36th DPS Meeting, 8-12 November 2004
Session 33 Comets: Comae
Poster II, Thursday, November 11, 2004, 4:15-7:00pm, Exhibition Hall 1A

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[33.06] 3-13 Micron Spectroscopy of Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT)

M.L. Sitko (Univ. of Cincinnati), R.W. Russell, D.K. Lynch, D.L. Kim (Aerospace Corp.), W.J. Carpenter, J.L. Wilde (Univ. of Cincinnati), S.M. Brafford (Univ. of Dayton)

Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) was observed on 11 nights spanning 14 May - 21 June 2004 UT using the Aerospace Corporation's Broad-band Array Spectrograph System (BASS) on the 1.5 meter telescope of the Mount Lemmon Observing Facility. During the period of time covered by the observations, the comet diminished in brightness by a factor of about 7. The silicate emission band near 10 microns was observed to vary in intensity compared to the continuum, ranging from a ratio of 1.65 to 1.09. The overall grain temperature, determined by fitting the underlying continuum, also changed from night to night, but in all cases was in excess of the equilibrium temperature expected for blackbody grains at the heliocentric distance of the comet. Structure within the silicate band indicated the presence of a significant amount of crystalline dust. The continuum shortward of the silicate band was nearly a power-law in character.

This work was supported by the University Research Council of the University of Cincinnati, and the by The Aerospace Corporation's Independent Research and Development program and by the United States Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center through the Mission Oriented Investigation and Experimentation program, under contract F4701-00-C-0009.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #4
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.