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Title: The Composition of Comet C/2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) and the Distribution of Primary Volatile Abundances Among Comets

Abstract

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 sampled 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 bemore » more complex than the simple organics-enriched, organics-normal, and organics-depleted framework.« less

Authors:
;  [1]; ; ; ; ;  [2]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 503 Benton Hall, One University Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63121 (United States)
  2. Goddard Center for Astrobiology, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Mail Stop 690, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663728
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (Online); Journal Volume: 153; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABUNDANCE; AMMONIA; CARBON; CARBON MONOXIDE; COMETS; ETHANE; FLUORESCENCE; HYDROCYANIC ACID; METHANE; METHANOL; MIXING RATIO; MOLECULES; PLANETS; RESOLUTION; SATELLITES; TELESCOPES; VOLATILITY; WATER

Citation Formats

Roth, Nathan X., Gibb, Erika L., Bonev, Boncho P., DiSanti, Michael A., Mumma, Michael J., Villanueva, Geronimo L., and Paganini, Lucas, E-mail: nxrq67@mail.umsl.edu. The Composition of Comet C/2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) and the Distribution of Primary Volatile Abundances Among Comets. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/AA5D18.
Roth, Nathan X., Gibb, Erika L., Bonev, Boncho P., DiSanti, Michael A., Mumma, Michael J., Villanueva, Geronimo L., & Paganini, Lucas, E-mail: nxrq67@mail.umsl.edu. The Composition of Comet C/2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) and the Distribution of Primary Volatile Abundances Among Comets. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/AA5D18.
Roth, Nathan X., Gibb, Erika L., Bonev, Boncho P., DiSanti, Michael A., Mumma, Michael J., Villanueva, Geronimo L., and Paganini, Lucas, E-mail: nxrq67@mail.umsl.edu. Sat . "The Composition of Comet C/2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) and the Distribution of Primary Volatile Abundances Among Comets". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/AA5D18.
@article{osti_22663728,
title = {The Composition of Comet C/2012 K1 (PanSTARRS) and the Distribution of Primary Volatile Abundances Among Comets},
author = {Roth, Nathan X. and Gibb, Erika L. and Bonev, Boncho P. and DiSanti, Michael A. and Mumma, Michael J. and Villanueva, Geronimo L. and Paganini, Lucas, E-mail: nxrq67@mail.umsl.edu},
abstractNote = {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 sampled 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.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-3881/AA5D18},
journal = {Astronomical Journal (Online)},
number = 4,
volume = 153,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sat Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}