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  • Comet Halley
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First Halley Multicolour Camera imaging results from Giotto


The first imaging results from the Halley Multicolour Camera (HMC) during the Giotto fly-by of comet Halley provide images centred on the brightest part of the inner coma which show the silhouette of a large, solid and irregularly shaped cometary nucleus and jet-like dust activity visible in reflected sunlight. A first assessment of the data yields information on the dimensions and shape of the nucleus and dust emission activity. The nucleus is at least 15 km long and 10 km wide; its geometrical albedo is very low (<4%). Only minor parts of the surface are active, most of it beirig covered by non-volatile material. Dust jets dominate the inner coma and are restricted to the sub-solar hemisphere. Preliminary interpretations of these observations are presented. The parameters of the fly-by trajectory relative to the nucleus are given.

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Keller, H., Arpigny, C., Barbieri, C. et al. First Halley Multicolour Camera imaging results from Giotto. Nature 321 (Suppl 6067), 320–326 (1986).

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