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Session 62 - Comet Hyakutake Encounter.
Display session, Wednesday, June 12
During the period 16-23 March 1996, observations of Comet Hyakutake were carried out with the new WHAM facility at the University of Wisconsin Pine Bluff Observatory, near Madison. WHAM is a second-generation double-Fabry-Perot/CCD spectrometer that is more than ten times as efficient as our previous large-aperture Fabry-Perot instruments. Specifications of WHAM in the spectral mode are: a 1-degree field of view (FOV) on the sky, 10 km/sec velocity resolution, 200 km/sec range, and 20 sigma detection of a 1-Rayleigh H-alpha emission line in about 30 seconds. WHAM can also operate in a mode in which an image of an emission source over a 1-degree FOV can be obtained at a spectral resolution of about 10 km/sec.
Spectra of cometary [OI]6300, H-alpha, H-beta, and NH2 emissions were obtained with the FOV centered on the comet head and also located 3/4 degree sunward of the comet head, repectively. This was the first time that cometary H-beta emission has been detected.
Images of cometary [OI]6300 and NH2 emissions were obtained with the FOV centered on the comet head.
The interpretation of these observations using coma gas dynamic and photochemical models yields values of the H2O production rate from both the [OI]6300 and H-alpha data. Comparison of the cometary H-alpha and H-beta intensities provides unique ground-based information on the EUV solar Lyman-beta and Lyman-gamma emission lines. These results will be presented.
Program listing for Wednesday