News / Did we catch disintegration of comet Oukaimeden?

Did we catch disintegration of comet Oukaimeden?

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Comet C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden) was discovered 12. November 2013. One month later, we adde this comet as very interesting object to list of comets for observing program for GLORIA. Reason was a orbit, which shows that this is probably dynamically new comet from Oort cloud, and its activitiy level which suggest chance for nucleus disintegration. Such proces can tell us many about comet total mass, nucleus size and its composition.

We started to observe this comet from FRAM telescope during 29. August 2014, when it started to dangerously approach to Sun. It is supposed to pass its perihelion on 28 September, nearly 1 month later. However visual observations suggests very interesting development as comet started to fade as it was going closer to Sun see phase corrected light curve,

12. September our telescope recorded a small outburst after what the dust production described by Af[rho] parameter growth by factor of 2, then 5 days later we have recorded a dramatic decline in comet magnitude and its dust production, which dropped by factor 5 from outburst level and 2.5 from pre-outburst activity. This suggest that nucleus has been heavily damaged, or maybe already cease to exist. Level of cometary activity already dropped 15 times from expected value which suggests that nucleus is no more present or heavily damaged.

Magnitude plot clearly shows a small outburst after which magnitude, especially for central condensation faded bellow previous values even the comet was approaching closer to Sun (model line shows healthy evolution)


Afrho plot shows overwhelming growth of dust production during outburst then fast decline and last day the value dropped strongly under original pre-outburst values.


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Comet C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden) on FRAM - processed by Michal Ringes