Strong breathing of the hydrogen coma of comet Halley

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Abstract

Strong breathing of the hydrogen coma of comet Halley was observed by the Lyman-α imager of the Japanese interplanetary spacecraft, Suisei. Measurement of the peak-to-peak variation of central brightness yields a preliminary value of 2.2 ±0.1 days for the period. Two outbursts from the active regions on the comet's surface could be the cause of this variation. A shell structure in the hydrogen coma was also detected. The outbursts appear to contribute overwhelmingly to the Lyman-α activity of this comet, at a pre-perihelion heliocentric distance of 1.5 AU.

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Kaneda, E., Hirao, K., Takagi, M. et al. Strong breathing of the hydrogen coma of comet Halley. Nature 320, 140–141 (1986) doi:10.1038/320140a0

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