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Title:
Radar observations of Comet Halley
Authors:
Campbell, D. B.; Harmon, J. K.; Shapiro, I. I.
Affiliation:
AA(National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Ithaca, NY), AB(National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo, PR), AC(Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, MA)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 338, March 15, 1989, p. 1094-1105. Research supported by NSF and NASA. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
03/1989
Category:
Astrophysics; Comets
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Comet Nuclei, Halley'S Comet, Radar Astronomy, Radar Tracking, Spectral Bands, Geocentric Coordinates, Iras-Araki-Alcock Comet, Radar Cross Sections, Radiation Counters
Keywords:
COMETS, HALLEY, RADAR METHODS, EARTH-BASED OBSERVATIONS, ASTRONOMY, COMET NUCLEI, POROSITY, GRAINS, EJECTA, COMAE, DENSITY, COMPARISONS, SPACECRAFT OBSERVATIONS, SPECTRA, ANALYSIS, PARTICLES, PARAMETERS, REFLECTIVITY
DOI:
10.1086/167259
Bibliographic Code:
1989ApJ...338.1094C

Abstract

Five nights of Arecibo radar observations of Comet Halley are reported which reveal a feature in the overall average spectrum which, though weak, seems consistent with being an echo from the comet. The large radar cross section and large bandwidth of the feature suggest that the echo is predominantly from large grains which have been ejected from the nucleus. Extrapolation of the dust particle size distribution to large grain sizes gives a sufficient number of grains to account for the echo. The lack of a detectable echo from the nucleus, combined with estimates of its size and rotation rate from spacecraft encounters and other data, indicate that the nucleus has a surface of relatively high porosity.

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