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《Acta Astronomica Sinica》 2002-01
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Five Main Tall Streamers of Comet Halley

ZHAO Hai-Bin, HU Zhong-Wei, WANG Jian-Zhong, HOU Zhen-Yu (Purple Mountain Observatory, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008) (National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100012) (Department of Astronomy, Nanjing Un  
It is of much interest that comet Halley showed very long and straight main tail (tail streamer) at larger heliocentric distance. The streamer refers usually to the plasma one. However, a dust streamer may superimpose to the main tail when the Earth is close to the cometary orbit plane, as well as the presence of neutral sodium in the tail ward direction of a few bright comets has been noted. Because of wide sensitive wave range of the photographic plate and projective effect, both the plasma streamer and the dust streamer in main tail of a cometary image may be superimposed and difficult to be distinguished from each other for lacking evidence. In this paper, photometry and geometric measurement of five main tail streamers of comet 1P/Halley at different heliocentric distances are made and compared. Brightness profiles along streamer axis and several transverse cuts, full widths at half maximum (FWHM) of the streamers, apparent and actual aberration (lag) angles of the axis as well as tail lengths are obtained. Among these streamers in blue light plates, two streamers before perihelion passage are definitely plasma ones. Similar photometric and geometric features of these five streamers as well as other evidence suggest that other three streamers are mainly plasma ones instead of dust ones and dust contamination (or sodium tail) may be secondary.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金(项目编号19873020);; 小行星基金资助
【CateGory Index】: P134.4
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