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Call for Observations of the Active Centaur 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann

Presentation #404.08 in the session “Active Centaurs”.

Published onOct 26, 2020
Call for Observations of the Active Centaur 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann

29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is the most famous resident of the Centaur-Jupiter-family Comet (JFC) Gateway region just beyond Jupiter, and it may eventually become the brightest JFC in human history (Sarid et al. 2019). Its nucleus has exhibited a dust coma for over 90 years, and it undergoes explosive outbursts several times a year. It is a strong candidate for a future space mission, and long-term dedicated and coordinated surveys from amateur and professional astronomers are needed to characterize the near-nucleus region and monitor material produced during outbursting events and quiescent outgassing activity. In addition, extended observations are needed to constrain the nucleus’ rotation period and spin pole orientation. We describe a framework and associated solicitation for multi-wavelength, multi-modality observations. These include visible lightcurves, photometry, broadband filter imaging, astrometry, spectroscopy, interferometry and occultations. This presentation will provide suggested observing dates, guidance about useful observations, predictions for a minimum visual magnitude, and a link to an observing campaign planning website.

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