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Title: Search for the return of activity in active asteroid 176P/LINEAR

We present the results of a search for the reactivation of active asteroid 176P/LINEAR during its 2011 perihelion passage using deep optical observations obtained before, during, and after that perihelion passage. Deep composite images of 176P constructed from data obtained between 2011 June and 2011 December show no visible signs of activity, while photometric measurements of the object during this period also show no significant brightness enhancements similar to that observed for 176P between 2005 November and 2005 December when it was previously observed to be active. An azimuthal search for dust emission likewise reveals no evidence for directed emission (i.e., a tail, as was previously observed for 176P), while a one-dimensional surface brightness profile analysis shows no indication of a spherically symmetric coma at any time in 2011. We conclude that 176P did not in fact exhibit activity in 2011, at least not on the level on which it exhibited activity in 2005, and suggest that this could be due to the devolatization or mantling of the active site responsible for its activity in 2005.
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] more »; « less
  1. Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China)
  2. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)
  3. Astrophysics Research Centre, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN (United Kingdom)
  4. European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2, D-85748 Garching bei München (Germany)
  5. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, 599 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak, Seoul 151-742 (Korea, Republic of)
  6. Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 (United States)
  7. Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Max-Planck-Str. 2, D-37191 Katlenburg-Lindau (Germany)
  8. Gemini Observatory, Northern Operations Center, 670 North Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340303
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 147; 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; ASTEROIDS; BRIGHTNESS; COMETS; DUSTS; EMISSION; IMAGES; ONE-DIMENSIONAL CALCULATIONS; PLANETS; REGENERATION; SPHERICAL CONFIGURATION; SURFACES; SYMMETRY