The contribution of grains to the activity of comets. II. The brightness of the coma

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Abstract

We use the model of grain behavior in the coma developed by Beer et al. [Beer, E.H., Podolak, M., Prialnik, P., 2006. Icarus 180, 473-486] to compute the contribution of ice grains to the brightness of the coma. The motion of an ice grain along the comet-Sun axis is computed, taking into account gas drag, the gravity of the nucleus, and radiation pressure of sunlight. The sublimation of the grains is also included. We assume that the maximum distance that a grain travels along this axis is indicative of the size of the coma, and we compute the resultant brightness as a function of heliocentric distance. The results are then compared to observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-347
Number of pages8
JournalIcarus
Volume195
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008

Keywords

  • Comets
  • coma
  • composition
  • dust

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