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An upper limit for the water outgassing rate of the main-belt comet 176P/LINEAR observed with Herschel/HIFI

de Val-Borro, M. and Rezac, L. and Hartogh, P. and Biver, N. and Bockelée-Morvan, D. and Crovisier, J. and Küppers, M. and Lis, D. C. and Szutowicz, S. and Blake, G. A. and Emprechtinger, M. and Jarchow, C. and Jehin, E. and Kidger, M. and Lara, L.-M. and Lellouch, E. and Moreno, R. and Rengel, M. (2012) An upper limit for the water outgassing rate of the main-belt comet 176P/LINEAR observed with Herschel/HIFI. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 546 . Art. No. L4. ISSN 0004-6361.

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176P/LINEAR is a member of the new cometary class known as main-belt comets (MBCs). It displayed cometary activity shortly during its 2005 perihelion passage, which may be driven by the sublimation of subsurface ices. We have therefore searched for emission of the H_(2)O 1_(10)–1_(01) ground state rotational line at 557 GHz toward 176P/LINEAR with the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) onboard the Herschel Space Observatory on UT 8.78 August 2011, about 40 days after its most recent perihelion passage, when the object was at a heliocentric distance of 2.58 AU. No H_(2)O line emission was detected in our observations, from which we derive sensitive 3-σ upper limits for the water production rate and column density of <4 × 10^(25) mol  s^(-1) and of <3 × 10^(10) cm^(-2), respectively. From the peak brightness measured during the object’s active period in 2005, this upper limit is lower than predicted by the relation between production rates and visual magnitudes observed for a sample of comets at this heliocentric distance. Thus, 176P/LINEAR was most likely less active at the time of our observation than during its previous perihelion passage. The retrieved upper limit is lower than most values derived for the H2O production rate from the spectroscopic search for CN emission in MBCs.

Item Type:Article
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Lis, D. C.0000-0002-0500-4700
Blake, G. A.0000-0003-0787-1610
Additional Information:© 2012 ESO. Article published by EDP Sciences. Received 5 August 2012; accepted 25 August 2012. Published online 01 October 2012. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA. HIFI has been designed and built by a consortium of institutes and university departments from across Europe, Canada, and the United States under the leadership of SRON, Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Groningen, The Netherlands, and with major contributions from Germany, France, and the US. HIPE is a joint development by the Herschel Science Ground Segment Consortium, consisting of ESA, the NASA Herschel Science Center, and the HIFI, PACS, and SPIRE consortia. Support for this work was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech. M.d.V.B. was supported by the Special Priority Program 1488 of the German Science Foundation. S.S. was supported by Polish MNiSW funds (181/N-HSO/2008/0). We acknowledge the referee, H. Campins, for his comments.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)1488
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego (MNiSW)181/N-HSO/2008/0
Subject Keywords:comets: individual: 176P/LINEAR; submillimeter: planetary systems; techniques: spectroscopic
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121203-103148547
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Official Citation:An upper limit for the water outgassing rate of the main-belt comet 176P/LINEAR observed with Herschel/HIFI M. de Val-Borro, L. Rezac, P. Hartogh, N. Biver, D. Bockelée-Morvan, J. Crovisier, M. Küppers, D. C. Lis, S. Szutowicz, G. A. Blake, M. Emprechtinger, C. Jarchow, E. Jehin, M. Kidger, L.-M. Lara, E. Lellouch, R. Moreno and M. Rengel A&A 546 L4 (2012) DOI:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35760
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:03 Dec 2012 21:02
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 04:31

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