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Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner: Water production activity over 20 years with SOHO/SWAN

Abstract : In 1985 Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner was the first comet visited by a spacecraft, the International Cometary Explorer (ICE) satellite, several months before the armada of Halley spacecraft had their encounters in 1986. ICE was originally the ISEE-3 satellite, designed for magnetospheric measurements near the Earth, and was diverted via a lunar gravity assist to pass through the plasma tail of the comet. The comet has been observed by the all-sky hydrogen Lyman-alpha Solar Wind Anisotropies (SWAN) camera on the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory satellite during its last four apparitions in 1998, 2005, 2012 and 2018. This paper compares water production rates calculated from the hydrogen images from the 1998 and 2005 results, published by Combi et al. (2011), with new observations from 2012 and 2018. Unlike some comets that have faded over time, except for 2 outbursts seen in the 2012 results, the activity levels for Comet 21P have not changed consistently over time.
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Submitted on : Saturday, December 5, 2020 - 1:26:15 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 3:39:44 AM

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M.R. Combi, T. Mäkinen, Jean-Loup Bertaux, Eric Quémerais, Stéphane Ferron, et al.. Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner: Water production activity over 20 years with SOHO/SWAN. Icarus, Elsevier, 2021, 357 (March), pp.114242. ⟨10.1016/j.icarus.2020.114242⟩. ⟨insu-03041727⟩



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