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Photometric observations of comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) with the Lijiang 2.4 m telescope
Zhang, X. L.; Jewitt, D.; Hui, M. T.
AA(Yunnan Observatories (YNAO), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650216, China; Key Laboratory of the Structure and Evolution of Celestial Objects, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650216, China; CAS Key Laboratory of Planetary Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China), AB(Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Box 951567, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567, USA; Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, 430 Portola Plaza, Box 951547, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547, USA), AC(Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, UCLA, 595 Charles Young Drive East, Box 951567, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567, USA 0000-0001-9067-7477)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 487, Issue 2, p.2919-2923 (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
Astronomy Keywords:
comets: individual: C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS), techniques: photometric
Abstract Copyright:
2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
Bibliographic Code:


Starting soon after discovery, we carried out a programme of continuous observations for the active comet C/2017 K2 (PANSTARRS) using the Lijiang 2.4 m telescope from 2017 September 8 to 2018 June 18 with a Johnson R filter. Three fixed linear apertures of ra1 = 6.4 × 104 km, ra2 = 7.7 × 104 km and ra3 = 9.6 × 104 km were chosen to measure the brightness of C/2017 K2 respectively, and the instrumental magnitudes were then converted into the PS1 r system. During the period of observation, the cross-section area increased at rates of 22.0, 28.5 and 44.1 km2 d-1 relative to the different linear photometry apertures, and the corresponding mass-loss rates were 63.8 kg s-1, 82.6 kg s-1 and 127.5 kg s-1, assuming that the dust-particle size is \bar{a} = 0.5 mm and the density is rho = 500 {kg m}3. The size of the C/2017 K2 nucleus is estimated as 1.2 ≲ rn ≲ 2.5 km for CO sublimation and 3.1 ≲ rn ≲ 183.9 km for CO2 with an aperture of 9.6 × 104 km; meanwhile the grain size of K2 is ac ≲ 9 mm for CO and ac ≲ 0.8 mm for CO2. The long-term monitoring data provided in this paper will be very valuable and helpful for studying the activity mechanism of C/2017 K2.
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