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Title: Extremely organic-rich coma of comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) during its outburst in 2012

We performed high-dispersion near-infrared spectroscopic observations of comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) at 2.5 AU from the Sun using NIRSPEC (R ≈ 25,000) at the Keck II Telescope on UT 2012 January 9 and 10, about a week after an outburst had occurred. Over the two nights of our observations, prominent emission lines of CH{sub 4} and C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, along with weaker emission lines of H{sub 2}O, HCN, CH{sub 3}OH, and CO were detected. The gas production rate of CO was comparable to that of H{sub 2}O during the outburst. The mixing ratios of CO, HCN, CH{sub 4}, C{sub 2}H{sub 6}, and CH{sub 3}OH with respect to H{sub 2}O were higher than those for normal comets by a factor of five or more. The enrichment of CO and CH{sub 4} in comet Hill suggests that the sublimation of these hypervolatiles sustained the outburst of the comet. Some fraction of water in the inner coma might exist as icy grains that were likely ejected from nucleus by the sublimation of hypervolatiles. Mixing ratios of volatiles in comet Hill are indicative of the interstellar heritage without significant alteration in the solar nebula.
Authors:
;  [1] ; ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ; ; ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ; ; ;  [7] ;  [8]
  1. Koyama Astronomical Observatory, Kyoto Sangyo University, Motoyama, Kamitamo, Kita, Kyoto 603-8555 (Japan)
  2. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, MD 20723-6099 (United States)
  3. Goddard Center for Astrobiology, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)
  4. F. R. S.-FNRS, Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 août 17, B-4000 Liège (Belgium)
  5. McDonald Observatory, 1 University Station C1402, Austin, TX 78712-0259 (United States)
  6. Department of Applied Sciences, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 (United States)
  7. LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, UPMC, Université Paris-Diderot, 5 Place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon (France)
  8. New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88001 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356606
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 788; 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; ASTRONOMY; CARBON MONOXIDE; COMETS; DISPERSIONS; EMISSION; ENRICHMENT; ETHANE; METHANE; METHANOL; MIXING RATIO; MOLECULES; NUCLEI; PROTOPLANETS; SOLAR NEBULA; SUBLIMATION; SUN; TELESCOPES; VOLATILITY