A Caltech Library Service

WISE/NEOWISE Preliminary Analysis and Highlights of the 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko near Nucleus Environs

Bauer, James M. and Kramer, Emily and Mainzer, A. K. and Stevenson, Rachel and Grav, Tommy and Masiero, Joseph R. and Walker, Russell G. and Fernandez, Yan R. and Meech, Karen J. and Lisse, Carey M. and Weissman, Paul R. and Cutri, Roc M. and Dailey, John W. and Masci, Frank J. and Tholen, David J. and Pearman, George and Wright, Edward L. (2012) WISE/NEOWISE Preliminary Analysis and Highlights of the 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko near Nucleus Environs. Astrophysical Journal, 758 (1). Art. No. 18. ISSN 0004-637X.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


On 2010 January 18-19 and June 28-29, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft imaged the Rosetta mission target, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. We present a preliminary analysis of the images, which provide a characterization of the dust environment at heliocentric distances similar to those planned for the initial spacecraft encounter, but on the outbound leg of its orbit rather than the inbound. Broadband photometry yields low levels of CO_2 production at a comet heliocentric distance of 3.32 AU and no detectable production at 4.18 AU. We find that at these heliocentric distances, large dust grains with mean grain diameters on the order of a millimeter or greater dominate the coma and evolve to populate the tail. This is further supported by broadband photometry centered on the nucleus, which yield an estimated differential dust particle size distribution with a power-law relation that is considerably shallower than average. We set a 3σ upper limit constraint on the albedo of the large-grain dust at ≤0.12. Our best estimate of the nucleus radius (1.82 ± 0.20 km) and albedo (0.04 ± 0.01) are in agreement with measurements previously reported in the literature.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Kramer, Emily0000-0003-0457-2519
Grav, Tommy0000-0002-3379-0534
Masiero, Joseph R.0000-0003-2638-720X
Fernandez, Yan R.0000-0003-1156-9721
Meech, Karen J.0000-0002-2058-5670
Lisse, Carey M.0000-0002-9548-1526
Cutri, Roc M.0000-0002-0077-2305
Masci, Frank J.0000-0002-8532-9395
Wright, Edward L.0000-0001-5058-1593
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2012 April 11; accepted 2012 August 10; published 2012 September 20. This publication makes use of data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This publication also makes use of data products from NEOWISE, which is a project of JPL/Caltech, funded by the Planetary Science Division of NASA. This material is based in part upon work supported by the NASA through the NASA Astrobiology Institute under Cooperative Agreement No. NNA09DA77A issued through the Office of Space Science. R. Stevenson is supported by the NASA Postdoctoral Program, and E. Kramer acknowledges her support through the JPL graduate internship program.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
JPL Graduate FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:comets: individual (67P)
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121109-101554793
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:WISE/NEOWISE Preliminary Analysis and Highlights of the 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko near Nucleus Environs James M. Bauer et al. 2012 ApJ 758 18
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35384
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:09 Nov 2012 18:46
Last Modified:31 Oct 2019 02:05

Repository Staff Only: item control page