The Hydrogen Coma of Comet Halley Before Perihelion: Preliminary Observations with Dynamics Explorer 1,
IOWA UNIV IOWA CITY DEPT OF PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY
Pagination or Media Count:
The hydrogen coma of Comet Halley has been observed in resonantly scattered solar Lyman-alpha radiation during the period 1-29 January 1986 as the comet approached perihelion. These observations were obtained with the imaging photometer for vacuum-ultraviolet wavelengths on the spacecraft Dynamics Explorer 1. For the initial analysis of observations available in 17 orbits distributed throughout the period, least-squares fits are computed for the observed exponential decrease in brightness with radial distance from the nucleus. Brightness at the nucleus increased from approx. 3 to 17 kR during the observing period. Preliminary analysis yields water production rates of approx. 3.6 x 10 to the 29th power and 1.9 x 10 to the 30th power moleculessec on 1 and 29 January, respectively.