An infrared color gradient in the inner coma of Comet Halley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Near-infrared images of Comet Halley were obtained in the standard J, H, and K bandpasses, on 1985 November 3.5 UT with a HgCdTe camera at the University of Arizona 1.54-m telescope. A well-defined gradient in the J-H and H-K colors within ∼8000 km of the nucleus has been discovered with the bluest colors at the photocenter. Surface brightness profiles steeper than the "expected" 1/ρ{variant}, where "ρ{variant}" is the projected distance from the nucleus, are observed in the same region. A preliminary analysis indicates that the color gradient and the brightness profiles can both be explained by the presence of volatile (dirty ice) grains in the inner coma. An outburst of very small (Rayleigh scattering) dust particles could also account for the observations; however, this second model is not supported by the spacecraft measurements. No obvious jets or other structures are observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-62
Number of pages9
JournalIcarus
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

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Halley's comet
coma
comet
color
gradients
brightness
nuclei
Rayleigh scattering
profiles
outburst
near infrared
spacecraft
ice
dust
cameras
scattering
telescopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

An infrared color gradient in the inner coma of Comet Halley. / Campins, H.; Rieke, Marcia J; Rieke, George H.

In: Icarus, Vol. 78, No. 1, 1989, p. 54-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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