Initial characterization of active transitioning centaur, P/2019 LD2 (ATLAS), using Hubble, Spitzer, ZTF, Keck, Apache Point Observatory, and GROWTH visible and infrared imaging and spectroscopy

Bolin, Bryce T. and Fernandez, Yanga R. and Lisse, Carey M. and Holt, Timothy R. and Lin, Zhong-Yi and Purdum, Josiah N. and Deshmukh, Kunal P. and Bauer, James M. and Bellm, Eric C. and Bodewits, Dennis and Burdge, Kevin B. and Carey, Sean J. and Copperwheat, Chris M. and Helou, George and Ho, Anna Y. Q. and Horner, Jonathan and van Roestel, Jan and Bhalerao, Varun and Chang, Chan-Kao and Chen, Christine and Hsu, Chen-Yen and Ip, Wing-Huen and Kasliwal, Mansi M. and Masci, Frank J. and Ngeow, Chow-Choong and Quimby, Robert and Burruss, Rick and Coughlin, Michael and Dekany, Richard and Delacroix, Alexandre and Drake, Andrew and Duev, Dmitry A. and Graham, Matthew and Hale, David and Kupfer, Thomas and Laher, Russ R. and Mahabal, Ashish and Mroz, Przemyslaw J. and Neill, James D. and Riddle, Reed and Rodriguez, Hector and Smith, Roger M. and Soumagnac, Maayane T. and Walters, Richard and Yan, Lin and Zolkower, Jeffry (2021) Initial characterization of active transitioning centaur, P/2019 LD2 (ATLAS), using Hubble, Spitzer, ZTF, Keck, Apache Point Observatory, and GROWTH visible and infrared imaging and spectroscopy. The Astronomical Journal, 161 (3):116. ISSN 0004-6256

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Abstract

We present visible and mid-infrared imagery and photometry of temporary Jovian co-orbital comet P/2019 LD2 taken with Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Camera 3 (HST/WFC3), Spitzer Space Telescope/Infrared Array Camera (Spitzer/IRAC), and the GROWTH telescope network, visible spectroscopy from Keck/Low-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (LRIS), and archival Zwicky Transient Facility observations taken between 2019 April and 2020 August. Our observations indicate that the nucleus of LD2 has a radius between 0.2 and 1.8 km assuming a 0.08 albedo and a coma dominated by ∼100 μm-scale dust ejected at ∼1 m s-1 speeds with a ∼1' jet pointing in the southwest direction. LD2 experienced a total dust mass loss of ∼108 kg at a loss rate of ∼6 kg s-1 with Afρ/cross section varying between ∼85 cm/125 km2 and ∼200 cm/310 km2 from 2019 April 9 to 2019 November 8. If the increase in Afρ/cross section remained constant, it implies LD2's activity began ∼2018 November when within 4.8 au of the Sun, implying the onset of H2O sublimation. We measure CO/CO2 gas production of ≲1027 mol s-1/≲1026 mol s-1 from our 4.5 μm Spitzer observations; g-r = 0.59 ± 0.03, r-i = 0.18 ± 0.05, and i-z = 0.01 ± 0.07 from GROWTH observations; and H2O gas production of ≲80 kg s-1 scaling from our estimated C2 production of ${Q}_{{C}_{2}}\lesssim 7.5\times {10}^{24}$ mol s-1 from Keck/LRIS spectroscopy. We determine that the long-term orbit of LD2 is similar to Jupiter-family comets having close encounters with Jupiter within ∼0.5 Hill radius in the last ∼3 y and within 0.8 Hill radius in ∼9 y. Additionally, 78.8% of our orbital clones are ejected from the solar system within 1 × 106 yr, having a dynamical half-life of 3.4 × 105 yr.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences - Centre for Astrophysics (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Advanced Engineering and Space Sciences - Centre for Astrophysics (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2021 06:19
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2021 03:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: celestial mechanics; centaurs; short period comets; 211; 215; 1452; astrophysics; earth and planetary astrophysics
Fields of Research (2008): 02 Physical Sciences > 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences > 020108 Planetary Science (excl. Extraterrestrial Geology)
Fields of Research (2020): 51 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 5109 Space sciences > 510905 Solar system planetary science (excl. planetary geology)
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280120 Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.3847/1538-3881/abd94b
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/42817

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