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Limber Observatory Images of Comet Hale-Bopp

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Observer: David McDavid
Location: Limber Observatory, Pipe Creek, Texas
Date: March 13, 1997 11:27 UT

Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) at 11:27 UT, March 13, 1997. North is up, east is left, and the field of view is about 7 arcmin square. The main image is the average of three 1.2 s exposures with a Photometrics CCD camera (Thomson 512 chip) at the f/12 Cassegrain focus of the 0.4 m telescope at Limber Observatory.

The inset is a polarization image of the inner coma, to the same scale as the main image, but with brightness representing linear polarization. It was constructed by combining sums and differences of images taken through four polaroids with their transmission axes oriented at 0, 45, 90, and 135 degrees.

The "jet" and "ripple" structures in the inner coma are strongly polarized, from over 25% in the innermost jet to about 15% in the outer ripple. This is evidence that both structures are dense concentrations of dust that produce polarization by scattering sunlight.

David McDavid
mcdavid@bongo.limber.org


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