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

Hsieh, H.H. and Yang, B. and Haghighipour, N. and Kaluna, H.M. and Fitzsimmons, A. and Denneau, L. and Novakovia, B. and Jedicke, R. and Wainscoat, R.J. and Armstrong, J.D. and Duddy, S.R. and Lowry, S.C. and Trujillo, C.A. and Micheli, M. and Keane, J.V. and Urban, L. and Riesen, T. and Meech, K.J. and Abe, S. and Cheng, Y.-C. and Chen, W.-P. and Granvik, M. and Grav, T. and Ip, W.-H. and Kinoshita, D. and Kleyna, J. and Lacerda, P. and Lister, T. and Milani, A. and Tholen, D.J. and Vereš, P. and Lisse, C.M. and Kelley, M.S. and Fernández, Y.R. and Bhatt, B.C. and Sahu, D.K. and Kaiser, N. and Chambers, K.C. and Hodapp, K.W. and Magnier, E.A. and Price, P.A. and Tonry, J.L. (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:https://doi.org/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
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: 21 Dec 2015 15:30 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/52281 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):