Dust production of comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner using broadband photometry



Presented here are results from photometric analysis on broadband images taken of comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner from May 24, 2011 to October 24, 2011. As the parent body of the Draconids, a meteor shower known for outbursting, 21P was studied for its dust production activity, Afρ, focusing on how it changes with heliocentric distance. An expected increase in dust production with a decrease in heliocentric distance was observed. The comet went from heliocentric distance of 3.05 –1.77 AU during the observed time that corresponded to an apparent magnitude of 19.61 to 15.72 and Afρ of 16.48 cm to 284.17 cm. These values can be extrapolated to estimate a peak Afρ value at perihelion of 3824 cm. The images were obtained using a 0.5-meter f/8.1 Ritchey-Chrétien telescope located in Mayhill, New Mexico.