DPS 34th Meeting, October 2002
Session 12. Comets: Comae, Tails, Solar Wind Interaction
Oral, Chairs: A. Cochran and L.M. Woodney, Tuesday, October 8, 2002, 1:30-3:30pm, Ballroom

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[12.06] SOHO Observations of 96P/Machholz 1 at Perihelion

C.M. Lisse (University of Maryland), Y.R. Fernandez (University of Hawaii), D.A. Biesecker (NASA/GSFC)

The joint NASA/ESA solar observatory SOHO mission observed comet 96P/Machholz 1 in 4 broad band optical/near-IR filters on 7 Jan 2002 to 11 Jan 2002. The observations provided a unique opportunity to observe this bright comet's extended coma and dust tail structure through its extremely close pereihelion passage (q = 0.1 AU). Because of the small perihelion distance, the dust emission velocities and production rates are much larger than for the typical comet observation at ~ 1 AU; a preliminary calculation suggests the dust observable in the ~ 10' tail is replenished daily. Because the comet is passing through perihelion, the dust tail is highly structured and contains a copious amount of information on the properties of the constiuent dust. We present preliminary images, light curves, spectrophotometry, and dynamical models of the comet's dust coma and tail.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.