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Neutral sodium from comet Hale-Bopp: a third type of tail

Cremonese, G.(1) and Boehnhardt, H.(2) and Crovisier, J.(3) and Rauer, H. and Fitzsimmons, A.(4) and Fulle, M.(5) and Licandro, J.(6) and Pollacco, D.(7) and Tozzi, G.P.(8) and West, R.M.(9) (1997) Neutral sodium from comet Hale-Bopp: a third type of tail. Astrophysical Journal Letters, L199-. American Astronomical Society.

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We report on the discovery and analysis of a striking neutral sodium gas tail associated with comet C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp. Sodium D-line emission has been observed at heliocentric distance r<&#61 1.4 AUin some long-period comets and the presence of neutral sodium in the tailward direction of a few bright comets has been noted, but the extent, and in particular the source, has never been clear. Here we describe the first observations and analysis of a neutral sodium gas tail on comet Hale-Bopp, entirely different from the previously known ion and dust tails. We show that the observed characteristics of this third type of tail are consistend with it being produced by radiation pressure due to resonance fluorescence of sodium atoms and that the lifetime for photoionization is consistent with recent theoretical calculations.

Document Type:Article
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=1997,
Title:Neutral sodium from comet Hale-Bopp: a third type of tail
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Cremonese, G.(1)UNSPECIFIED
Boehnhardt, H.(2)UNSPECIFIED
Crovisier, J.(3)UNSPECIFIED
Fitzsimmons, A.(4)UNSPECIFIED
Licandro, J.(6)UNSPECIFIED
Pollacco, D.(7)UNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Astrophysical Journal Letters
Refereed publication:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:L199-
Publisher:American Astronomical Society
Series Name:490
Keywords:comets: general, comets: individual (Hale-Bopp 1995 O1), atomic processes, scattering
HGF - Research field:UNSPECIFIED
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research area:UNSPECIFIED
DLR - Program:W EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):UNSPECIFIED
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Institut für Planetenerkundung
Deposited By: elib DLR-Beauftragter
Deposited On:02 Apr 2006
Last Modified:27 Apr 2009 09:53

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