Ludmilla Kolokolova - University of Maryland

Ludmilla Kolokolova
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Ludmilla Kolokolova
University of Maryland
College Park
United States

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Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (14)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (2)
Astrophysics (2)
Physics - Optics (1)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Ludmilla Kolokolova

We present an attempt to extract information about the comet 9P/Tempel 1 nucleus from the characteristics of the ejecta cloud produced by the impactor of the Deep Impact mission. For this purpose we use two techniques. We first study the shadow cast on the nucleus surface by the ejecta cloud and investigate how areas of different brightness are related to the varying optical thickness or albedo of the ejecta cloud. Read More

This review focuses on numerical approaches to deducing the light-scattering and thermal-emission properties of primitive dust particles in planetary systems from astronomical observations. The particles are agglomerates of small grains with sizes comparable to visible wavelength and compositions being mainly magnesium-rich silicates, iron-bearing metals, and organic refractory materials in pristine phases. These unique characteristics of primitive dust particles reflect their formation and evolution around main-sequence stars of essentially solar composition. Read More

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), as the largest space-based astronomical observatory with near- and mid-infrared instrumentation, will elucidate many mysterious aspects of comets. We summarize four cometary science themes especially suited for this telescope and its instrumentation: the drivers of cometary activity, comet nucleus heterogeneity, water ice in comae and on surfaces, and activity in faint comets and main-belt asteroids. With JWST, we can expect the most distant detections of gas, especially CO2, in what we now consider to be only moderately bright comets. Read More

We present pre-perihelion infrared 8 to 31 micron spectrophotometric and imaging observations of comet C/2012 K1 (Pan-STARRS), a dynamically new Oort Cloud comet, conducted with NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) facility (+FORCAST) in 2014 June. As a "new" comet (first inner solar system passage), the coma grain population may be extremely pristine, unencumbered by a rime and insufficiently irradiated by the Sun to carbonize its surface organics. The comet exhibited a weak 10 micron silicate feature ~1. Read More

Biological molecules are characterized by an intrinsic asymmetry known as homochirality. The result is optical activity of biological materials and circular polarization in the light scattered by microorganisms, cells of living organisms, as well as molecules (e.g. Read More

We analyzed Deep Impact High Resolution Instrument (HRI) images acquired within the first seconds after collision of the Deep Impact impactor with the nucleus of comet 9P/Tempel 1. These images reveal an optically thick ejecta plume that casts a shadow on the surface of the nucleus. Using the 3D radiative transfer code HYPERION we simulated light scattering by the ejecta plume, taking into account multiple scattering of light from the ejecta, the surrounding nuclear surface and the actual observational geometry (including an updated plume orientation geometry that accounts for the latest 9P/Tempel 1 shape model). Read More

We report results from broadband visible images of comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 on 2013 April 10. C/ISON's coma brightness follows a 1/{\rho} (where {\rho} is the projected distance from the nucleus) profile out to 5000 km, consistent with a constant speed dust outflow model. The turnaround distance in the sunward direction suggests that the dust coma is composed of sub-micron-sized particles emitted at speeds of tens of meters s$^{-1}$. Read More

The coma of comet 103P/Hartley 2 has a significant population of large particles observed as point sources in images taken by the Deep Impact spacecraft. We measure their spatial and flux distributions, and attempt to constrain their composition. The flux distribution of these particles implies a very steep size distribution with power-law slopes ranging from -6. Read More

Affiliations: 1Space Telescope Science Institute, 2University of Hertfordshire, 3National Institute of Standards and Technology, 4University of Maryland School of Medicine, 5University of Maryland

We describe circular polarization as a remote sensing diagnostic of chiral signatures which may be applied to Mars. The remarkable phenomenon of homochirality provides a unique biosignature which can be amenable to remote sensing through circular polarization spectroscopy. The natural tendency of microbes to congregate in close knit communities would be beneficial for such a survey. Read More

Study of cosmic dust and planetary aerosols indicate that some of them contain a large number of aggregates of the size that significantly exceeds the wavelengths of the visible light. In some cases such large aggregates may dominate in formation of the light scattering characteristics of the dust. In this paper we present the results of computer modelling of light scattering by aggregates that contain more than 1000 monomers of submicron size and study how their light scattering characteristics, specifically polarization, change with phase angle and wavelength. Read More

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 micron) at phase angles from 0. Read More

Affiliations: 1Space Telescope Science Institute, 2University of Hertfordshire, 3National Institute of Standards and Technology, 4University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 5University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 6University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 7University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, 8Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, 9University of Maryland, College Park, 10Space Telescope Science Institute, 11Space Telescope Science Institute, 12University of Hertfordshire

The identification of a universal biosignature that could be sensed remotely is critical to the prospects for success in the search for life elsewhere in the universe. A candidate universal biosignature is homochirality, which is likely to be a generic property of all biochemical life. Due to the optical activity of chiral molecules, it has been hypothesized that this unique characteristic may provide a suitable remote sensing probe using circular polarization spectroscopy. Read More

We report imaging polarimetry of segments B and C of the Jupiter-family Comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 in the I and H bandpasses at solar phase angles of approximately 35 and 85deg. The level of polarization was typical for active comets, but larger than expected for a Jupiter-family comet. The polarimetric color was slightly red (dP/dL = +1. Read More

Comet C/1999 S4 (LINEAR) was exceptional in many respects. Its nucleus underwent multiple fragmentations culminating in the complete disruption around July 20, 2000. We present circular polarization measurements along the cuts through the coma and nucleus of the comet during three separate observing runs, in June 28 - July 2, July 8 - 9, and July 21 - 22, 2000. Read More