CCD photometry of distant comets

S. C. Lowry*, A. Fitzsimmons, I. M. Cartwright, I. P. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


While it is apparent that many comets are active beyond the canonical distance of 3 AU, few surveys of cometary activity have been performed in this region previously. Such a survey enables a more accurate determination of the proportion of comets that exhibit little or no outgassing at these distances. Results are presented of CCD observations of comets in the region of 3 AU ≤ Rh ≤ 6 AU obtained with the 1m JKT on La Palma. Photometric observations of 15 comets were obtained, 7 of which displayed coma activity and 8 of which appeared inactive. BVR photometry was performed on these comets to determine dimensions, colours and outgassing rates. Although 40P/VaisaIa 1 and 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup were not detected, upper limits to their nuclear radii are presented. The results obtained are compared with previous observations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-659
Number of pages11
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 1999


  • Comets: general
  • Techniques: photometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science


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