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Optical observations of 23 distant Jupiter Family Comets, including 36P/Whipple at multiple phase angles

Snodgrass, C., Lowry, S.C., Fitzsimmons, A. (2008) Optical observations of 23 distant Jupiter Family Comets, including 36P/Whipple at multiple phase angles. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 385 (2). pp. 737-756. ISSN 0035-8711. E-ISSN 1365-2966. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.12900.x) (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/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.12900.x

Abstract

We present photometry on 23 Jupiter Family Comets (JFCs) observed at large heliocentric distance, primarily using the 2.5-m Isaac Newton Telescope (INT). Snapshot images were taken of 17 comets, of which five were not detected, three were active and nine were unresolved and apparently inactive. These include 103P/Hartley 2, the target of the NASA Deep Impact extended mission, EPOXI. For six comets we obtained time-series photometry and use this to constrain the shape and rotation period of these nuclei. The data are not of sufficient quantity or quality to measure precise rotation periods, but the time-series do allow us to measure accurate effective radii and surface colours. Of the comets observed over an extended period, 40P/Vaisala 1, 47P/Ashbrook-Jackson and P/2004 H2 (Larsen) showed faint activity which limited the study of the nucleus. Light curves for 94P/Russell 4 and 121P/Shoemaker-Holt 2 reveal rotation periods of around 33 and 10 h, respectively, although in both cases these are not unique solutions. 94P was observed to have a large range in magnitudes implying that it is one of the most elongated nuclei known, with an axial ratio a/b > 3. 36P/Whipple was observed at five different epochs, with the INT and ESO's 3.6-m NTT, primarily in an attempt to confirm the preliminary short rotation period apparent in the first data set. The combined data set shows that the rotation period is actually longer than 24 h. A measurement of the phase function of 36P's nucleus gives a relatively steep beta = 0.060 ± 0.019. Finally, we discuss the distribution of surface colours observed in JFC nuclei, and show that it is possible to trace the evolution of colours from the Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) population to the JFC population by applying a 'dereddening' function to the KBO colour distribution. © 2008 RAS.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.12900.x
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: LA - English [Field not mapped to EPrints] J2 - Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Córdova 3107, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Astrophysics Research Centre, School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Science Division, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91101, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: Comets: general, Comets: individual: 36P/ Whipple, Kuiper Belt, Techniques: photometric
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 23:02 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:29 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/52301 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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