Volume 398, Number 3, February II 2003
|Page(s)||L41 - L44|
|Published online||28 January 2003|
Letter to the Editor
Imaging and spectroscopy of comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) at 8.6 AU from the Sun*
INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
2 European Southern Observatory ESO, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Santiago de Chile, Chile e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
3 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
Corresponding author: G. P. Tozzi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 19 December 2002
Comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) was observed inbound at an heliocentric distance of 8.6 AU. Broadband filter images in the visible and long slit spectroscopy in the 3500–7000 Å range was recorded. No sign of CN emission was detected and an upper limit for CN production rate of molecules s-1 is estimated. The color of the dust in the inner coma is very red with a spectral index of 29%/1000 Å. The radial profile of the dust coma displays steep gradients of 1.7 (inner part) to 2.4 (outer part). The af ρ value, a proxy for the dust production, is measured to be 1500 cm. The coma shows a weak and short conic structure in the northern hemisphere that is interpreted as dust fan produced by an active region on the nuclear surface.
Key words: comets / C/2001 Q4 (NEAT) / distant activity
© ESO, 2003
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