POLARIMETRY OF COMET HALE–BOPP: LINEAR AND CIRCULAR POLARIZATION, STELLAR OCCULTATION


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Abstract

Comet Hale–Bopp was observed with the 2.6-m and 1.25-m telescopes of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory on March 9 and 11, 1997. We determined the linear and circular polarization in the coma. For the dust coma, the linear polarization varied from 7.8% to 12.4%. The degree of circular polarization was always negative and did not exceed 0.3% with an accuracy of ±0.04% on average. The passage of a bright star through the cometary coma was monitored with polarimetry and photometry. The wavelength dependence and spatial variations of optical thickness of dust are obtained from the stellar occultation.

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