Identification and Quantification of Water in Comet C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) and Comet C/1995 01 (Hale-Bopp) Using Infrared Hot-Band Fluorescence
Water is the dominant volatile constituent in comets, and the species to which other molecular production rates are compared. Ground-based detection of cometary water is normally impossible because of severe extinction by terrestrial water. We developed a method for detecting water in comets by hot-band fluorescence in the infrared which we have demonstrated for three vibrational bands. Using this approach, a production rate, rotational temperature and ortho/para ratio was determined for water in Comet C/1996 B2 from late March to early April, 1996. Observations from January to May, 1997 on Comet C/1995 01 have provided a rotational temperature and ortho/para ratio for water as well as the production rate as a function of heliocentric distance. These observations were made using the CSHELL cryogenic grating spectrometer at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea.
AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts #29
- Pub Date:
- July 1997