Comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1): UVSTAR-FUV Spectroscopy from the Space Shuttle
We report here on unique post-perihelion (2.3 AU) measurements of Comet Hale-Bopp in the FUV-range (950–1250 Å) by means of the UVSTAR spectrometer from the space shuttle with the main purpose of searching for argon and other FUV emitters. New methods for separating the strong airglow emission at shuttle altitudes are here discussed in detail. Due to our low resolution (15 Å) and S/N ratio the possible rocket-borne detection of argon near perihelion (0.9 AU) could not be confirmed. New species as N2 are suspected but difficult to separate from the strong airglow emission at shuttle altitudes. From the Lyα brightness (1.30± 0.08 kRy) a water production rate Q = 5.9 ± 0.4 × 1029 molecules s−1 could be derived and compared with other post-perihelion observations.
KeywordsComet Hale-Bopp Space shuttle FUV spectroscopy Airglow
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