DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 38. Comets V
Poster, Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

[Previous] | [Session 38] | [Next]

[38.10] NIRSPEC observations of CH4 in comet C/2001 A2 (LINEAR)

E.L. Gibb (NAS-NRC/NASA-GSFC), K. Magee-Sauer (Rowan University), N. Dello Russo (Catholic University of America/NASA-GSFC), M.A. DiSanti (NASA-GSFC), B.P. Bonev (University of Toledo/NASA-GSFC), M.J. Mumma (NASA-GSFC)

We present high-resolution spectroscopic observations of the R0 and R1 lines of CH4 near 3.3 \mum in comet C/2001 A2 (LINEAR). The data were obtained using the Keck II NIRSPEC instrument located on Mauna Kea, HI. The observations were taken on UT 2001 9.5 July, 10.5 July, 4.4 August, and 10.5 August. We find that the relative abundances of H and C bearing volatile species are enriched relative to H2O in both the July and August observing runs. On 12 July, A2 underwent an outburst, interpreted to be due to fragmentation of the nucleus, though no distinct fragment was actually observed. We searched for evidence of chemical heterogeneity between July and August, finding that the relative abundances of CH4 and other hydrocarbon species varied between the two observing runs. We also compare CH4 to other hydrocarbon species in A2 as well as other Oort cloud comets.

ELG would like to acknowledge support from the National Academy of Sciences NRC postdoctoral program. This work was supported by the NASA Planetary Astronomy Program under RTOP 344-32-30-07 to MJM.

[Previous] | [Session 38] | [Next]

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