The size distribution of Jupiter Family comet nuclei

The size distribution of Jupiter Family comet nuclei,P. R. Weissman,S. C. Lowry

The size distribution of Jupiter Family comet nuclei   (Citations: 17)
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We present an updated cumulative size distribution (CSD) for Jupiter Family comet (JFC) nuclei, including a rigourous assessment of the uncertainty on the slope of the CSD. The CSD is expressed as a power law, N(>r_N) \propto r_N^{-q}, where r_N is the radius of the nuclei and q is the slope. We include a large number of optical observations published by ourselves and others since the comprehensive review in the "Comets II" book (Lamy et al. 2004), and make use of an improved fitting method. We assess the uncertainty on the CSD due to all of the unknowns and uncertainties involved (photometric uncertainty, assumed phase function, albedo and shape of the nucleus) by means of Monte Carlo simulations. In order to do this we also briefly review the current measurements of these parameters for JFCs. Our final CSD has a slope q=1.92\pm 0.20 for nuclei with radius r_N \ge 1.25 km.
Published in 2011.
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    • ...they also report an updated value for the Weissman and Lowry (2003) paper by Weissman of α = 0.36 ± 0.01...
    • ...Weissman and Lowry, 2003; Meech et al., 2004)...
    • ...These scenarios explain the observed shallow SFD of active JFCs, the equally shallow SFD of dormant JFCs (this work and, e.g., Fernández et al., 1999; Weissman and Lowry, 2003;...

    Kathryn Whitmanet al. The size–frequency distribution of dormant Jupiter family comets

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