Distant activity of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014: Ground-based results during the Rosetta pre-landing phase

Snodgrass, Colin and Jehin, Emmanuel and Manfroid, Jean and Opitom, Cyrielle and Fitzsimmons, Alan and Tozzi, Gian Paolo and Faggi, Sara and Yang, Bin and Knight, Matthew M. and Conn, Blair C. and Lister, Tim and Hainaut, Olivier and Bramich, D. M. and Lowry, Stephen C. and Rożek, Agata and Tubiana, Cecilia and Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie (2016) Distant activity of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014: Ground-based results during the Rosetta pre-landing phase. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 588 . A80. ISSN 0004-6361. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201527834) (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://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201527834

Abstract

Context. As the ESA Rosetta mission approached, orbited, and sent a lander to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, a large campaign of ground-based observations also followed the comet. Aims. We constrain the total activity level of the comet by photometry and spectroscopy to place Rosetta results in context and to understand the large-scale structure of the comet’s coma pre-perihelion. Methods. We performed observations using a number of telescopes, but concentrate on results from the 8 m VLT and Gemini South telescopes in Chile. We use R-band imaging to measure the dust coma contribution to the comet’s brightness and UV-visible spectroscopy to search for gas emissions, primarily using VLT/FORS. In addition we imaged the comet in near-infrared wavelengths (JHK) in late 2014 with Gemini-S/Flamingos-2. Results. We find that the comet was already active in early 2014 at heliocentric distances beyond 4 au. The evolution of the total activity (measured by dust) followed previous predictions. No gas emissions were detected despite sensitive searches. Conclusions. The comet maintains a similar level of activity from orbit to orbit, and is in that sense predictable, meaning that Rosetta results correspond to typical behaviour for this comet. The gas production (for CN at least) is highly asymmetric with respect to perihelion, as our upper limits are below the measured production rates for similar distances post-perihelion in previous orbits.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Matthias Werner
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2017 10:12 UTC
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2017 10:12 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/60095 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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