Cometary Radio Astronomy

May 17 – 19, 2010
NRAO Observatory, Green Bank, West Virginia.

In the next few years there will be an explosive growth in instrumental capabilities for cometary radio astronomy. These include the start of operations of the EVLA and ALMA, the first focal plane cameras on the Green Bank Telescope and the Large Millimeter Telescope, and other facilities worldwide.

For these reasons we are organizing a workshop on cometary radio astronomy to be held on 17-19 May 2010 at the Green Bank Observatory of the NRAO. The workshop will bring together researchers to consider what might be done with these new capabilities, and to provide input into the development and operation of radio telescopes for the benefit of cometary science. In addition, it will offer a forum for promoting the importance of cometary research in the scientific portfolio of these facilities.

The Workshop will be held at NRAO's Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia, where the intimate setting, isolation, and great natural beauty ensure a high level of interaction and communication. Lodging will be provided on or nearby the Observatory grounds. There will be no registration fee, and the NRAO will cover all meal and housing expenses. We can also provide some transportation to Green Bank from nearby airports in Charlottesville VA (CHO), Pittsburgh PA (PIT) and Washington DC (IAD).

The workshop will begin with a reception on the evening of Sunday, 16 May 2010, and end with lunch on Wednesday, 19 May 2010. Weather permitting, workshop participants will be given a guided tour to the top of the Green Bank Telescope, the world's largest fully steerable telescope. Attendance is limited to about 40 by the logistics of the Observatory, and every attendee will be expected to participate in the Workshop in some way.

This meeting is organized by the NRAO Green Bank Observatory with support from the Office of Scientific and Academic Affairs of the NRAO/AUI/and the NSF. It is also supported by the North American ALMA Science Center with support from the Center for Chemistry of the Universe of the University of Virginia Department of Chemistry.

Keys issues to be addressed are:
  • Advancing Cometary Chemistry (cm, mm, and submm)
  • Mass-loss constraints through dust coma continuum observations
  • What is the spatial extent of the molecular emission from nuclear material? What does that tell us about the nature of parent and daughter species?
  • Nucleus and coma modeling efforts, present and future
  • Focal plane arrays -- lessons from the past and potential for the future. What is current state of the molecular mapping projects?
  • Sensitive coma searches for transition objects (Centaurs, main belt comets)
  • New instrumentation for cometary radio astronomy: ALMA, EVLA, GBT, LMT, Arecibo
More information is forthcoming. Contact The "Comets10" LOC and this website soon!

Scientific Organizing Committee
  • Amy Lovell, Agnes Scott College (Chair)
  • Bryan Butler, NRAO
  • Steve Charnley, NASA
  • Jacques Crovisier, Observatoire de Paris
  • Jay Lockman, NRAO
  • Stefanie Milam, NASA
  • Anthony Remijan, NRAO
  • Pete Schloerb, University of Massachusetts
Local Organizing Committee
  • Jay Lockman (NRAO, chair)
  • Christine Plumley (NRAO)
  • Anthony Remijan (NRAO)
  • Jessica Thompson (NRAO)
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