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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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Affiliations

  1. Space Research Institute, Profsoyuznaya 84/32, 117810 Moscow GSP-7, USSR

    • R. Z. Sagdeev
    • , G. A. Avanesov
    • , I. V. Barinov
    • , V. I. Kostenko
    • , V. A. Krasikov
    • , V. A. Shamis
    • , K. G. Sukhanov
    • , V. I. Tarnopolsky
    • , Yu. K. Zaiko
    • , S. I. Zatsepin
    • , Ya. L. Ziman
    •  & B. S. Zhukov
  2. Central Research Institute for Physics, PO Box 49, H-1525 Budapest 114, Hungary

    • F. Szabó
    • , L. Szabó
    • , K. Szegő
    • , A. Balazs
    • , G. Endröczy
    • , M. Gardos
    • , M. Kanyo
    • , Z. Nyitrai
    • , I. Reny
    • , P. Rusznyak
    • , B. Smith
    • , S. Szalai
    • , I. Toth
    • , L. Varhalmi
    •  & M. Zsenei
  3. Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale CNRS, 13012 Marseille, France

    • P. Cruvellier
    • , M. Detaille
    •  & T. Nguyen-Trong
  4. Service d'Aéronomie CNRS, 91370 Verrières-le-Buisson, France

    • A. Abergel
    • , J.-L. Bertaux
    • , J. Blamont
    •  & E. Demarelis
  5. Institute of Fine Mechanics and Optics, Leningrad, USSR

    • G. N. Dul'nev
    •  & G. Tsukanova
  6. Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czechoslovakia

    • B. I. Valníček

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https://doi.org/10.1038/321262a0

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