36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 34 Comets: Nuclei, Tails, Solar Wind
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[34.10] Kreutz Sungrazing Comets Discovered with the SOHO/LASCO Coronagraphs

M. M. Knight, M. F. A'Hearn (University of Maryland)

We present a study of the lightcurves of the first 300 Kreutz comets discovered by the SOHO/LASCO coronagraphs. This work is an update to the analysis performed by Biesecker et al. (2002), which covered the first 141 Kreutz family comets discovered from 1996 to 1998. We consider the effects of aperture size, aperture shape, and background subtraction on the observed counts to determine the best method to be applied uniformly to all the Kreutz comets discovered by SOHO/LASCO (currently more than 800). Using these optimized techniques we recompute the lightcurves of Biesecker et al.'s original sample and extend this to an additional 160 comets. Finally, we reevaluate Biesecker et al.'s observation of a bimodal distribution in the heliocentric distance of the peaks of the lightcurves using the larger sample.

This work is supported by the NASA Planetary Atmospheres Program under grant NAG513295.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mmk8a@astro.umd.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.