IRTF Data Archive Program Information

# # Program information file # PROGRAM_ID 2023B063 PROGRAM_TITLE Post-Outburst Coma Evolution of 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 with IRTF/SpeX PROGRAM_INV1 Theodore Kareta PROGRAM_INV2 PROGRAM_INV3 PROGRAM_INV4 PROGRAM_INV5 PROGRAM_SCICAT Centaurs / TNOs / KBOs PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_BEG Several observing programs by several teams at the NASA IRTF and with similar instruments to SpeX elsewhere have shown that the reflective behavior of the coma of 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 [hereafter just 'SW1'] is highly variable, likely a result of the active Centaur's highly variable activity pattern. In order to properly contextualized long-term variations seen in new and archival data, we need to better understand how an individual outburst effects the coma's appearance when there is already dust around the object. In other words, we need to constrain which spectral features are 'new' [ice absorption bands?], which are altered [spectral curvature?], and which are persistent [bulk spectral slope?]. We propose for a Target-of-Opportunity program to not just observe SW1 during an outburst, but also twice in the week-or-so afterwards to not just see fresh material getting ejected into this fascinating object's coma, but also to see how long it sticks around. These proposed observations would not just help understand the mechanics of how this object is active, it would also provide needed context to one-off observations with larger facilities like JWST. PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_END