THE LUMINOSITY VARIATIONS OF COMET HEADS.
Technical note no. 6,
LIEGE UNIV (BELGIUM)
Pagination or Media Count:
The exact nature of the relations between solar activity and cometary brightness is still controversial. This is partly due to the sporadic and heterogeneous character of the observations material. The physical and chemical composition of cometary heads plays certainly a major role. As for the cometary outbursts Whitneys work has been reexamined under the assumption that the light emitted at the time of an outburst is due to scattering instead of reflection of solar radiation by small solid particles. We have assumed these particles to be spherical and of refractive index, resp. 1.50 radius .001, .0001 and .00001 cm and 1.38 - 1.49 i radius .0001 and .00001 cm. The masses required to explain the luminosities of the halos are of the same order as those computed by Whitney. Hence the required energies are also of the same order as those in Whitneys paper. Our main conclusion agrees with Whitneys it is very unlikely that solar particles are directly responsible for cometary outbursts. Author