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Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak, 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, and 46P/Wirtanen: Water Production Activity over 21 Years with SOHO/SWAN

Abstract : In 2017, 2018 and 2019, comets 46P/Wirtanen, 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, and 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak all had perihelion passages. Their hydrogen comae were observed by the Solar Wind ANisotropies (SWAN) all-sky hydrogen Lyman-alpha Camera on the SOlar and Heliospheric Observer (SOHO) satellite: comet 46P for the fourth time and comets 45P and 41P for the third time each since 1997. Comet 46P/Wirtanen is one of a small class of so-called hyperactive comets whose gas production rates belie their small size. This comet was the original target comet of the Rosetta mission. The Solar Wind ANisotropies (SWAN) all-sky hydrogen Lyman-alpha camera on the SOlar and Heliospheric Observer (SOHO) satellite observed the hydrogen coma of comet 46P/Wirtanen during the apparitions of 1997, 2002, 2008 and 2018. Over the 22 years, the activity decreased and its variation with heliocentric distance has changed markedly in a way very similar to that of another hyperactive comet, 103P/Hartley 2. Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova was observed by SWAN during its perihelion apparitions of 2001, 2011 and 2017. Over this time period the activity level has remained remarkably similar, with no long-term fading or abrupt decreases. Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak was observed by SWAN in its perihelion apparitions of 2001, 2006 and 2017 and has decreased in activity markedly over the same time period. In 1973 it was known for large outbursts, which continued during the 2001 (2 outbursts) and 2006 (1 outburst) apparitions. However, over the 2001 to 2017 time period covered by the SOHO/SWAN observations the water production rates have greatly decreased by factors of 10-30 over corresponding times during its orbit.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-02902170
Contributor : Catherine Cardon <>
Submitted on : Friday, July 17, 2020 - 9:09:16 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, July 18, 2020 - 3:45:39 AM

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  • HAL Id : insu-02902170, version 1
  • ARXIV : 2007.05138

Citation

Michael R. Combi, T. Mäkinen, Jean-Loup Bertaux, Eric Quémerais, Stéphane Ferron, et al.. Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak, 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, and 46P/Wirtanen: Water Production Activity over 21 Years with SOHO/SWAN. The Planetary Science Journal, IOP Science, 2020, (in press). ⟨insu-02902170⟩

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