OH & H2O Production and Radial Distribution from Ultraviolet Observations of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) by MAVEN

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Matteo Michael James Crismani1, Nicholas McCord Schneider1, Justin Deigan1, Ian F Stewart1, Michael R Combi2, Nicolas Fougere2 and Bruce Martin Jakosky1, (1)Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Boulder, CO, United States, (2)Univ Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
After its arrival at Mars, MAVEN has been serendipitously positioned to study the anticipated planetgrazing comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) and offers important scientific observations. Although water is the most abundant volatile species in comets, its lack of spectral features in the UV and visible make it difficult to observe. OH is then an important proxy for H2O, and observations of its production and radial distribution can give insight into the water content in comets. Our observations of the comet are planned to occur on Oct 17th 2014, two days before its closest approach to Mars. The two imaging modes that will capture the OH coma include a 10x10 degree mode, as well as a finer resolution mode of 2x2 degrees. From these observations we will be able to observe a majority of the OH coma, and inform observations of Mars’ perturbed atmosphere, as well as contributing to the understanding of volatile content in Oort cloud comets.