NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2018A-0230

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Program Information for 2018A-0230


PI: Bryan Holler, STScI, bholler@stsci.edu
Address: 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 USA

Title: Post-outburst Rotation Light Curve of C/2015 ER_61 (PANSTARRS)

Abstract: In this proposal, we are requesting 12 hours of time on 1-m telescopes and 3 hours of time on 2-m telescopes in the LCO network over 3 consecutive 24-hour periods in order to complete a project to quantify the change in the rotation period of the long-period comet C/2015 ER$_{61}$ (PANSTARRS). This comet underwent an outburst in March 2017, and it is possible that the rotation period was altered as a result. Measuring the magnitude of this change will enable an estimation of the mass of total ejected material. Observations obtained in the 2015B and 2016A semesters with the LCO provide a pre-outburst, pre-perihelion rotation light curve of this comet; these observations, proposed almost 2 years later for December 2017/January 2018, will provide the post- outburst, post-perihelion rotation light curve for comparison. Based on Monte Carlo simulations, we will be able to detect a potential difference between the two rotation periods of up to 40 minutes at the 3- $sigma$ level.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 2 (2018A):  LCO-2m/Spectral -- 3hrs


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 >   2018A-0230

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