Comet Halley | Published:

Television observations of comet Halley from Vega spacecraft

Abstract

The television system (TVS) aboard the spacecraft Vega 1 and Vega 2 observed comet Halley from 4 to 11 March 1986, and transmitted 1,500 images to Earth. The best images of the cometary nucleus were obtained from distances of 8,000–9,000 km. The nucleus is an irregular potato-shaped body, 14 × 7.5 × 7.5 km in size, which rotates with a period of 53±3 h. The surface is rather dark; the measured albedo is 0.04−0.01+0.02. Active emission of matter was observed on the sunlit side of the nucleus.

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