AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 56 Planets and Solar System Objects
Poster, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

Previous   |   Session 56   |   Next

[56.15] Physical Properties of Cometary Population.

J. Pittichová, K. J. Meech (IfA, Hawaii)

Several of NASA's Discovery Programs document the importance of cometary research and its role in the origin and evolution of the Solar system, individual planets, and life on Earth. The success of these missions is enhanced by ground-based cometary research. The study of the physical properties of cometary nuclei and coma are equally important to our understanding of the outer solar system environment during the era of its formation. This research includes observations of the level of nucleus activity as a function of distance, and the color and rotation period of the nuclei. We will present a comparison of the near-nucleus dust region from different dynamical groups of comets. Over the last 3 years we obtained data on 49 comets in BVRI filters with a range of heliocentric distances from 0.99 to 9.60 AU. From our comet dataset of 1517 images we selected a few candidates from each cometary population and will present their physical properties (activity, surface brightness profile, and color) to see if there are any fundamental differences. Our future goal is to obtain a narrow band photometry and spectroscopy observation of these comets and compare their chemical composition. We know that comets played a significant role in the origin of life in the solar system, especially on Earth. They are capable of spreading organic material in different parts of the solar system.

Previous   |   Session 56   |   Next

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.