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Infrared monitoring of comet P/Halley

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

Summary

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 

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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

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