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The 2016 Reactivations of the Main-belt Comets 238P/Read and 288P/(300163) 2006 VW139

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Ishiguro,  Masateru
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Kim,  Yoonyoung
Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hsieh, H. H., Ishiguro, M., Kim, Y., Knight, M. M., Lin, Z.-Y., Micheli, M., et al. (2018). The 2016 Reactivations of the Main-belt Comets 238P/Read and 288P/(300163) 2006 VW139. The Astronomical Journal, 156(5): 223. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aae528.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-C2B2-8
Abstract
We report on the confirmation and monitoring of recurrent activity for main-belt comets (MBCs) 238P/Read and 288P/(300163) 2006 VW139 in 2016 (cf. Agarwal et al. 2016, CBET 4306; Hsieh et al. 2016, CBET 4307), as well as the identification of activity for 288P in Sloan Digital Sky Survey images from November 2000. We will also report on the confirmation of recurrent activity in 2017 (Hsieh et al. 2017, CBET 4388) and the progress of the ongoing monitoring campaign (April 2017 through December 2017) that we are conducting for MBC 259P/Garradd. With these observations, 238P and 288P have now each been observed to be active on three separate orbit passages with intervening periods of inactivity and 259P has been observed to be active on two separate orbit passages, firmly establishing the cometary (i.e., sublimation-driven) nature of their activity. We are currently conducting a multi-facility observing campaign to monitor the photometric and morphological evolution of these objects, using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, the Gemini North and South telescopes (under a Gemini Large and Long Program), the Magellan telescopes, the Discovery Channel Telescope, and the Lulin One-meter Telescope. During their most recent perihelion encounters, 238P was observed to be active as early as 2016 July 8 at a true anomaly of 329 degrees, 288P was observed to be active as early as 2016 June 8 at a true anomaly of 318 degrees, and 259P was observed to be active as early at 2017 April 26 at a true anomaly of 315 degrees. We also report on the results of numerical modeling analyses of the morphological evolution of all three objects aimed at assessing both the properties of their current active episodes and changes in activity strength from one epoch to the next to help constrain the active lifetimes of MBCs, a key parameter for inferring the total number of MBCs in the asteroid belt from survey results. This work was supported by the NASA Solar System Observations program under Grant NNX16AD68G