NICMOS/HST post-perihelion images of comet Hale-Bopp in outburst

D. McCarthy, S. Stolovy, S. Kern, G. Schneider, A. Ferro, H. Spinrad, J. Black, B. Smith

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Abstract

Near-infrared images of comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) were obtained from NICMOS/HST on UT August 27-28, 1997, when the comet emerged from the 50 degree solar elongation limit at 2.99 AU from Earth. Diffraction-limited images were obtained with camera 2 filters centered at 1.87, 1.90, 2.04 and 2.22 μm with ~0.2″ resolution (0.076″/pixel; 165 km/pixel). Over the 1.7-hour baseline of observation, a recent (<7 hours) outburst is seen in the form of an expanding spiral arm with a projected expansion velocity of ~80 m/s. Other asymmetric features include a jet emanating from the nucleus and several static linear features. Comparisons of the flux distribution in the 2.04 and 2.22 μm filters indicate that the region near the nucleus exhibits a slight, ~3%, water ice absorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalEarth, Moon and Planets
Volume78
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

McCarthy, D., Stolovy, S., Kern, S., Schneider, G., Ferro, A., Spinrad, H., Black, J., & Smith, B. (1997). NICMOS/HST post-perihelion images of comet Hale-Bopp in outburst. Earth, Moon and Planets, 78(1-3), 243-249.