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Thermal properties, sizes, and size distribution of jupiter-family cometary nuclei

Fernández, Y.R., Kelley, M.S., Lamy, P.L., Toth, I., Groussin, O., Lisse, C.M., A'Hearn, M.F., Bauer, J.M., Campins, H., Fitzsimmons, A., and others. (2013) Thermal properties, sizes, and size distribution of jupiter-family cometary nuclei. Icarus, 226 (1). pp. 1138-1170. ISSN 0019-1035. (doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.07.021) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.icarus.2013.07.021

Abstract

We present results from SEPPCoN, an on-going Survey of the Ensemble Physical Properties of Cometary Nuclei. In this report we discuss mid-infrared measurements of the thermal emission from 89 nuclei of Jupiter-family comets (JFCs). All data were obtained in 2006 and 2007 using imaging capabilities of the Spitzer Space Telescope. The comets were typically 4-5. AU from the Sun when observed and most showed only a point-source with little or no extended emission from dust. For those comets showing dust, we used image processing to photometrically extract the nuclei. For all 89 comets, we present new effective radii, and for 57 comets we present beaming parameters. Thus our survey provides the largest compilation of radiometrically-derived physical properties of nuclei to date. We have six main conclusions: (a) The average beaming parameter of the JFC population is 1.03. ±. 0.11, consistent with unity; coupled with the large distance of the nuclei from the Sun, this indicates that most nuclei have Tempel 1-like thermal inertia. Only two of the 57 nuclei had outlying values (in a statistical sense) of infrared beaming. (b) The known JFC population is not complete even at 3. km radius, and even for comets that approach to ~2. AU from the Sun and so ought to be more discoverable. Several recently-discovered comets in our survey have small perihelia and large (above ~2. km) radii. (c) With our radii, we derive an independent estimate of the JFC nuclear cumulative size distribution (CSD), and we find that it has a power-law slope of around -1.9, with the exact value depending on the bounds in radius. (d) This power-law is close to that derived by others from visible-wavelength observations that assume a fixed geometric albedo, suggesting that there is no strong dependence of geometric albedo with radius. (e) The observed CSD shows a hint of structure with an excess of comets with radii 3-6. km. (f) Our CSD is consistent with the idea that the intrinsic size distribution of the JFC population is not a simple power-law and lacks many sub-kilometer objects. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.icarus.2013.07.021
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: LA - English [Field not mapped to EPrints] J2 - Icarus [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, FL 32816-2385, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Dept. of Astronomy, Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2421, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille UMR 7326, 13388 Marseille, France [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Konkoly Observatory MTA CSFK CSI, PO Box 67, H-1525 Budapest, Hungary [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins Univ., 11100 Johns Hopkins Rd, Laurel, MD 20723, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Astrophysics Research Centre, School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen's Univ, Belfast BT7 1NN, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, C/Via Lactea s/n, 38200 La Laguna, Spain [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - School of Physical Sciences, Univ. of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NH, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - NASA Astrobiology Institute, Institute for Astronomy, Univ. of Hawai'i, 2680 Woodlawn Dr ,Honolulu, HI 96822, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, NASA/Ames Research Center, Moffet Field, CA 94035, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Max-Plank-Str. 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: Comets, Dust, Comets, Nucleus, Infrared observations
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Physical Sciences > Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences
Depositing User: Stephen Lowry
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 22:08 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:29 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/52274 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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