Publication Abstract

A Bima Array Survey of Molecules in Comets Linear (C/2002 T7) and Neat (C/2001 Q4)

Anthony J. Remijan, D. N. Friedel, Imke de Pater, M. R. Hogerheijde, L. E. Snyder, M. F. A'Hearn, Geoffrey A. Blake, H. R. Dickel, J. R. Forster, C. Kraybill, L. W. Looney, Patrick Palmer, M. C. H. Wright

We present an interferometric search for large molecules, including methanol, methyl cyanide, ethyl cyanide, ethanol, and methyl formate in comets LINEAR (C/2002 T7) and NEAT (C/2001 Q4) with the Berkeley-Illinois-Maryland Association (BIMA) array. In addition, we also searched for transitions of the simpler molecules CS, SiO, HNC, HN13C and 13CO . We detected transitions of methanol and CS around Comet LINEAR and one transition of methanol around Comet NEAT within a synthesized beam of ~20''. We calculated the total column density and production rate of each molecular species using the variable temperature and outflow velocity (VTOV) model described by Friedel et al.(2005).Considering the molecular production rate ratios with respect to water, Comet T7 LINEAR is more similar to Comet Hale-Bopp while Comet Q4 NEAT is more similar to Comet Hyakutake. It is unclear, however, due to such a small sample size, whether there is a clear distinction between a Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake class of comet or whether comets have a continuous range of molecular production rate ratios.

Published in the Astrophisical Journal, vol. 643, pp. 567-572

Any comments or questions, contact me:
© 2015, D. N. Friedel