DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 31. Comets II
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Wednesday, October 14, 1998, 3:35-4:45pm, Madison Ballroom C

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[31.07] Imaging Polarimetry of Comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1)

G.P. Tozzi (OAA)

Polarimetric images of the inner coma of the comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995~O1) have been obtained in the V, R, I photometric bands during the period of its passage at perihelion. The observations, covering a total of 13 nights, spanned over the period going from March 1 to April 13, 1997. During the observations the geometry of the comet did not change too much, with a heliocentric and geocentric distances equal to 0.91-1.06 AU and 1.33-1.48 AU respectively, and a solar phase angle equal to 83o-87o.

The results show that the variation of the degree of polarization is strongly correlated with the dust activity, indicating an increase of polarization in the jets and, surprisingly, a decrease in the region of the persistent spiraling shells that was visible for a long period around the perihelion.

In the paper we will show the various correlations between activity and polarization degree and we will discuss on the possible nature of the jets and shells.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: tozzi@arcetri.astro.it

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