That's the way the comet crumbles: Splitting Jupiter-family comets
Abbreviated Journal Title
Planet Space Sci.
Splitting of comets; Individual comets (57P, 73P, 174P); Evolution of; comets; DEEP IMPACT; SUNGRAZING COMETS; ORGANIC VOLATILES; FRAGMENT-C; NUCLEUS; 73P/SCHWASSMANN-WACHMANN-3; SEARCH; COMET-73P/SCHWASSMANN-WACHMANN-3; 174P/ECHECLUS; PHOTOMETRY; Astronomy & Astrophysics
Our current understanding of split, Jupiter-family comets is reviewed. The focus is on what recent studies of comets have told us about the nature of the splitting phenomenon. The goal is to not repeat the information given in recent reviews of split comets, but to build upon it. In particular, we discuss comets that have suffered splitting or fragmentation events in the past few years. These include comets (a) 57P/du Toit-Neujmin-Delporte, observed with a long train of fragments in 2002; (b) 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, which split in 1995 and was extensively studied during its relatively close passage to Earth in 2006, during which dozens of fragments were discovered and studied; and (c) 174P/Echeclus, a Centaur and potentially future JFC, which split in late 2005 and was the first such Centaur observed to do so. We also discuss recent observations by SOHO of split comets that are likely of short-period. The Spitzer Space Telescope has observed many JFCs and provided us with unprecedented detailed views of cometary debris trails, which may be thought of as a middle ground between "normal" ejection of micron-sized dust grains and the cleaving off of meter-to-kilometer sized fragments. We will also discuss potential breakthroughs in studying splitting JFCs that may come from future surveys. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Planetary and Space Science
"That's the way the comet crumbles: Splitting Jupiter-family comets" (2009). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 1524.