References of "Hutsemekers, Damien"
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See detailHigh-resolution spectra of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy)
Rousselot, P.; Decock, A.; Korsun, P. P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 580

Context. High-resolution spectra of comets permit deriving the physical properties of the coma. In the optical range, relative production rates can be computed, and information about isotopic ratios and ... [more ▼]

Context. High-resolution spectra of comets permit deriving the physical properties of the coma. In the optical range, relative production rates can be computed, and information about isotopic ratios and the origin of oxygen atoms can be obtained. <BR /> Aims: The main objective of the work presented here was to obtain information about the chemical composition of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy), a bright and long-period comet that passed perihelion (0.81 au) on 22 December 2013. <BR /> Methods: We used the HARPS-North echelle spectrograph at the 3.5 m telescope TNG to obtain high-resolution spectra of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) in the optical range immediately after its perihelion passage during four consecutive nights in the period December 23 to 26, 2013. <BR /> Results: Our results demonstrate the ability of HARPS-North to efficiently obtain cometary spectra. Very faint emission lines, such as those of [SUP]15[/SUP]NH[SUB]2[/SUB], have been detected, leading to a rough estimate of the [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratio in NH[SUB]2[/SUB]. The [SUP]12[/SUP]C/[SUP]13[/SUP]C ratio was measured in the C[SUB]2[/SUB] lines and is equal to 80 ± 30. The oxygen lines were studied as well (green to red line intensity ratios and widths), confirming that H[SUB]2[/SUB]O is the main parent molecule that photodissociates to produce oxygen atoms. This suggests that this comet has a high CO[SUB]2[/SUB] abundance. Relative production rates for C[SUB]2[/SUB] and NH[SUB]2[/SUB] were computed, but we found no significant deviation from a typical NH[SUB]2[/SUB]/C[SUB]2[/SUB] ratio. Based on observations made with the Italian Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) operated on the island of La Palma by the Fundación Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. [less ▲]

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See detailTRAPPIST photometry and imaging monitoring of comet C/2013 R1(Lovejoy): Implications for the origin of daughter species
Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

E-print/Working paper (2015)

We report the results of the narrow band photometry and imaging monitoring of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) with the robotic telescope TRAPPIST (La Silla observatory). We gathered around 400 images over 8 ... [more ▼]

We report the results of the narrow band photometry and imaging monitoring of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) with the robotic telescope TRAPPIST (La Silla observatory). We gathered around 400 images over 8 months pre- and post-perihelion between September 12, 2013 and July 6, 2014. We followed the evolution of the OH, NH, CN, C3 , and C2 production rates computed with the Haser model as well as the evolution of the dust production. All five gas species display an asymmetry about perihelion, the rate of brightening being steeper than the rate of fading. The study of the coma morphology reveals gas and dust jets which indicate one or several active zone(s) on the nucleus. The dust, C2 , and C3 morphologies present some similarities while the CN morphology is different. OH and NH are enhanced in the tail direction. The study of the evolution of the comet activity shows that the OH, NH, and C2 production rates evolution with the heliocentric distance is correlated to the dust evolution. The CN and, to a lesser extent, the C3 do not display such a correlation with the dust. These evidences and the comparison with parent species production rates indicate that C2 and C3 on one side and OH and NH on the other side could be -at least partially- released from organic-rich grains and icy grains. On the contrary, all evidences point to HCN being the main parent of CN in this comet. [less ▲]

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See detailPolarization alignments of quasars from the JVAS/CLASS 8.4-GHz surveys
Pelgrims, Vincent ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015), 450

We test the hypothesis that the polarization vectors of flat-spectrum radio sources (FSRSs) from the JVAS/CLASS 8.4-GHz surveys are randomly oriented in the sky. A sample with robust polarization ... [more ▼]

We test the hypothesis that the polarization vectors of flat-spectrum radio sources (FSRSs) from the JVAS/CLASS 8.4-GHz surveys are randomly oriented in the sky. A sample with robust polarization measurements is made with 4155 objects. Redshift information is known for 1531 of them. We performed two statistical analyses: one in two dimensions and the other in three dimensions when distance is available. We find significant large-scale alignments of polarization vectors for samples containing only quasars among the varieties of FSRS. While these correlations prove difficult to explain either by a physical effect or by biases in the data set, that the quasars that have significantly aligned polarization vectors are found in regions of the sky where optical polarization alignments were previously found is striking. [less ▲]

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See detailAlignments of quasar axes with large-scale structures
Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Braibant, Lorraine ULg; Pelgrims, Vincent ULg et al

Conference (2015, July)

Based on measurements of optical linear polarization of quasars belonging to large groups at redshift ~ 1.3, we found that quasar spin axes are likely parallel to their host large-scale structures. The ... [more ▼]

Based on measurements of optical linear polarization of quasars belonging to large groups at redshift ~ 1.3, we found that quasar spin axes are likely parallel to their host large-scale structures. The observations and the statistical analysis will be reviewed, and interpretations discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailQuasar radio polarizations align with large quasar group major axes
Pelgrims, Vincent ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg

Poster (2015, July)

Using quasar polarizations and a sample of large quasar groups drawn from the SDSS DR7, we showed that at HIGH REDSHIFTS (z ~ 1.5) the spin axis orientations of black holes are correlated to the major ... [more ▼]

Using quasar polarizations and a sample of large quasar groups drawn from the SDSS DR7, we showed that at HIGH REDSHIFTS (z ~ 1.5) the spin axis orientations of black holes are correlated to the major axes of the groups to which they belong. Inside very rich groups the BH spins are aligned with the major axes. When the richness decreases, the spin axes become preferentially perpendicular. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Herschel view of the nebula around the luminous blue variable star AG Carinae
Vamvatira-Nakou, Chloi ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Royer, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 578

Far-infrared Herschel PACS imaging and spectroscopic observations of the nebula around the luminous blue variable (LBV) star AG Car have been obtained along with optical imaging in the Halpha+[NII] filter ... [more ▼]

Far-infrared Herschel PACS imaging and spectroscopic observations of the nebula around the luminous blue variable (LBV) star AG Car have been obtained along with optical imaging in the Halpha+[NII] filter. In the infrared light, the nebula appears as a clumpy ring shell that extends up to 1.2 pc with an inner radius of 0.4 pc. It coincides with the Halpha nebula, but extends further out. Dust modeling of the nebula was performed and indicates the presence of large grains. The dust mass is estimated to be ~ 0.2 Msun. The infrared spectrum of the nebula consists of forbidden emission lines over a dust continuum. Apart from ionized gas, these lines also indicate the existence of neutral gas in a photodissociation region that surrounds the ionized region. The abundance ratios point towards enrichment by processed material. The total mass of the nebula ejected from the central star amounts to ~ 15 Msun, assuming a dust-to-gas ratio typical of LBVs. The abundances and the mass-loss rate were used to constrain the evolutionary path of the central star and the epoch at which the nebula was ejected, with the help of available evolutionary models. This suggests an ejection during a cool LBV phase for a star of ~ 55 Msun with little rotation. [less ▲]

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See detailOptical polarization from AGN
Hutsemekers, Damien ULg

Conference (2015, May)

I review the optical polarization properties of both low- and high-luminosity AGN, focusing on the origin of the polarization and its relation to AGN properties, in particular the geometry of the ... [more ▼]

I review the optical polarization properties of both low- and high-luminosity AGN, focusing on the origin of the polarization and its relation to AGN properties, in particular the geometry of the scattering regions. The use of polarization to follow AGN orientations along the large-scale structures will also be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailLarge-scale polarization alignments of quasars in the JVAS/CLASS 8.4-GHz surveys
Pelgrims, Vincent ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg

Poster (2015, May)

We analyse the large sample of polarization measurements of the flat-spectrum radio sources of the JVAS/CLASS 8.4-GHz surveys compiled by Jackson et al. (2007). We tested the uniformity of the ... [more ▼]

We analyse the large sample of polarization measurements of the flat-spectrum radio sources of the JVAS/CLASS 8.4-GHz surveys compiled by Jackson et al. (2007). We tested the uniformity of the polarization position angles for a wide range of angular (2D) and comoving (3D) separations and studied the several subsamples, dividing the main sample of 4155 sources regarding their object type (QSO, galaxies, radio sources,...). We found regions of the sky of about 20 degree radius in which quasars (only) have correlated polarization position angles. Those regions coincide with the regions of alignment at optical wavelength pinpointed in 1998 by Hutsemékers. [less ▲]

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See detailAlignments of quasar axes with large-scale structures
Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Braibant, Lorraine ULg; Pelgrims, Vincent ULg et al

Poster (2015, March)

Based on measurements of optical linear polarization of quasars belonging to large groups at redshift z ~ 1.3, we found that quasar spin axes are likely parallel to their host large-scale structures ... [more ▼]

Based on measurements of optical linear polarization of quasars belonging to large groups at redshift z ~ 1.3, we found that quasar spin axes are likely parallel to their host large-scale structures (Hutsemékers et al. 2014). These observations can constrain models of the coevolution of AGN, galaxies and large-scale structures. [less ▲]

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See detailTRAPPIST monitoring of comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)
Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 574

We report the results of the long-term narrowband photometry and imaging monitoring of comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) with the robotic TRAPPIST telescope (La Silla Observatory). Observations covered 52 nights ... [more ▼]

We report the results of the long-term narrowband photometry and imaging monitoring of comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) with the robotic TRAPPIST telescope (La Silla Observatory). Observations covered 52 nights pre- and post-perihelion between December 11, 2012, and June 11, 2013 (perihelion: 24 March, 2013). We followed the evolution of the OH, NH, CN, C[SUB]3[/SUB], and C[SUB]2[/SUB] production rates computed with the Haser model as well as the evolution of the A(θ)fρ parameter as a proxy for the dust production. All five gas species display similar slopes for the heliocentric dependence. An asymmetry about perihelion is observed, the rate of brightening being steeper than the rate of fading. The chemical composition of the comet's coma changes slightly along the orbit: the relative abundance of C[SUB]2[/SUB] to CN increases with the heliocentric distance (r) below -1.4 au and decreases with r beyond 1.4 au while the C[SUB]3[/SUB]-to-CN ratio is constant during our observations. The behavior of the dust is different from that of the gas, the slope of the heliocentric dependence becoming steeper in early February, correlated to a change in the visual lightcurve slope. However, the dust color does not vary during the observations. The application of several enhancement techniques on the images revealed structures in the CN, C[SUB]3[/SUB], and C[SUB]2[/SUB] images. These features imply the existence of one or several active zone(s) on the comet nucleus. The shape of the structures is similar in these three filters and changes from a roughly hourglass shape in December and January to a corkscrew shape in February and March. The structures in the continuum filters (sampling the dust) are not correlated to those observed for the gas. During several full nights in February, we observed changes in the CN and C[SUB]2[/SUB] structures that repeated periodically because of the nucleus rotation, our derived rotational period being of 9.52 ± 0.05 h. Full Tables 2, 4, 6 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/574/A38">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/574/A38</A> [less ▲]

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See detailForbidden oxygen lines at various nucleocentric distances in comets
Decock, Alice ULg; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Rousselot, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 573

Aims: We study the formation of the [OI] lines - that is, 5577.339 Å (the green line), 6300.304 Å and 6363.776 Å (the two red lines) - in the coma of comets and determine the parent species of the oxygen ... [more ▼]

Aims: We study the formation of the [OI] lines - that is, 5577.339 Å (the green line), 6300.304 Å and 6363.776 Å (the two red lines) - in the coma of comets and determine the parent species of the oxygen atoms using the ratio of the green-to-red-doublet emission intensity, I[SUB]5577[/SUB]/(I[SUB]6300[/SUB] + I[SUB]6364[/SUB]), (hereafter the G/R ratio) and the line velocity widths. <BR /> Methods: We acquired high-resolution spectroscopic observations at the ESO Very Large Telescope of comets C/2002 T7 (LINEAR), 73P-C/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, 8P/Tuttle, and 103P/Hartley 2 when they were close to Earth (<0.6 au). Using the observed spectra, which have a high spatial resolution (<60 km/pixel), we determined the intensities and widths of the three [OI] lines. We spatially extracted the spectra to achieve the best possible resolution of about 1-2'', that is, nucleocentric projected distances of 100 to 400 km depending on the geocentric distance of the comet. We decontaminated the [OI] green line from C[SUB]2[/SUB] lines blends that we identified. <BR /> Results: The observed G/R ratio in all four comets varies as a function of nucleocentric projected distance (between ~0.25 to ~0.05 within 1000 km). This is mainly due to the collisional quenching of O([SUP]1[/SUP]S) and O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) by water molecules in the inner coma. The observed green emission line width is about 2.5 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP] and decreases as the distance from the nucleus increases, which can be explained by the varying contribution of CO[SUB]2[/SUB] to the O([SUP]1[/SUP]S) production in the innermost coma. The photodissociation of CO[SUB]2[/SUB] molecules seem to produce O([SUP]1[/SUP]S) closer to the nucleus, while the water molecule forms all the O([SUP]1[/SUP]S) and O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) atoms beyond 10[SUP]3[/SUP] km. Thus we conclude that the main parent species producing O([SUP]1[/SUP]S) and O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) in the inner coma is not always the same. The observations have been interpreted in the framework of the previously described coupled-chemistry-emission model, and the upper limits of the relative abundances of CO[SUB]2[/SUB] were derived from the observed G/R ratios. Measuring the [OI] lines might provide a new way to determine the CO[SUB]2[/SUB] relative abundance in comets. Based on observations made with ESO Telescope at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programs ID 073.C-0525, 277.C-5016, 080.C-0615 and 086.C-0958.Tables 3 and 4 are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201424403/olm">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailMonte Carlo Simulation of Metastable Oxygen Photochemistry in Cometary Atmospheres
Bisikalo, D. V.; Shematovich, V. I.; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in The Astrophysical Journal (2015), 798

Cometary atmospheres are produced by the outgassing of material, mainly H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, CO, and CO[SUB]2[/SUB] from the nucleus of the comet under the energy input from the Sun. Subsequent photochemical ... [more ▼]

Cometary atmospheres are produced by the outgassing of material, mainly H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, CO, and CO[SUB]2[/SUB] from the nucleus of the comet under the energy input from the Sun. Subsequent photochemical processes lead to the production of other species generally absent from the nucleus, such as OH. Although all comets are different, they all have a highly rarefied atmosphere, which is an ideal environment for nonthermal photochemical processes to take place and influence the detailed state of the atmosphere. We develop a Monte Carlo model of the coma photochemistry. We compute the energy distribution functions (EDF) of the metastable O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) and O([SUP]1[/SUP]S) species and obtain the red (630 nm) and green (557.7 nm) spectral line shapes of the full coma, consistent with the computed EDFs and the expansion velocity. We show that both species have a severely non-Maxwellian EDF, that results in broad spectral lines and the suprathermal broadening dominates due to the expansion motion. We apply our model to the atmosphere of comet C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) and 103P/Hartley 2. The computed width of the green line, expressed in terms of speed, is lower than that of the red line. This result is comparable to previous theoretical analyses, but in disagreement with observations. We explain that the spectral line shape does not only depend on the exothermicity of the photochemical production mechanisms, but also on thermalization, due to elastic collisions, reducing the width of the emission line coming from the O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) level, which has a longer lifetime. [less ▲]

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See detailAlignment of quasar polarizations with large-scale structures
Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Braibant, Lorraine ULg; Pelgrims, Vincent ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 572

We have measured the optical linear polarization of quasars belonging to Gpc scale quasar groups at redshift z ~ 1.3. Out of 93 quasars observed, 19 are significantly polarized. We found that quasar ... [more ▼]

We have measured the optical linear polarization of quasars belonging to Gpc scale quasar groups at redshift z ~ 1.3. Out of 93 quasars observed, 19 are significantly polarized. We found that quasar polarization vectors are either parallel or perpendicular to the directions of the large-scale structures to which they belong. Statistical tests indicate that the probability that this effect can be attributed to randomly oriented polarization vectors is on the order of 1%. We also found that quasars with polarization perpendicular to the host structure preferentially have large emission line widths while objects with polarization parallel to the host structure preferentially have small emission line widths. Considering that quasar polarization is usually either parallel or perpendicular to the accretion disk axis depending on the inclination with respect to the line of sight, and that broader emission lines originate from quasars seen at higher inclinations, we conclude that quasar spin axes are likely parallel to their host large-scale structures. Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under program ID 092.A-0221.Table 1 is available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201424631/olm">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe TRAPPIST comet survey in 2014
Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2014, November 01), 46

TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that has been installed in June 2010 at the ESO La Silla Observatory [1]. Operated from Liège (Belgium) it is ... [more ▼]

TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that has been installed in June 2010 at the ESO La Silla Observatory [1]. Operated from Liège (Belgium) it is devoted to the detection and characterisation of exoplanets and to the study of comets and other small bodies in the Solar System. A set of narrowband cometary filters designed by the NASA for the Hale-Bopp Observing Campaign [2] is permanently mounted on the telescope along with classic Johnson-Cousins filters. We describe here the hardware and the goals of the project. For relatively bright comets (V < 12) we measure several times a week the gaseous production rates (using a Haser model) and the spatial distribution of several species among which OH, NH, CN, C2 and C3 as well as ions like CO+. The dust production rates (Afrho) and color of the dust aredetermined through four dust continuum bands from the UV to the red (UC, BC, GC, RC filters). We will present the dust and gas production rates of the brightest comets observed in 2014: C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS), C/2014 E2 (Jacques), C/2013 A1 (Siding Springs) and C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden). Each of these comets have been observed at least once a week for several weeks to several months. Light curves with respect to the heliocentric distance will be presented and discussed. [1] Jehin et al., The Messenger, 145, 2-6, 2011.[2] Farnham et al., Icarus, 147, 180-204, 2000. [less ▲]

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See detailTRAPPIST monitoring of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)
Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2014, November 01), 46

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is a long period comet discovered by Robert H McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia on January 3, 2013 at 7.2 au from the Sun. This comet will make a close encounter ... [more ▼]

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is a long period comet discovered by Robert H McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia on January 3, 2013 at 7.2 au from the Sun. This comet will make a close encounter with Mars on October 19, 2014. At this occasion the comet will be extensively observed both from Earth and from several orbiters around Mars.On September 20, 2013 when the comet was around 5 au from the Sun, we started a monitoring with the TRAPPIST robotic telescope installed at La Silla observatory [1]. A set of narrowband cometary filters designed by the NASA for the Hale-Bopp Observing Campaign [2] is permanently mounted on the telescope along with classic Johnson-Cousins B, V, Rc, and Ic filters.We observed the comet continuously at least once a week from September 20, 2013 to April 6, 2014 with broad band filters. We then recovered the comet on May 20. At this time we could detect the gas and started the observations with narrow band filters until early November, covering the close approach to Mars and the perihelion passage.We present here our first results about comet Siding Springs. From the images in the broad band filters and in the dust continuum filters we derived A(θ)fρ values [3] and studied the evolution of the comet activity with the heliocentric distance from September 20, 2013 to early November 2014. We could also detect gas since May 20, 2014. We thus derived gas production rates using a Haser model [4]. We present the evolution of gas production rates and gas production rates ratios with the heliocentric distance.Finally, we discuss the dust and gas coma morphology. [less ▲]

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See detailDistant activity of comet C/2006 W3 (Christensen) as observed with Herschel
de Val-Borro, M.; Bockelée-Morvan, D.; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg et al

in Muinonen, Karri (Ed.) Asteroids, Comets, Meteors - Book of Abstracts (2014, July 01)

We aimed to measure the H_2O and dust production rates in C/2006 W3 (Christensen) with the Herschel Space Observatory at a heliocentric distance of ˜ 5 au and compare these data with previous post ... [more ▼]

We aimed to measure the H_2O and dust production rates in C/2006 W3 (Christensen) with the Herschel Space Observatory at a heliocentric distance of ˜ 5 au and compare these data with previous post-perihelion Herschel and ground-based observations at ˜ 3.3 au from the Sun (Bockelée-Morvan et al. 2010b). We have searched for emission in the H_2O and NH_3 ground-state rotational transitions at 557 GHz and 572 GHz, simultaneously, toward comet C/2006 W3 (Christensen) with the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) onboard Herschel on UT 1.5 September 2010. Photometric observations of the dust coma in the 70 μ m to 160 μ m channels were acquired with the Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS) instrument on UT 26.5 August 2010. A tentative 4-σ H_2O line emission feature was found in the spectra obtained with the HIFI wide-band and high-resolution spectrometers, from which we derive a water production rate of 2.0(5)×10^{27} molec. s^{-1}. A 3-σ upper limit for the ammonia production rate of < 1.5×10^{27} molec. s^{-1} is obtained taking into account the contribution from all hyperfine components (Biver et al. 2012). The dust thermal emission was detected in the 70-μ m to 160-μ m filters, with a more extended emission in the blue channel. We fit the radial dependence of the surface brightness with radially symmetric profiles for the blue and red bands. The dust production rates, obtained for a dust size distribution index that explains the fluxes at the photocenters of the PACS images, lie in the range 70-110 kg s^{-1}. Scaling the CO production rate measured post-perihelion at 3.20-3.32 au, these values correspond to a dust-to-gas production rate ratio in the range 0.3-0.4. The blueshift of the water line detected by HIFI suggests preferential emission from the subsolar point. However, it is also possible that water sublimation occurs in small ice-bearing grains that are emitted from an active region on the nucleus surface at a speed of ˜ 0.2 km s^{-1}. The dust production rates derived in August 2010 are roughly one order of magnitude lower than in September 2009, suggesting that the dust-to-gas production rate ratio remained approximately constant during the period when the activity became increasingly dominated by CO outgassing. These data will complement available Herschel observations of the distant activity of other comets such as 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (Bockelée-Morvan et al. 2010a) and main-belt comets 176P/LINEAR and P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS) (de Val-Borro et al. 2012, O'Rourke et al. 2013). [less ▲]

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See detailThe activity cycle of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Snodgrass, C.; Barrera, L.; Boehnhardt, H. et al

in Muinonen, Karri (Ed.) Asteroids, Comets, Meteors - Book of Abstracts (2014, July 01)

We present ground-based observations of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, target of the Rosetta mission, and an assessment on its activity levels. Based on imaging in the R-band, we measure the brightness ... [more ▼]

We present ground-based observations of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, target of the Rosetta mission, and an assessment on its activity levels. Based on imaging in the R-band, we measure the brightness of the coma within various apertures and use this to assess the amount of dust in the coma. We find that the comet begins to show detectable activity at a pre-perihelion distance from the Sun of 4.3 au, and then shows a smooth increase in production to a peak around one month after perihelion passage. The behaviour of the comet is consistent from one orbit to another, based on archival images taken over three apparitions, and we therefore use the heliocentric lightcurve to make predictions for the 2014/5 period while Rosetta is operating at the comet. We find that the Afρ parameter, measured within an aperture of radius 10,000 km at the comet, is proportional to r^{-3.2}, pre-perihelion [1]. We also attempt to make predictions on the gas production rate by fitting a model to the observed brightness values. This is done by assuming various parameters about the nucleus and dust, many of which are reasonably well constrained for 67P, and solving an energy balance equation that gives the sublimation rate of various ices as a function of solar illumination [2]. The model then links the gas production rate to the total amount of dust in the coma, and its brightness. We find that only a small fraction of the surface area (1.4 %) needs to be active for water sublimation, with an extra peak (up to 4 %) for a month either side of perihelion, while an even smaller area is producing CO_2 (0.04-0.09 %) [1]. The predictions can now be tested against new observations, and we will present the latest results from our 2014 monitoring of 67P. We are performing regular R-band imaging on the comet using the VLT, and early indications in March 2014 indicate that the comet does appear to have returned to activity as expected. By the time of the ACM meeting we will have around 4 months of imaging to make a clear assessment of the trend between 4.4 and 3.8 au, which will allow a comparison with our model and therefore predictions to be made of how well 67P appears to be following its previous activity pattern. By July, we will also have obtained the first of a series of VLT/FORS visible wavelength spectra, to make a direct search for gas emission lines. These will represent some of the most distant spectroscopic observations of a Jupiter family comet coma. Preliminary results will be shown from these spectra, which will also constrain the expected evolution of activity as Rosetta approaches the comet. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-resolution spectra of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy)
Rousselot, P.; Decock, A.; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg et al

in Muinonen, Karri (Ed.) Asteroids, Comets, Meteors - Book of Abstracts (2014, July 01)

Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) is a long-period comet discovered on 7 September 2013 by Terry Lovejoy with a 0.2-m telescope (Guido et al., 2013), it passed its perihelion (0.81 au) on 22 December 2013. It was ... [more ▼]

Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) is a long-period comet discovered on 7 September 2013 by Terry Lovejoy with a 0.2-m telescope (Guido et al., 2013), it passed its perihelion (0.81 au) on 22 December 2013. It was a bright comet visible to the naked eye. We obtained high-resolution spectra of this comet immediately after its perihelion passage during 4 nights in the period 23-26 December 2013. These spectra have been obtained with the 3.5-m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) and the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher in North hemisphere (HARPS-N) echelle spectrograph. HARPS-N is an echelle spectrograph covering the spectral range from 383 to 693 nm, with a spectral resolution of R=115000 (Cosentino et al., 2012). It is designed to measure stellar radial velocities in view of detecting extrasolar planets. Our observations are the first successful cometary observations performed with this instrument. They demonstrate that this spectrograph can also be efficient for getting cometary spectra, even if the sensitivity of this instrument is low in the blue part of its spectral coverage. We will present the results of our data analysis for these spectra. This analysis is focused on isotopic ratios, mainly ^{12}C/^{13}C with C_2 emission lines (with the method described in Rousselot et al. 2012) and ^{14}N/^{15}N with ^{14}NH_2 and ^{15}NH_2 emission lines (with the line wavelengths given in Rousselot et al. 2014), atomic oxygen emission lines at 557.7, 630.0 and 636.4 nm (intensity ratios and widths, see Decock et al. 2013) and relative production rates of the detected species. [less ▲]

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See detailTRAPPIST monitoring of comets C/2012 S1 (ISON) and C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy)
Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Muinonen, Karri (Ed.) Asteroids, Comets, Meteors - Book of Abstracts (2014, July 01)

We present the results of a dense photometric monitoring of comets C/2012 S1 (Ison) and C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using narrow-band cometary filters and the 60-cm TRAPPIST robotic telescope [1]. We were able to ... [more ▼]

We present the results of a dense photometric monitoring of comets C/2012 S1 (Ison) and C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using narrow-band cometary filters and the 60-cm TRAPPIST robotic telescope [1]. We were able to isolate the emission of the OH, NH, CN, C_2, and C_3 radicals for both comets as well as the dust continuum in four bands. By applying a Haser model [2] and fitting the observed profiles, we derive gas production rates. From the continuum bands, we computed the dust Afρ parameters [3]. We were able to follow the evolution of the gas and dust activity of these comets for weeks, looking for changes with the heliocentric distance, study the coma morphology, and analyze their composition and dust coma properties. Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) was observed about three times a week from October 12 (r=1.43 au) to November 23, 2013. It was then at a heliocentric distance of 0.33 au, only five days before perihelion, when it disintegrated. This dense monitoring allowed us to detect fast changes of the cometary activity. We observed a slowly rising activity in October and early November, and two major outbursts around November 13 and November 19 [4], the gas and dust production rates being multiplied by at least a factor of five during each outburst and then slowly decreasing in the following days. These outbursts were correlated with changes in gas-production-rate ratios. The coma morphology study revealed strong jets in both gas and dust filters. Since the comet was very active in November, we were even able to detect OH jets in our images. Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) was observed before perihelion from September 9 (r=1.94 au) to November 16 (r=1.12 au), 2013 when the comet was too far North. We recovered the comet post-perihelion on February 13 (r=1.24 au), 2014 and planned to observe it until May (r=2.5 au) with narrow-band filters. We compare the evolution of gas and dust activity as well as the evolution of gas production rates ratios on both sides of perihelion. The morphological study of both gas and dust coma we already performed on pre-perihelion images revealed structures in gas and dust filters. We compare the gas and dust features in all filters and study their evolution. [less ▲]

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See detailThe TRAPPIST comet survey
Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Muinonen, Karri (Ed.) Asteroids, Comets, Meteors - Book of Abstracts (2014, July 01)

TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that has been installed in June 2010 at the ESO La Silla Observatory [1]. Operated from Liège (Belgium) it is ... [more ▼]

TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that has been installed in June 2010 at the ESO La Silla Observatory [1]. Operated from Liège (Belgium) it is devoted to the detection and characterisation of exoplanets and to the study of comets and other small bodies in the Solar System. We describe here the hardware and the goals of the project and give an overview of the comet production rates monitoring after three years of operations. The telescope and observatory --- TRAPPIST's optical tube unit is a Ritchey-Chretien 0.6 meter telescope with a focal length of 4.8 meter. It is associated with a German equatorial mount that is, thanks to its direct drive system, extremely fast (up to 50 deg/s), accurate (tracking accuracy without autoguider better than 2'' in 10 min), and free of periodic error. The instrument is a Peltier cooled commercial camera equipped with a Fairchild 3041 back-illuminated 2k×2k chip. The pixel scale is 0.64''/pixel. Three read-out modes are available, the shortest read-out time being 2s. The total field of view of the camera is 22'×22'. It is associated to a custom-made dual filter wheel. One of the filter wheel contains broad band filters (Johnson B, V, R, Cousins Ic, Sloan z, and a special I+z filter), while the other contains the narrow-band NASA HB cometary filters (OH, NH, CN, CO+, C3, and C2 gaseous species; UC, BC, GC and RC solar continuum windows and a NaI D filter) [2]. The telescope is protected by a 5 meter diameter dome that was totally refurbished and automatized. The observatory is fully robotic and equipped with a weather station, an UPS and webcams. The la Silla site is excellent with more than 300 clear nights per year and the telescope has proven to be very reliable with a small amount of technical downtime. Comet monitoring --- For relatively bright comets (V < 12) we measure several times a week the gaseous production rates (using a Haser model) and the spatial distribution of several species among which OH, NH, CN, C2 and C3 as well as ions like CO+. The dust production rates (Afrho) and color of the dust are determined through four dust continuum bands (UC, BC, GC, RC). Such regular measurements are rare because of the lack of observing time on larger telescopes. Yet they are very valuable as they show how the gas production rate of each species evolves with respect to the distance to the Sun. Those observations allow to determine the composition of the comets and the chemical class to which they belong (rich or poor in carbon for instance [3]), possibly revealing the origin of those classes but also if there are some changes of the abundance ratios along the orbit (evolutionary effects). Indeed with half a dozen of comets observed each year --- and as long as possible along their orbit --- this program will provide a good statistical sample after a few years. We will present the results of this monitoring after three years of operations. Thanks to the way the telescope is operated, follow-up of split comets and of special outburst events is possible right after an alert is given and can bring important information on the nature of comets. In addition to providing the productions rates of the different species through a proper photometric calibration, image analysis can reveal coma features (jets, fans, tails), that can lead to the detection of active regions and measure the rotation period of the nucleus. The monitoring is also useful to assess the gas and dust activity of a given comet in order to prepare more detailed observations with larger telescopes. Such data can be obtained at any time under request. Finally a dozen of faint comets (V < 20) are monitored once a week through B, V, Rc, Ic filters and magnitudes and positions are sent to the MPC. [less ▲]

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