Institute of Space science CSIC

Barcelona, Spain

Institute of Space science CSIC

Barcelona, Spain
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Trigo-Rodriguez J.M.,Institute of Space science CSIC | Trigo-Rodriguez J.M.,Institute Destudis Espacials Of Catalonia Ieec | Garcia-Hernandez D.A.,Institute of Astrophysics of Canarias | Garcia-Hernandez D.A.,University of La Laguna | And 6 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2010

We have carried out a continuous multiband photometric monitoring of the nuclear activity of comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 from 2008 to 2010. Our main aim has been to study the outburst mechanism on the basis of a follow-up of the photometric variations associated with the release of dust. We have used a standardized method to obtain the 10-arcsec nucleus photometry in the V, R and I filters of the Johnson-Kron-Cousins system, which are accurately calibrated with standard Landolt stars. The production of dust in the R and I bands during the 2010 February 3 outburst has been also computed. We conclude that the massive ejection of large (optically thin) particles from the surface at the time of the outburst is the triggering mechanism to produce the outburst. The ulterior sublimation of these ice-rich dust particles during the following days induces fragmentation, generating micrometre-sized grains, which increase the dust spatial density to produce the outburst in the optical range as a result of the scattering of sunlight. The material leaving the nucleus adopts a fan-like dust feature, formed by micrometre-sized particles that decay in brightness as it evolves outwards. By analysing the photometric signal measured in a standardized 10-arcsec aperture using the phase dispersion minimization technique, we have found a clear periodicity of 50 d. Remarkably, this value is also consistent with an outburst frequency of 7.4 outbursts per yr deduced from the number of outbursts noticed during the effective observing time. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 RAS.

Trigo-RodrIguez J.M.,Institute of Space science CSIC | Trigo-RodrIguez J.M.,Institute Destudis Espacials Of Catalonia | Llorca J.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Madiedo J.M.,University of Huelva | And 3 more authors.
Meteoritics and Planetary Science | Year: 2010

The fall of the Berduc meteorite took place on April 7, 2008, at 01 h 02 min 28 s ± 1 s UTC. A daylight fireball was witnessed by hundreds of people from Argentina and Uruguay, and also recorded by an infrasound array in Paraguay. From the available data, the fireball trajectory and radiant have been reconstructed with moderate accuracy. The modeled trajectory was tested to fit the infrasound and strewn field data. From the computed apparent radiant α = 87 ± 2° and δ = -11 ± 2° and taking into account a range of plausible initial velocities, we obtained a range of orbital solutions. All of them suggest that the progenitor meteoroid originated from the main asteroid belt and followed an orbit of low inclination. Based on petrography, mineral chemistry, magnetic susceptibility, and bulk chemistry, the Berduc meteorite is classified as an L6 ordinary chondrite. © 2010 The Meteoritical Society.

Trigo-Rodriguez J.M.,Institute of Space science CSIC | Trigo-Rodriguez J.M.,Institute Destudis Espacials Of Catalonia Ieec | Madiedo J.M.,University of Huelva | Madiedo J.M.,University of Seville | And 18 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

On 2011 October 8, the Earth crossed the dust trails left by comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner during its 19th and 20th century perihelion approaches with the comet being close to perihelion. The geometric circumstances of that encounter were thus favourable to produce a meteor storm, but the trails were much older than in the 1933 and 1946 historical encounters. As a consequence the 2011 October Draconid display exhibited several activity peaks with Zenithal Hourly Rates of about 400 meteors h-1. In fact, if the display had not been forecasted, it could have passed almost unnoticed as was strongly attenuated for visual observers due to the Moon. This suggests that most meteor storms of a similar nature could have passed historically unnoticed under unfavourable weather and Moon observing conditions. The possibility of obtaining information on the physical properties of cometary meteoroids penetrating the atmosphere under low geocentric velocity encounter circumstances motivated us to set up a special observing campaign. Added to the Spanish Fireball Network wide-field all-sky and CCD video monitoring, other high-sensitivity 1/2 arcsec black and white CCD videocameras were attached to the modified medium-field lenses for obtaining high-resolution orbital information. The trajectory, radiant and orbital data of October 16 Draconid meteors observed at multiple stations are presented. The results show that the meteors appeared from a geocentric radiant located at α = 263.0 ± 0°.4 and δ =+55.3 ± 0°.3 that is in close agreement with the radiant predicted for the 1873-1894 and the 1900 dust trails. The estimated mass of material from 21P/Giacobini-Zinner delivered to Earth during the 6 h outburst was around950 ±150 kg. © 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Trigo-Rodriguez J.M.,Institute of Space science CSIC | Trigo-Rodriguez J.M.,Institute Destudis Espacials Of Catalonia Ieec | Javier Martin-Torres F.,CSIC - National Institute of Aerospace Technology
Planetary and Space Science | Year: 2012

Earth and Titan are two planetary bodies formed far from each other. Nevertheless the chemical composition of their atmospheres exhibits common indications of being produced by the accretion, plus ulterior in-situ processing of cometary materials. This is remarkable because while the Earth formed in the inner part of the disk, presumably from the accretion of rocky planetesimals depleted in oxygen and exhibiting a chemical similitude with enstatite chondrites, Titan formed within Saturns sub-nebula from oxygen- and volatile-rich bodies, called cometesimals. From a cosmochemical and astrobiological perspective, the study of the H, C, N, and O isotopes on Earth and Titan could be the key to decipher the processes occurred in the early stages of formation of both planetary bodies. The main goal of this paper is to quantify the presumable ways of chemical evolution of both planetary bodies, in particular the abundance of CO and N 2 in their early atmospheres. In order to do that the primeval atmospheres and evolution of Titan and Earth have been analyzed from a thermodynamic point of view. The most relevant chemical reactions involving these species and presumably important at their early stages are discussed. Then, we have interpreted the results of this study in light of the results obtained by the Cassini-Huygens mission on these species and their isotopes. Given that H, C, N, and O were preferentially depleted from inner disk materials that formed our planet, the observed similitude of their isotopic fractionation, and subsequent close evolution of Earths and Titans atmospheres points towards a cometary origin of Earth atmosphere. Consequently, our scenario also supports the key role of late veneers (comets and water-rich carbonaceous asteroids) enriching the volatile content of the Earth at the time of the late heavy bombardment of terrestrial planets. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Blum J.,TU Braunschweig | Gundlach B.,TU Braunschweig | Muhle S.,TU Braunschweig | Trigo-Rodriguez J.M.,Institute of Space science CSIC
Icarus | Year: 2014

When comet nuclei approach the Sun, the increasing energy flux through the surface layers leads to sublimation of the underlying ices and subsequent outgassing that promotes the observed emission of gas and dust. While the release of gas can be straightforwardly understood by solving the heat-transport equation and taking into account the finite permeability of the ice-free dust layer close to the surface of the comet nucleus, the ejection of dust additionally requires that the forces binding the dust particles to the comet nucleus must be overcome by the forces caused by the sublimation process. This relates to the question of how large the tensile strength of the overlying dust layer is. Homogeneous layers of micrometer-sized dust particles reach tensile strengths of typically 103 to 104 Pa. This exceeds by far the maximum sublimation pressure of water ice in comets. It is therefore unclear how cometary dust activity is driven.To solve this paradox, we used the model by Skorov and Blum (Skorov, Y.V., Blum, J. 2012. Icarus 221, 361-11), who assumed that cometesimals formed by gravitational instability of a cloud of dust and ice aggregates and calculated for the corresponding structure of comet nuclei tensile strength of the dust-aggregate layers on the order of 1. Pa. Here we present evidence that the emitted cometary dust particles are indeed aggregates with the right properties to fit the model by Skorov and Blum. Then we experimentally measure the tensile strengths of layers of laboratory dust aggregates and confirm the values derived by the model. To explain the comet activity driven by the evaporation of water ice, we derive a minimum size for the dust aggregates of ~1. mm, in agreement with meteoroid observations and dust-agglomeration models in the solar nebula. Finally we conclude that cometesimals must have formed by gravitational instability, because all alternative formation models lead to higher tensile strengths of the surface layers. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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