NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0353

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0353


PI: Matthew Knight, Lowell Observatory, knight@lowell.edu
Address: 1400 W. Mars Hill Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA

CoI: Colin Snodgrass, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research
CoI: Blair Conn, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Jian-Yang Li, Planetary Science Institute

Title: Multi-scale investigation of the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: Combined Gemini and Rosetta study of early activity

Abstract: We propose to take advantage of the unique opportunity presented by the arrival of the ESA Rosetta mission at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, to conduct multi-scale monitoring of the comet’s dust coma. Regular visible and near-IR imaging from August through October (while Rosetta maps the surface and attempts to identify a landing spot) will monitor the early evolution of activity in the comet when it is beyond 3 AU from the Sun and the rate of sublimation of water ice is relatively low. Daily visible and near-IR imaging during a 14-day window in November will be concurrent with the Philae landing and surface operations, and covers the time period when the comet passes within 3 AU from the Sun and sublimation of water ice increases dramatically. We will gain an unique understanding of the dust coma by direct comparison between ground-based and in situ results to provide a multi-scale view of comet activity: Rosetta will sample within 5-50 km of the comet, while Gemini will provide a crucial overview of the larger (>1000 km) scale coma morphology, which the spacecraft cannot measure.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0353

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