Sign on

SAO/NASA ADS Astronomy Abstract Service

· Find Similar Abstracts (with default settings below)
· Full Refereed Journal Article (PDF/Postscript)
· Full Refereed Scanned Article (GIF)
· References in the article
· Citations to the Article (64) (Citation History)
· Refereed Citations to the Article
· Reads History
· Translate This Page
Comet outbursts and polymers of HCN
Rettig, Terrence W.; Tegler, Stephen C.; Pasto, Daniel J.; Mumma, Michael J.
AA(Notre Dame Univ., IN), AB(Notre Dame Univ., IN), AC(Notre Dame Univ., IN), AD(NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 398, no. 1, p. 293-298. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Comet Nuclei, Cyano Compounds, Interstellar Chemistry, Interstellar Matter, Polymerization, Astronomical Models, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Energy Transfer
Bibliographic Code:


Dramatic cometary outbursts have been noted by observers for many years. These outbursts can sometimes increase the apparent brightness of a comet up to 9 mag and release energy on the order of 10 exp 19 ergs. A number of mechanisms have been suggested for outburst activity; however, none has been generally accepted. HCN is a known constituent of both interstellar icy grain mantles and cometary nuclei, and HCN polymers have been postulated to exist on the dark surface of comets such as P/Halley. Since polymerization is a strongly exothermic process, we investigate the possibility that HCN polymerization can provide the energy needed for outbursts. Polymerization may be continuing in the inhomogeneous interior of comets. In addition, the reactive CN groups in these oligomers can be hydrolyzed and may contribute to CO2 and CO pressure buildup in the interior of comets.

Printing Options

Print whole paper
Print Page(s) through

Return 600 dpi PDF to Acrobat/Browser. Different resolutions (200 or 600 dpi), formats (Postscript, PDF, etc), page sizes (US Letter, European A4, etc), and compression (gzip,compress,none) can be set through the Printing Preferences

More Article Retrieval Options

HELP for Article Retrieval

Bibtex entry for this abstract   Preferred format for this abstract (see Preferences)

Find Similar Abstracts:

Use: Authors
Keywords (in text query field)
Abstract Text
Return: Query Results Return    items starting with number
Query Form
Database: Astronomy
arXiv e-prints