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Title: SUBLIMATION-DRIVEN ACTIVITY IN MAIN-BELT COMET 313P/GIBBS

We present an observational and dynamical study of newly discovered main-belt comet 313P/Gibbs. We find that the object is clearly active both in observations obtained in 2014 and in precovery observations obtained in 2003 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, strongly suggesting that its activity is sublimation-driven. This conclusion is supported by a photometric analysis showing an increase in the total brightness of the comet over the 2014 observing period, and dust modeling results showing that the dust emission persists over at least three months during both active periods, where we find start dates for emission no later than 2003 July 24 ± 10 for the 2003 active period and 2014 July 28 ± 10 for the 2014 active period. From serendipitous observations by the Subaru Telescope in 2004 when the object was apparently inactive, we estimate that the nucleus has an absolute R-band magnitude of H{sub R} = 17.1 ± 0.3, corresponding to an effective nucleus radius of r{sub e} ∼ 1.00 ± 0.15 km. The object’s faintness at that time means we cannot rule out the presence of activity, and so this computed radius should be considered an upper limit. We find that 313P’s orbit is intrinsically chaotic,more » having a Lyapunov time of T{sub l} = 12,000 yr and being located near two three-body mean-motion resonances with Jupiter and Saturn, 11J-1S-5A and 10J+12S-7A, yet appears stable over >50 Myr in an apparent example of stable chaos. We furthermore find that 313P is the second main-belt comet, after P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS), to belong to the ∼155 Myr old Lixiaohua asteroid family.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ; ; ; ; ; ;  [5] ;  [6] ; ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ; ;  [10] ;  [11]
  1. Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, P.O. Box 23-141, Taipei 10617, Taiwan (China)
  2. European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2, D-85748 Garching bei München (Germany)
  3. Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade, Studentski trg 16, 11000 Belgrade (Serbia)
  4. Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, Boulevard de l’Observatoire, B.P. 4229, F-06304 Nice Cedex 4 (France)
  5. Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822 (United States)
  6. Astrophysics Research Centre, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN (United Kingdom)
  7. Planetary and Space Sciences, Department of Physical Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom)
  8. Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, D-37077 Göttingen (Germany)
  9. ESA SSA NEO Coordination Centre, Frascati, RM (Italy)
  10. Lowell Observatory, 1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001 (United States)
  11. Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22364170
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 800; Journal Issue: 1; 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; CHAOS THEORY; COMETS; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; JUPITER PLANET; LYAPUNOV METHOD; ORBITS; PHOTOMETRY; SATURN PLANET; SUBLIMATION; TELESCOPES; THREE-BODY PROBLEM