Research Article

Observations of Comet 19P/Borrelly by the Miniature Integrated Camera and Spectrometer Aboard Deep Space 1

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Science  10 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5570, pp. 1087-1091
DOI: 10.1126/science.1069527

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Abstract

The nucleus of the Jupiter-family comet 19P/Borrelly was closely observed by the Miniature Integrated Camera and Spectrometer aboard the Deep Space 1 spacecraft on 22 September 2001. The 8-kilometer-long body is highly variegated on a scale of 200 meters, exhibiting large albedo variations (0.01 to 0.03) and complex geologic relationships. Short-wavelength infrared spectra (1.3 to 2.6 micrometers) show a slope toward the red and a hot, dry surface (≤345 kelvin, with no trace of water ice or hydrated minerals), consistent with ∼10% or less of the surface actively sublimating. Borrelly's coma exhibits two types of dust features: fans and highly collimated jets. At encounter, the near-nucleus coma was dominated by a prominent dust jet that resolved into at least three smaller jets emanating from a broad basin in the middle of the nucleus. Because the major dust jet remained fixed in orientation, it is evidently aligned near the rotation axis of the nucleus.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: lsoderblom{at}usgs.gov

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