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Water production rate of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Water production rate of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Publication date: 02 September 2004

Authors: Makinen, J.T.T.

Journal: The New Rosetta Targets
Volume: 1
Page: 61
Year: 2004

Copyright: Kluwer Academic Publishers

The Solar Wind Anisotropies (SWAN) instrument is a scanning Lyman-alpha imager on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft. Since becoming operational in January 1996 SWAN has been producing full sky Lyman-alpha maps which are primarily used to study the interaction between solar wind and the interplanetary neutral hydrogen. In addition to that SWAN images can be used to study the hydrogen coma of comets down to about a visual magnitude of 12. After the retargeting decision of the Rosetta mission the SWAN archive was checked for possible occurrences of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Five values were obtained for the 1996 apparition but none for the 2002 apparition because of degraded instrument sensitivity and larger observing distance. The observations suggest a perihelion water production rate of about 8x10^27 per second and possible post perihelion increase of activity.

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