Subaru/COMICS mid-infrared spectroscopic observations of the dust plume from comet 9P/Tempel

T. Ootsubo, S. Sugita, Jun Watanabe, M. Honda, H. Kawakita, T. Kadono, R. Furusho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We carried out mid-infrared observations of the Deep Impact (DI) collision with a Jupiter-family (JF) comet, 9P/Tempel, using the Cooled Mid-Infrared Camera and Spectrometer (COMICS) on the 8.2 m Subaru Telescope. The N-band spectrum (8-13 μm; R ∼ 250) of the dust ejecta from the comet nucleus 3.5 hours after the DI event shows a strong crystalline silicate feature. The Subaru/COMICS observation also reveals that small (< 1 μm) amorphous pyroxene and carbon-rich grains flew away in the forefront of the ejecta plume before our spectroscopic observation, leaving behind relatively large submicron (0.8-1 μm) crystalline particles that we subsequently observed. The submicron grains within the subsurface layer of comet 9P/Tempel's nucleus have a higher crystalline-to-amorphous silicate ratio than that in the comae of other JF comets, and even that of Oort cloud comets. Near the comet nucleus 3.5 hours after the impact the crystalline-to-amorphous ratio is similar to that of Hale-Bopp coma dust at 0.97 AU.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDeep Impact as a World Observatory Event
Subtitle of host publicationSynergies in Space, Time, and Wavelength: Proceedings of the ESO/VUB Conference
EditorsHans Ulrich Kaufl, Christiaan Sterken
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameESO Astrophysics Symposia
ISSN (Print)1431-2433
ISSN (Electronic)1611-6143

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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