Time-dependent analysis of 8 days of CN spatial profiles in comet P/Halley

Michael Combi, Bormin Huang, Anita Cochran, Uwe Fink, Rita Schulz

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11 Scopus citations


CN profiles in comet P/Halley were constructed from observations taken at three observatories during an 8 day period in April 1986. These data provide a time series of CN spatial profiles spanning just over one 7.37 day period from 1986 April 7 to April 15 and sample distances from the nucleus from just over 103 km to 106 km. The effect of the 7.37 day periodic variation on the CN distribution in P/Halley has been examined by using the time-dependent model applied earlier to a subset of the data. Because of the large spatial scale of the data on April 7, 8, and 9 (∼106 km), and the corresponding transport time in the coma, information present in the spatial profiles regarding the gas production rate actually covers nearly two full periods. These spatially extended profiles clearly show the wavy structures outside 105 km. Such structures were predicted in a previous analysis (Combi & Fink 1993) that was based solely on the photometric light curve and on profiles which only extended to distances less than 105 km. We are now able to reproduce the highly variable Halley CN profiles using the same model as before, with the same standard scale lengths, phase lag, and amplitude correction for the variation in gas production rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)870-873
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 10 1994


  • Comets: individual (Halley)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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