Volume 422, Number 1, July IV 2004
|Page(s)||L19 - L21|
|Published online||06 July 2004|
Letter to the Editor
Rosetta target comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko*
Postperihelion gas and dust production rates
ESA Research and Scientific Support Department, ESTEC, Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands e-mail: Rita.Schulz@rssd.esa.int
2 Sterrewacht Leiden, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands e-mail: email@example.com
3 Max-Planck-Institute for Aeronomy, Max-Planck-Str. 2, 37191 Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Corresponding author: R. Schulz, Rita.Schulz@rssd.esa.int
Accepted: 5 June 2004
The evolution of the activity and composition of the coma of Rosetta target comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was studied along its postperihelion orbit from 2.29 AU to 3.22 AU. The comet had a major drop of activity between 2.5 AU and 2.9 AU, which manifested most obviously in its light curve (the brightness decreased by 3 mag), but is also confirmed by the production rates derived from spectrophotometric measurements. The strong decrease of activity indicates a change in the outgassing behaviour of the nucleus and might be due to water sublimation becoming less efficient. The spectrophotometric measurements at 2.9 AU show that the coma is at least slightly depleted in C2 with respect to CN.
Key words: comets / Rosetta / 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko / production rates
© ESO, 2004
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