Nondetection of Water-ice Grains in the Coma of Comet 46P/Wirtanen and Implications for Hyperactivity

  title={Nondetection of Water-ice Grains in the Coma of Comet 46P/Wirtanen and Implications for Hyperactivity},
  author={Silvia Protopapa and Michael S. P. Kelley and Charles E. Woodward and Bin Yang},
  journal={The Planetary Science Journal},
Hyperactive comets have high water production rates, with inferred sublimation areas of order the surface area of the nucleus. Comets 46P/Wirtanen and 103P/Hartley 2 are two examples of this cometary class. Based on observations of comet Hartley 2 by the Deep Impact spacecraft, hyperactivity appears to be caused by the ejection of water-ice grains and/or water-ice-rich chunks of nucleus into the coma. These materials increase the sublimating surface area and yield high water production rates… Expand


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