Infrared monitoring of comet P/Halley

  • D. Lorenzetti
  • A. Moneti
  • R. Stanga
  • F. Strafella
Conference paper


We present the results of an infrared monitoring program of comet P/Halley. Multiaperture photometry between 1 and 5 gm was obtained during 12 nights in the preperihelion phase from the Gornergrat observatory, and during 4 nights in the postperihelion phase from the ESO 1-m telescope at La Silla. In addition, 10 and 20 gm photometry was obtained on November 4 and 7, when the comet was at 1.88 AU from the Sun. An analysis of the JHK data indicates that Halley was typically somewhat redder than the Sun (<J−H> = 0.48, <H−K> = 0.18) and that its colors did not change throughout our monitoring period, implying that the properties of the dust in the coma remained constant. Also, with the exception of November 4 and March 21, when Halley was presumably undergoing an outburst, the multiaperture data are consistent with an r −2density distribution of scattering dust in the coma. Furthermore, the flux from Halley in its quiescent phase increased as R −4.5, where R is the heliocentric distance. The 10 gm silicate feature in emission was detected at about the 2σ level on 4 and 7 November, and from the spectral energy distribution at that time we deduced an albedo of 0.05 for the scattering dust in the coma.

Key words

Halley’s comet infrared continuum dust: silicates 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Campins, H., Hanner, M.S.: 1982, in Comets, ed. L. Wilkening, Univ. Arizona Press, Tucson, p. 341Google Scholar
  2. Cruikshank, D.P., Hartmann, W.K., Tholen, D.J.: 1985, Nature 315, 122ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dollfus, A., Suchail, J.-L., Crussaire, D., Killinger, R., 1986, in Exploration of Halley’s Comet, B. Battrick, E.J. Rolfe, R. Reinhard, ESA, Noordvijk, p. 41Google Scholar
  4. Elias, J.H., Frogel, J. A., Matthews, K., Neugebauer, G.: 1982, Astron. J. 87, 1029ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fulle, M., Barbieri, C., Cremonese, G.: 1987 (preprint)Google Scholar
  6. Giese, R.H., Killinger, R.T., Kneissel, B., Zerull, R.H.: 1986, inGoogle Scholar
  7. Exploration of Halley’s Comet,eds. B. Battrick, E.J. Rolfe,R. Reinhard, ESA, Noordvijk, p. 131Google Scholar
  8. Green, S.F., McDonnell, J.A.M., Pankiewicz, G.S.A., Zarnecki,Hanner, M.S., Tokunaga, A. T., Veeder, G.J., A’Hearn, M.F.: 1984, Astron. J. 89, 162ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hunt, L.: 1986, Oss. Astrofis. Arcetri. (internal note) Koornneef, J.: 1983, Astron. Astroph. Suppl. 51, 489Google Scholar
  10. Mendis, D.A., Houpis, H.L.F., Marconi, M. L.: 1985, Fund. Cosm. Phys. 10, 1ADSGoogle Scholar
  11. Ney, E.P.: 1974, Icarus 23, 551ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ney, E. P.: 1982, in Comets, L. Wilkening, Univ. Arizona Press, Tucson, p. 323Google Scholar
  13. Rieke, G.H., Lee, T.A.: 1974, Nature 248, 737ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Saraceno, P., Lorenzetti, D., Messi, R., Orfei, R.: 1982, in Proc. 2 °d ESO Infrared Workshop, A.F.M. Moorwood,K. Kjaer, p. 93Google Scholar
  15. Tokunaga, A.T., Golish, W.F., Griep, D.M., Kaminski, C.D., Hanner, M.S.: 1986, Astron. J. 92, 1183ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Veeder, G.J., Hanner, M., S.: 1981, Icarus 47, 381ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Lorenzetti
    • 1
  • A. Moneti
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. Stanga
    • 4
    • 3
  • F. Strafella
    • 5
  1. 1.Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario — CNRFrascatiItaly
  2. 2.Osservatorio Astrofisico ArcetriFirenzeItaly
  3. 3.European Southern ObservatoryGarching bei MünchenFederal Republic of Germany
  4. 4.Istituto di AstronomiaUniversitá di FirenzeFirenzeItaly
  5. 5.Istituto di FisicaUniversitá di LecceLecceItaly

Personalised recommendations