WorldWideScience

Sample records for comet nucleus samples

  1. Comet nucleus and asteroid sample return missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    Three Advanced Design Projects have been completed this academic year at Penn State. At the beginning of the fall semester the students were organized into eight groups and given their choice of either a comet nucleus or an asteroid sample return mission. Once a mission had been chosen, the students developed conceptual designs. These were evaluated at the end of the fall semester and combined into three separate mission plans, including a comet nucleus same return (CNSR), a single asteroid sample return (SASR), and a multiple asteroid sample return (MASR). To facilitate the work required for each mission, the class was reorganized in the spring semester by combining groups to form three mission teams. An integration team consisting of two members from each group was formed for each mission so that communication and information exchange would be easier among the groups. The types of projects designed by the students evolved from numerous discussions with Penn State faculty and mission planners at the Johnson Space Center Human/Robotic Spacecraft Office. Robotic sample return missions are widely considered valuable precursors to manned missions in that they can provide details about a site's environment and scientific value. For example, a sample return from an asteroid might reveal valuable resources that, once mined, could be utilized for propulsion. These missions are also more adaptable when considering the risk to humans visiting unknown and potentially dangerous locations, such as a comet nucleus.

  2. Analysis of Returned Comet Nucleus Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Sherwood

    1997-12-01

    This volume contains abstracts that have been accepted by the Program Committee for presentation at the Workshop on Analysis of Returned Comet Nucleus Samples, held in Milpitas, California, January 16-18, 1989. Conveners are Sherwood Chang (NASA Ames Research Center) and Larry Nyquist (NASA Johnson Space Center). Program Committee members are Thomas Ahrens (ex-officio; California Institute of Technology), Lou Allamandola (NASA Ames Research Center), David Blake (NASA Ames Research Center), Donald Brownlee (University of Washington, Seattle), Theodore E. Bunch (NASA Ames Research Center), Humberto Campins (Planetary Science Institute), Jeff Cuzzi (NASA Ames Research Center), Eberhard Griin (Max-Plank-Institut fiir Kemphysik), Martha Hanner (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), Alan Harris (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), John Kerrid-e (University of Califomia, Los Angeles), Yves Langevin (University of Paris), Gerhard Schwehm (ESTEC), and Paul Weissman (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Logistics and administrative support for the workshop were provided by the Lunar and Planetary Institute Projects Office.

  3. Triple F - A Comet Nucleus Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kueppers, Michael; Keller, H. U.; Kuehrt, E.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Altwegg, K.; Bertrand, R.; Busemann, H.; Capria, M. T.; Colangeli, L.; Davidsson, B.; hide

    2008-01-01

    The Triple F (Fresh From the Fridge) mission, a Comet Nucleus Sample Return, has been proposed to ESA's Cosmic Vision program. A sample return from a comet enables us to reach the ultimate goal of cometary research. Since comets are the least processed bodies in the solar system, the proposal goes far beyond cometary science topics (like the explanation of cometary activity) and delivers invaluable information about the formation of the solar system and the interstellar molecular cloud from which it formed. The proposed mission would extract three sample cores of the upper 50 cm from three locations on a cometary nucleus and return them cooled to Earth for analysis in the laboratory. The simple mission concept with a touch-andgo sampling by a single spacecraft was proposed as an M-class mission in collaboration with the Russian space agency ROSCOSMOS.

  4. Mechanical and SEM analysis of artificial comet nucleus samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiel, K.; Kochan, H.; Roessler, K.; Gruen, E.; Schwehm, G.; Hellmann, H.; Hsiung, P.; Koelzer, G.

    1989-01-01

    Since 1987 experiments dealing with comet nucleus phenomena have been carried out in the DFVLR space simulation chambers. The main objective of these experiments is a better understanding of thermal behavior, surface phenomena and especially the gas dust interaction. As a function of different sample compositions and exposure to solar irradiation (xenon-bulbs) crusts of different hardness and thickness were measured. The measuring device consists of a motor driven pressure foot (5 mm diameter), which is pressed into the sample. The applied compressive force is electronically monitored. The microstructure of the crust and dust residuals is investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques. Stress-depth profiles of an unirradiated and an irradiated model comet are given.

  5. Mineralogy and Petrology of Comet Wild 2 Nucleus Samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zolensky, M E; Zega, T J; Yano, H; Wirick, S; Westphal, A J; Weisberg, M K; Weber, I; Warren, J L; Velbel, M A; Tsuchiyama, A; Tsou, P; Toppani, A; Tomioka, N; Tomeoka, K; Teslich, N; Taheri, M; Susini, J; Stroud, R; Stephan, T; Stadermann, F J; Snead, C J; Simon, S B; Siminovici, A; See, T H; Robert, F; Rietmeijer, F M; Rao, W; Perronnet, M C; Papanastassiou, D A; Okudaira, K; Ohsumi, K; Ohnishi, I; Nakanura-Messenger, K; Nakamura, T; Mostefaoui, S; Mikouchi, T; Meibom, A; Matrajt, G; Marcus, M A; Leroux, H; Lemelle, L; Le, L; Lanzirotti, A; Langenhorst, F; Krot, A N; Keller, L P; Kearsley, A T; Joswiak, D; Jacob, D; Ishii, H; Harvey, R; Hagiya, K; Grossman, L; Graham, G A; Gounelle, M; Gillet, P; Genge, M J; Flynn, G; Ferrior, T; Fallon, S; Ebel, D S; Dai, Z R; Cordier, P; Chi, M; Butterworth, A L; Brownlee, D E; Bridges, J C; Brennan, S; Brearley, A; Bradley, J P; Bleuet, P; Bland, P A; Bastien, R

    2006-10-11

    The bulk of the Wild 2 samples appear to be weakly-constructed mixtures of nanometerscale grains with occasional much larger (>1{micro}m) ferromagnesian silicates, Fe-Ni sulfides, Fe-Ni metal and accessory phases. The very wide range of olivine and low-Ca pyroxene compositions in Wild 2 require a wide range of formation conditions, probably reflecting different formation locations in the protoplanetary disk. The restricted compositional ranges of Fe-Ni sulfides, the wide range for silicates, and absence of hydrous phases indicate that Wild 2 experienced little or no aqueous alteration. Less abundant Wild 2 materials include a refractory particle, whose presence appears to require large-scale radial transport in the early protoplanetary disk. The nature of cometary solids is of fundamental importance to our understanding of the early solar nebula and protoplanetary history. Until now we have had to study comets from afar using spectroscopy, or settle for analyses of interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) of uncertain provenance. We report here mineralogical and petrographic analyses of particles derived directly from Comet Wild 2. All of the Wild 2 particles we have thus far examined have been modified in various ways by the capture process. All particles that may have been loose aggregates, ''traveling sand piles'', disaggregated into individual components with the larger, denser components penetrating more deeply into the aerogel. Individual grains experienced a wide range of heating effects that range from excellent preservation to melting (Fig. 1); such behavior was expected (1, 2 ,3). What is remarkable is the extreme variability of these modifications and the fact that severely modified and unmodified materials can be found within a micrometer of each other, requiring tremendous local temperature gradients. Fortunately, we have an internal gauge of impact collection heating. Fe-Ni sulfides are ubiquitous in the Wild 2 samples, are very

  6. Aerocapture guidance and navigation for the Rosetta Comet Nucleus Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano-Martinez, J. B.; Hechler, M.

    The aerocapture/reentry phase of the Comet Nucleus Sample Return Mission Rosetta when returning from the Comet back to earth is discussed. The guidance and navigation process for a guided atmospheric entry to ground from an entry velocity of over 15 km/s has been simulated and the feasibility of such an entry at an entry angle of -10.5 deg, using an Apollo shape vehicle and guidance methods similar to those used for Apollo and the Shuttle Orbiter, has been demonstrated. Landing precision of less than 10 km at accelerations below 20 g can be reached. Critical areas of system design like the center of gravity location of the entry vehicle are addressed.

  7. Mineralogy and petrology of comet 81P/wild 2 nucleus samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zolensky, M.E.; Zega, T.J.; Yano, H.; Wirick, S.; Westphal, A.J.; Weisberg, M.K.; Weber, I.; Warren, J.L.; Velbel, M.A.; Tsuchiyama, A.; Tsou, P.; Toppani, A.; Tomioka, N.; Tomeoka, K.; Teslich, N.; Taheri, M.; Susini, J.; Stroud, R.; Stephan, T.; Stadermann, F.J.; Snead, C.J.; Simon, S.B.; Simionovici, A.; See, T.H.; Robert, F.; Rietmeijer, F.J.M.; Rao, W.; Perronnet, M.C.; Papanastassiou, D.A.; Okudaira, K.; Ohsumi, K.; Ohnishi, I.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Nakamura, T.; Mostefaoui, S.; Mikouchi, T.; Meibom, A.; Matrajt, G.; Marcus, M.A.; Leroux, H.; Lemelle, L.; Le, L.; Lanzirotti, A.; Langenhorst, F.; Krot, A.N.; Keller, L.P.; Kearsley, A.T.; Joswiak, D.; Jacob, D.; Ishii, H.; Harvey, R.; Hagiya, K.; Grossman, L.; Grossman, J.H.; Graham, G.A.; Gounalle, M.; Gillet, P.; Genge, M.J.; Flynn, G.; Ferroir, T.; Fallon, S.; Ebel, D.S.; Dai, Z.R.; Cordier, P.; Clark, B.; Chi, M.; Butterworth, A.L.; Brownlee, D.E.; Bridges, J.C.; Brennan, S.; Brearley, A.; Bradley, J.P.; Bleuet, P.; Bland, P.A.; Bastien, R.

    2006-01-01

    The bulk of the comet 81P/Wild 2 (hereafter Wild 2) samples returned to Earth by the Stardust spacecraft appear to be weakly constructed mixtures of nanometer-scale grains, with occasional much larger (over 1 micrometer) ferromagnesian silicates, Fe-Ni sulfides, Fe-Ni metal, and accessory phases. The very wide range of olivine and low-Ca pyroxene compositions in comet Wild 2 requires a wide range of formation conditions, probably reflecting very different formation locations in the protoplanetary disk. The restricted compositional ranges of Fe-Ni sulfides, the wide range for silicates, and the absence of hydrous phases indicate that comet Wild 2 experienced little or no aqueous alteration. Less abundant Wild 2 materials include a refractory particle, whose presence appears to require radial transport in the early protoplanetary disk.

  8. A Comet Surface Sample Return System Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed Phase II investigation will focus on the development of spacecraft systems required to obtain a sample from the nucleus of a comet, hermetically seal...

  9. A Comet Surface Sample Return System Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed Phase I investigation will focus on the development of spacecraft systems required to obtain a sample from the nucleus of a comet, hermetically seal the...

  10. Colour, albedo and nucleus size of Halley's comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruikshank, D. P.; Tholen, D. J.; Hartmann, W. K.

    1985-01-01

    Photometry of Halley's comet in the B, J, V, and K broadband filters during a time when the coma was very weak and presumed to contribute negligibly to the broadband photometry is reported. The V-J and J-K colors suggest that the color of the nucleus of Halley's comet is similar to that of the D-type asteroids, which in turn suggests that the surface of the nucleus has an albedo less than 0.1.

  11. The primordial nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidsson, B. J. R.; Sierks, H.; Güttler, C.; Marzari, F.; Pajola, M.; Rickman, H.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Auger, A.-T.; El-Maarry, M. R.; Fornasier, S.; Gutiérrez, P. J.; Keller, H. U.; Massironi, M.; Snodgrass, C.; Vincent, J.-B.; Barbieri, C.; Lamy, P. L.; Rodrigo, R.; Koschny, D.; Barucci, M. A.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Bertini, I.; Cremonese, G.; Da Deppo, V.; Debei, S.; De Cecco, M.; Feller, C.; Fulle, M.; Groussin, O.; Hviid, S. F.; Höfner, S.; Ip, W.-H.; Jorda, L.; Knollenberg, J.; Kovacs, G.; Kramm, J.-R.; Kührt, E.; Küppers, M.; La Forgia, F.; Lara, L. M.; Lazzarin, M.; Lopez Moreno, J. J.; Moissl-Fraund, R.; Mottola, S.; Naletto, G.; Oklay, N.; Thomas, N.; Tubiana, C.

    2016-07-01

    Context. We investigate the formation and evolution of comet nuclei and other trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) in the solar nebula and primordial disk prior to the giant planet orbit instability foreseen by the Nice model. Aims: Our goal is to determine whether most observed comet nuclei are primordial rubble-pile survivors that formed in the solar nebula and young primordial disk or collisional rubble piles formed later in the aftermath of catastrophic disruptions of larger parent bodies. We also propose a concurrent comet and TNO formation scenario that is consistent with observations. Methods: We used observations of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the ESA Rosetta spacecraft, particularly by the OSIRIS camera system, combined with data from the NASA Stardust sample-return mission to comet 81P/Wild 2 and from meteoritics; we also used existing observations from ground or from spacecraft of irregular satellites of the giant planets, Centaurs, and TNOs. We performed modeling of thermophysics, hydrostatics, orbit evolution, and collision physics. Results: We find that thermal processing due to short-lived radionuclides, combined with collisional processing during accretion in the primordial disk, creates a population of medium-sized bodies that are comparably dense, compacted, strong, heavily depleted in supervolatiles like CO and CO2; they contain little to no amorphous water ice, and have experienced extensive metasomatism and aqueous alteration due to liquid water. Irregular satellites Phoebe and Himalia are potential representatives of this population. Collisional rubble piles inherit these properties from their parents. Contrarily, comet nuclei have low density, high porosity, weak strength, are rich in supervolatiles, may contain amorphous water ice, and do not display convincing evidence of in situ metasomatism or aqueous alteration. We outline a comet formation scenario that starts in the solar nebula and ends in the primordial disk, that reproduces these

  12. The Asymmetric Coma of Comets. I. Asymmetric Outgassing from the Nucleus of Comet 2P/Encke

    Science.gov (United States)

    Festou, M. C.; Barale, O.

    2000-06-01

    Very little is known about how outgassing regions are distributed over the nucleus of comets. In periodic comets, active regions are believed to be few and of small extent. Since periodic comets are notorious for their lack of (small) solid particles that efficiently scatter sunlight, we try to find traces of the existence of production sites by examining the morphology of the gas coma. We use a new coma model in which results from hydrodynamics calculations describing the inner coma are used as limit conditions for a collisionless description of the outer coma. The production pattern of the parent species mainly depends on the extent and location of the production region(s) and on the rotational state of the nucleus. Analyzing 1980 observations of comet 2P/Encke, we find that free emission from a single, small, active region located near the subsolar point of a nonrotating nucleus is excluded. But such an active region on a rotating nucleus produces well the observed coma morphology. Our data then allow us to determine the orientation of the comet spin axis and the cometocentric latitude of the source. Emission from a few small production regions spread over the sunward part of a nonrotating nucleus or emission at a very low rate from a larger subsolar area could also fit the data. Although we do not find a unique solution to our problem, the excellent quality of our fits indicates that our approach, if used with enough care, can provide a new tool to investigate the properties of comet nuclei when the coma is far from spherically symmetric and, ultimately, to study the effects of the nongravitational force that is acting on comet nuclei.

  13. I. T. - R. O. C. K. S. Comet Nuclei Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalcher, N.

    2009-04-01

    Ices, organics and minerals recording the chemical evolution of the outer regions of the early solar nebula are the main constituents of comets. Because comets maintain the nearly pristine nature of the cloud where they formed, the analyses of their composition, structure, thermodynamics and isotope ratios will increase our understanding of the processes that occurred in the early phases of the solar system as well as the Interstellar Medium (ISM) Cloud that predated the formation of the solar nebula [1]. While the deep impact mission aimed at determining the internal structure of comet Temple1's nuclei [e.g. 3], the stardust mission sample return has dramatically increased our understanding of comets. Its first implications indicated that some of the comet material originated in the inner solar system and was later transported outward beyond the freezing line [4]. A wide range of organic compounds identified within different grains of the aerogel collectors has demonstrated the heterogeneity in their assemblages [5]. This suggests either many histories associated with these material or possibly analytical constraints imposed by capture heating of Wild2 material in silica aerogel. The current mission ROSETTA, will further expand our knowledge about comets considerably through rigorous in situ analyses of a Jupiter Family Comet (JFC). As the next generation of comet research post ROSETTA, we present the comet nuclei sample return mission IT - ROCKS (International Team - Return Of Comet's Key Samples) to return several minimally altered samples from various locations of comet 88P/Howell, a typical JFC. The mission scenario includes remote sensing of the comet's nucleus with onboard instruments similar to the ROSETTA instruments [6, 7, 8] (VIS, IR, Thermal IR, X-Ray, Radar) and gas/dust composition measurements including a plasma science package. Additionally two microprobes [9] will further investigate the physical properties of the comet's surface. Retrieving of the

  14. Formation of the dumbbell-like nucleus of a comet by sublimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vavilov, Dmitrii; Medvedev, Yurii; Zatitskiy, Pavel

    2016-10-01

    The nucleus of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is an elongated body with a deep groove around the middle. There are also other comets that look like dumbbells (e.g. 103P/Hartley 2, 19P/Borrelly, 1P/Halley). Two most probable interpretations are discussed in the scientific society. The first hypothesis explains the creation of such an object as sticking of two cometesimals during the process of formation. The second one suggests that the sublimation process can change the nucleus shape and make a groove in the middle.In this work we consider the second hypothesis. It was assumed that the spin axis of the nucleus is perpendicular to the plane of the cometary orbit and that initially the nucleus shape is a sphere. Thus, the problem is represented as a differential equation, which describes the change of the cometary nucleus. We solved this equation analytically. It was shown that initially a convex cometary nucleus (e.g. a sphere), consisting of homogeneous material, can not be transformed into a dumbbell-like body by the influence of sublimation. However, assuming that the density in the centre of the nucleus is less than on the surface, a groove can arise on the equator of the cometary nucleus as a result of sublimation.

  15. Spitzer Space Telescope Observations of the Nucleus of Comet 103P/Hartley 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, C. M.; Fernandez, Y. R.; Reach, W. T.; Bauer, J. M.; A’Hearn, M. F.; Farnham, T. L.; Groussin, O.; Belton, M. J.; Meech, K. J.; Snodgrass, C. D.

    2009-09-01

    We have used the Spitzer Space Telescope InfraRed Spectrograph (IRS) 22-μm peakup array to observe thermal emission from the nucleus and trail of comet 103P/Hartley 2, the target of NASA’s Deep Impact Extended Investigation (DIXI). The comet was observed on UT 2008 August 12 and 13, while 5.5 AU from the Sun. We obtained two 200 frame sets of photometric imaging over a 2.7 hr period. To within the errors of the measurement, we find no detection of any temporal variation between the two images. The comet showed extended emission beyond a point source in the form of a faint trail directed along the comet’s antivelocity vector. After modeling and removing the trail emission, a NEATM model for the nuclear emission with beaming parameter of 0.95 ± 0.20 indicates a small effective radius for the nucleus of 0.57 ± 0.08 km and low geometric albedo 0.028 ± 0.009 (1σ). With this nucleus size and a water production rate of 3 × 1028 molecules s-1 at perihelion, we estimate that ∼100% of the surface area is actively emitting volatile material at perihelion. Reports of emission activity out to ∼5 AU support our finding of a highly active nuclear surface. Compared to Deep Impact’s first target, comet 9P/Tempel 1, Hartley 2’s nucleus is one-fifth as wide (and about one-hundredth the mass) while producing a similar amount of outgassing at perihelion with about 13 times the active surface fraction. Unlike Tempel 1, comet Hartley 2 should be highly susceptible to jet driven spin-up torques, and so could be rotating at a much higher frequency. Since the amplitude of nongravitational forces are surprisingly similar for both comets, close to the ensemble average for ecliptic comets, we conclude that comet Hartley 2 must have a much more isotropic pattern of time-averaged outgassing from its nuclear surface. Barring a catastrophic breakup or major fragmentation event, the comet should be able to survive up to another 100 apparitions (∼700 yr) at its current rate of

  16. MRO HiRISE Observations of the Nucleus of Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwen, A. S.; Delamere, W. A.; Heyd, R.; Mattson, S.; Tamppari, L.; Zurek, R. W.; Schaller, C.; Block, K.; Polit, A. T.; Milkovich, S. M.; Hansen, C. J.; Thomas, N.; Cremonese, G.

    2014-12-01

    Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will pass Mars at a distance of 131,000 ± 3,000 km on Oct 19, 2014. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) will observe the comet on multiple orbits within 2.5 days before and after closest approach. The HiRISE telescope has a 50 cm aperture and an instantaneous field of view of one micro-radian per pixel, so the best image will have a scale near 131 m/pixel. If imaging is successful (i.e., not too smeared) and if the nucleus is larger than ~200 m diameter, this will provide the first resolved images of the nucleus of a long-period comet. Previous resolved images cover the nuclei of short-period comets, whose surfaces have been processed by many close passes by the sun. The encounter velocity is 56 km/s, so the best observations of the nucleus are only possible a few hours near closest approach, as seen from portions of 3 MRO orbits. A total of 20 HiRISE observations are planned for these 3 orbits, with exposure times varying from 0.13 to 2.5 s to cover a range of potential brightness. The HiRISE CCDs are operated at much higher temperatures, 20-30C, than those used for astronomical observations, so the maximum exposure time is limited by dark current signal. HiRISE objectives are to measure the shape and dimensions of the nucleus, determine its albedo (currently unknown for long-period comets), measure the rotation period and axis, and observe the inner coma for bright jets or outbursts. The phase angles range from 90 to 107 degrees, which will make imaging the nucleus challenging. The fast relative motions and changing geometries of the comet and MRO also make it challenging to acquire unsmeared images, since the image must pass directly down the 128 lines used for time-delay integration (TDI). Although the comet's trajectory is probably well known (as nongravitational effects have not been detected), the exact timing is uncertain. Small timing errors could result in the image passing down the TDI rows at an angle, producing smeared

  17. The Nucleus of Main-Belt Comet 259P/Garradd

    CERN Document Server

    MacLennan, Eric

    2012-01-01

    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 $H_R=19.71\\pm0.05$ mag and slope parameter of $G_R=-0.08\\pm0.05$ for the inactive nucleus, corresponding to an effective nucleus radius of $r_e=0.30\\pm0.02$ km, assuming an $R$-band albedo of $p_R=0.05$. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacLennan, Eric M.; Hsieh, Henry H., E-mail: hsieh@ifa.hawaii.edu, E-mail: emaclenn@utk.edu [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)

    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.

  19. Comet West 1976 VI: Discrete bursts of dust, split nucleus, flare-ups, and particle evaporation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sekanina, Z.; Farrell, J.A.

    1978-12-01

    Analysis of four small-scale photographs of Comet West taken on 5--8 March 1976 offers evidence of five discrete bursts of dust from the comet's nucleus between 19 and 28 February, i.e., from six days before perihelion to three days after it. The images of the comet on the photographs were computer-enhanced to increase the contrast of the fine structure. The timing of two of the bursts suggests very strongly that they accompanied the two breakup events that gave birth to the companion nuclei D and B. The primary breakup, on 19 February, also coincides with a 2-magnitude surge in the comet's brightness. Some of the other dust bursts might be correlated with less conspicous flare-ups observed in both the visual brightness and the thermal emission of the comet. A distinct intensity discontinuity makes up the trailing boundary of the main body of the dust tail. When the observed position of the discontinuity is corrected for an effect of particle-expulsion velocity, it is found to correspond to dust expelled from the comet exactly at perihelion. It is suggested that because of its timing, the intensity discontinuity could be a product of particle evaporation sharply peaked at perihelion.

  20. Challenges of deflecting an asteroid or comet nucleus with a nuclear burst

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bradley, Paul A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Plesko, Cathy S [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Clement, Ryan R. C. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Conlon, Le Ann M [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Weaver, Robert P [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Guzik, Joyce A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Pritchett - Sheets, Lori A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Huebner, Walter F [SWRI

    2009-01-01

    There are many natural disasters that humanity has to deal with over time. These include earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, asteroid strikes, and so on. Some of these disasters occur slowly enough that some advance warning is possible for affected areas. In this case, the response is to evacuate the affected area and deal wilh the damage later. The Katrina and Rita hurricane evacuations on the U.S. Gulf Coasl in 2005 demonstrated the chaos that can result from such a response. In contrast with other natural disasters, it is likely that an asteroid or comet nucleus on a collision course with Earth will be detected with enough warning time to possibly deflect it away. Thanks to Near-Earth Object (NED) surveys, people are working towards a goal of cataloging at least 90% of all near-Earth objects with diameters larger than {approx} 140 meters in the next fifteen years. The important question then, is how to mitigate the threat from an asteroid or comet nucleus found to be on a collision course with Earth. In this paper. we briefly review some possible deflection methods, describe their good and bad points, and then embark on a more detailed description of using nuclear munitions in a standoff mode to deflect the asteroid or comet nucleus before it can hit Earth.

  1. Crystallization, sublimation, and gas release in the interior of a porous comet nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prialnik, Dina

    1992-01-01

    A numerical code is developed for evolutionary calculations of the thermal structure and composition of a porous comet nucleus made of water ice, in amorphous or crystalline form, other volatiles, dust, and gases trapped in amorphous ice. Bulk evaporation, crystallization, gas release, and free (Knudsen) flow of gases through the pores are taken into account. The numerical scheme yields exact conservation laws for mass and energy. The code is used to study the effect of bulk evaporation of ice in the interior of a comet nucleus during crystallization. It is found that evaporation controls the temperature distribution; the vapor prevents cooling of the crystallized layer of ice, by recondensation and release of latent heat. Thus high temperatures are maintained below the surface of the nucleus and down to depths of tens or hundreds of meters, even at large heliocentric distances, as long as crystallization goes on. Gas trapped in the ice and released during the phase transition flows both toward the interior and toward the surface and out of the nucleus. The progress of crystallization is largely determined by the contribution of gas fluxes to heat transfer.

  2. Near-Nucleus Photometry of Outbursting Comet 17P/Holmes

    CERN Document Server

    Stevenson, Rachel

    2012-01-01

    Comet 17P/Holmes underwent the largest cometary outburst in recorded history on UT 2007 Oct. 23, releasing massive quantities of dust and gas. We used the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope to obtain wide-field images of 17P/Holmes on 15 dates over a period of 3 months following the outburst and employ them here to examine the subsequent activity of the nucleus and the nature of the ejecta closest to the nucleus. Through aperture photometry we observed the in- ner coma (within 2500 km of the nucleus) to fade from an apparent magnitude of 11.7 mag to 17.6 mag, corresponding to absolute magnitudes of 8.1 mag and 12.4 mag, between UT 2007 Nov. 6 and 2008 Feb. 12. A second much smaller outburst occurred on UT 2007 Nov. 12, three weeks after the original outburst, suggesting that the nucleus remained unstable. The surface brightness profile of the inner coma was consistently shallow relative to the expected steady-state profile, and showed a persistent brightness enhancement within ~ 5000 km of the nucleus. We propose...

  3. Seasonal Evolution on the Nucleus of Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Jian-Yang; Kelley, Michael S P; Farnham, Tony L; Bodewits, Dennis; Lisse, Carey M; Mutchler, Max J; A'Hearn, Michael F; Delamere, W Alan

    2016-01-01

    We observed Comet C/Siding Spring using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) during its close approach to Mars. The high spatial resolution images obtained through the F689M, F775W, and F845M filters reveal the characteristics of the dust coma. The dust production rate of C/Siding Spring, quantified by $Af\\rho$, is 590$\\pm$30, 640$\\pm$30, and 670$\\pm$30 cm in a 420 km-radius aperture at 38$^\\circ$ solar phase angle through the three filters, respectively, consistent with other observations at similar time and geometry, and with model predictions based on earlier measurements. The dust expansion velocity is ~150-250 m s$^{-1}$ for micron-sized dust grains, similar to the speeds found for other comets. The coma has a color slope of (5.5$\\pm$1.5)%/100 nm between 689 and 845 nm, similar to previous HST measurements at comparable aperture sizes, consistent with the lack of color dependence on heliocentric distance for almost all previously observed active comets. The rotational period of the nucleus of C/Siding Spring...

  4. The Nucleus of Comet 9P-Tempel 1: Shape and Geology from Two Flybys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, P.; A'Hearn, M.; Belton, M. J. S.; Brownlee, D.; Carcich, B.; Hermalyn, B.; Klaasen, K.; Sackett, S.; Schultz, P. H.; Veverka, J.; Bhaskaran, S.; Bodewits, D.; Chesley, S.; Clark, B.; Farnham, T.; Groussin, O.; Harris, J.; Kissel, J.; Li, J.-Y; Meech, K.; Melosh, J.; Quick, A.; Richardson, J.; Sunshine, J.; Wellnitz, D.

    2012-01-01

    The nucleus of comet Tempel 1 has been investigated at close range during two spacecraft missions separated by one comet orbit of the Sun, 5 1/2 years. The combined imaging covers 70% of the surface of this object which has a mean radius of 2.83 +/- 0.1 km. The surface can be divided into two terrain types: rough, pitted terrain and smoother regions of varying local topography. The rough surface has round depressions from resolution limits (10 m/pixel) up to 1 km across, spanning forms from crisp steep-walled pits, to subtle albedo rings, to topographic rings, with all ranges of morphologic gradation. Three gravitationally low regions of the comet have smoother terrain, parts of which appear to be deposits from minimally modified flows, with other parts likely to be heavily eroded portions of multiple layer piles. Changes observed between the two missions are primarily due to backwasting of scarps bounding one of these probable flow deposits. This style of erosion is also suggested by remnant mesa forms in other areas of smoother terrain. The two distinct terrains suggest either an evolutionary change in processes, topographically- controlled processes, or a continuing interaction of erosion and deposition.

  5. Trajectory analysis for the nucleus and dust of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farnocchia, Davide; Chesley, Steven R.; Chodas, Paul W. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Tricarico, Pasquale [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Kelley, Michael S. P.; Farnham, Tony L., E-mail: Davide.Farnocchia@jpl.nasa.gov [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)

    2014-08-01

    Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will experience a high velocity encounter with Mars on 2014 October 19 at a distance of 135,000 km ± 5000 km from the planet center. We present a comprehensive analysis of the trajectory of both the comet nucleus and the dust tail. The nucleus of C/2013 A1 cannot impact on Mars even in the case of unexpectedly large nongravitational perturbations. Furthermore, we compute the required ejection velocities for the dust grains of the tail to reach Mars as a function of particle radius and density and heliocentric distance of the ejection. A comparison between our results and the most current modeling of the ejection velocities suggests that impacts are possible only for millimeter to centimeter size particles released more than 13 AU from the Sun. However, this level of cometary activity that far from the Sun is considered extremely unlikely. The arrival time of these particles spans a 20-minute time interval centered at 2014 October 19 at 20:09 TDB, i.e., around the time that Mars crosses the orbital plane of C/2013 A1. Ejection velocities larger than currently estimated by a factor >2 would allow impacts for smaller particles ejected as close as 3 AU from the Sun. These particles would reach Mars from 19:13 TDB to 20:40 TDB.

  6. The Nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: Lots of Surprises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weissman, Paul R.; Rosetta Science Working Team

    2016-10-01

    ESA's Rosetta mission has made many new and unexpected discoveries since its arrival at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014. The first of these was the unusual shape of the cometary nucleus. Although bilobate nuclei had been seen before, the extreme concavities on 67P were unexpected. Evidence gathered during the mission suggests that two independent bodies came together to form 67P, rather than the nucleus being a single body that was sculpted by sublimation and/or other processes. Although not a surprise, early observations showed that the nucleus rotation period had decreased by ~22 minutes since the previous aphelion passage. A similar rotation period decrease was seen post-perihelion during the encounter. These changes likely arise from asymmetric jetting forces from the irregular nucleus. Initially, Rosetta's instruments found little evidence for water ice on the surface; the presence of surface water ice increased substantially as the nucleus approached perihelion. The nucleus bulk density, 533 ± 6 kg/m3, was measured with Radio Science and OSIRIS imaging of the nucleus volume. This confirmed previous estimates based on indirect methods that the bulk density of cometary nuclei was on the order of 500-600 kg/m3 and on measurement of the density of 9P/Tempel 1's nucleus by Deep Impact. Nucleus topography proved to be highly varied, from smooth dust-covered plains to shallow circular basins, to the very rough terrain where the Philae lander came to rest. Evidence of thermal cracking is everywhere. The discovery of cylindrical pits on the surface, typically 100-200m in diameter with similar depths was a major surprise and has been interpreted as sinkholes. "Goose-bump" terrain consisting of apparently random piles of boulders 2-3 m in diameter was another unexpected discovery. Apparent layering with scales of meters to many tens of meters was seen but there was little or no evidence for impact features. Radar tomography of the interior of the "head

  7. Photometry and polarimetry of the nucleus of comet 2P/Encke

    CERN Document Server

    Boehnhardt, H; Bagnulo, S; Muinonen, K; Nathues, A; Kolokolova, L

    2008-01-01

    Broadband imaging photometry, and broadband and narrowband linear polarimetry was measured for the nucleus of 2P/Encke over the phase-angle range 4 - 28 deg. An analysis of the point spread function of the comet reveals only weak coma activity, corresponding to a dust production of the order of 0.05 kg/s. The nucleus displays a color independent photometric phase function of almost linear slope. The absolute R filter magnitude at zero phase angle is 15.05 +/- 0.05, and corresponds to an equivalent radius for the nucleus of 2.43 +/- 0.06 km (for an adopted albedo of 0.047). The nucleus color V - R is 0.47 +/- 0.07, suggesting a spectral slope of 11 +/- 8 %/100nm. The phase function of linear polarimetry in the V and R filters shows a widely color independent linear increase with phase angle (0.12 +/- 0.02%/deg). We find discrepancies in the photometric and polarimetric parameters between 2P/Encke and other minor bodies in the solar system, which may indicate significant differences in the surface material prop...

  8. A model of dust fragmentation in near-nucleus jet-like features on Comet P/Halley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konno, Ichishiro; Huebner, W. F.; Boice, D. C.

    1993-01-01

    A model for dusty gas flows and dust fragmentation in cometary atmospheres is developed and applied to interpret the dust intensity profiles near the nucleus of Comet P/Halley. It is found that fragmentation is not the only physical mechanism for explaining the dust intensity profiles from the 1/z dependence in the region about 1 to 40 km from the nucleus. A combination of the geometric effect and dust fragmentation is a likely explanation for the profiles.

  9. EVIDENCE FOR FRESH FROST LAYER ON THE BARE NUCLEUS OF COMET HALE-BOPP AT 32 AU DISTANCE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szabo, Gyula M.; Kiss, Laszlo L.; Pal, Andras; Kiss, Csaba; Sarneczky, Krisztian [MTA CSFK, Konkoly Observatory, Konkoly Thege Miklos ut 15-17, H-1121 Budapest (Hungary); Juhasz, Attila; Hogerheijde, Michiel R. [Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands)

    2012-12-10

    Here, we report that the activity of comet Hale-Bopp ceased between late 2007 and 2009 March, at about 28 AU distance from the Sun. At that time, the comet resided at a distance from the Sun that exceeded the freeze-out distance of regular comets by an order of magnitude. A Herschel Space Observatory PACS scan was taken in mid-2010, in the already inactive state of the nucleus. The albedo has been found to be surprisingly large (8.1% {+-} 0.9%), which exceeds the value known for any other comets. With re-reduction of archive Hubble Space Telescope images from 1995 and 1996, we confirm that the pre-perihelion albedo resembled that of an ordinary comet and was smaller by a factor of two than the post-activity albedo. Our further observations with the Very Large Telescope also confirmed that the albedo increased significantly by the end of the activity. We explain these observations by proposing gravitational redeposition of icy grains toward the end of the activity. This is plausible for such a massive body in a cold environment, where gas velocity is lowered to the range of the escape velocity. These observations also show that giant comets are not just the upscaled versions of the comets we know but can be affected by processes that are yet to be fully identified.

  10. Comet C/2011 L4 (PanStarrs): Small nucleus, fast rotator and dust rich comet observed after perihelion

    CERN Document Server

    Scarmato, Toni

    2016-01-01

    Orbital elements of C2011 L4 (PanStarrs) Oort cloud comet, computed by MPC (Minor Planet Center, Minor Planet Electronic Circular 2012-T08), show that the closest approach to the Sun occurred on 2013 March 10th, at about 0.3 A.U., then about 4,51x10^7 km. Discovered by Richard Wainscoat (Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii) on four CCD images taken with the 1.8-m "Pan-STARRS 1" telescope at Haleakala taken on 2011 June 6th. My first observation of the comet was on 2013 March 10th whit the comet visible in the twilight. I did the following visual estimation; Mar. 10.73,-1.0*,5'(T. Scarmato, Calabria, Italy, 7x50 binoculars; altitude 7 deg, tail 1 deg in pa 140 deg), reported to the ICQ (International Comet Quarterly). Easy comet in 7x50 binoculars I started to see C/2011 L4 at 18:35 L.T. when the comet was at about 7{\\deg} above the horizon. I saw a tail long about 1,5{\\deg} in pa 140{\\deg} with a coma well condensed and large about 5'. I followed the comet until to the set at 18:55 L.T., still clear...

  11. Seasonal effects on the nucleus of comet 67P revealed by Rosetta/VIRTIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Infrared spectrophotometry of Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock (1983d) - A bare nucleus revealed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanner, M. S.; Aitken, D. K.; Knacke, R.; Mccorkle, S.; Roche, P. F.; Tokunaga, A. T.

    1985-01-01

    Spectra of the central core and surrounding coma of Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock (1983d) were obtained at 8-13 microns on May 11 and 2-4 microns on May 12, 1983. Spatially resolved measurements at 10 microns with a 4-arcsec beam showed that the central core was more than 100 times brighter than the inner coma only 8 arcsec away; for radially outflowing dust, the brightness ratio would be a factor of 8. The observations of the central core are consistent with direct detection of a nucleus having a radius of approximately 5 km. The temperature of the sunlit hemisphere was greater than 300 K. Spectra of the core are featureless, while spectra of the coma suggest weak silicate emission. The spectra show no evidence for icy grains. The dust production rate on May 11.4 was about 100,000 g/sec, assuming that the gas flux from the dust-producing areas on the nucleus was about 0.00001 g/sq cm per sec.

  13. Rosetta/OSIRIS: Nucleus morphology and activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierks, Holger

    2015-08-01

    Introduction: The Rosetta mission of the European Space Agency arrived on August 6, 2014, at the target comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after 10 years of cruise. OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) is the scientific imaging system onboard Rosetta. It comprises a Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) for broad-band nucleus surface and dust studies and a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) for the wide field coma investigations.OSIRIS images the nucleus and the coma of comet 67P/C-G from the arrival throughout early mapping phase, PHILAE landing, and escort phase with close fly-by beginning of the year 2015.The team paper presents the surface morphology and activity of the nucleus as seen in gas, dust, and local jets and the larger scale coma studied by OSIRIS.Acknowledgements: OSIRIS was built by a consortium led by the Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Göttingen, Germany, in collaboration with CISAS, University of Padova, Italy, the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, France, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucia, CSIC, Granada, Spain, the Scientific Support Office of the European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial, Madrid, Spain, the Universidad Politéchnica de Madrid, Spain, the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Institut für Datentechnik und Kommunikationsnetze der Technischen Universität Braunschweig, Germany.Additional Information: The OSIRIS team is H. Sierks, C. Barbieri, P. Lamy, R. Rodrigo, D. Koschny, H. Rickman, J. Agarwal, M. A'Hearn, I. Bertini, F. Angrilli, M. A. Barucci, J. L. Bertaux, G. Cremonese, V. Da Deppo, B. Davidsson, S. Debei, M. De Cecco, S. Fornasier, M. Fulle, O. Groussin, C. Güttler, P. Gutierrez, S. Hviid, W. Ip, L. Jorda, H. U. Keller, J. Knollenberg, R. Kramm, E. Kührt, M. Küppers, L. Lara, M. Lazzarin, J. J. Lopez, S. Lowry, S. Marchi, F. Marzari, H. Michalik, S. Mottola, G. Naletto, N. Oklay, L

  14. Development of Sample Handling and Analytical Expertise For the Stardust Comet Sample Return

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bradley, J; Bajt, S; Brennan, S; Graham, G; Grant, P; Hutcheon, I; Ishii, H; Pianetta, P; Toppani, A; Westphal, A

    2006-02-09

    NASA's Stardust mission returned to Earth in January 2006 with ''fresh'' cometary particles from a young Jupiter family comet. The cometary particles were sampled during the spacecraft flyby of comet 81P/Wild-2 in January 2004, when they impacted low-density silica aerogel tiles and aluminum foils on the sample tray assembly at approximately 6.1 km/s. This LDRD project has developed extraction and sample recovery methodologies to maximize the scientific information that can be obtained from the analysis of natural and man-made nano-materials of relevance to the LLNL programs.

  15. Estimating the strength of the nucleus material of comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Krasil'nikov, S. S.; Shiryaev, A. A.; Mall, U.; Keller, H. U.; Skorov, Yu. V.; Mottola, S.; Hviid, S. F.

    2016-07-01

    Consideration is given to the estimates for the strength of the consolidated material forming the bulk of the nucleus of comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko and those for the strength of the surface material overlying the consolidated material at the sites of the first and last contact of the Philae lander with the nucleus. The strength of the consolidated material was estimated by analyzing the terrain characteristics of the steep cliffs, where the material is exposed on the surface. Based on these estimates, the tensile strength of the material is in the range from 1.5 to 100 Pa; the shear strength, from ˜13 to ⩾30 Pa; and the compressive strength, from 30 to 150 Pa, possibly up to 1.5 kPa. These are very low strength values. Given the dependence of the measurement results on the size of the measured object, they are similar to those of fresh dry snow at -10°C. The (compressive) strength of the surface material at the site of the first touchdown of Philae on the nucleus is estimated from the measurements of the dynamics of the surface impact by the spacecraft's legs and the geometry of the impact pits as 1-3 kPa. For comparison with the measurement results for ice-containing materials in terrestrial laboratories, it needs to be taken into account that the rate of deformation by Philae's legs is four orders of magnitude higher than that in typical terrestrial measurements, leading to a possible overestimation of the strength by roughly an order of magnitude. There was an attemp to put one of the MUPUS sensors into the surface material at the site of the last contact of Philae with the nucleus. Noticeable penetration of the tester probe was not achieved that led to estimation of the minimum compressive strength of the material to be ⩾4 MPa4 This fairly high strength appears to indicate the presence of highly porous ice with grains "frozen" at contacts.

  16. Rosetta and Comet Composition of Volatile and Refractories in the Nucleus of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calmonte, Ursina; Alice Team; Stern, Alan; CONSTERT Team; Kofman, Wlodek; COSIMA Team; Hilchenbach, Martin; GIADA Team; Rotundi, Alessandra; MIDAS Team; Bentley, Mark; MIRO Team; Hofstadter, Mark; OSIRIS Team; Sierks, Holger; ROSINA Team; Altwegg, Kathrin; RPC Team; Nilsson, Hans; Burch, James; Eriksson, Anders; Heinz-Glassmeier, Karl; Henri, Pierre; Carr, Christopher; RSI Team; Paetzold, Martin; VIRTIS Team; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Lander Team; Boehnhardt, Hermann; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; IDS Team; Gruen, Eberhard; Fulchignoni, Marcello; Weissman, Paul; Project Scientist Team; Taylor, Matt; Buratti, Bonnie; Altobelli, Nicolas; Choukroun, Mathieu; Ground-Based Observations Team; Snodgrass, Colin

    2016-10-01

    The Rosetta mission has been taking measurements of its target comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since early 2014 and will complete operations at the end of September 2016.The mission Science Management Plan, in 1994, laid out the five prime goals and themes of the mission.1) To study the global characterisation of the nucleus, the determination of the dynamics properties, surface morphology and composition of the comet.2) Examination of the Chemical, Mineralogical and isotopic compositions of volatiles and refractories in a cometary nucleus.3) Physical interrelation of volatiles and refractories in a cometary nucleus4) Study of the development of cometary activity and the process in the surface layer of the nucleus and in the inner coma5) The origins of comets, the relationship between cometary and interstellar material and the implications for the origin of the Solar System.To cover all aspects of the Rosetta mission in this dedicated session, this abstracts is one of 5, and focuses on theme 2:In this contribution we will focus on the highlights of the volatile and refractory inventory, the compositional evolution during orbit, and the major constraints from this to the Solar System formation. In particular we will detail the evolution of the volatile composition along the comet's orbit around the Sun ranging from beyond 3 AU to the perihelion at a heliocentric distance of 1.24 AU and back to 3.6 AU and discussion new parent molecules in the cometary volatile inventory that give new insights into the Solar System formation.

  17. Development and Testing of Harpoon-Based Approaches for Collecting Comet Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purves, Lloyd (Compiler); Nuth, Joseph (Compiler); Amatucci, Edward (Compiler); Wegel, Donald; Smith, Walter; Church, Joseph; Leary, James; Kee, Lake; Hill, Stuart; Grebenstein, Markus; hide

    2017-01-01

    Comets, having bright tails visible to the unassisted human eye, are considered to have been known about since pre-historic times. In fact 3,000-year old written records of comet sightings have been identified. In comparison, asteroids, being so dim that telescopes are required for observation, were not discovered until 1801. Yet, despite their later discovery, a space mission returned the first samples of an asteroid in 2010 and two more asteroid sample return missions have already been launched. By contrast no comet sample return mission has ever been funded, despite the fact that comets in certain ways are far more scientifically interesting than asteroids. Why is this? The basic answer is the greater difficulty, and consequently higher cost, of a comet sample return mission. Comets typically are in highly elliptical heliocentric orbits which require much more time and propulsion for Space Craft (SC) to reach from Earth and then return to Earth as compared to many asteroids which are in Earth-like orbits. It is also harder for a SC to maneuver safely near a comet given the generally longer communications distances and the challenge of navigating in the comet's, when the comet is close to perihelion, which turns out to be one of the most interesting times for a SC to get close to the comet surface. Due to the science value of better understanding the sublimation of volatiles near the comet surface, other contributions to higher cost as desire to get sample material from both the comet surface and a little below, to preserve the stratigraphy of the sample, and to return the sample in a storage state where it does not undergo undesirable alterations, such as aqueous. In response to these challenges of comet sample return missions, the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GFSC) has worked for about a decade (2006 to this time) to develop and test approaches for comet sample return that would enable such a mission to be scientifically valuable, while having acceptably

  18. Spectrophotometric properties of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from the OSIRIS instrument onboard the ROSETTA spacecraft

    CERN Document Server

    Fornasier, S; Barucci, M A; Feller, C; Besse, S; Leyrat, C; Lara, L; Gutierrez, P J; Oklay, N; Tubiana, C; Scholten, F; Sierks, H; Barbieri, C; Lamy, P L; Rodrigo, R; Koschny, D; Rickman, H; Keller, H U; Agarwal, J; A'Hearn, M F; Bertaux, J -L; Bertini, I; Cremonese, G; Da Deppo, V; Davidsson, B; Debei, S; De Cecco, M; Fulle, M; Groussin, O; Güttler, C; Hviid, S F; Ip, W; Jorda, L; Knollenberg, J; Kovacs, G; Kramm, R; Kührt, E; Küppers, M; La Forgia, F; Lazzarin, M; Moreno, J J Lopez; Marzari, F; Matz, K -D; Michalik, H; Moreno, F; Mottola, S; Naletto, G; Pajola, M; Pommerol, A; Preusker, F; Shi, X; Snodgrass, C; Thomas, N; Vincent, J -B

    2015-01-01

    The Rosetta mission of the European Space Agency has been orbiting the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) since August 2014 and is now in its escort phase. A large complement of scientific experiments designed to complete the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted are onboard Rosetta. We present results for the photometric and spectrophotometric properties of the nucleus of 67P derived from the OSIRIS imaging system, which consists of a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and a Narrow Angle Camera (NAC). The disk-averaged phase function of the nucleus of 67P shows a strong opposition surge with a G parameter value of -0.13$\\pm$0.01 in the HG system formalism and an absolute magnitude $H_v(1,1,0)$ = 15.74$\\pm$0.02 mag. The integrated spectrophotometry in 20 filters covering the 250-1000 nm wavelength range shows a red spectral behavior, without clear absorption bands except for a potential absorption centered at $\\sim$ 290 nm that is possibly due to SO$_2$ ice. The nucleus shows strong phase reddening, with disk...

  19. Earth-based detection of the millimetric thermal emission of the nucleus of comet 8P/Tuttle

    CERN Document Server

    Boissier, J; Jorda, L; Lamy, P; Bockelée-Morvan, D; Crovisier, J; Biver, N; Colom, P; Lellouch, E; Moreno, R

    2011-01-01

    Little is known about the physical properties of cometary nuclei. Apart from space mission targets, measuring the thermal emission of a nucleus is one of the few means to derive its size, independently of its albedo, and to constrain some of its thermal properties. This emission is difficult to detect from Earth but space telescopes (Infrared Space Observatory, Spitzer Space Telescope, Herschel Space Observatory) allow reliable measurements in the infrared and the sub-millimetre domains. We aim at better characterizing the thermal properties of the nucleus of comet 8P/Tuttle using multi-wavelentgh space- and ground-based observations, in the visible, infrared, and millimetre range. We used the Plateau de Bure Interferometer to measure the millimetre thermal emission of comet 8P/Tuttle at 240 GHz (1.25 mm) and analysed the observations with the shape model derived from Hubble Space Telescope observations and the nucleus size derived from Spitzer Space Telescope observations. We report on the first detection of...

  20. Decimetre-scaled spectrophotometric properties of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from OSIRIS observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, C.; Fornasier, S.; Hasselmann, P. H.; Barucci, A.; Preusker, F.; Scholten, F.; Jorda, L.; Pommerol, A.; Jost, B.; Poch, O.; ElMaary, M. R.; Thomas, N.; Belskaya, I.; Pajola, M.; Sierks, H.; Barbieri, C.; Lamy, P. L.; Koschny, D.; Rickman, H.; Rodrigo, R.; Agarwal, J.; A'Hearn, M.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Bertini, I.; Boudreault, S.; Cremonese, G.; Da Deppo, V.; Davidsson, B. J. R.; Debei, S.; De Cecco, M.; Deller, J.; Fulle, M.; Giquel, A.; Groussin, O.; Gutierrez, P. J.; Güttler, C.; Hofmann, M.; Hviid, S. F.; Keller, H.; Ip, W.-H.; Knollenberg, J.; Kovacs, G.; Kramm, J.-R.; Kührt, E.; Küppers, M.; Lara, M. L.; Lazzarin, M.; Leyrat, C.; Lopez Moreno, J. J.; Marzari, F.; Masoumzadeh, N.; Mottola, S.; Naletto, G.; Perna, D.; Oklay, N.; Shi, X.; Tubiana, C.; Vincent, J.-B.

    2016-11-01

    We present the results of the photometric and spectrophotometric properties of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko nucleus derived with the OSIRIS instrument during the closest fly-by over the comet, which took place on 14 th February 2015 at a distance of {\\~} 6 km from the surface. Several images covering the 0{\\deg}-33{\\deg} phase angle range were acquired, and the spatial resolution achieved was 11 cm/pxl. The flown-by region is located on the big lobe of the comet, near the borders of the Ash, Apis and Imhotep regions. Our analysis shows that this region features local heterogeneities at the decimetre scale. We observed difference of reflectance up to 40{\\%} between bright spots and sombre regions, and spectral slope variations up to 50{\\%}. The spectral reddening effect observed globally on the comet surface by Fornasier et al. (2015) is also observed locally on this region, but with a less steep behaviour. We note that numerous metre-sized boulders, which exhibit a smaller opposition effect, also appear spectrally redder than their surroundings. In this region, we found no evidence linking observed bright spots to exposed water-ice-rich material. We fitted our dataset using the Hapke 2008 photometric model. The region overflown is globally as dark as the whole nucleus (geometric albedo of 6.8{\\%}) and it has a high porosity value in the uppermost-layers (86{\\%}). These results of the photometric analysis at a decimetre scale indicate that the photometric properties of the flown-by region are similar to those previously found for the whole nucleus.

  1. Shape, Density, and Geology of the Nucleus of Comet 103P/Hartley 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, P.C.; A'hearn, Michael F.; Veverka, Joseph; Belton, Michael J. S.; Kissel, Jochen; Belton, Michael J. S.; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Melosh, H. Jay; Schultz, Peter H.; Besse, Sebastien; Carcich, Brian T.; Farnham, Tony L.; Groussin, Olivier; Hermalyn, Brendan; Li, Jian-Yang; Lindler, Don J.; Lisse, Carey M.; Meech, Karen; Richardson, James E.

    2013-01-01

    Data from the Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation (EPOXI) mission show Comet 103P/Hartley 2 is a bi-lobed, elongated, nearly axially symmetric comet 2.33 km in length. Surface features are primarily small mounds 1%. The shape may be the evolutionary product of insolation, sublimation, and temporary deposition of materials controlled by the object’s complex rotation.

  2. Gravitational slopes, geomorphology, and material strengths of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from OSIRIS observations

    CERN Document Server

    Groussin, O; Auger, A -T; Kührt, E; Gaskell, R; Capanna, C; Scholten, F; Preusker, F; Lamy, P; Hviid, S; Knollenberg, J; Keller, U; Huettig, C; Sierks, H; Barbieri, C; Rodrigo, R; Koschny, D; Rickman, H; Hearn, M F A; Agarwal, J; Barucci, M A; Bertaux, J -L; Bertini, I; Boudreault, S; Cremonese, G; Da Deppo, V; Davidsson, B; Debei, S; De Cecco, M; El-Maarry, M R; Fornasier, S; Fulle, M; Gutiérrez, P J; Güttler, C; Ip, W -H; Kramm, J -R; Küppers, M; Lazzarin, M; Lara, L M; Moreno, J J Lopez; Marchi, S; Marzari, F; Massironi, M; Michalik, H; Naletto, G; Oklay, N; Pommerol, A; Pajola, M; Thomas, N; Toth, I; Tubiana, C; Vincent, J -B

    2015-01-01

    We study the link between gravitational slopes and the surface morphology on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and provide constraints on the mechanical properties of the cometary material. We computed the gravitational slopes for five regions on the nucleus that are representative of the different morphologies observed on the surface, using two shape models computed from OSIRIS images by the stereo-photoclinometry (SPC) and stereo-photogrammetry (SPG) techniques. We estimated the tensile, shear, and compressive strengths using different surface morphologies and mechanical considerations. The different regions show a similar general pattern in terms of the relation between gravitational slopes and terrain morphology: i) low-slope terrains (0-20 deg) are covered by a fine material and contain a few large ($>$10 m) and isolated boulders, ii) intermediate-slope terrains (20-45 deg) are mainly fallen consolidated materials and debris fields, with numerous intermediate-size boulders from $<$1 m to ...

  3. Decimetre-scaled spectrophotometric properties of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from OSIRIS observations

    CERN Document Server

    Feller, C; Hasselmann, P H; Barucci, A; Preusker, F; Scholten, F; Jorda, L; Pommerol, A; Sierks, H; Agarwal, J; A'Hearn, M; Bertaux, J -L; Bertini, I; Boudreault, S; Cremonese, G; Da Deppo, V; Davidsson, B J R; Debei, S; De Cecco, M; Deller, J; Fulle, M; Giquel, A; Groussin, O; Gutierrez, P J; Güttler, C; Hofmann, M; Hviid, S F; Keller, H; Ip, W -H; Knollenberg, J; Kovacs, G; Kramm, J -R; Kührt, E; Küppers, M; Lara, M L; Lazzarin, M; Leyrat, C; Moreno, J J Lopez; Marzari, F; Masoumzadeh, N; Mottola, S; Naletto, G; Oklay, N; Shi, X; Tubiana, C; Vincent, J -B

    2016-01-01

    We present the results of the photometric and spectrophotometric properties of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko nucleus derived with the OSIRIS instrument during the closest fly-by over the comet, which took place on 14 th February 2015 at a distance of {\\~} 6 km from the surface. Several images covering the 0{\\deg}-33{\\deg} phase angle range were acquired, and the spatial resolution achieved was 11 cm/pxl. The flown-by region is located on the big lobe of the comet, near the borders of the Ash, Apis and Imhotep regions. Our analysis shows that this region features local heterogeneities at the decimetre scale. We observed difference of reflectance up to 40{\\%} between bright spots and sombre regions, and spectral slope variations up to 50{\\%}. The spectral reddening effect observed globally on the comet surface by Fornasier et al. (2015) is also observed locally on this region, but with a less steep behaviour. We note that numerous metre-sized boulders, which exhibit a smaller opposition effect, also appear spec...

  4. Measurements of the Near-Nucleus Coma of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with the Alice Far-Ultraviolet Spectrograph on Rosetta

    CERN Document Server

    Feldman, Paul D; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Feaga, Lori M; Parker, Joel Wm; Schindhelm, Eric; Steffl, Andrew J; Stern, S Alan; Weaver, Harold A; Sierks, Holger; Vincent, Jean-Baptiste

    2015-01-01

    Aims. The Alice far-ultraviolet spectrograph onboard Rosetta is designed to observe emissions from various atomic and molecular species from within the coma of comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko and to determine their spatial distribution and evolution with time and heliocentric distance. Methods. Following orbit insertion in August 2014, Alice made observations of the inner coma above the limbs of the nucleus of the comet from cometocentric distances varying between 10 and 80 km. Depending on the position and orientation of the slit relative to the nucleus, emissions of atomic hydrogen and oxygen were initially detected. These emissions are spatially localized close to the nucleus and spatially variable with a strong enhancement above the comet's neck at northern latitudes. Weaker emission from atomic carbon and CO were subsequently detected. Results. Analysis of the relative line intensities suggests photoelectron impact dissociation of H2O vapor as the source of the observed H I and O I emissions. The electr...

  5. Detection of exposed H$_2$O ice on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    CERN Document Server

    Barucci, M A; Fornasier, S; Raponi, A; Deshapriya, J D P; Tosi, F; Feller, C; Ciarniello, M; Sierks, H; Capaccioni, F; Pommerol, A; Massironi, M; Oklay, N; Merlin, F; Vincent, J -B; Fulchignoni, M; Guilbert-Lepoutre, A; Perna, D; Capria, M T; Hasselmann, P H; Rousseau, B; Barbieri, C; Bockelee-Morvan, D; Lamy, P L; De Sanctis, C; Rodrigo, R; Erard, S; Koschny, D; Leyrat, C; Rickman, H; Drossart, P; Keller, H U; A'Hearn, M F; Arnold, G; Bertaux, J -L; Bertini, I; Cerroni, P; Cremonese, G; Da Deppo, V; Davidsson, B J R; El-Maarry,; Fonti, S; Fulle, M; Groussin, O; Guttler, C

    2016-01-01

    Since the orbital insertion of the Rosetta spacecraft, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) has been mapped by OSIRIS camera and VIRTIS spectro-imager, producing a huge quantity of images and spectra of the comet's nucleus. The aim of this work is to search for the presence of H$_2$O on the nucleus which, in general, appears very dark and rich in dehydrated organic material. After selecting images of the bright spots which could be good candidates to search for H$_2$O ice, taken at high resolution by OSIRIS, we check for spectral cubes of the selected coordinates to identify these spots observed by VIRTIS. The selected OSIRIS images were processed with the OSIRIS standard pipeline and corrected for the illumination conditions for each pixel using the Lommel-Seeliger disk law. The spots with higher I/F were selected and then analysed spectrophotometrically and compared with the surrounding area. We selected 13 spots as good targets to be analysed by VIRTIS to search for the 2 micron absorption band of wat...

  6. Cross-calibration of the Rosetta Navigation Camera based on images of the 67P comet nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Statella, Thiago; Geiger, Bernhard

    2017-07-01

    The Rosetta spacecraft carried a Navigation Camera (NavCam) for optical navigation in the vicinity of the comet. In order to facilitate the use of the data for quantitative scientific work, we performed a cross-calibration study based on images taken with the OSIRIS near-angle camera. For this purpose, we selected sets of images acquired roughly simultaneously on 2014 August 1 during comet approach at small phase angles. We employed two procedures, the first one based on the average signal over the nucleus and the second considering histograms of signal values within the images. Both methods delivered consistent results for the radiometric calibration factor. As a first application and further consistency check, we employed the calibration procedure to an extended set of NavCam images acquired at phase angles ranging from ˜1° to 55° in order to study the nucleus reflectance properties. From empirical model fits to the phase angle dependence we obtained values of 0.065 ± 0.003 for the geometric albedo and 0.019 ± 0.001 for the Bond albedo in the broad spectral sensitivity band of the camera.

  7. Global and Spatially Resolved Photometric Properties of the Nucleus of Comet 67P/C-G from OSIRIS Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, P.

    2014-04-01

    Following the successful wake-up of the ROSETTA spacecraft on 20 January 2014, the OSIRIS imaging system was fully re-commissioned at the end of March 2014 confirming its initial excellent performances. The OSIRIS instrument includes two cameras: the Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) and the Wide Angle Camera (WAC) with respective fieldsofview of 2.2° and 12°, both equipped with 2K by 2K CCD detectors and dual filter wheels. The NAC filters allow a spectral coverage of 270 to 990 nm tailored to the investigation of the mineralogical composition of the nucleus of comet P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko whereas those of the WAC (245-632 nm) aim at characterizing its coma [1]. The NAC has already secured a set of four complete light curves of the nucleus of 67P/C-G between 3 March and 24 April 2014 with a primary purpose of characterizing its rotational state. A preliminary spin period of 12.4 hours has been obtained, similar to its very first determination from a light curve obtained in 2003 with the Hubble space telescope [2]. The NAC and WAC will be recalibrated in the forthcoming weeks using the same stellar calibrators VEGA and the solar analog 16 Cyg B as for past inflight calibration campaigns in support of the flybys of asteroids Steins and Lutetia. This will allow comparing the pre- and post-hibernation performances of the cameras and correct the quantum efficiency response of the two CCD and the throughput for all channels (i.e., filters) if required. The accurate photometric analysis of the images requires utmost care due to several instrumental problems, the most severe and complex to handle being the presence of optical ghosts which result from multiple reflections on the two filters inserted in the optical beam and on the thick window which protects the CCD detector from cosmic ray impacts. These ghosts prominently appear as either slightly defocused images offset from the primary images or large round or elliptical halos. We will first present results on the global

  8. Suprathermal electrons near the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 3 AU: Model comparisons with Rosetta data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madanian, H.; Cravens, T. E.; Rahmati, A.; Goldstein, R.; Burch, J.; Eriksson, A. I.; Edberg, N. J. T.; Henri, P.; Mandt, K.; Clark, G.; Rubin, M.; Broiles, T.; Reedy, N. L.

    2016-06-01

    Observations of the coma near the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) made by the IES (Ion and Electron Sensor) instrument onboard the Rosetta Orbiter during late 2014 showed that electron fluxes greatly exceeded solar wind electron fluxes. The IES is part of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium. This paper reports on electron energy spectra measured by IES near the nucleus as well as approximate densities and average energies for the suprathermal electrons when the comet was at a heliocentric distance of about 3 AU. Comparisons are made with electron densities measured by other instruments. The high electron densities observed (e.g., ne ≈ 10-100 cm-3) must be associated with the cometary ion density enhancement created mainly by the photoionization of cometary gas by solar radiation; there are other processes that also contribute. Quasineutrality requires that the electron and ion densities be the same, and under certain conditions an ambipolar electric field is required to achieve quasi-neutrality. We present the results of a test particle model of cometary ion pickup by the solar wind and a two-stream electron transport code and use these results to interpret the IES data. We also estimate the effects on the electron spectrum of a compression of the electron fluid parcel. The electrons detected by IES can have energies as high as about 100-200 eV near the comet on some occasions, in which case the hot electrons can significantly enhance ionization rates of neutrals via impact ionization.

  9. Comet 67P Nucleus Water Ice Distribution and Evolution Inferred from Inner Coma Structure Seen by Rosetta/MIRO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seungwon; von Allmen, Paul; MIRO Team

    2016-10-01

    The spatial structure and temporal evolution of the inner coma of Comet 67P have been observed by Microwave Instrument on Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO) since the Rosetta Orbiter has rendezvoused with Comet 67P in August 2014. Among the several cometary gas emission lines that the MIRO spectrometer is tuned to, the water isotopologue H218O line is optically thin and is used to probe the inner coma structure as the MIRO beam scans the space near the comet nucleus. The water line area/strength shows clearly that the day side of coma has a lot more gas than the night side of coma and the summer hemisphere side of coma has a lot more gas than the winter hemisphere side of coma. These diurnal and seasonal dependencies strongly suggest that the water gas in the coma is from the sublimation of ice in the nucleus, where its rate greatly depends on the thermal condition of surface and near-surface governed by the sun illumination condition. In addition to the sun illumination condition, the water ice distribution on 67P nucleus affects the inner coma structure. We model the inner coma structures with various ice distributions and compare them with the observation. The comparison undoubtedly shows that the ice is not uniformly distributed on 67P nucleus. The observation favors the model with the ice distributed only in polar caps in both poles. The observation also shows the evidence of temporal evolution of the ice distribution. The southern polar ice cap was less active a few months before the perihelion (August 2015), became more active near the perihelion, and became less active a few months after the perihelion. Note that the ice cap activity change due to the temperature-dependent sublimation rate change is already taken into account, and does not explain the temporal variation of the inner coma structure. This result indicates that there was a change of ice distribution (polar cap size) or ice location near the surface (how deep the dust layer covers the ice).

  10. Water and Carbon Dioxide Ices-Rich Areas on Comet 67P/CG Nucleus Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filacchione, G.; Capaccioni, F.; Raponi, A.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Ciarniello, M.; Barucci, M. A.; Tosi, F.; Migliorini, A.; Capria, M. T.; Erard, S.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Leyrat, C.; Arnold, G.; Kappel, D.; McCord, T. B.

    2017-01-01

    fields ice grains [3]; 3) different combinations of water ice and dark terrain in intimate mixing with small grains (tens of microns) or in areal mixing with large grains (mm- sized) are seen on the eight bright areas discussed in [4]; 4) the CO2 ice in the Anhur region appears grouped in areal patches made of 50 μm sized grains [5]. While the spectroscopic identification of water and carbon dioxide ices is made by means of diagnostic infrared absorption features, their presence cause significant effects also at visible wavelengths, including the increase of the albedo and the reduction of the spectral slope which results in a more blue color [9,10]. In summary, thermodynamic conditions prevailing on the 67P/CG nucleus surface allow the presence of only H2O and CO2 ices. Similar properties are probably common among other Jupiter family comets.

  11. Dynamic Acquisition and Retrieval Tool (DART) for Comet Sample Return : Session: 2.06.Robotic Mobility and Sample Acquisition Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badescu, Mircea; Bonitz, Robert; Kulczycki, Erick; Aisen, Norman; Dandino, Charles M.; Cantrell, Brett S.; Gallagher, William; Shevin, Jesse; Ganino, Anthony; Haddad, Nicolas; Walkemeyer, Phillip; Backes, Paul; Shiraishi, Lori

    2013-01-01

    The 2011 Decadal Survey for planetary science released by the National Research Council of the National Academies identified Comet Surface Sample Return (CSSR) as one of five high priority potential New Frontiers-class missions in the next decade. The main objectives of the research described in this publication are: develop a concept for an end-to-end system for collecting and storing a comet sample to be returned to Earth; design, fabricate and test a prototype Dynamic Acquisition and Retrieval Tool (DART) capable of collecting 500 cc sample in a canister and eject the canister with a predetermined speed; identify a set of simulants with physical properties at room temperature that suitably match the physical properties of the comet surface as it would be sampled. We propose the use of a dart that would be launched from the spacecraft to impact and penetrate the comet surface. After collecting the sample, the sample canister would be ejected at a speed greater than the comet's escape velocity and captured by the spacecraft, packaged into a return capsule and returned to Earth. The dart would be composed of an inner tube or sample canister, an outer tube, a decelerator, a means of capturing and retaining the sample, and a mechanism to eject the canister with the sample for later rendezvous with the spacecraft. One of the significant unknowns is the physical properties of the comet surface. Based on new findings from the recent Deep Impact comet encounter mission, we have limited our search of solutions for sampling materials to materials with 10 to 100 kPa shear strength in loose or consolidated form. As the possible range of values for the comet surface temperature is also significantly different than room temperature and testing at conditions other than the room temperature can become resource intensive, we sought sample simulants with physical properties at room temperature similar to the expected physical properties of the comet surface material. The chosen

  12. Visibility of comet nuclei

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ney, E.P.

    1982-01-22

    Photography of the nucleus of comet Halley is the goal of several planned space missions. The nucleus of a comet is surrounded by a cloud of dust particles. If this cloud is optically thick, it will prevent observation of the nuclear surface. Broadband photometry of nine comets has been analyzed to determine the visibility of their nuclei. Only in the case of comet West near perihelion was the dust dense enough to interfere with imaging. Comparison of the visual brightness of the well-observed comets with that of Halley in 1910 leads to the conclusion that the nucleus of Halley can be imaged without significant obscuration by the dust.

  13. Infrared spectroscopy of comet 81P/Wild 2 samples returned by Stardust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Lindsay P; Bajt, Sasa; Baratta, Giuseppe A; Borg, Janet; Bradley, John P; Brownlee, Don E; Busemann, Henner; Brucato, John R; Burchell, Mark; Colangeli, Luigi; d'Hendecourt, Louis; Djouadi, Zahia; Ferrini, Gianluca; Flynn, George; Franchi, Ian A; Fries, Marc; Grady, Monica M; Graham, Giles A; Grossemy, Faustine; Kearsley, Anton; Matrajt, Graciela; Nakamura-Messenger, Keiko; Mennella, Vito; Nittler, Larry; Palumbo, Maria E; Stadermann, Frank J; Tsou, Peter; Rotundi, Alessandra; Sandford, Scott A; Snead, Christopher; Steele, Andrew; Wooden, Diane; Zolensky, Mike

    2006-12-15

    Infrared spectra of material captured from comet 81P/Wild 2 by the Stardust spacecraft reveal indigenous aliphatic hydrocarbons similar to those in interplanetary dust particles thought to be derived from comets, but with longer chain lengths than those observed in the diffuse interstellar medium. Similarly, the Stardust samples contain abundant amorphous silicates in addition to crystalline silicates such as olivine and pyroxene. The presence of crystalline silicates in Wild 2 is consistent with mixing of solar system and interstellar matter. No hydrous silicates or carbonate minerals were detected, which suggests a lack of aqueous processing of Wild 2 dust.

  14. How to best freeze liver samples to perform the in vivo mammalian alkaline comet assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Manuel Enciso Gadea

    2015-06-01

    None of the different methods used was capable of giving good results, except immersing the liver samples in liquid nitrogen, followed by Jackson’s et al. (2013 thawing protocol, suggesting that the thawing process may be as critical as the freezing process. To sum up, these results highlight the importance of deepening the possibility to perform the comet assay with frozen tissue.

  15. Geologic analysis of the Rosetta NavCam, Osiris and ROLIS images of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basilevsky, A. T.; Mall, U.; Keller, H. U.; Skorov, Yu. V.; Hviid, S. F.; Mottola, S.; Krasilnikov, S. S.; Dabrowski, B.

    2017-03-01

    This paper is based on geologic analysis of the surface morphology of nucleus of the Jupiter family comet 67P. This comet was visited by the ESA mission Rosetta, which escorted the comet since May 2014 till the end of September 2016 and studied it by 11 instruments of the mission orbiter and 10 instruments of the lander. The nucleus is 4 km in diameter, has a bilobate shape with the smaller (Head) and larger (Body) lobes, and the narrow neck between them. For the analysis, primarily images taken by the Rosetta Navigation camera (NavCam) were used and then complemented by selected images from the ROLIS and OSIRIS cameras. Two major types of the nucleus material are distinguished by us and other researchers: 1) the consolidated nucleus material and 2) the loose material, a kind of cometary regolith, covering the nucleus consolidated material. On the surface of the consolidated material rather long (up to hundreds meters) straight lineaments are distinguishable. They probably correspond to fractures and in some cases to strata. Their presence suggests that the consolidated material is rather compact and lacks voids larger than tens of meters across. Surfaces of consolidated nucleus material typically show knobby appearance at the scales from tens of meters and meters to centimeters and millimeters. This suggests that this material is grainy, consisting of more and less resistant (to surface weathering) ;particles; on the scale of the visible knobs. The geometric analysis of steep slopes based on the nucleus shape model allowed us to estimate a tensile, shear and compressive strength of the consolidated material. It was shown that the 67P consolidated nucleus material is very fragile, and taking into account the scale effect one can conclude that it is as fragile as fresh fallen snow and maybe even more fragile. In addition, estimates of the compressive strength of the surface material were considered at the sites of the first and the last contacts of the Philae lander

  16. Searching for Amino Acids in Meteorites and Comet Samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Jamie Elsila

    2010-01-01

    Chemistry plays an important role in the interdisciplinary field of astrobiology, which strives to understand the origin, distribution, and evolution of life throughout the universe. Chemical techniques are used to search for and characterize the basic ingredients for life, from the elements through simple molecules and up to the more complex compounds that may serve as the ingredients for life. The Astrobiology Analytical Laboratory at NASA Goddard uses state-of-the-art laboratory analytical instrumentation in unconventional ways to examine extraterrestrial materials and tackle some of the big questions in astrobiology. This talk will discuss some of the instrumentation and techniques used for these unique samples, as well as some of our most interesting results. The talk will present two areas of particular interest in our laboratory: (1) the search for chiral excesses in meteoritic amino acids, which may help to explain the origin of homochirality in life on Earth; and (2) the detection of amino acids and amines in material returned by NASA's Stardust mission, which rendevouzed with a cornet and brought back cometary particles to the Earth.

  17. Discrete sources of cryovolcanism on the nucleus of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann and their origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Richard

    2016-07-01

    Evidence for long-lived sources of cryovolcanism on the nucleus of the Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann has been found from a study of its times of outburst (t0) and the morphological development of inner coma structures. Analysis of data from the Minor Planet Center observations archive spanning 2002-2014 and other observations have yielded 64 outburst times of mainly well-observed events with a median timing uncertainty of 0.40 d. Outbursts comprise largely (i) isolated explosive events; or (ii) multiple outbursts occurring typically within 5-15 d of each other. On rare occasions, a form of continuous or gradually increasing activity is manifest, appearing to be the result of a series of mini-outbursts. Quasi-periodicity in t0 is manifested as an excess of outbursts every 52-60 d, along with a paucity of events every ∼30 d and ∼90 d. Seasonal changes in activity are evident from the temporal analysis of the outburst data. An unambiguous periodicity of 57.6 ± 0.4 d has been found in the times of 26 outbursts during 2010-2014, with all active sources at that time localised within a longitude span of ∼135-150°. Cluster analysis of t0 data for 2002-2010 and 2010-2014, and HST imaging from 1996 confirm and refine the apparent periodicity, indicating that outbursts appear to be grouped in longitude centred on at least 6 circumferential locations. Sources of activity generally persist for at least 10-20 yr, and some appear discrete in nature, able to re-outburst after a single day-night cycle. Given that outbursts are triggered by solar heating, the analysis yields a value for the mean solar day of 57.71 ± 0.06 d, equivalent to a sidereal rotation period of 57.09 ± 0.06 d, assuming the more probable prograde direction of spin. A novel outburst mechanism is outlined in which some cometary ices, principally solid CH4, confined under pressure (>12 kPa) beneath a stabilisation crust, begin to melt and absorb supervolatile gases, mainly CO and N2. These gases

  18. The prediction of the gas environment of the PHILAE probe during its 2014 descent to the nucleus of the comet 67P

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crifo, J.-F.; Zakharov, V. V.; Rodionov, A. V.; Lukyanov, G. A.

    2016-11-01

    One of the objectives of the ESA "ROSETTA" mission to the comet 67P was to insert, in August 2014, an orbiter probe around the so-called nucleus of the comet, and to deposit the "PHILAE" lander at the surface of the nucleus in November 2014. The selection of the landing site and the definition of the release point and initial descent velocity vector were made in the period August to October 2014 on the basis of simulations of the descent trajectory. This requested an assessment of the gravitational and aerodynamic forces on PHILAE. We here describe the so-called RZC model developed to predict the gas environment of 67P in November 2014 and compute the aerodynamic force. We first outline the unusual diffculties resulting from (1) the complexity of the nucleus surface on all scales, (2) the absence of direct measurements of the gas flux at the surface itself, (3) the time-dependence of the gas production induced by the fast nucleus rotation, (4) the need to perform the whole program within less than three months. Then we outline the physical approach adopted to overcome these diffculties, and describe the RZC model which included three differing tools: (1) a set of gasdynamic/gaskinetic codes to compute the vacuum outflow of a rarefied gas mixture from a highly aspherical rotating solid source; (2) an heuristic approach to deal with the solid/gas initial boundary conditions, and (3) an iterative procedure to derive the gas production parameters on the nucleus surface from the observational data acquired from the orbiter probe. The satisfactory operation of the RZC code in the weeks preceding the November 2014 PHILAE descent is shown, and the forecasted aerodynamic force during the PHILAE descent is compared to the gravitational force.

  19. Dust environment and dynamical history of a sample of short period comets

    CERN Document Server

    Pozuelos, F J; Aceituno, F; Casanova, V; Sota, A; López-Moreno, J J; Castellano, J; Reina, E; Diepvens, A; Betoret, A; Häusler, B; González, C; Rodríguez, D; Bryssinck, E; Cortés, E; García, F; García, F; Limón, F; Grau, F; Fratev, F; Baldrís, F; Rodriguez, F A; Montalbán, F; Soldán, F; Muler, G; Almendros, I; Temprano, J; Bel, J; Sánchez, J; Lopesino, J; Báez, J; Hernández, J F; Martín, J L; Ruiz, J M; Vidal, J R; Gaitán, J; Salto, J L; Aymamí, J M; Bosch, J M; Henríquez, J A; Martín, J J; Lacruz, J; Tremosa, L; Lahuerta, L; Reszelsky, M; Rodríguez, M; Camarasa, M; Campas, M; Canales, O; Dekelver, P J; Moreno, Q; Benavides, R; Naves, R; Dymoc, R; García, R; Lahuerta, S; Climent, T

    2014-01-01

    Aims. In this work, we present an extended study of the dust environment of a sample of short period comets and their dynamical history. With this aim, we characterized the dust tails when the comets are active, and we made a statistical study to determine their dynamical evolution. The targets selected were 22P/Kopff, 30P/Reinmuth 1, 78P/Gehrels 2, 115P/Maury, 118P/Shoemaker-Levy 4, 123P/West-Hartley, 157P/Tritton, 185/Petriew, and P/2011 W2 (Rinner). Methods. We use two different observational data: a set of images taken at the Observatorio de Sierra Nevada and the Afrho curves provided by the amateur astronomical association Cometas-Obs. To model these observations, we use our Monte Carlo dust tail code. From this analysis, we derive the dust parameters, which best describe the dust environment: dust loss rates, ejection velocities, and size distribution of particles. On the other hand, we use a numerical integrator to study the dynamical history of the comets, which allows us to determine with a 90% of co...

  20. Adaptation of G-TAG Software for Validating Touch-and-Go Comet Surface Sampling Design Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandic, Milan; Acikmese, Behcet; Blackmore, Lars

    2011-01-01

    The G-TAG software tool was developed under the R&TD on Integrated Autonomous Guidance, Navigation, and Control for Comet Sample Return, and represents a novel, multi-body dynamics simulation software tool for studying TAG sampling. The G-TAG multi-body simulation tool provides a simulation environment in which a Touch-and-Go (TAG) sampling event can be extensively tested. TAG sampling requires the spacecraft to descend to the surface, contact the surface with a sampling collection device, and then to ascend to a safe altitude. The TAG event lasts only a few seconds but is mission-critical with potentially high risk. Consequently, there is a need for the TAG event to be well characterized and studied by simulation and analysis in order for the proposal teams to converge on a reliable spacecraft design. This adaptation of the G-TAG tool was developed to support the Comet Odyssey proposal effort, and is specifically focused to address comet sample return missions. In this application, the spacecraft descends to and samples from the surface of a comet. Performance of the spacecraft during TAG is assessed based on survivability and sample collection performance. For the adaptation of the G-TAG simulation tool to comet scenarios, models are developed that accurately describe the properties of the spacecraft, approach trajectories, and descent velocities, as well as the models of the external forces and torques acting on the spacecraft. The adapted models of the spacecraft, descent profiles, and external sampling forces/torques were more sophisticated and customized for comets than those available in the basic G-TAG simulation tool. Scenarios implemented include the study of variations in requirements, spacecraft design (size, locations, etc. of the spacecraft components), and the environment (surface properties, slope, disturbances, etc.). The simulations, along with their visual representations using G-View, contributed to the Comet Odyssey New Frontiers proposal

  1. Physics of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Krishna Swamy, K S

    1997-01-01

    The study of Comet Halley in 1986 was a tremendous success for cometary science. In March of that year, six spacecrafts passed through Comet Halley as close as 600 km from the nucleus and made the in situ measurements of various kinds. These space missions to Comet Halley and that of the ICE spacecraft to Comet Giacobini-Zinner combined with studies, both ground-based and above the atmosphere, have increased our knowledge of cometary science in a dramatic way.This new edition of Physics of Comets incorporates these new and exciting findings. The emphasis of the book is on the physical processe

  2. COMET C/2011 W3 (LOVEJOY): ORBIT DETERMINATION, OUTBURSTS, DISINTEGRATION OF NUCLEUS, DUST-TAIL MORPHOLOGY, AND RELATIONSHIP TO NEW CLUSTER OF BRIGHT SUNGRAZERS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sekanina, Zdenek; Chodas, Paul W., E-mail: Zdenek.Sekanina@jpl.nasa.gov, E-mail: Paul.W.Chodas@jpl.nasa.gov [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2012-10-01

    We describe the physical and orbital properties of C/2011 W3. After surviving perihelion passage, the comet was observed to undergo major physical changes. The permanent loss of the nuclear condensation and the formation of a narrow spine tail were observed first at Malargue, Argentina, on December 20 and then systematically at Siding Spring, Australia. The process of disintegration culminated with a terminal fragmentation event on December 17.6 UT. The postperihelion dust tail, observed for {approx}3 months, was the product of activity over <2 days. The nucleus' breakup and crumbling were probably caused by thermal stress due to the penetration of the intense heat pulse deep into the nucleus' interior after perihelion. The same mechanism may be responsible for cascading fragmentation of sungrazers at large heliocentric distances. The delayed response to the hostile environment in the solar corona is at odds with the rubble-pile model, since the residual mass of the nucleus, estimated at {approx}10{sup 12} g (equivalent to a sphere 150-200 m across) just before the terminal event, still possessed nontrivial cohesive strength. The high production rates of atomic oxygen, observed shortly after perihelion, are compatible with a subkilometer-sized nucleus. The spine tail-the product of the terminal fragmentation-was a synchronic feature, whose brightest part contained submillimeter-sized dust grains, released at velocities of up to 30 m s{sup -1}. The loss of the nuclear condensation prevented an accurate orbital-period determination by traditional techniques. Since the missing nucleus must have been located on the synchrone, whose orientation and sunward tip have been measured, we compute the astrometric positions of this missing nucleus as the coordinates of the points of intersection of the spine tail's axis with the lines of forced orbital-period variation, derived from the orbital solutions based on high-quality preperihelion astrometry from the

  3. Studying the nucleus of comet 9P/Tempel 1 using the structure of the Deep Impact ejecta cloud at the early stages of its development

    CERN Document Server

    Kolokolova, Ludmilla; A`Hearn, Michael; King, Ashley; Wolff, Michael

    2016-01-01

    We present an attempt to extract information about the comet 9P/Tempel 1 nucleus from the characteristics of the ejecta cloud produced by the impactor of the Deep Impact mission. For this purpose we use two techniques. We first study the shadow cast on the nucleus surface by the ejecta cloud and investigate how areas of different brightness are related to the varying optical thickness or albedo of the ejecta cloud. The shadow was seen during the first 2.0 seconds after the impact (afterward it became obscured by the ejecta cloud). We have found that all brightness variations in the shadow are the result of the surface inhomogeneities, indicating that during first 2.0 seconds the ejecta cloud was homogeneous within the MRI spatial resolution. Our second technique is to study the obscuration of the nucleus limb by the ejecta. This study covers the period 0.76- 68.8 seconds after impact and is based on comparison of the ejecta cloud brightness on the limb and just beyond the limb. At this stage we do see inhomog...

  4. Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy): Orbit Determination, Outbursts, Disintegration of Nucleus, Dust-Tail Morphology, and Relationship to New Cluster of Bright Sungrazers

    CERN Document Server

    Sekanina, Zdenek

    2012-01-01

    We describe the physical and orbital properties of C/2011 W3. After surviving perihelion, the comet underwent major changes (permanent loss of nuclear condensation, formation of spine tail). The process of disintegration culminated with an outburst on December 17.6 (T+1.6 d) and this delayed response is inconsistent with the rubble pile model. Probable cause was thermal stress from the heat pulse into the nucleus after perihelion, which could also produce fragmentation of sungrazers far from the Sun. The spine tail was a synchronic feature, made up of dust released at <30 m/s. Since the nucleus would have been located on the synchrone, we computed the astrometric positions of the missing nucleus as the coordinates of the points of intersection of the spine tail's axis with lines of forced orbital-period variation, derived from orbital solutions based on preperihelion astrometry from the ground. The resulting osculating orbital period was 698+/-2 years, which proves that C/2011 W3 is the first major member ...

  5. Modeling the nucleus and jets of comet 81P/Wild 2 based on the Stardust encounter data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Zdenek; Brownlee, Donald E; Economou, Thanasis E; Tuzzolino, Anthony J; Green, Simon F

    2004-06-18

    We interpret the nucleus properties and jet activity from the Stardust spacecraft imaging and the onboard dust monitoring system data. Triangulation of 20 jets shows that 2 emanate from the nucleus dark side and 16 emanate from sources that are on slopes where the Sun's elevation is greater than predicted from the fitted triaxial ellipsoid. Seven sources, including five in the Mayo depression, coincide with relatively bright surface spots. Fitting the imaged jets, the spikelike temporal distribution of dust impacts indicates that the spacecraft crossed thin, densely populated sheets of particulate ejecta extending from small sources on the rotating nucleus, consistent with an emission cone model.

  6. Detection of changes of the surface morphology of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - Implications for the erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamy, Philippe; Groussin, Olivier; El-Maarry, M. R.; Faury, Guillaume; Auger, Anne-Thérèse

    2016-07-01

    Search for morphological changes at the surface of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67/P C-G) since its perihelion passage in August 2015 has been a major objective of the OSIRIS team in order to understand the erosion processes. At time of writing, the changes detected so far at a distance of 48 km (that is a pixel scale of 90 cm for the OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera) are subtle even in regions which were the most exposed to solar illumination around perihelion time: Imhotep, Khonsu and Khepry. In this presentation, we will concentrate on the Khepry region where several changes of different kinds have been positively detected: disappearance of several bright spots, localized receding of a large part (roughly 40 x 130 m) of the surface by approximately 12 m (that could result from either erosion or localized collapse), and appearance of several new boulders. As the Rosetta-comet distance will keep decreasing, we hope to report further changes at the COSPAR conference. We will finally confront quantitative estimates of the putative eroded mass with independent evidences coming from in-situ as well as remote-sensing observations carried over several past apparitions.

  7. Development and Testing of Harpoon-Based Approaches for Collecting Comet Samples (Video Supplement)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purves, Lloyd (Compiler); Nuth, Joseph (Compiler); Amatucci, Edward (Compiler); Wegel, Donald; Smith, Walter; Leary, James; Kee, Lake; Hill, Stuart; Grebenstein, Markus; Voelk, Stefan; hide

    2017-01-01

    This video supplement contains a set of videos created during the approximately 10-year-long course of developing and testing the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) harpoon-based approach for collecting comet samples. The purpose of the videos is to illustrate various design concepts used in this method of acquiring samples of comet material, the testing used to verify the concepts, and the evolution of designs and testing. To play the videos this PDF needs to be opened in the freeware Adobe Reader. They do not seem to play while within a browser. While this supplement can be used as a stand-alone document, it is intended to augment its parent document of the same title, Development and Testing of Harpoon-Based Approaches for Collecting Comet Samples (NASA/CR-2017-219018; this document is accessible from the website: https://ssed.gsfc.nasa.gov/harpoon/SAS_Paper-V1.pdf). The parent document, which only contains text and figures, describes the overall development and testing effort and contains references to each of the videos in this supplement. Thus, the videos are primarily intended to augment the information provided by the text and figures in the parent document. This approach was followed to allow the file size of the parent document to remain small enough to facilitate downloading and storage. Some of the videos were created by other organizations, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU APL) and the German Aerospace Center called, the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), who are partnering with GSFC on developing this technology. Each video is accompanied by text that provides a summary description of its nature and purpose, as well as the identity of the authors. All videos have been edited to only show key parts of the testing. Although not all videos have sound, the sound has been retained in those that have it. Also, each video has been given one or more title screens to clarify what is going in different phases of the video.

  8. Detection of exposed H2O ice on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. as observed by Rosetta OSIRIS and VIRTIS instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barucci, M. A.; Filacchione, G.; Fornasier, S.; Raponi, A.; Deshapriya, J. D. P.; Tosi, F.; Feller, C.; Ciarniello, M.; Sierks, H.; Capaccioni, F.; Pommerol, A.; Massironi, M.; Oklay, N.; Merlin, F.; Vincent, J.-B.; Fulchignoni, M.; Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Perna, D.; Capria, M. T.; Hasselmann, P. H.; Rousseau, B.; Barbieri, C.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Lamy, P. L.; De Sanctis, C.; Rodrigo, R.; Erard, S.; Koschny, D.; Leyrat, C.; Rickman, H.; Drossart, P.; Keller, H. U.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Arnold, G.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Bertini, I.; Cerroni, P.; Cremonese, G.; Da Deppo, V.; Davidsson, B. J. R.; El-Maarry, M. R.; Fonti, S.; Fulle, M.; Groussin, O.; Güttler, C.; Hviid, S. F.; Ip, W.; Jorda, L.; Kappel, D.; Knollenberg, J.; Kramm, J.-R.; Kührt, E.; Küppers, M.; Lara, L.; Lazzarin, M.; Lopez Moreno, J. J.; Mancarella, F.; Marzari, F.; Mottola, S.; Naletto, G.; Pajola, M.; Palomba, E.; Quirico, E.; Schmitt, B.; Thomas, N.; Tubiana, C.

    2016-11-01

    Context. Since the orbital insertion of the Rosetta spacecraft, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) has been mapped by OSIRIS camera and VIRTIS spectro-imager, producing a huge quantity of images and spectra of the comet's nucleus. Aims: The aim of this work is to search for the presence of H2O on the nucleus which, in general, appears very dark and rich in dehydrated organic material. After selecting images of the bright spots which could be good candidates to search for H2O ice, taken at high resolution by OSIRIS, we check for spectral cubes of the selected coordinates to identify these spots observed by VIRTIS. Methods: The selected OSIRIS images were processed with the OSIRIS standard pipeline and corrected for the illumination conditions for each pixel using the Lommel-Seeliger disk law. The spots with higher I/F were selected and then analysed spectrophotometrically and compared with the surrounding area. We selected 13 spots as good targets to be analysed by VIRTIS to search for the 2 μm absorption band of water ice in the VIRTIS spectral cubes. Results: Out of the 13 selected bright spots, eight of them present positive H2O ice detection on the VIRTIS data. A spectral analysis was performed and the approximate temperature of each spot was computed. The H2O ice content was confirmed by modeling the spectra with mixing (areal and intimate) of H2O ice and dark terrain, using Hapke's radiative transfer modeling. We also present a detailed analysis of the detected spots.

  9. Bright ice spots on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as observed by Rosetta OSIRIS and VIRTIS instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barucci, Maria Antonietta; Fulchignoni, Marcello; Pommerol, Antoine; Erard, Stéphane; Oklay, Nilda; Tosi, Federico; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Sierks, Holger; Filacchione, Gianrico; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Guettler, Carsten; Fornasier, Sonia; Raponi, Andrea; Deshapriya, J. D. P.; Feller, Clement; Ciarniello, Mauro; Leyrat, Cedric

    2016-07-01

    Since the Rosetta mission arrived at the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67/P C-G) on August 2014, the comet nucleus has been mapped by both OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System), and VIRTIS (Visible Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) acquiring a huge quantity of surface's images and spectra, producing the most detailed maps at the highest spatial resolution of a cometary nucleus. The OSIRIS imaging system (NAC & WAC) has a set of filters at different wavelengths from the ultraviolet (269 nm) to the near-infrared (989 nm). The OSIRIS imaging system has been the first instrument with the capability to map a comet surface at a high resolution reaching a maximum resolution of 11cm/px during the closest fly-by on February 14, 2015 at a distance of about 6 km from the nucleus surface while the VIRTIS spectro-imager (with two channels M and H) operates from 0.25 to 5m with medium and high spectral resolution. The spectral analysis on global scale from the VIRTIS data indicates that the nucleus presents different terrains covered by a very dark and dehydrated organic-rich material [1]. OSIRIS images indicate a morphologically complex and dark surface with a variety of terrain types and several intricate features [2]. The surface shows albedo variation and from the spectrophotometric analysis a large heterogeneity on the surface properties [3, 4, 5]. Limited evidences of exposed H2O ice have been found on the surface of 67/P C-G up to now [6, 7, 8], even though ices are considered to be a major constituent of cometary nuclei. The aim of this work is, taking advantage of the high resolution of the OSIRIS images, i) to detect the bright spots at all dimensions by albedo and spectral slope analyses, ii) to select those spots which could be resolved by VIRTIS and iii ) to deeply analyse the corresponding spectra. The OSIRIS analysis has been carried out on the colours and spectrophotometry of the whole 67/P C-G nucleus from images acquired

  10. LCOGT Network observations of spacecraft target comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lister, Tim; Knight, Matthew M.; Snodgrass, Colin; Samarasinha, Nalin H.

    2015-01-01

    Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope (LCOGT) network currently has 12 telescopes at 6 locations in the northern and southern hemispheres with expansion plans for more. This network is versatile and can respond rapidly to target of opportunity events and also perform long term monitoring of slowly changing astronomical phenomena.We have been using the LCOGT Network to perform photometric monitoring of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to support the ESA Rosetta comet mission and of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) as part of the ground-based observation teams for these important comets. This broadband photometry will allow a vital link between the detailed in-situ measurements made by the spacecraft and the global properties of the coma, at a time when the comet is only visible for short periods from single sites. The science we can extract includes the rotational state of the nucleus, characterization of the nucleus' activity, gas and dust properties in the coma (e.g., outflow velocities), chemical origin of gas species in the coma, and temporal behavior of the coma structure when the comet is close to the sun. Comet Siding Spring is a dynamically new comet on its first approach to the Sun that will pass close to Mars, so we can directly sample the composition of an original unaltered remnant of the protoplanetary disc. We will also be making use of specialized comet filters available at LCOGT's 2-m Faulkes Telescope North (FTN) to obtain a unique data set on comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring), as part of a large worldwide campaign. As one of only two robotic telescope equipped with cometary narrowband filters in the Northern hemisphere and having the largest aperture plus a high quality site, FTN can provide critical regular monitoring that cannot be achieved by any other single facility in the campaign.

  11. Analysis of R-band observations of an outburst of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 to place constraints on the nucleus' rotation state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schambeau, Charles A.; Fernández, Yanga R.; Samarasinha, Nalin H.; Mueller, Beatrice E. A.; Woodney, Laura M.

    2017-03-01

    We present analysis of five nights of R-band observations of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (SW1) taken on September 2008 which show the comet undergoing an outburst. Coma morphology shows a projected asymmetric shell of material expanding radially and four linear features on the northern side of the coma at position angles 37°, 78°, 300°, and 353°. Using the measured projected radial outflow velocity of 0.11 ±0.02 km/s for the shell material, we calculate an outburst time of UT 2008-09-21.03 ±0.95 days. By tracking the inner and outer extent of the northern linear features, we found that the features are fully contained within the expanding shell of material. This suggested both shell and linear features originated during the same event and activity originating from different regions on the nuclear surface are not necessary to generate both types of morphological structure observed. A 3-D Monte Carlo coma model was used to model the outburst. Morphological features present in the observations were modeled allowing constraints to be placed on the spin state of SW1's nucleus. The evolution of morphological features allows constraints on the rotation period P assuming an outburst duration Δt and the spin period constraints are expressed in terms of their ratio P/Δt. Since the spin-pole orientation could not be constrained, four spin-pole orientations were chosen for modeling the coma. Spin-period constraints for each assumed pole orientation are discussed. Overall, modeling suggested either a spin period on the order of days, a spin-pole orientation nearly along the sub-Earth direction, or a combination of both. To place an independent constraint on the outburst duration, radial surface-brightness profiles of the observations were compared with profiles from synthetic models, giving an upper-limit of Δt ≤ 1.5 days. Longer outbursts resulted in a higher number of dust grains in close proximity to the nucleus during the observations and a profile slope too

  12. Using Paraffin PCM, Cryogel and TEC to Maintain Comet Surface Sample Cold from Earth Approach Through Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Michael K.

    2017-01-01

    An innovative thermal design concept to maintain comet surface samples cold (for example, 263 degrees Kelvin, 243 degrees Kelvin or 223 degrees Kelvin) from Earth approach through retrieval is presented. It uses paraffin phase change material (PCM), Cryogel insulation and thermoelectric cooler (TEC), which are commercially available.

  13. Gas chromatography for space exploration : application to the in situ analysis of Titan's atmosphere, comets nucleus and martian soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sternberg, R.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Mettetal, F.; Coscia, D.; Coll, P.; Cabane, M.; Rodier, C.; Vidal-Madjar, C.; Raulin, F.

    Gas chromatography is one of the most powerful technique for the in situ chemical investigation of extraterrestrial environments Its successful use in past planetary missions to Mars 1976-78 and Venus 1978-85 made it the main method selected for the in situ molecular characterization of the Titan s atmosphere comets and the Martian soil Indeed gas chromatography fully meet the severe constraints required in space instrumentation such as small weight and size low power consumption high mechanical strength and resistance to deep space conditions vacuum cosmic rays This paper presents the gas chromatographic subsystems which have been developed at LISA and SA respectively for the Huygens probe of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Titan 1 the Philae probe of the Rosetta mission to a comet 2 and the future landing probe of the MSL 2009 mission to Mars 3 The coupling of these GC subsystems with pyrolysis and chemical derivatization techniques allows the chemical analysis of a wide range of molecules including non-volatiles complex organics such as aminoacides and nucleobases the search of wich is of particular interest for exobiology The analytical capabilities of these subsystems with a particular emphasis of their exobiological aspects and implications are described 1 G Israel C Szopa F Raulin M Cabane P Coll R Sternberg et al Nature vol438 796-799 2005 2 C Szopa R Sternberg F Raulin and H Rosenbauer PSS 863-877 2003 3 Cabane M P Coll C Szopa G Isra e l F Raulin

  14. THE NUCLEUS OF COMET 10P/TEMPEL 2 IN 2013 AND CONSEQUENCES REGARDING ITS ROTATIONAL STATE: EARLY SCIENCE FROM THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL TELESCOPE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schleicher, David G.; Knight, Matthew M.; Levine, Stephen E., E-mail: dgs@lowell.edu [Lowell Observatory, 1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States)

    2013-11-01

    We present new lightcurve measurements of Comet 10P/Tempel 2 carried out with Lowell Observatory's Discovery Channel Telescope in early 2013 when the comet was at aphelion. These data represent some of the first science obtained with this new 4.3 m facility. With Tempel 2 having been observed to exhibit a small but ongoing spin-down in its rotation period for over two decades, our primary goals at this time were two-fold. First, to determine its current rotation period and compare it to that measured shortly after its most recent perihelion passage in 2010, and second, to disentangle the spin-down from synodic effects due to the solar day and Earth's orbital motion and to determine the sense of rotation, i.e., prograde or retrograde. At our midpoint of 2013 February 24, the observed synodic period is 8.948 ± 0.001 hr, exactly matching the predicted prograde rotation solution based on 2010 results, and yields a sidereal period of the identical value due to the solar and Earth synodic components just canceling out during the interval of the 2013 observations. The retrograde solution is ruled out because the associated sidereal periods in 2010 and 2013 are quite different even though we know that extremely little outgassing, needed to produce torques, occurred in this interval. With a definitive sense of rotation, the specific amounts of spin-down to the sidereal period could be assessed. The nominal values imply that the rate of spin-down has decreased over time, consistent with the secular drop in water production since 1988. Our data also exhibited an unexpectedly small lightcurve amplitude which appears to be associated with viewing from a large, negative sub-Earth latitude, and a lightcurve shape deviating from a simple sinusoid implying a highly irregularly shaped nucleus.

  15. Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy): Orbit Determination, Outbursts, Disintegration of Nucleus, Dust-tail Morphology, and Relationship to New Cluster of Bright Sungrazers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Zdenek; Chodas, Paul W.

    2012-10-01

    We describe the physical and orbital properties of C/2011 W3. After surviving perihelion passage, the comet was observed to undergo major physical changes. The permanent loss of the nuclear condensation and the formation of a narrow spine tail were observed first at Malargue, Argentina, on December 20 and then systematically at Siding Spring, Australia. The process of disintegration culminated with a terminal fragmentation event on December 17.6 UT. The postperihelion dust tail, observed for ~3 months, was the product of activity over spine tail—the product of the terminal fragmentation—was a synchronic feature, whose brightest part contained submillimeter-sized dust grains, released at velocities of up to 30 m s-1. The loss of the nuclear condensation prevented an accurate orbital-period determination by traditional techniques. Since the missing nucleus must have been located on the synchrone, whose orientation and sunward tip have been measured, we compute the astrometric positions of this missing nucleus as the coordinates of the points of intersection of the spine tail's axis with the lines of forced orbital-period variation, derived from the orbital solutions based on high-quality preperihelion astrometry from the ground. The resulting orbit gives 698 ± 2 yr for the osculating orbital period, showing that C/2011 W3 is the first member of the expected new, 21st-century cluster of bright Kreutz-system sungrazers, whose existence was predicted by these authors in 2007. From the spine tail's evolution, we determine that its measured tip, populated by dust particles 1-2 mm in diameter, receded antisunward from the computed position of the missing nucleus. The bizarre appearance of the comet's dust tail in images taken only hours after perihelion with the coronagraphs on board the SOHO and STEREO spacecraft is readily understood. The disconnection of the comet's head from the tail released before perihelion and an apparent activity attenuation near perihelion

  16. Cloud condensation nucleus counter by impactor sampling technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohtake, T.

    1981-01-01

    Unlike typical CCN counters, this device counts the numbers of water droplets condensed on aerosol particles sampled on a microcover glass at various different relative humidities. The relative humidities ranged from 75 percent to a calculated value of 110 percent. A schematic of the apparatus is shown. The individual CCN can be identified in an optical micrograph and scanning electron micrograph and may be inspected for their chemical composition later.

  17. Autonomous Onboard Science Data Analysis for Comet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David R.; Tran, Daniel Q.; McLaren, David; Chien, Steve A.; Bergman, Larry; Castano, Rebecca; Doyle, Richard; Estlin, Tara; Lenda, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    Coming years will bring several comet rendezvous missions. The Rosetta spacecraft arrives at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. Subsequent rendezvous might include a mission such as the proposed Comet Hopper with multiple surface landings, as well as Comet Nucleus Sample Return (CNSR) and Coma Rendezvous and Sample Return (CRSR). These encounters will begin to shed light on a population that, despite several previous flybys, remains mysterious and poorly understood. Scientists still have little direct knowledge of interactions between the nucleus and coma, their variation across different comets or their evolution over time. Activity may change on short timescales so it is challenging to characterize with scripted data acquisition. Here we investigate automatic onboard image analysis that could act faster than round-trip light time to capture unexpected outbursts and plume activity. We describe one edge-based method for detect comet nuclei and plumes, and test the approach on an existing catalog of comet images. Finally, we quantify benefits to specific measurement objectives by simulating a basic plume monitoring campaign.

  18. Carbon XANES Data from Six Aerogel Picokeystones Cut from the Top and Bottom Sides of the Stardust Comet Sample Tray

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wirick, S.; Flynn, G. J.; Frank, D.; Sandford, S. A.; Zolensky, M. E.; Tsou, P.; Peltzer, C.; Jacobsen, C.

    2009-01-01

    Great care and a large effort was made to minimize the amount of organic matter contained within the flight aerogel used to collect Comet 81P/Wild 2 samples. Even so, by the very nature of the production process and silica aerogel s affinity for volatile organics keeping silica aerogel free from organics is a monumental task. Silica aerogel from three production batches was flown on the Stardust sample return mission. All 3 types had layered densities varying from 5mg/ml to 50 mg/ml where the densest aerogel was farthest away from the collection area. A 2 step gelation process was used to make the flight aerogel and organics used in this process were tetraethylorthosilicate, ethanol and acetonitrile. Both ammonium hydroxide and nitric acid were also used in the aerogel production process. The flight aerogel was baked at JPL at 300 C for 72 hours, most of the baking was done at atmosphere but twice a day the oven was pumped to 10 torr for hour [1]. After the aerogel was baked it was stored in a nitrogen purged cabinet until flight time. One aerogel cell was located in the SRC away from any sample collection area as a witness to possible contamination from out gassing of the space craft, re-entry gases and any other organic encounter. This aerogel was aerogel used in the interstellar collection sample tray and is the least dense of the 3 batches of aerogel flown. Organics found in the witness tile include organics containing Si-CH3 bonds, amines and PAHS. Besides organic contamination, hot spots of calcium were reported in the flight aerogel. Carbonates have been detected in comet 81P/Wild2 samples . During preflight analyses, no technique was used to analyze for carbonates in aerogel. To determine if the carbonates found in 81P/Wild2 samples were from the comet, it is necessary to analyze the flight aerogel for carbonate as well as for organics.

  19. Comets and their origin the tools to decipher a comet

    CERN Document Server

    Meierhenrich, Uwe

    2014-01-01

    Divided into two parts, the first four chapters of Comets and their Origin refer to comets and their formation in general, describing cometary missions, comet remote observations, astrochemistry, artificial comets, and the chirality phenomenon.The second part covers the cometary Rosetta mission, its launch, journey, scientific objectives, and instrumentations, as well as the landing scenario on a cometary nucleus. Along the way, the author presents general questions concerning the origin of terrestrial water and the molecular beginnings of lifeon Earth, as well as how the instruments used on

  20. Elemental compositions of comet 81P/Wild 2 samples collected by Stardust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, George J; Bleuet, Pierre; Borg, Janet; Bradley, John P; Brenker, Frank E; Brennan, Sean; Bridges, John; Brownlee, Don E; Bullock, Emma S; Burghammer, Manfred; Clark, Benton C; Dai, Zu Rong; Daghlian, Charles P; Djouadi, Zahia; Fakra, Sirine; Ferroir, Tristan; Floss, Christine; Franchi, Ian A; Gainsforth, Zack; Gallien, Jean-Paul; Gillet, Philippe; Grant, Patrick G; Graham, Giles A; Green, Simon F; Grossemy, Faustine; Heck, Philipp R; Herzog, Gregory F; Hoppe, Peter; Hörz, Friedrich; Huth, Joachim; Ignatyev, Konstantin; Ishii, Hope A; Janssens, Koen; Joswiak, David; Kearsley, Anton T; Khodja, Hicham; Lanzirotti, Antonio; Leitner, Jan; Lemelle, Laurence; Leroux, Hugues; Luening, Katharina; Macpherson, Glenn J; Marhas, Kuljeet K; Marcus, Matthew A; Matrajt, Graciela; Nakamura, Tomoki; Nakamura-Messenger, Keiko; Nakano, Tsukasa; Newville, Matthew; Papanastassiou, Dimitri A; Pianetta, Piero; Rao, William; Riekel, Christian; Rietmeijer, Frans J M; Rost, Detlef; Schwandt, Craig S; See, Thomas H; Sheffield-Parker, Julie; Simionovici, Alexandre; Sitnitsky, Ilona; Snead, Christopher J; Stadermann, Frank J; Stephan, Thomas; Stroud, Rhonda M; Susini, Jean; Suzuki, Yoshio; Sutton, Stephen R; Taylor, Susan; Teslich, Nick; Troadec, D; Tsou, Peter; Tsuchiyama, Akira; Uesugi, Kentaro; Vekemans, Bart; Vicenzi, Edward P; Vincze, Laszlo; Westphal, Andrew J; Wozniakiewicz, Penelope; Zinner, Ernst; Zolensky, Michael E

    2006-12-15

    We measured the elemental compositions of material from 23 particles in aerogel and from residue in seven craters in aluminum foil that was collected during passage of the Stardust spacecraft through the coma of comet 81P/Wild 2. These particles are chemically heterogeneous at the largest size scale analyzed ( approximately 180 ng). The mean elemental composition of this Wild 2 material is consistent with the CI meteorite composition, which is thought to represent the bulk composition of the solar system, for the elements Mg, Si, Mn, Fe, and Ni to 35%, and for Ca and Ti to 60%. The elements Cu, Zn, and Ga appear enriched in this Wild 2 material, which suggests that the CI meteorites may not represent the solar system composition for these moderately volatile minor elements.

  1. A Creaking and Cracking Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Stardust Curation at Johnson Space Center: Photo Documentation and Sample Processing of Submicron Dust Samples from Comet Wild 2 for Meteoritics Science Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Zolensky, M. E.; Bastien, R.; See, T. H.; Warren, J. L.; Bevill, T. J.; Cardenas, F.; Vidonic, L. F.; Horz, F.; McNamara, K. M.; Allen, C. C.; Westphal, A. J.; Snead, C.; Ishii, H. A.; Brownlee, D.

    2007-01-01

    Dust particles released from comet 81P/Wild-2 were captured in silica aerogel on-board the STARDUST spacecraft and successfully returned to the Earth on January 15, 2006. STARDUST recovered thousands of particles ranging in size from 1 to 100 micrometers. The analysis of these samples is complicated by the small total mass collected ( < 1mg), its entrainment in the aerogel collection medium, and the fact that the cometary dust is comprised of submicrometer minerals and carbonaceous material. During the six month Preliminary Examination period, 75 tracks were extracted from the aerogel cells , but only 25 cometary residues were comprehensively studied by an international consortium of 180 scientists who investigated their mineralogy/petrology, organic/inorganic chemistry, optical properties and isotopic compositions. These detailed studies were made possible by sophisticated sample preparation methods developed for the STARDUST mission and by recent major advances in the sensitivity and spatial resolution of analytical instruments.

  3. Comet LINEAR Splits Further

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-05-01

    Third Nucleus Observed with the VLT Summary New images from the VLT show that one of the two nuclei of Comet LINEAR (C/2001 A2), now about 100 million km from the Earth, has just split into at least two pieces . The three fragments are now moving through space in nearly parallel orbits while they slowly drift apart. This comet will pass through its perihelion (nearest point to the Sun) on May 25, 2001, at a distance of about 116 million kilometres. It has brightened considerably due to the splitting of its "dirty snowball" nucleus and can now be seen with the unaided eye by observers in the southern hemisphere as a faint object in the southern constellation of Lepus (The Hare). PR Photo 18a/01 : Three nuclei of Comet LINEAR . PR Photo 18b/01 : The break-up of Comet LINEAR (false-colour). Comet LINEAR splits and brightens ESO PR Photo 18a/01 ESO PR Photo 18a/01 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 438 pix - 55k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 875 pix - 136k] ESO PR Photo 18b/01 ESO PR Photo 18b/01 [Preview - JPEG: 367 x 400 pix - 112k] [Normal - JPEG: 734 x 800 pix - 272k] Caption : ESO PR Photo 18a/01 shows the three nuclei of Comet LINEAR (C/2001 A2). It is a reproduction of a 1-min exposure in red light, obtained in the early evening of May 16, 2001, with the 8.2-m VLT YEPUN (UT4) telescope at Paranal. ESO PR Photo 18b/01 shows the same image, but in a false-colour rendering for more clarity. The cometary fragment "B" (right) has split into "B1" and "B2" (separation about 1 arcsec, or 500 km) while fragment "A" (upper left) is considerably fainter. Technical information about these photos is available below. Comet LINEAR was discovered on January 3, 2001, and designated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) as C/2001 A2 (see IAU Circular 7564 [1]). Six weeks ago, it was suddenly observed to brighten (IAUC 7605 [1]). Amateurs all over the world saw the comparatively faint comet reaching naked-eye magnitude and soon thereafter, observations with professional telescopes indicated

  4. Atlas of Great Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Anatomy of a Busted Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 that travels along with the

  6. Infrared observations of comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanner, Martha S.

    1991-01-01

    Selected comets are observed in the near infrared (1 to 2.2 micron) and thermal infrared (3.5 to 20 micron) with the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) and other telescopes as appropriate, in order to characterize the physical properties of the dust grains; their composition, size distribution, emissivity, and albedo. Systematic variations in these properties among comets are looked for, in order to understand the heterogeneity of comet nuclei. Spectrophotometry of the 10 micron silicate emission feature is particularly emphasized. The rate of dust production from the nucleus and its temporal variability are also determined. Knowledge of the dust environment is essential to S/C design and mission planning for NASA's CRAF mission.

  7. Debiasing the NEOWISE Cryogenic Mission Comet Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, James M.; Grav, Tommy; Fernández, Yanga R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Kramer, Emily A.; Masiero, Joseph R.; Spahr, Timothy; Nugent, C. R.; Stevenson, Rachel A.; Meech, Karen J.; Cutri, Roc M.; Lisse, Carey M.; Walker, Russell; Dailey, John W.; Rosser, Joshua; Krings, Phillip; Ruecker, Kinjal; Wright, Edward L.; the NEOWISE Team

    2017-08-01

    We use NEOWISE data from the four-band and three-band cryogenic phases of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer mission to constrain size distributions of the comet populations and debias measurements of the short- and long-period comet (LPC) populations. We find that the fit to the debiased LPC population yields a cumulative size-frequency distribution (SFD) power-law slope (β) of -1.0 ± 0.1, while the debiased Jupiter-family comet (JFC) SFD has a steeper slope with β = -2.3 ± 0.2. The JFCs in our debiased sample yielded a mean nucleus size of 1.3 km in diameter, while the LPCs’ mean size is roughly twice as large, 2.1 km, yielding mean size ratios ( / ) that differ by a factor of 1.6. Over the course of the 8 months of the survey, our results indicate that the number of LPCs passing within 1.5 au are a factor of several higher than previous estimates, while JFCs are within the previous range of estimates of a few thousand down to sizes near 1.3 km in diameter. Finally, we also observe evidence for structure in the orbital distribution of LPCs, with an overdensity of comets clustered near 110° inclination and perihelion near 2.9 au that is not attributable to observational bias.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. A Comet's Missing Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-05-01

    comets experienced very similar radiation fields as they passed perihelion. They also show that the properties of the Suns corona experienced by each comet like its density and magnetic field topology were roughly the same.Bryans and Pesnell argue that, as both comets appear to have encountered similar solar conditions, the most likely explanation for ISONs lack of detectable EUV emission is that it didnt deposit as much material in its orbit as Lovejoy did. They show that this would happen if ISONs nucleus were four times smaller in radius than Lovejoys, spanning a mere 5070 meters in comparison to Lovejoys 200300 meters.This conclusion is consistent with white-light observations of ISON that suggest that, though it might have started out significantly larger than Lovejoy, ISON underwent dramatic mass loss as it approached the Sun. By the time it arrived at perihelion, it was likely no longer large enough to create a strong EUV signal resulting in the non-detection of this elusive comet with SDO and other telescopes.CitationPaul Bryans and W. Dean Pesnell 2016 ApJ 822 77. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/822/2/77

  10. THE SPLITTING OF COMET HALLEY

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chen Daohan; Liu Linzhong; Alan Gilmore

    2000-01-01

    In combination with the authors previous obsewation about the splitting of Comet Halley in March 1986, the events involving the sharp, straight feature in the antisolar direction observed in the head of Comet Halley in 1910 (such as those occurring on May 14, 25 and 31, and June 2) are rediscussed The analysis leads to the following scenario: When Comet Halley explodes and splits, a fragment jettisoned or thrown off from the nucleus will, after moving in the direction of its tail, develop into a mini-comet. Although not well developed or permanent, it has its own plasma tail and, sometimes, a dust tail. If Bobrovnikoffs definition of a secondary nucleus is assumed, then the fragment should be considered as a real secondary nucleus. It seems that the current idea of a tailward jet suggested by Sekanina and Larson is a wrong explanation for the plasma tail of a mini-comet and hence the rotation period of 52-53h for Comet Halley is doubtful

  11. The splitting of Comet Halley

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈道汉; 刘麟仲; Alan Gilmore

    1995-01-01

    In combination with the authors’ previous observation about the splitting of Comet Halley in March 1986, the events involving the sharp, straight feature in the antisolar direction observed in the bead of Comet Halley in 1910 (such as those occurring on May 14, 25 and 31, and June 2) are rediscussed. The analysis leads to the following scenario: When Comet Halley explodes and splits, a fragment jettisoned or thrown off from the nucleus will, after moving in the direction of its tail, develop into a mini-comet. Although not well developed or permanent, it has its own plasma tail and, sometimes, a dust tail. If Bobrovnikoff’s definition of a secondary nucleus is assumed, then the fragment should be considered as a real secondary nucleus. It seems that the current idea of a tailward jet suggested by Sekanina and Larson is a wrong explanation for the plasma tail of a mini-comet and hence the rotation period of 52- 53 h for Comet Halley is doubtful.

  12. Great Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Maverick Comet Splits during Dramatic Outburst

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. Comet mission hopes to uncover Earth's origins

    CERN Multimedia

    Henderson, M

    2004-01-01

    "A European spacecraft that will hunt down a comet in search of clues to the origin of life on Earth will blast off tomorrow from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. The Rosetta probe will take 12 years to catch up with Churyumov-Gerasimenko before becoming the first spacecraft to make a soft, controlled landing on a comet's nucleus" (1 page).

  15. Laboratory Studies of Cometary Materials - Continuity Between Asteroid and Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, Scott; Walker, Robert M.

    2015-01-01

    Laboratory analysis of cometary samples have been enabled by collection of cometary dust in the stratosphere by high altitude aircraft and by the direct sampling of the comet Wild-2 coma by the NASA Stardust spacecraft. Cometary materials are composed of a complex assemblage of highly primitive, unprocessed interstellar and primordial solar system materials as well as a variety of high temperature phases that must have condensed in the inner regions of the protoplanetary disk. These findings support and contradict conclusions of comet properties based solely on astronomical observations. These sample return missions have instead shown that there is a continuity of properties between comets and asteroids, where both types of materials show evidence for primitive and processed materials. Furthermore, these findings underscore the importance and value of direct sample return. There will be great value in comparing the findings of the Stardust cometary coma sample return mission with those of future asteroid surface sample returns OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa II as well as future comet nucleus sample returns.

  16. Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis (PGAA): Technique of choice for nondestructive bulk analysis of returned comet samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, David J.; Lindstrom, Richard M.

    1989-01-01

    Prompt gamma activation analysis (PGAA) is a well-developed analytical technique. The technique involves irradiation of samples in an external neutron beam from a nuclear reactor, with simultaneous counting of gamma rays produced in the sample by neutron capture. Capture of neutrons leads to excited nuclei which decay immediately with the emission of energetic gamma rays to the ground state. PGAA has several advantages over other techniques for the analysis of cometary materials: (1) It is nondestructive; (2) It can be used to determine abundances of a wide variety of elements, including most major and minor elements (Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni), volatiles (H, C, N, F, Cl, S), and some trace elements (those with high neutron capture cross sections, including B, Cd, Nd, Sm, and Gd); and (3) It is a true bulk analysis technique. Recent developments should improve the technique's sensitivity and accuracy considerably.

  17. The Nucleus of Comet 10P/Tempel 2 in 2013 and Consequences Regarding Its Rotational State: Early Science from the Discovery Channel Telescope

    CERN Document Server

    Schleicher, David G; Levine, Stephen E

    2013-01-01

    We present new lightcurve measurements of Comet 10P/Tempel 2 carried out with Lowell Observatory's Discovery Channel Telescope in early 2013 when the comet was at aphelion. These data represent some of the first science obtained with this new 4.3-m facility. With Tempel 2 having been observed to exhibit a small but ongoing spin-down in its rotation period for over two decades, our primary goals at this time were two-fold. First, to determine its current rotation period and compare it to that measured shortly after its most recent perihelion passage in 2010, and second, to disentangle the spin-down from synodic effects due to the solar day and the Earth's orbital motion and to determine the sense of rotation, i.e. prograde or retrograde. At our midpoint of 2013 Feb 24, the observed synodic period is 8.948+/-0.001 hr, exactly matching the predicted prograde rotation solution based on 2010 results, and yields a sidereal period of the identical value due to the solar and Earth synodic components just canceling ou...

  18. Rosetta following a living comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Fine-Gained CAIs in Comet Samples: Moderate Refractory Character and Comparison to Small Refractory Inclusions in Chondrites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joswiak, D. J.; Brownlee, D. E.; Nguyen, A. N.; Messenger, S

    2017-01-01

    Examination of >200 comet Wild 2 particles collected by the Stardust (SD) mission shows that the CAI abundance of comet Wild 2's rocky material is near 1% and that nearly 50% of all bulbous tracks will contain at least one recognizable CAI fragment. A similar abundance to Wild 2 is found in a giant cluster IDP thought to be of cometary origin. The properties of these CAIs and their comparison with meteoritic CAIs provide important clues on the role of CAIs in the early Solar System (SS) and how they were transported to the edge of the solar nebula where Kuiper Belt comets formed. Previously, only two CAIs in comet Wild 2 had been identified and studied in detail. Here we present 2 new Wild 2 CAIs and 2 from a giant cluster cometary IDP, describe their mineralogical characteristics and show that they are most analogous to nodules in spinel-rich, fine-grained inclusions (FGIs) observed in CV3 and other chondrites. Additionally, we present new O isotope measurements from one CAI from comet Wild 2 and show that its oxygen isotopic composition is similar to some FGIs. This is only the second CAI from Wild 2 in which O isotopes have been measured.

  20. The World of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillemin, Amédée; Glaisher, James

    2010-10-01

    1. Beliefs and superstitions relative to comets; 2. Cometary astronomy up to the time of Newton; 3. The motions and orbits of comets; 4. Periodical comets; 5. Periodical comets; 6. The world of comets and cometary systems; 7. Physical and chemical constitution of comets; 8. Physical transformations of comets; 9. Mass and density of comets; 10. The light of comets; 11. Theory of cometary phenomena; 12. Comets and shooting stars; 13. Comets and the earth; 14. Physical influences of comets; 15. Some questions about comets; Tables.

  1. Observations performed by the SESAME/Permittivity Probe during the descent and after the landing of Philae upon the nucleus of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Walter; Le Gall, Alice; Hamelin, Michel; Caujolle-Bert, Sylvain; Lethuillier, Anthony; Ciarletti, Valerie; Grard, Réjean

    2015-04-01

    The Permittivity Probe (PP), a component of the SESAME instrument on board Rosetta's Lander Philae, was operated prior to the separation of Philae from Rosetta, during the descent and at the location of the final landing site. The working principle of PP consists in measuring, with a receiving dipole, the voltage induced in the medium by a current of known phase and amplitude injected by a transmitting antenna. The primary objective of PP is to analyse the electrical properties of the comet surface material down to a depth of about 2 m, and to record their variations with temperature, solar illumination and heliocentric distance. These observations are particularly sensitive to the concentration of water ice at the landing site. The second objective of the instrument is to monitor the spectrum of the electromagnetic and electrostatic waves generated by the interaction between the comet and the solar wind at frequencies of up to 20 kHz. The measurements performed during the descent were mainly devoted to the calibration of the instrument in its nominal configuration, with deployed landing gear and away from the Rosetta spacecraft influence, in an environment of known permittivity, either a vacuum or a plasma whose density and temperature would have been derived from the LAP and MIP data. This approach is unfortunately invalidated owing to the fact the PP receiver was most of the time saturated by the operation of the CONSERT radar during the descent, an interference which seemed to have been minimized during in-flight interference tests, but which was significantly stronger after separation of Philae from Rosetta. Nevertheless, it was possible to recover some information about the instrument's transmitter and receiver performances then used during the analysis of the data measured on the cometary surface. Undisturbed measurements were fortunately performed at the landing site, under various solar illuminations, using the three feet of Philae as transmitting and

  2. PAHs in Comets: An Overview

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Aigen

    2008-01-01

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules, ubiquitously seen in the interstellar medium (ISM) of our own and external galaxies, might have been incorporated into comets if they are formed from relatively unprocessed interstellar matter. The detection of PAHs in comets would be an important link between the ISM and comets. This review compiles our current knowledge on cometary PAHs, based on ground-based and space-borne observations of infrared vibrational and ultraviolet fluorescence spectra of comets, and laboratory analysis of interplanetary dust particles possibly of cometary origin and cometary samples returned to Earth by the Stardust spacecraft. The latter provided the most unambiguous evidence for the presence of PAHs in cometary nuclei.

  3. Comets at radio wavelengths

    CERN Document Server

    Crovisier, Jacques; Colom, Pierre; Biver, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    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 Nan\\c{c}ay radio telescope, the IRAM antennas, the Odin satellite, the Herschel space observatory, ALMA, and the MIRO instrument aboard the Rosetta space probe.

  4. Detecting active comets with SDSS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solontoi, Michael; Ivezic, Zeljko; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; West, Andrew A.; /MIT, MKI; Claire, Mark; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Juric, Mario; /Princeton U. Observ.; Becker, Andrew; Jones, Lynne; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Hall, Patrick B.; /York U., Canada; Kent, Steve; /Fermilab; Lupton, Robert H.; /Princeton U. Observ.; 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.

  5. ISO's analysis of Comet Hale-Bopp

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-03-01

    The European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory ISO inspected Comet Hall-Bopp during the spring and autumn of 1996. The need to keep ISO's telescope extremely cold restricts the spacecraft's pointing in relation to the Sun and the Earth and it ruled out observations at other times. The analyses of the 1996 observations are not yet complete, but already they give new insight into the nature of comets. Comet Hale-Bopp is believed to be a large comet with a nucleus up to 40 kilometres wide. It was discovered in July 1995 by two American astronomers working independently, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp. At that time, the comet was a billion kilometres away from the Sun, but 200 times brighter than Halley's Comet was, when at a comparable distance. Comet Hale-Bopp will make its closest approach to the Earth on 22 March, and its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) on 1 April 1997. Some scientific results from ISO The discovery of Comet Hale-Bopp occurred before ISO's launch in November 1995. When first observed by ISO in March and April 1996, the comet was still 700 million kilometres from the Sun, and almost as far from the Earth and ISO. With its privileged view of infrared wavebands inaccessible from the Earth's surface, ISO's photometer ISOPHOT discovered that carbon dioxide was an important constituent of the comet's emissions of vapour.ISOPHOT measured the temperature of the dust cloud around Comet Hale-Bopp. In March 1996, when the comet was still more than 700 million kilometres from the Sun, the dust cloud was at minus 120 degrees C. When ISOPHOT made similar observations in October 1996, the comet was 420 million kilometres from the Sun, and the dust cloud had warmed to about minus 50 degrees C. Intensive observations of Comet Hale-Bopp were also made by ISO's Short-Wave Spectrometer SWS, the Long-Wave Spectrometer LWS, and the ISOPHOT spectrometer PHOT-S. Results are due for publication at the end of March. They will give details about the composition

  6. Assessment and Control of Organic and Other Contaminants Associated with the Stardust Sample Return from Comet 81P/Wild 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanford, S.; Bajt, S; Clemett, S; Cody, G; Cooper, G; Degregorio, B; DeVera, V; Dworkin, J; Elsila, J; et al.

    2010-01-01

    Numerous potential sources of organic contaminants could have greatly complicated the interpretation of the organic portions of the samples returned from comet 81P/Wild 2 by the Stardust spacecraft. Measures were taken to control and assess potential organic (and other) contaminants during the design, construction, and flight of the spacecraft, and during and after recovery of the sample return capsule. Studies of controls and the returned samples suggest that many of these potential sources did not contribute any significant material to the collectors. In particular, contamination from soils at the recovery site and materials associated with the ablation of the heatshield do not appear to be significant problems. The largest source of concern is associated with the C present in the original aerogel. The relative abundance of this carbon can vary between aerogel tiles and even within individual tiles. This C was fortunately not distributed among a complex mixture of organics, but was instead largely present in a few simple forms (mostly as Si-CH{sub 3} groups). In most cases, the signature of returned cometary organics can be readily distinguished from contaminants through their different compositions, nonterrestrial isotopic ratios, and/or association with other cometary materials. However, some conversion of the carbon indigenous to the flight aerogel appears to have happened during particle impact, and some open issues remain regarding how this C may be processed into new forms during the hypervelocity impact collection of the comet dust.

  7. Assessment and Control of Organic and other Contaminants Associated with the Stardust Sample Return from Comet 81P/Wild 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandford, S.; Bajt, S; Clemett, S; Cody, G; Cooper, G; Degregorio, B; de Vera, V; Dworkin, J; Flynn, G; et al.

    2010-01-01

    Numerous potential sources of organic contaminants could have greatly complicated the interpretation of the organic portions of the samples returned from comet 81P/Wild 2 by the Stardust spacecraft. Measures were taken to control and assess potential organic (and other) contaminants during the design, construction, and flight of the spacecraft, and during and after recovery of the sample return capsule. Studies of controls and the returned samples suggest that many of these potential sources did not contribute any significant material to the collectors. In particular, contamination from soils at the recovery site and materials associated with the ablation of the heatshield do not appear to be significant problems. The largest source of concern is associated with the C present in the original aerogel. The relative abundance of this carbon can vary between aerogel tiles and even within individual tiles. This C was fortunately not distributed among a complex mixture of organics, but was instead largely present in a few simple forms (mostly as Si-CH{sub 3} groups). In most cases, the signature of returned cometary organics can be readily distinguished from contaminants through their different compositions, nonterrestrial isotopic ratios, and/or association with other cometary materials. However, some conversion of the carbon indigenous to the flight aerogel appears to have happened during particle impact, and some open issues remain regarding how this C may be processed into new forms during the hypervelocity impact collection of the comet dust.

  8. The chemical diversity of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Crovisier, J; Bockelée-Morvan, D; Boissier, J; Colom, P; Lis, D C

    2009-01-01

    A fundamental question in cometary science is whether the different dynamical classes of comets have different chemical compositions, which would reflect different initial conditions. From the ground or Earth orbit, radio and infrared spectroscopic observations of a now significant sample of comets indeed reveal deep differences in the relative abundances of cometary ices. However, no obvious correlation with dynamical classes is found. Further results come, or are expected, from space exploration. Such investigations, by nature limited to a small number of objects, are unfortunately focussed on short-period comets (mainly Jupiter-family). But these in situ studies provide "ground truth" for remote sensing. We discuss the chemical differences in comets from our database of spectroscopic radio observations, which has been recently enriched by several Jupiter-family and Halley-type comets.

  9. High Resolution 3D Radar Imaging of Comet Interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. A Comet Engulfs Mars: MAVEN Observations of Comet Siding Spring's Influence on the Martian Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espley, Jared R.; Dibraccio, Gina A.; Connerney, John E. P.; Brain, David; Gruesbeck, Jacob; Soobiah, Yasir; Halekas, Jasper S.; Combi, Michael; Luhmann, Janet; Ma, Yingjuan

    2015-01-01

    The nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passed within 141,000?km of Mars on 19 October 2014. Thus, the cometary coma and the plasma it produces washed over Mars for several hours producing significant effects in the Martian magnetosphere and upper atmosphere. We present observations from Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN's (MAVEN's) particles and field's instruments that show the Martian magnetosphere was severely distorted during the comet's passage. We note four specific major effects: (1) a variable induced magnetospheric boundary, (2) a strong rotation of the magnetic field as the comet approached, (3) severely distorted and disordered ionospheric magnetic fields during the comet's closest approach, and (4) unusually strong magnetosheath turbulence lasting hours after the comet left. We argue that the comet produced effects comparable to that of a large solar storm (in terms of incident energy) and that our results are therefore important for future studies of atmospheric escape, MAVEN's primary science objective.

  11. Catastrophic Disruption of Comet ISON

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keane, Jacqueline V.; Milam, Stefanie N.; Coulson, Iain M.; Kleyna, Jan T.; Sekanina, Zdenek; Kracht, Rainer; Riesen, Timm-Emmanuel; Meech, Karen J.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2016-01-01

    We report submillimeter 450 and 850 microns dust continuum observations for comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) obtained at heliocentric distances 0.31-0.08 au prior to perihelion on 2013 November 28 (rh?=?0.0125 au). These observations reveal a rapidly varying dust environment in which the dust emission was initially point-like. As ISON approached perihelion, the continuum emission became an elongated dust column spread out over as much as 60? (greater than 10(exp 5) km in the anti-solar direction. Deconvolution of the November 28.04 850 microns image reveals numerous distinct clumps consistent with the catastrophic disruption of comet ISON, producing approximately 5.2?×?10(exp 10) kg of submillimeter-sized dust. Orbital computations suggest that the SCUBA-2 emission peak coincides with the comet's residual nucleus.

  12. Chemistry of comets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delsemme, A.H.

    1988-07-29

    In comets, most elements seem to be present in their cosmic abundances. This includes the metals whose abundances are the same as in chondrites, but also the light elements C, N, O, S that are the same as in the Sun; only hydrogen (and presumably helium and neon) is depleted by a factor close to 1000. In the bright comets of the 1970s, three-quarters of the cosmic abundance of carbon was found to be missing from the gaseous fraction. The missing carbon has now been found in Comet Halley: it was in the large organic fraction representing 33% of the cometary dust. A part of this fraction vaporizes slowly out of the dust grains: it is the origin of an extended source of gas discovered around the nucleus of Comet Halley. Water remains the major constituent being 80% of the volatile ices. Formic acid, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide explain together more than 13% of the rest of the volatiles. The last 7% include the parent molecules of the radicals excited by fluorescence and observed in the traditional spectra, like hydrogen cyanide HCN (for CN), probably acetylene C/sub 2/C/sub 2/ (for C/sub 2/) and cyclopropadiene C/sub 3/H/sub 2/ (for C/sub 3/). The inorganic fraction of the dust contains mainly silicates and some iron sulphide, whereas the organic fraction also contains unsaturated hydrocarbons and probably hydrogen cyanide, acetonitrile, aminoethylene, pyrrole, pyridine, pyrimidine and possibly purines including adenine. Some prebiotic precursors of the nucleic bases are present, but no traces of any amino acids have been found.

  13. Organic matter in comets and cometary dust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llorca, Jordi

    2005-03-01

    Comets are primitive conglomerates of the solar system containing a mixture of frozen gases, refractory grains, and carbonaceous particles rich in biogenic elements. The dramatic display of comets is mostly caused by a cloud of micrometer-sized dust particles that leave the comet nucleus when frozen gases sublimate as they approach the Sun. Analyses of cometary dust captured in the stratosphere together with data obtained from space missions to comets have revealed the presence of a great variety of organic molecules. Since substantial amounts of cometary dust were gently deposited on Earth, their organic content could have played a major role in prebiotic processes prior to the appearance of microorganisms. This review discusses the description and implications for life of the organic content of comets and cometary dust.

  14. Comets and How to Observe Them

    CERN Document Server

    Schmude, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Comets have inspired wonder, excitement and even fear ever since they were first observed. They contain material from early in the life of the Solar System, held in deep-freeze. This makes them key in our understanding of the formation and evolution of many Solar System bodies. Recent ground- and space-based observations have changed much in our understanding of comets. Comets and How to Observe Them gives a summary of our current knowledge and describes how amateur astronomers can contribute to the body of scientific knowledge of comets. This book contains many practical examples of how to construct comet light-curves, measure how fast a comet’s coma expands, and determine the rotation period of the nucleus. All these examples are illustrated with drawings and photographs.

  15. Featured Image: A Comet's Coma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2016-11-01

    This series of images (click for the full view!) features the nucleus of comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko. The images were taken with the Wide Angle Camera of RosettasOSIRIS instrument asRosetta orbited comet 67P. Each column represents a different narrow-band filter that allows us to examine the emission of a specific fragment species, and the images progress in time from January 2015 (top) to June 2015 (bottom). In a recent study, Dennis Bodewits (University of Maryland) and collaborators used these images to analyze the comets inner coma, the cloud of gas and dust produced around the nucleus as ices sublime. OSIRISs images allowed the team to explore how the 67Ps inner coma changed over time as the comet approached the Sun marking the first time weve been able to study such an environment at this level of detail. To read more about what Bodewits and collaborators learned, you can check out their paper below!CitationD. Bodewits et al 2016 AJ 152 130. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/5/130

  16. When Comets Get Old: A Synthesis of Comet and Meteor Observations of the Low Activity Comet 209P/LINEAR

    CERN Document Server

    Ye, Quan-Zhi; Brown, Peter G; Campbell-Brown, Margaret D; Pokorný, Petr; Wiegert, Paul A; Gao, Xing

    2015-01-01

    It is speculated that some weakly active comets may be transitional objects between active and dormant comets. These objects are at a unique stage of the evolution of cometary nuclei, as they are still identifiable as active comets, in contrast to inactive comets that are observationally indistinguishable from low albedo asteroids. In this paper, we present a synthesis of comet and meteor observations of Jupiter-family comet 209P/LINEAR, one of the most weakly active comets recorded to-date. Images taken by the Xingming 0.35-m telescope and the Gemini Flamingo-2 camera are modeled by a Monte Carlo dust model, which yields a low dust ejection speed ($1/10$ of that of moderately active comets), dominance of large dust grains, and a low dust production of $0.4~\\mathrm{kg \\cdot s^{-1}}$ at 19~d after the 2014 perihelion passage. We also find a reddish nucleus of 209P/LINEAR that is similar to D-type asteroids and most Trojan asteroids. Meteor observations with the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR), coupled with ...

  17. The Composition of Comets

    CERN Document Server

    Cochran, Anita L; Cordiner, Martin; Hadamcik, Edith; Lasue, Jeremie; Gicquel, Adeline; Schleicher, David G; Charnley, Steven B; Mumma, Michael J; Paganini, Lucas; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Biver, Nicolas; Kuan, Yi-Jehng

    2015-01-01

    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 {\\it 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...

  18. Episodic Aging and End States of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Zdenek

    2008-01-01

    It is known that comets are aging very rapidly on cosmic scales, because they rapidly shed mass. The processes involved are (i) normal activity - sublimation of ices and expulsion of dust from discrete emission sources on and/or below the surface of a comet's nucleus, and (ii) nuclear fragmentation. Both modes are episodic in nature, the latter includes major steps in the comet's life cycle. The role and history of dynamical techniques used are described and results on mass losses due to sublimation and dust expulsion are reviewed. Studies of split comets, Holmes-like exploding comets, and cataclysmically fragmenting comets show that masses of 10 to 100 million tons are involved in the fragmentation process. This and other information is used to investigate the nature of comets' episodic aging. Based on recent advances in understanding the surface morphology of cometary nuclei by close-up imaging, a possible mechanism for large-scale fragmentation events is proposed and shown to be consistent with evidence available from observations. Strongly flattened pancake-like shapes appear to be required for comet fragments by conceptual constraints. Possible end states are briefly examined.

  19. Episodic Aging and End States of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Zdenek

    2008-01-01

    It is known that comets are aging very rapidly on cosmic scales, because they rapidly shed mass. The processes involved are (i) normal activity - sublimation of ices and expulsion of dust from discrete emission sources on and/or below the surface of a comet's nucleus, and (ii) nuclear fragmentation. Both modes are episodic in nature, the latter includes major steps in the comet's life cycle. The role and history of dynamical techniques used are described and results on mass losses due to sublimation and dust expulsion are reviewed. Studies of split comets, Holmes-like exploding comets, and cataclysmically fragmenting comets show that masses of 10 to 100 million tons are involved in the fragmentation process. This and other information is used to investigate the nature of comets' episodic aging. Based on recent advances in understanding the surface morphology of cometary nuclei by close-up imaging, a possible mechanism for large-scale fragmentation events is proposed and shown to be consistent with evidence available from observations. Strongly flattened pancake-like shapes appear to be required for comet fragments by conceptual constraints. Possible end states are briefly examined.

  20. Multispecies Sublimation of a Comet Including the Influence of the Gas-Phase on Thermal Conductivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, C. J.; Gombosi, T. I.

    1996-01-01

    The heat tranfer process that results from gaseous diffusion through the nucleus is shown to play a significant role in modeling comet nulei. In this paper, a comprehensive comet nucleus model is presented which simulates the efflux of gas from surface and interior layers.

  1. The TRAPPIST comet survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jehin, E.; Opitom, C.; Manfroid, J.; Hutsemékers, D.; Gillon, M.

    2014-07-01

    productions rates of the different species through a proper photometric calibration, image analysis can reveal coma features (jets, fans, tails), that can lead to the detection of active regions and measure the rotation period of the nucleus. The monitoring is also useful to assess the gas and dust activity of a given comet in order to prepare more detailed observations with larger telescopes. Such data can be obtained at any time under request. Finally a dozen of faint comets (V < 20) are monitored once a week through B, V, Rc, Ic filters and magnitudes and positions are sent to the MPC.

  2. Dynamic Sublimation Pressure and the Catastrophic Breakup of Comet ISON

    CERN Document Server

    Steckloff, Jordan K; Bowling, Timothy; Melosh, H Jay; Minton, David; Lisse, Carey M; Battams, Karl

    2015-01-01

    Previously proposed mechanisms have difficulty explaining the disruption of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) as it approached the Sun. We describe a novel cometary disruption mechanism whereby comet nuclei fragment and disperse through dynamic sublimation pressure, which induces differential stresses within the interior of the nucleus. When these differential stresses exceed its material strength, the nucleus breaks into fragments. We model the sublimation process thermodynamically and propose that it is responsible for the disruption of Comet ISON. We estimate the bulk unconfined crushing strength of Comet ISON's nucleus and the resulting fragments to be 0.5 Pa and 1-9 Pa respectively, assuming typical Jupiter Family Comet (JFC) albedos. However, if Comet ISON has an albedo similar to Pluto, this strength estimate drops to 0.2 Pa for the intact nucleus and 0.6-4 Pa for its fragments. Regardless of assumed albedo, these are similar to previous strength estimates of JFCs. This suggests that, if Comet ISON is representat...

  3. Will Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) Survive Perihelion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Matthew M.; Walsh, Kevin J.

    2013-10-01

    On 2013 November 28 Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) will pass by the Sun with a perihelion distance of 2.7 solar radii. Understanding the possible outcomes for the comet's response to such a close passage by the Sun is important for planning observational campaigns and for inferring ISON's physical properties. We present new numerical simulations and interpret them in context with the historical track record of comet disruptions and of sungrazing comet behavior. Historical data suggest that sizes below ~200 m are susceptible to destruction by sublimation driven mass loss, while we find that for ISON's perihelion distance, densities lower than 0.1 g cm-3 are required to tidally disrupt a retrograde or non-spinning body. Such low densities are substantially below the range of the best-determined comet nucleus densities, though dynamically new comets such as ISON have few measurements of physical properties. Disruption may occur for prograde rotation at densities up to 0.7 g cm-3, with the chances of disruption increasing for lower density, faster prograde rotation, and increasing elongation of the nucleus. Given current constraints on ISON's nucleus properties and the typically determined values for these properties among all comets, we find tidal disruption to be unlikely unless other factors (e.g., spin-up via torquing) affect ISON substantially. Whether or not disruption occurs, the largest remnant must be big enough to survive subsequent mass loss due to sublimation in order for ISON to remain a viable comet well after perihelion.

  4. Onset of sublimation in comet P/Halley (1982i)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyckoff, S.; Wagner, R. M.; Wehinger, P. A.; Schleicher, D. G.; Festou, M. C.

    1985-01-01

    The first direct evidence for the onset of sublimation of a comet nucleus is reported. Emission due to CN observed in spectra of the comet P/Halley provides evidence for the development of the gas coma. Broad-band photometric observations of the comet indicate that the dust coma developed near a preperihelion heliocentric distance r of about 6 AU. Rates of gas production and brightening for the comet have been derived at r of 4-6 AU. The mean preperihelion nuclear magnitude derived for the comet was used to calculate an effective radius of the nucleus, which for plausible values of the geometric albedo lies in the range 1-4 km.

  5. Navigation of the EPOXI Spacecraft to Comet Hartley 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhaskaran, Shyam; Abrahamson, Matt; Chesley, Steven; Chung, Min-Kun; Halsell, Allen; Haw, Robert; Helfrich, Cliff; Jefferson, David; Kennedy, Brian; McElrath, Tim; Owen, William; Rush, Brian; Smith, Jonathon; Wang, Tseng-Chan; Yen, Chen-Wan

    2011-01-01

    On November 4, 2010, the EPOXI spacecraft flew by the comet Hartley 2, marking the fourth time that a NASA spacecraft successfully captured high resolution images of a cometary nucleus. EPOXI is the extended mission of the Deep Impact mission, which delivered an impactor on comet Tempel-1 on July 4, 2005. EPOXI officially started in September 2007 and eventually took over 3 years of flight time and had 3 Earth gravity assists to achieve the proper encounter conditions. In the process, the mission was redesigned to accommodate a new comet as the target and changes in the trajectory to achieve better imaging conditions at encounter. Challenges in navigation of the spacecraft included precision targeting of several Earth flybys and the comet encounter, uncertainties in determining the ephemeris of the comet relative to the spacecraft, and the high accuracy trajectory knowledge needed to image the comet during the encounter. This paper presents an overview of the navigation process used for the mission.

  6. Simulations of directed energy comet deflection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qicheng; Lubin, Philip M.; Hughes, Gary B.

    2016-09-01

    Earth-crossing asteroids and comets pose a long-term hazard to life and property on Earth. Schemes to mitigate the impact threat have been studied extensively but tend to focus on asteroid diversion while neglecting the possibility of a comet threat. Such schemes often demand physically intercepting the target by spacecraft, a task feasible only for targets identified decades in advance in a restricted range of orbits. A threatening comet is unlikely to satisfy these criteria and so necessitates a fundamentally different approach for diversion. Comets are naturally perturbed from purely gravitational trajectories through solar heating of their surfaces which activates sublimation-driven jets. Artificial heating of a comet, such as by a high-powered laser array in Earth orbit, may supplement natural heating by the Sun to purposefully manipulate its path to avoid an impact. The effectiveness of any particular laser array for a given comet depends on the comet's heating response which varies dramatically depending on factors including nucleus size, orbit and dynamical history. These factors are incorporated into a numerical orbital model using established models of nongravitational perturbations to evaluate the effectiveness and feasibility of using high-powered laser arrays in Earth orbit or on the ground to deflect a variety of comets. Simulation results suggest that orbital arrays of 500m and 10GW operating for 10 min=d over 1 yr may be adequate for mitigating impacts by comets up to 500m in diameter. Continuously operating ground-based arrays of 100m and 10GW may be similarly effective when appropriately located.

  7. Summer fireworks on comet 67P

    CERN Document Server

    Vincent, J -B; Lin, Z -Y; El-Maarry, M R; Pajola, M; Sierks, H; Barbieri, C; Lamy, P L; Rodrigo, R; Koschny, D; Rickman, H; Keller, H U; Agarwal, J; Barucci, M A; Bertaux, J -L; Bertini, I; Besse, S; Bodewits, D; Cremonese, G; Da Deppo, V; Davidsson, B; Debei, S; De Cecco, M; Deller, J; Fornasier, S; Fulle, M; Gicquel, A; Groussin, O; Gutierrez, P J; Gutierrez-Marquez, P; Guettler, C; Hoefner, S; Hofmann, M; Hviid, S F; Ip, W -H; Jorda, L; Knollenberg, J; Kovacs, G; Kramm, J -R; Kuehrt, E; Kueppers, M; Lara, L M; Lazzarin, M; Moreno, J J Lopez; Marzari, F; Massironi, M; Mottola, S; Naletto, G; Oklay, N; Preusker, F; Scholten, F; Shi, X; Thomas, N; Toth, I; Tubiana, C

    2016-01-01

    During its two years mission around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft had the unique opportunity to follow closely a comet in the most active part of its orbit. Many studies have presented the typical features associated to the activity of the nucleus, such as localized dust and gas jets. Here we report on series of more energetic transient events observed during the three months surrounding the comet's perihelion passage in August 2015. We detected and characterized 34 outbursts with the Rosetta cameras, one every 2.4 nucleus rotation. We identified 3 main dust plume morphologies associated to these events: a narrow jet, a broad fan, and more complex plumes featuring both previous types together. These plumes are comparable in scale and temporal variation to what has been observed on other comets. We present a map of the outbursts source locations, and discuss the associated topography. We find that the spatial distribution sources on the nucleus correlates well with morphological reg...

  8. Comet classification with new methods for gas and dust spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langland-Shula, Laura E.; Smith, Graeme H.

    2011-05-01

    We present the results of a program of comet long-slit spectroscopy with the Kast Dual Spectrograph on the 3-m Shane Telescope at Lick Observatory. A total of 26 comets, from a variety of dynamical families, were observed on 39 different nights from 1996 to 2007. A new statistical method extracted the twilight sky from comet frames, because traditional sky subtraction techniques were inadequate. Because previously published Haser model parent and daughter scale lengths did not fit the data well, unbiased ranges of scale lengths were searched for the best-fitting pairs. Coma gas production rates for OH, CN, C 2, C 3, NH, NH 2, and OH confirmed the widely reported carbon-chain depletion for a sub-class of comets, most notably high-perihelion Jupiter-family comets observed at rh > 1.5 AU, with different behaviors for C 2 and C 3. Our long-slit spectroscopy data was also adapted for the A( θ) fρ dust production parameter. The assumption that A( θ) fρ is constant throughout the nucleus was not upheld. High dust-to-gas ratios for comets with large perihelia were not a selection effect, and suggest that the dust was released earlier in the formation of the coma than the gas. The dust-to-gas ratio did not exhibit any evolutionary traces between different comet dynamical families. The comet survey illuminates the diversity among comets, including the unusually carbon poor Comet 96P/Machholz.

  9. A novel mechanism for outbursts of Comet 17P/Holmes and other short-period comets

    CERN Document Server

    Miles, Richard

    2007-01-01

    A mechanism is proposed to explain the outburst of comet 17P/Holmes based on; (a) oxidation of water within the porous surface of the comet nucleus to form hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) through exposure to UV radiation, to energetic solar-wind particles and to cosmic radiation, (b) concentration of the H2O2 component through solid-, liquid- and gas-phase processes involving sublimation, evaporation, fractional crystallization, diffusion, supercooling, capillary wetting and migration in voids within the nucleus, and (c) rapid exothermic decomposition of aqueous H2O2 liberating oxygen gas via a surface catalytic reaction through interaction with finely-dispersed transition metals, metal compounds and minerals, in particular those containing Fe, localised within a differentiated multi-component comet nucleus. An accelerated release of gaseous oxygen, concomitant self-heating and volatilisation of hydrocarbons within the nucleus results in its explosive disruption. This mechanism may also explain the observation of a ...

  10. Rosetta - a comet ride to solve planetary mysteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    kilometres of Halley). It sent back wonderful pictures and data that showed that comets contain complex organic molecules. These kinds of compounds are rich in carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Intriguingly, these are the elements which make up nucleic acids and amino acids, which are essential ingredients for life as we know it. Giotto continued its successful journey and flew by Comet Grigg-Skjellerup in 1992 within about 200 km distance. Now scientists will be eagerly waiting to be able to answer some of the new intriguing questions that arose from analysing the exciting results from Giotto. Other past missions that have flown by a comet were: NASA’s ICE mission in 1985, the two Russian VEGA spacecraft and the two Japanese spacecraft Suisei and Sakigake that were part of the armada that visited comet Halley in 1986; NASA’s Deep Space 1 flew-by comet Borelly in 2001 and NASA’s Stardust will fly-by comet Wild 2 in early 2004 and will return samples of the comet’s coma in 2006. Unfortunately NASA’s Contour launched in Summer 2002 failed when it was inserted onto its interplanetary trajectory. In 2004 we will see the launch of Deep Impact, a spacecraft that will shoot a massive block of copper into a comet nucleus.

  11. Evidence for geologic processes on comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunshine, Jessica M.; Thomas, Nicolas; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Farnham, Tony L.

    2016-11-01

    Spacecraft missions have resolved the nuclei of six periodic comets and revealed a set of geologically intriguing and active small bodies. The shapes of these cometary nuclei are dominantly bilobate reflecting their formation from smaller cometesimals. Cometary surfaces include a diverse set of morphologies formed from a variety of mechanisms. Sublimation of ices, driven by the variable insolation over the time since each nucleus was perturbed into the inner Solar System, is a major process on comets and is likely responsible for quasi-circular depressions and ubiquitous layering. Sublimation from near-vertical walls is also seen to lead to undercutting and mass wasting. Fracturing has only been resolved on one comet but likely exists on all comets. There is also evidence for mass redistribution, where material lifted off the nucleus by subliming gases is deposited onto other surfaces. It is surprising that such sedimentary processes are significant in the microgravity environment of comets. There are many enigmatic features on cometary surfaces including tall spires, kilometer-scale flows, and various forms of depressions and pits. Furthermore, even after accounting for the differences in resolution and coverage, significant diversity in landforms among cometary surfaces clearly exists. Yet why certain landforms occur on some comets and not on others remains poorly understood. The exploration and understanding of geologic processes on comets is only beginning. These fascinating bodies will continue to provide a unique laboratory for examining common geologic processes under the uncommon conditions of very high porosity, very low strength, small particle sizes, and near-zero gravity.

  12. Comet of the Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Landslides and impacts on comets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czechowski, Leszek

    2016-07-01

    The recent landing of Philae on the comet 67P/Czuriumow-Gierasimienko indicates that elastic properties of comet's nuclei could be similar to elastic properties of dry snow, namely Young modulus is assumed to be 106 - 108 Pa. We considered a simple model of two spheres (with radius 1400 m each) connected by cylinder (with radius of 200 m and length of 200 m). Density is 470 kg m-3. This shape corresponds approximately to shape of some comets. A few vibration modes are possible. In present research we consider 3 modes: bending, lengthening-shortening along axis of symmetry, and torsion. Let assume that comets are hit by small meteoroid of the mass of 1 kg and velocity 20 km s-1. The maximum values of acceleration of the surface resulting from this impact are given in Table 1. Note that these values are higher than acceleration of the gravity of the comet. Consequently, these vibrations could be an important factor of surface evolution, e.g. they could trigger landslides. It could be alternative mechanism to that presented in [4] (i.e. fluidization). Acknowledgement: The research is partly supported by Polish National Science Centre (decision 2014/15/B/ST 10/02117) References [1] T. Spohn, J. Knollenberg, A. J. Ball, M. Ba-naszkiewicz, J. Benkhoff, M. Grott, J. Gry-gorczuk, C. Hüttig, A. Hagermann, G. Kargl, E. Kaufmann, N. Kömle, E. Kührt, K. J. Kossacki, W. Marczewski, I. Pelivan, R. Schrödter, K. Seiferlin. (2015) Thermal and mechanical properties of the near-surface layers of comet 67P/Churyumov- Gera-simenko Science 31 July 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6247 DOI: 10.1126/science.aab0464 [2] Reuter B. (2013) On how to measure snow mechanical properties relevant to slab avalanche release. International Snow Science Workshop Grenoble - Chamonix Mont-Blanc - 2013 007 [3] Ball A.J. (1997) Ph. D. Thesis: Measuring Physical Properties at the Surface of a Comet Nu-cleus, Univ.of Kent U.K. [4] Belton M. J.S., Melosh J. (2009). Fluidization and multiphase transport of

  14. OpenComet: an automated tool for comet assay image analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyori, Benjamin M; Venkatachalam, Gireedhar; Thiagarajan, P S; Hsu, David; Clement, Marie-Veronique

    2014-01-01

    Reactive species such as free radicals are constantly generated in vivo and DNA is the most important target of oxidative stress. Oxidative DNA damage is used as a predictive biomarker to monitor the risk of development of many diseases. The comet assay is widely used for measuring oxidative DNA damage at a single cell level. The analysis of comet assay output images, however, poses considerable challenges. Commercial software is costly and restrictive, while free software generally requires laborious manual tagging of cells. This paper presents OpenComet, an open-source software tool providing automated analysis of comet assay images. It uses a novel and robust method for finding comets based on geometric shape attributes and segmenting the comet heads through image intensity profile analysis. Due to automation, OpenComet is more accurate, less prone to human bias, and faster than manual analysis. A live analysis functionality also allows users to analyze images captured directly from a microscope. We have validated OpenComet on both alkaline and neutral comet assay images as well as sample images from existing software packages. Our results show that OpenComet achieves high accuracy with significantly reduced analysis time.

  15. OpenComet: An automated tool for comet assay image analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin M. Gyori

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Reactive species such as free radicals are constantly generated in vivo and DNA is the most important target of oxidative stress. Oxidative DNA damage is used as a predictive biomarker to monitor the risk of development of many diseases. The comet assay is widely used for measuring oxidative DNA damage at a single cell level. The analysis of comet assay output images, however, poses considerable challenges. Commercial software is costly and restrictive, while free software generally requires laborious manual tagging of cells. This paper presents OpenComet, an open-source software tool providing automated analysis of comet assay images. It uses a novel and robust method for finding comets based on geometric shape attributes and segmenting the comet heads through image intensity profile analysis. Due to automation, OpenComet is more accurate, less prone to human bias, and faster than manual analysis. A live analysis functionality also allows users to analyze images captured directly from a microscope. We have validated OpenComet on both alkaline and neutral comet assay images as well as sample images from existing software packages. Our results show that OpenComet achieves high accuracy with significantly reduced analysis time.

  16. Comet or Asteroid?

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-11-01

    , Institute of Planetary Exploration) soon thereafter obtained seven unfiltered CCD images on three consecutive nights with the 60-cm `Bochum telescope' at La Silla, Uri Carsenty found a tail extending 15 arcseconds in the WSE direction from the point source, cf. ESO Press Photo 31b/97. The (red) magnitude was about 19, or 150,000 times fainter than what is visible to the naked eye. More observations were obtained at La Silla during the following nights, confirming the persistent presence of this tail. NTT observations confirm the cometary nature of P/1997 T3 ESO Press Photo 31c/97 ESO Press Photo 31c/97 [JPG, 52k] Caption: Deep NTT image of P/1997 T3. This image covers a field of 105 x 60 arcsec and is a composite of several CCD exposures. It was taken with the ESO New Technology Telescope (NTT) and the EMMI multi-mode instrument by ESO astronomers Hermann Boehnhardt and Olivier Hainaut on different days between 21 and 25 October 1997. By computer processing, the images of P/1997 T3 are aligned to the same pixel position and co-added in order to increase the visibility of the comet. Due to the motion of the comet, multiple images of several galaxies and stars appear in this photo. At the time of the observations, the comet was about 3.34 AU from Earth and about 4.30 AU from the Sun. A larger version [JPG, 384k] is also available. In late October 1997, further images of the new object and its tail were taken with the ESO 3.5-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla, cf. ESO Press Photo 31c/97. On these, the narrow tail was seen to be at least 90 arcsec long and pointing roughly in the Sun direction . The steady appearance and the sunward orientation of the tail indicates that it consists of dust. Moreover, a preliminary image analysis shows the presence of a weak and very condensed coma of dust grains around the nucleus. Interestingly, a series of images through several broadband filters with a total of almost 30 min exposure time did not show any trace of a normal, anti

  17. Mid-infrared spectra of comet nuclei

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, Michael S P; Gehrz, Robert D; Reach, William T; Harker, David E

    2016-01-01

    Jovian Trojan D-type asteroids have mid-infrared emissivity features strikingly similar to comet comae, suggesting that they have the same compositions and that the surfaces of the Trojans are highly porous. However, a direct comparison between a comet and asteroid surface has not been possible due to the paucity of spectra of comet nuclei at mid-infrared wavelengths. We present 5-35 {\\mu}m thermal emission spectra of comets 10P/Tempel 2, and 49P/Arend-Rigaux observed with the Infrared Spectrograph on the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our analysis suggests the spectra are dominated by the comet nucleus. We fit each spectrum with the near-Earth asteroid thermal model (NEATM) and find sizes in agreement with previous values. However, the NEATM beaming parameters of the nuclei, 0.74 to 0.83, are systematically lower than the Jupiter-family comet population mean of 1.03+/-0.11, derived from 16- and 22-{\\mu}m photometry. When the spectra are normalized by the NEATM model, a weak 10-{\\mu}m silicate plateau is evident, w...

  18. Comets. [and solar system evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neugebauer, M.

    1986-01-01

    The nature, history, and evolution of comets are considered. Cometary ions, formed by photoionization and other processes, are forced into a highly structured ion tail by the interaction with the solar wind. The importance of comets to solar-system studies lies in the possibilities that they are well-preserved samples of either the interstellar cloud which collapsed to form the solar system or the planetesimals from which the outer planets accumulated, and that they provided either the prebiotic complex molecules from which life evolved or some volatiles necessary for the evolution of these molecules.

  19. THE NEOWISE-DISCOVERED COMET POPULATION AND THE CO + CO{sub 2} PRODUCTION RATES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bauer, James M.; Stevenson, Rachel; Kramer, Emily; Mainzer, A. K.; Masiero, Joseph R.; Weissman, Paul R.; Nugent, Carrie R.; Sonnett, Sarah [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 183-401, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Grav, Tommy [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 (United States); Fernández, Yan R. [Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., P.S. Building, Orlando, FL 32816-2385 (United States); Cutri, Roc M.; Dailey, John W.; Masci, Frank J.; Blair, Nathan; Lucas, Andrew [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States); Meech, Karen J. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Dr., Manoa, HI 96822 (United States); Walker, Russel [Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy, 200 Eighth Street, Marina, CA 93933 (United States); Lisse, C. M. [Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road Laurel, MD 20723-6099 (United States); McMillan, Robert S. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, 1629 East University Blvd., Kuiper Space Science Bldg. 92, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States); Wright, Edward L., E-mail: bauer@scn.jpl.nasa.gov [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, P.O. Box 91547, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547 (United States); Collaboration: WISE and NEOWISE Teams

    2015-12-01

    The 163 comets observed during the WISE/NEOWISE prime mission represent the largest infrared survey to date of comets, providing constraints on dust, nucleus size, and CO + CO{sub 2} production. We present detailed analyses of the WISE/NEOWISE comet discoveries, and discuss observations of the active comets showing 4.6 μm band excess. We find a possible relation between dust and CO + CO{sub 2} production, as well as possible differences in the sizes of long and short period comet nuclei.

  20. The NEOWISE-Discovered Comet Population and the CO+CO2 production rates

    CERN Document Server

    Bauer, James M; Kramer, Emily; Mainzer, A K; Grav, Tommy; Masiero, Joseph R; Fernández, Yan R; Cutri, Roc M; Dailey, John W; Masci, Frank J; Meech, Karen J; Walker, Russel; Lisse, C M; Weissman, Paul R; Nugent, Carrie R; Sonnett, Sarah; Blair, Nathan; Lucas, Andrew; McMillan, Robert S; Wright, Edward L; WISE, the

    2015-01-01

    The 163 comets observed during the WISE/NEOWISE prime mission represent the largest infrared survey to date of comets, providing constraints on dust, nucleus sizes, and CO+CO2 production. We present detailed analyses of the WISE/NEOWISE comet discoveries, and discuss observations of the active comets showing 4.6 $\\mu$m band excess. We find a possible relation between dust and CO+CO2 production, as well as possible differences in the sizes of long and short period comet nuclei.

  1. Rocket-borne Long-Slit Ultraviolet Spectroscopy of Comet Hale-Bopp

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPhate, J. B.; Feldman, P. D.; McCandliss, S. R.; Burgh, E. B.

    1999-08-01

    A sounding rocket observation of comet Hale-Bopp was conducted on 1997 April 6 at 3:51 UT when the comet was at heliocentric and geocentric distances of 0.92 and 1.39 AU, respectively. The instrument was a telescope and long-slit (6.5"×260''), ultraviolet (1280-1880 Å) spectrograph that sampled the coma parallel to the Sun-comet line from ~105 km sunward of the nucleus to ~2×105 km tailward with ~6" (6000 km) spatial resolution. Two spectral images were obtained with the slit offset 20" and 40" from the nucleus in the direction perpendicular to the long axis of the slit. Spatial profiles and production rates for C, O, CO, and S are presented. Modeling of the spatial profiles of CO and C emissions indicate that photodissociation of the detected CO can account for all of the C I emissions observed. The brightnesses of the strong bands of the CO Fourth Positive system and the S I λ1814 multiplet along near-nuclear lines of sight were diminished by self-absorption. A CO production rate of ~3×1030 molecules s-1 is derived.

  2. A unidimensional model of comet ionosphere structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eviatar, Aharon; Goldstein, Bruce E.

    1988-01-01

    The one-dimensional continuity and momentum equations for the plasma formed in the expanding coma of a comet near the sun are studied. An analytic expression for the magnetic field configuration in the presence of outflow, photoionization, dissociative recombination, plasma fluid pressure, and friction between the ions and neutrals is obtained. It is suggested that for a Halley-type comet there will be a region sunward of the nucleus from which the magnetic field is excluded, consistent with Giotto observations. Calculations have been performed for Halley and Giacobini-Zinner type comets, and in the field-free regions it is shown that the dominant terms in the momentum equation balancing the magnetic pressure gradient are the ion neutral friction and the net mass loading momentum gain.

  3. Mid-infrared spectra of comet nuclei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Michael S. P.; Woodward, Charles E.; Gehrz, Robert D.; Reach, William T.; Harker, David E.

    2017-03-01

    Comet nuclei and D-type asteroids have several similarities at optical and near-IR wavelengths, including near-featureless red reflectance spectra, and low albedos. Mineral identifications based on these characteristics are fraught with degeneracies, although some general trends can be identified. In contrast, spectral emissivity features in the mid-infrared provide important compositional information that might not otherwise be achievable. Jovian Trojan D-type asteroids have emissivity features strikingly similar to comet comae, suggesting that they have the same compositions and that the surfaces of the Trojans are highly porous. However, a direct comparison between a comet and asteroid surface has not been possible due to the paucity of spectra of comet nuclei at mid-infrared wavelengths. We present 5-35 μm thermal emission spectra of comets 10P/Tempel 2, and 49P/Arend-Rigaux observed with the Infrared Spectrograph on the Spitzer Space Telescope. Our analysis reveals no evidence for a coma or tail at the time of observation, suggesting the spectra are dominated by the comet nucleus. We fit each spectrum with the near-Earth asteroid thermal model (NEATM) and find sizes in agreement with previous values. However, the NEATM beaming parameters of the nuclei, 0.74-0.83, are systematically lower than the Jupiter-family comet population mean of 1.03 ± 0.11, derived from 16- and 22-μm photometry. We suggest this may be either an artifact of the spectral reduction, or the consequence of an emissivity low near 16 μm. When the spectra are normalized by the NEATM model, a weak 10-μm silicate plateau is evident, with a shape similar to those seen in mid-infrared spectra of D-type asteroids. A silicate plateau is also evident in previously published Spitzer spectra of the nucleus of comet 9P/Tempel 1. We compare, in detail, these comet nucleus emission features to those seen in spectra of the Jovian Trojan D-types (624) Hektor, (911) Agamemnon, and (1172) Aneas, as well

  4. Visually observing comets

    CERN Document Server

    Seargent, David A J

    2017-01-01

    In these days of computers and CCD cameras, visual comet observers can still contribute scientifically useful data with the help of this handy reference for use in the field. Comets are one of the principal areas for productive pro-amateur collaboration in astronomy, but finding comets requires a different approach than the observing of more predictable targets. Principally directed toward amateur astronomers who prefer visual observing or who are interested in discovering a new comet or visually monitoring the behavior of known comets, it includes all the advice needed to thrive as a comet observer. After presenting a brief overview of the nature of comets and how we came to the modern understanding of comets, this book details the various types of observations that can usefully be carried out at the eyepiece of a telescope. Subjects range from how to search for new comets to visually estimating the brightness of comets and the length and orientation of tails, in addition to what to look for in comet heads a...

  5. The origin of comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, M. E.; Clube, S. V. M.; Napier, W. M.

    Theories of the nature and origin of comets are discussed in a historical review covering the period from ancient times to the present. Consideration is given to the ancient controversy as to the atmospheric or celestial nature of comets, Renaissance theories of comet orbits, superstitions regarding the effects of comets, Kant's (1755) theory of solar-system origin, the nineteenth-century discovery of the relationship between comets and meteor showers, and the continuing solar-system/interstellar debate. Oort's (1950) model of a comet swarm surrounding the solar system is examined in detail; arguments advanced to explain the formation of comets within this model are summarized; and the question of cometary catastrophism is addressed.

  6. Detailed abundances of a large sample of giant stars in M 54 and in the Sagittarius nucleus

    CERN Document Server

    Carretta, E; Gratton, R G; Lucatello, S; Bellazzini, M; Catanzaro, G; Leone, F; Momany, Y; Piotto, G; D'Orazi, V

    2010-01-01

    Homogeneous abundances of light elements, alpha and Fe-group elements from high-resolution FLAMES spectra are presented for 76 red giant stars in M54, a massive globular cluster (GC) lying in the nucleus of the Sagittarius dwarf galaxy. We also derived detailed abundances for 27 red giants belonging to the Sgr nucleus. Our abundances assess the intrinsic metallicity dispersion (~0.19 dex, rms scatter) of M54, with the bulk of stars peaking at [Fe/H]~-1.6 and a long tail extending to higher metallicities, similar to omega Cen. The spread in these probable nuclear star clusters exceeds those of most GCs: these massive clusters are located in a region intermediate between normal GCs and dwarf galaxies. M54 shows the Na-O anticorrelation, typical signature of GCs, which is instead absent in the Sgr nucleus. The light elements (Mg, Al, Si) participating to the high temperature Mg-Al cycle show that the pattern of (anti)correlations produced by proton-capture reactions in H-burning is clearly different between the ...

  7. Acellular comet assay: a tool for assessing variables influencing the alkaline comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Erin K; McNamee, James P; Prud'homme Lalonde, Louise; Jones, Trevor; Wilkinson, Diana

    2012-01-01

    In this study, an acellular modification to the alkaline comet assay to further evaluate key variables within the assay that may influence the outcome of genotoxicity studies is described. This acellular comet assay can detect differences of 0.2 Gy of (60)Co gamma-ray radiation between 0 and 1 Gy and differences of 1 Gy between 0 and 8 Gy; thus, this assay is applicable for a wide range of DNA damage levels. It is also shown that DNA damage from different radiation energies was not significantly different from (60)Co gamma-ray. This assay displayed a statistical increase in DNA damage due to uncontrolled exposure to natural light; however, the slope of the dose-response curve for light-exposed samples was similar to that for samples protected from light. A comparison of the alkaline comet assay with the acellular comet assay allowed for the intrinsic repair capacity of the alkaline comet assay to be quantified.

  8. Water and dust production rates in comet P/Halley derived from ultraviolet and optical observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Festou, Michel C.

    1992-01-01

    We evaluate whether the activity of comet P/Halley is due solely to the presence of discrete active areas. We preliminarily conclude that the dark areas of the nucleus contribute to the formation of the coma.

  9. Hydrogen cyanide polymers, comets and the origin of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Clifford N; Minard, Robert D

    2006-01-01

    Hydrogen cyanide polymers--heterogeneous solids ranging in colour from yellow to orange to brown to black--could be major components of the dark matter observed on many bodies of the outer solar system including asteroids, moons, planets and, especially, comets. The presence on cometary nuclei of frozen volatiles such as methane, ammonia and water subjected to high energy sources makes them attractive sites for the ready formation and condensed-phase polymerization of hydrogen cyanide. This could account for the dark crust observed on Comet Halley in 1986 by the Vega and Giotto missions. Dust emanating from its nucleus would arise partly from HCN polymers as suggested by the Giotto detection of free hydrogen cyanide, CN radicals, solid particles consisting only of H, C and N, or only of H, C, N, O, and nitrogen-containing organic compounds. Further evidence for cometary HCN polymers could be expected from in situ analysis of the ejected material from Comet Tempel 1 after collision with the impactor probe from the two-stage Deep Impact mission on July 4, 2005. Even more revealing will be actual samples of dust collected from the coma of Comet Wild 2 by the Stardust mission, due to return to Earth in January 2006 for analyses which we have predicted will detect these polymers and related compounds. In situ results have already shown that nitriles and polymers of hydrogen cyanide are probable components of the cometary dust that struck the Cometary and Interstellar Dust Analyzer of the Stardust spacecraft as it approached Comet Wild 2 on January 2, 2004. Preliminary evidence (January 2005) obtained by the Huygens probe of the ongoing Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its satellites indicates the presence of nitrogen-containing organic compounds in the refractory organic cores of the aerosols that give rise to the orange haze high in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. Our continuing investigations suggest that HCN polymers are basically of two types

  10. I Spy a Comet!

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Extrasolar comets: The origin of dust in exozodiacal disks?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marboeuf, U.; Bonsor, A.; Augereau, J.-C.

    2016-11-01

    Comets have been invoked in numerous studies as a potentially important source of dust and gas around stars, but none has studied the thermo-physical evolution, out-gassing rate, and dust ejection of these objects in such stellar systems. In this paper we investigate the thermo-physical evolution of comets in exo-planetary systems in order to provide valuable theoretical data required to interpret observations of gas and dust. We use a quasi-3D model of cometary nucleus to study the thermo-physical evolution of comets evolving around a single star from 0.1 to 50 AU, whose homogeneous luminosity varies from 0.1 to 70L⊙. This paper provides thermal evolution, physical alteration, mass ejection, lifetimes, and the rate of dust and water gas mass productions for comets as a function of the distance to the star and stellar luminosity. Results show significant physical changes to comets at high stellar luminosities. The mass loss per revolution and the lifetime of comets depend on their initial size, orbital parameters and follow a power law with stellar luminosity. The models are presented in such a manner that they can be readily applied to any planetary system. By considering the examples of the Solar System, Vega and HD 69830, we show that dust grains released from sublimating comets have the potential to create the observed (exo)zodiacal emission. We show that observations can be reproduced by 1 to 2 massive comets or by a large number of comets whose orbits approach close to the star. Our conclusions depend on the stellar luminosity and the uncertain lifetime of the dust grains. We find, as in previous studies, that exozodiacal dust disks can only survive if replenished by a population of typically sized comets renewed from a large and cold reservoir of cometary bodies beyond the water ice line. These comets could reach the inner regions of the planetary system following scattering by a (giant) planet.

  12. CO in Distantly Active Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Womack, M.; Sarid, G.; Wierzchos, K.

    2017-03-01

    The activity of most comets near 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 of ∼3 au. Three bodies dominate the observational record and modeling efforts for distantly active comets: the long-period comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp), and the short-period comets (with Centaur orbits) 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 and 2060 Chiron. We summarize what is known about these three objects with an emphasis on their gaseous comae. We calculate their CN/CO and CO2/CO production rate ratios from the literature and discuss implications, such as HCN and CO2 outgassing are not significant contributors to their comae. Using our own data we derive CO production rates, Q(CO), for all three objects to examine whether there is a correlation between gas production and different orbital histories and/or size. The CO measurements of Hale-Bopp (4–11 AU) and 29P are consistent with a nominal production rate of Q(CO) = 3.5 × 1029 r‑2 superimposed with sporadic outbursts. The similarity of Hale-Bopp CO production rates for pre- and post-perihelion suggests that thermal inertia was not very important and therefore most of the activity is at or near the surface of the comet. We further examine the applicability of existing models in explaining the systematic behavior of our small sample. We find that orbital history does not appear to play a significant role in explaining 29P’s CO production rates. 29P outproduces Hale-Bopp at the same heliocentric distance, even though it has been subjected to much more solar heating. Previous modeling work on such objects predicts that 29P should have been devolatilized over a fresher comet like Hale-Bopp. This may point to 29P having a different orbital history than current models predict, with its current orbit acquired more recently. On the other hand, Chiron’s CO measurements are consistent with it being significantly depleted

  13. Hydrogen cyanide polymers on comets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, C N; Ludicky, R

    1992-01-01

    The original presence on cometary nuclei of frozen volatiles such as methane, ammonia and water makes them ideal sites for the formation and condensed-phase polymerization of hydrogen cyanide. We propose that the non-volatile black crust of comet Halley consists largely of such polymers. Dust emanating from Halley's nucleus, contributing to the coma and tail, would also arise partly from these solids. Indeed, secondary species such as CN have been widely detected, as well as HCN itself and particles consisting only of H, C and N. Our continuing investigations suggest that the yellow-orange-brown-black polymers are of two types: ladder structures with conjugated -C=N- bonds, and polyamidines readily converted by water to polypeptides. These easily formed macromolecules could be major components of the dark matter observed on the giant planets Jupiter and Saturn, as well as on outer solar system bodies such as asteroids, moons and other comets. Implications for prebiotic chemistry are profound. Primitive Earth may have been covered by HCN polymers either through cometary bombardment or by terrestrial happenings of the kind that brought about the black crust of Halley. The resulting proteinaceous matrix could have promoted the molecular interactions leading to the emergence of life.

  14. Dust emission from comets at large heliocentric distances. I - The case of comet Bowell /1980b/

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houpis, H. L. F.; Mendis, D. A.

    1981-01-01

    Alternative processes of dust emission from comets at large heliocentric distances are considered, in order to explain the dust coma observed in comet Bowell (1980b) at a heliocentric distance as large as 7.17 AU. It is shown that the electrostatic blow-off of dust from a charged, H2O-dominated nucleus having a layer of loose, fine dust may be the formation process of the dust coma, with the coma size expected from the process being comparable to the observed value and the dust grain size being equal to or less than 0.4 microns in size. The upper limit for the total mass in the coma is 3.9 x 10 to the 8th g, and the spatial extension less than 10,000 km. The observed activity may alternatively be due to dust entrainment by the sublimating gas from a CO2-dominated nucleus.

  15. Assessment by Ames test and comet assay of toxicity potential of polymer used to develop field-capable rapid-detection device to analyze environmental samples

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebert, Amanda; Bishop, Michelle; Bhattacharyya, Dhiman; Gleason, Karen; Torosian, Stephen

    2015-08-01

    There is need for devices that decrease detection time of food-borne pathogens from days to real-time. In this study, a rapid-detection device is being developed and assessed for potential cytotoxicity. The device is comprised of melt-spun polypropylene coupons coated via oxidative chemical vapor deposition (oCVD) with 3,4-Ethylenedioxythiophene (EDOT), for conductivity and 3-Thiopheneethanol (3TE), allowing antibody attachment. The Ames test and comet assay have been used in this study to examine the toxicity potentials of EDOT, 3TE, and polymerized EDOT-co-3TE. For this study, Salmonella typhimurium strain TA1535 was used to assess the mutagenic potential of EDOT, 3TE and the copolymer. The average mutagenic potential of EDOT, 3TE and copolymer was calculated to be 0.86, 0.56, and 0.92, respectively. For mutagenic potential, on a scale from 0 to 1, close to 1 indicates low potential for toxicity, whereas a value of 0 indicates a high potential for toxicity. The comet assay is a single-cell gel electrophoresis technique that is widely used for this purpose. This assay measures toxicity based on the area or intensity of the comet-like shape that DNA fragments produce when DNA damage has occurred. Three cell lines were assessed; FRhK-4, BHK-21, and Vero cells. After averaging the results of all three strains, the tail intensity of the copolymer was 8.8 % and tail moment was 3.0, and is most similar to the untreated control, with average tail intensity of 5.7 % and tail moment of 1.7. The assays conducted in this study provide evidence that the copolymer is non-toxic to humans.

  16. The location of Asteroidal Belt Comets (ABCs), in a comet's evolutionary diagram: The Lazarus Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrín, Ignacio; Zuluaga, Jorge; Cuartas, Pablo

    2013-09-01

    There is a group of newly recognized asteroids in the main belt that are exhibiting cometary characteristics. We will call them Asteroidal Belt Comets or ABCs for short. The surprising property of these objects is that their orbits are entirely asteroidal while their behaviour is entirely cometary, with Tisserand invariants larger than 3.0, while all Jupiter family comets have Tisserand invariants smaller than 3.0. An analysis of their orbital and physical properties has resulted in the following conclusion. (1) We define the `detached group (DG)' as those objects that exhibit cometary characteristics (sublimating water) and have aphelion distances Q < 4.5 au. The DG contains all the ABCs traditionally recognized, plus a few other members not traditionally recognized like 2P and 107P. With the above definition there are 11 members of the ABC group: 2P, 107P, 133P, 176P, 233P, 238P, C/2008 R1, C/2010 R2, 2011 CR42, 3200 and 300163 = 2006 VW139. And there are three members of the collisioned asteroids, CA, P/2010 A2, 596 Scheila and P/2012 F5 Gibbs. (2) In the literature a common reason for activity is interplanetary collisions. Active objects sublimate ices except for the CA that have exhibited dust tails due to collisions and 3200 Phaethon activated by solar wind sputtering. In this work, we will trace the origin of activity to a diminution of their perihelion distances, a hypothesis that has not been previously explored in the literature. (3) We have calibrated the blackbody (colour) temperature of comets versus perihelion distance, R, regardless of class. We find T = 325 ± 5 K/√R. (4) Using a mathematical model of the thermal wave we calculate the thickness of the crust or dust layer on comet nuclei. We find a thickness of 2.0 ± 0.5 m for comet 107P, 4.7 ± 1.2 m for comet 133P and 1.9 ± 0.5 m for a sample of nine comets. Note the small errors. (5) We have located three ABCs in an evolutionary diagram of Remaining Revolutions (RR) versus Water-Budget Age (WB

  17. Colors of active regions on comet 67P

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oklay, N.; Vincent, J.-B.; Sierks, H.; Besse, S.; Fornasier, S.; Barucci, M. A.; Lara, L.; Scholten, F.; Preusker, F.; Lazzarin, M.; Pajola, M.; La Forgia, F.

    2015-10-01

    The OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) scientific imager (Keller et al. 2007) is successfully delivering images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from its both wide angle camera (WAC) and narrow angle camera (NAC) since ESA's spacecraft Rosetta's arrival to the comet. Both cameras are equipped with filters covering the wavelength range of about 200 nm to 1000 nm. The comet nucleus is mapped with different combination of the filters in resolutions up to 15 cm/px. Besides the determination of the surface morphology in great details (Thomas et al. 2015), such high resolution images provided us a mean to unambiguously link some activity in the coma to a series of pits on the nucleus surface (Vincent et al. 2015).

  18. Dust emission of Comet Halley at large heliocentric distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruen, E.; Schwehm, G.; Massonne, L.; Fertig, J.; Graser, U.

    1985-01-01

    Comet Halley is currently approaching the inner solar system. Four spacecrafts (NASA's spacecraft, two Russian Vega probes and the Japanese MS-T5 spacecraft) have already been launched to encounter the comet in March 1986. Two additional Halley probes (the European Giotto spacecraft and another Japanese Planet-A probe) will be launched in mid-85 to join the armada. Observations of dust emissions from Halley's Comet are discussed. The evaporation of cometary ices causes the emission of particulates from the nucleus. These observations will be used to determine the fly-by strategy of the Giotto spacecraft by taking into account the distribution of dust in the vicinity of the nucleus and the associated hazard for the space mission.

  19. The Rosetta mission: Clues on the origin of comet nuclei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidsson, Bjorn; Stern, S. Alan; Kofman, Wlodek; Hilchenbach, Martin; rotundi, alessandra; Bentley, Mark; Hofstadter, Mark; Sierks, Holger; Altwegg, Kathrin; Nilsson, Hans; Burch, James L.; Eriksson, Anders I.; Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz; Henri, Pierre; Carr, Christopher M.; Pätzold, Martin; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Boehnhardt, Hermann; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Fulle, Marco; Fulchignoni, Marcello; Gruen, Eberhard; Weissman, Paul R.; Taylor, Matt; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Choukroun, Mathieu; Altobelli, Nicolas; Snodgrass, Colin; Rosetta Science Working Team

    2016-10-01

    The Rosetta mission has been taking measurements of its target Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko sinceearly 2014 and will complete operations at the end of September 2016. The mission Science Management Plan,in 1994, laid out the the prime goals and themes of the mission. These five themes were:1) To study the global characterization of the Nucleus, the determination of the dynamics properties ,surface morphology and composition of the comet.2) Examination of the Chemical, Mineralogical and isotopic compositions of volatiles and refractoriesin a cometary nucleus.3) Physical interrelation of volatile and refractories in a cometary nucleus4) Study the development of cometary activity and the process in the surface layer of thenucleus and in the inner coma5) The origins of comets, the relationship between cometary and interstellar material and theimplications for the origin of the solar system,To cover all aspects of the Rosetta mission in this special Show case session, this abstracts isone of 5, with this particular presentation focusing on theme 5.Several scenarios for comet nucleus formation have been proposed, such as hierarchical agglomeration,or gravitational collapse of pebble swarms created either by turbulent eddies or by streaming instabilities.In addition, the question of survival of such primordial nuclei versus severe collisional processinghas been debated. The pros and cons of these hypotheses are discussed in the light of Rosetta's discoveries.

  20. Finite lifetime fragment model for synchronic band formation in dust tails of comets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nishioka, Kimihiko; Watanabe, Junichi (Olympus Optical Co., Ltd., Tokyo (Japan) National Astronomical Observatory, Mitaka (Japan))

    1990-10-01

    Synchronic band (SYB) formation in comet dust tails is explained on the basis of a finite lifetime fragment model. Parent particles ejected from the comet nucleus break up at various times, and fragments with a finite lifetime are produced. The observed SYB is produced by the new fragments; it is formed within the lifetime. The model has been applied to SYBs in three comets, and the SYB particle lifetime was found to range from 25 to 70 days. The model describes well the shape of a SYB of Comet West. 14 refs.

  1. Comets: Role and importance to exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delsemme, Armand H.

    1992-01-01

    The transfer of organic compounds from interstellar space to the outskirts of a protoplanetary disk, their accretion into cometary objects, and the transport of the latter into the inner solar system by orbital diffusion throw a new light on the central problem of exobiology. It suggests the existence of a cosmic mechanism, working everywhere, that can supply prebiotic compounds to ubiquitous rocky planets, in search of the proper environment to start life in many places in the Universe. Under the heading of chemistry of the cometary nucleus, the following topics are covered: radial homogeneity of the nucleus; the dust-to-ice ratio; nature of the dust grains; origin of the dust in comets; nature of the volatile fraction; the CO distribution in comet Halley; dust contribution to the volatile fraction; elemental balance sheet of comet Halley; quantitative molecular analysis of the volatile fraction; and isotopic ratios. Under the heading of exogenous origin of carbon on terrestrial planets the following topics are covered: evidence for a high-temperature phase; from planetesimals to planets; a veneer of volatile and organic material; and cometary contribution.

  2. An Overview of the COMET Experiment and its Recent Progress

    CERN Document Server

    ,

    2015-01-01

    Forbidden in the Standard Model, Charged Lepton Flavour Violation is a strong probe for New Physics. The COMET Experiment will measure one of these processes: that of COherent Muon to Electron Transitions, where a muon converts to an electron in the presence of a nucleus without the emission of any neutrinos. COMET aims to improve the current limit on this process by four orders of magnitude. Being built in two phases at J-PARC, Tokai, Japan, COMET will first take data in 2018, where it should achieve a factor 100 improvement. This report gives an overview of $\\mu$-$e$ conversion and the COMET experiment as well as a summary of the recent progress in construction and design.

  3. Nucleus properties of P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meech, Karen J.; Belton, Michael J. S.; Mueller, Beatrice E. A.; Dicksion, Matthew W.; Li, Heide R.

    1993-01-01

    Time series photometric measurements are presented of Comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 at a heliocentric distance of 5.886 AU when the comet possessed an extensive coma. The light curve shows a modulation caused by the rotation of the nucleus. The rotation period is considerably shorter than the 5 day period found by Whipple (1980), and we find substantial evidence that the nucleus may be in a complex spin state characterized by two periods 14.0 and 32.3 hr. Models of the rate at which the rotational light curve range decreases as a function of the amount of coma in the aperture have determined that the projected maximum to minimum axis ratio of the comet is 2.6 and that the product of the albedo times the rotationally averaged nucleus radius size is 9.54 +/- 0.3 sq km. Assuming a minimum geometric albedo of pR = 0.04, the maximum projected average nucleus radius is 15.44 +/-0.2 km, which is only 44 percent of the size estimated by Roemer (1966). However, using the albedo determined by Cruikshank & Brown (1983) of p = 0.13, the nucleus radius is only RN = 8.6 +/-0.l km. Because of the unknown nucleus orientation, these will be upper limits to the nucleus size. It appears that the nucleus of P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 is not the large nucleus that it has been believed to be for nearly 40 yr.

  4. Constraints on Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Man-To; Ye, Quan-Zhi; Wiegert, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Encke-type comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami is experiencing cascading fragmentation events during its 2016 apparition. It is likely the first splitting Encke-type comet ever observed. A nongravitational solution to the astrometry reveals a statistical detection of the radial and transverse nongravitational parameters, {A}1=(1.54+/- 0.39)× {10}-8 au day‑2 and {A}2=(7.19+/- 1.92)× {10}-9 au day‑2, respectively, which implies a nucleus erosion rate of (9.1+/- 1.7)‰ per orbital revolution. The mass-loss rate likely has to be supported by a much larger fraction of an active surface area than known cases of short-period comets; it may be relevant to the ongoing fragmentation. We failed to detect any serendipitous pre-discovery observations of the comet in archival data from major sky surveys, whereby we infer that 332P used to be largely inactive, and is perhaps among the few short-period comets that have been reactivated from weakly active or dormant states. We therefore constrain an upper limit to the nucleus size as 2.0 ± 0.2 km in radius. A search for small bodies in similar orbits to that of 332P reveals comet P/2010 B2 (WISE) to be the best candidate. From an empirical generalized Jupiter-family (Encke-type included) comet population model, we estimate the likelihood of a chance alignment of the 332P–P/2010 B2 pair to be 1 in 33, a small number indicative of a genetic linkage between the two comets on a statistical basis. The pair possibly originated from a common progenitor, which underwent a disintegration event well before the twentieth century.

  5. Comet 81P/wild 2 under a microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownlee, D.; Tsou, P.; Aleon, J.; O'D, Alexander; Araki, T.; Bajt, S.; Baratta, G.A.; Bastien, R.; Bland, P.; Bleuet, P.; Borg, J.; Bradley, J.P.; Brearley, A.; Brenker, F.; Brennan, S.; Bridges, J.C.; Browning, N.D.; Brucato, J.R.; Bullock, E.; Burchell, M.J.; Busemann, H.; Butterworth, A.; Chaussidon, M.; Cheuvront, A.; Chi, M.; Cintala, M.J.; Clark, B. C.; Clemett, S.J.; Cody, G.; Colangeli, L.; Cooper, G.; Cordier, P.; Daghlian, C.; Dai, Z.; D'Hendecourt, L.; Djouadi, Z.; Dominguez, G.; Duxbury, T.; Dworkin, J.P.; Ebel, D.S.; Economou, T.E.; Fakra, S.; Fairey, S.A.J.; Fallon, S.; Ferrini, G.; Ferroir, T.; Fleckenstein, H.; Floss, C.; Flynn, G.; Franchi, I.A.; Fries, M.; Gainsforth, Z.; Gallien, J.-P.; Genge, M.; Gilles, M.K.; Gillet, P.; Gilmour, J.; Glavin, D.P.; Gounelle, M.; Grady, M.M.; Graham, G.A.; Grant, P.G.; Green, S.F.; Grossemy, F.; Grossman, L.; Grossman, J.N.; Guan, Y.; Hagiya, K.; Harvey, R.; Heck, P.; Herzog, G.F.; Hoppe, P.; Horz, F.; Huth, J.; Hutcheon, I.D.; Ignatyev, K.; Ishii, H.; Ito, M.; Jacob, D.; Jacobsen, C.; Jacobsen, S.; Jones, S.; Joswiak, D.; Jurewicz, A.; Kearsley, A.T.; Keller, L.P.; Khodja, H.; Kilcoyne, A.L.D.; Kissel, J.; Krot, A.; Langenhorst, F.; Lanzirotti, A.; Le, L.; Leshin, L.A.; Leitner, J.; Lemelle, L.; Leroux, H.; Liu, M.-C.; Luening, K.; Lyon, I.; MacPherson, G.; Marcus, M.A.; Marhas, K.; Marty, B.; Matrajt, G.; McKeegan, K.; Meibom, A.; Mennella, V.; Messenger, K.; Messenger, S.; Mikouchi, T.; Mostefaoui, S.; Nakamura, T.; Nakano, T.; Newville, M.; Nittler, L.R.; Ohnishi, I.; Ohsumi, K.; Okudaira, K.; Papanastassiou, D.A.; Palma, R.; Palumbo, M.E.; Pepin, R.O.; Perkins, D.; Perronnet, M.; Pianetta, P.; Rao, W.; Rietmeijer, F.J.M.; Robert, F.; Rost, D.; Rotundi, A.; Ryan, R.; Sandford, S.A.; Schwandt, C.S.; See, T.H.; Schlutter, D.; Sheffield-Parker, J.; Simionovici, A.; Simon, S.; Sitnitsky, I.; Snead, C.J.; Spencer, M.K.; Stadermann, F.J.; Steele, A.; Stephan, T.

    2006-01-01

    The Stardust spacecraft collected thousands of particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 and returned them to Earth for laboratory study. The preliminary examination of these samples shows that the nonvolatile portion of the comet is an unequilibrated assortment of materials that have both presolar and solar system origin. The comet contains an abundance of silicate grains that are much larger than predictions of interstellar grain models, and many of these are high-temperature minerals that appear to have formed in the inner regions of the solar nebula. Their presence in a comet proves that the formation of the solar system included mixing on the grandest scales.

  6. Outburst and nuclear breakup of Comet Halley - 1910

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, H. J.; Albrecht, R.

    1981-01-01

    Computer processing of five plates of Comet Halley taken during the 1910 apparition shows that on May 24 strong asymmetric (with respect to the tail axis) fountain-like parabolic plumes had developed on the sunward side of the nucleus. Visual observations showed that after an initial fading while passing in front of the sun, the brightness increased to about magnitude 1. On the plates taken May 31, the nucleus is clearly divided into at least three parts of nearly equal brightness. However, the last plate on June 3 shows a symmetrical coma with a small stellar-like nucleus.

  7. Beyond 3 AU from the Sun: "Hypervolatiles" in Distant Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonev, Boncho P.; Villanueva, Geronimo Luis; Mumma, Michael J.; DiSanti, Michael A.; Paganini, Lucas; Boehnhardt, Hermann; Lippi, Manuela; Gibb, Erika L.; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; de Val-Borro, Miguel; Kawakita, Hideyo; Altwegg, Kathrin

    2016-10-01

    Our understanding of inner coma composition in comets has long been biased towards heliocentric distances (Rh) smaller than 2-3 AU. However, observations far from the Sun are also of high value for better understanding the nucleus structure and outgassing of volatiles. Substantial and very important evidence for the activity of distant comets has been accumulated from photometry and analyses of light curves, but direct detections of primary (parent) volatiles are still rare. For example, comet C/2006 W3 (Christensen) remained outside 3.1 AU throughout its apparition, yet it presented the best opportunity since Hale-Bopp (1997) for detailed spectroscopic studies in a distant comet. C/2006 W3 was observed from several space- and ground-based facilities using both infrared and radio techniques. CO, CH4, and C2H6 were measured via infrared spectroscopy at ESO-VLT at Rh = 3.25 AU. Production rates were found to exceed those measured for each of these species in most other comets, despite those comets being observed much closer to the Sun. With its relatively high CO/CO2 ratio, C/2006 W3 also appears as an outlier in the AKARI comet survey of 18 comets. The detections of H2O (Herschel Space Observatory) and CO (ESO-VLT) allow for constraining the coma abundance ratio H2O/CO at Rh = 5 AU.We will compare the C2H6/CH4/CO ratios in C/2006 W3 with those in other comets spanning a large range in Rh: from D/2012 S1 ISON (~0.7 AU) to 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (~ 6.3 AU). Notably in situ measurements by the Rosetta mission were performed in the coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, at a very similar heliocentric distance to C/2006 W3 (3.15 AU). While comparisons of column-integrated remote sensing measurements and abundances from in-situ mass spectrometry (as performed by the ROSINA instrument) are not straightforward, both types of measurement are of high value for constraining models of nucleus outgassing beyond 3 AU from the Sun, where the inferred nucleus structure and

  8. TRAPPIST monitoring of comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Opitom, C.; Jehin, E.; Manfroid, J.; Hutsemékers, D.; Gillon, M.; Magain, P.

    2015-02-01

    We report the results of the long-term narrowband photometry and imaging monitoring of comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) with the robotic TRAPPIST telescope (La Silla Observatory). Observations covered 52 nights pre- and post-perihelion between December 11, 2012, and June 11, 2013 (perihelion: 24 March, 2013). We followed the evolution of the OH, NH, CN, C3, and C2 production rates computed with the Haser model as well as the evolution of the A(θ)fρ parameter as a proxy for the dust production. All five gas species display similar slopes for the heliocentric dependence. An asymmetry about perihelion is observed, the rate of brightening being steeper than the rate of fading. The chemical composition of the comet's coma changes slightly along the orbit: the relative abundance of C2 to CN increases with the heliocentric distance (r) below -1.4 au and decreases with r beyond 1.4 au while the C3-to-CN ratio is constant during our observations. The behavior of the dust is different from that of the gas, the slope of the heliocentric dependence becoming steeper in early February, correlated to a change in the visual lightcurve slope. However, the dust color does not vary during the observations. The application of several enhancement techniques on the images revealed structures in the CN, C3, and C2 images. These features imply the existence of one or several active zone(s) on the comet nucleus. The shape of the structures is similar in these three filters and changes from a roughly hourglass shape in December and January to a corkscrew shape in February and March. The structures in the continuum filters (sampling the dust) are not correlated to those observed for the gas. During several full nights in February, we observed changes in the CN and C2 structures that repeated periodically because of the nucleus rotation, our derived rotational period being of 9.52 ± 0.05 h. Full Tables 2, 4, 6 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130

  9. Amino Acids from a Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Jamie Elisla

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Stardust spacecraft returned samples from comet 81P/Wild 2 to Earth in January 2006. Examinations of the organic compounds in cometary samples can reveal information about the prebiotic organic inventory present on the early Earth and within the early Solar System, which may have contributed to the origin of life. Preliminary studies of Stardust material revealed the presence of a suite of organic compounds including several amines and amino acids, but the origin of these compounds (cometary- vs. terrestrial contamination) could not be identified. We have recently measured the carbon isotopic ratios of these amino acids to determine their origin, leading to the first detection of a coetary amino acid.

  10. The Composition of Dust in Jupiter-Family Comets as Inferred from Infrared Spectroscopy

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, Michael S

    2008-01-01

    We review the composition of Jupiter-family comet dust as inferred from infrared spectroscopy. We find that Jupiter-family comets have 10 micron silicate emission features with fluxes roughly 20-25% over the dust continuum (emission strength 1.20-1.25), similar to the weakest silicate features in Oort Cloud comets. We discuss the grain properties that change the silicate emission feature strength (composition, size, and structure/shape), and emphasize that thermal emission from the comet nucleus can have significant influence on the derived silicate emission strength. Recent evidence suggests that porosity is the dominant parameter, although more observations and models of silicates in Jupiter-family comets are needed to determine if a consistent set of grain parameters can explain their weak silicate emission features. Models of 8 m telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope observations have shown that Jupiter-family comets have crystalline silicates with abundances similar to or less than those found in Oort Cl...

  11. DDT_lorourke_20: Herschel Observations of Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) - the comet of the century

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Rourke, L.

    2013-02-01

    Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) was discovered in September 2012. Its orbit is nearly parabolic consistent with a dynamically new comet coming freshly from the Oort cloud. It is peculiar in that it is a sungrazer (q = 0.012AU) although not of the Kreutz group. This comet is expected to be the brightest comet for decades reaching a magnitude (according to Horizons) brighter than the full moon at closest approach to the sun. Journalists are calling it "the Comet of the century" and it is expected to have huge public outreach. This proposal serves to use the HIFI and PACS instruments to, in the former case, obtain the first detection of H2O from this comet, and in the latter case, derive a size estimate for the nucleus and determine its dust production rate. A total time of 5 hours (3 h HIFI, 2 h PACS) is being requested. HIFI is the most powerful instrument to detect water in distant comets, through observation of the fundamental water rotational transition which is much stronger than the transitions observable from the ground. The HIFI observations allows to detect H2O well outside the water dominated sublimation range (i.e. at heliocentric distances rh > 3 AU), a rare measurement for a comet. PACS is essential to detect the nucleus, its coma and any extended dust emission that may exist at that time. Our measurements will provide an important and unique reference for those wishing to track this comet for the remainder of the year. Unique in that the detection of early water outgassing from comet ISON can only be achieved with the Herschel Observatory because of its sensitivity and the spectral resolution o?ered by HIFI to e?ciently detect H2O. Observations of the H2O strong rotational lines cannot be performed from the ground. Unique in that we would be detecting the nucleus and dust cloud at 70 microns. These are unique measurements and unique solely to the Herschel Space Observatory and the European Space Agency; ideal for an ESA public outreach campaign.

  12. Comet composition and Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Biver, Nicolas

    2016-10-01

    Comet composition and properties provide information on chemical and physical processes that occurred in the early Solar system, 4.6 Gyr ago. The study of comets and of star-forming regions both help for a better understanding of the formation of planetary systems. A review of our present knowledge of cometary composition is presented. We also discuss laboratory studies that would be helpful for data analysis.

  13. Abundant Solar Nebula Solids in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, S.; Keller, L. P.; Nakamura-Messenger, K.; Nguyen, A. N.; Clemett, S.

    2016-01-01

    Comets have been proposed to consist of unprocessed interstellar materials together with a variable amount of thermally annealed interstellar grains. Recent studies of cometary solids in the laboratory have shown that comets instead consist of a wide range of materials from across the protoplanetary disk, in addition to a minor complement of interstellar materials. These advances were made possible by the return of direct samples of comet 81P/Wild 2 coma dust by the NASA Stardust mission and recent advances in microscale analytical techniques. Isotopic studies of 'cometary' chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles (CP-IDPs) and comet 81P/Wild 2 Stardust samples show that preserved interstellar materials are more abundant in comets than in any class of meteorite. Identified interstellar materials include sub-micron-sized presolar silicates, oxides, and SiC dust grains and some fraction of the organic material that binds the samples together. Presolar grain abundances reach 1 weight percentage in the most stardust-rich CP-IDPs, 50 times greater than in meteorites. Yet, order of magnitude variations in presolar grain abundances among CP-IDPs suggest cometary solids experienced significant variations in the degree of processing in the solar nebula. Comets contain a surprisingly high abundance of nebular solids formed or altered at high temperatures. Comet 81P/Wild 2 samples include 10-40 micron-sized, refractory Ca- Al-rich inclusion (CAI)-, chondrule-, and ameboid olivine aggregate (AOA)-like materials. The O isotopic compositions of these refractory materials are remarkably similar to their meteoritic counterparts, ranging from 5 percent enrichments in (sup 16) O to near-terrestrial values. Comet 81P/Wild 2 and CP-IDPs also contain abundant Mg-Fe crystalline and amorphous silicates whose O isotopic compositions are also consistent with Solar System origins. Unlike meteorites, that are dominated by locally-produced materials, comets appear to be composed of

  14. The mass disruption of Jupiter Family comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belton, Michael J. S.

    2015-01-01

    I show that the size-distribution of small scattered-disk trans-neptunian objects when derived from the observed size-distribution of Jupiter Family comets (JFCs) and other observational constraints implies that a large percentage (94-97%) of newly arrived active comets within a range of 0.2-15.4 km effective radius must physically disrupt, i.e., macroscopically disintegrate, within their median dynamical lifetime. Additional observational constraints include the numbers of dormant and active nuclei in the near-Earth object (NEO) population and the slope of their size distributions. I show that the cumulative power-law slope (-2.86 to -3.15) of the scattered-disk TNO hot population between 0.2 and 15.4 km effective radius is only weakly dependent on the size-dependence of the otherwise unknown disruption mechanism. Evidently, as JFC nuclei from the scattered disk evolve into the inner Solar System only a fraction achieve dormancy while the vast majority of small nuclei (e.g., primarily those with effective radius Morbidelli, A., Dones, L., Jedicke, R., Wiegert, P.A., Bottke Jr., W.F. [2002]. Science 296, 2212-2215) suggesting that all types of comet nuclei may have similar structural characteristics even though they may have different source regions and thermal histories. The typical disruption rate for a 1 km radius active nucleus is ∼5 × 10-5 disruptions/year and the dormancy rate is typically 3 times less. We also estimate that average fragmentation rates range from 0.01 to 0.04 events/year/comet, somewhat above the lower limit of 0.01 events/year/comet observed by Chen and Jewitt (Chen, J., Jewitt, D.C. [1994]. Icarus 108, 265-271).

  15. General Comet Traits and Comparison of their Dynamical History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choukroun, Mathieu; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Crovisier, Jacques; Gulkis, Samuel; Von Allmen, Paul; Weissman, Paul R.

    2016-10-01

    Six comets have been visited by spacecrafts to date (1P/Halley, 19P/Borelly, 81P/Wild 2, 9P/Tempel 1, 103P/Hartley 2, and 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko). Very diverse nucleus morphologies are observed, within asingle comet and between them: pits, layered regions, scarps, smooth regions. The relative abundances and extent of these morphologies vary largely between comets. On 81P, pits and layered terrains are particularly abundant, while smooth regions are much less abundant. Conversely, on 9P and 19P, pits are notably less abundant, while smooth areas are abundant and more of greater extent. An evolutionary sequence of comet morphologies has been proposed previously, with the formation of pitted and layered terrains with large topography by early activity, and as activity proceeds, materials are mobilized and eventually form smoother, erosional regions. Observations of 67P seem to place it in between 81P and 9P/19P in this evolutionary sequence. Here we compare nucleus morphologies, outgassing rates, and dynamical history of these comets, in an attempt to test this evolutionary sequence, and to assess whether other properties may also be related to their dynamical history.This work has been conducted in part at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract to NASA. Government sponsorship acknowledged.

  16. Assessing the Main-Belt Comet Population with Comet Hunters

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Cometary activity in the asteroid belt is a recent discovery. Evidence suggests recent collisions play a role excavating subsurface water ice in these Main Belt Comets (MBCs). MBCs may be an alternative source of Earth’s water. The properties and origins of the MBCs remain elusive. To date ~15 MBCs are known, but only with many tens to 100s of MBCs can we fully explore this new reservoir and its implications for the early Earth.Automated routines identify cometary objects by comparing the point spread functions (PSFs) of moving objects to background stars. This approach may miss cometary activity with low-level dust comae or trails that are too weak or extended to affect an object's near-nucleus PSF profile. Direct visual inspection of moving objects by survey team members can often catch such unusual objects, but such an approach is impractical for the largest surveys to date, and will only become more intractable with the next generation wide-field surveys.With the Internet, tens of thousands of people can be engaged in the scientific process. With this citizen science approach, the combined assessment of many non-experts often equals or rivals that of a trained expert and in many cases outperforms automated algorithms. The Comet Hunters (http://www.comethunters.org) project enlists the public to search for MBCs in data from the Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) wide survey. HSC is to date the largest field-of-view camera (covering a 1.5 degree diameter circle on sky) on a 8-10-m class telescope. The HSC wide survey provides the sensitivity to detect cometary activity at lower levels than have been possible for previous surveys.We will give an overview of the Comet Hunters project. We will present the results from the first ~10,000 HSC asteroids searched and provide an estimate on the frequency of cometary activity in the Main Asteroid beltAcknowledgements: This work uses data generated via the Zooniverse.org platform, development of which was supported by a Global

  17. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Hamacher, Duane W

    2010-01-01

    We present 25 accounts of comets from 40 Australian Aboriginal communities, citing both supernatural perceptions of comets and historical accounts of 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.

  18. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Nature and origin of organic molecules in comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delsemme, A. H.

    1981-01-01

    The organic molecules sublimating from the cometary nucleus either represent the 'frost' of interstellar molecules that condensed onto those interstellar grains that have later accreted into comets, or they represent the 'snows' that condensed onto silicate grains during the cooling phase of the presolar nebula. Even if one does not accept the speculations of Hoyle and Wickramashinghe (1977), the fact that prebiotic chemistry could have been brought from the interstellar space or from the solar nebula to the Earth by comets is an intriguing possibility that cannot be ruled out at this stage.

  20. Will Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) Survive Perihelion?

    CERN Document Server

    Knight, Matthew M

    2013-01-01

    On 2013 November 28 Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) will pass by the Sun with a perihelion distance of 2.7 solar radii. Understanding the possible outcomes for the comet's response to such a close passage by the Sun is important for planning observational campaigns and for inferring ISON's physical properties. We present new numerical simulations and interpret them in context with the historical track record of comet disruptions and of sungrazing comet behavior. Historical data suggest that sizes below ~200 m are susceptible to destruction by sublimation driven mass loss, while we find that for ISON's perihelion distance, densities lower than 0.1 g cm^-3 are required to tidally disrupt a retrograde or non-spinning body. Such low densities are substantially below the range of the best-determined comet nucleus densities, though dynamically new comets such as ISON have few measurements of physical properties. Disruption may occur for prograde rotation at densities up to 0.7 g cm^-3, with the chances of disruption increas...

  1. Ensemble Properties of Comets in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Solontoi, Michael; /Adler Planetarium, Chicago; Ivezic, Zeljko; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Juric, Mario; /Harvard Coll. Observ.; Becker, Andrew C.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Jones, Lynne; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; West, Andrew A.; /Boston U.; Kent, Steve; /Fermilab; Lupton, Robert H.; /Princeton U. Observ.; Claire, Mark; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Knapp, Gillian R.; /Princeton U. Observ.; Quinn, Tom; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept. /Princeton U. Observ.

    2012-02-01

    We present the ensemble properties of 31 comets (27 resolved and 4 unresolved) observed by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). This sample of comets represents about 1 comet per 10 million SDSS photometric objects. Five-band (u, g, r, i, z) photometry is used to determine the comets colors, sizes, surface brightness profiles, and rates of dust production in terms of the Afp formalism. We find that the cumulative luminosity function for the Jupiter Family Comets in our sample is well fit by a power law of the form N(comets. The resolved comets show an extremely narrow distribution of colors (0.57 {+-} 0.05 in g - r for example), which are statistically indistinguishable from that of the Jupiter Trojans. Further, there is no evidence of correlation between color and physical, dynamical, or observational parameters for the observed comets.

  2. Outbursting Comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami): A Miniature Comet Holmes

    CERN Document Server

    Ishiguro, Masateru; Hanayama, Hidekazu; Usui, Fumihiko; Sekiguchi, Tomohiko; Yanagisawa, Kenshi; Kuroda, Daisuke; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Ohta, Kouji; Kawai, Nobuyuki; Miyaji, Takeshi; Fukushima, Hideo; Watanabe, Jun-ichi

    2014-01-01

    Short-period comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami, hereafter V1) was discovered visually by two amateur astronomers. The appearance of the comet was peculiar, consisting of an envelope, a spherical coma near the nucleus and a tail extending in the anti-solar direction. We investigated the brightness and the morphological development of the comet by taking optical images with ground-based telescopes. Our observations show that V1 experienced a large-scale explosion between UT 2010 October 31 and November 3. The color of the comet was consistent with the Sun (g'-RC=0.61+-0.20, RC-IC=0.20+-0.20, and B-RC=0.93+-0.25), suggesting that dust particles were responsible for the brightening. We used a dynamical model to understand the peculiar morphology, and found that the envelope consisted of small grains (0.3-1 micron) expanding at a maximum speed of 500+-40 m/s, while the tail and coma were composed of a wider range of dust particle sizes (0.4-570 micron) and expansion speeds 7-390 m/s. The total mass of ejecta is ~5x1...

  3. Comet assay on mice testicular cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anoop Kumar Sharma

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Heritable mutations may result in a variety of adverse outcomes including genetic disease in the offspring. In recent years the focus on germ cell mutagenicity has increased and the “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS” has published classification criteria for germ cell mutagens (Speit et al., 2009. The in vivo Comet assay is considered a useful tool for investigating germ cell genotoxicity. In the present study DNA strand breaks in testicular cells of mice were investigated. Different classes of chemicals were tested in order to evaluate the sensitivity of the comet assay in testicular cells. The chemicals included environmentally relevant substances such as Bisphenol A, PFOS and Tetrabrombisphenol A. Statistical power calculations will be presented to aid in the design of future Comet assay studies on testicular cells. Power curves were provided with different fold changes in % tail DNA, different number of cells scored and different number of gels (Hansen et al., 2014. An example is shown in Figure 1. A high throughput version of the Comet assay was used. Samples were scored with a fully automatic comet assay scoring system that provided faster scoring of randomly selected cells.

  4. Jupiter Laser Facility - COMET Laser

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — COMET has 4 beam configurations with uncompressed pulse lengths from 500 ps to 6 ns, compressed pulses to 0.5 ps, and beam energies up to 20 J. COMET can fire every...

  5. FORCAST Observations of a Bright ToO Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, Diane

    2014-10-01

    We propose to measure the dust and organics of an unknown bright comet or comet outburst with this CY3 Target-of-Opportunity (ToO) proposal. A 5-27 micron spectrum coupled with 11, 19, and 31 micron dual-band photometry of a ToO bright comet with FORCAST will address our two primary goals: 1) characterize the coma dust mineralogy; and 2) identify organics in the critical 5-8 micron region. The crystalline fraction of comet dust has become a benchmark for models of heating and radial transport in our protoplanetary disk. In addition, by measuring the wavelengths, relative intensities, and feature asymmetries of crystalline peaks at 11.2, 19, and 23.5, 27.5, and 33 micron, the shapes of forsterite crystals can be constrained and their condensation temperatures inferred by comparison with theoretical and experimental data. Observations of cometary organics probe the unknown precursor materials that were transformed by heat into 'macromolecular carbon' found ubiquitously in carbonaceous chondrite samples from primitive asteroids. Thermal models fitted to FORCAST observations of a bright ToO comet determine the dust properties and the comet's dust properties links to the physical and chemical conditions in the solar nebula, and help to fulfill the SOFIA Science Case for Evolution of Our Solar System. We define a CY3 ToO bright comet as an unpredictable cometary outburst event or a comet discovered after the CY3 submission deadline that produces a comet with an integrated brightness of Veye within 2 months of discovery. FORCAST 5--31.5 micron observations of a bright comet will enable the study of dust mineral compositions and organic materials, will enable the search for controversial species including PAHs, phyllosilicates and carbonates, and will add to 17 comets with model-constrained silicate crystalline fractions.

  6. Spectral analysis of the Chandra comet survey

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodewits, D.; Christian, D. J.; Torney, M.; Dryer, M.; Lisse, C. M.; Dennerl, K.; Zurbuchen, T. H.; Wolk, S. J.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Hoekstra, R.

    2007-01-01

    Aims. We present results of the analysis of cometary X-ray spectra with an extended version of our charge exchange emission model (Bodewits et al. 2006). We have applied this model to the sample of 8 comets thus far observed with the Chandra X-ray observatory and acis spectrometer in the 300 - 1000

  7. Comets in ancient India

    CERN Document Server

    Gupta, Patrick Das

    2014-01-01

    The Indo-aryans of ancient India observed stars and constellations for ascertaining auspicious times for sacrificial rites ordained by vedas. It is but natural that they would have recounted in the vedic texts about comets. In Rigveda ($\\sim $ 1700 - 1500 BC) and Atharvaveda ($\\sim $ 1150 BC), there are references to dhumaketus and ketus, which stand for comets in Sanskrit. Varahamihira in 550 AD and Ballala Sena ($\\sim $ 1100 - 1200 AD) have described a large number of comets recorded by ancient seers such as Parashara, Vriddha Garga, Narada, Garga, etc. In this article, I conjecture that an episode narrated in Mahabharata of a radiant king, Nahusha, ruling the heavens, and later turning into a serpent after he had kicked the seer Agastya (also the star Canopus), is a mythological retelling of a cometary event.

  8. Astrobiology of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Discovering the Nature of Comets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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)

  10. Look--It's a Comet!

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  11. A Comet Active Beyond the Crystallization Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jewitt, David; Hui, Man-To; Mutchler, Max; Weaver, Harold; Li, Jing; Agarwal, Jessica

    2017-10-01

    We present observations showing inbound long-period comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) to be active at a record heliocentric distance. Nucleus temperatures are too low (60–70 K) either for water ice to sublimate or for amorphous ice to crystallize, requiring another source for the observed activity. Using the Hubble Space Telescope we find a sharply bounded, circularly symmetric dust coma 105 km in radius, with a total scattering cross-section of ∼105 km2. The coma has a logarithmic surface brightness gradient ‑1 over much of its surface, indicating sustained, steady-state dust production. A lack of clear evidence for the action of solar radiation pressure suggests that the dust particles are large, with a mean size ≳0.1 mm. Using a coma convolution model, we find a limit to the apparent magnitude of the nucleus V> 25.2 (absolute magnitude H> 12.9). With assumed geometric albedo p V = 0.04, the limit to the nucleus circular equivalent radius is nucleus surface is likely a result of the comet’s recent arrival from the frigid Oort Cloud.

  12. Carbonaceous Components in the Comet Halley Dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fomenkova, M. N.; Chang, S.; Mukhin, L. M.

    1994-01-01

    Cometary grains containing large amounts of carbon and/or organic matter (CHON) were discovered by in situ measurements of comet Halley dust composition during VEGA and GIOTTO flyby missions. In this paper, we report the classification of these cometary, grains by means of cluster analysis, discuss the resulting compositional groups, and compare them with substances observed or hypothesized in meteorites, interplanetary dust particles, and the interstellar medium. Grains dominated by carbon and/or organic matter (CHON grains) represent approx. 22% of the total population of measured cometary dust particles. They, usually contain a minor abundance of rock-forming elements as well. Grains having organic material are relatively more abundant in the vicinity of the nucleus than in the outer regions of the coma, which suggests decomposition of the organics in the coma environment. The majority of comet Halley organic particles are multicomponent mixtures of carbon phases and organic compounds. Possibly, the cometary CHON grains may be related to kerogen material of an interstellar origin in carbonaceous meteorites. Pure carbon grains, hydrocarbons and polymers of cyanopolyynes, and multi-carbon monoxides are present in cometary dust as compositionally simple and distinctive components among a variety of others. There is no clear evidence of significant presence of pure formaldehyde or HCN polymers in Halley dust particles. The diversity of types of cometary organic compounds is consistent with the inter-stellar dust model of comets and probably reflects differences in composition of precursor dust. Preservation of this heterogeneity among submicron particles suggest the gentle formation of cometary, nucleus by aggregation of interstellar dust in the protosolar nebula without complete mixing or chemical homogenization at the submicron level.

  13. Does Comet WILD-2 contain Gems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, M.; Ishii, H.; Dai, Z. R.; Toppani, A.; Joswiak, D. J.; Leroux, H.; Zolensky, M.; Keller, L. P.; Browning, N. D.

    2007-01-01

    It is expected that Comet Wild-2 dust should resemble anhydrous carbon-rich, chondritic porous (CP) interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) collected in the stratosphere because some CP IDPs are suspected to be from comets. The rarity of carbonaceous grains and presolar silicates, as well as the presence of high-temperature inner solar nebula minerals in the Wild-2 sample (e.g. osbornite and melilite), appear incompatible with most CP IDPs. However, it is premature to draw firm conclusions about the mineralogy of comet Wild-2 because only approx. 1% of the sample has been examined. The most abundant silicates in CP IDPs are GEMS (glass with embedded metal and sulfides). Nonsolar O isotopic compositions confirm that at least some GEMS in IDPs are presolar amorphous silicates. The presence or absence of GEMS in the Wild-2 sample is important because it addresses, (a) the relationship between CP IDPs and comets, and (b) the hypothesis that other GEMS in IDPs formed in the solar nebula. Here we show that most of the GEMSlike materials so far identified in Stardust aerogel were likely impact generated during collection. At the nanometer scale, they are compositionally and crystallographically distinct from GEMS in IDPs.

  14. NARROW DUST JETS IN A DIFFUSE GAS COMA: A NATURAL PRODUCT OF SMALL ACTIVE REGIONS ON COMETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Combi, M. R.; Tenishev, V. M.; Rubin, M.; Fougere, N.; Gombosi, T. I., E-mail: mcombi@umich.edu [Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, 2455 Hayward Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2143 (United States)

    2012-04-10

    Comets often display narrow dust jets but more diffuse gas comae when their eccentric orbits bring them into the inner solar system and sunlight sublimates the ice on the nucleus. Comets are also understood to have one or more active areas covering only a fraction of the total surface active with sublimating volatile ices. Calculations of the gas and dust distribution from a small active area on a comet's nucleus show that as the gas moves out radially into the vacuum of space it expands tangentially, filling much of the hemisphere centered on the active region. The dust dragged by the gas remains more concentrated over the active area. This explains some puzzling appearances of comets having collimated dust jets but more diffuse gaseous atmospheres. Our test case is 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Rosetta mission target comet, whose activity is dominated by a single area covering only 4% of its surface.

  15. Tails of a Recent Comet

    CERN Document Server

    Zysman, Milton

    2010-01-01

    Drain away the earth's oceans and a global pattern of great ridges appears. Adjacent to these continental and undersea mountain ranges are layers of silt and clay, so thick that they fill the gaps between ridges, creating extensive plateaus. Ranging across this planet's higher latitudes are thousands of tiny replicas of these ridge systems. These esker and drumlin swarms run up hills and across streams in roughly parallel discontinuous strands for hundreds of kilometers. Preserved by encapsulation in the ice and snow of our last ice age, eskers, drumlins and their related structures will be the focus of this paper. We contend that Greater and lesser ridge systems alike, including the water and sediments that fill them are cometary debris. Each ridge may be traced to a single stream, or 'jet' of disintegrating materials emanating from shifting areas on a comet's nucleus. A band of these jets, captured into planetary orbit, will land its debris in a unique manner. All debris will be laid down in a sheet perpend...

  16. Gas Arcs in Comet Hyakutake: Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combi, M. R.; Harris, W. M.; Kabin, K.

    2000-10-01

    The recent break-up of the nucleus of Comet LINEAR S4 demonstrates that fragmentation is an important cometary process and that it is not a rare phenomenon. Comet Hyakutake (1996 B2) underwent an outburst of gas production on March 21, 1996. Subsequent to the outburst, fragments, or condensations as they have been called, were observed moving tailward from the position of the nucleus. Arc-shaped structures were seen in images of gas species (OH, CN and C2) providing clear evidence of production of gas from cometary nucleus debris also tailward of the nucleus. We have already (Harris et al. 1997, Science 277, 676) described observations taken with the WIYN telescope consisting of a 6-hour time sequence of images on March 26, 1996 of CN and dust continuum and a single OH image showing that the arc, and by inference it's source, was generally moving tailward with the visible condensations. The entire OH arc was reproduced using a kinetic Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) calculation for water and all its photodissociation products. DSMC is suited to this physical environment that is in transition from fluid conditions in the inner coma to free-expansion in the outer coma. Our model asuming a string of fragments within the apex of the arc (i.e., the intersection of the arc and the tailward sun-comet line) reproduced the arc. Here we present a more extensive parameter study of the arc using DSMC and a solution of the standard perfect-fluid Euler equations. We find that a secondary source just behind the apex of the arc can reproduce the OH arc, but the location of the source must be much closer to the apex than indicated by solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations (NSE) (Rodionov et al. 1998, Icarus 136, 232). We find that we must use unrealistically large collision cross sections to reproduce the NSE results, and that the NSE results are not substantially different from a simpler Euler equation approach. This work has been supported by NASA Planetary Atmospheres

  17. High precision comet trajectory estimates: the Mars flyby of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)

    CERN Document Server

    Farnocchia, D; Micheli, M; Delamere, A; Heyd, R S; Tholen, D J; Giorgini, J D; Owen, W M; Tamppari, L K

    2015-01-01

    The Mars flyby of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) represented a unique opportunity for imaging a long-period comet and resolving its nucleus and rotation period. Because of the small encounter distance and the high relative velocity, the goal of successfully observing C/2013 A1 from the Mars orbiting spacecrafts posed strict accuracy requirements on the comet's ephemerides. These requirements were hard to meet, as comets are known for being highly unpredictable: astrometric observations can be significantly biased and nongravitational perturbations affect comet trajectories. Therefore, even prior to the encounter, we remeasured a couple of hundred astrometric images obtained with ground-based and Earth-orbiting telescopes. We also observed the comet with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on 2014 October 7. In particular, these HiRISE observations were decisive in securing the trajectory and revealed that out-of-plane nongravitational perturbations were larg...

  18. The internal density distribution of comet 67P/C-G based on 3D models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorda, Laurent; Faurschou Hviid, Stubbe; Capanna, Claire; Gaskell, Robert W.; Gutiérrez, Pedro; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Rodionov, Sergey; OSIRIS Team

    2016-10-01

    The OSIRIS camera aboard the Rosetta spacecraft observed the nucleus of comet 67P/C-G from the mapping phase in summer 2014 until now. The images have allowed the reconstruction in three-dimension of nucleus surface with stereophotogrammetry (Preusker et al., Astron. Astrophys.) and stereophotoclinometry (Jorda et al., Icarus) techniques. We use the reconstructed models to constrain the internal density distribution based on: (i) the measurement of the offset between the center of mass and the center of figure of the object, and (ii) the assumption that flat areas observed at the surface of the comet correspond to iso-gravity surfaces. The results of our analysis will be presented, and the consequences for the internal structure and formation of the nucleus of comet 67P/C-G will be discussed.

  19. SWAS observations of comet 9P/Tempel 1 and Deep Impact

    CERN Document Server

    Bensch, F; Neufeld, D A; Harwit, M; Snell, R L; Patten, B M; Bensch, Frank; Melnick, Gary J.; Neufeld, David A.; Harwit, Martin; Snell, Ronald L.; Patten, Brian M.

    2005-01-01

    On 4 July 2005 at 1:52 UT the Deep Impact mission successfully completed its goal to hit the nucleus of 9P/Tempel 1 with an impactor, forming a crater on the nucleus and ejecting material into the coma of the comet. The 370 kg impactor collided with the sunlit side of the nucleus with a relative velocity of 10.2 km/s. NASA's Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS) observed the 1(10)-1(01) ortho-water ground-state rotational transition in comet 9P/Tempel 1 before, during, and after the impact. No excess emission from the impact was detected by SWAS. However, the water production rate of the comet showed large natural variations of more than a factor of three during the weeks before the impact.

  20. Death of a comet

    CERN Multimedia

    Hawkes, N

    2000-01-01

    The comet Linear dissolved as it made its closest approach to the sun on July 25th. The first stages of its breakup had been witnessed by the Hubble telescope when it threw off a piece of its crust (3 paragraphs).

  1. DIRBE Comet Trails

    CERN Document Server

    Arendt, Richard G

    2014-01-01

    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 micron 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.

  2. Comets in Indian Scriptures

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. DRBE comet trails

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arendt, Richard G., E-mail: Richard.G.Arendt@nasa.gov [CREST/UMBC, Code 665, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)

    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.

  4. Asteroids, meteorites, and comets

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

    2010-01-01

    Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites provides students, researchers, and general readers with the most up-to-date information on this fascinating field. From the days of the dinosaurs to our modern environment, this book explores all aspects of these cosmic invaders.

  5. A Search of Reactivated Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Quan-Zhi

    2017-05-01

    Dormant or near-dormant short-period comets can unexpectedly regain the ability to eject dust. In many known cases, the resurrection is short-lived and lasts less than one orbit. However, it is possible that some resurrected comets can remain active in later perihelion passages. We search the archival images of various facilities to look for these “reactivated” comets. We identify two candidates, 297P/Beshore and 332P/Ikeya-Murakami, both of which were found to be inactive or weakly active in the previous orbit before their discovery. We derive a reactivation rate of ˜ 0.007 {{comet}}-1 {{orbit}}-1, which implies that typical short-period comets only become temporarily dormant a few times or less. Smaller comets are prone to rotational instability and may undergo temporary dormancy more frequently. Next generation high-cadence surveys may find more reactivation events of these comets.

  6. Lingering grains of truth around comet 17P/HOLMES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stevenson, R.; Bauer, J. M.; Mainzer, A. K.; Masiero, J. R. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, MS 183-427, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Kramer, E. A. [Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, FL 32816 (United States); Grav, T., E-mail: Rachel.A.Stevenson@jpl.nasa.gov [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 (United States)

    2014-06-01

    Comet 17P/Holmes underwent a massive outburst in 2007 October, brightening by a factor of almost a million in under 48 hr. We used infrared images taken by the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer mission to characterize the comet as it appeared at a heliocentric distance of 5.1 AU almost 3 yr after the outburst. The comet appeared to be active with a coma and dust trail along the orbital plane. We constrained the diameter, albedo, and beaming parameter of the nucleus to 4.135 ± 0.610 km, 0.03 ± 0.01, and 1.03 ± 0.21, respectively. The properties of the nucleus are consistent with those of other Jupiter family comets. The best-fit temperature of the coma was 134 ± 11 K, slightly higher than the blackbody temperature at that heliocentric distance. Using Finson-Probstein modeling, we found that the morphology of the trail was consistent with ejection during the 2007 outburst and was made up of dust grains between 250 μm and a few cm in radius. The trail mass was ∼1.2-5.3 × 10{sup 10} kg.

  7. Rosetta Lander - Philae on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biele, J.; Ulamec, S.; Cozzoni, B.; Fantinati, C.; Gaudon, P.; Geurts, K.; Jurado, E.; Küchemann, O.; Lommatsch, V.; Finke, F.; Maibaum, M.; Moussi-Soffys, A.; Salatti, M.

    2015-10-01

    Rosetta is a Cornerstone Mission of the ESA Horizon 2000 programme. In August 2014 it reached comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a 10 year cruise. Both its nucleus and coma have been studied with its orbiter payload of eleven PI instruments, allowing the selection of a landing site for Philae. The landing on the comet nucleus successfully took place on November 12th 2014. Philae touched the comet surface seven hours after ejection from the orbiter. After several bounces it came to rest and continued to send scientific data to Earth. All ten instruments of its payload have been operated at least once. Due to the fact that the Lander could not be anchored, the originally planned first scientific sequence had to be modified. Philae went into hibernation on November 15th, after its primary battery ran out of energy. Re-activation of the Lander is expected in spring/summer 2015 (before the conference) when CG is closer to the sun and the solar generator of Philae will provide more power. The presentation will give an overview of the activities of Philae on the comet, including a status report on the re-activation after hibernation. Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Rosetta's Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI with additional contributions from Hungary, UK, Finland, Ireland and Austria.

  8. Sublimation rates of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from comets at large heliocentric distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Zdenek

    1992-01-01

    Using a simple model for outgassing from a small flat surface area, the sublimation rates of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, two species more volatile than water ice that are known to be present in comets, are calculated for a suddenly activated discrete source on the rotating nucleus. The instantaneous sublimation rate depends upon the comet's heliocentric distance and the Sun's zenith angle at the location of the source. The values are derived for the constants of CO and CO2 in an expression that yields the local rotation-averaged sublimation rate as a function of the comet's spin parameters and the source's cometocentric latitude.

  9. Understanding the Effects of Collisional Evolution and Spacecraft Impact Experiments on Comets and Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, S.M.; Jensen, E.A.; Fane, M.; Smith, D.C.; Holmes, J.; Keller, L.P.; Lindsay, S.S.; Wooden, D.H.; Whizin, A.; Cintala, M.J.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Comets and asteroids have endured impacts from other solar system bodies that result in outcomes ranging from catastrophic collisions to regolith evolution due to micrometeorid bombardment of the surface ices and refactory components. Experiments designed to better understand these relics of solar system formation have been conducted on Earth in a laboratory setting, as well as in space through, e.g., the Deep Impact Mission to Comet Tempel 1. Deep Impact fired a high-speed impactor into the roughly 6 km nucleus of the comet. The ejecta plume generated by the impact was studied by both spacecraft instrumentation and groundbased telescopes.

  10. Planetary perturbations for Oort cloud comets: II. Implications for the origin of observable comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouchard, M.; Rickman, H.; Froeschlé, Ch.; Valsecchi, G. B.

    2014-03-01

    We present Monte Carlo simulations of the dynamical history of the Oort cloud, where in addition to the main external perturbers (Galactic tides and stellar encounters) we include, as done in a companion paper (Fouchard, M., Rickman, H., Froeschlé, Ch., Valsecchi, G.B. [2013b]. Icarus, in press), the planetary perturbations experienced each time the comets penetrate to within 50 AU of the Sun. Each simulation involves an initial sample of four million comets and extends over a maximum of 5 Gyr. For better understanding of the outcomes, we supplement the full dynamical model by others, where one or more of the effects are left out. We concentrate on the production of observable comets, reaching for the first time a perihelion within 5 AU of the Sun. We distinguish between four categories, depending on whether the comet jumps across, or creeps through, the Jupiter-Saturn barrier (perihelion distances between 5 and 15 AU), and whether the orbit leading to the observable perihelion is preceded by a major planetary perturbation or not. For reasons explained in the paper, we call the strongly perturbed comets "Kaib-Quinn comets". We thus derive a synthetic picture of the Oort spike, from which we draw two main conclusions regarding the full dynamical model. One is that 2/3 of the observable comets are injected with the aid of a planetary perturbation at the previous perihelion passage, and about half of the observable comets are of the Kaib-Quinn type. The other is that the creepers dominate over the jumpers. Due to this fact, the spike peaks at only 31 000 AU, and the majority of new comets have semi-major axes less than this value. The creepers show a clear preference for retrograde orbits as a consequence of the need to avoid untimely, planetary ejection before becoming observable. Thus, the new comets should have a 60/40 preference for retrograde against prograde orbits in apparent conflict with observations. However, both these and other results depend on our model

  11. The Rotation State of Comet 103P/Hartley 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnham, Tony; Knight, Matthew M.; Schleicher, David G.

    2016-10-01

    On November 4, 2010, the Deep Impact (DI) spacecraft made its closest approach to comet 103P/Hartley 2, passing only 694 km from the nucleus. Observations of the coma produced a lightcurve that shows the nucleus is in a state of non-principal axis rotation that evolves with time, while other observations revealed a nucleus that has concentrated collimated jets driven by CO2 emission (A'Hearn et al., 2011), large variability in the production of H2O and CO2 (Besse et al. 2016), and ice patches on the surface (Sunshine et al. 2011). To properly interpret the significance of these phenomena, it is necessary to understand the rotation of the nucleus, so that its thermal history can be derived and properly modeled, while at the same time, it is likely that the comet's high activity levels play an important role in the nucleus dynamics.An analysis of the lightcurve by Belton et al (2013) described the comet's rotation state, with two periodicities (primary of 18 h, secondary of 28 or 55 h) that change with time. Although their solution describes the periodicities observed around closest approach, it is insufficient to reproduce the changes in coma morphology with time. We are performing an analysis of the structures in the coma (Farnham 2009), using Monte Carlo routines to model the outflowing dust produced by active sources on the nucleus, to derive a comprehensive solution for the nucleus' rotation.We are also obtaining new observations of Hartley 2 in June/July 2016 (r~3.2 AU) to measure the nucleus' primary component period before the comet becomes highly active. This will provide an end-state measure of the rotation from the 2010 apparition, as well as a starting value for the current apparition, to allow its continuing evolution to be monitored. We will present an update on the status and preliminary results of these analyses.This work is funded by NASA Grant NNX12AQ64G.A'Hearn, M.F., et al. (2011) Science 332, 1396-1400Belton M.J.S., et al. (2013) Icarus 222, 595

  12. CubeSats to Explore Volatiles in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewagama, T.; Aslam, S.; Châteauneuf, F.; Clark, P.; Folta, D.; Feaga, L.; Gorius, N.; Hurford, T.; Keidar, M.; Livengood, T.; Malphrus, B.; Mumma, M.; Nixon, C.; Villanueva, G.

    2015-10-01

    Close approach comets (Solar System formation. A low-risk, versatile, multispectral camera with integrated filters in a 6U spacecraft bus is capable of high spatial resolution mapping of the four primary volatile species CO2, H2O, CO, and organics. Simultaneous mmapping of these bands and two thermal channels will enable studying the dynamical activity of the nucleus. Assuming deployment from a launch platform above the Earth's gravity well, we find intercept trajectories using current propulsion systems.

  13. Comet Tempel 1 Went Back to Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-07-01

    after the impact, the morphology of Comet Tempel 1 had changed, with the appearance of a new plume-like structure, produced by matter being ejected with a speed of about 700 to 1000 km/h (see ESO PR Photo 23/05). This structure, however, diffused away in the following days, being more and more diluted and less visible, the comet taking again the appearance it had before the impact. Further images obtained with, among others, the adaptive optics NACO instrument on the Very Large Telescope, showed the same jets that were visible prior to impact, demonstrating that the comet activity survived widely unaffected by the spacecraft crash. The study of the gas in Comet Tempel 1 (see "Looking for Molecules"), made with UVES on Kueyen (UT2 of the VLT), reveals a small flux increase the first night following the impact. At that time, more than 17 hours after the impact, the ejected matter was fading away but still measurable thanks to the large light collecting power of the VLT. The data accumulated during 10 nights around the impact have provided the astronomers with the best ever time series of optical spectra of a Jupiter Family comet, with a total of more than 40 hours of exposure time. This unique data set has already allowed the astronomers to characterize the normal gas activity of the comet and also to detect, to their own surprise, an active region. This active region is not related to the impact as it was also detected in data collected in June. It shows up about every 41 hours, the rotation period of the comet nucleus determined by the Deep Impact spacecraft. Exciting measurements of the detailed chemical composition (such as the isotopic ratios) of the material released by the impact as well as the one coming from that source will be performed by the astronomers in the next weeks and months. Further spectropolarimetric observations with FORS1 have confirmed the surface of the comet to be rather evolved - as expected - but more importantly, that the dust is not coming

  14. ESA Unveils Its New Comet Chaser.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Detection of Irradiation Treatment of Foods Using DNA `Comet Assay'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Hasan M.; Delincée, Henry

    1998-06-01

    Microgel electrophoresis of single cells (DNA comet assay) has been investigated to detect irradiation treatment of some food samples. These samples of fresh and frozen rainbow trout, red lentil, gram and sliced almonds were irradiated to 1 or 2 kGy using 10 MeV electron beam from a linear accelerator. Rainbow trout samples yielded good results with samples irradiated to 1 or 2 kGy showing fragmentation of DNA and, therefore, longer comets with no intact cells. Unirradiated samples showed shorter comets with a significant number of intact cells. For rainbow trout stored in a freezer for 11 days the irradiated samples can still be discerned by electrophoresis from unirradiated samples, however, the unirradiated trouts also showed some longer comets besides some intact cells. Radiation treatment of red lentils can also be detected by this method, i.e. no intact cells in 1 or 2 kGy irradiated samples and shorter comets and some intact cells in unirradiated samples. However, the results for gram and sliced almond samples were not satisfactory since some intact DNA cells were observed in irradiated samples as well. Probably, incomplete lysis has led to these deviating results.

  16. Extrasolar comets : the origin of dust in exozodiacal disks?

    CERN Document Server

    Marboeuf, Ulysse; Augereau, Jean-Charles

    2016-01-01

    Comets have been invoked in numerous studies as a potentially important source of dust and gas around stars, but none has studied the thermo-physical evolution, out-gassing rate, and dust ejection of these objects in such stellar systems. We investigate the thermo-physical evolution of comets in exo-planetary systems in order to provide valuable theoretical data required to interpret observations of gas and dust. We use a quasi 3D model of cometary nucleus to study the thermo-physical evolution of comets evolving around a single star from 0.1 to 50 AU, whose homogeneous luminosity varies from 0.1 to 70 solar luminosities. This paper provides mass ejection, lifetimes, and the rate of dust and water gas mass productions for comets as a function of the distance to the star and stellar luminosity. Results show significant physical changes to comets at high stellar luminosities. The models are presented in such a manner that they can be readily applied to any planetary system. By considering the examples of the So...

  17. Constraints on Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

    CERN Document Server

    Hui, Man-To; Wiegert, Paul

    2016-01-01

    Encke-type comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami is experiencing cascading fragmentation events during its 2016 apparition. It is likely the first splitting Encke-type comet ever being observed. A nongravitational solution to the astrometry reveals a statistical detection of the radial and transverse nongravitational parameters, $A_{1} = \\left(1.54 \\pm 0.39\\right) \\times 10^{-8}$ AU day$^{-2}$, and $A_{2} = \\left(7.19 \\pm 1.92\\right) \\times 10^{-9}$ AU day$^{-2}$, respectively, which implies a nucleus erosion rate of $\\left(0.91 \\pm 0.17\\right)$% per orbital revolution. The mass-loss rate likely has to be supported by a much larger fraction of an active surface area than known cases of short-period comets; it may be relevant to the ongoing fragmentation. We failed to detect any serendipitous pre-discovery observations of the comet in archival data from major sky surveys, whereby we infer that 332P used to be largely inactive, and is perhaps among the few short-period comets which have been reactivated from weakly active ...

  18. Constraints on Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Man-To; Ye, Quan-Zhi

    2016-10-01

    Encke-type comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami is experiencing a series of cascading fragmentation events during its 2016 apparition. It is likely the first splitting Encke-type comet ever being observed. A nongravitational solution to the available astrometry including high quality observations from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope by Kleyna et al. (private communication) reveals a statistical detection of the radial and transverse nongravitational parameters, A1 = (1.54 ± 0.39) × 10-8 AU day-2, and A2 = (7.19 ± 1.92) × 10-9 AU day-2, respectively, based upon which we calculated the erosion rate of the comet, which is large and hence is likely related to the ongoing fragmentation events. We have constrained the nucleus size from our archival search for serendipitously pre-discovery observations of the comet from major sky surveys. Our study also suggests a potential generic relationship between comet P/2010 B2 (WISE) and 332P. Detailed information will be presented.

  19. Infrared observations of oxidized carbon in comet C/2002 t7 (LINEAR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, William Michael, Jr.

    2010-11-01

    Cometary nuclei are generally recognized as the most primitive remnants of the early Solar System. Their physical and chemical attributes allow a glimpse into the conditions under which icy bodies formed. Parent volatiles in comets are now routinely studied, and a significant diversity in composition among the comets sampled to date has been demonstrated. This forms the foundation of an emerging cometary taxonomy based on chemical composition. In spring 2004, comet C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) was observed using the facility echelle spectrometer (CSHELL) at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. CSHELL offers seeing-limited spatial resolution and sufficiently high spectral resolving power (R = lambda/Deltalambda ˜ 2.5 x 10 4) to permit line-by-line intensities to be measured along its 30 arc-second slit. Its small pixels favor measurement of molecules released from ices housed in cometary nuclei ("native" ices) over those released from spatially extended sources in the coma. Emission lines from multiple molecular species were targeted in the 3 to 5 mum wavelength region. The observations revealed an extremely rich volatile chemistry in C/2002 T7. I present the chemical composition of oxidized carbon in C/2002 T7 (LINEAR). Carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde (H2CO), and methyl alcohol (CH 3OH) were detected simultaneously or nearly simultaneously with H 2O on multiple UT dates spanning 2004 May 3-9 (heliocentric distance Rh = 0.66 -- 0.71 AU) and May 30 - June 2 (R h = 0.99 -- 1.03 AU). I will discuss native production rates, rotational temperatures, and mixing ratios (abundances relative to H2O) for oxidized carbon. My results illustrate that C/2002 T7 (LINEAR) is enriched in CH3OH, while CO is borderline depleted compared to other Oort cloud comets that have been measured. I tested for chemical heterogeneity in C/2002 T7 (LINEAR), both diurnal, presumably associated with rotation of the nucleus, and serial (i.e., over a range in Rh). However, no evidence

  20. 67P, Singing Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnova, Ekaterina

    2017-04-01

    I would like to propose to present a short science-art-music collaboration film called "67P, Singing Comet" (5:27 min). If time of the session will allow, prior to the film I would like to make a slide show introduction to this project, highlighting the inspiration - the mission Rosetta by the European Space Agency (ESA) - and the artistic collaboration that took place in creating this piece. 
 Inspired by the ESA Rosetta mission to the comet 67P, Ekaterina Smirnova (artist and project director, New York), Lee Mottram (clarinetist, Wales), Takuto Fukuda (composer, Japan) and Brian Hekker (video editor, New York) collaborated to create a unique atmospheric piece.
 Water and the origins of life throughout the Universe (specifically the Earth) is an element of the mission and the focus of Ekaterina's artistic vision. Ekaterina literally and figuratively paints a sensory assemblage using a combination of synthetic and natural elements to shape this artistic creation. To paint her watercolor works she is using a replica of the water found on the comet and implementing her own heartbeat into the music to create a recognizable inward sound of life.
 The Electro-Acoustic composition by Takuto Fukuda features an electronically manipulated performance by clarinetist Lee Mottram. The piece ceremoniously begins with reverberant bursts of low-register atonal bells transporting the listener to their ethereal inner origins of body and mind. The imagination takes the experience to an unknown destination as it gains speed gliding through the visual and audible textures of space and time. 
The comet's water similarly reacts with an ebb and flow thawing ice to potentially give life a chance as it is thrust along an orbit around the Sun. Near then far from the heat the comet forms frozen particles from vapors as it reaches it's furthest stretches creating an aerodynamic tail of icicles that slowly dissipate in a cycle that repeats itself until the comet's ultimate collision

  1. Recommendations for safety testing with the in vivo comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasquez, Marie Z

    2012-08-30

    While the in vivo comet assay increases its role in regulatory safety testing, deliberations about the interpretation of comet data continue. Concerns can arise regarding comet assay publications with limited data from non-blind testing of positive control compounds and using protocols (e.g. dose concentrations, sample times, and tissues) known to give an expected effect. There may be a tendency towards bias when the validation or interpretation of comet assay data is based on results generated by widely accepted but non-validated assays. The greatest advantages of the comet assay are its sensitivity and its ability to detect genotoxicity in tissues and at sample times that could not previously be evaluated. Guidelines for its use and interpretation in safety testing should take these factors into account. Guidelines should be derived from objective review of data generated by blind testing of unknown compounds dosed at non-toxic concentrations and evaluated in a true safety-testing environment, where the experimental design and conclusions must be defensible. However, positive in vivo comet findings with such compounds are rarely submitted to regulatory agencies and this data is typically unavailable for publication due to its proprietary nature. To enhance the development of guidelines for safety testing with the comet assay, and with the permission of several sponsors, this paper presents and discusses relevant data from multiple GLP comet studies conducted blind, with unknown pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Based on these data and the lessons we have learned through the course of conducting these studies, I suggest significant adjustments to the current conventions, and I provide recommendations for interpreting in vivo comet assay results in situations where risk must be evaluated in the absence of carcinogenicity or clinical data.

  2. Observing campaigns for two unique comets: C/2012 S1 ISON and C/2013 A1 Siding Spring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Matthew

    During 2013-2014, comets C/2012 S1 (ISON) and C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) have been the subjects of international observing campaigns due to their unique and fortuitous orbits. Dynamically new comet ISON was discovered in 2012 September and was destroyed during its perihelion passage at a sungrazing distance of 0.0124 AU (just 1.7 solar radii above the Sun’s photosphere) on 2013 November 28. It was of high scientific interest as the first known dynamically new sungrazing comet, became very bright near perihelion when it was extensively observed by telescopes on SOHO and STEREO, and had favorable observing circumstances for spacecraft at both Mars and Mercury. As a result, comet ISON was studied intensively by observers around the world and by more than ten spacecraft, making it one of the best-observed comets in history. Comet Siding Spring is a dynamically new comet discovered in 2013 January that passes 0.0009 AU (~135,000 km) from Mars on 2014 October 19. This is approximately 16 times smaller than the closest known approach by a comet to Earth and should bring Mars and its fleet of orbiting spacecraft within the comet’s coma. This incredibly close approach may allow the nucleus to be resolved by spacecraft at Mars, a feat only previously accomplished by a handful of missions to short period comets, and never for a dynamically new or long period comet. Observations are ongoing by ground- and space-based observatories in order to characterize both the comet itself and the hazard it may pose to the Martian spacecraft fleet. As members of NASA’s Comet ISON Observing Campaign team, we have been involved in encouraging and facilitating observations of comet ISON and are serving a similar role for comet Siding Spring. We will review the successes of these campaigns and highlight major results and ongoing work.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 lifetimes. We can fit the computed energy distribution of comets with q 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Fernández, Julio A; Young, Juan D

    2016-01-01

    We analyze 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 $x \\equiv 1/a$. 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 ($x \\gsim 0.04$ au$^{-1}$) that correspond to most Halley-type comets (HTCs) and Jupiter...

  5. CINE: Comet INfrared Excitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Val-Borro, Miguel; Cordiner, Martin A.; Milam, Stefanie N.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2017-08-01

    CINE calculates infrared pumping efficiencies that can be applied to the most common molecules found in cometary comae such as water, hydrogen cyanide or methanol. One of the main mechanisms for molecular excitation in comets is the fluorescence by the solar radiation followed by radiative decay to the ground vibrational state. This command-line tool calculates the effective pumping rates for rotational levels in the ground vibrational state scaled by the heliocentric distance of the comet. Fluorescence coefficients are useful for modeling rotational emission lines observed in cometary spectra at sub-millimeter wavelengths. Combined with computational methods to solve the radiative transfer equations based, e.g., on the Monte Carlo algorithm, this model can retrieve production rates and rotational temperatures from the observed emission spectrum.

  6. An infrared search for HDO in comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, E. L.; Mumma, M. J.; Disanti, M. A.; dello Russo, N.; Magee-Sauer, K.

    2002-11-01

    We searched for HDO emission in our infrared database of six Oort Cloud comets (C/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang), C/2001 A2 (LINEAR), C/2000 WM1 (LINEAR), C/1999 H1 (Lee), C/1999 S4 (LINEAR), and C/1999 T1 (McNaught-Hartley)). Spectral lines of the ν1 fundamental vibrational band of HDO were sampled using high resolution infrared spectra acquired with both CSHELL at NASA's IRTF and NIRSPEC at the W.M. Keck Observatory. Of these comets, the recent apparition of the bright Comet Ikeya-Zhang, with its high gas production rate and good geocentric Doppler shift, provided an exceptional opportunity to search for minor constituents such as HDO. We report tentative detections of HDO in three Oort Cloud comets with upper limits determined for the remaining three. These data, combined with future observations, will be used to test models of nebular chemistry and delivery of water and organics to the early Earth.

  7. The Stardust Discovery Mission - Returning Unique Samples of Early Solar System Organics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandford, Scott

    2006-01-01

    On January 2,2004, the STARDUST spacecraft made the closest ever flyby (236 km) of the nucleus of a comet - Comet Wild 2. During the flyby the spacecraft collected samples of dust from the coma of the comet. These samples were successfully returned to Earth on January 15,2006. After a six-month preliminary examination to establish the nature of the returned samples, they will be made available to the general scientific community for study. During my talk I will discuss the scientific goals of the STARDUST mission and provide a brief overview of the mission's design and flight. I will also discuss the recovery of the Stardust Sample Return Capsule (SRC), with an emphasis on those aspects of the recovery important for minimizing the degree of contamination (particularly organic contamination) of the samples. Finally, the first samples are only just now being distributed for preliminary examination, but I hope to be able to talk about some of the preliminary findings from the returned comet samples.

  8. Characterization of Comet 252P/LINEAR during its 2016 Earth Encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jian-Yang; Samarasinha, Nalin H.; Kelley, Michael S.; Farnocchia, Davide; Mutchler, Maximilian J.

    2016-10-01

    Comet 252P/LINEAR had a close encounter to Earth at 14 lunar distances in March 2016, representing one of the closest encounters of known comets in history and a good opportunity to measure its nucleus size and to resolve its inner coma. Observations from previous apparitions suggested a small nucleus of about or less than 1 km, and very weak activity for this comet. The similarity between the orbits of 252P and P/2016 BA16 suggests that they might be a pair of fragments from one common parent comet. We imaged 252P with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 through r'- and V-band filters over ~45 min on March 14 and over ~8 hours on April 4, 2016 at pixel scales down to 1.4 km/pix. The dust coma shows a strong enhancement in the sunward direction within about 1".5 (about 100 km at the comet) for both epochs. Image enhancement with 1/rho normalization shows that the sunward feature moves about the nucleus for ~60 deg in the second epoch, consistent with a ~7.35-hr period. The r'-band partial lightcurve measured in the April 4 images in a 0".2-radius aperture shows variability of about 0.14 mag or larger. This partial lightcurve is not consistent with the 7.35-hr period, but is consistent with a periodicity of ~5.5 hr or its multiples. The r'-band mean value of Afrho is 13 cm for March 14 and 46 cm for April 4 in a 0".2-radius aperture. We will also measure the nucleus size of this comet, and discuss its implications about the evolutionary state of the comet.

  9. Substantial outgassing of CO from comet Hale-Bopp at large heliocentric distance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. An Introduction to Comets and Their Origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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)

  13. An Amateur-Professional International Observing Campaign for the EPOXI Mission: New Insights Into Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meech, K. J.

    2012-06-01

    (Abstract only) Comets are leftovers from the early solar system and may have played a role in delivering water and organics to the prebiotic Earth. Because comets may preserve a record of the early solar system conditions, they are the focus of small body missions. The EPOXI (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Characterization (EPOCh) + Deep Impact Extended Investigation (DIXI) = EPOXI) flyby of the nucleus of comet 103P/Hartley 2 provided us with physical properties of the nucleus and clear evidence of chemical heterogeneity with CO2-driven jets as a dominant volatile loss mechanism at perihelion compared to subsurface water-ice sublimation. An international Earth-based observation campaign played a complementary role to the in-situ data, providing recovery images of the comet at large distances, physical information about the nucleus size, and from a coordinated multiwavelength program nearly continuous coverage from August 2010 through encounter on 4 November 2010. From the Earth-based campaign it was clear that comet Hartley 2 had a small nucleus (0.57 km radius), with a rotation period near 16.4 hours prior to the onset of activity. As the activity developed the periodicity was found to change significantly over a period of months. The highly active nucleus had long- and short-term gas production variability with peak activity shortly after perihelion. The comet's activity has been photometrically monitored (as scattered light from the dust coma) from the time of recovery to the present, and the nearly continuous coverage of the comet from August 2010 into 2011 would not have been possible without the amateur contributions. Using these brightness data, we have developed an ice sublimation model to estimate the amount of dust emitted from the comet (and hence the total scattered light) as a function of heliocentric distance as it is driven by a gas flow. The model includes nucleus ices: H2O, CO2, CO, and H2O sublimating from the large chunks seen both from the

  14. The Molecular Composition of Comet C/2007 W1 (Boattini): Evidence of a Peculiar Outgassing and a Rich Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanueva, G. L.; Mumma, M. J.; DiSanti, M. A.; Bonev, B. P.; Gibb, E. L.; Magee-Sauer, K.; Blake, G. A.; Salyk, C.

    2011-01-01

    We measured the chemical composition of Comet C/2007 W1 (Boattini) using the long-slit echelle grating spectrograph at Keck-2 (NIRSPEC) on 2008 July 9 and 10. We sampled 11 volatile species (H2O, OH*, C2H6, CH3OH, H2CO, CH4, HCN, C2H2, NH3, NH2, and CO), and retrieved three important cosmogonic indicators: the ortho-para ratios of H2O and CH4, and an upper-limit for the D/H ratio in water. The abundance ratios of almost all trace volatiles (relative to water) are among the highest ever observed in a comet. The comet also revealed a complex outgassing pattern, with some volatiles (the polar species H2O and CH3OH) presenting very asymmetric spatial profiles (extended in the anti-sunward hemisphere), while others (e.g., C2H6 and HCN) showed particularly symmetric profiles. We present emission profiles measured along the Sun-comet line for all observed volatiles, and discuss different production scenarios needed to explain them. We interpret the emission profiles in terms of release from two distinct moieties of ice, the first being clumps of mixed ice and dust released from the nucleus into the sunward hemisphere. The second moiety considered is very small grains of nearly pure polar ice (water and methanol, without dark material or apolar volatiles). Such grains would sublimate only very slowly, and could be swept into the anti-sunward hemisphere by radiation pressure and solar-actuated non-gravitational jet forces, thus providing an extended source in the anti-sunward hemisphere.

  15. Secular orbital evolution of Jupiter family comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rickman, H.; Gabryszewski, R.; Wajer, P.; Wiśniowski, T.; Wójcikowski, K.; Szutowicz, S.; Valsecchi, G. B.; Morbidelli, A.

    2017-02-01

    Context. The issue of the long term dynamics of Jupiter family comets (JFCs) involves uncertain assumptions about the physical evolution and lifetimes of these comets. Contrary to what is often assumed, real effects of secular dynamics cannot be excluded and therefore merit investigation. Aims: We use a random sample of late heavy bombardment cometary projectiles to study the long-term dynamics of JFCs by a Monte Carlo approach. In a steady-state picture of the Jupiter family, we investigate the orbital distribution of JFCs, including rarely visited domains like retrograde orbits or orbits within the outer parts of the asteroid main belt. Methods: We integrate 100 000 objects over a maximum of 100 000 orbital revolutions including the Sun, a comet, and four giant planets. Considering the steady-state number of JFCs to be proportional to the total time spent in the respective orbital domain, we derive the capture rate based on observed JFCs with small perihelia and large nuclei. We consider a purely dynamical model and one where the nuclei are eroded by ice sublimation. Results: The JFC inclination distribution is incompatible with our erosional model. This may imply that a new type of comet evolution model is necessary. Considering that comets may live for a long time, we show that JFCs can evolve into retrograde orbits as well as asteroidal orbits in the outer main belt or Cybele regions. The steady-state capture rate into the Jupiter family is consistent with 1 × 109 scattered disk objects with diameters D > 2 km. Conclusions: Our excited scattered disk makes it difficult to explain the JFC inclination distribution, unless the physical evolution of JFCs is more intricate than assumed in standard, erosional models. Independent of this, the population size of the Jupiter family is consistent with a relatively low-mass scattered disk.

  16. Outbursting Comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami): A Miniature Comet Holmes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishiguro, Masateru; Jewitt, David; Hanayama, Hidekazu; Usui, Fumihiko; Sekiguchi, Tomohiko; Yanagisawa, Kenshi; Kuroda, Daisuke; Yoshida, Michitoshi; Ohta, Kouji; Kawai, Nobuyuki; Miyaji, Takeshi; Fukushima, Hideo; Watanabe, Jun-ichi

    2014-05-01

    The short-period comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami, hereafter "V1") was discovered visually by two amateur astronomers. The appearance of the comet was peculiar, consisting of an envelope, a spherical coma near the nucleus and a tail extending in the anti-solar direction. We investigated the brightness and the morphological development of the comet by taking optical images with ground-based telescopes. Our observations show that V1 experienced a large-scale explosion between UT 2010 October 31 and November 3. The color of the comet was consistent with the Sun (g' - R C = 0.61 ± 0.20, R C - I C = 0.20 ± 0.20, and B - R C = 0.93 ± 0.25), suggesting that dust particles were responsible for the brightening. We used a dynamical model to understand the peculiar morphology, and found that the envelope consisted of small grains (0.3-1 μm) expanding at a maximum speed of 500 ± 40 m s-1, while the tail and coma were composed of a wider range of dust particle sizes (0.4-570 μm) and expansion speeds 7-390 m s-1. The total mass of ejecta is ~5 × 108 kg and kinetic energy ~5 × 1012 J. These values are much smaller than in the historic outburst of 17P/Holmes in 2007, but the energy per unit mass (1 × 104 J kg-1) is comparable. The energy per unit mass is about 10% of the energy released during the crystallization of amorphous water ice suggesting that crystallization of buried amorphous ice can supply the mass and energy of the outburst ejecta.

  17. Outbursting comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami): A miniature comet Holmes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ishiguro, Masateru [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Gwanak, Seoul 151-742 (Korea, Republic of); Jewitt, David [Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States); Hanayama, Hidekazu; Miyaji, Takeshi; Fukushima, Hideo; Watanabe, Jun-ichi [Ishigakijima Astronomical Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Ishigaki, Okinawa 907-0024 (Japan); Usui, Fumihiko [Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Sekiguchi, Tomohiko [Department of Teacher Training, Hokkaido University of Education, 9 Hokumon, Asahikawa 070-8621 (Japan); Yanagisawa, Kenshi; Kuroda, Daisuke [Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Asaguchi, Okayama 719-0232 (Japan); Yoshida, Michitoshi [Hiroshima Astrophysical Science Center, Hiroshima University, 1-3-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8526 (Japan); Ohta, Kouji [Department of Astronomy, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502 (Japan); Kawai, Nobuyuki [Department of Physics, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8551 (Japan)

    2014-05-20

    The short-period comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami, hereafter {sup V}1{sup )} was discovered visually by two amateur astronomers. The appearance of the comet was peculiar, consisting of an envelope, a spherical coma near the nucleus and a tail extending in the anti-solar direction. We investigated the brightness and the morphological development of the comet by taking optical images with ground-based telescopes. Our observations show that V1 experienced a large-scale explosion between UT 2010 October 31 and November 3. The color of the comet was consistent with the Sun (g' – R {sub C} = 0.61 ± 0.20, R {sub C} – I {sub C} = 0.20 ± 0.20, and B – R {sub C} = 0.93 ± 0.25), suggesting that dust particles were responsible for the brightening. We used a dynamical model to understand the peculiar morphology, and found that the envelope consisted of small grains (0.3-1 μm) expanding at a maximum speed of 500 ± 40 m s{sup –1}, while the tail and coma were composed of a wider range of dust particle sizes (0.4-570 μm) and expansion speeds 7-390 m s{sup –1}. The total mass of ejecta is ∼5 × 10{sup 8} kg and kinetic energy ∼5 × 10{sup 12} J. These values are much smaller than in the historic outburst of 17P/Holmes in 2007, but the energy per unit mass (1 × 10{sup 4} J kg{sup –1}) is comparable. The energy per unit mass is about 10% of the energy released during the crystallization of amorphous water ice suggesting that crystallization of buried amorphous ice can supply the mass and energy of the outburst ejecta.

  18. Layering and internal structure of the comet 67P/Churymov-Gerasimenko as observed by ROSETTA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massironi, M.; Simioni, E.; Pajola, M.; Marzari, F.; Cremonese, G.; Marchi, S.; Giacomini, L.; Jorda, L.; Barucci, M. A.; Naletto, G.; Barbieri, C.; Bertini, I.; Da Deppo, V.; Ferri, F.; La Forgia, F.; Lazzarin, M.; Magrin, S.; Sierks, H.; Rosetta OSIRIS Team

    The peculiar bi-lobate shape of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/CG) has soon raised the question if it is the expression of two distinct objects or the result of a well-localized excavation on the neck region in-between the two lobes. The 3D reconstruction of the widespread layering involving most of 67P/CG surface seems to give an unambiguous answer to this topic. Here we will show how layering, pervasively dissected by fracture systems, can be used to infer part of the internal structure of the comet providing evidence that the two lobes are characterized by hundreds-of-meters-thick-layered sequences and are indeed independent objects. In particular, we have reconstructed 10 geological sections deriving strata orientations from best fitting planes of cuesta dorsa and terraces retrieved from a stereo-photoclinometric shape model of the comet nucleus (3.6 million facets at 6 m sampling; Jorda et al. 2015). The geological sections, realized along and perpendicular to the major axis, unequivocally show independent onion-like stratified structure of the two lobes (figure 1, Massironi et al. 2015). In addition we have retrieved the angular deviation from perpendicular of the strata planes with respect to the local gravity vector calculated for the entire comet or the two separated lobes (Massironi et al. 2015). In figures 2 the angular relationship between the strata and the gravity field vectors are visualized through stereographic projections. Stereographic projections readily describe statistics of the orientation of planes cutting a given topographic surface and has been recently applied on minor bodies (Buczkowski et al. 2008; Besse et al., 2014). Here we adopted a relative frame system based on the local gravity vector (whose pole is at the center of the stereographic projection) (for further details on stereographic projections on a relative frame see Simioni et al. 2015).

  19. Mass transport around comets and its impact on the seasonal differences in water production rates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rubin, M.; Altwegg, K.; Thomas, N. [Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern (Switzerland); Fougere, N.; Combi, M. R.; Tenishev, V. M. [Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, 2455 Hayward Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Le Roy, L. [Center for Space and Habitability, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern (Switzerland)

    2014-06-20

    Comets are surrounded by a thin expanding atmosphere, and although the nucleus' gravity is small, some molecules and grains, possibly with the inclusion of ices, can get transported around the nucleus through scattering (atoms/molecules) and gravitational pull (grains). Based on the obliquity of the comet, it is also possible that volatile material and icy grains get trapped in regions, which are in shadow until the comet passes its equinox. When the Sun rises above the horizon and the surface starts to heat up, this condensed material starts to desorb and icy grains will sublimate off the surface, possibly increasing the comet's neutral gas production rate on the outbound path. In this paper we investigate the mass transport around the nucleus, and based on a simplified model, we derive the possible contribution to the asymmetry in the seasonal gas production rate that could arise from trapped material released from cold areas once they come into sunlight. We conclude that the total amount of volatiles retained by this effect can only contribute up to a few percent of the asymmetry observed in some comets.

  20. On the Absence of EUV Emission from Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryans, Paul; Pesnell, W. Dean

    2016-05-01

    When the sungrazing comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) made its perihelion passage within two solar radii of the Sun’s surface, it was expected to be a bright emitter at extreme ultraviolet (EUV) wavelengths. However, despite solar EUV telescopes repointing to track the orbit of the comet, no emission was detected. This “null result” is interesting in its own right, offering the possibility of placing limits on the size and composition of the nucleus. We explain the lack of detection by considering the properties of the comet and the solar atmosphere that determine the intensity of EUV emission from sungrazing comets. By comparing these properties with those of sungrazing comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy), which did emit in the EUV, we conclude that the primary factor resulting in non-detectable EUV emission from C/2012 S1 (ISON) was an insufficiently large nucleus. We conclude that the radius of C/2012 S1 (ISON) was at least a factor of four less than that of C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy). This is consistent with white-light observations in the days before perihelion that suggested the comet was dramatically reducing in size on approach.

  1. Gas chromatography for in situ analysis of a cometary nucleus V. Study of capillary columns' robustness submitted to long-term reduced environmental pressure conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szopa, C; Sternberg, R; Coscia, D; Goesmann, F; Gomes, R; Legrand, S; Jerome, M; Meierhenrich, U J; Raulin, F

    2014-11-14

    With the European Space Agency's Rosetta space mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a gas chromatograph, part of the COmetary Sampling And Composition (COSAC) experiment, travelled for about 10 years in the interplanetary medium before operating at the surface of the cometary nucleus in November 2014. During its journey in space, the instrument was exposed to the constraining conditions of the interplanetary medium, including reduced environmental pressures. In order to estimate the potential influence of this severe condition on the chromatographic capillary columns, their stationary phase and the subsequent separation capability, a set of flight spare columns were kept under reduced environmental pressure in the laboratory for the same duration as the probe sent to the comet. The columns' analytical performances were evaluated recently and compared to the original ones obtained just before the launch of the Rosetta probe. The results presented here show that the chromatographic performances of the spare chromatographic columns were not altered in time. From this result, it can be expected that the flight instrument will perform nominally for the analysis of the first cometary nucleus sample to be collected ever, and that the preparation of the interpretation of the data to be taken at the cometary surface nucleus can be done through calibration of these spare columns, and other spare components of the instrument. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Asteroids and Comets

    CERN Document Server

    Fernandez, Yanga R; Howell, Ellen S; Woodney, Laura M

    2015-01-01

    Asteroids and comets are remnants from the era of Solar System formation over 4.5 billion years ago, and therefore allow us to address two fundamental questions in astronomy: what was the nature of our protoplanetary disk, and how did the process of planetary accretion occur? The objects we see today have suffered many geophysically-relevant processes in the intervening eons that have altered their surfaces, interiors, and compositions. In this chapter we review our understanding of the origins and evolution of these bodies, discuss the wealth of science returned from spacecraft missions, and motivate important questions to be addressed in the future.

  3. An analysis of the BVRI colors of 22 active comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betzler, A. S.; Almeida, R. S.; Cerqueira, W. J.; Araujo, L. A.; Prazeres, C. J. M.; Jesus, J. N.; Bispo, P. A. S.; Andrade, V. B.; Freitas, Y. A. S.; Betzler, L. B. S.

    2017-08-01

    Our aim was to analyze the variation of Johnson-Kron-Cousins BVRI color indexes of a sample with 22 active comets of various dynamic groups with the time, geometrical, observational and dynamical parameters. We performed photometric observations of 16 comets between 2010 and 2014, using robotic telescopes in three continents. In addition to the sample, we used data of six comets available in the literature. A statistical comparison between the distributions of color indexes was performed using the Kruskal-Wallis H-test. The color indexes of active comets can vary a few tenths up to a magnitude on time scales that range from hours to weeks. Using the B-V colors of the observed comets, we generated a relationship that correlates the cometary visual and CCD magnitudes. We did not identify any relationship between B-V and V-R colors with heliocentric distance and phase angle. The color B-V is correlated with the photometric aperture that can be described by a logarithmic function. We did not identify any differences in the distribution of B-V color among the comets analyzed at a confidence level equal to or greater than 95%. The mean color of active comets are B-R = 1.20 ± 0.24 , B-V = 0.76 ± 0.16 and V-R = 0.42 ± 0.16 . Active comets with V-R colors outside the three standard deviation interval can be considered objects with unusual physical characteristics.

  4. OSIRIS' decimeter observations of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feller, Clément; Fornasier, Sonia; Hasselmann, Pedro Henrique; Barucci, Maria Antonieta; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Jorda, Laurent; Thomas, Nicolas; Pommerol, Antoine; Jost, Bernhard; Poch, Olivier; Sierks, Holger; OSIRIS Team

    2016-10-01

    Since July 2014, the ESA spacecraft Rosetta has been escorting the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, thus allowing for a detailed analysis of both inner coma and nucleus of the comet. The on-board scientific imaging system OSIRIS (Keller et al., 2007), has been key to understand the structure (Massironi et al., 2015), the morphology and the processes occurring on the comet (Vincent et al., 2015 ; Thomas et al., 2015).On the 14th of February 2015, the spacecraft performed a flyby-manoeuvre close to the frontier between Ash, Apis and Imhotep regions, and came in as close as 6km to the nucleus surface. During this flyby, the Narrow-Angle Camera imaged this region at a resolution of 11cm per pixel, while the phase angle varied between 0° and 37° thus allowing us to investigate the opposition effect.We will present here the results of our photometric and spectrophotometric analyses of the 14th February 2015 flyby dataset. Using a dedicated digital terrain model, we were able to compute the 3D geometry of each frame with a sub-meter accuracy, which were used to correct for the illumination conditions. We fitted our dataset with the Hapke radiative transfer model that included a porosity correction (Helfenstein et al., 2011).This unique observations at decimetre scale indicate that the comet surface is heterogeneous both in terms of absolute reflectance (variations up to 40%) and colours. Furthermore, according to our photometric analysis, this flown-by region is as sombre as the comet's nucleus (geometric albedo : 6.8 %), the single-scattering albedo is quite low (0.038) and we found a similar high porosity (86%) of the uppermost layer. The opposition effect is dominated by the shadow hiding phenomenon, while the coherent backscattering contribution is found to be negligible.The spectral reddening effect observed by Fornasier et al., 2015 globally on the comet surface is also observed locally on the flown-by region, but with a less steep behaviour.The comparisons of the

  5. Dynamics of landslides on comets of irregular shape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czechowski, Leszek

    2017-04-01

    Landslides were observed on a few comet's nuclei, e.g. [1], [2]. The mechanism of their origin is not obvious because of very low gravity. According to [2] fluidization and multiphase transport of cometary material could be an explanation. We investigate here motion of the mass on a comet of irregular shape. The mechanism responsible for the low friction is not considered here. In fact, mass motion often occurs without contact with the surface. The motion could be triggered by meteoroids impacts or by the tidal forces. Comets nuclei are believed to be built of soft materials like snow and dust. The landing of Philae on the comet 67P/Czuriumow-Gierasimienko indicates a different situation. According to [1]: "thermal probe did not fully penetrate the near-surface layers, suggesting a local resistance of the ground to penetration of >4 megapascals, equivalent to >2 megapascal uniaxial compressive strength". Here we assume that elastic properties of comet's nuclei could be similar to elastic properties of dry snow, namely Young modulus is assumed to be 1 - 100 MPa, see [3] and [4]. We consider nucleus of the shape of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with density 470 kg/m3. The impact or tidal forces result in changing of rotation of the comet. In general, the vector of angular velocity will be a subject to nutation that results in changing of centrifugal force, and consequently could be a factor triggering landslides. Note that nucleus' shape does not resemble the shape of surface of constant value of gravitational potential (i.e. 'geoid'). Our numerical models indicate the parts of the nucleus where landslides start and other parts where landslides stop. Of course, the regolith from the first type of regions would be removed to the regions of the second class. The motion of the mass is often complicated because of complicated distribution of the gravity and complicated shape of the nucleus. Acknowledgement: The research is partly supported by Polish National Science Centre

  6. Sungrazing Comets: Snowballs in Hell

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Multiwavelength Observations of Recent Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Chemical evolution of interstellar dust, comets and the origins of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, J M; Zhao, N; Hage, J

    1989-04-01

    It now appears that the chemical evolution of the pre-solar system interstellar dust ensures that a major fraction of comets is in the form of complex organic molecules at least partially of a prebiotic nature and that the submicron interstellar dust preserves its chemical integrity as result of forming a very tenuous low density comet structure whose solid matter occupies approximately 1/5 of the total volume. This low density micro structure further provides a physical basis for comets bringing a significant fraction of the original interstellar organic molecules to the earth unmodified by the impact event. Finally, the evidence for a large number of comet collisions with the early earth ensured that the major organic molecular budget on the earth's surface was "continuously" supplied along with water well before 3.8 billion years ago which is the earliest date for life. The chemistry and morphological structure of a comet nucleus as an aggregate of interstellar dust is used to provide comparisons with a variety of comet Halley results: the density of the nucleus and of the dust; the dust cloud model and its consequences on the production of C+ and CN in the coma by small organic grains; the surface albedo and the low nucleus heat conductivity and high surface temperature; the appearance of 10(-14) g and 10(-17) g dust particles along with higher masses; the mass spectra of dust and infrared spectroscopy as evidence for complex organic grain mantles and of very small (approximately 0.01 micrometer) carbonaceous and silicate grains; the appearance of small grains resulting from breakup of larger grains. The cosmic ray dosage of a comet nucleus during its 4.5 billion years in the Oort cloud appears to be many orders of magnitude less than the dosage of the preaggregated interstellar dust by ultraviolet photons except perhaps in the outer few meters of the nucleus of a new comet. The heat conductivity calculated for aggregated dust is certainly less than 10(-4) that

  9. The rotation and coma profiles of comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reyniers, M.; Degroote, P.; Bodewits, D.; Cuypers, J.; Waelkens, C.

    Aims. Rotation periods of cometary nuclei are scarce, though important when studying the nature and origin of these objects. Our aim is to derive a rotation period for the nucleus of comet C/2004 Q2 ( Machholz). Methods. C/2004 Q2 ( Machholz) was monitored using the Merope CCD camera on the Mercator

  10. Geologic mapping of the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's Northern hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomini, L.; Massironi, M.; El-Maarry, M. R.; Penasa, L.; Pajola, M.; Thomas, N.; Lowry, S. C.; Barbieri, C.; Cremonese, G.; Ferri, F.; Naletto, G.; Bertini, I.; La Forgia, F.; Lazzarin, M.; Marzari, F.; Sierks, H.; Lamy, P. L.; Rodrigo, R.; Rickman, H.; Koschny, D.; Keller, H. U.; Agarwal, J.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Auger, A.-T.; Barucci, M. A.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Besse, S.; Bodewits, D.; Da Deppo, V.; Davidsson, B.; De Cecco, M.; Debei, S.; Fornasier, S.; Fulle, M.; Groussin, O.; Gutierrez, P. J.; Güttler, C.; Hviid, S. F.; Ip, W.-H.; Jorda, L.; Knollenberg, J.; Kovacs, G.; Kramm, J.-R.; Kührt, E.; Küppers, M.; Lara, L. M.; Moreno, J. J. Lopez; Magrin, S.; Michalik, H.; Oklay, N.; Pommerol, A.; Preusker, F.; Scholten, F.; Tubiana, C.; Vincent, J.-B.

    2016-11-01

    The Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS), the scientific imaging system onboard the Rosetta mission, has been acquiring images of the nucleus of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since 2014 August with a resolution which allows a detailed analysis of its surface. Indeed, data reveal a complex surface morphology which is likely the expression of different processes which occurred at different times on the cometary nucleus. In order to characterize these different morphologies and better understand their distribution, we performed a geologic mapping of comet's 67P Northern hemisphere in which features have been distinguished based on their morphological, textural and stratigraphic characteristics. For this purpose, we used narrow-angle camera images acquired in 2014 August and September with a spatial scale ranging from 1.2 to 2.4 m pixel-1. Several different geologic units have been identified on the basis of their different surface textures, granulometry and morphology. Some of these units are distinctive and localized, whereas others are more common and distributed all over the Northern hemisphere. Moreover, different types of linear features have been distinguished on the basis of their morphology. Some of these lineaments have never been observed before on a comet and can offer important clues on the internal structures of the nucleus itself. The geologic mapping results presented here will allow us to better understand the processes which affected the nucleus' surface and thus the origin and evolutionary history of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

  11. FORCAST Observations of a ToO Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, Diane

    With this CY5 Target-of-Opportunity (ToO) proposal, we propose to measure the dust and organic grains of a yet-to-be-discovered comet or a comet that outbursts. A 5-27 micron spectrum coupled with 11, 19, and 31 micron dual-band photometry of a ToO comet with FORCAST will address our two primary goals: 1) characterize the coma dust mineralogy; and 2) identify organics in the critical 5-8 micron region. Observations of cometary organics probe the unknown precursor materials that were transformed by heat into macromolecular carbon found ubiquitously in carbonaceous chondrite samples from primitive asteroids. Thermal models fitted to FORCAST observations of a ToO comet determine the dust properties and the comet's dust properties link to the physical and chemical conditions in the solar nebula, and help to fulfill the SOFIA Science Case for Evolution of Our Solar System. The crystalline fraction of comet dust has become a benchmark for models of heating and radial transport in our protoplanetary disk. By measuring the wavelengths, relative intensities, and feature asymmetries of crystalline peaks at 11.1, 19, and 23.5, 27.5, and 33 micron, the shapes of forsterite crystals can be constrained and their condensation temperatures inferred by comparison with theoretical and experimental data. We impose the requirement that a CY4 ToO comet have an expected surface brightness of 430 mJy/arcsec-squared, such as from helio- and geo-centric distances of 1 and 1.2 AU and with an Afrho 3000 cm; that is, a relatively bright comet. From 1995 through 2015, there were ten comet apparitions with Veye within 2 months of discovery. FORCAST 5-31.5 micron observations of a ToO comet will enable the study of dust mineral compositions and organic materials, will enable the search for controversial species including PAHs, phyllosilicates and carbonates, and will add to the sample of less than 2 dozen comets with good SNR spanning mid- to far-IR wavelengths.

  12. Comets and the origin of life; Proceedings of the Fifth College Park Colloquium on Chemical Evolution, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, October 29-31, 1980

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponnamperuma, C.

    1981-01-01

    Papers are presented concerning the characteristics of comets and their possible role in the origin of life. Specific topics include the characteristics, origin and structure of the cometary nucleus, cometary chemical abundances, the nature of interplanetary dust and its entry into terrestrial planet atmospheres, and the mechanism of ray closure in comet tails. Attention is also given to chemically evolved interstellar dust as a source of prebiotic material, the relation of comets to paleoatmospheric photochemistry, comets as a vehicle for panspermia, limits to life posed by extreme environments, and the status of cometary space missions as of 1980.

  13. Main-Belt Comet P/2008 R1 (Garradd)

    CERN Document Server

    Jewitt, David; Haghighipour, Nader

    2009-01-01

    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_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_CN <1.4e23/s and infer a mass loss rate <1.5 kg/s 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 to 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...

  14. Collision with meteoroids as one of possible causes of cometary nucleus splitting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guliyev, Ayyub

    2017-09-01

    The results of the testing analysis of the dynamic parameters of 114 comets undergoing nucleus splitting are presented in the article. Some aspects of the following idea as working hypothesis are studied: disintegration of the comet nucleus happens as results of their collision with meteoroid streams also. For the verification of this working hypothesis the position of splitted comet orbits have been analyzed relative to 125 meteor streams from Kronk's list. The number of comet orbit nodes separated by 0.001, 0.005, 0.01, 0.05 and 0.1 au from known meteor streams were computed and analyzed. The orbit of each meteorite stream was replaced by a set of similar pseudo-streams for comparison. Statistical methods and simulations showed that 31 out of the 125 streams have significant predominance over pseudo streams.

  15. A Starry Diamond in a Veil of Light: Artistic and Literary Suggestions of a Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasperini, A.; Galli, D.

    2016-01-01

    Donati's Comet, discovered in Florence on June 2, 1858, was one of the most spectacular astronomical events of the nineteenth century. It could be seen with the naked eye during September and October 1858, when it reached its highest splendour. The sight of the comet, with its bright nucleus and its long, curved tail, inspired paintings, watercolors, engravings, and sketches by artists such as William Dyce, Samuel Palmer, and William Turner of Oxford. Donati's Comet is mentioned in the works of several contemporary writers and poets (Hawthorne, Dickens, Hardy, and Verne), and in the diaries of explorers and travelers all around the world. Long-lasting traces of the impression left by Donati's Comet are found in many forms of popular art and literature (ladies' magazines, children's books, collection cards, and advertisements) until the beginning of the twentieth century. This paper focuses on a few examples of this fascination, emphasizing the connections among the astronomical event and the artistic sensibility of the period.

  16. Using the EUV to Weigh a Sun-Grazing Comet as it Disappears in the Solar Corona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesnell, William Dean; Schrijiver, Carolus J.; Brown, John C.; Battams, Karl; Saint-Hilaire, Pascal; Hudson Hugh S.; Lui, Wei

    2012-01-01

    On July 6,2011, the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AlA) on the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed a comet in most of its EUY passbands. The comet disappeared while moving through the solar corona. The comet penetrated to 0.146 solar radii ($\\simapprox.100,000 km) above the photosphere before its EUY faded. Before then, the comet's coma and a tail were observed in absorption and emission, respectively. The material in the variable tail quickly fell behind the nucleus. An estimate of the comet's mass based on this effect, one derived from insolation, and one using the tail's EUY brightness, all yield $\\sim 50$ giga-grams some 10 minutes prior to the end of its visibility. These unique first observations herald a new era in the study of Sun-grazing comets close to their perihelia and of the conditions in the solar corona and solar wind. We will discuss the observations and interpretation of the comet by SDO as well as the coronagraph observations from SOHO and STEREO. A search of the SOHO comet archive for other comets that could be observed in the SDO; AlA EUY channels will be described

  17. Comets as collisional fragments of a primordial planetesimal disk

    CERN Document Server

    Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2015-01-01

    The Rosetta mission and its exquisite measurements have revived the debate on whether comets are pristine planetesimals or collisionally evolved objects. We investigate the collisional evolution experienced by the precursors of current comet nuclei during the early stages of the Solar System, in the context of the so-called "Nice Model". We consider two environments for the collisional evolution: (1) the trans-planetary planetesimal disk, from the time of gas removal until the disk was dispersed by the migration of the ice giants, and (2) the dispersing disk during the time that the scattered disk was formed. Simulations have been performed, using different methods in the two cases, to find the number of destructive collisions typically experienced by a comet nucleus of 2km radius. In the widely accepted scenario, where the dispersal of the planetesimal disk occurred at the time of the Late Heavy Bombardment about 4Gy ago, comet-sized planetesimals have a very small chance to survive against destructive colli...

  18. The Collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 and Jupiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noll, Keith S.; Weaver, Harold A.; Feldman, Paul D.

    2006-11-01

    Participants; Preface; 1. The orbital motion and impact circumstances of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Paul W. Chodas and Donald K. Yeomans; 2. Observational constraints on the composition and nature of Comet D/Shoemaker-Levy 9 Jacques Crovisier; 3. Tidal breakup of the nucleus of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Zdenek Sekanina; 4. Earth-based observations of impact phenomena Philip D. Nicholson; 5. HST imaging of Jupiter shortly after each impact: plumes and fresh sites Heidi B. Hammel; 6. Galileo observations of the impacts Clark R. Chapman; 7. Models of fragment penetration and fireball evolution David A. Crawford; 8. Entry and fireball models vs. observations: what have we learned? Mordecai-Mark Mac Low; 9. Dynamics and chemistry of SL9 plumes Kevin Zahnle; 10. Chemistry induced by the impacts: observations Emmanuel Lellouch; 11. SL9 impact chemistry: long-term photochemical evolution Julianne I. Moses; 12. Particulate matter in Jupiter's atmosphere from the impacts of Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 Robert A. West; 13. Jupiter's post-impact atmospheric thermal response Barney J. Conrath; 14. Growth and dispersion of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact features from HST imaging Reta F. Beebe; 15. Waves from the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts Andrew P. Ingersoll and Hiroo Kanamori; 16. Jovian magnetospheric and auroral effects of the SL9 impacts Wing-Huen Ip.

  19. Comets as a possible source of prebiotic molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huebner, W. F.; Boice, D. C.

    1992-01-01

    Prebiotic molecules derive from abiotic organic molecules, radicals, and ions that pervade the universe at temperatures as high as several 1000 K. Here we review the role of organic molecules that condensed at low temperatures before or during comet formation in the early history of the Solar System. Recent spacecraft encounters and ground-based observations of carbon-rich volatile and dust components of comet comae provide a broad database for the investigation of these organic molecules. New laboratory data for some potential cometary organics are presented. Probable icy organic constituents of the nucleus and CHON particles as likely candidates for the distributed sources of gas-phase organic species in the coma are discussed. There is broad agreement that many organic molecules observed in the coma originate from the dust that must have existed in the solar nebula at the time and place of comet formation. We conclude that complex organic molecules found in comets may be a source of prebiotic molecules that led to the origins of life.

  20. Interaction of the solar wind with comets: a Rosetta perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz

    2017-07-13

    The Rosetta mission provides an unprecedented possibility to study the interaction of comets with the solar wind. As the spacecraft accompanies comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from its very low-activity stage through its perihelion phase, the physics of mass loading is witnessed for various activity levels of the nucleus. While observations at other comets provided snapshots of the interaction region and its various plasma boundaries, Rosetta observations allow a detailed study of the temporal evolution of the innermost cometary magnetosphere. Owing to the short passage time of the solar wind through the interaction region, plasma instabilities such as ring--beam and non-gyrotropic instabilities are of less importance during the early life of the magnetosphere. Large-amplitude ultra-low-frequency (ULF) waves, the 'singing' of the comet, is probably due to a modified ion Weibel instability. This instability drives a cross-field current of implanted cometary ions unstable. The initial pick-up of these ions causes a major deflection of the solar wind protons. Proton deflection, cross-field current and the instability induce a threefold structure of the innermost interaction region with the characteristic Mach cone and Whistler wings as stationary interaction signatures as well as the ULF waves representing the dynamic aspect of the interaction.This article is part of the themed issue 'Cometary science after Rosetta'. © 2017 The Authors.

  1. Detection of garlic gamma-irradiated by assay comet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moreno Alvarez, Damaris L.; Miranda, Enrique F. Prieto; Carro, Sandra; Iglesias Enrique, Isora; Matos, Wilberto [Centro de Aplicaciones Tecnologicas y Desarrollo Nuclear (CEADEN), Ciudad de La Habana (Cuba)], e-mail: damaris@ceaden.edu.cu

    2009-07-01

    The garlic samples were irradiated in a facility with {sup 60}Co sources, at absorbed dose values of 0-0,15 kGy. The detection method utilized for the identification of the irradiated garlic was biological comet assay. The samples were classified post-irradiation several times. The irradiated samples showed high strand breaks of DNA exhibiting comets of several forms, while the not irradiated and lower dose samples showed a behavior like round shape and light comets. Significant differences were found for higher absorbed dose values at 0.06 kGy, this absorbed dose value is corresponding with the applied dose value at this food in order to avoid the germination. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  3. Primeval procreative comet pond.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B C

    1988-01-01

    It is speculated that life originated in a small, shallow body of water containing concentrated prebiotic organic feedstocks, inorganic compounds, and catalytic agents in a diversity of microenvironments. This pond was formed by an improbable, fortuitous soft-landing of a cometary nucleus, or fragment thereof, on the surface of a suitable planet with an atmosphere in an appropriate thermodynamic state, such as Earth.

  4. Tabulation of comet observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  5. First results from the Comet ISON Observing Campaign (CIOC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, C.

    2014-07-01

    Comet ISON came fresh from the Oort Cloud as predicted, coming within 0.07 au of Mars, 0.24 au of Mercury, and 10^{6} km of the solar photospheric surface. It did not become the ''Comet of the Century'' in terms of its brightness in the Earth's night-time sky as predicted, but instead became one of the rare dynamically new Oort Cloud comets to graze the Sun's corona (these occur every few decades; the last one observed was C/Ikeya-Seki 1965). For an initially bright comet detected as far out as the orbit of Saturn in Sept 2011, the comet worried us all quite a bit with its flat-lining activity from 4 to 0.8 au (March to Oct 2013). It thus put on a somewhat disappointing showing at Mars in early October, but then defied predictions of its demise and a government shutdown, ramping up instead to become a beautiful early morning green ''lollipop'' as it passed Mercury in mid-November (Figure). ISON ultimately peaked at maximum Q_{gas} = 2 × 10^{30} mol/s of water [1] within the last few days before perihelion, then seemed to have almost no gas output the day of perihelion, 28 Nov 2013 [2] before spectacularly disrupting under the watchful eyes of the SOHO and STEREO spacecraft (Figure), after which its debris fan was tracked for days until it finally disappeared [3,4]. Over 19 NASA and ESA spacecraft ultimately pointed at the comet, with at least 14 reporting detections of it ranging from the X-rays through the infrared. More than 30 ground-based observatories observed ISON from at UV to radio wavelengths. Important findings concerning the comet's size, rotation state, dust to gas ratio, composition, and coma and tail structure were made during ISON'S apparition. Numerous observing groups produced evidence for a small and CO poor (but rich in solid carbon and CO_2) nucleus that was rapidly evolving. Throughout this time, parallels to the behavior of other dynamically new comets, like C/1973 E (Kohoutek), were readily apparent. In this talk I present an overview of the

  6. Lyman-alpha observations of comets West 1976 VI and P d'Arrest 1976 XI with Copernicus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Festou, M. C.; Keller, H. U.; Bertaux, J. L.; Barker, E. S.

    1983-02-01

    Lyman-alpha observations by the Copernicus satellite have been used to determine the production rates of hydrogen atoms of comets West 1976 VI and P/d'Arrest 1976 XI at a time when they were dynamically active (splitting or outburst of the nucleus). The observed Lyman-alpha line widths are in agreement with those observed in comet Kobayashi-Berger-Milon 1975 IX and, consequently, do not contradict the assumption that the H atoms are produced by the photodissociation of water vapor, even in CO(plus) rich comets..

  7. Water production models for comet Bradfield /1979 X/

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, H. A.; Feldman, P. D.; Ahearn, M. F.; Festou, M. C.

    1981-01-01

    Whipple (1950, 1951) has proposed that water might be the dominant volatile constituent of the cometary nucleus. The considered investigation is concerned with the clues which observations of the cometary coma provide regarding the parents of the dominant observed coma species. In the early part of 1980, comet Bradfield (1979 X) was observed with the aid of the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE). These measurements are the first which provide a basis for a comprehensive study of all three water dissociation products, H, O, and OH, simultaneously. The IUE observations of comet Bradfield are compared with the predictions derived from an H2O model. The obtained results indicate that the observed brightnesses of H, O, and OH are certainly consistent with a common water source for all three species.

  8. The interaction between the solar wind and the heterogeneous neutral gas coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Martin; Toth, Gabor; Tenishev, Valeriy; Fougere, Nicolas; Huang, Zhenguang

    2016-07-01

    Comets are surrounded by an extended gas and dust coma. Neutral particles are continuously ionized by solar irradiation and then picked-up by the solar wind. This leads to a complex interaction between the neutral gas coma and the solar wind, which changes over the course of the comet's orbit around the Sun. The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft has been in orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since August 2014. Rosetta carries several instruments to investigate the comet's nucleus and surrounding neutral gas coma and plasma. Part of the payload is the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) that consists of two mass spectrometers and a pressure sensor. ROSINA was designed to measure the neutral gas abundance and composition and low energy ions in the coma in situ. ROSINA observations have shown that the coma is very heterogeneous both in total density and composition of the neutral gas. This heterogeneity is driven in large part by the complex shape of the nucleus and the varying illumination conditions associated with the comet's rotation. In this presentation we will show the time-dependent distribution of the major volatiles around the comet constrained by ROSINA observations. Furthermore we will investigate the impact of the highly non-symmetric neutral gas coma on the interaction of the solar wind with the comet.

  9. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko preserved the pebbles that formed planetesimals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulle, Marco; Della Corte, V.; Rotundi, A.; Rietmeijer, F. J. M.; Green, S. F.; Weissman, P.; Accolla, M.; Colangeli, L.; Ferrari, M.; Ivanovski, S.; Lopez-Moreno, J. J.; Epifani, E. Mazzotta; Morales, R.; Ortiz, J. L.; Palomba, E.; Palumbo, P.; Rodriguez, J.; Sordini, R.; Zakharov, V.

    2016-09-01

    Solar System formation models predict that the building-blocks of planetesimals were mm- to cm-sized pebbles, aggregates of ices and non-volatile materials, consistent with the compact particles ejected by comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P hereafter) and detected by GIADA (Grain Impact Analyzer and Dust Accumulator) on-board the Rosetta spacecraft. Planetesimals were formed by the gentle gravitational accretion of pebbles, so that they have an internal macroporosity of 40%. We measure the average dust bulk density ρ _D = 795_{-65}^{+840} kg m-3 that, coupled to the 67P nucleus bulk density, provides the average dust-to-ices mass ratio δ = 8.5. We find that the measured densities of the 67P pebbles are consistent with a mixture of (15 ± 6)% of ices, (5 ± 2)% of Fe-sulfides, (28 ± 5)% of silicates, and (52 ± 12)% of hydrocarbons, in average volume abundances. This composition matches both the solar and CI-chondritic chemical abundances, thus showing that GIADA has sampled the typical non-volatile composition of the pebbles that formed all planetesimals. The GIADA data do not constrain the abundance of amorphous silicates vs. crystalline Mg,Fe-olivines and pyroxenes. We find that the pebbles have a microporosity of (52 ± 8)% (internal volume filling factor φP = 0.48 ± 0.08), implying an average porosity for the 67P nucleus of (71 ± 8)%, lower than previously estimated.

  10. The correlation between water production rates and visual magnitudes in comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorda, L.; Crovisier, Jacques; Green, D. W. E.

    1992-01-01

    From the visual magnitudes of the International Comet Quarterly data base and the OH radio lines measured at the Nancay radio telescope, the law log Q(H2O) = 30.74 (+/-0.02) - 0.240 (+/-.003) m(sub h) is derived from a sample of 13 comets.

  11. 15. APPLICATION OF THE ALKALINE COMET ASSAY IN HUMAN BIOMONITORING: INTERNAL STANDARD AND GLOBAL REPAIR PHENOTYPE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    @@An internal standard, composed of untreated an ethy1 methane sulfonate treated K562 cells was validated for its application in comet analysis of human biomonitoring samples. Firstly, the different levels of variability which may influence the damage levels of the internal standards were assessed. Three experimenters performed the comet assay with cells coming from the same set of untreated

  12. Comets and Asteroids with FIRST

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Crovisier, J.

    2001-07-01

    The infrared and microwave domains have proved to be privileged tools to study the physical and chemical properties of small bodies of the Solar System. After a review of the recent results obtained on comets and asteroids in these wavelength ranges, we forecast the major outcomes that can be expected from their observations with the Herschel Space Observatory (hereafter referred as to FIRST, the former denomination). This prospect is focussed on: 1) observations of water rotational lines in comets to measure water outgassing and study water excitation in the coma and its kinematics; 2) observations of HDO in comets to constrain solar nebula models and formation scenarii of comets; 3) the study of surface properties of asteroids.

  13. Spectrophotometry and the Development of Emissions for Comet Hyakutake 1996 B2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, M.; Fink, U.

    1996-09-01

    An analysis of our spectrophotometry of Comet Hyakutake 1996 B2 from 0.55 mu m to 1.05 mu m obtained between February 17 and April 17 1996 is presented. We derive Afrho values and production rates of H_2O, C_2, NH_2, and CN. In general we find the Haser model to be substantiated with no inconsistencies for different aperture sizes and different heliocentric and geocentric distances. Comet Hyakutake is the dustiest comet in our database of 39 comets (Fink and Hicks 1996) and both the dust and the H_2O production rates follow a heliocentric dependence of ~ r(-1.5) , lower than the ~ r(-2.5) dependence found for P/Halley (Fink 1994). The Afrho values and the H_2O production rates track the visual lightcurve quite well. Strong evidence for quenching of OI emissions close to the nucleus was observed during the March data due to the comet's small geocentric distance. While the CN production rate also has a dependence of ~ r(-1.5) with a CN/H_2O ratio typical of most comets, the C_2 production rate has a much steeper slope, ~ r(-2.5) , and the C_2/H_2O ratio evolves from a typical cometary ratio to one that is exceedingly rich in C_2. We feel that this is evidence for a significant CHON contribution to the overall C_2 production. The NH_2 production is considerably flatter and follows roughly a ~ r(-0.85) law. In February and March, Hyakutake exhibits the highest relative NH_2 abundance of any comet in our database, but reverts to more a normal value in April. All together, we feel that the behavior of the comet's Afrho and production rates throughout its apparition argue for a more primordial comet than may be suggested by the orbital elements alone.

  14. PROBING THE SOLAR WIND ACCELERATION REGION WITH THE SUN-GRAZING COMET C/2002 S2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giordano, S. [INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, via Osservatorio 20, I-10025 Pino Torinese (Italy); Raymond, J. C. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Lamy, P. [Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Marseille, 38 rue Frédéric Joliot-Curie, F-13388 Marseille cedex 13 (France); Uzzo, M. [Computer Science Corporation, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Dobrzycka, D. [European Southern Observatory, Karl Schwarzschild Strasse 2, D-85748 Garching (Germany)

    2015-01-01

    Comet C/2002 S2, a member of the Kreutz family of sungrazing comets, was discovered in white-light images of the Large Angle and Spectromeric Coronagraph Experiment coronagraph on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) on 2002 September 18 and observed in H I Lyα emission by the SOHO Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) instrument at four different heights as it approached the Sun. The H I Lyα line profiles detected by UVCS are analyzed to determine the spectral parameters: line intensity, width, and Doppler shift with respect to the coronal background. Two-dimensional comet images of these parameters are reconstructed at the different heights. A novel aspect of the observations of this sungrazing comet data is that, whereas the emission from most of the tail is blueshifted, that along one edge of the tail is redshifted. We attribute these shifts to a combination of solar wind speed and interaction with the magnetic field. In order to use the comet to probe the density, temperature, and speed of the corona and solar wind through which it passes, as well as to determine the outgassing rate of the comet, we develop a Monte Carlo simulation of the H I Lyα emission of a comet moving through a coronal plasma. From the outgassing rate, we estimate a nucleus diameter of about 9 m. This rate steadily increases as the comet approaches the Sun, while the optical brightness decreases by more than a factor of 10 and suddenly recovers. This indicates that the optical brightness is determined by the lifetimes of the grains, sodium atoms, and molecules produced by the comet.

  15. CO in distantly active comets

    CERN Document Server

    Womack, Maria; Wierzchos, Kacper

    2016-01-01

    Activity of most comets near the Sun is dominated by sublimation of frozen water, the most abundant ice in comets. Some comets, however, are active well beyond the water-ice sublimation limit of ~3 AU. Three bodies dominate the observational record and modeling efforts for distantly active comets: the long-period comet C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp and the short-period comets (with Centaur orbits) 29P/Schwassmann Wachmann 1 and 2060 Chiron. We summarize what is known about these three objects emphasizing their gaseous comae. We calculate their CN/CO and CO2/CO production rate ratios from the literature and discuss implications. Using our own data we derive CO production rates for all three objects, in order to examine a correlation between gas production and different orbital histories and/or size. We find that orbital history does not appear to play a significant role in explaining 29P's CO production rates. 29P outproduces Hale-Bopp at the same heliocentric distance, even though it has been subjected to much more sol...

  16. Helium and Neon in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Destruction of Sun-grazing comet C/2011 N3 (SOHO) within the low solar corona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrijver, C J; Brown, J C; Battams, K; Saint-Hilaire, P; Liu, W; Hudson, H; Pesnell, W D

    2012-01-20

    Observations of comets in Sun-grazing orbits that survive solar insolation long enough to penetrate into the Sun's inner corona provide information on the solar atmosphere and magnetic field as well as on the makeup of the comet. On 6 July 2011, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) observed the demise of comet C/2011 N3 (SOHO) within the low solar corona in five wavelength bands in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV). The comet penetrated to within 0.146 solar radius (~100,000 kilometers) of the solar surface before its EUV signal disappeared. Before that, material released into the coma--at first seen in absorption--formed a variable EUV-bright tail. During the final 10 minutes of observation by SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly, ~6 × 10(8) to 6 × 10(10) grams of total mass was lost (corresponding to an effective nucleus diameter of ~10 to 50 meters), as estimated from the tail's deceleration due to interaction with the surrounding coronal material; the EUV absorption by the comet and the brightness of the tail suggest that the mass was at the high end of this range. These observations provide evidence that the nucleus had broken up into a family of fragments, resulting in accelerated sublimation in the Sun's intense radiation field.

  18. DISAPPEARANCE OF COMET C/2010 X1 (ELENIN): GONE WITH A WHIMPER, NOT A BANG

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Jing; Jewitt, David, E-mail: jli@igpp.ucla.edu [Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles (United States)

    2015-04-15

    We examine the rise and sudden demise of comet C/2010 X1 (Elenin) on its approach to perihelion. Discovered inbound at 4.2 AU, this long-period comet was predicted to become very bright when near perihelion, at 0.48 AU on 2011 September 10. Observations starting 2011 February (heliocentric distance ∼3.5 AU) indeed show the comet to brighten by about 11 mag, with most of the increase occurring inside 1 AU from the Sun. The peak brightness reached m{sub R} = 6 on UT 2011 August 12.95 ± 0.50, when at ∼0.83 AU from the Sun. Thereafter, the comet faded even as the heliocentric distance continued to decrease. We find that most of the surge in brightness in mid-August resulted from dust-particle forward scattering, not from a sudden increase in the activity. A much smaller (∼3 mag) brightening began on UT 2011 August 18 ± 1 (heliocentric distance 0.74 AU), reached a maximum on UT 2011 August 30 ± 1 (at 0.56 AU), and reflects the true breakup of the nucleus. This second peak was matched by a change in the morphology from centrally condensed to diffuse. The estimated cross section of the nucleus when at 1 AU inbound was ∼1 km{sup 2}, corresponding to an equal-area circle of radius 0.6 km. Observations were taken after the second peak using the Canada–France–Hawaii 3.6 m telescope to search for surviving fragments of the nucleus. None were found to a limiting red magnitude r′ = 24.4, corresponding to radii ≲40 m (red geometric albedo = 0.04 assumed). The brightening, the progressive elongation of the debris cloud, and the absence of a central condensation in data taken after UT 2011 August 30 are consistent with disintegration of the nucleus into a power law size distribution of fragments with index q = 3.3 ± 0.2 combined with the action of radiation pressure. In such a distribution, the largest particles contain most of the mass while the smallest particles dominate the scattering cross section and apparent brightness. We speculate about physical

  19. BFKL Pomeron calculus: Nucleus-nucleus scattering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Contreras, Carlos, E-mail: carlos.contreras@usm.cl [Departamento de Fisica, Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, Avda. Espana 1680, and Centro Cientifico-Tecnologico de Valparaiso, Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso (Chile); Levin, Eugene, E-mail: leving@post.tau.ac.il [Departamento de Fisica, Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria, Avda. Espana 1680, and Centro Cientifico-Tecnologico de Valparaiso, Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso (Chile); Department of Particle Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel); Miller, Jeremy S., E-mail: jeremy.miller@ist.utl.pt [Department of Particle Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978 (Israel); CENTRA, Departamento de Fisica, Instituto Superior Tecnico (IST), Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa (Portugal)

    2012-04-15

    In this paper the action of the BFKL Pomeron calculus is rewritten in momentum representation, and the equations of motion for nucleus-nucleus collisions are derived, in this representation. We found the semiclassical solutions to these equations, outside of the saturation domain. Inside this domain these equations reduce to the set of delay differential equations, and their asymptotic solutions are derived.

  20. The Extremely Low Activity Comet 209P/LINEAR During Its Extraordinary Close Approach in 2014

    CERN Document Server

    Schleicher, David G

    2016-01-01

    We present results from our observing campaign of Comet 209P/LINEAR during its exceptionally close approach to Earth during May of 2014, the third smallest perigee of any comet in two centuries. These circumstances permitted us to pursue several studies of this intrinsically faint object, including measurements of gas and dust production rates, searching for coma morphology, and direct detection of the nucleus to measure its properties. Indeed, we successfully measured the lowest water production rates of an intact comet in over 35 years and a corresponding smallest active area, ~0.007 km^2. When combined with the nucleus size found from radar (Howell et al. 2014), this also yields the smallest active fraction for any comet, ~0.024%. In all, this strongly suggests that 209P/LINEAR is on its way to becoming an inert object. The nucleus was detected but could not easily be disentangled from the inner coma due to seeing variations and changing spatial scales. Even so, we were able to measure a double-peaked ligh...

  1. DELIVERY OF DUST GRAINS FROM COMET C/2013 A1 (SIDING SPRING) TO MARS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tricarico, Pasquale; Samarasinha, Nalin H.; Sykes, Mark V.; Li, Jian-Yang [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 E. Ft. Lowell #106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Farnham, Tony L.; Kelley, Michael S. P. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Farnocchia, Davide; Stevenson, Rachel; Bauer, James M.; Lock, Robert E., E-mail: tricaric@psi.edu [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2014-06-01

    Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will have a close encounter with Mars on 2014 October 19. We model the dynamical evolution of dust grains from the time of their ejection from the comet nucleus to the close encounter with Mars, and determine the flux at Mars. Constraints on the ejection velocity from Hubble Space Telescope observations indicate that the bulk of the grains will likely miss Mars, although it is possible that a few percent of the grains with higher velocities will reach Mars, peaking approximately 90-100 minutes after the close approach of the nucleus, and consisting mostly of millimeter-radius grains ejected from the comet nucleus at a heliocentric distance of approximately 9 AU or larger. At higher velocities, younger grains from submillimeter to several millimeters can also reach Mars, although an even smaller fraction of grains is expected have these velocities, with negligible effect on the peak timing. Using NEOWISE observations of the comet, we can estimate that the maximum fluence will be of the order of 10{sup –7} grains m{sup –2}. We include a detailed analysis of how the expected fluence depends on the grain density, ejection velocity, and size-frequency distribution, to account for current model uncertainties and in preparation of possible refined model values in the near future.

  2. Infrared Spectroscopy of Parent Volatiles in Comets: Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiSanti, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    Current cometary orbits provide information on their recent dynamical history. However, determining a given comet's formation region from its current dynamical state alone is complicated by radial migration in the proto-planetary disk and by dynamical interactions with the growing giant planets. Because comets reside for long periods of time in the outer Solar System, the ices contained in their nuclei (native ices) retain a relatively well-preserved footprint of when and where they formed, and this in turn can provide clues to conditions in the formation epoch. As a comet approaches the Sun, sublimation of its native ices releases parent volatiles into the coma where they can be measured spectroscopically. The past to - 15 years have seen the advent of infrared spectrometers with high sensitivity between about 2.8 and 5.0 micron, enabling a taxonomy among comets based on abundances of parent volatiles (e.g., H2O, CO, CH4, C2H6, HCN, CH30H, H2CO, NH3). Such molecules are of keen interest to Astrobiology, as they include important pre-biotic species that likely were required for the emergence of life on Earth and perhaps elsewhere. Approximately 20 comets have thus far been characterized, beginning with C/1996 82 (Hyakutake) in 1996. Molecular production rates are established through comparison of observed emission line intensities with those predicted by quantum mechanical fluorescence models. Abundances of parent volatiles (relative to H2O) vary among even the relatively small number of comets sampled, with the most volatile species (CO and CH4) displaying the largest variations. Techniques developed for measuring parent volatile abundances in comets will be discussed, as will possible implications for their formation.

  3. Infrared Spectroscopy of Parent Volatiles in Comets: Implications for Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiSanti, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    Current cometary orbits provide information on their recent dynamical history. However, determining a given comet's formation region from its current dynamical state alone is complicated by radial migration in the proto-planetary disk and by dynamical interactions with the growing giant planets. Because comets reside for long periods of time in the outer Solar System, the ices contained in their nuclei (native ices) retain a relatively well-preserved footprint of when and where they formed, and this in turn can provide clues to conditions in the formation epoch. As a comet approaches the Sun, sublimation of its native ices releases parent volatiles into the coma where they can be measured spectroscopically. The past to - 15 years have seen the advent of infrared spectrometers with high sensitivity between about 2.8 and 5.0 micron, enabling a taxonomy among comets based on abundances of parent volatiles (e.g., H2O, CO, CH4, C2H6, HCN, CH30H, H2CO, NH3). Such molecules are of keen interest to Astrobiology, as they include important pre-biotic species that likely were required for the emergence of life on Earth and perhaps elsewhere. Approximately 20 comets have thus far been characterized, beginning with C/1996 82 (Hyakutake) in 1996. Molecular production rates are established through comparison of observed emission line intensities with those predicted by quantum mechanical fluorescence models. Abundances of parent volatiles (relative to H2O) vary among even the relatively small number of comets sampled, with the most volatile species (CO and CH4) displaying the largest variations. Techniques developed for measuring parent volatile abundances in comets will be discussed, as will possible implications for their formation.

  4. Repeatability of the Dust and Gas Morphological Structures in the Coma of Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lejoly, Cassandra; Samarasinha, N. H.; Ojha, L.; Schleicher, D. G.

    2013-10-01

    Comet 1P/Halley is the most famous comet in history and has been observed for over two millennia, making it one of the most extensively studied comets. The morphology in the coma of comet 1P/Halley originates due to the activity at the nucleus and could be used as a probe of the nuclear rotation and the activity. We will present the results from a study summarizing the evolution of coma morphology of comet 1P/Halley observed from ground between October 1985 and June 1986. The results to be presented include analysis of dust features as well as gas (CN) features in the coma and comparisons will be made between their spatial and temporal evolution. About 80 CN images and 300 continuum images from the Small Bodies Node of the NASA Planetary Data System were analyzed using image enhancement techniques that were not available n the 1980s. This enables us to see coma structure never observed before in comet 1P/Halley. Because of the comet's proximity to Earth, most of our best signal-to-noise images were taken in the March-April interval of 1986. Despite the limited coverage of preceding and following months, there is a sufficient number of images to monitor morphological evolution over many months. The initial synodic periods as a function of time used to phase the images together were extrapolated from the lightcurves of the active coma (Schleicher et al. 1990, AJ, 100, 896-912). We will present the periods of repeatability of individual coma features measured using the position angle at different spatial distances from the nucleus in adjacent cycles. Separate features appear to have slightly different periods of repeatability, perhaps depending on the corresponding source regions on the nucleus and/or projection effects. The periods of repeatability of coma morphologies will be presented as a function of time from the perihelion. These results will ultimately be used in detailed modeling of the coma morphologies of comet 1P/Halley over the 1985-1986 apparition in

  5. VLA observations of the OH emission from Comet Wilson (1986) - The value of high resolution in both spatial and velocity coordinates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Patrick; De Pater, Imke; Snyder, Lewis E.

    1989-01-01

    In comparison with Comet Halley, the radio OH emission from Comet Wilson behaved very erratically, changing rapidly in position as well as in velocity, while the emission and brightness distribution from Comet Halley displayed apparent stability. A few months later, nearer perihelion, just the opposite behavior was observed at UV wavelengths. Another difference between the two comets is that the OH emission from Comet Halley seemed confined to a region a few times 100.000 km in size, while the emission from Comet Wilson showed up in sporadic blobs, with variable intensities and velocities, at distances as far as 10 to the 6th km from the nucleus. This behavior in Comet Wilson may be associated with the disintegration of the outer frosting associated with new comets and possibly with the fragmentation and ejection of cometesimals from the nucleus. As part of the data analysis, it is demonstrated that lengthening the integration time and lowering the velocity resolution affects the symmetry of the OH images and spectral-line profiles. As a consequence, asymmetric cometary OH line profiles may be more common than previously thought.

  6. The global morphology of the solar wind interaction with comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mendis, D. A. [Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92037-0407 (United States); Horányi, M. [Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics and Department of Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0392 (United States)

    2014-10-10

    The forthcoming Rosetta-Philae mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko provides a novel opportunity to observe the variable nature of the solar wind interaction with a comet over an extended range of heliocentric distance. We use a simple analytical one-dimensional MHD model to estimate the sizes of the two most prominent features in the global structure of the solar wind interaction with a comet. When the heliocentric distance of the comet reaches d ≤ 1.51 AU, we expect a sharp shock to be observed, whose size would increase monotonically as the comet approaches the Sun, reaching a value ≅ 15, 000 km at perihelion (d ≅ 1.29 AU). Upstream of the shock, we expect the velocity-space distribution of the picked up cometary ions to be essentially gyrotropic. A well-defined ionopause is predicted when d ≤1.61 AU, though its size is expected to be only ≅25 km at perihelion, and it is expected to be susceptible to the 'flute' instability due to its small size. Consequently, we expect the magnetic field to penetrate all the way to the surface of the nucleus. We conclude with a brief discussion of the response of the comet's plasma environment to fast temporal variations in the solar wind.

  7. Fragmentation Kinematics in Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jewitt, David; Mutchler, Max; Weaver, Harold; Hui, Man-To; Agarwal, Jessica; Ishiguro, Masateru; Kleyna, Jan; Li, Jing; Meech, Karen; Micheli, Marco; Wainscoat, Richard; Weryk, Robert

    2016-09-01

    We present initial time-resolved observations of the split comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami taken using the Hubble Space Telescope. Our images reveal a dust-bathed cluster of fragments receding from their parent nucleus at projected speeds in the range 0.06-3.5 m s-1 from which we estimate ejection times from 2015 October to December. The number of fragments with effective radii ≳ 20 m follows a differential power law with index γ = -3.6 ± 0.6, while smaller fragments are less abundant than expected from an extrapolation of this power law. We argue that, in addition to losses due to observational selection, torques from anisotropic outgassing are capable of destroying the small fragments by driving them quickly to rotational instability. Specifically, the spin-up times of fragments ≲ 20 m in radius are shorter than the time elapsed since ejection from the parent nucleus. The effective radius of the parent nucleus is {r}e ≤slant 275 m (geometric albedo 0.04 assumed). This is about seven times smaller than previous estimates and results in a nucleus mass at least 300 times smaller than previously thought. The mass in solid pieces, 2× {10}9 {kg}, is about 4% of the mass of the parent nucleus. As a result of its small size, the parent nucleus also has a short spin-up time. Brightness variations in time-resolved nucleus photometry are consistent with rotational instability playing a role in the release of fragments.

  8. Geomorphological mapping of the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomini, L.; Massironi, M.; Thomas, N.; Pajola, M.; Cremonese, G.; La Forgia, F.; Ferri, F.; Lazzarin, M.; Barbieri, C.; Bettini, I.; Magrin, S.; Marzari, F.; Naletto, G.; Sierks, H.; Rosetta OSIRIS Team

    OSIRIS, the Scientific Imaging System for Rosetta mission \\citep{keller07} has been acquiring images of the nucleus of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since Aug 2014 with a resolution that allows a detailed analysis of its surface. Indeed, data reveal a complex surface morphology that is likely the expression of different processes affecting the cometary nucleus \\citep{thomas15}. In order to characterize these different morphologies and better understand their distribution we performed a geomorphological mapping of the illuminated surface of 67P. For this purpose we used NAC images acquired on August 5-8 with a spatial resolution ranging from 1.5 and 2.4 m/pixel.

  9. Comet Dust: The Diversity of "Primitive" Particles and Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, Diane H.; Ishii, Hope A.; Bradley, John P.; Zolensky, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    Comet dust is primitive and shows significant diversity. Our knowledge of the properties of primitive particles has expanded significantly through microscale investigations of cosmic dust samples ( IDP's(Interplanetary Dust Particles) and AMM's (Antarctic Micrometeorites)) and of comet dust samples (Stardust and Rosetta's COSIMA), as well as through remote sensing (spectroscopy and imaging) via Spitzer and via spacecraft encounters with 103P/Hartley 2 and 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Microscale investigations show that comet dust and cosmic dust are particles of unequilibrated materials, including aggregates of materials unequilibrated at submicron scales. We call unequilibrated materials "primitive" and we deduce they were incorporated into ice-rich (H2O-, CO2-, and CO-ice) parent bodies that remained cold, i.e., into comets, because of the lack of aqueous or thermal alteration since particle aggregation; yet some Stardust olivines suggest mild thermal metamorphism. Primitive particles exhibit a diverse range of: structure and typology; size and size distribution of constituents; concentration and form of carbonaceous and organic matter; D-, N-, and O- isotopic enhancements over solar; Mg-, Fe-contents of the silicate minerals; the compositions and concentrations of sulfides, and of less abundant mineral species such as chondrules, CAIs and carbonates. The uniformity within a group of samples points to: aerodynamic sorting of particles and/or particle constituents; the inclusion of a limited range of oxygen fugacities; the inclusion or exclusion of chondrules; a selection of organics. The properties of primitive particles imply there were disk processes that resulted in different comets having particular selections of primitive materials. The diversity of primitive particles has implications for the diversity of materials in the protoplanetary disk present at the time and in the region where the comets formed.

  10. Gaseous activity of distant comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Deep Impact Mission: Looking Beneath the Surface of a Cometary Nucleus

    CERN Document Server

    Russell, Christopher T

    2005-01-01

    Deep Impact, or at least part of the flight system, is designed to crash into comet 9P/Tempel 1. This bold mission design enables cometary researchers to peer into the cometary nucleus, analyzing the material excavated with its imagers and spectrometers. The book describes the mission, its objectives, expected results, payload, and data products in articles written by those most closely involved. This mission has the potential of revolutionizing our understanding of the cometary nucleus.

  12. Asteroid-Comet Continuum Objects in the Solar System

    CERN Document Server

    Hsieh, Henry H

    2016-01-01

    In this review presented at the Royal Society meeting, "Cometary Science After Rosetta", I present an overview of studies of small solar system objects that exhibit properties of both asteroids and comets (with a focus on so-called active asteroids). Sometimes referred to as "transition objects", these bodies are perhaps more appropriately described as "continuum objects", to reflect the notion that rather than necessarily representing actual transitional evolutionary states between asteroids and comets, they simply belong to the general population of small solar system bodies that happen to exhibit a continuous range of observational, physical, and dynamical properties. Continuum objects are intriguing because they possess many of the properties that make classical comets interesting to study (e.g., relatively primitive compositions, ejection of surface and subsurface material into space where it can be more easily studied, and orbital properties that allow us to sample material from distant parts of the sol...

  13. Physical interrelation of volatile and refractories in a cometary nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulle, Marco; Alice Team; Stern, Alan; CONSTERT Team; Kofman, Wlodek; COSIMA Team; Hilchenbach, Martin; GIADA Team; Rotundi, Alessandra; MIDAS Team; Bentley, Mark; MIRO Team; Hofstadter, Mark; OSIRIS Team; Sierks, Holger; ROSINA Team; Altwegg, Kathrin; RPC Team; Nilsson, Hans; Burch, James; Eriksson, Anders; Heinz-Glassmeier, Karl; Henri, Pierre; Carr, Christopher; RSI Team; Paetzold, Martin; , VIRTIS Team; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Lander Team; Boehnhardt, Hermann; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; IDS Team; Gruen, Eberhard; Fulchignoni, Marcello; Weissman, Paul; Project Scientist Team; Taylor, Matt; Buratti, Bonnie; Altobelli, Nicolas; Choukroun, Mathieu; Ground-Based Observations Team; Snodgrass, Colin

    2016-10-01

    The Rosetta mission has been taking measurements of its target comet Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since early 2014 and will complete operations at the end of September 2016. The mission Science Management Plan, in 1994, laid out the the prime goals and themes of the mission. These five themes were: 1) To study the global characterisation of the Nuclues, the determination of the dynamics properties , surface morpholy and composition of the comet. 2) Examination of the Chemical, Mineralogical and isotopic compositions of volatiles and refractories in a cometary nucleus.3) Physical interrelation of volatile and refractories in a cometary nucleus4) Study the development of cometary activity and the process in the surface layer of the nucleus and in the inner coma5) The origins of comets, the relationship between cometary and interstellar material and the implications for the origin of the solar system,To cover all aspects of the Rosetta mission in this special Show case session, this abstracts is one of 5, with this particular presentation focusing on theme 3, in particular on a) The dust-to-gas ratio; b) distributed sources of volatiles; c) seasonal evolution of the dust size distribution.a) The dust-to-gas ratio has been provided by coma observations measuring the gas and dust loss rates from the nucleus surface. The ratio of these two loss rates provides a lower limit of the dust-to-gas ratio at the nucleus surface, since it does not take into account the largest chunks unable to leave the nucleus, or falling back due to the dominant gravity. We review the value inferred so far, its time evolution, and new techniques to directly measure it in the nucleus.b) Evidences offered by Rosetta observations of gas sublimating from dust particles are up to now faint. We report the few available observations and an estimate of the probable average water content in dust particles inferred by 3D gas-dynamical codes of 67P coma.c) The dust-size distribution tunes the sizes

  14. Onuf's nucleus X

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H D

    1981-01-01

    in the length of the nucleus was observed. Based on the cytoarchitecture the nucleus could be divided in three parts, a cranial, a dorsomedial and a ventrolateral. All parts of the nucleus consisted of chromatin-rich medium-sized neurons, and apparent direct appositions between different cells bodies as well......The first, second and third sacral segments of 59 human spinal cords were examined in order to localize and describe Onuf's nucleus X. The nucleus was found to be situated in the ventral horn of the segments S2 and S3; only in very few spinal cords did it extend into S1. A significant variation...... as between cell bodies and large dendrites were observed. Characteristic findings in the neuropil surrounding the nucleus were the sparsity of myelinated fibers and the presence of dendritic bundles. The present observations are compared to the descriptions of a morphologically similar nucleus...

  15. CME impact on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edberg, Niklas J. T.; Alho, M.; André, M.; Andrews, D. J.; Behar, E.; Burch, J. L.; Carr, C. M.; Cupido, E.; Engelhardt, I. A. D.; Eriksson, A. I.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Goetz, C.; Goldstein, R.; Henri, P.; Johansson, F. L.; Koenders, C.; Mandt, K.; Möstl, C.; Nilsson, H.; Odelstad, E.; Richter, I.; Wedlund, C. Simon; Stenberg Wieser, G.; Szego, K.; Vigren, E.; Volwerk, M.

    2016-11-01

    We present Rosetta observations from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during the impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME). The CME impacted on 2015 Oct 5-6, when Rosetta was about 800 km from the comet nucleus, and 1.4 au from the Sun. Upon impact, the plasma environment is compressed to the level that solar wind ions, not seen a few days earlier when at 1500 km, now reach Rosetta. In response to the compression, the flux of suprathermal electrons increases by a factor of 5-10 and the background magnetic field strength increases by a factor of ∼2.5. The plasma density increases by a factor of 10 and reaches 600 cm-3, due to increased particle impact ionization, charge exchange and the adiabatic compression of the plasma environment. We also observe unprecedentedly large magnetic field spikes at 800 km, reaching above 200 nT, which are interpreted as magnetic flux ropes. We suggest that these could possibly be formed by magnetic reconnection processes in the coma as the magnetic field across the CME changes polarity, or as a consequence of strong shears causing Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities in the plasma flow. Due to the limited orbit of Rosetta, we are not able to observe if a tail disconnection occurs during the CME impact, which could be expected based on previous remote observations of other CME-comet interactions.

  16. Destruction and Observational Signatures of Sun-Impacting Comets

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, John C; Toner, Mark P

    2015-01-01

    Motivated by recent data on comets in the low corona, we discuss destruction of sun impacting comets in the dense lower solar atmosphere. Perihelion distances q less than the solar radius and incident masses Mo much greater than 1E12 g are required to reach such depths. Extending earlier work on planetary atmosphere impacts to solar conditions, we evaluate the mechanisms and spatial distribution of nucleus mass and energy loss as functions of Mo and q, and of parameter X = 2Q/CHvovo. Q is the total specific energy for ablative mass loss, CH the bow shock heat transfer efficiency, and vo the solar escape speed (619 km/s). We discuss factors affecting Q and CH and conclude that, for solar vo, X is most likely less than 1 so that solar impactors are mostly ablated before decelerating. Sun impacting comets have kinetic energies 2E30 erg x(Mo/1E15 g), comparable with the energies of magnetic flares. This is released as a localised explosive airburst within a few scale heights H around 200 km of the photosphere, de...

  17. The Phosphorous Inventory of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boice, Daniel; De Almeida, Amaury

    2012-07-01

    Phosphorus is a key element in all known forms of life but its role in life's origin is not known. Phosphorus-bearing compounds have been observed in space, are ubiquitous in meteorites, albeit in small quantities, and have been detected as part of the dust component in comet Halley. However, searches for P-bearing species in the gas phase in cometary comae have been unsuccessful. We present results of the first quantitative study of phosphorus-bearing molecules in comets to identify likely species containing phosphorus and to aid in future searches for this important element, possibly shedding light on issues of comet formation (time and place) and understanding prebiotic to biotic evolution of life.

  18. A catalog of observed nuclear magnitudes of Jupiter family comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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

  19. EUV observations of comet Halley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripken, H. W.; Fahr, H. J.; Lay, G.

    The use of spaceborne or sounding-rocket EUV observations to determine the He/H abundance ratio, the shape of the Lyman-alpha emission line, and the H velocity distribution in comet Halley is discussed. The resonance-absorption-cell spectrophotometers of the payloads proposed by Fahr et al. (1984) for the Ultra-Halley experiment are briefly characterized and shown to be capable of obtaining quantitative measurements of the 58.4-nm line of He for comet He/H ratios in excess of 0.0004, successfully eliminating or accounting for geocoronal and cosmic contamination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 100 and counting : SOHO's score as the world's top comet finder

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-02-01

    comet hunters," said Shanklin, who is director of the British Astronomical Association's comet section. "It allows amateurs to discover some of the smallest comets ever seen. Yet they link us to sightings of great comets going back more than 2000 years." Nine of the comets found with LASCO, including SOHO-100, 101 and 102, passed the Sun at a safe distance. SOHO-49, which showed up in LASCO images in May 1998 and was designated as Comet 1998 J1, became visible to the naked eye in the southern hemisphere. But the great majority of SOHO's comets failed to survive very close encounters with the Sun. Snowballs in hell Of the first 100 SOHO comets, 92 vaporized in the solar atmosphere. Isaac Newton suggested 300 years ago that infalling comets might supply the Sun with fuel, but no one has ever tracked a comet that definitely hit the bright surface. Near misses are well known, and 100 years ago Heinrich Kreutz in Kiel, Germany, realized that several comets seen buzzing the Sun seemed to have a common origin, because they came from the same direction among the stars. These comets are now called the Kreutz sungrazers, and the 92 vanishing SOHO comets belong to that class. They were not unexpected. Between 1979 and 1989 the P78-1 and SMM solar satellites spotted 16 comets closing with the Sun. Life is perilous for a sungrazer. The mixture of ice and dust that makes up a comet's nucleus is heated like the proverbial snowball in hell, and can survive its visit to the Sun only if it is quite large. What's more, the very strong tidal effect of the Sun's gravity can tear the loosely glued nucleus apart. The disruption that created the many SOHO sungrazers was similar to the fate of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which went too close to Jupiter and broke up into many pieces that eventually fell into the massive planet in 1994. "SOHO is seeing fragments from the gradual break-up of a great comet, perhaps the one that the Greek astronomer Ephorus saw in 372 BC," commented Brian Marsden of the

  2. Activity of 50 Long-Period Comets Beyond 5.2 AU

    CERN Document Server

    Sarneczky, K; Csak, B; Kelemen, J; Marschalko, G; Pal, A; Szakats, R; Szalai, T; Szegedi-Elek, E; Szekely, P; Vida, K; Vinko, J; Kiss, L L

    2016-01-01

    Remote investigations of the ancient solar system matter has been traditionally carried out through the observations of long-period (LP) comets that are less affected by solar irradiation than the short-period counterparts orbiting much closer to the Sun. Here we summarize the results of our decade-long survey of the distant activity of LP comets. We found that the most important separation in the dataset is based on the dynamical nature of the objects. Dynamically new comets are characterized by a higher level of activity on average: the most active new comets in our sample can be characterized by afrho values >3--4 higher than that of our most active returning comets. New comets develop more symmetric comae, suggesting a generally isotropic outflow. Contrary to this, the coma of recurrent comets can be less symmetrical, ocassionally exhibiting negative slope parameters, suggesting sudden variations in matter production. The morphological appearance of the observed comets is rather diverse. A surprisingly la...

  3. Tabulation of comet observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Molecular observations of comets C/2012 S1 (ISON) and C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy): HNC/HCN ratios and upper limits to PH3

    CERN Document Server

    Agundez, M; Santos-Sanz, P; Bockelee-Morvan, D; Moreno, R

    2014-01-01

    We present molecular observations carried out with the IRAM 30m telescope at wavelengths around 1.15 mm towards the Oort cloud comets C/2012 S1 (ISON) and C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) when they were at 0.6 and 1 AU, respectively, from the Sun. We detect HCN, HNC, and CH3OH in both comets, together with the ion HCO+ in comet ISON and a few weak unidentified lines in comet Lovejoy, one of which could be tentatively assigned to methylamine (CH3NH2). The monitoring of the HCN J = 3-2 line showed a tenfold enhancement in comet ISON on November 14.4 UT due to an outburst of activity whose exact origin is unknown, although it could be related to some break up of the nucleus. The set of CH3OH lines observed was used to derive the kinetic temperature in the coma, 90 K in comet ISON and 60 K in comet Lovejoy. The HNC/HCN ratios derived, 0.18 in ISON and 0.05 in Lovejoy, are comparable to those found in most previous comets and are consistent with an enhancement of HNC as the comet approaches the Sun. Phosphine (PH3) was also se...

  5. A STUDY OF DUST AND GAS AT MARS FROM COMET C/2013 A1 (SIDING SPRING)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelley, Michael S. P.; Farnham, Tony L.; Bodewits, Dennis [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States); Tricarico, Pasquale [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Farnocchia, Davide, E-mail: msk@astro.umd.edu [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Although the nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will safely pass Mars in 2014 October, the dust in the coma and tail will more closely approach the planet. Using a dynamical model of comet dust, we estimate the impact fluence. Based on our nominal model no impacts are expected at Mars. Relaxing our nominal model's parameters, the fluence is no greater than ∼10{sup –7} grains m{sup –2} for grain radii larger than 10 μm. Mars-orbiting spacecraft are unlikely to be impacted by large dust grains, but Mars may receive as many as ∼10{sup 7} grains, or ∼100 kg of total dust. We also estimate the flux of impacting gas molecules commonly observed in comet comae.

  6. A Study of Dust and Gas at Mars from Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, Michael S P; Bodewits, Dennis; Tricarico, Pasquale; Farnocchia, Davide

    2014-01-01

    Although the nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will safely pass Mars in October 2014, the dust in the coma and tail will more closely approach the planet. Using a dynamical model of comet dust, we estimate the impact fluence. Based on our nominal model no impacts are expected at Mars. Relaxing our nominal model's parameters, the fluence is no greater than ~10^7 grains/m^2 for grain radii larger than 10 {\\mu}m. Mars orbiting spacecraft are unlikely to be impacted by large dust grains, but Mars may receive as many as ~10^7 grains, or ~100 kg of total dust. We also estimate the flux of impacting gas molecules commonly observed in comet comae.

  7. A Study of Dust and Gas at Mars from Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Michael S. P.; Farnham, Tony L.; Bodewits, Dennis; Tricarico, Pasquale; Farnocchia, Davide

    2014-09-01

    Although the nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will safely pass Mars in 2014 October, the dust in the coma and tail will more closely approach the planet. Using a dynamical model of comet dust, we estimate the impact fluence. Based on our nominal model no impacts are expected at Mars. Relaxing our nominal model's parameters, the fluence is no greater than ~10-7 grains m-2 for grain radii larger than 10 μm. Mars-orbiting spacecraft are unlikely to be impacted by large dust grains, but Mars may receive as many as ~107 grains, or ~100 kg of total dust. We also estimate the flux of impacting gas molecules commonly observed in comet comae.

  8. Stardust Sample Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This Catalog summarizes the samples examined in the course of the Preliminary Examination (PE) Team (PET) of the Stardust Mission to comet Wild 2, and the results of...

  9. Pyramid Comet Sampler Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Based on the sampling requirements, we propose an Inverted Pyramid sampling system. Each face of the pyramid includes a cutting blade which is independently actuated...

  10. The comet assay in testing the potential genotoxicity of nanomaterials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amaya Azqueta

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In the last two decades the production and use of nanomaterials (NMs has impressively increased. Their small size, given a mass equal to that of the corresponding bulk material, implies an increase in the surface area and consequently in the number of atoms that can be reactive. They possess different physical, chemical and biological properties compared to bulk materials of the same composition, which makes them very interesting and valuable for many different applications in technology, energy, construction, electronics, agriculture, optics, paints, textiles, food, cosmetics, medicine... Toxicological assessment of NMs is crucial; the same properties that make them interesting also make them potentially harmful for health and the environment. However, the term NM covers many different kinds of particle , and so there is no simple, standard approach to assessing their toxicity. NMs can enter the cell, interact with cell components and even penetrate the nucleus and interfere with the genetic material. Among the different branches of toxicology, genotoxicity is a main area of concern since it is closely related with the carcinogenic potential of compounds. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD has published internationally agreed in vitro and in vivo validated test methods to evaluate different genotoxic endpoints of chemicals, including chromosome and gene mutations, and DNA breaks. However not all the assays are suitable to study the genotoxic potential of NMs as has been shown by the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN. Moreover, alterations to DNA bases, which are precursors to mutations and of great importance in elucidating the mechanism of action of NMs, are not covered by the OECD guidelines. The in vivo standard comet assay (which measures DNA breaks and alkali-labile sites was included in the OECD assays battery in September 2014 while the in vitro standard comet assay is currently under

  11. HCN and HNC in comets C/2000 WM1 (Linear) and C/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irvine, William M; Bergman, Per; Lowe, Thomas B; Matthews, Henry; McGonagle, Douglas; Nummelin, Albert; Owen, Toby

    2003-12-01

    Comets have been suggested as a possibly significant source of organic molecules to the early Earth. Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) is important in models of prebiotic chemistry, but may be difficult to form in the early terrestrial environment, while hydrogen isocyanide (HNC) is a 'classical' tracer of interstellar ion-molecule chemistry. We have observed both HCN and HNC in 2 recent comets, bringing the number of comets with published measurements of the HNC/HCN abundance ratio to 6. The HNC/HCN ratio in comet Ikeya-Zhang appears to increase with decreasing heliocentric distance, as was previously observed for comet Hale-Bopp, indicating that the HNC is produced at least in part by processes in the cometary coma (atmosphere) and is not simply a constituent of the nuclear ices. Both comets C/2000 WMI (Linear) and C/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang) exhibit values of the HNC/HCN ratio that appear to be too large (approximately 0.09-0.19) to be matched by current models of coma chemistry. Cometary HNC may be a photodissociation product of organic grains or large organic polymers stored in the nucleus. We have also set a limit on the emission from the NO radical in comet WM1.

  12. Azimuthal correlation and collective behavior in nucleus-nucleus collisions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mali, P.; Mukhopadhyay, A., E-mail: amitabha-62@rediffmail.com; Sarkar, S. [University of North Bengal, Department of Physics (India); Singh, G. [SUNY at Fredonia, Department of Computer and Information Science (United States)

    2015-03-15

    Various flow effects of nuclear and hadronic origin are investigated in nucleus-nucleus collisions. Nuclear emulsion data collected from {sup 84}Kr + Ag/Br interaction at an incident energy of 1.52 GeV per nucleon and from {sup 28}Si + Ag/Br interaction at an incident energy of 14.5 GeV per nucleon are used in the investigation. The transverse momentum distribution and the flow angle analysis show that collective behavior, like a bounce-off effect of the projectile spectators and a sidesplash effect of the target spectators, are present in our event samples. From an azimuthal angle analysis of the data we also see a direct flow of the projectile fragments and of the produced charged particles. On the other hand, for both data samples the target fragments exhibit a reverse flow, while the projectile fragments exhibit an elliptic flow. Relevant flow parameters are measured.

  13. Comet 81P/Wild 2 under a microscope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brownlee, D; Tsou, P; Aleon, J; Alexander, C; Araki, T; Bajt, S; Baratta, G A; Bastien, R; Bland, P; Bleuet, P; Borg, J; Bradley, J P; Brearley, A; Brenker, F; Brennan, S; Bridges, J C; Browning, N; Brucato, J R; Bullock, E; Burchell, M J; Busemann, H; Butterworth, A; Chaussidon, M; Cheuvront, A; Chi, M; Cintala, M J; Clark, B C; Clemett, S J; Cody, G; Colangeli, L; Cooper, G; Cordier, P; Daghlian, C; Dai, Z R; D' Hendecourt, L; Djouadi, Z; Dominguez, G; Duxbury, T; Dworkin, J P; Ebel, D; Economou, T E; Fairey, S J; Fallon, S; Ferrini, G; Ferroir, T; Fleckenstein, H; Floss, C; Flynn, G; Franchi, I A; Fries, M; Gainsforth, Z; Gallien, J; Genge, M; Gilles, M K; Gillet, P; Gilmour, J; Glavin, D P; Gounelle, M; Grady, M M; Graham, G A; Grant, P G; Green, S F; Grossemy, F; Grossman, L; Grossman, J; Guan, Y; Hagiya, K; Harvey, R; Heck, P; Herzog, G F; Hoppe, P; Horz, F; Huth, J; Hutcheon, I D; Ishii, H; Ito, M; Jacob, D; Jacobsen, C; Jacobsen, S; Joswiak, D; Kearsley, A T; Keller, L; Khodja, H; Kilcoyne, A D; Kissel, J; Krot, A; Langenhorst, F; Lanzirotti, A; Le, L; Leshin, L; Leitner, J; Lemelle, L; Leroux, H; Liu, M; Luening, K; Lyon, I; MacPherson, G; Marcus, M A; Marhas, K; Matrajt, G; Meibom, A; Mennella, V; Messenger, K; Mikouchi, T; Mostefaoui, S; Nakamura, T; Nakano, T; Newville, M; Nittler, L R; Ohnishi, I; Ohsumi, K; Okudaira, K; Papanastassiou, D A; Palma, R; Palumbo, M E; Pepin, R O; Perkins, D; Perronnet, M; Pianetta, P; Rao, W; Rietmeijer, F; Robert, F; Rost, D; Rotundi, A; Ryan, R; Sandford, S A; Schwandt, C S; See, T H; Schlutter, D; Sheffield-Parker, J; Simionovici, A; Simon, S; Sitnitsky, I; Snead, C J; Spencer, M K; Stadermann, F J; Steele, A; Stephan, T; Stroud, R; Susini, J; Sutton, S R; Taheri, M; Taylor, S; Teslich, N; Tomeoka, K; Tomioka, N; Toppani, A; Trigo-Rodriguez, J M; Troadec, D; Tsuchiyama, A; Tuzolino, A J; Tyliszczak, T; Uesugi, K; Velbel, M; Vellenga, J; Vicenzi, E; Vincze, L; Warren, J; Weber, I; Weisberg, M; Westphal, A J; Wirick, S; Wooden, D; Wopenka, B; Wozniakiewicz, P; Wright, I; Yabuta, K; Yano, H; Young, E D; Zare, R N; Zega, T

    2006-10-12

    The Stardust spacecraft collected thousands of particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 and returned them to Earth for laboratory study. The preliminary examination of these samples shows that the nonvolatile portion of the comet is an unequilibrated assortment of materials that have both presolar and solar system origin. The comet contains an abundance of silicate grains that are much larger than predictions of interstellar grain models, and many of these are high-temperature minerals that appear to have formed in the inner regions of the solar nebula. Their presence in a comet proves that the formation of the solar system included mixing on the grandest scales. Stardust was the first mission to return solid samples from a specific astronomical body other than the Moon. The mission, part of the NASA Discovery program, retrieved samples from a comet that is believed to have formed at the outer fringe of the solar nebula, just beyond the most distant planet. The samples, isolated from the planetary region of the solar system for billions of years, provide new insight into the formation of the solar system. The samples provide unprecedented opportunities both to corroborate astronomical (remote sensing) and sample analysis information (ground truth) on a known primitive solar system body and to compare preserved building blocks from the edge of the planetary system with sample-derived and astronomical data for asteroids, small bodies that formed more than an order of magnitude closer to the Sun. The asteroids, parents of most meteorites, formed by accretion of solids in warmer, denser, more collisionally evolved inner regions of the solar nebula where violent nebular events were capable of flash-melting millimeter-sized rocks, whereas comets formed in the coldest, least dense region. The samples collected by Stardust are the first primitive materials from a known body, and as such they provide contextual insight for all primitive meteoritic samples. About 200 investigators

  14. Models of millimeter-wave emission from dust in the coma of Comet 67P

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kareta, Theodore R.; Schloerb, F. Peter

    2017-01-01

    The spacecraft Rosetta ended its mission on September 30th, 2016 after spending more than 2 years studying Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The comet is constantly emitting gas and ejecting dust as it moves through the inner solar system, and understanding the properties of the gas and dust can help us better understand the comet and its origins. We present the results of a Monte Carlo simulation of dust production developed for comparison with millimeter and submillimeter data obtained by the Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO). The MIRO instrument measures the millimeter-wave continuum emission from the comet at two wavelengths, 0.53 mm and 1.59 mm. During the months around the August 2015 perihelion of the comet, a small emission excess was observed above the sunlit limb of the comet. The excess emission extends many beam widths off the dayside limb and is a persistent feature for months of observations. No excess is observed above the nightside limb, and given the known strong day-night asymmetry of gas production from the nucleus, we interpret the observed continuum excess on the day side to result from thermal emission from dust. A full treatment of the millimeter-wave emission from the large dust particles observed by MIRO must include many effects, including acceleration of dust particles by outflowing gas and the integration of millimeter-wave emission from a broad range of particle sizes. Our model also incorporates an accurate cometary shape model to demonstrate how dust production might vary with solar illumination over the surface. We find that the complex shape of 67P can lead to asymmetric structures in the distribution of the coma dust, with significant enhancements occurring where large areas of the nucleus have similar orientations with respect to the Sun.

  15. Landslide on comets as a result of impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czechowski, Leszek

    2016-04-01

    Introduction: Landslides were observed on a few comet's nuclei, e.g. [1], [2]. The mechanism of their origin is not obvious because of very low gravity. According to [2] fluidization and multiphase transport of cometary material could be an explanation. We consider another option, namely, earthquakes resulted from meteoroids impacts as a trigging mechanism. Material of comets: Comets nuclei are believed to built of soft materials like snow and dust. The recent landing of Philae on the comet 67P/Czuriumow-Gierasimienko indicates a different situation. According to [1]: "thermal probe did not fully penetrate the near-surface layers, suggesting a local resistance of the ground to penetration of >4 megapascals, equivalent to >2 megapascal uniaxial compressive strength". Here we assume that elastic properties of comet's nuclei could be similar to elastic properties of dry snow, namely Young modulus is assumed to be 106 - 108Pa, see [3] and [4]. The model and results: We consider cometary nucleus in the shape of two spheres (with radius 1400 m each) connected by a cylinder (with radius of 200 m and length of 200 m). Density is 470 kg m-3. This shape corresponds approximately to shapes of some comets (e.g. 67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko [1], 103P/Hartley 2 [5]) A few vibration modes of such body are possible. In present research we consider 3 modes: bending, lengthening-shortening along axis of symmetry, and torsion. We calculated periods of basic oscillation in each of these modes for different values of Young modulus - Table 1. Table 1 Basic results of calculations Young modulus [MPa]Periods [s] of vibrationMaximum acceleration [m s-2] 4 110 - 950 0.0001- 0.0004 40 38 - 290 0.0004- 0.0014 400 12 - 92 0.0012- 0.0045 Rotation and nutation: the impact results in changing of rotation of the comet. In general, the vector of angular velocity will be a subject to nutation that results in changing of centrifugal force, and consequently could be an additional factor triggering

  16. Epithelial cells as alternative human biomatrices for comet assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio eRojas

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The comet assay is a valuable experimental tool aimed at mapping DNA damage in human cells in vivo for environmental and occupational monitoring, as well as for therapeutic purposes, such as storage prior to transplant, during tissue engineering, and in experimental ex vivo assays. Furthermore, due to its great versatility, the comet assay allows to explore the use of alternative cell types to assess DNA damage, such as epithelial cells. Epithelial cells, as specialized components of many organs, have the potential to serve as biomatrices that can be used to evaluate genotoxicity and may also serve as early effect biomarkers. Furthermore, 80% of solid cancers are of epithelial origin, which points to the importance of studying DNA damage in these tissues. Indeed, studies including comet assay in epithelial cells have either clear clinical applications (lens and corneal epithelial cells or examine genotoxicity within human biomonitoring and in vitro studies. We here review improvements in determining DNA damage using the comet assay by employing lens, corneal, tear duct, buccal, and nasal epithelial cells. For some of these tissues invasive sampling procedures are needed. Desquamated epithelial cells must be obtained and dissociated prior to examination using the comet assay, and such procedures may induce varying amounts of DNA damage. Buccal epithelial cells require lysis enriched with proteinase K to obtain free nucleosomes.Over a thirty year period, the comet assay in epithelial cells has been litlle employed, however its use indicates that it could be an extraordinary tool not only for risk assessment, but also for diagnosis, prognosis of treatments and diseases.

  17. Standardizing electrophoresis conditions: how to eliminate a major source of error in the comet assay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunnar Brunborg

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In the alkaline comet assay, cells are embedded in agarose, lysed, and then subjected to further processing including electrophoresis at high pH (>13. We observed very large variations of mean comet tail lengths of cell samples from the same population when spread on a glass or plastic substrate and subjected to electrophoresis. These variations might be cancelled out if comets are scored randomly over a large surface, or if all the comets are scored. The mean tail length may then be representative of the population, although its standard error is large. However, the scoring process often involves selection of 50 – 100 comets in areas selected in an unsystematic way from a large gel on a glass slide. When using our 96-sample minigel format (1, neighbouring sample variations are easily detected. We have used this system to study the cause of the comet assay variations during electrophoresis and we have defined experimental conditions which reduce the variations to a minimum. We studied the importance of various physical parameters during electrophoresis: (i voltage; (ii duration of electrophoresis; (iii electric current; (iv temperature; and (v agarose concentration. We observed that the voltage (V/cm varied substantially during electrophoresis, even within a few millimetres of distance between gel samples. Not unexpectedly, both the potential ( V/cm and the time were linearly related to the mean comet tail, whereas the current was not. By measuring the local voltage with microelectrodes a few millimetres apart, we observed substantial local variations in V/cm, and they increased with time. This explains the large variations in neighbouring sample comet tails of 25% or more. By introducing simple technology (circulation of the solution during electrophoresis, and temperature control, these variations in mean comet tail were largely abolished, as were the V/cm variations. Circulation was shown to be particularly important and optimal conditions

  18. Deep Impact Mission to Tempel 1 Favours New Explosive Cosmogony of Comets

    CERN Document Server

    Drobyshevski, E M; Schmidt, A A

    2006-01-01

    The assumption that short-period (SP) comets are fragments of massive icy envelopes of Ganymede-like bodies saturated by products of ice electrolysis that underwent global explosions provides a plausible explanation of all known manifestations of comets, including the jet character of outflows, the presence of ions in the vicinity of the nucleus, the bursts and splitting of cometary nuclei, etc., with solar radiation initiating burning of the products of electrolysis in the nucleus. As shown persuasively by numerical simulation carried out in hydrodynamic approximation, the shock wave initiated by the Deep Impact (DI) impactor in the cometary ice saturated originally by the electrolysis products 2H2 + O2 is capable of activating under certain conditions exothermal reactions (of the type O2 + H2 + organics = H2O + CO + HCN + other products of incomplete burning of organics including its light and heavy pyrolyzed compounds, soot, etc.), which will slow down shock wave damping (forced detonation) and increase ma...

  19. The Low Albedo of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buratti, B. J.; Choukroun, M.; Bauer, J. M.

    2016-12-01

    Comets are among the handful of objects with very low albedos, in the 0.02-0.06 range. Dark material is common in the outer Solar System, but analysis of the spectra and albedo of this material by spacecraft including Cassini and New Horizons shows that it is diverse, covering a range of compositions. Some is neutral-colored in the visible, such as that found on Phoebe, while some is very red, such as that on the surfaces of D-type asteroids or the low-albedo side of Iapetus. The different types of low-albedo material may reflect both compositional diversity, including contamination by volatiles or darkening agents, and divergent alteration histories. The key question is whether a particular sub-type of low albedo material is pristine - an unprocessed accumulation of interstellar dust - or an end product of polymerization and photolysis into ever more complex materials. Comets have albedos similar to the leading hemisphere of Iapetus, the surface of Titan, and the lowest-albedo C-type and D-type asteroids. Observations by the WISE and NEOWISE cameras show that comets have consistently low albedos (1). The first quantitative measurement of low-albedo material in the Kuiper Belt, from which comets such as Jupiter Family Comets including 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko come, shows that even this material is not as dark as that found on comets (2). Results from both Stardust (3) and more recently Rosetta (4, 5) show that cometary surfaces contain prebiotic molecules, including the amino acid glycine. Other very low albedo objects have also been connected to complex organic molecules: on Iapetus, PAHs have been detected (6), and Titan's surface is believed to be covered with hydrocarbons produced in its haze layer (7). The presence of organic molecules, including complex ones, could be the unique characteristic of the very darkest material. The delivery of pre-biotic material from comets to the young Earth could represent a key link in the origins of terrestrial life. (1

  20. Radio observations of Jupiter-family comets

    CERN Document Server

    Crovisier, J; Bockelée-Morvan, D; Colom, P

    2008-01-01

    Radio observations from decimetric to submillimetric wavelengths are now a basic tool for the investigation of comets. Spectroscopic observations allow us i) to monitor the gas production rate of the comets, by directly observing the water molecule, or by observing secondary products (e.g., the OH radical) or minor species (e.g., HCN); ii) to investigate the chemical composition of comets; iii) to probe the physical conditions of cometary atmospheres: kinetic temperature and expansion velocity. Continuum observations probe large-size dust particles and (for the largest objects) cometary nuclei. Comets are classified from their orbital characteristics into two separate classes: i) nearly-isotropic, mainly long-period comets and ii) ecliptic, short-period comets, the so-called Jupiter-family comets. These two classes apparently come from two different reservoirs, respectively the Oort cloud and the trans-Neptunian scattered disc. Due to their different history and - possibly - their different origin, they may h...

  1. Findings from the PP-SESAME experiment on board the Philae/ROSETTA lander on the surface of comet 67P

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lethuillier, A.; Le Gall, A.; Hamelin, M.; Ciarletti, V.; Caujolle-Bert, S.; Schmidt, W.; Grard, R.; Fischer, H.; Seidensticker, K.

    2015-10-01

    The Permittivity Probe (PP-SESAME [1]) on-board the Philae Lander of the ROSETTA mission was designed to constrain the complex permittivity of the first 2 meters of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko and to monitor its variations with time. Doing so, it is meant to provide unique insight into the composition (and activity if data could have been acquired longer) of the comet. In this paper, we present the analysis of the PP-SESAME measurements acquired during the first science sequence, on November 13, 2014, on the surface of the comet.

  2. Sampling

    CERN Document Server

    Thompson, Steven K

    2012-01-01

    Praise for the Second Edition "This book has never had a competitor. It is the only book that takes a broad approach to sampling . . . any good personal statistics library should include a copy of this book." —Technometrics "Well-written . . . an excellent book on an important subject. Highly recommended." —Choice "An ideal reference for scientific researchers and other professionals who use sampling." —Zentralblatt Math Features new developments in the field combined with all aspects of obtaining, interpreting, and using sample data Sampling provides an up-to-date treat

  3. Asteroid-comet continuum objects in the solar system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Henry H

    2017-07-13

    In this review presented at the Royal Society meeting, 'Cometary science after Rosetta', I present an overview of studies of small solar system objects that exhibit properties of both asteroids and comets (with a focus on so-called active asteroids). Sometimes referred to as 'transition objects', these bodies are perhaps more appropriately described as 'continuum objects', to reflect the notion that rather than necessarily representing actual transitional evolutionary states between asteroids and comets, they simply belong to the general population of small solar system bodies that happen to exhibit a continuous range of observational, physical and dynamical properties. Continuum objects are intriguing because they possess many of the properties that make classical comets interesting to study (e.g. relatively primitive compositions, ejection of surface and subsurface material into space where it can be more easily studied, and orbital properties that allow us to sample material from distant parts of the solar system that would otherwise be inaccessible), while allowing us to study regions of the solar system that are not sampled by classical comets.This article is part of the themed issue 'Cometary science after Rosetta'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  4. Exploring the fission and reconfiguration cycle of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeres, Daniel J.; Hirabayashi, Masatoshi; Chesley, Steven R.; McMahon, Jay W.

    2016-10-01

    In Hirabayashi et al. (Nature, 2016) the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) is studied with a focus on the straight cracks observed on the Hapi region. These cracks were shown to have formed during a period of fast rotation and led to a proposed evolutionary scenario in which the nuclei may eventually split into two components and recombine to create a new bilobate configuration. Other bilobate nuclei should be subject to such a reconfiguration process, based on the relative sizes of the components, suggesting that this evolutionary scenario may be common for bilobate nuclei which comprise the majority of comet nuclei observed at high spatial resolution. Such reconfigurations could explain the observed occurrence of comet nucleus splitting and brightening events, which still lack a definitive geophysical understanding. Motivated by the proposed theory in Hirabayashi et al., the current work explores the dynamics of the 67P nucleus' rotation rate, fission limits, and subsequent dynamics. One aspect of the theory posits that the comet's distant Jupiter flybys will cause the latitude of the sub-solar point at perihelion to vary chaotically, leading to periods of net positive and negative torques and causing the nucleus to spin-up and spin-down in a random fashion. We analyze the current 67P nucleus shape and orbit to estimate the characteristic time-scale of this rotational evolution, providing an estimate of the current nucleus lifetime in its current configuration. Once the nucleus reaches a spin period shorter than ~7 hours the components will fission into a bound orbit, with the components subsequently reimpacting at speeds less than local escape speed (about 0.4 m/s). The current study extends Hirabayashi et al., explicitly modeling the mutual gravity and orbital dynamics of the head and body, assuming that the head and body rest on each other with the current shape of the 67P nucleus. The results show that when the components are released at a spin

  5. ExploreNEOs. VIII. Dormant Short-period Comets in the Near-Earth Asteroid Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mommert, M.; Harris, A. W.; Mueller, M.; Hora, J. L.; Trilling, D. E.; Bottke, W. F.; Thomas, C. A.; Delbo, M.; Emery, J. P.; Fazio, G.; Smith, H. A.

    2015-10-01

    We perform a search for dormant comets, asteroidal objects of cometary origin, in the near-Earth asteroid (NEA) population based on dynamical and physical considerations. Our study is based on albedos derived within the ExploreNEOs program and is extended by adding data from NEOWISE and the Akari asteroid catalog. We use a statistical approach to identify asteroids on orbits that resemble those of short-period near-Earth comets (NECs) using the Tisserand parameter with respect to Jupiter, the aphelion distance, and the minimum orbital intersection distance with respect to Jupiter. From the sample of NEAs on comet-like orbits, we select those with a geometric albedo pV ≤ 0.064 as dormant comet candidates, and find that only ˜50% of NEAs on comet-like orbits also have comet-like albedos. We identify a total of 23 NEAs from our sample that are likely to be dormant short-period NECs and, based on a de-biasing procedure applied to the cryogenic NEOWISE survey, estimate both magnitude-limited and size-limited fractions of the NEA population that are dormant short-period comets. We find that 0.3%-3.3% of the NEA population with H ≤ 21, and ({9}-5+2)% of the population with diameters d ≥ 1 km, are dormant short-period NECs.

  6. Detection of irradiated quail meat by using DNA comet assay and evaluation of comets by image analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erel, Yakup; Yazici, Nizamettin; Özvatan, Sumer; Ercin, Demet; Cetinkaya, Nurcan

    2009-09-01

    A simple technique of microgel electrophoresis of single cells (DNA comet assay) was used to detect DNA comets in irradiated quail meat samples. Obtained DNA comets were evaluated by both photomicrographic and image analysis. Quail meat samples were exposed to radiation doses of 0.52, 1.05, 1.45, 2.00, 2.92 and 4.00 kGy in gamma cell (gammacell 60Co, dose rate 1.31 kGy/h) covering the permissible limits for enzymatic decay and stored at 2 °C. The cells isolated from muscle (chest, thorax) in cold PBS were analyzed using the DNA comet assay on 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 and 11 day post irradiation. The cells were lysed between 2, 5 and 9 min in 2.5% SDS and electrophorosis was carried out at a voltage of 2 V/cm for 2 min. After propidium iodide staining, the slides were evaluated through a fluorescent microscope. In all irradiated samples, fragmented DNA stretched towards the anode and damaged cells appeared as a comet. All measurement data were analyzed using BS 200 ProP with software image analysis (BS 200 ProP, BAB Imaging System, Ankara, Turkey). The density of DNA in the tails increased with increasing radiation dose. However, in non-irradiated samples, the large molecules of DNA remained relatively intact and there was only minor or no migration of DNA; the cells were round or had very short tails only. The values of tail DNA%, tail length and tail moment were significantly different and identical between 0.9 and 4.0 kGy dose exposure, and also among storage times on day 1, 4 and 8. In conclusion, the DNA Comet Assay EN 13784 standard method may be used not only for screening method for detection of irradiated quail meat depending on storage time and condition but also for the quantification of applied dose if it is combined with image analysis. Image analysis may provide a powerful tool for the evaluation of head and tail of comet intensity related with applied doses.

  7. Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem (ADCS) Preparations for the EPOXI Flyby of Comet Hartley 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna, Michael E.; Collins, Steven M.

    2011-01-01

    On November 4, 2010 the former "Deep Impact" spacecraft, renamed "EPOXI" for its extended mission, flew within 700km of comet 103P/Hartley 2. In July 2005, the spacecraft had previously imaged a probe impact of comet Tempel 1. The EPOXI flyby was the fifth close encounter of a spacecraft with a comet nucleus and marked the first time in history that two comet nuclei were imaged at close range with the same suite of onboard science instruments. This challenging objective made the function of the attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS) critical to the successful execution of the EPOXI flyby.As part of the spacecraft flyby preparations, the ADCS operations team had to perform meticulous sequence reviews, implement complex spacecraft engineering and science activities and perform numerous onboard calibrations. ADCS contributions included design and execution of 10 trajectory correction maneuvers, the science calibration of the two telescopic instruments, an in-flight demonstration of high-rate turns between Earth and comet point, and an ongoing assessment of reaction wheel health. The ADCS team was also responsible for command sequences that included updates to the onboard ephemeris and sun sensor coefficients and implementation of reaction wheel assembly (RWA) de-saturations.

  8. The evolving activity of the dynamically young comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodewits, D.; Farnham, T. L.; A' Hearn, M. F.; Feaga, L. M.; Sunshine, J. M. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421 (United States); McKay, A. [Astronomy Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003 (United States); Schleicher, D. G., E-mail: dennis@astro.umd.edu [Lowell Observatory, 1400 West Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States)

    2014-05-01

    We used the Ultraviolet-Optical Telescope on board Swift to observe the dynamically young comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) from a heliocentric distance of 3.5 AU pre-perihelion until 4.0 AU outbound. At 3.5 AU pre-perihelion, comet Garradd had one of the highest dust-to-gas ratios ever observed, matched only by comet Hale-Bopp. The evolving morphology of the dust in its coma suggests an outburst that ended around 2.2 AU pre-perihelion. Comparing slit-based measurements and observations acquired with larger fields of view indicated that between 3 AU and 2 AU pre-perihelion a significant extended source started producing water in the coma. We demonstrate that this source, which could be due to icy grains, disappeared quickly around perihelion. Water production by the nucleus may be attributed to a constantly active source of at least 75 km{sup 2}, estimated to be >20% of the surface. Based on our measurements, the comet lost 4 × 10{sup 11} kg of ice and dust during this apparition, corresponding to at most a few meters of its surface. Even though this was likely not the comet's first passage through the inner solar system, the activity of Garradd was complex and changed significantly during the time it was observed.

  9. Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem (ADCS) Preparations for the EPOXI Flyby of Comet Hartley 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna, Michael E.; Collins, Steven M.

    2011-01-01

    On November 4, 2010 the former "Deep Impact" spacecraft, renamed "EPOXI" for its extended mission, flew within 700km of comet 103P/Hartley 2. In July 2005, the spacecraft had previously imaged a probe impact of comet Tempel 1. The EPOXI flyby was the fifth close encounter of a spacecraft with a comet nucleus and marked the first time in history that two comet nuclei were imaged at close range with the same suite of onboard science instruments. This challenging objective made the function of the attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS) critical to the successful execution of the EPOXI flyby.As part of the spacecraft flyby preparations, the ADCS operations team had to perform meticulous sequence reviews, implement complex spacecraft engineering and science activities and perform numerous onboard calibrations. ADCS contributions included design and execution of 10 trajectory correction maneuvers, the science calibration of the two telescopic instruments, an in-flight demonstration of high-rate turns between Earth and comet point, and an ongoing assessment of reaction wheel health. The ADCS team was also responsible for command sequences that included updates to the onboard ephemeris and sun sensor coefficients and implementation of reaction wheel assembly (RWA) de-saturations.

  10. The rotation and coma profiles of comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz)

    CERN Document Server

    Reyniers, Maarten; Bodewits, Dennis; Cuypers, Jan; Waelkens, Christoffel

    2008-01-01

    Aims. Rotation periods of cometary nuclei are scarce, though important when studying the nature and origin of these objects. Our aim is to derive a rotation period for the nucleus of comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz). Methods. C/2004 Q2 (Machholz) was monitored using the Merope CCD camera on the Mercator telescope at La Palma, Spain, in January 2005, during its closest approach to Earth, implying a high spatial resolution (50km per pixel). One hundred seventy images were recorded in three different photometric broadband filters, two blue ones (Geneva U and B) and one red (Cousins I). Magnitudes for the comet's optocentre were derived with very small apertures to isolate the contribution of the nucleus to the bright coma, including correction for the seeing. Our CCD photometry also permitted us to study the coma profile of the inner coma in the different bands. Results. A rotation period for the nucleus of P = 9.1 +/- 0.2 h was derived. The period is on the short side compared to published periods of other comets, bu...

  11. Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite observations of comet 9P/Tempel 1 and Deep Impact

    CERN Document Server

    Bensch, F; Neufeld, D A; Harwit, M; Snell, R L; Patten, B M; Tolls, V

    2006-01-01

    On 4 July 2005 at 5:52 UT the Deep Impact mission successfully completed its goal to hit the nucleus of 9P/Tempel 1 with an impactor, forming a crater on the nucleus and ejecting material into the coma of the comet. NASA's Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS) observed the 1(10)-1(01) ortho-water ground-state rotational transition in comet 9P/Tempel 1 before, during, and after the impact. No excess emission from the impact was detected by SWAS and we derive an upper limit of 1.8e7 kg on the water ice evaporated by the impact. However, the water production rate of the comet showed large natural variations of more than a factor of three during the weeks before and after the impact. Episodes of increased activity with Q(H2O)~1e28 molecule/s alternated with periods with low outgassing (Q(H2O)<~5e27 molecule/s). We estimate that 9P/Tempel 1 vaporized a total of N~4.5e34 water molecules (~1.3e9 kg) during June-September 2005. Our observations indicate that only a small fraction of the nucleus of Tempel 1...

  12. The Role of Comets as Possible Contributors of Water and Prebiotic Organics to Terrestrial Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.; Charnley, S. B.

    2011-01-01

    The question of exogenous delivery of organics and water to Earth and other young planets is of critical importance for understanding the origin of Earth's water, and for assessing the prospects for existence of Earth-like exo-planets. Viewed from a cosmic perspective, Earth is a dry planet yet its oceans are enriched in deuterium by a large factor relative to nebular hydrogen. Can comets have delivered Earth's water? The deuterium content of comets is key to ,assessing their role as contributors of water to Earth. Icy bodies today reside in two distinct reservoirs, the Oort Cloud and the Kuiper Disk (divided into the classical disk, the scattered disk, and the detached or extended disk populations). Orbital parameters can indicate the cosmic storage reservoir for a given comet. Knowledge of the diversity of comets within a reservoir assists in assessing their possible contribution to early Earth, but requires quantitative knowledge of their components - dust and ice. Strong gradients in temperature and chemistry in the proto-planetary disk, coupled with dynamical dispersion of an outer disk of icy planetesimals, imply that comets from KD and OC reservoirs should have diverse composition. The primary volatiles (native to the nucleus) provide the preferred metric for building a taxonomy for comets, and the number of comets so quantified is growing rapidly. Taxonomies based on native species (primary volatiles) are now beginning to emerge [1, 2, 3]. The measurement of cosmic parameters such as the nuclear spin temperatures for H2O, NH3 and CH4, and of enrichment factors for isotopologues (D/H in water and hydrogen cyanide, N-14/N-15 in CN and hydrogen cyanide) provide additional tests of the origin of cometary material. I will provide an overview of these aspects, and implications for the origin of Earth's water and prebiotic organics.

  13. Size and Fraction of Active Surface Area of Some Jupiter Family Comets: Implications with Respect to their Physical Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio A. Fernández

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyze the sample of measured nuclear magnitudes of the observed Jupiter Family comets (taken as those with orbital periods P 2 to derive sizes of comet nuclei, fraction of active surface areas, as well as to try to gain insight about their physical lifetimes and end states.

  14. Constraining the Dust Coma Properties of Comet C/Siding Spring (2013 A1) at Large Heliocentric Distances

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Jian-Yang; Kelley, Michael S P; Farnham, Tony L; A'Hearn, Michael F; Mutchler, Max J; Lisse, Carey M; Delamere, W Alan

    2014-01-01

    The close encounter of Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) with Mars on October 19, 2014 presented an extremely rare opportunity to obtain the first flyby quality data of the nucleus and inner coma of a dynamically new comet. However, the comet's dust tail potentially posed an impact hazard to those spacecraft. To characterize the comet at large heliocentric distances, study its long-term evolution, and provide critical inputs to hazard modeling, we imaged C/Siding Spring with the Hubble Space Telescope when the comet was at 4.58, 3.77, and 3.28 AU from the Sun. The dust production rate, parameterized by the quantity Af$\\rho$, was 2500, 2100, and 1700 cm (5000-km radius aperture) for the three epochs, respectively. The color of the dust coma is 5.0$\\pm$0.3$\\%$/100 nm for the first two epochs, and 9.0$\\pm$0.3$\\%$/100 nm for the last epoch, and reddens with increasing cometocentric distance out to ~3000 km from the nucleus. The spatial distribution and the temporal evolution of the dust color are most consistent wi...

  15. Comet Assay in Cancer Chemoprevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Raffaela; Ferraiuolo, Maria; Morgano, Gian Paolo; Muti, Paola; Strano, Sabrina

    2016-01-01

    The comet assay can be useful in monitoring DNA damage in single cells caused by exposure to genotoxic agents, such as those causing air, water, and soil pollution (e.g., pesticides, dioxins, electromagnetic fields) and chemo- and radiotherapy in cancer patients, or in the assessment of genoprotective effects of chemopreventive molecules. Therefore, it has particular importance in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology, and in both environmental and human biomonitoring. It allows the detection of single strand breaks as well as double-strand breaks and can be used in both normal and cancer cells. Here we describe the alkali method for comet assay, which allows to detect both single- and double-strand DNA breaks.

  16. Organics Captured from Comet Wild 2 by the Stardust Spacecraft

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stanford, S A; Aleon, J; O' D. Alexander, C M; Araki, T; Bajt, S; Baratta, G A; Borg, J; Brucato, J R; Burchell, M J; Busemann, H; Butterworth, A; Clemett, S J; Cody, G; Colangeli, L; Cooper, G; D' Hendecourt, L; Djouadi, Z; Dworkin, J P; Ferrini, G; Fleckenstein, H; Flynn, G; Franchi, I A; Fries, M; Gilles, M K; Glavin, D P; Gounelle, M; Grossemy, F; Jacobsen, C; Keller, L P; Kilcoyne, A D; Leitner, J; Matrajt, G; Meibom, A; Mennella, V; Mostefaoui, S; Nittler, L R; Palumbo, M E; Robert, F; Rotundi, A; Snead, C J; Spencer, M K; Steele, A; Stephan, T; Tyliszczak, T; Westphal, A J; Wirick, S; Wopenka, B; Yabuta, H; Zare, R N; Zolensky, M

    2006-10-11

    Organics found in Comet Wild 2 samples show a heterogeneous and unequilibrated distribution in abundance and composition. Some organics are similar, but not identical, to those in interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) and carbonaceous meteorites. A class of aromatic-poor organic material is also present. The organics are rich in O and N compared to meteoritic organics. Aromatic compounds are present, but the samples tend to be relatively poorer in aromatics than meteorites and IDPs. D and {sup 15}N suggest that some organics have an interstellar/protostellar heritage. While the variable extent of modification of these materials by impact capture is not yet fully constrained, a remarkably diverse suite of organic compounds is present and identifiable within the returned samples. Comets are small bodies that accreted in the outer Solar System during its formation (1) and thus may consist of preserved samples of the ''starting materials'' from which the Solar System was made. Organic materials are expected to be present in cometary samples (2) and may include molecules made and/or modified in stellar outflows, the interstellar medium, and the protosolar nebula, as well as by parent body processing within the comet. The presence of organic compounds in comets and their ejecta is of astrobiological interest since their delivery to the early Earth may have played an important role in the origin of life on Earth (3). An overview of the Stardust Mission and the collection and recovery of Wild 2 samples is provided elsewhere (4,5). We describe the results obtained from the returned samples by the Stardust Organics Preliminary Examination Team (PET). Samples were studied using a wide range of analytical techniques, including two-step laser desorption laser ionization mass spectrometry (L{sub 2}MS), Liquid Chromatography with UV Fluorescence Detection and Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (LC-FD/TOF-MS), Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy (STXM), X

  17. Rotationally Induced Surface Slope-Instabilities and the Activation of CO2 Activity on Comet 103P/Hartley 2

    CERN Document Server

    Steckloff, Jordan K; Hirabayashi, Toshi; Melosh, H Jay; Richardson, James

    2016-01-01

    Comet 103P/Hartley 2 has diurnally controlled, CO2-driven activity on the tip of the small lobe of its bilobate nucleus. Such activity is unique among the comet nuclei visited by spacecraft, and suggests that CO2 ice is very near the surface, which is inconsistent with our expectations of an object that thermophysically evolved for ~45 million years prior to entering the Jupiter Family of comets. Here we explain this pattern of activity by showing that a very plausible recent episode of rapid rotation (rotation period of ~11 [10-13] hours) would have induced avalanches in Hartley 2's currently active regions that excavated down to CO2-rich ices and activated the small lobe of the nucleus. At Hartley 2's current rate of spindown about its principal axis, the nucleus would have been spinning fast enough to induce avalanches ~3-4 orbits prior to the DIXI flyby (~1984-1991). This coincides with Hartley 2's discovery in 1986, and implies that the initiation of CO2 activity facilitated the comet's discovery. During...

  18. Realistic Detectability of Close Interstellar Comets

    CERN Document Server

    Cook, Nathaniel V; Granvik, Mikael; Stephens, Denise C

    2016-01-01

    During the planet formation process, billions of comets are created and ejected into interstellar space. The detection and characterization of such interstellar comets (also known as extra-solar planetesimals or extra-solar comets) would give us in situ information about the efficiency and properties of planet formation throughout the galaxy. However, no interstellar comets have ever been detected, despite the fact that their hyperbolic orbits would make them readily identifiable as unrelated to the solar system. Moro-Mart\\'in et al. 2009 have made a detailed and reasonable estimate of the properties of the interstellar comet population. We extend their estimates of detectability with a numerical model that allows us to consider "close" interstellar comets, e.g., those that come within the orbit of Jupiter. We include several constraints on a "detectable" object that allow for realistic estimates of the frequency of detections expected from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and other surveys. The inf...

  19. The Hummingbird GC-IMS: In Situ Analysis of a Cometary Nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojiro, Daniel R.; Carle, Glenn C.; Cohen, Martin J.; Wernlund, Roger F.; Stimac, Robert M.; Takeuchi, Norishige; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Comets are of enormous scientific interest for many reasons. They are primitive bodies that date back to the earliest stages of solar system formation and, because of their small size and because they have been stored in the outer reaches of the solar system, their pristine nature has been preserved better than for any other class of body. They are extremely rich in highly volatile elements, many in the form of ices, and are richer in organic matter than any other known solar system body. It is strongly suspected that in addition to their content of primordial solar nebular material, they also incorporate unprocessed matter from the interstellar medium. Impacts by comets occur onto all the planets and satellites, often with major consequences (e.g., the dinosaur extinction event at the KIT boundary), or sometimes just providing a spectacular cosmic event (e.g., the collision of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter). A mission to analyze a cometary nucleus must be capable of detecting and identifying over 30 molecular species among several different chemical groups. The Hummingbird Mission will rendezvous with, orbit, characterize, and make multiple descents to the nucleus of a comet. Hummingbird will employ a Gas Chromatograph - Ion Mobility Spectrometer (GC-IMS) as part-of a suite of sophisticated instruments for a comprehensive in situ elemental, molecular, and isotopic analysis of the comet.

  20. Methanol and hydrogen sulfide in comet P/Halley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberhardt, P.; Meier, R.; Krankowsky, D.; Hodges, R. R.

    1994-01-01

    The Neutral Mass Spectrometer on the Giotto spacecraft measured the gas and ion composition in the coma of comet P/Halley. A detailed model of the ion chemistry inside the contact surface located at 4660 km is used to interpret the measured ion desnity profiles in the 32 to 35 amu/e mass range. The masses 33 and 35 amu/e are dominated by the protonated methanol and hydrogen sulfide ions CH3OH2(+) and H3S(+). Both profiles are essentially compatible with CH3OH and H2S originating from the nucleus only. The production rates relative to water are Y(CH3OH) = Q(CH3OH)/Q(H2O) = 1.7% and Y(H2S) = 0.41%. Our Y(CH3OH) agrees well with a determination from IR spectra obtained about 6 weeks after the Giotto encounter with P/Halley. In 7 other comets IR and microwave observations give Y(CH3OH) values between about 0.7 and 6%, indicating that the methanol abundance shows a strong variability from comet to comet. In three other comets Y(H2S) values between 0.2 and 0.5% have been reported. In addition to H2S(+), only ions containing minor isotopes of H, C, O and S contribute to mass 34 amu/e (e.g. (34)S(+), (13)CH3OH2(+), CH4DO(+)). These contributions can be calculated from the measured densities of the ions containing the major isotopes and the H2S(+) contribution from the measured H3S(+) density. From mass 34 amu/e we can also derive an upper limit of 1% for the abundance of deuterated methanol. This limit is at most marginally compatible with a direct interstellar origin of the CH3OH in P/Halley as the measured interstellar abundance of deuterated methanol is 1 to 6%.

  1. The comet assay: assessment of in vitro and in vivo DNA damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajpayee, Mahima; Kumar, Ashutosh; Dhawan, Alok

    2013-01-01

    Rapid industrialization and pursuance of a better life have led to an increase in the amount of chemicals in the environment, which are deleterious to human health. Pesticides, automobile exhausts, and new chemical entities all add to air pollution and have an adverse effect on all living organisms including humans. Sensitive test systems are thus required for accurate hazard identification and risk assessment. The Comet assay has been used widely as a simple, rapid, and sensitive tool for assessment of DNA damage in single cells from both in vitro and in vivo sources as well as in humans. Already, the in vivo comet assay has gained importance as the preferred test for assessing DNA damage in animals for some international regulatory guidelines. The advantages of the in vivo comet assay are its ability to detect DNA damage in any tissue, despite having non-proliferating cells, and its sensitivity to detect genotoxicity. The recommendations from the international workshops held for the comet assay have resulted in establishment of guidelines. The in vitro comet assay conducted in cultured cells and cell lines can be used for screening large number of compounds and at very low concentrations. The in vitro assay has also been automated to provide a high-throughput screening method for new chemical entities, as well as environmental samples. This chapter details the in vitro comet assay using the 96-well plate and in vivo comet assay in multiple organs of the mouse.

  2. Can the comet assay be used reliably to detect nanoparticle-induced genotoxicity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlsson, Hanna L; Di Bucchianico, Sebastiano; Collins, Andrew R; Dusinska, Maria

    2015-03-01

    The comet assay is a sensitive method to detect DNA strand breaks as well as oxidatively damaged DNA at the level of single cells. Today the assay is commonly used in nano-genotoxicology. In this review we critically discuss possible interactions between nanoparticles (NPs) and the comet assay. Concerns for such interactions have arisen from the occasional observation of NPs in the "comet head", which implies that NPs may be present while the assay is being performed. This could give rise to false positive or false negative results, depending on the type of comet assay endpoint and NP. For most NPs, an interaction that substantially impacts the comet assay results is unlikely. For photocatalytically active NPs such as TiO2 , on the other hand, exposure to light containing UV can lead to increased DNA damage. Samples should therefore not be exposed to such light. By comparing studies in which both the comet assay and the micronucleus assay have been used, a good consistency between the assays was found in general (69%); consistency was even higher when excluding studies on TiO2 NPs (81%). The strong consistency between the comet and micronucleus assays for a range of different NPs-even though the two tests measure different endpoints-implies that both can be trusted in assessing the genotoxicity of NPs, and that both could be useful in a standard battery of test methods.

  3. The Persistent Activity of Jupiter-Family Comets at 3 to 7 AU

    CERN Document Server

    Kelley, Michael S; Licandro, Javier; Lisse, Carey M; Reach, William T; A'Hearn, Michael F; Bauer, James; Campins, Humberto; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Groussin, Olivier; Lamy, Philippe L; Lowry, Stephen C; Meech, Karen J; Pittichova, Jana; Snodgrass, Colin; Toth, Imre; Weaver, Harold A

    2013-01-01

    We present an analysis of comet activity based on the Spitzer Space Telescope component of the Survey of the Ensemble Physical Properties of Cometary Nuclei. We show that the survey is well suited to measuring the activity of Jupiter-family comets at 3-7 AU from the Sun. Dust was detected in 33 of 89 targets (37 +/- 6%), and we conclude that 21 comets (24 +/- 5%) have morphologies that suggest ongoing or recent cometary activity. Our dust detections are sensitivity limited, therefore our measured activity rate is necessarily a lower limit. All comets with small perihelion distances (q < 1.8 AU) are inactive in our survey, and the active comets in our sample are strongly biased to post-perihelion epochs. We introduce the quantity epsilon-f-rho, intended to be a thermal emission counterpart to the often reported A-f-rho, and find that the comets with large perihelion distances likely have greater dust production rates than other comets in our survey at 3-7 AU from the Sun, indicating a bias in the discovered...

  4. Fragmentation Kinematics in Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

    CERN Document Server

    Jewitt, David; Weaver, Harold; Hui, Man-To; Agarwal, Jessica; Ishiguro, Masateru; Kleyna, Jan; Li, Jing; Meech, Karen; Micheli, Marco; Wainscoat, Richard; Weryk, Robert

    2016-01-01

    We present initial time-resolved observations of the split comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami taken using the Hubble Space Telescope. Our images reveal a dust-bathed cluster of fragments receding from their parent nucleus at projected speeds in the range 0.06 to 3.5 m s$^{-1}$ from which we estimate ejection times from October to December 2015. The number of fragments with effective radii $\\gtrsim$20 m follows a differential power law with index $\\gamma$ = -3.6$\\pm$0.6, while smaller fragments are less abundant than expected from an extrapolation of this power-law. We argue that, in addition to losses due to observational selection, torques from anisotropic outgassing are capable of destroying the small fragments by driving them quickly to rotational instability. Specifically, the spin-up times of fragments $\\lesssim$20 m in radius are shorter than the time elapsed since ejection from the parent nucleus. The effective radius of the parent nucleus is $r_e \\le$ 275 m (geometric albedo 0.04 assumed). This is about seven ...

  5. Comets formed in solar-nebula instabilities! -- An experimental and modeling attempt to relate the activity of comets to their formation process

    CERN Document Server

    Blum, Jürgen; Mühle, Steffen; Trigo-Rodriguez, Josep M

    2014-01-01

    When comet nuclei approach the Sun, the increasing energy flux through the surface layers leads to sublimation of the underlying ices and subsequent outgassing that promotes the observed emission of gas and dust. The ejection of dust requires that the forces binding the dust particles to the comet nucleus must be overcome by the forces caused by the sublimation process. This relates to the question of how large the tensile strength of the overlying dust layer is. Homogeneous layers of micrometer-sized dust particles reach tensile strengths of typically $10^3$ to $10^4$ Pa. This exceeds by far the maximum sublimation pressure of water ice in comets. It is therefore unclear how cometary dust activity is driven. To solve this paradox, we used the model by Skorov and Blum (Icarus 221, 1-11, 2012), who assumed that cometesimals formed by gravitational instability of a cloud of dust and ice aggregates and calculated for the corresponding structure of comet nuclei tensile strength of the dust-aggregate layers on the...

  6. Cometary Volatiles and the Origin of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. X-ray emission from comets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cravens, T E

    2002-05-10

    The discovery of x-ray emission from comet Hyakutake was surprising given that comets are known to be cold. Observations by x-ray satellites such as the Röntgen Satellite (ROSAT) indicate that x-rays are produced by almost all comets. Theoretical and observational work has demonstrated that charge-exchange collisions of highly charged solar wind ions with cometary neutral species can explain this emission. X-ray observations of comets and other solar system objects may be used to determine the structure and dynamics of the solar wind.

  8. Catching Comet's Particles in the Earth's Atmosphere by Using Balloons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potashko, Oleksandr; Viso, Michel

    The project is intended to catch cometary particles in the atmosphere by using balloons. The investigation is based upon knowledge that the Earth crosses the comet’s tails during the year. One can catch these particles at different altitudes in the atmosphere. So, we will be able to gradually advance in the ability to launch balloons from low to high altitudes and try to catch particles from different comet tails. The maximum altitude that we have to reach is 40 km. Both methods - distance observation and cometary samples from mission Stardust testify to the presence of organic components in comet’s particles. It would be useful to know more details about this organic matter for astrobiology; besides, the factor poses danger to the Earth. Moreover, it is important to prove that it is possible to get fundamental scientific results at low cost. In the last 5 years launching balloons has become popular and this movement looks like hackers’ one - as most of them occur without launch permission to airspace. The popularity of ballooning is connected with low cost of balloon, GPS unit, video recording unit. If you use iPhone, you have a light solution with GPS, video, picture and control function in one unit. The price of balloon itself begins from $50; it depends on maximum altitude, payload weight and material. Many university teams realized balloon launching and reached even stratosphere at an altitude of 33 km. But most of them take only video and picture. Meanwhile, it is possible to carry out scientific experiments by ballooning, for example to collect comet particles. There is rich experience at the moment of the use of mineral, chemical and isotopic analysis techniques and data of the comet’s dust after successful landing of StarDust capsule with samples in 2006. Besides, we may use absolutely perfect material to catch particles in the atmosphere, which was used by cosmic missions such as Stardust and Japanese Hayabusa. As to balloon launches, we could use

  9. Controlling variation in the comet assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Richard Collins

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Variability of the comet assay is a serious issue, whether it occurs from experiment to experiment in the same laboratory, or between different laboratories analysing identical samples. Do we have to live with high variability, just because the comet assay is a biological assay rather than analytical chemistry? Numerous attempts have been made to limit variability by standardising the assay protocol, and the critical steps in the assay have been identified; agarose concentration, duration of alkaline incubation, and electrophoresis conditions (time, temperature and voltage gradient are particularly important. Even when these are controlled, variation seems to be inevitable. It is helpful to include in experiments reference standards, i.e. cells with a known amount of specific damage to the DNA. They can be aliquots frozen from a single large batch of cells, either untreated (negative controls or treated with, for example, H2O2 or X-rays to induce strand breaks (positive control for the basic assay, or photosensitiser plus light to oxidise guanine (positive control for Fpg- or OGG1-sensitive sites. Reference standards are especially valuable when performing a series of experiments over a long period - for example, analysing samples of white blood cells from a large human biomonitoring trial - to check that the assay is performing consistently, and to identify anomalous results necessitating a repeat experiment. The reference values of tail intensity can also be used to iron out small variations occurring from day to day. We present examples of the use of reference standards in human trials, both within one laboratory and between different laboratories, and describe procedures that can be used to control variation.

  10. Sublimation rates of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from comet nuclei at large distances from the Sun

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Zdenek

    1991-01-01

    One of the more attractive among the plausible scenarios for the major emission event recently observed on Comet Halley at a heliocentric distance of 14.3 AU is activation of a source of ejecta driven by an icy substance much more volatile than water. As prerequisite for the forthcoming detailed analysis of the imaging observations of this event, a simple model is proposed that yields the sublimation rate versus time at any location on the surface of a rotating cometary nucleus for two candidate ices: carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The model's variable parameters are the comet's heliocentric distance r and the Sun's instantaneous zenith angle z.

  11. The 2016 Feb 19 outburst of comet 67P/CG: an ESA Rosetta multi-instrument study

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    The ESLAB 50 Symposium - spacecraft at comets from 1P/Halley to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko; International audience; On 19 Feb. 2016 nine Rosetta instruments serendipitously observed an outburst of gas and dust from the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Among these instruments were cameras and spectrometers ranging from UV over visible to microwave wavelengths, in-situ gas, dust and plasma instruments, and one dust collector. At 9:40 a dust cloud developed at the edge of an image in t...

  12. DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF COMET ASSAY FOR DETECTING GENOTOXIC SUBSTANCES IN ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLES%用彗星实验技术检测环境遗传毒性物质

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈颖; 王磊; 王子健

    2006-01-01

    彗星实验(COMET Assay)是近年发展起来的在单细胞水平上定量检测DNA损伤的灵敏方法.经过不断改进和完善,用该方法检验的基因损伤已成为鉴别遗传毒性物质的敏感标记物,在致癌作用机制、环境污染监测以及环境毒理和风险评价等研究中,均发挥了重要作用,国内已有越来越多的研究人员开始采用这项技术.本文对彗星实验技术的发展过程、在环境中的应用以及未来的发展趋势进行综述,以利科研人员更加准确地掌握该技术,合理解释有关数据,来推动其进一步的应用和发展.

  13. High-throughput comet assay using 96 minigels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutzkow, Kristine B; Langleite, Torgrim M; Meier, Silja; Graupner, Anne; Collins, Andrew R; Brunborg, Gunnar

    2013-05-01

    The single-cell gel electrophoresis--the comet assay--has proved to be a sensitive and relatively simple method that is much used in research for the analysis of specific types of DNA damage, and its use in genotoxicity testing is increasing. The efficiency of the comet assay, in terms of number of samples processed per experiment, has been rather poor, and both research and toxicological testing should profit from an increased throughput. We have designed and validated a format involving 96 agarose minigels supported by a hydrophilic polyester film. Using simple technology, hundreds of samples may be processed in one experiment by one person, with less time needed for processing, less use of chemicals and requiring fewer cells per sample. Controlled electrophoresis, including circulation of the electrophoresis solution, improves the homogeneity between replicate samples in the 96-minigel format. The high-throughput method described in this paper should greatly increase the overall capacity, versatility and robustness of the comet assay.

  14. MESSENGER's special delivery: Comets 2P/Encke and C/2012 S1 (ISON) at small heliocentric distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Yanga R.; Vervack, Ronald J., Jr.; Knight, Matthew M.; McCandliss, Stephan R.; Dello Russo, Neil; Feldman, Paul D.; Lisse, Casey M.; Tamblyn, Peter

    2016-10-01

    Observations of comets when they are close to the Sun can potentially reveal interesting aspects of their behavior thanks to the rapid change of both seasons on the nucleus and the local insolation environment. However this is typically the most difficult time to make observations from Earth because the solar elongation is small, so studies of comets that are near the Sun generally require special facilities. In autumn 2013, the MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft observed comets 2P/Encke and C/2012 S1 (ISON) from its orbital perch around Mercury when both comets were poorly located for most Earth-based telescopes. The observations included visible-wavelength, multi-filter imaging as well as ultraviolet spectroscopy. Both comets were observed down to about 0.3 AU from the Sun; in Encke's case it was followed through perihelion, which has rarely been done before. The data provide us with a look at the behavior of the dust and gas (e.g., OH, CO, OI, CI, SI, HI) production rates over several weeks, and we can investigate how the rates change with time, rotational phase, and heliocentric distance. In this poster we will present preliminary analyses of the time-series photometry and spectroscopy of these MESSENGER-observed comets, and place their behaviors into context.

  15. Micropatterned comet assay enables high throughput and sensitive DNA damage quantification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Jing; Chow, Danielle N; Fessler, Jessica L; Weingeist, David M; Wood, David K; Engelward, Bevin P

    2015-01-01

    The single cell gel electrophoresis assay, also known as the comet assay, is a versatile method for measuring many classes of DNA damage, including base damage, abasic sites, single strand breaks and double strand breaks. However, limited throughput and difficulties with reproducibility have limited its utility, particularly for clinical and epidemiological studies. To address these limitations, we created a microarray comet assay. The use of a micrometer scale array of cells increases the number of analysable comets per square centimetre and enables automated imaging and analysis. In addition, the platform is compatible with standard 24- and 96-well plate formats. Here, we have assessed the consistency and sensitivity of the microarray comet assay. We showed that the linear detection range for H2O2-induced DNA damage in human lymphoblastoid cells is between 30 and 100 μM, and that within this range, inter-sample coefficient of variance was between 5 and 10%. Importantly, only 20 comets were required to detect a statistically significant induction of DNA damage for doses within the linear range. We also evaluated sample-to-sample and experiment-to-experiment variation and found that for both conditions, the coefficient of variation was lower than what has been reported for the traditional comet assay. Finally, we also show that the assay can be performed using a 4× objective (rather than the standard 10× objective for the traditional assay). This adjustment combined with the microarray format makes it possible to capture more than 50 analysable comets in a single image, which can then be automatically analysed using in-house software. Overall, throughput is increased more than 100-fold compared to the traditional assay. Together, the results presented here demonstrate key advances in comet assay technology that improve the throughput, sensitivity, and robustness, thus enabling larger scale clinical and epidemiological studies.

  16. Dust Impact Monitor (SESAME-DIM) Measurements at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    CERN Document Server

    Krüger, Harald; Fischer, Hans-Herbert; Albin, Thomas; Apathy, Istvan; Arnold, Walter; Flandes, Alberto; Hirn, Attila; Kobayashi, Masanori; Loose, Alexander; Peter, Attila; Podolak, Morris

    2015-01-01

    The Rosetta lander Philae successfully landed on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014. Philae carries the Dust Impact Monitor (DIM) on board, which is part of the Surface Electric Sounding and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment (SESAME). DIM employs piezoelectric PZT sensors to detect impacts by sub-millimeter and millimeter-sized ice and dust particles that are emitted from the nucleus and transported into the cometary coma. The DIM sensor measures dynamical data like flux and the directionality of the impacting particles. Mass and speed of the particles can be constrained assuming density and elastic particle properties. DIM was operated during three mission phases of Philae at the comet: (1) Before Philae's separation from Rosetta at distances of about 9.6 km, 11.8 km, and 25.3 km from the nucleus barycenter. In this mission phase particles released from the nucleus on radial trajectories remained undetectable because of significant obscuration by the structures of Rosetta, and no...

  17. Mutagenic effects of tributyltin and inorganic lead (Pb II on the fish H. malabaricus as evaluated using the comet assay and the piscine micronucleus and chromosome aberration tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Vinícius M. Ferraro

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Genotoxicity studies on toxic metals and their organic compounds are very important, especially so in the investigation of the effects of these compounds on the aquatic environments where they tend to accumulate. The use of endemic aquatic organisms as biological sentinels has proved useful to environmental monitoring. We assessed the mutagenic potential of tributyltin (TBT and inorganic lead (PbII using samples of the fish Hoplias malabaricus (commonly called traíra using the comet assay and the piscine micronucleus and chromosome aberration tests. Eighteen H. malabaricus were acclimatized in three individual aquariums, each containing six fish, six fish being exposed to 0.3 mg/g of body weight (bw of TBT, six to 21 mg/g bw of PbII and six being used as controls. Exposure to TBT and PbII was achieved by feeding the fish every five days with Astyanax (a small fish that is part of the normal diet of H. malabaricus which had been injected with solutions of TBT, PbII or with water (the control group. After two months the H. malabaricus were sacrificed and their peripheral blood collected and subjected to the comet and micronucleus assays, the chromosome aberration assay being conducted using kidney-tissue. Although the comet assay showed now mutagenic effects at the lead concentrations used but encountered results with TBT, the micronucleus and chromosome aberrations assays both indicated that TBT and PbII are potentially mutagenic (p < 0.01, the micronucleus assay showing morphological alterations of the nucleus.

  18. The global surface composition of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko nucleus by Rosetta/VIRTIS. II) Diurnal and seasonal variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciarniello, M.; Raponi, A.; Capaccioni, F.; Filacchione, G.; Tosi, F.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Kappel, D.; Rousseau, B.; Arnold, G.; Capria, M. T.; Barucci, M. A.; Quirico, E.; Longobardo, A.; Kuehrt, E.; Mottola, S.; Erard, S.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Leyrat, C.; Migliorini, A.; Zinzi, A.; Palomba, E.; Schmitt, B.; Piccioni, G.; Cerroni, P.; Ip, W.-H.; Rinaldi, G.; Salatti, M.

    2016-11-01

    VIRTIS-M observations of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko acquired from 2014 August to 2015 May have been analysed to investigate surface temporal variability at both seasonal and diurnal scales. The measured reflectance spectra are studied by means of comet spectral indicators (CSI) such as slopes in the visible and infrared ranges, and 3.2 μm band area and band centre. CSI maps derived from data acquired at different heliocentric distances (from 3.62 to 1.72 au) along the inbound leg of the comet's orbit are used to infer surface water ice abundance. We measure a global scale enrichment of water ice from 2014 August to 2015 May across the body of the comet, along with variability at small spatial scale, possibly related with the local insolation conditions. Analysis of water ice diurnal variability is performed on 2014 August observations. Water ice appears at the border of receding shadows in the neck of the comet (Hapi), sublimating in less than 1 h, after exposure to sunlight. As similar variability is not observed in other regions of the comet, we interpreted this as the expression of a diurnal cycle of sublimation and re-condensation of water ice, triggered by sudden shadowing produced on the neck by the body and the head of the nucleus.

  19. Water group ion distributions in the midcometosheath of comet Halley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huddleston, D. E.; Neugebauer, M.; Goldstein, Bruce E.

    1993-01-01

    In the midcometosheath of comet Halley (1 x 10(exp 5) to 2 x 10(exp 5) km from the nucleus) the center-of-mass plasma frame is approximately the bulk flow velocity of the cometary ions, and the Alfven wave speed is an appreciable fraction of the flow speed. Here, the peaks of the water group ion distributions observed by the Giotto ion mass spectrometer are at velocities consistently below the expected pickup speed. It is shown that this effect is consistent with the scattering of the new pickup ions onto a bispherical shell distribution. The model does not fit the data inside approximately 1.2 x 10(exp 5) km, however, possibly as a result of the growing importance of collisions or the presence of other processes such as scattering on obliquely propagating magnetosonic waves.

  20. Spectrophotometry and the Development of Emissions for C/1996 B2 (Comet Hyakutake)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Michael D.; Fink, Uwe

    1997-06-01

    An analysis of the spectrophotometry of C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) from 0.55 μm to 1.05 μm recorded between February 17 and April 17, 1996, is presented. We derive Afρ values and production rates of H2O, C2, NH2, and CN. In general we find the Haser model to be substantiated with no inconsistencies for different aperture sizes and different heliocentric and geocentric distances. Comet Hyakutake is the dustiest comet in our database of 39 comets (U. Fink and M. Hicks 1996.Astrophys. J.459,729-743) and both the dust and the H2O production rates follow a heliocentric dependence of ∼r-1.5, lower than the ∼r-2.5dependence found for P/Halley by U. Fink (1994.Astrophys. J.423,461-472). The Afρ values and the H2O production rates track the visual lightcurve quite well. Strong evidence for quenching of OI emissions close to the nucleus was observed in the March data due to the comet's small geocentric distance. While the CN production rate also has a dependence of ∼r-1.5with a CN/H2O ratio typical of most comets, the C2production rate has a much steeper slope, ∼r-2.5, and the C2/H2O ratio evolves from a typical cometary ratio to one that is exceedingly rich in C2. We feel that this is evidence for a significant CHON contribution to the overall C2production. The NH2production is considerably flatter and follows roughly a ∼r-0.85law. In February and March, Comet Hyakutake exhibited the highest relative NH2abundance of any comet in our database, but reverts to more a normal value in April. All together, we feel that the behavior of the comet's Afρ and production rates throughout its apparition argue for a more primordial comet than may be suggested by the orbital elements alone.

  1. Small is different: RPC observations of a small scale comet interacting with the solar wind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsson, Hans; Burch, James L.; Carr, Christopher M.; Eriksson, Anders I.; Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz; Henri, Pierre; Rosetta Plasma Consortium Team

    2016-10-01

    Rosetta followed comet 67P from low activity at more than 3 AU heliocentric distance to peak activity at perihelion and then out again. We study the evolution of the dynamic plasma environment using data from the Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC). Observations of cometary plasma began in August 2014, at a distance of 100 km from the comet nucleus and at 3.6 AU from the Sun. As the comet approached the Sun, outgassing from the comet increased, as did the density of the cometary plasma. Measurements showed a highly heterogeneous cold ion environment, permeated by the solar wind. The solar wind was deflected due to the mass loading from newly added cometary plasma, with no discernible slowing down. The magnetic field magnitude increased significantly above the background level, and strong low frequency waves were observed in the magnetic field, a.k.a. the "singing comet". Electron temperatures were high, leading to a frequently strongly negative spacecraft potential. In mid to late April 2015 the solar wind started to disappear from the observation region. This was associated with a solar wind deflection reaching nearly 180°, indicating that mass loading became efficient enough to form a solar wind-free region. Accelerated water ions, moving mainly in the anti-sunward direction, kept being observed also after the solar wind disappearance. Plasma boundaries began to form and a collisionopause was tentatively identified in the ion and electron data. At the time around perihelion, a diamagnetic cavity was also observed, at a surprisingly large distance from the comet. In late 2016 the solar wind re-appeared at the location of Rosetta, allowing for studies of asymmetry of the comet ion environment with respect to perihelion. A nightside excursion allowed us to get a glimpse of the electrodynamics of the innermost part of the plasma tail. Most of these phenomena are dependent on the small-scale physics of comet 67P, since for most of the Rosetta mission the solar wind

  2. Rosetta: Comet-Chaser, Comet-Lander, and Comet-Hopper All In One Mission! (Presentation Recording)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chmielewski, Artur B.

    2015-09-01

    Mission to Catch a Comet! Comets have inspired awe and wonder since the dawn of history. Many scientists today believe that comets crashed into Earth in its formative period spewing organic molecules that were crucial to the growth of life. Comets may have formed about the same time as the giant planets of our solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) - about 4.6 billion years ago. Some scientists think that comets and planets were both made from the same clumps of dust and ice that spewed from our Sun's birth; others think that these roving time capsules are even older than that, and that they may contain grains of interstellar stuff that is even older than our solar system.

  3. Spectrophotometry of 25 comets - Post-Halley updates for 17 comets plus new observations for eight additional comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newburn, Ray L., Jr.; Spinrad, Hyron

    1989-01-01

    The best possible production figures within the current post-Halley framework and available observations are given for H2O, O(1D), CN, C3, C2 and dust in 25 comets. Of these, the three objects with the smallest mixing ratios of all minor species have moderate to little or no dust and appear 'old'. Comets with large amounts of CN are very dusty, and there is a clear correlation of CN with dust, although comets with little or no dust still have some CN. Thus, CN appears to have at least two sources, dust and one or more parent gases. Also, the C2/CN production ratio changes continuously with heliocentric distance in every comet considered, suggesting that C2 production may be a function of coma density as well as parental abundance. Dust production ranges from essentially zero in Comet Sugano-Saigusa-Fujikawa up to 67,000 kg/s for Halley on March 14, 1986.

  4. Observations of Three Stellar Occultations by Comet Hale-Bopp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betzler, A. S.; Betzler, L. B. S.

    2017-03-01

    On June 12 1996 UT, three 11-12 R magnitude stars were occulted by comet Hale-Bopp. The passage of these stars through the cometary atmosphere was monitored at the Observatorio do Pico dos Dias (Brazil) using a 0.6 m telescope. We detected an absorption of starlight by the comet dust implying in a drop of (6± 1) × 10^{-2} magnitude of occulted star XPM 152-0898466 at a minimum distance of (4.3 ± 0.2)× 104 km from the central condensation. This result, combined with magnitude variations of other stars, suggests the detection of a jet in the coma. From our measurement of extinction, we infer that the opacity of the nucleus surface was τ ˜ 3 . The mean geometric albedo p of dust grains is (4.5 ± 0.7) × 10^{-3} . This low albedo may suggest a difference in the grain population associated to coma and jets.

  5. First application of comet assay in blood cells of Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caliani, Ilaria; Campani, Tommaso; Giannetti, Matteo; Marsili, Letizia; Casini, Silvia; Fossi, Maria Cristina

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was to validate the comet assay in erythrocytes of Caretta caretta, a species never investigated for genotoxicity. We studied 31 loggerhead sea turtles from three Italian marine rescue centres. Peripheral blood samples were collected from all the animals and the comet assay applied. All comet cells were analysed using two methods: visual scoring and computer image analysis. The % DNA in tail mean value ± SD and Damage Index were 21.56 ± 15.41 and 134.83 ± 94.12, respectively. A strong and statistically significant statistically correlation between the two analytical methods was observed (r = 0.95; p comet assay is a useful method to detect the possible effects of genotoxic agents in loggerhead sea turtle and to increase the knowledge about the ecotoxicological health status of this threatened species.

  6. Inter-laboratory comparison of the in vivo comet assay including three image analysis systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plappert-Helbig, Ulla; Guérard, Melanie

    2015-12-01

    To compare the extent of potential inter-laboratory variability and the influence of different comet image analysis systems, in vivo comet experiments were conducted using the genotoxicants ethyl methanesulfonate and methyl methanesulfonate. Tissue samples from the same animals were processed and analyzed-including independent slide evaluation by image analysis-in two laboratories with extensive experience in performing the comet assay. The analysis revealed low inter-laboratory experimental variability. Neither the use of different image analysis systems, nor the staining procedure of DNA (propidium iodide vs. SYBR® Gold), considerably impacted the results or sensitivity of the assay. In addition, relatively high stability of the staining intensity of propidium iodide-stained slides was found in slides that were refrigerated for over 3 months. In conclusion, following a thoroughly defined protocol and standardized routine procedures ensures that the comet assay is robust and generates comparable results between different laboratories.

  7. Jets and sources of activity on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Sierks, Holger; Lara, Luisa; Gutierez, Pedro; Rodrigo, Rafael; Pajola, Maurizio; Oklay, Nilda; Knollenberg, Jörg; Bertini, Ivano; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Ip, Wing-Huen; Thomas, Nicolas; Davidsson, Björn; Mottola, Stefano; Lowry, Stephen; Fornasier, Sonia; Bodewits, Dennis; Massironi, Matteo; A'Hearn, Mike; Keller, Uwe

    2015-04-01

    A major goal of the Rosetta mission is to study the evolution of a comet through activity. Understanding the physical processes reshaping the nucleus will help us to look back in time and reconstruct what pristine comet surface looked like at the time of its formation. A key question is how and why cometary activity is spatially distributed over the nucleus. We trace the manifestation of this activity in the coma, in the form of narrow dust features, hereafter called "jets", expanding straight for at least some distance from the source on the nucleus. We follow these jets down to the surface to constrain the location of active areas and better understand the physical processes underlying activity. Jets are a type of highly localized activity. They appear as fuzzy streams of bright material arising from specific areas on the nucleus surface. They are typically detected against a dark background, which can be either empty space or casted shadows. Jets are seen at all scales, down to the resolution of the OSIRIS images. The smallest features detected so far are a few pixels across, which translates into a couple of meters at most. They have a typical column density a few percent higher than the ambient medium [1]. At the highest spatial resolution these jets appear as a combination of thinner features which can be traced directly to specific morphologic features on the surface. By monitoring the activity and observing these jets from different angles we can reconstruct their three-dimensional structure and identify their source regions. We present here the first results of this inversion, covering the epoch from August to December 2014. We show how the spatial distribution of jet sources expands with time. While active areas were found mainly in the transition region between the two lobes in August 2014 (3.6 AU), they could be observed all over the Northern hemisphere in December 2014 (2.8 AU). Jet sources are associated to different types of terrains: smooth areas

  8. Alteration of Paramecium candatum germinal nucleus morphology after UV irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fokin, S.I. (Leningradskij Gosudarstvennyj Univ. (USSR). Biologicheskij Nauchno-Issledovatel' skij Inst.)

    1982-09-01

    A study was made on morphologic changes of micronucleus (Mi) after whole-body ultraviolet (UV) irradiation of paramecia as well as after local irradiation of this nucleus or the area of macronucleus (Ma). The whole-body irradiation of its Ma part leads to generative nucleus growth in sizes and chromatin structure change, which is expressed in occurence of large chromatin bodies. Aftereffects of local action on Mi for viable descendants are expressed in nucleus size transformation (usually in reduction), gaining ''comet-shaped'' form and probably in reduction of dna amount. Irradiation of Ma and total effect on cell cause Mi changes of reversible character. All morphologic changes of Mi after local ultraviolet irradiation are conserved in descendants and are not photoreactivated. Possible reasons for this phenomenon are discussed. The results obtained make it possible to speak about different mechanisms of action on Mi in the case of local and whole-body UV irradiation of cell. The effect of irradiated Ma on generative nucleus, but not direct damage of this nucleus is the reason for Mi morphologic reconstruction after whole-body action on paramecium.

  9. Coma models of comet 9P/Tempel 1 for the Deep Impact encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boice, Daniel; Jackson, William; Cochran, Anita; Lam, Chow-Shing

    We have employed a suite of computational tools to analyze observations of comet 9P/Tempel 1 (Deep Impact Mission target) in order to gain insights into the intrinsic properties of its nucleus and the important physical and chemical processes that occur in its coma. The computational tools have been developed over the past decades and successfully applied to comets; including ComChem, a global, gas dynamics simulation with chemistry of the cometary coma and Com-Fluo, a time-dependent fluorescence model with collisions and superposition of non-equilibrium states appropriate for molecules of interest in comets. To obtain the chemical composition by modeling the observed spectra, it is important to take into account all relevant physical and chemical processes with sufficient level of details that doesn't oversimplify the interpretation of the complex molecular spectra. We describe a systematic study of the molecules, OH and CN, in comet Tempel 1 prior to and during the Deep Impact event. The model developed is versatile and can be applied to in situ measurements and observations of other comets and molecules. The combination of these powerful tools results in an innovative and unique opportunity to advance our knowledge of parent molecules in comets, and any compositional variations with depth in the case of Deep Impact, thereby gaining clues to understanding the origins of the solar system and possibly the origins of life on Earth. Acknowledgements: We acknowledge funding and support from the SwRI Internal Research and Development Program and the NSF Planetary Astronomy Program.

  10. Periodicity Signatures of Lightcurves of Active Comets in Non-Principal-Axis Rotational States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samarasinha, Nalin H.; Mueller, Beatrice E. A.; Barrera, Jose G.

    2016-10-01

    There are two comets (1P/Halley, 103P/Hartley 2) that are unambiguously in non-principal-axis (NPA) rotational states in addition to a few more comets that are candidates for NPA rotation. Considering this fact, and the ambiguities associated with how to accurately interpret the periodicity signatures seen in lightcurves of active comets, we have started an investigation to identify and characterize the periodicity signatures present in simulated lightcurves of active comets. We carried out aperture photometry of simulated cometary comae to generate model lightcurves and analyzed them with Fourier techniques to identify their periodicity signatures. These signatures were then compared with the input component periods of the respective NPA rotational states facilitating the identification of how these periodicity signatures are related to different component periods of the NPA rotation. Ultimately, we also expect this study to shed light on why only a small fraction of periodic comets is in NPA rotational states, whereas theory indicates a large fraction of them should be in NPA states (e.g., Jewitt 1999, EMP, 79, 35). We explore the parameter space with respect to different rotational states, different orientations for the total rotational angular momentum vector, and different locations on the nucleus for the source region(s). As for special cases, we also investigate potential NPA rotational states representative of comet 103P/Hartley2, the cometary target of the EPOXI mission. The initial results from our investigation will be presented at the meeting. The NASA DDAP Program supports this work through grant NNX15AL66G.

  11. Color Systematics of Comets and Related Bodies

    CERN Document Server

    Jewitt, Dave

    2015-01-01

    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 gra...

  12. RFP for the Comet Nuclei Tour (CONTOUR)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, John Leif; Madsen, Peter Buch; Betto, Maurizio

    1999-01-01

    This document describes the ASC Star Tracker (performance, functionality, requirements etc.) to The Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Laboratory for their Comet Nuclei TOUR (CONTOUR) Program.......This document describes the ASC Star Tracker (performance, functionality, requirements etc.) to The Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Laboratory for their Comet Nuclei TOUR (CONTOUR) Program....

  13. Interpretation of surface properties of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko using bidirectional reflectance studies of laboratory cometary analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jost, Bernhard; Pommerol, Antoine; Poch, Olivier; Fornasier, Sonia; Hasselmann, Pedro Henrique; Feller, Clément; Carrasco, Nathalie; Szopa, Cyril; Thomas, Nicolas

    2016-10-01

    The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission has been orbiting the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) for more than 2 years. An enormous quantity of surface data at variable spatial resolution and over a wide range of the electromagnetic spectrum has been acquired by a series of complementary instruments during this period. The long accompany time allowed characterization and comparison of spectrophotometric properties in the pre- and post-perihelion phase.A profound knowledge of laboratory analogues of cometary surfaces is essential for interpreting remote sensing data. The LOSSy laboratory (Laboratory for Outflow Studies of Sublimating Materials) at the University of Bern was set up to study the spectrophotometric properties of ice-bearing cometary nucleus analogs. The laboratory is equipped with two instruments: the PHIRE-2 radio-goniometer [2], designed to measure the bidirectional visible reflectance of samples under a wide range of geometries and the SCITEAS simulation chamber [3], designed to study the evolution of icy samples subliming under low pressure/temperature conditions by hyperspectral imaging in the VIS-NIR range.We present reflectance data of various well characterized and reproducible mixtures of fine grained ice particles, tholins, and carbonaceous compounds that we systematically compare to the phase curves, albedo, spectrum and phase reddening observed by Rosetta at 67P [4].Our results allow us setting a lower limit of a few micrometers on the dust particle size and demonstrate that meter-sized bright patches have to be relatively dust free at small scale. Further we show that the most porous samples (p≈80%) best match the phase curve of 67P.[1] Keller, H. U., et al., 2007, Space Sci. Rev. 128, 26[2] Jost, B., et al., 2016. Icarus 264, 109-131.[3] Pommerol, A., et al., 2015. Planet Space Sci 109, 106-122.[4] Fornasier, S., et al., 2015. A&A 583, A30.

  14. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is the pristine material present anywhere close to the surface?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kossacki, Konrad

    2016-10-01

    Observations of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko indicate high complexity of the topography (Thomas et al., 2015). Presence of numerous pits, and depressions, as well as scarps suggests complex evolution of the nucleus. This in turn makes uncertain presence of the pristine material anywhere close to the surface. However, non-uniformity of the mechanical strength of the nucleus suggests, that in some locations material can retain initial structure. This should be expected neither in the final Philae landing site Abydos, where the compressive strength of the material is about 2 MPa (Spohn et al., 2015), neither in the location of the first touch down, where beneath a layer of unconsolidated material possibly is a hard material (Biele et al., 2015). Both locations are at low latitudes, where the flux of solar energy is much higher than northern parts of the lobes, illuminated when the comet is far form perihelion. Groussin et al. (2015) investigated what inclination of slopes corresponds to the presence of falling-out boulders and have found, that the average strength is probably lower than 1.5 kPa.I attempted to answer the question, whether in poorly illuminated regions of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are possible thermal conditions suitable for preservation of a pristine unconsolidated ice-dust material. For this purpose I calculated evolution of the temperature and structure of the material versus depth in selected locations in region Ma'at. This region is in general smooth (El-Maary et al., 2015), which may indicate presence of a loose dust mantle on the surface. The applied shape model is SHAP4s v1.0 (Preuskner et al., 2015). The performed simulations indicate, that in Scenario A preservation of low uni-axial compressive strength is possible, but only in shadowed locations, beneath a dust mantle of low thermal conductivity, at least few centimeters thick.

  15. A new proxy of comet impacts?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasatkina, E.; Shumilov, O.; Lukina, N.

    Environmental consequences of impacts by comets and asteroids depend on their sizes. The impact of 10 km sized asteroid killed off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. A comet impact in AD 536 (>500 m diameter) caused a global climatic downturn. An impact of Tunguska-sized (50 m diameter) object (TO) could devastate a 2000 km -2 forest area, roughly the size of Moscow or New York. Among some misteries of the Tunguska event an important role plays the cause of the accelerated tree growth after 1908 in the catastrophe area. The main explanation is that an accelerated growth of old trees is a result of decrease of the level of competition due to falling of trees. We analyzed tree rings in larch samples collected in the Taymir region of Northern Siberia (72N; 105E) at a distance of about 1500 km to the North from the Tunguska catastrophe epicenter (61N; 102E). It was found that tree ring growth is 150% higher in 1908. We also analyzed all available Siberian tree-ring series (more than 100). It was found that there is a considerable increase of tree ring growth in 1908 over a huge area of Siberia (60N-75N; 60E-110E). It is obvious that the above mentioned interpretation could hardly explain the effect observed. Most likely the tree growth was stimulated by the TO matter spreaded over a large territory of Eurasia and introduced into the soil. It is generally believed that meteorites and comets delivered large amounts of organic to the early Earth. Another hypothesis is connected to NO produced during the Tunguska event. The cometary (probably fragment of the comet Enke) tail started to influence the Earth atmosphere several days before the fall of the meteorite causing optical anomalies observed mainly to the West from the place of TO explosion (Western Siberia, European Russia, Northern Europe). It is interesting that we've discovered nearly the similar, but smaller (about 50%) increase of tree ring growth connected to the Chulym bolide impact in 1984. The Chulym bolide

  16. Spatial distribution of low-energy plasma around comet 67P/CG from Rosetta measurements

    CERN Document Server

    Edberg, N J T; Odelstad, E; Henri, P; Lebreton, J -P; Gasc, S; Rubin, M; André, M; Gill, R; Johansson, E P G; Johansson, F; Vigren, E; Wahlund, J E; Carr, C M; Cupido, E; Glassmeier, K -H; Goldstein, R; Koenders, C; Mandt, K; Nemeth, Z; Nilsson, H; Richter, I; Wieser, G Stenberg; Szego, K; Volwerk, M

    2016-01-01

    We use measurements from the Rosetta plasma consortium (RPC) Langmuir probe (LAP) and mutual impedance probe (MIP) to study the spatial distribution of low-energy plasma in the near-nucleus coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The spatial distribution is highly structured with the highest density in the summer hemisphere and above the region connecting the two main lobes of the comet, i.e. the neck region. There is a clear correlation with the neutral density and the plasma to neutral density ratio is found to be about 1-2x10^-6, at a cometocentric distance of 10 km and at 3.1 AU from the sun. A clear 6.2 h modulation of the plasma is seen as the neck is exposed twice per rotation. The electron density of the collisonless plasma within 260 km from the nucleus falls of with radial distance as about 1/r. The spatial structure indicates that local ionization of neutral gas is the dominant source of low-energy plasma around the comet.

  17. WISE/NEOWISE observations of comet 103P/Hartley 2

    CERN Document Server

    Bauer, James M; Mainzer, A K; Masiero, Joseph R; Grav, Tommy; Dailey, John W; McMillan, Robert S; Lisse, Carey M; Fernández, Yan R; Meech, Karen J; Pittichova, Jana; Blauvelt, Erin K; Masci, Frank J; A'Hearn, Michael F; Cutri, Roc M; Scotti, James V; Tholen, David J; DeBaun, Emily; Wilkins, Ashlee; Hand, Emma; Wright, Edward L

    2011-01-01

    We report results based on mid-infrared photometry of comet 103P/Hartley 2 taken during May 4-13, 2010 (when the comet was at a heliocentric distance of 2.3 AU, and an observer distance of 2.0 AU) by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (Wright et al. 2010). Photometry of the coma at 22 microns and data from the University of Hawaii 2.2-m telescope obtained on May 22, 2010 provide constraints on the dust particle size distribution, dlogn/dlogm, yielding power-law slope values of alpha = -0.97 +/- 0.10, steeper than that found for the inbound particle fluence during the Stardust encounter of comet 81P/Wild 2 (Green et al. 2004). The extracted nucleus signal at 12 microns is consistent with a body of average spherical radius of 0.6 +/- 0.2 km (one standard deviation), assuming a beaming parameter of 1.2. The 4.6 micron-band signal in excess of dust and nucleus reflected and thermal contributions may be attributed to carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide emission lines and provides limits and estimates of species...

  18. Simultaneous Swift X-ray and UV views of comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin)

    CERN Document Server

    Carter, J A; Read, A M; Immler, S

    2012-01-01

    We present an analysis of simultaneous X-Ray and UV observations ofcomet C/2007 N3 (Lulin) taken on three days between January 2009 and March 2009 using the Swift observatory. For our X-ray observations, we used basic transforms to account for the movement of the comet to allow the combination of all available data to produce an exposure-corrected image. We fit a simple model to the extracted spectrum and measured an X-ray flux of 4.3+/-1.3 * 10^-13 ergs cm-2 s-1 in the 0.3 to 1.0 keV band. In the UV, we acquired large-aperture photometry and used a coma model to derive water production rates given assumptions regarding the distribution of water and its dissociation into OH molecules about the comet's nucleus. We compare and discuss the X-ray and UV morphology of the comet. We show that the peak of the cometary X-ray emission is offset sunward of the UV peak emission, assumed to be the nucleus, by approximately 35,000 km. The offset observed, the shape of X-ray emission and the decrease of the X-ray emission ...

  19. The gas production of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 around the Deep Impact date

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiler, M.; Rauer, H.; Knollenberg, J.; Sterken, C.

    2007-10-01

    The target of the Deep Impact space mission (NASA), Comet 9P/Tempel 1, was observed from two nights before impact to eight nights after impact using the FORS spectrographs at the ESO VLT UT1 and UT2 telescopes. Low resolution optical long-slit spectra were obtained to study the evolution of the gas coma around the Deep Impact event. Following first results of this observing campaign on the CN and dust activity [Rauer, H., Weiler, M., Sterken, C., Jehin, E., Knollenberg, J., Hainaut, O., 2006. Astron. Astrophys. 459, 257-263], this work presents a study of the complete dataset on CN, C 2, C 3, and NH 2 activity of Comet 9P/Tempel 1. An extended impact gas cloud was observed moving radially outwards. No compositional differences between this impact cloud and the undisturbed coma were found as far as the observed radicals are concerned. The gas production rates before and well after impact indicate no change in the cometary activity on an intermediate time scale. Over the observing period, the activity of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 was found to be related to the rotation of the cometary nucleus. The rotational lightcurve for different gaseous species provides indications for compositional differences among different parts of the nucleus surface.

  20. What drives the dust activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko?

    CERN Document Server

    Gundlach, B; Keller, H U; Skorov, Y V

    2015-01-01

    We use the gravitational instability formation scenario of cometesimals to derive the aggregate size that can be released by the gas pressure from the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for different heliocentric distances and different volatile ices. To derive the ejected aggregate sizes, we developed a model based on the assumption that the entire heat absorbed by the surface is consumed by the sublimation process of one volatile species. The calculations were performed for the three most prominent volatile materials in comets, namely, H_20 ice, CO_2 ice, and CO ice. We find that the size range of the dust aggregates able to escape from the nucleus into space widens when the comet approaches the Sun and narrows with increasing heliocentric distance, because the tensile strength of the aggregates decreases with increasing aggregate size. The activity of CO ice in comparison to H_20 ice is capable to detach aggregates smaller by approximately one order of magnitude from the surface. As a result of the...

  1. Evidence for two modes of water release in Comet 103P/Hartley 2: Distributions of column density, rotational temperature, and ortho-para ratio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonev, Boncho P.; Villanueva, Geronimo L.; Paganini, Lucas; DiSanti, Michael A.; Gibb, Erika L.; Keane, Jacqueline V.; Meech, Karen J.; Mumma, Michael J.

    2013-02-01

    This paper presents long-slit spectra of H2O emission from the inner coma of Comet 103P/Hartley 2, acquired with NIRSPEC/Keck 2 during the comet's close approach to Earth in 2010. On UT 19.6 October 2010 the slit was oriented nearly orthogonal to the projected (in the plane of the sky) Sun-comet line, and the H2O rotational temperature and column density showed similar spatial distributions as a function of projected distance from the nucleus. On UT 22.5 October, the slit was oriented along the Sun-comet line, and the rotational temperatures revealed pronounced asymmetry while the column densities were nearly symmetric about the nucleus. We suggest this dichotomy reflects two qualitatively different mechanisms of volatile release, which introduce distinct rotational distributions in the sublimated material. Future modeling can test this hypothesis. We also report new retrievals of water nuclear spin species (ortho, para) in this comet, and we present the ortho-to-para ratio (OPR) for various projected nucleocentric distances. Our most precise individual measurement is OPR = 2.59 ± 0.13, corresponding to a nuclear spin temperature (Tspin) of 31 ± 3 K. A weighted mean of five independent measurements provides OPR = 2.79 ± 0.13 (T=37-4+8K). Hartley 2 is the first comet for which the OPR has been measured in multiple apparitions. Our values (in 2010) are in good agreement with those obtained two apparitions earlier by the Infrared Space Observatory. Since the comet lost a substantial amount of material between 1998 and 2010, we see no evidence for variation of the OPR with depth in the nucleus. Further discussion of the advantages, assumptions, and biases introduced by various approaches when quantifying nuclear spin species (observing techniques, models and model parameters, sources of uncertainty) would likely aid in interpreting the OPRs measured in cometary volatiles.

  2. Detection of radiation treatment of beans using DNA comet assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Ashfaq A.; Khan, Hasan M.; Delincée, Henry

    2002-03-01

    A simple technique of microgel electrophoresis of single cells (DNA Comet Assay) enabled a quick detection of radiation treatment of several kinds of leguminous beans (azuki, black, black eye, mung, pinto, red kidney and white beans). Each variety was exposed to radiation doses of 0.5, 1 and 5kGy covering the permissible limits for insect disinfestation. The cells or nuclei from beans were extracted in cold PBS, embedded in agarose on microscope slides, lysed between 15 and 60min in 2.5% SDS and electrophoresis was carried out at a voltage of 2V/cm for 2-2.5min. After silver staining, the slides were evaluated through an ordinary transmission microscope. In irradiated samples, fragmented DNA stretched towards the anode and the damaged cells appeared as a comet. The density of DNA in the tails increased with increasing radiation dose. However, in non-irradiated samples, the large molecules of DNA remained relatively intact and there was only minor or no migration of DNA; the cells were round or had very short tails only. Hence, the DNA comet assay provides an inexpensive, rapid and relatively simple screening method for the detection of irradiated beans.

  3. The Evolving Activity of the Dynamically Young Comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd)

    CERN Document Server

    Bodewits, D; A'Hearn, M F; Feaga, L M; McKay, A; Schleicher, D G; Sunshine, J M

    2014-01-01

    We used the UltraViolet-Optical Telescope on board Swift to observe the dynamically young comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) from a heliocentric distance of 3.5 AU pre-perihelion until 4.0 AU outbound. At 3.5 AU pre-perihelion, comet Garradd had one of the highest dust-to-gas ratios ever observed, matched only by comet Hale-Bopp. The evolving morphology of the dust in its coma suggests an outburst that ended around 2.2 AU pre-perihelion. Comparing slit-based measurements and observations acquired with larger fields of view indicated that between 3 AU and 2 AU pre-perihelion a significant extended source started producing water in the coma. We demonstrate that this source, which could be due to icy grains, disappeared quickly around perihelion. Water production by the nucleus may be attributed to a constantly active source of at least 75 km$^2$, estimated to be more than 20 percent of the surface. Based on our measurements, the comet lost $4x10^{11}$ kg of ice and dust during this apparition, corresponding to at most a...

  4. Comet C/2011 J2 (Linear): Fragmentation and physical properties of the two nuclei

    CERN Document Server

    Scarmato, Toni

    2014-01-01

    Comet C2011 J2 (Linear), was discovered to the Catalina Sky Survey Observatory, based on University of Arizona. Is an hyperbolic comet passed to the perihelion at T 2013 Dec. 25.4020 TT. The distance q from the Sun is 3.443732 A.U., that mean that dont never cross the snow line. Also, the Sun gravitational force is not such to determine a strong stress on the cometary nucleus. A possible fragmentation at that distance from the Sun in general, is unlikely, but on 2014 September 19th, the CBAT 3979 by D. Green of the ICQ, report the discoveries of a fragment companion of the comet main body. In the following days others observers confirms the presence of the secondary body. (F. Manzini et al. September 2014, IAU CBET 3986, 2014 September 24th) In the observation of the comet on 2014 September 28, using a 25 cm Newton and CCD with R photometric filter, I detect the secondary body and assuming as possible scenario the presence of a solid fragment in the cloud of material of the fragmentation, I measured some phys...

  5. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: Constraints on its origin from OSIRIS observations

    CERN Document Server

    Rickman, H; A'Hearn, M F; Barbieri, C; El-Maarry, M R; Güttler, C; Ip, W -H; Keller, H U; Lamy, P; Marzari, F; Massironi, M; Naletto, G; Pajola, M; Sierks, H

    2015-01-01

    One of the main aims of the ESA Rosetta mission is to study the origin of the solar system by exploring comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at close range. In this paper we discuss the origin and evolution of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in relation to that of comets in general and in the framework of current solar system formation models. We use data from the OSIRIS scientific cameras as basic constraints. In particular, we discuss the overall bi-lobate shape and the presence of key geological features, such as layers and fractures. We also treat the problem of collisional evolution of comet nuclei by a particle-in-a-box calculation for an estimate of the probability of survival for 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during the early epochs of the solar system. We argue that the two lobes of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko nucleus are derived from two distinct objects that have formed a contact binary via a gentle merger. The lobes are separate bodies, though sufficiently similar to have formed in the same environment. ...

  6. Discovery of Main-Belt Comet P/2006 VW139 by Pan-STARRS1

    CERN Document Server

    Hsieh, Henry H; Haghighipour, Nader; Kaluna, Heather M; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Denneau, Larry; Novakovic, Bojan; Jedicke, Robert; Wainscoat, Richard J; Armstrong, James D; Duddy, Samuel R; Lowry, Stephen C; Trujillo, Chadwick A; Micheli, Marco; Keane, Jacqueline V; Urban, Laurie; Riesen, Timm; Meech, Karen J; Abe, Shinsuke; Cheng, Yu-Chi; Chen, Wen-Ping; Granvik, Mikael; Grav, Tommy; Ip, Wing-Huen; Kinoshita, Daisuke; Kleyna, Jan; Lacerda, Pedro; Lister, Tim; Milani, Andrea; Tholen, David J; Veres, Peter; Lisse, Carey M; Kelley, Michael S; Fernandez, Yanga R; Bhatt, Bhuwan C; Sahu, Devendra K; Kaiser, Nick; Chambers, K C; Hodapp, Klaus W; Magnier, Eugene A; Price, Paul A; Tonry, John L

    2012-01-01

    Main belt asteroid (300163) 2006 VW139 (later designated P/2006 VW139) was discovered to exhibit comet-like activity by the Pan-STARRS1 survey telescope using automated point-spread-function analyses performed by PS1's Moving Object Processing System. Deep follow-up observations show both a short (\\sim 10") antisolar dust tail and a longer (\\sim 60") dust trail aligned with the object's orbit plane, similar to the morphology observed for another main-belt comet, 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 \\sim 30 days provides further evidence for this object's cometary nature, suggesting it is in fact a main-belt comet, and not a disrupted asteroid. A spectroscopic search for CN emission was unsuccessful, though we find an upper limit CN production rate of Q_CN 100 Myr, while a search for a potential asteroid family around the object reveals ...

  7. On the asteroid-comet hazard mitigation problem for the earth

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    V V Ivashkin

    2003-01-01

    In frame of the asteroid-comet hazard problem study, a qualitative analysis of some methods for the effect on a celestial near-Earth object (NEO) -an asteroid, a comet - is carried out. The goal of the effect is a correction of this object' s orbit, its deflection from the Earth to prevent their collision. There are studied a mechanical impact-kinetic effect of the spacecraft ( SC), a thermonuclear effect, an effect on a cometary nucleus for a controlled change of its dusty mantle and, therefore, its sublimation activity. Qualitative models of these effects are developed. Numerical analysis results are given for a group of NEOs such as some asteroids from the Apollo family (Apollo, Castalia, Nereus, Orpheus, Phaethon, Toutatis, etc. ) and from the Aten family (Aten, Hathor, Khufu, etc. ) as well as some short-periodic comets like the comet P/Biela. There are studied some characteristics of the effects on the NEOs such as the velocity impulse ( or acceleration) applied to the celestial body, its deflection from the Earth. The study is supported by the Russian Foundation of Basic Studies (Grant N 01-01-00133).

  8. Aging comets and their meteor showers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Quan-Zhi

    2016-10-01

    Comets are thought to be responsible for the terrestrial accretion of water and organic materials. The aging of comets is one of the most critical yet poorly understood problems in planetary astronomy. Here we attack this problem by examining different parts of the cometary aging spectrum of Jupiter-family comets (JFCs), a group of comets that dominates the cometary influx in the near-Earth space, using both telescopic and meteor observations.We examine two representative JFCs and the population of dormant comets. At the younger end of the aging spectrum, we examine a moderately active JFC, 15P/Finlay, and review the puzzle of the non-detection of the associated Finlayid meteor shower. We find that, although having been behaved like a dying comet in the past several 102 years, 15P/Finlay does possess ability for energetic outbursts without a clear reason. Towards the more aged end of the spectrum, we examine a weakly active JFC, 209P/LINEAR. By bridging telescopic observations at visible and infrared wavelength, meteor observations and dynamical investigations, we find that 209P/LINEAR is indeed likely an aged yet long-lived comet. At the other end of the spectrum, we examine the population of dormant near-Earth comets, by conducting a comprehensive meteor-based survey looking for dormant comets that have recently been active. We find the lower limit of the dormant comet fraction in the near-Earth object (NEO) population to be 2.0 ± 1.7%. This number is at the lower end of the numbers found using dynamical and telescopic techniques, which may imply that a significant fraction of comets in the true JFC population are weakly active and are not yet detected.These results have revealed interesting diversities in dying or dead comets, both in their behaviors as well as their natures. An immediate quest in the understanding of cometary aging would be to examine a large number of dying or dead comets and understand their general characteristics.

  9. Seismology on a Comet: Calibration Measurements, Modeling and Inversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faber, C.; Hoppe, J.; Knapmeyer, M.; Fischer, H.; Seidensticker, K. J.

    2011-12-01

    The Mission Rosetta was launched to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2004. It will finally reach the comet and will deliver the Lander Philae at the surface of the nucleus in November 2014. The Lander carries ten experiments, one of which is the Surface Electric Sounding and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment (SESAME). Part of this experiment is the Comet Acoustic Surface Sounding Experiment (CASSE) housed in the three feet of the lander. The primary goal of CASSE is to determine the elastic parameters of the surface material, like the Young's modulus and the Poisson ratio. Additional goals are the determination of shallow structure, quantification of porosity, and the location of activity spots and thermally and impact caused cometary activity. We conduct calibration measurements with accelerometers identical to the flight model. The goal of these measurements is to develop inversion procedures for travel times and to estimate the expected accuracy that CASSE can achieve in terms of elastic wave velocity, elastic parameters, and source location. The experiments are conducted mainly on sandy soil, in dry, wet or frozen conditions, and apart from buildings with their reflecting walls and artificial noise sources. We expect that natural sources, like thermal cracking at sunrise and sunset, can be located to an accuracy of about 10 degrees in direction and a few decimeters (1σ) in distance if occurring within the sensor triangle and from first arrivals alone. The accuracy of the direction is essentially independent of the distance, whereas distance determination depends critically on the identification of later arrivals. Determination of elastic wave velocities on the comet will be conducted with controlled sources at known positions and are likely to achieve an accuracy of σ=15% for the velocity of the first arriving wave. Limitations are due to the fixed source-receiver geometry and the wavelength emitted by the CASSE piezo-ceramic sources. In addition to the

  10. Once a myth, now an object of study - How the perception of comets has changed over the centuries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-02-01

    In February 2004, Rosetta will be setting off on its long journey through our solar system to meet up with Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It will take the European Space Agency (ESA) space probe ten years to reach its destination. The comet, which moves in an elliptical orbit around the Sun, will at rendezvous be some 675 million kilometres from the Sun, near the point in its orbit farthest from the Sun. The meeting point was not chosen at random: at this point the comet is still barely active, it is still in fact a frozen lump of ice and interplanetary dust, in all probability the matter from which our solar system emerged four and a half billion years ago. Rosetta’s job is to find out more about these strange bodies that travel through our solar system. As it moves on, the comet will begin to change. As it approaches the Sun, it will - like all comets - become active: in the warmth of the Sun’s rays, the ices evaporate, tearing small dust particles from the surface. This produces the comet head (the coma) and tail. Only these two phenomena are visible from Earth. The comet nucleus itself is far too tiny - Churyumov-Gerasimenko measures about 4 kilometres across - to be viewed from Earth. As Dr Uwe Keller of the Max Planck Institute for Aeronomy in Kaltenburg-Lindau, the scientist responsible for the Osiris camera carried by Rosetta, explains, “Formation of the coma and tail during solar flyby skims several metres of matter off the comet’s surface. In the case of a small comet like Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the shrinkage is a good 1% each time round.” As it flies past the Sun every 6.6 years it can look forward to a short future, especially on a cosmic timescale. Comets - a mystical view Visible cometary phenomena have fascinated human beings from time immemorial - and frightened them too. Even today mystical explanations prevail among some of the Earth’s peoples. The Andaman islanders, a primitive people living in the Gulf of Bengal, see comets as burning

  11. CONSTRAINING THE DUST COMA PROPERTIES OF COMET C/SIDING SPRING (2013 A1) AT LARGE HELIOCENTRIC DISTANCES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Jian-Yang; Samarasinha, Nalin H. [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell Road, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Kelley, Michael S. P.; Farnham, Tony L.; A' Hearn, Michael F. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Mutchler, Max J. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218-2463 (United States); Lisse, Carey M. [Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Space Department, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); Delamere, W. Alan, E-mail: jyli@psi.edu, E-mail: nalin@psi.edu, E-mail: msk@astro.umd.edu, E-mail: farnham@astro.umd.edu, E-mail: ma@astro.umd.edu, E-mail: mutchler@stsci.edu, E-mail: carey.lisse@jpuapl.edu, E-mail: alan@delamere.biz [Delamere Support Service, Boulder, CO 80304 (United States)

    2014-12-10

    The close encounter of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) with Mars on 2014 October 19 presented an extremely rare opportunity to obtain the first flyby quality data of the nucleus and inner coma of a dynamically new comet. However, the comet's dust tail potentially posed an impact hazard to those spacecraft orbiting Mars. To characterize the comet at large heliocentric distances, study its long-term evolution, and provide critical inputs to hazard modeling, we imaged C/Siding Spring with the Hubble Space Telescope when the comet was at 4.58, 3.77, and 3.28 AU from the Sun. The dust production rate, parameterized by the quantity Afρ, was 2500, 2100, and 1700 cm (5000 km radius aperture) for the three epochs, respectively. The color of the dust coma is (5.0 ± 0.3)%/100 nm for the first two epochs, and (9.0 ± 0.3)%/100 nm for the last epoch, and reddens with increasing cometocentric distance out to ∼3000 km from the nucleus. The spatial distribution and the temporal evolution of the dust color are most consistent with the existence of icy grains in the coma. Two jet-like dust features appear in the northwest and south-southeast directions projected in the sky plane. Within each epoch of 1-2 hr, no temporal variations were observed for either feature, but the position angle of the south-southeastern feature varied between the three epochs by ∼30°. The dust feature morphology suggests two possible orientations for the rotational pole of the nucleus, (R.A., decl.) = (295° ± 5°, +43° ± 2°) and (190° ± 10°, +50° ± 5°), or their diametrically opposite orientations.

  12. Spectrophotometry of the Khonsu region on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the context of OSIRIS images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasanna Deshapriya, Jasinghege Don; Barucci, Maria Antonieta; Fornasier, Sonia; Feller, Clement; Hasselmann, Pedro Henrique; Sierks, Holger; Ramy El-Maarry, Mohammed; OSIRIS Team

    2016-10-01

    Since the Rosetta spacecraft rendezvoused with the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014, OSIRIS (Optical,Spectroscopic and Infrared Remote Imaging System) has been instrumental in characterising and studying both the nucleus as well as the coma of the comet. OSIRIS has thus far contributed to a plethora of scientific results. OSIRIS observations have revealed a bilobate nucleus accreted from a pair of cometesimals each having an irregular shape and a size, populated with numerous geomorphological features. Among the well defined 26 regions of the comet, Khonsu region inherits a heterogeneous terrain composed of smooth areas, scarps, outcroppings, large boulders, an intriguing 'pancake' feature, both transient and long-lived bright patches plus many other geological features.Our work focuses on the spectrophotometric analysis of some selected terrain and bright patches in the Khonsu region. Despite the variety of geological features, their spectrophotometric properties appear to share a similar composition. It is noticeable also that the smooth areas in Khonsu possess similar spectrophotometric behaviour to some other regions of the comet. By comparing the spectrophotometric characteristics of observed bright patches on Khonsu with those described and attributed to the presence of H2O ice on the comet by Barucci et al. (2016) utilising infrared data, we suggest that the bright patches we present could plausibly be derived from H2O ice. One of the studied bright patches has been observed to exist on the surface for more than 4 months without a major diminution of its size, which implies the existence of potential subsurface icy layers. The location of this feature is strongly correlated with a cometary outburst during the perihelion passage of the comet in August 2015, and we interpret it to have triggered the surface modifications necessary to unearth the stratified icy layers beneath the surface.

  13. Imaging Comet C/2013 A1 {Siding Spring} to Support Risk Assessment for Mars Orbiters during the Close Mars Encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jian-Yang

    2013-10-01

    Newly discovered comet C/Siding Spring passes Mars on October 19, 2014 at a distance of only 134,000 km. Such a close encounter of a dynamically new comet is extremely rare, providing an opportunity for instruments on Mars to observe it around close approach and for studying the interactions between the coma and the Martian atmosphere. However, comet dust also poses a potential risk to NASA's Mars-orbiting spacecraft. We request four HST DD orbits to observe C/Siding Spring in three epochs between October 2013 and March 2014, to characterize the comet's environment. Our goals are to measure the dust activity and its temporal evolution, characterize the coma and tail morphology and colors {to constrain the dust particle size distribution}, investigate features or jets near the nucleus, and determine the nucleus' size and rotation state. The proposed studies will provide valuable information about this dynamically new comet and will help in planning future observations {from both Mars- and Earth-based facilities}. These studies will provide critical input for assessing the hazards to Mars orbiters. DD time is requested because the potential risks from the dust coma were not fully recognized until after the normal Cycle 21 GO proposal deadlines {when the comet's orbit determination accurately predicted the Mars encounter}, and waiting until the normal Cycle 22 will be too late to obtain the necessary data. HST's high angular resolution is essential for the proposed observations as C/Siding Spring is still 5 AU from the Sun, with a coma only a few arcsec in size.

  14. The location of Asteroidal Belt Comets (ABCs), in a comets' evolutionary diagram: The Lazarus Comets

    CERN Document Server

    Ferrin, Ignacio; Cuartas, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    There is a group of newly recognized asteroids in the main belt that are exhibiting cometary characteristics. We will call them Asteroidal Belt Comets or ABCs. An analysis of their orbital and physical properties has resulted in the following conclusion: (1) We define the detached group, DG, as objects sublimating water that have aphelion distances Q < 4.5 AU. The detached group contains all the ABCs traditionally recognized, plus a few other members like 2P and 107P. With the above definition there are 11 members of the ABC group: 2P, 107P, 133P, 176P, 233P, 238P, C/2008 R1, C/2010 R2, 2011 CR42, 3200, and 300163 = 2006 VW139. (2) Active objects sublimate ices except collisioned asteroids, CA, P/2010 A2, 596 Scheila, and P/2012 F5 Gibbs, and 3200 Phaethon who was active due to sputtering. (3)We have calibrated the black body (color) temperature of comets vs perihelion distance, R. We find T = 325+-5 K/SQRT(R). (4) Using a mathematical model of the thermal wave we calculate the thickness of the dust layer ...

  15. Relating Changes in Cometary Rotation to Activity: Current Status and Applications to Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)

    CERN Document Server

    Samarasinha, Nalin

    2013-01-01

    We introduce a parameter, X, to predict the changes in the rotational period of a comet in terms of the rotational period itself, the nuclear radius, and the orbital characteristics. We show that X should be a constant if the bulk densities and shapes of nuclei are nearly identical and the activity patterns are similar for all comets. For four nuclei for which rotational changes are well documented, despite the nearly factor 30 variation observed among the effective active fractions of these comets, X is constant to within a factor two. We present an analysis for the sungrazing comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) to explore what rotational changes it could undergo during the upcoming perihelion passage where its perihelion distance will be ~2.7 solar radii. When close to the sun, barring a catastrophic disruption of the nucleus, the activity of ISON will be sufficiently strong to put the nucleus into a non-principal-axis rotational state and observable changes to the rotational period should also occur. Additional causes ...

  16. Gravity field and solar component of the precession rate and nutation coefficients of Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    CERN Document Server

    Lhotka, Christoph; Souchay, Jean; Baur, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is first to determine the gravity field of the comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko and second to derive the solar component of the precession rate and nutation coefficients of the spin axis of the comet nucleus, i.e. without the direct, usually larger, effect of outgassing. The gravity field, and related moments of inertia, are obtained from two polyhedra, that are provided by the OSIRIS and NAV-CAM experiments on Rosetta, and are based on the assumption of uniform density for the comet nucleus. We also calculate the forced precession rate as well as the nutation coefficients on the basis of Kinoshita's theory of rotation of the rigid Earth and adapted it to be able to indirectly include the effect of outgassing on the rotational parameters. The 2nd degree denormalized Stokes coefficients of comet 67P C-G turn out to be (bracketed numbers refer to second shape model) C20 = -6.74 [-7.93] * 10^-2, C22 = 2.60 [2.71] * 10^-2 consistent with normalized principal moments of inertia A/MR^2 = 0.13 [...

  17. COLOR SYSTEMATICS OF COMETS AND RELATED BODIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jewitt, David, E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu [Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States)

    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.

  18. Observations and analysis of a curved jet in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Zhong-Yi; Su, C -C; Ip, W -H; Lee, J -C; Wu, J -S; Vincent, J -B; La Forgia, F; Sierks, H; Barbieri, C; Lamy, P L; Rodrigo, R; Koschny, D; Rickman, H; Keller, H U; Agarwal, J; A'Hearn, M F; Barucci, M A; Bertaux, J -L; Bertini, I; Bodewits, D; Cremonese, G; Da Deppo, V; Davidsson, B; Debet, S; De Cecco, M; Fornasier, S; Fulle, M; Groussin, O; Gutierrez, P J; Guttler, C; Hviid, S F; Jorda, L; Knollenberg, J; Kovacs, G; Kramm, J -R; Kuhrt, E; Kuppers, M; Lara, L M; Lazzarin, M; Lopez-Moreno, J J; Lowry, S; Marzari, F; Michalik, H; Mottola, S; Naletto, G; Oklay, N; Pajola, M; Rozek, A; Thomas, N; Tubiana, C

    2016-01-01

    We analyze the physical properties and dynamical origin of a curved jet of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that was observed repeatedly in several nucleus rotations starting on May 30 and persisting until early August, 2015. We simulated the motion of dust grains ejected from the nucleus surface under the influence of the gravity and viscous drag effect of the expanding gas flow from the rotating nucleus. The formation of the curved jet is a combination of the size of the dust particles (~0.1-1 mm) and the location of the source region near the nucleus equator. This enhances the spiral feature of the collimated dust stream after the dust is accelerated to a terminal speed on the order of m/s.

  19. Nucleus Driven Electronic Pulsation

    CERN Document Server

    Ludwig, H; Xue, S -S

    2014-01-01

    We derive and solve by the spectral method the equations for a neutral system of ultra-relativistic electrons that are compressed to the radius of the nucleus and subject to a driving force. This driving force can be thought of as originating from a nuclear breathing mode, a possibility we discuss in detail.

  20. Streaming Clumps Ejection Model and the Heterogeneous Inner Coma of Comet Wild 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Economou, T. E.; Green, S. F.; Sandford, S. A.; Zolensky, M. E.

    2004-01-01

    The conventional concept of cometary comae is that they are dominated by fine particulates released individually by sublimation of surface volatiles and subsequent entrainment in the near-surface gas. It has long been recognized that such particulates could be relatively large, with early estimates that objects perhaps up to one meter in size may be levitated from the surface of the typical cometary nucleus. However, the general uniformity and small average particulate size of observed comae and the relatively smooth, monotonic increases and decreases in particle density during the Giotto flythrough of comet Halley s coma in 1986 reinforced the view that the bulk of the particles are released at the surface, are fine-sized and inert. Jets have been interpreted as geometrically constrained release of these particulates. With major heterogeneities observed during the recent flythrough of the inner coma of comet Wild 2, these views deserve reconsideration.

  1. Streaming Clumps Ejection Model and the Heterogeneous Inner Coma of Comet Wild 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, B. C.; Economou, T. E.; Green, S. F.; Sandford, S. A.; Zolensky, M. E.

    2004-01-01

    The conventional concept of cometary comae is that they are dominated by fine particulates released individually by sublimation of surface volatiles and subsequent entrainment in the near-surface gas. It has long been recognized that such particulates could be relatively large, with early estimates that objects perhaps up to one meter in size may be levitated from the surface of the typical cometary nucleus. However, the general uniformity and small average particulate size of observed comae and the relatively smooth, monotonic increases and decreases in particle density during the Giotto flythrough of comet Halley s coma in 1986 reinforced the view that the bulk of the particles are released at the surface, are fine-sized and inert. Jets have been interpreted as geometrically constrained release of these particulates. With major heterogeneities observed during the recent flythrough of the inner coma of comet Wild 2, these views deserve reconsideration.

  2. Comet Lesions in Patients with Pseudoxanthoma Elasticum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sinan Tatlıpınar

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE is a genetic multisystemic disorder affecting the skin, eyes and cardiovascular system. Basic fundoscopic findings in PXE result from Bruch’s membrane involvement. The most important fundoscopic findings are angioid streaks. Other significant ocular findings are peau d’orange appearance, optic disc drusen, pattern dystrophy-like macular appearance, comet lesions, and choroidal neovascularization. Comet lesions are a pathognomonic ocular finding for PXE. The presence of both angioid streaks in the fundus and typical skin lesions should alert clinicians to PXE. Herein, we present two PXE cases with comet lesions.

  3. Optical and Near-Infrared Polarimetry for a Highly Dormant Comet 209P/LINEAR

    CERN Document Server

    Kuroda, Daisuke; Watanabe, Makoto; Akitaya, Hiroshi; Takahashi, Jun; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ui, Takahiro; Kanda, Yuka; Takaki, Katsutoshi; Itoh, Ryosuke; Moritani, Yuki; Imai, Masataka; Goda, Shuhei; Takagi, Yuhei; Morihana, Kumiko; Honda, Satoshi; Arai, Akira; Hanayama, Hidekazu; Nagayama, Takahiro; Nogami, Daisaku; Sarugaku, Yuki; Murata, Katsuhiro; Morokuma, Tomoki; Saito, Yoshihiko; Oasa, Yumiko; Sekiguchi, Kazuhiro; Watanabe, Jun-ichi

    2015-01-01

    We conducted an optical and near-infrared polarimetric observation of the highly dormant Jupiter-Family Comet, 209P/LINEAR. Because of its low activity, we were able to determine the linear polarization degrees of the coma dust particles and nucleus independently, that is $P_n$=30.3$^{+1.3}_{-0.9}$% at $\\alpha$=92.2$^\\circ$ and $P_n$=31.0$^{+1.0}_{-0.7}$% at $\\alpha$=99.5$^\\circ$ for the nucleus, and $P_c$=28.8$^{+0.4}_{-0.4}$% at $\\alpha$=92.2$^\\circ$ and 29.6$^{+0.3}_{-0.3}$% at $\\alpha$=99.5$^\\circ$ for the coma. We detected no significant variation in $P$ at the phase angle coverage of 92.2$^\\circ$-99.5$^\\circ$, which may imply that the obtained polarization degrees are nearly at maximum in the phase-polarization curves. By fitting with an empirical function, we obtained the maximum values of linear polarization degrees $P_\\mathrm{max}$=30.8% for the nucleus and $P_\\mathrm{max}$=29.6% for the dust coma. The $P_\\mathrm{max}$ of the dust coma is consistent with those of dust-rich comets. The low geometric a...

  4. Optical and Near-infrared Polarimetry for a Highly Dormant Comet 209P/LINEAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuroda, Daisuke; Ishiguro, Masateru; Watanabe, Makoto; Akitaya, Hiroshi; Takahashi, Jun; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ui, Takahiro; Kanda, Yuka; Takaki, Katsutoshi; Itoh, Ryosuke; Moritani, Yuki; Imai, Masataka; Goda, Shuhei; Takagi, Yuhei; Morihana, Kumiko; Honda, Satoshi; Arai, Akira; Hanayama, Hidekazu; Nagayama, Takahiro; Nogami, Daisaku; Sarugaku, Yuki; Murata, Katsuhiro; Morokuma, Tomoki; Saito, Yoshihiko; Oasa, Yumiko; Sekiguchi, Kazuhiro; Watanabe, Jun-ichi

    2015-12-01

    We conducted an optical and near-infrared polarimetric observation of the highly dormant Jupiter-Family Comet, 209P/LINEAR. Because of its low activity, we were able to determine the linear polarization degrees of the coma dust particles and nucleus independently, that is Pn = {30.3}-0.9+1.3% at α = 92.°2 and Pn = {31.0}-0.7+1.0% at α = 99.°5 for the nucleus, and Pc = {28.8}-0.4+0.4% at α = 92.°2 and {29.6}-0.3+0.3% at α = 99.°5 for the coma. We detected no significant variation in P at the phase angle coverage of 92.°2-99.°5, which may imply that the obtained polarization degrees are nearly at maximum in the phase-polarization curves. By fitting with an empirical function, we obtained the maximum values of linear polarization degrees Pmax = 30.8% for the nucleus and Pmax = 29.6% for the dust coma. The Pmax of the dust coma is consistent with those of dust-rich comets. The low geometric albedo of Pv = 0.05 was derived from the slope-albedo relationship and was associated with high {P}{max}. We examined Pmax-albedo relations between asteroids and 209P, and found that the so-called Umov law seems to be applicable on this cometary surface.

  5. Distributed coma sources and the CH sub 4 /CO ratio in Comet Halley

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boice, D.C. (Southwest Research Inst., San Antonio, TX (USA) Max-Planck-Inst. fuer Astrophysik, Garching (West Germany)); Huebner, W.F.; Sablik, M.J.; Konno, I. (Southwest Research Inst., San Antonio, TX (USA))

    1990-10-01

    Early analyses of the Ion Mass Spectrometer (IMS) data from the Giotto flyby of Comet P/Halley indicated significant abundances of Ch{sup +}{sub n} (n=1 to 4). The source of these ions was assumed to be frozen CH{sub 4} in the nucleus. An abundance of about 2% Ch{sub 4} was consistent with this interpretation, resulting in a ratio of CH{sub 4}/CO that is greater than the predicted limits for interstellar clouds or the solar nebula. However, subsequent analyses of data from the Giotto Neutral Mass Spectrometer (NMS) indicate distributed sources of CO and H{sub 2}CO in the coma that are most likely associated with organic (CHON) particles, rich in CH-bearing compounds that decay and produce CH{sup +}{sub n} species. The authors present a model that qualitatively accounts for the measured spatial distribution of CO and H{sub 2}CO and indicates that most of the CH{sup +}{sub n} deduced from the Giotto IMS data may originate from organic compounds in the coma dust and not from volatiles released directly from the nucleus. As a consequence, the absence of CH{sub 4} in the icy phase of the nucleus is consistent with the observations with an upper limit of about 0.5% to the ratio CH{sub 4}/CO. This is an important criterion for theories of comet formation.

  6. A Comparison of CO Abundances from Infrared Observations of Recent Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiSanti, M. A.; Mumma, M. J.; Dello Russo, N.; Magee-Sauer, K.; Novak, R.; Rettig, T. W.

    2000-10-01

    The high volatility of carbon monoxide makes it an excellent probe of conditions in the early-solar system environment in which comets are thought to have formed. A fundamental question in cometary science is: Did the constituent ices of the nucleus originate in the interstellar natal cloud, or were they formed later by condensation from gas in the pre-planetary disk? Interstellar CO-rich ice could not have survived within about 40 AU of the proto-sun, but interstellar CO trapped as a minor component in a polar (i.e., water-rich) ice could have survived in the giant-planets nebular region. Thus the amount of CO retained in the cometary nucleus (native CO), and its abundance relative to water, provide important clues to the origin of this material and to conditions in the pre-cometary environment. A summary of CO abundances in several recent Oort-cloud comets will be presented, based on high-resolution (RP ~ 15,000 - 25,000) observations with CSHELL at the NASA-IRTF and NIRSPEC at Keck 2, and comparisons to water and other volatile (e.g., methyl alcohol, CH3OH) abundances will be made. Recently observed CO abundances range from ``high CO" in comets C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) and C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp), for which Q(CO) / Q(H2O) > 10 %, to CO-poor comets C/1999 H1 (Lee; CO/H2O ~ 2 %) and D/1999 S4 (Linear; CO/H2O ~ 1 % or less). Implications of these diverse chemistries will be discussed. This work was supported through the NASA Planetary Astronomy Program (Grant NAG5-7905).

  7. Identification of low level gamma-irradiation of meats by high sensitivity comet assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyahara, Makoto; Saito, Akiko; Ito, Hitoshi; Toyoda, Masatake

    2002-03-01

    The detection of low levels of irradiation in meats (pork, beef, and chicken) using the new comet assay was investigated in order to assess the capability of the procedure. The new assay includes a process that improves its sensitivity to irradiation and a novel evaluation system for each slide (influence score and comet-type distribution). Samples used were purchased at retailers and were irradiated at 0.5 and 2kGy at 0°C. The samples were processed to obtain comets. Slides were evaluated by typing comets, calculating the influence score and analyzing the comet-type distribution chart of shown on the slide. Influence scores of beef, pork, and chicken at 0kGy were 287(SD=8.0), 305 (SD=12.9), and 320 (SD=21.0), respectively. Those at 500Gy, were 305 (SD=5.3), 347 (SD=10.6), and 364 (12.6), respectively. Irradiation levels in food were successfully determined. Sensitivity to irradiation differed among samples (chicken>pork>beef).

  8. Novel method for the high-throughput processing of slides for the comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karbaschi, Mahsa; Cooke, Marcus S

    2014-11-26

    Single cell gel electrophoresis (the comet assay), continues to gain popularity as a means of assessing DNA damage. However, the assay's low sample throughput and laborious sample workup procedure are limiting factors to its application. "Scoring", or individually determining DNA damage levels in 50 cells per treatment, is time-consuming, but with the advent of high-throughput scoring, the limitation is now the ability to process significant numbers of comet slides. We have developed a novel method by which multiple slides may be manipulated, and undergo electrophoresis, in batches of 25 rather than individually and, importantly, retains the use of standard microscope comet slides, which are the assay convention. This decreases assay time by 60%, and benefits from an electrophoresis tank with a substantially smaller footprint, and more uniform orientation of gels during electrophoresis. Our high-throughput variant of the comet assay greatly increases the number of samples analysed, decreases assay time, number of individual slide manipulations, reagent requirements and risk of damage to slides. The compact nature of the electrophoresis tank is of particular benefit to laboratories where bench space is at a premium. This novel approach is a significant advance on the current comet assay procedure.

  9. Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) and its close approach to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnham, T.; Kelley, M.; Bodewits, D.; Kleyna, J.; Li, J.-Y.; Stevenson, R.; Bauer, J.

    2014-07-01

    time of close approach. Results from these simulations reveal that the comet will make only a `glancing blow' on Mars, with relatively few impacts, due to radiation pressure rapidly accelerating the smaller grains so they tend to miss the planet. The impact potential of the larger grains (100 μ m- to cm-sized) is strongly dependent on their velocity, but based on the results derived from the observational data, the number of impacts will still be small. In the nominal case, no impacts are expected at Mars, but variations in our assumptions raise the average fluences to no more than a few× 10^{-7} particles/m^2. In these scenarios where impacts occur, the peak is encountered 90-100 minutes after close approach, when Mars comes closest to the comet's orbital path (i.e., the dust trail), with a duration of ˜0.5 hour. The grains that do impact Mars were ejected from the nucleus when it was more than 5 au from the Sun, so the comet's activity levels interior to that distance have little impact on the analysis.

  10. Extremely organic-rich coma of comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) during its outburst in 2012

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kawakita, Hideyo; Kobayashi, Hitomi [Koyama Astronomical Observatory, Kyoto Sangyo University, Motoyama, Kamitamo, Kita, Kyoto 603-8555 (Japan); Russo, Neil Dello; Vervack, Ron Jr.; Weaver, Harold A. [The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723-6099 (United States); DiSanti, Mike A. [Goddard Center for Astrobiology, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Opitom, Cyrielle; Jehin, Emmanuel; Manfroid, Jean; Gillon, Michael [F. R. S.-FNRS, Institut d' Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 août 17, B-4000 Liège (Belgium); Cochran, Anita L. [McDonald Observatory, 1 University Station C1402, Austin, TX 78712-0259 (United States); Harris, Walter M. [Department of Applied Sciences, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States); Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Biver, Nicolas; Crovisier, Jacques [LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC, Université Paris-Diderot, 5 Place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon (France); McKay, Adam J., E-mail: kawakthd@cc.kyoto-su.ac.jp [New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88001 (United States)

    2014-06-20

    We performed high-dispersion near-infrared spectroscopic observations of comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) at 2.5 AU from the Sun using NIRSPEC (R ≈ 25,000) at the Keck II Telescope on UT 2012 January 9 and 10, about a week after an outburst had occurred. Over the two nights of our observations, prominent emission lines of CH{sub 4} and C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, along with weaker emission lines of H{sub 2}O, HCN, CH{sub 3}OH, and CO were detected. The gas production rate of CO was comparable to that of H{sub 2}O during the outburst. The mixing ratios of CO, HCN, CH{sub 4}, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, and CH{sub 3}OH with respect to H{sub 2}O were higher than those for normal comets by a factor of five or more. The enrichment of CO and CH{sub 4} in comet Hill suggests that the sublimation of these hypervolatiles sustained the outburst of the comet. Some fraction of water in the inner coma might exist as icy grains that were likely ejected from nucleus by the sublimation of hypervolatiles. Mixing ratios of volatiles in comet Hill are indicative of the interstellar heritage without significant alteration in the solar nebula.

  11. The Composition of Comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) from Infrared Spectroscopy: Evidence for an Oxygen-Rich Heritage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiSanti, M. A.; Bonev, B. P.; Villaneueva, G. L.; Paganini, L.; Mumma, M. J.; Charnley, S. B.; Keane, J. V.; Blake, G. A.; Boehnhardt, H.; Lippi, M.

    2012-01-01

    Comets retain relatively primitive icy material remaining from the epoch of Solar System formation, however the extent to which their ices are modified remains a key question in cometary science. One way to address this is to measure the relative abundances of primary (parent) volatiles in comets (i.e., those ices native to the nucleus). High-resolution (lambda/delta lambda greater than 10(exp 4)) infrared spectroscopy is a powerful tool for measuring parent volatiles in comets through their vibrational emissions in the approximately 3-5 micrometer region. With modern instrumentation on world-class telescopes, we can quantify a multitude of species (e.g., H2O, C2H2, CH4, C2H6, CO, H2CO, CH3OH, HCN, NH3), even in comets with modest gas production. In space environments, compounds of keen interest to astrobiology could originate from HCN and NH3 (leading to amino acids), H2CO (leading to sugars), or C2H6, and CH4 (suggested precursors of ethyl- and methylamine). Measuring the abundances of these precursor molecules and their variability among comets contributes to understanding the synthesis of the more complex prebiotic compounds.

  12. The Composition of Comet C/2009 PI (Garradd) from Infrared Spectroscopy: Evidence for an Oxygen-Rich Heritage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiSanti, M. A.; Bonev, B. P.; Villanueva, G. L.; Paganini, L.; Mumma, M. J.; Charnley, S. B.; Keane, J. V.; Meech, K. J.; Blake, G. A.; Boehnhardt, H.; Lippi, M.

    2012-01-01

    Comets retain relatively primitive icy material remaining from the epoch of Solar System for111ation, however the extent to which their ices are modified remains a key question in cometary science. One way to address this is to measure the relative abundances of primary (parent) volatiles in comets (i.e., those ices native to the nucleus). High-resolution (lambda/delta lambda greater than 10(exp 4)) infrared spectroscopy is a powerful tool for measuring parent volatiles in comets through their vibrational emissions in the 3-5 micrometer region. With modern instrumentation on worldclass telescopes, we can quantify a multitude of species (e.g., H2O, C2H2, CH4, C2H6 CO, H2CO, CH3OH, HCN, NH3), even in comets with modest gas production. In space environments, compounds of keen interest to astrobiology could originate from HCN and NH3 (leading to amino acids), H2CO (leading to sugars), or C2H6 and CH4 (suggested precursors of ethyl- and methylamine). Measuring the abundances of these precursor molecules and their variability among comets contributes to understanding the synthesis of the more complex prebiotic compounds.

  13. Effect of meter-scale heterogeneities inside 67P nucleus on CONSERT data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciarletti, Valérie; Lasue, Jérémie; Lemonnier, Florentin; Kofman, Wlodek; Levasseur-Regourd, Anny-Chantal; Herique, Alain; Guiffaut, Christophe

    2016-10-01

    Since their arrival at comet 67P in August 2014, a number of instruments onboard Rosetta's main spacecraft and Philae lander have been observing the surface of the nucleus and revealed details of amazing surficial structures (hundreds of meters deep pits and cliffs, surface roughness of the order of a couple of meters in size, non-continuous apparent layers on both lobes of the comet). After two years of observations, the activity of the comet has also been better constrained, while the origin of sporadic jet activities remains debated. This surficial information is complemented by relevant measurements assessing the nucleus internal structure that have been collected by the CONSERT (Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission) experiment in order to constrain the nucleus formation and evolution.The CONSERT experiment is a bistatic radar with receivers and transmitters on-board both Rosetta's main spacecraft and the Philae lander. The instrument transmits electromagnetic waves at 90 MHz (10 MHz bandwidth) between Philae and Rosetta. The signal propagated through the small lobe of 67P over distances ranging from approximately 200 to 800 meters depending on the spacecraft location and probed a maximum depth of about one hundred meters in the vicinity of the final landing site Abydos. The CONSERT data have been used to obtain an estimate of the permittivity mean value. Thanks to the 10 MHz frequency bandwidth of the signal used by the instrument, a spatial resolution around 10m is obtained inside the sounded volume of the nucleus.In this work, we analyze the effect of internal heterogeneities of 67P on the CONSERT data by simulating the propagation of the signal through a fractal model of the comet interior. We considered for the simulations a range of realistic permittivity values and characteristic sizes of the material heterogeneities. The different parameters values used have an impact on the width of the signal propagating through the modeled

  14. Comets 169P/NEAT and P/2003 T12 (SOHO): Two possible fragments of a common ancestor?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sosa, Andrea; Fernández, Julio Angel

    2015-08-01

    In a recent work we analyzed the orbit evolution of Jupiter family comets in near-Earth orbits, and found some comets moving on highly stable orbits, like the near-Earth asteroids (Fernández & Sosa 2015). Two of them actually show almost identical orbits; they are the comets 169P/NEAT and P/2003 T12 (SOHO). Comet 169P seems to be a few km-sized, almost inactive body, while P/2003 T12 would be a very small comet, with a sub-km radius nucleus. We performed extended orbital integrations for the past 100,000 yr to further study their dynamical evolution. We found that the orbital parameters remain stable for several thousand years, with a well defined absolute minimum of their relative spatial distance around 2900 yr in the past, coincident with a low value of the relative velocity. This spatial minimum is in a remarkable good agreement with the results obtained by means of other methods to study common origins between pairs of asteroids (Vokrouhlicky & Nesvorny 2008, Southworth & Hawkins 1963), and to test a comet-meteor shower association (Drummond 1981). Our results support the hypothesis of a breakup of a parent body, that ocurred about 2900 yr ago, as the most probable origin for the studied pair of comets. Possible fragmentation mechanisms, like thermal stress, rotational instability, or colisions, are briefly discussed.References:Drumond J.D. 1981. Icarus 45, 545-553.Fernández J.A., & Sosa A. 2015. Submitted to Planetary & Space Science.Southworth R.B., & Hawkins, G.S. 1963. Smithson. Contrib. Astrophys. 7, 261-285Vokrouhlicky D., & Nesvorny D. 2008. Astron. J. 136, 280-290.

  15. Spacecraft fleet to comet Halley - an introduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsurutani, B.T.

    1985-01-01

    Questions related to the formation and the characteristics of comets are discussed, and it is suggested that an evolutionary link exists between comets, prebiotic organic synthesis, and the origin of life as it is known. Fundamental questions about the solar wind interaction with comets, are considered, giving attention to the ionization mechanisms in the different cometary regions, the presence of field-aligned currents, and the cometary plasma tail. It is pointed out that some of the questions will soon be answered when the NASA-ESA International Cometary Explorer (ICE) goes through the tail of Giacobini-Zinner in September 1985, and when a five spacecraft fleet arrives at comet Halley in March 1986. 14 references.

  16. The seeding of life by comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, J. M.; Mendoza-Gomez, Celia X.

    1992-01-01

    The chemical and morphological structures of comets and interstellar dust are reviewed to demonstrate the feasibility of comets providing the necessary prebiotic molecules for the formation of life on the early earth. The chemical evolution of interstellar dust is shown to be the source of organics in comets, and the molecules observed in the grains are listed as are the products resulting from grain photolysis. It is emphasized that comets could only transfer prebiotic molecules to the earth if they are fluffy aggregates that break up into fine fragments. The contributions to the early earth are considered in terms of the competition between the evolution of the living organisms and the destructive effects of impacts. It is considered that life began as the bombardment during the first 5 x 10 exp 8 years began to tail off.

  17. Nucleus of the active Centaur C/2011 P2 (PANSTARRS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzotta Epifani, E.; Perna, D.; Dotto, E.; Palumbo, P.; Dall'Ora, M.; Micheli, M.; Ieva, S.; Perozzi, E.

    2017-01-01

    Aims: In this paper we present observations of the active Centaur C/2011 P2 (PANSTARRS), showing a compact comet-like coma at the heliocentric distance of rh = 9 au. The observations were obtained in the framework of a wider program on Centaurs aimed at searching for comet-like activity in several targets outside Jupiter's aphelion. Methods: We analysed visible images of the Centaur taken at the TNG telescope in the R filter to investigate the level of coma contributing to the target brightness and to derive information on its nucleus size. Results: Centaur C/2011 P2 (PANSTARRS) shows a faint but still detectable comet-like activity, which accounts for more than 50% to the observed brightness. The coma contribution has been subtracted in order to derive an estimate for the Centaur's diameter of D 16 km, assuming an albedo of A = 0.07 (average of albedo measured within the Centaur group). The results for Centaur C/2011 P2 (PANSTARRS) fit in the general picture of the group: Centaurs with smaller perihelion distance q and semi-major axis a are smaller than those remaining farther from the Sun during their orbital path, thus reinforcing the idea that active Centaurs are "comets in fieri". Based on observations collected at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), operated on the island of La Palma by the Centro Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.

  18. Extreme Environment Sampling System Deployment Mechanism Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Future Venus or Comet mission architectures may feature robotic sampling systems comprised of a Sampling Tool and Deployment Mechanism. Since 2005, Honeybee has been...

  19. The seeding of life by comets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenberg, J M; Mendoza-Gomez, C X

    1992-01-01

    The evidence that living organisms were already extant on the earth almost 4 Gyr ago and that early bombardment by comets and asteroids created a hostile environment up to about this time has revived the question of how it was possible for prebiotic chemical evolution to have provided the necessary ingredients for life to have developed in the short intervening time. The actual bracketed available temporal space is no more than 0.5 Gyr and probably much less. Was this sufficient time for an earth-based source of the first simple organic precursor molecules to have led to the level of the prokaryotic cell? If not, then the difficulty would be resolved if the ancient earth was impregnated by organic molecular seed from outer space. Curiously, it seems that the most likely source of such seeds was the same a one of the sources of the hostile enviroment, namely the comets which bombarded the earth. With the knowledge of comets gained by the space missions it has become clear that a very large fraction of the chemical composition of comet nuclei consists of quite complex organic molecules. Furthermore it has been demonstrated that comets consist of very fluffy aggregates of interstellar dust whose chemistry derives from photoprocessing of simple ice mixtures in space. Thus, the ultimate source of organics in comets comes from the chemical evolution of interstellar dust. An important and critical justification for assuming that interstellar dust is the ultimate source of prebiotic molecular insertion on the earth is the proof that comets are extremely fluffy aggregates, which have the possibility of breaking up into finely divided fragments when the comet impacts the earth's atmosphere. In the following we will summarize the properties of interstellar dust and the chemical and morphological structure of comets indicated by the most recent interpretations of comet observations. It will be shown that the suitable condition for comets having provided abundant prebiotic

  20. Triggering Comet-Like Activity of Main Belt Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. Watching a Long Period Comet Turn On – C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meech, Karen Jean; Sorli, Kya; Kleyna, Jan; Keane, Jacqueline; Bauer, James M.; Micheli, Marco; Schambeau, Charles Alfred; Sarid, Gal; Hainaut, Olivier; Yang, Bin; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Boe, Benjamin; Kramer, Emily A.; Bhatt, Bhuwan; Sahu, Devendra

    2016-10-01

    Comet C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) was discovered on 2015 March 14 by the PS1 survey. The object is on a long period comet orbit but is not dynamically new (a = 3224.1 AU, e = 0.99967, I = 6.1882 degrees) and will come to perihelion at 1.042 AU on 2017 May 9. At the time of its discovery, at a heliocentric distance of r=8.44 AU, the object appeared inactive. We considered it as a Manx object candidate (an object on long-period comet orbits which exhibit minimal or no activity even near the Sun; Meech et al. 2016) for follow-up observations to obtain its surface spectral reflectivity. Data were obtained of the nucleus with the Gemini North 8-m telescope through griz filters on 2015 June 12.3 UT at r=7.74 AU. The composite images showed weak activity in the form of a slightly extended PSF (FWHM=1.0 arcsec compared with 0.8 arcsec seeing), and a weak tail-like extension, 2 arcsec long at PA~120 degrees. Additional grizY data from Gemini were obtained on 2016 Feb. 4 at r=5.70 AU when the comet was much more active, allowing for a comparison of the surface and coma spectral reflectivities. The WISE observatory also detected C/2015 ER61 on 2015 Dec. 23 and 2016 May 25 at r=6.09 and r=4.64 AU, respectively. We will report on the nucleus characteristics for C/2015 ER61 based on the NEOWISE and Gemini observations. The NEOWISE observations will also be used to place limits on the amount of CO2 outgassing from the comet. Serendipitous observations were also collected with the VST on Paranal at 11 and 6.2 AU. We have used this data in addition to photometry obtained from the CFHT 3.6m and UH2.2m telescopes on Maunakea the HCT 2m telescope in India, and pre-discovery data from the PS1 survey to model the onset of activity. A strong indication for this activity to be driven by deeply-buried CO or CO2 is shown by preliminary modeling. C/2015 ER61 is therefore a rare case of a long-period comet discovered and characterized before the activity started, and whose sublimation onset was

  2. The comet assay: a heavenly method!

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Atlas of Secular Light Curves of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrin, Ignacio

    2007-12-01

    We have completed work on the secular light curves of 30 periodic and non-periodic comets. The objectives and approach of this project has been explained in Ferrin (Icarus, 178, 493-516, 2005). Each comet requires 2 plots. The time plot shows the reduced (to Δ = 1 AU) magnitude of the comet as a function of time, thus displaying the brightness history of the object. The log plot is a reflected double log plot. The reflection takes place at R=1 AU, to allow the determination of the absolute magnitude by extrapolation. 22 photometric parameters are measured from the plots, most of them new. The plots have been collected in a document that constitutes "The Atlas". We have defined a photometric age, P-AGE, that attempts to measure the age of a comet based on its activity. P-AGE has been scaled to human ages to help in its interpretation. We find that comets Hale-Bopp and 29P/SW 1, are baby comets (P-AGE 100 cy). The secular light curve of 9P/Tempel 1 exhibits sublimation due to H2O and due to CO. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimento to be visited by the Rossetta spacecraft in 2014 exhibits a photometric anomaly. Comet 65P/Gunn exhibits a lag in maximum brightness of LAG = + 254 days after perihelion. We suggest that the pole is pointing to the sun at that time. The secular light curves will be presented and a preliminary interpretation will be advanced. The secular light curves present complexity beyond current understanding. The observations described in this work were carried out at the National Observatory of Venezuela (ONV), managed by the Center for Research in Astronomy (CIDA), for the Ministry of Science and Technology (MinCyT).

  4. On the classification of comet plasma tails

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mozhenkov, E. R.; Vaisberg, O. L.

    2017-07-01

    The investigation of plasma tails of comets is an important part of comet research. Different classifications of plasma tails of comets are proposed. Plasma acceleration in the tails is investigated in sufficient detail. Several cometary forms are explained. Plasma tails of Mars and Venus were observed during the first studies of these planets. They are associated with the capture of ionized atoms and exosphere molecules by the solar wind magnetized plasma flow. Distinct plasma tails of Mars and Venus are caused by the mass loading of the solar wind with heavy ions. It was shown that the transverse dimension of the tails of Mars, Venus, and comets can be quite accurately determined by production rate of the obstacle to the solar wind flow. While plasma tails of Mars and Venus are investigated by in situ measurements from spacecraft, observations of comet tails from the Earth make it possible to see the entire object under study and to monitor changes in its structure. A certain similarity of cometary and planetary tails can be explained by the nonmagnetic nature of both types of bodies. Thus, it is reasonable to suppose that investigations of plasma tails of comets can supplement the information obtained by in situ methods of the study of the planets. In this paper, plasma tails of comets, presumably analogous to the plasma tails of Mars and Venus, have been identified on modern photographs of comets (more than 1500 photographs viewed). Only quasi-steady laminar tails are considered. They are divided into two types: double structures and outflows. The paper attempts to define the 3D structure of double structures and to determine certain characteristics of outflows.

  5. Measurements at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with the Dust Impact Monitor (SESAME-DIM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flandes, A.; Albin, T.; Arnold, W.; Fischer, H. H.; Hirn, A.; Krüger, H.; Podolak, M.; Seidensticker, K. J.; Péter, A.

    2015-12-01

    The Rosetta lander Philae successfully landed on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014. Philae carries the Dust Impact Monitor (DIM) on board, which is part of the Surface Electric Sounding and Acoustic Monitoring Experiment (SESAME). The DIM sensor -on top of Philae- with its associate electronics consists of a 7 cm wide cube with piezoelectric plates aimed to detect millimetric and submilimetric dust particles. Through DIM we can estimate dynamical data like flux and the directionality of the impacting particles. Mass and speed of the grains can be constrained for pre-defined density and elastic grain properties. DIM was operated during three mission phases of Philae at the comet: (1) Before Philae's separation from Rosetta at distances of about 9.6 km, 11.8 km, and 25.3 km from the nucleus barycenter. In this mission phase particles released from the nucleus on radial trajectories remained undetectable because of significant obscuration by the structures of Rosetta, and no dust particles were indeed detected. (2) During Philae's six hours descent to its nominal landing site Agilkia, DIM detected one approximately millimeter-sized particle at a distance of 4.97 km from the nucleus' barycenter, corresponding to an altitude of 2.4 km from the surface. This is the closest ever dust detection at a cometary nucleus by a dedicated in-situ dust detector. Laboratory calibration experiments showed that the material properties of the detected particle are compatible with a porous grain having a bulk density of approximately 250kg/m3 and a high porosity. Particles leaving the comet on radial trajectories were detectable with only a very small sensitive area of the DIM sensor while backfalling particles or particles in orbit about the nucleus had a more favorable detection geometry. (3) At Philae's final landing site, Abydos, DIM detected no dust impact which may be due to low cometary activity in the vicinity of Philae, or due to shading by

  6. Spectral mapping of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with VLT/MUSE and SINFONI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurelie; Besse, Sebastien; Snodgrass, Colin; Yang, Bin

    2016-10-01

    Comets are supposedly the most primitive objects in the solar system, preserving the earliest record of material from the nebula out of which our Sun and planets were formed, and thus holding crucial clues on the early phases of the solar system formation and evolution. For most small bodies in the solar system we can only access the surface properties, whereas active comet nuclei lose material from their subsurface, so that understanding cometary activity represents an unique opportunity to assess their internal composition, and by extension the composition, the temperature and pressure conditions of the protoplanetary disk at their place of formation.The ESA/Rosetta mission is performing the most thorough investigation of a comet ever made. Rosetta is measuring properties of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at distances between 5 and hundreds of km from the nucleus. However, it is unable to make any measurement over the thousands of km of the rest of the coma. Fortunately, the outer coma is accessible from the ground. In addition, we currently lack an understanding of how the very detailed information gathered from space-based observations can be extrapolated to the many ground-based observations that we can potentially perform. Combining parallel in situ observations with observations from the ground therefore gives us a great opportunity, not only to understand the behavior of 67P, but also to other comets observed exclusively from Earth. As part of the many observations taken from the ground, we have performed a spectral mapping of 67's coma using two IFU instruments mounted on the VLT: MUSE in the visible, and SINFONI in the near-infrared. The observations, carried out in March 2016, will be presented and discussed.

  7. Neutrino nucleus cross sections

    CERN Document Server

    Athar, M Sajjad; Singh, S K; Vacas, M J Vicente

    2008-01-01

    We present the results of our calculation which has been performed to study the nuclear effects in the quasielastic, inelastic and deep inelastic scattering of neutrinos(antineutrinos) from nuclear targets. These calculations are done in the local density approximation. We take into account the effect of Pauli blocking, Fermi motion, Coulomb effect, renormalization of weak transition strengths in the nuclear medium in the case of the quasielastic reaction. The inelastic reaction leading to production of pions is calculated in a $\\Delta $- dominance model taking into account the renormalization of $\\Delta$ properties in the nuclear medium and the final state interaction effects of the outgoing pions with the residual nucleus. We discuss the nuclear effects in the $F_{3}^{A}(x)$ structure function in the deep inelastic neutrino(antineutrino) reaction using a relativistic framework to describe the nucleon spectral function in the nucleus.

  8. Compositional maps of 67P/CG nucleus surface after perihelion passage by Rosetta/VIRTIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filacchione, Gianrico; Ciarniello, M.; Capaccioni, F.; Raponi, A.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Tosi, F.; Migliorini, Alessandra; Piccioni, G.; Cerroni, P.; Capria, M. T.; Erard, S.; Bockelee-Morvan, D.; Leyrat, C.; Arnold, G.; Barucci, M. A.; Schmitt, B.; Quirico, E.

    2016-11-01

    Moving after perihelion passage (August 13th 2015), VIRTIS-M the 0.25-5.0 μm imaging spectrometer on board Rosetta has mapped again the north and equatorial regions of 67P/CG's nucleus with the scope to trace color and composition evolution of the surface. With the loss of the IR channel due to the active cryogenic cooler failure occurred in May 2015, VIRTIS-M has observed only with the VIS channel in the 0.25-1.0 μm spectral range. Despite this limitation, the returned data are valuable in performing a comparison of surface properties between pre and post-perihelion times. Approaching perihelion passage, 67P/CG's nucleus has experienced a general brightening due to the removal of the surficial dust layer caused by the more intense gaseous activity with the consequent exposure of a larger fraction of water ice. Coma observations by VIRTIS during pre-perihelion have shown a correlation between the areas of the nucleus where gaseous activity by water ice sublimation is more intense with the surface brightening caused by dust removal. After having applied data calibration and photometric correction, VIRTIS data are projected on the irregularly shaped digital model6 of 67P/CG with the aim to derive visible albedo and colors maps rendered with a spatial resolution of 0.5×0.5 deg in latitude-longitude, corresponding to a sampling of about 15 m/pixel. Dedicated mapping sequences executed at different heliocentric distances, are employed to follow the dynamical evolution of the surface. Direct comparison between compositional maps obtained at the same heliocentric distances along inbound and outbound orbits allows to evidence the changes occurred on the same areas of the surface. In this context, the first VIRTIS-M maps, obtained in August 2014 at heliocentric distance of 3.4 AU along the inbound orbit with a solar phase angle of about 30-45° are compared with the last ones, taken in June 2016 at 3.2 AU from the Sun on the outbound trajectory at solar phases of about

  9. Finding long-lost Comet Lexell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiegert, Paul

    2015-11-01

    Comet D/1770 L1 (Lexell) made the closest observed pass by a comet to the Earth at approximately 0.015 AU on 1 July 1770. A naked-eye object observed by many astronomers of the time, it was subsequently lost: the best contemporary estimates had it removed from its 1770 orbit by Jupiter in 1779 and sent to the outer Solar System.Near-Earth asteroid 2010 JL33 has an orbit similar to that followed by Lexell's comet during its observed apparition. However, this NEA's nominal orbit, which is well-known on the basis of a decade-long arc which includes radar observations, does not approach the Earth at the correct time to be Lexell's comet. That is, unless modest non-gravitational forces are applied, in which case the famous near-miss can be reproduced.Modern measurements of 2010 JL33 together with those Lexell's comet made in the 18th century -which include motion exceeding 40 degrees per day on the sky at closest approach- provide exquisite constraints on the dynamical processes at work, cometary, Yarkovsky or other. I will discuss the implications of and the conditions required for asteroid 2010 JL33 to be, in fact, long-lost comet Lexell.

  10. Heavy flavor in nucleus-nucleus and proton-nucleus: quenching, flow and correlations

    CERN Document Server

    Nardi, M; De Pace, A; Monteno, M; Prino, F

    2015-01-01

    We present recent results for heavy-flavor observables in nucleus-nucleus collisions at LHC energies, obtained with the POWLANG transport setup. The initial creation of c-cbar and b-bbar pairs is simulated with a perturbative QCD approach (POWHEG+PYTHIA); their propagation in the medium (created in the nucleus-nucleus or in proton-nucleus collision) is studied with the relativistic Langevin equation, here solved using weak-coupling transport coefficients. Successively, the heavy quarks hadronize in the medium. We compute the nuclear modification factor and the elliptic flow parameter of the final D mesons both in nucleus-nucleus and in (for the first time, in the POWLANG setup) proton-nucleus collisions and compare our results to experimental data.

  11. The chemical and physical properties of the hydroxide, cyanide and carbon jets in comet Hale-Bopp (1995 O1)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, Susan Maria

    Comet Hale-Bopp is the brightest comet observed in the last 25 years, and has afforded us an opportunity to gain new insights into the physical and chemical properties of comets. Coma jets are evident in continuum (dust), CN, C2 images, and for the first time in any comet, in OH narrowband images. In this study, the source of the coma jets is investigated through Monte Carlo modeling. An extended source that does not peak in productivity at the nucleus, combined with a nuclear gas source, is required to reproduce the data for all three gas species. Sub-micron organic CHON grains are the favored candidate for the extended source. Results from Monte Carlo modeling indicate that approximately 40% of the OH, 50% of the C2, and 75% of the CN is produced by the extended source. The balance for each is created by a nuclear gas source. Compared with the nuclear gas source, the composition of the extended source is depleted in OH by a factor of ˜4 to 7, and depleted in C2 by a factor of ˜2. Jet width and projected expansion velocities are estimated. The latter indicates that the gases in the coma accelerate to distances of at least 100,000 km from the nucleus. Comet Hale-Bopp's high production rates and large collisional zone explain the acceleration in the coma. The number (5) and the locations of the gas jets necessary to reproduce the observed coma morphology for all three species are constrained for images taken during April, 1997. Four of the five active areas on the comet's surface appeared to be emitting the same relative mixture of OH, CN, and C2. The fifth area (located at ˜12°S latitude) is richer in OH than the other active areas. This suggests that the composition of the nucleus is not entirely homogeneous. A high thermal inertia, which would allow production of the radicals throughout the cometary night, is not necessary to explain the existence of the anti-sunward gas jets. Instead, active areas that exist in near-twilight conditions throughout the comet

  12. HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE PRE-PERIHELION ACS/WFC IMAGING POLARIMETRY OF COMET ISON (C/2012 S1) AT 3.81 AU

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hines, Dean C.; Mutchler, Max; Hammer, Derek [Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States); Videen, Gorden; Sitko, Michael L.; Yanamandra-Fisher, Padmavati A. [Space Science Institute, 4750 Walnut Street, Suite 205, Boulder, CO 80301 (United States); Zubko, Evgenij; Muinonen, Karri [Department of Physics, P.O. Box 64, FI-00014 University of Helsinki (Finland); Shkuratov, Yuriy; Kaydash, Vadim G. [Astronomical Institute of V. N. Karazin University, Kharkov, 61058 (Ukraine); Knight, Matthew M. [Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States); Lisse, Carey M. [Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States)

    2014-01-10

    We present polarization images of Comet ISON (C/2012 S1) taken with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) on UTC 2013 May 8 (r {sub h} = 3.81 AU, Δ = 4.34 AU), when the phase angle was α ≈ 12.°16. This phase angle is approximately centered in the negative polarization branch for cometary dust. The region beyond 1000 km (∼0.32 arcsec ≈ 6 pixels) from the nucleus shows a negative polarization amplitude of p% ∼ –1.6%. Within 1000 km of the nucleus, the polarization position angle rotates to be approximately perpendicular to the scattering plane, with an amplitude p% ∼ +2.5%. Such positive polarization has been observed previously as a characteristic feature of cometary jets, and we show that Comet ISON does indeed harbor a jet-like feature. These HST observations of Comet ISON represent the first visible light, imaging polarimetry with subarcsecond spatial resolution of a Nearly Isotropic Comet beyond 3.8 AU from the Sun at a small phase angle. The observations provide an early glimpse of the properties of the cometary dust preserved in this Oort-Cloud comet.

  13. Colors of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's active pits and their surroundings as seen by OSIRIS on board Rosetta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oklay, Nilda; Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Besse, Sebastien; Fornasier, Sonia; Barucci, Maria Antonietta; Lara, Luisa; Scholten, Frank; Preusker, Frank; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lazzarin, Monica; Sierks, Holger; Hall, Ian

    2015-04-01

    The OSIRIS scientific imager (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System, Keller et al. 2007) on board ESA's spacecraft Rosetta is an instrument designed to observe the comet nucleus with high spatial resolution, down to a few centimeters per pixel, to provide color information of the surface using its narrow angle camera (NAC) thanks to set of dedicated filters. OSIRIS is successfully observing comet 67P in the spectral range of about 250-1000 nm since Rosetta's arrival to the comet in the summer 2014. The illuminated northern hemisphere of the comet nucleus was mapped with various spatial resolutions (down to 15 cm/px in some regions). Besides the determination of the surface morphology in great details, such high resolution images provided us a mean to unambiguously link some activity in the coma to a series of pits on the nucleus surface (Vincent et al. 2014). This work focuses on color variations inside and in the vicinity of these active pits. Using filter ratios to limit the effect of topography and illumination conditions, we found that the floor and walls of the pits exhibit the same less red slope of the active Hapi region. We measured a ratio of reflectance (IR)/reflectance (Blue) = 1.8 in the active area and pits while it is 2.1 elsewhere on the nucleus. A full understanding of the compositional implications will require a dedicated investigation, but our preliminary results indicate already that this spectral variation is characteristic of currently active regions on 67P. Indeed, on a large scale, comet 67P's global spectrum shows a red slope also known from the ground based observations, slightly less red in the most active area (Hapi region) when compared to the average comet surface. Variegation is also found in other places showing activity such as the active pits mentioned above. The analysis is now extended to the photometrically corrected data set in order to be able to compare observations taken under different illumination

  14. Observation of a New Type of Low Frequency Waves at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    CERN Document Server

    Richter, I; Auster, H -U; Fruehauff, D; Goetz, C; Heinisch, P; Perschke, C; Motschmann, U; Stoll, B; Altwegg, K; Burch, J; Carr, C; Cupido, E; Eriksson, A; Henri, P; Goldstein, R; Lebreton, J -P; Mokashi, P; Nemeth, Z; Nilsson, H; Rubin, M; Szegoe, K; Tsurutani, B T; Vallat, C; Volwerk, M; Glassmeier, K -H

    2015-01-01

    We report on magnetic field measurements made in the innermost coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in its low activity state. Quasi-coherent, large-amplitude ($\\delta B/B \\sim 2$), compressional magnetic field oscillations at $\\sim$ 40 mHz dominate the immediate plasma environment of the nucleus. This differs from previously studied comet-interaction regions where waves at the cometary ion gyro-frequencies are the main feature. Thus classical pick-up ion driven instabilities are unable to explain the observations. We propose a cross-field current instability associated with newborn cometary ion currents as a possible source mechanism.

  15. 8- to 13-micron spectrophotometry of Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feierberg, M. A.; Witteborn, F. C.; Johnson, J. R.; Campins, H.

    1984-01-01

    Spectrophotometry between 8.0 and 13.0 microns at 2 percent spectral resolution is presented for areas in and near the nuclear condensation of Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock (1983d) on May 11 and 12, 1983. All the spectra can be fit very well by blackbody curves, and no 10-micron silicate emissions are seen. The temperature structure of the coma suggests the presence of small (radii less than 5 microns) dust particles within 150 km of the nucleus and larger ones further out. The change in the spatial distribution of the infrared flux between the two nights suggests that an outburst may have occurred sometime on May 11.

  16. Genotoxicity testing of samples generated during UV/H2O2 treatment of surface water for the production of drinking water using the Ames test in vitro and the Comet assay and the SCE test in vivo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Penders, E.J.M.; Martijn, A.J.; Spenkelink, A.; Alink, G.M.; Rietjens, I.; Hoogenboezem, W.

    2012-01-01

    UV/H2O2 treatment can be part of the process converting surface water to drinking water, but would pose a potential problem when resulting in genotoxicity. This study investigates the genotoxicity of samples collected from the water treatment plant Andijk, applying UV/H2O2 treatment with an electric

  17. The Comet With a Broken Heart

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. Prebiotic chemicals--amino acid and phosphorus--in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    International audience; The importance of comets for the origin of life on Earth has been advocated for many decades. Amino acids are key ingredients in chemistry, leading to life as we know it. Many primitive meteorites contain amino acids, and it is generally believed that these are formed by aqueous alterations. In the collector aerogel and foil samples of the Stardust mission after the flyby at comet Wild 2, the simplest form of amino acids, glycine, has been found together with precursor...

  19. Prebiotic chemicals--amino acid and phosphorus--in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    The importance of comets for the origin of life on Earth has been advocated for many decades. Amino acids are key ingredients in chemistry, leading to life as we know it. Many primitive meteorites contain amino acids, and it is generally believed that these are formed by aqueous alterations. In the collector aerogel and foil samples of the Stardust mission after the flyby at comet Wild 2, the simplest form of amino acids, glycine, has been found together with precursor molecules methylamine a...

  20. "The 2009 Apparition of Methuselah Comet 107P/Wilson-Harrington: A Case of Comet Rejuvenation?"

    CERN Document Server

    Ferrín, I; Hamanowa, Hiroko; Hernández, J; Sira, E; Sánchez, A; Zhao, H; Miles, R

    2012-01-01

    (1) We find that comet 107P/WH was active in 1949, 1979, 1992, 2005, and 2009. (2) Its age can be measured. We find T-AGE=4700 comet years, WB-AGE=7800 cy. (3) This is a methuselah comet very near to its dormancy phase, being temporarily rejuvenated due to a diminution of its perihelion distance. (4) We measured the diameter as Deffe=3.67\\pm0.06 km, and the rotational period, Prot=6.093\\pm0.002 h. (5) We define the region of the graveyard of comets, and three comets belong to the graveyard: 107P/Wilson-Harrington, 133P/Elst-Pizarro and D/1891W1 Blanpain.

  1. The Composition of the Interior of Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3: Results from Narrowband Photometry of Multiple Components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleicher, David G.; Bair, Allison N.

    2011-06-01

    We present analyses of and results for multiple components of Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 at two apparitions. A total of eight nights of narrowband photometry were obtained during the comet's 2006 apparition from February 25 to September 24 at Lowell Observatory. The comet's very close passage of Earth and sporadic outbursts allowed us to successfully measure the primary body, "C," as well as components "B," "G," and "R." We additionally include four nights of narrowband photometry from 1995, obtained at Perth Observatory between October 19 and November 21, one to two months after the initial fragmentation event and outburst. We determined production rates for OH, NH, CN, C3, and C2, along with a proxy for the dust production, A(θ)fρ, and our 2006 measurements show considerable variation in behavior among the components, and for the gas species as compared to the dust grains. The two components having the best temporal coverage, C and B, both exhibit evidence for strong seasonal effects with larger production rates prior to perihelion than after. Because C showed little or no evidence of outbursts, its derived active area (based on water production rates) appears to be dominated by ice vaporizing from the nucleus; the fractional active area of the total nucleus surface varied from 56% (2006 February) to 125% (May) and back down to 11% (September) following perihelion. Except for when Component B was in outburst, C always had higher production rates than B, implying a significantly larger effective active area on its nucleus' surface. Unlike the gas species, dust production showed large and varying trends with both aperture size and with time, implying a significant change in the properties of the dust grains during the 2006 apparition. Due to the fragmentation event in 1995, the majority of active surfaces on the various components observed in 2006 are freshly exposed from the interior of Schwassmann-Wachmann 3's nucleus, thus permitting us to directly probe

  2. Observation of the activity of selected Oort Cloud comets with perihelia at large distances from the Sun

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulyk, Iryna; Rousselot, Philippe; Korsun, Pavlo

    2016-10-01

    Many comets exhibit considerable level of activity at large distances from the Sun, where sublimation of crystalline water ice cannot account for observable comae. Different patterns of physical activity already observed at large heliocentric distances may be related to the primordial differences in the composition of comet nuclei. Therefore, monitoring of physical activity in the wide range of heliocentric distances can potentially contribute to understanding of internal structure of comet-like bodies. We have observed ten long periodic comets with orbital perihelia lying beyond the "water ice sublimation zone" to quantify the level of physical activity in the wide range of heliocentric distances. Pre-perihelion observations were made when targets moved between 16.7 and 6.5 au from the Sun; post perihelion activity was monitored between 5.2 and 10.6 au. The bulk of the data were gathered with the 2-m Robotic Liverpool Telescope (Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain). Some targets were observed with the 2-m RC Telescope located at Peak Terskol Observatory and the 6-m Telescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory (Northern Caucasus, Russia). Since most of recently obtained spectra of distant active objects are continuum dominated, we use B, V, R images to estimate dust production rates, an upper limit on nucleus radii, and color indices of near nucleus region. The comets C/2005 L3 (McNaught) and C/2006 S3 (Boattini), which exhibit the considerable level of activity, have been repeatedly observed. This enables us to infer the heliocentric dependence of dust production rates, perihelion brightness asymmetries, and color variations over the comae caused possibly by small changes in dust particle properties.

  3. Influence of experimental conditions on data variability in the liver comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guérard, M; Marchand, C; Plappert-Helbig, U

    2014-03-01

    The in vivo comet assay has increasingly been used for regulatory genotoxicity testing in recent years. While it has been demonstrated that the experimental execution of the assay, for example, electrophoresis or scoring, can have a strong impact on the results; little is known on how initial steps, that is, from tissue sampling during necropsy up to slide preparation, can influence the comet assay results. Therefore, we investigated which of the multitude of steps in processing the liver for the comet assay are most critical. All together eight parameters were assessed by using liver samples of untreated animals. In addition, two of those parameters (temperature and storage time of liver before embedding into agarose) were further investigated in animals given a single oral dose of ethyl methanesulfonate at dose levels of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg, 3 hr prior to necropsy. The results showed that sample cooling emerged as the predominant influence factor, whereas variations in other elements of the procedure (e.g., size of the liver piece sampled, time needed to process the liver tissue post-mortem, agarose temperature, or time of lysis) seem to be of little relevance. Storing of liver samples of up to 6 hr under cooled conditions did not cause an increase in tail intensity. In contrast, storing the tissue at room temperature, resulted in a considerable time-dependent increase in comet parameters.

  4. Nucleus-nucleus potential with shell-correction contribution

    CERN Document Server

    Denisov, V Yu

    2015-01-01

    The full relaxed-density potential between spherical nuclei is considered as a sum of the macroscopic and shell-correction contributions. The macroscopic part of the potential is related to a nucleus-nucleus potential obtained in the framework of the extended Thomas-Fermi approach with the Skyrme and Coulomb forces and the relaxed-density ansatz for evaluation of proton and neutron densities of interacting nuclei. A simple prescription for the shell-correction part of the total potential is discussed. The parameters of the shell-correction and macroscopic parts of the relaxed-density potential are found by fitting the empirical barrier heights of the 89 nucleus-nucleus systems as well as macroscopic potentials evaluated for 1485 nucleus-nucleus systems at 12 distances around touching points.

  5. Neutrino-nucleus interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallagher, H.; /Tufts U.; Garvey, G.; /Los Alamos; Zeller, G.P.; /Fermilab

    2011-01-01

    The study of neutrino oscillations has necessitated a new generation of neutrino experiments that are exploring neutrino-nuclear scattering processes. We focus in particular on charged-current quasi-elastic scattering, a particularly important channel that has been extensively investigated both in the bubble-chamber era and by current experiments. Recent results have led to theoretical reexamination of this process. We review the standard picture of quasi-elastic scattering as developed in electron scattering, review and discuss experimental results, and discuss additional nuclear effects such as exchange currents and short-range correlations that may play a significant role in neutrino-nucleus scattering.

  6. Antineutron-nucleus annihilation

    CERN Document Server

    Botta, E

    2001-01-01

    The n-nucleus annihilation process has been studied by the OBELIX experiment at the CERN Low Energy Antiproton Ring (LEAR) in the (50-400) MeV/c projectile momentum range on C, Al, Cu, Ag, Sn, and Pb nuclear targets. A systematic survey of the annihilation cross- section, sigma /sub alpha /(A, p/sub n/), has been performed, obtaining information on its dependence on the target mass number and on the incoming n momentum. For the first time the mass number dependence of the (inclusive) final state composition of the process has been analyzed. Production of the rho vector meson has also been examined. (13 refs).

  7. Evolution of CO 2 , CH 4 , and OCS abundances relative to H 2 O in the coma of comet 67P around perihelion from Rosetta /VIRTIS-H observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Crovisier, J.; Erard, S.; Capaccioni, F.; Leyrat, C.; Filacchione, G.; Drossart, P.; Encrenaz, T.; Biver, N.; de Sanctis, M.-C.; Schmitt, B.; Kührt, E.; Capria, M.-T.; Combes, M.; Combi, M.; Fougere, N.; Arnold, G.; Fink, U.; Ip, W.; Migliorini, A.; Piccioni, G.; Tozzi, G.

    2016-11-01

    Infrared observations of the coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko were carried out from July to September 2015, i.e., around perihelion (13 August 2015), with the high-resolution channel of the VIRTIS instrument onboard Rosetta. We present the analysis of fluorescence emission lines of H$_2$O, CO$_2$, $^{13}$CO$_2$, OCS, and CH$_4$ detected in limb sounding with the field of view at 2.7-5 km from the comet centre. Measurements are sampling outgassing from the illuminated southern hemisphere, as revealed by H$_2$O and CO$_2$ raster maps, which show anisotropic distributions, aligned along the projected rotation axis. An abrupt increase of water production is observed six days after perihelion. In the mean time, CO$_2$, CH$_4$, and OCS abundances relative to water increased by a factor of 2 to reach mean values of 32%, 0.47%, and 0.18%, respectively, averaging post-perihelion data. We interpret these changes as resulting from the erosion of volatile-poor surface layers. Sustained dust ablation due to the sublimation of water ice maintained volatile-rich layers near the surface until at least the end of the considered period, as expected for low thermal inertia surface layers. The large abundance measured for CO$_2$ should be representative of the 67P nucleus original composition, and indicates that 67P is a CO$_2$-rich comet. Comparison with abundance ratios measured in the northern hemisphere shows that seasons play an important role in comet outgassing. The low CO$_2$/H$_2$O values measured above the illuminated northern hemisphere are not original, but the result of the devolatilization of the uppermost layers.

  8. Color Systematics of Comets and Related Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  9. Satellite Meteorology Education & Training Resources from COMET

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abshire, W. E.; Dills, P. N.; Weingroff, M.; Lee, T. F.

    2012-12-01

    The COMET® Program (www.comet.ucar.edu) receives funding from NOAA NESDIS as well as EUMETSAT and the Meteorological Service of Canada to support education and training in satellite meteorology. These partnerships enable COMET to create educational materials of global interest on geostationary and polar-orbiting remote sensing platforms. These materials focus on the capabilities and applications of current and next-generation satellites and their relevance to operational forecasters and other user communities. By partnering with experts from the Naval Research Laboratory, NOAA-NESDIS and its Cooperative Institutes, Meteorological Service of Canada, EUMETSAT, and other user communities, COMET stimulates greater use of satellite data observations and products. This presentation provides an overview of COMET's recent satellite education efforts in the area of polar orbiting satellites. COMET has a new module on Suomi NPP, which describes the satellite system and discusses the improvements that it is bringing to forecasting, numerical weather prediction, and environmental monitoring. COMET has also published an updated version of its module on the VIIRS instrument. "Imaging with VIIRS: A Convergence of Technologies and Experience, 2nd Edition" covers the instrument's enhanced capabilities by examining the systems that contributed to its development. Special attention is paid to the Day/Night Visible channel as VIIRS is the first instrument on a civilian satellite to image atmospheric and terrestrial features with and without moonlight. An upcoming module will exclusively focus on nighttime imaging with the VIIRS Day/Night Band (DNB). "Applications of the VIIRS Day-Night Band" will introduce the capabilities of DNB imagery to a wide audience ranging from forecasters and emergency managers to wildfire fighters and oceanographers. DNB products will be compared to traditional satellite products made from infrared data, including the "fog" product. Users will learn how DNB

  10. Philae: Operations on Comet 67P/Churyumoc-Gerasimenko. Lessons learned for future missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulamec, Stephan; Biele, Jens; Witte, Lars; Fantinati, Cinzia; Geurts, Koen; Jurado, Eric; Maibaum, Michael; Delmas, Cedric

    2016-07-01

    Philae a comet Lander which is part of the ESA Rosetta mission successfully landed on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 12th, 2014. After several (unplanned) bounces it performed a First Scientific Sequence (FSS), based on the energy stored in it's on board batteries. All ten instruments of the Philae payload have been operated at least once. Due to the fact that the final landing site was poorly illuminated, Philae went into hibernation on November 15th, but signals from the Lander were received again in June and July 2015. However, attempts to re-establish reliable and stable communications links, unfortunately, failed. Analysis of the data gained during FSS, including housekeeping and interpretation of the bouncing trajectory allow conclusions on the comet surface properties. Together with the rich data gained from the orbiter this information will help optimizing future missions to comets and other small bodies in the Solar System. The paper gives an overview on the implications of Philae results for future engineering comet models, required particularly for the design of in-situ (landing) or sample return missions. Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Rosetta's Philae Lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI with additional contributions from Hungary, UK, Finland, Ireland and Austria.

  11. Study of some comets through imaging polarimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy Choudhury, S.; Hadamcik, E.; Sen, A. K.

    2015-12-01

    Comets C/2007 N3 (Lulin), C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) and 290P/Jager were observed at phase angles <40○; between 2009 and 2014; with the 0.8 m Telescope at Haute-Provence Observatory (OHP) in France. The observations were polarimetric and mainly carried out in the red and near infra-red wavelength domains to reduce gaseous contaminations. The overall shape of the coma of comet Lulin is about circular without evident jet structure. The coma of comet C/2011 L4 is enlarged in the antisolar direction. Jets in a fan-like structure have been noticed between position angles 135°-245° in the treated intensity images. A correlated higher polarization region is noted on the corresponding polarization map. The shape of the coma of 290P/Jager is slightly elongated in the antisolar direction. Deeper negative polarization is found in the inner coma. The whole coma polarization values of these three comets correspond to the synthetic phase curve for comets at similar phase angles and wavelength.

  12. Galactic tide and orbital evolution of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Komar, L; Pastor, P

    2009-01-01

    Equation of motion for a comet in the Oort cloud is numerically solved. Orbital evolution of the comet under the action of the gravity of the Sun and the Galaxy is presented for various initial conditions. Oscillations of the Sun with respect to the galactic equatorial plane are taken into account. Real values of physical quantities concerning the gravitational action of the galactic neighbourhood of the Sun are important. The results are compared with currently used more simple models of the galactic tide. It turns out that physically improved models yield results which significantly differ from the results obtained on the basis of the conventional models. E.g., the number of returns of the comets into the inner part of the Solar System are about two times greater than it is in the conventional models. It seems that a comet from the Oort cloud can be a source of the dinosaurs extinction at about 65 Myr ago. A close encounter of a star or an interstellar cloud disturbed a comet of the Oort cloud in the way th...

  13. Higgs-Boson Production in Nucleus-Nucleus Collisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norbury, John W.

    1992-01-01

    Cross section calculations are presented for the production of intermediate-mass Higgs bosons produced in ultrarelativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions via two photon fusion. The calculations are performed in position space using Baur's method for folding together the Weizsacker-Williams virtual-photon spectra of the two colliding nuclei. It is found that two photon fusion in nucleus-nucleus collisions is a plausible way of finding intermediate-mass Higgs bosons at the Superconducting Super Collider or the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

  14. Acceleration of cometary dust near the nucleus: application to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skorov, Yuri; Reshetnyk, Volodymyr; Lacerda, Pedro; Hartogh, Paul; Blum, Jürgen

    2016-10-01

    We present a model of cometary dust capable of simulating the dynamics within the first few tens of km of the comet surface. Recent measurements by the Grain Impact Analyser and Dust Accumulator and Cometary Secondary Ion Mass Analyser instruments on Rosetta show that the nucleus emits fluffy dust particles with porosities above 50 per cent and sizes up to at least mm (Fulle et al. 2015b; Rotundi et al. 2015; Schulz et al. 2015). Retrieval of the physical properties of these particles requires a model of the effective forces governing their dynamics. Here, we present a model capable of simulating realistic, large and porous particles using hierarchical aggregates, which shows previous extrapolations to be inadequate. The main strengths of our approach are that we can simulate very large (mm-scale) non-spherical agglomerates and can accurately determine their (1) effective cross-section and ratio of cross-section to mass, (2) gas drag coefficient, and (3) light scattering properties. In practical terms, we find that a more detailed treatment of the dust structure results in three to five times higher velocities for large dust particles in the inner coma than previously estimated using spherical particles of the same mass. We apply our model to the dynamics of dust in the vicinity of the nucleus of comet 67P and successfully reproduce the dust speeds reported early on when the comet was roughly 3.5 au from the Sun. At this stage, we employ a simple spherical comet nucleus, we model activity as constant velocity gas expansion from a uniformly active surface, and use Mie scattering. We discuss pathways to improve on these simplifications in the future.

  15. Identification of irradiated refrigerated pork with the DNA comet assay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Araujo, M.M. E-mail: villavic@net.ipen.br; Marin-Huachaca, N.S.; Mancini-Filho, J. E-mail: jmancini@usp.br; Delincee, H.; Villavicencio, A.L.C.H. E-mail: henry.delincee@bfe.uni-karlsruhe.de

    2004-10-01

    Food irradiation can contribute to a safer and more plentiful food supply by inactivating pathogens, eradicating pests and by extending shelf-life. Particularly in the case of pork meat, this process could be a useful way to inactivate harmful parasites such as Trichinella and Taenia solium. Ionizing radiation causes damage to the DNA of the cells (e.g. strand breaks), which can be used to detect irradiated food. Microelectrophoresis of single cells ('Comet Assay') is a simple and rapid test for DNA damage and can be used over a wide dose range and for a variety of products. Refrigerated pork meat was irradiated with a {sup 60}Co source, Gammacell 220 (A.E.C.L.) installed in IPEN (Sao Paulo, Brazil). The doses given were 0, 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5 kGy for refrigerated samples. Immediately after irradiation the samples were returned to the refrigerator (6 deg. C). Samples were kept in the refrigerator after irradiation. Pork meat was analyzed 1, 8 and 10 days after irradiation using the DNA 'Comet Assay'. This method showed to be an inexpensive and rapid technique for qualitative detection of irradiation treatment.

  16. Identification of irradiated refrigerated pork with the DNA comet assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, M. M.; Marin-Huachaca, N. S.; Mancini-Filho, J.; Delincée, H.; Villavicencio, A. L. C. H.

    2004-09-01

    Food irradiation can contribute to a safer and more plentiful food supply by inactivating pathogens, eradicating pests and by extending shelf-life. Particularly in the case of pork meat, this process could be a useful way to inactivate harmful parasites such as Trichinella and Taenia solium. Ionizing radiation causes damage to the DNA of the cells (e.g. strand breaks), which can be used to detect irradiated food. Microelectrophoresis of single cells (``Comet Assay'') is a simple and rapid test for DNA damage and can be used over a wide dose range and for a variety of products. Refrigerated pork meat was irradiated with a 60Co source, Gammacell 220 (A.E.C.L.) installed in IPEN (Sa~o Paulo, Brazil). The doses given were 0, 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5kGy for refrigerated samples. Immediately after irradiation the samples were returned to the refrigerator (6°C). Samples were kept in the refrigerator after irradiation. Pork meat was analyzed 1, 8 and 10 days after irradiation using the DNA ``Comet Assay''. This method showed to be an inexpensive and rapid technique for qualitative detection of irradiation treatment.

  17. The global size-frequency distribution of boulders > 7 m on Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajola, Maurizio; Baptiste Vincent, Jean; Lee, Jui-Chi; Ip, Wing-Huen; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Bertini, Ivano; Massironi, Matteo; Simioni, Emanuele; Barbieri, Cesare; Cremonese, Gabriele; Marzari, Francesco; Naletto, Giampiero; Giacomini, Lorenza; Jorda, Laurent; Thomas, Nicholas; Pommerol, Antoine; Kueppers, Michael; Moissl, Richard; Besse, Sebastien; Sierks, Holger

    2015-04-01

    After a ten years journey through the Solar System, the ESA Rosetta spacecraft reached on 6 August 2014 its primary target, the Jupiter family comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, hereafter 67P. During the approaching phase, several images of the nucleus of comet 67P, captured by the OSIRIS scientific imaging camera, have been taken to study its structure, activity and the surface morphology. The close distance between spacecraft and comet, and the high resolution of our images, provided a unique opportunity to study features which could not have been detected before on other comets, but yet hold key parameters to derive the physical properties of the surface. We made use of the images acquired by the OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera, NAC, on 5 and 6 August 2014 in order to study the statistical size-frequency distribution and the morphological properties of both clustered and isolated roundish structures ("boulders") scattered all over the currently illuminated side of the comet (70% of the total surface). Such dataset has been taken at a distance ranging between 131.45 and 109.76 km far from the comet center and the scale of these images (2.44 - 2.03 m/px) is such that boulders ≥ 7 m can be unequivocally identified and extracted. These images are the last ones where the entire comet is 2048 x 2048 pixels full frame and they cover a complete comet rotation (12.4 h), hence providing the possibility to derive a global size-frequency distribution statistics of the presently illuminated surface of 67P. A total amount of 3526 boulders has been identified on the surface of the comet: i) 2218 belonging to the big lobe, body, ii) 1115 boulders are located on the small lobe, head, while iii) 213 boulders belong to the transition region between the two lobes, called the neck. Here, global cumulative size-frequency distributions of boulders per square km are presented, together with specific and localized areas distributions. Moreover we indicate the different formation processes

  18. Ion chemistry in the coma of comet 67P near perihelion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuselier, S. A.; Altwegg, K.; Balsiger, H.; Berthelier, J. J.; Beth, A.; Bieler, A.; Briois, C.; Broiles, T. W.; Burch, J. L.; Calmonte, U.; Cessateur, G.; Combi, M.; De Keyser, J.; Fiethe, B.; Galand, M.; Gasc, S.; Gombosi, T. I.; Gunell, H.; Hansen, K. C.; Hässig, M.; Heritier, K. L.; Korth, A.; Le Roy, L.; Luspay-Kuti, A.; Mall, U.; Mandt, K. E.; Petrinec, S. M.; Rème, H.; Rinaldi, M.; Rubin, M.; Sémon, T.; Trattner, K. J.; Tzou, C.-Y.; Vigren, E.; Waite, J. H.; Wurz, P.

    2016-11-01

    The coma and the comet-solar wind interaction of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko changed dramatically from the initial Rosetta spacecraft encounter in 2014 August through perihelion in 2015 August. Just before equinox (at 1.6 au from the Sun), the solar wind signal disappeared and two regions of different cometary ion characteristics were observed. These `outer' and `inner' regions have cometary ion characteristics similar to outside and inside the ion pileup region observed during the Giotto approach to comet 1P/Halley. Rosetta/Double-Focusing Mass Spectrometer ion mass spectrometer observations are used here to investigate the H3O+/H2O+ ratio in the outer and inner regions at 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The H3O+/H2O+ ratio and the H3O+ signal are observed to increase in the transition from the outer to the inner region and the H3O+ signal appears to be weakly correlated with cometary ion energy. These ion composition changes are similar to the ones observed during the 1P/Halley flyby. Modelling is used to determine the importance of neutral composition and transport of neutrals and ions away from the nucleus. This modelling demonstrates that changes in the H3O+/H2O+ ratio appear to be driven largely by transport properties and only weakly by neutral composition in the coma.

  19. Rosetta Lander - Landing and operations on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulamec, Stephan; Fantinati, Cinzia; Maibaum, Michael; Geurts, Koen; Biele, Jens; Jansen, Sven; Küchemann, Oliver; Cozzoni, Barbara; Finke, Felix; Lommatsch, Valentina; Moussi-Soffys, Aurelie; Delmas, Cedric; O´Rourke, Laurence

    2016-08-01

    The Rosetta Lander Philae is part of the ESA Rosetta Mission which reached comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a 10 year cruise in August 2014. Since then, Rosetta has been studying both its nucleus and coma with instruments aboard the Orbiter. On November 12th, 2014 the Lander, Philae, was successfully delivered to the surface of the comet and operated for approximately 64 h after separation from the mother spacecraft. Since the active cold gas system aboard the Lander as well as the anchoring harpoons did not work, Philae bounced after the first touch-down at the planned landing site "Agilkia". At the final landing site, "Abydos", a modified First Scientific Sequence was performed. Due to the unexpectedly low illumination conditions and a lack of anchoring the sequence had to be adapted in order to minimize risk and maximize the scientific output. All ten instruments could be activated at least once, before Philae went into hibernation. In June 2015, the Lander contacted Rosetta again having survived successfully a long hibernation phase. This paper describes the Lander operations around separation, during descent and on the surface of the comet. We also address the partly successful attempts to re-establish contact with the Lander in June/July, when the internal temperature & power received were sufficient for Philae to become active again.

  20. Messengers from the Early Solar System - The Similarity and Diversity of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Viewed from a cosmic perspective, Earth is a dry planet yet its oceans are enriched in deuterium by a large factor relative to nebular hydrogen. Can comets have delivered Earth's water? The question of exogenous delivery of water and organics to Earth and other young planets is of critical importance for understanding the origin of Earth's water, and for assessing the possible existence of exo-planets similar to Earth. Strong gradients in temperature and chemistry in the proto-planetary disk, coupled with dynamical models, imply that comets from the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Disk reservoirs should have diverse composition. The primary volatiles in comets (ices native to the nucleus) provide the preferred metric, and taxonomies based on them are now beginning to emerge [1,2,3]. The measurement of cosmic parameters such as the nuclear spin temperatures for H2O, NH3, and CH4, and of enrichment factors for isotopologues (D/H in water and hydrogen cyanide, N-14/N-15 in CN and hydrogen cyanide provide additional important tests for the origin of cometary material. I will provide an overview of these aspects, and their implications for the origin of Earth's water and prebiotic organics.

  1. Abundant molecular oxygen in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieler, A; Altwegg, K; Balsiger, H; Bar-Nun, A; Berthelier, J-J; Bochsler, P; Briois, C; Calmonte, U; Combi, M; De Keyser, J; van Dishoeck, E F; Fiethe, B; Fuselier, S A; Gasc, S; Gombosi, T I; Hansen, K C; Hässig, M; Jäckel, A; Kopp, E; Korth, A; Le Roy, L; Mall, U; Maggiolo, R; Marty, B; Mousis, O; Owen, T; Rème, H; Rubin, M; Sémon, T; Tzou, C-Y; Waite, J H; Walsh, C; Wurz, P

    2015-10-29

    The composition of the neutral gas comas of most comets is dominated by H2O, CO and CO2, typically comprising as much as 95 per cent of the total gas density. In addition, cometary comas have been found to contain a rich array of other molecules, including sulfuric compounds and complex hydrocarbons. Molecular oxygen (O2), however, despite its detection on other icy bodies such as the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, has remained undetected in cometary comas. Here we report in situ measurement of O2 in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, with local abundances ranging from one per cent to ten per cent relative to H2O and with a mean value of 3.80 ± 0.85 per cent. Our observations indicate that the O2/H2O ratio is isotropic in the coma and does not change systematically with heliocentric distance. This suggests that primordial O2 was incorporated into the nucleus during the comet's formation, which is unexpected given the low upper limits from remote sensing observations. Current Solar System formation models do not predict conditions that would allow this to occur.

  2. Mapping of thermal properties of comet 67P/C-G and temporal variations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leyrat, Cedric; Tosi, Federico; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Érard, Stéphane; Rousseau, Batiste; Filacchione, Gianrico; Capria, Maria Teresa; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Kührt, Ekkehard; Schmitt, Bernard; Migliorini, Alessandra; Kappel, David; VIRTIS/Rosetta Team

    2016-10-01

    The long-term evolution of the surfaces of comets depends mainly on the erosion rate that is driven by the thermal properties of the regolith and the sub-surface material. Following the diurnal and the seasonal thermal cycles, dust and gas are released progressively, increasing the erosion process. The amount of dust released depends on the surface and subsurface temperatures and thus on thermal inertia and bulk composition.The ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has followed the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko over several months from 4 AU to 1.28 AU heliocentric distance, and the VIRTIS/Rosetta imaging infrared spectrometer was capable of detecting the thermal emission of the surface longward of 3 microns.The surface temperature was mapped over a large fraction of the nucleus and was previously used to derive thermal inertia of the main geomorphological units.In this presentation, we now focus on two different aspects: (1) We aim to present a complete detailed map of the thermal inertia by combining measurements of similar areas obtained at different viewing angles ; and (2) we track the evolution of the local thermal properties derived over months when the comet was moving towards perihelion. We then discuss and compare our results with the textural features observed at the surface.

  3. Benzene-induced genotoxicity in mice in vivo detected by the alkaline comet assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tuo, J; Loft, S; Thomsen, M S

    1996-01-01

    as a single oral gavage at 40, 200 or 450 mg/kg resulted in dose-related DNA damage indicated by an increased comet tail length of peripheral blood lymphocytes and bone marrow nucleated cells sampled 6 h after exposure. After a dose of 40 mg/kg, there was a 1.6-fold increase of 'tail length' in bone marrow...

  4. Comet assay as a human biomonitoring tool: application in occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina Ladeira

    2015-05-01

    Occupational exposure to antineoplastic drugs is associated with genotoxic effects, although comet assay analyzed parameters were higher in exposed comparing with controls, were not significant. Also the study of the susceptibility biomarkers did not show statistical significant differences, the small size of our sample hampered the finding of a possible association, let alone a causality relationship.

  5. Search for Cyclopropenylidene in Comet Lulin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuan, Yi-Jehng; Chuang, Yo-Ling; Charnley, Steven

    The Oort-Cloud comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin) was observed in the 1.3-mm band with the Sub-millimeter Telescope of Arizona Radio Observatory between 2009 February and March during the apparition. Many of the molecules observed in cometary comae could be pristine remnants of the interstellar material that collapsed to form the protosolar nebula. The coma species observed may either be distinct interstellar molecules sublimated from the nuclear ices, or frag-ments of larger organic macromolecules which decomposed farther out in the coma. With a water production rate of 1E+29 mol s-1 near its perihelion, the bright Comet Lulin was only 0.4 AU from Earth at perigee; we therefore searched for c-C3H2, a simple ring molecule. Cy-clopropenylidene is ubiquitous in interstellar space but unknown in comets. Here, we report the first detection of cyclopropenylidene in the cometary coma of Lulin.

  6. Optical polarimetry of Comet West 1976 VI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michalsky, J.J.

    1981-09-01

    Four narrowband filters covering the 440-850 nm wavelengths were used to measure the polarization of the continuum of Comet West 1976 VI. Postperihelion observations indicated wavelength-independent linear polarization in all of the three measurements made, in agreement with other polarization measurements of the comet from the visible to the near-infrared but in contrast with the general tendency in comets toward polarization increase with wavelength. No circular polarization was detected, and it is suggested by (1) the magnitude of polarization as a function of scattering angle, (2) wavelength independence, and (3) infrared and optical photometric properties, that dirty silicates with radii approaching 5 microns may be responsible for the phenomena observed.

  7. A molecular survey of comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) at radio wavelengths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biver, N.; Moreno, R.; Boissier, J.; Lis, D.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Crovisier, J.; Colom, P.; Paubert, G.; Milam, S.; Sandqvist, Aa; Hjalmarson, A.; Lundin, S.; Karlsson, T.; Battelino, M.; Frisk, U.; Murtagh, D.; Nordh, L.

    2015-10-01

    Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is a long period Oort Cloud comet (original orbital period = 11030 years, inclination = 80.3°) which passed perihelion at 1.290 AU from the Sun on 30 January 2015. It brightened very quickly as it approached the Sun and the Earth (perigee at 0.469 AU on 7 January 2015) to reach naked eye visibility (m1 = 4) and a total production rate approaching QH2O = 1030 molec.s-1. This comet was intrinsically the most active comet since C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) and we triggered targetof- opportunity observations with the IRAM-30m, NOEMA, ALMA, CSO, Nançay and Odin radiotelescopes. The water outgassing was monitored via observations of the OH radical at 18-cm with the Nançay radiotelescope from December to March 2015. Observations of H2O and H18 2 O with the Odin submillimeter space telescope were carried out between 30 January and 03 February. The comet was observed with the IRAM-30m radiotelescope in Spain on January 13.8, 15.8 and 16.8, with some complementary observations on January 23.7, 24.7, 25.7 and 26.7 under good weather. One objective was to support the ALMA program 2013.1.00686.T (PI S. Milam). It was also observed with NOEMA (25.8 and 28.8 January, PI J. Boissier) and shortly with CSO on February 13.3 and 16.3 UT. We will present here the analysis of the IRAM data set, which is the most sensitive survey of the molecular content of a comet ever obtained since comet Hale- Bopp. We covered #48 GHz of the 1mm band (Fig.1) enabling the detection of over 20 molecules plus radicals and isotopologues. We will present themeasuredmolecular abundances and sensitive upper limits obtained on a number of complex molecules and of particular (prebiotic) interest. The comet seems relatively depleted in organic molecules compared to our sample of comets investigated at submillimeter wavelengths ([6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]).

  8. Cryopreservation of human blood for alkaline and Fpg-modified comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pu, Xinzhu; Wang, Zemin; Klaunig, James E

    2016-01-01

    The Comet assay is a reproducible and sensitive assay for the detection of DNA damage in eukaryotic cells and tissues. Incorporation of lesion specific, oxidative DNA damage repair enzymes (for example, Fpg, OGG1 and EndoIII) in the standard alkaline Comet assay procedure allows for the detection and measurement of oxidative DNA damage. The Comet assay using white blood cells (WBC) has proven useful in monitoring DNA damage from environmental agents in humans. However, it is often impractical to performance Comet assay immediately after blood sampling. Thus, storage of blood sample is required. In this study, we developed and tested a simple storage method for very small amount of whole blood for standard and Fpg-modified modified Comet assay. Whole blood was stored in RPMI 1640 media containing 10% FBS, 10% DMSO and 1 mM deferoxamine at a sample to media ratio of 1:50. Samples were stored at -20 °C and -80 °C for 1, 7, 14 and 28 days. Isolated lymphocytes from the same subjects were also stored under the same conditions for comparison. Direct DNA strand breakage and oxidative DNA damage in WBC and lymphocytes were analyzed using standard and Fpg-modified alkaline Comet assay and compared with freshly analyzed samples. No significant changes in either direct DNA strand breakage or oxidative DNA damage was seen in WBC and lymphocytes stored at -20 °C for 1 and 7 days compared to fresh samples. However, significant increases in both direct and oxidative DNA damage were seen in samples stored at -20 °C for 14 and 28 days. No changes in direct and oxidative DNA damage were observed in WBC and lymphocytes stored at -80 °C for up to 28 days. These results identified the proper storage conditions for storing whole blood or isolated lymphocytes to evaluate direct and oxidative DNA damage using standard and Fpg-modified alkaline Comet assay.

  9. Investigation into the disparate origin of CO 2 and H 2O outgassing for comet 67P

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, Uwe; Doose, Lyn; Rinaldi, Giovanna; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; VIRTIS team

    2016-10-01

    We present an investigation of the emission intensity of CO2 and H2O and their distribution in the coma of 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko obtained by the VIRTIS-M imaging spectrometer on the Rosetta mission. We analyze 4 data cubes from Feb. 28, and 7 data cubes from April 27, 2015. For both data sets the spacecraft was at a sufficiently large distance from the comet to allow images of the whole nucleus and the surrounding coma.We find that unlike water which has a reasonably predictable behavior and correlates well with the solar illumination, CO2 outgasses mostly in local regions or spots. Furthermore for the data on April 27, the CO2 evolves almost exclusively from the southern hemisphere, a region of the comet that has not received solar illumination since the comet's last perihelion passage. Because CO2 and H2O have such disparate origins, deriving mixing ratios from local column density measurements cannot provide a meaningful measurement of the CO2/H2O ratio in the coma of the comet. We obtain total production rates of H2O and CO2 by integrating the band intensity in an annulus surrounding the nucleus and obtain pro-forma production rate CO2/H2O mixing ratios of ~5.0% and ~2.5% for Feb. 28 and April 27 respectively. Because of the highly variable nature of the CO2 evolution we do not believe that these numbers are diagnostic of the comets bulk CO2/H2O composition. We believe that our investigation provides an explanation for the large observed variations reported in the literature for the CO2/H2O production rate ratios. Our mixing ratio maps indicate that, besides the difference in vapor pressure of the two gases, this ratio depends on the comet's geometric shape, illumination and past orbital history.Our annulus measurement for the total water production for Feb. 28 at 2.21AU from the sun is 2.5x1026 molecules/s while for April 27 at 1.76 AU it is 4.65x1026. We find that about 83% of the H2O resides in the illuminated portion of our annulus and about 17% on the

  10. To Catch A Comet...Learning From Halley's.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC.

    Comet chronicles and stories extend back over thousands of years. A common theme has been that comets are a major cause of catastrophe and tragedy here on earth. In addition, both Aristotle and Ptolemy believed that comets were phenomena within the earth's atmosphere, and it wasn't until the 16th century, when Danish astronomer Tycho Brache…

  11. Polarimetry, photometry, and spectroscopy of comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, Oleksandra; Rosenbush, Vera; Afanasiev, Viktor; Kiselev, Nikolai

    2017-03-01

    We present the results of photometry, linear spectropolarimetry, and imaging circular polarimetry of comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) performed at the 6-m telescope BTA of the Special Astrophysical Observatory (Russia) equipped by the multi-mode focal reducer SCORPIO-2. The comet was observed at two epochs post-perihelion: on February 2-14, 2012 at rh˜1.6 au and α˜36°; and on April 14-21, 2012 at rh˜2.2 au and α˜27°. The spatial maps of the relative intensity and circular polarization as well as the spectral distribution of linear polarization are presented. There were two features (dust and gas tails) oriented in the solar and antisolar directions on February 2 and 14 that allowed us to determine rotation period of the nucleus as 11.1 ± 0.8 hours. We detected emissions of C2, C3, CN, CH, NH2 molecules as well as CO+ and H2O+ ions, along with a high level of the dust continuum. On February 2, the degree of linear polarization in the continuum, within the wavelength range of 0.67-0.68 μm, was about 5 ± 0.2% in the near-nucleus region up to ˜6000 km and decreased to about 3 ± 0.2% at ˜40,000 km. After correction for the continuum contamination, the inherent degree of polarization in the emission band C2(Δν= 0) is about 3.3%. We detected a small increase of linear polarization with the wavelength with the spectral gradient ΔP/Δλ = +4 ± 0.8%/μm and ΔP/Δλ = + 6.2 ± 1.3%/μm, respectively, on February 2 and April 14. Linear polarization indicates that this dust-rich comet can be attributed to the high-Pmax comets. The left-handed (negative) circular polarization at the level approximately from ˜0.06 ± 0.02% to ˜0.4 ± 0.02% was observed at the distances up to 3×104 km from the nucleus on February 14 and April 21, respectively.

  12. POSITION OBSERVATIONS OF THE COMET HYAKUTAKE

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wu Guangjie; Ji Kaifan

    2000-01-01

    On March 16 of 1996, we used a new developed 1024×1024 CCD camera attached to the 1 meter telescope at Yunnan Observatory, to take photometric observations for the Comet Hyakutake. The positions have been measured accurately. Our result clearly states that even a new ephemeris of this comet just given by EMPC on February 29 of 1996 still has obvious systematical deviation with our observations.From images observed, we can clearly see that the cometary coma is very large and basically symmetric with a peach shape. It means that there is material flowing along the cometary tail which opposited the solar direction.