NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0273

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Program Information for 2016A-0273


PI: Charles Schambeau, U. of Central Florida, cas0010@knights.ucf.edu
Address: Physics Department, 4111 Libra Drive, Physical Sciences Building 430, Orlando, Florida 32816-2385 USA

CoI: Yanga Fernandez, U. of Central Florida
CoI: Laura Woodney, Cal State San Bernadino
CoI: Nalin Samarasinha, PSI

Title: Investigating Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Activity Variability in High- Perihelion Jupiter Family Comets

Abstract: We propose to study six high-perihelion, q $>$ 4.5 AU, Jupiter Family Comets (JFCs) on daily, weekly, and monthly cadences to probe variability in activity in an environment outside the water sublimation line. The enigmatic Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (SW1, q = 6 AU) has shown cometary activity can be very dynamic on many time scales when water sublimation is not the primary driver. It is uncertain whether SW1 is unique in this activity pattern or if there are other high- perihelion JFCs also showing this high variability. We will image six high-perihelion JFCs (158P, P/2010 TO20, C/2013 W2, P/2011 U2, P/2015 D6, and C/2008 E1) in the R-band over two observing runs of seven consecutive nights each spaced one month apart. Photometry of each comet will allow activity measurements on a daily, weekly, and monthly time frame. The timing of observations will give us the fidelity necessary for the first time ever to assess activity variability of a sample of JFCs from this poorly-studied group, helping to establish and characterize activity trends in this orbital environment, the transition region between Centaurs and JFCs.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  KP-0.9m/HDI -- 7n on Apr 30 - May 06 2016
Run 2 (2016A):  KP-0.9m/HDI -- 7n on Jun 04 - Jun 10 2016


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0273

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