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Outburst activity in comets - I. Continuous monitoring of comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Astronomy and Space Physics.
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2008 (English)In: Astronomy and Astrophysics, ISSN 0004-6361, Vol. 485, no 2, 599-606 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims. We carried out a continuous monitoring of comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 by using medium aperture telescopes with the aim of studying the activity and outburst mechanisms of this comet on the basis of photometric variations. Methods. We used a standardized method to obtain the coma photometry in the R filter of the Johnson-Kron-Cousins system. Some abrupt changes observed in the brightness of SW1 suggest important variations in surface activity with time. Results. During our 2002-2007 observational campaign we detected 28 outbursts (of 1 mag or larger) in 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1. A typical outburst is characterized by a rapid increase towards maximum (in a few hours) and a slower decrease toward the quiescent level (in 3-4 days). Given the effective observing time, the average outburst rate is 7.3 events per year. Despite well-sampled data, no signs of a clear periodicity in the outburst occurrence has been found, thus confirming the unpredictability of the activity of this comet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 485, no 2, 599-606 p.
Keyword [en]
comets : individual : 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, Kuiper Belt, meteors, meteoroids
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-110048DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20078666ISI: 000256890300031OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-110048DiVA: diva2:275070
Available from: 2009-11-03 Created: 2009-11-02 Last updated: 2009-11-03

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