The Peculiar Volatile Composition of Comet 8P/Tuttle: A Contact Binary of Chemically Distinct Cometesimals?*

@article{Bonev2008ThePV,
  title={The Peculiar Volatile Composition of Comet 8P/Tuttle: A Contact Binary of Chemically Distinct Cometesimals?*},
  author={Boncho P. Bonev and Michael J. Mumma and Yana L. Radeva and Michael A. DiSanti and Erika L. Gibb and Geronimo L. Villanueva},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal},
  year={2008},
  volume={680}
}
We report measurements of eight native (i.e., released directly from the comet nucleus) volatiles (H2O, HCN, CH4, C2H2, C2H6, CO, H2CO, and CH3OH) in comet 8P/Tuttle using NIRSPEC at Keck 2. Comet Tuttle reveals a truly unusual composition, distinct from that of any comet observed to date at infrared wavelengths. The prominent enrichment of methanol relative to water contrasts with the depletions of other molecules, especially C2H2, HCN, and H2CO. We suggest that the nucleus of 8P/Tuttle may… 

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