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Outbursts at Comets 46P/Wirtanen, 64P/Swift-Gehrels, and 78P/Gehrels 2 in 2018

Kelley, Michael S. P. and Bodewits, Dennis and Ye, Quanzhi and Helou, G. and Ahumada, Tomás and Laher, Russ R. and Masci, Frank J. and Ngeow, Chow-Choong and Rusholme, B. and Shupe, D. L. and Cromer, John and Dekany, Richard (2019) Outbursts at Comets 46P/Wirtanen, 64P/Swift-Gehrels, and 78P/Gehrels 2 in 2018. Research Notes of the AAS, 3 (9). Art No. 126. ISSN 2515-5172. doi:10.3847/2515-5172/ab3fb4.

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Cometary outbursts are brief increases in the mass-loss rates of comets (Hughes 1990). Most observed outbursts have Δm ≳ 1 mag, but smaller outbursts do occur, such as those observed by the Deep Impact and Rosetta spacecraft at comets 9P/Tempel 1 and 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (A'Hearn et al. 2005; Vincent et al. 2016). The outbursts are smaller than the Deep Impact excavation, suggesting strengths near −0.2 to −1 mag (A'Hearn et al. 2005; Meech et al. 2005; Feldman et al. 2007). Wide-field, time-domain surveys are well-suited to the discovery of cometary outbursts (Graham et al. 2019). We describe initial results from our outburst search using the Zwicky Transient Facility archive (ZTF; Bellm et al. 2019), based on observations of three comets: 46P/Wirtanen, 64P/Swift-Gehrels, and 78P/Gehrels 2. The data are calibrated to the Pan-STARRS 1 photometric system (Masci et al. 2019), and color corrected assuming a reddened solar spectrum (g−r = 0.52 mag, r−i = 0.15 mag). We measured photometry in 7'' radius apertures, then fit and removed a linear trend from each lightcurve: 46P, −0.053 mag day^(−1) (rms 0.02 mag); 64P, −0.053 mag day^(−1) (rms 0.04 mag); 78P, −0.039 mag day^(−1) (rms 0.04 mag).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Kelley, Michael S. P.0000-0002-6702-7676
Bodewits, Dennis0000-0002-2668-7248
Ye, Quanzhi0000-0002-4838-7676
Helou, G.0000-0003-3367-3415
Ahumada, Tomás0000-0002-2184-6430
Laher, Russ R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Masci, Frank J.0000-0002-8532-9395
Ngeow, Chow-Choong0000-0001-8771-7554
Rusholme, B.0000-0001-7648-4142
Shupe, D. L.0000-0003-4401-0430
Dekany, Richard0000-0002-5884-7867
Additional Information:© 2019 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 August 28. Accepted 2019 August 30. Published 2019 September 5. Based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin 48-inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. ZTF is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1440341 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW.
Group:Zwicky Transient Facility, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190906-100700610
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Official Citation:Michael S. P. Kelley et al 2019 Res. Notes AAS 3 126
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98481
Deposited By: Joy Painter
Deposited On:06 Sep 2019 17:34
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:39

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