PI: Beatrice E.A. Mueller, NOAO, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: NTSS, 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, U.S.A.
CoI: Nalin H. Samarasinha, NOAO
Title: Nuclear Lightcurve Observations of Short Period Comets
Abstract: We propose to continue our program to observe rotational lightcurves of the nuclei of several short period comets where the nuclear flux dominates over any coma contribution. During this semester, we will concentrate on comet 28P/Neujmin 1. We observed the comet on April 27-30, 2002 and derived a rotational period of 12.6+/-0.1 hr. The comet was inbound at a heliocentric distance of 3.1 AU. Our proposed observations in November 2003 will correspond to the outbound leg at a heliocentric distance of 3.7 AU. More importantly, our proposed observations will have a different observing geometry than the April 2002 observations (~150^\circ change in aspect). Therefore those two observation runs (together with other published observations in the literature) will enable us to derive the complete spin state of 28P/Neujmin 1 including the direction of its spin axis, as well as the accurate spin period of 28P/Neujmin 1. We will also check for a possible change in period as was done for Tempel 2 (Mueller & Ferrin 1996).
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360