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Title: C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) at IR wavelengths and the variability of CO abundances among Oort Cloud comets

Abstract

We report production rates, rotational temperatures, and related parameters for gases in C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using the Near InfraRed SPECtrometer at the Keck Observatory, on six UT dates spanning heliocentric distances (R{sub h} ) that decreased from 1.35 AU to 1.16 AU (pre-perihelion). We quantified nine gaseous species (H{sub 2}O, OH*, CO, CH{sub 4}, HCN, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, CH{sub 3}OH, NH{sub 3}, and NH{sub 2}) and obtained upper limits for two others (C{sub 2}H{sub 2} and H{sub 2}CO). Compared with organics-normal comets, our results reveal highly enriched CO, (at most) slightly enriched CH{sub 3}OH, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, and HCN, and CH{sub 4} consistent with {sup n}ormal{sup ,} yet depleted, NH{sub 3}, C{sub 2}H{sub 2}, and H{sub 2}CO. Rotational temperatures increased from ∼50 K to ∼70 K with decreasing R{sub h} , following a power law in R{sub h} of –2.0 ± 0.2, while the water production rate increased from 1.0 to 3.9 × 10{sup 28} molecules s{sup –1}, following a power law in R{sub h} of –4.7 ± 0.9. The ortho-para ratio for H{sub 2}O was 3.01 ± 0.49, corresponding to spin temperatures (T {sub spin}) ≥ 29 K (at the 1σ level). The observed spatial profiles for these emissionsmore » showed complex structures, possibly tied to nucleus rotation, although the cadence of our observations limits any definitive conclusions. The retrieved CO abundance in Lovejoy is more than twice the median value for comets in our IR survey, suggesting this comet is enriched in CO. We discuss the enriched value for CO in comet C/2013 R1 in terms of the variability of CO among Oort Cloud comets.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]; ;  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Goddard Center for Astrobiology, NASA GSFC, MS 690, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  2. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)
  3. Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
  4. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63121 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22365261
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 791; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; AMMONIA; CARBON MONOXIDE; COMETS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; DATA; DISTANCE; ELEMENT ABUNDANCE; EMISSION; ETHANE; GALAXY NUCLEI; GASES; HYDROCYANIC ACID; INFRARED SPECTROMETERS; METHANE; METHANOL; MOLECULES; ROTATION; SPIN; WATER; WAVELENGTHS

Citation Formats

Paganini, L., Mumma, M. J., Villanueva, G. L., Bonev, B. P., DiSanti, M. A., Keane, J. V., Meech, K. J., Blake, G. A., and Gibb, E. L., E-mail: lucas.paganini@nasa.gov. C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) at IR wavelengths and the variability of CO abundances among Oort Cloud comets. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/122.
Paganini, L., Mumma, M. J., Villanueva, G. L., Bonev, B. P., DiSanti, M. A., Keane, J. V., Meech, K. J., Blake, G. A., & Gibb, E. L., E-mail: lucas.paganini@nasa.gov. C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) at IR wavelengths and the variability of CO abundances among Oort Cloud comets. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/122.
Paganini, L., Mumma, M. J., Villanueva, G. L., Bonev, B. P., DiSanti, M. A., Keane, J. V., Meech, K. J., Blake, G. A., and Gibb, E. L., E-mail: lucas.paganini@nasa.gov. Wed . "C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) at IR wavelengths and the variability of CO abundances among Oort Cloud comets". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/122.
@article{osti_22365261,
title = {C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) at IR wavelengths and the variability of CO abundances among Oort Cloud comets},
author = {Paganini, L. and Mumma, M. J. and Villanueva, G. L. and Bonev, B. P. and DiSanti, M. A. and Keane, J. V. and Meech, K. J. and Blake, G. A. and Gibb, E. L., E-mail: lucas.paganini@nasa.gov},
abstractNote = {We report production rates, rotational temperatures, and related parameters for gases in C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using the Near InfraRed SPECtrometer at the Keck Observatory, on six UT dates spanning heliocentric distances (R{sub h} ) that decreased from 1.35 AU to 1.16 AU (pre-perihelion). We quantified nine gaseous species (H{sub 2}O, OH*, CO, CH{sub 4}, HCN, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, CH{sub 3}OH, NH{sub 3}, and NH{sub 2}) and obtained upper limits for two others (C{sub 2}H{sub 2} and H{sub 2}CO). Compared with organics-normal comets, our results reveal highly enriched CO, (at most) slightly enriched CH{sub 3}OH, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, and HCN, and CH{sub 4} consistent with {sup n}ormal{sup ,} yet depleted, NH{sub 3}, C{sub 2}H{sub 2}, and H{sub 2}CO. Rotational temperatures increased from ∼50 K to ∼70 K with decreasing R{sub h} , following a power law in R{sub h} of –2.0 ± 0.2, while the water production rate increased from 1.0 to 3.9 × 10{sup 28} molecules s{sup –1}, following a power law in R{sub h} of –4.7 ± 0.9. The ortho-para ratio for H{sub 2}O was 3.01 ± 0.49, corresponding to spin temperatures (T {sub spin}) ≥ 29 K (at the 1σ level). The observed spatial profiles for these emissions showed complex structures, possibly tied to nucleus rotation, although the cadence of our observations limits any definitive conclusions. The retrieved CO abundance in Lovejoy is more than twice the median value for comets in our IR survey, suggesting this comet is enriched in CO. We discuss the enriched value for CO in comet C/2013 R1 in terms of the variability of CO among Oort Cloud comets.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/122},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 791,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Aug 20 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Wed Aug 20 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}
  • We report short-time variations in the plasma tail of C/2013 R1(Lovejoy). A series of short (2–3 minutes) exposure images with the 8.2 m Subaru telescope shows faint details of filaments and their motions over a 24 minute observing duration. We identified rapid movements of two knots in the plasma tail near the nucleus (∼3×10{sup 5} km). Their speeds are 20 and 25 km s{sup −1} along the tail and 3.8 and 2.2 km s{sup −1} across it, respectively. These measurements set a constraint on an acceleration model of plasma tail and knots as they set the initial speed just aftermore » their formation. We also found a rapid narrowing of the tail. After correcting the motion along the tail, the narrowing speed is estimated to be ∼8 km s{sup −1}. These rapid motions suggest the need for high time-resolution studies of comet plasma tails with a large telescope.« less
  • Although high-resolution spectra of the CN red-system band are considered useful in cometary sciences, e.g., in the study of isotopic ratios of carbon and nitrogen in cometary volatiles, there have been few reports to date due to the lack of high-resolution ( R  ≡  λ /Δ λ  > 20,000) spectrographs in the near-infrared region around ∼1 μ m. Here, we present the high-resolution emission spectrum of the CN red-system band in comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy), acquired by the near-infrared high-resolution spectrograph WINERED mounted on the 1.3 m Araki telescope at the Koyama Astronomical Observatory, Kyoto, Japan. We applied our fluorescence excitation models for CN, based onmore » modern spectroscopic studies, to the observed spectrum of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) to search for CN isotopologues ({sup 13}C{sup 14}N and {sup 12}C{sup 15}N). We used a CN fluorescence excitation model involving both a “pure” fluorescence excitation model for the outer coma and a “fully collisional” fluorescence excitation model for the inner coma region. Our emission model could reproduce the observed {sup 12}C{sup 14}N red-system band of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy). The derived mixing ratio between the two excitation models was 0.94(+0.02/−0.03):0.06(+0.03/−0.02), corresponding to the radius of the collision-dominant region of ∼800–1600 km from the nucleus. No isotopologues were detected. The observed spectrum is consistent, within error, with previous estimates in comets of {sup 12}C/{sup 13}C (∼90) and {sup 14}N/{sup 15}N (∼150).« less
  • We conducted a deep search for deuterated water (HDO) in the Oort Cloud comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), through infrared (IR) spectroscopy with NIRSPEC at the Keck Observatory. In this Letter, we present our detections of HDO and water (H{sub 2}O) in comet Lovejoy on 2015 February 4 (post-perihelion) after 1 hr integration on source. The IR observations allowed simultaneous detection of H{sub 2}O and HDO, yielding production rates of 5.9 ± 0.13 × 10{sup 29} and 3.6 ± 1.0 × 10{sup 26} molecules s{sup −1}, respectively. The simultaneous detection permitted accurate determination of the isotopic ratio (D/H) in water ofmore » 3.02 ± 0.87 × 10{sup −4}, i.e., larger than the value for water in terrestrial oceans (or Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water, VSMOW) by a factor of 1.94 ± 0.56. This D/H ratio in water exceeds the value obtained independently at millimeter wavelengths (0.89 ± 0.25 VSMOW; pre-perihelion). We discuss these parameters in the context of origins and emphasize the need for contemporaneous measurements of HDO and H{sub 2}O.« less
  • On 2014 May 22 and 24 we characterized the volatile composition of the dynamically new Oort cloud comet C/2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) using the long-slit, high resolution ( λ /Δ λ  ≈ 25,000) near-infrared echelle spectrograph (NIRSPEC) at the 10 m Keck II telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii. We detected fluorescent emission from six primary volatiles (H{sub 2}O, HCN, CH{sub 4}, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, CH{sub 3}OH, and CO). Upper limits were derived for C{sub 2}H{sub 2}, NH{sub 3}, and H{sub 2}CO. We report rotational temperatures, production rates, and mixing ratios (relative to water). Compared with median abundance ratios for primary volatiles in other sampledmore » Oort cloud comets, trace gas abundance ratios in C/2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) for CO and HCN are consistent, but CH{sub 3}OH and C{sub 2}H{sub 6} are enriched while H{sub 2}CO, CH{sub 4}, and possibly C{sub 2}H{sub 2} are depleted. When placed in context with comets observed in the near-infrared to date, the data suggest a continuous distribution of abundances of some organic volatiles (HCN, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, CH{sub 3}OH, CH{sub 4}) among the comet population. The level of “enrichment” or “depletion” in a given comet does not necessarily correlate across all molecules sampled, suggesting that chemical diversity among comets may be more complex than the simple organics-enriched, organics-normal, and organics-depleted framework.« less
  • A newly conceived scheme is constructed which synthesizes consistent solutions to several principal problems concerning multiple-core comets: a power mechanism, a place and epoch of formation of the multiple core structure, the qualitative differences between current structure and younger structure, the origin of two types of cometary orbits, and a trigger mechanism for recent ignition of cometary activity of a multiple core. This scheme uses a new explanation of the ejection of dust (including icy dust) from various cometary cores as evidence that the material of multiple-core comets may be collisionally ablated at the expense of the comet-centered orbital energymore » of a multitude of massive boulders (see Kosm. Issled., No. 6 (1984)). Natural mechanisms are shown which preserve this important feature of multiple cores. The concept consists of the following elements: evolution of a system of satellites of the core toward a colli sionless structure; preservation of internal kinetic energy in the collisionless system over astro nomically lengthy time scales; tidal initiation of a collisional mechanism with the first revolution of the ancient multiple core in the zone of visibility. It is possible that such revoltions correspond to the existence of especially active comets in nearly parabolic orbits. Multiple structure in the core of active short-period comets might be descended from a nearly parabolic comet (if the theory holds on perturbational multistage transformation of near-parabolic orbits into contemporary short-period orbits).« less