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M. D. Hicks, M. S. Hanner (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology)
The naked eye comet C/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang) (q,e,i = 0.51,0.99,28) was observed April 27-29 2002 UT at the Palomar 5-meter telescope with MERLIN, the JPL mid-infrared camera. Observations were made nightly over the OCL 6-filter silicate filter set which samples the range from 7.9 to 12.5 microns. Alpha Lyr (Vega) was observed at matching airmasses for flux calibration. The comet displayed a moderate 10 micron silicate feature approximately 50% above the continuum. This is more closely matched by the measured Halley-family comets than by other Oort Cloud comets. Our photometry provides constraints on the color temperature of the dust in the inner coma. Using both GIOTTO Halley and Sekanina-Hanner size distribution fits to the spectral energy distribution, we shall compute mass loss and dust production at the time of our observations, comparing this to the visible lightcurve measured by other observers.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.