PI: Megan E Schwamb, California Institute of Technology, email@example.com
Address: Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, MS 150-21, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA
CoI: Michael E Brown, California Institute of Technology
Title: Monitoring Cometary Activity in the Centaur Population
Abstract: Centaurs are cometary precursors that have recently diffused out of the Kuiper belt. These bodies are a transitory population on relatively short-lived chaotic orbits between Neptune and Jupiter that cross one or more of the giant-planets. Approximately 20% of the known Centaurs including Chiron have been observed with or suspected of cometary-like outgassing events that produce comas characteristic of comets. There now exists a large enough Centaur sample to begin to study the nature of this cometary activity in detail. We propose an observational campaign to monitor 10 Centaurs for cometary activity and study the temporal variation and evolution of these outbursts.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360