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Astron. Astrophys. 338, 364-370 (1998)

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The dust properties of a short period comet: comet P/Borrelly

Aigen Li 1, 2 and J. Mayo Greenberg 1

1 Leiden Observatory Laboratory, Leiden Observatory, Postbus 9504, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2 Beijing Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, P.R. China

Received 27 April 1998 / Accepted 16 July 1998


We have calculated the thermal emission spectrum of the dust of comet P/Borrelly (1994l), a short-period comet (Jupiter family), from 3 µm to 14 µm as well as the 10 µm silicate feature in terms of the comet dust model as porous aggregates of interstellar grains. Compared to comet P/Halley dust, the dust grains of P/Borrelly appear to be relatively more processed (more carbonized), less fluffy, and richer in smaller particles. The fluffy aggregate model of silicate core-amorphous carbon mantle grains with a porosity [FORMULA] can match the observational data. To generalize the dust properties of short-period comets, systematic observations of the thermal emission spectra and the silicate features for a large set of samples are needed.

Key words: ISM: dust – comets: general - comets: individual: P/Borrelly

Send offprint requests to: A. Li

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: September 8, 1998