Report

Evolution of the Outgassing of Comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) from Radio Observations

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Science  28 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5308, pp. 1915-1918
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5308.1915

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Abstract

Spectra obtained from ground-based radio telescopes show the progressive release of CO, CH3OH, HCN, H2O (from OH), H2S, CS, H2CO, CH3CN, and HNC as comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) approached the sun from 6.9 to 1.4 astronomical units (AU). The more volatile species were relatively more abundant in the coma far from the sun, but there was no direct correlation between overabundance and volatility. Evidence for H2O sublimation from icy grains was seen beyond 3.5 AU from the sun. The change from a CO-driven coma to an H2O-driven coma occurred at about 3 AU. The gas outflow velocity and temperature increased as Hale-Bopp approached the sun.

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