Wirtanen data available at various archive sites

A number of different data sets are available. These were acquired on previous apparitions as parts of surveys or in support of the Rosetta mission (when Wirtanen was the target). Some of the data sets are compilations of data from many different comets, of which Wirtanen is one. In these cases, the date range given specifies the dates for Wirtanen only. Click on the Dataset Name for more information.


NASA Planetary Data System (Small Bodies Node)

Dataset Name PI/Observer Description
SURVEY OF COMET LIGHTCURVES Meech BVRI Photometry measured off CCD images
DERIVED COMETARY WATER PRODUCTION RATES Combi Derived water production rates, obtained from SWAN observations
MSX SMALL BODIES IMAGES Kraemer Infrared images obtained by the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX)
LOWELL OBSERVATORY COMETARY DATABASE A'Hearn Narrowband photometry of 85 comets taken by A'Hearn and Millis primarily at Lowell Observatory
LOWELL OBSERVATORY COMETARY DATABASE - PRODUCTION RATES A'Hearn Derived production rates and error bars from the Lowell Observatory Cometary Database
COMPILATION OF COMET POLARIMETRY FROM PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED SOURCES Kiselev This collection presents comet polarimetry results collected and tabulated from both published literature and unpublished sources
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF COMETS Vsekhsvyatskii Physical characteristics of comets observed from -466 to 1975, compiled by S. K. Vsekhsvyatskii
PROPERTIES OF COMET NUCLEI Barnes (ed.) This data set contains size, shape, albedo and color data for various comets collected from a number of papers in the literature.
ROTATION OF COMETARY NUCLEI Samarasinha Information on spin states of comets as published in 'Comets II'


Hubble Space Telescope Archive (Mirrored at ESA PSA)

Dataset Name PI/Observer Description
THE NUCLEUS OF COMET 46P/WIRTANEN Lamy Photometry and lightcurve
PRE-PERIHELION OBSERVATIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL ROSETTA MISSION TARGET COMET 46P/WIRTANEN IN SUPPORT OF UV SPECTROMETER DESIGN Stern HST Faint Object Spectrograph observations (222 - 328 nm)


Spitzer Space Telescope Archive

Dataset Name PI/Observer Description
AN IN-DEPTH STUDY OF THE DUST OF COMET 46P/WIRTANEN Kelley IRS observations to measure spectral energy distribution from 5-40 microns
CO2 ORBITAL TRENDS IN COMETS Kelley Survey of CO2 measurements in various comets. Proprietary until July 2018


ESA Planetary Science Archive

Dataset Name PI/Observer Description
NARROWBAND PHOTOMETETRY OF COMET 46P/WIRTANEN Farnham Observed fluxes and derived production rates of different gas species in comet Wirtanen
EFOSC2 IMAGES OF COMET WIRTANEN Boehnhardt Visible wavelength images of Comet Wirtanen obtained at La Silla with the ESO EFOSC2
EFOSC2 SPECTRA OF COMET WIRTANEN Schulz Visible wavelength spectra of Comet Wirtanen obtained at La Silla with the ESO EFOSC2
DFOSC IMAGES OF COMET WIRTANEN Boehnhardt Visible wavelength images of Comet Wirtanen obtained at La Silla with the DFOSC
AMEI IMAGES OF COMET WIRTANEN Jockers Images of Comet Wirtanen obtained at Pik Terskol Observatory with the AMEI







Detailed information about each data set







SURVEY OF COMET LIGHTCURVES

    BVRI Photometry measured off CCD images
    Date Range: 1996-06-13 to 1996-08-18
    Heliocentric Distance: 2.99 to 2.53 AU
    Geocentric Distance: 2.41 to 1.55 AU
    Phase angle: 17.8° to 7.1°
    Publications: Meech et al., A&A 326, 1268-1276, 1997
    Archive Site: PDS SBN
    DATA SET IDEAR-C-COMPIL-5-LIGHTCURVES-V1.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONThis is a dataset that compiles the data from various papers, which reported observations of brightness changes in comets that allowed to produce the comet lightcurves. Specifically, the data were based on the references in the paper by Samarasinha et al. (2004), i.e. they are those lightcurves, which were used to find out the rotational properties of the comet nuclei (periods, rotation vector coordinates, spin mode, etc.) reported by Samarasinha et al. (2004).


DERIVED COMETARY WATER PRODUCTION RATES

    Derived water production rates, obtained from SOHO SWAN observations
    Date Range: 1997-01-21 to 1997-04-30
    2002-07-13 to 2002-10-29
    Heliocentric Distance: 1.26 through 1.064 to 1.24 AU
    1.21 through 1.061 to 1.35 AU
    Geocentric Distance:1.67 through 1.50 to 1.63
    1.71 through 1.62 to 1.85 AU
    Phase angle: 35.0° to 40.6°
    31.0° to 37.1°
    Publications: Combi et al., Astron. J. 141, 128, 2011.
    Archive Site: PDS SBN
    DATA SET IDurn:nasa:pds:soho:swan_derived::1.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONThis data collection contains derived water production rates for numerous comets observed by the SOHO SWAN instrument from 1996 to 2012. Multiple measurements were made for each comet through a single perihelion passage and some comets were observed over multiple epochs. The production rates were derived by modeling the observed distribution of atomic hydrogen in the comae of the comets.


MSX SMALL BODIES IMAGES

    Infrared images obtained by the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX)
    Date Range: 1996-12-07
    Heliocentric Distance: 1.62 AU
    Geocentric Distance: 1.73 AU
    Phase angle: 34°
    Publications: Kraemer et al., AJ, 130:2363-2382, 2005
    Archive Site: PDS SBN
    DATA SET IDMSX-C-SPIRIT3-3-MSXSB-V1.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONEight comets, two transition objects, and two near-Earth asteroids were imaged in six infrared bands with the Spirit III instrument on the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX). This data set contains the calibrated images.


LOWELL OBSERVATORY COMETARY DATABASE

    Narrowband photometry of 85 comets taken by A'Hearn and Millis primarily at Lowell Observatory
    Date Range: 1991-10-11
    Heliocentric Distance: 1.12 AU
    Geocentric Distance:1.41 AU
    Phase angle: 45.6°
    Publications: A'Hearn et al., Icarus 118, 223, 1995
    Archive Site: PDS SBN
    DATA SET IDEAR-C-PHOT-5-RDR-LOWELL-COMET-DB-PR-V1.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONThe database presented here is comprised entirely of observations made utilizing conventional photoelectric photometers and narrowband filters isolating 5 emission species (OH, NH, CN, C3 and C2) and continua. This work was initiated by A'Hearn and Millis in 1976 and includes 2020 observations of 85 comets obtained over 429 nights through the end of 1992. The total number of observations, however, is not evenly distributed over the 85 comets. The median number of observations for a comet is 6, with only a single observation obtained for 14 comets while there were 820 observations of P/Halley. The majority of observations were obtained at either Lowell Observatory or Perth Observatory, however four other observatories were used including an extensive campaign on comet P/Halley from the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory (CTIO). In this archive, results for a subset of 68 comets are presented while the results for P/Halley from this study are archived in the IHW archive.


LOWELL OBSERVATORY COMETARY DATABASE - PRODUCTION RATES

    Derived production rates and error bars from the Lowell Observatory Cometary Database


COMPILATION OF COMET POLARIMETRY FROM PUBLISHED AND UNPUBLISHED SOURCES

    This collection presents comet polarimetry results collected and tabulated from both published literature and unpublished sources


PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF COMETS

    Physical characteristics of comets observed from -466 to 1975, compiled by S. K. Vsekhsvyatskii
    Date Range: 1947 to 1974
    Heliocentric Distance: N/A
    Geocentric Distance: N/A
    Phase angle: N/A
    Publications:
    Archive Site:PDS SBN
    DATA SET IDEAR-C-5-DDR-PCC-V1.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONThis dataset is a compilation of observational measurements on comet morphology and magnitude covering just over a thousand apparitions of various comets from -466 to 1975.


PROPERTIES OF COMET NUCLEI

    Size, shape, albedo and color data for various comets collected from a number of papers in the literature.
    Date Range: N/A
    Heliocentric Distance: N/A
    Geocentric Distance:N/A
    Phase angle: N/A
    Publications:
    Archive Site:PDS SBN
    DATA SET IDEAR-C-COMPIL-5-COMET-NUC-PROPERTIES-V2.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONThis data set presents data for the sizes, shapes, albedos and colors of Cometary Nuclei for the sources mentioned above and includes references for the sources cited. In some cases, the authors have culled the data from published or well-known unpublished sources, and have indicated what they judge to be the most reliable value available. Version 2.0 of this data set was created due to an addition of more recent data since version 1.0 was released in 2005 and to correct typographical errors in comet names, discovery IDs, and references used in several data products. Note: the data contained in this dataset were obtained from the Lamy dataset listed below.


ROTATION OF COMETARY NUCLEI

    Information on spin states of comets as published in 'Comets II'


THE NUCLEUS OF COMET 46P/WIRTANEN

    HST Photometry and lightcurve measurements
    Date Range: 1996-08-28
    Heliocentric Distance: 2.45 AU
    Geocentric Distance:1.51 AU
    Phase angle: 10.6°
    Publications: Lamy et al A&A 335, L25-L29, 1998
    Archive Site: HST Archive (MAST) or ESA PSA
    HST Proposal #HST Proposal 6634
    ESA DATA SET IDHST-C-WFPC2-2-EDR-WIRTANEN-V1.0
    ABSTRACT We propose Planetary Camera observations of comet 46P/Wirtanen, which is the target of the approved ROSETTA rendezvous mission, the third cornerstone of the ESA Horizon 2000 program. Except for a few photographic "nuclear" magnitudes which suggest a radius of 1.6 km (assuming an albedo of 0.04), little is known about the properties of its nucleus and it is of utmost importance to attempt to characterize it to the fullest possible extent. Unfortunately,comet 46P/Wirtanen will not come close to the Earth during the next decade so that the only possible approach to studying the nucleus consists in observing it at large heliocentric distances when the activity is very low. The high spatial resolution offered by the Planetary Camera (100 km for 2 pixels) and its high sensitivity will allow us to detect any faint coma and substract it with minimal assumptions. We propose to measure the V and R magnitudes of the nucleus in order to derive its color, and we plan to study its rotational properties by measuring its projected cross sections as a function of time. We have an approved program to observe the nucleus of comet 46P/Wirtanen with ISOCAM in the thermal infrared so that we shall derive its albedo and in turn its size with very minimal asumptions by combining HST and ISO observations. Should structures be detected in the faint coma, we shall map the sources of dust on the nucleus. The determination of these basic properties is essential for the preparation of the ROSETTA mission.


PRE-PERIHELION OBSERVATIONS OF THE INTERNATIONAL ROSETTA MISSION TARGET COMET 46P/WIRTANEN IN SUPPORT OF UV SPECTROMETER DESIGN

    HST Faint Object Spectrograph observations (222 - 328 nm)
    Date Range: 1996-07-22, 1996-08-25 and 1997-01-15
    Heliocentric Distance: 2.72, 2.47, 1.31 AU
    Geocentric Distance:1.78, 1.51, 1.69 AU
    Phase angle: 10.1°, 9.8°, 35.3°
    Publications: Stern et al. A&A 335, L30-L36, 1998
    Archive Site: HST Archive (MAST) or ESA PSA
    HST Proposal #HST Proposal 7204
    ESA DATA SET IDHST-C-FOS-3-RSA-WIRTANEN-V1.0
    ABSTRACTThe ALICE Ultraviolet Spectrometer team for the International Rosetta mission (a collaboration between ESA and NASA) requests HST DD time to obtain observations of the Rosetta Mission target, comet 46P/Wirtanen, as a part of our instrument design activity. Our specific objectives are to:(i) characterize the variation in UV emissions (particularly, OH) with heliocentric distance in the critical 2-3 AU distance regime where Rosetta will rendezvous with the comet, and(ii) to obtain reflectance spectra of the nucleus, before the comet reaches 2.8 AU and becomes very active, so that far-UV design requirements can be based on data rather than supposition. We propose to use the FOS with grating G270H to meet these objectives. Comet P/Wirtanen has never been observed in the UV, and will reach perihelion in Cycle 6. This is the last perihelion before the launch of Rosetta in 2003. HST is the only observatory capable of obtaining UV spectra of P/Wirtanen.


AN IN-DEPTH STUDY OF THE DUST OF COMET 46P/WIRTANEN

    IRS observations to measure spectral energy distribution from 5-40 microns
    Date Range: 2007-12-08 to 2008-07-03
    Heliocentric Distance: 1.29 through 1.06 to 2.08 AU
    Geocentric Distance: 0.59 through 0.35 to 1.92 AU
    Phase angle: 49.7° through 71.9° to 29.0°
    Publications:
    Archive Site: IPAC Infrared Science Archive
    PROGRAM NAME/IDWIRTANEN/40042
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONWe propose a 9.7 hr project to study, in-depth, the dust of comet 46P/Wirtanen through Spitzer/IRS observations of its ejected grains. The relative locations of comet Wirtanen, Spitzer, and the Sun allow for a continuous visibility window 230 days in length, centered near the comet's perihelion (February 2008). The excellent capabilities of the IRS allow us to take advantage of this rare opportunity throughout the entire visibility window. We will monitor and assess the ejected dust mineralogy as insolation varies on the nucleus and the comet undergoes vigorous coma activity, giving us insight into the structure of comet Wirtanen's nucleus and the mineralogy of its formation zone in the early solar system. Our AORs are designed to attain signal-to-noise ratios large enough to detect crystalline silicates in this ecliptic comet, similar to those found in the pre-Deep Impact spectrum of comet 9P/Tempel. The proposed observations will observe the comet six times to obtain complete spectral energy distributions from 5-40 microns (9.5 hr), as comet Wirtanen travels from 1.5 AU pre-perihelion through 2.0 AU post-perihelion. The resultant data set will be, in terms of signal-to-noise and temporal coverage, analogous to the data obtained by the many mid-IR investigations of comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp). We also request one MIPS observation (0.2 hr) at 2.5 AU pre-perihelion to verify the comet's ephemeris and nucleus size, and to study the largest grains ejected during previous perihelia.


CO2 ORBITAL TRENDS IN COMETS

    Survey of CO2 measurements in various comets. Proprietary until July 2018
    Date Range: 2017-07-31 to 2017-08-01
    Heliocentric Distance: 4.18 AU
    Geocentric Distance:4.11 AU
    Phase angle: 13.9°
    Publications:
    Archive Site: PDS SBN
    PROGRAM NAME/IDCOMETTRENDS2/13116
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONCarbon dioxide is a primary volatile in comet nuclei, and potentially a major contributor to comet activity (i.e., the process of mass loss). However, CO2 cannot be observed directly from the ground, and past surveys of this molecule in comets were limited to space-borne snapshot observations. This situation limits our understanding of the behavior of CO2 in comets, and its role in driving comet mass loss. To address this deficiency, we were awarded a Cy11 Spitzer program designed to quantify the production rate of CO2 on >month-long timescales for 21 comets. We request an additional 269~hr in Cy13 to complete the Spitzer portion of our survey, and to add three more comets (46P/Wirtanen and 2 Target of Opportunity Oort cloud comets). Our survey is designed to probe the orbital trends of CO2 production in the comet population. We aim to: 1) examine the role of CO2 in the persistent post-perihelion activity observed in Jupiter-family comets; 2) measure the seasonal variations of CO2/H2O as a proxy for nucleus heterogeneity, when possible; 3) search for orbital trends sensitive to cumulative insolation as a proxy for nucleus layering; and 4) examine how Oort cloud comets evolve by comparing dynamically new and old targets. The final data set will allow us to investigate the effects of heating on the evolution of comets, if nucleus structures can be inferred through activity, and set the stage for JWST investigations into comet activity and composition.


NARROWBAND PHOTOMETETRY OF COMET 46P/WIRTANEN

    Observed fluxes and derived production rates of different gas species in comet Wirtanen
    Date Range: 1991-10-11
    1997-02-12 to 1997-07-01
    Heliocentric Distance: 1.12 AU
    1.14 through 1.07 to 1.72 AU
    Geocentric Distance:1.41 AU
    1.60 through 1.054 to 2.31 AU
    Phase angle: 45.6°
    37.1° through 40.8° to 23.9°
    Publications: Farnham & Schleicher, A&A 335, 50, 1998
    Archive Site:ESA PSA
    DATA SET IDLOWELL-C-PHOT-3-RSA-V1.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONThis data set contains the observed fluxes and derived production rates of different gas species in comet Wirtanen, obtained from narrowband photometry obtained at Lowell observatory in October 1991 and between February and July 1997.


EFOSC2 IMAGES OF COMET WIRTANEN

    Visible wavelength images of Comet Wirtanen obtained at La Silla with the ESO EFOSC2
    Date Range: 1996-05-11 to 1996-12-11
    Heliocentric Distance: 3.21 to 1.60 AU
    Geocentric Distance:3.09 through 1.50 to 1.74 AU
    Phase angle: 18.5° through 6.2° to 33.8°
    Publications:
    Archive Site:ESA PSA
    DATA SET IDESO-C-EFOSC2-3-RSA-WIRTANEN-IMG-V1.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTION Images obtained with the Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera II at the La Silla Observatory (ESO) of comet Wirtanen. The data were obtained in May through December 1996.


EFOSC2 SPECTRA OF COMET WIRTANEN

    Visible wavelength spectra of Comet Wirtanen obtained at La Silla with the ESO EFOSC2
    Date Range: 1996-07-10 to 1996-12-10
    Heliocentric Distance: 2.82 to 1.60 AU
    Geocentric Distance:1.96 through 1.50 to 1.74 AU
    Phase angle: 13.4° through 6.2° to 33.8°
    Publications: Schulz et al., A&A 335, 46, 1998.
    Archive Site:ESA PSA
    DATA SET IDESO-C-EFOSC2-3-RSA-WIRTANEN-SPEC-V1.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONSpectra obtained with the Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera II at the La Silla Observatory (ESO) of comet Wirtanen. The data were obtained during July and December 1996.


DFOSC IMAGES OF COMET WIRTANEN

    Visible wavelength images of Comet Wirtanen obtained at La Silla with the DFOSC
    Date Range: 1996-04-25 to 1996-12-08
    Heliocentric Distance: 3.31 to 1.62 AU
    Geocentric Distance:3.41 to 1.50 AU
    Phase angle: 18.6° through 6.2° to 33.7°
    Publications:
    Archive Site:ESA PSA
    DATA SET IDESO-C-DFOSC-3-RSA-WIRTANEN-IMG-V1.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONImages spectral images of standard stars and of comet Wirtanen obtained with the Danish Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (DFOSC) instrument at the ESO Observatory La Silla in Chile. The data were obtained from April to December 1996.


AMEI IMAGES OF COMET WIRTANEN

    Images of Comet Wirtanen obtained at Pik Terskol Observatory with the AMEI
    Date Range: 1997-03-03 to 1997-03-11
    Heliocentric Distance: 3.6 AU
    Geocentric Distance:4.3 AU
    Phase angle: 10°
    Publications: Jockers et al., A&A 335, 56, 1998.
    Archive Site:ESA PSA
    DATA SET IDTSK-C-RCC-CAL-RSA-WIRTANEN-V1.0
    ABSTRACT DESCRIPTIONCalibrated images from the AMEI Two-Channel Focal Reducer on the Ritchey-Chretien-Coude telescope on the Pik Terskol Observatory of comet Wirtanen obtained in April 1997.