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See detailExtremely Organic-rich Coma of Comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) during its Outburst in 2012
Kawakita, Hideyo; Dello Russo, Neil; Vervack, Ron et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2014), 788

We performed high-dispersion near-infrared spectroscopic observations of comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) at 2.5 AU from the Sun using NIRSPEC (R ≈ 25,000) at the Keck II Telescope on UT 2012 January 9 and 10 ... [more ▼]

We performed high-dispersion near-infrared spectroscopic observations of comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) at 2.5 AU from the Sun using NIRSPEC (R ≈ 25,000) at the Keck II Telescope on UT 2012 January 9 and 10, about a week after an outburst had occurred. Over the two nights of our observations, prominent emission lines of CH[SUB]4[/SUB] and C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]6[/SUB], along with weaker emission lines of H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, HCN, CH[SUB]3[/SUB]OH, and CO were detected. The gas production rate of CO was comparable to that of H[SUB]2[/SUB]O during the outburst. The mixing ratios of CO, HCN, CH[SUB]4[/SUB], C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]6[/SUB], and CH[SUB]3[/SUB]OH with respect to H[SUB]2[/SUB]O were higher than those for normal comets by a factor of five or more. The enrichment of CO and CH[SUB]4[/SUB] in comet Hill suggests that the sublimation of these hypervolatiles sustained the outburst of the comet. Some fraction of water in the inner coma might exist as icy grains that were likely ejected from nucleus by the sublimation of hypervolatiles. Mixing ratios of volatiles in comet Hill are indicative of the interstellar heritage without significant alteration in the solar nebula. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst results of the HssO key programme
Hartogh, Paul; Crovisier, Jacques; Lellouch et al

in 38th COSPAR Scientific Assembly (2010)

The HssO (Herschel solar system Observations) program aims at determining the distribution, the evolution and the origin of water in Mars, the Outer Planets, Titan, Enceladus and comets, using the three ... [more ▼]

The HssO (Herschel solar system Observations) program aims at determining the distribution, the evolution and the origin of water in Mars, the Outer Planets, Titan, Enceladus and comets, using the three Herschel instruments HIFI, PACS and SPIRE. It addresses the broad topic of water and its isotopologues in planetary and cometary atmospheres. The nature of cometary activity and the thermodynamics of cometary comae will be investigated by studying water excitation in a sample of comets. The D/H ratio, the key parameter for constraining the origin and evolution of Solar System materials, will be measured for the first time in a Jupiter family comet. A comparison with existing and new measurements of D/H in Oort cloud comets will constrain the composition of pre-solar cometary grains and possibly the dynamics of the protosolar nebula. New measurements of D/H in Giant Planets, similarly constraining the composition of proto-planetary ices, will be obtained. The D/H and other isotopic ratios, diagnostics of the evolution of Mars atmosphere, will be accurately measured in H2O and CO. The role of water vapour in the atmospheric chemistry of Mars will be studied by monitoring vertical profiles of H2O and HDO and by searching for several other species (including CO and H2O isotopologues). A detailed study of the source of water in the upper atmosphere of the Giant Planets and Titan will be performed. By monitoring the water abundance, vertical profile, and input fluxes in the various objects, and when possible with the help of mapping observations, we will discriminate between the possible sources of water in the Outer Planets (interplanetary dust particles, cometary impacts, and local sources). First results on comets, Mars and the outer planets will be presented. [less ▲]

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