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Cometary Activity on Quasi-Hilda Object 2018 CZ16

Presentation #102.02 in the session Asteroids: Objects of Interest (Oral Presentation)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Cometary Activity on Quasi-Hilda Object 2018 CZ16

We present the discovery of activity originating from quasi-Hilda object 2018 CZ16, a finding stemming from the Citizen Science project , which has employed over 8,000 participants to make over 6 million image classifications. For 2018 CZ16, we identified a broad (encompassing about a 60 degree angle) but short (extending about 5 arcseconds in length) tail in archival Dark Energy Camera images (Blanco 4-m Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile) from UT 2018 May 15, 17 and 18. Activity occurred 2 months prior to perihelion, consistent with sublimation-driven activity.

Objects with recurrent activity associated with perihelion are suspected to be driven by water ice and their presence sheds light on the volatile distribution in the solar system. To date, we have found only one epoch of activity for 2018 CZ16 near perihelion, but we encourage future observations of the object to identify whether the activity is recurrent. 2018 CZ16 comes to perihelion in late 2024 and approaches opposition in mid 2025, when it is a prime target for southern hemisphere observations. This work was supported by NASA grants 80NSSC19K0869 and 80NSSC21K0114.

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