DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 30. Comets III: Properties of Space Mission Targets
Oral, Chairs: D. E. Brownlee and B. J. R. Davidsson, Friday, September 5, 2003, 10:30am-12:00noon, DeAnza III

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[30.05] Postperihelion Monitoring of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the new Rosetta Target

R. Schulz (ESA/RSSD), J.A. Stuewe (University of Leiden), H. Boehnhardt (MPA, Heidelberg)

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is the new target comet of ESA's Rosetta Mission. An extensive monitoring programme was therefore carried out in order to obtain detailed characteristics of this comet. Observations were obtained from the European Southern Observatory unsing the 3.6 m Telecope (EFOSC2) and the VLT (FORS1) during 11 nights between 11 February and 26 June 2003, disclosing the postperihelion evolution of the comet between 2.29 AU and 3.22 AU. Broad-band BVR images and low-resolution long-slit spectra were taken for morphological, colour and compositional analysis of the coma and for studying the evolution of the comet's activity along the orbit. Additional observations were dedicated to the analysis of the rotational properties of the nucleus. The results of these observations will be reported.

We thank the European Southern Observatory for their support in defining the new target of the Rosetta Mission.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.