37th DPS Meeting, 4-9 September 2005
Session 16 Comets
Poster, Monday, September 5, 2005, 6:00-7:15pm, Music Recital Room

[Previous] | [Session 16] | [Next]

[16.16] Astromineralogy of Solar System Comets from Spitzer

C.E. Woodward, M.S. Kelley (U. Minnesota), D.E. Harker (University of California San Diego), D.H. Wooden (NASA Ames Research Center), W.T. Reach (Spitzer Science Center), R.D. Gehrz (U. Minnesota), Spitzer GO Comet Team

We present results of our extensive Spitzer study of both Jupiter-family and Oort-family comets and discuss preliminary outcomes of our comprehensive investigation of the dust characteristics and physical properties of these bodies. Key to our understanding of protoplanetary system formation is the life cycle of dust. Refractory dust particles originate from condensable elements produced by stellar nucleosynthesis. This material passes through the interstellar medium, is transported into the solar nebula, subjected to thermal alteration and/or aggregation within the solar nebula, and finally is incorporated into primitive bodies. Comets, the frozen detritus composed of ices, gases, and dust extant at the time of formation of the giant planets, record the processes of formation and early evolution of small bodies and the `cold-storage' aging of the nearly pristine samples of outer solar nebula materials.

This work supported in part by NASA/JPL Spitzer Contract 1263741 to the University of Minnesota.

[Previous] | [Session 16] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #3
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.