Volume 644, December 2020
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||11 December 2020|
MUSE observations of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
A reference for future comet observations with MUSE
ESO (European Southern Observatory) – Alonso de Cordova 3107,
2 Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
3 Univ. Lyon, Univ. Lyon 1, ENSL, CNRS, LGL-TPE, 69622 Villeurbanne, France
4 Operations Department, European Space Astronomy Centre/ESA, PO Box 78, 28691 Villanueva de la Canada, Madrid, Spain
Accepted: 1 October 2020
Aims. Observations of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko were performed with MUSE at large heliocentric distances post-perihelion between 3 and 7 March 2016. These observations are part of a simultaneous ground-based campaign aimed at providing broad-scale information about comet 67P to complement the ESA/Rosetta mission.
Methods. We obtained a total of 38 datacubes over five nights. We took advantage of the integral field unit nature of the instrument to carry out a simultaneous study of the spectrum of 67P’s dust and its spatial distribution in the coma. We also looked for evidence of gas emission in the coma.
Results. We produced a high-quality spectrum of the dust coma over the optical range that could be used as a reference for future comet observations with this instrument. The slope of the dust reflectivity is of 10%∕100 nm over the 480–900 nm interval, with a shallower slope towards redder wavelengths. We used the Afρ to quantify the dust production and measure values of 65 ± 4 cm, 75 ± 4 cm, and 82 ± 4 cm in the V, R, and I bands, respectively. We detected several jets in the coma as well as the dust trail. Finally, using a novel method combining spectral and spatial information, we detected the forbidden oxygen emission line at 630 nm. Using this line, we derived a water production rate of 1.5 ± 0.6 × 1026 molec. s−1, assuming all oxygen atoms come from the photo-dissociation of water.
Key words: techniques: imaging spectroscopy / comets: individual: 67P/Churyumo-Gerasimenko
© ESO 2020
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.