Sample records for link comet elenin


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


    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

  2. Linking main-belt comets to asteroid families

    Novakovic, B.; Hsieh, H. H.; Cellino, A.


    Here we present our results obtained by applying different methods in order to establish a firm link between the main-belt comets (MBCs) and colisionally-formed asteroid families (AFs), i.e, to possibly find additional line of evidence supporting the hypothesis that MBCs may be preferentially found among the members of young AFs.

  3. Comets

    Hughes, D.W.


    Comets are objects of considerable fascination and this paper reviews the present knowledge of the physical structure of the cometary nucleus, coma and tail, the orbits of comets in the Solar System, the proposed mechanisms of cometary origin, the decay processes suffered by comets, and the ways in which they can be observed from Earth and by spacecraft. (author)

  4. Comet nuclei and Trojan asteroids - A new link and a possible mechanism for comet splittings

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


    Relatively elongated shapes, implied by recent evidence of a greater incidence of high amplitude lightcurves for comet nuclei and Trojan asteroids than for similarly scaled main belt asteroids, are suggested to have evolved among comet nuclei and Trojans due to volatile loss. It is further suggested that such an evolutionary course may account for observed comet splitting; rotational splitting may specifically occur as a result of evolution in the direction of an elongated shape through sublimation. Supporting these hypotheses, the few m/sec separation velocities projected for rotationally splitting elongated nuclei are precisely in the observed range. 40 refs

  5. Induction and repair of DNA cross-links induced by sulfur mustard in the A-549 cell line followed by a comet assay.

    Jost, Petr; Svobodova, Hana; Stetina, Rudolf


    Sulfur mustard is a highly toxic chemical warfare agent with devastating impact on intoxicated tissues. DNA cross-links are probably the most toxic DNA lesions induced in the cell by sulfur mustard. The comet assay is a very sensitive method for measuring DNA damage. In the present study using the A-549 lung cell line, the comet assay protocol was optimized for indirect detection of DNA cross-links induced by sulfur mustard. The method is based on the additional treatment of the assayed cells containing cross-links with the chemical mutagen, styrene oxide. Alkali-labile adducts of styrene oxide cause DNA breaks leading to the formation of comets. A significant dose-dependent reduction of DNA migration of the comet's tail was found after exposing cells to sulfur mustard, indicative of the amount of sulfur mustard induced cross-links. The remarkable decrease of % tail DNA could be observed as early as 5min following exposure to sulfur mustard and the maximal effect was found after 30min, when DNA migration was reduced to the minimum. Sulfur mustard preincubated in culture medium without cells lost its ability to induce cross-links and had a half-life of about 15min. Pre-incubation longer than 30min does not lead to a significant increase in cross-links when applied to cells. However, the amount of cross-links is decreased during further incubation due to repair. The current modification of the comet assay provides a useful tool for detecting DNA cross-links induced by sulfur mustard and could be used for detection of other DNA cross-linking agents such as chemotherapeutic drugs. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Observing comets

    James, Nick


    Since comet Shoemaker-Levy collided with the planet Jupiter with stupendous force in 1994 there has been an upsurge of amateur interest in comets Most comets are first discovered by amateur astronomers because there are so many amateurs looking for them, and techniques and instruments have improved dramatically in the past few years After a short but detailed introduction to the comets themselves Nick James and Gerald North describe comet hunting, photographing and imaging comets, and digital image processing The use of computers for orbital calculations and even helping to discover new comets is given a full chapter, as are advanced techniques including comet photometry and spectroscopy This comprehensive book has an accompanying CD-ROM and is at once a "primer" for comet hunters and a reference text for more advanced amateur astronomers

  7. COMET concept

    Alsmeyer, H.; Tromm, W.


    Studies of the COMET core catcher concept developed for a future PWR have been continued. The concept is based on the spreading of a core melt on a sacrificial layer and its erosion, until a subsequent addition of water from below causes a fragmentation of the melt. A porous solidification of the melt would then admit a complete flooding within a short period. (orig.)

  8. COMET concept; COMET-Konzept

    Alsmeyer, H.; Tromm, W.


    Studies of the COMET core catcher concept developed for a future PWR have been continued. The concept is based on the spreading of a core melt on a sacrificial layer and its erosion, until a subsequent addition of water from below causes a fragmentation of the melt. A porous solidification of the melt would then admit a complete flooding within a short period. (orig.)

  9. Comet formation

    Blum, J.


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

  10. ISO's analysis of Comet Hale-Bopp


    spatial resolution of ISO. We have a long time coverage of the comet, so we hope to determine the light-curve of the nucleus -- which, in turn, will reveal its gross shape and an estimate of its rotation period." A commanding role in comet research As comets are relics from the construction of the Solar System, and played a major role in the formation of the planets, they are a link between the Earth and the wider Universe of stars. The carbon compounds contained in comets probably contributed raw materials for the origin of life on the Earth, and according to one theory the Earth's oceans were made from comet ice. Growing knowledge of the composition and behaviour of comets is therefore crucial for a fuller understanding of our cosmic origins. ESA has a commanding role in space research on comets. Its Giotto spacecraft was the most daring of the international fleet of spacecraft that visited Halley's Comet in March 1986. Giotto obtained exceptional pictures and other data as it passed within 600 kilometres of the nucleus. Dust from the comet badly damaged the spacecraft, but in a navigational tour de force Giotto made an even closer approach to Comet Grigg-Skjellerup in July 1992. Now ESA is planning the Rosetta mission that will rendezvous with Comet Wirtanen and fly in company with it, making observations far more detailed than the fast flybys of Halley's Comet and Comet Grigg-Skjellerup could achieve. As for space astronomy, the International Ultraviolet Explorer, in which ESA was a partner, made unrivalled observations of Halley's Comet by ultraviolet light. ESA is also a partner in the Hubble Space Telescope, which saw the historic impacts of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter in July 1994, and has recently observed Comet Hyakutake as well as Hale-Bopp. The SOHO spacecraft, built by ESA for a joint ESA-NASA project to examine the Sun, has a distinctive view of comets. It has observed the hydrogen coronas of comets with its SWAN instrument. SOHO's coronagraph LASCO

  11. Disintegration of comet nuclei

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V.


    The breaking up of comets into separate pieces, each with its own tail, was seen many times by astronomers of the past. The phenomenon was in sharp contrast to the idea of the eternal and unchangeable celestial firmament and was commonly believed to be an omen of impending disaster, especially for comets with tails stretching across half the sky. It is only now that we have efficient enough space exploration tools to see comet nuclei and even - in the particular case of small comet Hartley-2 in 2010 - to watch their disintegration stage. There are also other suspected candidates for disintegration in the vast family of comet nuclei and other Solar System bodies.

  12. Physics of comets

    Krishna Swamy, K S


    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

  13. Photochemistry of comets

    Huebner, W.F.


    The classification of comets, chemically rich mixtures of volatile materials and refractory grains, is described. The developments of coma and tails, and the composition and structure of coma, plasma tails, dust, and nucleus are examined. The differences between comets and planetary atmospheres are investigated. Three hypotheses on the origin of comets are proposed; one states that comets formed in the region of the giant planets, the second theory has the development of comets occuring in the outer parts of the solar nebula, and the third states that comets formed in a companion fragment of the nebula. The use of radar, photometric, spectral, and laboratory measurements for modeling comets is discussed. The physics and main photolytic and chemical reaction processes of a collision-dominated coma are analyzed; the influence of the solar wind on the coma is studied. A comparison of the model with observed data is presented; good correlation of data is observed. The features of Halley's Comet and other comets with distinctive characteristics are examined. Future comet exploration missions and the need to improve comet models are discussed. 31 references

  14. Visually observing comets

    Seargent, David A J


    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...

  15. Mission to the comets

    Hughes, D.


    The plans of space agencies in the United States and Europe for an exploratory comet mission including a one year rendezvous with comet Temple-2 and a fast fly-by of comet Halley are discussed. The mission provides an opportunity to make comparative measurements on the two different types of comets and also satisfies the three major scientific objectives of cometary missions namely: (1) To determine the chemical nature and the physical structure of cometary nuclei, and the changes that occur with time and orbital position. (2) To study the chemical and physical nature of the atmospheres and ionospheres of comets, the processes that occur in them, and their development with time and orbital position. (3) To determine the nature of the tails of comets and the processes by which they are formed, and to characterise the interaction of comets with solar wind. (UK)

  16. Comet Giacobini-Zinner - a normal comet?

    Cochran, A.L.; Barker, E.S.


    Observations of Comet Giacobini-Zinner were obtained during its 1985 apparition using an IDS spectrograph at McDonald Observatory. Column densities and production rates were computed. The production rates were compared to observations of other normal comets. Giacobini-Zinner is shown to be depleted in C2 and C3 relative to CN. These production rates are down by a factor of 5. 12 references

  17. Mystery of comets

    Whipple, F.L.


    An account is given of the growth of human understanding of comets with emphasis initially placed on theories developed before the twentieth century and subsequently on information regarding the nature of comets, their origin and possible relation to life on earth. Special consideration is given to a description of how the author arrived at his own model of the origin and nature of comets, the dirty snowball theory. The significance of comets (i.e. the hazards they may represent) is assessed and space missions to Halley's comet together with the first landing on a comet (tentatively planned for 1995) are described. It is noted that this growth of cometary understanding is presented as an integral part of the growth of science and technology. 14 references

  18. Ammonia abundances in comets

    Wyckoff, S.; Tegler, S.; Engel, L.

    The emission band strengths of the NH2 bands of Comets Halley, Hartley-Good, Thiele, and Borrelly were measured to determine the NH2 column densities for the comets. Production rates obtained using the Haser and vectorial models are in agreement within the observational errors, suggesting that a simple two-step decay model may be used to approximate the NH2 distribution in a comet's coma. Ammonia-to-water abundance ratios from 0.01 to 0.4 percent were found for the four comets. The ratio in Comet Halley is found to be Q(NH3)/Q(H2O) = 0.002 + or - 0.001. No significant difference in the ammonia abundance was found before or after perihelion in Comet Halley.

  19. Postencounter view of comets

    Mendis, D.A.


    Ground-based and space observations of Comet Halley during its 1986 perihelion passage are reviewed, with an emphasis on their implications for theoretical models. Consideration is given to the shape, surface morphology, and composition of the comet nucleus; the shape, dynamics, and composition of the dust tail; neutral and ionic gas species in the head and plasma tail; and the comet/solar-wind interaction. Extensive diagrams, graphs, and sample images are provided, and the potential value of the new kinds of data to be obtained with the NASA Comet-Rendezvous/Asteroid-Flyby spacecraft is discussed. 139 references

  20. Optical observation of comets

    Tanabe, Hiroyoshi


    The observation of comets is proposed to study the state of interplanetary space. The behavior of the tails of comets shows the state of solar wind. On July 4, 1964, large bending was seen in the tail of the Tomita-Gerber-Handa comet. Then, on July 7, 1964, geomagnetic disturbance was observed. Disturbance in the tail of Kohoutek comet was seen on Jan. 19, 1974, and Ksub(p)--5 on the ground on Jan. 25. The effort for the quantitative measurement of the parameters of solar wind has been continued in various countries. Recently, the large scale observation of the Kohoutek comet was carried out in the world. Preliminary report is presented in this paper. Waving in the type 1 tail of the comet was seen, and this phenomenon may show some instability due to the interaction between the tail and the solar wind. Periodic variation of the direction of the tail has been reported. The present result also confirmed this report. In case of small comets, flare-up occurs and original luminous intensity is regained after several days. Measurement of the spectrum at the time of flare-up may show information concerning temporary variation of the state of interplanetary space. For the tracking of time variation of comets, cooperation of a number of stations at different positions is required. (Kato, T.)

  1. Comet thermal modeling

    Weissman, P.R.; Kieffer, H.H.


    The past year was one of tremendous activity because of the appearance of Halley's Comet. Observations of the comet were collected from a number of sources and compared with the detailed predictions of the comet thermal modeling program. Spacecraft observations of key physical parameters for cometary nucleus were incorporated into the thermal model and new cases run. These results have led to a much better understanding of physical processes on the nucleus and have pointed the way for further improvements to the modeling program. A model for the large-scale structure of cometary nuclei was proposed in which comets were envisioned as loosely bound agglomerations of smaller icy planetesimals, essentially a rubble pile of primordial dirty snowballs. In addition, a study of the physical history of comets was begun, concentrating on processes during formation and in the Oort cloud which would alter the volatile and nonvolatile materials in cometary nuclei from their pristine state before formation

  2. Disintegration of comet nuclei

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V


    The breaking up of comets into separate pieces, each with its own tail, was seen many times by astronomers of the past. The phenomenon was in sharp contrast to the idea of the eternal and unchangeable celestial firmament and was commonly believed to be an omen of impending disaster, especially for comets with tails stretching across half the sky. It is only now that we have efficient enough space exploration tools to see comet nuclei and even - in the particular case of small comet Hartley-2 in 2010 - to watch their disintegration stage. There are also other suspected candidates for disintegration in the vast family of comet nuclei and other Solar System bodies. (physics of our days)

  3. Composition of faint comets

    Brown, L.W.


    The study uses an emission line, differential imaging camera built by the Science Operations Branch. This instrument allows photometric data to be obtained over a large area of a comet in a large number of resolution elements. The detector is a 100x100 Reticon array which with interchangeable optics can give resolutions from 2'' to 30'' over a field of 1' to 15'. The camera through its controlling computer can simultaneously take images in on-line and continuum filters and through computer subtraction and calibration present a photometric image of the comet produced by only the emission of the molecule under study. Initial work has shown two significant problems. First the auxiliary equipment of the telescope has not allowed the unambiguous location of faint comets so that systematic observations could be made, and secondly initial data has not shown much molecular emission from the faint comets which were located. Work last year on a software and hardware display system and this year on additional guide motors on the 36-inch telescope has allowed the differential camera to act as its own finder and guide scope. Comet IRAS was observed in C2 and CO+, as well as an occultation by the comet of SAO029103. The perodic comet Giacobini-Zinner was also observed in C2

  4. Realm of the comets

    Weissman, P.R.


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

  5. Origin and development of comets

    Kresak, L.


    The comets are the most primitive and probably also the oldest members of the solar system. Comet cores are brittle bodies of an irregular shape and of a size of 1 to 10 km whose main component is ice. Around 130 comets move along short-period paths whose aphelia are concentrated in the area of Jupiter. They are in the last stage of development. About 20 comets have periods of 20 to 200 years and feature higher motion stability. Roughly 180 comets have elliptical orbits of a period exceeding 200 years, 200 comets have parabolic and 120 comets have hyperbolic orbits. The most distant comets form the Oort cloud around the solar system consisting of about one billion comets. Comets originated roughly 4.6 thousand million years ago together with planets, probably inside the Oort cloud. (M.D.). 11 figs

  6. Comets in UV

    Shustov, B.; Sachkov, M.; Gómez de Castro, A. I.; Vallejo, J. C.; Kanev, E.; Dorofeeva, V.


    Comets are important "eyewitnesses" of Solar System formation and evolution. Important tests to determine the chemical composition and to study the physical processes in cometary nuclei and coma need data in the UV range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Comprehensive and complete studies require additional ground-based observations and in situ experiments. We briefly review observations of comets in the ultraviolet (UV) and discuss the prospects of UV observations of comets and exocomets with space-borne instruments. A special reference is made to the World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV) project.

  7. Physics of comets

    Krishna Swamy, K S


    This revised edition places a unique emphasis on all the new results from ground-based, satellites and space missions - detection of molecule H2 and prompt emission lines of OH for the first time; discovery of X-rays in comets; observed diversity in chemical composition among comets; the puzzle of the constancy of spin temperature; the well-established mineralogy of cometary dust; extensive theoretical modeling carried out for understanding the observed effects; and, the similarity in the mineralogy of dust in circumstellar shell of stars, comets, meteorites, asteroids and IDPs, thus indicatin

  8. Comet prospects for 2004

    Shanklin, J. D.


    2004 sees the return of 18 periodic comets. None are particularly bright and the best are likely to be 78P/Gehrels and 88P/Howell. Three new long period comets are likely to put on a good show: 2001 Q4 (NEAT) reaches perihelion in May, when it could make at least 3rd magnitude. Northern hemisphere observers will first pick it up just after perihelion as it rapidly moves north. 2002 T7 (LINEAR) could also reach 3rd magnitude at closest approach in May, however northern hemisphere observers will have lost it as a binocular object in mid-March. Observers at far southern latitudes may be able to see these two naked eye comets at the same time. 2003 K4 (LINEAR) could reach 6th magnitude as it brightens on its way to perihelion. Several other long period comets discovered in previous years are also still visible.

  9. Comets and their composition

    Spinrad, H.


    Recent theoretical and observational studies of comets are reviewed, with an emphasis on in situ data from spacecraft encounters with P/Giacobini-Zinner (September 1985) and P/Halley (March 1986). Topics addressed include clues on the origin and permanence of the Oort cometary cloud, observations of cometary nuclei far from the sun, the Halley nucleus, compositional and physical data from comae studies, and the parent molecules in comet ices. Also discussed are quantitative analyses of coma production; special features in the tail of P/Giacobini-Zinner; and proposals for (1) observations to detect distant giant comets, (2) high-resolution spectroscopic studies of comae, and (3) additional spacecraft missions such as the NASA Comet Rendezvous and Asteroid Flyby. 121 references

  10. DIRBE Comet Trails

    Arendt, Richard G.


    Re-examination of the COBE DIRBE data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails.The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported.The known trails of 2P/Encke, and 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 microns surface brightnesses of 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.

  11. Physical processes in comets

    Newburn, R.L. Jr.


    When this program began in 1975 only limited photometry had been carried out on comets at any wavelength. Program goals were to observe many comets, including faint periodic comets, at a range of heliocentric distances in order to begin to understand the range of behavior among comets and in a given comet during its approach and departure from the sun. Then a study of the continuum of scattered light from dust was added. More recently the value of joint team observations in visible and infrared light has been recognized and utilized as often as possible. All 1978 to 1982 data was reanalyzed and 1983 to 1986 data analyzed in the framwork of the post-Halley paradigm, covering 25 comets in all. Four observing runs (June, July, Sept., and Jan.) with Hanner produced excellent results on Wilson, Bradfield, P/Klemola, and P/Borrelly and lesser data on other objects, including the last reported IR photometry of P/Halley. The Wilson and Halley data have been reduced

  12. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.


    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.

  13. Jupiter Laser Facility - COMET Laser

    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...

  14. The Halley comet

    Encrenaz, T.; Festou, M.


    The conspicuous part of a comet, made of tenuous gas and dusts, represents only a tiny part of its mass. The main information is hidden in the central part: a solid nucleus, ice and rock blocks with a radius less than 10 km, completely invisible from the Earth. The knowledge of the nucleus structure and its composition could give the key of the planet creation mechanisms. That is a reason why it has been decided to send an automatic device to penetrate the Halley comet atmosphere and that two Soviet probes, Vega 1 and 2, one European probe Giotto, and two Japanese, Planet-A and MS-TS, will explore in-situ in March 1986, for the first time, a comet at atmosphere [fr

  15. Astrobiology of Comets

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


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

  16. Comet: Multifunction VOEvent broker

    Swinbank, John


    Comet is a Python implementation of the VOEvent Transport Protocol (VTP). VOEvent is the IVOA system for describing transient celestial events. Details of transients detected by many projects, including Fermi, Swift, and the Catalina Sky Survey, are currently made available as VOEvents, which is also the standard alert format by future facilities such as LSST and SKA. The core of Comet is a multifunction VOEvent broker, capable of receiving events either by subscribing to one or more remote brokers or by direct connection from authors; it can then both process those events locally and forward them to its own subscribers. In addition, Comet provides a tool for publishing VOEvents to the global VOEvent backbone.

  17. Nature and origin of comets

    Fernandez, J.A.; Jockers, K.


    The review examines basic history and morphology, motion, dynamic evolution, physical properties of neutral gaseous matter, vaporization of gases and outflow from the nucleus, chemistry of the coma gases, the comet nucleus, dust particles, solar wind-comet interactions and tail formation and the origin of comets. (U.K.)

  18. Comets - cosmic 'snowballs'

    Luest, R.


    Non-periodic comets come from regions at the limit of our solar system and have conserved their original structure and composition since they have originated from a pre-solar nebuly together with the sun and the planets about 4.5 x 10 9 years ago. They are icy bodies of kilometer size whose structure and chemical composition is of great interest also with respect to the origin of the solar system. It is hoped to send a space craft to comet Halley in 1986 to get more detailed informations. (orig.) [de

  19. Comet radar explorer

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

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

  20. Comets in Indian Scriptures

    Das Gupta, P.


    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.

  1. Comet 2001 Q2

    Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Bouma, R. J.; Raymundo, P. M.

    č. 7687 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  2. Death of a comet

    Hawkes, N


    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).

  3. Halley's Comet: A Bibliography.

    Freitag, Ruth S., Comp.

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

  4. Asteroids, meteorites, and comets

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T


    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. DRBE comet trails

    Arendt, Richard G.


    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 −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.

  6. DRBE comet trails

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


    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.

  7. Disappearance and disintegration of comets

    Sekanina, Z.


    The present investigation has the objective to provide a summary of the existing evidence on the disappearance of comets and to draw conclusions regarding the physical processes involved in the disappearance. Information concerning the classification of evidence and the causes of apparent disappearance of comets is presented in a table. Attention is given to the dissipating comets, the headless sungrazing comet 1887 I, and the physical behavior of the dissipating comets and the related phenomena. It is found that all comets confined to the planetary region of the solar system decay on astronomically short time scales. However, only some of them appear to perish catastrophically. Some of the observed phenomena could be successfully interpreted. But little insight has been obtained into the character of the processes which the dissipating comets experience.

  8. Ammonia abundances in four comets

    Wickoff, S.; Tegler, S.C.; Engel, L.


    NH2 emission band strengths were measured in four comets and the NH2 column densities were determined in order to measure the ammonia content of the comets. The mean ammonia/water abundance ratio derived for the four comets is found to be 0.13 + or - 0.06 percent, with no significant variation among the comets. The uniformity of this abundance attests to a remarkable degree of chemical homogeneity over large scales in the comet-forming region of the primordial solar nebula, and contrasts with the CO abundance variations found previously in comets. The N2 and NH3 abundances indicate a condensation temperature in the range 20-160 K, consistent with virtually all comet formation hypotheses. 64 refs

  9. Cometography a catalog of comets

    Kronk, Gary W; Seargent, David A J


    Cometography is a multi-volume catalog of every comet observed from ancient times up to the 1990s, when the internet took off as a medium of scientific record. It uses the most reliable orbits known to determine the distances from the Earth and Sun at the time of discovery and last observation, as well as the largest and smallest angular distance to the Sun, most northerly and southerly declination, closest distance to the Earth, and other details, to enable the reader to understand each comet's physical appearance. Volume 6, the final volume in the catalog, covers the observations and pertinent calculations for every comet seen between 1983 and 1993. The comets are listed in chronological order, with complete references to publications relating to each comet and physical descriptions of each comet's development throughout its apparition. Cometography is the definitive reference on comets through the ages, for astronomers and historians of science.

  10. Alkaline Comet Assay for Assessing DNA Damage in Individual Cells.

    Pu, Xinzhu; Wang, Zemin; Klaunig, James E


    Single-cell gel electrophoresis, commonly called a comet assay, is a simple and sensitive method for assessing DNA damage at the single-cell level. It is an important technique in genetic toxicological studies. The comet assay performed under alkaline conditions (pH >13) is considered the optimal version for identifying agents with genotoxic activity. The alkaline comet assay is capable of detecting DNA double-strand breaks, single-strand breaks, alkali-labile sites, DNA-DNA/DNA-protein cross-linking, and incomplete excision repair sites. The inclusion of digestion of lesion-specific DNA repair enzymes in the procedure allows the detection of various DNA base alterations, such as oxidative base damage. This unit describes alkaline comet assay procedures for assessing DNA strand breaks and oxidative base alterations. These methods can be applied in a variety of cells from in vitro and in vivo experiments, as well as human studies. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  11. 67P, Singing Comet

    Smirnova, Ekaterina


    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 with an

  12. Numerical simulations of comets - predictions for Comet Giacobini-Zinner

    Fedder, J.A.; Lyon, J.G.; Giuliani, J.L. Jr.


    Simulations of Comet Giacobini-Zinner's interaction with solar wind are described and results are presented. The simulations are carried out via the numerical solution of the ideal MHD equations as an initial value problem in a uniform solar wind. The calculations are performed on a Cartesian mesh centered at the comet. Results reveal that the first significant modifications of the solar wind along the ISEE/ICE trajectory will occur 100,000 km from the solar wind comet axis. 6 references


    Shou, Y.; Combi, M.; Gombosi, T.; Toth, G. [Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States); Jia, Y.-D. [IGPP, and EPSS, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (United States); Rubin, M. [Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse. 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland)


    On 2007 January 12, comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) passed its perihelion at 0.17 AU. Abundant remote observations offer plenty of information on the neutral composition and neutral velocities within 1 million kilometers of the comet nucleus. In early February, the Ulysses spacecraft made an in situ measurement of the ion composition, plasma velocity, and magnetic field when passing through the distant ion tail and the ambient solar wind. The measurement by Ulysses was made when the comet was at around 0.8 AU. With the constraints provided by remote and in situ observations, we simulated the plasma environment of Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) using a multi-species comet MHD model over a wide range of heliocentric distances from 0.17 to 1.75 AU. The solar wind interaction of the comet at various locations is characterized and typical subsolar standoff distances of the bow shock and contact surface are presented and compared to analytic solutions. We find the variation in the bow shock standoff distances at different heliocentric distances is smaller than the contact surface. In addition, we modified the multi-species model for the case when the comet was at 0.7 AU and achieved comparable water group ion abundances, proton densities, plasma velocities, and plasma temperatures to the Ulysses/SWICS and SWOOPS observations. We discuss the dominating chemical reactions throughout the comet-solar wind interaction region and demonstrate the link between the ion composition near the comet and in the distant tail as measured by Ulysses.


    Shou, Y.; Combi, M.; Gombosi, T.; Toth, G.; Jia, Y.-D.; Rubin, M.


    On 2007 January 12, comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) passed its perihelion at 0.17 AU. Abundant remote observations offer plenty of information on the neutral composition and neutral velocities within 1 million kilometers of the comet nucleus. In early February, the Ulysses spacecraft made an in situ measurement of the ion composition, plasma velocity, and magnetic field when passing through the distant ion tail and the ambient solar wind. The measurement by Ulysses was made when the comet was at around 0.8 AU. With the constraints provided by remote and in situ observations, we simulated the plasma environment of Comet C/2006 P1 (McNaught) using a multi-species comet MHD model over a wide range of heliocentric distances from 0.17 to 1.75 AU. The solar wind interaction of the comet at various locations is characterized and typical subsolar standoff distances of the bow shock and contact surface are presented and compared to analytic solutions. We find the variation in the bow shock standoff distances at different heliocentric distances is smaller than the contact surface. In addition, we modified the multi-species model for the case when the comet was at 0.7 AU and achieved comparable water group ion abundances, proton densities, plasma velocities, and plasma temperatures to the Ulysses/SWICS and SWOOPS observations. We discuss the dominating chemical reactions throughout the comet-solar wind interaction region and demonstrate the link between the ion composition near the comet and in the distant tail as measured by Ulysses

  15. CINE: Comet INfrared Excitation

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


    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.

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

    Meierhenrich, Uwe


    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

  17. Encounter with comet Halley

    Sagdeev, R.Z.


    This paper reports on an international armada of six spacecraft which encountered the comet Halley and performed in-situ measurements. These encounters led to the discovery of a number of cometary plasma physics phenomena. Another important result was that a value for the average density of the cometary nucleus could be estimated, which is found to be compatible with snow ball models for the nucleus

  18. Singing comet changes its song

    Volwerk, M.; Goetz, C.; Delva, M.; Richter, I.; Tsurutani, B. T.; Eriksson, A.; Odelstad, E.; Meier, P.; Nilsson, H.; Glassmeier, K.-H.


    The singing comet was discovered at the beginning of the Rosetta mission around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Large amplitude compressional waves with frequencies between 10 and 100 mHz were observed. When the comet became more active this signal was no longer measured. During the so-called tail excursion, late in the mission after perihelion, with again a less active comet, the singing was observed again and interestingly, going from 26 March to 27 March 2016 the character of the singing changed.

  19. The "silent world" of Comet 15P/Finlay

    Beech, M; Jones, J


    Comet 15P/Finlay is unusual in that, contrary to ab initio expectations, it demonstrates no apparent linkage to any known meteor shower. Using data contained within the Electronic Atlas of Dynamical Evolutions of Short-Period Comets, the authors evaluate theoretical shower radiants for Comet 15P/Finlay, but find no evidence to link it to any meteoric anomalies in recorded antiquity. This result, however, must be tempered by the fact that any Comet 15P/Finlay- derived meteoroids will have a low, 16 km s/sup -1/, encounter velocity with Earth's atmosphere. Typically, therefore, one would expect mostly faint meteors to be produced during an encounter with a Comet 15P/Finlay-derived meteoroid stream. they have conducted a D- criterion survey of meteoroid orbits derived from three southern hemisphere meteor radar surveys conducted during the 1960s, and again they find no evidence for any Comet 15P/Finlay-related activity. Numerical calculations following the orbital evolution of hypothetical meteoroids ejected fro...

  20. Technical manual for COMET

    Song, Jin Ho; Kwon, Young Min; Kim, Taek Mo; Lee, Sang Jong; Jeong, Hae Yong


    The purpose of this report is to provide a description for a COMET computer code which is to be used in the analysis of mass and energy releases during post-blowdown phase of LOCA. The mass and energy data re to be used as input data for the containment functional design. This report contains a brief description of analytical models and guidelines for the usage of the computer code. This computer code is to be used for both cold leg and hot leg break analyses. A verification analyses are performed for Ulchin 3 and 4 cold and hot leg break. 11 figs (Author)

  1. On the origin of comets

    Mendis, A.; Alfven, H.


    Physico-chemical processes leading to the dynamic formation and physical evolution of comets are reviewed in relationship to the various theories that propose solar origins, protoplanetary origins, planetary origins and interstellar origins. Evidence points to the origins of comets by the growth and agglomeration of small particles from gas and dust at very low temperatures at undetermined regions in space.

  2. Inside look at Halley's comet

    Beatty, J.K.


    The 1985-1986 emergence of Halley's comet, the first since the advent of the space age, was explored by a variety of spacecraft. The Vega 1, launched by the USSR together with the Eastern-block alliance, passed 5523 miles from the comet's nucleus at 7:20:06 Universal time. It indicated that the comet was about 300 miles closer to the sun than had been predicted. The Japanese spacecraft, Suisei, was created to map the distribution of neutral hydrogen atoms outside Halley's visible coma. Its pictures indicated that the comet's output of water varied between 25 and 60 tons per second. Five days after the Vega 2's passage through the comet, the Giotto (sponsored by the European Space Agency) probe appeared. Giotto's close approach took place 3.1 minutes after midnight UT on March 14th; the craft had passed 376 miles from its target. Giotto's data indicated that the nucleus was bigger than expected, and that the comet was composed primarily of water, CO2 and N2. The Vegas and Giotto found that as the solar wind approaches Halley, it slows gradually and the solar magnetic lines embedded in the wind begin to pile up. Pick-up ions, from the comet's halo of neutral hydrogen, were found in this solar wind. Sensors on the Vega spacecraft found a variety of plasma waves propagating inside the bow wave. In order to synthesize all the results, a conference on the exploration of Halley's comet will be held this October

  3. Molecular ions in comet tails

    Wyckoff, S.; Wehinger, P.A.


    Band intensities of the molecular ions CH + , CO + , N 2 + , and H 2 O + have been determined on an absolute scale from tail spectra of comet Kohoutek (1973f) and comet Bradfield (1974b). Photoionization and photodissociation rates have been computed for CH, CO, and N 2 . Also emission rate excitation g-factors for (1) photoionization plus excitation and (2) resonance fluorescence have been computed for the observed ions. It is shown that resonance fluorescence is the dominant excitation mechanism for observed comet tail ions at rapprox. =1 AU. Band system luminosities and molecular ion abundances within a projected nuclear distance rho 4 km have been determined for CH + , CO + , N 2 + , and H 2 O + in comet Kohoutek, and for H 2 O + in comet Bradfield. Estimates are also given for column densities of all observed ions at rhoapprox. =10 4 km on the tailward side of the coma. The observed H 2 O + column densities were found to be roughly the same in comet Kohoutek and comet Bradfield et equal heliocentric distances, while CO + was found to be approximately 100 times more abundant than H 2 O + , N 2 + , and CH + at rhoapprox. =10 4 km in comet Kohoutek. Finally, the relative abundances of the observed ions and of the presumed parent neutral species are briefly discussed

  4. Detecting active comets with SDSS

    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.


    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. Comet Halley and interstellar chemistry

    Snyder, L.E.


    How complex is the chemistry of the interstellar medium? How far does it evolve and how has it interacted with the chemistry of the solar system? Are the galactic chemical processes destroyed, preserved, or even enhanced in comets? Are biogenic molecules formed in space and have the formation mechanisms interacted in any way with prebiotic organic chemical processes on the early earth? Radio molecular studies of comets are important for probing deep into the coma and nuclear region and thus may help answer these questions. Comets are believed to be pristine samples of the debris left from the formation of the solar system and may have been the carrier between interstellar and terrestrial prebiotic chemistries. Recent observations of Comet Halley and subsequent comets have given the author an excellent opportunity to study the relationship between interstellar molecular chemistry and cometary chemistry

  6. Comet or Asteroid?


    When is a minor object in the solar system a comet? And when is it an asteroid? Until recently, there was little doubt. Any object that was found to display a tail or appeared diffuse was a comet of ice and dust grains, and any that didn't, was an asteroid of solid rock. Moreover, comets normally move in rather elongated orbits, while most asteroids follow near-circular orbits close to the main plane of the solar system in which the major planets move. However, astronomers have recently discovered some `intermediate' objects which seem to possess properties that are typical for both categories. For instance, a strange object (P/1996 N2 - Elst-Pizarro) was found last year at ESO ( ESO Press Photo 36/96 ) which showed a cometary tail, while moving in a typical asteroidal orbit. At about the same time, American scientists found another (1996 PW) that moved in a very elongated comet-type orbit but was completely devoid of a tail. Now, a group of European scientists, by means of observations carried out at the ESO La Silla observatory, have found yet another object that at first appeared to be one more comet/asteroid example. However, continued and more detailed observations aimed at revealing its true nature have shown that it is most probably a comet . Consequently, it has received the provisional cometary designation P/1997 T3 . The Uppsala-DLR Trojan Survey Some time ago, Claes-Ingvar Lagerkvist (Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala, Sweden), in collaboration with Gerhard Hahn, Stefano Mottola, Magnus Lundström and Uri Carsenty (DLR, Institute of Planetary Exploration, Berlin, Germany), started to study the distribution of asteroids near Jupiter. They were particularly interested in those that move in orbits similar to that of Jupiter and which are located `ahead' of Jupiter in the so-called `Jovian L4 Lagrangian point'. Together with those `behind' Jupiter, these asteroids have been given the names of Greek and Trojan Heroes who participated in the famous Trojan war

  7. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014

    Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Granvik, M.; Virkki, A.; Fedorets, G.; Wilkman, O.; Kohout, T.


    Asteroids, Comets, Meteors focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies. Small bodies are the key to understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System, carrying signals from pre-solar times. Understanding the evolution of the Solar System helps unveil the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems. Societally, small bodies will be important future resources of minerals. The near-Earth population of small bodies continues to pose an impact hazard, whether it be small pieces of falling meteorites or larger asteroids or cometary nuclei capable of causing global environmental effects. The conference series entitled ''Asteroids, Comets, Meteors'' constitutes the leading international series in the field of small Solar System bodies. The first three conferences took place in Uppsala, Sweden in 1983, 1985, and 1989. The conference is now returning to Nordic countries after a quarter of a century. After the Uppsala conferences, the conference has taken place in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A. in 1991, Belgirate, Italy in 1993, Paris, France in 1996, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. in 1999, in Berlin, Germany in 2002, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in 2008, and in Niigata, Japan in 2012. ACM in Helsinki, Finland in 2014 will be the 12th conference in the series.

  8. EPOXI at comet Hartley 2.

    A'Hearn, Michael F; Belton, Michael J S; Delamere, W Alan; Feaga, Lori M; Hampton, Donald; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P; McFadden, Lucy A; Meech, Karen J; Melosh, H Jay; Schultz, Peter H; Sunshine, Jessica M; Thomas, Peter C; Veverka, Joseph; Wellnitz, Dennis D; Yeomans, Donald K; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Bowling, Timothy J; Carcich, Brian T; Collins, Steven M; Farnham, Tony L; Groussin, Olivier; Hermalyn, Brendan; Kelley, Michael S; Kelley, Michael S; Li, Jian-Yang; Lindler, Don J; Lisse, Carey M; McLaughlin, Stephanie A; Merlin, Frédéric; Protopapa, Silvia; Richardson, James E; Williams, Jade L


    Understanding how comets work--what drives their activity--is crucial to the use of comets in studying the early solar system. EPOXI (Extrasolar Planet Observation and Deep Impact Extended Investigation) flew past comet 103P/Hartley 2, one with an unusually small but very active nucleus, taking both images and spectra. Unlike large, relatively inactive nuclei, this nucleus is outgassing primarily because of CO(2), which drags chunks of ice out of the nucleus. It also shows substantial differences in the relative abundance of volatiles from various parts of the nucleus.

  9. Comets in the space age

    Whipple, F.L.


    The historical development of the study of the nature of comets and their origin is discussed, emphasizing the use of aerospace technology in cometary science. The use of satellites to study the Comet Kohoutek 1973 XII, advances between Kohoutek and P/Halley, and studies of P/Halley during its 1986 return are examined. Consideration is given to data from ground, air, and space sensors, and from the Giotto and Vega spacecraft missions. Also, the physical structure of the nucleus of Comet Halley is described. 136 refs

  10. ESA Unveils Its New Comet Chaser.


    approach the Sun, their outer ices begin to vapourise, releasing large amounts of dust and gas to form the surrounding coma and wispy tails. Today, largely thanks to data from Giotto and the Russian Vega spacecraft, we now know that Whipple's model was fairly accurate. A comet nucleus resembles a fluffy snowball, usually only a few kilometres across, coated with a crust of black (probably organic) material and spouting jets of vapourised ice. However, despite these advances, scientists want to learn more about these occasional visitors to the inner Solar System. Why is it important to study comets? Comets formed about 4.5 billion years ago, and so they are among the oldest, most primitive objects in our Solar System. Billions of these giant chunks of ice still linger in the depths of space, the remnants of a vast swarm of objects which once surrounded our Sun and eventually came together to form planets. During the early history of our planet, the Solar System was like a gigantic shooting gallery with comets and asteroids continually crashing into the Earth. Some of the water which makes up the oceans may have originated in these ancient comet collisions. Previous studies have shown that comets carry complex organic molecules, compounds which are rich in carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Intriguingly, these are the elements, which make up nucleic acids and amino acids, essential ingredients for life as we know it. Did life on Earth begin with the help of cometary seeding? If so, it almost certainly began in a similar way somewhere else. Fortunately, comets rarely strike the Earth today. One of the most recent episodes which has been linked to a small comet occurred at Tunguska in Siberia in 1908. When the incoming object exploded in mid-air, trees were flattened for hundreds of kilometres around. Rosetta's target is the periodic Comet Wirtanen, a chunk of dirty ice less than 1 km across which orbits the Sun once every 5 and a half years. Wirtanen was chosen for the

  11. Comets, impacts, and atmospheres

    Owen, Tobias; Bar-Nun, Akiva

    Studies of element abundances and values of D/H in the atmospheres of the giant planets and Titan have emphasized the important role of icy planetesimals in the formation of these bodies. In these atmospheres, C/H and D/H increase as the relative masses of the 'cores' of the planets increase. N/H appears to deviate from this trend in an interesting way. In the inner solar system, the traditional approach of using carbonaceous chondrites as the source of planetary volatiles is in serious trouble because of the depletion of xenon and the unusual pattern of xenon isotopes found in the atmospheres of Earth and Mars, and because of the solar-type abundance ratios of argon, krypton and xenon and the large amounts of neon and argon on Venus. Recent studies of elemental abundances in comets, especially P/Halley, coupled with laboratory studies of the trapping of gas in ice formed at low temperatures by A. Bar-Nun et al. provide a consistent interpretation of all of these results. This interpretation emphasizes the fundamental importance of icy planetesimals (comets) and the randomness of early impacts in the formation of planetary systems. Cometary delivery by itself will not explain the noble gas abundances on the inner planets. There is good evidence for at least one additional source, which presumably consists of the rocky material making up the bulk of the planets. The existence of this rocky reservoir is manifested in the nucleogenic isotopes and in the neon which is found in all these atmospheres and is also present in the Earth's mantle. This neon may well be a relic of the planets' earliest, accretional atmospheres.

  12. Nitrogen abundance in Comet Halley

    Wyckoff, S.; Tegler, S.C.; Engel, L.


    Data on the nitrogen-containing compounds that observed spectroscopically in the coma of Comet Halley are summarized, and the elemental abundance of nitrogen in the Comet Halley nucleus is derived. It is found that 90 percent of elemental nitrogen is in the dust fraction of the coma, while in the gas fraction, most of the nitrogen is contained in NH3 and CN. The elemental nitrogen abundance in the ice component of the nucleus was found to be deficient by a factor of about 75, relative to the solar photosphere, indicating that the chemical partitioning of N2 into NH3 and other nitrogen compounds during the evolution of the solar nebula cannot account completely for the low abundance ratio N2/NH3 = 0.1, observed in the comet. It is suggested that the low N2/NH3 ratio in Comet Halley may be explained simply by physical fractionation and/or thermal diffusion. 88 refs

  13. Craters on comets

    Vincent, J.; Oklay, N.; Marchi, S.; Höfner, S.; Sierks, H.


    This paper reviews the observations of crater-like features on cometary nuclei. ''Pits'' have been observed on almost all cometary nuclei but their origin is not fully understood [1,2,3,4]. It is currently assumed that they are created mainly by the cometary activity with a pocket of volatiles erupting under a dust crust, leaving a hole behind. There are, however, other features which cannot be explained in this way and are interpreted alternatively as remnants of impact craters. This work focusses on the second type of pit features: impact craters. We present an in-depth review of what has been observed previously and conclude that two main types of crater morphologies can be observed: ''pit-halo'' and ''sharp pit''. We extend this review by a series of analysis of impact craters on cometary nuclei through different approaches [5]: (1) Probability of impact: We discuss the chances that a Jupiter Family Comet like 9P/Tempel 1 or the target of Rosetta 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko can experience an impact, taking into account the most recent work on the size distribution of small objects in the asteroid Main Belt [6]. (2) Crater morphology from scaling laws: We present the status of scaling laws for impact craters on cometary nuclei [7] and discuss their strengths and limitations when modeling what happens when a rocky projectile hits a very porous material. (3) Numerical experiments: We extend the work on scaling laws by a series of hydrocode impact simulations, using the iSALE shock physics code [8,9,10] for varying surface porosity and impactor velocity (see Figure). (4) Surface processes and evolution: We discuss finally the fate of the projectile and the effects of the impact-induced surface compaction on the activity of the nucleus. To summarize, we find that comets do undergo impacts although the rapid evolution of the surface erases most of the features and make craters difficult to detect. In the case of a collision between a rocky body and a highly porous

  14. Comet showers and Nemesis, the death star

    Hills, J.G.


    The recently proposed hypothesis that the periodic extinctions of terrestrial species are the result of comet showers catalyzed by a hypothetical distant solar companion, Nemesis, a tale of global death by comet bombardment of the earth, is discussed

  15. CO2 Orbital Trends in Comets

    Kelley, Michael; Feaga, Lori; Bodewits, Dennis; McKay, Adam; Snodgrass, Colin; Wooden, Diane


    Spacecraft missions to comets return a treasure trove of details of their targets, e.g., the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Deep Impact experiment at comet 9P/Tempel 1, or even the flyby of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) at Mars. Yet, missions are rare, the diversity of comets is large, few comets are easily accessible, and comet flybys essentially return snapshots of their target nuclei. Thus, telescopic observations are necessary to place the mission data within the context of each comet's long-term behavior, and to further connect mission results to the comet population as a whole. We propose a large Cycle 11 project to study the long-term activity of past and potential future mission targets, and select bright Oort cloud comets to infer comet nucleus properties, which would otherwise require flyby missions. In the classical comet model, cometary mass loss is driven by the sublimation of water ice. However, recent discoveries suggest that the more volatile CO and CO2 ices are the likely drivers of some comet active regions. Surprisingly, CO2 drove most of the activity of comet Hartley 2 at only 1 AU from the Sun where vigorous water ice sublimation would be expected to dominate. Currently, little is known about the role of CO2 in comet activity because telluric absorptions prohibit monitoring from the ground. In our Cycle 11 project, we will study the CO2 activity of our targets through IRAC photometry. In conjunction with prior observations of CO2 and CO, as well as future data sets (JWST) and ongoing Earth-based projects led by members of our team, we will investigate both long-term activity trends in our target comets, with a particular goal to ascertain the connections between each comet's coma and nucleus.

  16. Disintegration phenomena in Comet West

    Sekanina, Z.


    Two peculiarities of Comet West, the multiple splitting of the nucleus as seen in telescope observations and the complex structure of the dust tail, are discussed. A method of analysis based on the premise that the observed rate of separation of a fragment from the principal nucleus is determined by the difference in effective solar attraction acting on the bodies is applied to investigate the motion of the four fragments that separated from the nucleus of Comet West. The predicted motion of the fragments is in good agreement with available observations. It is suggested that the 'synchronic' bands of the dust tail consist of tiny fragments from relatively large particles that burst after release from the comet. The unusual orientation of these bands and their high surface brightness relative to the diffuse tail are explained by a sudden increase in the particle acceleration and in the total scattering surface as the result of the disintegration of the larger particles.


    Keane, Jacqueline V.; Kleyna, Jan T.; Riesen, Timm-Emmanuel; Meech, Karen J. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Milam, Stefanie N.; Charnley, Steven B. [Astrochemistry Laboratory, NASA GSFC, MS 690, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Coulson, Iain M. [Joint Astronomy Center, 660 North Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States); Sekanina, Zdenek [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Kracht, Rainer, E-mail: [Ostlandring 53, D-25335 Elmshorn, Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)


    We report submillimeter 450 and 850 μ m 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 ( r {sub h} = 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″ (>10{sup 5} km) in the anti-solar direction. Deconvolution of the November 28.04 850 μ m image reveals numerous distinct clumps consistent with the catastrophic disruption of comet ISON, producing ∼5.2 × 10{sup 10} kg of submillimeter-sized dust. Orbital computations suggest that the SCUBA-2 emission peak coincides with the comet's residual nucleus.

  18. Comet-Narval acquisition notice

    Le Bris, J.; Sellem, R.; Artiges, J.C.; Clavelin, J.F.; Du, S.; Grave, X.; Hubert, O.; Sauvage, J.; Roussiere, B.


    The COMET cards (encoding and time marking) serve to determine the energies and the time correlations of radiations detected during a multiparameter experiment while avoiding any extra specific module like coincidence circuits or delays) to set this time correlation. For each detected radiation, the arrival time information as well as the amplitude of the detected signal, are encoded. The results of these amplitude and time coding are associated to create an event. In this way, each detector is an independent source which provides a building block of the general information obtained by all the detectors. The COMET cards are associated with a NARVAL data acquisition system. This document is the instruction booklet of the COMET-NARVAL acquisition system

  19. Evolution of comets into asteroids

    Weissman, P.R.; A'hearn, M.F.; Rickman, H.; Mcfadden, L.A.


    This paper presents observational evidence, together with recent theoretical developments, supporting the hypothesis that at least some asteroids might be extinct or dormant cometary nuclei. The observations include the discovery of a number of apparent asteroids in chaotic Jupiter-crossing orbits; the IRAS discovery of 1983 TB, an asteroid in the same orbit as the Geminid meteor shower; the apparent low activity levels determined for several short-period comet nuclei including Comet Halley; and observations of possible cometary activity in some earth-crossing asteroids. Theoretical developments include explorations of dynamical mechanisms capable of delivering main-belt asteroids into earth-crossing orbits, and an understanding of possible processes which may affect comets during their long residence in the Oort cloud and lead to the formation of nonvolatile crusts before and after they enter the planetary system. 143 refs

  20. Catastrophic Disruption of Comet ISON

    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.


    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.

  1. Hummingbird Comet Nucleus Analysis Mission

    Kojiro, Daniel; Carle, Glenn C.; Lasher, Larry E.


    Hummingbird is a highly focused scientific mission, proposed to NASA s Discovery Program, designed to address the highest priority questions in cometary science-that of the chemical composition of the cometary nucleus. After rendezvous with the comet, Hummingbird would first methodically image and map the comet, then collect and analyze dust, ice and gases from the cometary atmosphere to enrich characterization of the comet and support landing site selection. Then, like its namesake, Hummingbird would carefully descend to a pre-selected surface site obtaining a high-resolution image, gather a surface material sample, acquire surface temperature and then immediately return to orbit for detailed chemical and elemental analyses followed by a high resolution post-sampling image of the site. Hummingbird s analytical laboratory contains instrumentation for a comprehensive molecular and elemental analysis of the cometary nucleus as well as an innovative surface sample acquisition device.

  2. Tabulation of comet observations.


    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.

  3. Comet Mineralogy as Inferred from Infrared Spectra of Comets

    Wooden, Diane H.


    For most comets, infrared (IR) spectroscopy (remote sensing) is the method through which we diagnose the mineralogy and size distribution of dust in their comae. The shape and contrast of the IR spectral features depend on the particle size: optically active minerals (absorbing of visible and near-IR solar photons) and submicron solid grains or highly porous (> 90% vacuum) grains primarily contribute to the shapes of the observed resonances. Comet mineralogies typically are determined by fitting thermal emission models of ensembles of discrete mineral grains to observed IR spectral energy distributions. The absorptivities (Q-abs) and scattering efficiencies (Q-scat) of the discrete mineral grains are computed using Mie scattering, Maxwell-Garnet mixing, Discrete Dipole Approximation, and Multi-Layered Sphere codes. These techniques when applied to crystalline minerals, specifically olivine (Mg_x, Fe_1-x)2 Si04, x>0.9, require the use of ellipsoidal shaped particles with elongated axial ratios or hollow spheres to produce the shapes of the resonances observed both from comet comae and laboratory samples. The wavelength positions of the distinct resonances from submicron-radii crystalline silicates, as well as their thermal equilibrium temperatures, constrain the crystalline olivine to have a relatively high Mg-content (x>0.9, or Fo>90). Only resonances computed for submicron Mg-rich crystalline olivine and crystalline orthopyroxene match the observed IR spectral features. However, this has led to the interpretation that micron-radii and larger crystals are absent from comet comae. Furthermore, the mass fraction of silicate crystals is dependent upon whether just the submicron portion of the size distribution is being compared or the submicron crystals compare to the aggregates of porous amorphous silicates that are computationally tractable as porous spheres. We will discuss the Deep Impact results as examples of these challenges to interpreting mid-IR spectra of

  4. Comet C/2001 J1

    Pravec, Petr; Helin, E.; Lawrence, K.; Kotková, Lenka; Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.

    č. 7623 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  5. The COMET Sleep Research Platform.

    Nichols, Deborah A; DeSalvo, Steven; Miller, Richard A; Jónsson, Darrell; Griffin, Kara S; Hyde, Pamela R; Walsh, James K; Kushida, Clete A


    The Comparative Outcomes Management with Electronic Data Technology (COMET) platform is extensible and designed for facilitating multicenter electronic clinical research. Our research goals were the following: (1) to conduct a comparative effectiveness trial (CET) for two obstructive sleep apnea treatments-positive airway pressure versus oral appliance therapy; and (2) to establish a new electronic network infrastructure that would support this study and other clinical research studies. The COMET platform was created to satisfy the needs of CET with a focus on creating a platform that provides comprehensive toolsets, multisite collaboration, and end-to-end data management. The platform also provides medical researchers the ability to visualize and interpret data using business intelligence (BI) tools. COMET is a research platform that is scalable and extensible, and which, in a future version, can accommodate big data sets and enable efficient and effective research across multiple studies and medical specialties. The COMET platform components were designed for an eventual move to a cloud computing infrastructure that enhances sustainability, overall cost effectiveness, and return on investment.

  6. Modeling Formaldehyde Emission in Comets

    Disanti, M. A.; Reuter, D. C.; Bonev, B. P.; Mumma, M. J.; Villanueva, G. L.

    Modeling fluorescent emission from monomeric formaldehyde (H2CO) forms an integral part of our overall comprehensive program of measuring the volatile composition of comets through high-resolution (RP ~ 25,000) infrared spectroscopy using CSHELL at the IRTF and NIRSPEC at Keck II. The H2CO spectra contain lines from both the nu1 (symmetric CH2 stretch) and nu5 (asymmetric CH2 stretch) bands near 3.6 microns. We have acquired high-quality spectra of twelve Oort cloud comets, and at least six of these show clear emission from H2CO. We also detected H2CO with NIRSPEC in one Jupiter Family comet, 9P/Tempel 1, during Deep Impact observations. Our H2CO model, originally developed to interpret low-resolution spectra of comets Halley and Wilson (Reuter et al. 1989 Ap J 341:1045), predicts individual line intensities (g-factors) as a function of rotational temperature for approximately 1300 lines having energies up to approximately 400 cm^-1 above the ground state. Recently, it was validated through comparison with CSHELL spectra of C/2002 T7 (LINEAR), where newly developed analyses were applied to obtain robust determinations of both the rotational temperature and abundance of H2CO (DiSanti et al. 2006 Ap J 650:470). We are currently in the process of extending the model to higher rotational energy (i.e., higher rotational quantum number) in an attempt to improve the fit to high-J lines in our spectra of C/T7 and other comets. Results will be presented, and implications discussed.Modeling fluorescent emission from monomeric formaldehyde (H2CO) forms an integral part of our overall comprehensive program of measuring the volatile composition of comets through high-resolution (RP ~ 25,000) infrared spectroscopy using CSHELL at the IRTF and NIRSPEC at Keck II. The H2CO spectra contain lines from both the nu1 (symmetric CH2 stretch) and nu5 (asymmetric CH2 stretch) bands near 3.6 microns. We have acquired high-quality spectra of twelve Oort cloud comets, and at least six of

  7. Periodic Comet Machholz and its idiosyncrasies

    Sekanina, Z.


    The dynamics and physical characteristics of Comet P/Machholz are analyzed. The discovery of the comet (Machholz, 1986) is discussed, including the observational conditions and the theory that the comet is inactive over extensive periods of time. Consideration is given to observations of the two tails of Comet P/Machholz (Emerson, 1986), the brightness variations and light curve of the comet, and nuclear photometry of the comet (Green, 1987). It is suggested that the increase in activity beginning one day after perihelion was triggered by a discrete source within 15 deg of the rotation pole that became sunlit after perihelion. Also, the possibility that Comet P/Machholz is associated with a meteor stream is examined. 45 refs

  8. Improved orbits of two periodic comets: Tsuchinshan 1 and Tsuchinshan 2

    Szutowicz, S.


    The observations made during four apparitions of two comets were collected and the orbits of the comets were improved; 86 observations of Comet Tsuchinshan 1 and 50 observations of Comet Tsuchinshan 2 made in the period 1965-1985 were used. The orbit of Comet Tsuchinshan 1 was improved taking into account nongravitational effects in its motion as well as a displacement of the photometric center from the center of mass. The following values of nongravitational parameters and of observational parameter D were obtained: A 1 = 0.75953 x 10 -8 , A 2 0.00375 x 10 -8 , D = 0.34698 x 10 -3 . To link all observations of Comet Tsuchinshan 2 by one system of elements it was sufficient to add observational effects as a displacement of the photometric center from the center of mass. The following value of parameter D was obtained: D = 1.00200 x 10 -3 . The equations of motion of both comets were integrated backwards and forwards till 1992. Ephemerides for their next returns were computed. 6 refs., 5 tabs. (author)

  9. Rosetta - a comet ride to solve planetary mysteries


    them for downlink to Earth at the next ground station contact. ESA has installed a new deep-space antenna at New Norcia, near Perth in Western Australia, as the main communications link between the spacecraft and the ESOC Mission Control in Darmstadt, Germany. This 35-metre diameter parabolic antenna allows the radio signal to reach distances of more than 1 million kilometres from Earth. The radio signals, travelling at the speed of light, will take up to 50 minutes to cover the distance between the spacecraft and Earth. Rosetta's Science Operations Centre, which is responsible for collecting and distributing the scientific data, will share a location at ESOC and ESTEC in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. The Lander Control Centre is located in DLR in Cologne, Germany, and the Lander Science Centre in CNES in Toulouse, France. Building Rosetta Rosetta was selected as a mission in 1993. The spacecraft has been built by Astrium Germany as prime contractor. Major subcontractors are Astrium UK (spacecraft platform), Astrium France (spacecraft avionics), and Alenia Spazio (assembly, integration, and verification). Rosetta’s industrial team involves more than 50 contractors from 14 European countries, Canada and the United States. Scientific consortia from institutes across Europe and the United States have provided the instruments on the orbiter. A European consortium under the leadership of the German Aerospace Research Institute (DLR) has provided the lander. Rosetta has cost ESA Euro 701 million at 2000 economic conditions. This amount includes the launch and the entire period of development and mission operations from 1996 to 2013. The lander and the experiments, the so-called 'payload', are not included since they are funded by the member states through the scientific institutes. Note to editors Europe is certainly a pioneer in comet exploration. In 1986, ESA’s spacecraft Giotto performed the closest comet fly-by ever achieved by any spacecraft (at a distance of 600

  10. CoMET: A Mesquite package for comparing models of continuous character evolution on phylogenies

    Chunghau Lee


    Full Text Available Continuously varying traits such as body size or gene expression level evolve during the history of species or gene lineages. To test hypotheses about the evolution of such traits, the maximum likelihood (ML method is often used. Here we introduce CoMET (Continuous-character Model Evaluation and Testing, which is module for Mesquite that automates likelihood computations for nine different models of trait evolution. Due to its few restrictions on input data, CoMET is applicable to testing a wide range of character evolution hypotheses. The CoMET homepage, which links to freely available software and more detailed usage instructions, is located at

  11. Comet Halley and its historic passages during the past millennium

    Legrand, J.P.


    The March 12, 1759 return of Comet Halley verified Halley's hypothesis on the existence of periodic comets and supported Newton's principle of universal attraction. Comet Halley's appearances before the 16th century are traced and it is noted that the length of the comet's tail has varied greatly. The comet's rendezvous with ESA's satellite Giotto is discussed briefly

  12. Rationalization of Comet Halley's periods

    Belton, Michael J. S.


    The sense of long axis orientation of Comet Halley during the Vega 1 encounter must be reversed from that deduced by Sagdeev et al. (1986) in order to harmonize the comet nucleus' Vega/Giotto-observed orientations with periodicities extracted from time-series brightness data. It is also demonstrated that Vega/Giotto observations can be satisfied by either a 2.2- or 3.7-day long-axis free precession period. A novel Fourier algorithm is used to reanalyze five independent data sets; strong evidence is adduced for periods harmonically related to a 7.4-day period. The preferred candidate models for Halley's nuclear rotation are characterized by a long-axis precession period of 3.7 days.

  13. Comet Assay in Cancer Chemoprevention.

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


    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.

  14. Radar observations of Comet Halley

    Campbell, D.B.; Harmon, J.K.; Shapiro, I.I.


    Five nights of Arecibo radar observations of Comet Halley are reported which reveal a feature in the overall average spectrum which, though weak, seems consistent with being an echo from the comet. The large radar cross section and large bandwidth of the feature suggest that the echo is predominantly from large grains which have been ejected from the nucleus. Extrapolation of the dust particle size distribution to large grain sizes gives a sufficient number of grains to account for the echo. The lack of a detectable echo from the nucleus, combined with estimates of its size and rotation rate from spacecraft encounters and other data, indicate that the nucleus has a surface of relatively high porosity. 33 references

  15. Comet Halley, parameter study I

    Huebner, W.F.; Fikani, M.M.


    To aid in defining a mission to comet P/Halley, its inner coma is simulated by a computer program that models time-dependent chemical reactions in a radially and isentropically expanding gas, taking into account attenuation of solar ultraviolet radiation in the subsolar direction. Column density predictions are based on intelligently selected combinations of poorly known values for nucleus parameters that include size, visual albedo, and infrared emissivity. Only one chemical composition and a minor modification of it are considered here; the dust-to-gas ratio in this model is zero. Although the somewhat optimistically volatile composition chosen here favors a smaller nucleus, a mean nuclear radius of only 0.5 km is unlikely. No significant increase of molecular column density is predicted by this model as a spacecraft approaches, once it is less than a few 10 4 km from the nucleus. Predictions are made for various heliocentric distances of interest for comet missions and for ground observations

  16. Comet Halley: nucleus and jets

    Sagdeev, R.Z.; Avanesov, G.A.; Barinov, I.V.


    The VEGA-1 and VEGA-2 spacecrafts made their closest approach to Comet Halley on 6 and 9 March, respectively. In this paper results of the onboard imaging experiment are discussed. The nucleus of the comet was clearly identifyable as an irregularly shaped object with overall dimensions of (16+-1)x(8+-1)x(8+-1) km. The nucleus rotates around its axis which is nearly perpendicular to the orbital plane, with a period of 53+-2 hours. Its albedo is only 0.04+-002. Most of the jet features observed during the second fly-by were spatially reconstructed. These sources form a quasi-linear structure on the surface. The dust above the surface is shown to be optically thin except certain specific dust jets. Brightness features on the surface are clearly seen. Correlating the data with other measurements it is concluded that the dirty snow-ball model probably has to be revised. (author)

  17. Solar wind stagnation near comets

    Galeev, A.A.; Cravens, T.E.; Gombosi, T.I.


    The nature of the solar wind flow near comets is examined analytically. In particular, the typical values for the stagnation pressure and magnetic barrier strength are estimated, taking into account the magnetic field line tension and the charge exchange cooling of the mass loaded solar wind. Knowledge of the strength of the magnetic barrier is required in order to determine the location of the contact discontinuity which separates the contaminated solar wind plasma and the outflowing plasma of the cometary ionosphere. (author)

  18. Comet coma sample return instrument

    Albee, A. L.; Brownlee, Don E.; Burnett, Donald S.; Tsou, Peter; Uesugi, K. T.


    The sample collection technology and instrument concept for the Sample of Comet Coma Earth Return Mission (SOCCER) are described. The scientific goals of this Flyby Sample Return are to return to coma dust and volatile samples from a known comet source, which will permit accurate elemental and isotopic measurements for thousands of individual solid particles and volatiles, detailed analysis of the dust structure, morphology, and mineralogy of the intact samples, and identification of the biogenic elements or compounds in the solid and volatile samples. Having these intact samples, morphologic, petrographic, and phase structural features can be determined. Information on dust particle size, shape, and density can be ascertained by analyzing penetration holes and tracks in the capture medium. Time and spatial data of dust capture will provide understanding of the flux dynamics of the coma and the jets. Additional information will include the identification of cosmic ray tracks in the cometary grains, which can provide a particle's process history and perhaps even the age of the comet. The measurements will be made with the same equipment used for studying micrometeorites for decades past; hence, the results can be directly compared without extrapolation or modification. The data will provide a powerful and direct technique for comparing the cometary samples with all known types of meteorites and interplanetary dust. This sample collection system will provide the first sample return from a specifically identified primitive body and will allow, for the first time, a direct method of matching meteoritic materials captured on Earth with known parent bodies.

  19. Halley comet, implication on the origin

    Festou, M.C.


    One will first give a rapid description of the different parts that compose a comet coma. Then one will describe the spectrum of comets from the UV to the IR regions with special emphasis on how information relative to the physico-chemistry of comet atmospheres can be retrieved. Our basic knowledge about the composition of comets before 1985 will be summarized and the input of the 1985-86 observing campaign of comet Halley will be shown (in situ, ground-based and space borne observations). One will see then that the chemical composition of comets appears as of today completely compatible with a formation from pre-solar matter that condensed inside the solar system [fr

  20. 100 and counting : SOHO's score as the world's top comet finder


    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

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

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


    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.

  2. Comet Dust After Deep Impact

    Wooden, Diane H.; Harker, David E.; Woodward, Charles E.


    When the Deep Impact Mission hit Jupiter Family comet 9P/Tempel 1, an ejecta crater was formed and an pocket of volatile gases and ices from 10-30 m below the surface was exposed (A Hearn et aI. 2005). This resulted in a gas geyser that persisted for a few hours (Sugita et al, 2005). The gas geyser pushed dust grains into the coma (Sugita et a1. 2005), as well as ice grains (Schulz et al. 2006). The smaller of the dust grains were submicron in radii (0-25.3 micron), and were primarily composed of highly refractory minerals including amorphous (non-graphitic) carbon, and silicate minerals including amorphous (disordered) olivine (Fe,Mg)2SiO4 and pyroxene (Fe,Mg)SiO3 and crystalline Mg-rich olivine. The smaller grains moved faster, as expected from the size-dependent velocity law produced by gas-drag on grains. The mineralogy evolved with time: progressively larger grains persisted in the near nuclear region, having been imparted with slower velocities, and the mineralogies of these larger grains appeared simpler and without crystals. The smaller 0.2-0.3 micron grains reached the coma in about 1.5 hours (1 arc sec = 740 km), were more diverse in mineralogy than the larger grains and contained crystals, and appeared to travel through the coma together. No smaller grains appeared at larger coma distances later (with slower velocities), implying that if grain fragmentation occurred, it happened within the gas acceleration zone. These results of the high spatial resolution spectroscopy (GEMINI+Michelle: Harker et 4. 2005, 2006; Subaru+COMICS: Sugita et al. 2005) revealed that the grains released from the interior were different from the nominally active areas of this comet by their: (a) crystalline content, (b) smaller size, (c) more diverse mineralogy. The temporal changes in the spectra, recorded by GEMIM+Michelle every 7 minutes, indicated that the dust mineralogy is inhomogeneous and, unexpectedly, the portion of the size distribution dominated by smaller grains has

  3. Amino Acids from a Comet

    Cook, Jamie Elisla


    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.

  4. On the nature of the Halley comet

    Dobrovol'skij, O.V.; Ioffe, Z.M.


    The results of study of the Halley comet by means of the ''Vega'', ''Suisej'', ''Sakigaki'' and ''Jotton'' space probes are presented in the popular form. The form and composition of the comet nucleus, its atmosphere and processes ocurring when moving in the near-the-solar space are described

  5. Origin of comets - implications for planetary formation

    Weissman, P.R.; Arizona Univ., Tucson)


    Primordial and episodic theories for the origin of comets are discussed. The implications of the former type for the origin of the solar system are considered. Candidate sites for the formation of comets are compared. The possible existence of a massive inner Oort cloud is discussed

  6. Meteoroid Streams from Sunskirter Comet Breakup

    Jenniskens, P. M.


    In its first year of operations, the CAMS project (Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance) has measured 47,000 meteoroid orbits at Earth, including some that pass the Sun as close as 0.008 AU. The population density increases significantly above perihelion distance q = 0.037 AU. Meteoroid streams are known with q about 0.1 AU. The Sun has a profound effect on comets that pass at 0.04-0.16 AU distance, called the sunskirter comets. SOHO and STEREO see families of small comets called the Marsden and Kracht groups. Sunlight is efficiently scattered by small 10-m sized fragments, making those fragments visible even when far from Earth. These comet groups are associated with meteor showers on Earth, in particular the Daytime Arietids and Delta Aquariids. All are related to 96P/Machholz, a highly inclined short-period (5.2 year) Jupiter family comet that comes to within 0.12 AU from the Sun, the smallest perihelion distance known among numbered comets. The proximity of the Sun speeds up the disintegration process, providing us a unique window on this important decay mechanism of Jupiter family comets and creating meteoroid streams. These are not the only sunskirting comets, however. In this presentation, we will present CAMS observations of the complete low-q meteoroid population at Earth and review their association with known parent bodies.

  7. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 meets Jupiter.

    Levy, D. H.; Shoemaker, E. M.; Shoemaker, C. S.


    The impact of comet D/1993 F2 (Shoemaker-Levy 9) with Jupiter was unforgettable, an event probably not to be repeated for millennia to come. One year later the astronomers who first spotted the comet reflect on their discovery, on the anxious months of anticipation before the collision and on what has been learned since.

  8. Comet mission hopes to uncover Earth's origins

    Henderson, M


    "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).

  9. Origin of Short-Perihelion Comets

    Guliyev, A. S.


    New regularities for short-perihelion comets are found. Distant nodes of cometary orbits of Kreutz family are concentrated in a plane with ascending node 76 and inclination 267 at the distance from 2 up to 3 a.u. and in a very narrow interval of longitudes. There is a correlation dependence between q and cos I concerning the found plane (coefficient of correlation 0.41). Similar results are received regarding to cometary families of Meyer, Kracht and Marsden. Distant nodes of these comets are concentrated close three planes (their parameters are discussed in the article) and at distances 1.4; 0.5; 6 a.u. accordingly. It is concluded that these comet groups were formed as a result of collision of parent bodies with meteoric streams. One more group, consisting of 7 comets is identified. 5 comet pairs are selected among sungrazers.

  10. Comets and How to Observe Them

    Schmude, Richard


    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.

  11. Antioxidants and the Comet assay.

    Cemeli, Eduardo; Baumgartner, Adolf; Anderson, Diana


    It is widely accepted that antioxidants, either endogenous or from the diet, play a key role in preserving health. They are able to quench radical species generated in situations of oxidative stress, either triggered by pathologies or xenobiotics, and they protect the integrity of DNA from genotoxicants. Nevertheless, there are still many compounds with unclear or unidentified prooxidant/antioxidant activities. This is of concern since there is an increase in the number of compounds synthesized or extracted from vegetables to which humans might be exposed. Despite the well-established protective effects of fruit and vegetables, the antioxidant(s) responsible have not all been clearly identified. There might also be alternative mechanisms contributing to the protective effects for which a comprehensive description is lacking. In the last two decades, the Comet assay has been extensively used for the investigation of the effects of antioxidants and many reports can be found in the literature. The Comet assay, a relatively fast, simple, and sensitive technique for the analysis of DNA damage in all cell types, has been applied for the screening of chemicals, biomonitoring and intervention studies. In the present review, several of the most well-known antioxidants are considered. These include: catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, selenium, iron chelators, melatonin, melanin, vitamins (A, B, C and E), carotenes, flavonoids, isoflavones, tea polyphenols, wine polyphenols and synthetic antioxidants. Investigations showing beneficial as well as non-beneficial properties of the antioxidants selected, either at the in vitro, ex vivo or in vivo level are discussed.

  12. comets in the STIP context

    Wallis, M.K.


    Fluid descriptions of plasma motion through a cometary coma are briefly sketched, distinguishing the bow shock and ionizing flow region mainly within it, the tail region and ray structure, and the 'ionosphere' coupled closely to the expanding cometary gas. Whether there is a contact discontinuity or continuous transition between the incoming flow and the ionosphere depends on solar fluxes rather than comet size. A discontinuity as observed requires much faster ionization in the inner coma or severe collisional cooling of incoming plasma. Changes in structure and brightness may reflect solar UV and solar plasma variations, but may also be evidence of intrinsic instabilities of hydrodynamic/MHD or chemically-reactive flow. Molecular ionization and dissociation processes strongly influence the stagnation region ahead of the comet, and make it particularly susceptible to flow instabilities. Solar UV variations are energetically dominant within the ionosphere, changing the evaporation and chemical reaction rates, and probably stimulate dust halos. Shocked changes in the solar wind propagating through the head can trigger structural and intensity fluctuations in the plasma, notably disruptions of the plasma tail. (Auth.)

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

    Benjamin M. Gyori


    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.

  14. Comet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society An Interdisciplinary Approach

    Bobrowsky, Peter T


    In 1908 an atmospheric explosion in northern Siberia released energy equivalent to 15 Mton of TNT. Can a comparable or larger NEO affect us again? When the next NEO strikes Earth will it be large enough to destroy a city? Will the climate change significantly? Can archaeology and anthropology provide insights into the expected cultural responses with NEO interactions? Does society have a true grasp of the actual risks involved? Is the Great Depression a good model for the economic collapse that could follow a NEO catastrophe? This volume provides a necessary link between various disciplines and comet/asteroid impacts.

  15. Comet Halley Returns. A Teacher's Guide, 1985-1986.

    Chapman, Robert D.; Bondurant, R. Lynn, Jr.

    This booklet was designed as an aid for elementary and secondary school teachers. It is divided into two distinct parts. Part I is a brief tutorial which introduces some of the most important concepts about comets. Areas addressed include: the historical importance of Comet Halley; how comets are found and names; cometary orbits; what Comet Halley…

  16. The Comet Halley Handbook: An Observer's Guide. Second Edition.

    Yeomans, Donald K.

    This handbook contains information on: (1) the orbit of comet Halley; (2) the expected physical behavior of comet Halley in 1985-1986, considering brightness estimates, coma diameters, and tail lengths; (3) observing conditions for comet Halley in 1985-1986; and (4) observing conditions for the dust tail of comet Halley in 1985-1986. Additional…


    Jewitt, David, E-mail: [Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States)


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

    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


    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.

  19. A dynamical study on extrasolar comets

    Loibnegger, B.; Dvorak, R.


    Since the detection of absorption features in spectra of beta Pictoris varying on short time scales it is known that comets exist in other stellar systems. We investigate the dynamics of comets in two differently build systems (HD 10180 and HIP 14810). The outcomes of the scattering process, as there are collisions with the planets, captures and ejections from the systems are analysed statistically. Collisions and close encounters with the planets are investigated in more detail in order to conclude about transport of water and organic material. We will also investigate the possibility of detection of comets in other planetary systems.

  20. The spacecraft encounters of Comet Halley

    Asoka Mendis, D.; Tsurutani, Bruce T.


    The characteristics of the Comet Halley spacecraft 'fleet' (VEGA 1 and VEGA 2, Giotto, Suisei, and Sakigake) are presented. The major aims of these missions were (1) to discover and characterize the nucleus, (2) to characterize the atmosphere and ionosphere, (3) to characterize the dust, and (4) to characterize the nature of the large-scale comet-solar wind interaction. While the VEGA and Giotto missions were designed to study all four areas, Suisei addressed the second and fourth. Sakigake was designed to study the solar wind conditions upstream of the comet. It is noted that NASA's Deep Space Network played an important role in spacecraft tracking.

  1. A New Orbit for Comet C/1865 B1 (Great Southern Comet of 1865)

    Branham, Richard L., Jr.


    Comet C/1865 B1 (Great southern comet of 1865), observed only in the southern hemisphere, is one of a large number of comets with parabolic orbits. Given that there are 202 observations in right ascension and 165 in declination it proves possible to calculate a better orbit than that Körber published in 1887, the orbit used in various catalogs and data bases. C/1865 B1's orbit is hyperbolic and statistically distinguishable from a parabola. This object, therefore, cannot be considered an NEO. The comet has a small perihelion distance of 0.026 AU.

  2. Scientists Revise Thinking on Comets, Planet Jupiter

    Chemical and Engineering News, 1974


    Discusses scientific information obtained from Pioneer 10's Jupiter flyby and the comet Kohoutek's first trip around the sun, including the high hydrogen emission of Jupiter's principal moon, Io. (CC)

  3. Comet C/2004 P1 (NEAT)

    Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.; Kušnirák, Peter

    -, č. 8383 (2004), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : new comet * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  4. Comet P/2004 F3 (NEAT)

    Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.; Kušnirák, Peter

    -, č. 8313 (2004), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  5. X-ray emission from comets

    Dennerl, Konrad


    When comet Hyakutake (C/1996 B2) encountered Earth in March 1996 at a minimum distance of only 15 million kilometers (40 times the distance of the moon), x-ray and extreme ultraviolet emission was discovered for the first time from a comet. The observations were performed with the astronomy satellites ROSAT and EUVE. A systematic search for x-rays from comets in archival data, obtained during the ROSAT all-sky survey in 1990/91, resulted in the discovery of x-ray emission from four additional comets. They were detected at seven occasions in total, when they were optically 300 to 30 000 times fainter than Hyakutake. These findings indicated that comets represent a new class of celestial x-ray sources. Subsequent detections of x-ray emission from additional comets with the satellites ROSAT, EUVE, and BeppoSAX confirmed this conclusion. The x-ray observations have obviously revealed the presence of a process in comets which had escaped attention until recently. This process is most likely charge exchange between highly charged heavy ions in the solar wind and cometary neutrals. The solar wind, a stream of particles continuously emitted from the sun with ≅ 400 km s -1 , consists predominantly of protons, electrons, and alpha particles, but contains also a small fraction (≅0.1%) of highly charged heavier ions, such as C 6+ ,O 6+ ,Ne 8+ ,Si 9+ ,Fe 11+ . When these ions capture electrons from the cometary gas, they attain highly excited states and radiate a large fraction of their excitation energy in the extreme ultraviolet and x-ray part of the spectrum. Charge exchange reproduces the intensity, the morphology and the spectrum of the observed x-ray emission from comets very well

  6. Comet Halley - Chapter I in cometary exploration

    Newburn, R.L. Jr.


    The information gained on the Comet Halley by the international probe studies is presented. The new information includes data on the true size and shape of the cometary nucleus and the mass of its dust grains, the chemical composition of the nucleus, and the characteristics of the bow wave of the comet. The requirements of future missions for solving the many questions that are still open are discussed

  7. Comet showers and the steady-state infall of comets from the Oort cloud

    Hills, J.G.


    The appearance of an inner edge to the Oort comet cloud at a semimajor axis of a = (1--2) x 10 4 AU is an observational artifact. Stellar perturbations are frequent enough and strong enough to assure that a constant fraction of the comets with semimajor axes greater than this are in orbits which bring them within the planetary region. Only infrequent, close stellar encounters are able to repopulate the planet-crossing orbits of comets with smaller semimajor axes. Owing to their relatively short orbital periods which return them frequently to the planetary system, the comets in these more tightly bound orbits will be deflected by Jupiter into drastically different orbits or be destroyed by solar heating before another close stellar passage repopulates their numbers. Comets with semimajor axes less than 2 x 10 4 AU appear in the inner solar system only in intense bursts or showers which last for a few orbital periods after the close passage of a star to the Sun. This is followed by a much longer span of time during which only comets with a>2 x 10 4 AU enter the planetary system. The theoretically determined location of the boundary between the semimajor axes of those comets which enter the planetary system only in bursts or showers and those which arrive in a steady stream is very abrupt and falls at the observed inner edge of the Oort cloud. We propose that the comets formed in the outer parts of the collapsing protosun, which had a radius of less than 5 x 10 3 AU. If this produced a first-generation comet cloud with a radius of 10 3 AU or greater, the coupled dynamical perturbations of passing stars and Jupiter will, of necessity, lead to the formation of a comet cloud similar that of the observed Oort comet cloud

  8. COMET- co-ordination and implementation of a pan-European instrument for radioecology - COMET- co-ordination and implementation of a pan-European project for radioecology

    Vandenhove, Hildegarde [SCK.CEN, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol (Belgium); Muikku, Maarit [STUK, Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, P.O. Box 14, FI-00881 Helsinki (Finland); Liland, Astrid [NRPA, Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, Grini Naeringspark 13, Oesteraas, 1332 (Norway); Adam-Guillermin, Christelle [IRSN-Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire, 31, Avenue de la Division Leclerc, 92260 Fontenay-Aux-Roses (France); Howard, Brenda [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Av., Bailrigg, Lancaster, LA1 4AP (United Kingdom)


    and low-dose research communities and engage with partners from countries where major nuclear accidents have occurred. Seven initial research activities have been identified namely: (i) modeling of radionuclide behaviour in forest and marine ecosystems, via human food chains and associated with NORM issues and particles, (ii) acquiring transfer data to wildlife, and (iii) trans-generational and epigenetic effects. A competitive call will be organised (Dec 2013) for research and development activities which will help foster links with the larger radiation protection community and other research communities (e.g. ecotoxicology, genetics, systems biology). It will also enable new partners to join COMET. (authors)

  9. The Comet Radar Explorer Mission

    Asphaug, Erik; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Chesley, Steve; Delbo, Marco; Farnham, Tony; Gim, Yonggyu; Grimm, Robert; Herique, Alain; Kofman, Wlodek; Oberst, Juergen; Orosei, Roberto; Piqueux, Sylvain; Plaut, Jeff; Robinson, Mark; Sava, Paul; Heggy, Essam; Kurth, William; Scheeres, Dan; Denevi, Brett; Turtle, Elizabeth; Weissman, Paul


    Missions to cometary nuclei have revealed major geological surprises: (1) Global scale layers - do these persist through to the interior? Are they a record of primary accretion? (2) Smooth regions - are they landslides originating on the surface? Are they cryovolcanic? (3) Pits - are they impact craters or sublimation pits, or rooted in the interior? Unambiguous answers to these and other questions can be obtained by high definition 3D radar reflection imaging (RRI) of internal structure. RRI can answer many of the great unknowns in planetary science: How do primitive bodies accrete? Are cometary nuclei mostly ice? What drives their spectacular activity and evolution? The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) mission will image the detailed internal structure of the nucleus of 10P/Tempel 2. This ~16 x 8 x 7 km Jupiter Family Comet (JFC), or its parent body, originated in the outer planets region possibly millions of years before planet formation. CORE arrives post-perihelion and observes the comet’s waning activity from safe distance. Once the nucleus is largely dormant, the spacecraft enters a ~20-km dedicated Radar Mapping Orbit (RMO). The exacting design of the RRI experiment and the precise navigation of RMO will achieve a highly focused 3D radar reflection image of internal structure, to tens of meters resolution, and tomographic images of velocity and attenuation to hundreds of meters resolution, tied to the gravity model and shape. Visible imagers will produce maps of the surface morphology, albedo, color, texture, and photometric response, and images for navigation and shape determination. The cameras will also monitor the structure and dynamics of the coma, and its dusty jets, allowing their correlation in 3D with deep interior structures and surface features. Repeated global high-resolution thermal images will probe the near-surface layers heated by the Sun. Derived maps of thermal inertia will be correlated with the radar boundary response, and photometry and

  10. Interpreting sperm DNA damage in a diverse range of mammalian sperm by means of the two-tailed comet assay

    Cortés-Gutiérrez, Elva I.; López-Fernández, Carmen; Fernández, José Luis; Dávila-Rodríguez, Martha I.; Johnston, Stephen D.; Gosálvez, Jaime


    Key Concepts The two-dimensional Two-Tailed Comet assay (TT-comet) protocol is a valuable technique to differentiate between single-stranded (SSBs) and double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) on the same sperm cell.Protein lysis inherent with the TT-comet protocol accounts for differences in sperm protamine composition at a species-specific level to produce reliable visualization of sperm DNA damage.Alkaline treatment may break the sugar–phosphate backbone in abasic sites or at sites with deoxyribose damage, transforming these lesions into DNA breaks that are also converted into ssDNA. These lesions are known as Alkali Labile Sites “ALSs.”DBD–FISH permits the in situ visualization of DNA breaks, abasic sites or alkaline-sensitive DNA regions.The alkaline comet single assay reveals that all mammalian species display constitutive ALS related with the requirement of the sperm to undergo transient changes in DNA structure linked with chromatin packing.Sperm DNA damage is associated with fertilization failure, impaired pre-and post- embryo implantation and poor pregnancy outcome.The TT is a valuable tool for identifying SSBs or DSBs in sperm cells with DNA fragmentation and can be therefore used for the purposes of fertility assessment. Sperm DNA damage is associated with fertilization failure, impaired pre-and post- embryo implantation and poor pregnancy outcome. A series of methodologies to assess DNA damage in spermatozoa have been developed but most are unable to differentiate between single-stranded DNA breaks (SSBs) and double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) on the same sperm cell. The two-dimensional Two-Tailed Comet assay (TT-comet) protocol highlighted in this review overcomes this limitation and emphasizes the importance in accounting for the difference in sperm protamine composition at a species-specific level for the appropriate preparation of the assay. The TT-comet is a modification of the original comet assay that uses a two dimensional electrophoresis to

  11. Reasonable threshold value used to segment the individual comet from the comet assay image

    Yan Xuekun; Chen Ying; Du Jie; Zhang Xueqing; Luo Yisheng


    Reasonable segmentation of the individual comet contour from the Comet Assay (CA) images is the precondition for all of parameters analysis during the automatic analyzing for the CA. The Otsu method and several arithmetic operators for image segmentation, such as Sobel, Prewitt, Roberts and Canny were used to segment the comet contour, and characters of the CA images were analyzed firstly. And then the segmentation methods which had been adopted in the software for CA automatic analysis, such as the CASP, the TriTek CometScore TM , were put for-ward and compared. At last, a two-step procedure for threshold calculation based on image-content analysis is adopted to segment the individual comet from the CA images, and several principles for the segmentation are put forward too.(authors)

  12. The McDonald Observatory Faint Comet Survey - Gas production in 17 comets

    Cochran, Anita L.; Barker, Edwin S.; Ramseyer, Tod F.; Storrs, Alex D.


    The complete Intensified Dissector Scanner data set on 17 comets is presented, and production rates are derived and analyzed. It is shown that there is a strong degree of homogenization in the production rate ratios of many comets. It also appears that the ratio of the production rates of the various species has no heliocentric distance dependence, except for the case of NH2. When speaking of the gas in the coma of a comet, it appears that comets must have been formed under remarkably uniform conditions, and that they must have evolved and formed their comae in a similar manner. The data presented here constitute strong evidence that the minor species must be bound up in a lattice and that the interior of a comet must be reasonably uniform.

  13. Particle acceleration near Halley's comet

    Somogyi, Antal


    Vega and Giotto space probes observed energetic ions of cometary origin near Halley's comet. The water molecules evaporating from the cometary nucleus were ionized by the solar UV radiation. These 'standing' ions were accelerated from 1 km/s to a few 1000 km/s. Present paper analyses the possible mechanisms of acceleration based on the data of TUENDE detector (constructed by CRIP, Hungary) working on board of Vega probes. The basic mechanism is the ExB Lorentz acceleration by interplanetary magnetic field and electric field induced by magnetic field frozen into solar wind plasma. It is followed by an acceleration caused by the adiabatic compression of the plasma at shock wave front. These processes can not explain the observed velocity of ions. It is shown that the second order Fermi acceleration which dissipates the ion distribution in the velocity space can lead to the observed velocities. The circumstances required to the occurrence of this process are present at the cometary environment. (D.G.) 2 figs

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

    Newburn, R.L. Jr.; Spinrad, H.


    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. 61 references

  15. Comet Tempel 1 Went Back to Sleep


    Astronomers Having Used ESO Telescopes Start Analysing Unique Dataset on the Comet Following the Deep Impact Mission Ten days after part of the Deep Impact spacecraft plunged onto Comet Tempel 1 with the aim to create a crater and expose pristine material from beneath the surface, astronomers are back in the ESO Offices in Santiago, after more than a week of observing at the ESO La Silla Paranal Observatory. In this unprecedented observing campaign - among the most ambitious ever conducted by a single observatory - the astronomers have collected a large amount of invaluable data on this comet. The astronomers have now started the lengthy process of data reduction and analysis. Being all together in a single place, and in close contacts with the space mission' scientific team, they will try to assemble a clear picture of the comet and of the impact. The ESO observations were part of a worldwide campaign to observe this unique experiment. During the campaign, ESO was connected by phone, email, and videoconference with colleagues in all major observatories worldwide, and data were freely exchanged between the different groups. This unique collaborative spirit provides astronomers with data taken almost around the clock during several days and this, with the largest variety of instruments, making the Deep Impact observing campaign one of the most successful of its kind, and thereby, ensuring the greatest scientific outcome. From the current analysis, it appears most likely that the impactor did not create a large new zone of activity and may have failed to liberate a large quantity of pristine material from beneath the surface. ESO PR Photo 22/05 ESO PR Photo 22/05 Evolution of Comet Tempel 1 (FORS2/VLT) [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 701 pix - 128k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 1401 pix - 357k] ESO PR Photo 22/05 Animated Gif Caption: ESO PR Photo 22/05 shows the evolution of Comet Tempel 1 as observed with the FORS2 instrument on Antu (VLT). The images obtained at the VLT show that

  16. Modified in vivo comet assay detects the genotoxic potential of 14-hydroxycodeinone, an α,β-unsaturated ketone in oxycodone.

    Pant, Kamala; Roden, Nicholas; Zhang, Charles; Bruce, Shannon; Wood, Craig; Pendino, Kimberly


    14-Hydroxycodeinone (14-HC) is an α,β-unsaturated ketone impurity found in oxycodone drug substance and has a structural alert for genotoxicity. 14-HC was tested in a combined Modified and Standard Comet Assay to determine if the slight decrease in % Tail DNA noted in a previously conducted Standard Comet Assay with 14-HC could be magnified to clarify if the response was due to cross-linking activity. One limitation of the Standard Comet Assay is that DNA cross-links cannot be reliably detected. However, under certain modified testing conditions, DNA cross-links and chemical moieties that elicit such cross-links can be elucidated. One such modification involves the induction of additional breakages of DNA strands by gamma or X-ray irradiation. To determine if 14-HC is a DNA crosslinker in vivo, a Modified Comet Assay was conducted using X-ray irradiation as the modification to visualize crosslinking activity. In this assay, 14-HC was administered orally to mice up to 320 mg/kg/day. Results showed a statistically significant reduction in percent tail DNA in duodenal cells at 320 mg/kg/day, with a nonstatistically significant but dose-related reduction in percent tail DNA also observed at the mid dose of 160 mg/kg/day. Similar decreases were not observed in cells from the liver or stomach, and no increases in percent tail DNA were noted for any tissue in the concomitantly conducted Standard Comet Assay. Taken together, 14-HC was identified as a cross-linking agent in the duodenum in the Modified Comet Assay. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Abundant Solar Nebula Solids in Comets

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


    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

  18. A GREAT search for Deuterium in Comets

    Mumma, Michael


    Comets are understood to be the most pristine bodies in the Solar System. Their compositions reflect the chemical state of materials at the very earliest evolutionary stages of the protosolar nebula and, as such, they provide detailed insight into the physical and chemical processes operating in planet-forming disks. Isotopic fractionation ratios of the molecular ices in the nucleus are regarded as signatures of formation processes. These ratios provide unique information on the natal heritage of those ices, and can also test the proposal that Earth's water and other volatiles were delivered by cometary bombardment. Measurement of deuterium fractionation ratios is thus a major goal in contemporary cometary science and the D/H ratio of water - the dominant volatile in comets - holds great promise for testing the formation history of cometary matter. The D/H ratio in cometary water has been measured in only eight comets. Seven were from the Oort Cloud reservoir and the D/H ratio was about twice that of the Earth's oceans. However, the recent Herschel measurement of HDO/H2O in 103P/Hartley-2 (the first from the Kuiper Belt) was consistent with exogenous delivery of Earth's water by comets. Outstanding questions remain: are cometary HDO/H2O ratios consistent with current theories of nebular chemical evolution or with an interstellar origin? Does the HDO/H2O ratio vary substantially among comet populations? Hartley-2 is the only Kuiper Belt comet with measured HDO/H2O, are there comets with similar ratios in the Oort cloud? These questions can only be addressed by measuring HDO/H2O ratios in many more suitable bright comets. We therefore propose to measure the D/H ratio in water in a suitable target-of-opportunity comet by performing observations of HDO and OH with the GREAT spectrometer on SOFIA. A multi-wavelength, ground-based observing campaign will also be conducted in support of the airborne observations.

  19. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission

    Morrison, D.; Neugebauer, M.; Weissman, P.R.


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

  20. Comet assay on mice testicular cells

    Anoop Kumar Sharma


    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.

  1. Study of Comets Composition and Structure

    Khalaf, S. Z.; Selman, A. A.; Ali, H. S.


    The present paper focuses on the nature of the different interactions between cometary nucleus and tail with solar wind. The dynamics of the comet will impose many features that provide unique behavior of the comet when entering the solar system. These features are reviewed in this paper and few investigations are made. The calculations made in this work represent the analysis and interpretation of the different features of the comet, such as perihelion and eccentricity dependence on the gas production rate, and the dependence of the latter on the composition of the comet nucleus. The dependences of the heliocentric, bow shock, contact surface, and stand-off distances with gas production rate for many types of comets that cover linear and non-linear types are studied in this work. Important results are obtained which indicated the different physical interactions between cometary ions and solar wind. Furthermore, the important relation between mean molecular weight and gas production rate are analyzed and studied in this work and a conclusion is made that, as the gas production rate increases, the mean molecular weight will decrease exponentially. A detailed discussion for this unique relation is given.

  2. Comments on comet shapes and aggregation processes

    Hartmann, W.K.


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

  3. Comet C/2013 US10 (CATALINA) - Dust in the Infrared with SOFIA

    Woodward, Charles E.; Kelley, Michael S. P.; Harker, David E.; Russell, Ray W.; Kim, Daryl L.; Sitko, Michael L.; Wooden, Diane H.


    One of the major goals of modern astronomy is the "search for origins'' from the big bang to the development of intelligence. A key process in developing our understanding of these origins is how planetary systems are created from dusty disks around stars and evolve into planets with water and other molecules. Traces of primordial materials, and their least-processed products, are found in the outermost regions of the solar system -- the realm of comets -- in the form of ices of volatile materials (H2O, NH3, CO, CH4, and other more rare species), and more refractory dust grains. There is considerable evidence that in the cold regions where cometary material formed, existing comet bodies were mixed with refractory material processed at much higher temperatures. Remote sensing observation of comets provides a means to study the properties of this dust material to characterize the nature of refactory comet grains. These include observations of both the re-radiated thermal (spectrophotometric) and scattered light (spectrophotometric and polarimetric). The former technique provides our most direct link to the composition (mineral content) of the grains.Here we report our post-perihelion (TP = 2015 Nov 15.721 UT) infrared 2 to 31 micron spectrophotometric observations and dust thermal model analyses of comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina), a dynamically new Oort Cloud comet -- 1/aorg [reciprocal original semimajor axis ] = 0.00005339 -- conducted at two contemporaneous observational epochs near close Earth approach (Δ ≈ 0.93 AU) with NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) complemented by observations from the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF).

  4. The Communication Enhancement through Telecommunication (ComET) project.

    Blake, A


    The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has made strenuous efforts to address communication imperatives for its programme delivery to its member countries. Initially, it used the Internet to assist in programme delivery. However, the low availability and high costs of telecommunications in Noumea and Suva hampered these efforts. The use of PACNET (the communications service of the Pacific Public Health Surveillance Network) was very successful but restricted by communication capabilities and lack of connectivity. In 1998 the capacity was limited to 28.8 kilobytes per second (kbps) in Noumea and 1.9 kbps in Suva with no possibility of obtaining additional capacity at affordable costs through the commercial telecommunications carriers. The ComET project has now installed 7.2 metre antenna and associated equipment at each of the Secretariat's offices in Noumea and Suva. This allows 24 hour per day access to the PAS2 satellite for high speed transmission of voice, data and video traffic. Connection to the Offratel premises in Nouville via the Celeris high speed backbone operated by OPT has linked this to the internet and thereby to member countries and territories, and the rest of the world. The ComET project began transmission in March 2000 and has addressed communication problems, and thereby improved the SPC's programme delivery (examples given in this paper) to it's members at affordable costs within the Secretariats existing budget.

  5. Comets As Objects of High Energy Astrophysics

    Ibadov, S.


    Strong soft X-ray emission from comet Hyakutake C/1996 B2 was discovered with ROSAT in March 27, 1996 (Lisse et al. 1996, Science 274, 205-209) and the results of a theoretical approach (Ibadov 1990, Icarus 86, 283-288) served as a motive for that observations (Dennerl, Lisse and Truemper 1998, Private Communications). It is now well established that comets emit EUV and X-rays regularly (Dennerl, Englhauser and Truemper 1997, Science 277, 1625-1630; Dennerl 1998, Proc. 16th Int. Conf. Atomic Physics, Windsor, Ontario, Canada). To explain this phenomenon different theoretical models were proposed (Krasnopolsky 1997, Icarus 128, 365-385; Ibadov 1998, Proc. First XMM Workshop, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, and references therein). In the paper the problem of identifying X-ray generation mechanisms in comets will be considered.

  6. Dynamics of comets: their origin and evolution

    Carusi, A.; Valsecchi, G.B.


    Comets can be considered as remnants of the original population of planetesimals and the study of their origin and dynamical histories can provide insight into the accretion phenomena; the original mass, energy and angular momentum distribution across the solar system; the collisional fragmentation of minor bodies; the impact rates on planets and the nature of impacting bodies. The interaction of comets with other solar system bodies certainly provides one of the best possibilities for a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the whole system, and a challenging test for all theories of celestial mechanics dealing with the gravitational behaviour of multiple-body systems. Comets could also be considered as the last footprints left by the interaction of the protosun and its original galactic environment. (orig.)

  7. Dynamical evolution and disintegration of comets

    Kresak, L.

    Current concepts of the origin and evolution of comets are reviewed. The place of their formation from which they have been delivered into the Oort reservoir is still an open problem, but the region of the outermost planets appears most probable. The interplay of stellar and planetary perturbations can be traced by model computations which reveal both the general trends and the variety of individual evolutionary paths. The present structure of the system of comets is controlled by the dynamical evolution of its individual members, limited by their physical aging by disintegration. Where the lifetimes are short, as in the Jupiter family of short-period comets, an equilibrium between elimination and replenishment is established. The role of different destructive processes and the resulting survival times are discussed.

  8. Dynamical evolution and disintegration of comets

    Kresak, L.


    Current concepts of the origin and evolution of comets are reviewed. The place of their formation from which they have been delivered into the Oort reservoir is still an open problem, but the region of the outermost planets appears most probable. The interplay of stellar and planetary perturbations can be traced by model computations which reveal both the general trends and the variety of individual evolutionary paths. The present structure of the system of comets is controlled by the dynamical evolution of its individual members limited by their physical aging by disintegration. Where the lifetimes are short, as in the Jupiter family of short-period comets, an equilibrium between elimination and replenishment is established. The role of different destructive processes and the resulting survival times are discussed. (Auth.)

  9. Spiral arms, comets and terrestrial catastrophism

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


    A review is presented of an hypothesis of terrestrial catastrophism in which comets grow in molecular clouds and are captured by the Sun as it passes through the spiral arms of the Galaxy. Assuming that comets are a major supplier of the Earth-crossing (Appollo) asteroid population, the latter fluctuates correspondingly and leads to episodes of terrestrial bombardment. Changes in the rotational momentum of core and mantle, generated by impacts, lead to episodes of magnetic field reversal and tectonic activity, while surface phenomena lead to ice-ages and mass extinctions. An episodic geophysical history with an interstellar connection is thus implied. If comets in spiral arms are necessary intermediaries in the process of star formation, the theory also has implications relating to early solar system history and galactic chemistry. These aspects are briefly discussed with special reference to the nature of spiral arms. (author)

  10. Critical issues with the in vivo comet assay: A report of the comet assay working group in the 6th International Workshop on Genotoxicity Testing (IWGT).

    Speit, Günter; Kojima, Hajime; Burlinson, Brian; Collins, Andrew R; Kasper, Peter; Plappert-Helbig, Ulla; Uno, Yoshifumi; Vasquez, Marie; Beevers, Carol; De Boeck, Marlies; Escobar, Patricia A; Kitamoto, Sachiko; Pant, Kamala; Pfuhler, Stefan; Tanaka, Jin; Levy, Dan D


    As a part of the 6th IWGT, an expert working group on the comet assay evaluated critical topics related to the use of the in vivo comet assay in regulatory genotoxicity testing. The areas covered were: identification of the domain of applicability and regulatory acceptance, identification of critical parameters of the protocol and attempts to standardize the assay, experience with combination and integration with other in vivo studies, demonstration of laboratory proficiency, sensitivity and power of the protocol used, use of different tissues, freezing of samples, and choice of appropriate measures of cytotoxicity. The standard protocol detects various types of DNA lesions but it does not detect all types of DNA damage. Modifications of the standard protocol may be used to detect additional types of specific DNA damage (e.g., cross-links, bulky adducts, oxidized bases). In addition, the working group identified critical parameters that should be carefully controlled and described in detail in every published study protocol. In vivo comet assay results are more reliable if they were obtained in laboratories that have demonstrated proficiency. This includes demonstration of adequate response to vehicle controls and an adequate response to a positive control for each tissue being examined. There was a general agreement that freezing of samples is an option but more data are needed in order to establish generally accepted protocols. With regard to tissue toxicity, the working group concluded that cytotoxicity could be a confounder of comet results. It is recommended to look at multiple parameters such as histopathological observations, organ-specific clinical chemistry as well as indicators of tissue inflammation to decide whether compound-specific toxicity might influence the result. The expert working group concluded that the alkaline in vivo comet assay is a mature test for the evaluation of genotoxicity and can be recommended to regulatory agencies for use

  11. The mass disruption of Jupiter Family comets

    Belton, Michael J. S.


    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 <2 km) break-up. The percentage disruption rate appears to be comparable with that of the dynamically distinct Oort cloud and Halley type comets (Levison, H.F., 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).

  12. Detection of radiation-induced apoptosis using the comet assay

    Wada, Seiichi; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Funayama, Tomoo; Yamamoto, Kazuo; Khoa, Tran Van; Natsuhori, Masahiro; Ito, Nobuhiko


    The electrophoresis pattern of apoptotic cells detected by the comet assay has a characteristic small head and spread tail. This image has been referred to as an apoptotic comet, but it has not been previously proven to be apoptotic cells by any direct method. In order to identify this image obtained by the comet assay as corresponding to an apoptotic cell, the frequency of appearance of apoptosis was examined using CHO-K1 and L5178Y cells which were exposed to gamma irradiation. As a method for detecting apoptosis, the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay was used. When the frequency of appearance of apoptotic cells following gamma irradiation was observed over a period of time, there was a significant increase in appearance of apoptosis when using the TUNEL assay. However, there was only a slight increase when using the comet assay. In order to verify the low frequency of appearance of apoptosis when using the comet assay, we attempted to use the TUNEL assay to satin the apoptotic comets detected in the comet assay. The apoptotic comets were TUNEL positive and the normal comets were TUNEL negative. This indicates that the apoptotic comets were formed from DNA fragments with 3'-hydroxy ends that are generated as cells undergo apoptosis. Therefore, it was understood that the characteristic pattern of apoptotic comets detected by the comet assay corresponds to cells undergoing apoptosis. (author)

  13. To Catch A Comet...Learning From Halley's.

    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…

  14. The shortage of long-period comets in elliptical orbits

    Everhart, E.


    Based on the number of 'new' comets seen on near-parabolic orbits, one can predict the number of comets that should be found on definitely elliptical orbits on their subsequent returns. The author shows that about three out of four of these returning comets are not observed. (Auth.)

  15. Spectrophotometry of seventeen comets. II - The continuum

    Newburn, R. L., Jr.; Spinrad, H.


    One-hundred-twenty IDS scans of the continua in 17 comets are analyzed to determine dust production rates and color as a function of heliocentric distance. Improved theory indicates that the dust loading of gas typically varies between 0.05 and 0.3 by mass (assuming a geometric albedo of 0.05 and oxygen expansion at 1 km/s) except during outbursts, when it rises much higher. P/Encke near perihelion falls much lower yet, to 0.004 or less. Dust loading is not always constant as a function of time in a given comet. Dust color is typically reddish, as has often been noted before.

  16. Optical Detection of Anomalous Nitrogen in Comets


    VLT Opens New Window towards Our Origins Summary A team of European astronomers [1] has used the UVES spectrograph on the 8.2-m VLT KUEYEN telescope to perform a uniquely detailed study of Comet LINEAR (C/2000 WM1) . This is the first time that this powerful instrument has been employed to obtain high-resolution spectra of a comet. At the time of the observations in mid-March 2002, Comet LINEAR was about 180 million km from the Sun, moving outwards after its perihelion passage in January. As comets are believed to carry "pristine" material - left-overs from the formation of the solar system, about 4,600 million years ago - studies of these objects are important to obtain clues about the origins of the solar system and the Earth in particular. The high quality of the data obtained of this moving 9th-magnitude object has permitted a determination of the cometary abundance of various elements and their isotopes [2]. Of particular interest is the unambiguous detection and measurement of the nitrogen-15 isotope. The only other comet in which this isotope has been observed is famous Comet Hale-Bopp - this was during the passage in 1997, when it was much brighter than Comet LINEAR. Most interestingly, Comet LINEAR and Comet Hale-Bopp display the same isotopic abundance ratio, about 1 nitrogen-15 atom for each 140 nitrogen-14 atoms ( 14 N/ 15 N = 140 ± 30) . That is about half of the terrestrial value (272). It is also very different from the result obtained by means of radio measurements of Comet Hale-Bopp ( 14 N/ 15 N = 330 ± 75). Optical and radio measurements concern different molecules (CN and HCN, respectively), and this isotopic anomaly must be explained by some differentiation mechanism. The astronomers conclude that part of the cometary nitrogen is trapped in macromolecules attached to dust particles . The successful entry of UVES into cometary research now opens eagerly awaited opportunities for similiar observations in other, comparatively faint comets. These

  17. CometQ: An automated tool for the detection and quantification of DNA damage using comet assay image analysis.

    Ganapathy, Sreelatha; Muraleedharan, Aparna; Sathidevi, Puthumangalathu Savithri; Chand, Parkash; Rajkumar, Ravi Philip


    DNA damage analysis plays an important role in determining the approaches for treatment and prevention of various diseases like cancer, schizophrenia and other heritable diseases. Comet assay is a sensitive and versatile method for DNA damage analysis. The main objective of this work is to implement a fully automated tool for the detection and quantification of DNA damage by analysing comet assay images. The comet assay image analysis consists of four stages: (1) classifier (2) comet segmentation (3) comet partitioning and (4) comet quantification. Main features of the proposed software are the design and development of four comet segmentation methods, and the automatic routing of the input comet assay image to the most suitable one among these methods depending on the type of the image (silver stained or fluorescent stained) as well as the level of DNA damage (heavily damaged or lightly/moderately damaged). A classifier stage, based on support vector machine (SVM) is designed and implemented at the front end, to categorise the input image into one of the above four groups to ensure proper routing. Comet segmentation is followed by comet partitioning which is implemented using a novel technique coined as modified fuzzy clustering. Comet parameters are calculated in the comet quantification stage and are saved in an excel file. Our dataset consists of 600 silver stained images obtained from 40 Schizophrenia patients with different levels of severity, admitted to a tertiary hospital in South India and 56 fluorescent stained images obtained from different internet sources. The performance of "CometQ", the proposed standalone application for automated analysis of comet assay images, is evaluated by a clinical expert and is also compared with that of a most recent and related software-OpenComet. CometQ gave 90.26% positive predictive value (PPV) and 93.34% sensitivity which are much higher than those of OpenComet, especially in the case of silver stained images. The

  18. Comets and the origin and evolution of life

    McKay, Christopher P


    Nine years after the publication of Comets and the Origin and Evolution of Life, one of the pioneering books in Astrobiology, this second edition revisits the role comets may have played in the origins and evolution of life. Recent analyses of Antarctic micrometeorites and ancient rocks in Australia and South Africa, the continuing progress in discovering complex organic macromolecules in comets, protostars and interstellar clouds, new insights into organic synthesis in comets, and numerical simulations of comet impacts on the Earth and other members of the solar system yield a spectacular wea

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

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


    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 ...


    A' Hearn, Michael F.; Feaga, Lori M.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Farnham, Tony L.; Kelley, Michael S. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Keller, H. Uwe [Institute for Geophysics and Extraterrestrial Physics, Technische Universitaet Braunschweig, D-38106 Braunschweig (Germany); Kawakita, Hideyo [Department of Physics, Kyoto Sangyo University, Kamigamo JP Kita-ku, Kyoto 603-8555 (Japan); Hampton, Donald L. [Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 903 Koyukuk Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775 (United States); Kissel, Jochen [Max-Planck-Institut for Solar System Research, Max-Planck-Strasse 2, D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany); Klaasen, Kenneth P.; Yeomans, Donald K. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); McFadden, Lucy A. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Meech, Karen J. [Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Schultz, Peter H. [Department of Geological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 (United States); Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph [Department of Astronomy, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Groussin, Olivier [Laboratoire d' Astrophysique de Marseille, Universite d' Aix-Marseille and CNRS, UMR7326, 38 rue F. Joliot-Curie, F-13388 Marseille Cedex 13 (France); Lisse, Carey M., E-mail: [Space Department, JHU-APL, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); and others


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


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


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

  2. Comet assay. Pt.1. Theory and practice

    Kruszewski, M.; Wojewodzka, M.; Iwanenko, T.


    Comet assay is a new method for measuring DNA breakage in a single cell. The main applications of the method are estimation of DNA single and double strand breaks, oxidative damage, pyrimidine dimers and (6-4)photoproducts, DNA-DNA and DNA-protein crosslinks. The method is used for studying DNA damage and its repair. (author).19 refs, 9 figs

  3. Comet C/2001 A1 (Linear)

    Blythe, M.; Dawson, M.; Kornos, L.; Koleny, P.; Kotková, Lenka; Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.

    č. 7561 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  4. Comet C/2001 Q1 (Neat)

    Lawrence, K. J.; Helin, E. F.; Pravdo, S. H.; Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Kočer, M.; Spahr, T. B.

    č. 7685 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  5. Comet P/2001 T3 (Neat)

    Lawrence, K. J.; Pravdo, S. H.; Helin, E. F.; Pravec, Petr; Kušnirák, Peter; Tichá, J.; Tichý, M.; Jelínek, P.

    č. 7733 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  6. Comet P/2001 MD 7 (Linear)

    Blythe, M.; Kotková, Lenka; Marsden, B. G.

    č. 7660 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  7. New Application of the Comet Assay

    Cortés-Gutiérrez, Elva I.; Dávila-Rodríguez, Martha I.; Fernández, José Luís; López-Fernández, Carmen; Gosálbez, Altea; Gosálvez, Jaime


    The comet assay is a well-established, simple, versatile, visual, rapid, and sensitive tool used extensively to assess DNA damage and DNA repair quantitatively and qualitatively in single cells. The comet assay is most frequently used to analyze white blood cells or lymphocytes in human biomonitoring studies, although other cell types have been examined, including buccal, nasal, epithelial, and placental cells and even spermatozoa. This study was conducted to design a protocol that can be used to generate comets in subnuclear units, such as chromosomes. The new technique is based on the chromosome isolation protocols currently used for whole chromosome mounting in electron microscopy, coupled to the alkaline variant of the comet assay, to detect DNA damage. The results show that migrant DNA fragments can be visualized in whole nuclei and isolated chromosomes and that they exhibit patterns of DNA migration that depend on the level of DNA damage produced. This protocol has great potential for the highly reproducible study of DNA damage and repair in specific chromosomal domains. PMID:21540337

  8. Comet C/2001 A2 (Linear)

    Pravec, Petr; Kotková, Lenka; Tichý, M.; Kočer, M.

    č. 7564 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  9. Comet C/2001 Q6 (Neat)

    Pravdo, S. H.; Helin, E. F.; Lawrence, K. J.; Tichý, M.; Kotková, Lenka; Wolf, M.; Balam, D.; Shelus, P. J.

    č. 7698 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  10. Report of Some Comets: The Discovery of Uranus and Comets by William, Caroline, and John Herschel

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Olson, R. J. M.


    We report on the discovery and drawings of comets by William, Caroline, and John Herschel. The first discovery, by William Herschel, in 1781 from Bath, published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society with the title "Report of a Comet," turned out to be Uranus, the first planet ever discovered, Mercury through Saturn having been known since antiquity. William's sister Caroline was given duties of sweeping the skies and turned out to be a discoverer of 8 comets in her own right, in addition to keeping William's notes. Caroline's comets were discovered from Slough between 1786 and 1797. In the process, we also discuss original documents from the archives of the Royal Society and of the Royal Astronomical Society. We conclude by showing comet drawings that we have recently attributed to John Herschel, including Halley's Comet from 1836, recently located in the Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin. Acknowledgments: Planetary astronomy at Williams College is supported in part by grant NNX08AO50G from NASA Planetary Astronomy. We thank Peter Hingley of the Royal Astronomical Society and Richard Oram of the Harry Ransom Center of The University of Texas at Austin for their assistance.

  11. Physical Mechanism of Comet Outbursts: The Movie

    Hartmann, William K.


    During experiments conducted in 1976 at the NASA Ames Research Center’s Vertical Gun Facility (VGF), the author studied low velocity impacts into simulated regolith powders and gravels, in order to examine physics of low-velocity collisions during early solar system planetesimal formation. In one “accidental” experiment, the bucket of powder remained gas-charged during evacuation of the VGF vacuum chamber. The impactor, moving at 5.5 m/s, disturbed the surface, initiating eruptions of dust-charged gas, shooting in jets from multiple vents at speeds up to about 3 m/s, with sporadic venting until 17 seconds after the impact. This experiment was described in [1], which concluded that it simulated comet eruption phenomena. In this hypothesis, a comet nucleus develops a lag deposit of regolith in at least some regions. At a certain distance from the sun, the thermal wave penetrates to an ice-rich depth, causing sublimation. Gas rises into the regolith, collects in pore spaces, and creates a gas-charged powder, as in our experiment. Any surface disturbance, such as a meteoroid, may initiate a temporary eruption, or eventually the gas pressure becomes sufficient to blow off the overburden. Our observed ejection speed would be sufficient to launch dust off of a kilometer-scale comet nucleus.Film (100 frames/s) of the event was obtained, but was partially torn up in a projector. It has recently been reconstituted (Centric Photo Labs, Tucson) and dramatically illustrates various cometary phenomena. Parabolic curtains of erupted material resemble curtains of material photographed from earth in real comet comas, “falling back” under solar wind forces. In retrospect, the mechanism photographed here helps explain:*sporadic eruptions in Comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (near-circular orbit at ~6 A.U., where repeated recharge may occur).*sporadic eruptions on “asteroid” 2060 Chiron (which stays beyond 8.5 A.U.). *the thicker dust curtain (and longer eruption?) than

  12. Migration of Interplanetary Dust and Comets

    Ipatov, S. I.; Mather, J. C.

    Our studies of migration of interplanetary dust and comets were based on the results of integration of the orbital evolution of 15,000 dust particles and 30,000 Jupiter-family comets (JFCs) [1-3]. For asteroidal and cometary particles, the values of the ratio β between the radiation pressure force and the gravitational force varied from 1000 and 1 microns. The probability of a collision of a dust particle started from an asteroid or JFC with the Earth during a lifetime of the particle was maximum at diameter d ˜100 microns. For particles started from asteroids and comet 10P, this maximum probability was ˜0.01. Different studies of migration of dust particles and small bodies testify that the fraction of cometary dust particles of the overall dust population inside Saturn's orbit is considerable and can be dominant: (1) Cometary dust particles produced both inside and outside Jupiter's orbit are needed to explain the observed constant number density of dust particles at 3-18 AU. The number density of migrating trans-Neptunian particles near Jupiter's orbit is smaller by a factor of several than that beyond Saturn's orbit. Only a small fraction of asteroidal particles can get outside Jupiter's orbit. (2) Some (less than 0.1%) JFCs can reach typical near-Earth object orbits and remain there for millions of years. Dynamical lifetimes of most of the former JFCs that have typical near-Earth object orbits are about 106 -109 yr, so during most of these times they were extinct comets. Such former comets could disintegrate and produce a lot of mini-comets and dust. (3) Comparison of the velocities of zodiacal dust particles (velocities of MgI line) based on the distributions of particles over their orbital elements obtained in our runs [3-4] with the velocities obtained at the WHAM observations shows that only asteroidal dust particles cannot explain these observations, and particles produced by comets, including high-eccentricity comets, are needed for such explanation

  13. Unveiling the formation and evolution of comets

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


    Comet nuclei are considered as the most pristine bodies of the solar system and consequently their study sheds an important light on the processes occurring during the initial stages of the solar system formation. The analysis of the porosity and bulk density of such primordial bodies is especially important to understand their capacity to retain volatile components (organics and ices) present in the early solar nebula. Typical tensile strengths deduced for comet nuclei range from below 102N.m-2 from the Deep Impact mission [1] up to 104N.m-2 from the study of comet C/1999 S4 LINEAR breakup [2] and meteoroids [3]. A bulk density of about 350 kg/m3 has been obtained for 9P/Tempel 1 from the Deep Impact mission [4]. Moreover the properties of dust released from the comets strongly confirm such values. Instruments flying-by comet 1P/Halley had discovered the presence of organics, and pointed out the dust low albedo and extremely low density while analyses of Interplanetary Dust Particles collected in the stratosphere and remote spectroscopic observations have indicated that cometary dust consists of an un-equilibrated heterogeneous mixture of organic refractory materials and of amorphous and crystalline silicate minerals [5], as recently confirmed by Stardust [6]. Observations of the solar scattered light, together with elaborate simulations, give an estimation of the mass ratio between silicates and absorbing organics, the size distribution and the structure of the dust particles, suggesting that a fair amount consists in fluffy aggregates built up from submicronic grains [7,8], as recently confirmed by the analysis of dust craters and aerogel tracks on Stardust collector showing for some large particles (up to 100 μm) an extraordinary fluffy structure [9]. Simulations have been developed in our teams to describe the aspects of comet aggregation and evolution that have not been thoroughly explained yet. Particle aggregation simulations taking into account cohesive

  14. COMET-LICSAR: Systematic Deformation Monitoring of Fault Zones and Volcanoes with the Sentinel-1 Constellation

    Spaans, K.; Wright, T. J.; Hooper, A. J.; Hatton, E. L.; González, P. J.; Bhattarai, S.; Biggs, J.; Crippa, P.; Ebmeier, S. K.; Elliott, J.; Gaddes, M.; Li, Z.; Parsons, B.; Qiu, Q.; McDougall, A.; Walters, R. J.; Weiss, J. R.; Ziebart, M.


    The Sentinel-1 constellation represents a major advance in our ability to monitor our planet's hazardous tectonic and volcanic zones. Here we present the latest progress from COMET (*), where we are now providing deformation results to the community for volcanoes and the tectonic belts (**). COMET now responds routinely to most significant continental earthquakes - Sentinel-1 allows us to do this within a few days for most earthquakes. For example, after the M7.8 Kaikoura (New Zealand) earthquake we supplied a processed interferogram to the community just 5 hours and 37 minutes after the Sentinel-1 acquisition. By the end of 2017, we will be producing interferogram products systematically for all earthquakes larger than M 6.0. For deformation data to be useful for preparedness, we need accuracy on the order of 1 mm/yr or better. This requires mass processing of long time series of radar acquisitions. We are currently (July 2017) processing interferograms systematically for the entire Alpine-Himalayan belt ( 9000 x 2000 km) using our LiCSAR chain, making interferograms and coherence products available to the community. By December 2017, we plan to process a wider tectonic area and the majority of subaerial volcanoes. We currently serve displacement and coherence grids, but plan to provide average deformation rates and time series. Results are available through our dedicated portal (**), and are being linked to the ESA G-TEP and EPOS during 2017. We will show the latest results for tectonics and volcanism, and discuss how these can be used to build value-added products, including (i) maps of tectonic strain (ii) maps of seismic hazard (iii) volcano deformation alerts. The accuracy of these products will improve as the number of data products acquired by Sentinel-1 increases, and as the time series lengthen. ***

  15. A Bayesian, generalized frailty model for comet assays.

    Ghebretinsae, Aklilu Habteab; Faes, Christel; Molenberghs, Geert; De Boeck, Marlies; Geys, Helena


    This paper proposes a flexible modeling approach for so-called comet assay data regularly encountered in preclinical research. While such data consist of non-Gaussian outcomes in a multilevel hierarchical structure, traditional analyses typically completely or partly ignore this hierarchical nature by summarizing measurements within a cluster. Non-Gaussian outcomes are often modeled using exponential family models. This is true not only for binary and count data, but also for, example, time-to-event outcomes. Two important reasons for extending this family are for (1) the possible occurrence of overdispersion, meaning that the variability in the data may not be adequately described by the models, which often exhibit a prescribed mean-variance link, and (2) the accommodation of a hierarchical structure in the data, owing to clustering in the data. The first issue is dealt with through so-called overdispersion models. Clustering is often accommodated through the inclusion of random subject-specific effects. Though not always, one conventionally assumes such random effects to be normally distributed. In the case of time-to-event data, one encounters, for example, the gamma frailty model (Duchateau and Janssen, 2007 ). While both of these issues may occur simultaneously, models combining both are uncommon. Molenberghs et al. ( 2010 ) proposed a broad class of generalized linear models accommodating overdispersion and clustering through two separate sets of random effects. Here, we use this method to model data from a comet assay with a three-level hierarchical structure. Although a conjugate gamma random effect is used for the overdispersion random effect, both gamma and normal random effects are considered for the hierarchical random effect. Apart from model formulation, we place emphasis on Bayesian estimation. Our proposed method has an upper hand over the traditional analysis in that it (1) uses the appropriate distribution stipulated in the literature; (2) deals

  16. Identification of irradiated pepper with comet assay

    Prieto Miranda, Enrique Fco.; Moreno Alvarez, Damaris L.; Carro Palacio, Sandra; Iglesia Enriquez, Isora


    The treatment of foods with ionizing radiations is a technological process utilized in order to increase the hygienic quality and the storage time of the foods. Several methods of detection of irradiated foods have been recommended. The comet assay of DNA is one fast and economical technique for the qualitative identification of irradiated foods. The objective of the present paper was to identify with the comet assay technique the modifications of the DNA molecule of irradiated pepper storage at environment and refrigeration temperatures and different post-irradiation times for different absorbed dose values, (0.1, 0.3 and 0.5 kGy). It was demonstrated that for the high absorbed dose values was observed a greater break into fragments of the DNA molecule, which shows the application of this technique for the identification of irradiated foods. (author)

  17. Comet assay on tetraploid yeast cells

    Rank, Jette; Syberg, Kristian; Jensen, Klara


    Tetraploid yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) were used in the comet assay with the intention of developing a new, fast and easy assay for detecting environmental genotoxic agents without using higher organisms. Two DNA-damaging chemicals, H2O2 and acrylamide, together with wastewater from...... three municipal treatment plants were tested for their effect on the yeast-cell DNA. The main problem with using yeast in the comet assay is the necessity to degrade the cell wall. This was achieved by using Zymolase 100 T twice during the procedure, since Zymolase 20 T did not open the cell wall....... Analytical problems that arose due to the small amount of DNA in the yeast nuclei in haploid and diploid cells, which contain 13 Mbp and 26 Mbp DNA per cell, respectively, were solved by using tetraploid yeast cells (52 Mbp) instead. DNA damage was shown after exposure to H2O2 and acrylamide. The lowest dose...

  18. On the photometric parameters of comet Halley

    Toth, I.


    Halley's comet is one of the brightest comets in the absolute sense. The paper describes the expectations about its brightness parameters, and the main physical properties of the nucleus can be derived from photometry up to the last opposition. Results were obtained relating to the decrease of absolute magnitude and the possible period of brightness fluctuation according to data obtained at CFHT on 4 th Feb. 1984. The slope of decrease of absolute magnitude is about 0.17 magnitude per revolution. On 4th Feb. 1984, the brightness fluctuations had a period about 9.0+-0.5 hr but it seems that the general form of fluctuations on a large time-scale is not a clear sinosoidal shape, and the most probable periods are between 9 and 48 hrs. (author)

  19. The cyanogen band of Comet Halley

    Tatum, J. B.; Campbell, E. C.

    The results of improved whole disk solar irradiance spectrum calculations performed for projected Halley's Comet heliocentric radial velocity and distance are provided. The computations were carried out to account for Doppler effects in the Fraunhofer lines of rotational excitation bands of violet CN emissions from the comet in its encounters with solar radiation. The calculations spanned every half-day for 200 days before and after perihelion. The 801 computer images of the expected intensities were photographed in sequence to form an animated film paced by background music from Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody. The results are intended for accounting for spectral changes observed due to Doppler effects induced by changing velocity and distance, rather than physical mechanisms of the emitting processes.

  20. Systematic random sampling of the comet assay.

    McArt, Darragh G; Wasson, Gillian R; McKerr, George; Saetzler, Kurt; Reed, Matt; Howard, C Vyvyan


    The comet assay is a technique used to quantify DNA damage and repair at a cellular level. In the assay, cells are embedded in agarose and the cellular content is stripped away leaving only the DNA trapped in an agarose cavity which can then be electrophoresed. The damaged DNA can enter the agarose and migrate while the undamaged DNA cannot and is retained. DNA damage is measured as the proportion of the migratory 'tail' DNA compared to the total DNA in the cell. The fundamental basis of these arbitrary values is obtained in the comet acquisition phase using fluorescence microscopy with a stoichiometric stain in tandem with image analysis software. Current methods deployed in such an acquisition are expected to be both objectively and randomly obtained. In this paper we examine the 'randomness' of the acquisition phase and suggest an alternative method that offers both objective and unbiased comet selection. In order to achieve this, we have adopted a survey sampling approach widely used in stereology, which offers a method of systematic random sampling (SRS). This is desirable as it offers an impartial and reproducible method of comet analysis that can be used both manually or automated. By making use of an unbiased sampling frame and using microscope verniers, we are able to increase the precision of estimates of DNA damage. Results obtained from a multiple-user pooled variation experiment showed that the SRS technique attained a lower variability than that of the traditional approach. The analysis of a single user with repetition experiment showed greater individual variances while not being detrimental to overall averages. This would suggest that the SRS method offers a better reflection of DNA damage for a given slide and also offers better user reproducibility.

  1. Comet C/2012 S1 (Ison)

    Granslo, B. H.; Nakano, S.


    16.88 16 11 31.6 +19 45 05 0.07+ 0.14+ 15.5 Unsuccessful visual searches for the comet, with estimated limiting magnitudes: Dec. 4.26 UT, [8.0 (B. H. Granslo, Roverkollen, Oslo, Norway, 0.08-m refractor; altitude 5 degrees in twilight); Dec. 8.8, [10.6 (Akie Hashimoto, Chichibu, Saitama-ken, Japan, 25x150 binoculars; communicated by S. Nakano, Sumoto, Japan).

  2. Comets: Role and importance to exobiology

    Delsemme, Armand H.


    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.

  3. Comet Halley: An optical continuum study

    Hoban, S.M.


    From an analysis of narrowband CCD images of Comet Halley from 1986 January, March, and April, certain dust structures which are redder than the remainder of the dust coma have become apparent. Mie calculations suggest that this reddening is due to an enhancement of particles with sizes comparable to the observing wavelengths. Although the mass range derived from the calculations presented here is somewhat uncertain as a result of the limitations of Mie theory, these values are in the expected range derived from the calculations presented here is somewhat uncertain as a result of particle sizes which would be both sensitive to radiation pressure and significantly reddened with respect to the solar spectrum at the observing wavelengths. Thus, the red envelopes are plausibly the result of size sorting by solar radiation pressure. The red jets observed on 1986 January 10, March 1 and March 9 can then be explained by the enhanced dust flux at the jet sources, and the subsequent trapping of a relative excess of intermediate mass (i.e. red) particles into the jets which are visible in the continuum images. Analysis of narrowband photometry of the optical continuum of Comet Halley reveals no correlation between the color of the dust and heliocentric distance, phase angle, strength of the continuum or gas-to-dust ratio. The photometric data are thus consistent with a post-ejection sorting mechanism. Chemical inhomogeneities of the nucleus are therefore not necessary to explain the observed structure in the color of the dust in Comet Halley

  4. The C-12/C-13 abundance ratio in Comet Halley

    Wyckoff, S.; Lindholm, E.; Wehinger, P.A.; Peterson, B.A.; Zucconi, J.M.


    The individual (C-13)N rotational lines in Comet Halley are resolved using high-resolution spectra of the CN B2Sigma(+)-X2Sigma(+) (0,0) band. The observe C-12/C-13 abundance ratio excludes a site of origin for the comet near Uranus and Neptune and suggests a condensation environment quite distinct from other solar system bodies. Two theories are presented for the origin of Comet Halley. One theory suggest that the comet originated 4.5 Gyr ago in an inner Oort cloud at a heliocentric distance greater than 100 AU where chemical fractionation led to the C-13 enrichment in the CN parent molecule prior to condensation of the comet nucleus. According to the other, more plausible theory, the comet nucleus condensed relatively recently from the interstellar medium which has become enriches in C-13 and was subsequently gravitationally captured by the solar system. 107 refs

  5. Solar wind interaction with type-1 comet tails

    Ershkovich, A.I.


    A comet tail is considered as a plasma cylinder separated by a tangential discontinuity surface from the solar wind. Under typical conditions a comet tail boundary is shown to undergo the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. With infinite amplitude the stabilizing effect of the magnetic field increases, and waves become stable. The proposed model supplies the detailed quantitative description of helical waves observed in type-1 comet tails. This theory enables the evaluation of the comet tail magnetic field by means of the observations of helical waves. The magnetic field in the comet tail turns out to be of the order of the interplanetary field. This conclusion seems to be in accordance with Alfven's idea that the magnetic field in type-1 comet tails is a captured interplanetary field. (Auth.)

  6. Nucleus of Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock (1983 VII)

    Sekanina, Z.


    Optical, radar, infrared, UV, and microwave-continuum observations of Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcok were obtained in May 1983, the week of the comet's close approach to earth. The comet has a nucleus dimension and a rotation period which are similar to those of Comet Halley, but a different morphological signature (a persisting sunward fan-shaped coma). Time variations are noted in the projected nucleus cross section. Results suggest significant limb-darkening effects in the relevant domains of radio waves, and that the comet's interior must be extremely cold. It is found that the thermal-infrared fluxes from the inner coma of the comet are dominated by the nucleus. 63 references

  7. Stardust: Catching a Comet and Bringing it Home

    Brownlee, Donald E.


    The NASA STARDUST mission collected thousands of particles from Comet Wild 2 that are now being studied by two hundred scientists around the world. The spacecraft captured the samples during a close flyby of the comet in 2004 and returned them to Earth with a dramatic entry into the atmosphere early in 2006. The precious cargo of comet dust is being studied to determine new information about the origin of the Sun and planets. The comet formed at the edge of the solar system, beyond the orbit of Neptune, and is a sample of the material from which the solar system was formed. One of the most dramatic early findings from the mission was that a comet that formed in the coldest place in the solar system contained minerals that formed in the hottest place in the solar system. The comet samples are telling stories of fire and ice and they providing fascinating and unexpected information about our origins.

  8. On the formation of meteor showers of comet Halley

    Babadzhanov, P.B.; Obrubov, J.V.; Pushkarev, A.N.; Hajduk, A.


    The orbits of test particles ejected from the nucleus of Halley comet at its perihelion passage in 1910 with different velocities are studied for the next three passages of the comet up to 2134 taking into consideration perturbations from all planets. Some characteristics of the stream formation are presented. The calculations show that the return of the comet to its perihelion cannot produce an immediate influence on the activity of its meteor showers. (author). 2 figs., 1 tab., 13 refs

  9. Giacobini-Zinner comet: polarimetric and physical observations

    Martel, M.T.; Maines, P.; Grudzinska, S.; Stawikowski, A.


    The results of observations of the Giacobini-Zinner comet on 25 and 31 October 1959 are presented. The magnitude of the comet was measured photoelectrically in two spectral regions. The radius is on the order of one kilometer. The photoelectric measurements of comets 1959b and 1957c were used to measure the abundances of the CN and C2 radicals and of solid particles in the heads

  10. Reservoirs for Comets: Compositional Differences Based on Infrared Observations

    Disanti, Michael A.; Mumma, Michael J.

    Tracing measured compositions of comets to their origins continues to be of keen interest to cometary scientists and to dynamical modelers of Solar System formation and evolution. This requires building a taxonomy of comets from both present-day dynamical reservoirs: the Kuiper Belt (hereafter KB), sampled through observation of ecliptic comets (primarily Jupiter Family comets, or JFCs), and the Oort cloud (OC), represented observationally by the long-period comets and by Halley Family comets (HFCs). Because of their short orbital periods, JFCs are subjected to more frequent exposure to solar radiation compared with OC comets. The recent apparitions of the JFCs 9P/Tempel 1 and 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 permitted detailed observations of material issuing from below their surfaces—these comets added significantly to the compositional database on this dynamical class, which is under-represented in studies of cometary parent volatiles. This chapter reviews the latest techniques developed for analysis of high-resolution spectral observations from ˜2-5 μm, and compares measured abundances of native ices among comets. While no clear compositional delineation can be drawn along dynamical lines, interesting comparisons can be made. The sub-surface composition of comet 9P, as revealed by the Deep Impact ejecta, was similar to the majority of OC comets studied. Meanwhile, 73P was depleted in all native ices except HCN, similar to the disintegrated OC comet C/1999 S4 (LINEAR). These results suggest that 73P may have formed in the inner giant planets' region while 9P formed farther out or, alternatively, that both JFCs formed farther from the Sun but with 73P forming later in time.

  11. The persistent coma of Comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1

    Jewitt, D.


    Time-series photometry of Comet P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 in both 1987 and 1988 shows that this comet is continually active despite its large heliocentric distance. The observed activity, upon which the famous outbursts of this comet are superposed, may be driven by the sublimation of crystalline water ice at the nucleus surface. A simple model which accounts for both the continuous activity and the sporadic outbursts is suggested. 34 refs

  12. Hyakutake, Hale-Bopp and the chemistry of comets

    Bachiller, R.; Planesas, P.


    Comets can be regarded as messengers from the primitive solar system which can provide precious pieces of information on the composition of the protosolar nebula. Physical and chemical phenomena within comets (shock waves, photodissociation caused by solar radiation, some endothermic chemical reactions, etc) are of the highest interest and cannot be reproduced at terrestrial laboratories in many cases. The passage of Hyakutake in 1996 and that of Hale-Bopp in 1997 are allowing remarkable progress in the understanding of the physico-chemistry of comets. Observations of such comets can be crucial in the study of the origin of life on Earth. (Author)

  13. Comet West: a view from the HELIOS zodiacal light photometers

    Benensohn, R.M.; Jackson, B.V.


    Comet West passed through perihelion on February 25, 1976. The comet crossed the HELIOS A and B spacecraft zodiacal light photometer fields of view as the spacecraft orbited the Sun, allowing them to record the brightness, polarization, and color of the comet and its surrounding interplanetary medium. Data from the U, B, and V photometers across the tail shows a distinct bluing followed by a slight reddening corresponding to the ion and dust tails, respectively, entering the field of view. The non-Earth perspective of the HELIOS photometers allows a comparison of the tail with Earth observations at the same time. Precise location of the nucleus and tail allow the photometer data to be searched for evidence of the comet bow shock and orbital dust. A brightness bump present in the data before the comet reaches some photometer positions, can be shown to approximately form a parabolic shape Sunward and ahead of the orbital motion of the Comet West nucleus. If this is the comet bow shock or bow compression, then it corresponds to a density enhancement of the ambient medium by 1.5 to 2 times in the vicinity of the comet. The distance of the brightness increase from the nucleus by comparison with Comet Halley implies a neutral gas production rate of approximately 3 times that of Halley

  14. X-rays from comets - a surprising discovery

    CERN. Geneva


    Comets are kilometre-size aggregates of ice and dust, which remained from the formation of the solar system. It was not obvious to expect X-ray emission from such objects. Nevertheless, when comet Hyakutake (C/1996 B2) was observed with the ROSAT X-ray satellite during its close approach to Earth in March 1996, bright X-ray emission from this comet was discovered. This finding triggered a search in archival ROSAT data for comets, which might have accidentally crossed the field of view during observations of unrelated targets. To increase the surprise even more, X-ray emission was detected from four additional comets, which were optically 300 to 30 000 times fainter than Hyakutake. For one of them, comet Arai (C/1991 A2), X-ray emission was even found in data which were taken six weeks before the comet was optically discovered. These findings showed that comets represent a new class of celestial X-ray sources. The subsequent detection of X-ray emission from several other comets in dedicated observations confir...

  15. Studying Short-Period Comets and Long-Period Comets Detected by WISE/NEOWISE

    Kramer, Emily A.; Fernández, Yanga R.; Bauer, James M.; Stevenson, Rachel; Mainzer, Amy K.; Grav, Tommy; Masiero, Joseph; Walker, Russell G.; Lisse, Carey M.


    The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission surveyed the sky in four infrared wavelength bands (3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22-micron) between January 2010 and February 2011 [1, 2]. During the mission, WISE serendipitously observed 160 comets, including 21 newly discovered objects. About 89 of the comets observed by WISE displayed a significant dust tail in the 12 and 22-micron (thermal emission) bands, showing a wide range of activity levels and dust morphology. Since the observed objects are a mix of both long-period comets (LPCs) and short-period comets (SPCs), differences in their activity can be used to better understand the thermal evolution that each of these populations has undergone. For the comets that displayed a significant dust tail, we have estimated the sizes and ages of the particles using dynamical models based on the Finson-Probstein method [3, 4]. For a selection of 40 comets, we have then compared these models to the data using a novel tail-fitting method that allows the best-fit model to be chosen analytically rather than subjectively. For comets that were observed multiple times by WISE, the dust tail particle properties were estimated separately, and then compared. We find that the dust tails of both LPCs and SPCs are primarily comprised of ~mm to cm sized particles, which were the result of emission that occurred several months to several years prior to the observations. The LPCs nearly all have strong dust emission close to the comet's perihelion distance, and the SPCs mostly have strong dust emission close to perihelion, but some have strong dust emission well before perihelion. Acknowledgments: This publication makes use of data products from (1) WISE, which is a joint project of UCLA and JPL/Caltech, funded by NASA; and (2) NEOWISE, which is a project of JPL/Caltech, funded by the Planetary Science Division of NASA. EK was supported by a NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship. RS gratefully acknowledges support from the NASA

  16. Observations of CO2 in Comets C/2012 S1 ISON and C/2012 K1 PANSTARRS

    McKay, Adam; Kelley, Michael; DiSanti, Michael; Cochran, Anita; Dello Russo, Neil; Lisse, Carey; Chanover, Nancy


    Comets have undergone very little thermal evolution in their lifetimes, resulting in a primitive composition. This primitive composition makes observations of comets very important tools for understanding the origin of the Solar System. The ices H2O, CO2, and CO are the primary ices present in cometary nuclei, and constraining their abundances has tremendous implications for the formation and evolutionary history of comets. Of these ices, H2O and CO can be observed from the ground, while CO2 cannot. A potentially effective tracer for CO2 in comets that is accessible from the ground is atomic oxygen. However, the relationship between these ices and atomic oxygen is only understood at a qualitative level. We propose to use Spitzer observations in IRAC's 4.5 micron band pass to observe the CO2 v3 band at 4.26 microns in comets C/2012 S1 ISON and C/2012 K1 PANSTARRS. These observations will be coordinated with observations of atomic oxygen obtained at Apache Point Observatory and McDonald Observatory and observations of H2O and CO at Keck and IRTF. These observations of H2O, CO2, and atomic oxygen in a cometary coma will increase our understanding of the link between these primary ices and atomic oxygen. With a complete understanding of the relationship between atomic oxygen and the primary ices on the nucleus, observations of atomic oxygen can serve as a powerful proxy for the production of CO2. In addition, ISON is the target of an extensive observing campaign led by NASA, and the proposed Spitzer observations fill a vital niche as the only observatory that can observe CO2 during both the near-perihelion time frame and significantly (months) after perihelion. Understanding the evolution of the CO2 abundance over the apparition is a key piece to understanding how the volatile compostion of the comet changes over the apparition.

  17. Carbonaceous Components in the Comet Halley Dust

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


    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.

  18. Comet and meteorite traditions of Aboriginal Australians

    Hamacher, Duane W.


    This research contributes to the disciplines of cultural astronomy (the academic study of how past and present cultures understand and utilise celestial objects and phenomena) and geomythology (the study of geological events and the formation of geological features described in oral traditions). Of the hundreds of distinct Aboriginal cultures of Australia, many have oral traditions rich in descriptions and explanations of comets, meteors, meteorites, airbursts, impact events, and impact craters. These views generally attribute these phenomena to spirits, death, and bad omens. There are also many traditions that describe the formation of meteorite craters as well as impact events that are not known to Western science.

  19. The Comet Assay: Tails of the (Unexpected. Use of the comet assay in pharmaceutical development.

    Bas-jan Van Der Leede


    Full Text Available In genotoxicity testing of pharmaceuticals the rodent alkaline comet assay is being increasingly used as a second in vivo assay in addition to the in vivo micronucleus assay to mitigate in vitro positive results as recommended by regulatory guidance. In this presentation we want to give insight into the circumstances in vivo comet assay is deployed in a Genetic Toxicology Department of a pharmaceutical company. As the in vivo comet assay is a salvage assay, it means that some events have occurred in an in vitro assay and that the compound (or metabolite responsible for this signal is potentially deselected for further development. More than often the decision to perform an in vivo comet assay is at a very early stage in development and the first time that the compound will be tested in vivo at high/toxic dose levels. As almost no toxicokinetic data and tissue distribution data are available a careful design with maximizes the chances for successful mitigation is necessary. Decisions on acute or repeated dosing need to be made and arrangements for combining the in vivo comet assay with the in vivo micronucleus assay are to be considered. Often synthesis methods need to be scaled up fast to provide the required amount of compound and information on suitable formulations needs to be in place. As exposure data is crucial for interpretation of results, analytical methods need to be brought in place rapidly. An experienced multi skilled and communicative team needs to be available to deploy successfully this kind of assays at an early stage of development. We will present a few scenarios on study conduct and demonstrate how this assay can make a difference for the further development of a new drug.

  20. Planetary perturbations and the origins of short-period comets

    Quinn, T.; Tremaine, S.; Duncan, M.


    To investigate the dynamical plausibility of possible sources for the short-period comets, a representative sample of comet orbits in the field of the sun and the giant planets was integrated, with the aim to determine whether the distribution of orbits from a proposed source that reach observable perihelia (q less than 2.5 AU) matches the observed distribution of short-period orbits. It is found that the majority of the short-period comets, those with orbital period P less than 20 yr (the Jupiter family), cannot arise from isotropic orbits with perihelia near Jupiter's orbit, because the resulting observable comet orbits have the wrong distribution in period, inclination, and argument of perihelion. The simulations also show that Jupiter-family comets cannot arise from isotropic orbits with perihelia in the Uranus-Neptune region. On the other hand, a source of low-inclination Neptune-crossing orbits yields a distribution of observable Jupiter-family comets that is consistent with the data in all respects. These results imply that the Jupiter-family comets arise from a disk source in the outer solar system rather than from the Oort comet cloud. 30 refs

  1. On the existence of a comet belt beyond Neptune

    Fernandez, J.A.


    The possible existence of a comet belt in connection with the origin of the short-period comets is analysed. It is noted that the current theory - that these comets originate as near-parabolic comets captured by Jupiter and the other giant planets - implies an excessive wastage of comets lost in hyperbolic orbits, which is avoided in the present model. The following picture is predicted. Solid conglomerates up to approximately 10 18 g were formed by gravitational instabilities in the belt region (about 35 to 50 AU). A further fragmentation-accretion process led to a power-law mass distribution similar to that observed in the asteroids. Since then, close encounters between members of the belt have provoked the diffusion of some of them with the effect that they have become subject to the strong perturbations of Neptune. Of these a small number pass from one planet to the next inside and end as short-period comets. By means of a Monte Carlo method, the influence of close encounters between belt comets is then studied in relation to the diffusion of their orbits. It is concluded that if such a belt contains members with masses equal to or greater than that of Ceres, the orbital diffusion could proceed fast enough to maintain the number of observed short-period comets in a steady state. (author)

  2. Mission to a comet that could save earth

    Utton, T


    Scientists are going to attempt to land a probe on the comet Wirtanen. The GBP640million unmanned craft will travel four billion miles before catching up with the comet Wirtanen and launching a robotic lander called Rosetta, on to its surface (1/2 page).

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

    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.


    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.

  4. The exploration of Halley's comet - An example of international cooperation

    Rahe, Jurgen H.; Newburn, Ray L., Jr.


    The history of international cooperation in studies of comets started with observations in 1577 and 1680, when Tycho Brahe and Newton, respectively, collected position measurements made in different countries to determine the paths of the comets observed. In the fall of 1979, a worldwide Comet Halley watch was proposed. As a result of international cooperation, Comet Halley was explored during its recent appearance from the ground, earth orbit, Venus orbit, interplanetary space, and from within the comet itself. The various activities in space were coordinated by the ESA, the USSR Intercosmos, the Japanese ISAS, and NASA, through the Inter-Agency Consultative Group. The activities of the ground-based observers were coordinated by the International Halley Watch.

  5. COMET Multimedia modules and objects in the digital library system

    Spangler, T. C.; Lamos, J. P.


    Over the past ten years of developing Web- and CD-ROM-based training materials, the Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET) has created a unique archive of almost 10,000 multimedia objects and some 50 web based interactive multimedia modules on various aspects of weather and weather forecasting. These objects and modules, containing illustrations, photographs, animations,video sequences, audio files, are potentially a valuable resource for university faculty and students, forecasters, emergency managers, public school educators, and other individuals and groups needing such materials for educational use. The COMET Modules are available on the COMET educational web site, and the COMET Multimedia Database (MMDB) makes a collection of the multimedia objects available in a searchable online database for viewing and download over the Internet. Some 3200 objects are already available at the MMDB Website:

  6. Application of the CometChip platform to assess DNA damage in field-collected blood samples from turtles.

    Sykora, Peter; Chiari, Ylenia; Heaton, Andrew; Moreno, Nickolas; Glaberman, Scott; Sobol, Robert W


    DNA damage has been linked to genomic instability and the progressive breakdown of cellular and organismal homeostasis, leading to the onset of disease and reduced longevity. Insults to DNA from endogenous sources include base deamination, base hydrolysis, base alkylation, and metabolism-induced oxidative damage that can lead to single-strand and double-strand DNA breaks. Alternatively, exposure to environmental pollutants, radiation or ultra-violet light, can also contribute to exogenously derived DNA damage. We previously validated a novel, high through-put approach to measure levels of DNA damage in cultured mammalian cells. This new CometChip Platform builds on the classical single cell gel electrophoresis or comet methodology used extensively in environmental toxicology and molecular biology. We asked whether the CometChip Platform could be used to measure DNA damage in samples derived from environmental field studies. To this end, we determined that nucleated erythrocytes from multiple species of turtle could be successfully evaluated in the CometChip Platform to quantify levels of DNA damage. In total, we compared levels of DNA damage in 40 animals from two species: the box turtle (Terrapene carolina) and the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). Endogenous levels of DNA damage were identical between the two species, yet we did discover some sex-linked differences and changes in DNA damage accumulation. Based on these results, we confirm that the CometChip Platform allows for the measurement of DNA damage in a large number of samples quickly and accurately, and is particularly adaptable to environmental studies using field-collected samples. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 59:322-333, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


    Feldman, Paul D., E-mail: [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)


    Observations of comets in the 905–1180 Å spectral band made with the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer in 2001 and 2004 show unusual features in the fluorescent emissions of CO and H{sub 2}. These include emission from a non-thermal high-J rotational population of CO and solar Lyα induced fluorescence from excited vibrational levels of H{sub 2}, both of which are attributed to the photodissociation of formaldehyde. In this paper we model the large number of observed H{sub 2} lines and demonstrate the dependence of the pumping on the heliocentric velocity of the comet and the solar line profiles. We also derive the rotational and vibrational populations of H{sub 2} and show that they are consistent with the results of laboratory studies of the photodissociation of H{sub 2}CO. In addition to the principal series of H i and O i, the residual spectrum is found to consist mainly of the Rydberg series of C i multiplets from which we derive the mean carbon column abundance in the coma. Fluorescent emissions from N i and N{sub 2} are also searched for.

  8. Model of Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner

    Boice, D.C.; Huebner, W.F.; Keady, J.J.; Schmidt, H.U.; Wegmann, R.


    A computer model of Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner is presented which contains photo-processes, gas-phase chemical kinetics, energy balance. Multifluid hydrodynamics with a transition to free molecular flow, and solar wind interaction. Recently, the physics for electrons in the model has been improved by including electron impact ionization and dissociation and separately accounting for electron energetics. Electron heating and cooling mechanisms include photoprocesses, recombination processes, inelastic and elastic collisions with heavy molecules, and expansion cooling. The model incorporates an internally consistent interaction of the solar wind with the coma gas using the axisymmetric ideal fluid dynamic equations. The nuclear size and composition have been chosen to make the calculations relevant to the 11 September 1985 International Cometary Explorer (ICE) encounter with Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner. Model profiles of the temperature, velocity, and number density of the electrons are in good agreement with measurements along ICE's trajectory. These results indicate that the probe passed through a region of the coma at the onset of the plasma tail

  9. Theories of comets to the age of Laplace

    Heidarzadeh, Tofigh

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

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

    Kohler, Susanna


    Comet 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko made famous by the explorations of the Rosetta mission has been displaying puzzling activity as it hurtles toward the Sun. However, recent modeling of the comet by a group of scientists from the Cte dAzur University may now explain whats causing 67Ps activity.Shadowed ActivityA model of comet 67P, with the colors indicating the rate of change of the temperature on the comets surface. The most rapid temperature changes are seen at the comets neck, in the same locations as the early activity seen in the Rosetta images. [Al-Lagoa et al. 2015] Between June and September of 2014, Rosetta observed comet 67P displaying early activity in the form of jets of dust emitted from near the neck of the comet (its narrowest point). Such activity is usually driven by the sublimation of volatiles from the comets surface as a result of sun exposure. But the neck of the comet is frequently shadowed as the comet rotates, and it receives significantly less sunlight than the rest of the comet. So why would the early activity originate from the comets neck?The authors of a recent study, led by Victor Al-Lagoa, hypothesize that its precisely because the neck is receiving alternating sunlight/shadows that its displaying activity. They suggest that thermal cracking of the surface of the comet is happening faster in this region, due to the rapid changes in temperature that result from the shadows cast by the surrounding terrain. The cracking exposes subsurface ices in the neck faster than in other regions, and the ensuing sublimation of that ice is what creates the activity were seeing.Temperature Models: To test their hypothesis, the authors study the surface temperatures on comet 67P by means of a thermophysical model a model used to calculate the temperatures on an airless body, both on and below the surface. The model takes into account factors like thermal inertia (how quickly the bodys temperature responds to changes in the incident energy), shadowing, and

  11. A quantitative comet infection assay for influenza virus

    Lindsay, Stephen M.; Timm, Andrea; Yin, John


    Summary The virus comet assay is a cell-based virulence assay used to evaluate an antiviral drug or antibody against a target virus. The comet assay differs from the plaque assay in allowing spontaneous flows in 6-well plates to spread virus. When implemented quantitatively the comet assay has been shown to have an order-of-magnitude greater sensitivity to antivirals than the plaque assay. In this study, a quantitative comet assay for influenza virus is demonstrated, and is shown to have a 13-fold increase in sensitivity to ribavirin. AX4 cells (MDCK cells with increased surface concentration of α2–6 sialic acid, the influenza virus receptor) have reduced the comet size variability relative to MDCK cells, making them a better host cell for use in this assay. Because of enhanced antiviral sensitivity in flow-based assays, less drug is required, which could lead to lower reagent costs, reduced cytotoxicity, and fewer false-negative drug screen results. The comet assay also serves as a readout of flow conditions in the well. Observations from comets formed at varying humidity levels indicate a role for evaporation in the mechanism of spontaneous fluid flow in wells. PMID:22155578


    Marboeuf, Ulysse; Mousis, Olivier; Petit, Jean-Marc; Schmitt, Bernard


    The initial composition of current models of cometary nuclei is only based on two forms of ice: crystalline ice for long-period comets and amorphous ice for short-period comets. A third form of ice, i.e., clathrate hydrate, could exist within the short-period cometary nuclei, but the area of formation of this crystalline structure in these objects has never been studied. Here, we show that the thermodynamic conditions in the interior of short-period comets allow the existence of clathrate hydrates in Halley-type comets. We show that their existence is viable in the Jupiter family comets only when the equilibrium pressure of CO clathrate hydrate is at least 1 order of magnitude lower than the usually assumed theoretical value. We calculate that the amount of volatiles that could be trapped in the clathrate hydrate layer may be orders of magnitude greater than the daily amount of gas released at the surface of the nucleus at perihelion. The formation and the destruction of the clathrate hydrate cages could then explain the diversity of composition of volatiles observed in comets, as well as some pre-perihelion outbursts. We finally show that the potential clathrate hydrate layer in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko would, unfortunately, be deep inside the nucleus, out of reach of the Rosetta lander. However, such a clathrate hydrate layer would show up by the gas composition of the coma.

  13. Autonomous Onboard Science Data Analysis for Comet Missions

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


    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.

  14. Vaporization of comet nuclei: Light curves and life times

    Cowan, J J [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (USA). Center for Astrophysics; A' Hearn, M F [Maryland Univ., College Park (USA)


    The authors have examined the effects of vaporization from the nucleus of a comet and show that a latitude dependence of vaporization can, in some cases, explain asymmetries in commetary light curves. They also find that a non-uniform distribution of solar radiation over a comet can considerably shorten the vaporization lifetime compared to the results normally obtained by assuming that the nuclear surface is isothermal. Independent of any latitude effects, comets with CO/sub 2/-dominated nuclei and with periherlion distances less than 0.5 AU have vaporization lifetimes less than or comparable to their dynamical ejection times. This may explain the observed deficit of comets with small perihelion distances. Similarly comets with CO/sub 2/-dominated nuclei and perihelia near Jupiter's orbit have vaporization lifetimes that are shorter than the time for capture into short-period orbits. They suggest, therefore, that at least some new comets are composed in large part of CO/sub 2/, while only H/sub 2/O-dominated comets, with lower vaporization rates, can survive to be captured into short-period orbits.


    Morris, D.E.


    Encounters with interstellar clouds (IC) have been proposed by Rampino and Stothers as a cause of quasi-periodic intense comet showers leading to earth impacts, in order to explain the periodicity in marine mass extinctions found by Raup and Sepkoski. The model was described further, criticized and defended. The debate has centered on the question of whether the scale height of the clouds is small enough (in comparison to the amplitude of the oscillation of the solar system about the plane of the Galaxy) to produce a modulation in the rate of encounters. We wish to point out another serious, we believe fatal, defect in this model - the tidal fields of ICs are not strong enough to produce intense comet showers leading to earth impacts by bringing comets of the postulated inner Oort cloud into earth crossing orbits, except possibly during very rare encounters with very dense clouds. We will show that encounters with abundant clouds of low density cannot produce comet showers; cloud density N > 10{sup 3} atoms cm{sup -3} is needed to produce an intense comet shower leading to earth impacts. Furthermore, the tidal field of a dense cloud during a distant encounter is too weak to produce such showers. As a consequence, comet showers induced by ICs will be far less frequent than showers caused by passing stars. This conclusion is independent of assumptions about the radial distribution of comets in the inner Oort cloud.

  16. Observation of freakish-asteroid-discovered-resembles support my idea that many dark comets were arrested and lurked in the solar system after every impaction

    Cao, Dayong


    New observations show that some asteroids are looked like comets., It supports my idea that ``many dark comets with very special tilted orbits were arrested and lurked in the solar system'' - ``Sun's companion-dark hole seasonal took its dark comets belt and much dark matter to impact near our earth. And some of them probability hit on our earth. So this model kept and triggered periodic mass extinctions on our earth every 25 to 27 million years. After every impaction, many dark comets with very special tilted orbits were arrested and lurked in the solar system. Because some of them picked up many solar matter, so it looked like the asteroids. When the dark hole-Tyche goes near the solar system again, they will impact near planets.'' The idea maybe explains why do the asteroid looks like the comet? Where are the asteroids come from? What relationship do they have with the impactions and extinctions?,, During 2009 to 2010, I had presented there are many dark comets like dark Asteroids near the orbit of Jupiter in ASP Meetings. In 2010, NASA's WISE found them., Avoid Earth Extinction Associ.

  17. Halley comet position in structure of the comet origin general scheme

    Davydov, V.D.


    Attempt to explain data on the Halley comet nucleus figure by photographes received from space probes in 1986 was undertaken. Peanut-like nucleus might be formed from two bodies former system under specific conditions. This hypothesis preliminary development is made; solution way for the problem about quantitative characteristics of collision and destruction is found. Quantitative assessments confirm retention possibility of two space icebergs original form after their ''docking'' within relative velocity range up to a few meters per second. Then complex with visible saddle point between two jointed fragments is formed. The hypothesis suggested is well inscribed in the origin general scheme of comets with nucleus different types, and from general scheme one may draw up the most important details to this hypothesis (for example, power mechanism of binary system formation and reasons of its destabilization)

  18. Fast Variations In Spectrum of Comet Halley

    Borysenko, S. A.

    The goal of this work is to research fast variations of spectral lines intensities in spectra of comet Halley. The present research was made on the basis of more then 500 high- resolution spectrogram obtained by L.M. Shulman and H.K. Nazarchuk in November- December, 1985 at the 6-m telescope (SAO, Russia). Some fast variations with different quasiperiods were detected in all the spectrograms. Quasiperiods of these variations were from 15 - 40 min to 1.5 - 2 hours. As data from spacecraft "Vega-2" show, more fast variations with quasiperiods 5 - 10 min are obviously present in cometary time variations. Only the most important lines so as C2, C3, CN, CH and NH2 were analyzed. False periods were checked by comparison of the power spectra of the variations with the computed spectral window of the data. Only false periods about 400 sec (the avarage period of exposition) were detected. An algorithm for analysis of locally Poisson's time series was proposed. Two types of fast variations are detected: 1)high amplitude variations with more long quasiperiods (1.5 - 2 hours) and the coefficient of crosscorrelations between line intensities about 0.9 - 0.95; 2)low amplitude variations with short periods (15 - 40 min), which look like white noise and have the coefficient of crosscorrelations about 0.1 - 0.3. This difference may be caused by nature of variations. The first type variations may be an effect of both active processes in cometary nucleus and streams of solar protons. Analysis of solar proton flux variation with energies >1 MeV in November - Decem- ber 1985 confirms the above-mentioned version. In the second case it may by only inner processes in the nucleus that generate the observed variations. For determination of general parameters of cometary atmosphere, such as the produc- tion rates of radicals C2, C3, CN, CH, and NH2 it was necessary to estimate the contri- bution of dust grains luminiscence into the continuum of the comet. Space and wave- length distribution

  19. Localized irradiations, Evaluation through ''comet assay''

    Giorgio, M.D.; Taja, M.R.; Nasazzi, N.B.; Bustos, N.; Cavalieri, H.; Bolgiani, A.


    During the last 50 years various radiation accidents involving localized irradiations occurred, resulting mainly from improper handling of sealed sources Co 60 , Cs 137 or Ir 192 at workplaces for industrial gammagraphy. Severe skin reaction may develop at the contact sites. Such inhomogeneous irradiations lead to a differential exposure of lymphocytes in lymphatic tissues or other organs that may recirculate into the peripheral blood producing a mixed irradiated and unirradiated population of lymphocytes. Applying the mathematical models ''Contaminated Poisson'' of Dolphin and Qdr method of Sasaki, a mean dose in the irradiated body area and its size can be estimated from unstable chromosome aberration scoring. This give an indication of the proportion of haemopoietic stem cell compartment involved in the overexposure. There are also different biophysical techniques that can give responses in biological dosimetry. The ''Comet Assay'' (single cell gel electrophoresis) is a sensitive and rapid method for DNA strand break detection in individual cells. The advantages of the technique include: collection of data at the level of individual cell; the need for small numbers of cells per sample; its sensitivity for detecting DNA damage and that virtually any eukaryote cell population is amenable to analysis. The objective of this work is to apply ''Comet Assay'' method to evaluate the effect of radiation on skin and subcutaneous tissues, differentiating irradiated from unirradiated body areas. It could provide a useful tool to estimate the extension and the dose in the irradiated region, contributing with the current techniques. In this first study, we evaluate the alkaline comet assay as a method for detection of DNA radiation induced damage in keratinocytes from primary culture obtained from full thickness skin biopsies of patients requiring grafts. Skin and, particularly, keratinocytes were selected as an appropriate cellular system due to: Skin, the first barrier

  20. Localized irradiations, evaluation through 'Comet Assay'

    Di Giorgio, Marina; Taja, Maria R.; Nasazzi, Nora B.; Bustos, N.; Cavalieri, H.; Bolgiani, A.


    During the last 50 years various radiation accidents involving localized irradiations occurred, resulting mainly from improper handling of sealed sources of Cobalt 60, Cesium 137 or Iridium 192 at work placed for industrial gammagraphy and other radiation sources. Severe skin reaction may developed at the contact sites. Such inhomogeneous irradiations lead to a differential exposure of lymphocytes in lymphatic tissues or other organs that may recirculate into the peripheral blood producing a mixed irradiated and unirradiated population of lymphocytes. Applying the mathematical models 'Contaminated Poisson' of Dolphin and Qdr method of Sasaki, a mean dose in the irradiated body area and its size can be estimated from unstable chromosome aberration scoring. There are also different biophysical techniques that can give response in localized irradiations. Biological dosimetry is a necessary complement to physical and clinical dosimetries. Thus, there is increasing interest in the assessment of biological markers that permit the detection of radiation induced damage in the localized irradiations. The 'Comet Assay' (single cell gel electrophoresis) is a sensitive, rapid and relatively inexpensive method for measuring DNA damage in individual cells. Single cells are embedded in agarose on microscope slides, lysed to remove the majority of the proteins, electrophoresed, then stained with ethidium bromide in order to visualize the DNA. When visualized using a fluorescent microscope, DNA of undamaged cells appears as a spherical mass occupying the cavity formed by the lysed cell. Following radiation damage, the smaller the fragment size and the grater the number of fragments of DNA, the grater the percentage of DNA that it is able to migrate in an electric field, forming a comet image. The assay can be performed under alkaline conditions to examine DNA single strand breaks (SSBs), or in non denaturing (neutral) conditions to measure double strand breaks (DSBs) in individual

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

    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)


    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.

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

    Vasquez, Marie Z


    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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Where are the mini Kreutz-family comets?

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


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

  4. Comet LINEAR C/1999 S4 - an absolutely well-behaved comet before breakup

    Peschke, S. B.; Lisse, C. M.; Fernandez, Y. R.; Ressler, M.; Stickel, M.; Kaminski, C.; Golish, B.


    We present results from infrared imaging of comet LINEAR C/1999 S4 on June 17 - 19, 2000 (pre-breakup), using the near-IR camera NSFCAM and the mid-IR camera MIRLIN at the 3m NASA/IRTF. Images and multi-wavelength spectroscopy were obtained in the zJHK'L'MNQ bands, and were used to create a 1.0 - 25 μ m SED of the comet's dust and nucleus. The coma's contribution at each wavelength was modeled using spatial fitting (Fernandez 1999, PhD thesis; Lisse et al. 1999, Icarus 140, 189). The resulting comatic and nuclear SEDs were then modeled using modified Mie theory (Lisse et al. 1998, ApJ 496, 971) and the standard nuclear thermal models (Lebofsky and Spencer 1989, Asteroids II, 128), respectively. We report the resulting dust PSD, mass loss rate, and albedo, as well as the nuclear radius, and we compare these results to those obtained by others from optical data both before and after the comet's breakup in late July 2000.

  5. Nonlinear low frequency (LF) waves - Comets and foreshock phenomena

    Tsurutani, Bruce T.


    A review is conducted of LF wave nonlinear properties at comets and in the earth's foreshock, engaging such compelling questions as why there are no cometary cyclotron waves, the physical mechanism responsible for 'dispersive whiskers', and the character of a general description of linear waves. Attention is given to the nonlinear properties of LF waves, whose development is illustrated by examples of waves and their features at different distances from the comet, as well as by computer simulation results. Also discussed is a curious wave mode detected from Comet Giacobini-Zinner, both at and upstream of the bow shock/wave.

  6. Comet P/Machholtz and the Quadrantid meteor stream

    Mcintosh, B.A.


    Attention is drawn to the suggestive similarities between the calculated perturbation behavior of Comet P/Machholtz 1986 VIII, on the one hand, and on the other those of the Quadrantid, Delta Aquarid, and Arietid meteor streams. There appears to be adequate evidence for the formation by the Comets P/Machholtz and 1491-I, together with the three meteor streams, of a related complex controlled by Jupiter's gravitational perturbations; there is no comparably compelling information, however, bearing on the questions of parent-offspring or sibling relationships among these comets and meteor streams. 13 refs

  7. Atlas of Comet Halley 1910 II

    Brandt, J.C.; Donn, B.


    An Atlas of Comet Halley 1910 II photographs and spectra is being prepared. The major section consists of 838 photographic observations from fifteen observatories around the world. Multiple images of many photographs are reproduced to bring out detail in the near nucleus region, in the coma and in the tail. The Atlas contains a total of 1209 photographic images of the 1910 apparition. In addition there are sections showing drawings from 1935 and 1910. A short section compares 1910 drawings and photographs. The final two sections display digitally processed images from 1910 and 1910 spectra. A three part appendix contains diagrams of various data associated with the 1910 apparition, a set of tables of all 1910 images and a bibliography

  8. Spectrophotometry of Comet West 1976 VI

    Rozenbush, V.K.


    Spectra obtained for the coma, nuclear fragments A and D, and tail of Comet West 1976 VI on April 1, 2 and 7, 1976 are noted to encompass coma spectra which differed from those of the nuclear fragments, which exhibited a strong continuum with superimposed emissions that included a stronger CO(+)-band system than that of the coma. A detailed comparison between fragment spectra has revealed great differences in both quasi-simultaneously obtained and five-day-separated cases. The relative intensities of different CO(+) bands are compared to the theoretical ones, and the abundances of CO(+) ions corresponding to different vibrational transitions are determined relative to that of CN. 24 references

  9. Controlling variation in the comet assay

    Andrew Richard Collins


    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. The comet assay in Environmental Risk Assessment of marine pollutants: applications, assets and handicaps of surveying genotoxicity in non-model organisms.

    Martins, Marta; Costa, Pedro M


    Determining the genotoxic effects of pollutants has long been a priority in Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) for coastal ecosystems, especially of complex areas such as estuaries and other confined waterbodies. The acknowledged link between DNA damage, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity to the exposure to certain toxicants has been responsible to the growing interest in determining the genotoxic effects of xenobiotics to wildlife as a measure of environmental risk. The comet assay, although widely employed in in vivo and in vitro toxicology, still holds many constraints in ERA, in large part owing to difficulties in obtaining conclusive cause-effect relationships from complex environments. Nevertheless, these challenges do not hinder the attempts to apply the alkaline comet assay on sentinel organisms, wild or subjected to bioassays in or ex situ (from fish to molluscs) as well to standardise protocols and establish general guidelines to the interpretation of findings. Fish have been regarded as an appealing subject due to the ease of performing the comet assay in whole blood. However, the application of the comet assay is becoming increasingly common in invertebrates (e.g. in molluscan haemocytes and solid tissues such as gills). Virtually all sorts of results have been obtained from the application of the comet assay in ERA (null, positive and inconclusive). However, it has become clear that interpreting DNA damage data from wild organisms is particularly challenging due to their ability to adapt to continuous environmental stressors, including toxicants. Also, the comet assay in non-model organisms for the purpose of ERA implies different constraints, assumptions and interpretation of findings, compared with the in vitro procedures from which most guidelines have been derived. This paper critically reviews the application of the comet assay in ERA, focusing on target organisms and tissues; protocol developments, case studies plus data handling and

  11. The Puzzle of HCN in Comets: Is it both a Product and a Primary Species?

    Mumma, Michael J.; Bonev, Boncho P.; Charnley, Steven B.; Cordiner, Martin A.; DiSanti, Michael A.; Gibb, Erika L.; Magee-Sauer, Karen; Paganini, Lucas; Villanueva, Geronimo L.


    Hydrogen cyanide has long been regarded as a primary volatile in comets, stemming from its presence in dense molecular cloud cores and its supposed storage in the cometary nucleus. Here, we examine the observational evidence for and against that hypothesis, and argue that HCN may also result from near-nucleus chemical reactions in the coma. The distinction (product vs. primary species) is important for multiple reasons: 1. HCN is often used as a proxy for water when the dominant species (H2O) is not available for simultaneous measurement, as at radio wavelengths. 2. HCN is one of the few volatile carriers of nitrogen accessible to remote sensing. If HCN is mainly a product species, its precursor becomes the more important metric for compiling a taxonomic classification based on nitrogen chemistry. 3. The stereoisomer HNC is now confirmed as a product species. Could reaction of a primary precursor (X-CN) with a hydrocarbon co-produce both HNC and HCN? 4. The production rate for CN greatly exceeds that of HCN in some comets, demonstrating the presence of another (more important) precursor of CN. Several puzzling lines of evidence raise issues about the origin of HCN: a. The production rates of HCN measured through rotational (radio) and vibrational (infrared) spectroscopy agree in some comets - in others the infrared rate exceeds the radio rate substantially. b. With its strong dipole moment and H-bonding character, HCN should be linked more strongly in the nuclear ice to other molecules with similar properties (H2O, CH3OH), but instead its spatial release in some comets seems strongly coupled to volatiles that lack a dipole moment and thus do not form H-bonds (methane, ethane). c. The nucleus-centered rotational temperatures measured for H2O and other species (C2H6, CH3OH) usually agree within error, but those for HCN are often slightly smaller. d. In comet ISON, ALMA maps of HCN and the dust continuum show a slight displacement 80 km) in the centroids. We will

  12. Submillimeter Monitoring of the HCN Molecule in Fragment C of the Split Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3

    Drahus, Michal; Kueppers, M.; Jarchow, C.; Paganini, L.; Hartogh, P.; Villanueva, G. L.


    Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 is a member of the Jupiter family which broke up into several fragments in 1995. After the unfavourable return in 2000/2001, the comet passed very close to the Earth in 2006, with the perigee distance below 0.1 AU. Simultaneously, it was well situated on the sky, which resulted in several observing campaigns. We observed this comet using the SMT facility at the Mt. Graham International Observatory in Arizona. In particular, on 5 nights between 10 and 22 May 2006 the HCN molecule in fragment C was spectroscopically monitored, through the J(3-2) and J(4-3) transitions. Using a simplified model, we found the expansion velocity of the HCN coma to be equal to 0.8 ± 0.1 km/s, what is a typical value for a comet at heliocentric distance r = 1 AU. We also reconstructed the production rates Q of this molecule, finding Q(r=1AU) = 2.7 ± 0.1 × 1025 molec/s. Our result is consistent with most of the other estimates, including the CN production rate. Furthermore, taking advantage of the fairly small beam sizes during our campaign (ranging from 600 km to 1200 km in radius), we detected short-term variability of the production rate, presumably stimulated by the nucleus rotation. Although our analysis did not yield a unique rotation period, we found a limited number of possible solutions. We will discuss them in detail along with a comparison with other period claims, and propose a possible scenario that links most of the periodicities reported so far for this comet. The SMT is operated by the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO), Steward Observatory, University of Arizona.

  13. Remote comets and related bodies - VJHK colorimetry and surface materials

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


    VJHK colors for a number of asteroids and eight comets at various solar distances and levels of activity were obtained, and the observations are interpreted in terms of a two-component mixing model in which outer solar system interplanetary bodies are viewed as mixtures of ice and dark carbonaceous-type (RD and C) dirt. It is inferred that the observed comets have comae, and perhaps surfaces, of dirty ice or ice dirt grains colored by an RD-dirt component. This inference is supported by systematics of an 'alpha index' based on VJHK colors and empirically correlated with albedo and ice/dirt ratio. Among comets the alpha index correlates with solar distance in a way that suggests comets emit dirty ice grains which are stable at large solar distance but from which the ice component sublimes and leaves dirt grains at small solar distance.

  14. Comet P/2004 T1 (LINEAR-NEAT)

    Tichý, M.; Kušnirák, Peter

    -, č. 8416 (2004), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : new comet * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  15. The Meteoroid Fluence at Mars Due to Comet Siding Spring

    Moorhead, Althea V.


    Long-period comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is headed for a close encounter with Mars on 2014 Oct 19. A collision between the comet and the planet has been ruled out, but the comets coma may envelop Mars and its man-made satellites. We present an analytic model of the dust component of cometary comae that describes the spatial distribution of cometary dust and meteoroids and their size distribution. If the coma reaches Mars, we estimate a total incident particle fluence on the planet and its satellites of 0.01 particles per square meter. We compare our model with numerical simulations, data from past comet missions, and recent Siding Spring observations.

  16. Physical Mechanism of Comet (and Asteroid) Outbursts: The Movie

    Hartmann, W. K.


    A film made during impact experiments at NASA Ames illustrates a mechanism in which regolith can become gas charged and then erupt to create outbursts as observed on comets (and "asteroids" such as 2060 Chiron).

  17. Comets Nature, Dynamics, Origin, and their Cosmogonical Relevance

    Fernández, Julio Angel


    The book covers the most recent ideas about the nature and dynamics of comets, including a thorough discussion on Oort cloud dynamics which has not received due attention in other books on the subject. It also discusses the most relevant aspects of the physics and chemistry of comet nuclei, highlighting their importance as relics of the protoplanetary disk and, perhaps, as carriers of water and organics that permitted the development of life on Earth. The book contains several tables with useful data, and an ample bibliography covering the most recent work as well as some historical key contributions to the subject. It may be suitable as a textbook for graduate students with some basic knowledge of celestial mechanics and astrophysics, as well as a consult book for comet researchers, or researchers from other related fields willing to start working on comets, or get an updated view of the subject.

  18. The Rosetta Mission to Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Buratti, Bonnie J.


    As remnant bodies left over from the formation of the Solar System, comets offer clues to the physical conditions and architecture of the protosolar nebula. The Rosetta spacecraft, which included an orbiter and a lander that were built and managed by the European Space Agency with NASA contributing four instruments and scientific expertise, was the first mission to orbit and study a comet through a perihelion passage. The targeted Jupiter-family comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is seemingly two distinct planetesimals stuck together. The comet has not melted or been processed substantially, except for its outer layers, which consist of reaccreted dust and a crust of heated, devolatized, and annealed refractory materials and organics. The exceptionally low density (0.53 gm/cc) of 67P/ implies it is a rubble pile. The comet also appears to contain a hierarchy of building blocks: smaller spherically shaped meter-sized bodies can be seen in its interior, and even smaller cm-sized pebbles were imaged by the camera as the spacecraft made a soft crash landing on the comet’s surface on 30 September 2016. The unexpected discovery of molecular oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen imply that 67P/ was formed under cold conditions not exceeding 30K. The discovery of many organic compounds, including the amino acid glycine, lends support to the idea that comets, which originate in the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud, brought the building blocks of life to Earth. More laboratory data on organic compounds would help to identify additional organic compounds on the comet. The differences between cometary and terrestrial D/H ratios suggest that comets are not the primary source of terrestrial water, although data on more comets is needed to confirm this result.Besides being primordial objects offering a window into the formation of solar systems, comets are astrophysical laboratories, ejecting dust and charged particles into the plasma comprising the solar wind. Several unusual phenomena

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

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


    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.

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

    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.


    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.

  1. 3 micron spectrophotometry of Comet Halley - Evidence for water ice

    Bregman, Jesse D.; Tielens, A. G. G. M.; Witteborn, Fred C.; Rank, David M.; Wooden, Diane


    Structure has been observed in the 3-3.6 micron preperihelion spectrum of Comet Halley consistent with either an absorption band near 3.1 microns or emission near 3.3 microns. The results suggest that a large fraction of the water molecules lost by the comet are initially ejected in the form of small ice particles rather than in the gas phase.

  2. Comets, Charisma, and Celebrity: Reflections on Their Deep Impact

    Olson, R. J. M.; Pasachoff, J. M.

    In celebration of the Deep Impact Mission, this essay explores the influence of comets on the arts and sciences since the beginning of recorded time. Through images, ranging from the sublime to the humorous, it probes the reasons why comets are among the most charismatic visual spectacles in the universe and why, even as scientific missions unmask their mysteries, they remain iconic symbols and harbingers of change.

  3. Constraints on Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

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


    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.

  4. [COMETE: a tool to develop psychosocial competences in patient education].

    Saugeron, Benoit; Sonnier, Pierre; Marchais, Stéphanie


    This article presents a detailed description of the development and use of the COMETE tool. The COMETE tool is designed to help medical teams identify, develop or evaluate psychosocial skills in patient education and counselling. This tool, designed in the form of a briefcase, proposes methodological activities and cards that assess psychosocial skills during a shared educational assessment, group meetings or during an individual evaluation. This tool is part of a support approach for medical teams caring for patients with chronic diseases.

  5. Rocket Detection of Argon in Comet Hale-Bopp

    Stern, S. A.; Festou, M. C.; Parker, J. Wm.; Slater, D. C.; Gladstone, G. R.; A'Hearn, M. F.


    The EUVS planetary sounding rocket spectrograph was flown on 30.2 March 1997 (UT) from White Sands, New Mexico to observe comet Hale-Bopp in the bandpass from 830--1120 A. At the time of launch the comet was near perihelion, 0.915 AU from the Sun, 1.340 AU from Earth, and traveling at a heliocentric radial velocity of +0.70 km/s. EUVS obtained its primary spectra of the comet at resolution near 12 A, collecting 9340 counts over approximately 330 seconds of integration time. To our knowledge, the resulting dataset is both the most sensitive and the highest spectral resolution probe of a comet in the UV below 1200 A as yet achieved, and contains signatures of both the 1048.2 A and 1066.7 A Ar I resonance lines. These features represent the first-ever detections of any noble gas in a comet. The spectrum also includes significant detections which we tentatively attribute to due to 834 A 0 II, 972 A Lyman gamma, 989 A O I, the 1026 A H I Lyman beta/O I. We will discuss the Ar features, retrieve the Ar column in the coma, and discuss the implications of the total Ar/O abundance ratio in Hale-Bopp for the comet's origin.

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

    Tancredi, G.; Fernández, J. A.; Rickman, H.; Licandro, J.


    A catalog of a sample of 105 Jupiter family (JF) comets (defined as those with Tisserand constants T > 2 and orbital periods P 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: ~ gonzalo/catalog/. Table 2 and Appendix B are only available in electronic form at Table 5 is also available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to ( or via

  7. Results from the UMD physical properties of comets survey

    Lisse, Carey M.; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Fernandez, Yanga R.


    We report on an ongoing statistical study of the emitted dust and exposed nuclei of a survey of the brightest near-Earth comets over the last 13 years. Combined thermal infrared and optical observations are analyzed using dynamical spectral and morphological coma models [123] to update and improve dust emission rates [4] and nucleus size estimates [5]. Using these results we show that 1) there is more than enough dust emitted from short period comets into bound solar system orbits to create and support the current interplanetary dust cloud (IPD); 2) that a population of dormant or extinct comets in the solar system is quite plausible; and 3) that the lifetime versus sublimation for the short period comets is much longer than their dynamical lifetime. [1] C.M. Lisse et al. (1998) Ap J 496 971. [2] C.M. Lisse et al. (1999) Icarus 140 189. [3] Y.R. Fernandez et al. (2000) Icarus 147 145 [4] L. Kresak and M. Kresakova (1987) in Symposium on Diversity and Similarity of Comets ESA SP-278 739 [5] D.C.Jewitt (1991) in Comets in the Post-Halley Era (R.L. Newburn M. Neugebauer and J. Rahe Eds.) Kluwer Academic Dordecht 19.

  8. The comet assay: ready for 30 more years.

    Møller, Peter


    During the last 30 years, the comet assay has become widely used for the measurement of DNA damage and repair in cells and tissues. A landmark achievement was reached in 2016 when the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development adopted a comet assay guideline for in vivo testing of DNA strand breaks in animals. However, the comet assay has much more to offer than being an assay for testing DNA strand breaks in animal organs. The use of repair enzymes increases the range of DNA lesions that can be detected with the assay. It can also be modified to measure DNA repair activity. Still, despite the long-term use of the assay, there is a need for studies that assess the impact of variation in specific steps of the procedure. This is particularly important for the on-going efforts to decrease the variation between experiments and laboratories. The articles in this Special Issue of Mutagenesis cover important technical issues of the comet assay procedure, nanogenotoxicity and ionising radiation sensitivity on plant cells. The included biomonitoring studies have assessed seasonal variation and certain predictors for the basal level of DNA damage in white blood cells. Lastly, the comet assay has been used in studies on genotoxicity of environmental and occupational exposures in human biomonitoring studies and animal models. Overall, the articles in this Special Issue demonstrate the versatility of the comet assay and they hold promise that the assay is ready for the next 30 years.

  9. Extension of the comet method to 2-D hexagonal geometry

    Connolly, Kevin John; Rahnema, Farzad; Zhang, Dingkang


    The capability of the heterogeneous coarse mesh radiation transport (COMET) method developed at Georgia Tech has been expanded. COMET is now able to treat hexagonal geometry in two dimensions, allowing reactor problems to be solved for those next-generation reactors which utilize prismatic block structure and hexagonal lattice geometry in their designs. The COMET method is used to solve whole core reactor analysis problems without resorting to homogenization or low-order transport approximations. The eigenvalue and fission density distribution of the reactor are determined iteratively using response functions. The method has previously proven accurate in solving PWR, BWR, and CANDU eigenvalue problems. In this paper, three simple test cases inspired by high temperature test reactor material cross sections and fuel block geometry are presented. These cases are given not in an attempt to model realistic nuclear power systems, but in order to test the ability of the improved method. Solutions determined by the new hexagonal version of COMET, COMET-Hex, are compared with solutions determined by MCNP5, and the results show the accuracy and efficiency of the improved COMET-Hex method in calculating the eigenvalue and fuel pin fission density in sample full-core problems. COMETHex determines the eigenvalues of these simple problems to an order of within 50 pcm of the reference solutions and all pin fission densities to an average error of 0.2%, and it requires fewer than three minutes to produce these results. (author)


    Rubin, M.; Altwegg, K. [Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland); Dishoeck, E. F. van [Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden (Netherlands); Schwehm, G. [ESA (retired) Science Operations Department, ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk (Netherlands)


    Recently, the ROSINA mass spectrometer suite on board the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft discovered an abundant amount of molecular oxygen, O{sub 2}, in the coma of Jupiter family comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko of O{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O = 3.80 ± 0.85%. It could be shown that O{sub 2} is indeed a parent species and that the derived abundances point to a primordial origin. Crucial questions are whether the O{sub 2} abundance is peculiar to comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko or Jupiter family comets in general, and also whether Oort cloud comets such as comet 1P/Halley contain similar amounts of molecular oxygen. We investigated mass spectra obtained by the Neutral Mass Spectrometer instrument during the flyby by the European Space Agency's Giotto probe of comet 1P/Halley. Our investigation indicates that a production rate of O{sub 2} of 3.7 ± 1.7% with respect to water is indeed compatible with the obtained Halley data and therefore that O{sub 2} might be a rather common and abundant parent species.

  11. Assessment and reduction of comet assay variation in relation to DNA damage: studies from the European Comet Assay Validation Group

    Møller, Peter; Möller, Lennart; Godschalk, Roger W L


    The alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay has become a widely used method for the detection of DNA damage and repair in cells and tissues. Still, it has been difficult to compare results from different investigators because of differences in assay conditions and because the data...... are reported in different units. The European Comet Assay Validation Group (ECVAG) was established for the purpose of validation of the comet assay with respect to measures of DNA damage formation and its repair. The results from this inter-laboratory validation trail showed a large variation in measured level...... reliability for the measurement of DNA damage by the comet assay but there is still a need for further validation to reduce both assay and inter-laboratory variation....

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

    Hoover, Richard B.


    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

  13. Perfil do idoso acusado de cometer crime

    Sérgio Vieira Brandão


    Full Text Available É verdade que o idoso, muitas vezes, é vítima de diversas formas de agressões, mas também é agente da prática de delitos. Por meio de pesquisa documental realizada em 2013 com todos os boletins de ocorrência registrados na delegacia de polícia de Imbé, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil, realizamos análise estatística e evidenciamos o perfil do idoso acusado de cometer crime e os tipos de crimes cometidos. No período pesquisado, 3,28% do total de idosos de Imbé foi acusado de cometer algum tipo de crime. Este artigo recomenda uma ação contínua e integrada da rede de saúde e de segurança pública com as demais áreas sociais para antecipar situações de risco para idosos (e comunidade em geral, de modo a promover a cidadania, gerenciar conflitos e reduzir a violência urbana. It is genuine that the elderly frequently are victims of several kinds of hostility, but the fact remains that he or she, too, is also an agent of the committal of criminal offenses. Through documentary research realized in 2013 with the total occurrences bulletins registered in police stations in Imbé, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, we realize statistical analysis and show the profile of the elderly accused of committing crime and the types of crimes committed. In the period surveyed, 3.28% of the total number of elderly of Imbé was accused of committing some type of crime. Profile of the Elderly Accused of Committing Crime recommends a continuous and integrated action of the health and public safety network with the other social areas to anticipate risk situations for the elderly (and the community in general, in order to promote citizenship, manage conflicts and reduce urban violence. Keywords: violence, seniors, aging, public health, crime

  14. Terrestrial cometary tail and lunar corona induced by small comets: Predictions for Galileo

    Dessler, A.J.; Sandel, B.R.; Vasyliunas, V.M.


    A search for small comets near 1 AU is an objective of the Galileo mission. If small comets are as numerous and behave as has been proposed, two near-Earth signatures of small comets should be observable by the UVS experiment on the Earth flybys of Galileo; (1) a comet-like tail of Earth created by small comets that come close to Earth, break up and vaporize, but just miss the atmosphere and proceed back into interplanetary space, and (2) a corona surrounding the Moon induced by lunar impact of small comets

  15. Time-dependent injection of Oort Cloud comets into earth-crossing orbits

    Fernandez, J.A.; Ip, W.H.; Max-Planck-Institut fuer Aeronomie, Katlenburg-Lindau, West Germany)


    The present consideration of close stellar encounter-induced modulations of the influx rate of Oort Cloud comets notes that comet showers sufficiently intense for emergence in cratering statistics are produced at 80-Myr intervals, on the assumption of an Oort Cloud heavy comet core. Numerical simulations of the time evolution of comet showers or bursts indicate that a long tail of residual shower comets follows the major event with an intensity of about 0.01 of the peak rate after 20-30 Myr, thereby suggesting that residual comet showers are primarily clustered in certain areas of the sky, rendering them observable at virtually any time. 33 references

  16. Comet 67P Through the Lens of Art

    Smirnova, Ekaterina


    My proposal is to share my artistic exploration of a comet through the bodily senses, while finding inspiration in scientific data. I will present my artwork as a slideshow, showcasing: large scale paintings, ceramic sculptures, music and interactive augmented reality. The Rosetta mission of the European Space Agency (ESA) to comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko is remarkable. The scientific investigation of the comet's composition, atmosphere, dust, vapor, surface and internal structure are crucial to help researchers understand the origin of the solar system and our own planet. Sight: Paintings Rosetta mission discovered that the water on the comet is different from the water on Earth; as measured with the ROSINA-DFMS instrument on Rosetta, water on 67P contains approximately 3 times more hydrogen­deuterium oxide - HDO, than found in Earth's oceans. In the art studio I re-create water that is close in composition to the water on the comet, by concentrating the level of HDO. With this water I paint large scale watermedia paintings, based on the photographs by Rosetta (OSIRIS, Nav. Cam.). Touch: Sculptures While exploring the comet's three-dimensional form, I focus more deeply on the composition of the comet. Stoneware clay and my choice of a glaze both include iron oxide, a common constituent of meteorites and comets. Hearing: Music An audio piece "A Singing Comet", by Manuel Senfft, based on the Rosetta Plasma Consortium data, inspired me to make a musical piece. In collaboration with clarinetist Lee Mottram (Wales) and composer Takuto Fukuda (Japan) we created an electro­acoustic composition in which we tell the story of comets visiting our Solar System, repeating their cycle, curving around the sun and releasing water, carrying away dust to form their tails. Smell In collaboration with The Open University, UK, postcards with a smell of the comet were created, introducing the chemical components of the comet. The smell was recreated by combining several molecules

  17. Giant comets and mass extinctions of life

    Napier, W. M.


    I find evidence for clustering in age of well-dated impact craters over the last 500 Myr. At least nine impact episodes are identified, with durations whose upper limits are set by the dating accuracy of the craters. Their amplitudes and frequency are inconsistent with an origin in asteroid breakups or Oort cloud disturbances, but are consistent with the arrival and disintegration in near-Earth orbits of rare, giant comets, mainly in transit from the Centaur population into the Jupiter family and Encke regions. About 1 in 10 Centaurs in Chiron-like orbits enter Earth-crossing epochs, usually repeatedly, each such epoch being generally of a few thousand years' duration. On time-scales of geological interest, debris from their breakup may increase the mass of the near-Earth interplanetary environment by two or three orders of magnitude, yielding repeated episodes of bombardment and stratospheric dusting. I find a strong correlation between these bombardment episodes and major biostratigraphic and geological boundaries, and propose that episodes of extinction are most effectively driven by prolonged encounters with meteoroid streams during bombardment episodes. Possible mechanisms are discussed.

  18. Comets and the origin of life

    Delsemme, A H


    Current understandings of the nature and evolution of the universe and of the earth are summarized as a background to the discussion of the origin of life on earth as the result of the transport of the necessary materials to earth by comets. Evidence for the origin of the universe in the Big Bang supplied by observations of the expansion of the universe and the cosmic microwave background is discussed, and the condensation of primordial matter into galaxies and stars and the chemical processes in stars converting primordial hydrogen and helium into heavy elements as the stars evolve giving rise to an interstellar medium are considered. Attention is then given to the birth of the solar system from the contraction of a dark interstellar cloud containing gas, dust and interstellar molecules, and in particular to the origin of the terrestrial planets and the cometary contributions to the terrestrial crust, oceans and atmosphere. Finally, the chronology of the universe from the Big Bang to the present and that of the earth from its formation to the present are reviewed.

  19. Autonomous Navigation Performance During The Hartley 2 Comet Flyby

    Abrahamson, Matthew J; Kennedy, Brian A.; Bhaskaran, Shyam


    On November 4, 2010, the EPOXI spacecraft performed a 700-km flyby of the comet Hartley 2 as follow-on to the successful 2005 Deep Impact prime mission. EPOXI, an extended mission for the Deep Impact Flyby spacecraft, returned a wealth of visual and infrared data from Hartley 2, marking the fifth time that high-resolution images of a cometary nucleus have been captured by a spacecraft. The highest resolution science return, captured at closest approach to the comet nucleus, was enabled by use of an onboard autonomous navigation system called AutoNav. AutoNav estimates the comet-relative spacecraft trajectory using optical measurements from the Medium Resolution Imager (MRI) and provides this relative position information to the Attitude Determination and Control System (ADCS) for maintaining instrument pointing on the comet. For the EPOXI mission, AutoNav was tasked to enable continuous tracking of a smaller, more active Hartley 2, as compared to Tempel 1, through the full encounter while traveling at a higher velocity. To meet the mission goal of capturing the comet in all MRI science images, position knowledge accuracies of +/- 3.5 km (3-?) cross track and +/- 0.3 seconds (3-?) time of flight were required. A flight-code-in-the-loop Monte Carlo simulation assessed AutoNav's statistical performance under the Hartley 2 flyby dynamics and determined optimal configuration. The AutoNav performance at Hartley 2 was successful, capturing the comet in all of the MRI images. The maximum residual between observed and predicted comet locations was 20 MRI pixels, primarily influenced by the center of brightness offset from the center of mass in the observations and attitude knowledge errors. This paper discusses the Monte Carlo-based analysis that led to the final AutoNav configuration and a comparison of the predicted performance with the flyby performance.

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

    DiSanti, Michael A.


    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.

  1. Comet Hyakutake to Approach the Earth in Late March 1996


    Astronomers Prepare for a Rare Event In the early morning of January 31, 1996, Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake made his second comet discovery within five weeks. He found the new comet near the border between the southern constellations of Hydra (The Water-Snake) and Libra (The Scales), amazingly just three degrees from the position where he detected another comet on December 26, 1995. After two weeks of hectic activity among amateur and professional astronomers all over the world, much interesting information has now been gathered about the new comet which has been designated C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) . In particular, it has been found to move in a near-parabolic orbit that will bring it unusually close to the Earth next month. It is then expected to become bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye and to remain so during several weeks thereafter. Preparations are now made to observe the celestial visitor with a large number of telescopes, on the ground and in space. This event offers a rare opportunity to study the immediate surroundings of a cometary nucleus in detail and the specialists intend to make the most of it. Discovery and orbit Yuji Hyakutake, of profession photoengraver and a well-known amateur astronomer, announced his new discovery without delay, and within 24 hours, it had been sighted by several other observers in Japan and Australia. Experienced comet-watchers described its appearance as `diffuse with central condensation and of magnitude 11-12', i.e. a little more than 100 times fainter than what can be seen with the unaided eye. This brightness is not unusual for a comet discovered by an amateur, although it would probably have been missed, had it been just a little fainter. In the present case, the decisive factors for Hyakutake's success were undoubtedly his very powerful equipment (25 x 150 binoculars) and the advantageous combination of the comet's southern position in the sky and his location in Kagoshima, the southernmost

  2. Earth-based Observing Campaign For Comet 103p/hartley 2 For The Dixi Mission

    Meech, Karen Jean; Kelley, M. S.; A'Hearn, M. F.; DIXI Observing Team


    The Deep Impact Extended mission (DIXI) is part of the EPOXI mission and will rendezvous with the comet 103P/Hartley 2 on 4 Nov. 2010 at 13:50 UT. Many of the anticipated key science results will come from the combined interpretation of the in-situ spacecraft data and the Earth- and space-based observing campaigns. DIXI in-situ objectives include characterizing the nucleus properties, understanding the activity (outbursts, and sources), mapping the surface and correlating surface albedo, color and temperature with topography to understand the thermal properties of the surface. The Earth-based observations provide a longer-term context for the in-situ observations, and will characterize the activity levels leading up to the encounter, including assessing the dust environment and volatile species production rates. Earth-based observations will search for outbursts and jets that might be linked to activity. The international observing campaign scheduled at more than 20 observatories, began in March 2010, and will continue beyond January 2011, although selected observations began in 2008 with the recovery of the nucleus (Snodgrass et al., (2010), A&A, 516L) and Spitzer IR observations (Lisse et al., (2009) PASP 121, 968), and in 2009 with the measurement of the rotational light curve. We will report on Earth-based observing highlights and their synergies with the in-situ observations. With these combined data we can not only better understand comet Hartley 2, but through the legacy of telescopic observations we may also better understand comets as a whole.

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

    Hoover, Richard B.


    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

  4. The use of comet assay in plant toxicology: recent advances

    Conceição LV Santos


    Full Text Available The systematic study of genotoxicity in plants induced by contaminants and other stress agents has been hindered to date by the lack of reliable and robust biomarkers. The comet assay is a versatile and sensitive method for the evaluation of DNA damages and DNA repair capacity at single-cell level. Due to its simplicity and sensitivity, and the small number of cells required to obtain robust results, the use of plant comet assay has drastically increased in the last decade. For years its use was restricted to a few model species, e.g. Allium cepa, Nicotiana tabacum, Vicia faba, or Arabidopsis thaliana but this number largely increased in the last years. Plant comet assay has been used to study the genotoxic impact of radiation, chemicals including pesticides, phytocompounds, heavy metals, nanoparticles or contaminated complex matrices. Here we will review the most recent data on the use of this technique as a standard approach for studying the genotoxic effects of different stress conditions on plants. Also, we will discuss the integration of information provided by the comet assay with other DNA-damage indicators, and with cellular responses including oxidative stress, cell division or cell death. Finally, we will focus on putative relations between transcripts related with DNA damage pathways, DNA replication and repair, oxidative stress and cell cycle progression that have been identified in plant cells with comet assays demonstrating DNA damage.

  5. The use of comet assay in plant toxicology: recent advances

    Santos, Conceição L. V.; Pourrut, Bertrand; Ferreira de Oliveira, José M. P.


    The systematic study of genotoxicity in plants induced by contaminants and other stress agents has been hindered to date by the lack of reliable and robust biomarkers. The comet assay is a versatile and sensitive method for the evaluation of DNA damages and DNA repair capacity at single-cell level. Due to its simplicity and sensitivity, and the small number of cells required to obtain robust results, the use of plant comet assay has drastically increased in the last decade. For years its use was restricted to a few model species, e.g., Allium cepa, Nicotiana tabacum, Vicia faba, or Arabidopsis thaliana but this number largely increased in the last years. Plant comet assay has been used to study the genotoxic impact of radiation, chemicals including pesticides, phytocompounds, heavy metals, nanoparticles or contaminated complex matrices. Here we will review the most recent data on the use of this technique as a standard approach for studying the genotoxic effects of different stress conditions on plants. Also, we will discuss the integration of information provided by the comet assay with other DNA-damage indicators, and with cellular responses including oxidative stress, cell division or cell death. Finally, we will focus on putative relations between transcripts related with DNA damage pathways, DNA replication and repair, oxidative stress and cell cycle progression that have been identified in plant cells with comet assays demonstrating DNA damage. PMID:26175750

  6. Infrared imaging and photometry of Comet Giacobini-Zinner

    Campins, H.


    Infrared images and photometry were obtained to determine the spatial distribution and physical characteristics (temperature, albedo, size distribution, total mass, etc.) of the grains in the coma of Comet GZ. A 10.8 m image of Comet GZ obtained on August 4 represents the first ground-based thermal-infrared image of a Comet. Among the most significant results are: (1) an estimate of the number of grains that the ICE spacecraft must have encountered, which led the plasma wave team to conclude that they could only detect impacts on the antennae and not on the whole body of the ICE spacecraft; (2) the discovery of a population of large grains (radius > 100 micrometer), not observed in most other comets, which formed a curved tail near the nucleus (within 80 arcsec or 34,000 km); and (3) the detection of structure in the spatial distribution in the coma of the particle albedo, which was tentatively attributed to the presence of very fluffy grains which are likely to have multiple internal scattering of incident sunlight. The albedo map of Comet GZ was obtained by combining the 10.8 micrometer image shown with a simultaneous image taken at 0.68 micrometer, a bandpass which isolates the scattered continuum

  7. Isotopic ratios in outbursting comet C/2015 ER61

    Yang, Bin; Hutsemékers, Damien; Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Opitom, Cyrielle; Manfroid, Jean; Jehin, Emmanuël; Meech, Karen J.; Hainaut, Olivier R.; Keane, Jacqueline V.; Gillon, Michaël


    Isotopic ratios in comets are critical to understanding the origin of cometary material and the physical and chemical conditions in the early solar nebula. Comet C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) underwent an outburst with a total brightness increase of 2 magnitudes on the night of 2017 April 4. The sharp increase in brightness offered a rare opportunity to measure the isotopic ratios of the light elements in the coma of this comet. We obtained two high-resolution spectra of C/2015 ER61 with UVES/VLT on the nights of 2017 April 13 and 17. At the time of our observations, the comet was fading gradually following the outburst. We measured the nitrogen and carbon isotopic ratios from the CN violet (0, 0) band and found that 12C/13C = 100 ± 15, 14N/15N = 130 ± 15. In addition, we determined the 14N/15N ratio from four pairs of NH2 isotopolog lines and measured 14N/15N = 140 ± 28. The measured isotopic ratios of C/2015 ER61 do not deviate significantly from those of other comets.

  8. Detection of irradiation treatment of foods using DNA 'comet assay'

    Khan, Hasan M.; Delincee, Henry


    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

  9. Catastrophic disruptions as the origin of bilobate comets

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


    Several comets observed at close range have bilobate shapes1, including comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G), which was imaged by the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission2,3. Bilobate comets are thought to be primordial because they are rich in supervolatiles (for example, N2 and CO) and have a low bulk density, which implies that their formation requires a very low-speed accretion of two bodies. However, slow accretion does not only occur during the primordial phase of the Solar System; it can also occur at later epochs as part of the reaccumulation process resulting from the collisional disruption of a larger body4, so this cannot directly constrain the age of bilobate comets. Here, we show by numerical simulation that 67P/C-G and other elongated or bilobate comets can be formed in the wake of catastrophic collisional disruptions of larger bodies while maintaining their volatiles and low density throughout the process. Since this process can occur at any epoch of our Solar System's history, from early on through to the present day5, there is no need for these objects to be formed primordially. These findings indicate that observed prominent geological features, such as pits and stratified surface layers4,5, may not be primordial.

  10. Rosetta comet-chaser takes a close look at planet Mars


    Its final destination is comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which it will reach only in 2014, after travelling some 6000 million kilometres in 10 years (its epic voyage began on 2 March 2004 with a launch by an Ariane 5 rocket). Rosetta will next be heading for the Sun, and its journey will require two more swing-bys around the Earth, in November this year and November 2009. Once at its destination, Rosetta will first deposit, from a height of about one kilometre, a small but very complex lander on the comet’s nucleus. This lander, a sort of miniature chemical laboratory packed with sophisticated instruments, will analyse the surface and provide information on the nucleus. The Rosetta probe will then chase the comet for one year and observe its nucleus as it continues on its trip towards the inner solar system at a speed of 135,000 km per hour. There is still a long way to go, but so far everything seems to be going exactly according to plan. ESA's Director of Science, David Southwood, witnessing the Mars swing-by at ESOC with scientists involved in the mission and the operations teams, said: "Interplanetary expeditions rely on very complex communication links. ESA’s mission operations centre here in Darmstadt is doing a great job. I and all the scientists involved in the mission are grateful to the experts who are taking such good care of 'our baby'. And this is only the beginning. The true excitement of targeting and releasing the lander on the comet’s nucleus is yet to come. Today we have reached another milestone on the way to finding an answer to questions such as whether life on Earth began with the help of comets." “The successful Mars swingby of the ESA Rosetta spacecraft has been the most critical event in the mission since launch. Now we are heading back to Earth in order to gain, in November this year, further momentum for the subsequent visits of the asteroids and the comet. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this achievement

  11. Coma morphology of comet 67P controlled by insolation over irregular nucleus

    Shi, X.; Hu, X.; Mottola, S.; Sierks, H.; Keller, H. U.; Rose, M.; Güttler, C.; Fulle, M.; Fornasier, S.; Agarwal, J.; Pajola, M.; Tubiana, C.; Bodewits, D.; Barbieri, C.; Lamy, P. L.; Rodrigo, R.; Koschny, D.; Barucci, M. A.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Bertini, I.; Boudreault, S.; Cremonese, G.; Da Deppo, V.; Davidsson, B.; Debei, S.; De Cecco, M.; Deller, J.; Groussin, O.; Gutiérrez, P. J.; Hviid, S. F.; Ip, W.-H.; Jorda, L.; Knollenberg, J.; Kovacs, G.; Kramm, J.-R.; Kührt, E.; Küppers, M.; Lara, L. M.; Lazzarin, M.; Lopez-Moreno, J. J.; Marzari, F.; Naletto, G.; Oklay, N.; Toth, I.; Vincent, J.-B.


    While the structural complexity of cometary comae is already recognizable from telescopic observations1, the innermost region, within a few radii of the nucleus, was not resolved until spacecraft exploration became a reality2,3. The dust coma displays jet-like features of enhanced brightness superposed on a diffuse background1,4,5. Some features can be traced to specific areas on the nucleus, and result conceivably from locally enhanced outgassing and/or dust emission6-8. However, diffuse or even uniform activity over topographic concavity can converge to produce jet-like features9,10. Therefore, linking observed coma morphology to the distribution of activity on the nucleus is difficult11,12. Here, we study the emergence of dust activity at sunrise on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko using high-resolution, stereo images from the OSIRIS camera onboard the Rosetta spacecraft, where the sources and formation of the jet-like features are resolved. We perform numerical simulations to show that the ambient dust coma is driven by pervasive but non-uniform water outgassing from the homogeneous surface layer. Physical collimations of gas and dust flows occur at local maxima of insolation and also via topographic focusing. Coma structures are projected to exhibit jet-like features that vary with the perspective of the observer. For an irregular comet such as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, near-nucleus coma structures can be concealed in the shadow of the nucleus, which further complicates the picture.

  12. Learned modesty and the first lady's comet: a commentary on Caroline Herschel (1787) 'An account of a new comet'.

    Winterburn, Emily


    Long before women were allowed to become Fellows of the Royal Society, or obtain university degrees, one woman managed to get her voice heard, her discovery verified and her achievement celebrated. That woman was Caroline Herschel, who, as this paper will discuss, managed to find ways to fit comet discoveries into her domestic life, and present them in ways that were socially acceptable. Caroline lived in a time when strict rules dictated how women (and men) should behave and present themselves and their work. Caroline understood these rules, and used them carefully as she announced each discovery, starting with this comet which she found in 1786. Caroline discovered her comets at a time when astronomers were mainly concerned with position, identifying where things were and how they were moving. Since her discoveries, research has moved on, as astronomers, using techniques from other fields, and most recently sending experiments into space, have learned more about what comets are and what they can tell us about our solar system. Caroline's paper marks one small, early step in this much bigger journey to understand comets. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.

  13. Plasma Waves Associated with Mass-Loaded Comets

    Tsurutani, Bruce; Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz


    Plasma waves and instabilities are integrally involved with the plasma "pickup" process and the mass loading of the solar wind (thus the formation of ion tails and the magnetic tails). Anisotropic plasmas generated by solar wind-comet interactions (the bow shock, magnetic field pileup) cause the generation of plasma waves which in turn "smooth out" these discontinuities. The plasma waves evolve and form plasma turbulence. Comets are perhaps the best "laboratories" to study waves and turbulence because over time (and distance) one can identify the waves and their evolution. We will argue that comets in some ways are better laboratories than magnetospheres, interplanetary space and fusion devices to study nonlinear waves and their evolution.

  14. Direct imaging and spectrophotometry of Comet P/Tempel 2

    Boehnhardt, H.; Beisser, K.; Vanysek, V.; Mueller, B.E.A.; Weiss, M.


    Both direct imaging and spectrophotometry of Comet P/Tempel 2 during May-November 1988 have led to a nuclear diameter determination of the order of about 10 km. Sekanina's (1987) spin-vector model for this comet is judged capable of qualitatively accounting for both the visual light curve of the comet during this period, which exhibited a steep increase perihelion despite the normal, moderate-decrease perihelion, and an asymmetric extension of the fanlike coma in the solar direction. The late activity onset, the possible constant visual brightness immediately afterward, and the deviation of the fan axis orientation from the predicted value in May 1988, may all furnish additional constraints for P/Tempel 2 nucleus modeling. 24 refs

  15. Detection of garlic gamma-irradiated by assay comet

    Moreno Alvarez, Damaris L.; Miranda, Enrique F. Prieto; Carro, Sandra; Iglesias Enrique, Isora; Matos, Wilberto


    The garlic samples were irradiated in a facility with 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)

  16. Evaluating In Vitro DNA Damage Using Comet Assay.

    Lu, Yanxin; Liu, Yang; Yang, Chunzhang


    DNA damage is a common phenomenon for each cell during its lifespan, and is defined as an alteration of the chemical structure of genomic DNA. Cancer therapies, such as radio- and chemotherapy, introduce enormous amount of additional DNA damage, leading to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis to limit cancer progression. Quantitative assessment of DNA damage during experimental cancer therapy is a key step to justify the effectiveness of a genotoxic agent. In this study, we focus on a single cell electrophoresis assay, also known as the comet assay, which can quantify single and double-strand DNA breaks in vitro. The comet assay is a DNA damage quantification method that is efficient and easy to perform, and has low time/budget demands and high reproducibility. Here, we highlight the utility of the comet assay for a preclinical study by evaluating the genotoxic effect of olaparib/temozolomide combination therapy to U251 glioma cells.

  17. Triple F - A Comet Nucleus Sample Return Mission

    Kueppers, Michael; Keller, Horst Uwe; Kuhrt, Ekkehard; A'Hearn, Michael; Altwegg, Kathrin; Betrand, Regis; Busemann, Henner; Capria, Maria Teresa; Colangeli, Luigi


    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 samples 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-and-go sampling by a single spacecraft was proposed as an M-class mission in collaboration with the Russian space agency ROSCOSMOS.

  18. Comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS): Dynamically Old or New?

    de la Fuente Marcos, Raúl; de la Fuente Marcos, Carlos


    At discovery time, C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) was the second most distant inbound active comet ever observed. It has been argued that this object is in the process of crossing the inner Solar System for the first time, but other authors have concluded that it is dynamically old. We have performed full N-body simulations for 3 Myr into the past using the latest public orbit determination for this object and most of them, 67%, are consistent with a bound and dynamically old Oort cloud comet, but about 29% of the studied orbits are compatible with an interstellar origin. Our independent calculations strongly suggest that C/2017 K2 is not a dynamically new Oort cloud comet.

  19. Detection of garlic gamma-irradiated by assay comet

    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:


    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)

  20. Application of MCM image construction to IRAS comet observations

    Schlapfer, Martin F.; Walker, Russell G.


    There is a wealth of IRAS comet data, obtained in both the survey and pointed observations modes. However, these measurements have remained largely untouched due to difficulties in removing instrumental effects from the data. We have developed a version of the Maximum Correlation Method for Image Construction algorithm (MCM) which operates in the moving coordinate system of the comet and properly treats both real cometary motion and apparent motion due to spacecraft parallax. This algorithm has been implemented on a 486/33 PC in FORTRAN and IDL codes. Preprocessing of the IRAS CRDD includes baseline removal, deglitching, and removal of long tails due to dielectric time constants of the detectors. The resulting images are virtually free from instrumental effects and have the highest possible spatial resolution consistent with the data sampling. We present examples of high resolution IRAS images constructed from survey observations of Comets P/Tempel 1 and P/Tempel 2, and pointed observations of IRAS-Araki-Alcock.

  1. Spectroscopic Profiles of Comets Garradd and McNaught

    Harris, Ien; Pierce, Donna M.; Cochran, Anita L.


    We have used the integral-field unit spectrograph (the George and Cynthia Mitchell Spectrograph) on the 2.7m Harlan J. Smith telescope at McDonald Observatory to obtain spectroscopic images of the comae of several comets. The images were obtained for various radical species (C2, C3, CN, NH2). Radial and azimuthal average profiles of the radical species were created to enhance any observed cometary coma morphological features. We compare the observed coma features across the observed species and over the different observation periods in order to constrain possible rotational states of the observed comets, as well as determine possible source differences in the coma between the observed radical species. We will present results for several comets, including C/2009 P1 (Garradd) and 260P (McNaught).

  2. Comet Dust: The Diversity of Primitive Particles and Implications

    John Bradley; Zolensky, Michael E.


    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 (IDPs and AMMs) 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-contentsof thesilicate minerals; the compositions and concentrations of sulfides, and of less abundant mineral species such as chondrules, CAIs and carbonates. The unifomity 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 properites 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.

  3. Epithelial cells as alternative human biomatrices for comet assay.

    Rojas, Emilio; Lorenzo, Yolanda; Haug, Kristiane; Nicolaissen, Bjørn; Valverde, Mahara


    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 30 year period, the comet assay in epithelial cells has been little 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.

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

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


    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.

  5. Comets, Carbonaceous Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    Hoover, Richard B.


    Evidence for indigenous microfossils in carbonaceous meteorites suggests that the paradigm of the endogenous origin of life on Earth should be reconsidered. It is now widely accepted that comets and carbonaceous meteorites played an important role in the delivery of water, organics and life critical biogenic elements to the early Earth and facilitated the origin and evolution of the Earth's Biosphere. However; the detection of embedded microfossils and mats in carbonaceous meteorites implies that comets and meteorites may have played a direct role in the delivery of intact microorganisms and that the Biosphere may extend far into the Cosmos. Recent space observations have found the nuclei of comets to have very low albedos (approx.0.03) and. these jet-black surfaces become very hot (T approx. 400 K) near perihelion. This paper reviews recent observational data-on comets and suggests that liquid water pools could exist in cavities and fissures between the internal ices and rocks and the exterior carbonaceous crust. The presence of light and liquid water near the surface of the nucleus enhances the possibility that comets could harbor prokaryotic extremophiles (e.g., cyanobacteria) capable of growth over a wide range of temperatures. The hypothesis that comets are the parent bodies of the CI1 and the CM2 carbonaceous meteorites is advanced. Electron microscopy images will be presented showing forms interpreted as indigenous-microfossils embedded' in freshly. fractured interior surfaces of the Orgueil (CI1) and Murchison (CM2) meteorites. These forms are consistent in size and morphologies with known morphotypes of all five orders of Cyanobacteriaceae: Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) elemental data shows that the meteoritic forms have anomalous C/O; C/N; and C/S as compared with modern extremophiles and cyanobacteria. These images and spectral data indicate that the clearly biogenic and embedded remains cannot be interpreted as recent biological

  6. Properties of comet Halley derived from thermal models and astrometric data

    Hechler, F.W.; Morley, T.A.; Mahr, P.


    The motion of a comet nucleus is influenced by outgassing forces. The orbit determination from astrometric data of comet Halley using empiric force and observation bias models and the incorporation of thermal models developed at ESOC into the orbit determination allows to draw some conclusions on the comet Halley dynamics and physics. 21 references

  7. Comet Kohoutek, 1973-1974, A Teachers' Guide with Student Activities.

    Chapman, Robert D.

    This teacher's guide provides background information, curriculum source materials, and suggested class activities for class discussion and study. Information related to the discovery of the comet is presented as well as photographic and schematic pictures showing the sky through which the comet travels. Historical data regarding comets of the past…

  8. Gamma ray bursts from comet neutron star magnetosphere interaction, field twisting and Eparallel formation

    Colgate, S.A.


    Consider the problem of a comet in a collision trajectory with a magnetized neutron star. The question addressed in this paper is whether the comet interacts strongly enough with a magnetic field such as to capture at a large radius or whether in general the comet will escape a magnetized neutron star. 6 refs., 4 figs

  9. Observations of Halley's Comet by the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM)

    Niedner, M. B.


    Solar Maximum Mission coronagraph/polarimeter observations of large scale phenomena in Halley's Comet are discussed. Observations of the hydrogen coma with the UV spectrometer are considered. It is concluded that coronograph/polarimeter observations of the disconnection event, in which the entire plasma tail uproots itself from the head of the comet, is convected away in the solar wind at speeds in the 50 to 100 km/sec range (relative to the head), and is replaced by a plasma tail constructed from folding ion-tail rays, are the most interesting.

  10. The split comets: gravitational interaction between the fragments

    Sekanina, Z.


    The n-body computer program by Schubart and Stumpff (1966) has been slightly modified to study the gravitational interaction between two fragments of a split comet nucleus in the sun's gravitational field. All calculations refer to the orbit of Comet West (1976 VI), the velocity of separation of the fragments is assumed to be equal in magnitude to the velocity of escape from the parent nucleus, and the numerical integration of the relative motion of one fragment (called the companion) with respect to the other (principal fragment) is carried over the period of 200 days from separation. (Auth.)

  11. Observations of Comets and Eclipses in the Andes

    Ziółkowski, Mariusz

    There is no doubt that the Incas possessed a system for observing and interpreting unusual astronomical phenomena, such as eclipses or comets. References to it, however, are scarce, often of anecdotal nature and are not collected into any coherent "Inca observation catalog". The best documented of such events is the "Ataw Wallpa's comet", seen in Cajamarca in July of 1533 and the solar eclipse, that in 1543, prevented conquistador Lucas Martínez from discovering the rich silver mines in northern Chile. Archived descriptions of the Andean population's reaction to these phenomena indicate that they were treated as extremely important omens, that should not, under any circumstances, be ignored.

  12. Comet P/2010 V1 as a Natural Disintegration Laboratory

    Jewitt, David; Weaver, Harold A.; Mutchler, Maximilian J.; Agarwal, Jessica; Meech, Karen Jean; Li, Jing; Kleyna, Jan; Ishiguro, Masateru; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Hui, Man-To


    Discovered in outburst in 2010, Jupiter-family comet P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murukami) was found to be split in observations at the end of 2015. We used the Hubble Space Telescope to obtain deep images of P/2010 V1 at high angular resolution in the 2016 January to March period. The resulting data, by far the best yet obtained for any split or disrupting comet, show the astrometric, photometric and morphological evolution of about 30 fragments. We will present the first results for the velocity dispersion, photometric distribution and variability and discuss the measurements in terms of models for the breakup.

  13. Guide to the universe asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets

    Rivkin, Andrew


    This volume in the Greenwood Guides to the Universe series covers asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets-those small bodies that revolve the Sun-and provides readers with the most up-to-date understanding of the current state of scientific knowledge about them. Scientifically sound, but written with the student in mind, Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets is an excellent first step for researching the exciting scientific discoveries of the smallest celestial bodies in the solar system.||The book will introduce students to all of the areas of research surrounding the subject, answering many intr


    Lacerda, Pedro; Jewitt, David


    On 2007 October 29, the outbursting comet 17P/Holmes passed within 0.''79 of a background star. We recorded the event using optical, narrowband photometry and detect a 3%-4% dip in stellar brightness bracketing the time of closest approach to the comet nucleus. The detected dimming implies an optical depth τ ≈ 0.04 at 1.''5 from the nucleus and an optical depth toward the nucleus center τ n d = 0.006 ± 0.002 at α = 16° phase angle. Our measurements place the most stringent constraints on the extinction optical depth of any cometary coma.

  15. The Composition of Comet C/2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) and the Distribution of Primary Volatile Abundances Among Comets

    Roth, Nathan X.; Gibb, Erika L. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 503 Benton Hall, One University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121 (United States); Bonev, Boncho P.; DiSanti, Michael A.; Mumma, Michael J.; Villanueva, Geronimo L.; Paganini, Lucas, E-mail: [Goddard Center for Astrobiology, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mail Stop 690, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)


    On 2014 May 22 and 24 we characterized the volatile composition of the dynamically new Oort cloud comet C/2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) using the long-slit, high resolution ( λ /Δ λ  ≈ 25,000) near-infrared echelle spectrograph (NIRSPEC) at the 10 m Keck II telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii. We detected fluorescent emission from six primary volatiles (H{sub 2}O, HCN, CH{sub 4}, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, CH{sub 3}OH, and CO). Upper limits were derived for C{sub 2}H{sub 2}, NH{sub 3}, and H{sub 2}CO. We report rotational temperatures, production rates, and mixing ratios (relative to water). Compared with median abundance ratios for primary volatiles in other sampled Oort cloud comets, trace gas abundance ratios in C/2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) for CO and HCN are consistent, but CH{sub 3}OH and C{sub 2}H{sub 6} are enriched while H{sub 2}CO, CH{sub 4}, and possibly C{sub 2}H{sub 2} are depleted. When placed in context with comets observed in the near-infrared to date, the data suggest a continuous distribution of abundances of some organic volatiles (HCN, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, CH{sub 3}OH, CH{sub 4}) among the comet population. The level of “enrichment” or “depletion” in a given comet does not necessarily correlate across all molecules sampled, suggesting that chemical diversity among comets may be more complex than the simple organics-enriched, organics-normal, and organics-depleted framework.

  16. Exploiting the parallels - maximising the outreach potentials for the European Space Agency's Rosetta comet chaser mission

    Pillinger, C. T.; Pillinger, J. M.


    three language inscription on the Rosetta stone completely; that amazing piece of work can be viewed greatly magnified at Figeac in southern France. It however is less well known that the name chosen for the Rosetta lander, Philae, also has an important link to the story of interpreting hieroglyphics and it was another British scholar and adventurer, William John Bankes, who recognised the name Cleopatra on a stone obelisk sculpted as a complaint about unjustified taxation. Bankes, who was unaware of what the inscription read but recognised it could be valuable in his collection of Egyptology, had it transported to his home in Dorset where it has resided for nearly 200 years. The story of how the Philae obelisk made its way to Britain is one which is guaranteed to attract an audience's attention. It has rivalries between the British, French and Italian explorers, including a hold-up at pistol point and an element of farce as the priceless antique fell into the Nile. History has been less kind to Bankes than it was to Young and Champollion - he was forced to live out his life in exile after a scandal. Any hint of scandal immediate makes audiences prick their ears up. The Planetary and Space Sciences involvement in the Rosetta mission is very easily linked to the story the translation of hieroglyphics. The gas analysis package we have contributed to the Philae lander is called Ptolemy. The experiments it will perform have the generic name MODULUS (Young's best known contribution to science), its strength (apologies for the pun) being the use of isotopic measurements as the key to understanding the origin of cometary molecules and the processes they undergo as the comet travels through the solar system.

  17. New Image of Comet Halley in the Cold


    VLT Observes Famous Traveller at Record Distance Summary Seventeen years after the last passage of Comet Halley , the ESO Very Large Telescope at Paranal (Chile) has captured a unique image of this famous object as it cruises through the outer solar system. It is completely inactive in this cold environment. No other comet has ever been observed this far - 4200 million km from the Sun - or that faint - nearly 1000 million times fainter than what can be perceived with the unaided eye. This observation is a byproduct of a dedicated search [1] for small Trans-Neptunian Objects, a population of icy bodies of which more than 600 have been found during the past decade. PR Photo 27a/03 : VLT image (cleaned) of Comet Halley PR Photo 27b/03 : Sky field in which Comet Halley was observed PR Photo 27c/03 : Combined VLT image with star trails and Comet Halley The Halley image ESO PR Photo 27a/03 ESO PR Photo 27a/03 [Preview - JPEG: 546 x 400 pix - 207k] [Normal - JPEG: 1092 x 800 pix - 614k] [FullRes - JPEG: 1502 x 1100 pix - 1.1M] Caption : PR Photo 27a/03 shows the faint, star-like image of Comet Halley (centre), observed with the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory on March 6-8, 2003. 81 individual exposures from three of the four 8.2-m VLT telescopes with a total exposure time of about 9 hours were combined to show the magnitude 28.2 object. At this time, Comet Halley was about 4200 million km from the Sun (28.06 AU) and 4080 million km (27.26 AU) from the Earth. All images of stars and galaxies in the field were removed during the extensive image processing needed to produce this unique image. Due to the remaining, unavoidable "background noise", it is best to view the comet image from some distance. The field measures 60 x 40 arcsec 2 ; North is up and East is left. Remember Comet Halley - the famous "haired star" that has been observed with great regularity - about once every 76 years - during more than two millennia? Which was visited by an

  18. Weird comets and asteroids the strange little worlds of the sun's family

    Seargent, David A J


    This book concentrates on some of the odd aspects of comets and asteroids. Strange behavior of comets, such as outbursts and schisms, and how asteroids can temporally act as comets are discussed, together with the possible threat of Centaurs-class objects like the Taurid complex. Recent years have seen the distinction between comets and asteroids become less prominent. Comets in "asteroid" orbits and vice versa have become almost commonplace and a clearer view of the role of small bodies in the formation of the Solar System and their effect on Earth has become apparent. Seargent covers this development in detail by including new data and information from space probes. .


    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: [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, P.O. Box 91547, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547 (United States); Collaboration: WISE and NEOWISE Teams


    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. Measurement of plasma and energetic charged particles in the proximity of Halley's comet

    Erdoes, Geza; Gombosi, Tamas; Kecskemety, Karoly; Somogyi, Antal; Tatrallyay, Mariella; Varga, Andras


    The instrumentation aboard the space probe VEGA for the exploration of Halley's comet contained the particle analyzers PLAZMAG and TUENDE-M. PLAZMAG was used for the measurement of the interaction between the low-energy solar plasma and the heavy ions from the comet. From the energy spectra measured near the nucleus of the comet the density distribution of ion groups can also be determined. TUENDE-M recorded the distribution of energetic heavy ions from the comet. The properties of various plasma regions within the 10 million km range from the comet's nucleus are discussed in detail. (R.P.)

  1. IUE observations of the evolution of Comet Wilson (1986l) - comparison with P/Halley

    Roettger, E.E.; Feldman, P.D.; A'hearn, M.F.; Festou, M.C.; Mcfadden, L.A.


    IUE observations of Comet Wilson from September 1986 to November 1987, through perihelion, allow a comparison to be conducted between this 'new' comet and the highly evolved P/Halley, at comparable heliocentric distances. The temporal decreases of both OH and dust in Comet Wilson near perihelion were monotonic and slow, by contrast to Comet Halley's rapid fluctuations. Despite these differences, relative gas abundances were similar within a factor of about 2 for comparable heliocentric and geocentric distances; this indicates that P/Halley's in situ gas measurements may be typical of comets generally. 33 refs

  2. Comet Riders--Nuclear nomads to the stars

    Angelo, J.A. Jr.; Buden, D.


    This paper describes the potential role of an evolutionary family of advanced space nuclear power systems (solid core reactor, gas core reactor, and thermonulcear fusion systems) in the detailed exploration of Solar System comets and in the use of interstellar comes to support migratory journeys to the stars by both human beings and their smart robot systems. 14 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs

  3. Comet: An internet based platform for education in measurement

    Regtien, Paulus P.L.; Halaj, Martin; Kureková, Eva; Gabko, Peter


    The project COMET provides a multimedia training package for metrology and measurement. The package is developed by a consortium of 10 institutes from 7 European countries. It consists of 31 modules, each dealing with a particular aspect of metrology, and is available in English, German, French and

  4. COMET: A multimedia internet based platform for education in measurement

    Grattan, K.T.V.; Regtien, Paulus P.L.; Halaj, M; Kureková, E.; Gabko, P


    The project COMET provides a multimedia training package for metrology and measurement. The package is developed by a consortium of 10 institutes from 7 European countries. It consists of 31 modules, each dealing with a particular aspect of metrology, and is available in English, German, French and

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

    Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz


    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.

  6. Spectrophotometry of Dust in Comet Hale-Bopp

    Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)


    Comets, such as Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1), are frozen reservoirs of primitive solar nebula dust grains and ices. Analysis of the composition of cometary dust grains from infrared spectroscopic techniques permits an estimation of the types of organic and inorganic materials that constituted the early primitive solar nebula. In addition, the cometary bombardment of the Earth (approximately 3.5 Gy ago) supplied the water for the oceans and brought organic materials to Earth which may have been biogenic. Spectroscopic observations of comet Hale-Bopp suggest the possible presence of organic hydrocarbon species, silicate and olivine dust grains, and water ice. Spectroscopy near 3 microns obtained in Nov 1996 r=2.393 AU, delta=3.034 AU) shows a feature which we attribute to PAH emission. The spatial morphology of the 3.28 microns PAH feature is also presented. Optical and infrared spectrophotometric observations of comets convey valuable information about the spatial distribution and properties of dust and gas within the inner coma. In the optical and NIR shortward of 2 microns, the observed light is primarily scattered sunlight from the dust grains. At longer wavelengths, particularly in the 10 gm window, thermal emission from these grains dominates the radiation allowing an accurate estimate of grain sizes and chemical composition. Here we present an initial analysis of spectra taken with the NASA HIFOGS at 7-14 microns as part of a multiwavelength temporal study of the "comet of the century".

  7. The Rosetta–Philae Comet Mission as Physics Appreciation

    can only but add to our understanding and delight in the patterns that ... can take a relook at the comet mission. Among .... density of Earth is a much higher 5.5 because of its iron–nickel core with ... other animals, or of man-made objects. This.

  8. Irradiation detection of food by DNA Comet Assay

    Khan, A.A.; Delincee, H.


    Microgel electrophoresis of single cells or nuclei (DNA Comet Assay) has been investigated to detect irradiation treatment of more than 50 food commodities e.g. meats, seafood, cereals, pulses, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and spices. The foodstuffs have been exposed to radiation doses covering the range of potential commercial irradiation for inactivation of pathogenic and spoilage micro-organisms, for insect disinfestation and for shelf-life extension. The Comet Assay is based on detection of DNA fragments presumptive to irradiation. For most of the food items investigated, the assay can be applied successfully for irradiation detection by working out different conditions of the assay. However, with some of the foods difficulties arose due to - lack of discrimination between the irradiated and unirradiated food samples due to the presence of the same kinds of comets in both cases and the total absence of the typical intact cells in unirradiated samples. - Sufficient DNA material was not available from some of the foods. - Insufficient lysis of the cell walls in case of some plant foods. In conclusion, the DNA Comet Assay can help to detect the irradiation treatment of several varieties of foods using low-cost equipment in a short time of analysis. (orig.)

  9. Detectability of Sungrazing Comet Soft X-ray Irradiance

    Su Yeon Oh


    Full Text Available Originating from the Oort cloud, some comets disappear to impact against the Sun or to split up by strong gravitational force. Then they don't go back to the Oort cloud. They are called sungrazing comets. The comets are detected by sublimation of ices and ejection of gas and dust through solar heat close to the Sun. There exists the charge transfer from heavy ions in the solar wind to neutral atoms in the cometary atmosphere by interaction with the solar wind. Cometary atoms would be excited to high electronic levels and their de-excitation would result in X-ray emission, or it would be scattering of solar X-ray emission by very small cometary grains. We calculated the X-ray emission applying the model suggested by Mendis & Flammer (1984 and Cravens (1997. In our estimation, the sungrazing comet whose nucleus size is about 1 km in radius might be detectable within a distance of 3 solar radius from the sun on soft X-ray solar camera.

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

    Hsieh, Henry H


    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).

  11. Comet P/2001 Q5 (Linear-Neat)

    Lawrence, K. J.; Helin, E. F.; Pravdo, S. H.; Spahr, T. B.; Tichý, M.; Kotková, Lenka; Galad, A.; Kalmančok, D.; Balam, D.; Shelus, P. J.

    č. 7697 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  12. Physical characteristics of Comet Nucleus C/2001 OG108 (LONEOS)

    Abell, P.A.; Fernandéz, Y.R.; Pravec, Petr; French, L.M.; Farnham, T.L.; Gaffey, M.J.; Hardersen, P.S.


    Roč. 179, č. 1 (2005), s. 174-194 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA3003204; GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : comet s * composition * infrared observations Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.244, year: 2005

  13. Delivery of organics to Mars through asteroid and comet impacts

    Frantseva, K.; Mueller, M.; van der Tak, F. F. S.; ten Kate, I. L.; Greenstreet, S.


    Preliminary results show that the asteroid-borne organic flux on Mars is comparable to the IPD rate; asteroids certainly cannot be neglected. Comets, on the other hand, contribute only 0.01% of the IDP-borne rate and can be neglected in the process of organic delivery to Mars.

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

    Messenger, Scott; Walker, Robert M.


    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.

  15. Comet P/2001 TU 80 (Linear-Neat)

    Kušnirák, Peter

    č. 7753 (2001), s. 1 ISSN 0081-0304 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0255 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : comet s * astrometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  16. Comet mission is blown off course by faulty rocket

    Henderson, M


    ESA has announced that the launch of the Rosetta probe, has been delayed indefinitely because of problems with the unreliable Ariane-5 rocket on which it was to fly. The project will now have to be redesigned completely to target a different comet at a later date (1/2 page).

  17. Encounters between degenerate stars and extrasolar comet clouds

    Pineault, S.; Poisson, E.


    Under the assumption that the presence of comet clouds around otherwise normal stars is a common occurrence in the Galaxy, the observational consequences of random penetration encounters between the general Galactic population of degenerate stars and these comet clouds is considered. The only case considered is where the compact stars is a single star. For this scenario, encounters involving neutron stars (NSs) result in impact rates 1000-10,000 times slower than in the model of Tremaine and Zytkow (1986). The rate for white dwarfs (WDs) is larger than the one for NSs by a factor of about 30 times the ratio of the degenerate star number densities. The mean impact rate is significantly increased if the number of comets in a cloud is nearly independent of the mass of the central star. It is concluded that some of the observed gamma-ray bursts may be caused by accretion of comets onto NSs and that this scenario, but with a WD as the accretor, probably contributes to the optical flash background rate. 38 refs

  18. Evaluation of irradiation in foods using DNA comet assay

    Khawar, Affaf; Bhatti, Ijaz Ahmad; Khan, Q.M.; Ali, T.; Khan, A.I.; Asi, M.R.


    Comet assay is a rapid, inexpensive and sensitive biological technique to detect DNA damage in food stuffs by irradiation. In this study the Comet assay is applied on foods of plant and animal origins. Samples were irradiated by using 60 Co gamma-radiation source. The applied doses were 2, 6 and 10 kGy for food of plant origin and 0.5, 1 and 2 kGy for meat items. The un-irradiated and irradiated samples were clearly differentiated on the basis of DNA fragmentation. During the electrophoresis study, it was found that in un-irradiated cells DNA remained intact and appeared as Comets without tail whereas in irradiated cells Comets with tails were visible due to stretching of fragmented DNA. Moreover, it was also revealed that the DNA tail length was dose dependent. Dry food stuffs (seeds) showed good results as compared to moist foods (meat, fruits and vegetables) due to the absence of background damage. (author)

  19. Modeling Coma Gas Jets in Comet Hale-Bopp

    Lederer, S. M.; Campins, H.


    We present an analysis of OH, CN, and C2 jets observed in Comet Hale-Bopp. The relative contributions from and composition of the coma gas sources, and the parameters describing the active areas responsible for the gas jets will be discussed. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  20. Reduction and analysis of photometric data on Comet Halley

    Belton, M.J.S.; Fink, U.; Wehinger, P.; Spinrad, H.; Meech, K.


    The discovery that periodic variations in the brightness of Comet Halley were characterized by two unrelated frequencies implies that the nucleus is in a complex state of rotation. It either nutates as a result of the random addition of small torque perturbations accumulated over many perihelion passages, or the jet activity torques are so strong that it precesses wildly at each perihelion passage. To diagnose the state of nuclear rotation, researchers began a program to acquire photometric time series of the comet as it recedes from the sun. The intention is to observe the decay of the comet's atmosphere and then, when it is unemcumbered by the light of the coma, follow the light variation of the nucleus itself. The latter will be compared with preperihelion time series and the orientation of the nucleus at the time of Vega and Giotto flybys and an accurate rotational ephemeris constructed. Halley was observed on 38 nights during 1987 and approximately 21 nights in 1988. The comet moved from 5 AU to 8.5 AU during this time. The brightness of the coma was found to rapidly decrease in 1988 as the coma and cometary activity collapses. The magnitude in April 1988 was 19 mag (visual) and it is predicted that the nucleus itself will be the major contributor to the brightness in the 1988 and 1989 season

  1. Asteroid Family Associations of Main-Belt Comets

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


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

  2. Giotto observations of the bow shock at Comet Halley

    Formisano, V.; Amata, E.; Wilken, B.


    Preliminary results from the JPA instrument on Giotto indicate that Comet Halley, even on the flanks, has a bow shock which moves backwards and forwards over the spacecraft. To understand the structure properly will require more detailed investigation of the relationships between three particle populations, cometary ions, solar wind ions and electrons

  3. Comet assay as a cold chain control tool

    Duarte, Renato Cesar


    Bearing in mind an ever more demanding market regarding the quality of food, it has been necessary to develop processes that meet the demands of consumers. Within the existing processes the cold chain and irradiation stand out. The cold chain comprises all the stages of conserving food from production, cooling, freezing, storing and transportation to the final consumer. Irradiation, as a means of conserving food, prolongs the shelf life, inhibits budding and reduces pathogenic contamination among other benefits. Is very important the identification of food degradation in function of failure on the processes which they were subjected. The comet assay is a screening test widely studied, considerate fast and with low cost. By the fact of the test identify breaks on the DNA, may be possible use the comet test on the control of cold chain failures that degrade de food. The labels and stamp, do not consider the previous food situation and indicate failures from the moment where they be placed in contact with the product. With the comet assay is possible to check the degradation that has occurred in liver chicken samples until the moment of comet's test realization. (author)

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

    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

  5. Preliminary results of the Vega-1 and Vega-2 space probes rendezvous with the Halley comet



    Preliminary results of the Halley comet investigation using the Vega-1 and Vega-2 space probes which passed on the 6th and 9th of March, 1986 the comet nucleus at a distance of 9000 and 8200 respectively, are presented. The comet nucleus appeared to be one of the darkest bodies of the Solar system: its albedo is just about 4%. The IR spectrum analysis has shown, that water and carbon dioxide appear to be the main components of the comet material. Mass analysis points out to the presence in the comet dust of iron, oxygen and silicon. It is ascertained, that about 30 t of water vapors and about 5-10 t of dust are evaporated from the comet nucleus surface in one second. Solar wind interaction with the comet streched atmosphere was investigated

  6. On the observed excess of retrograde orbits among long-period comets

    Fernandez, J.A.


    The distribution of orbital inclinations of the observed long-period comets is analysed. An excess of retrograde orbits is found which increases with the perihelion distance, except for the range 1.1 10 3 A U) has the same behaviour as the total sample. It is thus suggested that the excess of retrograde orbits among long-period comets is related to an already existent excess among the incoming new comets (i.e. comets driven into the planetary region by stellar perturbations). Using theoretical considerations and a numerical model it is proposed that an important fraction of the so-called new comets are actually repeating passages through the planetary region. Nearly a half of the new comets with q > 2 A U may be repeating passages. An important consequence of the presence of comets repeating passages among the new ones is the production of an excess of retrograde orbits in the whole sample. (author)

  7. Hydrogen addition reactions of aliphatic hydrocarbons in comets

    Kobayashi, Hitomi; Watanabe, N.; Watanabe, Y.; Fukushima, T.; Kawakita, H.


    Comets are thought as remnants of early solar nebula. Their chemical compositions are precious clue to chemical and physical evolution of the proto-planetary disk. Some hydrocarbons such as C2H6, C2H2 and CH4 in comets have been observed by using near-infrared spectroscopy. Although the compositions of C2H6 were about 1% relative to the water in normal comets, there are few reports on the detection of C2H6 in ISM. Some formation mechanisms of C2H6 in ISM have been proposed, and there are two leading hypotheses; one is the dimerizations of CH3 and another is the hydrogen addition reactions of C2H2 on cold icy grains. To evaluate these formation mechanisms for cometary C2H6 quantitatively, it is important to search the C2H4 in comets, which is the intermediate product of the hydrogen addition reactions toward C2H6. However, it is very difficult to detect the C2H4 in comets in NIR (3 microns) regions because of observing circumstances. The hydrogen addition reactions of C2H2 at low temperature conditions are not well characterized both theoretically and experimentally. For example, there are no reports on the reaction rate coefficients of those reaction system. To determine the production rates of those hydrogen addition reactions, we performed the laboratory experiments of the hydrogenation of C2H2 and C2H4. We used four types of the initial composition of the ices: pure C2H4, pure C2H2, C2H2 on amorphous solid water (ASW) and C2H4 on ASW at three different temperatures of 10, 20, and 30K. We found 1) reactions are more efficient when there are ASW in the initial compositions of the ice; 2) hydrogenation of C2H4 occur more rapid than that of C2H2.

  8. The Photometric lightcurve of Comet 1P/Halley

    Bair, Allison N.; Schleicher, David G.


    Comet 1P/Halley is considered an important object for a number of reasons. Not only is it the first-identified and brightest periodic comet, being the only periodic comet visible to the naked eye at every apparition, but in 1986 Halley became the first comet to be imaged by fly-by spacecraft. The NASA-funded International Halley Watch (IHW) directly supported the spacecraft by providing narrowband filters for groundbased photometric observations, and until the arrival of Hale-Bopp (1995 O1), Halley was the subject of the largest groundbased observational campaign in history. Following considerable controversy regarding its rotation period, it was eventually determined to be in complex rotation -- the first comet to be so identified. While the overall brightness variations of the coma repeated with a period of about 7.4 days, the detailed period and shape of the lightcurve constantly evolved. The determination of the specific characteristics of each of the two components of its non-principal axis rotational state has remained elusive.To resolve this situation we have now incorporated all of the narrowband photometry, taken by 21 telescopes from around the world and submitted to the IHW archive, to create the most complete homogeneous lightcurve possible. Using measurements of three gas species and the dust, the lightcurve was investigated and found to alternate between a double- and triple-peaked shape, with no single feature being present throughout the entire duration of our dataset (316 days). The apparent period as a function of time was extracted and seen to vary in a step-wise manner between 7.27 and 7.60 days. Taken together, these results were used to produce a synthetic lightcurve revealing Halley's behavior even when no data were available. Details of this and other results, to be used to constrain future detailed modeling, will be presented. This research is supported by NASA's Planetary Atmospheres Program.

  9. Reference cells and ploidy in the comet assay

    Gunnar eBrunborg


    Full Text Available In the comet assay, single cells are analyzed with respect to their level of DNA damage. Discrimination of the individual cell or cell type based on DNA content, with concomitant scoring of the DNA damage, is useful since this may allow analysis of mixtures of cells. Different cells can then be characterized based on their ploidy, cell cycle stage, or genome size. We here describe two applications of such a cell type-specific comet assay: (i Testicular cell suspensions, analyzed on the basis of their ploidy during spermatogenesis; and (ii reference cells in the form of fish erythrocytes which can be included as internal standards to correct for inter-assay variations. With standard fluorochromes used in the comet assay, the total staining signal from each cell – whether damaged or undamaged – was found to be associated with the cell’s DNA content. Analysis of the fluorescence intensity of single cells is straightforward since these data are available in scoring systems based on image analysis. The analysis of testicular cell suspensions provides information on cell type specific composition, susceptibility to genotoxicants, and DNA repair. Internal reference cells, either untreated or carrying defined numbers of lesions induced by ionizing radiation, are useful for investigation of experimental factors that can cause variation in comet assay results, and for routine inclusion in experiments to facilitate standardization of methods and comparison of comet assay data obtained in different experiments or in different laboratories. They can also be used - in combination with a reference curve - to quantify the DNA lesions induced by a certain treatment. Fish cells of a range of genome sizes, both greater and smaller than human, are suitable for this purpose and they are inexpensive.

  10. High Resolution 3D Radar Imaging of Comet Interiors

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


    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

  11. Operative Links

    Wistoft, Karen; Højlund, Holger


    educational goals, learning content, or value clarification. Health pedagogy is often a matter of retrospective rationalization rather than the starting point of planning. Health and risk behaviour approaches override health educational approaches. Conclusions: Operational links between health education......, health professionalism, and management strategies pose the foremost challenge. Operational links indicates cooperative levels that facilitate a creative and innovative effort across traditional professional boundaries. It is proposed that such links are supported by network structures, shared semantics...

  12. Comet 81P/Wild 2 under a microscope

    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


    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

  13. Modeling the Thermodynamic Properties of the Inner Comae of Comets

    Boice, Daniel C.


    Introduction: Modeling is central to understand the important properties of the cometary environment. We have developed a comet model, SUISEI, that self-consistently includes the relevant physicochemical processes within a global modeling framework, from the porous subsurface layers of the nucleus to the interaction with the solar wind. Our goal is to gain valuable insights into the intrinsic properties of cometary nuclei so we can better understand observations and in situ measurements. SUISEI includes a multifluid, reactive gas dynamics simulation of the dusty coma (ComChem) and a suite of other coupled numerical simulations. This model has been successfully applied to a variety of comets in previous studies over the past three decades. We present results from a quantitative study of the thermodynamic properties and chemistry of cometary comae as a function of cometocentric and heliocentric distance to aid in interpretation of observations and in situ measurements of comets.Results and Discussion: ComChem solves the fluid dynamic equations for the mass, momentum, and energy of three neutral fluids (H, H2, and the heavier bulk fluid), ions, and electrons. In the inner coma, the gas expands, cools, accelerates, and undergoes many photolytic and gas-phase chemical reactions tracking hundreds of sibling species. The code handles the transition to free molecular flow and describes the spatial distribution of species in the coma of a comet. Variations of neutral gas temperature and velocity with cometocentric distance and heliocentric distance for a comet approaching the Sun from 2.5 to 0.3 AU are presented. Large increases in the gas temperatures (>400 K) due to photolytic heating in the coma within ~0.5 AU are noted, with dramatic effects on the chemistry, optical depth, and other coma properties. Results are compared to observations when available.Conclusions: SUISEI has proven to be a unique and valuable model to understand the relevant physical processes and

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

    Amaya Azqueta


    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


    Sárneczky, K.; Szabó, Gy. M.; Csák, B.; Kelemen, J.; Pál, A.; Szakáts, R.; Szegedi-Elek, E.; Vida, K.; Vinkó, J.; Kiss, L. L.; Marschalkó, G.; Szalai, T.; Székely, P.


    Remote investigations of ancient matter in the solar system have traditionally been carried out through observations of long-period (LP) comets, which are less affected by solar irradiation than their 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 data set 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 Afρ values >3–4, higher than those for our most active returning comets. New comets develop more symmetric comae, suggesting a generally isotropic outflow. In contrast to this, the comae of recurrent comets can be less symmetrical, ocassionally exhibiting negative slope parameters, which suggest sudden variations in matter production. The morphological appearance of the observed comets is rather diverse. A surprisingly large fraction of the comets have long, tenuous tails, but the presence of impressive tails does not show a clear correlation with the brightness of the comets.


    Sárneczky, K.; Szabó, Gy. M.; Csák, B.; Kelemen, J.; Pál, A.; Szakáts, R.; Szegedi-Elek, E.; Vida, K.; Vinkó, J.; Kiss, L. L. [Konkoly Observatory, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1121 Budapest, Konkoly Thege Miklós út 15-17 (Hungary); Marschalkó, G. [Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, H-1117 Pázmány Péter sétány 1/A, Budapest (Hungary); Szalai, T. [Department of Optics and Quantum Electronics, University of Szeged, H-6720 Szeged, Dóm tér 9 (Hungary); Székely, P. [Department of Experimental Physics, University of Szeged, Szeged H-6720, Dóm tér 9 (Hungary)


    Remote investigations of ancient matter in the solar system have traditionally been carried out through observations of long-period (LP) comets, which are less affected by solar irradiation than their 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 data set 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 Afρ values >3–4, higher than those for our most active returning comets. New comets develop more symmetric comae, suggesting a generally isotropic outflow. In contrast to this, the comae of recurrent comets can be less symmetrical, ocassionally exhibiting negative slope parameters, which suggest sudden variations in matter production. The morphological appearance of the observed comets is rather diverse. A surprisingly large fraction of the comets have long, tenuous tails, but the presence of impressive tails does not show a clear correlation with the brightness of the comets.

  17. Competitive Memory Training (COMET) for OCD: a self-treatment approach to obsessions.

    Schneider, Brooke C; Wittekind, Charlotte E; Talhof, Alina; Korrelboom, Kees; Moritz, Steffen


    Competitive Memory Training (COMET) is a cognitive intervention that aims to change the maladaptive cognitive-emotional networks underlying obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). COMET has not been previously tried as a self-help intervention. The present study tested the preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of COMET for OCD implemented as a self-help intervention. Sixty-five participants with OCD recruited through online OCD self-help fora completed an online baseline assessment including measures of OCD symptoms, self-esteem, and depression. Participants were randomly assigned to either COMET or a wait-list control group. All participants were approached 4 weeks later to complete an online post-assessment. There was no evidence for a greater decline of OCD symptoms or depression under COMET. When analyses were limited to only those participants who reported reading the entire manual at least once, self-esteem was higher at post-assessment in the COMET group. Although 78.1% of patients in the COMET group rated it as appropriate for self-administration, only 56.5% performed COMET exercises regularly and 26.4% read the entire manual at least once. The feasibility and effectiveness of COMET as a self-help internet intervention for OCD was not supported in this study. Further work is needed to better understand if modifications to our implementation of COMET may yield improved outcomes.

  18. Comet Dust: The Story of Planet Formation as Told by the Tiniest of Particles

    Wooden, D. H.


    Our planetary system formed out of a gas-rich disk-shaped nebula with the early Sun at its center. Many small icy bodies were consumed by the formation of the giant planets. However, many km-size icy bodies were tossed out of the giant-planet region to the cold, distant reaches of our solar system. Comets remained in their places of cold storage until perturbed into orbits that carry them into the inner solar system where they pass relatively close to the Sun. Comets are warmed by the Sun and shed material from their outer layers. The ices and gases shed by comets reveal simple and complex organic molecules were present at the time and in the region of the formation of the giant planets. Where the Earth was forming was too hot and had too intense sunlight for many of these ices and molecules to survive. The dust shed by comets tells us that some stardust survived unaltered but much of the dust was heated and crystallized before becoming part of the comet. Therefore, comet dust grains tell of large radial migrations from the cold outer reaches near Neptune into the hot regions near the forming Sun, and then back out to the cold regions where icy comets were accreting and forming. On 2005 July 4, the NASA Deep Impact Mission hit a comet and ejected primitive materials fiom its interior. These materials were not released into the comet s coma during normal activity. Despite the many passages of this comet close to the Sun, these primitive volatile gases and dust grains survived in its interior. Comet dust grains show that cold and hot materials were mixed into the same tiny particle very early in the formation of the solar system, and these aggregate dust grains never saw high temperatures again. The survival of primitive materials in comet nuclei suggests comets could have delivered organic molecules and primitive dust grains to early Earth.

  19. 3D radar wavefield tomography of comet interiors

    Sava, Paul; Asphaug, Erik


    Answering fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of small planetary bodies hinges on our ability to image their surface and interior structure in detail and at high resolution. The interior structure is not easily accessible without systematic imaging using, e.g., radar transmission and reflection data from multiple viewpoints, as in medical tomography. Radar tomography can be performed using methodology adapted from terrestrial exploration seismology. Our feasibility study primarily focuses on full wavefield methods that facilitate high quality imaging of small body interiors. We consider the case of a monostatic system (co-located transmitters and receivers) operated in various frequency bands between 5 and 15 MHz, from a spacecraft in slow polar orbit around a spinning comet nucleus. Using realistic numerical experiments, we demonstrate that wavefield techniques can generate high resolution tomograms of comets nuclei with arbitrary shape and complex interior properties.

  20. Dynamics of landslides on comets of irregular shape

    Czechowski, Leszek


    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

  1. Genotoxicity of indium tin oxide by comet test

    İbrahim Hakkı Ciğerci


    Full Text Available Indium tin oxide (ITO is used for liquid crystal display (LCDs, electrochromic displays, flat panel displays, field emission displays, touch or laptop computer screens, cell phones, energy conserving architectural windows, defogging aircraft and automobile windows, heat-reflecting coatings to increase light bulb efficiency, gas sensors, antistatic window coatings, wear resistant layers on glass, nanowires and nanorods because of its unique properties of high electrical conductivity, transparency and mechanical resistance.Genotoxic effects of ITO were investigated on the root cells of Allium cepa by Comet assay. A. cepa roots were treated with the aqueous dispersions of ITO at 5 different concentrations (12.5, 25, 50, 75, and 100 ppm for 4 h. A significant increase in DNA damage was a observed at all concentrations of ITO by Comet assay. These result indicate that ITO exhibit genotoxic activity in A. cepa root meristematic cells.

  2. DNA Damage among Wood Workers Assessed with the Comet Assay

    Bruschweiler, Evin Danisman; Wild, Pascal; Huynh, Cong Khanh; Savova-Bianchi, Dessislava; Danuser, Brigitta; Hopf, Nancy B.


    Exposure to wood dust, a human carcinogen, is common in wood-related industries, and millions of workers are occupationally exposed to wood dust worldwide. The comet assay is a rapid, simple, and sensitive method for determining DNA damage. The objective of this study was to investigate the DNA damage associated with occupational exposure to wood dust using the comet assay (peripheral blood samples) among nonsmoking wood workers (n = 31, furniture and construction workers) and controls (n = 19). DNA damage was greater in the group exposed to composite wood products compared to the group exposed to natural woods and controls (P < 0.001). No difference in DNA damage was observed between workers exposed to natural woods and controls (P = 0.13). Duration of exposure and current dust concentrations had no effect on DNA damage. In future studies, workers’ exposures should include cumulative dust concentrations and exposures originating from the binders used in composite wood products. PMID:27398027

  3. Fabry-Perot observations of Comet Halley H2O(+)

    Scherb, F.; Roesler, F.L.D.; Harlander, J.; Magee-sauer, K.


    Fabry-Perot scanning spectrometer observations of Comet Halley's H 2 O(+) emissions have yielded 6158.64 and 6158.85 A spin doublet data at distances in the range of 0 to 2 million km from the comet heat in the antisunward direction. Cometary plasma outflow velocities were ascertained on the basis of the emissions' Doppler shifts, yielding results that were mostly but not exclusively consistent with the plasma's constant antisunward acceleration; the acceleration varied from night to night of observations over a 30-300 cm/sec range. The unusual plasma kinematics of December 14-15, 1985, and January 10, 1986, may be associated with the tail-disconnection activity observed by others. 30 refs

  4. Ecotoxicological Assessment of Aquatic Genotoxicity Using the Comet Assay



    Full Text Available Comet assay is a novel biological analysis, which is a sensitive, flexible, simple, rapid, and inexpensive method to assess aquatic genotoxicant. Since Singh and co-workers developed the method in 1988, its use has increased exponentially in various fields. This review discourses on the application of this assay in aquatic ecosystems. Various types of cells from various aquatic organisms have been tested by various genotoxicant both direct- and indirect-acting using the comet assay. The applications of this assay suggest that it is a useful assay to assess aquatic genotoxicants. However, there are some factors, which should be taken into account when using this assay as aquatic ecotoxicological assessment device such as inter-animal and cell variability.

  5. Particle acceleration in the plasma fields near comet Halley

    Somogyi, A.J.; Erdoes, G.; Shapiro, V.D.; Shevchenko, V.I.


    Spacecraft VEGA-1 approached Halley comet to distances less than 10 million km in March 1986. It was equipped with devices capable to detect and measure the energies of charged particles (higher than 50 keV). After a survey of acceleration mechanisms the properties of the 50-800 keV charged particle fluxes observed in various regions around Halley comet are reported. In particular, the regions outside the cometary bow shock, the region between the bow shock and the cometopause, and inside the latter, especially in the magnetic pile-up region are considered. Possible mechanisms responsible for the accelerations of the particle fluxes described are discussed. (author) 73 refs.; 7 figs.; 3 tabs

  6. Vectorial Modeling Of NH In Comet 2P/Encke

    Dorman, Garrett; Pierce, D.; Cochran, A.


    Encke is an ideal comet for studying the relationship of radicals to their photodissociative parent molecules due to its low dust content. On 2003 October 22 - 24, we used the the 2.7 m telescope at the McDonald Observatory of the University of Texas to obtain spectra of several cometary radical species. Using a version of the Vectorial Model that has been modified to simulate Encke's prominent sunward-facing fan, we examined the spacial distribution of NH in the coma. Potential photochemical parents of NH were studied in order to understand its production and spacial distribution in the coma. Derived production rates are compared to values in other comets to constrain the primary parent of NH in Encke.

  7. Comet rendezvous mission design using Solar Electric Propulsion

    Sackett, L. L.; Hastrup, R. C.; Yen, C.-W. L.; Wood, L. J.


    A dual comet (Halley Flyby/Tempel 2 Rendezvous) mission, which is planned to be the first to use the Solar Electric Propulsion System (SEPS), is to be launched in 1985. The purpose of this paper is to describe how the mission design attempts to maximize science return while working within spacecraft and other constraints. Science requirements and desires are outlined and specific instruments are considered. Emphasis is on the strategy for operations in the vicinity of Tempel 2, for which a representative profile is described. The mission is planned to extend about one year past initial rendezvous. Because of the large uncertainty in the comet environment the Tempel 2 operations strategy must be highly adaptive.

  8. On the relationship between gas and dust in 15 comets: an application to Comet 103P/Hartley 2 target of the NASA EPOXI mission of opportunity

    Sanzovo, G. C.; Sanzovo, D. Trevisan; de Almeida, A. A.

    After the success of Deep Impact mission to hit the nucleus of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 with an impactor, the concerns are turned now to the possible reutilization of this dormant flyby spacecraft in the study of another comet, for only about 10% of the cost of the original mission. Comet 103P/Hartley 2 on UT 2010 October 11 is the most attractive target in terms of available fuel at rendezvous and arrival time at the comet. In addition, the comet has a low inclination so that major orbital plane changes in the spacecraft trajectory are unnecessary. In an effort to provide information concerning the planning of this new NASA EPOXI space mission of opportunity, we use in this work, visual magnitudes measurements available from International Comet Quarterly (ICQ) to obtain, applying the Semi-Empirical Method of Visual Magnitudes - SEMVM (de Almeida, Singh, & Huebner 1997), the water production rates (in molecules/s) related to its perihelion passage of 1997. When associated to the water vaporization theory of Delsemme (1982), these rates allowed the acquisition of the minimum dimension for the effective nuclear radius of the comet. The water production rates were then converted into gas production rates (in g/s) so that, with the help of the strong correlation between gas and dust found for 12 periodic comets and 3 non-period comets (Trevisan Sanzovo 2006), we obtained the dust loss rates (in g/s), its behavior with the heliocentric distance and the dust-to-gas ratios in this physically attractive rendezvous target-comet to Deep Impact spacecraft at a closest approach of 700 km.

  9. Line Ratios for Solar Wind Charge Exchange with Comets

    Mullen, P. D.; Cumbee, R. S.; Lyons, D.; Shelton, R. L.; Stancil, P. C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Center for Simulational Physics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 (United States); Gu, L.; Kaastra, J., E-mail: [SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht (Netherlands)


    Charge exchange (CX) has emerged in X-ray emission modeling as a significant process that must be considered in many astrophysical environments—particularly comets. Comets host an interaction between solar wind ions and cometary neutrals to promote solar wind charge exchange (SWCX). X-ray observatories provide astronomers and astrophysicists with data for many X-ray emitting comets that are impossible to accurately model without reliable CX data. Here, we utilize a streamlined set of computer programs that incorporate the multi-channel Landau–Zener theory and a cascade model for X-ray emission to generate cross sections and X-ray line ratios for a variety of bare and non-bare ion single electron capture (SEC) collisions. Namely, we consider collisions between the solar wind constituent bare and H-like ions of C, N, O, Ne, Na, Mg, Al, and Si and the cometary neutrals H{sub 2}O, CO, CO{sub 2}, OH, and O. To exemplify the application of this data, we model the X-ray emission of Comet C/2000 WM1 (linear) using the CX package in SPEX and find excellent agreement with observations made with the XMM-Newton RGS detector. Our analyses show that the X-ray intensity is dominated by SWCX with H, while H{sub 2}O plays a secondary role. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that CX cross sections have been implemented into a X-ray spectral fitting package to determine the H to H{sub 2}O ratio in cometary atmospheres. The CX data sets are incorporated into the modeling packages SPEX and Kronos .

  10. The Perihelion Emission of Comet C/2010 L5 ( WISE )

    Kramer, E. A.; Bauer, J. M.; Stevenson, R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Masiero, J.; Sonnett, S.; Fernandez, Y. R.; Grav, T.; Nugent, C.


    The only Halley-type comet discovered by the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer ( WISE ), C/2010 L5 ( WISE ), was imaged three times by WISE , and it showed a significant dust tail during the second and third visits (2010 June and July, respectively). We present here an analysis of the data collected by WISE , putting estimates on the comet’s size, dust production rate, gas production (CO+CO 2 ) rate, and active fraction. We also present a detailed description of a novel tail-fitting technique that allows the commonly used syndyne–synchrone models to be used analytically, thereby giving more robust results. We find that C/2010 L5's dust tail was likely formed by strong emission, likely in the form of an outburst, occurring when the comet was within a few days of perihelion. Analyses of the June and July data independently agree on this result. The two separate epochs of dust tail analysis independently suggest a strong emission event close to perihelion. The average size of the dust particles in the dust tail increased between the epochs, suggesting that the dust was primarily released in a short period of time, and the smaller dust particles were quickly swept away by solar radiation pressure, leaving the larger particles behind. The difference in CO 2 and dust production rates measured in 2010 June and July is not consistent with “normal” steady-state gas production from a comet at these heliocentric distances, suggesting that much of the detected CO 2 and dust was produced in an episodic event. Together, these conclusions suggest that C/2010 L5 experienced a significant outburst event when the comet was close to perihelion.

  11. The Perihelion Emission of Comet C/2010 L5 ( WISE )

    Kramer, E. A.; Bauer, J. M.; Stevenson, R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Masiero, J.; Sonnett, S. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Fernandez, Y. R. [University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32816 (United States); Grav, T. [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719-2395 (United States); Nugent, C. [Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)


    The only Halley-type comet discovered by the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer ( WISE ), C/2010 L5 ( WISE ), was imaged three times by WISE , and it showed a significant dust tail during the second and third visits (2010 June and July, respectively). We present here an analysis of the data collected by WISE , putting estimates on the comet’s size, dust production rate, gas production (CO+CO{sub 2}) rate, and active fraction. We also present a detailed description of a novel tail-fitting technique that allows the commonly used syndyne–synchrone models to be used analytically, thereby giving more robust results. We find that C/2010 L5's dust tail was likely formed by strong emission, likely in the form of an outburst, occurring when the comet was within a few days of perihelion. Analyses of the June and July data independently agree on this result. The two separate epochs of dust tail analysis independently suggest a strong emission event close to perihelion. The average size of the dust particles in the dust tail increased between the epochs, suggesting that the dust was primarily released in a short period of time, and the smaller dust particles were quickly swept away by solar radiation pressure, leaving the larger particles behind. The difference in CO{sub 2} and dust production rates measured in 2010 June and July is not consistent with “normal” steady-state gas production from a comet at these heliocentric distances, suggesting that much of the detected CO{sub 2} and dust was produced in an episodic event. Together, these conclusions suggest that C/2010 L5 experienced a significant outburst event when the comet was close to perihelion.

  12. A Spitzer Search for Activity in Dormant Comets

    Mommert, Michael; Trilling, David; Hora, Joseph; Smith, Howard


    Dormant comets are inactive cometary nuclei hiding in the asteroid populations. Due to their cometary origin, it is possible that volatiles are still retained in their interiors. This hypothesis is supported by the case of near-Earth asteroid Don Quixote, which had been known as an asteroid for 30 yr before activity was discovered in this team's prior Spitzer observations. Interestingly, Don Quixote showed outgassing of CO or CO2, but no dust activity. This significant observation was repeated in 2017 with the same result, suggesting that Don Quixote is continuously outgassing - and still an active comet. Don Quixote's case suggests that other dormant comets might be outgassing with low dust production rates, concealing their activity to optical surveys. The implication of this scenario is that the volatile inventory of the asteroid populations might be significantly larger than currently assumed. We propose 48.8 hr of deep IRAC observations of eight dormant comets in search of faint activity in them. For each target, we will (1) measure (or provide upper limits on) gas and dust production rates from our IRAC CH1 and CH2 observations, (2) derive the diameters and albedos of five of our targets using asteroid thermal modeling, (3) measure the near-infrared spectral slope between CH1 and CH2 for three of our targets, and (4) obtain lightcurve observations of the nuclei of all of our targets. Our observations, which are combined with ground-based observations as part of a NASA-funded program, will provide important constraints on the volatile content of the asteroid population, as well as the origin, evolution, and physical properties of cometary nuclei.

  13. Political astronomy: Comet and meteor observations by Muslim historians

    Chander Kapoor, Ramesh


    Eclipses and unexpected phenomena like comets, meteors, novae and earthquakes were viewed among various cultures as violating the established order of the heavens. They were considered to be ill omens for kings and emperors and were routinely monitored. The present work looks into the texts of history and literature by Muslim historians and chroniclers in West Asia and India that carry stray references to such phenomena. The accounts often relate the apparitions to specific disastrous events or prognosticate revolts, deaths, epidemics, earthquakes all that that took place in later times. Obviously, the occurrences interested the astrologers more. Comet appearances would last for days and weeks but nearly all the writings lack sequential observations. Meteor showers are annual features but the Islamic calendar being lunar would not easily lead one to notice periodic nature of the incidents, let alone sensing a periodicity in comet appearances. These are non-astronomy texts with little scientific content but being from different ages permit us to see how the astronomical perceptions changed over the times. The recorded details and firm chronology, tested against modern back calculations, can provide valuable information on them, keeping in mind the text and the context in which the original reference was made. We also notice a qualitative change in the Indian writings of the 18th century and later where the authors begin to show up with influence of exposure to the European scientific progress.


    Palotai, Csaba; Harrington, Joseph; Rebeli, Noemi; Gabriel, Travis; Korycansky, Donald G.


    We have studied the plume formation after a Jovian comet impact using the ZEUS-MP 2 hydrodynamics code. The three-dimensional models followed objects with 500, 750, and 1000 m diameters. Our simulations show the development of a fast, upward-moving component of the plume in the wake of the impacting comet that 'pinches off' from the bulk of the cometary material ∼50 km below the 1 bar pressure level, ∼100 km above the depth of the greatest mass and energy deposition. The fast-moving component contains about twice the mass of the initial comet, but consists almost entirely (>99.9%) of Jovian atmosphere rather than cometary material. The ejecta rise mainly along the impact trajectory, but an additional vertical velocity component due to buoyancy establishes itself within seconds of impact, leading to an asymmetry in the ejecta with respect to the entry trajectory. The mass of the upward-moving component follows a velocity distribution M(>v) approximately proportional to v -1.4 (v -1.6 for the 750 m and 500 m cases) in the velocity range 0.1 km s -1 -1 .

  15. Lewis Swift celebrated comet hunter and the people's astronomer

    Kronk, Gary W


    This biography covers the life of Lewis Swift (1820-1913), who discovered 13 comets and nearly 1,200 other deep sky objects. All 13 comets found by Swift now bear his name, including three periodic comets with periods of 6 years (11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR), 9 years (64P/Swift-Gehrels), and 133 years (109P/Swift-Tuttle). Swift's enthusiasm and success as an amateur astronomer helped make him famous in the United States. With the help of others, Swift was able to buy a 16-inch refractor, the third largest telescope in the United States at the time. Hulbert Harrington Warner built "Warner Observatory" to house this telescope. As a prolific writer and lecturer, Swift's stories appeared in newspapers and magazines, while his lectures showed that he was able to explain anything in a way that everyone could understand.  When Warner went broke during the "Panic of 1893," Swift was forced to leave his home. Almost two dozen invitations arrived from around the United States asking him to bring his telescope to their ci...

  16. X-ray and extreme ultraviolet emission from comets

    Lisse, C. M.; Cravens, T. E.; Dennerl, K.

    The discovery of high energy X-ray emission in 1996 from C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) has created a surprising new class of X-ray emitting objects. The original discovery (Lisse et al., 1996) and subsequent detection of X-rays from 17 other comets (Table 1) have shown that the very soft (E < 1 keV) emission is due to an interaction between the solar wind and the comet's atmosphere, and that X-ray emission is a fundamental property of comets. Theoretical and observational work has demonstrated that charge exchange collisions of highly charged solar wind ions with cometary neutral species is the best explanation for the emission. Now a rapidly changing and expanding field, the study of cometary X-ray emission appears to be able to lead us to a better understanding of a number of physical phenomena: the nature of the cometary coma, other sources of X-ray emission in the solar system, the structure of the solar wind in the heliosphere, and the source of the local soft X-ray background.

  17. Observations of EUV and X-ray Emission from Comets

    Lisse, C.

    The unexpected discovery of x-ray emission from Comet Hyakutake in March 1996 (Lisse et al. 1996) produced a number of questions about the physical mechanism producing the radiation. The original detection and subsequent observations have shown that the very soft (best fit thermal bremsstrahlung model kT0.2 keV) emission is due to an interaction between the solar wind and the comet's atmosphere. Using the results from the more than 15 comets detected to date in x-rays, I report here on the latest results on cometary x-ray emission, including new results from Chandra, and show that charge exchange between highly ionized minor ions in the solar wind and neutral gases in the cometary coma is the most likely operative mechanism. I then use this result to study a number of problems of astrophysical interest: the nature of the cometary coma, other possible sources of x-ray emission in the solar system, the structure of the solar wind in the heliosphere, and the source of the local x-ray background.

  18. From interstellar dust to comets - A unification of observational constraints

    Greenberg, J.M.; Hage, J.I.


    The interstellar dust model of comets is numerically worked out to satisfy simultaneously several basic constraints provided by observations of Comet Halley, and to derive the porosity of coma dust. The observational constraints are (1) the strengths of the 3.4 and 9.7 micron emission bands, (2) the shape of the 9.7 micron band, (3) the amount of silicates relative to organic materials, and (4) the mass distribution of the dust. The method used involves precise calculations of temperatures and the emission characteristics of porous aggregates of interstellar dust as a function of their mass, porosity, and distance to the sun and the wavelength. The results indicate that coma dust has a porosity in the range 0.93-0.975, i.e., a packing factor of 0.07 or less, consistent with independent observations of comet densities of 0.6 to 0.26 g/cu cm and meteor densities of less than 0.2 g/cu cm. 63 refs

  19. A Comprehensive Review on Clinical Applications of Comet Assay

    Gunasekarana, Vidya; Chand, Parkash


    Increased levels of DNA damage and ineffective repair mechanisms are the underlying bio-molecular events in the pathogenesis of most of the life-threatening diseases like cancer and degenerative diseases. The sources of DNA damage can be either exogenous or endogenous in origin. Imbalance between the oxidants and antioxidants resulting in increased reactive oxygen species mostly accounts for the endogenously derived attacks on DNA. Among the various methods employed in the estimation of DNA damage, alkaline comet assay is proven to be a relatively simple and versatile tool in the assessment of DNA damage and also in determining the efficacy of DNA repair mechanism. The aim of this article is to review the application of comet assay in the field of medicine towards human biomonitoring, understanding the pathogenesis of cancer and progression of chronic and degenerative diseases, prediction of tumour radio & chemosensitivity and in male infertility. A standardized protocol and analysis system of various variants of comet assay in different types of cells, across the labs will be of useful and reliable clinical tool in the field of Medicine for the estimation of levels of DNA damage and repair mechanisms. PMID:25954633

  20. The comet assay: Reflections on its development, evolution and applications.

    Singh, Narendra P


    The study of DNA damage and its repair is critical to our understanding of human aging and cancer. This review reflects on the development of a simple technique, now known as the comet assay, to study the accumulation of DNA damage and its repair. It describes my journey into aging research and the need for a method that sensitively quantifies DNA damage on a cell-by-cell basis and on a day-by-day basis. My inspirations, obstacles and successes on the path to developing this assay and improving its reliability and sensitivity are discussed. Recent modifications, applications, and the process of standardizing the technique are also described. What was once untried and unknown has become a technique used around the world for understanding and monitoring DNA damage. The comet assay's use has grown exponentially in the new millennium, as emphasis on studying biological phenomena at the single-cell level has increased. I and others have applied the technique across cell types (including germ cells) and species (including bacteria). As it enters new realms and gains clinical relevance, the comet assay may very well illuminate human aging and its prevention. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. A CCD portrait of Comet P/Tempel 2

    Jewitt, D.; Luu, J.


    The development of activity in Comet P/Tempel 2 is studied from aphelion (R = 4 AU) to perihelion (R = 1.4 AU) using extensive time-series CCD photometry and CCD spectra. The comet undergoes a profound morphological change at R of about 2-2.5 AU, from a bare nucleus at larger distances to an active comet supporting a coma of gas and dust. Cyclic photometric variations with the period T = 8.95 + or - 0.01 hr. are present at all R, and are attributed to the rotation of the nucleus at this period. The nucleus is prolate (axes a:b:c = 1.9:1:1), a property shared with other nuclei studied using CCD photometry. Novel results include a limit on the bulk density of the nucleus, rho above 300 kg/cu m, and a 20-A-resolution CCD spectrum of the nucleus. Spatially and temporally resolved photometry is used to study the effects of nucleus rotation on the coma. The coma does not share the dramatic photometric variations shown by the nucleus. It possesses a steep surface-brightness distribution, which is attributable to progressive destruction of the coma grains with increasing space exposure. 41 refs

  2. Ecogenotoxicity testing of aquatic environment by comet assay in plants

    Anita Mukherjee


    Full Text Available One of the goals of environmental monitoring is the detection of potentially hazardous compounds in water. We have set up a standard method to apply the Comet assay in aquatic plants that could be of great interest to evaluate cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and oxidative stress on the same species regarded as most sensitive to environmental pollutants. The aim of the present study was to set up of standardized procedure to evaluate genotoxicity in aquatic plants- Ceratophyllum demersum one that is submerged free floating and the other is Lemna minor - a fresh water floating plant by Comet assay. Electrophoresis and unwinding times were adapted to obtain minimum DNA migration evaluated as tail intensity % or tail moment in the control group and, at the same time maximum sensitivity for DNA damage with known genotoxicants. We further investigated the cytotoxicity and oxidative stress induced in the same species. Based on the repeatability of results obtained we suggest that Ceratophyllum, Lemna can serve as model species and Comet assay could be adopted to monitor the eco-genotoxicity of water pollutants.

  3. Strategy for infrared photometry of comets with ISO

    Solc, M.; Vanysek, V.; Gruen, E.


    The launch of the ISO (Infrared Satellite Observatory) by the European Space Agency is scheduled for autumn 1995. Photometry and spectrophotometry observing programs of comets in the wavelength range 2.5-200 microns for the onboard spectrophotometer ISOPHOT is now under final preparation. Technical details for preparing propasals are given. Phenomena in comets to be studied are surface properties of bare cometary nuclei at large heliocentric distances, onset of coma activity, and coma dust and gas emission (in inner solar system). Dust production, dust/gas mass ratio, dust distribution in coma, and their temporal variability are important for understanding the physical processes on nuclei, and spectrophotometry in the range of 2.5-12 microns could provide us with data of the chemical composition of cometary dust. Several active comets expected for the 18-month lifetime of ISO in 1995-1997 were selected for the ISO Central Program according to their orbital and physical parameters: P/Schwassman-Wachmann 1, P/Encke, P/d'Arrest, P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, P/Kopff, P/IRAS, P/Wirtanen, P/Wild 2, P/Grigg-Skjellerup, P/Schwassman-Wachmann 3, P/Machholz, and (2060) Chiron. Four of them match well various constraints put on the observations by the technical arrangement of the satellite and instrument. A simple four-parameter model (size, albedo, rotation, optical thickness)was developed to estimate the temperatures and thermal fluxes of both solid nuclei and dust coma.

  4. Silicate emission feature in the spectrum of comet Mueller 1993a

    Hanner, Martha S.; Hackwell, John A.; Russell, Ray W.; Lynch, David K.


    An 8- to 13-micron spectrum of comet Mueller 1993a, a dynamically new comet, was acquired when the comet was at R = 2 AU. Strong, structured silicate emission is present, closely resembling that seen in Comet P/Halley at smaller R. For the first time in a new comet, the 11.2-micron peak of crystalline olivine was detected, demonstrating that crystalline olivine particles were widespread in the solar nebula. Crystalline olivine particles could have formed in the inner protosolar nebula at temperatures greater than 1200 K; extensive radial mixing would have been required to transport these grains to the region of comet formation. Either there was more radial mixing in the solar nebula than some current theories predict or the olivine grains have a presolar origin.

  5. Trajectories for spacecraft encounters with Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova in 1996

    Dunham, David W.; Jen, Shao-Chiang; Farquhar, Robert W.


    Early in 1996, the relatively bright short-period Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova (HMP) will pass only 0.17 astronomical unit from the earth, providing both an unusually favorable apparition for ground-based observers and an opportunity for a spacecraft to reach Comet HMP on relatively low-energy trajectories. The Japanense Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences Sakigake spacecraft is expected to fly by Comet HMP on February 3, 1996, after utilizing four earth swingbys to modify its orbit. If the camera on the ESA Giotto spacecraft is inoperable, Giotto may also be sent to Comet HMP. In addition, 1-year earth-return trajectories to Comet HMP are described, along with some that can be extended to encounter Comet Giacobini-Zinner in 1998.

  6. The Rotation Temperature of Methanol in Comet 103P/Hartley 2

    Chuang, Yo-Ling; Kuan, Yi-Jehng; Milam, Stefanie; Charnley, Steven B.; Coulson, Iain M.


    Considered to be relics from Solar System formation, comets may provide the vital information connecting Solar Nebula and its parent molecular cloud. Study of chemical and physical properties of comets is thus important for our better understanding of the formation of Solar System. In addition, observing organic molecules in comets may provide clues fundamental to our knowledge on the formation of prebiotically important organic molecules in interstellar space, hence, may shed light on the origin of life on the early Earth. Comet 103PIHartley 2 was fIrst discovered in 1986 and had gone through apparitions in 1991, 1997, and 2004 with an orbital period of about 6 years, before its latest return in 2010. 2010 was also a special year for Comet 103PIHartley 2 because of the NASA EPOXI comet-flyby mission.

  7. Prediction of the return of Comet P/Grigg-Skjellerup in 1987

    Sitarski, G.


    Using 82 observations made in the period 1966-1982 during the last four apparitions of the comet, the corrections of orbital elements were determined together with nongravitational parameters A 1 , A 2 and with a parameter D of a displacement of the photometric center from the center of mass of the comet. It was found that a value of the secular acceleration diminished in comparison with such a value before the close approach of the comet Jupiter in 1964; the nongravitational parameters of Style 2 in Marsden's notation now are: A 1 = +0.0371, A 2 = +0.008. To make the best prediction of the comet's return in 1987, the orbit was improved using 67 observations from the last two apparitions of the comet in 1977 and 1982, and taking the constant values of A 1 , A 2 as determined earlier; basing on the latter orbit the ephemeris of the comet for 1987 was computed. 3 refs., 2 tabs. (author)

  8. On the probability of the discovery of comets and the reality of the concentration of perihelia

    Radzievskij, V.V.


    A high probability of the discovery of comets is discussed from the point of view of Golechek visibility conditions. The Golechek function is calculated for 482 comets with the period P > 1000 years, selected from the Marcden catalogue. A new empiric formula is obtained for the probability of comet discovery depending on the Golechek function and on the bending of orbits. It is shown that the observed concentration of (lambdasub(π)) perihelia longitudes of comet orbits at lambdasub(π)=270 deg can not be a consequence of selection effect. A conclusion is made that the observed concentration of perihelia of comet orbits is real and it may be considered as the most important cosmogonal characteristic. A hypothesis of comet origin can not be perfectly considered without the explanation of this characteristic

  9. Some discussion on the acceleration mechanism of particles in the type-I plasma comet

    Li Zhongyuan; Guo Sheyu.


    Earlier, the large acceleration of plasma (300 cm/s 2 ) were already observed in type-I tail. Recently, the direct measurements for comet G-Z showed that the energy of particle reaches 2x10 5 eV, an energy much higher than the initial energy of comet particles (≤ 2x10 4 eV). So there should be an accelerated process in the comet. 14 refs, 3 figs


    Ootsubo, Takafumi [Astronomical Institute, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8578 (Japan); Kawakita, Hideyo; Hamada, Saki; Kobayashi, Hitomi; Yamaguchi, Mitsuru [Koyama Astronomical Observatory, Kyoto Sangyo University, Motoyama, Kamigamo, Kita-Ku, Kyoto 603-8555 (Japan); Usui, Fumihiko; Nakagawa, Takao; Ueno, Munetaka [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Ishiguro, Masateru [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, 599 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742 (Korea, Republic of); Sekiguchi, Tomohiko [Department of Teacher Training, Hokkaido University of Education, Asahikawa Campus, Hokumon 9, Asahikawa, Hokkaido 070-8621 (Japan); Watanabe, Jun-ichi [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan); Sakon, Itsuki; Shimonishi, Takashi; Onaka, Takashi, E-mail: [Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan)


    We conducted a spectroscopic survey of cometary volatiles with the Infrared Camera on board the Japanese infrared satellite AKARI in the wavelength range from 2.5 to 5 {mu}m. In our survey, 18 comets, including both the Oort cloud comets and the Jupiter-family comets, were observed in the period from 2008 June to 2010 January, most of which were observed at least twice. The prominent emission bands in the observed spectra are the fundamental vibrational bands of water (H{sub 2}O) at 2.7 {mu}m and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) at 4.3 {mu}m. The fundamental vibrational band of carbon monoxide (CO) around 4.7 {mu}m and the broad emission feature, probably related to carbon-hydrogen-bearing molecules, can also be recognized around the 3.3-3.5-{mu}m region in some of the comets. With respect to H{sub 2}O, gas production rate ratios of CO{sub 2} have been derived in 17 comets, except for the comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1. Our data set provides the largest homogeneous database of CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O production rate ratios in comets obtained so far. The CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O production rate ratios are considered to reflect the composition of cometary ice when a comet is observed at a heliocentric distance within {approx}2.5 AU, since H{sub 2}O ice fully sublimates there. The CO{sub 2}/H{sub 2}O ratio in cometary ice spans from several to {approx}30% among the comets observed at <2.5 AU (13 out of the 17 comets). Alternatively, the ratio of CO/CO{sub 2} in the comets seems to be smaller than unity based on our observations, although we only obtain upper limits for CO in most of the comets.

  11. Comparison of Wave Energy Transport at the Comets p/Halley and p/Giacobini-Zinner

    Sding, A.; Glassmeir, K. H.; Fuselier, S. A.; Neubauer, Fritz M.; Tsurutani, B. T.


    Using magnetic field, plasma density and flow observations from spacecraft flybys of two comets, Eler variables are determined in order to study wave propogation directions. We investigate the inbound path of the Giotto spacecraft flyby of comet p/Halley outside the bow shock, and the inbound and outbound path of the ICE spacecraft flyby of comet p/Giacobini-Zinner outsinde of the bow wave.

  12. Fluorescence Excitation Models of Ammonia and Amidogen Radical (NH2) in Comets: Application to Comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz)

    Kawakita, Hideyo; Mumma, Michael J.


    Ammonia is a major reservoir of nitrogen atoms in cometary materials. However, detections of ammonia in comets are rare, with several achieved at radio wavelengths. A few more detections were obtained through near-infrared observations (around the 3 m wavelength region), but moderate relative velocity shifts are required to separate emission lines of cometary ammonia from telluric absorption lines in the 3 micron wavelength region. On the other hand, the amidogen radical (NH2 -- a photodissociation product of ammonia in the coma) also shows rovibrational emission lines in the 3 micron wavelength region. Thus, gas production rates for ammonia can be determined from the rovibrational emission lines of ammonia (directly) and amidogen radical (indirectly) simultaneously in the near-infrared. In this article, we present new fluorescence excitation models for cometary ammonia and amidogen radical in the near-infrared, and we apply these models to the near-infrared high-dispersion spectra of comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz) to determine the mixing ratio of ammonia to water in the comet. Based on direct detection of NH3 lines, the mixing ratio of NH3/H2O is 0.46% +/- 0.03% in C/2004 Q2 (Machholz), in agreement with other results. The mixing ratio of ammonia determined from the NH2 observations (0.31% -- 0.79%) is consistent but has relatively larger error, owing to uncertainty in the photodissociation rates of ammonia. At the present level of accuracy, we confirm that NH3 could be the sole parent of NH2 in this comet.


    Kawakita, Hideyo; Mumma, Michael J.


    Ammonia is a major reservoir of nitrogen atoms in cometary materials. However, detections of ammonia in comets are rare, with several achieved at radio wavelengths. A few more detections were obtained through near-infrared observations (around the 3 μm wavelength region), but moderate relative velocity shifts are required to separate emission lines of cometary ammonia from telluric absorption lines in the 3 μm wavelength region. On the other hand, the amidogen radical (NH 2 -a photodissociation product of ammonia in the coma) also shows rovibrational emission lines in the 3 μm wavelength region. Thus, gas production rates for ammonia can be determined from the rovibrational emission lines of ammonia (directly) and amidogen radical (indirectly) simultaneously in the near-infrared. In this article, we present new fluorescence excitation models for cometary ammonia and amidogen radical in the near-infrared, and we apply these models to the near-infrared high-dispersion spectra of comet C/2004 Q2 (Machholz) to determine the mixing ratio of ammonia to water in the comet. Based on direct detection of NH 3 lines, the mixing ratio of NH 3 /H 2 O is 0.46% ± 0.03% in C/2004 Q2 (Machholz), in agreement with other results. The mixing ratio of ammonia determined from the NH 2 observations (0.31%-0.79%) is consistent but has relatively larger error, owing to uncertainty in the photodissociation rates of ammonia. At the present level of accuracy, we confirm that NH 3 could be the sole parent of NH 2 in this comet.

  14. A Speculation into the Origin of Neutral Globules In Planetary Nebulae: Could the Helix's Comets Really Be Comets?

    Gussie, Grant


    A novel explanation for the origin of the cometary globules within NGC 7293 (the "Helix" planetary nebula) is examined; that these globules originate as massive cometary bodies at large astrocentric radii. The mass of such hypothetical cometary bodies would have to be several orders of magnitude larger than any such bodies observed in our solar system in order to supply the observed mass of neutral gas. It is however shown that comets at "outer Oort cloud" like distances are likely to survive...

  15. New Observations of Comet Hale-Bopp from La Silla


    Methanol and Hydrogen Cyanide Detected at Record Distance Observations of famous Comet Hale-Bopp continue with the 15-m Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope (SEST) at the La Silla Observatory. They show amazingly strong activity of this unusual object, also at the present, very large distance from the Sun. The radio observations document in detail the release of various molecules from the comet's icy nucleus. Of particular interest is the observed emission from methanol ( CH 3 OH ) and hydrogen cyanide ( HCN ) molecules, never before detected in any comet this far away. Comet Hale-Bopp still going strong Just over 18 months after its perihelion passage on April 1, 1997, Comet Hale-Bopp (official designation C/1995 O1 ) is continuing its outward journey through the Solar System. It is now about 1,000 million kilometres (6.7 AU) from the Sun and the Earth, i.e. almost at the same distance as when it was first discovered in July 1995. After having traversed the northern sky in 1996 and 1997, the comet passed the celestial equator in late June 1997 and is now seen in the southern constellation Volans (The Flying Fish), i.e. just east of the Large Magellanic Cloud. It can only be observed from southern latitudes. The comet's brightness has decreased by a factor of more than 10,000 since it was at its brightest in March 1997, just before perihelion. However, the magnitude is still around 9 - 10, or only about 20-40 times fainter than what can be seen with the unaided eye. Hale-Bopp is therefore visible in binoculars to southern observers as a fuzzy object with a diameter of a few arcminutes. New observations from La Silla Several telescopes at La Silla are following the evolution of the activity of Comet Hale-Bopp as it recedes from the Sun. In particular, the comet is observed monthly with SEST , a 15-m diameter submillimetre telescope operated jointly by the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden) and ESO; it is the only

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

    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


    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. Destruction of Sun-Grazing Comet C-2011 N3 (SOHO) Within the Low Solar Corona

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


    Observations of comets in Sun-grazing orbits that survive solar insolation long enough to penetrate into the Suns 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 C2011 N3 (SOHO) within the low solar corona in five wavelength bands in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV). The comet penetrated to within 0.146 solarradius (100,000 kilometers) of the solar surface before its EUV signal disappeared.

  18. Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) between 2 and 10 Solar Radii: Physical Parameters of the Comet and the Corona

    Raymond, J. C.; Downs, Cooper; Knight, Matthew M.; Battams, Karl; Giordano, Silvio; Rosati, Richard


    Comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) is the first sungrazing comet in many years to survive perihelion passage. We report ultraviolet observations with the Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) spectrometer aboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory satellite at five heights as the comet approached the Sun. The brightest line, Lyα, shows dramatic variations in intensity, velocity centroid, and width during the observation at each height. We derive the outgassing rates and the abundances of N, O, and Si relative to H, and we estimate the effective diameter of the nucleus to be several hundred meters. We consider the effects of the large outgassing rate on the interaction between the cometary gas and the solar corona and find good qualitative agreement with the picture of a bow shock resulting from mass loading by cometary neutrals. We obtain estimates of the solar wind density, temperature, and speed, and compare them with predictions of a global magnetohydrodynamic simulation, finding qualitative agreement within our uncertainties. We also determine the sublimation rate of silicate dust in the comet’s tail by comparing the visible brightness from the Large Angle Spectroscopic Coronagraphs with the Si III intensity from UVCS. The sublimation rates lie between the predicted rates for olivines and pyroxenes, suggesting that the grains are composed of a mixture of those minerals.

  19. Meteorites, Bolides and Comets: A Tale of Inconsistency

    Jakes, P.; Padevet, V.


    Inhomogeneity of cometary nuclei has been established through the observed disruptions of comets [1] and through the determination of dust particle composition during the encounter of the Vega and Giotto satellites with comet Halley [2,3,4]. The raisin bread model of cometary nuclei [5,6] assumes the presence of solid (rock) and dust particle material set in the volatile rich, ice- cemented material. Rock material may contribute to the formation of dust particles. Gombosi and Houpis [5] argued that only the composition of dust particles derived from the icy, volatile component of the comet were analyzed and implied thus that the third cometary component present (raisins/rocks) has not been examined. The compositions of the cometary (Halley) dust and the interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) are "chondritic" (Blanford et al., 1988). It is difficult, therefore to estimate the proportion of cometary to asteroid-derived dust in near Earth space, e.g., among the IDPs [7] unless other criteria are available. Bolide multistation photographic tracking allows the determination of the orbital preencounter parameters of solid bodies (0.01-100,000 kg in mass) with the Earth, and allows us to classify them according to their ablation coefficient (tau), penetration depth into the atmosphere (PE), theoretical densities (sigma), and terminal velocities (V(sub)E). Four groups are recognized (Table 1). Three of the type I bolides were recovered as ordinary chondrites (Pribram, Lost City, and Innisfree). Ceplecha [8] has shown that 38% of bolides (fireballs) come from cometary orbits (11% from highly eccentric orbits typical of new comets), but most of the bolides (62%) originate at asteroidal orbits. Seven of the 14 known meteoric showers could be attributed to known comets: N,S Taurids to 1970 P/Encke, Lyrids to 1861 I Thatcher-Beaker, Perseids to 1862 III Swift-Tuttle- Simons, Orionids to 1835 III P/Halley, Draconids to 1946 V P/Giacobini-Zinner, Leonids to 1966 I Tempel

  20. Random, double- and single-strand DNA breaks can be differentiated in the method of Comet assay by the shape of the comet image.

    Georgieva, Milena; Zagorchev, Plamen; Miloshev, George


    Comet assay is an invaluable tool in DNA research. It is widely used to detect DNA damage as an indicator of exposure to genotoxic stress. A canonical set of parameters and specialized software programs exist for Comet assay data quantification and analysis. None of them so far has proven its potential to employ a computer-based algorithm for assessment of the shape of the comet as an indicator of the exact mechanism by which the studied genotoxins cut in the molecule of DNA. Here, we present 14 unique measurements of the comet image based on the comet morphology. Their mathematical derivation and statistical analysis allowed precise description of the shape of the comet image which in turn discriminated the cause of genotoxic stress. This algorithm led to the development of the "CometShape" software which allowed easy discrimination among different genotoxins depending on the type of DNA damage they induce. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. WHAMM Directs the Arp2/3 Complex to the ER for Autophagosome Biogenesis through an Actin Comet Tail Mechanism.

    Kast, David J; Zajac, Allison L; Holzbaur, Erika L F; Ostap, E Michael; Dominguez, Roberto


    Nucleation-promoting factors (NPFs) control the spatio-temporal activity of Arp2/3 complex in cells]. Thus, WASP and the WAVE complex direct the formation of branched actin networks at the leading edge during cell motility and endo/exocytosis, whereas the WASH complex is involved in endosomal transport. Less understood are WHAMM and JMY, two NPFs with similar domain architecture. JMY is found in the nucleus and the cytosol and is involved in transcriptional regulation, cell motility, and trans-Golgi transport. WHAMM was reported to bind microtubules and to be involved in ER to cis-Golgi transport. Here, we show that WHAMM directs the activity of Arp2/3 complex for autophagosome biogenesis through an actin-comet tail motility mechanism. Macroautophagy--the process by which cytosolic material is engulfed into autophagosomes for degradation and/or recycling--was recently shown to involve actin, but the mechanism is unknown. We found that WHAMM forms puncta that colocalize and comigrate with the autophagy markers LC3, DFCP1, and p62 through a WHAMM-dependent actin-comet tail mechanism. Under starvation, WHAMM and actin are observed at the interface between neighboring autophagosomes, whose number and size increase with WHAMM expression. Interfering with actin polymerization, inhibiting Arp2/3 complex, knocking down WHAMM, or blocking its interaction with Arp2/3 complex through mutagenesis all inhibit comet tail formation and reduce the size and number of autophagosomes. Finally, JMY shows similar localization to WHAMM and could be involved in similar processes. These results reveal a link between Arp2/3-complex-dependent actin assembly and autophagy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Physical activity of the selected nearly isotropic comets with perihelia at large heliocentric distance

    Kulyk, I.; Rousselot, P.; Korsun, P. P.; Afanasiev, V. L.; Sergeev, A. V.; Velichko, S. F.


    Context. The systematic investigation of comets in a wide range of heliocentric distances can contribute to a better understanding of the physical mechanisms that trigger activity at large distances from the Sun and reveals possible differences in the composition of outer solar system bodies belonging to various dynamical groups. Aims: We seek to analyze the dust environment of the selected nearly isotropic comets with a perihelion distance between 4.5 and 9.1 au, where sublimation of water ice is considered to be negligible. Methods: We present results of multicolor broadband photometric observations for 14 distant active objects conducted between 2008 and 2015 with various telescopes. Images obtained with broadband filters were used to investigate optical colors of the cometary comae and to quantify physical activity of the comet nuclei. Results: The activity level was estimated with Afρ parameters ranging between 95 ± 10 cm and 9600 ± 300 cm. Three returning comets were less active than the dynamically new comets. Dust production rates of the comet nuclei were estimated between 1 and 100 kg s-1 based on some assumptions about the physical properties of dust particles populating comae. The measured colors point out reddening of the continuum for all the comets. The mean values of a normalized reflectivity gradient within the group of the comets amount to 14 ± 2% per 1000 Å and 3 ± 2% per 1000 Å in the BV and VR spectral domains, respectively. The comae of the dynamically new comets, which were observed on their inbound legs, may be slightly redder in the blue spectral interval than comae of the comets observed after the perihelion passages. The dynamically new comets observed both pre- and post-perihelion, seem to have higher production rates post-perihelion than pre-perihelion for similar heliocentric distances.

  3. DNA comet assay for rice seeds treated with low energy electrons ('soft-electrons')

    Todoriki, Setsuko; Hayashi, Toru


    As rice seeds are sometimes contaminated with phytopathogenic organisms such as blast disease fungi and nematodes, a novel non-chemical disinfection method for rice seeds is highly required. In order to develop a disinfection method, the effect of low energy electron ('soft-electrons') on seed DNA was examined by using the neutral comet assay. Rice seeds (whole grain) were treated with electrons of different acceleration voltages (180 kV to 1 MV) at a dose of 5 kGy. Nucleus suspensions were prepared from whole brown rice and subjected to electrophoresis. DNA from un-irradiated (control) seeds relaxed and produced comets with a short tail, most of the comets distributed within the range of comet length between 30 μm to 70 μm. In the case of seeds treated with electrons at acceleration voltages up to 190 kV, cells without seed coats were not damaged and the frequency histograms of comet length showed almost the same pattern as that for control. At acceleration voltages higher than 200 kV, the cells were distributed into two categories; DNA comets with a short tail (with little DNA damages, less than 70 μm in the comet length) and DNA comets with long tails (with sever strand breaks, more than 130 μm in the comet length). The ratios of damaged cells increased with increasing acceleration voltage. The growths of rice seedlings were not affected by the treatment with electrons at up to 200 kV. On the contrary, the cells of gamma-irradiated seed showed small variations in the comet length, and which were depending on radiation dose. The individual cells of gamma-irradiated seeds at 1 kGy showed shorter comet than the damaged cells with soft electron, seed treated with gamma rays (1-5 kGy) did not shoot nor root. (author)


    Ootsubo, Takafumi; Kawakita, Hideyo; Hamada, Saki; Kobayashi, Hitomi; Yamaguchi, Mitsuru; Usui, Fumihiko; Nakagawa, Takao; Ueno, Munetaka; Ishiguro, Masateru; Sekiguchi, Tomohiko; Watanabe, Jun-ichi; Sakon, Itsuki; Shimonishi, Takashi; Onaka, Takashi


    We conducted a spectroscopic survey of cometary volatiles with the Infrared Camera on board the Japanese infrared satellite AKARI in the wavelength range from 2.5 to 5 μm. In our survey, 18 comets, including both the Oort cloud comets and the Jupiter-family comets, were observed in the period from 2008 June to 2010 January, most of which were observed at least twice. The prominent emission bands in the observed spectra are the fundamental vibrational bands of water (H 2 O) at 2.7 μm and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) at 4.3 μm. The fundamental vibrational band of carbon monoxide (CO) around 4.7 μm and the broad emission feature, probably related to carbon-hydrogen-bearing molecules, can also be recognized around the 3.3-3.5-μm region in some of the comets. With respect to H 2 O, gas production rate ratios of CO 2 have been derived in 17 comets, except for the comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1. Our data set provides the largest homogeneous database of CO 2 /H 2 O production rate ratios in comets obtained so far. The CO 2 /H 2 O production rate ratios are considered to reflect the composition of cometary ice when a comet is observed at a heliocentric distance within ∼2.5 AU, since H 2 O ice fully sublimates there. The CO 2 /H 2 O ratio in cometary ice spans from several to ∼30% among the comets observed at 2 in the comets seems to be smaller than unity based on our observations, although we only obtain upper limits for CO in most of the comets.

  5. Operative Links

    Wistoft, Karen; Højlund, Holger


    and have been the object of great expectations concerning the ability to incorporate health concerns into every welfare area through health promotion strategies. The paper draws on results and analyses of a collective research project funded by the Danish National Research Council and carried out...... links' that indicate cooperative levels which facilitate a creative and innovative effort in disease prevention and health promotion targeted at children and adolescents - across traditional professional boundaries. It is proposed that such links are supported by network structures, shared semantics...

  6. Cosmogenic nuclide production within the atmosphere and long period comets

    Overholt, Andrew C.

    The Earth is constantly bombarded by cosmic rays. These high energy particles collide with target nuclei, producing a shower of secondary particles. These secondaries contribute significantly to the radiation background at sea level and in the atmosphere, as well as producing rare cosmogenic nuclides. This contribution is variable over long time scales as astrophysical events change the cosmic ray flux incident on the Earth. Our work re-examines a previously proposed climate effect of increased cosmic ray flux due to galactic location. Although our work does not support this effect, cosmic ray secondaries remain a threat to terrestrial biota. We calculate the cosmogenic neutron flux within the atmosphere as a function of primary spectrum. This work is pivotal in determining the radiation dose due to any arbitrary astrophysical event where the primary spectrum is known. Additionally, this work can be used to determine the cosmogenic nuclide production from such an event. These neutrons are the fundamental source of cosmogenic nuclides within our atmosphere and extraterrestrial matter. We explore the idea that excursions in 14C and 10Be abundances in the atmosphere may arise from direct deposition by long-period comet impacts, and those in 26Al from any bolide. We find that the amount of nuclide mass on large long-period comets entering the Earth's atmosphere may be sufficient for creating anomalies in the records of 14C and 10Be from past impacts. In particular, the estimated mass of the proposed Younger Dryas comet is consistent with its having deposited sufficient isotopes to account for recorded nuclide increases at that time. The 26Al/10Be ratio is much larger in extraterrestrial objects than in the atmosphere, and so, we note that measuring this ratio in ice cores is a suitable further test for the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis. This portion of our work may be used to find possible impact events in the geologic record as well as determination of a large

  7. Comet Assay on Daphnia magna in eco-genotoxicity testing.

    Pellegri, Valerio; Gorbi, Gessica; Buschini, Annamaria


    Detection of potentially hazardous compounds in water bodies is a priority in environmental risk assessment. For the evaluation and monitoring of water quality, a series of methodologies may be applied. Among them, the worldwide used toxicity tests with organisms of the genus Daphnia is one of the most powerful. In recent years, some attempts were made to utilize Daphnia magna in genotoxicity testing as many of the new environmental contaminants are described as DNA-damaging agents in aquatic organisms. The aim of this research was to develop a highly standardized protocol of the Comet Assay adapted for D. magna, especially regarding the isolation of cells derived from the same tissue (haemolymph) from newborn organisms exposed in vivo. Several methods for haemolymph extraction and different Comet Assay parameters were compared. Electrophoretic conditions were adapted in order to obtain minimum DNA migration in cells derived from untreated organisms and, at the same time, maximum sensitivity in specimens treated with known genotoxicants (CdCl2 and H2O2). Additional tests were performed to investigate if life-history traits of the cladoceran (such as the age of adult organisms that provide newborns, the clutch size of origin, the number of generations reared in standard conditions) and the water composition as well, might influence the response of the assay. This study confirms the potential application of the Comet Assay in D. magna for assessing genotoxic loads in aqueous solution. The newly developed protocol could integrate the acute toxicity bioassay, thus expanding the possibility of using this model species in freshwater monitoring (waters, sediment and soil elutriates) and is in line with the spirit of the EU Water Framework Directive in reducing the number of bioassays that involve medium-sized species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Detection of irradiated onion by means of the comet assay

    Moreno Alvarez, Damaris L.; Prieto Miranda, Enrique Fco.; Carro Palacio, Sandra; Iglesia Enriquez, Isora


    The ionizing radiations are used as a harmless alternative treatment that it substitutes the employment of chemical treatments, which after their application in the food products can remain residuals not desired that they come to be carcinogenic. With the food irradiation is eliminated microorganisms and the storage time is prolonged, which produces benefits for the Food Industry and the consumers. In many countries the search of sensitive detecting methods of irradiated foods is promoted by the necessity of the assurance of the consumption of foods with nutritional quality and to test directly the radiation processing, for which several techniques have been developed, these are based on the changes that induce the ionizing radiations in the food products. A recommended method is the Comet Assay of DNA, it is approved by the European Committee of Standardization (EN 13784). The DNA molecule is very sensitive to gamma radiations even at low radiation dose, where the modifications produced in the molecule can be monitored for this analytical technique well-known as Comet Assay of DNA or Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis. The objective of the present paper was to evaluate the modifications of the DNA molecule of irradiated onions with the Comet Assay for several dose values, the onions were conserved at environment and refrigeration temperatures. The samples were irradiated in a self-shielding irradiator with 60 Co source, dose rate of 20.45 Gy/min and absorbed dose values of 0.5; 0.6; 0.8 and 1.0 kGy. This detection method demonstrates to be one sensitive and quick technique for the qualitative detection of irradiated onions. (author)

  9. Magnetic reversal spurts: Rain gauges for comet showers

    Lutz, T.M.


    Abrupt increases in the rate of magnetic reversals (magnetic reversal spurts) were first studied by many others. They hypothesized that spurts result from increased turbulence in the earth's core dynamo during episodes of intense bolide bombardment of the earth. Mechanisms for creating episodes of intense bombardment of the earth involve gravitational perturbation of the Oort cloud of comets, either by a hidden planet, a solar companion, or massive matter in the galactic plane. Herein, the time variation in reversal rate is analyzed using methods of statistical density estimation. A smooth, continuous estimate of reversal rate is obtained using an adaptive kernel method, in which the kernel width is adjusted as a function of reversal rate. The estimates near the ends of the data series (at 165 my ago and the present) are obtained by extending the data by reflection. The results show that the reversal spurts are not associated demonstrably with extinctions or well-dated impacts. If the spurts do record episodes of intense bombardment of the earth, then the mass extinctions do not, in general, occur at times of impacts. Furthermore, the large impact craters seen are not obviously related to the spurts, suggesting that the craters may have been caused by bolides of a different nature and with a different temporal pattern. However, the most simple explanation seems to be that the spurts do not record comet showers, either because the recording mechanism suggested by Muller and Morris is not effective or because comet showers are not triggered in the ways considered by Hut et al

  10. The alkaline comet assay used in evaluation of genotoxic damage of drinking water disinfection by-products (bromoform and chloroform

    Messaouda Khallef


    Full Text Available The alkaline comet assay (pH 12.3 is a useful method for monitoring genotoxic effects of environmental pollutants in the root nuclei of Allium cepa and various plants; it allows the detection of single- and double-strand breaks, incomplete excision-repair sites and cross-links. It has been introduced to detect even small changes in DNA structure. It is a technically simple, highly sensitive, fast and economic test which detects in vitro and in vivo genotoxicity (DNA integrity and packing mode in any cell types examined, and requires just a few cells for its execution (Liman et al., 2011; Yıldız et al., 2009. Chloroform and bromoform are the most important trihalomethanes found in drinking water. Different concentrations of bromoform (25, 50, 75and 100µg/ml and chloroform (25, 50, 100 and 200 µg/ml were introduced to onion tuber roots. Distilled water was used as a negative control and methyl methansulfonate (MMS-10 µg/ml as positive control. All obtained data were subjected to statistical analyses by using SPSS 15.0 for Windows software. For comparison purposes, Duncan multiple range tests using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA were employed and p<0.05 was accepted as the test of significance. Comet assay results showed that DNA damage was significant at p <0.05 for the different concentrations of chloroform and bromoform compared to the negative control which has a damage rate equal to 3.5 ± 0.7 and the positive control which has damage rate equal to 13.5 ± 2.12. The exposure of root tip cells to these disinfection by-products increases DNA damage. All concentrations examined in this study of bromoform and chloroform cause significant harm, which could be due to DNA damage induced by oxidative stress. The measurement of DNA damage in the nuclei of higher plant tissues is a new area of study with SCGE. This assay could be incorporated into in situ monitoring of atmosphere, water and soil: the comet assay allows a fast detection without

  11. Polarization images of the inner regions of Comet Halley

    Eaton, N.; Scarrott, S.M.; Warren-Smith, R.F.


    The present CCD polarimeter images of intensity and polarization within the near-nucleus regions of Comet Halley show the occurrence of dust jets on two days in January, 1986, which exhibit increased polarizations above the level of the surrounding coma. Three possible reasons for the enhanced polarization in the jets are considered, assuming that the polarization increase is due to dust grains: (1) the size distribution of the grains could be different from the surrounding coma; (2) the material of the grains could have a different refractive index; and (3) the ratio of dust to gas emission could be different in the jets. 13 references

  12. High throughput comet assay to study genotoxicity of nanomaterials

    Naouale El Yamani


    Full Text Available The unique physicochemical properties of engineered nanomaterials (NMs have accelerated their use in diverse industrial and domestic products. Although their presence in consumer products represents a major concern for public health safety, their potential impact on human health is poorly understood. There is therefore an urgent need to clarify the toxic effects of NMs and to elucidate the mechanisms involved. In view of the large number of NMs currently being used, high throughput (HTP screening technologies are clearly needed for efficient assessment of toxicity. The comet assay is the most used method in nanogenotoxicity studies and has great potential for increasing throughput as it is fast, versatile and robust; simple technical modifications of the assay make it possible to test many compounds (NMs in a single experiment. The standard gel of 70-100 μL contains thousands of cells, of which only a tiny fraction are actually scored. Reducing the gel to a volume of 5 μL, with just a few hundred cells, allows twelve gels to be set on a standard slide, or 96 as a standard 8x12 array. For the 12 gel format, standard slides precoated with agarose are placed on a metal template and gels are set on the positions marked on the template. The HTP comet assay, incorporating digestion of DNA with formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (FPG to detect oxidised purines, has recently been applied to study the potential induction of genotoxicity by NMs via reactive oxygen. In the NanoTEST project we investigated the genotoxic potential of several well-characterized metal and polymeric nanoparticles with the comet assay. All in vitro studies were harmonized; i.e. NMs were from the same batch, and identical dispersion protocols, exposure time, concentration range, culture conditions, and time-courses were used. As a kidney model, Cos-1 fibroblast-like kidney cells were treated with different concentrations of iron oxide NMs, and cells embedded in minigels (12

  13. Radar observations of Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock 1983d

    Harmon, J.K.; Hine, A.A.; Campbell, D.B.; Shapiro, I.I.; Marsden, B.G.


    A detailed analysis and interpretation of the Arecibo S-band radar observations of Comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock 1983d are presented. The very high signal strengths are used to make an accurate determination of the shape of the echo spectrum in the two orthogonal senses of circular polarization. The narrow-band component is used to place constraints on the size, rotation, period, reflectivity, and roughness of the nucleus. Detailed analysis of the broadband component yields estimates of, or bounds on, the spatial extent, position, and mass of the particle cloud, as well as the effective size of the constituent particles. 41 references

  14. Dust photometry in the near nucleus region of comet Halley

    Szegoe, K.; Szatmary, Z.; Kondor, A.; Merenyi, E.; Toth, I.; Smith, B.A.


    The dust-jet radial brightness has been analyzed along jet cores on images taken by the tv experiment aboard VEGA 2 spacecraft, during the close encounter with comet Halley in 1986 March. Applying the RFIT code for fitting the data obtained it was shown that there is a breakpoint in the radial brightness distribution which occurs at about 40 km above the surface. These results are interpreted as consequences of the heat shock induced disintegration of dust particles as they are ejected into the near-nucleus environment. (R.P.) 22 refs.; 4 tabs

  15. Infrared color gradient in the inner coma of Comet Halley

    Campins, H.; Rieke, M.J.; Rieke, G.H.


    A well-defined gradient is noted in the J-H and H-K colors of near-IR images obtained for Comet Halley in November, 1985, within about 8000 km of the nucleus; the bluest colors are at the photocenter, in conjunction with surface brightness profiles that are steeper than those expected. The color gradient and the brightness profiles are both explainable by the present analysis in terms of the presence of volatile, dirty-ice grains in the inner coma. An outburst of Rayleigh-scattering dust particles (unsupported by spacecraft measurements obtained to date) may also account for the observational data. 27 references

  16. Radiochemistry Results from the IER-163 COMET Irradiation

    Jackman, Kevin R. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bredeweg, Todd Allen [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Schake, Ann R. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Oldham, Warren J. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bounds, John Alan [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Sanchez, Rene Gerardo [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Attrep, Moses [C-NR: NUCLEAR & RADIOCHEMISTRY; Rundberg, Robert S. [Los Alamos National Laboratory


    The COMET assembly at the National Criticality Experiments Research Center (NCERC) at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) was used to irradiate twelve foils in September 2011. The intention of this irradiation was to measure 'peak yield' fission product activities, activation products, and so-called 'endpoint R values' for different foil materials in a non-thermal neutron spectrum. After irradiation, several of the foils were shipped to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for radiochemical analysis. The results from the non-destructive and radiochemical analyses of six of these foils are presented.

  17. First spacecraft observations of energetic particles near comet Halley

    Somogyi, A.J.; Szegoe, K.; Gringauz, K.I.


    The TUENDE-M energetic particle instrument on board of VEGA-1 detected intense fluxes of energetic (>- 40 keV) ions in the vicinity of comet Halley, at a distance of 10sup(7) km. Three regions of different ion characteristics were identified. An outer region at several 10sup(6) km contains pick up ions in the solar wind. A second region of an extent of several 10sup(5) km inside the bow shock contains the most intense fluxes, whereas the innermost region of 10sup(4) km is characterized by lower intensities and sharp spikes around closest approach (8900 km from the nucleus). (author)

  18. Scandinavian links

    Matthiessen, Christian Wichmann; Knowles, Richard D.


    are impressive mega structures spanning international waterways. These waterways between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea have played major roles in history. The length of each of the crossings are around 20 km. The fixed links closes gaps between the Scandinavian and European motorway and rail networks...

  19. International Halley watch amateur observers' manual for scientific comet studies. Part 1: Methods

    Edberg, S. J.


    The International Halley Watch is described as well as comets and observing techniques. Information on periodic Comet Halley's apparition for its 1986 perihelion passage is provided. Instructions are given for observation projects valuable to the International Halley Watch in six areas of study: (1) visual observations; (2) photography; (3) astrometry; (4) spectroscopic observations; (5) photoelectric photometry; and (6) meteor observations.

  20. Periodic Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 Collides with Jupiter. Background Material for Science Teachers.

    Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA.

    In July of 1994, fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy collided with Jupiter. This document has been provided to better inform students of the work that will be done by scientists and others involved in the study of this event. This document offers some background material on Jupiter, comets, what has and possibly will happen, and how scientists…

  1. Direct Characterization of Comets and Asteroids via Cosmic Dust Analysis from the Deep Space Gateway

    Fries, M.; Fisher, K.


    The Deep Space Gateway can allow direct analysis of dust from over a dozen comets, using an instrument similar to the successful Cassini Dust Analyzer (CDA). Long-term measurements are preferred. Compositions of over a dozen asteroids and comets can be obtained.

  2. Assessment of gamma ray-induced DNA damage in Lasioderma serricorne using the comet assay

    Kameya, Hiromi; Miyanoshita, Akihiro; Imamura, Taro; Todoriki, Setsuko


    We attempted a DNA comet assay under alkaline conditions to verify the irradiation treatment of pests. Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricius) were chosen as test insects and irradiated with gamma rays from a 60 Co source at 1 kGy. We conducted the comet assay immediately after irradiation and over time for 7 day. Severe DNA fragmentation in L. serricorne cells was observed just after irradiation and the damage was repaired during the post-irradiation period in a time-dependent manner. The parameters of the comet image analysis were calculated, and the degree of DNA damage and repair were evaluated. Values for the Ratio (a percentage determined by fluorescence in the damaged area to overall luminance, including intact DNA and the damaged area of a comet image) of individual cells showed that no cells in the irradiated group were included in the Ratio<0.1 category, the lowest grade. This finding was observed consistently throughout the 7-day post-irradiation period. We suggest that the Ratio values of individual cells can be used as an index of irradiation history and conclude that the DNA comet assay under alkaline conditions, combined with comet image analysis, can be used to identify irradiation history. - Highlights: ► We investigated the DNA comet assay to verify the irradiation of pests. ► Ratio and Tail Moment were higher in irradiated groups than in the control group. ► The DNA comet assay can be used to identify irradiation history.

  3. Encounter of the Ulysses Spacecraft with the Ion Tail of Comet McNaught

    Neugebauer, M.; Gloeckler, G.; Gosling, J. T.; Rees, A.; Skoug, R.; Goldstein, B. E.; Armstrong, T. P.; Combi, M. R.; Makinen, T.; McComas, D. J.; hide


    Comet McNaught was the brightest comet observed from Earth in the last 40 years. For a period of five days in early 2007 February, four instruments on the Ulysses spacecraft directly measured cometary ions and key properties of the interaction of the comet's ion tail with the high-speed solar wind from the polar regions of the Sun. Because of the record-breaking duration of the encounter, the data are unusually comprehensive. O3(+) ions were detected for the first time in a comet tail, coexisting with singly charged molecular ions with masses in the range 28-35 amu. The presence of magnetic turbulence and of ions with energies up to approximately 200 keV indicate that at a distance of approximately 1.6 AU from the comet nucleus, the ion tail McNaught had not yet reached equilibrium with the surrounding solar wind.

  4. Model for the coma of Comet Halley, based on the Astron ultraviolet spectrophotometry

    Boiarchuk, A.A.; Grinin, V.P.; Petrov, P.P.; Sheikhet, A.I.; Zvereva, A.M.


    The development of a model of the Comet Halley coma from spectral and photometric data is described. Spectra in the 1500-3500 A range and photometric scans at the 3085 A and 2190 A in the (0-0) band of the OH and CO(+) molecules were obtained by the UV telescope of the satellite Astron on December 3, 13, and 23, 1985. Surface-brightness profiles of the coma in the (0-0) band of OH, NH, and CS molecules are derived. The source and formation of these molecules, the lifetime of their radicals, the radial velocity of their parent molecules, and the water-molecule sublimation rate are computed and examined. The basic characteristics of the comet observed from the UV data are compared to the properties of other comets. It is observed that Comet Halley is similar to other large short-period comets. 29 references

  5. A note on the possible origin of comets in an interstellar gas cloud

    Yabushita, S.; Hasegawa, I.


    A possible origin of comets in an interstellar gas cloud is discussed in relation to the two recent results on cometary research. First, among 200 long-period comets whose original incoming orbits were recently calculated, seven have definitely and 14 have probably negative values of 1/a, where 1/a is twice the binding energy (positive a corresponds to an elliptic orbit) with respect to the solar system barycentre. Second, it has been shown how an aggregate of dust grains embedded in an icy matrix of gaseous compounds could form in an interstellar gas cloud, which could be identified with the icy nucleus of a comet. Again, of about 20 comets whose original 1/a values are negative, seven are transformed into future elliptic orbits by planetary perturbation. Thus, a comet which originated in an interstellar cloud could be captured by the solar system

  6. Reliability of plant root comet assay in comparison with human leukocyte comet assay for assessment environmental genotoxic agents.

    Reis, Gabriela Barreto Dos; Andrade-Vieira, Larissa Fonseca; Moraes, Isabella de Campos; César, Pedro Henrique Souza; Marcussi, Silvana; Davide, Lisete Chamma


    Comet assay is an efficient test to detect genotoxic compounds based on observation of DNA damage. The aim of this work was to compare the results obtained from the comet assay in two different type of cells extracted from the root tips from Lactuca sativa L. and human blood. For this, Spent Pot Liner (SPL), and its components (aluminum and fluoride) were applied as toxic agents. SPL is a solid waste generated in industry from the aluminum mining and processing with known toxicity. Three concentrations of all tested solutions were applied and the damages observed were compared to negative and positive controls. It was observed an increase in the frequency of DNA damage for human leukocytes and plant cells, in all treatments. On human leukocytes, SPL induced the highest percentage of damage, with an average of 87.68%. For root tips cells of L. sativa the highest percentage of damage was detected for aluminum (93.89%). Considering the arbitrary units (AU), the average of nuclei with high levels of DNA fragmentation was significant for both cells type evaluated. The tested cells demonstrated equal effectiveness for detection of the genotoxicity induced by the SPL and its chemical components, aluminum and fluoride. Further, using a unique method, the comet assay, we proved that cells from root tips of Lactuca sativa represent a reliable model to detect DNA damage induced by genotoxic pollutants is in agreement of those observed in human leukocytes as model. So far, plant cells may be suggested as important system to assess the toxicological risk of environmental agents. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Characterizing Outbursts and Nucleus Properties of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1

    Fernandez, Yanga


    Today's comets are remnant bodies leftover from the era of planet formation in our own Solar System. Therefore characterizing cometary structure and composition can give clues to the thermal, physical, and chemical environment of the protoplanetary disk. However before this long-term 'holy grail' of planetary astronomy can be achieved, we must understand cometary evolution so that we can know how comets have changed since their formation. The phenomenon of cometary activity, where a porous matrix of icy and rocky material turns into the gases and the dust grains we see in a comet's coma, remains a poorly-understood puzzle of short-term cometary evolution. We are in the midst of an ongoing project to understand cometary activity in a particular comet, 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, by taking advantage of existing imaging datasets that show the comet in outburst. Outbursts are useful for constraining the nucleus's spin state and the location of active areas. We propose here to analyze archival WFPC2 images of comet 29P obtained in March 1996 (Cycle 5, Project 5829), spanning 21 hours, that show the comet in outburst. These data are the highest-resolution imaging of this comet ever obtained while it was in outburst. We will analyze the morphology of the comet's dust coma to constrain properties of the nucleus and of the dust grains themselves. Additionally, we will analyze images taken in May 2000 (Cycle 8, Project 8274) that show the comet at its steady-state level of activity but may also allow us to place further constraints on the nucleus's active regions.

  8. Hyperactivity and Dust Composition of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 During the EPOXI Encounter

    Harker, David E.; Woodward, Charles E.; Kelley, Michael S. P.; Wooden, Diane H.


    Short-period comet 103P/Hartley 2 (103P) was the flyby target of the Deep Impact eXtended Investigation on 2010 November 4 UT. This comet has a small hyperactive nucleus, i.e., it has a high water production rate for its surface area. The underlying cause of the hyperactivity is unknown; the relative abundances of volatiles in the coma of 103P are not unusual. However, the dust properties of this comet have not been fully explored. We present four epochs of mid-infrared spectra and images of comet 103P observed from Gemini-South +T-ReCS on 2010 November 5, 7, 21 and December 13 UT, near and after the spacecraft encounter. Comet 103P exhibited a weak 10 μm emission feature ≃1.14 ± 0.01 above the underlying local 10 μm continuum. Thermal dust grain modeling of the spectra shows the grain composition (mineralogy) was dominated by amorphous carbon and amorphous pyroxene with evidence for Mg-rich crystalline olivine. The grain size has a peak grain radius range of a peak ∼ 0.5–0.9 μm. On average, the crystalline silicate mass fraction is ≃0.24, fairly typical of other short-period comets. In contrast, the silicate-to-carbon ratio of ≃0.48–0.64 is lower compared to other short-period comets, which indicates that the flux measured in the 10 μm region of 103P was dominated by amorphous carbon grains. We conclude that the hyperactivity in comet 103P is not revealing dust properties similar to the small grains seen with the Deep Impact experiment on comet 9P/Tempel 1 or from comet C/1995 O1 (Hale–Bopp).


    Aleon, Jerome


    Isotopic fractionation and mixing calculations compared with coupled hydrogen and nitrogen isotopic composition of organic molecules from primitive chondrites, interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), and comets C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) and 81P/Wild2 reveal that meteoritic and cometary organic matter contains three different isotopic components of different origins. (1) A major component of carbonaceous chondrites, IDPs, and comets Hale-Bopp and Wild2 shows correlated H and N isotopic compositions attributable to isotope exchange between an organic matter of solar composition and a reservoir formed by ion-molecule reactions at T 15 N-rich component having identical 15 N and D enrichments relative to the protosolar gas. Temperatures > 100 K deduced from the low D/H ratio and an anti-correlation between the abundance of this component and meteoritic age indicate a late origin in the solar protoplanetary disk. N 2 self-shielding and the non-thermal nucleosynthesis of 15 N upon irradiation are possible but unlikely sources of this component, and a chemical origin is preferred. (3) An interstellar component with highly fractionated hydrogen isotopes and unfractionated nitrogen isotopes is present in ordinary chondrites. A dominantly solar origin of D and 15 N excesses in primitive solar system bodies shows that isotopic anomalies do not necessarily fingerprint an interstellar origin and implies that only a very small fraction of volatile interstellar matter survived the events of solar system formation.


    Lacerda, Pedro [Astrophysics Research Centre, Queen' s University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN (United Kingdom); Jewitt, David, E-mail: [Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), 595 Charles Young Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 (United States)


    On 2007 October 29, the outbursting comet 17P/Holmes passed within 0.''79 of a background star. We recorded the event using optical, narrowband photometry and detect a 3%-4% dip in stellar brightness bracketing the time of closest approach to the comet nucleus. The detected dimming implies an optical depth {tau} Almost-Equal-To 0.04 at 1.''5 from the nucleus and an optical depth toward the nucleus center {tau}{sub n} < 13.3. At the time of our observations, the coma was optically thick only within {rho} {approx}< 0.''01 from the nucleus. By combining the measured extinction and the scattered light from the coma, we estimate a dust red albedo p{sub d} = 0.006 {+-} 0.002 at {alpha} = 16 Degree-Sign phase angle. Our measurements place the most stringent constraints on the extinction optical depth of any cometary coma.

  11. Evaluation of environmental genotoxicity by comet assay in Columba livia.

    González-Acevedo, Anahi; García-Salas, Juan A; Gosálvez, Jaime; Fernández, José Luis; Dávila-Rodríguez, Martha I; Cerda-Flores, Ricardo M; Méndez-López, Luis F; Cortés-Gutiérrez, Elva I


    The concentrations of recognized or suspected genotoxic and carcinogenic agents found in the air of large cities and, in particular, developing countries, have raised concerns about the potential for chronic health effects in the populations exposed to them. The biomonitoring of environmental genotoxicity requires the selection of representative organisms as "sentinels," as well as the development of suitable and sensitive assays, such as those aimed at assessing DNA damage. The aim of this study was to evaluate DNA damage levels in erythrocytes from Columba livia living in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Mexico, compared with control animals via comet assay, and to confirm the results via Micronuclei test (MN) and DNA breakage detection-fluorescence in situ hybridization (DBD-FISH). Our results showed a significant increase in DNA migration in animals from the area assayed compared with that observed in control animals sampled in non-contaminated areas. These results were confirmed by MN test and DBD-FISH. In conclusion, these observations confirm that the examination of erythrocytes from Columba livia via alkaline comet assay provides a sensitive and reliable end point for the detection of environmental genotoxicants.

  12. Identification of irradiated refrigerated pork with the DNA comet assay

    Araujo, M.M. E-mail:; Marin-Huachaca, N.S.; Mancini-Filho, J. E-mail:; Delincee, H.; Villavicencio, A.L.C.H. E-mail:


    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.

  13. Identification of irradiated refrigerated pork with the DNA comet assay

    Araújo, M. M.; Marin-Huachaca, N. S.; Mancini-Filho, J.; Delincée, H.; Villavicencio, A. L. C. H.


    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.

  14. Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) studies of returned comet nucleus samples

    Tsay, Fundow; Kim, S.S.; Liang, R.H.


    The most important objective of the Comet Nucleus Sample Returm Mission is to return samples which could reflect formation conditions and evolutionary processes in the early solar nebula. It is expected that the returned samples will consist of fine-grained silicate materials mixed with ices composed of simple molecules such as H 2 O, NH 3 , CH 4 as well as organics and/or more complex compounds. Because of the exposure to ionizing radiation from cosmic-ray, gamma-ray, and solar wind protons at low temperature, free radicals are expected to be formed and trapped in the solid ice matrices. The kind of trapped radical species together with their concentration and thermal stability can be used as a dosimeter as well as a geothermometer to determine thermal and radiation histories as well as outgassing and other possible alternation effects since the nucleus material was formed. Since free radicals that are known to contain unpaired electrons are all paramagnetic in nature, they can be readily detected and characterized in their native form by the Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) method. In fact, ESR has been shown to be a non-destructive, highly sensitive tool for the detection and characterization of paramagnetic, ferromagnetic, and radiation damage centers in terrestrial and extraterrestrial geological samples. The potential use of ESR as an effective method in the study of returned comet nucleus samples, in particular, in the analysis of fine-grained solid state icy samples is discussed

  15. Genotoxic effects of bismuth (III oxide nanoparticles by comet assay

    Reecep Liman


    Full Text Available Bismuth oxide is one of the important transition metal oxides and it has been intensively studied due to their peculiar characteristics (semiconductor band gap, high refractive index, high dielectric permittivity, high oxygen conductivity, resistivity, photoconductivity and photoluminescence etc.. Therefore, it is used such as microelectronics, sensor technology, optical coatings, transparent ceramic glass manufacturing, nanoenergetic gas generator, biosensor for DNA hybridization, potential immobilizing platforms for glucose oxidase and polyphenol oxidase, fuel cells, a additive in paints, an astringent in a variety of medical creams and topical ointments, and for the determination of heavy metal ions in drinking water, mineral water and urine. In addition this, Bismuth (III oxide nanoparticles (BONPs are favorable for the biomolecules adsorption than regular sized particles because of their greater advantages and novel characteristics (much higher specific surface, greater surface free energy, and good electrochemical stability etc.. Genotoxic effects of BONPs were investigated on the root cells of Allium cepa by Comet assay. A. cepa roots were treated with the aqueous dispersions of BONPs at 5 different concentrations (12.5, 25, 50, 75, and 100 ppm for 4 h. A significant increase in DNA damage was also observed at all concentrations of BONPs except 12.5 ppm by Comet assay. The results were also analyzed statistically by using SPSS for Windows; Duncan’s multiple range test was performed. These result indicate that BONPs exhibit genotoxic activity in A. cepa root meristematic cells.

  16. Mid-IR Spectra of Refractory Minerals Relevant to Comets

    Jauhari, Shekeab


    On 4 July 2005 the Spitzer Space Telescope obtained mid-IR ( 5-40 µm) spectra of the ejecta from the hypervelocity impact of the Deep Impact projectile with comet 9P/Tempel 1. Spectral modeling demonstrates that there are abundant minerals present in the ejecta including Ca/Fe/Mg-rich silicates, carbonates, phyllosilicates, water ice, amorphous carbon, and sulfides [1]. However, precise mineralogical identifications are hampered by the lack of comprehensive 5 - 40 µm spectral measurements of the emissivity for a broad compositional range of these materials. Here, we present our initial results for 2 - 50 µm transmission spectra and absorption constants for materials relevant to comets, including pyrrhotite, pyrite, and several phyllosilicate (clay) minerals. Measuring the transmission of materials over the full spectral range sensitive by Spitzer requires grinding the minerals into submicron powders and then mixing them with KBr (for the 1-25 um region) and polyethylene (16-50 um region) to form pellets. Transmission measurements of sub-micron sulfides are particularly difficult to obtain because the minerals oxidize rapidly upon grinding and subsequent handling unless special care is taken. A detailed description of our sample preparation and measurement technique will be provided to assist other researchers in their attempts to acquire similar spectra. References: [1] Lisse, C.M. et al., Science 313, 635 - 640 (2006)

  17. Drosophila comet assay: insights, uses, and future perspectives

    Gaivão, Isabel; Sierra, L. María


    The comet assay, a very useful tool in genotoxicity and DNA repair testing, is being applied to Drosophila melanogaster since around 15 years ago, by several research groups. This organism is a valuable model for all kind of processes related to human health, including DNA damage response. The assay has been performed mainly in vivo using different larvae cell types (from brain, midgut, hemolymph, and imaginal disk), but also in vitro with the S2 cell line. Since its first application, it has been used to analyze the genotoxicity and action mechanisms of different chemicals, demonstrating good sensitivity and proving its usefulness. Moreover, it is the only assay that can be used to analyze DNA repair in somatic cells in vivo, comparing the effects of chemicals in different repair strains, and to quantitate repair activities in vitro. Additionally, the comet assay in Drosophila, in vivo and in vitro, has been applied to study the influence of protein overexpression on genome integrity and degradation. Although the assay is well established, it could benefit from some research to determine optimal experimental design to standardize it, and then to allow comparisons among laboratories independently of the chosen cell type. PMID:25221574

  18. The COMET method in 3-D hexagonal geometry

    Connolly, K. J.; Rahnema, F.


    The hybrid stochastic-deterministic coarse mesh radiation transport (COMET) method developed at Georgia Tech now solves reactor core problems in 3-D hexagonal geometry. In this paper, the method is used to solve three preliminary test problems designed to challenge the method with steep flux gradients, high leakage, and strong asymmetry and heterogeneity in the core. The test problems are composed of blocks taken from a high temperature test reactor benchmark problem. As the method is still in development, these problems and their results are strictly preliminary. Results are compared to whole core Monte Carlo reference solutions in order to verify the method. Relative errors are on the order of 50 pcm in core eigenvalue, and mean relative error in pin fission density calculations is less than 1% in these difficult test cores. The method requires the one-time pre-computation of a response expansion coefficient library, which may be compiled in a comparable amount of time to a single whole core Monte Carlo calculation. After the library has been computed, COMET may solve any number of core configurations on the order of an hour, representing a significant gain in efficiency over other methods for whole core transport calculations. (authors)

  19. Comet assay for rapid detection of base damage in foods

    Al-Zubaidi, I. A.; Abdullah, T. S.; Qasim, S. R.


    Single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) or comet assay technique a sensitive, reliable and rapid method for DNA double and single strand break, alkali- labile site and delayed repair site detection in individual cells. In recent years, this method has been widely used for studies of DNA repair, genetic toxicology, and environmental biomontoring, however, this technique serves as an important tool for detection of DNA damage in living organism and is increasing being used in genetic testing of industrial chemicals, environmental agent's contaminations. This research paper helps to evaluate the oxidant agent's effects of exposure to organic pollutants by using comet assay techniques. This study used five samples of each food sample (Meat, Chicken, Rice, Fruits, Vegetables and Tea) to evaluate the genotoxic effects of exposure, to environmental agent's pollutants. The experimental data suggest that the DNA damage parameters ( Tail length, Tail width 1 ) were found higher value in exposed population when compared with the ratio of the length to width that cells exhibiting no migration having a ratio of 1. The percentage and distribution of cells in exposed population of cells also increases with the increase in values. This study demonstrates that, using sensitive techniques, it is possible to detect environmental agent's risks at an early stage. (Author)

  20. Optical polarimetry of Comet NEAT C/2001 Q4

    Ganesh, S.; Joshi, U. C.; Baliyan, K. S.


    Comet NEAT C/2001 Q4 was observed for linear polarization using the optical polarimeter mounted at the 1.2 m telescope at Mt. Abu Observatory, during the months of May and June 2004. Observations were conducted through the International Halley Watch narrow band (continuum) and BVR broad band filters. During the observing run the phase angle ranged from 85.6° in May to 55° in June. As expected, polarization increases with wavelength in this phase angle range. Polarization colour in the narrow bands changes at different epochs, perhaps related to cometary activity or molecular emission contamination. The polarization was also measured in the cometary coma at different locations along a line, in the direction of the tail. As expected, we notice minor decrease in the polarization as photocenter (nucleus) is traversed while brightness decreases sharply away from it. Based on these polarization observations we infer that the Comet NEAT C/2001 Q4 has high polarization and a typical grain composition—mixture of silicates and organics.

  1. VLA limits for comets Austin (1982 VI) and P/Crommelin (1983n) - evidence for a diffuse OH halo

    Schenewerk, M.S.; Palmer, P.; Snyder, L.E.; De Pater, I.; Chicago Univ., IL; Illinois Univ., Urbana; California Univ., Berkeley)


    Unsuccessful searches of Comet Austin (1982 VI = 1982g) and Comet P/Crommelin (1983n) for 18 cm wavelength OH emission or absorption and for continuum emission have been made with the VLA. The results of the OH searches of both comets and the 2 cm wavelength continuum search for Comet P/Crommelin are given here. The detection of OH emission and absorption in both comets with single-element telescopes and the nondetection of OH with the VLA are interpreted as evidence for a diffuse OH halo. The nondetection of continuum emission supports the growing body of observational evidence against the conventional icy-grain halo theory. 20 references

  2. The origin of Halley-type comets: probing the inner Oort cloud

    Levison, H.; Dones, L.; Duncan, M.


    We have integrated the orbits of 27,700 test particles initially entering the planetary system from the Oort cloud in order to study the origin of Halley-type comets (HTCs). We included the gravitational influence of the Sun, giant planets, passing stars, and galactic tides. We find that an isotropically distributed Oort cloud does not reproduce the observed orbital element distribution of the HTCs. In order to match the observations, the initial inclination distribution of the progenitors of the HTCs must be similar to the observed HTC inclination distribution. We can match the observations with an Oort cloud that consists of an isotropic outer cloud and a disk-like massive inner cloud. These idealized two-component models have inner disks with median inclinations that range from 10 to 50o. This analysis represents the first link between observations and the structure of the inner Oort cloud. HFL and LD gratefully acknowledges grants provided by the NASA Origins of Solar Systems and Planetary Geology and Geophysics Programs. MJD is grateful for the continuing financial support of the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and for financial support for work done inthe U.S.from NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Programs.

  3. Getting together in deep space - The Rosetta space probe's long trek to Comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko


    2005, 2007 and 2008) to pick up speed. Asteroids for company A change is as good as a rest, and a meeting with at least one asteroid should help break the monotony for Rosetta. The spacecraft will come close to an asteroid at the end of 2008. Asteroids are, it will be remembered, rocky bodies, some as large as mountains, some even larger, that orbit the Sun in much the same way as planets. “These ‘brief encounters’ are a scientific opportunity and also a chance to test Rosetta’s instrument payload,” says Gerhard Schwehm. But asteroid exploration also serves an entirely practical purpose: “The more we find out about them, the better the prospect of being able one day to avert a possible collision.” Following a period of low-activity cruising, the probe’s course will be adjusted one last time in May 2011. From July 2011, a further two-and-a-half years' radio silence will be observed, and Rosetta, left entirely to its own resources, will fly close to the Jupiter orbit. Link-up in 2014 Finally, in January 2014, the probe will be reactivated and will, by October 2014, be only a few kilometres distant from Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This is where the dream of so many scientists becomes reality. Having deposited its precious lander cargo on the comet’s surface, Rosetta will continue to orbit Churyumov-Gerasimenko and together they will spend the next seventeen months flying towards the Sun. Rosetta was built by an international consortium led by Astrium. The lander probe was developed in Cologne under the aegis of the DLR, Germany’s space agency, with contributions from ESA and research centres in Austria, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and Great Britain. The comet explorer carries ten scientific instruments. Their job is to draw out the secrets of the comet’s chemical and physical composition and reveal its magnetic and electrical properties. Using a specially designed camera, the lander will take pictures in the macro and micro ranges and send

  4. Inverting Comet Acoustic Surface Sounding Experiment (CASSE) touchdown signals to measure the elastic modulus of comet material

    Arnold, W.; Faber, C.; Knapmeyer, M.; Witte, L.; Schröder, S.; Tune, J.; Möhlmann, D.; Roll, R.; Chares, B.; Fischer, H.; Seidensticker, K.


    The landing of Philae on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is scheduled for November 11, 2014. Each of the three landing feet of Philae house a triaxial acceleration sensor of CASSE, which will thus be the first sensors to be in mechanical contact with the cometary surface. CASSE will be in listening mode to record the deceleration of the lander, when it impacts with the comet at a velocity of approx. 0.5 m/s. The analysis of this data yields information on the reduced elastic modulus and the yield stress of the comet's surface material. We describe a series of controlled landings of a lander model. The tests were conducted in the Landing & Mobility Test Facility (LAMA) of the DLR Institute of Space Systems in Bremen, Germany, where an industrial robot can be programmed to move landers or rovers along predefined paths, allowing to adapt landing procedures with predefined velocities. The qualification model of the Philae landing gear was used in the tests. It consists of three legs manufactured of carbon fiber and metal joints. A dead mass of the size and mass of the lander housing is attached via a damper above the landing gear to represent the lander structure as a whole. Attached to each leg is a foot with two soles and a mechanically driven fixation screw (''ice screw'') to secure the lander on the comet. The right soles, if viewed from the outside towards the lander body, house a Brüel & Kjaer DeltaTron 4506 triaxial piezoelectric accelerometer as used on the spacecraft. Orientation of the three axes was such that one of the axes, here the X-axis of the accelerometer, points downwards, while the Y- and Z-axes are horizontal. Data were recorded at a sampling rate of 8.2 kHz within a time gate of 2 s. In parallel, a video sequence was taken, in order to monitor the touchdown on the sand and the movement of the ice screws. Touchdown measurements were conducted on three types of ground with landing velocities between 0.1 to 1.1 m/s. Landings with low velocities were

  5. Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in type-1 comet tails and associated phenomena

    Ershkovich, A.I.


    Selected problems of the solar wind - comet tail coupling that are currently accessible to quantitative analysis are reviewed. The model of a comet tail as a plasma cylinder separated by a tangential discontinuity surface from the solar wind is discussed in detail. This model is compatible with the well-known Alfven mechanism of formation of the comet tail. The stability problem of the comet tail boundary (considered as a discontinuity surface) is solved. Under typical conditions a comet tail boundary can undergo the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability. With finite amplitude the stabilizing effect of the magnetic field increases, and waves become stabilized. This model supplies a detailed quantitative description of helical waves observed in type-1 comet tails. A more general model of the tail boundary as a transition layer with a continuous change of the plasma parameters within it is also considered. This theory, in principle, enables us to solve one of the fundamental problems of cometary physics: the magnetic field of the comet tail can be derived from the observations of helical waves. This field turns out to be of the order of the interplanetary field. Various other considerations, discussed in this review also support this conclusion. (orig.)

  6. Blazing a ghostly trail ISON and great comets of the past and future

    Grego, Peter


    A special celestial event climaxes towards the end of 2013, the arrival, fresh from the Oort Cloud, of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON). By all predictions, this comet was set to be one of the most dazzling comets seen in modern history.   Sky watchers will have already been primed for C/2012 (ISON) earlier in 2013 with the apparition of another naked-eye comet, C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS), and following C/2012 S1 (ISON) there is the prospect of 2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) reaching naked-eye visibility in August 2014. And there will be other bright cometary prospects in the near future, if we take into account the latest predictions.   This book sets the scene for the arrival of Comet C/2012 S1 and those comets following it over the next few years. It explains how sky watchers and amateur astronomers can practically follow comets, observe them, and record them. This is also a guide on how to keep abreast of the latest cometary discoveries and how to use publications, websites, programs, and apps to visualize and plan observations....

  7. Comet assay optimization for assessment of DNA damage due to radiation exposure

    Dwi Ramadhani; Devita Tetriana; Viria Agesti Suvifan


    Comet assay can be used to measure the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage level caused by ionizing radiation exposure in peripheral blood lymphocytes. The principle of the comet assay is based on the amount of denatured DNA fragments that migrated out of the cell nucleus during electrophoresis. There are several aspects that must be concerned when doing the comet assay. For example the agarose concentration, duration of alkaline incubation, electrophoresis conditions (time, temperature, and voltage gradient), and the measurement parameters that used in analyze the comet. Percentage of DNA in the comet tail (% tail DNA) is strongly recommended as a parameter when analyze the comet because it can be converted to lesions per 106 base pairs (bp) using calibration curve that show relationship between the dose of ionizing radiation and % tail DNA. To obtain an accurate result, the calibration curve must be made and comet should be analyzing using image processing analysis software since it can be increase the precision and reduce the subjectivity of the measurement process. (author)

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

    Bajpayee, Mahima; Kumar, Ashutosh; Dhawan, Alok


    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.

  9. Disruption of microtubule network rescues aberrant actin comets in dynamin2-depleted cells.

    Yuji Henmi

    Full Text Available A large GTPase dynamin, which is required for endocytic vesicle formation, regulates the actin cytoskeleton through its interaction with cortactin. Dynamin2 mutants impair the formation of actin comets, which are induced by Listeria monocytogenes or phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 5-kinase. However, the role of dynamin2 in the regulation of the actin comet is still unclear. Here we show that aberrant actin comets in dynamin2-depleted cells were rescued by disrupting of microtubule networks. Depletion of dynamin2, but not cortactin, significantly reduced the length and the speed of actin comets induced by Listeria. This implies that dynamin2 may regulate the actin comet in a cortactin-independent manner. As dynamin regulates microtubules, we investigated whether perturbation of microtubules would rescue actin comet formation in dynamin2-depleted cells. Treatment with taxol or colchicine created a microtubule-free space in the cytoplasm, and made no difference between control and dynamin2 siRNA cells. This suggests that the alteration of microtubules by dynamin2 depletion reduced the length and the speed of the actin comet.

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

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


    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. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Use of statistical analysis to validate ecogenotoxicology findings arising from various comet assay components.

    Hussain, Bilal; Sultana, Tayyaba; Sultana, Salma; Al-Ghanim, Khalid Abdullah; Masoud, Muhammad Shahreef; Mahboob, Shahid


    Cirrhinus mrigala, Labeo rohita, and Catla catla are economically important fish for human consumption in Pakistan, but industrial and sewage pollution has drastically reduced their population in the River Chenab. Statistics are an important tool to analyze and interpret comet assay results. The specific aims of the study were to determine the DNA damage in Cirrhinus mrigala, Labeo rohita, and Catla catla due to chemical pollution and to assess the validity of statistical analyses to determine the viability of the comet assay for a possible use with these freshwater fish species as a good indicator of pollution load and habitat degradation. Comet assay results indicated a significant (P comet head diameter, comet tail length, and % DNA damage. Regression analysis and correlation matrices conducted among the parameters of the comet assay affirmed the precision and the legitimacy of the results. The present study, therefore, strongly recommends that genotoxicological studies conduct appropriate analysis of the various components of comet assays to offer better interpretation of the assay data.

  12. Application of the DNA comet assay for detection of irradiated meat

    Kruszewski, M.; Iwanenko, T.; Wojewodzka, M.; Malec-Czechowska, K.; Dancewicz, A. M.; Szot, Z.


    Radiation induces damage to the DNA. This damage (fragmentation) can be assessed in the irradiated food using Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis (SCGE), known as DNA comet assay. Fragmentation of DNA may also be caused by improper storage of meat and repeated freezing and thawing. This makes identification of irradiated meat by this assay not reliable enough. In order to know the scale of the processes imitating radiation effects in DNA of the comets, their shape and lengths were examined in both irradiated and unirradiated fresh meat (D = 1.5 or 3.0 kGy) stored at 4 o C or frozen (-21 o ) up to 5 months. Comets formed upon SCGE were stained with DAPI or silver and examined in fluorescent or light microscope. They were divided arbitrarily into 4 classes. Comets of IV class were found quite often in fresh meat stored at 4 o C. In meat samples that were irradiated and stored frozen, comets of class I, II and III were observed. The negative comet test is univocal. Positive comet test, however, needs confirmation. The meat should be subjected to further analysis with other validated methods. (author)

  13. Observations of faint comets at McDonald Observatory: 1978-1980

    Barker, E. S.; Cochran, A. L.; Rybski, P. M.


    Modern observational techniques, developed for spectroscopy and photometry of faint galaxies and quasars, successfully applied to faint comets on the 2.7 m telescope. The periodic comets Van Biesbrock, Ashbrook-Jackson, Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, Tempel 2, Encke, Forbes, Brooks 2, Stephan-Oterma and the new comets Bradfield (19791), Bowell (1980b), Chernis-Petrauskas (1980k) were observed. The comets ranged in magnitude from 10th to 20th magnitude. For comets fainter than 19th magnitude, reflectance spectra at 100A resolution and area photometry were obtained. On comets of 17th or 18th magnitude, spectrometric scans (6A resolution) of the nucleus or inner coma region. On those comets which are brighter than 16th magnitude spatial spectrophotometric (6A resolution) studies of the inner and extended comae were done. An extensive spatial study of the comae of P/Encke and P/Stephen-Oterma, correlated with heliocentric distance is taking place. The observing process used is described and examples of the results obtained to date are discussed.

  14. The development and validation of EpiComet-Chip, a modified high-throughput comet assay for the assessment of DNA methylation status.

    Townsend, Todd A; Parrish, Marcus C; Engelward, Bevin P; Manjanatha, Mugimane G


    DNA damage and alterations in global DNA methylation status are associated with multiple human diseases and are frequently correlated with clinically relevant information. Therefore, assessing DNA damage and epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, is critical for predicting human exposure risk of pharmacological and biological agents. We previously developed a higher-throughput platform for the single cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay, CometChip, to assess DNA damage and genotoxic potential. Here, we utilized the methylation-dependent endonuclease, McrBC, to develop a modified alkaline comet assay, "EpiComet," which allows single platform evaluation of genotoxicity and global DNA methylation [5-methylcytosine (5-mC)] status of single-cell populations under user-defined conditions. Further, we leveraged the CometChip platform to create an EpiComet-Chip system capable of performing quantification across simultaneous exposure protocols to enable unprecedented speed and simplicity. This system detected global methylation alterations in response to exposures which included chemotherapeutic and environmental agents. Using EpiComet-Chip on 63 matched samples, we correctly identified single-sample hypermethylation (≥1.5-fold) at 87% (20/23), hypomethylation (≥1.25-fold) at 100% (9/9), with a 4% (2/54) false-negative rate (FNR), and 10% (4/40) false-positive rate (FPR). Using a more stringent threshold to define hypermethylation (≥1.75-fold) allowed us to correctly identify 94% of hypermethylation (17/18), but increased our FPR to 16% (7/45). The successful application of this novel technology will aid hazard identification and risk characterization of FDA-regulated products, while providing utility for investigating epigenetic modes of action of agents in target organs, as the assay is amenable to cultured cells or nucleated cells from any tissue. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 58:508-521, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Water ice grains in comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina)

    Protopapa, Silvia; Kelley, Michael S. P.; Yang, Bin; Woodward, Charles E.; Sunshine, Jessica M.


    Knowledge of the the physical properties of water ice in cometary nuclei is critical in determining how the Solar System was formed. While it is difficult to directly study the properties of water ice in comet nuclei, we can study comet interiors through their comae. Cometary activity makes the interiors of these objects available for characterization. However, the properties (grain size, abundance, purity, chemical state) of water-ice grains detected in the coma do not necessarily represent the characteristics of the water ice on the surface and/or in the interior of the nucleus. This is due to the potential physical and chemical evolution of the emitted material. Once in the coma, water-ice grains are heated by sunlight, and if temperatures are warm enough, they sublime. In this case, their sizes and potentially their ice-to-dust fractions are reduced.We present IRTF/SpeX measurements of the Oort cloud comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina), which reached perihelion in Nov 2015 at a heliocentric distance Rh=0.822 AU. Observations of US10 were acquired on UT 2014-08-13, 2016-01-12, and 2016-08-13 (Rh=5.9, 1.3, and 3.9 AU). This set of measurements, spanning a broad range in Rh, are rare and fundamental for estimating how ice grains evolve in the coma. The spectrum obtained close to perihelion is featureless and red sloped, which is consistent with a dust-dominated coma. Conversely, the spectra acquired on August 2014 and 2016 display neutral slopes and absorption bands at 1.5 and 2.0 μm, consistent with the presence of water-ice grains. These variations in water ice with heliocentric distance are correlated with sublimation rates. Additionally, the measurements obtained at 5.8 AU and 3.9 AU are nearly identical, suggesting that water-ice grains, once in the coma, do not sublime significantly. Therefore, the properties of these long-lived water-ice grains may represent their state in the nucleus or immediately after insertion into the coma. We will present radiative

  16. C/2013 P2 Pan STARRS - The Manx Comet

    Meech, Karen J.; Yang, Bin; Keane, Jacqueline; Hainaut, Olivier; Kleyna, Jan; Hsieh, Henry; Bauer, James; Wainscoat, Richard; Veres, Peter


    On Aug 4, 2013 an apparently asteroidal object was discovered by the Pan STARRS1 (PS1) survey telescope on Haleakala at magnitude 20.4 (corresponding to a nucleus radius between 1.4-2.9 km for albedos between 0.25-0.04). PS1 pre-recovery images taken on July 26 and on Aug. 3 allowed a good orbit to be determined. The orbit looks like that of a long-period comet with a semi major axis of 2720 AU and an eccentricity of 0.999. Shortly following the discovery, reports from small telescopes came in that there was low level activity associated with this object (at r = 3.45 AU), and the object was designated P/2013 P2 (Pan STARRS). The activity was not seen in images obtained with PS1, the Faulkes N telescope or the CFHT 3.6m, however the object was passing through a region of significant nebulosity. Deep images obtained on the CFHT on Aug. 8 and follow up images obtained with the Gemini North 8m telescope on Sep. 9 showed a very faint tail extending a few arcsec to PA=45 deg (inconsistent with the earlier reports). The object was observed using several facilities up until solar conjunction, and again after perihelion (Feb. 17, 2014) in March, with little increase in activity. A search of the NEOWISE archives show no detection during the cryogenic and immediate pos-cryogenic phases, so we can only place an upper limit on the nucleus size from these data. An object on a long-period comet orbit at this heliocentric distance typically should be very active, and our team hypothesized that this could either be a nearly-extinct comet or possibly inner solar system material ejected to the outer solar system during planet migration as predicted by various dynamical models. To distinguish between these scenarios, we obtained both optical and near-IR spectra of P/2013 P2 on 2014 May 7 and 21, when the object was at r=2.97 and 2.99 AU, respectively. Initial reductions show no emission lines. We will report on our spectra and imaging data, and discuss the implications for the origin

  17. Observational Evidence For The Comet-Like Heliosphere

    Bzowski, M.; Czechowski, A.; Funsten, H. O.; Grygorczuk, J.; Heerikhuisen, J.; Kubiak, M. A.; Moebius, E.; McComas, D. J.; Schwadron, N.; Sokol, J. M.; Swaczyna, P.; Zirnstein, E.


    The shape of the heliosphere is a subject of ongoing debate. The traditional comet-like image has recently been challenged by ideas of croissant- or bubble-like forms. Here we seek to resolve this debate by confronting available observational evidence with global modeling. Several MHD models of a comet-like heliosphere were used to simulate the radius and center of the IBEX Ribbon to fit the direction and intensity of the interstellar magnetic field (ISMF). These models assumed the secondary ENA emission mechanism, which was recently strengthened due to direct measurement of the distance to the Ribbon source most likely just beyond the heliopause. The same mechanism explains the dependence of the Ribbon center position on energy due to the latitudinal structure of solar wind. The obtained ISMF vector agrees among these models and is consistent with the draped IMF measured by Voyager. Independently, we have shown by modeling that the Warm Breeze discovered by IBEX is naturally created in the outer heliosheath due to charge-exchange between interstellar He+ ions and He atoms. Now we simulate the Warm Breeze for various directions and intensities of the local IMF and we find that the simulation results are in best agreement with IBEX observations for the IMF vector obtained from the above-mentioned Ribbon analyses and Voyager measurements. These arguments, along with the co-planarity of the inflow directions of interstellar neutral H, He, O, and the Warm Breeze, directions of the Ribbon center and ISMF, as well as measurements of the plasma flow directions in the IHS by Voyager 2 indicate the existence of a common plane of approximate mirror symmetry of the heliosphere, defined by the directions of ISMF and the Sun's motion through the local interstellar medium. This suggests that the global structure of the outer heliosphere mostly results from the conditions in the local interstellar medium and the Sun's velocity. This evidence, obtained from very different

  18. Comet 169P/NEAT(=2002EX12): More Dead Than Alive

    Kasuga, T.; Balam, D. D.; Wiegert, P. A.


    The Jupiter family comet 169P/NEAT (previously known as asteroid 2002 EX12) has a dynamical association with the ?-Capriconid meteoroid stream. In this paper, we present photometric observations of comet 169P/NEAT to further investigate the physical characters of its disintegration state related to the stream. The comet shows a point-like surface brightness profile limiting contamination due to coma emission at ˜ 4% at most, indicating no evidence of outgassing. An upper limit on the fraction of the surface that could be sublimating water ice of disintegration of the parent at every return.

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

    Gunnar Brunborg


    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

  20. Interception of comets and asteroids on collision course with earth

    Solem, J.C.


    I derive expressions for the weight and range of applicability of interceptors capable of deflecting a comet or asteroid on collision course with Earth. The expressions use a fairly general relationship between the energy deposited and the mass of material blown off the astral assailant. To assess the probability that the astral assailant will fracture, I also calculate the fraction of the astral assailant`s mass that will be blown off. The interaction is calculated for both kinetic-energy deflection and nuclear-explosive deflection. In the nuclear-explosive case, I calculate the interceptor mass and cratering effect for detonations above the surface and below the surface as well as directly on the surface of the astral assailant. Because the wide range of densities and material properties that the astral assailant may possess, the principal value of this work is to show the relationships among the salient parameters of the problem.

  1. Spectrophotometry of comets Giacobini-Zinner and Halley

    Tegler, S.C.; O'dell, C.R.


    Optical window spectrophotometry was performed on comets Giacobini-Zinner and Halley over the interval 300-1000 nm. Band and band-sequence fluxes were obtained for the brightest features of OH, CN, NH, and C2, special care having been given to determinations of extinction, instrumental sensitivities, and corrections for Fraunhofer lines. C2 Swan band-sequence flux ratios were determined with unprecedented accuracy and compared with the predictions of the detailed equilibrium models of Krishna Swamy et al. (1977, 1979, 1981, and 1987). It is found that these band sequences do not agree with the predictions, which calls into question the assumptions made in deriving the model, namely resonance fluorescence statistical equilibrium. Suggestions are made as to how to resolve this discrepancy. 16 references

  2. Spatially resolved spectrophotometry of Comet P/Stephan-Oterma

    Cochran, A. L.; Barker, E. S.


    Observations of Comet P/Stephan-Oterma were made with an Intensified Dissector Scanner spectrograph on the McDonald Observatory 2.7-m telescope during the period from July 1980 to February 1981. These spectra cover a range of heliocentric distances from 2.3 AU preperihelion to 1.8 AU postperihelion. A small aperture was used to map the spatial distributions of the gases in the coma. Column densities of the observed cometary emissions (CN, C3, CH, and C2) were calculated, and it is shown that Stephan-Oterma appeared nearly spherically symmetric. These date are used by Cochran (1985) to constrain chemical models of Stephan-Oterma.

  3. Spectrophotometry of comets Giacobini-Zinner and Halley

    Tegler, Stephen C.; O'Dell, C. R.


    Optical window spectrophotometry was performed on comets Giacobini-Zinner and Halley over the interval 300-1000 nm. Band and band-sequence fluxes were obtained for the brightest features of OH, CN, NH, and C2, special care having been given to determinations of extinction, instrumental sensitivities, and corrections for Fraunhofer lines. C2 Swan band-sequence flux ratios were determined with unprecedented accuracy and compared with the predictions of the detailed equilibrium models of Krishna Swamy et al. (1977, 1979, 1981, and 1987). It is found that these band sequences do not agree with the predictions, which calls into question the assumptions made in deriving the model, namely resonance fluorescence statistical equilibrium. Suggestions are made as to how to resolve this discrepancy.

  4. Airborne spectrophotometry of Comet Halley from 5 to 9 microns

    Campins, H.; Bregman, J. D.; Witteborn, F. C.; Wooden, D. H.; Rank, D. M.; Cohen, M.; Allamandola, Louis J.; Tielens, Alexander G. G. M.


    Spectrophotometry from 5 to 9 microns (resolution = 0.02) of comet Halley was obtained from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory on 1985 Dec. 12.1 and 1986 April 8.6 and 10.5 UT. Two spectral features are apparent in all the observations, one from 5.24 to 5.6 microns, and the silicate emission feature which has an onset between 7 and 8 microns. There is no evidence for the 7.5 microns feature observed by the Vega 1 spacecraft; the large difference between the areal coverage viewed from the spacecraft and the airplane may explain the discrepancy. Color temperatures significantly higher than a blackbody indicate that small particles are abundant in the coma. Significant spatial and temporal variations in the spectrum show trends similar to those observed from the ground.

  5. Optical design of the comet Shoemaker-Levy speckle camera

    Bissinger, H. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)


    An optical design is presented in which the Lick 3 meter telescope and a bare CCD speckle camera system was used to image the collision sites of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet with the Planet Jupiter. The brief overview includes of the optical constraints and system layout. The choice of a Risley prism combination to compensate for the time dependent atmospheric chromatic changes are described. Plate scale and signal-to-noise ratio curves resulting from imaging reference stars are compared with theory. Comparisons between un-corrected and reconstructed images of Jupiter`s impact sites. The results confirm that speckle imaging techniques can be used over an extended time period to provide a method to image large extended objects.

  6. Dawn of small worlds dwarf planets, asteroids, comets

    Moltenbrey, Michael


    This book gives a detailed introduction to the thousands and thousands of smaller bodies in the solar system. Written for interested laymen, amateur astronomers and students it describes the nature and origin of asteroids, dwarf planets and comets, and gives detailed information about their role in the solar system. The author nicely reviews the history of small-world-exploration and describes past, current and future space craft missions studying small worlds, and presents their results. Readers will learn that small solar system worlds have a dramatically different nature and appearance than the planets. Even though research activity on small worlds has increased in the recent past many of their properties are still in the dark and need further research.

  7. The outflow speed of the coma of Halley's comet

    Combi, M.R.


    Data concerning the outflow speed of the coma of Comet Halley are studied in relation to a generalization of the coupled pure-gas-dynamic/Monte Carlo model of Combi and Smyth (1988) to include the dusty-gas dynamics of the inner coma. Measurements made by the Giotto neutral-gas spectrometer, IR water observations from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory, and Doppler radio line profiles of HCN and OH are used to examine the radial dependence of the outflow speed, the asymmetry in the outflow speed, and the overall heliocentric distance dependence of the Doppler profiles, respectively. The results suggest that the model makes it possible to understand the gross long-term behavior and radial structure of the dynamics of the cometary coma. 23 refs

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

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


    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.

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

    Dalcher, N.


    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

  10. HT-COMET: a novel automated approach for high throughput assessment of human sperm chromatin quality

    Albert, Océane; Reintsch, Wolfgang E.; Chan, Peter; Robaire, Bernard


    STUDY QUESTION Can we make the comet assay (single-cell gel electrophoresis) for human sperm a more accurate and informative high throughput assay? SUMMARY ANSWER We developed a standardized automated high throughput comet (HT-COMET) assay for human sperm that improves its accuracy and efficiency, and could be of prognostic value to patients in the fertility clinic. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY The comet assay involves the collection of data on sperm DNA damage at the level of the single cell, allowing the use of samples from severe oligozoospermic patients. However, this makes comet scoring a low throughput procedure that renders large cohort analyses tedious. Furthermore, the comet assay comes with an inherent vulnerability to variability. Our objective is to develop an automated high throughput comet assay for human sperm that will increase both its accuracy and efficiency. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION The study comprised two distinct components: a HT-COMET technical optimization section based on control versus DNAse treatment analyses (n = 3–5), and a cross-sectional study on 123 men presenting to a reproductive center with sperm concentrations categorized as severe oligozoospermia, oligozoospermia or normozoospermia. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS Sperm chromatin quality was measured using the comet assay: on classic 2-well slides for software comparison; on 96-well slides for HT-COMET optimization; after exposure to various concentrations of a damage-inducing agent, DNAse, using HT-COMET; on 123 subjects with different sperm concentrations using HT-COMET. Data from the 123 subjects were correlated to classic semen quality parameters and plotted as single-cell data in individual DNA damage profiles. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE We have developed a standard automated HT-COMET procedure for human sperm. It includes automated scoring of comets by a fully integrated high content screening setup that compares well with the most commonly used semi


    Haghighipour, N. [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96825 (United States); Maindl, T. I.; Dvorak, R. [Department of Astrophysics, University of Vienna, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, A-1180 Vienna (Austria); Schäfer, C. [Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 10, D-72076 Tübingen (Germany); Speith, R., E-mail: [Physikalisches Institut, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 14, D-72076 Tübingen (Germany)


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

  12. Comet and Asteroid Hazard to the Terrestrial Planets

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


    We made computer simulations of orbital evolution for intervals of at least 5-10 Myr of N=2000 Jupiter-crossing objects (JCOs) with initial orbits close to those of real comets with period P less than 10 yr, 500 objects with orbits close to that of Comet 10P, and the asteroids initially located at the 3:1 and 5:2 resonances with Jupiter at initial eccentricity e(sub 0)=0.15 and initial inclination i(sub 0)=10(sup 0). The gravitational influence of all planets, except for Mercury and Pluto, was taken into account (without dissipative factors). We calculated the probabilities of collisions of bodies with the terrestrial planets, using orbital elements obtained with a step equal to 500 yr, and then summarized the results for all bodies, obtaining, the total probability Psigma of collisions with a planet and the total time interval Tsigma during which perihelion distance q of bodies was less than a semimajor axis of the planet. The values of p(sub r) =10(exp 6)Psigma/N and T(sub r)=T/1000 yr (where T=Tsigma/N) are presented in a table together with the ratio r of the total time interval when orbits were of Apollo type (at a greater than 1 AU, q less than 1.017 AU, e less than 0.999) to that of Amor type (1.017 less than q less than 1.33 AU), r(sub 2) is the same as r but for Apollo objects with e less than 0.9. For asteroids we present only results obtained by direct integration, as a symplectic method can give large errors for these resonances.

  13. Ion Microprobe Measurements of Comet Dust and Implications for Models of Oxygen Isotope Heterogeneity in the Solar System

    Snead, C. J.; McKeegan, K. D.; Keller, L. P.; Messenger, S.


    The oxygen isotopic compositions of anhydrous minerals in carbonaceous chondrites reflect mixing between a O-16-rich and O-17, O18-rich reservoir. The UV photodissociation of CO (i.e. selfshielding) has been proposed as a mass-independent mechanism for producing these isotopically distinct reservoirs. Self-shielding models predict the composition for the CO gas reservoir to be O-16-rich, and that the accreting primordial dust was in isotopic equilibrium with the gaseous reservoir [1, 2]. Self-shielding also predicts that cometary water, presumed to represent the O-17, O-18-rich reservoir, should be enriched in O-17 and O-18, with compositions of 200 -1000per mille, and that the interaction with this O-17, O-18-rich H2O reservoir altered the compositions of the primordial dust toward planetary values. The bulk composition of the solar nebula, which may be an approximation to the 16O-rich gaseous reservoir, has been constrained by the Genesis results [3]. However, material representing the O-17, O-18-rich end-member is rare [4], and dust representing the original accreting primordial dust has been challenging to conclusively identify in current collections. Anhydrous dust from comets, which accreted in the distal cold regions of the nebula at temperatures below approximately 30K, may provide the best opportunity to measure the oxygen isotope composition of primordial dust. Chondritic porous interplanetary dust particles (CP-IDPs) have been suggested as having cometary origins [5]; however, until direct comparisons with dust from a known comet parent body were made, link between CP-IDPs and comets remained circumstantial. Oxygen isotope analyses of particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 collected by NASA's Stardust mission have revealed surprising similarities to minerals in carbonaceous chondrites which have been interpreted as evidence for large scale radial migration of dust components from the inner solar nebula to the accretion regions of Jupiter- family comets [6

  14. Correlation between the genotoxicity endpoints measured by two different genotoxicity assays: comet assay and CBMN assay

    Carina Ladeira


    The results concerning of positive findings by micronuclei and non significant ones by comet assay, are corroborated by Deng et al. (2005 study performed in workers occupationally exposed to methotrexate, also a cytostatic drug. According to Cavallo et al. (2009, the comet assay seems to be more suitable for the prompt evaluation of the genotoxic effects, for instance, of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons mixtures containing volatile substances, whereas the micronucleus test seems more appropriate to evaluate the effects of exposure to antineoplastic agents. However, there are studies that observed an increase in both the comet assay and the micronucleus test in nurses handling antineoplastic drugs, although statistical significance was only seen in the comet assay, quite the opposite of our results (Maluf & Erdtmann, 2000; Laffon et al. 2005.

  15. EPOXI: Comet 103p/Hartley 2 Observations from a Worldwide Campaign

    Meech, K. J.; Hearn, M. F. A.; Bauer, J. M.; Bonev, B. P.; Charnley, S. B.; DiSanti, M. A.; Gersch, A.; Immler, S. M.; Kaluna, H. M.; Keane, J. V.; hide


    Earth- and space-based observations provide synergistic information for space mission encounters by providing data over longer timescales. at different wavelengths and using techniques that are impossible with an in situ flyby. We report here such observations in support of the EPOXI spacecraft flyby of comet 103P (Hartley 2. The nucleus is small and dark, and exhibited a very rapidly changing rotation period. Prior to the onset of activity, the period was approximately 16.4 hr. Starting in 2010 August the period changed from 16.6 hr to near 19 hr in December. With respect to dust composition, most volatiles and carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios, the comet is similar to other Jupiter-family comets. What is unusual is the dominance of CO2-driven activity near perihelion, which likely persists out to aphelion. Near perihelion the comet nucleus was surrounded by a large halo of water-ice grains that contributed significantly to the total water production.

  16. Outbursts and diamagnetic cavities in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Voelzke, M. R.


    On 2014 August 06 the Rosetta spacecraft arrived at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Since then, the spacecraft accompanied the comet on its journey around the Sun (Glassmeier et al. 2007), until the end of the mission on 2016 September 30. This work tries to understand the possible connections between the 665 reported diamagnetic regions (Goetz et al. 2016), detected from April 2015 to February 2016 around the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, with the fluxgate magnetometer of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium (RPC-MAG), when the heliocentric distance of the comet from the sun varied from 1.8 to 2.4 AU and the 34 reported outbursts (Vincent et al. 2016), detected from July to September 2015, with the Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) cameras, when the ESA's Rosetta spacecraft changed the cometocentric distance from 155 to 817 km.


    Druckmüller, Miloslav [Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Brno University of Technology, 616 69 Brno (Czech Republic); Habbal, Shadia Rifai [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu 96822, Hawaii (United States); Aniol, Peter [ASTELCO Systems GmbH, D-82152 Martinsried (Germany); Ding, Adalbert [Institute of Optics and Atomic Physics, Technische Universitaet Berlin, and Institute of Technical Physics, Berlin (Germany); Morgan, Huw [Institute of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science, Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion, Cymru SY23 3BZ (United Kingdom)


    Much anticipation and speculation were building around comet ISON, or C/2012 S1, discovered on 2012 September 21 by the International Scientific Optical Network telescope in Russia, and bound for the Sun on 2013 November 28, with a closest heliocentric approach distance of 2.7 R {sub ☉}. Here we present the first white light image of the comet's trail through the inner corona. The image was taken with a wide field Lyot-type coronagraph from the Mees Observatory on Haleakala at 19:12 UT, past its perihelion passage at 18:45 UT. The perfect match between the comet's trail captured in the inner corona and the trail that had persisted across the field of view of 2-6 R {sub ☉} of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph Experiment/C2 coronagraph at 19:12 UT demonstrates that the comet survived its perihelion passage.


    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA's International Halley Watch (IHW) has created a Comet Halley Archive. The collection of data spans the full wavelength range as submitted by scientists to the...

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

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


    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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Reply to Boslough et al.: Decades of comet research counter their claims

    Napier, W. M.; Bunch, T. E.; Kennett, J. P.; Wittke, J. H.; Tankersley, K. B.; Kletetschka, Günther; Howard, G. A.; West, A.


    Roč. 110, č. 45 (2013), E4171-E4171 ISSN 0027-8424 Institutional support: RVO:67985831 Keywords : comet * Oort cloud * impact hazard Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 9.809, year: 2013

  1. Christoph Rothmann's discourse on the comet of 1585 an edition and translation with accompanying essays

    Granada, Miguel A; Jardine, Nicholas


    Christoph Rothmann's Discourse on the Comet of 1585 offers the first edition of the Latin treatise after it was published in 1619. It is accompanied by an English translation and a full introduction and commentary.

  2. Genotoxicity of cadmium in marine diatom Chaetoceros tenuissimus using the alkaline Comet assay

    Desai, S.R.; Verlecar, X.N.; Nagarajappa; Goswami, U.

    of Cd increased growth of the diatom decreased. Alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis (Comet assay) method, which is highly sensitive in detection of DNA damage in eukaryotic cells, was used to observe genomic changes in marine diatom cells. DNA...

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

    Gasperini, A.; Galli, D.


    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.

  4. Comet Methy-sens and DNMTs transcriptional analysis as a combined approach in epigenotoxicology

    Alessio Perotti


    In conclusion, our data demonstrate that Comet Methy-sens, in combination with the analysis of transcriptional levels of DNA methyl transferases, represents a simple and multifunctional approach to implement biomonitoring studies on epigenotoxicological effects of known and unknown xenobiotics.

  5. Competitive memory training (COMET) for treating low self-esteem in patients with depressive disorders: a randomized clinical trial.

    Korrelboom, Kees; Maarsingh, Maaike; Huijbrechts, Irma


    Self-esteem is a major concern in mood disorders. Low self-esteem is a symptom of depressive disorders and is considered by some to be a predictor for relapse, whereas high self-esteem seems to buffer against depression. Recently, Competitive Memory Training (COMET) has shown to be effective for the enhancement of self-esteem in several psychopathological conditions. The current study assesses whether COMET is also an effective intervention for patients with depressive disorders. Sixty-one patients with depressive disorders who were already in therapy in an outpatient mental health institution were randomly assigned to either eight group sessions of COMET in addition to their regular therapy (COMET + therapy as usual [TAU]: the experimental group) or to 8 weeks of ongoing regular therapy (TAU only: the control group). These latter (control) patients received COMET after their TAU only period. All patients in both groups that completed COMET were contacted 3 and 6 months later to assess whether the effects of COMET had remained stable. Compared to the patients who received TAU only, patients in the COMET + TAU condition showed significant improvement with large effect sizes on indices of self-esteem, depression, and depressive rumination. The therapeutic effects of COMET + TAU remained stable after 3 and 6 months on all outcome measures or improved even further. COMET for low self-esteem seems to be an efficacious trans-diagnostic intervention that can relatively easily be added to the regular treatment of patients with depressive disorders. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. The Science of Sungrazers, Sunskirters, and Other Near-Sun Comets

    Jones, Geraint H.; Knight, Matthew M.; Battams, Karl; Boice, Daniel C.; Brown, John; Giordano, Silvio; Raymond, John; Snodgrass, Colin; Steckloff, Jordan K.; Weissman, Paul; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Lisse, Carey; Opitom, Cyrielle; Birkett, Kimberley S.; Bzowski, Maciej; Decock, Alice; Mann, Ingrid; Ramanjooloo, Yudish; McCauley, Patrick


    This review addresses our current understanding of comets that venture close to the Sun, and are hence exposed to much more extreme conditions than comets that are typically studied from Earth. The extreme solar heating and plasma environments that these objects encounter change many aspects of their behaviour, thus yielding valuable information on both the comets themselves that complements other data we have on primitive solar system bodies, as well as on the near-solar environment which they traverse. We propose clear definitions for these comets: We use the term near-Sun comets to encompass all objects that pass sunward of the perihelion distance of planet Mercury (0.307 AU). Sunskirters are defined as objects that pass within 33 solar radii of the Sun's centre, equal to half of Mercury's perihelion distance, and the commonly-used phrase sungrazers to be objects that reach perihelion within 3.45 solar radii, i.e. the fluid Roche limit. Finally, comets with orbits that intersect the solar photosphere are termed sundivers. We summarize past studies of these objects, as well as the instruments and facilities used to study them, including space-based platforms that have led to a recent revolution in the quantity and quality of relevant observations. Relevant comet populations are described, including the Kreutz, Marsden, Kracht, and Meyer groups, near-Sun asteroids, and a brief discussion of their origins. The importance of light curves and the clues they provide on cometary composition are emphasized, together with what information has been gleaned about nucleus parameters, including the sizes and masses of objects and their families, and their tensile strengths. The physical processes occurring at these objects are considered in some detail, including the disruption of nuclei, sublimation, and ionisation, and we consider the mass, momentum, and energy loss of comets in the corona and those that venture to lower altitudes. The different components of comae and

  7. A search for PAHs in the ISO spectra of comet Hale-Bopp

    Crovisier, J.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.


    From a new analysis of a spectrum of comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) obtained with the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), Lisse et al. (2007) claimed the identification of many new dust species. Among them are PAHs, which were not found in our first analysis of the ISO spectra. We present a re-examination of the ISO observations of comet Hale-Bopp, which does not confirm the conclusion of Lisse et al.

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

    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.; hide


    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.

  9. Collisional Histories of Comets and Trojan Asteroids: Insights from Forsterite and Enstatite Impact Studies

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


    Impacts into forsterite and orthoenstatite at speeds typically encountered by comets demonstrate that shock imparted by collisions is detectable in the infrared signatures of their dust. The spectral signatures can be traced to physical alterations in their crystalline structures, as observed in TEM imaging and modeled using a dipole approximation. These results yield tantalizing insights into the collisional history of our solar system, as well as the history of individual comets and Trojan asteroids.

  10. DNA Comet Assay. A simple screening technique for identification of some irradiated foods

    Khan, A.A.; Khan, H.M.


    DNA Comet Assay method was carried out to detect irradiation treatment of some foods like meat, spices, beans and lentils. The fresh meat of cow and duck were irradiated up to radiation doses of 3 kGy, the spices (cardamoms and cumin black) were irradiated to radiation doses of 5, 10, 15 and 20 kGy while the beans (black beans and white beans) and lentils (red and green lentils) were irradiated to 0.5 and 1 kGy. All the foods were then analyzed for radiation treatment using simple microgel electrophoresis of single cells or nuclei (DNA Comet Assay). Sedimentation, lysis and staining times were adjusted to get optimized conditions for correct and easy analysis of each food. Using these optimized conditions, it was found out that radiation damaged DNA showed comets in case of irradiated food samples, whereas in non-treated food samples, round or conical spots of stained DNA were visible. Shape, length and intensity of these comets were also radiation dose dependent. Screening of unirradiated and irradiated samples by Comet Assay was successful in the case of all the foods under consideration under the optimized conditions of assay. Therefore, for different kinds of irradiated foods studied in the present study, the DNA Comet Assay can be used as a rapid, simple and inexpensive screening test. (author)

  11. Groundbased investigation of comet 67p/churyumov- gerasimenko, target of the spacecraft Mission Rosetta

    de Almeida, A. A.; Trevisan Sanzovo, D.; Sanzovo, G. C.; Boczko, R.; Miguel Torres, R.

    In this work, we make a comparative study of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, target of Mission Rosetta, with Comets 1P/Halley and Hyakutake(C/1996 B2). Water and gas) release rates are derived from visual magnitudes (mv), determined mostly by amateur astronomers, and listed in several issues of International Comet Quarterly(ICQ). We make a systematic and uniform analysis of continuum fluxes obtained at visual wavelengths and, using the framework of photometric theory of Newburn & Spinrad (1985, 1989), we estimate dust release rates, qd (in g/s), effective particle sizes, a (in micron), and dust-to-gas mass ratios, for this important sample of comets. We also determine the color excess of the dust particles, CE, relative to the Sun at wavelength ranges 477.0-524.0 nm in the 1996 return of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and 365.0-484.5 nm for Comets 1P/Halley and C/1996 B2.

  12. A simple and novel modification of comet assay for determination of bacteriophage mediated bacterial cell lysis.

    Khairnar, Krishna; Sanmukh, Swapnil; Chandekar, Rajshree; Paunikar, Waman


    The comet assay is the widely used method for in vitro toxicity testing which is also an alternative to the use of animal models for in vivo testing. Since, its inception in 1984 by Ostling and Johansson, it is being modified frequently for a wide range of application. In spite of its wide applicability, unfortunately there is no report of its application in bacteriophages research. In this study, a novel application of comet assay for the detection of bacteriophage mediated bacterial cell lysis was described. The conventional methods in bacteriophage research for studying bacterial lysis by bacteriophages are plaque assay method. It is time consuming, laborious and costly. The lytic activity of bacteriophage devours the bacterial cell which results in the release of bacterial genomic material that gets detected by ethidium bromide staining method by the comet assay protocol. The objective of this study was to compare efficacy of comet assay with different assay used to study phage mediated bacterial lysis. The assay was performed on culture isolates (N=80 studies), modified comet assay appear to have relatively higher sensitivity and specificity than other assay. The results of the study showed that the application of comet assay can be an economical, time saving and less laborious alternative to conventional plaque assay for the detection of bacteriophage mediated bacterial cell lysis. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. The evolution of comets and the detectability of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds

    Stern, S.A.


    According the standard theory, comets are natural products of solar system formation, ejected to the Oort Cloud by gravitational scattering events during the epoch of giant planet formation. Stored far from the Sun for billions of years, comets almost certainly contain a record of the events which occurred during (and perhaps even before) the epoch of planetary formation. Two themes are examined of the evolutionary processes that affect comets in the Oort Cloud, and a search for evidence of Extra-Solar Oort Clouds (ESOCs). With regard to cometary evolution in the Oort Cloud, it was found that luminous O stars and supernovae have heated the surface layers of all comets on numerous occasions to 20 to 30 K and perhaps once to 50 K. Interstellar medium (ISM) interactions blow small grains out of the Oort Clouds, and erode the upper few hundred g/cu cm of material from cometary surfaces. The findings presented contradict the standard view that comets do not undergo physical change in the Oort Cloud. A logical consequence of the intimate connection between the Oort Cloud and our planetary system is that the detection of comet clouds around other stars would strongly indicate the sites of extant extra-solar planetary systems. A search was conducted for infrared IR emission from debris in ESOCs. After examining 17 stars using the Infrared Astronomical Satellite data base, only upper limits on ESOC emission could be set

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

    Mendis, D. A.; Horányi, M.


    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.

  15. Fluorescence in situ hybridization in combination with the comet assay and micronucleus test in genetic toxicology

    Hovhannisyan Galina G


    Full Text Available Abstract Comet assay and micronucleus (MN test are widely applied in genotoxicity testing and biomonitoring. While comet assay permits to measure direct DNA-strand breaking capacity of a tested agent MN test allows estimating the induced amount of chromosome and/or genome mutations. The potential of these two methods can be enhanced by the combination with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH techniques. FISH plus comet assay allows the recognition of targets of DNA damage and repairing directly. FISH combined with MN test is able to characterize the occurrence of different chromosomes in MN and to identify potential chromosomal targets of mutagenic substances. Thus, combination of FISH with the comet assay or MN test proved to be promising techniques for evaluation of the distribution of DNA and chromosome damage in the entire genome of individual cells. FISH technique also permits to study comet and MN formation, necessary for correct application of these methods. This paper reviews the relevant literature on advantages and limitations of Comet-FISH and MN-FISH assays application in genetic toxicology.


    Yang, Bin; Keane, Jacqueline; Meech, Karen [NASA Astrobiology Institute, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States); Owen, Tobias; Wainscoat, Richard, E-mail: [Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)


    The dynamically new comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) is one of the brightest comets observed since the great comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp). Here, we present our multi-wavelength observations of C/2011 L4 during its in-bound passage to the inner solar system. A strong absorption band of water ice at 2.0 μm was detected in the near-infrared spectra, obtained with the 8 m Gemini-North and 3 m Infrared Telescope Facility Telescopes. The companion 1.5 μm band of water ice, however, was not observed. Spectral modeling shows that the absence of the 1.5 μm feature can be explained by the presence of sub-micron-sized fine ice grains. No gas lines (i.e., CN, HCN, or CO) were observed pre-perihelion in either the optical or the submillimeter. We derived 3σ upper limits for the CN and CO production rates. The comet exhibited a very strong continuum in the optical and its slope seemed to become redder as the comet approached the Sun. Our observations suggest that C/2011 L4 is an unusually dust-rich comet with a dust-to-gas mass ratio >4.

  17. Global moedeling of comets: nucleus, neutral and ionized coma of comets 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and 46P/Wirtanen. Preparations for the ROSETTA radio science investigations

    Oertzen, J. von


    Models of the thermal behaviour of a cometary nucleus, the evolution of the neutral gas coma, the ionized cometary coma and of the interaction of the cometary plasma with the solar wind are studied in this work. The general aim is to develop a global model of the comet and its environment in order to characterize the physical conditions around comets 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and 46P/Wirtanen with respect to the heliocentric distance. The model of the heat diffusion within the cometary nucleus is one-dimensional. A grid of one-dimensional models is distributed over the nucleus in order to determine the temperature distribution and the sublimation characteristics of the comet on the whole surface of the comet. A heat balance equation is applied as boundary condition on the surface. Many parameters that have to be accounted for in a heat diffusion model are not precisely known to date. The variation of these parameters within reasonable limits yields a wide range of possible results. The heat diffusion within the cometary nucleus is derived from an energy conservation equation that includes heat conduction through the porous cometary material and heat convection due to the transport of latent heat by the gas phase within the nucleus. Model results are evaluated by a comparison of modeled and observed global gas production rates. Exemplary maps of the local temperature distribution and local sublimation rates at particular heliocentric distances are also provided. The neutral gas coma of the comet is modeled with a hydrodynamic approximation. The acceleration of the spacecraft due to the gas mass flux is evaluated with the model results. The ionized coma of a comet can also have an effect on the carrier signal. A one-dimensional model of the plasma density at the comet-sun axis is developed. The assumption of photochemical equilibrium is not necessarily justified within the coma of weak outgassing comets. The continuity equation of the plasma density has to be solved

  18. Modeling of the Inner Coma of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Constrained by VIRTIS and ROSINA Observations

    Fougere, N.; Combi, M. R.; Tenishev, V.; Bieler, A. M.; Migliorini, A.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Toth, G.; Huang, Z.; Gombosi, T. I.; Hansen, K. C.; Capaccioni, F.; Filacchione, G.; Piccioni, G.; Debout, V.; Erard, S.; Leyrat, C.; Fink, U.; Rubin, M.; Altwegg, K.; Tzou, C. Y.; Le Roy, L.; Calmonte, U.; Berthelier, J. J.; Rème, H.; Hässig, M.; Fuselier, S. A.; Fiethe, B.; De Keyser, J.


    As it orbits around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (CG), the Rosetta spacecraft acquires more information about its main target. The numerous observations made at various geometries and at different times enable a good spatial and temporal coverage of the evolution of CG's cometary coma. However, the question regarding the link between the coma measurements and the nucleus activity remains relatively open notably due to gas expansion and strong kinetic effects in the comet's rarefied atmosphere. In this work, we use coma observations made by the ROSINA-DFMS instrument to constrain the activity at the surface of the nucleus. The distribution of the H2O and CO2 outgassing is described with the use of spherical harmonics. The coordinates in the orthogonal system represented by the spherical harmonics are computed using a least squared method, minimizing the sum of the square residuals between an analytical coma model and the DFMS data. Then, the previously deduced activity distributions are used in a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) model to compute a full description of the H2O and CO2 coma of comet CG from the nucleus' surface up to several hundreds of kilometers. The DSMC outputs are used to create synthetic images, which can be directly compared with VIRTIS measurements. The good agreement between the VIRTIS observations and the DSMC model, itself constrained with ROSINA data, provides a compelling juxtaposition of the measurements from these two instruments. Acknowledgements Work at UofM was supported by contracts JPL#1266313, JPL#1266314 and NASA grant NNX09AB59G. Work at UoB was funded by the State of Bern, the Swiss National Science Foundation and by the ESA PRODEX Program. Work at Southwest Research institute was supported by subcontract #1496541 from the JPL. Work at BIRA-IASB was supported by the Belgian Science Policy Office via PRODEX/ROSINA PEA 90020. The authors would like to thank ASI, CNES, DLR, NASA for supporting this research. VIRTIS was built

  19. Disequilibrium Chemistry in the Solar Nebula and Early Solar System: Implications for the Chemistry of Comets

    Fegley, Bruce, Jr.


    A growing body of observations demonstrates that comets, like the chondritic meteorites, are disequilibrium assemblages, whose chemistry and molecular composition cannot be explained solely on the basis of models of equilibrium condensation in the solar nebula. These observations include: (1) The coexistence of reduced (e.g., CH4 and organics) and oxidized (e.g., CO, CO2, and H2CO) carbon compounds observed in the gas and dust emitted by comet P/Halley; (2) The coexistence of reduced (e.g., NH3) and oxidized (e.g., N2) nitrogen compounds in the gas emitted by comet P/Halley; (3) The observation of large amounts of formaldehyde in the gas emitted by comet P/Halley (H2CO/H2O approx. 1.5 - 4%) and by comet Machholz (1988j). Formaldehyde would be rapidly destroyed by thermal processing in the solar nebula and must be formed by some disequilibrating process either in the solar nebula or in some presolar environment. (4) The observation of large amounts of the oxidized carbon gases CO and CO2 in comet P/Halley at levels far exceeding those predicted by chemical equilibrium models of solar nebula carbon chemistry. In fact, oxidized carbon gases (CO+ C02 + H2CO) are the most abundant volatile (after water vapor) emitted by comet P/Halley. (5) The observation of HCN, which is not a predicted low temperature condensate in the solar nebula (e.g., Lewis 1972), in comet P/Halley (e.g., Schloerb et al. 1987) and in comet Kohoutek. (6) The observation of S2, which is argued to be a parent molecule vaporized from the nucleus, in comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock (1983d) by A'Hearn et aL (1983) and Feldman et al. (1984). This molecule is not an equilibrium condensate in the solar nebula and must result from disequilibrium chemistry. (7) The deduction that organic grains (C-H-O-N particles) comprise about 30% of the dust emitted by comet P/Halley and that about 75% of the total carbon inventory of Halley is in these grains also implies substantial disequilibrium chemistry. (8) The deductions

  20. Genotoxic effects of environmental endocrine disruptors on the aquatic insect Chironomus riparius evaluated using the comet assay.

    Martínez-Paz, Pedro; Morales, Mónica; Martínez-Guitarte, José Luis; Morcillo, Gloria


    Genotoxicity is one of the most important toxic endpoints in chemical toxicity testing and environmental risk assessment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic potential of various environmental pollutants frequently found in aquatic environments and characterized by their endocrine disrupting activity. Monitoring of DNA damage was undertaken after in vivo exposures of the aquatic larvae of the midge Chironomus riparius, a model organism that represents an abundant and ecologically relevant macroinvertebrate, widely used in freshwater toxicology. DNA-induced damage, resulting in DNA fragmentation, was quantified by the comet assay after short (24 h) and long (96 h) exposures to different concentrations of the selected toxicants: bisphenol A (BPA), nonylphenol (NP), pentachlorophenol (PCP), tributyltin (TBT) and triclosan (TCS). All five compounds were found to have genotoxic activity as demonstrated by significant increases in all the comet parameters (%DNA in tail, tail length, tail moment and Olive tail moment) at all tested concentrations. Persistent exposure did not increase the extent of DNA damage, except for TCS at the highest concentration, but generally there was a reduction in DNA damage thought to be associated with the induction of the detoxification processes and repairing mechanisms. Comparative analysis showed differences in the genotoxic potential between the chemicals, as well as significant time and concentration-dependent variations, which most likely reflect differences in the ability to repair DNA damage under the different treatments. The present report demonstrates the sensitivity of the benthic larvae of C. riparius to these environmental genotoxins suggesting its potential as biomonitor organism in freshwater ecosystems. The results obtained about the DNA-damaging potential of these environmental pollutants reinforce the need for additional studies on the genotoxicity of endocrine active substances that, by linking genotoxic

  1. Detection of the 3.4- and 2.8-micron emission features in Comet Bradfield (1987s)

    Brooke, T.Y.; Tokunaga, A.T.; Knacke, R.F.; Owen, T.C.; Mumma, M.J.


    Comet Bradfield's 3.4-micron C-H emission feature at 3.4 microns, as well as the emission feature near 2.8 microns, exhibit spectral shapes similar to those noted in Comets Halley and Wilson; the derived abundances of the C-H bonds in all three comets are also comparable (within water production rate uncertainties). These data support the hypothesis that the species responsible for the 3.4- and 2.8-micron features may be common to all comets. Beyond this, the widely differing ages of the three comets suggest that the 3.4-micron feature-emitting organics are not the product of surface irradiation processes after the comets' formation. 25 refs

  2. Using a medium-throughput comet assay to evaluate the global DNA methylation status of single cells

    Lewies, Angélique; Van Dyk, Etresia; Wentzel, Johannes F.; Pretorius, Pieter J.


    The comet assay is a simple and cost effective technique, commonly used to analyze and quantify DNA damage in individual cells. The versatility of the comet assay allows introduction of various modifications to the basic technique. The difference in the methylation sensitivity of the isoschizomeric restriction enzymes HpaII and MspI are used to demonstrate the ability of the comet assay to measure the global DNA methylation level of individual cells when using cell cultures. In the experiments described here, a medium-throughput comet assay and methylation sensitive comet assay are combined to produce a methylation sensitive medium-throughput comet assay to measure changes in the global DNA methylation pattern in individual cells under various growth conditions. PMID:25071840

  3. Castalia: A European Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    Snodgrass, Colin; Castalia mission science Team


    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a newly identified population, with stable asteroid-like orbits in the outer main belt and a comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their activity occurred only recently. Water ice is the only volatile expected to survive, and only when buried under an insulating surface. Excavation by impact could bring the water ice (closer) to the surface and trigger the start of MBC activity. The specific science goals of the Castalia mission are: 1. Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation 2. Understand the physics of activity on MBCs 3. Directly detect water in the asteroid belt 4. Test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth’s water 5. Use MBCs as tracers of planetary system formation and evolution These goals can be achieved by a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with and orbit an MBC for some months, arriving before the active period begins for mapping before directly sampling the gas and dust released during the active phase. Given the low level of activity of MBCs, and the expectation that their activity comes from only a localized patch on the surface, the orbiting spacecraft will have to be able to maintain a very close orbit over extended periods - the Castalia plan envisages an orbiter capable of ‘hovering’ autonomously at distances of only a few km from the surface of the MBC. The straw-man instrument payload is made up of: - Visible and near-infrared spectral imager - Thermal infrared imager - Radio science - Dust impact detector - Dust composition analyzer - Neutral/ion mass spectrometer - Magnetometer - Plasma package In addition to this, the option of a surface science package is being considered. At the moment MBC 133P/Elst-Pizarro is the best-known target for such a mission. A design study for the Castalia mission has been carried out in partnership between the science team, DLR and OHB Systems. This study looked at

  4. Castalia - European Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    Hilchenbach, M.


    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a recently identified new solar system population with stable asteroid-like orbits and a comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their activity occurred only recently. Buried water ice is the only volatile expected to survive under an insulating surface. Excavation by an impact might expose the ice and trigger the start of MBC activity. The specific science goals of the Castalia mission are: 1. Characterize a new Solar System family, the MBCs, by in-situ investigation 2. Understand the physics of activity on MBCs 3. Directly detect water in the asteroid belt 4. Test if MBCs are a viable source for Earth's water 5. Use MBCs as tracers of planetary system formation and evolution These goals can be achieved by a spacecraft designed to rendezvous with and orbit an MBC for a time interval of some months, arriving before the active period for mapping and then directly sampling the gas and dust released during the active phase. Given the low level of activity of MBCs, and the expectation that their activity comes from only a localized patch on the surface, the orbiting spacecraft will have to be able to maintain a very close orbit over extended periods - the Castalia plan envisages an orbiter capable of ';hovering' autonomously at distances of only a few km from the surface of the MBC. The straw-man instrument payload is made up of: - Visible and near-infrared spectral imager - Thermal infrared imager - Radio science - Dust impact detector - Dust composition analyzer - Neutral/ion mass spectrometer - Magnetometer - Plasma package In addition to this, the option of a surface science package is being considered. At the moment MBC 133P/Elst-Pizarro is the best-known target for such a mission. A design study for the Castalia mission has been carried out in partnership between the science team, DLR and OHB Systems. This study looked at possible missions to 133P with launch

  5. The PACA Project Observing Campaigns: From Comets to the Sun

    Yanamandra-Fisher, Padma A.; PACA Project


    The Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy (PACA) project evolved from the observational campaign of C/2012 S1 or C/ISON in 2013, and has expanded to pro-am observing campaigns of planets, polarimetric exploration and recently, polarization of the inner solar corona during the 2017 US Continental Total Solar Eclipse (TSE). The evolving need for individual customized observing campaigns has been incorporated into the evolution of PACA portal: supporting observing campaigns of current comets, legacy data, historical comets, planets, solar corona, interconnected with social media and a set of shareable documents addressing observational strategies; consistent standards for data; data access, use, and storage, to align with the needs of professional observers. Given the volume of data generated for each campaign, new ways of rapid data analysis, mining access and storage are needed. Several interesting results emerged from the synergistic inclusion of both social media and amateur astronomers: (1) the establishment of a network of astronomers and related professionals, that can be galvanized into action on short notice to support observing campaigns; (2) assist in various science investigations pertinent to the campaign; (3) provide an alert-sounding mechanism should the need arise; (4) immediate outreach and dissemination of results via our media/blogger members; (5) provide a forum for discussions between the imagers and modelers to help strategize the observing campaign for maximum benefit. Some recent PACA campaigns of note are: C/2013 A1 (C/SidingSpring) ; 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (CG), target for ESA/Rosetta mission; PACA_Jupiter (and for other planets Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune); polarimetry and current campaign PACA_PolNet, a multi-site polarimetric network to be implemented in August 2017, in partnership with the project Citizen CATE. I will highlight key aspects of various PACA campaigns, especially the current PACA_PolNet for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse and

  6. Further characterization of benzo[a]pyrene diol-epoxide (BPDE)-induced comet assay effects.

    Bausinger, Julia; Schütz, Petra; Piberger, Ann Liza; Speit, Günter


    The present study aims to further characterize benzo[a]pyrene diol-epoxide (BPDE)-induced comet assay effects. Therefore, we measured DNA effects by the comet assay and adduct levels by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in human lymphocytes and A549 cells exposed to (±)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol 9,10-epoxide [(±)-anti-BPDE] or (+)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol 9,10-epoxide [(+)-anti-BPDE]. Both, the racemic form and (+)-anti-BPDE, which is the most relevant metabolite with regard to mutagenicity and carcinogenicity, induced DNA migration in cultured lymphocytes in the same range of concentrations to a similar extent in the alkaline comet assay after exposure for 2h. Nevertheless, (+)-anti-BPDE induced significantly enhanced DNA migration after 16 and 18h post-cultivation which was not seen in response to (±)-anti-BPDE. Combination of the comet assay with the Fpg (formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase) protein did not enhance BPDE-induced effects and thus indicated the absence of Fpg-sensitive sites (oxidized purines, N7-guanine adducts, AP-sites). The aphidicolin (APC)-modified comet assay suggested significant excision repair activity of cultured lymphocytes during the first 18h of culture after a 2 h-exposure to BPDE. In contrast to these repair-related effects measured by the comet assay, HPLC analysis of stable adducts did not reveal any significant removal of (+)-anti-BPDE-induced adducts from lymphocytes during the first 22h of culture. On the other hand, HPLC measurements indicated that A549 cells repaired about 70% of (+)-anti-BPDE-induced DNA-adducts within 22h of release. However, various experiments with the APC-modified comet assay did not indicate significant repair activity during this period in A549 cells. The conflicting results obtained with the comet assay and the HPLC-based adduct analysis question the real cause for BPDE-induced DNA migration in the comet assay and the reliability of the APC-modified comet assay for the

  7. Sex-linked dominant

    Inheritance - sex-linked dominant; Genetics - sex-linked dominant; X-linked dominant; Y-linked dominant ... can be either an autosomal chromosome or a sex chromosome. It also depends on whether the trait ...

  8. Comet assay in the detection of irradiated garlic

    Villavicencio, Anna Lucia C.H.; Marin-Huachaca, Nelida Simona; Romanelli, Maria Fernanda; Delincee, Henry


    The increased claim for fresh produce has forced a consensus between nations to pay more attention to the phytosanitary regulations. Inhibition of sprouting of bulbs and tubers by applying ionising radiation is authorised by the National Food Codes in Brazil. The availability of methods for detection of irradiated food will contribute to increase consumers' confidence. A quick and simple screening test to indicate whether a food product has been irradiated or not was utilised in this study. The DNA comet assay was applied to verify whether garlic imported from China had been irradiated or not. This test has already been adopted as a European Standard (EN 13784), for detection of irradiated food. Non-irradiated control samples of garlic and garlic treated with maleic hydrazide were compared with garlic samples irradiated in our department. The unirradiated samples exhibited only limited DNA migration. If samples were irradiated, an increased DNA fragmentation was observed which permitted the discrimination between non-irradiated and irradiated samples. Since the garlic samples from China showed only very limited DNA fragmentation, they were deemed non-irradiated. Thus, this simple screening test was shown to be successful for identification of an irradiation treatment. (author)

  9. Dark matter as a trigger for periodic comet impacts.

    Randall, Lisa; Reece, Matthew


    Although statistical evidence is not overwhelming, possible support for an approximately 35×106  yr periodicity in the crater record on Earth could indicate a nonrandom underlying enhancement of meteorite impacts at regular intervals. A proposed explanation in terms of tidal effects on Oort cloud comet perturbations as the Solar System passes through the galactic midplane is hampered by lack of an underlying cause for sufficiently enhanced gravitational effects over a sufficiently short time interval and by the time frame between such possible enhancements. We show that a smooth dark disk in the galactic midplane would address both these issues and create a periodic enhancement of the sort that has potentially been observed. Such a disk is motivated by a novel dark matter component with dissipative cooling that we considered in earlier work. We show how to evaluate the statistical evidence for periodicity by input of appropriate measured priors from the galactic model, justifying or ruling out periodic cratering with more confidence than by evaluating the data without an underlying model. We find that, marginalizing over astrophysical uncertainties, the likelihood ratio for such a model relative to one with a constant cratering rate is 3.0, which moderately favors the dark disk model. Our analysis furthermore yields a posterior distribution that, based on current crater data, singles out a dark matter disk surface density of approximately 10M⊙/pc2. The geological record thereby motivates a particular model of dark matter that will be probed in the near future.

  10. Rotation and Morphology of Comet 252P/LINEAR

    Woodney, Laura; Schambeau, Charles A.; Fernandez, Yanga R.


    Comet 252P/LINEAR had an incredibly close approach early in 2016 - minimum distance 0.036 AU on March 21 - that allowed detailed investigation of its behavior. Analysis of observations of the morphology of 252P have resulted in several possible rotational periods. Knight and Schleicher found that repetition of features in narrowband imaging from April 2016 indicated a period of 7.35 +/- 0.05 hr [1]. HST broadband data obtained by Li et al. in March and April partially fit the 7.35 hr period, but found 5.5 hr was a better fit for the April 4 r’ band data [2]. Given this discrepancy, additional observations may shed light on the true rotation state, and we present here the pieces of the puzzle obtained by our group.We observed 252P with the Kitt Peak National Observatory WIYN 0.9 m telescope on 7 nights: May 2 - 5 and June 6,8,9, 2016 using a Harris R filter. An oscillating jet is clearly visible in our data. While there is insufficient phase coverage to determine a best fit period from our data alone, we will present how our observations of the morphology fit the two proposed periods.[1] Knight, M.M and D.G. Schleicher. AAS, DPS Meeting #48, id.207.02, 2016 [2] Li, J.-Y. et al. AAS, DPS Meeting #48, id. 206.03, 2016.

  11. Modeling and Simulation of a Tethered Harpoon for Comet Sampling

    Quadrelli, Marco B.


    This paper describes the development of a dynamic model and simulation results of a tethered harpoon for comet sampling. This model and simulation was done in order to carry out an initial sensitivity analysis for key design parameters of the tethered system. The harpoon would contain a canister which would collect a sample of soil from a cometary surface. Both a spring ejected canister and a tethered canister are considered. To arrive in close proximity of the spacecraft at the end of its trajectory so it could be captured, the free-flying canister would need to be ejected at the right time and with the proper impulse, while the tethered canister must be recovered by properly retrieving the tether at a rate that would avoid an excessive amplitude of oscillatory behavior during the retrieval. The paper describes the model of the tether dynamics and harpoon penetration physics. The simulations indicate that, without the tether, the canister would still reach the spacecraft for collection, that the tether retrieval of the canister would be achievable with reasonable fuel consumption, and that the canister amplitude upon retrieval would be insensitive to variations in vertical velocity dispersion.

  12. Elements of planetary protection against asteroid and comet hazard

    Steklov, A. F.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Dashkiev, G. N.; Zhilyaev, B. E.


    The principles of protection against asteroid-comet hazard should constitute the main priority of the modern Proto-cosmic civilization on the planet Earth. Any impact of a fairly large asteroid or cometary nucleus with a size of 1 to 20 or more kilometers will lead to a global catastrophe and, perhaps, to the death of Mankind. Forces in order to withstand such a blow of the cosmic body during large space invasions, we do not have and, most likely, will not be for a long time . We need as soon as possible to create technical facilities and systems for long-term comfortable living of large colonies of people on the Moon, Mars, Venus and Mercury, having arranged there some elements of the biosphere. In these colonies people should live in extraterrestrial space settlements, and should periodically and constantly "outplay" scenarios of reliable and guaranteed re-population of the planet Earth by people. Such periodic "exercises" on the actual modeling of the return to the "post-catastrophic" Earth should ensure the survival of humanity even in the worst versions of the consequences of possible dangerous space invasions. That is, we should always be ready for the repopulation on the Earth by people and for the reconstruction of the basic elements of the man's biosphere.

  13. Model of comet comae. II. Effects of solar photodissociative ionization

    Huebner, W.F.; Giguere, P.T.


    Improvements to our computer model of coma plotochemistry are described. These include an expansion of the chemical reactions network and new rate constants that have been measured only recently. Photolytic reactions of additional molecules are incorporated, and photolytic branching ratios are treated in far greater detail than in our previous work. A total of 25 photodissociative ionization (PDI) reactions are now considered (as compared to only 3 PDI reactions previously). Solar PDI of the mother molecule CO 2 is shown to compete effectively with photoionization of CO in the production of observed CO + . The CO + density peak predicted by our improved model, for COP 2 or CO mother molecules, is deep in the inner coma, in better agreement with observation than our old CO 2 model. However, neither CO 2 nor CO mother molecule calculations reproduce the CO + /H 2 O + ratio observed in comet Kohoutek. PDI products of CO 2 , CO, CH 4 , and NH 3 mother molecules fuel a complex chemistry scheme, producing inner coma abundances of CN, C 2 , and C 3 much greater than previously calculated

  14. Radiation pressure - a stabilizing agent of dust clouds in comets?

    Froehlich, H.E.; Notni, P.


    The internal dynamics of an illuminated dust cloud of finite optical thickness is investigated. The dependence of the radiation pressure on the optical depth makes the individual particles oscillate, in one dimension, around the accelerated centre of gravity of the cloud. The cloud moves as an entity, irrespectively of the velocity dispersion of the particles and their efficiency for radiation pressure. If the optical depth does not change, i.e. if the cloud does not expand laterally, its lifetime is unlimited. A contraction caused by energy dissipation in mechanical collisions between the dust particles is expected. The range of particle sizes which can be transported by such a 'coherent cloud' is estimated, as well as the acceleration of the whole cloud. The structure of the cloud in real space and in velocity space is investigated. A comparison with the 'striae' observed in the dust tails of great comets shows that the parent clouds of these striae may have been of the kind considered. (author)

  15. SOFIA FORCAST Far-IR Photometry of Comet ISON and Constraints on the Coma Grain Size Distribution

    Wooden, D. H.; DeBuizer, J. M.; Kelley, M. S.; Woodward, C. E.; Harker, D. E.; Reach, W. T.; Sitko, M. L.; Russell, R. W.; Gehrz, R. D.; dePater, Imke; hide


    Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) was unique in that it was a dynamically new comet derived from the nearly isotropic Oort cloud reservoir of comets with a sun-grazing orbit. Infrared (IR) observations were executed on NASA's Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) by the FORCAST instrument on 2013 October 25 UT (r(sub h)=1.18 AU, Delta=1.5AU). Photometry was obtained in FORCAST filters centered at 11.1, 19.7, and 31.5 micron. The observations compliment a large world-wide effort to observe and characterize comet ISON.

  16. A Meteorite Dropping Superbolide from the Catastrophycally Disrupted Comet C1919Q2 Metcalf: A Pathway for Meteorites from Jupiter Family Comets

    Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M.; Madiedo, J. M.; Williams, I. P.; Castro-Tirado, A. J.; Llorca, J.; Vítek, S.; Jelínek, M.


    A meter-sized meteoroid probably produced during the disintegration of comet C1919Q2 Metcalf was observed producing a -18 magn. bolide (MNRAS, in press).The progenitor meteoroid was sufficiently large and of high enough tensile strength to produce meteorites.

  17. A Multi-Wavelength Study of Parent Volatile Abundances in Comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN)

    DiSanti, Michael A.; Villanueva, Geronimo L.; Milam, Stefanie N.; Zack, Lindsay N.; Bonev, Boncho P.; Mumma, Michael; Ziurys, Lucy M.; Anderson, William M.


    Volatile organic emissions were detected post-perihelion in the long period comet C/2006 M4 (SWAN) in October and November 2006. Our study combines target-of-opportunity, observations using the infrared Cryogenic Echelle Spectrometer (CSHELL) at the NASA-IRTF 3-m telescope, and millimeter wavelength observations using the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO) 12-m telescope. Five parent volatiles were measured with CSHELL (H2O, CO, CH3OH, CH4, and C2H6), and two additional species (HCN and CS) were measured with the ARID 12-m. These revealed highly depleted CO and somewhat enriched CH3OH compared with abundances observed in the dominant group of long-period (Oort cloud) comets in our sample and similar to those observed recently in Comet 8P/Tuttle. This may indicate highly efficient H-atom addition to CO at very low temperature (approx.10-20 K) on the surfaces of interstellar (pre-cometary) grains. Comet C12006 M4 had nearly "normal" C2H6, and CH4, suggesting a processing history similar to that experienced by the dominant group. When compared with estimated water production at the time of the millimeter observations, HCN was slightly depleted compared with the normal abundance in comets based on 1R observations but was consistent with the majority of values from the millimeter. The ratio CS/HCN in C/2006 M4 was within the range measured in ten comets at millimeter wavelengths. The higher apparent H-atom conversion efficiency compared with most comets may indicate that the icy grains incorporated into C/2006 M4 were exposed to higher H-atom densities, or alternatively to similar densities but for a longer period of time.

  18. Surface of the comet 67P from PHILAE/CIVA images as clues to the formation of the comet nucleus

    Poulet, Francois; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Carter, John; Eng, Pascal; Gondet, Brigitte; Jorda, Laurent; Langevin, Yves; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Pilorget, Cédric


    The CIVA cameras onboard PHILAE provided the first ever in situ images of the surface of a comet (Bibring et al., this conf). The panorama acquired by CIVA at the landing site reveals a rough terrain dominated by agglomerates of consolidated materials similar to cm-sized pebbles. While the composition of these materials is unknown, their nature will be discussed in relation to both endogenic and exogenic processes that may sculpted the landscape of the landing site. These processes includes erosion (spatially non-uniform) by sublimation, redeposition of particles after ejection, fluidization and transport of cometary material on the surface, sintering effect, thermal fatigue, thermal stress, size segregation due to shaking, eolian erosion due to local outflow of cometary vapor and impact cratering at various scales. Recent advancements in planet formation theory suggest that the initial planetesimals (or cometestimals) may grow directly from the gravitational collapse of aerodynamically concentrated small particles, often referred to as "pebbles" (Johansen et al. 2007, Nature 448, 1022; Cuzzi et al. 2008, AJ 687, 1432). We will then discuss the possibility that the observed pebble pile structures are indicative of the formation process from which the initial nucleus formed, and how we can use this idea to learn about protoplanetary disks and the early processes involved in the Solar System formation.

  19. Comets as parent bodies of CI1 carbonaceous meteorites and possible habitats of ice-microbes

    Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra; Wickramasinghe, Janaki T.; Wallis, Jamie; Hoover, Richard B.; Rozanov, Alexei Y.


    Recent studies of comets and cometary dust have confirmed the presence of biologically relevant organic molecules along with clay minerals and water ice. It is also now well established by deuterium/hydrogen ratios that the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites contain indigenous extraterrestrial water. The evidence of extensive aqueous alteration of the minerals in these meteorites led to the hypothesis that water-bearing asteroids or comets represent the parent bodies of the CI1 (and perhaps CM2) carbonaceous meteorites. These meteorites have also been shown to possess a diverse array of complex organics and chiral and morphological biomarkers. Stable isotope studies by numerous independent investigators have conclusively established that the complex organics found in these meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial in nature. Although the origin of these organics is still unknown, some researchers have suggested that they originated by unknown abiotic mechanisms and may have played a role in the delivery of chiral biomolecules and the origin of life on Early Earth. In this paper we review these results and investigate the thermal history of comets. We show that permanent as well as transient domains of liquid water can be maintained on a comet under a plausible set of assumptions. With each perihelion passage of a comet volatiles are preferentially released, and during millions of such passages the comet could shed crustal debris that may survive transit through the Earth's atmosphere as a carbonaceous meteorite. We review the current state of knowledge of comets and carbonaceous meteorites. We also present the results of recent studies on the long-term viability of terrestrial ice-microbiota encased in ancient glacial ice and permafrost. We suggest that the conditions which have been observed to prevail on many comets do not preclude either survivability (or even the active metabolism and growth) of many types of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbial

  20. Comets as Parent Bodies of CI1 Carbonaceous Meteorites and Possible Habitats of Ice-Microbiota

    Wickramasinghe, N. Chandra; Wallis, Daryl H.; Rozanov, Alexei Yu.; Hoover, Richard B.


    Recent studies of comets and cometary dust have confirmed the presence of biologically relevant organic molecules along with clay minerals and water ice. It is also now well established by deuterium/hydrogen ratios that the CI1 carbonaceous meteorites contain indigenous extraterrestrial water. The evidence of extensive aqueous alteration of the minerals in these meteorites led to the hypothesis that water-bearing asteroids or comets represent the parent bodies of the CI1 (and perhaps CM2) carbonaceous meteorites. These meteorites have also been shown to possess a diverse array of complex organics and chiral and morphological biomarkers. Stable isotope studies by numerous independent investigators have conclusively established that the complex organics found in these meteorites are both indigenous and extraterrestrial in nature. Although the origin of these organics is still unknown, some researchers have suggested that they originated by unknown abiotic mechanisms and may have played a role in the delivery of chiral biomolecules and the origin of life on Early Earth. In this paper we review these results and investigate the thermal history of comets. We show that permanent as well as transient domains of liquid water can be maintained on a comet under a plausible set of assumptions. With each perihelion passage of a comet volatiles are preferentially released, and during millions of such passages the comet could shed crustal debris that may survive transit through the Earth s atmosphere as a carbonaceous meteorite. We review the current state of knowledge of comets and carbonaceous meteorites. We also present the results of recent studies on the long-term viability of terrestrial ice-microbiota encased in ancient glacial ice and permafrost. We suggest that the conditions which have been observed to prevail on many comets do not preclude either survivability (or even the active metabolism and growth) of many types of eukaryotic and prokaryotic microbial