Transient Fragments in Outbursting Comet 17P-Holmes - Astrophysics > Earth and Planetary AstrophysicsReportar como inadecuado




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Abstract: We present results from a wide-field imaging campaign at theCanada-France-Hawaii Telescope to study the spectacular outburst of comet17P-Holmes in late 2007. Using image-processing techniques we probe inside thespherical dust coma and find sixteen fragments having both spatial distributionand kinematics consistent with isotropic ejection from the nucleus. Photometryof the fragments is inconsistent with scattering from monolithic, inert bodies.Instead, each detected fragment appears to be an active cometesimal producingits own dust coma. By scaling from the coma of the primary nucleus of17P-Holmes, assumed to be 1.7 km in radius, we infer that the sixteen fragmentshave maximum effective radii between ~ 10 m and ~ 100 m on UT 2007 Nov. 6. Thefragments subsequently fade at a common rate of ~ 0.2 mag-day, consistent withsteady depletion of ices from these bodies in the heat of the Sun. Ourcharacterization of the fragments supports the hypothesis that a large piece ofmaterial broke away from the nucleus and crumbled, expelling smaller, icyshards into the larger dust coma around the nucleus.



Autor: Rachel Stevenson, Jan Kleyna, David Jewitt

Fuente: https://arxiv.org/







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