AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 15. The Solar System
Display, Monday, May 31, 1999, 9:20am-6:30pm, Southeast Exhibit Hall

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[15.03] Groundbased Observations of [C I] 9850A Emission from Comet Hale-Bopp

N.E. Doane (Raytheon ITSS), R.J. Oliversen (NASA/GSFC), F. Scherb, J.P. Morgenthaler, F.L. Roesler, R.C. Woodward, W.M. Harris (U Wisconsin), G.M. Hilton (Ratheon ITSS)

High spectral resolution observations of Comet Hale-Bopp [C I] 9850A emission were obtained at the NSO McMath-Pierce main telescope on 13 nights during 1997 March 9 to 10 and April 7 to 19. Spectra with good signal-to-noise were obtained using a dual- etalon 50mm Fabry-Perot spectrometer (R~40,000) with a 6 arcmin field of view. The comet was observed over a 0.92-1.00 AU range of heliocentric distances. Most observations were centered on the comet nucleus where the surface brightness ranged from about 70 to 170 Rayleighs. Several observations were also centered approximately 5 arcmin sunward and tailward of the comet nucleus. The sunward [C I] emission was fainter than the tailward emission. Assuming that CO photodissociation is the source of cometary C(1D) (and neglecting quenching), for a surface brightness of 120 Rayleighs, we estimate a (lower limit) CO production rate of about 2x1030 per sec. These [C I] observationsare the first extensive set reported for this cometary emission line.

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