DPS Pasadena Meeting 2000, 23-27 October 2000
Session 37. Comets Posters - Orbital Dynamics, Nuclei
Displayed, 1:00pm, Monday - 1:00pm, Friday, Highlighted Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-6:30pm, C101-C105, C211

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[37.09] Cometary Splittings: Implications for the Nuclear Structure and the Spin State

N.H. Samarasinha (NOAO/KPNO)

Splitting of cometary nuclei are not uncommon. Splitting events are discussed extensively in the literature (e.g., Sekanina 1997 and references therein). Recent ``breakup'' of comet Linear (C/1999 S4) (Weaver & West 2000) underlines the importance of splitting events for understanding cometary nuclei.

I will discuss implications that these events have on the structure and rotation of cometary nuclei. Some aspects that may require attention during space missions to comets will also be discussed.

I thank NASA Planetary Astronomy Program for support.


Sekanina, Z. (1997) A&A, vol 318, L5-L8.

Weaver, H., and West, R. (2000) IAU Circular 7476.

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