Journal Article

Spectroscopic observations of new Oort cloud comet 2006 VZ13 and four other comets

A. M. Gilbert, P. A. Wiegert, E. Unda-Sanzana and O. Vaduvescu

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 401, issue 4, pages 2399-2405
Published in print February 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Spectroscopic observations of new Oort cloud comet 2006 VZ13 and four other comets

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Spectral data are presented for comets 2006 VZ13 (LINEAR), 2006 K4 (NEAT), 2006 OF2 (Broughton), 2P/Encke and 93P/Lovas I, obtained with the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory 1.5-m telescope in 2007 August. Comet 2006 VZ13 is a new Oort cloud comet and shows strong lines of CN (3880 Å), the Swan band sequence for C2 (4740, 5160 and 5630 Å), C3 (4056 Å) and other faint species. Lines are also identified in the spectra of the other comets. Flux measurements of the CN, C2v=+1, 0) and C3 lines are recorded for each comet and production rates and ratios are derived. When considering the comets as a group, there is a correlation of C2 and C3 production with CN, but there is no conclusive evidence that the production rate ratios depend on heliocentric distance. The continuum is also measured, and the dust production and dust-to-gas ratios are calculated. There is a general trend, for the group of comets, between the dust-to-gas ratio and heliocentric distance, but it does not depend on dynamical age or class. Comet 2006 VZ13 is determined to be in the carbon-depleted (or Tempel 1 type) class.

Keywords: comets: general; comets: individual: 2P/Encke; comets: individual: 2006 K4 (NEAT); comets: individual: 2006 OF2 (Broughton); comets: individual: 2006 VZ13 (LINEAR); comets: individual: 93P/Lovas I

Journal Article.  3129 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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