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Water Production Rate of C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) from SOHO/SWAN over Its Active Apparition

Abstract : C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) was discovered in images from the Near Earth Object program of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) taken on 2020 March 27 and has become the Great Comet of 2020. The Solar Wind ANisotropies (SWAN) camera on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft, located in a halo orbit around the Earth–Sun L1 Lagrange point, makes daily full-sky images of hydrogen Lyα. Water production rates were determined from the SWAN hydrogen Lyα brightness and spatial distribution of the comet measured over a 4 month period of time on either side of the comet's perihelion on 2020 July 3. The water production rate in s−1 was moderately asymmetric around perihelion and varied with the heliocentric distance, r, in au as (6.9 ± 0.5) × 1028 r −2.5±0.2 and (10.1 ± 0.5) × 1028 r −3.5±0.1 before and after perihelion, respectively. This is consistent with the comet having been through the planetary region of the solar system on one or more previous apparitions. Water production rates as large as 5.27 × 1030 s−1 were determined shortly after perihelion, once the comet was outside the solar avoidance area of SWAN, when the comet was 0.324 au from the Sun.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 2, 2021 - 5:25:42 PM
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Michael R. Combi, J. Teemu T. Mäkinen, Jean-Loup Bertaux, Eric Quémerais, Stéphane Ferron. Water Production Rate of C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) from SOHO/SWAN over Its Active Apparition. The Astrophysical journal letters, Bristol : IOP Publishing, 2021, 907 (2), pp.L38. ⟨10.3847/2041-8213/abd698⟩. ⟨insu-03126091⟩

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