Comet Halley | Published:

Near-ultraviolet and visible spectrophotometry of comet Halley from Vega 2

Naturevolume 321pages271273 (1986) | Download Citation



We report results obtained by the near-ultraviolet and visible channel (V) of the TKS instrument1 carried by Vega 2 during the hour preceding its closest approach to comet Halley. The brightness of the OH (0, 0) band is found to be 1.2, 1.4 and 1.8 MR (megarayleigh; 1 R = 106 photons cm−2 s−1 (4π sr)−1) at distances of 4,900, 2,450 and <1,000 km from the nucleus. The OH gas production rate is estimated to have been 9×1029 molecules s−1 on 9 March 1986. Modifications in the structure of the OH and CN bands observed as the distance from the line of sight to the nucleus decreases probably reflect the change in the vibration–rotation line intensity distribution of the radicals, due to the presence of radicals created in an excited state by the photolysis of their parent molecules.

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  1. Observatoire de Besançon, 41b Avenue de l'Observatoire, Besançon, France

    • G. Moreels
    • , J. Clairemidi
    • , M. Vincent
    • , J. P. Parisot
    •  & M. C. Festou
  2. Observatory of Stara Zagora, Stara Zagora, 6000, Bulgaria

    • M. Gogoshev
    • , Ts. Gogosheva
    • , S. Sargoichev
    •  & K. Palasov
  3. Space Research Institute, Profsoyuznaya 84/32, 117810, Moscow, GSP-7, USSR

    • V. A. Krasnopolsky
    • , V. I. Moroz
    •  & A. A. Krysko
  4. Service d'Aéronomie, CNRS, 91370, Verrières-le-Buisson, France

    • J. L. Bertaux
    •  & J. E. Blamont
  5. Observatory of Ondrejov, 25165, Prague, Czechoslovakia

    • V. Vanyšek


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