DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 47. Comets IV: Nuclei, Atmospheres and Dust
Oral, Chairs: S. C. Lowry and J. Pittichova, Saturday, September 6, 2003, 1:30-3:00pm, DeAnza III

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[47.07] Effects of Impacts and Splitting Events on Cometary Spin

N.H. Samarasinha (NOAO)

For cometary nuclei, the primary cause for changes in spin states is torques caused by outgassing. The changes to the spin state due to outgassing is a gradual and continuous process (except when the outgassing is negligible at large heliocentric distances). On the other hand, both impacts as well as splitting events cause abrupt changes to the spin state. These changes, while as not as large as the cumulative changes due to outgassing, may still cause observable changes in the spin states. I will discuss the effects of impacts and splitting events and the possibility of detecting the changes induced in the spin states due to such events using specific examples, including those of topical interest.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.