Search for the comet activity of 107P/(4015) wilson-harrington during the 2009/2010 apparition

Masateru Ishiguro, Ji Beom Ham, David J. Tholen, Garrett T. Elliott, Marco Micheli, Takahiro Niwa, Makoto Sakamoto, Kentaro Matsuda, Seitaro Urakawa, Katsumi Yoshimoto, Yuki Sarugaku, Fumihiko Usui, Sunao Hasegawa, Ikuru Iwata, Shinobu Ozaki, Daisuke Kuroda, Takafumi Ootsubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the optical observations of the Near Earth Object 107P/(4015) Wilson-Harrington during the 2009/2010 apparition taken in search of low-level comet activity. Our photometric and spectroscopic data were collected 28-86 days after the perihelion passage on 2009 October 22 in a wide range of solar phase angles of 39°-68°. A disk-integrated phase function was constructed, giving a geometric albedo of 0.055 ± 0.012, phase integral of q = 0.34, and Bond albedo of AB = 0.019. The photometric property shows a profile similar to low albedo asteroids and comet nuclei. No emission lines were found in our spectrum, giving a flat reflectance similar to low albedo asteroids. Although we could not find any evidence for cometary activity in our photometric and spectroscopic data, we found an upper limit of 0.001% on the fractional active area. We derived the upper limit of the optical depth of the dust trail and tail, 7 × 10-10. We conclude that 107P/(4015) Wilson-Harrington was completely dormant or inactive in the 2009/2010 return.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume726
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 10

Keywords

  • Comets: general
  • Comets: individual (107P/Wilson-Harrington)
  • Interplanetary medium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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