WorldWideScience

Sample records for shoemaker-levy comet impact

  1. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 meets Jupiter.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-08-01

    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.

  2. PLUME DEVELOPMENT OF THE SHOEMAKER-LEVY 9 COMET IMPACT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

    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 .

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-11-15

    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.

  4. Prospects for Jovian seismological observations following the impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deming, Drake

    1994-01-01

    The impact of each fragment of comet SL-9 will produce a downward-propagating pressure wave which will travel at the sound speed through the jovian interior. Since the sound speed increases with depth, most of the energy in the pressure pulse will be strongly refracted and return to the surface, as recently computed by Marley (1994). This wave may in principle be observable as it propagates into the stratosphere, using sufficiently sensitive thermal infrared imaging. If so, it will provide a unique opportunity to constrain models of the jovian interior. This paper extends Marley's calculations to include the effect of the limited spatial resolution which will be characteristic of real observations. The wave pattern on the disk will consist of closely spaced regions of alternating temperature increases and decreases. Spatial averaging will significantly reduce the observed amplitude for resolutions attainable using earth-based telescopes, but the waves should remain above the detection limit.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  6. The Disruption and Demise of Periodic Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, Erik; Benz, Willy; Cuzzi, Jeffrey (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The impact of the fragmented comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) into Jupiter this July promises to change our understanding of the outer solar system. More than twenty mountain-sized conglomerates of ice and rock will hit the atmosphere at approx. 50 km/s over the course of a week beginning July 16, releasing approx. 10(exp 4) to 10(exp8) megatons of energy per burst, and providing unique and perhaps pivotal clues to the properties of comets and the physics of massive atmospheres. Because the fragments will strike the far side of Jupiter, data acquisition, analysis and interpretation will be quite sensitive to the actual size and energy of the fragments. We therefore examine an event which took place two summers ago, unnoticed and unobserved: the disruption of SL9 into a "string of pearls' as it passed within the Roche limit at perijove. We first demonstrate, on the basis of timescales of tidal interaction, that the comet could not have broken into 20+ fragments through a hierarchy of brittle fracture events. Next, noting that the tidal stress was too weak to have even fragmented an uncompressed mass of freshly fallen snow, we run models for a strengthless comet held together only by self-gravity. We explore the initial size, density, and rotation. We conclude that a 4 km diameter comet (smaller if a prograde rotator) of density approx. 0.5 g/cu cm disrupts and disperses into a chain of fragments similar to Shoemaker-Levy 9, whether we begin with 21, 85, 169, 700 or 2000 sub-grains. Gravitational reaccumulation is evidently the answer, and there is no need to invoke the presence of 21 "cometesimals" as the subscale of the comet. To explain how a comet can be weaker than uncompacted snow, we show that the ring-plane crossing prior to perijove could have caused total damage. Finally, we compute the tidal stress on impactors as they approach Jupiter this July. Objects of various density are moderately distorted but not disrupted by the time they strike the planet.

  7. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9/Jupiter collision observed with a high resolution speckle imaging system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gravel, D. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)

    1994-11-15

    During the week of July 16, 1994, comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, broken into 20 plus pieces by tidal forces on its last orbit, smashed into the planet Jupiter, releasing the explosive energy of 500 thousand megatons. A team of observers from LLNL used the LLNL Speckle Imaging Camera mounted on the University of California`s Lick Observatory 3 Meter Telescope to capture continuous sequences of planet images during the comet encounter. Post processing with the bispectral phase reconstruction algorithm improves the resolution by removing much of the blurring due to atmospheric turbulence. High resolution images of the planet surface showing the aftermath of the impact are probably the best that were obtained from any ground-based telescope. We have been looking at the regions of the fragment impacts to try to discern any dynamic behavior of the spots left on Jupiter`s cloud tops. Such information can lead to conclusions about the nature of the comet and of Jupiter`s atmosphere. So far, the Hubble Space Telescope has observed expanding waves from the G impact whose mechanism is enigmatic since they appear to be too slow to be sound waves and too fast to be gravity waves, given the present knowledge of Jupiter`s atmosphere. Some of our data on the G and L impact region complements the Hubble observations but, so far, is inconclusive about spot dynamics.

  8. NUMERICAL MODELING OF THE DISRUPTION OF COMET D/1993 F2 SHOEMAKER-LEVY 9 REPRESENTING THE PROGENITOR BY A GRAVITATIONALLY BOUND ASSEMBLAGE OF RANDOMLY SHAPED POLYHEDRA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Movshovitz, Naor; Asphaug, Erik; Korycansky, Donald, E-mail: nmovshov@ucsc.edu [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)

    2012-11-10

    We advance the modeling of rubble-pile solid bodies by re-examining the tidal breakup of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, an event that occurred during a 1.33 R encounter with Jupiter in 1992 July. Tidal disruption of the comet nucleus led to a chain of sub-nuclei {approx}100-1000 m diameter; these went on to collide with the planet two years later. They were intensively studied prior to and during the collisions, making SL9 the best natural benchmark for physical models of small-body disruption. For the first time in the study of this event, we use numerical codes treating rubble piles as collections of polyhedra. This introduces forces of dilatation and friction, and inelastic response. As in our previous studies we conclude that the progenitor must have been a rubble pile, and we obtain approximately the same pre-breakup diameter ({approx}1.5 km) in our best fits to the data. We find that the inclusion of realistic fragment shapes leads to grain locking and dilatancy, so that even in the absence of friction or other dissipation we find that disruption is overall more difficult than in our spheres-based simulations. We constrain the comet's bulk density at {rho}{sub bulk} {approx} 300-400 kg m{sup -3}, half that of our spheres-based predictions and consistent with recent estimates derived from spacecraft observations.

  9. Shoemaker-Levy 9/JUPITER Collision Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-05-01

    There are many signs that the upcoming collision between comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 and giant planet Jupiter is beginning to catch the imagination of the public. Numerous reports in the various media describe the effects expected during this unique event which according to the latest calculations will start in the evening of July 16 and end in the morning of July 22, 1994. (The times in this Press Release are given in Central European Summer Time (CEST), i.e., Universal Time (UT) + 2 hours. The corresponding local time in Chile is CEST - 6 hours.) Astronomers all over the world are now preparing to observe the associated phenomena with virtually all major telescopes. There will be no less than 12 different investigations at the ESO La Silla observatory during this period. This Press Release updates the information published in ESO PR 02/94 (27 January 1994) and provides details about the special services which will be provided by ESO to the media around this rare astronomical event. SCIENTIFIC EXPECTATIONS The nucleus of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke into many smaller pieces during a near passage of Jupiter in July 1992. They are now moving in parallel orbits around this planet and recent calculations show with close to 100 % certainty that they will all collide with it, just two months from now. At some time, more than 20 individual nuclei were observed. This Press Release is accompanied by a photo that shows this formation, the famous "string of pearls", as it looked like in early May 1994. Both Jupiter and these nuclei have been extensively observed during the past months. A large, coordinated observing programme at La Silla has been active since early April and the first results have become available. However, while we now possess more accurate information about the comet's motion and the times of impact, there is still great uncertainty about the effects which may actually be observed at the time of the impacts. This is first of all due to the fact that it has not

  10. Chandra Observations of the Deep Impact Encounter with Comet 9P/Tempel 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, C. M.; Christian, D. J.; Dennerl, K.; Wolk, S. J.; Bodewits, D.; Combi, M. R.; Hoekstra, R.; Makinen, T.; Schultz, P. H.; Weaver, H. A.

    2005-08-01

    On July 4, 2005 NASA's discovery mission Deep Impact (hereafter DI) will send a 375 kg impactor into the nucleus of comet 9P/Tempel 1 at 10.2 km/s relative velocity. In the x-ray, the DI experiment allows for a controlled test of the charge exchange (CXE) emission mechanism that drives cometary x-ray emission (Lisse et al. 2001, Kharchenko and Dalgarno 2001, Krasnopolsky et al.2002). Previous ROSAT and Chandra observations studied cometary x-ray emission as the solar wind changed but the cometary emission remained constant. Here, at a precise time, a fresh amount of neutral material will be injected into a finite volume of the extended atmosphere, or coma, of the comet. This new material will directly increase the emission measure for the comet, passing from the collisionally thick to the collisionally thin regions of emission over the course of days. The DI experiment also allows for a direct search for prompt x-rays created by hyper-velocity impact processes, such as was seen by ROSAT during the impact of the K-fragment of comet D/Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter (Waite et al. 1995). We report here on the first results of of the Chandra observations of the Deep Impact encounter.

  11. MSSSO CASPIR STAR CALS BEFORE SL9 IMPACTS WITH JUPITER V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This archive contains star images used as calibrations in preparation for the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter obtained with CASPIR on the Australian...

  12. Observing comets

    CERN Document Server

    James, Nick

    2003-01-01

    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

  13. Impactful times memories of 60 years of shock wave research at Sandia National Laboratories

    CERN Document Server

    Asay, James R; Lawrence, R Jeffery; Sweeney, Mary Ann

    2017-01-01

    This book presents a history of shock compression science, including development of experimental, material modeling, and hydrodynamics code technologies over the past six decades at Sandia National Laboratories. The book is organized into a discussion of major accomplishments by decade with over 900 references, followed by a unique collection of 45 personal recollections detailing the trials, tribulations, and successes of building a world-class organization in the field. It explains some of the challenges researchers faced and the gratification they experienced when a discovery was made. Several visionary researchers made pioneering advances that integrated these three technologies into a cohesive capability to solve complex scientific and engineering problems. What approaches worked, which ones did not, and the applications of the research are described. Notable applications include the turret explosion aboard the USS Iowa and the Shoemaker-Levy comet impact on Jupiter. The personal anecdotes and recollec...

  14. Comets, impacts, and atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Tabulation of comet observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-07-01

    Concerning comets: 1957 III Arend-Roland, 1957 V Mrkos, 1958 III Burnham, 1959 III Bester-Hoffmeister, 1959 VI Alcock, 1959 VIII P/Giacobini-Zinner, 1960 I P/Wild 1, 1960 II Burnham, 1960 III P/Schaumasse, 1960 VIII P/Finlay, 1961 V Wilson-Hubbard, 1961 VIII Seki, 1962 III Seki-Lines, 1962 VIII Humason, 1963 I Ikeya, 1963 III Alcock, 1963 V Pereyra, 1964 VI Tomita-Gerber-Honda, 1964 VIII Ikeya, 1964 IX Everhart, 1979 X Bradfield, 1980 X P/Stephan-Oterma, 1980 XII Meier, 1980 XIII P/Tuttle, 1981 II Panther, 1982 I Bowell, 1982 IV P/Grigg-Skjellerup, 1982 VII P/d'Arrest, 1986 III P/Halley, 1987 IV Shoemaker, 1987 XII P/Hartley 3, 1987 XIX P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 2, 1987 XXIX Bradfield, 1987 XXX Levy, 1987 XXXII McNaught, 1987 XXXIII P/Borrelly, 1987 XXXVI P/Parker-Hartley, 1987 XXXVII P/Helin- Roman-Alu 1, 1988 III Shoemaker-Holt, 1988 V Liller, 1988 VIII P/Ge-Wang, 1988 XI P/Shoemaker-Holt 2, 1988 XIV P/Tempel 2, 1988 XV Machholz, 1988 XX Yanaka, 1988 XXI Shoemaker, 1988 XXIV Yanaka, 1989 III Shoemaker, 1989 V Shoemaker-Holt-Rodriquez, 1989 VIII P/Pons-Winnecke, 1989 X P/Brorsen-Metcalf, 1989 XI P/Gunn, 1989 XIII P/Lovas 1, 1989 XVIII McKenzie-Russell, 1989 XIX Okazaki-Levy-Rudenko, 1989 XX P/Clark, 1989 XXI Helin-Ronan-Alu, 1989 XXII Aarseth-Brewington, 1989h P/Van Biesbroeck, 1989t P/Wild 2, 1989u P/Kearns-Kwee, 1989c1 Austin, 1989e1 Skorichenko-George, 1990a P/Wild 4, 1990b Černis-Kiuchi-Nakamura, 1990c Levy, 1990e P/Wolf-Harrington, 1990f P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, 1990g McNaught-Hughes, 1990i Tsuchiya-Kiuchi, 1990n P/Taylor, 1990ο P/Shoemaker-Levy 1, 1991a P/Metcalf-Brewington, 1991b Arai, 1991c P/Swift-Gehrels, 1991d Shoemaker-Levy, 1991e P/Shoemaker-Levy 3, 1991h P/Takamizawa, 1991j P/Hartley 1, 1991k P/Mrkos, 1991l Helin-Lawrence, 1991n P/Faye, 1991q P/Levy, 1991t P/Hartley 2, P/Encke, P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1.

  16. Comet Dust After Deep Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

    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

  17. ISO's analysis of Comet Hale-Bopp

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-03-01

    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

  18. Comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, D.W.

    1982-01-01

    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)

  19. The Impact of a Large Object with Jupiter in July 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Lavega, Agustin; Wesley, A.; Orton, G.; Chodas, P.; Hueso, R.; Perez-Hoyos, S.; Fletcher, L.; Yanamandra-Fisher, P.; Legarreta, J.; Gomez-Forrellad, J. M.

    2010-05-01

    The only major impact ever observed directly in the Solar System was that of a large fragmented comet with Jupiter in July (1994) (Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9; SL9). We report here the observation of a second, single, large impact on Jupiter that occurred on 19 July 2009 at a latitude of -55° with an orthogonal entry trajectory and a lower incidence angle compared to those of SL9. The size of the initial aerosol cloud debris was 4,800 km East-West and 2,500 km North-South. Comparison its properties with those produced by the SL9 fragments, coupled with dynamical calculations of possible pre-impact orbits, indicates that the impactor was most probably an icy body with a size of 0.5-1 km. We calculate that the rate of collisions of this magnitude may be five to ten times more frequent than previously thought. The search for unpredicted impacts, such as the current one, could be best performed in the near-infrared methane absorption bands at 890 nm and in the 2.12 to 2.3 μm K methane-hydrogen absorption band, where the high-altitude aerosols detach by their brightness relative to Jupiter's primary clouds. We present measurements of the debris dispersion by Jovian winds from a long-term imaging campaign with ground-based telescopes. Ackowledgements: Work was supported by the Spanish MICIIN AYA2009-10701 with FEDER and Grupos Gobierno Vasco IT-464-07, by NASA funds to JPL, Caltech, by the NASA Postdoctoral Program at JPL, and by the Glasstone Fellowship program at Oxford.

  20. Summary of heavy ion theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gavin, S.

    1994-09-01

    Can we study hot QCD using nuclear collisions? Can we learn about metallic hydrogen from the impact of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter? The answer to both questions may surprise you exclamation point I summarize progress in relativistic heavy ion theory reported at DPF '94 in the parallel sessions

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Problems with the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) Impact Hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boslough, M.

    2009-12-01

    One breakthrough of 20th-century Earth science was the recognition of impacts as an important geologic process. The most obvious result is a crater. There are more than 170 confirmed terrestrial impact structures with a non-uniform spatial distribution suggesting more to be found. Many have been erased by tectonics and erosion. Deep water impacts do not form craters, and craters in ice sheets disappear when the ice melts. There is growing speculation that such hidden impacts have caused frequent major environmental events of the Holocene, but this is inconsistent with the astronomically-constrained population of Earth-crossing asteroids. Impacts can have consequences much more significant than excavation of a crater. The K/T boundary mass extinction is attributed to the environmental effects of a major impact, and some researchers argue that other extinctions, abrupt climate changes, and even civilization collapses have resulted from impacts. Nuclear winter models suggest that 2-km diameter asteroids exceed a "global catastrophe threshold" by injecting sufficient dust into the stratosphere to cause short-term climate changes, but would not necessarily collapse most natural ecosystems or cause mass extinctions. Globally-catastrophic impacts recur on timescales of about one million years. The 1994 collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter led us recognize the significance of terrestrial airbursts caused by objects exploding violently in Earth’s atmosphere. We have invoked airbursts to explain rare forms of non-volcanic glasses and melts by using high-resolution computational models to improve our understanding of atmospheric explosions, and have suggested that multiple airbursts from fragmented impactors could be responsible for regional effects. Our models have been cited in support of the widely-publicized YDB impact hypothesis. Proponents claim that a broken comet exploded over North America, with some fragments cratering the Laurentide Ice Sheet. They

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

    CERN Document Server

    Bobrowsky, Peter T

    2007-01-01

    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.

  4. The big comet crash of 1994. Intensive observational campaign at ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    far been observed from Shoemaker-Levy 9, but this is not unusual for a comet at this large distance from the Sun, about 750 million kilometres. The most recent observations obtained with telescopes at Hawaii in mid-January 1994 have shown changes in the relative brightness of the individual nuclei, and many of them have now developed individual comet ``tails''. Where and when will the collision take place ? Accurate determinations of the positions of the individual nuclei have permitted to calculate quite precise orbits and it can now be said with 99 percent certainty that all of them will indeed collide with Jupiter. The points of impact are in the Jovian southern hemisphere, at -43 +- 0.6 deg latitude. Unfortunately, these impacts will happen just behind Jupiter's limb, i.e., out of sight from the Earth. However, due to the rapid rotation of the planet, the impact sites will come into view only about 10 minutes later at the very limb where they will be seen ``from the side''. It is also fortunate that the American spacecraft Galileo, now approaching Jupiter, will then be ``only'' about 200 million km away and will have a good view of the impact sites. On the basis of the recent observations, the impact times can now be predicted to about +-40 minutes. The first, rather small nucleus (``A'') will hit the upper layers of Jupiter's atmosphere on July 16, 1994 at about 18:45 Universal Time (UT); the apparently biggest nucleus (``Q'') on July 20, also at 18:45 UT, and the last one in the train (``W''), on July 22 at 07:00 UT. WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN AT JUPITER ? The comet nuclei will hit Jupiter at a high velocity, about 60 km/sec. The correspondingly large motion energy (the ``kinetic energy'') will all be deposited in the Jovian atmosphere. For a 1 km fragment, this is about equal to 10^28 erg, or no less than about 250,000 Megatons. When one of the cometary nuclei enters the upper layers of the Jovian atmosphere, it will be heated by the friction, exactly as a

  5. Dark matter as a trigger for periodic comet impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall, Lisa; Reece, Matthew

    2014-04-25

    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.

  6. Collisional Histories of Comets and Trojan Asteroids: Insights from Forsterite and Enstatite Impact Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

    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.

  8. The impact imperative: Laser ablation for deflecting asteroids, meteoroids, and comets from impacting the earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, Jonathan W [Advanced Projects/FD02, National Space Science and Technology Center, NASA/MSFC, Huntsville, Alabama, 35812 (United States); Phipps, Claude [Photonics Associates 200A Ojo de la Vaca Road Santa Fe, NM 87505 (United States); Smalley, Larry [Department of Physics, University of Alabama, Huntsville (United States); Reilly, James [Northeast Science and Technology, East Sandwich, MA (United States); Boccio, Dona [Queensborough Community College of the City, University of New York, New York (United States)

    2003-05-14

    Impacting at hypervelocity, an asteroid struck the Earth approximately 65 million years ago in the Yucatan Peninsula area. This triggered the extinction of almost 70% of the species of life on Earth including the dinosaurs. Other impacts prior to this one have caused even greater extinctions. Preventing collisions with the Earth by hypervelocity asteroids, meteoroids, and comets is the most important immediate space challenge facing human civilization. This is the Impact Imperative. We now believe that while there are about 2000 earth orbit crossing rocks greater than 1 kilometer in diameter, there may be as many as 200,000 or more objects in the 100 m size range. Can anything be done about this fundamental existence question facing our civilization? The answer is a resounding yes{exclamation_point} By using an intelligent combination of Earth and space based sensors coupled with an infra-structure of high-energy laser stations and other secondary mitigation options, we can deflect inbound asteroids, meteoroids, and comets and prevent them from striking the Earth. This can be accomplished by irradiating the surface of an inbound rock with sufficiently intense pulses so that ablation occurs. This ablation acts as a small rocket incrementally changing the shape of the rock's orbit around the Sun. One-kilometer size rocks can be moved sufficiently in about a month while smaller rocks may be moved in a shorter time span.

  9. The impact imperative: Laser ablation for deflecting asteroids, meteoroids, and comets from impacting the earth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campbell, Jonathan W.; Phipps, Claude; Smalley, Larry; Reilly, James; Boccio, Dona

    2003-01-01

    Impacting at hypervelocity, an asteroid struck the Earth approximately 65 million years ago in the Yucatan Peninsula area. This triggered the extinction of almost 70% of the species of life on Earth including the dinosaurs. Other impacts prior to this one have caused even greater extinctions. Preventing collisions with the Earth by hypervelocity asteroids, meteoroids, and comets is the most important immediate space challenge facing human civilization. This is the Impact Imperative. We now believe that while there are about 2000 earth orbit crossing rocks greater than 1 kilometer in diameter, there may be as many as 200,000 or more objects in the 100 m size range. Can anything be done about this fundamental existence question facing our civilization? The answer is a resounding yes! By using an intelligent combination of Earth and space based sensors coupled with an infra-structure of high-energy laser stations and other secondary mitigation options, we can deflect inbound asteroids, meteoroids, and comets and prevent them from striking the Earth. This can be accomplished by irradiating the surface of an inbound rock with sufficiently intense pulses so that ablation occurs. This ablation acts as a small rocket incrementally changing the shape of the rock's orbit around the Sun. One-kilometer size rocks can be moved sufficiently in about a month while smaller rocks may be moved in a shorter time span

  10. Solar wind interaction with comet 67P: Impacts of corotating interaction regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edberg, N. J. T.; Eriksson, A. I.; Odelstad, E.; Vigren, E.; Andrews, D. J.; Johansson, F.; Burch, J. L.; Carr, C. M.; Cupido, E.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Goldstein, R.; Halekas, J. S.; Henri, P.; Koenders, C.; Mandt, K.; Mokashi, P.; Nemeth, Z.; Nilsson, H.; Ramstad, R.; Richter, I.; Wieser, G. Stenberg

    2016-02-01

    We present observations from the Rosetta Plasma Consortium of the effects of stormy solar wind on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Four corotating interaction regions (CIRs), where the first event has possibly merged with a coronal mass ejection, are traced from Earth via Mars (using Mars Express and Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission) to comet 67P from October to December 2014. When the comet is 3.1-2.7 AU from the Sun and the neutral outgassing rate ˜1025-1026 s-1, the CIRs significantly influence the cometary plasma environment at altitudes down to 10-30 km. The ionospheric low-energy (˜5 eV) plasma density increases significantly in all events, by a factor of >2 in events 1 and 2 but less in events 3 and 4. The spacecraft potential drops below -20 V upon impact when the flux of electrons increases. The increased density is likely caused by compression of the plasma environment, increased particle impact ionization, and possibly charge exchange processes and acceleration of mass-loaded plasma back to the comet ionosphere. During all events, the fluxes of suprathermal (˜10-100 eV) electrons increase significantly, suggesting that the heating mechanism of these electrons is coupled to the solar wind energy input. At impact the magnetic field strength in the coma increases by a factor of 2-5 as more interplanetary magnetic field piles up around the comet. During two CIR impact events, we observe possible plasma boundaries forming, or moving past Rosetta, as the strong solar wind compresses the cometary plasma environment. We also discuss the possibility of seeing some signatures of the ionospheric response to tail disconnection events.

  11. Tying Extinction Events to Comet Impacts Large Enough to Cause an Extinction in Themselves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgener, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    Comets over 35 km in size impacting Earth will create vast fireballs, and will boil large parts of the oceans, causing extinction events in themselves. They will likely provide enough energy to shatter the crust and eject large masses of molten rock from the mantle, forming traps. Traps are clearly associated with extinction events, but are not expected to cause extinctions. While Chicxulub is recognized to have occurred at the time of the K/Pg boundary layer, it is recognized as being too small in itself to cause an extinction. Are large comet impacts likely? The Kuiper belt has more than 100,000 objects over 100 km in diameter and millions over 10 km. Typically their orbits are less stable than asteroid orbits due to large bodies such as Pluto moving through the belt. The asteroid belt has only 10,000 objects over 10 km diameter. Comet impacts should be more common than asteroid impacts, yet none of the recognized craters are expected to be due to comets. There are many features on Earth that are poorly explained by Plate Tectonics that would be well explained if they were considered to be comet impact craters. A consideration of the Black Sea and the Tarim Basin will show that impact interpretations are a better fit than the present Plate Tectonics' explanations. Both basins are in the midst of mountain building from plate collisions, but are themselves not being disturbed by the plate collisions. Both are ellipses angled at 23.4 degrees to the equator, matching the angle expected for a low angle impact from a comet traveling in the ecliptic. Both are too deep at 15 km depths to be standard oceans (typically 5 km deep). Both are filled with horizontal layers of sediments, undisturbed by the mountain building occurring at the edges. Both have thin crusts and high Moho boundaries. Both have thin lithosphere. Yet both show GPS movement of the land around them moving away from them, as though they were much thicker and stronger than the surrounding land. The Tarim

  12. Survival of Glycolaldehyde and Production of Sugar Compounds via Comet Impact Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zellner, N.; McCaffrey, V.; Crake, C.; Butler, J.; Robbins, J.; Fodor, A.

    2017-12-01

    Impact experiments using glycolaldehyde (GLA), a two-carbon sugar precursor that has been detected in regions of the interstellar medium and on comets, have been conducted at the Experimental Impact Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Samples of GLA and GLA mixed with montmorillonite clays were subjected to the pressure conditions that are found during impact delivery of biomolecules by comets, asteroids, or meteors; pressures ranged from 4.5 GPa to 25 GPa. Results show that large amounts of GLA survived the impacts and moderate amounts of threose, erythrose, and glycolic acid were produced in these impacts. Total amounts are dependent on impact pressure. Ethylene glycol, a reduced variant of GLA that has also been detected in the interstellar medium and on comets, was also produced. The results of these experimental impacts provide evidence that large amounts of GLA, EG, and other biomolecules were available on habitable moons or planets, especially during the era of late heavy bombardment ( 4.2 to 3.7 billion years ago) when life may have been developing on Earth. The presence and availability of these biomolecules, under appropriate conditions, may be important for understanding the origin of life as we know it. Glycolaldehyde in particular, may be an important molecule in the production of ribose, the five-carbon sugar in RNA.

  13. Looking before we leap: an ongoing, quantative investigation of asteroid and comet impact hazard mitigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plesko, Catherine S [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Weaver, Robert P [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bradley, Paul A [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Huebner, Walter F [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2010-01-01

    There are many outstanding questions about the correct response to an asteroid or comet impact threat on Earth. Nuclear munitions are currently thought to be the most efficient method of delivering an impact-preventing impulse to a potentially hazardous object (PHO). However, there are major uncertainties about the response of PHOs to a nuclear burst, and the most appropriate ways to use nuclear munitions for hazard mitigation.

  14. Hydrodynamic Modeling of the Deep Impact Mission into Comet Tempel 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorli, Kya; Remington, Tané; Bruck Syal, Megan

    2018-01-01

    Kinetic impact is one of the primary strategies to deflect hazardous objects off of an Earth-impacting trajectory. The only test of a small-body impact is the 2005 Deep Impact mission into comet Tempel 1, where a 366-kg mass impactor collided at ~10 km/s into the comet, liberating an enormous amount of vapor and ejecta. Code comparisons with observations of the event represent an important source of new information about the initial conditions of small bodies and an extraordinary opportunity to test our simulation capabilities on a rare, full-scale experiment. Using the Adaptive Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (ASPH) code, Spheral, we explore how variations in target material properties such as strength, composition, porosity, and layering affect impact results, in order to best match the observed crater size and ejecta evolution. Benchmarking against this unique small-body experiment provides an enhanced understanding of our ability to simulate asteroid or comet response to future deflection missions. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344. LLNL-ABS-739336-DRAFT.

  15. Speckle imaging algorithms for planetary imaging

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johansson, E. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)

    1994-11-15

    I will discuss the speckle imaging algorithms used to process images of the impact sites of the collision of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter. The algorithms use a phase retrieval process based on the average bispectrum of the speckle image data. High resolution images are produced by estimating the Fourier magnitude and Fourier phase of the image separately, then combining them and inverse transforming to achieve the final result. I will show raw speckle image data and high-resolution image reconstructions from our recent experiment at Lick Observatory.

  16. MEST-Tyche will take its dark comets to impact our solar system in 20 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Dayong

    2012-03-01

    Tyche has many dark comets like Oort cloud. It went near our solar system every 25-27 million years. It could take its dark comets to impact our earth. Tyche and its dark comet absorb light like a dark light which is a negative black-body radiation. (1) Eddν=-c1dνd^3dνe^c2dνd/Td-1. Among it, Ed: the dark energy, νd: the dark frequence, Td: the dark temperature, c1d,c2d: the constant. So when they go near us, their wave has a against Doppler redshift as 0.000165. And they will inbreak solar system at the rate of 99AU/y, from the distance of 1,500AU and in 20 years. It can cause the broken ozonosphere, the lithosphere to crack, many big activity volcanic and the continental drift. And it can darked the light and colded the climate to the Great Ice Age. Not only it will break our environment by a special ``nuclear explosion'' under low temperature, but also the dark life will change the Genetic code of our life. So it will kill many lives and will produce new life. So it could trigger the Mass Extinction. We can bulid up a new pair of nuclear reactor (include dark nuclear energy) to drive a universal craft and can change the orbit of our earth for evading the impaction. We need a new life-information technology to develop our life and consciousness.

  17. Collisional Histories of Comets and Trojan Asteroids: Diopside, Magnesite, and Fayalite Impact Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Comets and asteroids have weathered dynamic histories, as evidenced by their rough surfaces. The Nice model describes a violent reshuffling of small bodies during the Late Heavy Bombardment, with collisions acting to grind these planetesimals away. This creates an additional source of impact material that can re-work the surfaces of the larger bodies over the lifetime of the solar system. Here, we investigate the possibility that signatures due to impacts (e.g. from micrometeoroids or meteoroids) could be detected in their spectra, and how that can be explained by the physical manifestation of shock in the crystalline structure of minerals. All impact experiments were conducted in the Johnson Space Center Experimental Impact Laboratory using the vertical gun. Impact speeds ranged from approx.2.0 km/s to approx.2.8 km/s. All experiments were conducted at room temperature. Minerals found in comets and asteroids were chosen as targets, including diopside (MgCaSi2O6, monoclinic pyroxene), magnesite (MgCO3, carbonate), and fayalite (FeSiO4, olivine). Impacted samples were analyzed using a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR) and a Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). Absorbance features in the 8-13 m spectral region demonstrate relative amplitude changes as well as wavelength shifts. Corresponding TEM images exhibit planar shock dislocations in the crystalline structure, attributed to deformation at high strain and low temperatures. Elongating or shortening the axes of the crystalline structure of forsterite (Mg2SiO4, olivine) using a discrete dipole approximation model (Lindsay et al., submitted) yields changes in spectral features similar to those observed in our impacted laboratory minerals.

  18. NUMERICAL MODELING OF THE 2009 IMPACT EVENT ON JUPITER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pond, Jarrad W. T.; Palotai, Csaba; Gabriel, Travis; Harrington, Joseph; Rebeli, Noemi [Planetary Sciences Group, Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816-2385 (United States); Korycansky, Donald G., E-mail: jarradpond@gmail.com [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)

    2012-02-01

    We have investigated the 2009 July impact event on Jupiter using the ZEUS-MP 2 three-dimensional hydrodynamics code. We studied the impact itself and the following plume development. Eight impactors were considered: 0.5 km and 1 km porous ({rho} = 1.760 g cm{sup -3}) and non-porous ({rho} = 2.700 g cm{sup -3}) basalt impactors, and 0.5 km and 1 km porous ({rho} = 0.600 g cm{sup -3}) and non-porous ({rho} = 0.917 g cm{sup -3}) ice impactors. The simulations consisted of these bolides colliding with Jupiter at an incident angle of {theta} = 69 Degree-Sign from the vertical and with an impact velocity of v = 61.4 km s{sup -1}. Our simulations show the development of relatively larger, faster plumes created after impacts involving 1 km diameter bodies. Comparing simulations of the 2009 event with simulations of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) events reveals a difference in plume development, with the higher incident angle of the 2009 impact leading to a shallower terminal depth and a smaller and slower plume. We also studied the amount of dynamical chaos present in the simulations conducted at the 2009 incident angle. Compared to the chaos of the SL9 simulations, where {theta} Almost-Equal-To 45 Degree-Sign , we find no significant difference in chaos at the higher 2009 incident angle.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-06-20

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

  20. THE TEMPORAL CHANGES IN THE EMISSION SPECTRUM OF COMET 9P/TEMPEL 1 AFTER DEEP IMPACT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, William M.; Yang Xueliang; Shi Xiaoyu; Cochran, Anita L.

    2009-01-01

    The time dependence of the changes in the emission spectra of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 after Deep Impact is derived and discussed. This was a unique event because for the first time it gave astronomers the opportunity to follow the time history of the formation and decay of O( 1 S), OH, CN, C 2 , C 3 , NH, and NH 2 . Least-squares fits of a modified Haser model with constraints using known rate constants were fit to the observed data. In the case of OH, a simple two-step Haser model provides a reasonable fit to the observations. Fitting the emissions from O( 1 S), CN, C 2 , C 3 , NH, and NH 2 requires the addition of a delayed component to a regular two- or three-step Haser model. From this information, a picture of the Deep Impact encounter emerges where there is an initial formation of gas and dust, which is responsible for the prompt emission that occurs right after impact. A secondary source of gas starts later after impact when the initial dust has dissipated enough so that solar radiation can reach the surface of freshly exposed material. The implications of this and other results are discussed in terms of the structure and composition of the comet's nucleus.

  1. Comparative Mineralogy of Comets and Exo-Systems Using the Deep Impact Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, Carey M.

    2006-09-01

    We have used the infrared mineralogical model derived from the Spitzer IRS observations of the Deep Impact experiment to study the nature of the dust in the cometary systems 9P/Tempel 1 (Lisse et al. 2006), C/Hale-Bopp 1995 O1 (Crovisier et al. 1997), 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (Sitko et al. 2007), and 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (Stansberry et al. 2004), the YSO HD100546 (Malfait et al. 1998), and the debris disk found around the K0V star HD69830 (Beichman et al. 2005). The comets show common emission signatures due to silicates, carbonates, water ice, amorphous carbon, and sulfides. There are differences - unlike Tempel 1, no Fe-rich olivines or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are found in Hale-Bopp, while HD100546 is lacking in carbonates and phyllosilicates but does demonstrate a huge PAH feature. The dust from SW1 and SW3 is much less crystalline, 30%, and does not show strong evidence for phyllosilicates. Located beyond the ice line, SW1 and Hale-Bopp emitted copious amounts of water ice, SW3 at 1.47 AU emitted only water gas. The material around HD100546 appears to be very fresh, rich in PAHs and amorphous silicates; that incorporated into Hale-Bopp, SW1, and SW3 to be middle aged; and that incorporated into Tempel 1 to be mature. Lacking in carbonaceous and ferrous materials but including small, icy, ephemeral grains, the composition of the HD 69830 dust resembles that of a disrupted P or D-type asteroid. The amount of mass responsible for the observed emission is the equivalent of a 6 km radius, 2500 kg m-3 sphere, while the effective temperature of the dust implies that the bulk of the observed material is at 0.5 AU from the central source, between the second and third Neptune-sized planets. The ephemeral nature of the dust implies that ongoing collisional fragmentation is occurring.

  2. SQCX X-ray Observations Of The Deep Impact Spacecraft Close Encounters With Comets 9P/Tempel 1 And 103P/Hartley 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, Carey M.; Dennerl, K.; Wolk, S. J.; Christian, D. J.; Bodewits, D.; Zurbuchen, T. H.; Combi, M.

    2010-03-01

    We present results from the extensive Chandra, SWIFT, Spitzer, and groundbased observing campaigns studying Comet 9P/Tempel 1 in support of NASA's Deep Impact (DI) mission as an indication of the results expected for the next DI flyby of comet 103P/Hartley 2 at 0.1 AU geocentric distance in November 2010. 9P/Tempel 1 was observed for 300 ksec between 30th June and 24th July 2005, and continuously for 60 ksec on July 4th during the impact event. X-ray emission qualitatively similar to that observed for the collisionally thin, cold wind comet 2P/Encke system (Lisse et al. 2005) was found, with emission morphology centered on the nucleus and emission lines due to C, N, O, and Ne solar wind minor ions. The comet was relatively faint on July 4th, and the total increase in x-ray flux due to the Deep Impact excavation was small, 20% of the immediate pre-impact value, consistent with estimates that the total coma neutral gas release due to the impact was 5 x 106 kg ( 10 hrs of normal coma outflow). Over time, other temporally variable spectral features due to changing solar wind flux densities and charge states were clearly seen. Good agreement between the Chandra and SWIFT x-ray photometry was found. Two flares, much stronger than the man-made increase due to Deep Impact, were found in the observed x-rays on June 30th and July 8th, 2005, and are coincident with increases in the solar wind flux arriving at the comet. Modeling of the Chandra data using observed Spitzer gas production rates and ACE solar wind ion fluxes with a SWCX mechanism for the emission was found to be consistent with the temporal- and spectral behavior expected for a slow, hot wind typical of low latitude emission from the solar corona interacting with the comet's neutral coma.

  3. 100 and counting : SOHO's score as the world's top comet finder

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Dayong

    2014-03-01

    New observations show that some asteroids are looked like comets. http://www.astrowatch.net/2013/11/freakish-asteroid-discovered-resembles.html, http://www.astrowatch.net/2013/11/astronomers-puzzle-over-newfound.html. 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? http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2011.CAL.C1.7, http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/CAL12/Event/181168, http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2013.MAR.H1.267. 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. http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2011.APR.K1.17, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/WISE/news/wise20100122.html Avoid Earth Extinction Associ.

  5. Impact of Radiogenic Heating on the Formation Conditions of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mousis, O.; Drouard, A.; Vernazza, P.; Le Deun, T.; Lunine, J. I.; Monnereau, M.; Rème, H.; Maggiolo, R.; Cessateur, G.; De Keyser, J.; Gasc, S.; Altwegg, K.; Balsiger, H.; Rubin, M.; Tzou, C.-Y.; Berthelier, J.-J.; Fuselier, S. A.; Korth, A.; Mall, U.; Marty, B.

    2017-01-01

    Because of the high fraction of refractory material present in comets, the heat produced by the radiogenic decay of elements such as aluminum and iron can be high enough to induce the loss of ultravolatile species such as nitrogen, argon, or carbon monoxide during their accretion phase in the protosolar nebula (PSN). Here, we investigate how heat generated by the radioactive decay of "2"6Al and "6"0Fe influences the formation of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, as a function of its accretion time and the size of its parent body. We use an existing thermal evolution model that includes various phase transitions, heat transfer in the ice-dust matrix, and gas diffusion throughout the porous material, based on thermodynamic parameters derived from Rosetta observations. Two possibilities are considered: either, to account for its bilobate shape, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was assembled from two primordial ∼2 km sized planetesimals, or it resulted from the disruption of a larger parent body with a size corresponding to that of comet Hale–Bopp (∼70 km). To fully preserve its volatile content, we find that either 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s formation was delayed between ∼2.2 and 7.7 Myr after that of Ca–Al-rich Inclusions in the PSN or the comet’s accretion phase took place over the entire time interval, depending on the primordial size of its parent body and the composition of the icy material considered. Our calculations suggest that the formation of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is consistent with both its accretion from primordial building blocks formed in the nebula or from debris issued from the disruption of a Hale–Bopp-like body.

  6. Impact of Radiogenic Heating on the Formation Conditions of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mousis, O.; Drouard, A.; Vernazza, P.; Le Deun, T. [Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, F-13388, Marseille (France); Lunine, J. I. [Department of Astronomy and Carl Sagan Institute, Space Sciences Building Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 (United States); Monnereau, M.; Rème, H. [Université de Toulouse, UPS-OMP-CNRS, IRAP, Toulouse (France); Maggiolo, R.; Cessateur, G.; De Keyser, J.; Gasc, S. [Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, BIRA-IASB, Ringlaan 3, B-1180 Brussels (Belgium); Altwegg, K.; Balsiger, H.; Rubin, M.; Tzou, C.-Y. [Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern, Sidlerstr. 5, CH-3012 Bern (Switzerland); Berthelier, J.-J. [LATMOS/IPSL-CNRS-UPMC-UVSQ, 4 Avenue de Neptune F-94100, Saint-Maur (France); Fuselier, S. A. [Department of Space Science, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78228 (United States); Korth, A.; Mall, U. [Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, D-37077 Göttingen (Germany); Marty, B., E-mail: olivier.mousis@lam.fr [Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques, CRPG-CNRS, Université de Lorraine, 15 rue Notre Dame des Pauvres, BP 20, F-54501 Vandoeuvre lès Nancy (France); and others

    2017-04-10

    Because of the high fraction of refractory material present in comets, the heat produced by the radiogenic decay of elements such as aluminum and iron can be high enough to induce the loss of ultravolatile species such as nitrogen, argon, or carbon monoxide during their accretion phase in the protosolar nebula (PSN). Here, we investigate how heat generated by the radioactive decay of {sup 26}Al and {sup 60}Fe influences the formation of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, as a function of its accretion time and the size of its parent body. We use an existing thermal evolution model that includes various phase transitions, heat transfer in the ice-dust matrix, and gas diffusion throughout the porous material, based on thermodynamic parameters derived from Rosetta observations. Two possibilities are considered: either, to account for its bilobate shape, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was assembled from two primordial ∼2 km sized planetesimals, or it resulted from the disruption of a larger parent body with a size corresponding to that of comet Hale–Bopp (∼70 km). To fully preserve its volatile content, we find that either 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s formation was delayed between ∼2.2 and 7.7 Myr after that of Ca–Al-rich Inclusions in the PSN or the comet’s accretion phase took place over the entire time interval, depending on the primordial size of its parent body and the composition of the icy material considered. Our calculations suggest that the formation of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is consistent with both its accretion from primordial building blocks formed in the nebula or from debris issued from the disruption of a Hale–Bopp-like body.

  7. Long-range consequences of interplanetary collisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, Carl; Ostro, Steven J.

    1994-01-01

    As Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 races toward its mid-July collision with the planet Jupiter, considerable public attention is focused on catastrophic impacts with the Earth -- in the past and in the future. In recent years calls have been made to develop technologies that could deflect any asteroid or comet on a collision course. Careful consideration must be given to the nature and time scale of the risk and to the cost-effectiveness and possible problems in the suggested solutions. Risk assessment, threat removal, and resources misuse are examined. The greatest concern is to have a poorly informed public -- exerting pressure for means to mitigate even non-existent threats. The only foreseeable solution is a combination of accurate orbit estimation, realistic threat assessment, and effective public education.

  8. Recovering the Elemental Composition of Comet Wild 2 Dust in Five Stardust Impact Tracks and Terminal Particles in Aerogel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ishii, H A; Brennan, S; Bradley, J P; Luening, K; Ignatyev, K; Pianetta, P

    2007-01-01

    The elemental (non-volatile) composition of five Stardust impact tracks and terminal particles left from capture of Comet 81P/Wild 2 dust were mapped in a synchrotron x-ray scanning microprobe with full fluorescence spectra at each pixel. Because aerogel includes background levels of several elements of interest, we employ a novel 'dual threshold' approach to discriminate against background contaminants: an upper threshold, above which a spectrum contains cometary material plus aerogel and a lower threshold below which it contains only aerogel. The difference between normalized cometary-plus-background and background-only spectra is attributable to cometary material. The few spectra in between are discarded since misallocation is detrimental: cometary material incorrectly placed in the background spectrum is later subtracted from the cometary spectrum, doubling the loss of reportable cometary material. This approach improves precision of composition quantification. We present the refined whole impact track and terminal particle elemental abundances for the five impact tracks. One track shows mass increases in Cr and Mn (1.4x), Cu, As and K (2x), Zn (4x) and total mass (13%) by dual thresholds compared to a single threshold. Major elements Fe and Ni are not significantly affected. The additional Cr arises from cometary material containing little Fe. We exclude Au intermixed with cometary material because it is found to be a localized surface contaminant carried by comet dust into an impact track. The dual threshold technique can be used in other situations where elements of interest in a small sample embedded in a matrix are also present in the matrix itself

  9. The agricultural impact of pesticides on Physalaemus cuvieri tadpoles (Amphibia: Anura ascertained by comet assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Macks W. Gonçalves

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Amphibians inhabiting agricultural areas are constantly exposed to large amounts of chemicals, which reach the aquatic environment during the rainy season through runoff, drainage, and leaching. We performed a comet assay on the erythrocytes of tadpoles found in the surroundings of agricultural fields (soybean and corn crops, where there is an intense release of several kinds of pesticides in different quantities. We aimed to detect differences in the genotoxic parameters between populations collected from soybeans and cornfields, and between them and tadpoles sampled from non-agricultural areas (control group. Tadpoles collected from ponds located at soybean fields had significantly more DNA damage, followed by tadpoles collected from cornfields. In contrast, animals sampled from non-agricultural areas had the lowest incidence of DNA damage. In addition, we found a negative correlation between the parameters of the comet assay and the area of the ponds surrounding soybean. This correlation indicates a possible dilution effect in the concentration of pesticides. Finally, Physalaemus cuvieri Fitzinger, 1826 seems to be a good bioindicator for detecting the genotoxic effects of field agricultural insecticides; therefore, we suggest that this species should be used in environmental biomonitoring studies, since it is common and abundant where it occurs.

  10. CO2 Orbital Trends in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  11. COMET concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alsmeyer, H.; Tromm, W.

    1995-01-01

    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.)

  12. Implications of theories of asteroid and comet impact for policy options for management of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive wastes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trask, Newell J.

    1994-01-01

    Concern with the threat posed by terrestrial asteroid and comet impacts has heightened as the catastrophic consequences of such events have become better appreciated. Although the probabilities of such impacts are very small, a reasonable question for debate is whether such phenomena should be taken into account in deciding policy for the management of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The rate at which asteroid or comet impacts would affect areas of surface storage of radioactive waste is about the same as the estimated rate at which volcanic activity would affect the Yucca Mountain area. The Underground Retrievable Storage (URS) concept could satisfactorily reduce the risk from cosmic impact with its associated uncertainties in addition to providing other benefits described by previous authors.

  13. Implications of theories of asteroid and comet impact for policy options for management of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trask, N.J.

    1994-01-01

    Concern with the threat posed by terrestrial asteroid and comet impacts has heightened as the catastrophic consequences of such events have become better appreciated. Although the probabilities of such impacts are very small, a reasonable question for debate is whether such phenomena should be taken into account in deciding policy for the management of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The rate at which asteroid or comet impacts would affect areas of surface storage of radioactive waste is about the same as the estimated rate at which volcanic activity would affect the Yucca Mountain area. The Underground Retrievable Storage (URS) concept could satisfactorily reduce the risk from cosmic impact with its associated uncertainties in addition to providing other benefits described by previous authors

  14. The LCO/Gemini-South campaign for Deep Impact target Comet 9P/Tempel 1: Temporally resolved wide-field narrowband imaging results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, S. M.; Osip, D. J.; Thomas-Osip, J. E.; DeBuizer, J. M.; Mondragon, L. A.; Schweiger, D. L.; Viehweg, J.; SB Collaboration

    2005-08-01

    An extensive observing campaign to monitor Comet 9P/Tempel 1 will be conducted from 20 June to 19 July, 2005 at Las Campanas Observatory, Chile. These observations will precede and follow the impact of the Deep Impact projectile, which is likely to create a crater on the nucleus that will act as a fresh active area on the surface of the comet. Discreet nucleus active areas, believed to be the source of coma gas and dust jets, will likely result in changing morphology in the coma. We present the initial results of the wide-field narrowband visible imaging of the comet. Data will be taken with the 2.5m DuPont telescope from 27 June - 9 July, following the comet from 4 rotations prior to impact, to 4 rotations after impact using the narrowband Hale-Bopp filters, including CN, C2, and two continuum filters. These data will allow an accurate determination of the rotation state of the embedded nucleus immediately preceding the impact event as well as a measure of any changes to the rotation state due to the impact. In addition, modeling of these data will provide the total dust and gas production rates from the unaltered nucleus compared to the enhanced dust and gas emission from the newly created active region and freely sublimating pieces of mantle material ejected into the coma by the impactor. We will monitor temporal changes (on hours and days time-scales) in the morphology of both the gas and refractory components. We will use coma morphology studies to estimate the dust and gas outflow velocities and infer the presence of discreet nucleus source regions (pre- and post-impact). Of particular interest is the study of the gas-to-dust ratio and the ratio of the minor carbon species emitted from the newly created active region relative to the pre-impact coma environment.

  15. Spitzer Observations of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 During Deep Impact : Water and Dust Production and Spatial Distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gicquel, Adeline; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Kelley, M. S.; Woodward, C. E.

    2009-09-01

    The Deep Impact (DI) spacecraft encountered comet 9P/Tempel 1 on July 4th, 2005 (rh = 1.506 AU). Spectral maps covering 20'' x 67'' (1.85''/pixel) were acquired with the IRS instrument on the Spitzer Space Telescope (ΔSpitzer = 0.72 AU) at different times around the Deep Impact event: twice before impact (TI-41.3hrs and TI-22.9hrs) and twelve times after impact (between TI+0.67hrs and TI+1027hrs). These IRS observations (Lisse et al 2006, Sciences 313, 635) were taken from the Spitzer data archive. We present the interpretation of 5.2-7.6 µm spectra obtained in the second order of the short-wavelength module (SL2). To reduce the contribution of artifacts in the spectra, 5x5 pixel extraction apertures (9.25''x9.25'') were used. On the first stage we studied the water ν2 vibrational band emission at 6.4µm, which is present in most spectra. The water production rate before impact is deduced ( 4.25e27 molecules/sec). In order to study both the amount and origin of the water molecules released after impact, we used extractions centered on the nucleus and along the length of the slit. We analyzed the spatial distribution of water and its time evolution with a time-dependent model which describes the evolution of the water cloud after impact. The underlying continuum in the spectra provides information on the evolution and color temperature of the dust ejecta. The dust mass and dust/gas ratio in the ejecta cloud are derived and compared with other values published in the literature.

  16. EPOXI at comet Hartley 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2011-06-17

    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.

  17. COMET concept; COMET-Konzept

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alsmeyer, H.; Tromm, W.

    1995-08-01

    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.)

  18. Comet formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, J.

    2014-07-01

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

  19. The Jovian ring was imaged at 2.26+/-0.03 microns at approximately 7:00 UT on 12 July, 1994, from NA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    The Jovian ring was imaged at 2.26+/-0.03 microns at approximately 7:00 UT on 12 July, 1994, from NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility. The image was coadded from three 30-second exposures with sky subtracted. The resolution was 0.31 arcseconds per pixel. A S/N 5 per pixel was obtained for the coadded images. Photometry on the ring image is pending. This is part of a program to monitor the effects of the dust from Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 on the Jovian ring system. More images will be taken during and after the impacts of the fragments. The image was obtained by Philip Esterle (University of Maryland), Casey Lisse (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center), and Mark Shure (University of Hawaii).

  20. Simulation of Prebiotic Processing by Comet and Meteoroid Impact: Implications for Life on Early Earth and Other Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dateo, Christopher E.

    2003-01-01

    We develop a reacting flow model to simulate the shock induced chemistry of comets and meteoroids entering planetary atmospheres. Various atmospheric compositions comprising of simpler molecules (i.e., CH4, CO2, H2O, etc.) are investigated to determine the production efficiency of more complex prebiotic molecules as a function of composition, pressure, and entry velocity. The possible role of comets and meteoroids in creating the inventory of prebiotic material necessary for life on Early Earth is considered. Comets and meteoroids can also introduce new materials from the Interstellar Medium (ISM) to planetary atmospheres. The ablation of water from comets, introducing the element oxygen into Titan's atmosphere will also be considered and its implications for the formation of organic and prebiotic material.

  1. Investigating the Effects of Temperature on the Signatures of Shocks Propagated Through Impacts into Minerals Found in Comets and Asteroids

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Comets and asteroids are subjected to extremely cold conditions throughout their lifetimes. During their sojourns in the solar system, they are subjected to collisions at speeds that are easily capable of generating shock waves in their constituent materials. In addition to ices, more common silicate minerals such as olivines and pyroxenes are important components of these objects. The collision-induced shocks could affect the spectral signatures of those mineral components, which could in turn be detected telescopically. We have embarked on a project to determine how impact-generated shock might affect the reflectance spectra and structures of select silicates as both impact speed and target temperature are varied systematically. While the effects of impact speed (in the form of shock stress) on numerous materials have been and continue to be studied, the role of target temperature has received comparatively little attention, presumably because of the operational difficulties it can introduce to experimentation. Our experiments were performed with the vertical gun in the Experimental Impact Laboratory of the Johnson Space Center. A liquid-nitrogen system was plumbed to permit cooling of the target container and its contents under vacuum to temperatures as low as -100 C (173 K). Temperatures were monitored by thermocouples mounted on the outside of the target container. Because those sensors were not in contact with the target material at impact, the measured temperatures are treated as lower limits for the actual values. Peridot (Mg-rich olivine) and enstatite (Mg-rich orthopyroxene) were used as targets, which involved the impact of alumina (Al2O3) spheres at speeds of 2.0 - 2.7 km s(exp -1) and temperatures covering 25 C to -100 C (298 K to 173 K). We have begun collecting and analyzing data in the near to mid-IR with a Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer, and preliminary analyses show that notable differences in absorption-band strength and position occur

  2. Impact of an asteroid or comet in the ocean and extinction of terrestrial life

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahrens, T.J.; O'Keefe, J.D.

    1983-01-01

    Finite difference calculations describing the impact mechanics associated with a 10 to 30 km diameter silicate or water object impacting a 5 km deep ocean overlying a silicate solid planet at 30 km/sec demonstrate that from 12 to 15% of the bolide energy resides in the water. In the gravity field of the earth some 10 to 30 times the impactor mass of water is launched on trajectories which would take it to altitudes of 10 km or higher. This ejecta launched on trajectories which can achieve stratospheric heights is 10 1 to 10 2 projectile masses, similar to that resulting from impact of objects on an ocean-free silicate half-space (continent). Ejecta composed of impactor material, launched on trajectories which would carry it to stratospheric heights, matches the fraction (10 -2 to 10 -1 ) of bolide (extraterrestrial) material found in the platinum-metal-rich Cretaceous-Tertiary and Eocene-Oligocene boundary layers. Oceanic impact results in giant tsunamis initially having amplitudes of approx. 4 km, representing the solitary waterwave stability limit in the deep ocean, and containing 10 -2 to 10 -1 of the energy of the impact. Using the constraint of no observed turbidities in marine sediments in the Cretaceous-Tertiary and Eocene-Oligocene boundary materials (calculated maximum water-sediment interface particle velocity approx. 10 0 m/sec) implies a maximum impactor energy of approx. 10 28 to approx. 10 29 erg corresponding to a maximum diameter for a silicate impactor of approx. 2 km (at 11 km/sec). Minimal global tsunami run-up heights on the continents corresponding to impacts of this energy are 300-400 m. We speculate that such waves would inundate all low altitude continental areas. As a result, the terrestrial animal food chain would be seriously perturbed, which could have caused extinction of large terrestrial animals

  3. Impact of an asteroid or comet in the ocean and extinction of terrestrial life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, T. J.; Okeefe, J. D.

    1982-01-01

    Finite difference calculations describing the impact mechanics associated with a 10 to 30 km diameter silicate or water object impacting a 5 km deep ocean overlying a silicate solid planet demonstrate that from 12 to 15% of the bolide energy resides in the water. It is speculated that minimal global tsunami run-up heights on the continents would be 300-400 meters, and that such waves would inundate all low altitude continental areas, and strip and silt-over virtually all vegetation. As a result the terrestrial animal food chain would be seriously perturbed. This could in turn cause extinction of large terrestrial animals.

  4. High-Resolution Spectroscopy of Stratospheric Ethane Following the Jupiter Impact of 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fast, Kelly; Kostiuk, Theodor; Livengood, Timothy A.; Hewagama, Tilak; Amen, John

    2010-01-01

    We report on high-resolution infrared spectroscopy of ethane (C2H6) performed at the latitude of an impact site on Jupiter discovered on 19 July 2009 by A. Wesley from a location in Murrumbateman, Australia. The observations used the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Heterodyne Instrument for Planetary Wind and Composition (HIPWAC) at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. HIPWAC is a mid-infrared (9-12 microns) heterodyne spectrometer operating at the highest limit of spectral resolving power (lambda\\Delta\\lambda > l06), providing information on atmospheric constituent abundance and temperature through fully resolved tine shapes. Ethane is a stable trace product of methane photochemistry that is nearly uniformly mixed in Jupiter's stratosphere, providing an effective probe of that altitude region. Ethane emission line profiles near 11,74 microns in the Ug band were measured in Jupiter's stratosphere at 25 MHz (11.00083/cm) resolution. A sequence of spectra of ethane acquired over a range of longitude at the impact latitude (56S planetocentric) probes constituent abundance and temperature profile, both on and off the impact region. Near the site of the impact, ethane emission increased above levels measured well outside the impact region. Radiative transfer analysis indicates increased ethane mole fraction (30% greater). Variation in the measured continuum level and line intensities within 75deg of the impact longitude indicate the presence of an opacity source (haze) at altitudes near and above the tropopause and as high as the 10-mbar level near the impact site. The indication of possible haze opacity up to the 10-mbar level in the atmosphere is consistent with measurements made by HIPWAC's predecessor as part of the IRTF Shoemaker Levy-9 campaign in 1994.

  5. K/T boundary stratigraphy: Evidence for multiple impacts and a possible comet stream

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, E. M.; Izett, G. A.

    1992-01-01

    A critical set of observations bearing on the K/T boundary events were obtained from several dozen sites in western North America. Thin strata at and adjacent to the K/T boundary are locally preserved in association with coal beds at these sites. The strata were laid down in local shallow basins that were either intermittently flooded or occupied by very shallow ponds. Detailed examination of the stratigraphy at numerous sites led to the recognition of two distinct strata at the boundary. From the time that the two strata were first recognized, E.M. Shoemaker has maintained that they record two impact events. We report some of the evidence that supports this conclusion.

  6. Modeling the Deep Impact Near-nucleus Observations of H2O and CO2 in Comet 9P/Tempel 1 Using Asymmetric Spherical Coupled Escape Probability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gersch, Alan M.; A’Hearn, Michael F.; Feaga, Lori M.

    2018-04-01

    We have applied our asymmetric spherical adaptation of Coupled Escape Probability to the modeling of optically thick cometary comae. Expanding on our previously published work, here we present models including asymmetric comae. Near-nucleus observations from the Deep Impact mission have been modeled, including observed coma morphology features. We present results for two primary volatile species of interest, H2O and CO2, for comet 9P/Tempel 1. Production rates calculated using our best-fit models are notably greater than those derived from the Deep Impact data based on the assumption of optically thin conditions, both for H2O and CO2 but more so for CO2, and fall between the Deep Impact values and the global pre-impact production rates measured at other observatories and published by Schleicher et al. (2006), Mumma et al. (2005), and Mäkinen et al. (2007).

  7. Comets and the origin and evolution of life

    CERN Document Server

    McKay, Christopher P

    2006-01-01

    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

  8. Disintegration of comet nuclei

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V.

    2012-02-01

    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.

  9. Physics of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Krishna Swamy, K S

    1997-01-01

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

  10. Photochemistry of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huebner, W.F.

    1985-01-01

    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

  11. Visually observing comets

    CERN Document Server

    Seargent, David A J

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Mission to the comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, D.

    1980-01-01

    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)

  13. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  14. Temporal Evolution of Water and Dust in Comet 9P/Tempel 1 after the Deep Impact Event, as Observed from Spitzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gicquel, Adeline; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Kelley, M. S.; Woodward, C. E.; Wooden, D. H.

    2010-10-01

    The Deep Impact (DI) spacecraft encountered comet 9P/Tempel 1 on July 4th, 2005. The spacecraft released an impactor that collided with the comet nucleus and excavated (possibly unprocessed) cometary material in a prominent ejecta plume. Spectral maps covering 20'' x 67'' (1.85''/pixel) were acquired with the IRS instrument on the Spitzer Space Telescope at different times around the DI event: twice before impact (TI-41.3hrs and TI-22.9hrs) and twelve times after impact (between TI+0.67hrs and TI+1027hrs). These IRS observations are stored in the Spitzer data archive and presented by Lisse et al. (2006, Science 313, 635). We present the interpretation of 5.2-7.6 micrometer spectra obtained in the second order of the short-wavelength module (SL2). To reduce the contribution of artifacts in the spectra, 5x5 pixel extraction apertures (9.25''x9.25'') were used. The underlying continuum in the spectra provides information on the grain size distribution and color temperature of the dust ejecta. In order to determine the grain size distribution, we assumed that ejecta consist of a composition of both amorphous carbon and silicates. The grains are assumed to be spherical with sizes in range from 0.1 to 100 micrometers. We used the Mie theory to calculate the optical properties of each material and the temperature of the grain. We constrained the grain size distribution and velocities from the spectra and the temporal evolution of the dust flux. The dust mass and dust/gas ratio in the ejecta cloud are also derived and compared with other values published in the literature.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  16. Comet Giacobini-Zinner - a normal comet?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

    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. Craters on comets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

    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

  18. Comet Mineralogy as Inferred from Infrared Spectra of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, Diane H.

    2006-01-01

    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

  19. Mystery of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whipple, F.L.

    1985-01-01

    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

  20. Ammonia abundances in comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Modeling Formaldehyde Emission in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Postencounter view of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendis, D.A.

    1988-01-01

    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

  3. Optical observation of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanabe, Hiroyoshi

    1974-01-01

    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.)

  4. Comet Tempel 1 Went Back to Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-07-01

    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

  5. Comet thermal modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

    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

  6. Disintegration of comet nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ksanfomality, Leonid V

    2012-01-01

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

    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

  8. Composition of faint comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, L.W.

    1986-01-01

    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

  9. Realm of the comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weissman, P.R.

    1987-01-01

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

  10. Origin and development of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kresak, L.

    1989-01-01

    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

  11. Comets in UV

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

    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.

  12. Physics of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Krishna Swamy, K S

    2010-01-01

    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

  13. Comet prospects for 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanklin, J. D.

    2003-12-01

    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.

  14. Comets and their composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spinrad, H.

    1987-01-01

    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

  15. DIRBE Comet Trails

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Dynamics of comets: their origin and evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carusi, A.; Valsecchi, G.B.

    1985-01-01

    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.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Physical processes in comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newburn, R.L. Jr.

    1988-01-01

    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

  19. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2011-03-01

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

  20. Spiral arms, comets and terrestrial catastrophism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-01-01

    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)

  1. Jupiter Laser Facility - COMET Laser

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. The Halley comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Encrenaz, T.; Festou, M.

    1985-01-01

    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

  3. Astrobiology of Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Comet: Multifunction VOEvent broker

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinbank, John

    2014-04-01

    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.

  5. Ups and downs in planetary science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, Carolyn S.

    1999-01-01

    The field of planetary science as it developed during the lifetimes of Gene and Carolyn Shoemaker has sustained a period of exciting growth. Surveying the skies for planet-crossing asteroids and comets and studying the results of their impact upon the planets, especially the Earth, was for Gene and Carolyn an intense and satisfying quest for knowledge. It all started when Gene envisioned man going to the Moon, especially himself. After that, one thing led to another: the study of nuclear craters and a comparison with Meteor Crater, Arizona; the Apollo project and a succession of unmanned space missions to the inner and outer planets; an awareness of cratering throughout our solar system; the search for near-Earth asteroids and comets; a study of ancient craters in Australia; and the impact of Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter. The new paradigm of impact cratering as a cause for mass extinction and the opening of space for the development of new life forms have been causes to champion.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, W. K.

    2015-07-01

    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).

  7. Nature and origin of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.; Jockers, K.

    1983-01-01

    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.)

  8. Comets - cosmic 'snowballs'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luest, R.

    1979-01-01

    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

  9. COMET SHOWERS ARE NOT INDUCED BY INTERSTELLAR CLOUDS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morris, D.E.

    1985-11-01

    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.

  10. The Deep Impact Coma of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 as a Time-of-Flight Experiment Motivates DDSCAT Models for Porous Aggregate Grains with Silicate Crystal Inclusions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, Diane H.; Lindsay, S. S.; Harker, D. E.; Kelley, M. S.; Woodward, C. E.; Richard, D. T.; Kolokolova, L.; Moreno, F.

    2010-10-01

    Spitzer IRS spectra of short-period Ecliptic Comets (ECs) have silicate features, and many have distinct crystalline silicate peaks. These Spitzer spectra, when fitted with thermal models after subtraction of the relatively strong contribution of the nuclear flux to the IR spectrum (e.g., Harker et al. 2007), demonstrate ECs have weaker silicate features than long-period Nearly-Isotropic Comets (NICs). There are exceptions, however, as some NICs also have weak features like most ECs. Grains with lower porosities (lower fraction of vacuum) can explain weaker silicate features (Kelley and Wooden 2009; Kolokolova et al. 2007). Alternatively, omitting the smallest (submicron) solid grains can reduce the contrast of the silicate feature (Lisse et al. 2006). However, so far, only models for solid submicron crystals fit the crystalline peaks in spectra of comets with weak silicate features. This presents a dilemma: how can the coma be devoid of small grains except for the crystals? The Spitzer spectra of the Deep Impact event with EC 9P/Tempel 1 provides a data set to model larger porous grains with crystal inclusions because the post-impact coma was a time-of-flight experiment: an impulsive release of grains were size-sorted in time by their respective gas velocities so that the smaller grains departed the inner coma quicker than larger grains. A velocity law derived from fitting small beam Gemini spectra (Harker et al. 2007) indicates that at 20 hour post-impact the (pre-impact subtracted) Spitzer IRS spectrum contained grains larger than 10-20 micron radii, moving at 20 m/s, that produced a weak silicate feature with an 11.2 micron crystalline olivine peak. Furthermore, this feature looks like the silicate feature from the nominal coma. We present some results of a computational effort to model discrete crystals and mixed-mineral porous aggregate grains with silicate crystal inclusions using DDSCAT on the NAS Pleiades supercomputer.

  11. Comet radar explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  12. Comets in Indian Scriptures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das Gupta, P.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Comet 2001 Q2

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  14. Death of a comet

    CERN Multimedia

    Hawkes, N

    2000-01-01

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

  15. Halley's Comet: A Bibliography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  16. Asteroids, meteorites, and comets

    CERN Document Server

    Elkins-Tanton, Linda T

    2010-01-01

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

  17. DRBE comet trails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arendt, Richard G.

    2014-01-01

    Re-examination of the Cosmic Background Explorer Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment (DIRBE) data reveals the thermal emission of several comet dust trails. The dust trails of 1P/Halley, 169P/NEAT, and 3200 Phaethon have not been previously reported. The known trails of 2P/Encke and 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann 3 are also seen. The dust trails have 12 and 25 μm surface brightnesses of <0.1 and <0.15 MJy sr −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.

  18. DRBE comet trails

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. Disappearance and disintegration of comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1984-01-01

    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.

  20. Ammonia abundances in four comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

    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

  1. Cometography a catalog of comets

    CERN Document Server

    Kronk, Gary W; Seargent, David A J

    2017-01-01

    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.

  2. Physical Mechanism of Comet Outbursts: The Movie

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, William K.

    2014-11-01

    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

  3. 67P, Singing Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnova, Ekaterina

    2017-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

    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

  5. CINE: Comet INfrared Excitation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Meierhenrich, Uwe

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Encounter with comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sagdeev, R.Z.

    1989-01-01

    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

  8. Singing comet changes its song

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

    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.

  9. Showmaker-Levy 9 and plume-forming collisions on Earth

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boslough, M.B.E.; Crawford, D.A.

    1995-12-31

    Computational models for the July, 1994 collision of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter have provided a framework for interpreting the observational data. Imaging, photometry, and spectroscopy data from ground-based, Hubble Space Telescope, and Galileo spacecraft instruments are consistent with phenomena that were dominated by the generation of incandescent fireballs that were ballistically ejected to high altitudes, where they formed plumes that subsequently collapsed over large areas of Jupiter`s atmosphere. Applications of similar computational models to collisions into Earth`s atmosphere show that a very similar sequence of events should take place for NEO impacts with energies as low as 3 megatons, recurring on 100 year timescales or less. This result suggests that the 1908 Tunguska event was a plume-forming atmospheric explosion, and that some of the phenomena associated with it might be related to the ejection and collapse of a high plume. Hazards associated with plume growth and collapse should be included in the evaluation of the impact threat to Earth, and opportunities should be sought for observational validation of atmospheric impact models by exploiting data already being collected from the natural flux of multi-kiloton to megaton sized objects that constantly enter Earth`s atmosphere on annual to decadal timescales.

  10. Comet and meteorite traditions of Aboriginal Australians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.

    2014-06-01

    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.

  11. Technical manual for COMET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-07-01

    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)

  12. On the origin of comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendis, A.; Alfven, H.

    1976-01-01

    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.

  13. Inside look at Halley's comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beatty, J.K.

    1986-01-01

    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

  14. Molecular ions in comet tails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Wehinger, P.A.

    1976-01-01

    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

  15. Detecting active comets with SDSS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-12-01

    Using a sample of serendipitously discovered active comets in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we develop well-controlled selection criteria for greatly increasing the efficiency of comet identification in the SDSS catalogs. After follow-up visual inspection of images to reject remaining false positives, the total sample of SDSS comets presented here contains 19 objects, roughly one comet per 10 million other SDSS objects. The good understanding of selection effects allows a study of the population statistics, and we estimate the apparent magnitude distribution to r {approx} 18, the ecliptic latitude distribution, and the comet distribution in SDSS color space. The most surprising results are the extremely narrow range of colors for comets in our sample (e.g. root-mean-square scatter of only {approx}0.06 mag for the g-r color), and the similarity of comet colors to those of jovian Trojans. We discuss the relevance of our results for upcoming deep multi-epoch optical surveys such as the Dark Energy Survey, Pan-STARRS, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and estimate that LSST may produce a sample of about 10,000 comets over its 10-year lifetime.

  16. Comet Halley and interstellar chemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snyder, L.E.

    1989-01-01

    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

  17. Comet or Asteroid?

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-11-01

    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

  18. Unveiling the formation and evolution of comets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-08-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooden, D. H.

    2005-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møller, Peter

    2018-02-24

    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.

  1. Reply to Boslough et al.: Decades of comet research counter their claims

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Napier, W. M.; Bunch, T. E.; Kennett, J. P.; Wittke, J. H.; Tankersley, K. B.; Kletetschka, Günther; Howard, G. A.; West, A.

    2013-01-01

    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

  2. Comets in the space age

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whipple, F.L.

    1989-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

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

  4. ESA Unveils Its New Comet Chaser.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-07-01

    into the surface immediately on impact. By this time, the warmth of the Sun will probably have begun to vapourise parts of the nucleus, initiating some form of surface outgassing. For a period of about a month, data from the lander's eight experiments will be relayed to Earth via the orbiter. They will send back unique information on the nature and composition of the nucleus. Samples for chemical analysis will be taken of the organic crust and ices to a depth of at least 20 cm. Other instruments will measure characteristics such as near-surface strength, density, texture, porosity and thermal properties. Meanwhile, as Comet Wirtanen approaches the Sun, the Rosetta orbiter will fly alongside it, mapping its surface and studying changes in its activity. As its icy nucleus evaporates, 12 experiments on the orbiter will map its surface and study the dust and gas particles it ejects. For the first time, scientists will be able to monitor at close quarters the dramatic changes which take place as a comet plunges sunwards at a speed of 46,000 kph. The stream of data will include a mass of new information about the comet's changes in behaviour as it approaches the Sun, including: * variations in the temperature of the nucleus, * changing intensity and location of gas and dust jets on the nucleus, * the amount of gas and dust emitted from the nucleus, * the size, composition and impact velocity of dust particles, * the nature of the comet's interaction with the charged particles of the solar wind. By mission's end in July 2013, Rosetta will have spent almost two years chasing the comet for millions of kilometres through space. It will also have returned a treasure trove of data, which will enable us to learn more about how the planets formed and where we came from. Why Rosetta? Space exploration is all about discovering the unknown. Just as, 200 years ago, the discovery of the Rosetta Stone eventually enabled Champollion to unravel the mysteries of ancient Egyptian

  5. Autonomous Navigation Performance During The Hartley 2 Comet Flyby

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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.

  6. Nitrogen abundance in Comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  7. The Comet Radar Explorer Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2014-11-01

    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

  8. Detection of CS in Neptune's atmosphere from ALMA observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, R.; Lellouch, E.; Cavalié, T.; Moullet, A.

    2017-12-01

    Context. The large and vertically non-uniform abundance of CO in Neptune's atmosphere has been interpreted as the result of past cometary impact(s), either single or distributed in size and time, which could also be at the origin of Neptune's HCN. Aims: We aim to provide observational support for this scenario by searching for other comet-induced species, in particular carbon sulfide (CS) which has been observed continuously in Jupiter since the 1994 Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts. Methods: In April 2016 we used the ALMA interferometer to search for CS(7-6) at 342.883 GHz in Neptune. Results: We report on the detection of CS in Neptune's atmosphere, the first unambiguous observation of a sulfur-bearing species in a giant planet beyond Jupiter. Carbon sulfide appears to be present only at submillibar levels, with a column density of (2.0-3.1) × 1012 cm-2, and a typical mixing ratio of (2-20) × 10-11 that depends on its precise vertical location. The favoured origin of CS is deposition by a putative large comet impact several centuries ago, and the strong depletion of CS with respect to CO - compared to the Jupiter case - is likely due to the CS sticking to aerosols or clustering to form polymers in Neptune's lower stratosphere. Conclusions: The CS detection, along with recent analyses of the CO profile, reinforces the presumption of a large comet impact into Neptune 1000 yr ago, that delivered CO, CS, and HCN at the same time.

  9. 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conceição LV Santos

    2015-06-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  12. Infrared imaging and photometry of Comet Giacobini-Zinner

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Campins, H.

    1986-01-01

    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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2005-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Comet showers and Nemesis, the death star

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hills, J.G.

    1984-01-01

    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

  16. Disintegration phenomena in Comet West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1976-01-01

    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.

  17. CATASTROPHIC DISRUPTION OF COMET ISON

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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: keane@ifa.hawaii.edu [Ostlandring 53, D-25335 Elmshorn, Schleswig-Holstein (Germany)

    2016-11-10

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Hummingbird Comet Nucleus Analysis Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

    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).

  3. Comet C/2001 J1

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  4. The COMET Sleep Research Platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  5. Encounters between degenerate stars and extrasolar comet clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pineault, S.; Poisson, E.

    1989-01-01

    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

  6. Periodic Comet Machholz and its idiosyncrasies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1990-01-01

    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

  7. Model of Comet P/Giacobini-Zinner

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

    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

  8. Rosetta - a comet ride to solve planetary mysteries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    Comets are very interesting objects for scientists, since their composition reflects how the Solar System was when it was very young and still 'unfinished', more than 4600 million years ago. Comets have not changed much since then. By orbiting Comet Wirtanen and landing on it, Rosetta will collect essential information to understand the origin and evolution of our Solar System. It will also help discover whether comets contributed to the beginnings of life on Earth. In fact comets are carriers of complex organic molecules, that - delivered to Earth through impacts - perhaps played a role in the origin of living forms. Furthermore, “volatile” light elements carried by comets may have also played an important role in forming the Earth’s oceans and atmopshere. “Rosetta is one of the most challenging missions ever undertaken so far”, says Prof. David Southwood, ESA Director of Science, “No one before attempted a similar mission, unique for its scientific implications as well as for its complex and spectacular interplanetary space manoeuvres”. Before reaching its target in 2011, Rosetta will circle the Sun almost four times on wide loops in the inner Solar System. During its long trek, the spacecraft will have to endure some extreme thermal conditions. Once it is close to Comet Wirtanen, scientists will take it through a delicate braking manoeuvre; then the spacecraft will closely orbit the comet, and gently drop a lander on it. It will be like landing on a small, fast-moving cosmic bullet that still has - at present - an almost unknown 'geography'. An amazing 8-year interplanetary trek Rosetta is a 3-tonne box-type spacecraft about 3 metres high, with two 14-metre long solar panels. It consists of an orbiter and a lander. The lander is approximately 1 metre across and 80 centimetres high. It will be attached to the side of the Rosetta orbiter during the journey to Comet Wirtanen. Rosetta carries 21 experiments in total, 10 of them on the lander. They will

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Legrand, J.P.

    1986-01-01

    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

  10. Detectability of Sungrazing Comet Soft X-ray Irradiance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su Yeon Oh

    2007-12-01

    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.

  11. Rationalization of Comet Halley's periods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belton, Michael J. S.

    1990-01-01

    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.

  12. Comet Assay in Cancer Chemoprevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Radar observations of Comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

    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

  14. Comet Halley, parameter study I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-06-01

    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

  15. Comet Halley: nucleus and jets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-06-01

    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)

  16. Solar wind stagnation near comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-03-01

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, P.C.; A'hearn, Michael F.; Veverka, Joseph; Belton, Michael J. S.; Kissel, Jochen; Belton, Michael J. S.; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; McFadden, Lucy A.; Melosh, H. Jay; Schultz, Peter H.; hide

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

    The comet assay is a sensitive method to detect DNA strand breaks as well as oxidatively damaged DNA at the level of single cells. Today the assay is commonly used in nano-genotoxicology. In this review we critically discuss possible interactions between nanoparticles (NPs) and the comet assay. Concerns for such interactions have arisen from the occasional observation of NPs in the "comet head", which implies that NPs may be present while the assay is being performed. This could give rise to false positive or false negative results, depending on the type of comet assay endpoint and NP. For most NPs, an interaction that substantially impacts the comet assay results is unlikely. For photocatalytically active NPs such as TiO2 , on the other hand, exposure to light containing UV can lead to increased DNA damage. Samples should therefore not be exposed to such light. By comparing studies in which both the comet assay and the micronucleus assay have been used, a good consistency between the assays was found in general (69%); consistency was even higher when excluding studies on TiO2 NPs (81%). The strong consistency between the comet and micronucleus assays for a range of different NPs-even though the two tests measure different endpoints-implies that both can be trusted in assessing the genotoxicity of NPs, and that both could be useful in a standard battery of test methods. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Comet coma sample return instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-01-01

    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.

  20. Halley comet, implication on the origin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Festou, M.C.

    1990-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalcher, N.

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  3. Amino Acids from a Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Jamie Elisla

    2009-01-01

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

  4. On the nature of the Halley comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1985-01-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenniskens, P. M.

    2012-12-01

    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 mission hopes to uncover Earth's origins

    CERN Multimedia

    Henderson, M

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Origin of Short-Perihelion Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guliyev, A. S.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  9. Comets and How to Observe Them

    CERN Document Server

    Schmude, Richard

    2010-01-01

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

  10. HT-COMET: a novel automated approach for high throughput assessment of human sperm chromatin quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Océane; Reintsch, Wolfgang E.; Chan, Peter; Robaire, Bernard

    2016-01-01

    -manual analysis software. Using this method, a cross-sectional study on 123 men showed no significant correlation between sperm concentration and sperm DNA damage, confirming the existence of hidden chromatin damage in men with apparently normal semen characteristics, and a significant correlation between percentage DNA in the tail and percentage of progressively motile spermatozoa. Finally, the use of DNA damage profiles helped to distinguish subjects between and within sperm concentration categories, and allowed a determination of the proportion of highly damaged cells. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION The main limitations of the HT-COMET are the high, yet indispensable, investment in an automated liquid handling system and heating block to ensure accuracy, and the availability of an automated plate reading microscope and analysis software. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS This standardized HT-COMET assay offers many advantages, including higher accuracy and evenness due to automation of sensitive steps, a 14.4-fold increase in sample analysis capacity, and an imaging and scoring time of 1 min/well. Overall, HT-COMET offers a decrease in total experimental time of more than 90%. Hence, this assay constitutes a more efficient option to assess sperm chromatin quality, paves the way to using this assay to screen large cohorts, and holds prognostic value for infertile patients. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S) Funded by the CIHR Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH; RHF 100625). O.A. is a fellow supported by the Fonds de la Recherche du Québec - Santé (FRQS) and the CIHR Training Program in Reproduction, Early Development, and the Impact on Health (REDIH). B.R. is a James McGill Professor. The authors declare no conflicts of interest. PMID:26975326

  11. Antioxidants and the Comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cemeli, Eduardo; Baumgartner, Adolf; Anderson, Diana

    2009-01-01

    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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallis, M.K.

    1977-01-01

    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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin M. Gyori

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  16. Giant comets and mass extinctions of life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Napier, W. M.

    2015-03-01

    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.

  17. COLOR SYSTEMATICS OF COMETS AND RELATED BODIES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-15

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

  18. Dynamics of landslides on comets of irregular shape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czechowski, Leszek

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. A dynamical study on extrasolar comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loibnegger, B.; Dvorak, R.

    2017-09-01

    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.

  1. The spacecraft encounters of Comet Halley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asoka Mendis, D.; Tsurutani, Bruce T.

    1986-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branham, Richard L., Jr.

    2018-04-01

    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.

  4. Scientists Revise Thinking on Comets, Planet Jupiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chemical and Engineering News, 1974

    1974-01-01

    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)

  5. Comet C/2004 P1 (NEAT)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  6. Comet P/2004 F3 (NEAT)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  7. X-ray emission from comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dennerl, Konrad

    1999-01-01

    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

  8. Comet Halley - Chapter I in cometary exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newburn, R.L. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    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

  9. "Word of Discovery": A Planetary Example from Volume I of the Astronomical Journal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hockey, T.

    1998-09-01

    In 1850, William Lassell (1799-1880) discovered a series of bright white spots, in the south temperate latitudes of Jupiter, unlike any that that been seen before. Lassell's note on these STZ features is a useful example of how astronomical discoveries of the day were communicated among astronomers. Word of Lassell's Spots spread quickly by nineteenth-century standards. This was due, in part, to the recent appearance of journals devoted exclusively to astronomy. The transition from letters as a means of conveying scientific information to journals is reflected in the propagation of Lassell's announcement: a report of Lassell's description of the white spots to the Royal Astronomical Society appeared in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society along with a woodblock print of one of his drawings. This report reappeared shortly thereafter in German translation. It was part of a letter to the editor of the Astronomische Nachrichten, Heinrich Schumacher (1780-1850), from an English correspondent of his, the Reverend Richard Sheepshanks (1974-1855). (Sheepshanks was himself editor of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.) It then made its way across the Atlantic as a letter from Schumacher to Benjamin Gould (1824-1896), who published it in the first volume of his upstart Astronomical Journal. There it appears in English, again, as Schumacher quoting Sheepshanks quoting Lassell! The observations by Lassell and William Dawes (1799-1868) of this phenomenon also were the first major planetary discovery made using a silvered-glass reflecting telescope. Lassell's Spots have remained in the "astronomical news" of the last 150 years: Most recently, they appeared worldwide in images showing the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact sites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna, Michael E.; Collins, Steven M.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna, Michael E.; Collins, Stephen M.

    2011-01-01

    On November 4, 2010 the already "in-flight" Deep Impact spacecraft flew within 700km of comet 103P/Hartley 2 as part of its extended mission EPOXI, the 5th time to date any spacecraft visited a comet. In 2005, the spacecraft had previously imaged a probe impact comet Tempel 1. The EPOXI flyby marked the first time in history that two comets were explored with the same instruments on a re-used spacecraft-with hardware and software originally designed and optimized for a different mission. This made the function of the attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS) critical to the successful execution of the EPOXI flyby. As part of the spacecraft team preparations, the ADCS team had to perform thorough sequence reviews, key spacecraft activities and onboard calibrations. These activities included: review of background sequences for the initial conditions vector, sun sensor coefficients, and reaction wheel assembly (RWA) de-saturations; design and execution of 10 trajectory correction maneuvers; science calibration of the two telescope instruments; a flight demonstration of the fastest turns conducted by the spacecraft between Earth and comet point; and assessment of RWA health (given RWA problems on other spacecraft).

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hills, J.G.

    1981-01-01

    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

  13. Magnetic reversal spurts: Rain gauges for comet showers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lutz, T.M.

    1988-01-01

    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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-10-11

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

  15. TRIGGERING SUBLIMATION-DRIVEN ACTIVITY OF MAIN BELT COMETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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: nader@ifa.hawaii.edu [Physikalisches Institut, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 14, D-72076 Tübingen (Germany)

    2016-10-10

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

    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.

  18. Particle acceleration near Halley's comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Somogyi, Antal

    1987-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

    The best possible production figures within the current post-Halley framework and available observations are given for H2O, O(1D), CN, C3, C2 and dust in 25 comets. Of these, the three objects with the smallest mixing ratios of all minor species have moderate to little or no dust and appear 'old'. Comets with large amounts of CN are very dusty, and there is a clear correlation of CN with dust, although comets with little or no dust still have some CN. Thus, CN appears to have at least two sources, dust and one or more parent gases. Also, the C2/CN production ratio changes continuously with heliocentric distance in every comet considered, suggesting that C2 production may be a function of coma density as well as parental abundance. Dust production ranges from essentially zero in Comet Sugano-Saigusa-Fujikawa up to 67,000 kg/s for Halley on March 14, 1986. 61 references

  20. Abundant Solar Nebula Solids in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. A GREAT search for Deuterium in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael

    2013-10-01

    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.

  2. Photometry and imaging of Comet 103P/Hartley in the 2010-2011 apparition

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Milani, G.; Bryssinck, E.; Nicolini, M.; Mikuž, H.; Sostero, G.; Bacci, P.; Borghini, W.; Castellano, D.; Facchini, M.C.; Favero, G.; Galli, G.; Guidou, E.; Hausler, B.; Hornoch, Kamil; Howes, N.; Ligustri, R.; Perrella, C.; Prosperi, E.; Skvarc, J.; Srba, J.; Trabatti, R.; Vinante, C.; Szabo, G.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 222, č. 2 (2013), s. 786-798 ISSN 0019-1035 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/09/1107 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : comet s * dust * photometry Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.840, year: 2013

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

    2014-07-01

    The EC-FP7 project COMET (June 2013 - May 2017) intends to strengthen the pan-European research initiative on the impact of radiation on man and the environment by facilitating the integration of 'radioecological' research. The COMET consortium currently has thirteen partners; eight from EU member states, two from Norway, two from Ukraine and one from Japan. COMET operates in close association with the FP7-STAR Network of Excellence[1]and the Radioecology Alliance[2], COMET will develop initiatives to encourage organisations from the European (and larger) radioecological research community to join the Radioecology Alliance to help address the priorities identified in the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) for radioecological research. Capacity, competence and skills in radioecology will thus be strengthened at a pan-European level. Mechanisms for knowledge exchange, dissemination and training will be established to enhance and maintain European capacity, competence and skills in radioecology, partially through an open access web site, topical workshops and training activities. COMET will develop innovative mechanisms for joint programming and implementation of radioecological research. Mechanisms for planning and carrying out joint research activities in radioecology will be developed based on the scientific requirements identified in the SRA and via interaction with a wide range of stakeholders. COMET will strengthen the bridge with other radiation protection and ecological communities. A roadmap and associated implementation plan is being developed in collaboration with the Radioecology Alliance and the allied platforms on low dose risk research (MELODI[3]), and emergency management research (NERIS[4]) and the radioecology community at large who is invited to become associated to the development of roadmap and implementation plan. COMET will initiate innovative research on key needs identified by the radioecology community, the (post) emergency management

  4. The comet rendezvous asteroid flyby mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  5. Comet assay on mice testicular cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anoop Kumar Sharma

    2015-05-01

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

  6. Study of Comets Composition and Structure

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

    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.

  7. Comments on comet shapes and aggregation processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartmann, W.K.

    1989-01-01

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

  8. Comets As Objects of High Energy Astrophysics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibadov, S.

    2000-10-01

    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.

  9. Dynamical evolution and disintegration of comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Dynamical evolution and disintegration of comets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kresak, L.

    1982-01-01

    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.)

  11. The mass disruption of Jupiter Family comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belton, Michael J. S.

    2015-01-01

    I show that the size-distribution of small scattered-disk trans-neptunian objects when derived from the observed size-distribution of Jupiter Family comets (JFCs) and other observational constraints implies that a large percentage (94-97%) of newly arrived active comets within a range of 0.2-15.4 km effective radius must physically disrupt, i.e., macroscopically disintegrate, within their median dynamical lifetime. Additional observational constraints include the numbers of dormant and active nuclei in the near-Earth object (NEO) population and the slope of their size distributions. I show that the cumulative power-law slope (-2.86 to -3.15) of the scattered-disk TNO hot population between 0.2 and 15.4 km effective radius is only weakly dependent on the size-dependence of the otherwise unknown disruption mechanism. Evidently, as JFC nuclei from the scattered disk evolve into the inner Solar System only a fraction achieve dormancy while the vast majority of small nuclei (e.g., primarily those with effective radius <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. Comet nuclei and Trojan asteroids - A new link and a possible mechanism for comet splittings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jauhari, Shekeab

    2008-09-01

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC.

    Comet chronicles and stories extend back over thousands of years. A common theme has been that comets are a major cause of catastrophe and tragedy here on earth. In addition, both Aristotle and Ptolemy believed that comets were phenomena within the earth's atmosphere, and it wasn't until the 16th century, when Danish astronomer Tycho Brache…

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Everhart, E.

    1979-01-01

    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.)

  17. New Mission Old Spacecraft: EPOXI's Approach to the Comet Hartley-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieber, Richard R.; LaBorde, Gregory R.

    2012-01-01

    NASA's Deep Impact mission ended successfully in 2005 after an impact and close flyby of the comet 9P/Tempel-1. The Flyby spacecraft was placed in hibernation and was left to orbit the sun. In 2007, engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory brought the spacecraft out of hibernation and successfully performed two additional missions. These missions were EPOCh, Extra-solar Planetary Observation and Characterization, a photometric investigation of transiting exo-planets, and DIXI, Deep Impact eXtended Investigation, which maneuvered the Flyby spacecraft towards a close encounter with the comet 103P/Hartley- 2 on 4 November 2010. The names of these two scientific investigations combine to form the overarching mission's name, EPOXI. The encounter with 103P/Hartley-2 was vastly different from the prime mission's encounter with 9P/Tempel-1. The geometry of encounter was nearly 180 ? different and 103P/Hartley-2 was approximately one-quarter the size of 9P/Tempel-1. Mission operations for the comet flyby were broken into three phases: a) Approach, b) Encounter, and c) Departure. This paper will focus on the approach phase of the comet encounter. It will discuss the strategies used to decrease both cost and risk while maximizing science return and some of the challenges experienced during operations.

  18. Spectrophotometry of seventeen comets. II - The continuum

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1985-01-01

    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.

  19. Optical Detection of Anomalous Nitrogen in Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-12-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    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

  1. The variability of meteoroid falling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velasco Herrera, V. M.; Cordero, G.

    2016-10-01

    We analysed a historical catalogue of meteoroid falling during the last 400 years. We report here for the first time the synchronization between observed meteors and solar barycentric parameters in 19.6 and 13.2 years periodicities using a new multiple cross wavelet. The group of moderated number of meteors is distributed around the positive phase of the solar barycentric periodicity of 13.2 years. While the group of severe number of meteors are distributed on the positive phase of the solar barycentric periodicity of 19.6 years. These periodicities could be associated with Jupiter periodicities. So understanding the modulation of meteoroid falling is important for determining the falling patterns of these objects and for knowing when it is more likely to expect the entry of one of these objects into the Earth's atmosphere, because bodies falling onto the Earth can cause damage from minor impacts to mass-extinctions events. One of the most extreme events was the formation of the Chicxulub impact crater 65,000,000 years ago that caused one of the five major mass extinctions in the last 500,000,000 years. During the 20th and 21st centuries, a series of events demonstrated the importance of collisions between planets and small bodies (comets and asteroids), which included our own planet. In the case of the Earth, we can cite three examples: Tunguska, Curuça and Chelyabinsk. These events invite us to think that perhaps the occurrence of this phenomenon might be more common than we realize, but the lack of communication or people in the area where they happened prevents us from having a complete record. Modern man has not witnessed the impact of large asteroids or comets on our planet, but it has been observed on other planetary bodies. The most spectacular of these events was the collision of fragments of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter in 1994. The total energy of the 21 impacts on Jupiter's atmosphere was estimated as the equivalent of tens of millions of

  2. The effect of different methods and image analyzers on the results of the in vivo comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyoya, Takahiro; Iwamoto, Rika; Shimanura, Yuko; Terada, Megumi; Masuda, Shuichi

    2018-01-01

    The in vivo comet assay is a widely used genotoxicity test that can detect DNA damage in a range of organs. It is included in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals. However, various protocols are still used for this assay, and several different image analyzers are used routinely to evaluate the results. Here, we verified a protocol that largely contributes to the equivalence of results, and we assessed the effect on the results when slides made from the same sample were analyzed using two different image analyzers (Comet Assay IV vs Comet Analyzer). Standardizing the agarose concentrations and DNA unwinding and electrophoresis times had a large impact on the equivalence of the results between the different methods used for the in vivo comet assay. In addition, there was some variation in the sensitivity of the two different image analyzers tested; however this variation was considered to be minor and became negligible when the test conditions were standardized between the two different methods. By standardizing the concentrations of low melting agarose and DNA unwinding and electrophoresis times between both methods used in the current study, the sensitivity to detect the genotoxicity of a positive control substance in the in vivo comet assay became generally comparable, independently of the image analyzer used. However, there may still be the possibility that other conditions, except for the three described here, could affect the reproducibility of the in vivo comet assay.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Reactive species such as free radicals are constantly generated in vivo and DNA is the most important target of oxidative stress. Oxidative DNA damage is used as a predictive biomarker to monitor the risk of development of many diseases. The comet assay is widely used for measuring oxidative DNA damage at a single cell level. The analysis of comet assay output images, however, poses considerable challenges. Commercial software is costly and restrictive, while free software generally requires ...

  4. Comets as Messengers from the Early Solar System - Emerging Insights on Delivery of Water, Nitriles, and Organics to Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumma, Michael J.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2012-01-01

    The question of exogenous delivery of water and organics to Earth and other young planets is of critical importance for understanding the origin of Earth's volatiles, and for assessing the possible existence of exo-planets similar to Earth. Viewed from a cosmic perspective, Earth is a dry planet, yet its oceans are enriched in deuterium by a large factor relative to nebular hydrogen and analogous isotopic enrichments in atmospheric nitrogen and noble gases are also seen. Why is this so? What are the implications for Mars? For icy Worlds in our Planetary System? For the existence of Earth-like exoplanets? An exogenous (vs. outgassed) origin for Earth's atmosphere is implied, and intense debate on the relative contributions of comets and asteroids continues - renewed by fresh models for dynamical transport in the protoplanetary disk, by revelations on the nature and diversity of volatile and rocky material within comets, and by the discovery of ocean-like water in a comet from the Kuiper Belt (cf., Mumma & Charnley 2011). Assessing the creation of conditions favorable to the emergence and sustenance of life depends critically on knowledge of the nature of the impacting bodies. Active comets have long been grouped according to their orbital properties, and this has proven useful for identifying the reservoir from which a given comet emerged (OC, KB) (Levison 1996). However, it is now clear that icy bodies were scattered into each reservoir from a range of nebular distances, and the comet populations in today's reservoirs thus share origins that are (in part) common. Comets from the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Disk reservoirs should have diverse composition, resulting from strong gradients in temperature and chemistry in the proto-planetary disk, coupled with dynamical models of early radial transport and mixing with later dispersion of the final cometary nuclei into the long-term storage reservoirs. The inclusion of material from the natal interstellar cloud is probable

  5. On the relationship between visual magnitudes and gas and dust production rates in target comets to space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Almeida, A. A.; Sanzovo, G. C.; Singh, P. D.; Misra, A.; Miguel Torres, R.; Boice, D. C.; Huebner, W. F.

    In this paper, we report the results of a cometary research, developed during the last 10 years by us, involving a criterious analysis of gas and dust production rates in comets directly associated to recent space missions. For the determination of the water release rates we use the framework of the semi-empirical model of observed visual magnitudes [Newburn Jr., R.L. A semi-empirical photometric theory of cometary gas and dust production. Application to P/Halley's production rates, ESA-SP 174, 3, 1981; de Almeida, A.A., Singh, P.D., Huebner, W.F. Water release rates, active areas, and minimum nuclear radius derived from visual magnitudes of comets - an application to Comet 46P/Wirtanen, Planet. Space Sci. 45, 681-692, 1997; Sanzovo, G.C., de Almeida, A.A., Misra, A. et al. Mass-loss rates, dust particle sizes, nuclear active areas and minimum nuclear radii of target comets for missions STARDUST and CONTOUR, MNRAS 326, 852-868, 2001.], which once obtained, were directly converted into gas production rates. In turn, the dust release rates were obtained using the photometric model for dust particles [Newburn Jr., R.L., Spinrad, H. Spectrophotometry of seventeen comets. II - the continuum, AJ 90, 2591-2608, 1985; de Freitas Pacheco, J.A., Landaberry, S.J.C., Singh, P.D. Spectrophotometric observations of the Comet Halley during the 1985-86 apparition, MNRAS 235, 457-464, 1988; Sanzovo, G.C., Singh, P.D., Huebner, W.F. Dust colors, dust release rates, and dust-to-gas ratios in the comae of six comets, A&AS 120, 301-311, 1996.]. We applied these models to seven target comets, chosen for space missions of "fly-by"/impact and rendezvous/landing.

  6. High throughput comet assay to study genotoxicity of nanomaterials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naouale El Yamani

    2015-06-01

    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

  7. COMETARY VOLATILES AND THE ORIGIN OF COMETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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: ma@astro.umd.edu [Space Department, JHU-APL, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); and others

    2012-10-10

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

  8. COMETARY VOLATILES AND THE ORIGIN OF COMETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

    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

  10. Comet C/2001 A1 (Linear)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  11. Comet C/2001 Q1 (Neat)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  12. Comet P/2001 T3 (Neat)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  13. Comet P/2001 MD 7 (Linear)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  14. New Application of the Comet Assay

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  15. Comet C/2001 A2 (Linear)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  16. Comet C/2001 Q6 (Neat)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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.

  18. Comet/Asteroid Protection System (CAPS): A Space-Based System Concept for Revolutionizing Earth Protection and Utilization of Near-Earth Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazanek, Daniel D.; Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Antol, Jeffrey; Kay-Bunnell, Linda; Werner, Martin R.; Park, Sang-Young; Kumar, Renjith R.

    2002-01-01

    There exists an infrequent, but significant hazard to life and property due to impacting asteroids and comets. There is currently no specific search for long-period comets, smaller near-Earth asteroids, or smaller short-period comets. These objects represent a threat with potentially little or no warning time using conventional ground-based telescopes. These planetary bodies also represent a significant resource for commercial exploitation, long-term sustained space exploration, and scientific research. The Comet/Asteroid Protection System (CAPS) would expand the current detection effort to include long-period comets, as well as small asteroids and short-period comets capable of regional destruction. A space-based detection system, despite being more costly and complex than Earth-based initiatives, is the most promising way of expanding the range of detectable objects, and surveying the entire celestial sky on a regular basis. CAPS is a future spacebased system concept that provides permanent, continuous asteroid and comet monitoring, and rapid, controlled modification of the orbital trajectories of selected bodies. CAPS would provide an orbit modification system capable of diverting kilometer class objects, and modifying the orbits of smaller asteroids for impact defense and resource utilization. This paper provides a summary of CAPS and discusses several key areas and technologies that are being investigated.

  19. Migration of Interplanetary Dust and Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Influence of experimental conditions on data variability in the liver comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guérard, M; Marchand, C; Plappert-Helbig, U

    2014-03-01

    The in vivo comet assay has increasingly been used for regulatory genotoxicity testing in recent years. While it has been demonstrated that the experimental execution of the assay, for example, electrophoresis or scoring, can have a strong impact on the results; little is known on how initial steps, that is, from tissue sampling during necropsy up to slide preparation, can influence the comet assay results. Therefore, we investigated which of the multitude of steps in processing the liver for the comet assay are most critical. All together eight parameters were assessed by using liver samples of untreated animals. In addition, two of those parameters (temperature and storage time of liver before embedding into agarose) were further investigated in animals given a single oral dose of ethyl methanesulfonate at dose levels of 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg, 3 hr prior to necropsy. The results showed that sample cooling emerged as the predominant influence factor, whereas variations in other elements of the procedure (e.g., size of the liver piece sampled, time needed to process the liver tissue post-mortem, agarose temperature, or time of lysis) seem to be of little relevance. Storing of liver samples of up to 6 hr under cooled conditions did not cause an increase in tail intensity. In contrast, storing the tissue at room temperature, resulted in a considerable time-dependent increase in comet parameters. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Identification of irradiated pepper with comet assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

    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)

  2. Comet assay on tetraploid yeast cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rank, Jette; Syberg, Kristian; Jensen, Klara

    2009-01-01

    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...

  3. On the photometric parameters of comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toth, I.

    1984-12-01

    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)

  4. The cyanogen band of Comet Halley

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Systematic random sampling of the comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

    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.

  6. Comet C/2012 S1 (Ison)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granslo, B. H.; Nakano, S.

    2013-12-01

    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).

  7. Comets: Role and importance to exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delsemme, Armand H.

    1992-01-01

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

  8. Comet Halley: An optical continuum study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoban, S.M.

    1989-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

    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

  10. Solar wind interaction with type-1 comet tails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ershkovich, A.I.

    1977-01-01

    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.)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1988-01-01

    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

  12. Stardust: Catching a Comet and Bringing it Home

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownlee, Donald E.

    2007-01-01

    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.

  13. On the formation of meteor showers of comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

    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

  14. Giacobini-Zinner comet: polarimetric and physical observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-10-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jewitt, D.

    1990-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachiller, R.; Planesas, P.

    1997-01-01

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

    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

  19. X-rays from comets - a surprising discovery

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva

    2000-01-01

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badescu, Mircea; Bonitz, Robert; Kulczycki, Erick; Aisen, Norman; Dandino, Charles M.; Cantrell, Brett S.; Gallagher, William; Shevin, Jesse; Ganino, Anthony; Haddad, Nicolas; hide

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Bangs and meteors from the quiet comet 15P/Finlay

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ye, Q.Z.; Brown, P. G.; Bell, Ch.; Gao, X.; Mašek, Martin; Hui, M.T.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 814, č. 1 (2015), s. 1-10, č. článku 79. ISSN 0004-637X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LG13007 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 283783 - GLORIA Institutional support: RVO:68378271 Keywords : comet s * 15P/Finlay * meteorites * meteors * meteoroids Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics OBOR OECD: Astronomy (including astrophysics,space science) Impact factor: 5.909, year: 2015

  3. DNA damage and repair in Arabidopsis thaliana as measured by the comet assay after treatment with different classes of genotoxins

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Menke, M.; Chen, P.; Angelis, Karel; Schubert, I.

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 493, - (2001), s. 87-93 ISSN 0027-5107 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA521/01/1418 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5038910 Keywords : Arabidopsis thaliana * Comet assay * Monofunctioal alkylating agents Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.545, year: 2001

  4. Carbonaceous Components in the Comet Halley Dust

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bas-jan Van Der Leede

    2015-08-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

    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

  7. On the existence of a comet belt beyond Neptune

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.

    1980-01-01

    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)

  8. Mission to a comet that could save earth

    CERN Multimedia

    Utton, T

    2003-01-01

    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).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  10. Progress of Cometary Science in the Past 100 Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekanina, Zdenek

    1999-01-01

    's celebrated comet; (ii) the impact of an extensively fragmented comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 into Jupiter - a once-in-a-millenium episode; (iii) a closeup, appearance of a small but very active Earth-approaching comet Hyakutake; and (iv) an unforgettable celestial show of comet Hale-Bopp, one of the brightest and the most massive comets ever observed. We have been - and for many years to come will be - harvesting scientifically lucrative findings based on the flood of data accumulated during observational campaigns organized for these and other recent objects. Our understanding of cometary phenomena will continue to grow as observing techniques are further being improved and as more sophisticated theories are being developed. Recent accomplishments achieved in the rapidly expanding field of comets are certain to stimulate the members of this astronomical community in their quest for new discoveries in the 21st century!

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1987-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-12-01

    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 http://www.meted.ucar.edu, 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: http://archive.comet.ucar.edu/moria/

  13. THE PHOTODISSOCIATION OF FORMALDEHYDE IN COMETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-10-20

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

  14. Theories of comets to the age of Laplace

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

    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

  16. A quantitative comet infection assay for influenza virus

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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

  17. CLATHRATE HYDRATES FORMATION IN SHORT-PERIOD COMETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2010-01-01

    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.

  18. Autonomous Onboard Science Data Analysis for Comet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1979-10-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davydov, V.D.

    1988-01-01

    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)

  1. Fast Variations In Spectrum of Comet Halley

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2000-01-01

    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

  3. Localized irradiations, evaluation through 'Comet Assay'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2000-01-01

    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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-05-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasquez, Marie Z

    2012-08-30

    While the in vivo comet assay increases its role in regulatory safety testing, deliberations about the interpretation of comet data continue. Concerns can arise regarding comet assay publications with limited data from non-blind testing of positive control compounds and using protocols (e.g. dose concentrations, sample times, and tissues) known to give an expected effect. There may be a tendency towards bias when the validation or interpretation of comet assay data is based on results generated by widely accepted but non-validated assays. The greatest advantages of the comet assay are its sensitivity and its ability to detect genotoxicity in tissues and at sample times that could not previously be evaluated. Guidelines for its use and interpretation in safety testing should take these factors into account. Guidelines should be derived from objective review of data generated by blind testing of unknown compounds dosed at non-toxic concentrations and evaluated in a true safety-testing environment, where the experimental design and conclusions must be defensible. However, positive in vivo comet findings with such compounds are rarely submitted to regulatory agencies and this data is typically unavailable for publication due to its proprietary nature. To enhance the development of guidelines for safety testing with the comet assay, and with the permission of several sponsors, this paper presents and discusses relevant data from multiple GLP comet studies conducted blind, with unknown pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Based on these data and the lessons we have learned through the course of conducting these studies, I suggest significant adjustments to the current conventions, and I provide recommendations for interpreting in vivo comet assay results in situations where risk must be evaluated in the absence of carcinogenicity or clinical data. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Where are the mini Kreutz-family comets?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

    The Kreutz family of sungrazing comets contains over 2000 known members, many of which are believed to be under ∼100 m sizes (mini comets) and have only been studied at small heliocentric distances (r 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-10-01

    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.

  8. Castalia: A European Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snodgrass, Colin; Castalia mission science Team

    2013-10-01

    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

  9. Castalia - European Mission to a Main Belt Comet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilchenbach, M.

    2013-12-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a recently identified new solar system population with stable asteroid-like orbits and a comet-like appearance. It is believed that they survived the age of the solar system in a dormant state and that their activity occurred only recently. Buried water ice is the only volatile expected to survive under an insulating surface. Excavation by an impact might expose the ice and trigger the start of MBC activity. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsurutani, Bruce T.

    1991-01-01

    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.

  11. Comet P/Machholtz and the Quadrantid meteor stream

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mcintosh, B.A.

    1990-01-01

    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

  12. Evaluation of gamma radiation induced genetic damage in the fish Cyprinus carpio using comet assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Praveen Kumar, M.K.; Shyama, S.K.; Bhagat, S.S.; Chaubey, R.C.

    2013-01-01

    Radionuclides released from various sources including the industries, as well as, accidental release during a nuclear disaster can contaminate inland water bodies. Suitable bio-monitoring methods/biomarkers are the need of the day to assess the impact of high/low levels of radiation exposure in aquatic environment. Fishes are very important as a group of ecologically and commercially important non-human biota and are often used as a bioindicators of aquatic pollution. Present work was carried out to assess the genotoxic effect of gamma radiation on fresh water fish Cyprinus carpio (common carp) in vivo using comet assay. Fishes were irradiated with 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 Gy of gamma rays using a teletherapy machine and comet assay was performed on nucleated erythrocytes after 24, 48 and 72 h of irradiation . A significant increase in % tail DNA was observed at all the doses of gamma radiation as compared to controls indicating radiation induced DNA damage in a dose-dependent manner. Maximum % tail DNA was observed at 24 h which gradually declined till 72 h, in a time-dependent manner. This decrease in damage may indicate repair of the damaged DNA and or loss of heavily damaged cells, over a period of time. The study reveals that the comet assay may be used as a sensitive and rapid method to detect genotoxicity of gamma radiation and other environmental pollutants in sentinel species. (author)

  13. Atlas of Comet Halley 1910 II

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandt, J.C.; Donn, B.

    1986-01-01

    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

  14. Spectrophotometry of Comet West 1976 VI

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rozenbush, V.K.

    1986-01-01

    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

  15. Controlling variation in the comet assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Richard Collins

    2014-10-01

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

  16. THE PLASMA ENVIRONMENT IN COMETS OVER A WIDE RANGE OF HELIOCENTRIC DISTANCES: APPLICATION TO COMET C/2006 P1 (MCNAUGHT)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

    2015-08-20

    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.

  17. THE PLASMA ENVIRONMENT IN COMETS OVER A WIDE RANGE OF HELIOCENTRIC DISTANCES: APPLICATION TO COMET C/2006 P1 (MCNAUGHT)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1982-01-01

    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.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-06

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorhead, Althea V.

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Fernández, Julio Angel

    2005-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buratti, Bonnie J.

    2017-06-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  6. 3 micron spectrophotometry of Comet Halley - Evidence for water ice

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1988-01-01

    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.

  7. Constraints on Comet 332P/Ikeya-Murakami

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saugeron, Benoit; Sonnier, Pierre; Marchais, Stéphanie

    2016-01-01

    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.

  9. Elements of planetary protection against asteroid and comet hazard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steklov, A. F.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Dashkiev, G. N.; Zhilyaev, B. E.

    2018-05-01

    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.

  10. Rocket Detection of Argon in Comet Hale-Bopp

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-12-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-10-01

    A catalog of a sample of 105 Jupiter family (JF) comets (defined as those with Tisserand constants T > 2 and orbital periods P International Comet Quarterly Archive of Cometary Photometric Data, the Minor Planet Center (MPC) data base, IAU Circulars, International Comet Quarterly, and a few papers devoted to some particular comets, together with our own observations. Photometric data previous to 1990 have mainly been taken from the Comet Light Curve Catalogue (CLICC) compiled by Kamél (\\cite{kamel}). We discuss the reliability of the reported nuclear magnitudes in relation to the inherent sources of errors and uncertainties, in particular the coma contamination often present even at large heliocentric distances. A large fraction of the JF comets of our sample indeed shows various degrees of activity at large heliocentric distances, which is correlated with recent downward jumps in their perihelion distances. The reliability of coma subtraction methods to compute the nuclear magnitude is also discussed. Most absolute nuclear magnitudes are found in the range 15 - 18, with no magnitudes fainter than H_N ~ 19.5. The catalog can be found at: http://www.fisica.edu.uy/ ~ gonzalo/catalog/. Table 2 and Appendix B are only available in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org Table 5 is also available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

  12. Results from the UMD physical properties of comets survey

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

    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)

  14. MOLECULAR OXYGEN IN OORT CLOUD COMET 1P/HALLEY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

    2015-12-10

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Beech, M; Jones, J

    1999-01-01

    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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    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....

  17. Perfil do idoso acusado de cometer crime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sérgio Vieira Brandão

    2017-06-01

    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

  18. Surface of the comet 67P from PHILAE/CIVA images as clues to the formation of the comet nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulet, Francois; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Carter, John; Eng, Pascal; Gondet, Brigitte; Jorda, Laurent; Langevin, Yves; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Pilorget, Cédric

    2015-04-01

    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. SOHO/SWAN OBSERVATIONS OF SHORT-PERIOD SPACECRAFT TARGET COMETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Combi, M. R.; Lee, Y.; Patel, T. S.; Maekinen, J. T. T.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Quemerais, E.

    2011-01-01

    SWAN, the Solar Wind ANisotropies all-sky hydrogen Lyα camera on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft that makes all-sky images of interplanetary neutral hydrogen, has an ongoing campaign to make special observations of comets, both short- and long-period ones, in addition to the serendipitous observations of comets as part of the all-sky monitoring program. We report here on a study of several short-period comets that were detected by SWAN: 21P/Giacobini-Zinner (1998 and 2005 apparitions), 19P/Borrelly (2001 apparition), 81P/Wild 2 (1997 apparition), and 103P/Hartley 2 (1997 apparition). SWAN observes comets over long continuous stretches of their visible apparitions and therefore provides excellent temporal coverage of the water production. For some of the observations we are also able to analyze an entire sequence of images over many days to several weeks/months using our time-resolved model and extract daily average water production rates over continuous periods of several days to months. The short-term (outburst) and long-term behavior can be correlated with other observations. The overall long-term variation is examined in light of seasonal effects seen in the pre- to post-perihelion differences. For 21P/Giacobini-Zinner and 81P/Wild 2 the activity variations over each apparition were more continuously monitored but nonetheless consistent with previous observations. For 19P/Borrelly we found a very steep variation of water production rates, again consistent with some previous observations, and a variation over six months around perihelion that was reasonably consistent with the spin-axis model of Schleicher et al. and the illumination of the main active areas. During the 1997-1998 apparition of 103P/Hartley 2, the target comet of the EPOXI mission (the Deep Impact extended mission), we found a variation with heliocentric distance (∼r -3.6 ) that was almost as steep as 19P/Borrelly and, given the small measured radius near aphelion, this places

  20. The influence of the number of cells scored on the sensitivity in the comet assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sharma, Anoop Kumar; Soussaline, Françoise; Sallette, Jerome

    2012-01-01

    The impact on the sensitivity of the in vitro comet assay by increasing the number of cells scored has only been addressed in a few studies. The present study investigated whether the sensitivity of the assay could be improved by scoring more than 100 cells. Two cell lines and three different che...... of the assay. A two-way ANOVA analysis of variance showed that the contribution from the two variables “the number of cells scored” and “concentration” on the total variation in the coefficients of variance dataset was statistically significant (p...

  1. Characteristics of circular features on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deller, J. F.; Güttler, C.; Tubiana, C.; Hofmann, M.; Sierks, H.

    2017-09-01

    Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko shows a large variety of circular structures such as pits, elevated roundish features in Imhotep, and even a single occurrence of a plausible fresh impact crater. Imaging the pits in the Ma'at region, aiming to understand their structure and origin drove the design of the final descent trajectory of the Rosetta spacecraft. The high-resolution images obtained during the last mission phase allow us to study these pits as exemplary circular features. A complete catalogue of circular features gives us the possibility to compare and classify these structures systematically.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

    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

  3. Comet 67P Through the Lens of Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnova, Ekaterina

    2017-04-01

    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

  4. Comets and the origin of life

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delsemme, A H

    1981-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiSanti, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

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

  6. CONSTRAINING THE DUST COMA PROPERTIES OF COMET C/SIDING SPRING (2013 A1) AT LARGE HELIOCENTRIC DISTANCES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

    The close encounter of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) with Mars on 2014 October 19 presented an extremely rare opportunity to obtain the first flyby quality data of the nucleus and inner coma of a dynamically new comet. However, the comet's dust tail potentially posed an impact hazard to those spacecraft orbiting Mars. To characterize the comet at large heliocentric distances, study its long-term evolution, and provide critical inputs to hazard modeling, we imaged C/Siding Spring with the Hubble Space Telescope when the comet was at 4.58, 3.77, and 3.28 AU from the Sun. The dust production rate, parameterized by the quantity Afρ, was 2500, 2100, and 1700 cm (5000 km radius aperture) for the three epochs, respectively. The color of the dust coma is (5.0 ± 0.3)%/100 nm for the first two epochs, and (9.0 ± 0.3)%/100 nm for the last epoch, and reddens with increasing cometocentric distance out to ∼3000 km from the nucleus. The spatial distribution and the temporal evolution of the dust color are most consistent with the existence of icy grains in the coma. Two jet-like dust features appear in the northwest and south-southeast directions projected in the sky plane. Within each epoch of 1-2 hr, no temporal variations were observed for either feature, but the position angle of the south-southeastern feature varied between the three epochs by ∼30°. The dust feature morphology suggests two possible orientations for the rotational pole of the nucleus, (R.A., decl.) = (295° ± 5°, +43° ± 2°) and (190° ± 10°, +50° ± 5°), or their diametrically opposite orientations

  7. CONSTRAINING THE DUST COMA PROPERTIES OF COMET C/SIDING SPRING (2013 A1) AT LARGE HELIOCENTRIC DISTANCES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Jian-Yang; Samarasinha, Nalin H. [Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell Road, Suite 106, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States); Kelley, Michael S. P.; Farnham, Tony L.; A' Hearn, Michael F. [Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States); Mutchler, Max J. [Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218-2463 (United States); Lisse, Carey M. [Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Space Department, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, MD 20723 (United States); Delamere, W. Alan, E-mail: jyli@psi.edu, E-mail: nalin@psi.edu, E-mail: msk@astro.umd.edu, E-mail: farnham@astro.umd.edu, E-mail: ma@astro.umd.edu, E-mail: mutchler@stsci.edu, E-mail: carey.lisse@jpuapl.edu, E-mail: alan@delamere.biz [Delamere Support Service, Boulder, CO 80304 (United States)

    2014-12-10

    The close encounter of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) with Mars on 2014 October 19 presented an extremely rare opportunity to obtain the first flyby quality data of the nucleus and inner coma of a dynamically new comet. However, the comet's dust tail potentially posed an impact hazard to those spacecraft orbiting Mars. To characterize the comet at large heliocentric distances, study its long-term evolution, and provide critical inputs to hazard modeling, we imaged C/Siding Spring with the Hubble Space Telescope when the comet was at 4.58, 3.77, and 3.28 AU from the Sun. The dust production rate, parameterized by the quantity Afρ, was 2500, 2100, and 1700 cm (5000 km radius aperture) for the three epochs, respectively. The color of the dust coma is (5.0 ± 0.3)%/100 nm for the first two epochs, and (9.0 ± 0.3)%/100 nm for the last epoch, and reddens with increasing cometocentric distance out to ∼3000 km from the nucleus. The spatial distribution and the temporal evolution of the dust color are most consistent with the existence of icy grains in the coma. Two jet-like dust features appear in the northwest and south-southeast directions projected in the sky plane. Within each epoch of 1-2 hr, no temporal variations were observed for either feature, but the position angle of the south-southeastern feature varied between the three epochs by ∼30°. The dust feature morphology suggests two possible orientations for the rotational pole of the nucleus, (R.A., decl.) = (295° ± 5°, +43° ± 2°) and (190° ± 10°, +50° ± 5°), or their diametrically opposite orientations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-03-01

    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

  9. Meteorites for K-12 Classrooms: NASA Meteorite Educational Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindstrom, M.; Allen, J.

    1995-09-01

    The fall of a new meteorite is an event that catches the interest of the public in matters of science. The threat of a huge impact like last year's comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 gives us all reason to evaluate such potential risks. NASA's meteorite educational materials use our natural interest in rocks from space to present classroom activities on planetary science. The meteorite educational package includes a meteorite sample disk, a teachers's guide and a slide set. The sample disk is a lucite disk containing chips of six different kinds of meteorites (3 chondrites, achondrite, iron, stony-iron). EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERIES is a teacher's guide with background information and 19 hands-on or heads-on activities for grades 4-12. It was prepared in a partnership of planetary scientists and teachers. The slide set consists of 48 slides with captions to be used with the activities. The materials will be available in Fall 1995. Teachers may obtain a loan of the whole package from NASA Teacher Resource Centers; researchers may borrow them from the JSC meteorite curator. The booklet is available separately from the same sources, and the slide set will be available from NASA CORE. EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERIES is an interdisciplinary planetary science unit which teaches basic science concepts and techniques together with math, reading, writing and social studies The activities are done in a variety of different teaching styles which emphasize observation, experimentation and critical thinking. The activities are ideal for middle schools where teaming makes interdisciplinary units desireable, but most of the activities can be easily modified for grade levels from upper elementary through high school. Meteorites are a natural subject for interdisciplinary teaching because their study involves all fields of science and offers fascinating historical accounts and possibilities for creative expression. Topics covered in EXPLORING METEORITE MYSTERES are centered around basic

  10. Triggering the Activation of Main-belt Comets: The Effect of Porosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghighipour, N.; Maindl, T. I.; Schäfer, C. M.; Wandel, O. J.

    2018-03-01

    It has been suggested that the comet-like activity of Main-belt comets (MBCs) is due to the sublimation of sub-surface water-ice that is exposed when these objects are impacted by meter-sized bodies. We recently examined this scenario and showed that such impacts can, in fact, excavate ice and present a plausible mechanism for triggering the activation of MBCs. However, because the purpose of that study was to prove the concept and identify the most viable ice-longevity model, the porosity of the object and the loss of ice due to the heat of impact were ignored. In this paper, we extend our impact simulations to porous materials and account for the loss of ice due to an impact. We show that for a porous MBC, impact craters are deeper, reaching to ∼15 m, implying that if the activation of MBCs is due to the sublimation of sub-surface ice, this ice has to be within the top 15 m of the object. Results also indicate that the loss of ice due to the heat of impact is negligible, and the re-accretion of ejected ice is small. The latter suggests that the activities of current MBCs are most probably from multiple impact sites. Our study also indicates that for sublimation from multiple sites to account for the observed activity of the currently known MBCs, the water content of MBCs (and their parent asteroids) needs to be larger than the values traditionally considered in models of terrestrial planet formation.

  11. Laboratory Astronomy Needs for the Study of Dust in Comets in the Next Decade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, Carey M.

    2009-05-01

    The Spitzer Space Telescope observed the mid-IR ( 5-40 µm) spectra of 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 (Lisse et al. 2006). Other Infrared Space Observatory (ISO), Spitzer, and Akari observations provide evidence for large reservoirs of these dusty species not only in comets, but in related reservoirs: Centaurs, Kuiper Belt objects, and exo-solar Kuiper Belts. In the next 5 years, we can expect SOFIA, ASTRO-H and JWST measurements to build on these results in the mid-IR. Consistency with STARDUST sample return findings has bolstered confidence in these remote sensing results (Flynn et al. 2008). However, precise mineralogical identifications are hampered by the lack of detailed spectral measurements, particularly of transmission and of the associated derived absorption coefficient, for astrophysically relevant materials in the 3 - 40 µm range over which Spitzer, etc. sensitive. The upcoming Herschel Space Observatory mission will open up a new wavelength range, collecting mineralogically-characteristic far-IR emission spectra of comet dust populations in the range of 57 - 210 µm using its Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS), and out to 650 um using its Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE). Many astrophysically important minerals (e.g., pyroxenes, carbonates, phyllosilicates, water ice) have potentially distinctive, but poorly quantified, PACS-range emission features that are sensitive to chemical composition and crystal structure. Mineral identifications have often been based on a single strong mid-IR feature lack confidence [Molster & Waters 2003], which can be bolstered by measuring multiple complementary far-IR features. Full laboratory spectroscopic knowledge of candidate materials, as

  12. Monitoring of DNA breakage in embryonic stages of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822) after exposure to lead nitrate using alkaline comet assay

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Osman, A.G.M.; Mekkawy, Imam A.; Verreth, J.A.J.; Wuertz, S.; Kloas, W.; Kirschbaum, Frank

    2008-01-01

    Increasing lead contamination in Egyptian ecosystems and high lead concentrations in food items have raised concern for human health and stimulated studies on monitoring ecotoxicological impact of lead-caused genotoxicity. In this work, the alkaline comet assay was modified for monitoring DNA strand

  13. Measurement of DNA base and nucleotide excision repair activities in mammalian cells and tissues using the comet assay - A methodological overview

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Azqueta, A.; Langie, S. A. S.; Slyšková, Jana; Collins, A. R.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 11 (2013), s. 1007-1010 ISSN 1568-7864 Grant - others:EU FP6(XE) LSHB-CT-2006-037575 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : comet assay * base excision repair * nucleotide excision repair Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 3.362, year: 2013

  14. Isotopic ratios in outbursting comet C/2015 ER61

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Hasan M.; Delincee, Henry

    1998-01-01

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

  16. Catastrophic disruptions as the origin of bilobate comets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

    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.

  17. NIMS EXPERIMENT DATA RECORDS: SL-9 COMET IMPACT WITH JUPITER

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NIMS Experiment Data Record (EDR) files contain raw data from the Galileo Orbiter Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (CARLSONETAL1992). This raw data requires...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterburn, Emily

    2015-04-13

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

  19. Plasma Waves Associated with Mass-Loaded Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsurutani, Bruce; Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

    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

  1. Detection of garlic gamma-irradiated by assay comet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

    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)

  2. Evaluating In Vitro DNA Damage Using Comet Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yanxin; Liu, Yang; Yang, Chunzhang

    2017-10-11

    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.

  3. Triple F - A Comet Nucleus Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

    The Triple F (Fresh From the Fridge) mission, a Comet Nucleus Sample Return, has been proposed to ESA s Cosmic Vision program. A sample return from a comet enables us to reach the ultimate goal of cometary research. Since comets are the least processed bodies in the solar system, the proposal goes far beyond cometary science topics (like the explanation of cometary activity) and delivers invaluable information about the formation of the solar system and the interstellar molecular cloud from which it formed. The proposed mission would extract three 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

    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.

  5. Detection of garlic gamma-irradiated by assay comet

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  6. Application of MCM image construction to IRAS comet observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlapfer, Martin F.; Walker, Russell G.

    1994-01-01

    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.

  7. Spectroscopic Profiles of Comets Garradd and McNaught

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

    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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Bradley; Zolensky, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    Comet dust is primitive and shows significant diversity. Our knowledge of the properties of primitive particles has expanded significantly through microscale investigations of cosmic dust samples (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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2007-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colgate, S.A.

    1990-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niedner, M. B.

    1986-01-01

    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.

  16. The split comets: gravitational interaction between the fragments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1979-01-01

    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.)

  17. Observations of Comets and Eclipses in the Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2016-10-01

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Rivkin, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    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

  20. EXTINCTION IN THE COMA OF COMET 17P/HOLMES

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lacerda, Pedro; Jewitt, David

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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: nxrq67@mail.umsl.edu [Goddard Center for Astrobiology, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mail Stop 690, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)

    2017-04-01

    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.

  3. New Image of Comet Halley in the Cold

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-09-01

    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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Seargent, David A J

    2017-01-01

    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. .

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

    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.)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  9. Comet Riders--Nuclear nomads to the stars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2005-01-01

    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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz

    2017-07-13

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

  13. Spectrophotometry of Dust in Comet Hale-Bopp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witteborn, Fred C. (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    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".

  14. The Rosetta–Philae Comet Mission as Physics Appreciation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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.

  15. Irradiation detection of food by DNA Comet Assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, A.A.; Delincee, H.

    1999-01-01

    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.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Henry H

    2017-07-13

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Messenger, Scott; Walker, Robert M.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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

  20. Comet mission is blown off course by faulty rocket

    CERN Multimedia

    Henderson, M

    2003-01-01

    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).

  1. Evaluation of irradiation in foods using DNA comet assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2011-01-01

    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)

  2. Modeling Coma Gas Jets in Comet Hale-Bopp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lederer, S. M.; Campins, H.

    2001-01-01

    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.

  3. Reduction and analysis of photometric data on Comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

    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

  4. Asteroid Family Associations of Main-Belt Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  5. Linking main-belt comets to asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

    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.

  6. Giotto observations of the bow shock at Comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

    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

  7. Comet assay as a cold chain control tool

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duarte, Renato Cesar

    2009-01-01

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potashko, Oleksandr; Viso, Michel

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1986-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.

    1981-01-01

    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)

  11. The analysis of the neutral gas measurements near comet P/Halley based on observations by VEGA-1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gringauz, K.I.; Verigin, M.I.; Remizov, A.P.; Oraevskij, A.A.; Szegoe, K.; Varga, A.

    1989-04-01

    The in-situ measurements of secondary electrons and sputtered ions caused by impacts of neutral particles on metallic surfaces of the Ram Faraday Cup and Plasma Impact Detector sensors in PLAZMAG-1 instrument aboard VEGA 1,2 spacecraft are used to estimate neutral particle density distribution (n n ) around comet P/Halley up to distances of approximately 3x10 σ km. Asymmetries in n n distributions along inbound and outbound legs of spacecraft trajectory are attributed to solar radiation pressure. A model calculation, taking into account solar radiation pressure, leads to 'tear drop' shaped distribution of neutral particles around the cometary nucleus. (author) 46 refs.; 11 figs

  12. Hydrogen addition reactions of aliphatic hydrocarbons in comets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    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.

  13. The Photometric lightcurve of Comet 1P/Halley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bair, Allison N.; Schleicher, David G.

    2014-11-01

    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.

  14. Reference cells and ploidy in the comet assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunnar eBrunborg

    2015-02-01

    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.

  15. Estimates of DNA strand breakage in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus leukocytes measured with the Comet and DNA diffusion assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Díaz

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of DNA damage by mean of Comet or single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE assay has been commonly used to assess genotoxic impact in aquatic animals being able to detect exposure to low concentrations of contaminants in a wide range of species. The aims of this work were 1 to evaluate the usefulness of the Comet to detect DNA strand breakage in dolphin leukocytes, 2 to use the DNA diffusion assay to determine the amount of DNA strand breakage associated with apoptosis or necrosis, and 3 to determine the proportion of DNA strand breakage that was unrelated to apoptosis and necrosis. Significant intra-individual variation was observed in all of the estimates of DNA damage. DNA strand breakage was overestimated because a considerable amount (~29% of the DNA damage was derived from apoptosis and necrosis. The remaining DNA damage in dolphin leukocytes was caused by factors unrelated to apoptosis and necrosis. These results indicate that the DNA diffusion assay is a complementary tool that can be used together with the Comet assay to assess DNA damage in bottlenose dolphins.

  16. Comets as a possible source of nanodust in the Solar System cloud and in planetary debris discs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Ingrid

    2017-07-13

    Comets, comet-like objects and their fragments are the most plausible source for the dust in both the inner heliosphere and planetary debris discs around other stars. The smallest size of dust particles in debris discs is not known and recent observational results suggest that the size distribution of the dust extends down to sizes of a few nanometres or a few tens of nanometres. In the Solar System, electric field measurements from spacecraft observe events that are explained with high-velocity impacts of nanometre-sized dust. In some planetary debris discs an observed mid- to near-infrared emission supposedly results from hot dust located in the vicinity of the star. And the observed emission is characteristic of dust of sizes a few tens of nanometres. Rosetta observations, on the other hand, provide little information on the presence of nanodust near comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This article describes why this is not in contradiction to the observations of nanodust in the heliosphere and in planetary debris discs. The direct ejection of nanodust from the nucleus of the comet would not contribute significantly to the observed nanodust fluxes. We discuss a scenario that nanodust forms in the interplanetary dust cloud through the high-velocity collision process in the interplanetary medium for which the production rates are highest near the Sun. Likewise, fragmentation by collisions occurs near the star in planetary debris discs. The collisional fragmentation process in the inner Solar System occurs at similar velocities to those of the collisional evolution in the interstellar medium. A question for future studies is whether there is a common magic size of the smallest collision fragments and what determines this size.This article is part of the themed issue 'Cometary science after Rosetta'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  17. Earthworm Comet Assay for Assessing the Risk of Weathered Petroleum Hydrocarbon Contaminated Soils: Need to Look Further than Target Contaminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramadass, Kavitha; Palanisami, Thavamani; Smith, Euan; Mayilswami, Srinithi; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Naidu, Ravi

    2016-11-01

    Earthworm toxicity assays contribute to ecological risk assessment and consequently standard toxicological endpoints, such as mortality and reproduction, are regularly estimated. These endpoints are not enough to better understand the mechanism of toxic pollutants. We employed an additional endpoint in the earthworm Eisenia andrei to estimate the pollutant-induced stress. In this study, comet assay was used as an additional endpoint to evaluate the genotoxicity of weathered hydrocarbon contaminated soils containing 520 to 1450 mg hydrocarbons kg -1 soil. Results showed that significantly higher DNA damage levels (two to sixfold higher) in earthworms exposed to hydrocarbon impacted soils. Interestingly, hydrocarbons levels in the tested soils were well below site-specific screening guideline values. In order to explore the reasons for observed toxicity, the contaminated soils were leached with rainwater and subjected to earthworm tests, including the comet assay, which showed no DNA damage. Soluble hydrocarbon fractions were not found originally in the soils and hence no hydrocarbons leached out during soil leaching. The soil leachate's Electrical Conductivity (EC) decreased from an average of 1665 ± 147 to 204 ± 20 µS cm -1 . Decreased EC is due to the loss of sodium, magnesium, calcium, and sulphate. The leachate experiment demonstrated that elevated salinity might cause the toxicity and not the weathered hydrocarbons. Soil leaching removed the toxicity, which is substantiated by the comet assay and soil leachate analysis data. The implication is that earthworm comet assay can be included in future eco (geno) toxicology studies to assess accurately the risk of contaminated soils.

  18. High Resolution 3D Radar Imaging of Comet Interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  19. Comets, Asteroids and Rubble Piles: not just debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold, J. B.; Dusenbery, P.

    2010-12-01

    The National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute (NCIL @ SSI) is developing a variety of asteroids related education activities as part of several E/PO projects, including Finding NEO (funded through NSF and NASA SMD); Great Balls of Fire! (funded through NSF); and a partnership with the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) mission. These activities range from a web site to traveling exhibits in three different sizes. The Killer Asteroids web site (www.killerasteroids.org) includes background information on comets and asteroids as well as a number of interactive activities and games. These include a game that compares the risk of death from an asteroid impact to other hazards; a game and video vignettes on the role of backyard astronomers in light curve research; a physics-based asteroid deflection game; and a Google Earth -based "drop a rock on your house" activity. In addition, the project is developing a small, portable exhibit suitable for use in libraries or visitors centers. Great Balls of Fire! includes two separate traveling exhibitions: a 3000 square foot exhibition for science centers, and a 500 square foot version for smaller venues. Both will begin national tours in the summer of 2011. The Great Balls of Fire! exhibit program includes a free Education Program for docents and educators, and an Outreach Program to amateur astronomers around the country through the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s (ASP) Astronomy from the Ground Up program. The project will facilitate partnerships between host venues and local astronomy clubs that can interact with the public using a toolkit of activities developed by ASP. Great Balls of Fire! Represents a collaboration between scientists, educators, exhibit designers, graphic artists, evaluators, education researchers, and three teams of middle school students who acted as advisors. The project’s exhibit design firm is Jeff Kennedy Associates Inc. We will present a summary of the

  20. Comet 81P/Wild 2 under a microscope

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-10-12

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boice, Daniel C.

    2017-10-01

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amaya Azqueta

    2015-06-01

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

  3. ACTIVITY OF 50 LONG-PERIOD COMETS BEYOND 5.2 au

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  4. ACTIVITY OF 50 LONG-PERIOD COMETS BEYOND 5.2 au

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

    2016-12-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  6. 3D radar wavefield tomography of comet interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sava, Paul; Asphaug, Erik

    2018-04-01

    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.

  7. Genotoxicity of indium tin oxide by comet test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    İbrahim Hakkı Ciğerci

    2015-06-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

    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

  10. Ecotoxicological Assessment of Aquatic Genotoxicity Using the Comet Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    KHUSNUL YAQIN

    2006-09-01

    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.

  11. Particle acceleration in the plasma fields near comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

    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.

  13. Comet rendezvous mission design using Solar Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1979-01-01

    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.

  14. Chandra ACIS-S imaging spectroscopy of anomalously faint X-ray emission from Comet 103P/Hartley 2 during the EPOXI encounter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisse, C. M.; Christian, D. J.; Wolk, S. J.; Dennerl, K.; Bodewits, D.; Combi, M. R.; Lepri, S. T.; Zurbuchen, T. H.; Li, J. Y.; Dello-Russo, N.; Belton, M. J. S.; Knight, M. M.

    2013-02-01

    We present results from the Chandra X-ray Observatory's characterization of the X-ray emission from Comet 103P/Hartley 2, in support of NASA's Deep Impact Extended close flyby of the comet on 04 November 2010. The comet was observed 4 times for a total on target time of ˜60 ks between the 17th of October and 16th of November 2010, with two of the visits occurring during the EPOXI close approach on 04 November and 05 November 2010. X-ray emission from 103P was qualitatively similar to that observed for collisionally thin Comets 2P/Encke (Lisse, C.M. et al. [2005]. Astrophys. J. 635, 1329-1347) and 9P/Tempel 1 (Lisse, C.M. et al. [2007]. Icarus 190, 391-405). Emission morphology offset sunward but asymmetrical from the nucleus and emission lines produced by charge exchange between highly stripped C, N, and O solar wind minor ions and coma neutral gas species were found. The comet was very under-luminous in the X-ray at all times, representing the 3rd faintest comet ever detected (LX = 1.1 ± 0.3 × 1014 erg s-1). The coma was collisionally thin to the solar wind at all times, allowing solar wind ions to flow into the inner coma and interact with the densest neutral coma gas. Localization of the X-ray emission in the regions of the major rotating gas jets was observed, consistent with the major source of cometary neutral gas species being icy coma dust particles. Variable spectral features due to changing solar wind flux densities and charge states were also seen. Modeling of the Chandra observations from the first three visits using observed gas production rates and ACE solar wind ion fluxes with a charge exchange mechanism for the emission is consistent with the temporal and spectral behavior expected for a slow, hot wind typical of low latitude emission from the solar corona interacting with the comet's neutral coma. The X-ray emission during the 4th visit on 16 November 2010 is similar to the unusual behavior seen for Comet 17P/Holmes in 2007 (Christian, D.J. et

  15. Line Ratios for Solar Wind Charge Exchange with Comets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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: pmullen2@illinois.edu [SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2017-07-20

    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 .

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

    2017-03-20

    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.

  18. A Spitzer Search for Activity in Dormant Comets

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chander Kapoor, Ramesh

    2015-08-01

    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Kronk, Gary W

    2017-01-01

    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...

  1. X-ray and extreme ultraviolet emission from comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

    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

  4. A Comprehensive Review on Clinical Applications of Comet Assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunasekarana, Vidya; Chand, Parkash

    2015-01-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Narendra P

    2016-01-01

    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.

  6. A CCD portrait of Comet P/Tempel 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jewitt, D.; Luu, J.

    1989-01-01

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Mukherjee

    2015-05-01

    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.

  8. Strategy for infrared photometry of comets with ISO

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-07-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sitarski, G.

    1986-01-01

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radzievskij, V.V.

    1979-01-01

    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

  14. DYNAMICS OF DUST PARTICLES RELEASED FROM OORT CLOUD COMETS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO RADAR METEORS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nesvorný, David; Vokrouhlický, David; Pokorný, Petr; Janches, Diego

    2011-01-01

    The Oort Cloud Comets (OCCs), exemplified by the Great Comet of 1997 (Hale-Bopp), are occasional visitors from the heatless periphery of the solar system. Previous works hypothesized that a great majority of OCCs must physically disrupt after one or two passages through the inner solar system, where strong thermal gradients can cause phase transitions or volatile pressure buildup. Here we study the fate of small debris particles produced by OCC disruptions to determine whether the imprints of a hypothetical population of OCC meteoroids can be found in the existing meteor radar data. We find that OCC particles with diameters D ∼ 1 mm have a very low Earth-impact probability. The intermediate particle sizes, D ∼ 100 μm, represent a sweet spot. About 1% of these particles orbitally evolve by Poynting-Robertson drag to reach orbits with semimajor axis a ∼ 1 AU. They are expected to produce meteors with radiants near the apex of Earth's orbital motion. We find that the model distributions of their impact speeds and orbits provide a good match to radar observations of apex meteors, except for the eccentricity distribution, which is more skewed toward e ∼ 1 in our model. Finally, we propose an explanation for the long-standing problem in meteor science related to the relative strength of apex and helion/antihelion sources. As we show in detail, the observed trend, with the apex meteors being more prominent in observations of highly sensitive radars, can be related to orbital dynamics of particles released on the long-period orbits.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Zhongyuan; Guo Sheyu.

    1991-07-01

    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

  16. AKARI NEAR-INFRARED SPECTROSCOPIC SURVEY FOR CO{sub 2} IN 18 COMETS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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: ootsubo@astr.tohoku.ac.jp [Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan)

    2012-06-10

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawakita, Hideyo; Mumma, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  19. FLUORESCENCE EXCITATION MODELS OF AMMONIA AND AMIDOGEN RADICAL (NH2) IN COMETS: APPLICATION TO COMET C/2004 Q2 (MACHHOLZ)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawakita, Hideyo; Mumma, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Gussie, Grant

    1995-01-01

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-10-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakes, P.; Padevet, V.

    1992-07-01

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jost, Petr; Svobodova, Hana; Stetina, Rudolf

    2015-07-25

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgieva, Milena; Zagorchev, Plamen; Miloshev, George

    2015-10-01

    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.

  7. Dirty snowball - now is too primitive for a scientific description of comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochemasov, G.

    Success of the "Deep Space 1" scientists which acquired excellent pictures of comet Borrelli, brings comets into the family of small celestial bodies with common regularities of shaping. Often attracted accidental impact process never can explain constantly repeated shapes of small bodies. Understanding their shaping is important in view of coming missions to small bodies. "Orbits make structures". This fundamental notion is unfolded into 4 theorems of planetary tectonics [1]: 1. Celestial bodies are dichotomic; 2. -" - are sectoral; 3. -"- are granular; 4. Angular momenta of different level blocks tend to be equal. All these general rules of shaping and structurization are a consequence of interferences of warping any body standing planetary waves due to inertia forces acting in any moving in non-circular orbit body. Dichotomy is the most global tectonic feature due to the fundamental waves (wave 1). It is typical to all planetary spheres. In Earth it is in the core, mantle, crust, atmosphere. At Venus it is very pronounced in the crust and in atmosphere: lying Y-feature and inverse C-feature in the cloud layer. Coherent martian lithosphere- atmosphere dichotomies are well known. In small bodies the dichotomy is specifically pronounced as ubiquitous convexo -concave shape. Most detailed studied at Eros this shape was also observed at comet Halley and recently at Borrelli. Borrelli's convex extended half is strongly jagged (not easy to find a place for landing!), the contracted concave half spits out tremendous tail. Surface areas around the tail outlets are whitish and lighter than surroundings. It seems that the gas-dust material squeezed out of interiors not only disappears in space but leaves traces on the concave surface. The concave hemisphere has shorter radius than the convex one and tends to compensate loosing angular momentum by denser material extracted from interiors (Theorem 4 [1];compare with the basaltic Pacific hemisphere opposed by the granitic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Todoriki, Setsuko; Hayashi, Toru

    1999-01-01

    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)

  10. AKARI NEAR-INFRARED SPECTROSCOPIC SURVEY FOR CO2 IN 18 COMETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    2012-01-01

    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.

  11. Biomonitoring of genotoxicity of industrial fertilizer pollutants in Aiolopus thalassinus (Orthoptera: Acrididae) using alkaline comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelfattah, Eman A; Augustyniak, Maria; Yousef, Hesham A

    2017-09-01

    Phosphate fertilizer industry is considered as one of the main sources of environmental pollutants. Besides solid waste products, e.g. phosphates, sulphates, and heavy metals, also atmospheric pollutants, such as hydrofluoric acid fumes (HF), sulphur dioxide (SO 2 ), nitrogen oxides (NO 2 ), and particulate matter with diameter up to 10 μm (PM 10 ) can be dangerous. Genotoxic effect of these pollutants was monitored by assessing the DNA damage using alkaline comet assay on cells from brain, thoracic muscles and gut of Aiolopus thalassinus collected at three sites (A-C) located at 1, 3, and 6 km away from Abu-Zaabal Company for Fertilizers and Chemical Industries. Control site was established 32 km from the source of pollution, at the Cairo University Campus. The level of the DNA damage was significantly higher in insects from polluted sites comparing to that from the control site. A strong negative correlation between percentage of cells with visible DNA damage (% of severed cells) and the distance of the sites from Abu-Zaabal Company was found. The best parameter for monitoring of fertilizer pollutants is % of severed cells. Possible impact of Abu-Zaabal Company (extremely high concentration of phosphates and sulphates in all the polluted sites) on DNA integrity in A. thalassinus tissues was discussed. The potential use of the comet assay as a biomonitoring method of the environmental pollution caused by fertilizer industry was proposed. Specific pollution resulting from the activity of the fertilizer industry can cause comparable adverse effects in the organisms inhabiting areas up to 6 km from the source of contamination. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Thermal infrared and optical photometry of Asteroidal Comet C/2002 CE10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekiguchi, Tomohiko; Miyasaka, Seidai; Dermawan, Budi; Mueller, Thomas; Takato, Naruhisa; Watanabe, Junichi; Boehnhardt, Hermann

    2018-04-01

    C/2002 CE10 is an object in a retrograde elliptical orbit with Tisserand parameter - 0.853 indicating a likely origin in the Oort Cloud. It appears to be a rather inactive comet since no coma and only a very weak tail was detected during the past perihelion passage. We present multi-color optical photometry, lightcurve and thermal mid-IR observations of the asteroidal comet. With the photometric analysis in BVRI, the surface color is found to be redder than asteroids, corresponding to cometary nuclei and TNOs/Centaurs. The time-resolved differential photometry supports a rotation period of 8.19 ± 0.05 h. The effective diameter and the geometric albedo are 17.9 ± 0.9 km and 0.03 ± 0.01, respectively, indicating a very dark reflectance of the surface. The dark and redder surface color of C/2002 CE10 may be attribute to devolatilized material by surface aging suffered from the irradiation by cosmic rays or from impact by dust particles in the Oort Cloud. Alternatively, C/2002 CE10 was formed of very dark refractory material originally like a rocky planetesimal. In both cases, this object lacks ices (on the surface at least). The dynamical and known physical characteristics of C/2002 CE10 are best compatible with those of the Damocloids population in the Solar System, that appear to be exhaust cometary nucleus in Halley-type orbits. The study of physical properties of rocky Oort cloud objects may give us a key for the formation of the Oort cloud and the solar system.

  13. Deposition of steeply infalling debris - pebbles, boulders, snowballs, asteroids, comets - around stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, J. C.; Veras, D.; Gänsicke, B. T.

    2017-09-01

    When Comet Lovejoy plunged into the Sun, and survived, questions arose about the physics of infall of small bodies. [1,2] has already described this infall in detail. However, a more general analysis for any type of star has been missing. [3] generalized previous studies, with specific applications to white dwarfs. High-metallicity pollution is common in white dwarf stars hosting remnant planetary systems. However, they rarely have detectable debris accretion discs, possibly because much of the influx is fast steeply infalling debris in star-grazing orbits, producing a more tenuous signature than a slowly accreting disc. Processes governing such deposition between the Roche radius and photosphere have so far received little attention and we model them here analytically by extending recent work on sun-grazing comets to white dwarf systems. We find that the evolution of cm-to-km size infallers most strongly depends on two combinations of parameters, which effectively measure sublimation rate and binding strength. We then provide an algorithm to determine the fate of infallers for any white dwarf, and apply the algorithm to four limiting combinations of hot versus cool (young/old) white dwarfs with snowy (weak, volatile) versus rocky (strong, refractory) infallers. We find: (i) Total sublimation above the photosphere befalls all small infallers across the entire white dwarf temperature range, the threshold size rising with it and 100× larger for rock than snow. (ii) All very large objects fragment tidally regardless of temperature: for rock, a0 ≽ 105 cm; for snow, a0 ≽ 103 - 3 × 104 cm across all white dwarf cooling ages. (iii) A considerable range of infaller sizes avoids fragmentation and total sublimation, yielding impacts or grazes with cold white dwarfs. This range rapidly narrows with increasing temperature, especially for snowy bodies. Finally, we briefly discuss how the various forms of deposited debris may finally reach the photosphere surface itself.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellegri, Valerio; Gorbi, Gessica; Buschini, Annamaria

    2014-10-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

    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)

  16. Polarization images of the inner regions of Comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-08-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

    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

  20. Radiochemistry Results from the IER-163 COMET Irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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

    2015-08-07

    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.

  1. First spacecraft observations of energetic particles near comet Halley

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-04-01

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edberg, S. J.

    1983-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Fisher, K.

    2018-02-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2007-01-01

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yabushita, S.; Hasegawa, I.

    1978-01-01

    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

  8. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; Da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; De Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P; Gutiérrez, Pedro J; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-02

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Yanga

    2015-10-01

    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.

  11. MULTIPLE ORIGINS OF NITROGEN ISOTOPIC ANOMALIES IN METEORITES AND COMETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aleon, Jerome

    2010-01-01

    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.

  12. EXTINCTION IN THE COMA OF COMET 17P/HOLMES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2012-11-20

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Araujo, M.M. E-mail: villavic@net.ipen.br; Marin-Huachaca, N.S.; Mancini-Filho, J. E-mail: jmancini@usp.br; Delincee, H.; Villavicencio, A.L.C.H. E-mail: henry.delincee@bfe.uni-karlsruhe.de

    2004-10-01

    Food irradiation can contribute to a safer and more plentiful food supply by inactivating pathogens, eradicating pests and by extending shelf-life. Particularly in the case of pork meat, this process could be a useful way to inactivate harmful parasites such as Trichinella and Taenia solium. Ionizing radiation causes damage to the DNA of the cells (e.g. strand breaks), which can be used to detect irradiated food. Microelectrophoresis of single cells ('Comet Assay') is a simple and rapid test for DNA damage and can be used over a wide dose range and for a variety of products. Refrigerated pork meat was irradiated with a {sup 60}Co source, Gammacell 220 (A.E.C.L.) installed in IPEN (Sao Paulo, Brazil). The doses given were 0, 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5 kGy for refrigerated samples. Immediately after irradiation the samples were returned to the refrigerator (6 deg. C). Samples were kept in the refrigerator after irradiation. Pork meat was analyzed 1, 8 and 10 days after irradiation using the DNA 'Comet Assay'. This method showed to be an inexpensive and rapid technique for qualitative detection of irradiation treatment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-09-01

    Food irradiation can contribute to a safer and more plentiful food supply by inactivating pathogens, eradicating pests and by extending shelf-life. Particularly in the case of pork meat, this process could be a useful way to inactivate harmful parasites such as Trichinella and Taenia solium. Ionizing radiation causes damage to the DNA of the cells (e.g. strand breaks), which can be used to detect irradiated food. Microelectrophoresis of single cells (``Comet Assay'') is a simple and rapid test for DNA damage and can be used over a wide dose range and for a variety of products. Refrigerated pork meat was irradiated with a 60Co source, Gammacell 220 (A.E.C.L.) installed in IPEN (Sa~o Paulo, Brazil). The doses given were 0, 1.5, 3.0 and 4.5kGy for refrigerated samples. Immediately after irradiation the samples were returned to the refrigerator (6°C). Samples were kept in the refrigerator after irradiation. Pork meat was analyzed 1, 8 and 10 days after irradiation using the DNA ``Comet Assay''. This method showed to be an inexpensive and rapid technique for qualitative detection of irradiation treatment.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reecep Liman

    2015-06-01

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaivão, Isabel; Sierra, L. María

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. The COMET method in 3-D hexagonal geometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connolly, K. J.; Rahnema, F.

    2012-01-01

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-12-01

    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)