31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 16. Comet Nuclei Posters
Poster Group I, Monday-Wednesday, October 11, 1999, , Kursaal Center

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[16.08] H2O Activity of Comet Hale-Bopp

E. Kuehrt (DLR, Institute for Space Sensor Technology and Planetary Exploration)

Due to the outstanding brightness of comet Hale-Bopp measurements of water production rates were possible over a wide range of heliocentric distances (up to 5 AU). Several observing techniques have been used, including radio observations, IR- and UV-measurements. The H2O production of a comet is closely connected with the energy balance and the composition of its surface. By comparing measured and calculated rates it is possible to derive properties of the nucleus. The results of this study demonstrate the importance of seasonal effects and show that a low thermal conductivity enhances the water production rate. The observations can be matched with a relatively low, lunar-like thermal conductivity. A lower size limit for the nucleus of Hale-Bopp is derived. Some aspects of CO-activity are also discussed.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ekkehard.kuehrt@dlr.de

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