NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2019A-0187

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Program Information for 2019A-0187


PI: Matthew M Knight, U. of Maryland, mmk8a@astro.umd.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 1113 Physical Sciences Complex, Bldg 415, College Park, MD 20742 USA

CoI: Michael Kelley, U. of Maryland
CoI: Colin Snodgrass, University of Edinburgh
CoI: Alan Fitzsimmons, Queen's U. Belfast

Title: Roasting small bodies: Testing the effects of low perihelion distance on comets and asteroids

Abstract: Our recent investigation of ``sunskirting'' comet 322P/SOHO~1 revealed a confusing picture. 322P is on an apparently cometary orbit and is active near perihelion (perihelion distance, $q$, of 0.05 AU), but is inactive near 1 AU and has nucleus properties more consistent with an asteroid including color, a high albedo, and a fast rotation period. We propose to observe 322P to measure any a change in its rotation period since its last perihelion passage and to make the first reliable measurement of its $z$' magnitude to investigate any evidence of silicate absorption seen in rocky asteroids. Both will help distinguish if it originated as an asteroid or comet. In order to determine if 322P's properties are intrinsic or evolutionary due to repeated close approaches to the Sun, we also seek to better understand the population of low-$q$ objects. As part of our ongoing survey of these objects, we propose to observe asteroid 2008 MG1 to obtain a lightcurve and measure its colors ( $g'$, $r'$, $i'$, $z'$). We will also obtain snapshot colors of two other low-$q$ asteroids.

Program Type: Standard/Solar System

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2019A):  SOAR/Goodman -- 1n on Jun 25 2019


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 >   2019A-0187

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