obtained. Analysis of microdensitometric scans of two plates has shown that about 98 percent of the asteroid images could be identified completely automatically.

  3. Evaporation and accretion of extrasolar comets following white dwarf kicks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, Nicholas; Metzger, Brian D.; Loeb, Abraham

    2015-03-01

    Several lines of observational evidence suggest that white dwarfs receive small birth kicks due to anisotropic mass-loss. If other stars possess extrasolar analogues to the Solar Oort cloud, the orbits of comets in such clouds will be scrambled by white dwarf natal kicks. Although most comets will be unbound, some will be placed on low angular momentum orbits vulnerable to sublimation or tidal disruption. The dusty debris from these comets will manifest itself as an IR excess temporarily visible around newborn white dwarfs; examples of such discs may already have been seen in the Helix Nebula, and around several other young white dwarfs. Future observations with the James Webb Space Telescope may distinguish this hypothesis from alternatives such as a dynamically excited Kuiper Belt analogue. Although competing hypotheses exist, the observation that ≳15 per cent of young white dwarfs possess such discs, if interpreted as indeed being cometary in origin, provides indirect evidence that low-mass gas giants (thought necessary to produce an Oort cloud) are common in the outer regions of extrasolar planetary systems. Hydrogen abundances in the atmospheres of older white dwarfs can, if sufficiently low, also be used to place constraints on the joint parameter space of natal kicks and exo-Oort cloud models.

  4. Chondrulelike objects in short-period comet 81P/Wild 2.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Tomoki; Noguchi, Takaaki; Tsuchiyama, Akira; Ushikubo, Takayuki; Kita, Noriko T; Valley, John W; Zolensky, Michael E; Kakazu, Yuki; Sakamoto, Kanako; Mashio, Etsuko; Uesugi, Kentaro; Nakano, Tsukasa

    2008-09-19

    The Stardust spacecraft returned cometary samples that contain crystalline material, but the origin of the material is not yet well understood. We found four crystalline particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 that were apparently formed by flash-melting at a high temperature and are texturally, mineralogically, and compositionally similar to chondrules. Chondrules are submillimeter particles that dominate chondrites and are believed to have formed in the inner solar nebula. The comet particles show oxygen isotope compositions similar to chondrules in carbonaceous chondrites that compose the middle-to-outer asteroid belt. The presence of the chondrulelike objects in the comet suggests that chondrules have been transported out to the cold outer solar nebula and spread widely over the early solar system. PMID:18801994

  5. Comets, impacts, and atmospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, Tobias; Bar-Nun, Akiva

    1994-01-01

    Studies of element abundances and values of D/H in the atmospheres of the giant planets and Titan have emphasized the important role of icy planetesimals in the formation of these bodies. In these atmospheres, C/H and D/H increase as the relative masses of the 'cores' of the planets increase. N/H appears to deviate from this trend in an interesting way. In the inner solar system, the traditional approach of using carbonaceous chondrites as the source of planetary volatiles is in serious trouble because of the depletion of xenon and the unusual pattern of xenon isotopes found in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars, and because of the solar-type abundance ratios of argon, krypton and xenon and the large amounts of neon and argon on Venus. Recent studies of elemental abundances in comets, especially P/Halley, coupled with laboratory studies of the trapping of gas in ice formed at low temperatures by A. Bar-Nun et al. provide a consistent interpretation of all of these results. This interpretation emphasizes the fundamental importance of icy planetesimals (comets) and the randomness of early impacts in the formation of planetary systems. Cometary delivery by itself will not explain the noble gas abundances on the inner planets. There is good evidence for at least one additional source, which presumably consists of the rocky material making up the bulk of the planets. The existence of this rocky reservoir is manifested in the nucleogenic isotopes and in the neon which is found in all these atmospheres and is also present in the Earth's mantle. This neon may well be a relic of the planets' earliest, accretional atmospheres.

  6. Jupiter-family comets in near-Earth orbits: Dynamical histories and potential source regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernández, J.; Sosa, A.

    2014-07-01

    We analyze the dynamical histories of a sample of 58 Jupiter-family comets (JFCs) coming close to the Earth, namely with perihelion distances q < 1.3 au at the time of their discovery. We carry out orbit integrations for these objects for 10^4 yr in the past and in the future, considering the orbital elements provided by the NASA/JPL Small Body Database, and 50 clones of each comet whose orbital elements were taken randomly within their error bars. We find that most orbits are chaotic, where comets are subject to frequent close encounters with Jupiter. Therefore, it is difficult to follow accurately the trajectory of a given comet beyond a few hundred years. We then define a likely dynamical path, which is computed as the average of the orbits of a given comet and the set of 50 clones. In particular we measure the degree of instability of a comet orbit by the time it takes the average perihelion distance q of a comet and its 50 clones to decrease by 1 au previous to the discovery time. We define this time scale as the capture time within the near-Earth region. We find that most JFCs have short capture times, of a few hundred to a couple of thousands of years, suggesting a recent incorporation to the near-Earth region. This is what one should expect for bodies whose typical lifetimes as active comets should not exceed a few 10^3 yr. This behavior is in sharp contrast with near-Earth asteroids that show more stable orbits with much longer residence times in the near-Earth region. The most likely source region of most JFCs is the transneptunian region. On the other hand, we find that a few JFCs move on stable orbits over the studied period with capture times > 10^4 yr. These objects might have a different source region, probably the outer asteroid belt or the Jupiter Trojans.

  7. A HYPOTHESIS FOR THE COLOR DIVERSITY OF THE KUIPER BELT

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, M. E.; Fraser, W. C.; Schaller, E. L.

    2011-10-01

    We propose a chemical and dynamical process to explain the surface colors of the Kuiper belt. In our hypothesis, the initial bulk compositions of the bodies themselves can be quite diverse-as is seen in comets-but the early surface compositions are set by volatile evaporation after the objects are formed. Strong gradients in surface composition, coupled with UV and particle irradiation, lead to the surface colors that are seen today. The objects formed in the inner part of the primordial belt retain only H{sub 2}O and CO{sub 2} as the major ice species on their surfaces. Irradiation of these species plausibly results in the dark neutrally colored centaurs and Kuiper belt objects (KBOs). Object formed further in the disk retain CH{sub 3}OH, which has been shown to lead to brighter redder surfaces after irradiation, as seen in the brighter redder centaurs and KBOs. Objects formed at the current location of the cold classical Kuiper belt uniquely retain NH{sub 3}, which has been shown to affect irradiation chemistry and could plausibly lead to the unique colors of these objects. We propose observational and experimental tests of this hypothesis.

  8. Modern Observational Techniques for Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C. (Editor); Greenberg, J. M. (Editor); Donn, B. (Editor); Rahe, J. (Editor)

    1981-01-01

    Techniques are discussed in the following areas: astrometry, photometry, infrared observations, radio observations, spectroscopy, imaging of coma and tail, image processing of observation. The determination of the chemical composition and physical structure of comets is highlighted.

  9. The volatile composition of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weaver, H. A.

    1988-01-01

    Comets may be our best probes of the physical and chemical conditions in the outer regions of the solar nebula during that crucial period when the planets formed. The volatile composition of cometary nuclei can be used to decide whether comets are the product of a condensation sequence similar to that invoked to explain the compositions of the planets and asteroids, or if comets are simply agglomerations of interstellar grains which have been insignificantly modified by the events that shaped the other bodies in the solar system. Although cometary nuclei are not generally accessible to observation, observations of cometary comae can illuminate at least some of the mysteries of the nuclei provided one has a detailed knowledge of the excitation conditions in the coma and also has access to basic atomic and molecular data on the many species present in comets. Examined here is the status of our knowledge of the volatile composition of cometary nuclei and how these data are obtained.

  10. COnsortium of METabolomics Studies (COMETS)

    Cancer.gov

    The COnsortium of METabolomics Studies (COMETS) is an extramural-intramural partnership that promotes collaboration among prospective cohort studies that follow participants for a range of outcomes and perform metabolomic profiling of individuals.

  11. SOHO Sees Comet ISON Appear

    NASA Video Gallery

    Comet ISON moves ever closer to the sun in this movie from the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, captured in the early hours of Nov. 27, 2013. A coronal mass ejection explodes off the su...

  12. Comet ISON May Have Survived

    NASA Video Gallery

    Continuing a history of surprising behavior, material from Comet ISON appeared on the other side of the sun on the evening on Nov. 28, 2013, despite not having been seen in observations during its ...

  13. Sounds of a Comet Encounter

    NASA Video Gallery

    During its Feb. 14, 2011, flyby of comet Tempel 1, an instrument on the protective shield on NASA's Stardust spacecraft was pelted by dust particles and small rocks. For more information visit: htt...

  14. Nitrogen abundance in Comet Halley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, Susan; Tegler, Stephen C.; Engel, Lisa

    1991-01-01

    Data on the nitrogen-containing compounds that observed spectroscopically in the coma of Comet Halley are summarized, and the elemental abundance of nitrogen in the Comet Halley nucleus is derived. It is found that 90 percent of elemental nitrogen is in the dust fraction of the coma, while in the gas fraction, most of the nitrogen is contained in NH3 and CN. The elemental nitrogen abundance in the ice component of the nucleus was found to be deficient by a factor of about 75, relative to the solar photosphere, indicating that the chemical partitioning of N2 into NH3 and other nitrogen compounds during the evolution of the solar nebula cannot account completely for the low abundance ratio N2/NH3 = 0.1, observed in the comet. It is suggested that the low N2/NH3 ratio in Comet Halley may be explained simply by physical fractionation and/or thermal diffusion.

  15. How to make a comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephens, J.; Saunders, R. S.; Fanale, F.

    1986-01-01

    The primary mandate of NASA is the study of the nature and origin of the solar system. The study of comets provides information about conditions and processes at the beginning of the solar system. Short period comets and their relatives, the near Earth asteroids may prove to be second only to the Sun in importance to the long term survival of civilization for two reasons: as a possible candidate for the cause of mass extinctions of life on Earth and as the material means for the expansion of civilization into the solar system and beyond. In the mean time comets are studied by remote means. Laboratory investigations using synthetic cometary materials may add to the knowledge of these interesting objects. Dust and mantle formation are currently being studied by the use of comet sublimation experiments. Results of these experiments are discussed.

  16. Wet comet model: Rosetta redux

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheldon, Robert B.

    2015-09-01

    The wet-comet model (WCM) of the structure and composition of comets was developed in 2005 to replace the "dirty-snowball" model (DSM) of Fred Whipple, because the first comet flybys of P/Halley "armada" revealed a very different landscape. Subsequent flybys of P/Borrelly, P/Wild-2, P/Hartley, P/Tempel-1 have confirmed and refined the model, so that we confidently predicted that the Rosetta mission would encounter a prolate, tumbling, concrete-encrusted, black comet: P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Unfortunately, the Philae lander team was preparing for a DSM and the anchors bounced off the concrete surface, but the orbiter has returned spec- tacular pictures of every crevice, which confirm and extend the WCM yet a sixth time. We report of what we predicted, what was observed, and several unexpected results from the ROSETTA mission.

  17. Inactive comets within meteoroid streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kokhirova, Gulchekhra; Babadzhanov, Pulat; Obrubov, Yuri

    2015-08-01

    The modern concepts of formation and evolution of the meteoroid streams originated as a result of disintegration of cometary nuclei are presented. The action of planetary perturbations that defines the orbital evolution of meteoroids is discussed. The main regularities in variations of the orbital elements as well as of the heliocentric distances of ascending and descending nodes are found on the base of calculation of orbital evolution of a sample of NEAs. A dispersion of the orbits is increasing with a time and meteoroid streams in dependence of the type of a parent comet orbit can produce up to eight meteor showers observable at the Earth. It is recognized that some meteoroid streams contain large extinct fragments of cometary nuclei. These fragments have been found among NEAs and should be considered as the constituent parts of meteoroid streams. Consequently, meteoroid streams consist of both small particles and large fireball-producing bodies. This fact supported by the results of investigation of a sample of three asteroid-meteoroid complexes.

  18. Nonsanction seat belt law enforcement: a modern day tale of two cities.

    PubMed

    Hunter, W W; Stewart, J R; Stutts, J C; Marchetti, L M

    1993-10-01

    This paper describes the implementation and evaluation of a nonsanction seat belt law enforcement program in two experimental communities of contrasting size in a state with a mandatory belt law. The main ingredients of the program were seat belt "salutes," public information and education, and limited use of inexpensive economic incentives. Driver shoulder belt use data collected before, during, and after the experimental programs, compared to similar data collected in a comparison community, showed the approach to be effective. While standard seat belt enforcement activities without incentives have been shown to be effective, many police departments, especially in smaller communities, are reluctant to make wholesale increases in seat belt citations. Although requiring some additional level of manpower and resources, a nonsanction approach to seat belt law enforcement can provide an alternate way of increasing belt use in these communities. PMID:8397653

  19. Tail phenomena. [of Halley's comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brandt, J. C.; Niedner, M. B., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    An overview of tail phenomena is presented based on worldwide submissions to the Large-Scale Phenomena Discipline Specialist Team of the International Halley Watch. Examples of tail phenomena and science are presented along with estimates of total expected yield from the Network. The archive of this material will clearly be very valuable for studying the solar-wind/comet interaction during the 1985-1986 apparition of Halley's Comet.

  20. The capabilities of ROSINA/DFMS to measure argon isotopes at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hässig, M.; Altwegg, K.; Berthelier, J. J.; Calmonte, U.; De Keyser, J.; Fiethe, B.; Fuselier, S. A.; Gombosi, T. I.; Le Roy, L.; Owen, T.; Rubin, M.

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the noble gas abundances in comets. These highly volatile atoms are possible tracers of the history of cometary matter including the thermal evolution. They can help quantify the contribution of cometary impacts to terrestrial oceans and help elucidate on the formation history of comets and their role in the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres. This paper focuses on argon and the capabilities to measure this noble gas with in situ mass spectrometry at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the target of the European Space Agency's spacecraft Rosetta. Argon may have been detected by remote sensing in a single Oort cloud comet but to date nothing is known about the isotopic abundances of argon in comets. Furthermore, no detection of argon in a Jupiter-family comet has been reported. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko belongs to the group of Jupiter-family comets and originates most likely in the Kuiper belt. Onboard Rosetta is ROSINA/DFMS (Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis/Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer). DFMS has unprecedented mass resolution and high sensitivity and is designed to measure isotopic ratios including argon (Balsiger et al., 2007). Argon measurements using the DFMS lab model (identical to the flight model) demonstrate this capability. At very least, this mass spectrometer has the resolution and sensitivity to reduce the upper limit on the argon outgassing rate relative to water by more than three orders of magnitude (for 38Ar). Most likely, ROSINA/DFMS will provide the first detection of argon in a Jupiter-family comet together with the first determination of the 36Ar/38Ar ratio at a comet.

  1. Polarimetric studies of comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Das, H. S.; Medhi, B. J.; Wolf, S.; Bertrang, G.; Deb Roy, P.; Chakraborty, A.

    2013-12-01

    We present the optical imaging polarimetric observations of comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) at three different phase angles e.g. 28.2°, 28.1° and 21.6°. The observations were carried out using the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera mounted on Cassegrain focus of the 2 m telescope of IGO, IUCAA, Pune, in Rcomet, R photometric bands, on 2012 March 21 and 22 and Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciencES (ARIES) Imaging Polarimeter mounted on Cassegrain focus of the 1.04 m Sampurnanand Telescope of ARIES, Nainital, in R photometric band, on 2012 May 23. We show the presence of a jet activity in the rotational-gradient-treated image of comet Garradd at phase angle 28.1°. These jets are mainly oriented towards the Sun and extended up to ˜5100 km from the cometary photocentre. The antisolar extension of the jet seems to be fainter, which is extended up to ˜1800 km. It is found that the comet Garradd shows negative polarization at phase angle 21.6°. The degree of polarization derived for Garradd is in good agreement with other comets at nearly similar phase angles e.g. comets 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, 22P/Kopff, 1P/Halley, C/1990 K1 (Levy), 4P/Faye and C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) at phase angle ˜28°, and 47P/Ashbrook-Jackson at phase angle ˜21.6°, respectively. It is also found that the degree of polarization of dusty coma of comet Garradd at phase angle ˜28° is high but not as high as in the case of comet Hale-Bopp.

  2. Parametric Dielectric Model of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heggy, E.; Palmer, E. M.; Kofman, W. W.; Clifford, S. M.; Righter, K.; Herique, A.

    2012-12-01

    In 2014, the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission is scheduled to rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (Comet 67P). Rosetta's CONSERT experiment aims to explore the cometary nucleus' geophysical properties using radar tomography. The expected scientific return and inversion algorithms are mainly dependent on our understanding of the dielectric properties of the comet nucleus and how they vary with the spatial distribution of geophysical parameters. Using observations of comets 9P/Tempel 1 and 81P/Wild 2 in combination with dielectric laboratory measurements of temperature, porosity, and dust-to-ice mass ratio dependencies for cometary analog material, we have constructed two hypothetical three-dimensional parametric dielectric models of Comet 67P's nucleus to assess different dielectric scenarios of the inner structure. Our models suggest that dust-to-ice mass ratios and porosity variations generate the most significant measurable dielectric contrast inside the comet nucleus, making it possible to explore the structural and compositional hypotheses of cometary nuclei. Surface dielectric variations, resulting from temperature changes induced by solar illumination of the comet's faces, have also been modeled and suggest that the real part of the dielectric constant varies from 1.9 to 3.0, hence changing the surface radar reflectivity. For CONSERT, this variation could be significant at low incidence angles, when the signal propagates through a length of dust mantle comparable to the wavelength. The overall modeled dielectric permittivity spatial and temporal variations are therefore consistent with the expected deep penetration of CONSERT's transmitted wave through the nucleus. It is also clear that changes in the physical properties of the nucleus induce sufficient variation in the dielectric properties of cometary material to allow their inversion from radar tomography.

  3. Laboratory Studies Towards Understanding Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gudipati, Murthy S.; Abou Mrad, Ninette; Blum, Jürgen; Charnley, Steven B.; Chiavassa, Thierry; Cordiner, Martin A.; Mousis, Olivier; Danger, Grégoire; Duvernay, Fabrice; Gundlach, Bastian; Hartogh, Paul; Marboeuf, Ulysse; Simonia, Irakli; Simonia, Tsitsino; Theulé, Patrice; Yang, Rui

    2015-12-01

    This review presents some of the recent advancements in our understanding of comets facilitated by laboratory studies, need for new laboratory simulations, and predictions for future explorations. With the spacecraft Rosetta at the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a large volume of science data is expected to follow early results that have been published recently. The most surprising of them being hard ice shell that bounced the lander Philae a couple of times before settling on the comet. Long evaded molecular nitrogen has now been detected in the comet 67P/CG. The observed density of 470 kg m^{- 3} is in line with other comet observations, whereas the nature and composition of hydrocarbons detected on the surface are still a puzzle. Observation of D/H ratio that deviates significantly from Earth's water D/H ratio brings back to the table the long-standing question whether or not water on Earth was delivered by comet impacts. Our review summarizes some of the critical laboratory work that helps improve our understanding of cometary interior (whether amorphous or crystalline or containing clathrates), cometary surface (rich of complex organics), cometary coma and tail (D/H ratio, negative ions, and photoluminescence). Outstanding questions are also discussed.

  4. On the stochasticity of Halley like comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froeschle, Claude; Gonczi, Robert

    The degree of stochasticity of Halleylike comets was investigated for three different versions of the restricted three-body problem. As the main tool for this study, the Lyapunov characteristic numbers (LCNs) were used, which give an indication of the speed by which nearby orbits diverge and, thus, the degree of unpredictability of such orbits. Many runs were performed with a duration of 100,000 years for different models. Surfaces of sections for orbits with different inclinations and different models are presented. The results are compared with those of Chirikov and Vecheslavov (1986) and Petrovsky and Broucke (1987). It is shown that LCNs are very useful indicators of stochasticity.

  5. H2O(+) ions in comets: Comet Kohoutek (1973f) and comet Bradfield (1974b)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wehinger, P.; Wyckoff, S.

    1976-01-01

    The image tube Cassegrain slit spectra of comet Kohoutek and Bradfield calibrated and reduced to relative intensities are discussed. Monochromatic changes in the surface brightness for various neutral and ionized molecules are determined. The intensities of C2 and CN decreased approximately four times faster than the intensity change for the H2O(+) features. It is shown that the excitation mechanism for the observed H2O(+) bands is by fluorescent scattering of the incident solar radiation. The effects of solar activity on the photoionization rate of H2O in a comet are discussed. Observations of another bright comet at the time of maximum solar activity are needed to determine changes in band intensities of comet tail ions due to solar activity.

  6. The mass disruption of Oort cloud comets.

    PubMed

    Levison, Harold F; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Dones, Luke; Jedicke, Robert; Wiegert, Paul A; Bottke, William F

    2002-06-21

    We have calculated the number of dormant, nearly isotropic Oort cloud comets in the solar system by (i) combining orbital distribution models with statistical models of dormant comet discoveries by well-defined surveys and (ii) comparing the model results to observations of a population of dormant comets. Dynamical models that assume that comets are not destroyed predict that we should have discovered approximately 100 times more dormant nearly isotropic comets than are actually seen. Thus, as comets evolve inward from the Oort cloud, the majority of them must physically disrupt.

  7. The mass disruption of Oort cloud comets.

    PubMed

    Levison, Harold F; Morbidelli, Alessandro; Dones, Luke; Jedicke, Robert; Wiegert, Paul A; Bottke, William F

    2002-06-21

    We have calculated the number of dormant, nearly isotropic Oort cloud comets in the solar system by (i) combining orbital distribution models with statistical models of dormant comet discoveries by well-defined surveys and (ii) comparing the model results to observations of a population of dormant comets. Dynamical models that assume that comets are not destroyed predict that we should have discovered approximately 100 times more dormant nearly isotropic comets than are actually seen. Thus, as comets evolve inward from the Oort cloud, the majority of them must physically disrupt. PMID:12077415

  8. Correlating Total Visual Magnitude Estimates and CCD Photometry for Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kidger, Mark Richard

    2015-08-01

    A key facet of understanding the activity of comets is coverage of their light curve. For some comets such as 2P/Encke there is good light curve coverage from visual observers extending back over many returns over more than 2 centuries. However, in recent years, CCD photometry by amateur astronomers has become the dominant data source and the number of total visual magnitude estimates has reduced sharply, making comparison of recent and historical photometric data for comets increasingly difficult. The relationship between total visual magnitude estimates - dominated by the emission from the Swan bands of C2 - and CCD aperture photometry - dominated by the dust continuum - has been far from clear.This paper compares CCD aperture photometry and total visual magnitude for several recent well-observed bright comets, including C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), C/2012 S1 (ISON) and C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) using a consistent and homogeneous database of observations from (mainly) Spanish observers. For comets with a 1/r radial coma profile, good agreement is found between CCD aperture photometry and total visual magnitude estimates for a CCD aperture corresponding to a physical coma diameter of ≈105km.The relationship between the coma radial brightness slope and the equivalent physical aperture for CCD photometry to obtain agreement with total visual magnitude estimates is investigated.

  9. The levantine amber belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nissenbaum, A.; Horowitz, A.

    1992-02-01

    Amber, a fossil resin, is found in Early Cretaceous sanstones and fine clastics in Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel. The term "Levantine amber belt" is coined for this amber-containing sediment belt. The amber occurs as small nodules of various colors and frequently contains inclusions of macro- and microorganisms. The Lebanese amber contains Lepidoptera and the amber from southern Israel is rich in fungal remains. The source of the amber, based on geochemical and palynological evidence, is assumed to be from a conifer belonging to the Araucariaceae. The resins were produced by trees growing in a tropical near shore environment. The amber was transported into small swamps and was preserved there together with lignite. Later reworking of those deposits resulted in redeposition of the amber in oxidized sandstones.

  10. Metamorphic belts of Anatolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oberhänsli, Roland; Prouteau, Amaury; Candan, Osman; Bousquet, Romain

    2015-04-01

    Investigating metamorphic rocks from high-pressure/low-temperature (HP/LT) belts that formed during the closure of several oceanic branches, building up the present Anatolia continental micro-plate gives insight to the palaeogeography of the Neotethys Ocean in Anatolia. Two coherent HP/LT metamorphic belts, the Tavşanlı Zone (distal Gondwana margin) and the Ören-Afyon-Bolkardağ Zone (proximal Gondwana margin), parallel their non-metamorphosed equivalent (the Tauride Carbonate Platform) from the Aegean coast in NW Anatolia to southern Central Anatolia. P-T conditions and timing of metamorphism in the Ören-Afyon-Bolkardağ Zone (>70?-65 Ma; 0.8-1.2 GPa/330-420°C) contrast those published for the overlying Tavşanlı Zone (88-78 Ma; 2.4 GPa/500 °C). These belts trace the southern Neotethys suture connecting the Vardar suture in the Hellenides to the Inner Tauride suture along the southern border of the Kirşehir Complex in Central Anatolia. Eastwards, these belts are capped by the Oligo-Miocene Sivas Basin. Another HP/LT metamorphic belt, in the Alanya and Bitlis regions, outlines the southern flank of the Tauride Carbonate Platform. In the Alanya Nappes, south of the Taurides, eclogites and blueschists yielded metamorphic ages around 82-80 Ma (zircon U-Pb and phengite Ar-Ar data). The Alanya-Bitlis HP belt testifies an additional suture not comparable to the northerly Tavşanlı and Ören-Afyon belts, thus implying an additional oceanic branch of the Neotethys. The most likely eastern lateral continuation of this HP belt is the Bitlis Massif, in SE Turkey. There, eclogites (1.9-2.4 GPa/480-540°C) occur within calc-arenitic meta-sediments and in gneisses of the metamorphic (Barrovian-type) basement. Zircon U-Pb ages revealed 84.4-82.4 Ma for peak metamorphism. Carpholite-bearing HP/LT metasediments representing the stratigraphic cover of the Bitlis Massif underwent 0.8-1.2 GPa/340-400°C at 79-74 Ma (Ar-Ar on white mica). These conditions compares to the Tav

  11. The pristine nature of comets. [primeval composition of solar bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delsemme, A. H.

    1977-01-01

    Abundance considerations suggest that comets are likely to be the most pristine minor bodies in the solar system. In proportion to solar abundances, the present scanty data suggest that cometary oxygen is not depleted, whereas carbon is by a factor of 4 and hydrogen, by a factor of 2000. This implies that comets are less depleted in H, C, N, O than CI chondrites, namely 10:1 in hydrogen, 4:1 in carbon and 3:1 in oxygen. These results have been obtained by using dust-to-gas ratios in comets to measure the relative abundance of silicon and metals to volatile material, and the spectra of atomic lines, mainly from the vacuum ultraviolet, to determine the H/O and C/O ratios of the mixture of volatile molecules.

  12. Geological structures created by falls of galactic comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barenbaum, A. A.

    2015-11-01

    With the use of the author's theoretical model are discussed geological structures which can be created by fallings of galactic comets on terrestrial planets: Mercury, Mars, Earth, Venus and the Moon. The model predicts that depending on combination of a number of conditions galactic comets may form on these planets following types of structures: craters, diatremes, lava sheets, volcanoes, dome-shaped surface uplift, as well as coronae and montes (on Venus). The main factors that influence on origin of these structures on planets are (i) density of gas shell, (ii) thickness of planetary lithosphere, (iii) composition and degree heating of lithosphere rocks, (iv) frequency of fallings galactic comets. We are discussing specific features of these structures on the Moon, Mars, Earth and Venus.

  13. Seasonal effects on the nucleus of comet 67P revealed by Rosetta/VIRTIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosi, Federico; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Filacchione, Gianrico; Erard, Stéphane; Rouseeau, Batiste; Combe, Jean-Philippe; Capria, Maria Teresa; Leyrat, Cédric; Longobardo, Andrea; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Kappel, David; Arnold, Gabriele; Fonti, Sergio; Mancarella, Francesca; Kuehrt, Ekkehard; Mottola, Stefano

    2016-04-01

    We describe thermal effects on the nucleus of comet 67P. Due to the overall low thermal inertia of the nucleus surface, the surface temperature is essentially dominated by the instantaneous value of the solar incidence angle and the heliocentric distance. However, for each location, the smallest achievable value of insolation angle depends on the season and topography. Given the substantial obliquity of comet 67P, seasons are such that the northern hemisphere is mainly illuminated at aphelion while the southern hemisphere receives most insolation soon after perihelion. In addition, the heliocentric distance strongly affects the surface temperature, all other parameters being equal. This is a larger effect in comets than in asteroids, due to the wide range of heliocentric distance values spanned by comets. When Rosetta started its global mapping observation campaign, in early August 2014, hyperspectral images acquired by the VIRTIS imaging spectrometer onboard the Rosetta Orbiter covered only the northern regions of the cometary surface, and the equatorial belt became gradually unveiled, while the southern region has been revealed from 2015 onwards. In parallel, the comet's heliocentric distance has been decreasing from ˜3.6 AU down to 1.24 AU, the distance at which the perihelion passage occurred on 13 August 2015. By relating surface temperatures as measured by VIRTIS to three variables: solar incidence angle, true local solar time and heliocentric distance, we aim to separate the relative contributions due to season and to the heliocentric distance. To do this, we use both VIRTIS-M data (namely data from the mapping spectrometer covering the 1-5 μm range, available up to April 2015, i.e. before the failure of the IR cryocooler) and VIRTIS-H data (namely data from the high-resolution point spectrometer covering the 2-5 μm range), and we focus in particular on three regions: one in the northern hemisphere, one in the equatorial region and one in the southern

  14. Comet 67P's Pitted Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-11-01

    High-resolution imagery of comet 67P ChuryumovGerasimenko has revealed that its surface is covered in active pits some measuring hundreds of meters both wide and deep! But what processes caused these pits to form?Pitted LandscapeESAs Rosetta mission arrived at comet 67P in August 2014. As the comet continued its journey around the Sun, Rosetta extensively documented 67Ps surface through high-resolution images taken with the on-board instrument NavCam. These images have revealed that active, circular depressions are a common feature on the comets surface.In an attempt to determine how these pits formed, an international team of scientists led by Olivier Mousis (Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille) has run a series of simulations of a region of the comet the Seth region that contains a 200-meter-deep pit. These simulations include the effects of various phase transitions, heat transfer through the matrix of ices and dust, and gas diffusion throughout the porous material.Escaping VolatilesAdditional examples of pitted areas on 67Ps northern-hemisphere surface include the Ash region and the Maat region (both imaged September 2014 by NavCam) [Mousis et al. 2015]Previous studies have already eliminated two potential formation mechanisms for the pits: impacts (the sizes of the pits werent right) and erosion due to sunlight (the pits dont have the right shape). Mousis and collaborators assume that the pits are instead caused by the depletion of volatile materials chemical compounds with low boiling points either via explosive outbursts at the comets surface, or via sinkholes opening from below the surface. But what process causes the volatiles to deplete when the comet heats?The authors simulations demonstrate that volatiles trapped beneath the comets surface either in icy structures called clathrates or within amorphous ice can be suddenly released as the comet warms up. The team shows that the release of volatiles from these two structures can create 200-meter

  15. A 40 Myr OLD GASEOUS CIRCUMSTELLAR DISK AT 49 CETI: MASSIVE CO-RICH COMET CLOUDS AT YOUNG A-TYPE STARS

    SciTech Connect

    Zuckerman, B.; Song, Inseok E-mail: song@physast.uga.edu

    2012-10-20

    The gaseous molecular disk that orbits the main-sequence A-type star 49 Ceti has been known since 1995, but the stellar age and the origin of the observed carbon monoxide molecules have been unknown. We now identify 49 Ceti as a member of the 40 Myr old Argus Association and present a colliding comet model to explain the high CO concentrations seen at 49 Ceti and the 30 Myr old A-type star HD 21997. The model suggests that massive-400 Earth mass-analogs of the Sun's Kuiper Belt are in orbit around some A-type stars, that these large masses are composed primarily of comet-like objects, and that these objects are rich in CO and perhaps also CO{sub 2}. We identify additional early-type members of the Argus Association and the Tucana/Horologium and Columba Associations; some of these stars display excess mid-infrared emission as measured with the Widefield Infrared Survey Explorer.

  16. Comet explorer spacecraft design project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The small, chemically primitive objects of the solar system, comets and asteroids, are one of the most important frontiers remaining for future planetary exploration. So stated the Solar System Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory Council in its 1986 report 'Planetary Exploration Through the Year 2000.' The Halley's comet flyby missions completed last spring raised more questions than were answered about the nature of comets. The next mission to a comet must be able to explore some of these questions. In the late 1990's, a spacecraft might be built to explore the hazardous area surrounding a comet nucleus. Rigorous pointing requirements for remote sensing instruments will place a considerable burden on their attendant control systems. To meet these requirements we have pursued the initial design and analysis of a multi-bodied comet explorer spacecraft. Sized so as to be built on-orbit after the space station is operational, the spacecraft is comprised of Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) subsystems, packaged into two major components: a three-axis controlled instrument platform and a spinning, detached comet dust shield. Such a configuration decouples the dynamics of dust impaction from the stringent pointing out requirements of the imaging experiments. At the same time, it offers an abundance of simple analysis problems that may be carried out by undergraduates. These problems include the following: Selection of subsystem components, sizing trade studies, investigation of three-axis and simple spin dynamics, design of simple control systems, orbit determination, and intercept trajectory generation. Additionally, such topics as proposal writing project management, human interfacing, and costing have been covered. A new approach to design teaching has been taken, whereby students will 'learn by teaching.' They are asked to decompose trade options into a set of 'if-then' rules, which then 'instruct' the Mechanically Intelligent Designer (MIND) expert design system

  17. Learned modesty and the first lady's comet: a commentary on Caroline Herschel (1787) 'An account of a new comet'.

    PubMed

    Winterburn, Emily

    2015-04-13

    Long before women were allowed to become Fellows of the Royal Society, or obtain university degrees, one woman managed to get her voice heard, her discovery verified and her achievement celebrated. That woman was Caroline Herschel, who, as this paper will discuss, managed to find ways to fit comet discoveries into her domestic life, and present them in ways that were socially acceptable. Caroline lived in a time when strict rules dictated how women (and men) should behave and present themselves and their work. Caroline understood these rules, and used them carefully as she announced each discovery, starting with this comet which she found in 1786. Caroline discovered her comets at a time when astronomers were mainly concerned with position, identifying where things were and how they were moving. Since her discoveries, research has moved on, as astronomers, using techniques from other fields, and most recently sending experiments into space, have learned more about what comets are and what they can tell us about our solar system. Caroline's paper marks one small, early step in this much bigger journey to understand comets. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. PMID:25750140

  18. Electron plasma environment at comet Grigg-Skjellerup: General observations and comparison with the environment at comet Halley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reme, H.; Mazelle, C.; Sauvaud, J. A.; D'Uston, C.; Froment, F.; Lin, R. P.; Anderson, K. A.; Carlson, C. W.; Larson, D. E.; Korth, A.

    1993-01-01

    The three-dimensional electron spectrometer of the Reme plasma analyzer-complete positive ion, electron and ram negative ion measurements near comet Halley (RPA-COPERNIC) experiment aboard the Giotto spacecraft, although damaged during the comet Halley encounter in March 1986, has provided very new results during the encounter on July 10, 1992, with the weakly active comet Grigg-Skjellerup (G-S). The main characteristic features of the highly structured interaction region extending from approximately 26,500 km inbound to approximately 37,200 km outbound are presented. These results are compared to the results obtained by the same instrument during the Giotto comet Halley fly-by. Despite the large difference in the size of the interaction regions (approximately 60,000 km for G-S, approximately 2000,000 km for Halley) due to 2 orders of magnitude difference in cometary neutral gas production rate, there are striking similarities in the solar wind interactions with the two comets.

  19. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-07-01

    Concerning comets: 1955 III Mrkos, 1955 IV Bakharev-Macfarlane-Krienke, 1955 V Honda, 1956 III Mrkos, 1956 IV P/Olbers, 1957 V Mrkos, 1961 II Candy, 1961 V Wilson-Hubbard, 1962 III Seki-Lines, 1962 V P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, 1963 I Ikeya, 1963 III Alcock, 1964 VI Tomita-Gerber-Honda, 1964 IX Everhart, 1965 VIII Ikeya-Seki, 1966 II Barbon, 1966 V Kilston, 1967 III Wild, 1967 IV Seki, 1967 V P/Tuttle, 1967 X P/Tempel 2, 1970 I Daido-Fujikawa, 1975 IX Kobayashi-Berger-Milon, 1979 X Bradfield, 1986 III P/Halley, 1989 X P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989 XIX Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1990 III Cernis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990 V Austin, 1990 XIV P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, 1990 XVII Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, 1990 XX Levy, 1990 XXI P/Encke, 1990 XXVIII P/Wild 2, 1991 XI P/Levy, 1991 XV P/Hartley 2, 1991a1 Shoemaker-Levy, 1992h Spacewatch, 1992l P/Giclas, 1992n P/Schuster, 1992ο P/Daniel, 1992s P/Ciffréo, 1992t P/Swift-Tuttle, 1992u P/Väisälä 1, 1992x P/Schaumasse, 1992y Shoemaker, 1992a1 Ohshita, 1993a Mueller, 1993e P/Shoemaker-Levy 9, P/Smirnova-Chernykh, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  20. The Comets Inspector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demeure, Alexandre; Calvary, Gaëlle; Coutaz, Joëlle; Vanderdonckt, Jean

    Three types of representation are typically produced during the User Interface (UI) development life cycle: a conceptual representation holding the models used for elaborating a UI, an internal representation concerning the code of the UI, and an external representation expressing the look and feel of the UI. While the end user typically manipulates the external representation only, the designer and the developer respectively focus on the conceptual and internal representations. The Comets Inspector gathers all three representations into a single environment, thus providing the user (actually, the designer and the developer; in the future, the end-user) with multiple views of a same UI simultaneously. Each representation is made observable and modifiable through one or many “mini-UIs”. Consistency is ensured through mappings between these representations. From a methodological point of view, the benefit is the integration of three stakeholders' perspectives in a consensual and consistent way, enabling the exploration and manipulation of design alternatives at run time. In particular, when the context of use will be changing, the end-user will be able to inspect the UI capabilities and control its adaptation, thus sustaining explicit plasticity

  1. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1990-10-01

    Concerning comets: 1968 VI Honda, 1968 IX Honda, 1969 I Thomas, 1970 I Daido-Fujikawa, 1970 II Bennett, 1970 VI White-Ortiz-Bolelli, 1970 X Suzuki-Sato-Seki, 1970 XV Abe, 1972 V P/Tempel 1, 1972 XI P/Kearns-Kwee, 1973 VII Kohoutek, 1973 XII Kohoutek, 1975 IX Kobayashi-Berger-Milon, 1975 X Suzuki-Saigusa-Mori, 1986 I P/Boethin, 1986 VIII P/Machholz, 1986 XVII Levy, 1987 II Sorrells, 1987 III Nishikawa-Takamizawa-Tago, 1987 VII Wilson, 1987 X P/Grigg-Skjellerup, 1987 XXI Levy, 1987 XXIII Rudenko, 1987 XXVII P/Kohoutek, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1987 XXXII McNaught, 1987 XXXIII P/Borrelly, 1988 I Ichimura, 1988 IV Furuyama, 1988 V Liller, 1988 XX Yanaka, 1988 XXIV Yanaka, 1988k P/Kopff, 1989d P/Russell 3, 1989ο P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989r Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1989v Helin-Roman-Alu, 1989a1 Aarseth-Brewington, 1989b1 P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, 1989c1 Austin, 1989d1 P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, 1989e1 Skorichenko-George, 1990a P/Wild 4, 1990b Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990c Levy, 1990d P/Peters-Hartley, 1990f P/Honda-Mrkos-Pájdušaková, 1990i Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, P/Encke, P/Gunn, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  2. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1990-07-01

    Concerning comets: 1968 IV Tago-Honda-Yamamoto, 1968 V Whitaker-Thomas, 1985 VIII Machholz, 1986 IX Churyumov-Solodovnikov, 1986 XVIII Terasako, 1987 II Sorrells, 1987 III Nishikawa-Takamizawa-Tago, 1987 VII Wilson, 1987 XXI Levy, 1987 XXIII Rudenko, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1987 XXX Levy, 1987 XXXII McNaught, 1987 XXXIII P/Borrelly, 1988 IV Furuyama, 1988 V Liller, 1988 XIV P/Tempel 2, 1988 XV Machholz, 1988 XX Yanaka, 1988 XXIV Yanaka, 1988h Shoemaker-Holt-Rodriquez, 1989d P/Russell 3, 1989g P/Pons-Winnecke, 1989n P/Gehrels 2, 1989ο P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989p P/Lovas 1, 1989r Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1989v Helin-Roman-Alu, 1989a1 Aarseth-Brewington, 1989b1 P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák, 1989c1 Austin, 1989d1 P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, 1989e1 Skorichenko-George, 1989f1 McKenzie-Russell, 1990a P/Wild 4, 1990b Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990c Levy, P/Gunn, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  3. Chiron and the Centaurs: Escapees from the Kuiper Belt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, Alan; Campins, Humberto

    1996-01-01

    The outer Solar System has long appeared to be a largely empty place, inhabited only by the four giant planets, Pluto and a transient population of comets. In 1977 however, a faint and enigmatic object - 2060 Chiron - was discovered moving on a moderately inclined, strongly chaotic 51-year orbit which takes it from just inside Saturn's orbit out almost as far as that of Uranus. It was not initially clear from where Chiron originated. these objects become temporarily trapped on Centaur-like orbits Following Chiron's discovery, almost 15 years elapsed before other similar objects were discovered; five more have now been identified. Based on the detection statistics implied by these discoveries, it has become clear that these objects belong to a significant population of several hundred (or possibly several thousand) large icy bodies moving on relatively short-lived orbits between the giant planets. This new class of objects, known collectively as the Centaurs, are intermediate in diameter between typical comets (1-20 km) and small icy planets such as Pluto (approx. 2,300 km) and Triton (approx. 2,700 km). Although the Centaurs are interesting in their own right, they have taken on added significance following the recognition that they most probably originated in the ancient reservoir of comets and larger objects located beyond the orbit of Neptune known as the Kuiper belt.

  4. Substantial outgassing of CO from comet Hale-Bopp at large heliocentric distance.

    PubMed

    Biver, N; Rauer, H; Despois, D; Moreno, R; Paubert, G; Bockelée-Morvan, D; Colom, P; Crovisier, J; Gérard, E; Jorda, L

    1996-03-14

    When comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Boop) was discovered, at a distance of seven astronomical units from the sun, it was more than one hundred times brighter than comet Halley at the same distance. A comet's brightness is derived from the reflection of sunlight from dust grains driven away from the nucleus by the sublimation of volatile ices. Near the sun, sublimation of water ice (a main constituent of comet nuclei) is the source of cometary activity; but at its current heliocentric distance, Hale-Boop is too cold for this process to operate. Other comets have shown activity at large distances, and in the case of comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, carbon monoxide has been detected in quantities sufficient to generate its observed coma. Here we report the detection of CO emission from Hale-Boop, at levels indicating a very large rate of outgassing. Several other volatile species were searched for, but not detected. Sublimation of CO therefore appears to be responsible for the present activity of this comet, and we anticipate that future observations will reveal the onset of sublimation of other volatile species as the comet continues its present journey towards the sun.

  5. Gaseous activity of distant comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Womack, Maria; Sarid, Gal; Wierzchos, Kacper

    2016-10-01

    The activity of most comets within 3AU of the Sun is dominated by the sublimation of frozen water, the most abundant ice in comets. Some comets, however, are active well beyond the water-ice sublimation limit. Studying distantly active comets provides valuable opportunities to explore primitive bodies when water-ice sublimation is largely dormant, which is the case for most of a comet's lifetime. Beyond 4 AU, super-volatiles such as CO or CO2 are thought to play a major role in driving observed activity. Carbon monoxide is of special interest because it is a major contributor to comae and has a very low sublimation temperature. Three bodies dominate the observational record and modeling efforts for distantly active small bodies: the long-period comet C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp and the short-period comets (with centaur orbits) 29P/Schwassmann Wachmann 1 and 2060 Chiron. Hale-Bopp's long-period orbit means it has experienced very little solar heating in its lifetime and is analogous to dynamically new comets making their first approach to the Sun. Because Chiron and 29P have much smaller orbits closer to the Sun, they have experienced much more thermal processing than Hale-Bopp and this is expected to have changed their chemical composition from their original state. We point out that the observed CO production rates and line-widths in these three distantly active objects are consistent with each other when adjusted for heliocentric distance. This is particularly interesting for Hale-Bopp and 29P, which have approximately the same radius. The consistent CO production rates may point to a similar CO release mechanism in these objects. We also discuss how observed radio line profiles support that the development and sublimation of icy grains in the coma at about 5-6 AU is probably a common feature in distantly active comets, and an important source of other volatiles within 6 AU, including H2O, HCN, CH3OH, and H2CO.

  6. Comets, interstellar clouds and star clusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donn, B.

    1976-01-01

    The association of comets with star formation in clusters is elaborated. This hypothesis is also used to explain origin and evaluation of the Oort cloud, the composition of comets, and relationships between cometary and interstellar molecules.

  7. SDO Catches Comet Streaking by Sun

    NASA Video Gallery

    The Solar Dynamics Observatory's AIA instrument captured the first ever image of a comet passing directly in front of the sun in the early morning of July 6, 2011 in 171 angstrom. The comet comes i...

  8. Comets: Gases, ices, grains and plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkening, L. L.

    1981-01-01

    The program and abstracts of the 97 papers delivered at the colloquium are presented. Cometary nuclei, comet dust, the coma, ion tails, several comet missions, and cometary origin and evolution were discussed.

  9. Asteroids and Comets Outreach Compilation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Contents include various different animations in the area of Asteroids and Comets. Titles of the short animated clips are: STARDUST Mission; Asteroid Castallia Impact Simulation; Castallia, Toutatis and the Earth; Simulation Asteroid Encounter with Earth; Nanorover Technology Task; Near Earth Asteroid Tracking; Champollian Anchor Tests; Early Views of Comets; Exploration of Small Bodies; Ulysses Resource Material from ESA; Ulysses Cometary Plasma Tail Animation; and various discussions on the Hale-Bopp Comet. Animation of the following are seen: the Stardust aerogel collector grid collecting cometary dust particles, comet and interstellar dust analyzer, Wiper-shield and dust flux monitor, a navigation camera, and the return of the sample to Earth; a comparison of the rotation of the Earth to the Castallia and Tautatis Asteroids; an animated land on Tautatis and the view of the motion of the sky from its surface; an Asteroid collision with the Earth; the USAF Station in Hawaii; close-up views of asteroids; automatic drilling of the Moon; exploding Cosmic Particles; and the dropping off of the plasma tail of a comet as it travels near the sun.

  10. Physical Properties of Bright Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pittichová, J.; Meech, K. J.

    2002-09-01

    We will show preliminary results from a program of long-term observation of the dust coma activity of bright comets. One and half years of observation of 32 selected comets in B, V, R, I filters are used for the study of the physical properties and the dust activity of their comae at a range of heliocentric distances from 0.99 to 8.61 AU. This enables us to compare the activity of different cometary nuclei at similar solar radiation conditions. As shown in the Table, the selected comets belong to different cometary populations from the point of view of their active age (near parabolic orbits versus short-period orbits, outbursts of brightness, disruption of nuclei) and orbital parameters (the eccentricity from 0.04 to 1.01 AU, the perihelion distance from 0.34 to 8.24 AU). The knowledge of physical properties of cometary nuclei and coma are very important to our understanding of the environment in the outer solar system during the era of formation. The comet dataset of 1128 images will enable us to study thermal evolution of the small dust particles, their dynamical parameters and size distribution as a function of time and grain size at different heliocentric distances. Our future goal is to model the near-nucleus particle region using a Finston-Probstein dust model. Since our observations are still in progress at this time we will present only preliminary results of brightness and color changes for several selected bright comets.

  11. Comets: chemistry and chemical evolution.

    PubMed

    Donn, B

    1982-01-01

    Lasting commitment to cosmic chemistry and an awareness of the fascinating role of comets in that study was a consequence of an association with Harold Urey early in my astronomical career. Urey's influence on cometary research spread as colleagues with whom I was associated, in turn, developed their own programs in cometary chemistry. One phase of the Chicago research shows that Whipple's icy nucleus would be below about 250 K. This property, combined with their small internal pressure, means cometary interiors remain essentially unchanged during their lifetime. Observations of cometary spectra indicate that they are rich in simple organic species. Experiments on comet-like ice mixture suggests that the extensive array of interstellar molecules also may be found in comets. The capture of cometary debris by the earth or the impact of comets would have been an early source of biochemically significant molecules. Recent hypotheses on radiogenic heating and melting of water ice in the central zone of nuclei do not seem consistent with recent observations or ideas of structure. Thus comets are not a likely place for life to develop. PMID:7097774

  12. Comets: chemistry and chemical evolution.

    PubMed

    Donn, B

    1982-01-01

    Lasting commitment to cosmic chemistry and an awareness of the fascinating role of comets in that study was a consequence of an association with Harold Urey early in my astronomical career. Urey's influence on cometary research spread as colleagues with whom I was associated, in turn, developed their own programs in cometary chemistry. One phase of the Chicago research shows that Whipple's icy nucleus would be below about 250 K. This property, combined with their small internal pressure, means cometary interiors remain essentially unchanged during their lifetime. Observations of cometary spectra indicate that they are rich in simple organic species. Experiments on comet-like ice mixture suggests that the extensive array of interstellar molecules also may be found in comets. The capture of cometary debris by the earth or the impact of comets would have been an early source of biochemically significant molecules. Recent hypotheses on radiogenic heating and melting of water ice in the central zone of nuclei do not seem consistent with recent observations or ideas of structure. Thus comets are not a likely place for life to develop.

  13. Lap belt injuries in children.

    PubMed

    McGrath, N; Fitzpatrick, P; Okafor, I; Ryan, S; Hensey, O; Nicholson, A J

    2010-01-01

    The use of adult seat belts without booster seats in young children may lead to severe abdominal, lumbar or cervical spine and head and neck injuries. We describe four characteristic cases of lap belt injuries presenting to a tertiary children's hospital over the past year in addition to a review of the current literature. These four cases of spinal cord injury, resulting in significant long-term morbidity in the two survivors and death in one child, arose as a result of lap belt injury. These complex injuries are caused by rapid deceleration characteristic of high impact crashes, resulting in sudden flexion of the upper body around the fixed lap belt, and consequent compression of the abdominal viscera between the lap belt and spine. This report highlights the dangers of using lap belts only without shoulder straps. Age-appropriate child restraint in cars will prevent these injuries.

  14. Vaporization in Comets; outbursts from Comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cowan, J. J.; Ahearn, M. F.

    1982-01-01

    Revised estimates are presented which show that the total mass and kinetic energy in a typical Comet P/Schassmann-Wachmann 1 outburst are lower than previously estimated, and that this mass is comparable to the mass of gas vaporized, as inferred from recent observations of CO(+) in this comet. The storage of energy suggested by many authors is therefore not neccessary. A simple equilibrium vaporization of CO2 or CO which is suddenly exposed, on a nucleus that is otherwise primarily composed of H2O, is proposed. Under these conditions, calculations of the variation of vaporization with rotational phase indicate that the mechanism can quantitatively produce outbursts of the size observed.

  15. Photographic observations of comets at Lowell Observatory. [Halley's comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giclas, H. L.

    1981-01-01

    Observations of Halley's comet at Lowell Observatory cover a period from November 10, 1909 to May 17, 1911: 334 direct photographs were taken, 118 objective prism spectra, and 32 slit spectrograms of the nucleus, many of them including 5 arc minutes of the surrounding coma. Just one morning's observations are illustrated as an example of utilizing every possible resource available at the Observatory at the time. Observational improvements developed since then are described and some suggestions for the coming return of Halley's comet are made.

  16. CO2 Orbital Trends in Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Michael; Feaga, Lori; Bodewits, Dennis; McKay, Adam; Snodgrass, Colin; Wooden, Diane

    2014-12-01

    Spacecraft missions to comets return a treasure trove of details of their targets, e.g., the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Deep Impact experiment at comet 9P/Tempel 1, or even the flyby of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) at Mars. Yet, missions are rare, the diversity of comets is large, few comets are easily accessible, and comet flybys essentially return snapshots of their target nuclei. Thus, telescopic observations are necessary to place the mission data within the context of each comet's long-term behavior, and to further connect mission results to the comet population as a whole. We propose a large Cycle 11 project to study the long-term activity of past and potential future mission targets, and select bright Oort cloud comets to infer comet nucleus properties, which would otherwise require flyby missions. In the classical comet model, cometary mass loss is driven by the sublimation of water ice. However, recent discoveries suggest that the more volatile CO and CO2 ices are the likely drivers of some comet active regions. Surprisingly, CO2 drove most of the activity of comet Hartley 2 at only 1 AU from the Sun where vigorous water ice sublimation would be expected to dominate. Currently, little is known about the role of CO2 in comet activity because telluric absorptions prohibit monitoring from the ground. In our Cycle 11 project, we will study the CO2 activity of our targets through IRAC photometry. In conjunction with prior observations of CO2 and CO, as well as future data sets (JWST) and ongoing Earth-based projects led by members of our team, we will investigate both long-term activity trends in our target comets, with a particular goal to ascertain the connections between each comet's coma and nucleus.

  17. The Madong Early Paleozoic fold-thrust belt in southern Tarim Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yue-Jun; Wen, Lei; Li, Hui-Li; Peng, Geng-Xin; Qiu, Bin; Zheng, Duo-Ming; Luo, Jun-Cheng; Zhang, Qiang; Jia, Tie-Gan

    2016-01-01

    The Madong fold-thrust belt, which strikes NE-SW and thrusts southeastward, locates in the southern Tarim Basin. It is a part of the Kunlun Early Paleozoic foreland fold-thrust belt, and so is the Tangnan fold-thrust belt on the southeast of Madong. The Madong and Tangnan fold-thrust belts developed in Cambrian-Ordovician strata, and the Middle Cambrian gypsum-salt layer serves as the main décollement surface. The Middle Silurian and above strata unconformably overlie Madong while the upper Lower Silurian unconformably overlie Tangnan. On the basis of the facts that: (1) the Upper Ordovician is the youngest strata involved in the fold-thrust deformation, (2) the upper-Lower to Middle Silurian is the oldest strata unconformably overlying the foreland fold-thrust belt (including Madong and Tangnan), and growth strata exist in the upper part of the Upper Ordovician, we infer that the deformation time of the Kunlun Early Paleozoic foreland fold-thrust belt (including Madong and Tangnan) was during the Late Ordovician-Early Silurian. Tangnan is the residual of the major part of the foreland fold-thrust belt. Its northwestward thrust direction represents the main thrust direction of the foreland fold-thrust belt. Madong is the front belt of the foreland fold-thrust belt. It mainly thrusts southeastward and serves as the back-thrust belt of the Kunlun Early Paleozoic foreland fold-thrust belt. It is a triangle zone between Madong and Tangnan. The Madong fold-thrust belt is the best-preserved section of the Kunlun Early Paleozoic collisional orogenic belt, and thus is an important geological record of the Kunlun Early Paleozoic orogeny.

  18. Polarimetry of comets - A review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrovolsky, O. V.; Kiselev, N. N.; Chernova, G. P.

    1986-02-01

    The available polarimetric observations on comets are analyzed to facilitate planning for, and interpretation of, future polarimetric sounding of Comet Halley by the flyby probes. A division of comets into 'gaseous' and 'dusty' on a polarimetric basis is revealed. The results of the phase dependence and wave dependence of polarization are discussed. The curve describing polarization as a function of phase angle goes through a maximum at 90 deg and through a minimum at low (below 20 deg) phase angles. The chief peculiarity of this dependence is the fact that, after falling to a zero value at 20 deg, polarization continues to decrease until reaching a negative minimum value, then rises to a value of zero at the phase angle of 0 deg. Negative results of attempts to detect elliptical polarization are given consideration. New observational problems arising from the evidence of negative polarization at small phase angles and by the recently discovered 'opposition effect' are discussed.

  19. Retrieving samples from comet nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuhlinger, Ernst; Bassner, Helmut; Fechtig, Hugo; Igenbergs, Eduard; Kuczera, Heribert; Loeb, Horst; Schobert, Detlef

    1987-09-01

    A comet nucleus sampling scenario is proposed. Material samples for analysis in earth-based laboratories should be collected continuously to a depth of 3 m below the surface, and at a solar distance of at least 2.5 AU where the comet surface is inactive. The spacecraft is propelled by chemical and electric thrusters. While hovering above the comet nucleus at an altitude of 500 to 1000 m, the spacecraft will dispatch a rotating drill on a tether. The drill pipe will be driven into the nucleus by a rocket-powered reaction wheel. The inner pipe of the drill, when filled with cometary material, will be withdrawn by the tether, stored on the spacecraft, and transported back to Earth.

  20. Hummingbird Comet Nucleus Analysis Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kojiro, Daniel; Carle, Glenn C.; Lasher, Larry E.

    2000-01-01

    Hummingbird is a highly focused scientific mission, proposed to NASA s Discovery Program, designed to address the highest priority questions in cometary science-that of the chemical composition of the cometary nucleus. After rendezvous with the comet, Hummingbird would first methodically image and map the comet, then collect and analyze dust, ice and gases from the cometary atmosphere to enrich characterization of the comet and support landing site selection. Then, like its namesake, Hummingbird would carefully descend to a pre-selected surface site obtaining a high-resolution image, gather a surface material sample, acquire surface temperature and then immediately return to orbit for detailed chemical and elemental analyses followed by a high resolution post-sampling image of the site. Hummingbird s analytical laboratory contains instrumentation for a comprehensive molecular and elemental analysis of the cometary nucleus as well as an innovative surface sample acquisition device.

  1. How primordial is the structure of comet 67P/C-G (and of comets in general)?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro; Jutzi, Martin; Benz, Willy; Toliou, Anastasia; Rickman, Hans; Bottke, William; Brasser, Ramon

    2016-10-01

    Several properties of the comet 67P-CG suggest that it is a primordial planetesimal. On the other hand, the size-frequency distribution (SFD) of the craters detected by the New Horizons missions at the surface of Pluto and Charon reveal that the SFD of trans-Neptunian objects smaller than 100km in diameter is very similar to that of the asteroid belt. Because the asteroid belt SFD is at collisional equilibrium, this observation suggests that the SFD of the trans-Neptunian population is at collisional equilibrium as well, implying that comet-size bodies should be the product of collisional fragmentation and not primordial objects. To test whether comet 67P-CG could be a (possibly lucky) survivor of the original population, we conducted a series of numerical impact experiments, where an object with the shape and the density of 67P-CG, and material strength varying from 10 to 1,000 Pa, is hit on the "head" by a 100m projectile at different speeds. From these experiments we derive the impact energy required to disrupt the body catastrophically, or destroy its bi-lobed shape, as a function of impact speed. Next, we consider a dynamical model where the original trans-Neptunian disk is dispersed during a phase of temporary dynamical instability of the giant planets, which successfully reproduces the scattered disk and Oort cloud populations inferred from the current fluxes of Jupiter-family and long period comets. We find that, if the dynamical dispersal of the disk occurs late, as in the Late Heavy Bombardment hypothesis, a 67P-CG-like body has a negligible probability to avoid all catastrophic collisions. During this phase, however, the collisional equilibrium SFD measured by the New Horizons mission can be established. Instead, if the dispersal of the disk occurred as soon as gas was removed, a 67P-CG-like body has about a 20% chance to avoid catastrophic collisions. Nevertheless it would still undergo 10s of reshaping collisions. We estimate that, statistically, the

  2. A catalog of observed nuclear magnitudes of Jupiter family comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tancredi, G.; Fernández, J. A.; Rickman, H.; Licandro, J.

    2000-10-01

    A catalog of a sample of 105 Jupiter family (JF) comets (defined as those with Tisserand constants T > 2 and orbital periods P < 20 yr) is presented with our ``best estimates'' of their absolute nuclear magnitudes H_N = V(1,0,0). The catalog includes all the nuclear magnitudes reported after 1950 until August 1998 that appear in the International Comet Quarterly Archive of Cometary Photometric Data, the Minor Planet Center (MPC) data base, IAU Circulars, International Comet Quarterly, and a few papers devoted to some particular comets, together with our own observations. Photometric data previous to 1990 have mainly been taken from the Comet Light Curve Catalogue (CLICC) compiled by Kamél (\\cite{kamel}). We discuss the reliability of the reported nuclear magnitudes in relation to the inherent sources of errors and uncertainties, in particular the coma contamination often present even at large heliocentric distances. A large fraction of the JF comets of our sample indeed shows various degrees of activity at large heliocentric distances, which is correlated with recent downward jumps in their perihelion distances. The reliability of coma subtraction methods to compute the nuclear magnitude is also discussed. Most absolute nuclear magnitudes are found in the range 15 - 18, with no magnitudes fainter than H_N ~ 19.5. The catalog can be found at: http://www.fisica.edu.uy/ ~ gonzalo/catalog/. Table 2 and Appendix B are only available in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org Table 5 is also available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

  3. Worldwide interest in the comet assay: a bibliometric study.

    PubMed

    Neri, Monica; Milazzo, Daniele; Ugolini, Donatella; Milic, Mirta; Campolongo, Alessandra; Pasqualetti, Patrizio; Bonassi, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    The comet assay is a rapid, sensitive and relatively simple method for measuring DNA damage. A bibliometric study was performed to evaluate temporal and geographical trends, research quality and main areas of interest in scientific production in this field. A PubMed search strategy was developed and 7674 citations were retrieved in the period 1990-2013. Notably, the MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) term 'comet assay', officially introduced in 2000, is used by indexers only in two thirds of papers retrieved. Articles on the comet assay were published in 78 countries, spread over the 5 continents. The EU contributed the greatest output, producing >2900 articles with IF (42.0%) and totalling almost 10000 IF points, and was followed by USA. In the new millennium, research with this assay reached a plateau or slow decline in the most industrialised areas (USA, Germany, UK, Italy), while its use has boomed in emerging countries, with increases of 5- to 7-fold in the last 10 years in China, India and Brazil, for instance. This transition resulted in a slow decrease of scientific production quality, as the countries that increased their relative weight typically had lower mIFs. The most common MeSH terms used in papers using the comet assay referred to wide areas of interest, such as DNA damage and repair, cell survival and apoptosis, cancer and oxidative stress, occupational and environmental health. Keywords related to humans, rodents and cell culture were also frequently used. The top journal for the comet assay articles was found to be Mutation Research, followed by Mutagenesis. Most papers using the comet assay as a biomarker were published in genetic and toxicology journals, with a stress on environmental and occupational disciplines.

  4. Analysis of IUE Observations of Hydrogen in Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Combi, Michael R.; Feldman, Paul D.

    1998-01-01

    The 15-years worth of hydrogen Lyman-alpha observations of cometary comae obtained with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite had gone generally unanalyzed because of two main modeling complications. First, the inner comae of many bright (gas productive) comets are often optically thick to solar Lyman-alpha radiation. Second, even in the case of a small comet (low gas production) the large IUE aperture is quite small as compared with the immense size of the hydrogen coma, so an accurate model which properly accounts for the spatial distribution of the coma is required to invert the infrared brightnesses to column densities and finally to H atom production rates. Our Monte Carlo particle trajectory model (MCPTM), which for the first time provides the realistic full phase space distribution of H atoms throughout the coma has been used as the basis for the analysis of IUE observations of the inner coma. The MCPTM includes the effects of the vectorial ejection of the H atoms upon dissociation of their parent species (H2O and OH) and of their partial collisional thermalization. Both of these effects are crucial to characterize the velocity distribution of the H atoms. This combination of the MCPTM and spherical radiative transfer code had already been shown to be successful in understanding the moderately optically thick coma of comet P/Giacobini-Zinner and the coma of comet Halley that varied from being slightly to very optically thick. Both of these comets were observed during solar minimum conditions. Solar activity affects both the photochemistry of water and the solar Lyman-alpha radiation flux. The overall plan of this program here was to concentrate on comets observed by IUE at other time during the solar cycle, most importantly during the two solar maxima of 1980 and 1990. Described herein are the work performed and the results obtained.

  5. Rosetta - a comet ride to solve planetary mysteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-01-01

    be kept in hibernation during most of its 8-year trek towards Wirtanen. What makes Rosetta's cruise so long? To reach Comet Wirtanen, the spacecraft needs to go out in deep space as far from the Sun as Jupiter is. No launcher could possibly get Rosetta there directly. ESA's spacecraft will gather speed from gravitational ‘kicks’ provided by three planetary fly-bys: one of Mars in 2005 and two of Earth in 2005 and 2007. During the trip, Rosetta will also visit two asteroids, Otawara (in 2006) and Siwa (in 2008). During these encounters, scientists will switch on Rosetta's instruments for calibration and scientific studies. Long trips in deep space include many hazards, such as extreme changes in temperature. Rosetta will leave the benign environment of near-Earth space to the dark, frigid regions beyond the asteroid belt. To manage these thermal loads, experts have done very tough pre-launch tests to study Rosetta's endurance. For example, they have heated its external surfaces to more than 150°C, then quickly cooled it to -180°C in the next test. The spacecraft will be fully reactivated prior to the comet rendezvous manoeuvre in 2011. Then, Rosetta will orbit the comet - an object only 1.2 km wide - while it cruises through the inner Solar System at 135 000 kilometres per hour. At that time of the rendezvous - around 675 million km from the Sun - Wirtanen will hardly show any surface activity. It means that the carachteristic coma (the comet’s ‘atmosphere’) and the tail will not be formed yet, because of the large distance from the Sun. The comet's tail is in fact made of dust grains and frozen gases from the comet's surface that vapourise because of the Sun's heat. During 6-month, Rosetta will extensively map the comet surface, prior to selecting a landing site. In July 2012, the lander will self-eject from the spacecraft from a height of just one kilometre. Touchdown will take place at walking speed - less than 1 metre per second. Immediately after

  6. Journey to a Comet (Animation)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Quick Time Movie for PIA02117 Journey to a Comet

    This movie shows Deep Impact's approach to comet Tempel 1. It is made up of images taken by the spacecraft's medium-resolution camera from May 1 to July 2, 3:50 Universal Time. The spacecraft detected three outbursts during this time period, on June 14, June 22 and July 2. The outbursts appear as flickers or bursts of light. The movie ends during the middle of the final outburst.

  7. Comet on target for Jupiter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, C. R.

    1993-06-01

    Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 is anticipated to collide with the far side of Jupiter in late July, 1994. Although there will be no direct earth observations of the event, associated phenomena will be telescopically observable. Observational results are expected to shed light on how planet rings are formed, how satellites are cratered, the character of million-megaton atmospheric explosions, and the nature of comets. The impact is expected to rival or even exceed the explosive energy of the earth impact hypothesized to have been responsible for the K/T boundary extinctions.

  8. Comet Halley - The orbital motion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yeomans, D. K.

    1977-01-01

    The orbital motion of Comet Halley is investigated over the interval from A.D. 837 to 2061. Using the observations from 1607 through 1911, least-squares differential orbit corrections were successfully computed using the existing model for the nongravitational forces. The nongravitational-force model was found to be consistent with the outgassing-rocket effect of a water-ice cometary nucleus and, prior to the 1910 return, these forces are time-independent for nearly a millennium. For the 1986 return, viewing conditions are outlined for the comet and the related Orionid and Eta Aquarid meteor showers.

  9. Photometric geodesy of main-belt asteroids. III. Additional lightcurves

    SciTech Connect

    Weidenschilling, S.J.; Chapman, C.R.; Davis, D.R.; Greenberg, R.; Levy, D.H. )

    1990-08-01

    A total of 107 complete or partial lightcurves are presented for 59 different asteroids over the 1982-1989 period. Unusual lightcurves with unequal minima and maxima at large amplitudes are preferentially seen for M-type asteroids. Some asteroids, such as 16 Psyche and 201 Penelope, exhibit lightcurves combining large amplitude with very unequal brightness for both maxima and both minima, even at small phase angles. An M-type asteroid is believed to consist of a metal core of a differentiated parent body that has had its rocky mantle completely removed by one or more large impacts. 39 refs.

  10. Lightcurves and Rotational Periods of Three Main-belt Asteroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantu, Sarah A.; Kozdon, Janus; Montgomery, Kent; Lyons, Vanessa

    2016-07-01

    Lightcurves were measured for three asteroids: 800 Kressmania, 3494 Purple Mountain, and (25891) 2000 WK9. Respectively, the rotational periods determined were 4.465 ± 0.002 hours, 2.929 ± 0.001 hours, and 4.1375 ± 0.0015 hours.

  11. Stochastic approach to efficient design of belt conveyor networks

    SciTech Connect

    Sevim, H.

    1985-07-01

    Currently, the design of belt conveyor networks is based either on deterministic production assumptions or on simulation models. In this research project, the stochastic process at the coal face is expressed and formulated by a Semi-Markovian technique, and the subject is used as input in a computerized heuristic design model. The author previously has used a Semi-Markovian process to analyze longwall and room-and-pillar production operations. Results indicated that a coal flow in the section belt of a room-and-pillar operation would be expected only 20% of the time in a steady-state operation mode. Similarly, longwall face operations indicated a 35 to 40% coal flow under steady-state conditions. In the present study, similar data from several production sections are used to compute the probabilities of different quantities of coal flowing at any given time during a shift on the belt in the submain entries. Depending upon the probabilities of coal flows on belts in sections and submain and main entries, the appropriate haulage units such as belt width, motor horsepower, idlers, etc., and belt speed are selected by a computerized model. After the development of this algorithm, now in progress, results of a case study undertaken at an existing coal mine in the Illinois Coal Basin using this stochastic approach will be compared with those obtained using an existing belt haulage system design approach.

  12. Gould Belt Origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivera, Leticia; Loinard, Laurent; Dzib, Sergio

    2013-07-01

    Using archive VLA data and recent observations on the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array it is worked on a semi-automatic python/CASA code to select, reduce and plot several young stars belonging to the Ophiuchus core. This code mean to help to select observations made along the 30 years of the VLA done in the selected area with the wide configurations A and B, and in the X and C band, to determine their position and compare it with the most recent ones. In this way it is possible to determinate their proper motion with very high precision. It is presented the phases of the process and our first results worked on three well know stars: S1, DoAr 21 and VLA1623. This is the tip of a bigger work that includes Taurus molecular cloud and other important recent star formation regions belonging to the Gould Belt. Our goal is to support the most suitable among several theories about Gould Belt origin or provide a new one taking in count the dynamics of those regions.

  13. Report of the Comet Science Working Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    General scientific questions and measurement objectives that can be addressed on a first comet mission relate to: (1) the chemical nature and the physical structure of comet nuclei as well as the changes that occur as functions of time and orbital position; (2) the chemical and physical nature of the atmospheres and ionospheres of comets, the processes which occur in them, and the development of these atmospheres and ionospheres as functions of time and orbital position; and (3) the nature of comet tails, the processes by which they are formed, and the interaction of comets with the solar wind. Capabilities of the various instruments required are discussed.

  14. Comet Halley: The view from Pioneer Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    The plans to scan Halley's Comet at close range using the Pioneer Venus Orbiter are discussed. The composition of comets, their paths through space, and the history of comet encounters are examined. An ultraviolet spectrometer aboard the spacecraft will determine the composition of the gaseous coma and will measure the total gas production during its passage. The Pioneer Venus Orbiter will observe the comet for five weeks before solar interference with communications occurs as Venus passes on the far side of the Sun from Earth. Diagrams of the solar system and the relationship of the comet to the planets and the Sun are provided.

  15. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1994-04-01

    Concerning comets: 1987 II Sorrells II, 1987 VII Wilson, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1988 V Liller, 1990 III Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990 V Austin, 1990 IX P/Peters-Hartley, 1990 XIV P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, 1990 XV P/Shoemaker-Levy 1, 1990 XVII Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, 1990 X Levy, 1990 XXVI Arai, 1990 XXVIII P/Wild 2, 1991 I P/Metcalf-Brewington, 1991 IV P/Mrkos, 1991 V P/Wolf-Harrington, 1991 XI P/Levy, 1991 XV P/Hartley 2, 1991 XVI P/Wirtanen, 1991 XVIII P/Shoemaker-Levy 6, 1991 XXI P/Faye, 1991 XXIII P/Shoemaker 1, 1991 XXIV Shoemaker-Levy, 1992 I Helin-Lawrence, 1992 II P/Chernykh, 1992 III Zanotta-Brewington, 1992 VIII Mueller, 1992 X Tanaka-Machholz, 1992 XIV P/Brewington, 1992 XVIII P/Grigg-Skjellerup, 1992 XIX Shoemaker-Levy, 1992 XXV P/Giclas, 1992 XXVII Ohshita, 1992 XXVIII Swift-Tuttle, 1992c P/Howell, 1992h Spacewatch, 1992j P/Ashbrook-Jackson, 1992u P/Väisälä 1, 1992v P/Gehrels 3, 1992w P/Slaughter-Burnham, 1992x P/Shaumasse, 1992y Shoemaker, 1992z P/Kojima, 1993a Mueller, 1993b P/Bus, 1993c P/Tempel 1, 1993e P/Shoemaker-Levy 9, 1993f P/Forbes, 1993k P/Shajn-Schaldach, 1993m P/Hartley 3, 1993o P/West-Kohoutek-Ikemura, 1993p Mueller, 1993q P/Urata-Niijima, 1993r P/Spitaler, 1993s P/Mueller 5, 1993t P/Kushida-Muramatsu, 1993v McNaught-Russell, 1994a P/Kushida, 1994b P/Wild 3, 1994d Shoemaker-Levy, 1994e P/Russell 2, 1994f Takamizawa-Levy, P/Encke, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 2, P/Lovas 2, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  16. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-01-01

    Concerning comets: 1973 XII Kohoutek, 1975 IX Kobayashi-Berger-Milon, 1976 VI West, 1976 XI P/d'Arrest, 1977 XIV Kohler, 1979 X Bradfield, 1980 X P/Stephan-Oterma, 1980 XV Bradfield, 1981 II Panther, 1982 VI Austin, 1983 V Sugano-Saigusa-Fujikawa, 1983 VII IRAS-Araki-Alcock, 1983 XIII P/Kopff, 1984 XIII Austin, 1984 XXIII Levy-Rudenko, 1985 XIII P/Giacobini-Zinner, 1985 XVII Hartley-Good, 1985 XIX Thiele, 1986 I P/Boethin, 1986 III P/Halley, 1986 XVIII Terasako, 1987 II Sorrells, 1987 III Nishikawa-Takamizawa-Tago, 1987 X P/Grigg-Skjellerup, 1987 XXIII Rudenko, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1987 XXXII McNaught, 1987 XXXIII P/Borrelly, 1988 IV Furuyama, 1988 V Liller, 1988 XIV P/Tempel 2, 1988 XV Machholz, 1988 XX Yanaka, 1988 XXIV Yanaka, 1989 X P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989 XV P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, 1989 XIX Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1989 XXI Helin-Roman-Alu, 1989 XXII Aarseth-Brewington, 1990 III Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990 VI Skorichenko-George, 1990 VIII P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, 1990 IX P/Peters-Hartley, 1990 X P/Wild 4, 1990 XIV P/Honda Mrkos-Pajdušáková, 1990 XVII Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, 1990 XXI P/Encke, 1990 XXVI Arai, 1991 XI P/Levy, 1991 XV P/Hartley 2, 1991 XVI P/Wirtanen, 1991 XVII P/Arend-Rigaux, 1991 XXI P/Faye, 1991 XXIII P/Shoemaker 1, 1991 XXIV Shoemaker-Levy, 1991l Helin-Lawrence, 1991ο P/Chernykh, 1991r Helin-Alu, 1991a1 Shoemaker-Levy, 1991g1 Zanotta-Brewington, 1991h1 Mueller, 1912d Tanaka-Machholz, 1992f P/Shoemaker-Levy 8, 1992k Machholz, 1992l P/Giclas, 1992p P/Brewington, 1992q Helin-Lawrence, 1992s P/Ciffréo, 1992t P/Swift-Tuttle, 1992u P/Väisälä, 1992x P/Schaumasse, 1992y Shoemaker, 1992a1 Ohshita, 1993a Mueller, P/Smirnova-Chernykh.

  17. Tabulation of comet observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1991-07-01

    Concerning comets: 1957 III Arend-Roland, 1957 V Mrkos, 1958 III Burnham, 1959 III Bester-Hoffmeister, 1959 VI Alcock, 1959 VIII P/Giacobini-Zinner, 1960 I P/Wild 1, 1960 II Burnham, 1960 III P/Schaumasse, 1960 VIII P/Finlay, 1961 V Wilson-Hubbard, 1961 VIII Seki, 1962 III Seki-Lines, 1962 VIII Humason, 1963 I Ikeya, 1963 III Alcock, 1963 V Pereyra, 1964 VI Tomita-Gerber-Honda, 1964 VIII Ikeya, 1964 IX Everhart, 1979 X Bradfield, 1980 X P/Stephan-Oterma, 1980 XII Meier, 1980 XIII P/Tuttle, 1981 II Panther, 1982 I Bowell, 1982 IV P/Grigg-Skjellerup, 1982 VII P/d'Arrest, 1986 III P/Halley, 1987 IV Shoemaker, 1987 XII P/Hartley 3, 1987 XIX P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 2, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1987 XXX Levy, 1987 XXXII McNaught, 1987 XXXIII P/Borrelly, 1987 XXXVI P/Parker-Hartley, 1987 XXXVII P/Helin- Roman-Alu 1, 1988 III Shoemaker-Holt, 1988 V Liller, 1988 VIII P/Ge-Wang, 1988 XI P/Shoemaker-Holt 2, 1988 XIV P/Tempel 2, 1988 XV Machholz, 1988 XX Yanaka, 1988 XXI Shoemaker, 1988 XXIV Yanaka, 1989 III Shoemaker, 1989 V Shoemaker-Holt-Rodriquez, 1989 VIII P/Pons-Winnecke, 1989 X P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989 XI P/Gunn, 1989 XIII P/Lovas 1, 1989 XVIII McKenzie-Russell, 1989 XIX Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1989 XX P/Clark, 1989 XXI Helin-Ronan-Alu, 1989 XXII Aarseth-Brewington, 1989h P/Van Biesbroeck, 1989t P/Wild 2, 1989u P/Kearns-Kwee, 1989c1 Austin, 1989e1 Skorichenko-George, 1990a P/Wild 4, 1990b Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990c Levy, 1990e P/Wolf-Harrington, 1990f P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, 1990g McNaught-Hughes, 1990i Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, 1990n P/Taylor, 1990ο P/Shoemaker-Levy 1, 1991a P/Metcalf-Brewington, 1991b Arai, 1991c P/Swift-Gehrels, 1991d Shoemaker-Levy, 1991e P/Shoemaker-Levy 3, 1991h P/Takamizawa, 1991j P/Hartley 1, 1991k P/Mrkos, 1991l Helin-Lawrence, 1991n P/Faye, 1991q P/Levy, 1991t P/Hartley 2, P/Encke, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  18. The development of an electronic system to continually monitor, indicate and control, 'belt slippage' in industrial friction 'V' belt drive transmission systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, R. E.

    2012-05-01

    Belts have been used for centuries as a mechanism to transfer power from some form of drive system to a variety of load systems. Within industry today, many designs of belts but particularly friction, trapezoidal shaped 'V' belts are used and generally transfer power generated by electrical motors to numerous forms of driven load systems. It is suggested that belt systems, through their simplicity are sadly neglected by maintenance functions and generally are left unattended until high degrees of 'belt slippage' through loss of friction or 'belt breakage' provokes maintenance attention. These circumstances are most often identified through the reduced or loss of manufacturing production or the occurrence of catastrophic circumstances such as fire caused through excessive friction/ high belt slippage conditions. Obviously, these situations incur financial losses to companies and in some cases the near loss of the company's main manufacturing plant. Consequently, a satisfactory, viable solution is currently sought by industry to improve on current labour intensive maintenance practices. This paper will present an account of the development of an industrially robust, accurate and repeatable electronic system which continually monitors and indicates the degree of 'slippage' in a 'V' belt drive transmission system and in the circumstance of belt breakage or high belt slippage will enable and control the switching off the drive motor.

  19. Imaging Jupiter Radiation Belts At Low Frequencies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girard, J. N.; de Pater, I.; Zarka, P.; Santos-Costa, D.; Sault, R.; Hess, S.; Cecconi, B.; Fender, R.; Pewg, Lofar

    2014-04-01

    The ultra-relativistic electrons, trapped in the inner radiation belts of Jupiter, generates a strong synchrotron radio emission (historically known as the jovian decimeter radiation (DIM)) which is beamed, polarized (~20% linear, ~1% circular) and broadband. It has been extensively observed by radio telescopes/ probes and imaged by radio interferometers over a wide frequency spectrum (from >300 MHz up to 22 GHz). This extended emission presents two main emission peaks constantly located on both sides of the planet close to the magnetic plane. High latitude emissions were also regularly observed at particular frequencies, times and in particular observational configurations. This region of the magnetosphere is "frozen" due to the strong magnetic field (~4.2 G as the equator) and therefore is forced to rotate at the planetary period (T≈9h55m). Due to the tilt (~ 10o) between the spin axis of the planet and the magnetic axis (which can be seen as dipolar in first approximation), the belts and the associated radio emission wobble around the planet center. The analysis of the flux at different frequencies highlighted spatial, temporal and spectral variabilities which origins are now partly understood. The emission varies at different time scales (short-time variations of hours to long-term variation over decades) due to the combination of visibility effect (wobbling, beaming, position of the observer in the magnetic rotating reference frame) [1], [2] and intrinsic local variations (interaction between relativistic electrons and satellites/dust, delayed effect of the solar wind ram pressure, impacts events) [3], [4], [5]. A complete framework is necessary to fully understand the source, loss and transport processes of the electrons originating from outside the belt, migrating by inward diffusion and populating the inner region of the magnetosphere. Only a few and unresolved measurements were made below 300 MHz and the nonsystematic observation of this radio emission

  20. THE PHOTODISSOCIATION OF FORMALDEHYDE IN COMETS

    SciTech Connect

    Feldman, Paul D.

    2015-10-20

    Observations of comets in the 905–1180 Å spectral band made with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer in 2001 and 2004 show unusual features in the fluorescent emissions of CO and H{sub 2}. These include emission from a non-thermal high-J rotational population of CO and solar Lyα induced fluorescence from excited vibrational levels of H{sub 2}, both of which are attributed to the photodissociation of formaldehyde. In this paper we model the large number of observed H{sub 2} lines and demonstrate the dependence of the pumping on the heliocentric velocity of the comet and the solar line profiles. We also derive the rotational and vibrational populations of H{sub 2} and show that they are consistent with the results of laboratory studies of the photodissociation of H{sub 2}CO. In addition to the principal series of H i and O i, the residual spectrum is found to consist mainly of the Rydberg series of C i multiplets from which we derive the mean carbon column abundance in the coma. Fluorescent emissions from N i and N{sub 2} are also searched for.