NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0242

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Program Information for 2016A-0242


PI: Matthew Knight, Lowell Observatory, knight@lowell.edu
Address: 1400 ROAD, FLAGSTAFF, AZ 86001 USA

CoI: Colin Snodgrass, Open U.
CoI: Blair Conn, Gemini Observatory

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

Abstract: We propose to take advantage of the unique opportunity presented by the continued operation of the Rosetta mission at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to conduct multi-scale monitoring of the comet’s dust coma. Approximately monthly NIRI imaging and bi-weekly GMOS-N imaging will monitor the evolution of activity in the comet as it recedes from the Sun. This includes the time when the comet crosses the r=3 AU boundary where the water ice sublimation rate significantly decreases, and the gas responsible for driving the majority of activity changes from water to CO2. It therefore represents the best chance to observe features in the coma evolve and disappear. 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 ~100 km of the comet, while Gemini will provide a crucial overview of the larger (>1000 km) scale dust coma morphology and properties, which the spacecraft cannot measure.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  GEM-NQ/GMOSN -- 10.2hrs band 2 (GN-2016A-Q-53)


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0242

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