Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 179–185 | Cite as

The 1991 outburst of Comet P/Metcalf-Brewington: a study of the light curve

  • Mark R. Kidger


The light curve of the outburst of Comet P/Metcalf-Brewington (1991 I) is investigated. The parameters of the light curve are quite uncertain as it may be fitted both in terms of variation with heliocentric distance and exponential decay with time however, after maximum a empirical fit ofm1 = 4.1 + 5 log Delta + 14.8 logr gives a good fit to the data. The absolute magnitude brightened at least 11 magnitudes in outburst. The outburst is most plausibly caused by the release of micron sized grains as, were the outbust due to dust emission, it would imply the expulsion of a large fraction of the total mass of the nucleus.


Dust Total Mass Large Fraction Exponential Decay Light Curve 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark R. Kidger
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Astrofisica de CanariasLa LagunaSpain

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