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See detailThe 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko observation campaign in support of the Rosetta mission
Snodgrass, C.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Aceituno, F. et al

in Philosophical Transactions : Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences (2017), 375

We present a summary of the campaign of remote observations that supported the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. Telescopes across the globe (and in space) followed comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko ... [more ▼]

We present a summary of the campaign of remote observations that supported the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. Telescopes across the globe (and in space) followed comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from before Rosetta's arrival until nearly the end of the mission in September 2016. These provided essential data for mission planning, large-scale context information for the coma and tails beyond the spacecraft and a way to directly compare 67P with other comets. The observations revealed 67P to be a relatively `well-behaved' comet, typical of Jupiter family comets and with activity patterns that repeat from orbit to orbit. Comparison between this large collection of telescopic observations and the in situ results from Rosetta will allow us to better understand comet coma chemistry and structure. This work is just beginning as the mission ends-in this paper, we present a summary of the ground-based observations and early results, and point to many questions that will be addressed in future studies. This article is part of the themed issue 'Cometary science after Rosetta'. [less ▲]

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See detailSPECTROSCOPIC AND POLARIMETRIC SURVEY OF L-TYPE ASTEROIDS
Devogele, Maxime ULiege; Tanga, P; Cellino, A et al

Conference (2017, April 14)

Introduction: Spectroscopic and polarimetric observations are of fundamental importance in order to derive information about the surface properties of asteroids. In 2006, the asteroid (234) Barbara was ... [more ▼]

Introduction: Spectroscopic and polarimetric observations are of fundamental importance in order to derive information about the surface properties of asteroids. In 2006, the asteroid (234) Barbara was found to possess a pecular polarimetric response characterized by an abnormaly large value of the inversion angle. Later on, several other similar asteroids were discovered. They were called Barbarian asteroids in reference to (234) Barbara. Spectroscopically, all the Barbarian asteroids belong to the L, Ld and in a few cases K types in the Bus and Binzel visible taxonomy. When a classification extended to near-infrared is considered, all those known to date group into the L class. The most commonly accepted explanation for the polarimetric anomaly is the high abundance of Spinel-bearing, fluffy (type A) CAIs (Calcium-Aluminium rich Inclusion) whose optical properties could reproduce the observed polarimetry. If this hypothesis is confirmed, Barbarian asteroids could contain an anomalous amount of the first minerals condensed after the formation of the Solar system. Based on these motivations, we organized a systematic campaign of spectroscopy and polarimetry of Barbarians/L-type asteroids. Observations: 35 asteroids were observed using spectroscopy or polarimetry, or both. These asteroids include members of Watsonia, Henan and Klumpkea families which are known to be made of Barbarian and/or L type asteroids. The polarimetric data were obtained with the ToPol instrument at the Calern station of the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur. The spectroscopic data were obtained at the IRTF NASA facility. Data analysis: The phase-polarization curve of the polarimetric data was analysed to derive the inversion angle of the asteroids. The spectroscopic data were analysed using a Hapke spectral mixing model. This method combines end-member spectra in order to fit the asteroid spectrum and derive its composition. The end-members used are the Allende matrix from which CAIs were removed, MgO rich olivine, and fluffy type A CAI. A Hapke space-weathering model was used in order to simulate the space-weathering effect on the spectra of asteroids. Results: The polarimetric data allowed us to discover 3 new Barbarian asteroids and to remove 4 asteroids from the Barbarian candidate list. We found that the inversion angle of Barbarian asteroids ranges from 26° to 30°. High CAI abundances ranging from 5 to 50% were found in L type asteroid spectra. We find for the first time a link between the abundance of CAIs and the polarimetric response. Spaceweathering also appears to play a role in polarimetry, showing an aging effect on the granularity of the surface regolith. [less ▲]

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See detailShape, size, physical properties and nature of low-perihelion near-Earth asteroid (3200) Phaethon
Hanus, J; Delbo, M; Vokrouhlicky, D et al

Conference (2016, October 18)

We apply the convex inversion method to the new optical data obtained by six instruments together with the already existing observations and derive convex shape model of low-perihelion near-Earth asteroid ... [more ▼]

We apply the convex inversion method to the new optical data obtained by six instruments together with the already existing observations and derive convex shape model of low-perihelion near-Earth asteroid (3200) Phaethon. This shape model is then used as an input for the thermophysical modeling. We present new convex shape model and rotational state of Phaethon - sidereal rotation period of 3.603958(2) h and ecliptic coordinates of the preferred pole orientation of (319, -39) with a 5 degree uncertainty. Moreover, we derive its size (D=5.1±0.2 km), thermal inertia (Γ=600±200 J m-2s-1/2K-1), geometric visible albedo (pV=0.122±0.008), and estimate the macroscopic surface roughness by the thermophysical model. We also estimate the average size of the surface regolith to few centimeters. The Spitzer emission spectrum of Phaethon is similar to those of CV/CK carbonaceous chondrite meteorites, match with CI/CM carbonaceous chondrites is ruled out. We also study the long-term stability of Phaethon's orbit and spin axis by a numerical orbital and rotation-state integrator. We find that the Sun illumination at the perihelion passage during past thousands of years is not connected to a specific area on the surface implying non-preferential heating. Considering the most important meteor stream of the Geminids is associated with Phaethon, we predict that the meteorites dropped by Geminids are CVs or CKs. We also discuss the possible dynamical link between Phaethon and Pallas and its collisional family. [less ▲]

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See detailThe binary near-Earth Asteroid (175706) 1996 FG3 - An observational constraint on its orbital evolution
Scheirich, P.; Pravec, P.; Jacobson, S. A. et al

in Icarus (2015), 245

Using our photometric observations taken between April 1996 and January 2013 and other published data, we derived properties of the binary near-Earth Asteroid (175706) 1996 FG<SUB>3</SUB> including new ... [more ▼]

Using our photometric observations taken between April 1996 and January 2013 and other published data, we derived properties of the binary near-Earth Asteroid (175706) 1996 FG<SUB>3</SUB> including new measurements constraining evolution of the mutual orbit with potential consequences for the entire binary asteroid population. We also refined previously determined values of parameters of both components, making 1996 FG<SUB>3</SUB> one of the most well understood binary asteroid systems. With our 17-year long dataset, we determined the orbital vector with a substantially greater accuracy than before and we also placed constraints on a stability of the orbit. Specifically, the ecliptic longitude and latitude of the orbital pole are 266 ° and - 83 ° , respectively, with the mean radius of the uncertainty area of 4 ° , and the orbital period is 16.1508 ± 0.0002 h (all quoted uncertainties correspond to 3σ). We looked for a quadratic drift of the mean anomaly of the satellite and obtained a value of 0.04 ± 0.20 deg /yr<SUP>2</SUP> , i.e., consistent with zero. The drift is substantially lower than predicted by the pure binary YORP (BYORP) theory of McMahon and Scheeres (McMahon, J., Scheeres, D. [2010]. Icarus 209, 494-509) and it is consistent with the tigidity and quality factor of μQ = 1.3 ×10<SUP>7</SUP> Pa using the theory that assumes an elastic response of the asteroid material to the tidal forces. This very low value indicates that the primary of 1996 FG<SUB>3</SUB> is a 'rubble pile', and it also calls for a re-thinking of the tidal energy dissipation in close asteroid binary systems. [less ▲]

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See detailCastalia — A Mission to a Main Belt Comet
Jones, G. H.; Altwegg, K.; Bertini, I. et al

in LPI (2015, January 01), 1829

Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a newly identified class of solar system object, having asteroid-like orbits but sometimes exhibiting comet-like behavior. We present the case for a mission to an MBC, to be ... [more ▼]

Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a newly identified class of solar system object, having asteroid-like orbits but sometimes exhibiting comet-like behavior. We present the case for a mission to an MBC, to be submitted to the European Space Agency. [less ▲]

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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 ULiege; Manfroid, Jean ULiege 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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