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Discovery of main-belt comet P/2006 VW139 by Pan-STARRS1

Hsieh, H.H., Yang, B., Haghighipour, N., Kaluna, H.M., Fitzsimmons, A., Denneau, L., Novakovia, B., Jedicke, R., Wainscoat, R.J., Armstrong, J.D., and others. (2012) Discovery of main-belt comet P/2006 VW139 by Pan-STARRS1. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 748 (1). (L15) 1-7. ISSN 2041-8205. E-ISSN 2041-8213. (doi:10.1088/2041-8205/748/1/L15) (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)

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. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/748/1/L15

Abstract

The main-belt asteroid (300163) 2006 VW139 (later designated P/2006 VW139) was discovered to exhibit comet-like activity by the Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) survey telescope using automated point-spread-function analyses performed by PS1's Moving Object Processing System. Deep follow-up observations show both a short (~10'') antisolar dust tail and a longer (~60'') dust trail aligned with the object's orbit plane, similar to the morphology observed for another main-belt comet (MBC), P/2010 R2 (La Sagra), and other well-established comets, implying the action of a long-lived, sublimation-driven emission event. Photometry showing the brightness of the near-nucleus coma remaining constant over ~30 days provides further evidence for this object's cometary nature, suggesting it is in fact an MBC, and not a disrupted asteroid. A spectroscopic search for CN emission was unsuccessful, though we find an upper limit CN production rate of Q CN < 1.3 × 1024 mol s–1, from which we infer a water production rate of $Q_{\rm H_2O}<10^{26}$ mol s–1. We also find an approximately linear optical spectral slope of 7.2%/1000 Å, similar to other cometary dust comae. Numerical simulations indicate that P/2006 VW139 is dynamically stable for >100 Myr, while a search for a potential asteroid family around the object reveals a cluster of 24 asteroids within a cutoff distance of 68 m s–1. At 70 m s–1, this cluster merges with the Themis family, suggesting that it could be similar to the Beagle family to which another MBC, 133P/Elst-Pizarro, belongs. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1088/2041-8205/748/1/L15
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: C7 - L15 [EPrints field already has value set] LA - English [Field not mapped to EPrints] J2 - Astrophys. J. Lett. [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Astrophysics Research Centre, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 16, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Inc., 6740 Cortona Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93117, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NH, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Gemini Observatory, Northern Operations Center, 670 N. Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Institute of Astronomy, National Central University, 300 Jhongda Rd, Jhongli 32001, Taiwan [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Physics, 00014 University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 64, Helsinki, Finland [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Planetary Science Institute, 1700 East Fort Lowell, Tucson, AZ 85719, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Dipartimento di Matematica, Universit di Pisa, Largo Pontecorvo 5, 56127 Pisa, Italy [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Planetary Exploration Group, Space Department, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Physics, University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd., Orlando, FL 32816, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Indian Institute of Astrophysics, CREST Campus, Koramangala, Sarjapur Road, Bangalore 560034, India [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: comets: general, minor planets, asteroids: general
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 22:16 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:29 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/52281 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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