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]

[16.04] The Effects of Extended Sources of Gas on Cometary Coma Dynamics

M. R. Combi, V. M. Tenishev (University of Michigan)

Extended sources of gas have been invoked to explain the observed spatial distributions of cometary species such as H2CO, CO, and CN and C2 jets. However, these have generally been situations of either trace species (as in CN and C2) or a fraction of a minor species (as in native vs. extended CO), which would not otherwise have a major dynamical effect on the basic expansion of a dusty water-dominated coma. The role of the icy grains has also been explored for explaining the scattered solar continuum distribution of particles as well as solid ice spectral features observed at moderately large heliocentric distances in Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp). Comet C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) represented an extreme case where several large outbursts of icy particles produced a large excesses of gas (and dust) away from and in addition to the contribution from nucleus alone lasting for several days as the grains and fragments sublimated. The remarkable outburst of 19-20 March 1996 increased the previous quiescent gas production initially by a factor of 3. Sublimation of large amounts of gas from slowly moving grains at a range of distances from the nucleus should have a major dynamical effect on the expansion of the dusty-gas coma from the canonical picture. In order to study this problem we present results from a dusty-gas kinetic Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) model for the coma that includes direct production from the nucleus as well as substantial production from an extended source of slowly moving sublimating grains. The DSMC model includes the dynamical coupling of the gas, refractory dust, and sublimating icy particles. Results for the effects of various outburst strengths and size distributions of icy outburst particles on the energy balance and dynamics of the coma will be shown.

This work has been supported by grant NAG5-13239 from the NASA Planetary Atmospheres Program.

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

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