Volume 628, August 2019
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||20 August 2019|
First observations of an outbursting comet with the MUSE integral-field spectrograph
European Southern Observatory,
Alonso de Cordova 3107,
Accepted: 28 May 2019
We present the first observations of outbursting comet C/2015 ER61 (PANSTARRS) with the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE). The comet was observed on April 9, 2017, only five days after it underwent a significant outburst during which the total brightness increased by a factor of ~7.5. Based on the MUSE observations, we produce simultaneous maps of the CN, C2, NH2 comae, and the dust coma. In turn, we applied image enhancement techniques in order to reveal features in the coma. By comparing the coma morphology for the dust and CN, C2, and NH2, we investigate the release mechanism of those gas species in the coma of comet ER61. We present evidence that NH2 could be released by icy or organic-rich dust grains.
Key words: comets: individual: C/2016 ER61 (PANSTARRS)
© ESO 2019
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