Near-infrared imaging spectrophotometry of comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) near perihelion

David E. Harker, Charles E. Woodward, Craig W. McMurtry, J. A. Goetz, J. L. Pipher, W. J. Forrest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We present 1- to 5-μm broadband and CVF images of comet Hale-Bopp taken 1997 February 10.5 UT, 50 days before perihelion. All the images exhibit a nonspherical coma with a bright 'ridge' in the direction of the dust tail approximately 10″ from the coma. Synthetic aperture spectrophotometry implies that the optically important grains are of a radius ≤0.4 μm; smallest radius for any comet seen to date. The variation of the integrated surface brightness with radial distance from the coma (ρ) in all the images closely follows the 'steady state' ρ-1 model for comet dust ablation (Gehrz and Ney, 1992). The near-infrared colors taken along the dust tail are not constant implying the dust grain properties vary with coma distance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-264
Number of pages6
JournalEarth, Moon and Planets
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1997


  • Comet
  • Dust
  • Infrared spectra

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