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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 detailA Multi-wavelength study with the ESO VLT of comet 103P/Hartley2 at the time of the EPOXI encounter
Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in EPSC Abstracts 2011 (2011)

We report on simultaneous optical and infrared spectroscopic observations of the Jupiter Family comet 103P/Hartley2 performed with the UT-1 and UT-2 8-m Unit Telescopes of the ESO Very Large Telescope ... [more ▼]

We report on simultaneous optical and infrared spectroscopic observations of the Jupiter Family comet 103P/Hartley2 performed with the UT-1 and UT-2 8-m Unit Telescopes of the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). These coordinated observations were carried on during several nights (2010 Nov. 5, 9, 10 and 11 UT) around the NASA EPOXI encounter with the comet on Nov. 4 [1] and in support to the key program « Water and related chemistry in the Solar System » (HssO) [2] of the Herschel Space Observatory. From high resolution optical spectroscopy of the CN (0,0) 388 nm band using UVES at UT2 we determined the isotopic ratios 12C/13C = 95 ± 15 and 14N/15N = 155 ± 25 in the CN radical. From the NH2 (0,9,0) and the H2O+ bands around 600 nm, we derived a nuclear spin temperature of 33 ± 3 K for NH3 and 36 +7/-6 K for H2O. These values are similar to those found in Oort- Cloud and Jupiter Family comets. From lowresolution long-slit spectroscopy with FORS2 at UT1 we will determine the CN, C2 and C3 spatial profiles and their production rates. From the high-resolution near-IR spectra that we collected with CRIRES at UT1 we will measure simultaneously the production rates and mixing ratios of the parent molecules H2O, HCN, C2H6, and CH3OH that are well detected in our spectra and we will study the link to the daughter species. [less ▲]

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