COMET HALE–BOPP: EVOLUTION OF JETS AND SHELLS DURING MARCH 1997


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Abstract

Hundreds of high quality CCD images obtained by the GAT group with the 33.5 cm reflector of the Sozzago Astronomical Observatory (SAS)) provide a detailed insight into the temporal evolution of comet Hale–Bopp. The images cover the time period from May 1996 until May 1997 and allowed us to analyze various near nucleus phenomena. Among them are jet structures that were visible from August 1996 until May 1997 and shell structures that could be resolved from February 1997 to May 1997. We concentrate on the morphology of these phenomena during March 1997 and investigated them by radial masking techniques that reveal their precise shape and extent. In particular, polar coordinate representations could be used advantageously to derive numerical parameters of these features.

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