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Session 72 - Comet Hale-Bopp.
Display session, Friday, January 09
Exhibit Hall,

[72.08] Diffraction-limited Imaging of Comet Hale-Bopp at 1.9-2.2 \mum with NICMOS/HST

D. McCarthy, S. Stolovy, S. Kern, G. Schneider, T. Ferro (Steward Obs., U. of Arizona), H. Spinrad (U. California, Berkeley), J. Black (OSO, Sweden), B. Smith (U. of Hawaii)

Near-infrared images of comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) were obtained from NICMOS on the Hubble Space Telescope on UT 27-28 August 1997, when the comet emerged from the 50 degree solar elongation limit and was 2.99 AU from Earth. We present diffraction-limited images with 0.2'' resolution, (corresponding to \ 420 km) taken during a single 50-minute orbit with camera 2 at 0.075''/pixel and a 19'' field-of-view. These images offer high contrast between the coma and nuclear regions since contamination from reflected sunlight/fluorescence are at a minimum and thermal emission from dust peaks at longer wavelengths. We observed in filters sensitive to dust emission and spectral features of water vapor and water ice (F187N, 190N, F222M, F204M). We discuss the production of gas and dust in the inner coma and in a variety of extended structures imaged at high spatial resolution.

Program listing for Friday