NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Spectrophotometry of Dust in Comet Hale-BoppComets, such as Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1), are frozen reservoirs of primitive solar nebula dust grains and ices. Analysis of the composition of cometary dust grains from infrared spectroscopic techniques permits an estimation of the types of organic and inorganic materials that constituted the early primitive solar nebula. In addition, the cometary bombardment of the Earth (approximately 3.5 Gy ago) supplied the water for the oceans and brought organic materials to Earth which may have been biogenic. Spectroscopic observations of comet Hale-Bopp suggest the possible presence of organic hydrocarbon species, silicate and olivine dust grains, and water ice. Spectroscopy near 3 microns obtained in Nov 1996 r=2.393 AU, delta=3.034 AU) shows a feature which we attribute to PAH emission. The spatial morphology of the 3.28 microns PAH feature is also presented. Optical and infrared spectrophotometric observations of comets convey valuable information about the spatial distribution and properties of dust and gas within the inner coma. In the optical and NIR shortward of 2 microns, the observed light is primarily scattered sunlight from the dust grains. At longer wavelengths, particularly in the 10 gm window, thermal emission from these grains dominates the radiation allowing an accurate estimate of grain sizes and chemical composition. Here we present an initial analysis of spectra taken with the NASA HIFOGS at 7-14 microns as part of a multiwavelength temporal study of the "comet of the century".
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Witteborn, Fred C.
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1997
Subject Category
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 188-44-21-23
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available