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Monitoring observations of Comet C/2020 V2 (ZTF)

Presentation #322.07 in the session Comets (Poster)

Published onOct 23, 2023
Monitoring observations of Comet C/2020 V2 (ZTF)

Most knowledge about comets was obtained from observations of close and bright objects. Short-period comets are densely observed during multiple revolutions, while observations of distant comets are often episodic and limited. Nowadays, the interest in distant comets rapidly grows. Technical opportunities allow us to observe them far from the Sun and trace them long before and after the perihelion passage. Moreover, the ESA’s Interceptor mission is being planned, which will be the first in situ mission to a long-period or dynamically new comet.

Our research mainly aims to study variations of dust color of various comets beyond 4 au, which occur in a few days. We are searching for the occurrence of this phenomenon using monitoring observations. Moreover, an advantage of observations of comets beyond 4 au is that they usually have a weak contribution of gaseous emissions in their light. We expect to obtain more knowledge about cometary dust, as its color depends on the microphysical properties of dust particles. Currently, we will consider one of our preliminary results. We monitored hyperbolic Comet C/2020 V2 (ZTF) pre-perihelion from February to June 2022, when its heliocentric distance was about 5 au. We used the 0.6-m telescope at the Peak Terskol observatory and the 0.61-m and 1.3-m telescopes at the Skalnaté Pleso observatory. Moreover, we obtained quasi-simultaneous photometric, spectroscopic, and polarimetric observations of the comet on June 2, 2022, using the 6-m BTA SAO, which makes our analysis much more extensive.

We have estimated absolute magnitudes, the Afρ parameter, and the photometric dust color of the comet during the considered period. Color mostly remains red, and the dust productivity of Comet C/2020 V2 (ZTF) also has typical values for other long-period and hyperbolic comets. The spectra of the comet at the end of our observational campaign don’t contain bright gaseous emissions. It means that the registered radiation is mainly solar light scattered by dust particles, and our data can be used to study the dust environment of the comet.

Using different techniques allows us to accurately estimate the microphysical properties of cometary dust using their modeling. Additionally, we can study the morphology of the cometary coma and build color maps to estimate some information about the motion of dust grains.

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