Active Polar Region on the Nucleus of Comet Halley

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Science  13 Jan 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4888, pp. 198-200
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4888.198


The images of the nucleus of comet Halley returned by the Giotto spacecraft reveal a number of active regions on the surface, one of which is near the expected location of the rotation pole. This feature is larger and brighter than other source regions, suggesting that the mechanism that drives this source is also different. At this active region near the rotation pole, the sun was circumpolar for a significant portion of the solar encounter. Continuous insolation heated the nucleus to greater depths than in other areas, producing the broad, active polar region.

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