NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0186

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0186


PI: Neil Dello Russo, JHU/Applied Physics Laboratory, neil.dello.russo@jhuapl.edu
Address: Space, 11100 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel, Maryland 20723-6099, USA

CoI: Ronald J. Vervack Jr., JHU/Applied Physics Laboratory
CoI: Harold A. Weaver, JHU/Applied Physics Laboratory
CoI: Walter Harris, The University of California Davis
CoI: Hideyo Kawakita, Kyoto-Sangyo University
CoI: Hitomi Kobayashi, Kyoto-Sangyo University
CoI: Dominique Bockelee-Morvan, Observatoire de Paris
CoI: Jacques Crovisier, Observatoire de Paris
CoI: Nicolas Biver, Observatoire de Paris

Title: The Volatile Chemistry of Comets C/2007 N3 Lulin and 22P/Kopff

Abstract: We propose to use NIRSPEC at Keck II to measure the chemical composition of two comets: C/2007 N3 (Lulin), a long-period Oort cloud comet, and 22P/Kopff, a short-period Jupiter-family comet (JFC) of probable Kuiper-belt origin. High-resolution infrared spectroscopy with NIRSPEC has proven to be an extremely efficient and sensitive means of detecting volatile species in comets, and we will conduct a sensitive search for the following molecular species in these comets: H_\rm 2O, CH_\rm 3OH, H_\rm 2CO, C_\rm 2H_\rm 6, HCN, C_\rm 2H_\rm 2, NH_\rm 3, CH_\rm 4 (Lulin only), and CO (Lulin only). Comets are the least processed remnants from the birth of the solar system, making the determination of their composition essential in understanding the formation and evolution of volatile material within our solar system. Because these comets originate from different reservoirs, comparison of the inventories of their parent volatile species to that for other comets in our database will provide valuable insights into the role of solar system formation conditions and processing histories in determining comet composition.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0186

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