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Recurring outbursts and nuclear fragmentation of comet C/2001 A2 (linear)

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-684
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Volume572
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2002

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