Dust in comet C/2007 N3 (LULIN)

Charles E. Woodward, Terry Jay Jones, Bailey Brown, Erin Lee Ryan, Megan Krejny, Ludmilla Kolokolova, Michael S. Kelley, David E. Harker, Michael L. Sitko

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21 Scopus citations


We report optical imaging, optical and near-infrared polarimetry, and Spitzer mid-infrared spectroscopy of comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin). Polarimetric observations were obtained in R (0.676 μm) at phase angles from 0°44 to 21° with simultaneous observations in H (1.65 μm) at 4°0, exploring the negative branch in polarization. Comet C/2007 N3 (Lulin) shows a typical negative polarization in the optical as well as a similar negative branch at near-infrared wavelengths. The 10 μm silicate feature is only weakly in emission and, according to our thermal models, is consistent with emission from a mixture of silicate and carbon material. We argue that large, low-porosity (akin to ballistic particle cluster aggregates), rather absorbing aggregate dust particles best explain both the polarimetric and the mid-infrared spectral energy distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number181
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • comets: general
  • comets: individual (C/2007 N3 (Lulin))

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