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Discovery of Activity from 2018 OR, a Jupiter Family Comet Experiencing Frequent Interactions with Jupiter and Mars

Presentation #102.01 in the session Asteroids: Objects of Interest (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Discovery of Activity from 2018 OR, a Jupiter Family Comet Experiencing Frequent Interactions with Jupiter and Mars

Comet-like sublimation from 2018 OR, discovered by Zooniverse Citizen Scientists in the Active Asteroids project (activeasteroids.net), a NASA Partner Program, suggests potentially recurrent activity near perihelion. Citizen Scientists categorized Dark Energy Camera archival data, observed on the Blanco 4m telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (Chile) as part of the Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey, and identified activity originating in the anti-solar and anti-velocity direction. Additional MegaCam and Zwicky Transient Facility archival data were identified after Citizen Scientist categorization, with activity between UT 2018 September 5 and 2018 September 18. Previously designated an outer-main belt asteroid, current dynamical calculations indicate 2018 OR is a Jupiter Family Comet with close encounters with Jupiter and Mars over short, hundred-year timescales and that future encounters give this object the potential to join the Mars-Crosser dynamical class. We ask the community to further observe this body, which ranges in magnitude from 22.0 to 19.8 near perihelion, due to its observational uncertainties. Additional observations will provide astrometric improvements and could identify whether the object has sustained or recurrent activity, especially near perihelion in April 2025. Over 8,000 citizen scientists support the Active Asteroids project, to date completing over 6 million classifications and aiding in the discoveries of more than 10 active objects, a 20% increase in the active asteroid population.

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