Analysis of the visual light curve and fragmentation sequence of comet C/2001 A2 (LINEAR) shows a strong temporal correlation between the onset of outbursts and separation of companion nuclei. This scenario conforms to Sekanina's conceptual model for the release of sizable fragments of an inert dust mantle from the nucleus surface: an outburst is triggered as some of the mass rapidly disintegrates into fine dust.
|Journal||The Astrophysical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 10 Jun 2002|
- comets : general
- comets : individual (C/2001 A2)
- methods : data analysis