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A search for trends in cometary dust emission

C.M. Lissea, M.F. A'Hearn^, Y.R. Fernandez0 and S.B. Peschke^

aSpace Telescope Science Institute, Servicing Mission Office, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.

b University of Maryland, Department of Astronomy, College Park, MD 20742, USA.

c Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.

dISO Data Centre, Villafranca Del Castillo, ESA Satellite Tracking Station, P. O. Box (Apdo.) 50727, E-28080 Madrid, Spain.

We present the results of searching for statistical trends in the properties of dust emitted by 9 comets as determined using mid-IR observations. Trends in the aggregate dataset of dust PSD, total emission rate, and emission rate vs time were found versus dynamical class, with the short period comets slowly emitting mainly large, dark dust particles while the LP comets emitted most of their dust surface area (but not mass) rapidly in small, high albedo particles. These differences may be due to the effects of cometary evolution on the structure of the cometary surface and/or the depletion of cometary volatiles, although caveats concerning our currently small (but growing) dataset and the role of potentially important selection effects in our results. These results are consistent, however, with a larger sample of 46 infrared comet observations found in the literature.

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