NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0282

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0282


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

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

Title: Determining the volatile composition of Jupiter family comets 103P/Hartley 2 and 10P/Tempel 2

Abstract: We propose to use Keck 2/NIRSPEC to measure the chemical composition of two Jupiter-family comets (JFCs): 103P/Hartley 2 and 10P/Tempel 2. Infrared spectroscopy with NIRSPEC has proven to be an efficient and sensitive means of detecting volatile species in comets. We will observe Hartley 2 when its geocentric velocity is sufficient to target hypervolatiles CO and CH_\rm 4, while also sampling H_\rm 2O, CH_\rm 3OH and C_\rm 2H_\rm 6. For Tempel 2, we will conduct a sensitive search for the following molecular species: H_\rm 2O, CH_\rm 3OH, H_\rm 2CO, C_\rm 2H_\rm 6, HCN, C_\rm 2H_\rm 2 and NH_\rm 3. 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 in our solar system. Determining and comparing the volatile chemistry of JFCs is central to our ongoing observing program, and semester 2010B provides the opportunity to determine the volatile chemistry of two JFCs in a single night. This study will provide valuable insights into the role of solar system formation conditions and processing histories in determining comet composition.


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