NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017B-0016

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Program Information for 2017B-0016


PI: Dennis Bodewits, U. of Maryland, dennis@astro.umd.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 4254 Stadium Drive, College Park, Maryland 20742 USA

CoI: Michael Kelley, U. of Maryland
CoI: Matthew M Knight, U. of Maryland
CoI: Tony L Farnham, U. of Maryland
CoI: Silvia Protopapa, U. of Maryland
CoI: Jian-Yang Li, Planetary Science Institute, Washington DC
CoI: Tim Lister, Las Cumbres Observatory
CoI: Quan-Zhi Ye, IPAC
CoI: Henry Hsieh, Planetary Science Institute, Hawai'i
CoI: Zhong-Yi Lin, National Central University, Taiwan
CoI: Emmanuel Jehin, Universite de Liege, Belgium
CoI: Colin Snodgrass, Open U.
CoI: Alan Fitzsimmons, Queen's U. Belfast

Title: Monitoring of comet 41P for activity trends and outburst

Abstract: Comet activity varies as different parts of the nucleus are illuminated by sun light, tracing heterogeneities. Comet 41P will pass Earth very closely this Spring, and is therefore a target of high scientific interest. LCO provides the unique opportunity to acquire high-quality, high-cadence photometry of comets, obtained at uniform- cadence with the same instrument. We request 144~h of observing time on the LCO’s 1-m telescopes to reveal rotational, seasonal, and evolutionary changes in the comet's activity. We will acquire 2-day sampling of its dust ({it r'}) and gas ({it g'}), and will trigger a follow-up program when we detect evidence of outbursts. This dataset will allow us to develop, test, and refine algorithms for the automated detection of outbursts in LSST data, which will be crucial to interpret comet light curves amid the vast amount of data that the survey will produce. 41P's apparition provides a proxy for a broad range of observing conditions. We will use this program to prototype an early warning system to detect small outbursts, and to activate rapid follow- up observations.

Program Type: Standard/LCO

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017B):  LCO-1m/Sinistro -- 143.6hrs


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 >   2017B-0016

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