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Water Production in Comets C/2011 l4 (PanSTARRS) and C/2012 f6 (Lemmon) from observations with SOHO/SWAN

Abstract : Comets C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) and C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) were observed throughout their 2012-2013 apparitions with the Solar Wind Anisotropies (SWAN) all-sky hydrogen Lyα camera on board the Solar and Heliosphere Observatory (SOHO) satellite. SOHO has been in a halo orbit around the L1 Earth-Sun Lagrange point since early 1996 and has been observing the interplanetary medium and comets beginning with C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake). The global water production from these comets was determined from an analysis of the SWAN Lyα camera observations. Comet C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS), which reached its perihelion distance of 0.302 AU on 2013 March 10.17, was observed on 50 days between 2013 January 29 and April 30. Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon), which reached its perihelion distance of 0.731 AU on 2013 March 24.51, was observed on 109 days between 2012 November 29 and 2013 June 31. The maximum water production rates were ~1 × 1030 molecules s-1 for both comets. The activities of both comets were asymmetric about perihelion. C/2011 L4 (PanSTARRS) was more active before perihelion than after, but C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) was more active after perihelion than before.
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M. R. Combi, Jean-Loup Bertaux, Eric Quémerais, Stéphane Ferron, J. T. T. Mäkinen, et al.. Water Production in Comets C/2011 l4 (PanSTARRS) and C/2012 f6 (Lemmon) from observations with SOHO/SWAN. Astronomical Journal, American Astronomical Society, 2014, 147 (6), 126 (7 pp.). ⟨10.1088/0004-6256/147/6/126⟩. ⟨hal-00988422⟩



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