A COMPARISON BETWEEN NEAR-INFRARED AND VISIBLE IMAGING OF THE INNER COMA OF COMET HALE–BOPP AT PERIHELION


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Abstract

We present a comparison between images of comet C/1995 O1 (Hale–Bopp)) obtained from 12 March to 9 May 1997, with two telescopes of the Observatorio del Teide (IAC, Tenerife, Spain)) in visible (Johnson-V filter)) and three near-infrared narrowband filters (Brγ (2.166 μm)), CO (2.295 μm)), and K con(2.260 μm)))). No significant differences are observed between the images in the three near-infrared bands suggesting that any CO emission is very weak, or produced by an extended flat source. We do not find evidence for the existence of an additional infrared component due to emission by warm dust, or to dust grains of diverse composition and/or size. Visible and infrared images of the same rotational phase look almost identical, supporting the view that the observed jets and shells are mainly dust structures.

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