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See detailAlbedo and atmospheric constraints of dwarf planet Makemake from a stellar occultation
Ortiz, J. L.; Sicardy, B.; Braga-Ribas, F. et al

in Nature (2012), 491

Pluto and Eris are icy dwarf planets with nearly identical sizes, comparable densities and similar surface compositions as revealed by spectroscopic studies. Pluto possesses an atmosphere whereas Eris ... [more ▼]

Pluto and Eris are icy dwarf planets with nearly identical sizes, comparable densities and similar surface compositions as revealed by spectroscopic studies. Pluto possesses an atmosphere whereas Eris does not; the difference probably arises from their differing distances from the Sun, and explains their different albedos. Makemake is another icy dwarf planet with a spectrum similar to Eris and Pluto, and is currently at a distance to the Sun intermediate between the two. Although Makemake's size (1,420+/-60km) and albedo are roughly known, there has been no constraint on its density and there were expectations that it could have a Pluto-like atmosphere. Here we report the results from a stellar occultation by Makemake on 2011 April 23. Our preferred solution that fits the occultation chords corresponds to a body with projected axes of 1,430+/-9km (1σ) and 1,502+/-45km, implying a V-band geometric albedo p[SUB]V[/SUB] = 0.77+/-0.03. This albedo is larger than that of Pluto, but smaller than that of Eris. The disappearances and reappearances of the star were abrupt, showing that Makemake has no global Pluto-like atmosphere at an upper limit of 4-12nanobar (1σ) for the surface pressure, although a localized atmosphere is possible. A density of 1.7+/-0.3gcm[SUP]-3[/SUP] is inferred from the data. [less ▲]

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See detailZero Drift in Mean Anomaly of the Satellite of 1996 FG3 and its Implication for the BYORP Theory
Scheirich, P.; Pravec, P.; Mottola, S. et al

in Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2012, Proceedings of the conference (2012, May 01)

An analysis of photometric observations of binary Near-Earth asteroid (175706) 1996 FG3, taken from 1996 to 2012, gave a single solution for a quadratic drift of the mean anomaly of the satellite, 0.0 deg ... [more ▼]

An analysis of photometric observations of binary Near-Earth asteroid (175706) 1996 FG3, taken from 1996 to 2012, gave a single solution for a quadratic drift of the mean anomaly of the satellite, 0.0 deg/yr^2, consistent with recent BYORP theory. [less ▲]

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See detailThe stellar occultation by Makemake on 2011 April 23
Ortiz, J. L.; Sicardy, B.; Assafin, M. et al

in EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2011, held 2-7 October 2011 in Nantes, France. <A href="http://meetings.copernicus.org/epsc-dps2011">http://meetings.copernicus.org/epsc-dps2011</A>, p.704 (2011, October 01)

We have taken advantage of a stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Makemake on 2011 April 23, to determine several of its main physical properties. We present results from a multisite campaign with 8 ... [more ▼]

We have taken advantage of a stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Makemake on 2011 April 23, to determine several of its main physical properties. We present results from a multisite campaign with 8 positive occultation detections from 5 different sites, including data from the 8-m VLT and 3.5-m NTT telescopes in Chile, which have very high temporal resolution. Because the star was significantly fainter than Makemake (setting a record in the magnitude of a star whose occultation has been detected), the occultation resulted in a drop of just ~0.3 mag in the lightcurves. From the lightcurves we have been able to determine the size and shape of the body, its geometric albedo and constraints on its atmosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailEPOXI: Comet 103P/Hartley 2 Observations from a Worldwide Campaign
Meech, K. J.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Adams, J. A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 734(Letters), 11-9

Earth- and space-based observations provide synergistic information for space mission encounters by providing data over longer timescales, at different wavelengths and using techniques that are impossible ... [more ▼]

Earth- and space-based observations provide synergistic information for space mission encounters by providing data over longer timescales, at different wavelengths and using techniques that are impossible with an in situ flyby. We report here such observations in support of the EPOXI spacecraft flyby of comet 103P/Hartley 2. The nucleus is small and dark, and exhibited a very rapidly changing rotation period. Prior to the onset of activity, the period was ~16.4 hr. Starting in 2010 August the period changed from 16.6 hr to near 19 hr in December. With respect to dust composition, most volatiles and carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios, the comet is similar to other Jupiter-family comets. What is unusual is the dominance of CO[SUB]2[/SUB]-driven activity near perihelion, which likely persists out to aphelion. Near perihelion the comet nucleus was surrounded by a large halo of water-ice grains that contributed significantly to the total water production. [less ▲]

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See detailDeep Impact: Observations from a Worldwide Earth-Based Campaign
Meech, K. J.; Ageorges, N.; A'Hearn, M. F. et al

in Science (2005), 310

On 4 July 2005, many observatories around the world and in space observed the collision of Deep Impact with comet 9P/Tempel 1 or its aftermath. This was an unprecedented coordinated observational campaign ... [more ▼]

On 4 July 2005, many observatories around the world and in space observed the collision of Deep Impact with comet 9P/Tempel 1 or its aftermath. This was an unprecedented coordinated observational campaign. These data show that (i) there was new material after impact that was compositionally different from that seen before impact; (ii) the ratio of dust mass to gas mass in the ejecta was much larger than before impact; (iii) the new activity did not last more than a few days, and by 9 July the comet's behavior was indistinguishable from its pre-impact behavior; and (iv) there were interesting transient phenomena that may be correlated with cratering physics. [less ▲]

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See detailThe deep impact campaign at ESO: the gas component
Rauer, H.; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

Poster (2005)

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See detailComet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) at its closest approach to the Earth
Tozzi, G. P.; Boehnhardt, H.; Del Bo, M. et al

in American Astronomical Society, DPS meeting #36 (2004, November 01)

Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) was observed at ESO (La Silla) for three consecutive nights at the beginning of May, 2004 at its closest approach to Earth. The observations consisted of quasi-simultaneous multi ... [more ▼]

Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) was observed at ESO (La Silla) for three consecutive nights at the beginning of May, 2004 at its closest approach to Earth. The observations consisted of quasi-simultaneous multi-wavelength exposures in the visible, near-IR and thermal-IR in order to study different properties of the solid component that are responsible for the scattering and emission of radiation in different spectral ranges. The comet was observed with the 3.6m telescope, equipped with TIMMI2 for the thermal-IR region, the NTT, equipped with EMMI and SOFI for the visible and near-IR regions. Narrow band images and long slit spectra were recorded for each spectral region. In the near-IR range, polarimetric observations were also performed during the last night. The aim of the observations was the characterization of the solid component at small scalelength to search for possible short lifetime organic components, as those found in the comet C/2000 WM1 (Tozzi et al., 2004, A&A, 424, 235), dust fragmentation etc.. Here we report preliminary results of the analysis of these observations. [less ▲]

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