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K.J. Meech (IfA), M.F. A'Hearn (UMD), M.J.S. Belton (NOAO), Y. Fernández, J.M. Bauer, J. Pittichová (IfA), M.W. Buie (Lowell Obsty), G.P. Tozzi (Oss. Astrofísico di Arcetri), Carey Lisse (STScI)
We will report on the results of the observations of the nucleus and dust of comet 9P/Tempel 1 as part of a campaign to characterize the comet in preparation for the Deep Impact Discovery Mission. Data obtained on 9 nights between May -- July 2000 will be discussed in the context of the dust coma fading and rotational lightcurve analysis. Simultaneous observations from the Keck 10m telescope using the LWS detector and the UH 2.2m telescope in the optical during Aug 19-21 to determine the nucleus size and albedo will be presented. In addition results from the extensive international observing campaign during Aug-Oct 2000 to get the comet nucleus rotation will be discussed. Dynamically, comet 9P/Tempel 1 is typical of Jupiter-Family comets which have spent a long time in the inner solar system and may have highly evolved surface layers. However, the brightness of this comet and the non-gravitational parameters are unusually constant between apparitions. This stable level of activity may imply that the nucleus might be in a state of simple rotation. Data from the 1999 observing season shows a very unusual lightcurve which suggests an excited spin state. An analysis of the rotation state of the nucleus will be presented combining all the data.
|Dates (completed)||Exp [s]||Tel||Dates (scheduled)||Tel|
|1999 Jan 19-21||4290||UH2.2m||2000 Aug 19-21||UH2.2m|
|1999 Jan 27-29||16320||UH2.2m||2000 Aug 19-21||Keck10m|
|1999 Mar 17-20||54300||UH2.2m||2000 Aug 26-28||Lowell 72''|
|1999 May 8,10,28||3210||UH2.2m||2000 Sep 3-7||TNG 3.6m|
|1999 Jul 14-15||1800||UH2.2m||2000 Sep 27-30||Lowell 72''|
|2000 May 23-28||5100||UH2.2m||2000 Oct 19-24||ESO 1.5m|
|2000 Jun 12,18,29||1020||UH2.2m|
|2000 Jul 9||300||UH2.2m|
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