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<= 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.
|Title:||Neutral sodium from comet Hale-Bopp: a third type of tail|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Astrophysical Journal Letters|
|In ISI Web of Science:||Yes|
|Publisher:||American Astronomical Society|
|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|
|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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