, Volume 90, Issue 1-4, pp 335-347

Nitrogen Sulfide In Comets Hyakutake (C/1996 B2) And Hale–Bopp (C/1995 O1)

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The chemistry of both nitrogen and sulfur presents interesting problems in comets.In this paper, we use a model of cometary comae with gas-phase chemical kineticsand gas dynamics to predict molecular abundances in the inner coma region for twoof the brightest comets in the past 20 years, Hyakutake (C/1996 B2) and Hale–Bopp(C/1995 O1). In this progress report we concentrate on the gas-phase chemistry of thenitrogen sulfide (NS) radical at a heliocentric distance of 1 AU to study the abundanceof NS using a detailed photo and chemical reaction network with over 100 species andabout 1000 reactions. The results are compared with recent observations of CometHale–Bopp and reveal that conventional gas-phase reactions schemes do not produceNS in sufficient quantities to explain the observations. We plan to continue therefinement of the model to improve agreement with observational constraints.