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How Great of a CO+CO₂ producer was The Great Comet of 2020?

Presentation #101.09 in the session Cometary Volatiles.

Published onOct 20, 2022
How Great of a CO+CO₂ producer was The Great Comet of 2020?

The NEOWISE mission is now into the 12th year since the spacecraft’s launch, and into the 9th year since the resumption of the survey on December 13, 2013 (Mainzer et al. 2014). With the combined 3.4 and 4.6 μm channels, it is possible to assess the production of CO and CO2 for comets observed by NEOWISE, as the 4.67 μm CO and 4.23 μm CO2 emission bands are strong enough to manifest excess flux within the 4.6 μm channel, and are apparent when the dust signal contribution is constrained by the 3.4 μm signal. In March of 2020, the mission discovered C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE), the brightest comet visible in the northern hemisphere since C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) in 1997. Using the discovery and subsequent observations, as well as precovery observations, it is possible to provide measurements of the nucleus size as well as constraints and measurements of CO+CO2 production. We will provide these measurements of the comet NEOWISE and compare the production rates with those of other species and other comets observed by NEOWISE.

Mainzer, A., Bauer, J., Cutri, R. M., et al. 2014, ApJ, 792, 30.

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