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Post Info TOPIC: Comet 103P/Hartley 2


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RE: Comet 103P/Hartley 2
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Title: CN Morphology Studies of Comet 103P/Hartley 2
Authors: Matthew M. Knight, David G. Schleicher

We report on narrowband CN imaging of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 obtained at Lowell Observatory on 39 nights from 2010 July until 2011 January. We observed two features, one generally to the north and the other generally to the south. The CN morphology varied during the apparition: no morphology was seen in July; in August and September the northern feature dominated and appeared as a mostly face-on spiral; in October, November, and December the northern and southern features were roughly equal in brightness and looked like more side-on corkscrews; in January the southern feature was dominant but the morphology was indistinct due to very low signal. The morphology changed smoothly during each night and similar morphology was seen from night to night. However, the morphology did not exactly repeat each rotation cycle, suggesting that there is a small non-principal axis rotation. Based on the repetition of the morphology, we find evidence that the fundamental rotation period was increasing: 16.7 hr from August 13-17, 17.2 hr from September 10-13, 18.2 hr from October 12-19, and 18.7 hr from October 31-November 7. We conducted Monte Carlo jet modelling to constrain the pole orientation and locations of the active regions based on the observed morphology. Our preliminary, self-consistent pole solution has an obliquity of 10 deg relative to the comet's orbital plane (i.e., it is centred near RA = 257 deg and Dec=+67 deg with an uncertainty around this position of about 15 deg) and has two mid-latitude sources, one in each hemisphere.

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The magnitude 10.9 comet 103P/Hartley 2 is 0.53 from the open cluster NGC 2335, at 1:00 UT, 27th January, 2011

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The magnitude 10.8 comet 103P/Hartley 2 is 2.45 from the open cluster NGC 2353, at 2:00 UT, 25th January, 2011

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The magnitude 10.7 comet 103P/Hartley 2 is 0.86 from the open cluster NGC 2343, at 20:00 UT, 24th January, 2011

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Ephemeris
Date    TT    R. A. (2000) Decl.     Delta      r     Elong.  Phase   Mag  Mag2
2011 01 19 07 06 36.8 -12 31 35 0.6086 1.5202 144.3 22.2 11.1 18.4
2011 01 20 07 06 14.3 -12 14 05 0.6179 1.5288 144.3 22.1 11.1 18.4
2011 01 21 07 05 53.7 -11 56 27 0.6272 1.5374 144.3 21.9 11.2 18.5
2011 01 22 07 05 35.0 -11 38 42 0.6367 1.5461 144.2 21.9 11.3 18.5
2011 01 23 07 05 18.3 -11 20 52 0.6464 1.5548 144.1 21.8 11.4 18.6
2011 01 24 07 05 03.5 -11 02 57 0.6562 1.5635 144.0 21.7 11.5 18.6
2011 01 25 07 04 50.6 -10 44 59 0.6661 1.5722 143.9 21.7 11.5 18.7
2011 01 26 07 04 39.7 -10 26 58 0.6763 1.5810 143.7 21.6 11.6 18.7
2011 01 27 07 04 30.8 -10 08 56 0.6865 1.5897 143.5 21.6 11.7 18.7
2011 01 28 07 04 23.8 -09 50 54 0.6970 1.5985 143.2 21.6 11.8 18.8
2011 01 29 07 04 18.8 -09 32 53 0.7075 1.6073 143.0 21.6 11.9 18.8
2011 01 30 07 04 15.8 -09 14 52 0.7183 1.6161 142.7 21.7 12.0 18.9
2011 01 31 07 04 14.7 -08 56 55 0.7292 1.6249 142.4 21.7 12.0 18.9


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The magnitude 10 comet 103P/Hartley 2 is 0.17 from the open cluster NGC 2432, at 12:00 UT, 16th January, 2011

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Ephemeris
Date    TT    R. A. (2000) Decl.     Delta      r     Elong.  Phase   mag    mag2
2010 12 17 07 30 54.7 -18 13 59 0.3729 1.2568 130.0 36.8 8.3 17.3
2010 12 18 07 30 07.4 -18 14 45 0.3786 1.2639 130.7 36.2 8.4 17.4
2010 12 19 07 29 19.1 -18 14 34 0.3844 1.2710 131.3 35.5 8.5 17.4
2010 12 20 07 28 29.8 -18 13 28 0.3903 1.2782 132.0 34.9 8.6 17.4
2010 12 21 07 27 39.7 -18 11 28 0.3962 1.2855 132.6 34.3 8.7 17.5
2010 12 22 07 26 48.9 -18 08 36 0.4021 1.2929 133.3 33.6 8.8 17.5
2010 12 23 07 25 57.6 -18 04 54 0.4082 1.3003 133.9 33.0 8.8 17.5
2010 12 24 07 25 05.9 -18 00 22 0.4143 1.3079 134.5 32.4 8.9 17.5
2010 12 25 07 24 13.9 -17 55 01 0.4204 1.3154 135.1 31.8 9.0 17.6
2010 12 26 07 23 21.7 -17 48 54 0.4267 1.3230 135.7 31.2 9.1 17.6
2010 12 27 07 22 29.6 -17 42 02 0.4330 1.3307 136.3 30.7 9.2 17.6
2010 12 28 07 21 37.5 -17 34 25 0.4394 1.3385 136.9 30.1 9.2 17.7
2010 12 29 07 20 45.6 -17 26 06 0.4459 1.3463 137.5 29.6 9.3 17.7
2010 12 30 07 19 54.0 -17 17 05 0.4525 1.3542 138.1 29.0 9.4 17.7
2010 12 31 07 19 02.9 -17 07 24 0.4592 1.3621 138.6 28.5 9.5 17.7


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The magnitude 7.2 comet 103P/Hartley 2 will pass 1.89 from the magnitude 10.0 open cluster NGC 2432 in the constellation Puppis, at 14:00 UT, 10th December, 2010.

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The magnitude 7.1 comet 103P/Hartley 2 will pass 1.52 from the magnitude 11.0 planetary nebula NGC 2440 in the constellation Puppis, at 9:00 UT, 8th December, 2010.

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Nasa probe flew by 'snow globe comet'

Analysis of the data gathered by Deep Impact probe at Comet Hartley reveals the object is surrounded by a cloud of ice chunks and fluffy snow particles.
The space mission's chief scientist Dr Mike A'Hearn has told reporters that some of the chunks are very large.

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