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Author Hsieh, H. H. ♦ Yang, B. I. N. ♦ Haghighipour, N. ♦ Kaluna, H. M. ♦ Fitzsimmons, A. ♦ Denneau, L. ♦ Novakovic, B. ♦ Jedicke, R. ♦ Wainscoat, R. J. ♦ Armstrong, J. D. ♦ Duddy, S. R. ♦ Lowry, S. C. ♦ Trujillo, C. A. ♦ Micheli, M. ♦ Keane, J. V. ♦ Urban, L. ♦ Riesen, T. ♦ Meech, K. J. ♦ Abe, S. ♦ Cheng, Yu-chi ♦ Chen, Wen-ping ♦ Granvik, M. ♦ Grav, T. ♦ Ip, Wing-huen ♦ Kinoshita, D. ♦ Kleyna, J. ♦ Lacerda, P. ♦ Lister, T. ♦ Milani, A. ♦ Tholen, D. J. ♦ Vereš, P. ♦ Lisse, C. M. ♦ Kelley, M. S. ♦ Fernández, Y. R. ♦ Bhatt, B. C. ♦ Sahu, D. K. ♦ Kaiser, N. ♦ Chambers, K. C. ♦ Hodapp, K. W. ♦ Magnier, E. A. ♦ Price, P. A. ♦ Tonry, J. L.
Source Indian Institute of Astrophysics
Content type Text
File Format PDF
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Natural sciences & mathematics ♦ Physics
Subject Keyword Comets: general ♦ Minor planets ♦ Asteroids: general
Description The main-belt asteroid (300163) 2006 VW139 (later designated P/2006 VW139) was discovered to exhibit comet-like activity by the Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) survey telescope using automated point-spread-function analyses performed by PS1's Moving Object Processing System. Deep follow-up observations show both a short (~10'') antisolar dust tail and a longer (~60'') dust trail aligned with the object's orbit plane, similar to the morphology observed for another main-belt comet (MBC), P/2010 R2 (La Sagra), and other well-established comets, implying the action of a long-lived, sublimation-driven emission event. Photometry showing the brightness of the near-nucleus coma remaining constant over ~30 days provides further evidence for this object's cometary nature, suggesting it is in fact an MBC, and not a disrupted asteroid. A spectroscopic search for CN emission was unsuccessful, though we find an upper limit CN production rate of Q CN < 1.3 × 1024 mol s–1, from which we infer a water production rate of $Q_{\rm H_2O}<10^{26}$ mol s–1. We also find an approximately linear optical spectral slope of 7.2%/1000 Å, similar to other cometary dust comae. Numerical simulations indicate that P/2006 VW139 is dynamically stable for >100 Myr, while a search for a potential asteroid family around the object reveals a cluster of 24 asteroids within a cutoff distance of 68 m s–1. At 70 m s–1, this cluster merges with the Themis family, suggesting that it could be similar to the Beagle family to which another MBC, 133P/Elst-Pizarro, belongs.
ISSN 20418205
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Institution IOP Publishing
Journal The Astrophysical Journal
Volume Number 748
Issue Number 1
Starting Page 1