NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016A-0380

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Program Information for 2016A-0380


PI: Henry Hsieh, PSI, hhsieh@psi.edu
Address: 1700 RD, TUCSON, AZ 85719-2395 United States of America

Title: Main-Belt Comet Activity and Nucleus Characterization

Abstract: Main-belt comets (MBCs) are objects that orbit in the main asteroid belt, yet display comet-like dust emission indicative of the presence of sublimating ice. We seek to obtain observations to search for recurrent activity in MBC candidate 288P, monitor the evolution of activity in MBCs 238P, 288P, 313P, and 324P, and obtain astrometric and photometric measurements of the nucleus of P/2012 T1. If activity is observed for 288P, it would become just the fifth MBC to have confirmed recurrent activity, where recurrent dust emission is considered one of the strongest indicators of sublimation-driven activity (as opposed to dust emission due to impacts or rotational destabilization, which would not be expected to be recurrent on short timescales). Regular monitoring of all of these objects will be extremely valuable for tracking variations in mass loss rates and providing information on morphological evolution that can then be used to constrain dust ejection and thermal models, while recovery of the P/2012 T1 nucleus is urgently needed to facilitate future studies of the object.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016A):  GEM-SQ/GMOSS -- 7hrs band 2 (GS-2016A-Q-90)
Run 2 (2016A):  GEM-NQ/GMOSN -- 2hrs band 3 (GN-2016A-Q-88)


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-0380

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