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Limber Observatory Images of Comet Hale-Bopp


Observer: David McDavid
Location: Limber Observatory, Pipe Creek, Texas
Date: April 14, 1997 02:57

Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) at 02:57 UT, April 14, 1997. North is up, east is left, and the field of view is about 4 arcmin square. The image on the left is an ordinary intensity image. The image on the right is a polarization image (brightness proportional to the degree of linear polarization). These were derived from three pairs of 3.5 s exposures through polarizing filters oriented at 45, 90, and 135 degrees, together with a Cousins R filter, using a Photometrics CCD camera (Thomson 512 chip) at the f/12 Cassegrain focus of the 0.4 m telescope at Limber Observatory.

The "arc" or "hood" structures in the inner coma are strongly polarized, from about 20% in the innermost arc to about 10% in the outer ones. This suggests that they are dense concentrations of dust that produce polarization by the scattering of sunlight.

David McDavid

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