Initial characterization of active transitioning centaur, P/2019 LD2 (ATLAS), Using Hubble, Spitzer, ZTF, Keck, apache point observatory, and GROWTH visible and infrared imaging and spectroscopy

Bryce T. Bolin, Yanga R. Fernandez, Carey M. Lisse, Timothy R. Holt, Zhong Yi Lin, Josiah N. Purdum, Kunal P. Deshmukh, James M. Bauer, Eric C. Bellm, Dennis Bodewits, Kevin B. Burdge, Sean J. Carey, Chris M. Copperwheat, George Helou, Anna Y.Q. Ho, Jonathan Horner, Jan Van Roestel, Varun Bhalerao, Chan Kao Chang, Christine ChenChen Yen Hsu, Wing Huen Ip, Mansi M. Kasliwal, Frank J. Masci, Chow Choong Ngeow, Robert Quimby, Rick Burruss, Michael Coughlin, Richard Dekany, Alexandre Delacroix, Andrew Drake, Dmitry A. Duev, Matthew Graham, David Hale, Thomas Kupfer, Russ R. Laher, Ashish Mahabal, Przemyslaw J. Mróz, James D. Neill, Reed Riddle, Hector Rodriguez, Roger M. Smith, Maayane T. Soumagnac, Richard Walters, Lin Yan, Jeffry Zolkower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present visible and mid-infrared imagery and photometry of temporary Jovian co-orbital comet P/2019 LD2taken with Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Camera 3 (HST/WFC3), Spitzer Space Telescope/Infrared Array Camera (Spitzer/IRAC), and the GROWTH telescope network, visible spectroscopy from Keck/Low-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (LRIS), and archival Zwicky Transient Facility observations taken between 2019 April and 2020 August. Our observations indicate that the nucleus of LD2 has a radius between 0.2 and 1.8 km assuming a 0.08 albedo and a coma dominated by ~100 μm-scale dust ejected at ~1m s-1speeds with a ~1' jet pointing in the southwest direction. LD2experienced a total dust mass loss of ~108 kg at a loss rate of ~6 kg s-1with Afρ/cross section varying between ~85 cm/125 km2and ~200 cm/310 km2from 2019 April 9 to 2019 November 8. If the increase in Afρ/cross section remained constant, it implies LD2's activity began ~2018 November when within 4.8 au of the Sun, implying the onset of H2O sublimation. We measure CO/CO2gas production of ≤1027mol s-1/≤1026mol s-1 from our 4.5 μm Spitzer observations; g-r = 0.59 ± 0.03, r-i = 0.18 ± 0.05, and i-z = 0.01 ± 0.07 from GROWTH observations; and H2O gas production of ≤80 kg s-1scaling from our estimated C2production of QC2×7.5 × 1024mol s-1from Keck/LRIS spectroscopy. We determine that the long-term orbit of LD2 is similar to Jupiter-family comets having close encounters with Jupiter within ~0.5 Hill radius in the last ~3 y and within 0.8 Hill radius in ~9 y. Additionally, 78.8% of our orbital clones are ejected from the solar system within 1 × 106yr, having a dynamical half-life of 3.4 × 105yr.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15pp
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume161
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021

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