NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017B-0817

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Program Information for 2017B-0817


PI: Ralf Kotulla, U. of Wisconsin, Madison, kotulla@wisc.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 475 N Charter St, Madison, WI 53706 USA

CoI: Jay Gallagher, U. of Wisconsin, Madison
CoI: Lia Corrales, U. of Wisconsin, Madison
CoI: Matt Berhsady, U. of Wisconsin, Madison
CoI: Jayadev Rajagopal, WIYN
CoI: Wilson Liu, WIYN

Title: Gas and dust production in comets using IFU spectroscopy and panchromatic imaging - a feasibility study

Abstract: Comets are one of the few surviving witnesses of the formation of the solar system from its proto-planetary birth cloud and as such can be used to study the conditions pre-eminent at these early times. Here we propose a pilot feasibility study using WIYN's unique suite of instrumentation to study the gas and dust production of a comet in two different ways: 1) IFU observations with HexPak can be used to infer the production rates for a number of components, including water, CN, and NH$_3$. This will improve upon current comet observations based on either long-slit spectra only or IFU observations from small-aperture telescopes, allowing to monitor comets along their orbit towards perihelion. 2) Pan-chromatic observations from U through K (using ODI and WHIRC) of a number of stars with and without the foreground screen of cometary dust give a direct measure of the extinction curve, and from it the dust grain-size distribution. For both parts we will select a suitable comet from the list of comets visible at the time of our observations.

Program Type: WTAC

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2017B):  WIYN/HEXPK -- 1n on Jan 06 - Jan 07 2018
Run 2 (2017B):  WIYN/ODI -- 0.5n on Jan 08 2018
Run 3 (2017B):  WIYN/WHIRC -- 0.5n on Jan 05 2018


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



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