Vol 20, No 8

Thermodynamic model of comet 29P/SW brightness changing

Marcin Wesołowski


Abstract We analyze the thermodynamic model of changes in comet brightness focusing on the exceptional case which is comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann (hereafter 29P/SW). This object demonstrates quasiregular flares that occur in a short period of time; most often it lasts about a dozen hours. The analysis of observational data shows that the average number of comet outbursts for 29P/SW is 7.3 per year. This is the only known comet with such a number of outbursts per year, which demonstrates its uniqueness. In the proposed approach to analyze the outburst of comet 29P/SW, we took into account the complex structure of particles which are in its coma and assumed that they are composed of water ice, dust and organic matter. The paper explains how this diversity affects the more efficient scattering of incident sunlight during the outburst of comet 29P/SW.


Keywords comets: individual (..., ...), comets: general, light pollution

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