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P/2006 HR30 (Siding Spring): A Low-activity Comet in Near-Earth SpaceThe low cometary activity of P/2006 HR30 (Siding Spring) allowed a unique opportunity to study the nucleus of a periodic comet while near perihelion. P/2006 HR30 was originally targeted as a potential extinct comet, and we measured spectral reflectance and dust production using long-slit CCD spectroscopy and wide-field imaging obtained at the Palomar Mountain 200 inch telescope on 2006 August 3 and 4. The dust production Afp = 19.7 +/- 0.4 cm and mass-loss rate Q(dust) 4.1 +/- 0.1 kg/sec of the comet were approximately 2 orders of magnitude dust less than 1P/Halley at similar heliocentric distance. The VRI colors derived from the spectral reflectance were compared to Kuiper Belt objects, Centaurs, and other cometary nuclei. We found that the spectrum of P/2006 HR30 was consistent with other comets. However, the outer solar system bodies have a color distribution statistically distinct from cometary nuclei. It is our conjecture that cometary activity, most likely the reaccretion of ejected cometary dust, tends to moderate and mute the visible colors of the surface of cometary nuclei.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
External Source(s)
Hicks, Michael D.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Bauer, James M.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
May 23, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 662: L47-L50, 2007 June 10
Publisher: American Astronomical Society
Volume: 662
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Kuiper Belt
minor planets
solar system

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