Speaker: Jacqueline Keane, Institute for Astronomy
Title: Catastrophic Disruption of Comet ISON
We report submillimeter dust continuum observations for comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) obtained during the time period immediately before perihelion on 2013 November 28 (r = 0.0125AU). When comet ISON was first detected at 850 microns, the 1mm-sized dust particles were tightly bound to the comet nucleus until at least November 23. Three days later the dust was less tightly bound and became elongated and diffuse, spread out over as much as 120 arc seconds \ (80000km) in the anti-solar direction. These observations suggest the detection of large scale fragmentation events and/or captured the onset of the final disruption event of comet ISON.
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