Short-wavelength infrared (1.3-2.6 μm) observations of the nucleus of Comet 19P/Borrelly

L. A. Soderblom, D. T. Britt, Robert H. Brown, B. J. Buratti, R. L. Kirk, T. C. Owen, Roger Yelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During the last two minutes before closest approach of Deep Space 1 to Comet 19P/Borrelly, a long exposure was made with the short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) imaging spectrometer. The observation yielded 46 spectra covering 1.3-2.6 μm; the footprint of each spectrum was ∼160 m × width of the nucleus. Borrelly's highly variegated and extremely dark 8-km-long nucleus exhibits a strong red slope in its short-wavelength infrared reflection spectrum. This slope is equivalent to J-K and H-K colors of ∼0.82 and ∼0.43, respectively. Between 2.3-2.6 μm thermal emission is clearly detectable in most of the spectra. These data show the nucleus surface to be hot and dry; no trace of H2O ice was detected. The surface temperature ranged continuously across the nucleus from ≤300 K near the terminator to a maximum of ∼340 K, the expected sub-solar equilibrium temperature for a slowly rotating body. A single absorption band at ∼2.39 μm is quite evident in all of the spectra and resembles features seen in nitrogen-bearing organic molecules that are reasonable candidates for compositional components of cometary nuclei. However as of yet the source of this band is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-112
Number of pages13
JournalIcarus
Volume167
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Fingerprint

comets
comet
wavelength
nuclei
wavelengths
rotating bodies
slopes
deep space
infrared reflection
infrared spectrometers
imaging spectrometers
footprints
thermal emission
footprint
surface temperature
ice
coverings
spectrometer
absorption spectra
color

Keywords

  • 19P/Borrelly
  • Borrelly
  • Comet
  • Deep Space 1
  • H-K color
  • Imaging spectrometer
  • Infrared spectra
  • J-H color
  • JHK color
  • Nitrogen organic molecules
  • Nucleus
  • Short-period comets
  • Short-wavelength infrared
  • Spectral absorption
  • SWIR
  • Temperature
  • Thermal emission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Short-wavelength infrared (1.3-2.6 μm) observations of the nucleus of Comet 19P/Borrelly. / Soderblom, L. A.; Britt, D. T.; Brown, Robert H.; Buratti, B. J.; Kirk, R. L.; Owen, T. C.; Yelle, Roger.

In: Icarus, Vol. 167, No. 1, 01.2004, p. 100-112.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Soderblom, L. A. ; Britt, D. T. ; Brown, Robert H. ; Buratti, B. J. ; Kirk, R. L. ; Owen, T. C. ; Yelle, Roger. / Short-wavelength infrared (1.3-2.6 μm) observations of the nucleus of Comet 19P/Borrelly. In: Icarus. 2004 ; Vol. 167, No. 1. pp. 100-112.
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abstract = "During the last two minutes before closest approach of Deep Space 1 to Comet 19P/Borrelly, a long exposure was made with the short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) imaging spectrometer. The observation yielded 46 spectra covering 1.3-2.6 μm; the footprint of each spectrum was ∼160 m × width of the nucleus. Borrelly's highly variegated and extremely dark 8-km-long nucleus exhibits a strong red slope in its short-wavelength infrared reflection spectrum. This slope is equivalent to J-K and H-K colors of ∼0.82 and ∼0.43, respectively. Between 2.3-2.6 μm thermal emission is clearly detectable in most of the spectra. These data show the nucleus surface to be hot and dry; no trace of H2O ice was detected. The surface temperature ranged continuously across the nucleus from ≤300 K near the terminator to a maximum of ∼340 K, the expected sub-solar equilibrium temperature for a slowly rotating body. A single absorption band at ∼2.39 μm is quite evident in all of the spectra and resembles features seen in nitrogen-bearing organic molecules that are reasonable candidates for compositional components of cometary nuclei. However as of yet the source of this band is unknown.",
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AU - Buratti, B. J.

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AU - Owen, T. C.

AU - Yelle, Roger

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AB - During the last two minutes before closest approach of Deep Space 1 to Comet 19P/Borrelly, a long exposure was made with the short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) imaging spectrometer. The observation yielded 46 spectra covering 1.3-2.6 μm; the footprint of each spectrum was ∼160 m × width of the nucleus. Borrelly's highly variegated and extremely dark 8-km-long nucleus exhibits a strong red slope in its short-wavelength infrared reflection spectrum. This slope is equivalent to J-K and H-K colors of ∼0.82 and ∼0.43, respectively. Between 2.3-2.6 μm thermal emission is clearly detectable in most of the spectra. These data show the nucleus surface to be hot and dry; no trace of H2O ice was detected. The surface temperature ranged continuously across the nucleus from ≤300 K near the terminator to a maximum of ∼340 K, the expected sub-solar equilibrium temperature for a slowly rotating body. A single absorption band at ∼2.39 μm is quite evident in all of the spectra and resembles features seen in nitrogen-bearing organic molecules that are reasonable candidates for compositional components of cometary nuclei. However as of yet the source of this band is unknown.

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