Abbreviated Journal Title
comets: general; comets: individual (17P/Holmes); 2007 OUTBURST; THERMAL-MODEL; SIZE DISTRIBUTION; HALE-BOPP; NUCLEUS; DUST; ALBEDO; PHOTOMETRY; ASTEROIDS; MOTION; Astronomy & Astrophysics
Comet 17P/Holmes underwent a massive outburst in 2007 October, brightening by a factor of almost a million in under 48 hr. We used infrared images taken by the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer mission to characterize the comet as it appeared at a heliocentric distance of 5.1 AU almost 3 yr after the outburst. The comet appeared to be active with a coma and dust trail along the orbital plane. We constrained the diameter, albedo, and beaming parameter of the nucleus to 4.135 +/- 0.610 km, 0.03 +/- 0.01, and 1.03 +/- 0.21, respectively. The properties of the nucleus are consistent with those of other Jupiter family comets. The best-fit temperature of the coma was 134 +/- 11 K, slightly higher than the blackbody temperature at that heliocentric distance. Using Finson-Probstein modeling, we found that the morphology of the trail was consistent with ejection during the 2007 outburst and was made up of dust grains between 250 mu m and a few cm in radius. The trail mass was similar to 1.2-5.3 x 10(10) kg.
Stevenson, R.; Bauer, J. M.; Kramer, E. A.; Grav, T.; Mainzer, A. K.; and Masiero, J. R., "Lingering Grains of Truth Around Comet 17p/Holmes" (2014). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 6132.